Saturday salon 25/3

1. Service interruption

I’ve been advised by the host of Climate Plus that they will be taking time out for maintenance for about two hours from 2pm PDT (whatever that means, they are based in the USA) on Saturday March 25. It’s about MySQL and they say connectivity could be affected during that time.

2. Who pays and who gets the loot?

Laura Tingle has an interesting graph about who pays the bills and who gets cash and kind from the government:

She says that it is widely recognised within the government that the 2014 budget “shook to the very core voters’ belief that the Coalition had any fundamental commitment to providing them with basic services such as hospitals and schools.”

The 2017 budget will be about restoring trust.

I’d say looking at it that the poorest fifth are probably not paying tax beyond the GST. There is cash going to the top two quintiles that they could possibly do without. And I’m not sure that the middle quintile should be getting more in cash than they are paying.

3. Jacqui Lambie tells what it’s like

Jacqui Lambie told the Senate what it’s like to be on welfare in Australia today:

    “I want you to know that’s what it’s like to be at the bottom of the crap pile, through no fault of our own, for many of us.”

She Jacqui Lambie saved her best for Pauline Hanson.

See also Huffington Post and elsewhere. People were quite supportive on social media, we are told.

In the past couple of weeks Turnbull and co have been doing deals, it seems, mainly with Derryn Hinch and Nick Xenophon. With One Nation falling readily into line, the new senate does indeed seem more amenable than the old. I find myself missing Glenn Lazarus and Ricky Muir.

This morning in the AFR there was a short note that Turnbull had personally asked Hanson to stop demonising Muslims, on security advice.

4. Turnbull moves on 18C

Here’s Andrew Probyn’s take on what happened. Apparently it was quite a surprise to the party room.

Most commentary indicates that this is not about free speech, rather it’s about Turnbull showing that he stands for something, at least to the 105 people in the party room. Probyn thinks it’s read meat to the right wing, who will want more. Phillip Coorey says that the LNP pollies have been told to stop talking about it. They are now rightly worried about losing a string of seats with high ethnic diversity. GetUp are already on the case with posters pairing Turnbull with Hanson.

Go here, for previous posts on this blog.

The key wording is:

    (1) It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:

    (a) the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and

    (b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group. (Emphasis added)

Such acts are unlawful, but not illegal.

‘Intimidate’ stays, but offend, insult, humiliate are replaced by “harass”.

Turnbull is claiming that protection of vulnerable groups is strengthened, when to a reasonable person the opportunities for hate speech will be enhanced.

The legislation will be introduced in the senate, where it will fail. Turnbull will also avoid the problem of a handful of his own troops wanting to abstain or cross the floor.

Two other provisions are included. I “reasonable person” test will be explicitly added, although in juridical practice the reasonable person is already there. Finally, the legislation governing the Human Rights Commission will be changed allowing them more discretion in dropping complaints that lack gravitas, something they have requested.

These provisions will likely pass.

Andrew Jakubowicz says that Australians believe 18C protections should stay, biassed surveys showing otherwise notwithstanding.

He believes that the change is designed to make white privilege inviolable, and will enable the language of hate to the edge of physical violence.

5. Poll stuff

Newspoll came in at 52-48 TPP in favour of Labor, down from 55-45 a month ago. Murdoch hacks act as though no other polls exist and put it down to Turnbull’s Snowy vision, and Sally McManus’s support for law breaking, with the poll showing that the LNP are back in the game.

Katherine Murphy at The Guardian returns the favour, ignoring Newspoll. The day after Newspoll The Guardian Essential Report had Labor at 55-45.

Murphy says more voters see Liberals as ‘divided’, the government as ‘out of touch with ordinary people’ and ‘too close to the big corporate and financial interests’.

Those insights, unlike the Murdoch crew, are based on extra polling Essential did on Attributes of the Liberal Party, Attributes of the Labor Party, and the Parties compared.

Labor is ahead on everything that matters, like policies, vision, having a good leadership team, and looking after the interests of working people. The Liberals lead on things like promising to do anything to win votes.

6. Trump v Merkel

Trump clearly saw Angela Merkel as the enemy. I haven’t had time to follow the full deal, but here’s a photo that says heaps:

Vanity Fair says Merkel fact-shamed him on his big issue. Germany doesn’t have any direct trade deals with the US, it’s all governed by rules negotiated by the European Union on behalf of member states.

I heard this morning the Republicans pulled the healthcare package to replace Obamacare in order to avoid it going down in the vote. Trump, the great deal-maker, has failed to convince his own party. I expect the share market will take a dip on Monday, as investors contemplate whether he’s up to governing.

41 thoughts on “Saturday salon 25/3”

  1. Good graph from Tingle, shows that without the highest quintile paying what they do the other 4 would be suffering badly.

    Thank you Top Quintile, you are carrying us all.

  2. Of course thats taken from the view of ” what you can do for your Country not what your Country can do for you “

  3. Still living in Dunceville I see Jumpy. There are so many things wrong with your 1:38 it hurts to think about it. For starters most people in the passage of their live move through all or most of the relative income brackets as they start adult life as poor students receiving educational support, then to early family life, onto later family life as position and income increases, then to empty nest two incomes and money to burn. It is the civilised cycle of life in the modern world.

    There are of course the opportunists who want all of the benefits of one level without paying the catch up costs of another, but they are in the low empathy fringe of society.

    This is what community is all about. The established elders help the starting out youngsters, is that not what happened in your family?

  4. Thank you Top Quintile, you are carrying us all.

    If Jumpy belongs within the top quintile that’s a pretty stupid comment, and Jumpy doesn’t make stupid comments. Therefore Jumpy must believe he is being carried by the top quintile.
    Since he doesn’t suggest he should be paying more (and in the past he has complained bitterly about the amount he does pay), he must be quite content to be a leaner rather than a lifter.
    Go Jumpy!

  5. Go Jumpy!

    Thanks zoot, i plan to be in the top quintile one day, but every day more and more disincentives appear.
    This graph shows disincentives in red and incentives in yellow and blue.
    A bit upside downish for the future.

  6. Here is the video of Trump and Merkel.

    Trump is soon to be become only the second US President in recent history to receive a United Nations OMG award. This is a rare title that can either precede or follow the recipients name at the discretion of his audience.

  7. Trump must be due for an OMG award from his supporters.
    The great negotiator couldn’t even get his repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act through a Congress dominated by his own party.
    During the next four years or so we are going to witness the slowest train wreck ever.

  8. Seven years of hounding Obamacare and pledging to repeal it asap, the Republicans pulled the vote, to save their embarrassment of voting it down.

    Years of obstructionist reflex and dysfunctionality, shutting down Governments twice and an impeachment amongst others, reality is catching up the Rep House radicals. It is definitely less hard work to tear down policy rather than building them up carefully over time and implement them in government. Two months into Trumps reign with barely anything actually signed into law this fiasco. Paul Ryan claimed , when he pulled the bill off the floor, that it was just too hard to do after having been in the minority for “a decade”. Ignoring the fact Republicans including Ryan were in the House majority from 2011. Compared with Ronald Reagan’s Republicans managed to legislate in 1981 despite years in the minority. So did Barack Obama’s Democrats in 2009.

    The hard lesson here is for the Republicans and our current Liberal bunch of knockers: When everything is symbolic, it becomes hard to compromise. It’s easy to provide a little more or a little less support for middle-class people’s health insurance, but when you decide that nothing less than Freedom is at stake, how do you settle for 75 percent of that?

  9. And are the only quintile paying net tax.
    If one aspire to support 60% of society the we should try and join them, not disparage them.
    Assist not hinder.
    Be thankful to them, not attack them out of envy.

  10. Unless of course their wealth is derived from feeding out of the consolidated revenue trough or crime.

  11. Oh, and if anyone is watching TC Debbie, its on Lihou reef at 991 hPa.
    Keep an eye on Willis Island and the Coral sea reefs to get more idea on its movements.

  12. Jumpey:

    Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve believed in taking personal responsibility, doing the best you can, taking your fair share of the workload, expecting nothing for nothing, …. and all the other things for which one is usually (but inaccurately) called a right-winger.

    However, your adulation of the so-called Top Quintile amazes even me.

    Surely you are not suggesting that the nation should reward the very people who are world leaders in mediocrity, lack of vision, fussing around trying to look busy, losing golden opportunities, squandering treasure, hindering innovation and retarding progress?

    Alright, there are, undoubtedly, several hundred brilliant thinkers and leaders in that Top Quintile but their numbers are a tiny fraction, lost in the herd of the born losers who have taken most of us from prosperity to poverty in only a few generations.

    It is the members of that Top Quintile, not the remaining 80% of Australians, who imposed failed ideological whims, thinly disguised as “policies(??)” on us; regardless of whether their flights of fancy were from the “Left”, the “Right” or straight out of a rubbish bin.

    Every society has its elites and in many societies, those who are clever and who strive end up with more than their fellows ; like it or not, that’s just the natural order of things. However, we live in a very tough world that is getting even tougher by the day – and we cannot afford the luxury of supporting such a huge load of latter-day aristocrats who are neither leaders or elites, who produce little and ruin much.

    Taking away their taxpayer funded toys and lollies from this born-loser Top Quintile so their plunder of the national treasure was reduced, immediately, to the same level of government handouts as in the Second-Lowest Quintile, would be a good start.

  13. Jumpy, what Graham said.

    Also we heard this morning on Insiders that the childcare legislation was limited to those with $350,000 pa. Phil Coorey stuck up for poor buggers, struggling with mortgages on their McMansions. Probably they are also struggling with private school fees and might have to go on a family holiday overseas every second year instead of every year.

    To pay for the childcare, over a million poorer families are going to have their incomes reduced. I’m coming to the conclusion that Xenophon and Hinch don’t understand how the other half lives.

    To do him credit, David Leyonhjelm wanted to limit the benefit to those on $200,000 or less.

  14. I’m with DL on this also.
    But I suspect, given that child care has been linked so heavily to female workforce participation, that a reduction of women in high paying positions would concern those calling for the threshold reduction.

    My base position is it’s not the taxpayers responsibility to babysit anyones children, rich or poor.

  15. The punchline in my comment above was

    “When everything is symbolic, it becomes hard to compromise.”

    Thus it becomes clear a large section of community are for what ever reason unable to see beyond their first principle. A bit like believing only truth is based in god or oneself. There is an other world view, one that can adapt and evolve, a knowing, learning, understanding and pragmatic universe.

    This brings me to the organ of the Davos Club which appears to get it. In this fascinating article about up coming massive changes, they highlight the importance of the ability to communicate values, if you want a common language to negotiate. They particularly highlighted the importance of a broader understanding of ethics and the importance of equity.

    “Facts alone are insufficient”

    The answers to these questions need to be informed by facts, but facts alone are insufficient. All four questions require a willingness to discuss the values we hold dear, even when values discussions may lead to controversy and conflict.

    Safety is perhaps the least controversial value. Most of us around the globe believe that there is an obligation to reduce the likelihood that individuals will be harmed by new technologies. Indeed, the primary responsibility of most existing regulatory bodies is to promote safety.

    But there are other very important values at stake, and they are often given short shrift. First, we should commit to equity – to doing all that is possible to ensure that all people, regardless of their economic means, will have access to technology’s benefits. Otherwise, we run the risk of exacerbating what Hastings Center scholar Erik Parens has called “the already obscene gap between the haves and have nots.”
    Values like stewardship and respect for the intrinsic worth of wilderness areas are often invisible in our discussions or falsely framed as in opposition to economic development.

  16. Brian:

    Strange as it may seem, I do have some sympathy for those living in Muck-Mansions and Bludgertoriums. If a nice young couple go to a bank or semi-bank for a housing loan, they generally have a choice of one of those gerry-built, horribly-expensive dumps or of not getting the loan or of continuing to rent. Bad luck if they want something abnormal like a robust, sustainable, 21st-Century dwelling AND they don’t have a combined annual income of around $800K.

    Add the cost of the housing racket to that of the child-care scam and those living in such palaces are in real trouble. The worst places for social problems, these days, in the regional city near me, seem to be outside the traditionally poorer suburbs (which still have their problems aplenty); serious problems are emerging in the nice fashionable suburbs that only recently appeared to ooze wealth.

    There is nothing to be gained by blaming young couples for allowing themselves to become ensnared; most likely they didn’t know any better and there is also a lot of pressure for them to think a crushing debt burden, for unproductive assets and disposable toys, is not only normal but praiseworthy too..

  17. Strange as it may seem, I do have some sympathy for those living in Muck-Mansions and Bludgertoriums.

    I don’t.
    I feel sympathy for the dis-incentivized, those that are discouraged by the state to remain in the welfare trap for ever, and their children too.
    Just like my next door neighbour.
    ” why would I get part time employment ( and get skills to move up the ladder ) ? housing commission will cut my dole and put up the rent!!, struth, they’ll take me off the disability pension and put me on New Start, f**k that . No, the Government said they’d educate my kids for free and give them moral direction. I can live any sort of lifestyle and Hospitals and medicine are free, hehe, free I tells ya!!, best in the World!. Na, I’ll just sit back and watch you go to word 6 day a week, sell a bit of weed, punt on the pokies, do a heap of fishing and Bob’s ya Mothers Brother, for ever”

    Oh, hang on, No I don’t have sympathy for that bludger.

    ( my bold )

  18. IPOs-Fairfax poll reports 55:45, so perhaps the Newspoll is the ‘outlier’ this time.

    How could the sampled voters be so cruel to Nice Mr Turnbull??

  19. The Fairfax Ipsos poll is just out, for the first time since November. As Ambi says, 55-45 to Labor. They have the Greens on 16%. Turnbull’s lead as better PM narrowing from 21 to 12.

    Personal approvals are down for both, with Turnbull net -8 and Shorten -18. In Essential it’s -17 for Turnbull and -20 for Shorten.

  20. The guy you’ve found there to obsess over is a fairly rare character by proportion, but deplorable just the same.

    The kind of bludger that I abhor is the CEO corporate ladder climber. These are the leaches who take a minimal talent accounting degree and use it to gain access to businesses where the family talent that created them have retired or died, and they move in to rape the assets of the business initially with inflated remuneration which they manipulate with artificial “performance bonuses” before moving on to collect inflated severance payouts. The average tenure of these cretins is just 2 years, and each bled dry company is used to inflate their starting income, routinely in the many millions of dollars per year (and even tens of millions) at their next victim as the entire body of them rotates each benefiting from the audacity of the others. It is a greed club with no other parallel.

    Now to this I expect the Jumpy’s of the world to say “well good on them how clever are they, I wish I could do that”. So if that is their reaction then to that I say “good on Jumpy’s next door neighbour, I’m glad someone at the bottom is having an easy go of it”. It takes several hundred Jumpy neighbours to make up for the economy bleeding impact of just one corrupt CEO (public or private), and there are thousands of those.

  21. No no, i deplore that prick too.

    Also I have 4 of those neighbours in my little cul de sac. The combined Net tax of all the rest wouldn’t pay for 1.
    We need the help of the top quintile for the remainder.
    I, for one, am appreciative that they are here to help, imagine if they weren’t.

  22. Jumpy: My wife’s take is that is that it is good to be in the top tax bracket because that also means that you are in the top income bracket. Stop whingeing and enjoy your filthy after tax riches.

  23. Jumpy: Hope Debbie causes you and the rest of the North a lot less damage than expected.
    All the cyclones i have been through were a lot less intense than what you are facing. But they still raise the tension level a bit.

  24. Thanks John.
    Barely A Cat 1 from where I sit.
    Be it wind speed, rain or hPa she’s pretty lacklustre.
    BoMs exaggerating for safety reasons, the media for clicks.

    Thanks anyway.

  25. With Debbie the main concern with the authorities is that the big high tides at the moment concise with landfall. In cyclones all over the world the big killer are always the storm surges, associate with the strong onshore winds and / or reduced atmospheric pressure. Iirc the centre is expected to go 936 hPa. I don’t know the tides down that way but they are big at the moment up here. Some of these beach communities as well as lower parts of Bowen for example could just get inundated by the roaring sea.

    As an aside, early Cairns floated down the Barron river on one of those storm surges, only to be promptly rebuilt further south at the mouth of the Inlet.

  26. John, re whingeing.

    One of the first thing you learn in social psychology 101 is the fundamental attribution error. It’s the well measured and documented tendency of humans to explain someone else’s behavior based on internal factors, such as personality or disposition, and to underestimate the influence that external factors, such as situational influences, have on another person’s behavior.

    For example research has shown that people would more often than not underrate others and over rate themselves as safe car drivers. To some extend it explains road rage and why whingeing about ‘others’ has become a popular volkssport. Particularly whingeing about ‘others’ like women, islam, pc people, uppish abos, lunatic greenies, or what ‘other’ label your local shock jock may use to rouse a crowd.

  27. Just to bring the above into context, Peter Martin reported last year in Income distribution: Australia’s highest earners think they are battlers

    Asked to nominate the average income of a household that was genuinely upper class household, high income households nominated $454,000.

    Middle earning households were more realistic, nominating $280,000.

    “It’s a paradox,” says Lara Bourguignon, MLC’s general manager of corporate superannuation. “The people who are earning more are also spending more and feeling left behind.

  28. In other words: When we see someone doing something, we tend to think it relates to their personality rather than the situation the person might be in.

    Fair enough, I can see truth in that. But everyone has the same tendencies right?
    Even we poor ?
    And Mackay Harbour high tide is about 11 am tomorrow. If Debbie pulls her finger out she may get here by then.

  29. Thank you, Jumpy, for fixing the link.
    Good luck with Debbie, and to all you Queenslanders caught in her.

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