The wages of waste

Personally, I care not at all about the headline issue: At $528,000 a year, Turnbull’s pay is highest of any leader in OECD. PDT is not taking any salary at all so the price mechanism doesn’t always reflect relative value in any absolute sense. But this is what interests me:

The figures come as the Reserve Bank warns Australians to expect historically low levels of wage growth for some time yet, setting up a policy showdown with Labor before the next election over efforts to tackle the rising cost of living.

Both are trying to ameliorate the impact of torpid wage growth through offering billions of dollars in income tax cuts.

Workers have been starved of pay rises in real terms, with wage growth stuck at the rising cost of living for the past year. Inflation hit 1.9 per cent in March and private sector wages have barely kept up at the same rate but public sector workers have done better, lifting the rate to 2.1 per cent Australia-wide.

The reality is that both parties are deeply into Keynesian idiocies with some kind of belief that public spending makes an economy grow. I am not all that fussed about the deficit as such, but am very much concerned with the level of public spending which is almost invariably wasted. For every dollar spent, you get less than a dollar’s worth of value, often much less. That is why real wages don’t rise, and until that changes, real wages won’t either.

PDT understands that. Does anyone else?

How the Libs can win and where Labor will never follow

There are certain political observers who would have seen Labor elected in 2016 to teach the Libs a lesson, but I have to say the thought still terrifies me. There are then those in the Coalition who believe that their superior economic management will make all the difference, a notion so absurd I cannot believe that they actually believe they have their finger on the pulse of the nation. So let me draw their attention to the above, which I picked up via Steve Hayward on Powerline, who heads his post: Gee – I wonder if it might be immigration?

This is where their winning break can and will come from, and I am at least comforted that Peter Dutton is such an excellent Minister and is supported by the Prime Minister. And on this Labor will never follow, because their strategy is to bring in an entirely new cohort of citizens on whom Labor will be able to depend.

I can see there’s a consensus building for the next departure from the HRC

Let us begin with Tim Blair in a post he titles, Finest intro ever written:

Daily Telegraph colleague Miranda Devine makes several strong points in her latest terrific column. Let’s take a detailed look, starting from the top:

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane’s term expires in August …

Actually, although there are no doubt many strong points, I wasn’t able to read anything beyond that opening line due to tequila shots.

So following from Tim and Miranda, let me take you to Frank Chung: For $340,000 a year, we deserve better than Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane which has as its subhead:

AUSTRALIA’S race discrimination commissioner has lamented the “dismal” fact that there are too many white people in top positions.

I will leave you with Frank’s last two paras:

There may be many reasons for the lack of one-to-one population representation at the very highest levels of business and politics — but for the Race Discrimination Commissioner, when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

For someone who is paid $340,000 a year to come up with this dross, it’s not surprising the concept of meritocracy is a foreign one. Or is that being racist?


Coalition sense on IR

I imagine The Australian made this the first thing they told us about the new Deputy Prime Minister as a kind of negative point, but this is something that’s long been missing from the Coalition:

Mr McCormack upheld the importance of unfair dismissal laws to “protect workers”, ­reflecting on his decision to take action against the Riverina Media Group over his departure from The Daily Advertiser in Wagga Wagga — a rural paper that he ­edited for a decade between 1992 and 2002 — ­declaring that he had been “wronged” by his former ­employers.

See the quotes around “protect workers”. There must be some notion that workers being wronged by their employer is so farfetched that it has no place within a government that is pro-market. So let me point out that being shafted by one’s employer is not exactly an unknown phenomenon and it’s a pleasure to see someone back inside the leadership of the Coalition who understands this. I worked for a quarter of a century as the Chief Economist for Australia’s national employer association in the middle of our industrial relations system – even presented the National Wage Case on three occasions – but it never crossed my mind that in arguing on behalf of business that I was acting on behalf of people who were always guaranteed to do what was ethically and morally right. You have no idea what rotten sods there are running businesses, although now that I think about it, I imagine most of you do.

Our unique system of industrial tribunals is in my view a large part of what has made Australia so economically and socially stable. The blind spot in John Howard’s period as PM was his war on our tribunals which in the end led to his introduction of WorkChoices as the core industrial relations legislation. Remember this?

In May 2005, Prime Minister John Howard informed the Australian House of Representatives that the federal government intended to reform Australian industrial relations laws by introducing a unified national system. WorkChoices was ostensibly designed to improve employment levels and national economic performance by dispensing with unfair dismissal laws for companies under a certain size, removing the “no disadvantage test” which had sought to ensure workers were not left disadvantaged by changes in legislation, thereby promoting individual efficiency and requiring workers to submit their certified agreements directly to Workplace Authority rather than going through the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. It also made adjustments to a workforce’s ability to legally go on strike, enabling workers to bargain for conditions without collectivised representation, and significantly restricting trade union activity. . . .

WorkChoices was a major issue in the 2007 federal election, with the Australian Labor Party (ALP) led by Kevin Rudd vowing to abolish it. Labor won government at the 2007 election and repealed the whole of the WorkChoices legislation by the Fair Work Act 2009.

That’s not to say there are no improvements to be made, but a return to WorkChoices is not one of them. Perhaps for a change someone has learned something from history. Good to see Michael McCormack take up his place and good luck to him.

How Turnbull made up with Trump

For the morons who wrote this story to imply that it was PDT who changed his tune and not Malcolm shows what an out-of-touch bunch of clowns they are: How Trump made up with Australia’s prime minister after a ‘most unpleasant call’. This bit is OK, however:

When Turnbull visits the White House today, February 23, it will mark a stark turnabout from his contentious row with Trump last January 28. The Australian leader has now become one of the U.S. president’s closest partners, as they work on issues ranging from the North Korean nuclear threat to infrastructure plans in their respective countries.

This, from the opening paras, is also OK:

On his eighth day in office, President Donald Trump blasted and badgered Australia’s leader over an immigration dispute, telling Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, “this is the most unpleasant call,” and then abruptly hanging up on the head of one of America’s staunchest allies.

But what is not OK is to imply that it was PDT who had seen the error of his ways. Here’s the reality.

Turnbull has never had the slightest feel for politics, has no evident ability to assess things from a conservative perspective, assumed from the start that PDT would be a failure and expected those on the right side of the political divide in Australia to support his disdain for the President. Wrong on all counts. What his reation to the election and his initial conversation with the President did instead was reinforce the disdain from everyone Turnbull counted on for support, who never gets anything right. Other than being the nominal figurehead Prime Minister, he has only limited authority over those who the Liberal-National parties are counting on to vote for them. That his own party, plus a twelve-month series of Trump successes, has made him change his tune is proof only that he wishes to be Prime Minister some more.

It is also more evidence of what a success PDT has actually been.

ALP sent people to the US to work for the Democrats in 2016

They think it’s a scandal because of foreign influence on the American election on the side of the Democrats, which in this case from Australia, while I think it’s a scandal that the Labor Party has lined up so closely with the Democrats in the US.

Breaking: Australian Labor Party Sent Operatives to Work Against Trump During 2016 Campaign …When Will They Be Indicted?

The story was well documented and raised a bit of a stink in Australia because the operatives were funded by Aussie taxpayers.

When will Dirty Cop Robert Mueller indict these foreign nationals?
This makes the Russian influence pale in significance.

In February 2016 Project Veritas released video of Australian Labor Party activists assisting Democrats in the US. The activists are seen assisting the Bernie Sanders campaign.
This is a clear violation of FEC laws.

Will Robert Mueller indict this foreign interference with US elections?

For myself, I don’t recall this being mentioned here, but it should be. Probably been quiet because Malcolm had sent his own people to work with the Democrats as well.

This is timely

Barnaby Joyce has just resigned over accusations of sexual harassment and here is Jordan Peterson discussing, “What are the rules that govern sexual interaction between men and women in the workplace?”

Video via Instapundit.

This is Andrew Bolt’s post on Barnaby’s resignation:

Barnaby Joyce quits as Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister. He says the complaint against him of sexuak harassment – which he denies – was the last straw.

Malcom Turnbull had tried to publicly shame him into quitting but failed. His personal attak at a press conference eight days ago backfired, wth Nationals MPs declaring Joyce would stay.

But then came three devastatig leaks from the Government which destroyed Joyce and invite revenge.

Someone, almost certainly from Cabinet, leaked that Joyce had not declared during a Cabinet discussions to apparove an inland rail line that he owned land along the route.

Then someone, almost certainly within Cabinet, leaked that Joyce had been “ruthless” in Cabinet in demanding Minister Sussan Ley quit over her expenses controversy and thus was a hypocrite in not himself quitting now.

A familiar name features in that leak:

Sky News is reporting that cabinet ministers are angry about Mr Joyce’s behaviour in light of his handling of previous crises.

Witnesses have reportedly said that during cabinet discussions relating to the scandal over Ms Ley’s travel, Mr Joyce was “ruthless”, insisting that Ms Ley “had to go”.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop reportedly argued for a proper investigation to establish whether Ms Ley had done anything wrong, but Mr Joyce said, “No, let me tell you how this is going to end. She needs to stand down”.

He is said to have taken a similar approach with respect to allegations relating to a late-night incident in a Hong Kong bar involving a female departmental staffer, which were levelled at Mr Briggs.

And now someone, probably in the Nationals party or in the Government, leaked that a woman in Western Australia had accused Joyce of sexual harassment (which he strongly denies). The woman says she never wanted the accusation made public.

Politics is always tough. This assassination of Joyce has been particularly brutal.

I doubt he will forgive.

The One Australia Policy

Two letters to The Oz yesterday responding to a column from the day before. There is nowhere in the world like Australia, but we will ruin ourselves if we do not understand that a One Australia Policy is the only policy that will keep us whole. Here’s the first letter.

Maurice Newman (“Assimilation must be part of the deal for new citizens”, 21/2) blames multiculturalism for “division, growing intolerance and diminished national pride”.

He is not entirely right. As an activist in the Chinese community since 1984, my conclusion is that the commodification of the ethnic vote is the real culprit. I have lost count the number of times I cringed when I heard politicians at Chinese New Year functions telling the assembled how they respected our culture and how we had every right to preserve our culture, with one saying that she had been a practising Confucian without knowing it.

Worse, they confer “grants” for cultural festivals under the guise of multiculturalism, but in reality for no other purpose than harvesting votes and political donations. Then there are the multicultural awards, paid directorships on government owned corporations, and sinecures in state upper houses, all to lock in votes. This commodification of ethnic votes has bred a whole class of ethnic leaders who stridently call for ethnic “rights” to buttress their personal support in their ethnic group, at the cost of sabotaging the natural gravitation of migrants towards assimilation to gain economic and social progress.

Such ethnic leaders do not seem to question why few of their Aussie-acclimatised children care to be part of their glorious make-believe fiefdoms.

Chek Ling, Corinda, Qld

And then this is the second.

Maurice Newman’s timely article reminded me of a very perceptive comment made in John Howard’s autobiography in the closing chapter: “Multiculturalism is not our national cement. Rather, it is the Australian achievement, which has many components. One of them has been, successfully, to absorb millions of people from numerous lands into the mainstream of our nation”. It is no surprise that those on the left who are quick to criticise any suggestion regarding curbing immigration themselves tend to dwell in the trendy inner-city suburbs, where social diversity manifests itself primarily in a decision between eating Thai or Vietnamese food for dinner, before reverently watching the latest SBS documentary about an ethnic minority group that mercifully lives multiple postcodes away from them.

The fact is that our prevailing enviable culture is not a mere accident, nor based upon Eastern mysticism or Asian civil codes, but is largely due to our Judaeo-Christian heritage — the dignity of the individual, the practice of both justice and mercy, the furthering of human creativity through technology, a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, and the betterment of society’s standards.

It is, perhaps, better to speak of multi-ethnicities, instead of cultures, as we have one Australian culture, and all imported creeds need to cleanly align with the mainstream; otherwise, they should be left at the door or called out as inferior.

Peter Waterhouse, Craigieburn, Vic

“I do” is a life sentence

If you are in a party of the left, your constituency doesn’t care what you do. If you are in a party of the right, your constituency does care. Leadership includes having at least some measure of personal standards, and not committing adultery is one of those standards. Entire governments (of the right) have been turned over on just these things. Ever heard of John Profumo? Time to go!