Writing for The Saturday Paper in April 2017, Mike Seccombe gave us a hint of the disappointment Bill Shorten and Labor would suffer two years later. “[N]ever tell voters they’ve got it good. Speak NOT to their economic reality but to their economic illusions”. This is a lesson Shorten might’ve learned in an interview with Melbourne’s Neil Mitchell on 3AW around the same time in which the interviewer tried to tie Shorten down on just what defined rich.
Who are the Coalition’s quiet Australians? Are they drawn to Scomo’s circle by the gentle lilt of his “I love Stralia”? Do celebrations like Barnaby Joyce’s on election night, “Sucked in you suckers”, send them into a meditative trance? You can see them in their slippers quietly shuffling out to pick up the morning paper. Perhaps, they get there early to “catch it on the full” and avoid the thud of a hurled Tele or Herald Sun disturbing their quiet neighbours. If they’re retired, it’s probably off to the library where a publicly funded Financial Review let’s them check up on their Telstra or Westpac shares. If they’re workers, it’s always the quiet carriage or SmoothFM just loud enough to conceal the hum of the car that they have worked so hard to pay off in stoic silence.
Was it a mistake to raise “the big end of town” and so-called inequality. People voting at the central Punchbowl booth in south-west Sydney showed their abhorrence of class war by swinging eleven percent towards the Liberal Party. What were Bill Shorten and his mates thinking? This is a country of aspiration.
You and I are doing our bit for the environment. There’s the cloth bag we keep in the car to carry our plastic wrapped purchases from Coles and Woolies. We’re assiduous recyclers and maybe even composters but are these enough? Disappointingly, these actions haven’t had much impact on the Murray-Darling water flow. The summers keep getting hotter. Craftily crafted projects sneak through despite the best efforts of regulators.
While you were watching Adani, a uranium project five hundred kilometres north of Kalgoorlie gained approval despite the protests of subterranean fauna. Forty years of resistance to this project by the traditional owners goes down another drain. As if things aren’t bad enough, a few weeks ago no-one could find the the Federal Environment Minister. Now we simply don’t know who it is.
I AM, YOU ARE, WE ARE SCOMO If you haven’t seen the latest edition of Sammy J’s coaching series on the Federal Election, you are missing something special. It is the best piece of political satire I have seen in a long time. The political scientist, Philip Mirowski, once described the fact we are all neoliberals now. The framing of economic discussion over the last thirty years has removed our ability to consider solutions outside the market. You are Scomo, I am Scomo, Je suis Scomo. Sammy explains.
These links relate to the history of money and its current uses and abuses. I have provided a link to a key point in these talks but you can find a complete list on our YouTube Channel.
Stephanie Desan is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. In this clip, she challenges the standard barter story and its purported role in the origins of money. She also emphasises the central role of the state in the management of money within a legal and constitutional framework.
Where does money come from? I can’t think of a more important or confusing question. When we run short of something in our daily lives we normally do something about it. Whether we are short of carrots, cars, computers or crayons we don’t have to think too hard about what to do. We go to the dealer, supermarket or art supply shop and get what we need.
The truth is that in this age of plenty we rarely run short of anything. We might lack one of these items as individuals. Not everyone has a car or computer. However, society rarely if ever runs out of anything. Our supermarkets are always stocked with food. A variety of stores provide just about anything we need. The one thing we are short of, as a society, is money. So why don’t we figure out where it comes from and do something about it?
About once a month I buy the Australian Financial Review. I like to know what the financial spivs and their colluding journalists are up to. I rarely get a laugh out of it but a recent edition was a real knee-slapping, side-splitter.
From the middle of the paper dropped the 46th edition of Luxury. This was the Jewellery Issue. The feature story was about the Paspaley family and their pearl exploits.
SUPER FUND RESTRUCTURE The great news is that with the election out of the way we can clear up some of those nasty super funds with their fees for no service. Where to start? Surprisingly, despite the Finance and Banking Royal Commission’s general approval of the union funds’ stewardship, that is where our restored Federal Government has its sights. Plans are to “liberalise” appointments to industry boards. Only friends and family need apply.
My name is Warren Ross and I am a freelance writer and community organiser with a longstanding interest in finance and economics. For 25 years, I worked as an information, business and database analyst for leading Australian financial organisations in Sydney. In part, I have created this site to save myself from repeating the same posts and arguments over and over again in reply to questions raised on social media. I am not an economist and other than the simple introductory concepts raised in this blog will refer to the relevant experts beyond that point. (see Vital Videos).
A firm believer in community action, I was both director and committee member, for many years, of one of Australia’s largest community events – the Katoomba Winter Magic Festival, managed a local exchange trading system, am a board member of a local NDIS provider and am currently working in health care.