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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole
(0)

Sick kids and paying upfront

(0)

Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Is the Abbott government the worst ever?

I am turning this Saturday’s socialist speak out over to a poll of Australian readers.

Is the Abbott government the worst government you have ever experienced? If so why?

Is Labor the answer? If not, why not?

To vote hit the comments section under the heading and let the world know what you think. To follow the vote and see what others are thinking hit the comments link.

Like all posts on this blog, comments close after 7 days. Many comments get caught in the spam filter and they will be released regularly.

Here’s a reminder of the nature of this Government.

 

 

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Comments

Pingback from Is the Abbott government the worst ever? | OzHouse
Time May 24, 2014 at 1:11 pm

[…] May 24 2014 by admin […]

Comment from SCART
Time May 24, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Sometimes, for many ppl, it comes down to the sad but simple fact that the lesser of 2 evils is still LESS EVIL & until the Left can show the same unity of purpose & direction that the Right do, ppl will see minor parties as too big a risk.

Comment from Jennifer Nash
Time May 24, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Yes, this is the worst government ever! It’s truly evil and definitely not governing in national interest! However, Labor is absolutely NOT the answer! All the harrowing, hidden and systematically suppressed domestic human rights abuses Jordan and I experienced in Queensland occurred under Labor with the Tweedledee LNP ‘opposition’ looking on!

“I went to court when I was 14, my tapes and transcripts were severely edited, I was complaining about school bullying, Jean Dalton QC and Robert Wensley QC, I was awarded a $28,000 costs order against me “ Jordan said before he was again bundled into a police car and taken to the Toowoomba watch house, which also went totally unreported, except for the WIN TV Toowoomba news report (video no 6) three days later.

Bullied schoolboy and corruption victim found not guilty! (video 3)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fhbspT91f4
And so 3 ½ months after being violently assaulted by police in parliament and falsely arrested for absolutely no reason, Jordan was again falsely arrested and taken to the Toowoomba watch house so that he could not be heard at Labor Premier Anna Bligh’s local community cabinet forum like he did 2 weeks earlier, which was also suppressed. His t-shirt said “Stop denying me on court corruption Anna!”

Now the LNP is power and the suppression and cover-up simply continues!

And there is more information on my Twitter page

https://twitter.com/jennifer3_nash/status/469683575084707840

and on my Youtube channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/2plus2doesnotequal5

https://www.facebook.com/AustralianMediaInquiry/posts/551787694939658

Comment from Arjay
Time May 24, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Labor leaves us with $667 billion debt and the Libs want to screw the masses rather than the elites who counterfeit our money.

Vote for neither. They all bat for our corporate masters.

Comment from Ceekay
Time May 24, 2014 at 6:10 pm

The current federal govt. is definitely the worst I can recall. I love this country but am becoming angrier by the day with where politicians of both major parties are attempting to take us (down the proverbial sh** creek without a paddle!). Politics and corruption go hand in hand at the moment. This land is an invaded land …invaded in 1788 and without having treatied with its Original People ALL governments are invalid. If people are to believe this country is in crisis why buy dodgy fighter jets? If the country is in such crisis why are buckets of money being spent on CONstitutional change and the Recognition campaign? Politicians need to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves are they doing something they can tell their children/nieces/nephews they can be proud of. This country is in desperate need of a new system and it needs it fast ..if there’s to be a future for the next generation (or even current generations).

Comment from Elu
Time May 24, 2014 at 8:31 pm

This government certainly has the most radically regressive policy agenda of any Australian government I know of. Howard was bad, probably the worst until Abbott, but even Howard looks moderate and conservative beside Abbott’s far right ‘ The Anti-Gough’ (-IPA) agenda. No government has gone so far, so quickly, to strip the majority of rights & entitlements, to redistribute wealth, in this case upwards, to benefit a narrow set of party donors and indulge in the imposition of their self-serving ideology, without any regard for their moral duty to the people or for people’s rights or welfare. Abbott is not so much like a return to Howard as a he’s a continuation of Howard at his worst. A picking up where Howard left off in his agenda of selling off and out the country. After wrecking the best work of the 6 years of previous government. Workchoices etc aren’t just coming back, they’re coming back more draconian and extreme then ever before. Labor have failed us badly. They failed to remove most of Workchoices, most of everything Howard did to the country’s detriment. They have failed to challenge the Coalition’s neo-con & neo-lib ideology and agenda because it’s a poorly kept secret they share it. They are in bed with the Liberals; the good-cop for capital, waiting for their turn with us again. Threes or more steps to the right (Libs), one step to the left (ALP); and so two right-wing capitalist parties impose the agenda of the rich and manage dissent. Labor needs to split; leaving the right faction behind, or just go extinct so they stop wasting space and enabling the rightward neo-liberal march of Australian mainstream politics.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 24, 2014 at 11:41 pm

One of Abbott’s looney tunes was to increase the working age presumably because we will not have enough super if people live to 100.

However this does not apply under socialism. A socialist super scheme can provide a pension at full minimum wage for an elderly person who started full-time career work at 25.

I know on another thread our resident kapitalist tried to pour the usual sneers on socialist superannuation. But what facts and data are produced? – none, nil. It is all kapo-dogma.

Socialism is the only way superannuation can be provided because any super fund only accumulates over the long-term at the rate of (real) economic growth. Capitalism cannot do this. When capitalists accumulate super – they skim this off as fees, taxes, and commissions. This only leaves a paltry amount that may provide a reasonable income for a fixed term, for the middle strata, after which you get nothing.

Socialism means the CPI will be zero. This means a completely funded super scheme can be constructed easily.

We all know that capitalism creates rich and poor, and the ABS provides basic data for 2012. The average cash weekly full-time wage was $1,452.00 ($75,746 pa). See:

http://www.archive.is/5MkQA

In 2012 the minimum wage was increased from $589 to $606 per week.

Provided super earns 2.5%pa paid annually and if workers deposit 10%, their enterprise another 5% and government matches with 5%, then all workers get a pension of over 50% of 2012 minimum wage at age 55, 2/3rds minimum wage at 60, and over 80% at 65. These are life pensions even if a contributor lives to over 100.

These figures can be generated with a simple spreadsheet program.

If super accumulation occurs monthly – the amounts increase. In fact if you enter the workforce, after 7 years of post-secondary education (at 25) and retire just before your 66th birthday – you receive the minimum wage as a lifetime pension.

The next generation is much better off and receive even higher pensions, because under socialism, the contributions stay with the public after the death of the contributor. This ongoing equity means that socialist superannuation can be tax free (in and out) and fee free.

Over time a huge socialist invest fund accumulates so instead of social resources going into obscenities such as Star City we get hospitals and aged care facilities.

Presumably households with two adults may well exit the workforce at 55 or therreabouts. This will assist soak up any unemployment that may threaten the economy.

Comment from Kay
Time May 25, 2014 at 6:12 am

I am always fascinated re how all you chardonnay socialists would manage to obtain the money to continue your cushy lifestyle. And you can’t really point to any successful models around the world. Sounds fantastic, but it’s all just a pipe-dream.

My verdict on Abbott? Not exactly across his own policies, and yes, the Budget pain would have much greater real impact on the poor, and little on the rich. So I look forward to some modifications in order to get the Budget through the hostile Senate – as is usually the case. But the deficit MUST be reined in, and the return to surplus is quite slow, even under the full Budget measures. It does not help anyone in the community to waste any more money than necessary to pay interest on debt. But quite concerning really, is the very high household debt in this country – even compared with other comparable countries (debt to income ratio second only to Canada, even though household wealth (home, assets values) has also risen). This can serve to have a dampening effect on consumer spending, and on the economy as a whole – impacting on future government revenue.

Labor initiated some good initiatives (like NDIS, and increased educational funding) but failed to fund these initiatives (except an increase in the Medicare levy to partly fund NDIS). Abbott was really set up – he was put in the inevitable position of having to not proceed with some of these unfunded initiatives, thus looking like the “baddie”. But, before the election, he did recklessly promise things that anyone with half a brain knew could not be delivered. So, hard to feel sorry for him – he did put himself in the firing line.

Comment from Kay
Time May 25, 2014 at 10:05 am

Chris

In which country does this “socialist super scheme” exist? “But what facts and data are produced? – none, nil. It is all kapo-dogma.” May I suggest this is a perfect question and description re your “socialist super scheme”! So, unless you can provide details re where this is currently successfully operating, I must maintain it is just a fond wish.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, I have a case where a person had an industry (low fees) super fund that was worth $400k over 14 years ago; he has drawn $30K/year since then; and it is still worth $400K. What’s not to love about that? The personal contribution rate was 7% over the working period. In case you say that $30K is not enough to live on, it forms only part of a retirement income for the couple.

Now you propose to make people pay 10% personal contributions (after tax, I assume), let the employer drop its contribution from the current 9.25% to 5%, and ask for a further 5% from taxpayer funds. Sounds like a hard sell to me! Not many voters would go for it, I suspect.

I was only proposing a gradual employer contribution increase from 9.25% to 15% in time, and an employee contribution of 5% – in line with most public sector schemes. Remember, the unfunded German scheme is 10% employer component/10% employee contribution. And BTW, in the eyes of Treasury, “tax free” means “tax forgone” – the current amount of which is something that John is always complaining about.

I’m curious – is your “socialist super scheme’ fund going to be invested to maximise returns for pensioners? Most industry ‘balanced’ pension funds have returned around 11% over 5 years, 8% over 10 years. Or is it just going back into Consolidated Revenue for current expenditure? In other words, another unfunded scheme like the Commonwealth PS scheme that became a time-bomb for the taxpayer.

Comment from Ross
Time May 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Kay our super funds lost 50% in the 2008 GFC. They also lost money in the late 1990’s.

The share market has been inflated by QE ( money printing).This is why your super looks so good again.

George Soros the multi-billionaire is selling up his bank shares in JP Morgan, Citibank etc. They have major share holdings in all our banks. The next big collapse looms and say goodbye to your super. Some are saying 90% collapse with no money printing rebound.

The money printing is not backed by real production. Globally unemployment is up, consumption and production is down. The share market has become detached from the real economy and must collapse.

The only way out of this mess is to move back to Govt owned banks and tax this speculative market out of existence.

Both the Coalition and Labor are owned by the big corporates. A dumbed down nation ensures a Murdoch Press will determine who will be in power and what their policies will be.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 25, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Arguments such as “in which country does it exists” are for dumb people.

$400 k 14 years ago is equivalent to $600 k today so there is an actual loss of 33% over this period. As losses compound I would be very concerned if I only had a capitalist fund of just $400k. But it may suit dumb people. If I elected to draw down over 30k a year then this is my decision. The adverse effect is obviously the loss in value of the principal.

$30k is enough for a single person to live on in retirement in a modest lifestyle.

If kay assumes that 10% is after tax, then the rest of us can be assured the opposite is the case.

Any scheme paying out at the same rate as it earns is always a 100% completely self-funded scheme.

Throwing misunderstood words around like “unfunded” and “time-bomb” precisely where they do not apply is a sure sign of stupidity.

The simple facts remains, if workers as a whole contribute at 10% with matching contrib shared between government and enterprise, funds are guaranteed for a lifetime minimum wage after working from 25 to 66, if economic growth rate is 2.5%

What is the point of maximising returns if capitalists then tell you – after maximising your returns you will not have the freedom to retire at 55, 60 or even 65.

Under socialism you get this right guaranteed and you only need to drive the economy so it provides a modest stable return of 2.5% over the long run.

Comment from Kay
Time May 25, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Chris

“Arguments such as “in which country does it exists” are for dumb people.” Interesting. I base my comments on real performance figures of real super funds and you say “But what facts and data are produced? – none, nil. It is all kapo-dogma.” You base you super performance figures on theory alone, and I am supposed to be “stupid” in not accepting it! What lack of logic you display!

That $400K fund I mentioned actually paid out $420K over 14 years – and still has $400K – hardly a loss! And it is only a component of a couple’s income stream – as I said. The net earnings on that fund was over 8% across the past 10 years – and that includes the poor performances during the GFC.

The word “unfunded” has a very precise meaning in superannuation terms – a meaning that anyone with the remotest understanding of super would understand. Why don’t you understand it? And why do you think the Howard government put the Telstra sale money into the ‘Future Fund’? To stop the “time-bomb” of the unfunded Commonwealth defined benefit super scheme from consuming an inordinate percentage of Consolidated Revenue as time went on. The premise for an unfunded scheme was that the income tax paid by workers would always be greater than the pensions paid to retired public servants. But, with increasing longevity, the mathematics of such a premise is no longer valid.

I’m afraid your understanding of superannuation leaves a great deal to be desired. That being the case, your comments are somewhat off the mark. And you still haven’t explained how you would convince voters to pay 10% of their wages into super. Nor have you explained why you would let the employers off the hook – dropping their contributions from 9.25% to 5%. Nor how the taxpayer would feel about paying 5% on top of his/her own 10%.

Why not just augment the existing very good industry super funds by increasing the employer contribution over time to 15%, and requiring employees to contribute 5%, in line with most public sector funds? Over time, these fully funded schemes should fund the pensions of most retirees in the community. The number drawing a government pension as a safety net should decrease in time if these contribution rules were applied.

Comment from Kay
Time May 25, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Ross

Yes, our super funds took a real hit during the GFC, but most have recovered well since then. So, unless you panicked and cemented in the losses by switching to cash or whatever, your fund should be in good shape again by now. Those drawing a pension were forced to cement some losses, but even there, part conversion to cash as the share-based value was falling, could mitigate the losses a bit (that’s what I did with my super pension fund).

You may be right about the severity of future share market crashes. We do know that there will always be crashes and recoveries – always have been, always will be. But the GFC was a real doozy, brought on by the obscene excesses and craziness of the banks and other lending agencies. And there is no evidence that any lessons have been learned – more executives should have prosecuted rather than supported by governments. So even worse crashes may occur in the future – for the reasons you mention.

All I can do is enjoy my retirement while I can, and be prepared to bunker down if everything goes to hell. What do you suggest? Buy gold?

Comment from Jeff
Time May 25, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Abbott’s Government Without Doubt is the worst I can recall,You always expect a Governments to promise things and they let you down on one or two of them, But the whole lot ? That is radical, just like his budget. The budget was very tactless,from Fraser down right through both labor and Liberal budgets of the past a few contained a couple of nasty’s amongst them , but Abbott’s was a very vicious attack on the middle to lower incomes, it appeared more like ideological statement than a budget for economical restraint ! Hence most people will change the way they vote in the next election , I think people will be voting in a way that completely rejects what Abbott’s Government was all about, hence the minor parties will loose votes to labor as a consequence ! Their arrogance towards the Australian voter will cause them to suffer big losses to Labor, as they deserve !

Comment from Thomas Brookes
Time May 25, 2014 at 9:00 pm

LNP/ALP … Two heads of the same snake.
Facebook Australian Independents Movement We can change the existing broken system…

Comment from Ross
Time May 25, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Kay if you buy precious metals go to ABC Bullion or the Perth Mint as they will allocate and store your bullion in your name. Do not buy paper gold.ie equities. Max Keiser says there are 80 pieces of paper laying claim to every oz of gold on this planet. Our whole financial system is corrupted.

China and Russia are buying gold aggressively yet the price falls. The reason is that Wall St is selling off paper gold thus driving the price down while they buy up the real stuff.

Other commodities to hedge against money printing are diamonds, artwork, and yes food when the shit really hits the fan.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Arjay

You have been conned by a Hockey-hoax.

The 667 billion figure is a Treasury projection for 2023-24.

Labor did not leave 667 billion of debt. The actual debt is perfectly normal for the situation Australia finds itself in.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Kay

You are not thinking. $420k over 14 years is a normal common annuity stream. However today’s payment purchases a lot less than the same cash did 14 years ago.

If you had 400k 14 years ago, and only have 400k now, you have suffered a loss of a third and if you are locked into this structure you will end up on Centrelink in another 20 or so years.

A socialist income stream does not loose value.

A fund earning rate in nominal terms is not the key factor. You need to know what is credited to your account to protect against CPI and to cover fees if any. The remainder funds your pension.

The fact that many people are induced to accept relatively high non-CPI indexed pensions out of a term annuity means that increased life expectancy will deliver them into poverty or reliance on Centrelink.

Why did you say that unfunded had a precise meaning? Most terms do. So what?

Why are you prattling on about percentages? The actual split between workers, enterprises, governments, can be varied as needs be.

Noone is letting anyone off the hook – what is all this nonsense.

You do not have to convince workers to pay 10% into super just as you do not have to convince workers to pay car registration or PAYE. Any financial adviser will advise workers to choose a government guaranteed life-time CPI pension at minimum wage, over practically any other option. Only those with health issues would benefit by other options.

Maybe your efforts would be better spent trying to find a low risk capitalist super fund that can pay a minimum wage at 66, CPI indexed for life and is guaranteed against bankruptcy.

If not, then workers need a socialist superannuation scheme, particularly as life expectancy increases.

Comments such as “I’m afraid your understanding of superannuation leaves a great deal to be desired. ” make you look very foolish. Particularly when you do not know how to understand real figures from real super funds.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 26, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Even wise capitalists spurn annuities.

See: http://tinyurl.com/9yvmlwl

One capitalist gets rich by eating another.

Comment from Arjay
Time May 26, 2014 at 11:14 pm

$667 billion is not normal debt. Just because Greece cuts off both hands and feet does not mean the loss our an arm is normal.

Govts do not have to go into debt when they can create their own money conservatively that adds to real productivity.
Govt debt should not exist.

Private banks should only loan our money that already exists. The inflationary money they create from nothing as debt has the whole planet in poverty.