Friday 22nd of August 2014

the difference is clear as joe talks about your taxes and your pension...

from cradle to grave...

the art of lying...


The Commission of Audit report sells the Coalition's line about Australia being in a so-called "debt crisis" needing urgent, drastic action. Managing editor David Donovan explains why they need to tell this lie.

THE COMMISSION OF AUDIT report has just been released and the Budget is just days away from being delivered.

Before discussing these important matters, however, it is important to set to scene. How a nation that is AAA credit-rated and has one of the lowest levels of public debt in the Western world could be widely seen (in this country, not overseas) to be in the grip of a potentially calamitous "budget crisis". Indeed, a debt crisis so urgent that the Federal Government has suggested it has no choice but to remove much of the social safety net, sack thousands of public sector workers and sell off swathes of government assets.

Well, it all comes down to the selling off a big lie – the very successful selling, in this case – that the Coalition has been doing  to the Australian public ever since the previous Government saved the country from the Global Financial Crisis through the use of a modest fiscal stimulus in a quite masterful piece of Keynesian economics. So masterful, in fact, the then Treasurer Wayne Swan was awarded the title of world's best Finance Minister in 2011 and Australia went from having the 9th best economy in the world to 2007 to having the best in 2013.

I was aware of the lie for a long time, but its ruthless effectiveness was brought home to me in the months leading up to the 2013 Federal election. It was at that moment that I knew for sure that Labor would lose that election.

I was at a party just after Rudd had been returned and Labor were enjoying a brief resurgence in the polls — they were, in fact, back in front. But I knew they'd lose anyway when I asked someone – a personal trainer running his own small business – who he was going to vote for.

He said the Coalition — because the country "needed to sort out all this debt".

I tried to explain to him that Australia had very low debt in world terms after the GFC, but he looked askance at me and said he had a mortgage so he knew how important it was to manage debt.

I told him the level of Australia's debt was like a $50,000 mortgage on a $300,000 house, but he wasn't interested.

The message of debt – and the subsidiary image of Labor's "reckless spending"– had been so imprinted in this otherwise very reasonable voter's mind, as it had on the Australian population who get their little bits of "news" from commercial radio or TV,  that Labor didn't have a hope.

The fearful mind of the electorate – most working hard to pay off massive mortgages or hefty credit card debt – was easy to convince about the bogey-man of public debt.

When you are telling stories about bogey-men to impressionable minds, it is irrelevant whether the bogey-man is real or not — all that is required is that it produces the desired emotional response, as it is that response that is imprinted long-term in receptive minds. Thus, the Coalition had absolutely no reservations about pulling out the bogey man of debt — as they don't about debt's bogey-colleagues of asylum seekers, Islam, dole-bludgers, government waste, lefties, socialists, Communists, greenies, bikies, or whoever may seem like a threat in the minds of ordinary Australians.

The technique is an ancient one — it is that of the 'big lie'.

Adolf Hitler explained the big lie his infamous prison cell treatise Mein Kampf [IAemphasis]:

'... in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.'


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young jolly joe and his houdini pension...



Joe Hockey was born in August, 1965.

This, it turns out, means he escapes the full impact of his new policy by a whisker.

He ought almost burst into song, a pastime he confides lifts his spirits no end.

Something along the lines of It was a Very Good Year would seem appropriate.

Should Joe find himself out of a job and down on his luck along the track a bit, he’ll be eligible to apply for an old-age pension at 69 - a privilege that will be denied all those born after Joe's lucky birth year.

If his parents had - how do we say this delicately? - held off for just a few months back there in the swinging '60s and little Joe had arrived in 1966, he’d have to hold off himself on applying for a pension until he was 70.

Jolly Joe, you understand, announced on Friday that means Australians born after 1965 would have to rethink their working life, because they wouldn’t be able to get the pension until that newly magical age of 70.

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Paul Keating had it all licked... When Paul set up the superannuation scheme, it was a master stroke of financial genius. Within 20 years of the start of the scheme, most retirees would have become self-funded retirees. Forty years after the start of the scheme, 99 per cent of retirees would be self-funded and enjoying cruises around the islands. All this would mean that only very few people would rely upon the government pension to survive. All planned to perfection. 

The libs hated this. For whatever reason, they fiddled with the scheme with tax break for the rich and ways to siphon moneys from the scheme to fund charlatans. 

Financial charlatans are people who invent ways for you to invest money into things that eventually will collapse. Investors loose their cash to offshore accounts (Bahamas) or to the wife of the charlatans (matrimonials). Moneys being shifted quickly just before the collapse of the investments. The Labor party of course placed some red tape restrictions on charlatanism. But the Liberals (CONservatives) think that financial advisors should be free to tell you any crap and should you fall into the trap, it's your own fault. That's free market and free enterprise for you. 

Back to pensions: would the Libs (CONs) have followed what Keating had started, this country would soon be free of having to pay pensions and the age of retirement would not be an issue. But the Libs hate that. They want people (other than themselves of course) to slave-on till death do them part — meanwhile they want to let charlatans play as long as possible with all the cash you put away for your retirement... 

Houdini would be impressed.