Mike Seccombe: ‘ It sounds like a marketing slogan, almost a cliché: in times of national crisis, Australians turn to the national broadcaster. But over the past six months or so, it has proved profoundly true.First came the bushfire crisis, when the ABC’s network of regional reporters distinguished themselves not just in reporting the disaster as it unfolded but also warning those in harm’s way. Then came the current coronavirus crisis….
Take the Nielsen Digital Content Ratings, which measure online interaction. In December last year, on the back of its bushfire coverage, the broadcaster surged into second place with a “unique audience” of more than 10 million – passing Nine and just behind news.com.au, which both fell.
By January, the ABC was No. 1 in the country, with an audience of 11.2 million, well ahead of the Murdoch news site. The most recent figures, for March, showed its audience up to 15.2 million, a 53 per cent gain in a single month, and almost three million ahead of its closest rival.
In one sense, this is unsurprising. Innumerable surveys over the decades have shown the ABC to be the most trusted media outlet, and one of the most trusted institutions in the country.
On another level, though, it is remarkable that the ABC has done so well during these particular crises – given that it has been working while grievously wounded. Since the current government came to power in 2014, the broadcaster has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in funding and about 1000 jobs.
Declares 20% of Americans as “Deplorables” surplus to the economy (ODT)
@0% of Americans a wsimply waste product in Trumps America. Unwanted surplus of a failing Capitalist State where 20% own 96% of the nations wealth and 80% share 4%. Where are the consumers necessary to keep this market going before it fails? So now Trump has turned to cutting Welfare, Increased Military spending, Increased policing Security and surviellance and Immigration scapegoating to save his and 1 % ‘s ass. As for the Budget well he’s doing a little rocket man manoevour ask for a lot get a little and claim a win. (ODT)
“The Trump budget is an immoral document. It is a budget that takes our collective resources and hands them to the wealthiest families and largest corporations in this country and ignores the needs of the most vulnerable among us.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
If, as the polls predict, the latest budget will be the final one delivered by this LNP government, then it will be a perfectly apt way to go out. It was a document that reflected the full personality of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government – an amalgam of incompetence and greed, where the right thing is done belatedly and poorly, and underlying it all is a desire to deliver the largest benefits to the wealthy.
Anyone can do NOTHING and wait (ODT)
After the disastrous political reception to its first budget in 2014, the government made no further serious attempt to reduce the budget deficit, instead quietly resolving to wait until the passage of time caused the economy to strengthen and tax collections to recover.
The government’s net public debt has doubled from the $175 billion it inherited in September 2013 to $355 billion this October.
The first politician to show us a projected return to surplus in the next few years was Julia Gillard in 2010. Since then, the Coalition has had to revise down its own projections countless times. We’ve learnt the hard way not to believe any budget number that’s not an “actual”.
With that kind of money, say progressives, “we could be ending homelessness, making universal preschool and higher ed available to all, and repairing roads and bridges.”
Jessica Corbett, staff writer
Source: Decoding the polls | The Monthly
Leaked news of a budget bank levy wiped $14 billion from the banking sector in one day — will anyone be investigated for insider trading?
Source: Six more sleeps | The Monthly
“It’s often been observed that the first casualty of war is the truth. But that’s a lie, too, in its way. The reality is that, for most wars to begin, the truth has to have been sacrificed a long time in advance.” – L. Neil Smith A lie of omission occurs when an important fact…
It’s budget night! Play along at home with The Shovel’s Budget Night Bingo.
Follow us @TheShovel as we live-tweet the budget from just before 7:30pm EST. It’ll be just like the CIA’s live-tweet of bin Laden’s assassination, but less appropriate.
Tuesday’s federal budget may well irrevocably damage its attractions as a retirement savings vehicle for many Australians.
Every year, the Government hands out around $6 billion dollars in fuel tax subsidies – and the coal mining industry is one of the largest recipients. It’s all in a report released this week by the Australian Conservation Foundation, which would make for some handy reading for our Treasurer who’s weighing up different options to save the Government money.
Think Mr Hockey should raise revenue by stopping handouts to billion-dollar mining corporations instead of creating $100k university degrees?
Join the Brighter Budget campaign to fight for fairer budget. www.getup.org.au/brighter-budget
The takeaway from six years of economic troubles? Keynes was right.
In more extreme cases, such as Italy and Spain, fiscal tightening has plunged them back into deep recession and aggravated financial crises. Meanwhile countries that ignored their deficit problems, as in the United States for most of the post-crisis period, or where governments decided to downplay their fiscal tightening plans, as in Britain this year or Japan in 2013, have generally done better, both in terms of economics and finance. The one major exception has been Germany, where budgetary consolidation has managed to coexist with decent growth, largely because of a boom in machinery exports to Russia and China that is now over, pushing Germany back into the recession its stringent fiscal policy suggested all along.
Recessions generally occur when private business and households decide to spend less than their incomes in order to reduce their debts or increase their savings. If this process of “deleveraging” is happening in the private sector, which it clearly has been, then simple arithmetic shows that economic balance can only be restored if some other sector of the economy spends more than its income – and such excess spending is only possible if that “other sector” is willing to increase its debts. Disregarding the role of exports and imports, which must sum to zero for the world as a whole, the government is the only possible candidate to play the crucial balancing role as the “other sector.” It is therefore a mathematical certainty that governments must increase their borrowing whenever businesses and households decide to boost their savings by spending less than they earn.
Hockey in his eagerness to do something right for a change tripped and found himself licking Palmer arse. He’s delayed the increase in compulsory super from 9.5% to 12% for another 7 years. Of course Joe magnanimously said the workers will see that extra money in their pay packets. A straight out lie because employers are not obligated to pass it on.
Tell me an employer that will pass on a 2.5% wage increase when they are not obliged to. His man will go down in history as little more than a waste of space. Please explain Mr Treasurer
‘If it stays with employers the best way to grow superannuation in Australia is to have a stronger economy because ultimately because superannuation is invested back into the economy’
If the employer keeps the money Joe it’s not my super Joe it’s his new Merc or his overseas trip. It’s the Christmas present my wife or kid just might miss out on. Maybe the school excursion. What utter horse shit is the man saying the improvement in my employer’s life style is good for the economy. That’s as Liberal as you can get and Abbott is running the same line on this.
In 1967, Prime Minister Harold Holt said that he knew of no other free country where “what is produced by the community is more fairly and evenly distributed among the community” than it was in Australia.
The pillars of egalitarianism in Australia were high wages, high home ownership and low unemployment.
The figures tell a different story. While big business continues to rake in record profits, wage rises have been so low over the past year that most workers have gone backwards.this at a time when productivity is at an all time high.
Not only is the minimum wage under attack, penalty rates are also in the firing line.On Tuesday, Assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs said it was unfair that small businesses had to pay double on Sundays and triple on New Year’s Eve, and it was on the government’s radar.
ACTU boss Ged Kearney said dropping penalty rates will not increase jobs or help small business but damage the economy by lowering the amount of money people spend in stores and restaurants.
“You cut $200 a week out of someone’s pay . . . and small business will be the first to suffer,” she said.
Despite rising unemployment, the Coalition plans to expand the 457 visa program, remove existing controls on employers, abolish any training obligations and open the program up to more semi-skilled workers.
So with an active push to reduce wages, no plan to create jobs amidst rising unemployment, movement away from federal action on affordable housing while encouraging investors to drive up housing prices, one wonders what Mr Holt would have to say about Abbott’s Australia.