It appears that finally the Australian media and by default the wider public are starting to worry about Rudd’s mountain of debt. At first many Australian’s were quite happy to pocket their Government handouts in some crazed belief that is was magic money that would not have to be repaid some day or at least, not by them. But perhaps the latest Federal Budget has finally got people thinking as opposed to living happily in ignorance in the Matrix.
Over the last 12 months I have moved from being mildly annoyed at Rudd and Swan for being economic twits to considering them as I do now, as potential wreckers of the Australian economy. Rudd I fear is more of a threat to the nation than that other great Labor icon, Gough Whitlam, whereas Swan is probably a pretty average sort of guy trapped in a world of spin and social engineering.
This year’s Federal Budget has highlighted the core element that formulate Rudd Economics. This core element has been developed in Rudd’s own mind and is not as a result of years of academic study or hard yards in the private sector. Instead Rudd Economics is all about keeping Rudd in power and of course, keeping him “popular in a “Sunrise” type of way.
The cornerstone of Rudd Economics is: if in doubt, spend like crazy. This strategy is similar to that employed by poorly trained troops who begin wildly shooting into the dark because they heard a noise in the scrub somewhere.
They are not sure what is out there, but they figure if they pump enough lead into the vicinity where they thought the noise was coming from then everything should be okay. If that doesn’t work, well they can reload and blast in all directions until they run out of ammunition.
Rudd Economics operates in much the same way. When the crisis first came along Captain K. Rudd and his poorly trained troopers first pretended there was no noise (“Hide the troops Sergeant Swanny, maybe the noise will just go away”) but then finally in panic they let rip with a few clips of ammunition (i.e the pre-Christmas cash handouts) and hoped all would be well.
But alas they did not concentrate their fire and many of their rounds went harmlessly off in the wrong direction. Worse still, the disturbing noises from the jungle grew louder and so Captain Rudd decided that the best course of action was to blast away again, this time in every direction until they had exhausted their last remaining ammunition.
Just for good measure they would try and settle some old scores and fire a few rounds up into the trees to try and hit some of those noisy birds who seemed to be enjoying the jungle more than them.
So Rudd and his troopers fired once more in all directions and they were most pleased to see some feathers drift down to earth. “Ah” said comrade Gillard, “We have a least hit some of those noisy birds and from the feathers I would say they were from the species ‘medius ordo’, so that should keep them quiet for a while.
As Rudd and his comrade troops looked around the jungle they could see they had indeed made an impact and so they reckoned that whatever was “out there” was probably now either dead or running in terror due to their decisive show of “hock and bore”.
However they now had no ammunition left and would be in serious trouble if the jungle noise came back, but hopefully by then they would be far away and the next patrol would have to deal with it.
In any case they would get back to town and tell everyone they had killed the beast, wiped out some pesky birds and they would be heroes! Captain Rudd would be as popular as ever!
This is the point where we are now. Rudd and Co. have economically speaking blasted away, and now they hope that they bought themselves enough time until China, Japan and the United States can return to growth and save the day. Maybe they are right, but if they are wrong then what next?
More debt..more blasting? They have told us all what a great job they have done, but they fear someone might actually check to see if they really did spend wisely.
Of course people will leap to their defence and say the IMF recommended that governments should introduce economic stimulus measures, true…but the IMF did not say spend like idiots. There is a difference!
For example let’s look at where some of the $800 million dollars of your money is going via Community infrastructure investment which is component of the Australian Government’s $42 billion Nation Building – Economic Stimulus Plan. Remember this is borrowed money.
- In the ACT part of the $2 million assigned is for a new facility which “will include youth spaces, performance stages, rest and respite areas, Ipod and wireless docks, art display areas and a street style skate plaza with rideable objects such as railings and steps”.
- In NSW the Young Shire Council will receive $388,000 for various projects including one project involving the “Design and installation of tourist and information banners to enhance the streets of Young”.
- Finally not to be outdone, in Western Australia $100k will be given to the Shire of Beverly “to provide asphalt and kerbed access ways to cemeteries”. Mmmm….nation building for the afterlife?
Would any sane person say that the above projects are examples of productivity enhancing spending?
Now just in case anyone thinks I picked out only bad examples then I invite them to go to the Government’s own community infrastruture website and see how Anthony Albanese is tossing around your money.
As I have said on numerous occasions I am not against money being spent to position Australia for the future, but blowing $800 million on toilets, tourist signs, park upgrades and ipod docking stations etc. seems like nothing more than vote buying wasteful spending to me, especially when we will have to borrow all of this money!
But maybe I am wrong, maybe the path to greater productivity in the 21st century is via improved park dunnies?