Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Short Kicks: Hockey kicking buttocks for Keynes
Another week where I'm hard at work on my other commitments, so only time for a short roundup. Not that I'm trying to compete with Homer!
- Joe Hockey wants the other G20 nations to engage in Keynesian stimulus so that he can implement austerity in Australia and not have it plunge the domestic economy into recession. We have benefited from China's stimulus during the latest resources boom, and Hockey can see the terrible effect it would have on the nation if it was scaled down at the same time as the high Australian dollar continues to cudgel manufacturing. This is a classic example of talking one's own book; then again, it's rare for a politician not to do so. Judith Sloan feigns ignorance of Hockey's motives, but she knows that Hockey is a Keynesian. The "age of responsibility" palaver from Hockey is a crock, he merely wants someone else to pay for his free lunch.
- Speaking of manufacturing, those blaming the carbon price or union demands for Alcoa's closure should read this, which details how the real reason is most likely cartel price manipulation.
- Mark Kenny points out that the WA Senate byelection would fall just after Hockey's first full budget, which is looking like a stinker. Fat chance of the Libs retaining those three Senators.
- I'm not the first person to say this, but how do you shoot someone in the buttock unless they are running away from you? Perhaps the Libs could take a leaf from the book of Turkey, which seems to know how to build refugee camps. (Yes, I know Manus Island was a Rudd initiative, but it's six months into this government already, at some point the Libs have to be responsible.)
- It was pointed out on Twitter that the last Liberal PM not to hold a royal commission into unions was John Gorton... so that's the last four. The previous one resulted in zero convictions. The witch hunting continues.
- Craig Thomson was found guilty of some of the charges against him, with sentencing due on March 18. I am tipping no jail time and a wet lettuce fine, as the pre-judgement comments by the judge regarding the flaws in the charges make the case ripe for appeal so there's not much that would stand up in a higher court. The question, as is so often the case in law, is whether Thomson will have enough money to pay for lawyers to achieve the correct decision.