Government

Cabinet To All Pitch In And Buy Matthias ‘Numbers Man’ Cormann A Calculator For Christmas

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 29/11/2019 - 7:21am in

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With the end of the parliamentary year in sight Scott Morrison’s cabinet have done a whip around with everybody chipping in to buy Senate Leader Matthias ‘Numbers Man’ Cormann a calculator for Christmas.

“In an ideal world we would have a finance minister who could do numbers,” said a Government Insider. “But we’ve made an exception for Matthias as with his accent it’s funny when he reads out the budget as he sounds just like the Terminator.”

“But it does have it’s draw backs on the plus side him stuffing up Dutton’s numbers was hilarious but stuffing up the numbers on the Union busting bill not so much.”

When asked whether the Government had considered replacing Cormann as Senate leader the Spokes person said: “With whom?”

“Look, keeping Matthias in cabinet is a great way to keep the Minister for the Dark Arts Peter Dutton in his place. As we know if he were to challenge ScoMo Matthias would once again cock up the numbers.”

“A dodgy numbers man in finance is way better than Dutton as PM, trust me.”

Mark Williamson

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Frydenburg Promises To Flog Westpac With The Warmest Of Lettuce

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/11/2019 - 8:40am in

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Treasurer Josh Frydenburg has told colleagues of his plans to punish rogue bank Westpac by flogging the bank and it’s executives with the warmest lettuce he can find.

“Josh is very upset at Westpac right now,” said a Government Insider. “In fact besides punishing them with a warm lettuce flogging he is even thinking of taking the more drastic measure of not attending the banks annual Christmas party.”

“These are unprecedented times right now, as nothing keeps a Treasurer away from a bank’s Christmas party.”

When reached for comment on the Treasurer’s plans for the bank a Westpac Spokesperson, the St George Dragon said: “Not the warm lettuce, that’s a bit extreme isn’t it?”

“Why can’t we just pay a little fine put an ad or 2 in the papers saying we won’t do this again, yada, yada and that be the end of it?”

“A warm lettuce flogging who do they think we are, Angus Taylor?”

Mark Williamson

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Barnaby Offers Up A Bed To Any Ladies Evacuated Due To Bushfires – No Uggo’s

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 12/11/2019 - 8:20am in

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Former deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has let it be known to his constituents (well the female ones) that should they need it there is always a warm bed and a shoulder to cry on at his place.

“Barnaby has gone out of his way during this bush fire crisis to make it known that he is there for his people,” said a New England Resident. “Why just the other night I saw him at the local pub going around all the ladies in the bar checking in on them, buying them drinks and making sure they had his number.”

“All this whilst juggling two families, he really goes all in for his people.”

When reached for comment the Member for New England did confirm that he was always there for his constituents, saying: “In time of crisis I am always available to help the ladies.”

“Whether it be to screw in a light bulb, pop the cork off a bottle of champagne or even to just spoon…….gravy onto the roast. I am Barnaby Joyce and I am here for you….well not you but maybe your Sister.”

Mark Williamson

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If Medicare-for-All Were a War, No One Would Ask: How Do We Pay It?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 6:52pm in

Whenever someone wants to start a war, nobody ever asks how we are going to pay for it. But when there is a proposal to help people with basic human needs, suddenly the budget becomes a top consideration.

Thoughts And Prayers Allocated To Drought Relief To Be Sent To Bush Fire Victims

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 8:38am in

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The Morrison Government has moved quickly to reassure the victims of the horrific bush fires currently raging through Queensland and New South Wales that they will be fully resourced with thoughts and prayers.

With the decision made to reallocate thoughts and prayers previously assigned to the drought and the NDIS in the budget.

“My Government is doing all it can to help those affected by the bush fires in making sure they have an adequate supply of thoughts and prayers,” said the Prime Minister. “Thoughts and prayers don’t just grow on trees you know.”

“We have to manage them to ensure that we get them to those who need it most.”

When asked why he was focusing on thoughts and prayers when maybe financial assistance or a long term plan focusing on climate change might be a better approach the Prime Minister said: “Thoughts and prayers are a practical and effective way of dealing with tragedies. Look at America they do it after every mass shooting and it seems to work.”

“Besides prayer works. I prayed to be Prime Minister and here I am.”

Mark Williamson

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Household Debt: a tale of three countries

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 01/11/2019 - 8:27pm in

Steven Hail on how Japan has managed to avoid another financial crisis without creating a major private debt problem, while the U.S. and Australia have not.

In the year 2000 the countries Japan, USA and Australia all had about the same ratio of household debt to GDP – in each country, this figure was about 70%.

In Japan, the ratio fell gradually from 70% to the low 60%, and has remained at about 62% for a while (see Fig 1).

Admittedly Japan has maintained a current account surplus with the rest of the world on its balance of payments, while Australia and the USA have not. But the main reason the Japanese have managed to support their economy and at the same time avoid rising household debt has been a willingness to run government deficits. Over the last ten years, the Japanese fiscal deficit has averaged above 6% of GDP, but going back further, there has been a deficit ever since the Japanese financial crisis of the early 1990s (see Fig 2).

The beneficial role of the deficit, and the irrelevance of its impact on the stock of Japanese government debt, is not generally understood, even in Japan.

Debt and deficit in Japan are not a sign of economic failure – they are the hall- mark of a largely successful attempt to maintain living standards and close to full employment labour market, in an economy where private saving (and especially corporate saving) has out- stripped private investment spending.

It is very important to understand this. Many economists, commentators and credit ratings agencies still don’t under- stand this. They have been vaguely forecasting doom, or at least some kind of financial crisis, for Japan for a couple of decades now. It wasn’t in Japan that the Global Financial Crisis developed. It wasn’t in Japan that the problems of the euro emerged. It isn’t Japan that is faced with dangerous household debt now. These various commentators still do not understand the fiscal space enjoyed by monetary sovereigns like the Japanese government. They don’t understand the appropriate role for the government’s budget in such countries. They look for crises where none will occur. They miss those financial fragilities which drive those crises that do happen. They are very slow to learn. The only thing to do is to ignore them and their advice.

In the US, household debt surged as financial fragility grew, with the ratio peaking at 98% in the first quarter of 2008. Households deleveraged post GFC, and the ratio fell back to about 80%. Still way too high for another surge in private debt to be allowed to persist, but at least well below its level at the peak of the bubble. Substantial government deficits in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and an average deficit of about 5% of GDP has made this possible, while providing enough support for demand to allow for a degree of econ- omic recovery. The US fiscal deficit should have been higher for longer, and is much too low at the moment, but at least the household debt ratio has fallen somewhat.

What about Australia? Like Japan and the US, our household debt to GDP stood at about 70% at the millennium – well above the levels of previous years. It then grew and grew, mainly due to increasing mortgage debt, standing at 108% in mid-2008. Well above the level in the US when the crash happened there.

As we know, Australia missed the worst of the GFC, and propped up its housing market, and household debt just kept growing. By the end of last year it was above 123%, placing Australia very near the top of the global league table.

Bound to lead to a crash? Many would say so — Steve Keen and Philip Soos amongst them — and who am I to disagree? Unwise? On that we should all agree. And done at the urging of successive governments which have failed to run appropriate fiscal policies; with the approval, for most of this period, of the RBA; and with the acquiescence of what until recently was a relaxed APRA.

Who has the debt problem?

Not Japan. Since around 2013, the Bank of Japan began buying up govern- ment debt, to become a monopoly supplier of bank reserves, denominated in Yen.

In September 2016 it took the decision to buy unlimited amounts of Japanese government bonds at a fixed-yield, meaning it could control yields across bond maturities from a two-to-40-year output and sets them at whatever level they choose. It also implemented $80 trillion worth of quantitative and qualit- ative easing while also introducing a negative interest rate of minus 0.1% to current accounts held by financial institutions at the bank, driving the bond yield rate down. Bond market dealers queued up to get their hands on as much Japanese government debt as they could, with the promise it would mature within 40 years.

To quote Economist Bill Mitchell: “The bond markets do not have the power to set yields unless the government allows them that flexibility. The government rules, not the markets.” Moreover, Japan’s government doesn’t need to issue debt in primary markets in order to spend. Because monetary sovereign government debt is not the problem.

The graph of Japanese government gross debt (see Fig 3) can always be used to scare those who don’t under- stand monetary sovereignty, and the fact that government debt is just non- government saving, but if you under- stand the fiscal space available to governments like those of Japan, the USA and Australia, you know that government debt ratios, taken out of context, are irrelevant. There can be no government debt crisis in these countries. Government debt is better thought of as a form of money, and not debt in the conventional sense at all.

Don’t be intimidated by what appears to be the dizzy heights of government debt in Japan. It is not in itself inflationary (see Fig 4). And in itself it does not imply higher interest rates (see Fig 5). Moreover it has helped to keep Japan close to full employment, when the Japanese private sector has been saving rather than investing (see Fig 6).

And Japan has not done so badly in terms of income per head either. The economy may not have grown rapidly, but the population has been shrinking. In terms of productivity and GDP per capita, Japan has been doing pretty well, given its ageing population.

Australia too has performed relatively well in terms of GDP per capita, but has relied more on household debt and less on government debt. So despite its better demographic prospects, it is Australia which is faced with the debt problem – not Japan.

Household debt is the problem

The Australian government was running a fiscal surplus in the run-up to the Global Financial Crisis, relying on a mix of mining investment and household debt to grow its economy. Even after the crisis, the fiscal deficit was neither large enough nor maintained at a high enough level for long enough, to permit an economic recovery with falling household debt. Instead, successive governments placed their bets on an ever-inflating property market and on a household debt bubble which would never burst.

Australian governments have still not learned what a monetary sovereign government’s fiscal policy should be all about. They still don’t understand that government budget deficits are not really borrowing at all, and that monetary sovereign government debt is not really debt in the conventional sense. They behave as though the government can become insolvent, or otherwise might cause hyperinflation. They are completely wrong.

Who has the debt problem? Australia. and the USA. Because the debt of a monetary sovereign government is not the problem. Household debt is the problem.

Dr Steven Hail is a Lecturer in Economics at Adelaide University, and is an ERA member. His most recent book is Economics for Sustainable Prosperity

Source: This article was originally published in Renegade Inc.

https://renegadeinc.com/a-tale-of-three-countries/

Figure 1: Household debt as a percentage of GDP for Australia, the United States and Japan, over the timespan 2000 to 2017.
Figure 2: General government net lending /borrowing for Japan as a percentage of GDP, over the timespan 1980 to 2015.
Figure 3: General government gross debt for Japan as a percentage of GDP, over timespan 1980 to 2015.
Figure 4: Consumer price inflation for Japan as a percentage, over the timespan 1960 to 2015.

The post Household Debt: a tale of three countries appeared first on Economic Reform Australia.

Only Cask Wine From The Goon Region Allowed to Be Called Goon

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 01/11/2019 - 8:11am in

goonsack-619-386Winemakers from the Goon region of South Australia are today celebrating after international trademark laws were changed to allow only cask wine from the region to be labelled as “Goon”.

“If you want to release a “Goon” style cask wine from grapes not grown in the Goon Valley it must now be labelled as “sickly tasting cheap piss easily carted from party to party by swaying teenagers”,” said Charles Chunder, president of the Goon Winegrowers Board. “We’ve spent many years building up the reputation of our product and we want kids who are pooling their pocket money to buy a 4 litre cask to feel confident they are getting an adult to buy them the real thing.”

“As long as it gets me shitfaced I don’t care what they call it,” said renowned goon connoisseur James “Simmo” Simpson. “As long as it tastes roughly the same going back out as it does going in I’ll still drink it.”

Wines with the Goon label are now likely to attract a premium price of about 50 cents extra for a 4 litre cask, provided they contain the minimum requirement of 14% methylated spirits.

Peter Green
http://www.twitter.com/Greeny_Peter

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ScoMo Appoints Craig Kelly As Minister In Charge Of Guarding The Bee

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 28/10/2019 - 8:32am in

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Following news over the weekend that Prime Minister ScoMo had banned a member of his Government Craig Kelly from appearing on the ABC’s Q&A program comes news that the reason for the banning was that Mr Kelly has been promoted to Cabinet as Minister in charge of guarding the Bee.

“In my Government if you have a go you get a go,” said the Prime Minister. “Craig has definitely had a go…at a lot of people and for this reason I see him as being a valuable asset to my Government as guardian of the bee.”

“Craig will work day and night in the bowels of parliament house having no contact what so ever with friends, family, lobbyists or the media in order to keep that bee and my government safe.”

When asked why the Prime Minister was so keen to ‘silence’ Mr Kelly the Prime Minister replied: “No one is silencing Craig Kelly. We’re just making it a little bit harder fro him to talk to anyone. Besides guarding the bee is an important job.”

“I had penciled in the former member for Warringah Tony Abbott for the role should he have won his seat at the last election.”

Mark Williamson

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In Sydney then come and see out live show November 8th.

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Abbott Appointed To The Board Of The Culture War Memorial

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 02/10/2019 - 8:45am in

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Former Minister for Women Tony Abbott has been appointed by the Morrison Government to the board of the Culture War Memorial.

“No one has done more in the last twenty or so years to lead the charge in the culture wars,” said a Government Spokesperson. “Whether it be rallying against marriage equality, the ABC or even charging at windmills.”

“Tony has always been there armed with an opinion.”

When reached for comment on his appointment a proud Mr Abbott spoke with vigor of his plans for the memorial, saying: “This is a great honor for Myself and will definitely keep me busy until the next battle for Warringah.”

“I have big plans for the memorial, I plan to eradicate the entire left side of the building so that all visitors will only be able to turn to the right. I will also be commissioning a giant bronze statue of the famous Australian martyr George Pell.”

“Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to make sure that the gift shop is not selling rainbow flavoured paddle pops.”

Mark Williamson
www.twitter.com/MWChatShow

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The Accident of Accessibility: How the data of the Teaching Excellence Framework creates neoliberal subjects

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 24/09/2019 - 9:00pm in

The stated aim of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is to encourage excellence in teaching in higher education and to provide information for students to make improved decisions about the courses they take at university. In this post, Liz Morrish argues that contrary to these goals, the TEF is only marginally interested in teaching quality and instead contributes to the […]

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