The big questions in the week are: what do governments do and why do they are doing them?
This week’s budget was an abdication of the elemental reason for government: to try to to the items that has got to be done collectively, and can’t be done by individuals acting alone so on nurture and protect people and society.
The message was: do what you wish with the cash as long as you create jobs. Not a care or message on what kind of jobs or what’s to be achieved by them. Just jobs for jobs sake.
To be brutal, tons of our magical GDP is formed from people making coffee for every other. But come the pandemic lockdown, businesses could not sell $5 coffees. But people didn’t go without coffee. They made it reception for 30 cents. Our standard of living didn’t fall. Only the chimeral GDP fell.
The pandemic has shown that tons of retail therapy has been unnecessary. tons of business travel has been zoomed to redundancy. The role of state should be to organize for a replacement economy not yearn for the old.
From its election in 2013 the Coalition has been hooked in to eliminating debt and deficit.
That is the what. what’s the why? The Coalition obsessed about debt and deficit because it meant cuts to government spending, especially publicly health and education, which they considered wasteful if it went a skerrick beyond what was needed to avert voter revolt.
But come the pandemic there had to be lockdown to stop economic collapse. It meant severe inroads to business profitability. So, talk about the imperative to scale back debt and deficit went out the window.
The govt could bolster demand (for the products and services generated by Australian business) by giving big handouts to people that might otherwise become unemployed and large handouts to the companies that employed them. The constant here isn’t fiscal prudence or debt control. Rather, the constant is taking care of business mates.
Note, the handouts were nearly all wiped out cash. this is often the corrupt brown-paper-bag element of the Covid response.
The Jobkeeper tax cuts, the concessions to business and therefore the Jobseeker money were provided in cash. Throw enough money at the capitalists to stay them afloat. After a short time we will return to normal.
What an unimaginative, unintelligent waste of opportunity.
The government outlays on labour and capital could have, and will have, been structured for long-term national development. there’s no got to give an unconditional investment allowance to any idiot who wants to dig a hole and fill it in again.
Much has been mentioned of the Government’s abandonment of its “principles” on debt and deficit when it involves handout to corporate Australia. But there has also been an abandonment of “principles” of ensuring welfare isn’t “wasted” by giving cash which may be spent on booze and smokes. Given the necessity to supply money to spice up demand for the products and services provided by corporate Australia, cash is currency under this government.
Rather they need been geared to an endless pour of excessive public money into the region of Australian business, much of which is moribund, rent-seeking and migration-dependent.
Worse, the sole deliberately directed government leg-up amid this “do-what-you-like-with-the-money” Budget has been within the wrong direction – money for a gas-fired power plant and more for pie-in-the-sky carbon-capture schemes to prop the industry .
There was next to zilch directed at renewables; electric vehicles; lower-carbon agriculture; bio-technology; mineral extraction in Australia; conservation and hi-tech industries.
The Budget was just another little bit of the Coalition’s blinkered business-as-usual approach. It projected a return to senseless, unsustainable high immigration as soon because the Covid crisis ends.
The way to get there. especially , there was no vision about what part Australia must play if the planet is to avoid climate breakdown and global heating.
Nor was there any recognition that a replacement world order on carbon are going to be upon us soon with China’s recent pledge on zero emissions and Europe and a Biden-led US taking it so seriously that they’re going to penalise through trade sanctions countries that don’t pull their weight.