Sunday Sanity Break, 27 August 2017 - Economics, Kulture
Serious progress in important matters this week. Peter Costello has pointed out that interest rates were reduced to a level that created the current housing boom. Four Corners focussed on the current status of the housing market and experts pointed out that many people are just hanging on with mortgages and that rate hikes will create financial mayhem.
With household debt almost 2 times household incomes Australia is on the brink of one of the really bad recessions. The RBA will be blamed, the Howard-Costello government will be blamed, the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government will be blamed more, and the Abbott and Turnbull government will also be blamed. Prime minister Abbott at least made a brave attempt to cut government spending, but when he was fired Australia became governed by 'Plan B' Turnbull in a failed attempt to blame the Senate.
The problems of the RBA come from a failure to sort out the aims of monetary policy. Monetary (interest rate) policy can help keep the economy on an even course with low goods and services inflation. The RBA has from time to time lapsed. It cut rates further than it needed to get the currency down. The currency is still too high, and clearly some new approach is needed. By trying to put the currency down the RBA encouraged the mother of housing booms.
But the far bigger issue is misunderstanding by governments. Messrs Howard and Costello should have found a way to save more of the resource boom. Rudd-Gillard-Russ should not have panicked during the Global Financial Crisis and spend like drunken sailors. Messrs Turnbull and Morrison totally failed to realise the dire straits the economy was in and failed to develop a coherent economic narrative.
Eminent historian Geoffrey Blainey has asked Australia to 'reclaim history' instead of distorting it. The general subject concerns whether Captain cook 'discovered Australia'. While lots of people of all skin shades 'discovered Australia', the good captain was the first who brought European civilisation. Correction, Captain Phillip actually claimed the place for European civilisation, and has been suitably honoured by statues and a prominent place in school books and general histories.
Blainey has frequently repeated a suggestion about honouring what I call the 'first humans' to colonise Australia. He concludes his article in the Weekend Oz as follows: 'Aborigines need to celebrate more effectively their own contribution to early Australian history. While some complain about the statue and status of Captain Cook, they have failed to erect a striking monument or memorial in honour of their distinguished heroes, the unknown discoverers of this continent. They made the discovery before the great rising of the seas separated Australia and New Guinea, but it is still the momentous event in the long story of our nation.
'A national report in 1975 first suggested a special monument be created. It has been recommended again and again, including by me. The money could easily be found. Nothing has been done. Aborigines must ask themselves: Why?'
Fiona Prior brings us a little old school espionage in her review of Atomic Blonde, a story set in Berlin when the wall came a-tumbling down. More here
Gary Scarrabelotti argues that '“peak” revolutionary moments in history are but a curtain raiser.' He sees the current push for marriage to be between any two consenting adults is just the thin edge of a large curtain raiser. The main act will come from post-Soviet cultural Marxists.
What holds the revolutionary people together, Scarrabelottii asserts, is the following.
' What holds [the revoluntonaries] together is a post-Soviet cultural Marxism supported with greater or (usually) lesser degrees of consciousness by “fellow travelers”, “useful idiots” and weather vanes from every point on the social and political compass. This neo-Marxism is no longer focussed on overthrowing capitalism but upon overthrowing Western civilisation and tearing up its Judeo-Christian roots. Communism died with the USSR, didn’t it? 'Well, no. It didn’t. It relocated. It shapeshifted. And now it’s here.
And by some curious coincidence, the Weekend Oz has addressed the decline of Christianity in the modern world.
The Sporting life
Australia's Rugby team produced a wonderful week-long turnround to almost beat the All blacks on their home turf. How this could happen is obscure to this writer, but good on our lads. Win the third game, lads, in October and we will look forward to better things in 2018.
The relevant administrative have supposedly turned down $50 million from Twiggy Forrest, and if this is true the ARU will not be around for long.
Buddy Franklin kicked a large bag of goals to end Caaarlton's season on a down note. But all their six wins were against sides about them on the ladder, and with another pre-season in the gym and one or two big ugly players, especially a big ugly ruckman to help Kreuzer will do wonders. Buddy's Swans are Henry's favourite for the premiership, though Geelong and Adelaide are also threatening.
Without proper preparation due to more bull-headed work by the relevant administration, Australia's test cricket team face Bangladesh at home, starting today. We wish them luck.
Image of the week