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John Passant

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June 2014



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (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. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (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

Sick kids and paying upfront


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. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



We workers create the wealth Hockey and Abbott are redistributing to the rich



Joe Hockey has tried to find another angle to sell his bosses’ Budget. Now he is trying to win the sympathy of tax paying workers by arguing that we workers work for a month to pay the taxes that provide support for the poor, the sick, the disabled, the old, the young.

One obvious rejoinder is ‘Good.’ I am proud my taxes go in part to supporting those less well off.  I am pissed off that some goes in part to subsidise the rich and capital, and war.

Another obvious response is what about all the benefits that go to business?

There is another deeper response we on the Left should also make.

Where does all this income – profits, rents, dividends, interest, wages etc – and the taxes imposed on it, come from?

It is the wealth (or more precisely, in Marxist terms, the surplus value) we workers create that we are talking about. It is ours. We should decide where it goes, not the bosses or the parliamentary popinjays of profit.

Attacking poor people and workers, which is what this Budget does, is about transferring even more of the wealth or surplus value we create to the bosses. The best way to stop that in the current circumstances is at the point of production, that is, to win higher wages.

This is a point I make at length in my article and its link here Neoliberalism in Australia and the Henry Tax Review in (2013) 8(1) Journal of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association 117.

The link to the full journal, not just my article, is here.



Pingback from We workers create the wealth Hockey and Abbott are redistributing to the rich | OzHouse
Time June 16, 2014 at 8:12 am

[…] Jun 15 2014 by admin […]

Comment from Dave
Time June 16, 2014 at 10:08 am

Wealth or value?

Comment from John
Time June 16, 2014 at 10:25 am

Value, but most of my readers wouldn’t understand that concept.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time June 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm

“Value, but most of my readers wouldn’t understand that concept.”

So true.

Socialists accumulate wealth – capitalists accumulate value.

Comment from ken
Time June 16, 2014 at 7:55 pm


Comment from Dave
Time June 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm

I think this is such a major failing of Marxism in Australia ( so no I’m not blaming you John). The key concept of Marx’s work, value, is not used in the vast majority of attempts to understand and critique capitalism.

Comment from John
Time June 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm

At least, dear Ken, I can spell.

Comment from John
Time June 16, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Slight editing of the script to throw in a reference to surplus value.

Comment from John
Time June 17, 2014 at 8:49 am

It depends on your audience. How do you introduce workers to value when they understand it in some vague way through wealth? If I were writing an academic piece it may be different, although then again if the audience is tax academics, it might be pretty basic. In any event, when Lenin and Trotsky were writing for workers they wrote in simple understandable terms.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time June 17, 2014 at 8:59 am

Joe Hockey’s comments are specifically designed to turn workers against non-working people. As it is, most people resent those who don’t go to work because of the workplace abuses they are expected to put up with, along with downward pressure on wages.

I find it quite disgusting that the Hockeystick would use one group of Australians to whack about others.

It is also quite untrue for Joe Hockey to say that people who aren’t working don’t pay any of the plethora of indirect taxes inflicted on everyone, of which the GST on the basic necessities of life may be taking the greatest slug.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time June 17, 2014 at 9:02 am

Maybe Ken meant that Joe Hockey is a fuckwit, but even then it would be the wrong name. “Abuser of the poor” would be more appropriate, as he knows EXACTLY what he is doing.

Comment from John
Time June 17, 2014 at 11:34 am

Yes Lorikeet, maybe Ken was referring to Hockey and not me.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time June 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm

I think Dave has hit the nail on the head.

The whole basis of today’s global crisis is founded on the fact that, by definition, capitalism attempts to realise ‘capitalist’ profits in direct contradiction of real Value.

When crisis tendencies compound sufficiently to overcome countervailing tendencies crisis erupts and society is thrown into an era of unemployment, wage cuts, money printing and austerity leading finally to deflation and then Depression.

Meanwhile the world is awash with those who Marx termed “sycophantic babblers” throwing up all manner of confusion and denialism. The so called heterodox movement and Keynesians (of various types) are full of such useless babbling today.

Marx’s comments are at:

Comment from Mick
Time June 17, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Among the less fortunate are those under 30 who lose their job. Trapped in the most impractical scenario of “earn or learn”.
They should walk outside and have a look at reality. Life is not as simple as they paint it.
This policy will worsen the situation, not improve it. FAIL.

A cartoon on what this policy may bring in the future . . . . .


Comment from Lorikeet
Time June 17, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Anyone going out into major shopping centres on week days can now see the effects of the Coalition’s proposed clobbering of the poor in action. The shops are almost deserted and fast food outlets are poorly patronised.

Excellent points were made in the upper house by Senator McDonald who clearly pointed out that the Debt Tax would affect individuals while letting corporations off the hook.

On the issue of winning higher wages, this cannot work without making changes to the UN General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which work against our own nation.

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