Australia’s losing mentality

Australia’s increasing habit of choosing losers was highlighted again in the past week. Anyone but the most blinkered global-heating denier would know that Chinese demand for Australian coal would fall as renewables got cheaper and that China wants to take some leadership on emissions to fill the vacuum left by the US under Trump.

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An abdication of real government

The big questions this week are: what do governments do and why do they do them?

This week’s budget was an abdication of the fundamental reason for government: to do the things that must be done collectively, and cannot be done by individuals acting alone so as to nurture and protect people and society.

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‘Packing’ the US Supreme Court

Ominously for conservatives and the religious right, Joe Biden was silent during this week’s debate about whether he would “pack” the Supreme Court by expanding it from its present nine members.

He was asked by moderator Chris Wallace whether the Republican-controlled Senate’s unseemly rush to replace liberal judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg with President Trump’s conservative nominee Amy Coney Barrett just before the election would prompt him to neutralise or reverse the balance of the court by increasing its size.

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Presidential? It was hardly a debate at all

It is unlikely that Joe Biden moved a single voter into his camp during the first presidential debate. But neither did Donald Trump.

Unlike many previous presidential debates, there were no killer moments. There was no projection of hope and vision, as with Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton or Obama, juxtaposed against an opponent’s shiftiness, ineptitude or past-their-use-by-date demeanour.

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Bring back poll-driven politics

Remember when political parties were condemned for being “poll-driven”. If only they were poll-driven (rather than donor-driven) now. We would have good population, climate, energy, tax and defence policies, as various publications in the past week or so reveal.

Let’s take them one by one.

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Covid: debt to young must be repaid

Amid the sometimes heated Covid-generated debate over economy vs lives, one thing is certain: people over 60 have a large debt to younger people. The debt should be repaid through tax and payments changes that favour the young.

Health Department figures show that 97.7% of Covid deaths were among people over 60. Essentially, Covid does not present a death risk to the young. But younger people have paid dearly in economic terms because of the shutdowns that were necessary to prevent more Covid deaths among the over-60s.

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Changing corporate malfeasance

Another week and yet more examples of corporate greed and wrong-doing emerge. Big for-profit corporations are using JobKeeper funds as DividendKeeper and BonusKeeper. Facebook is making bullying threats over the Australian Government’s reasonable move to make it pay for content. Big business is urging the Government to scrap superannuation rises for wage and salary earners so it can pocket the money for profits, bonuses and dividends.

It does not seem to stop. Wage theft, water theft, theft from bank customers, tax dodging, and dodging responsibility for dangerous goods and environmental clean-up have been rife in corporate Australia for decades.

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More pro-population growth propaganda

There was more fear-mongering, self-serving, and flawed guestimates over population this week – this time from the quintessential accountant and consultant to big business and government, KPMG.

Shock, horror, Australia’s population would be 1.1 million less by 2029-30 because of the reduction in immigration caused by Covid. That would be a “$117 billion” hit to the economy over the decade by dragging down economic growth, KPMG calculates. That would leave every Australian $2850 worse off each year, KPMG says.

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Quit ANZUS if Trump wins

If Donald Trum is re-elected President in November, Australia should withdraw from the ANZUS treaty and encourage New Zealand to do the same thing.

If he wins, it must mean only one of two things: that either he has succeeded in cheating at the election by stymying mail voting and undermining the election’s legitimacy, or that the American people have genuinely re-elected him despite his dangerously erratic foreign-policy forays; his destructive trade policies; his employment of toadies and cronies and his supplicancy to autocrats and dictators. Indeed, they would have endorsed those actions. Either way, the US would be neither a worthwhile ally nor a worthy one.

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