Rent seeking / crony capitalism

Wayne Swan’s Monthly essay has elicited a number of responses including by Henry Ergas, John Rolfe, Judith Sloan, (and here), Steve Kates among others.

Swan’s thesis (if that is what one would call it) is that rich miners have been successful at rent seeking and should be silenced. As noted by Henry Ergas, it seems that Swan considers some wealth is worthy (such as that by property developed Schwartz and Cate Blanchett) but other wealth is unworthy (such as by miners including Palmer, Forrest and Rinehart).

What Swan neglects to mention, however, is that rent seeking and crony capitalism are a feature of government. And the Rudd / Gillard governments have done more to encourage rent seeking than most others in our history.

Rent seeking can only occur when a government allows it to flourish. Without the active support of government, no person – no matter how rich – can legally seize the resources of others.

Look at some of these policies which entrench rent seeking:

  • the Australian Business Investment Partnership (aka Ruddbank) which fortunately was blocked in the Senate
  • handing $250 million to broadcasters
  • the national broadband network
  • climate change policies, including the carbon tax
  • increasing the power of unions
  • increasing the superannuation surcharge to 12 per cent
  • making the default superannuation fund be industry funds run by union mates
  • throwing massive amounts of taxpayers’ money at a stimulus program
  • ignoring (or not conducting) cost-benefit analyses
  • promoting the private interest over the public interest
  • throwing money at assorted manufacturing businesses, in particular in the automotive industry.
This Government has a ‘for sale’ sign and welcomes lobbyists and assorted rent seekers. Swan has himself to blame for this mess. If a government wishes to reduce rent seeking, it needs to ignore rent seekers and government for the national interest. Is that too much to expect?

UPDATE

If Swan really wants to go back to

Australia’s egalitarian tradition

he should reduce the size of government substantially, and stop crowding out charitable organisations. Charities, too, should stand on their own feet supported by philanthropy rather than acting as agents of government.

 

About Samuel J

Samuel J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
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104 Responses to Rent seeking / crony capitalism

  1. Brett

    Yes, it is too much to expect, at least from this mob.

  2. JamesK

    Big business likes big gov because it loves to see as much regulation as possible to inhibit smaller competitors.

    Shysters love big gov because of rentseeking in return for public gov policy arselicking, Heather Ridout being a standout.

    As for crony capitalsim just follow Flummery and his goetherm investment.

    Shane Wand, the Slapper and Kruddy would never have largely gotten away with it were not for the love medja.

    All three should actually be charged, imprisoned, found guilty and clapped in irons.

  3. Mark P

    Mining is by definition rent seeking.
    Your argument seems to be about hypocrisy of politicians, in this case Wayne Swan. In which case, there’s little argument.
    Interestingly you don’t argue mining is not rent seeking, just that the existence of other such behaviors is tolerated by government justifies the rent seeking of those whose political views you agree with.
    Not buyin’ it.

  4. Gab

    Not buyin’ it.

    No. You’d rather it was given to you gratis, by the government.

  5. How much of Lowy and Triguboff’s wealth is based on ruthless corrupting government planning processes?

    Keating called Frank Sartor as “The Mayor for Triguboff” and Lowy mysteriously skipped out on a tax evasion charge worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

    The worst you can accuse the mining billionaires of is getting lucky. Labor’s billionaires are something else altogether.

  6. JC

    Mining is by definition rent seeking.

    Another Macquarie “graduate”.

  7. Mark P

    Another Macquarie “graduate”.

    Another fact-free-zone contributor.

  8. Max Scream

    Australia was built by the Crown and Crown owned assets like land and minerals, as well as infrastructure.

  9. Max Scream

    Commonwealth Bank, CSL, Qantas in its post war incarnation – all government – not to mention water, gas, electricity, etc.

    The State that built an nation – the Commonwealth of Australia.

  10. Samuel J

    Mark P. No mining is not per se rent seeking. Rent seeking is where individuals and companies seek special protection by the Government. As mentioned by NGD, planning laws are another area of government privilege where favoured people have made a huge amount of money thanks to government support.

  11. blogstrop

    The advertising campaign run by the Unions against Work Choices cost many millions. No problem there with money being thrown around to serve just one point of view?

  12. Peter Patton

    Australia was built by the Crown and Crown owned assets like land and minerals, as well as infrastructure.

    Actually, Australia was built in spite of the Crown. Australia went from humanity’s most forsaken humpy to the richest country on earth in 70 years, precisely by individual men and groups defying the Crown.

    Ironically, that mantle collapsed precisely at the moment, the State took over the economy. And whatya know we have been recovering that position ever since the neoliberal revolution.

  13. Unfortunately as happens here, comments on earlier threads on the same basic topic soon become redundant, so I apologise for reposting my last which seems to have passed into oblivion, but I do so because one’s income tends to rise as with rising age we acquire qualifications and experience, anathema to the black Swans of this world.

    Here it is:

    Excellent article as usual by Henry Ergas. This is just to strengthen the case he makes:

    In 2003-04 there were 11 million individual taxpayers (ATO) 2006, Fig.3.1). 25% were aged 35-44 and had average incomes of $105,000 and paid on average 27% of total personal income tax payable. The age group 45-54 was not far behind in terms of shares of average income and tax payable. The lowest average incomes and lowest contributions to tax payable were those of the age-groups 18-24 (average incomes $35,000) and 65-74 (average incomes $20,000) and 75 and over ($10,000).

    It follows that the “bottom 1%” mainly comprise the young (under 25) and old (over 65) – but under Howard-Costello both the young and old improved their relative position between 1998-99 and 2003-04.

    The most important point to notice is that while those with incomes under $35,000 were in the bottom 51% of all income recipients, those of them aged under 25 were not doomed to stay that age for ever.

    By this year they will almost all be in the 35-44 age group that accounts for 25% of total income.

    This helps to explain why although Steve Jobs was for sure in the bottom 1% when aged 20, by 56 when he died he was in the top 1%. The same progression applies to Clive Palmer and Andrew Forrest, but under Wayne Swan’s tender loving care, that progression will be terminated along with the jobs they have generated for the 35-54 age-groups that provide them with very decent incomes of $100,000 on average.

  14. Sally Sunshine

    Right wingers always say theyre against crony capitalism, but they never ever seem to find any examples of it. If it did exist, well they’d oppose it for certain. It must be a sort of garden fairy.

  15. Samuel J

    Max Scream – sorry to disappoint you but there is no socialist utopia. Want to see extreme income inequality: visit North Korea, Zimbabwe, the former Soviet Union, Sudan etc. The 0.1 per cent in North Korea are doing very nicely thank you. Now here is a thesis: income inequality is directly proportional to the size and power of government. The more powerful the government (relative to the size of the country), the more inequality will exist.

  16. Big Jim

    You right libertarians are as green as you’re cabbage looking. Does no one join dots here. What do you think is going on in this bizarre case? No? The unions put the fix in for Julia and Wayne is now providing the quid pro quo. You can imagine the scene:

    Swan: “I can’t just go feral, and start directly bagging people. I mean I’m the Treasurer…”
    Distinguished Union Official: “Ya fuckin can, Swannie. An’ ya fuckin will, or you and Julia are fuckin gawn!”

    So Wayne could, and Wayne did.

  17. Samuel J

    Sally – right wingers do oppose examples of crony capitalism. Eg the NBN.

  18. Samuel J

    Thanks Tim! It is an excellent article by Henry.

  19. JC

    Right wingers always say theyre against crony capitalism, but they never ever seem to find any examples of it. If it did exist, well they’d oppose it for certain. It must be a sort of garden fairy.

    Most people here oppose giving money to the carmakers as the most recent example. What are you talking about.

  20. Gibbo

    Sally, if you scroll to the top of this page you’ll find an article. Read it & you will see a list of examples. Give it a try.

  21. wreckage

    Right wingers always say theyre against crony capitalism, but they never ever seem to find any examples of it.

    This is because you never talk to right-wingers. Really, get out of the echo-chamber for a bit.

  22. wreckage

    Interestingly you don’t argue **** is not rent seeking, just that the existence of other such behaviors is tolerated by government justifies the rent seeking of those whose political views you agree with.

    MarkP, leave Max alone. He’s a special-needs commenter.

  23. Entropy

    Regulated milk prices, wool prices, subsidized development , an endless variety of marketing and development boards, port corporations, government owned corporations, state rail: the list of crony deals for the beneficiaries of government is endless and regularly pilloried on this blog. Note that these examples of crony capitalism fall from both sides of the political fence.

    Back on topic, it is embarrassing that someone with such childish views is our treasurer. Particularly as the ones he singled out (with the exception of Rhinehart) started with practically nothing.

    I was of the understanding that Forrest was an ALP guy. I guess reality has slapped him on the face.

  24. Look at some of these policies which entrench rent seeking:

    How does the whole “humanitarian” industry get missed out? Serco signed a contract renewal to increase the contract to control arrives from $250m to over $1B. Another company recently signed to provide all medical services in the hundreds of millions.

    Then we can start on the legal industry and their endless legalistic challenges to laws to set precedence…

  25. Ultimately, Goose got attention off the leadership troubles and his abhorent behaviour to Rudd, and fired up the ugly mob like nature of the people the love to indulge in the politics of envy.

    As I mentioned at the beginning of the last thread before the troll attack, Labor saw this got them a bump in the polls last year. Goose is trying again to be the hard headed deputy to Gillard he has failed to be for 18 months.

    This is cynical politics to win the electoral cycle, it is like organising a race riot. Whatever it takes…

  26. .

    Mining is by definition rent seeking.

    Bullshit.

    This is dumbarse economics that amounts to a fail.

    Mining is not a windfall – theoetical models which say so are divorced from reality.

    Miners pay royalties on top of other taxes and charges. They also face a negative effective rate of protection.

    Royalties are only paid because colonial State Governments got greedy – royalties are artificial. There is no reason not to have allodial title. They only exist because of greed which has lead to problems re: ambiguous property rights which has lead to problems re coal seam gas.

  27. Kelly of Kenmore

    Yeah, mining conglomerates do it for the lulz and the lurve. They don’t want to make mega bucks for themselves, no siree.

  28. .

    Yeah, mining conglomerates do it for the lulz and the lurve. They don’t want to make mega bucks for themselves, no siree.

    “Making money” is *rent seeking*?

    You ought to sue your mother for her drug abuse whilst you were in the womb.

  29. wreckage

    They don’t want to make mega bucks for themselves, no siree.

    You…. you don’t actually know what crony capitalism is, do you? You think it’s a cooler and more accurate way to describe capitalism in general.

    Thanks for the laughs.

  30. Kelly of Kenmore

    Profit is rent seeking, Yeah, sure it is.

  31. wreckage

    Mining is not a windfall – theoetical models which say so are divorced from reality.

    People who say so have no idea how much mining costs nor how risky it is in every phase. By this definition any primary industry is a windfall.

    Farmers just sell wheat that grows out of the ground by itself! Foresters just sell wood they find lying around! Fishermen go out, load the boat with fish, and sell it for whatever they feel is a decent price!

    This is of course why all farmers. foresters and fishermen are ludicrously wealthy, and why every mining company is both successful and profitable.

    I love this blog. The blow-ins are fucking hilarious!

  32. .

    Profit is rent seeking, Yeah, sure it is.

    This is an appropriate time to use “retard” as an insult.

  33. wreckage

    Profit is rent seeking, Yeah, sure it is.

    Dogs are cats! Sheep are eagles! Fish are motorcycles!

  34. Kelly of Kenmore

    Hah, you know it is true.

  35. wreckage

    That’s it. You’re only pretending to be a lefty. Is that you JC?

  36. Entropy

    Swan’s real beef with these dudes is they stood up to Swan’s blatant grab for State Government revenues and an increase in taxation on miners. Other millionaires only have to pay corporate tax to the Feds (well, income tax too).

    The accusation that twiggy doesn’t pay corporate tax ignores the fact that once the mine is in full production and set up costs are covered, he will be paying a LOT of corporate tax. But Swannie wants him to pay even more on top. Soak the rich! Let me help you eat that bread, henny penny!

  37. brc

    Profit is rent seeking, Yeah, sure it is.

    Yeah, and all property is theft, isn’t it comrade?

    Honestly. Where do these people come from? Who has provided the scraps of slogans and slivers of understanding that they think is an education?

    Not even dunce-in-chief Swannie would say something that stupid.

  38. Swan’s real beef with these dudes is they stood up to Swan’s blatant grab for State Government revenues and an increase in taxation on miners.

    Goose wouldn’t be in this trouble (& Rudd would still be PM) if he had decided to talk with the miners 2 years ago instead of going with the politics of envy at the time.

    He now needs to save his arse. He doesn’t have much material so soak the rich is the best.

    Remember he is a creature of the AWU who represents the miners union. He is not only doing envy, he is also out looking after Ludwig, Howes and his other union mates.

  39. wreckage

    Originally, “rent-seeking” described the act of obtaining ownership of land in order to extract money from the enterprises and people who lived on or used that land.

    In other words, the MRRT and state levies, supported by an oddity of legislation that would be long dead were it not so profitable, are rent-seeking. Not coincidentally, the use of legislation to obtain ownership and profits without actual investment or production is the modern version of rent-seeking.

  40. C.L.

    Via InstaPundit, an interestingly parallel discussion at Zero Hedge:

    Will Central Bankers Be The Next Unchosen People?

    “Politicians can and will take back what they have previously given if and when it is deemed in their interests to do so. One way they do this is by using the time-tested political strategy known as “marginalise-then-brutalise”. Politicians start by identifying the obstacle to their objectives. For a government short of funds the objective is to raise more funds, and the obstacle is any group/sector which has them.” Thus Mugabe “marginalised then brutalised” white farmers, while Hugo Chavez set his sights on private sector “profiteers” … for Hitler it was the Jews, for Philip IV of France it was the Knights Templar, for Diocletian it was the Christians, etc.

    And for Gillard and Swan, it’s Da Billionaires.

  41. Rafe

    We need to shake some of these rich guys down because Stephen Matchett has identified a number of additional expenses on the wish list.

  42. John Comnenus

    I think we are on a Steyn countdown. I think he is on Q&A soon

  43. John Comnenus

    Yep Steyn in 15 mins. Bring it on

  44. TerjeP

    Can somebody explain how Thérèse Rein, wife of Kevin Rudd, made all her millions? And does it bother Wayne Swan?

  45. .

    Therese Rein made her money off Job Network subsidies.

    Kevin Rudd thinks this is a more worthy way to accumulate wealth than it is to find useful minerals and energy commodities.

  46. Gab

    And does it bother Wayne Swan?

    Absolutely. Green with envy he is.

  47. Kelly of Kenmore

    Therese Rein for all her faults has never been guilty of rapung and polluting the environment or destroying townships and communities.

  48. TerjeP

    Thank goodness for that.

  49. .

    Therese Rein for all her faults has never been guilty of rapung and polluting the environment or destroying townships and communities.

    Ditto for the mining barons.

  50. JC

    Profit is rent seeking, Yeah, sure it is.

    Therese Rein for all her faults has never been guilty of rapung and polluting the environment or destroying townships and communities.

    Kelly , shut up. you don’t understand what you’re talking about. Get back the kitchen and clean the dishes. You give the females of our species a very bad name.

  51. John Comnenus

    It’s Steyn 30

  52. wreckage

    rapung and polluting the environment

    OHNOES! Not rapung! Why won’t those monsters stop rapung???

  53. Peter Patton

    Love Amanda! Come on lefty sheilahs, model Mandy!

  54. Peter Patton

    Oh. My. Fucking. God. Airhead arts luvvie playing Pick Up Styx with random words, trying to convince all he is the Aborigines’ Santa Claus.

  55. JC

    Amanada is really good value. Very funny and quite bright.

    The Chinese chick is really boring but cute to an older gentleman. She ought to stop talking.

    The bald idiot with the black glasses is a first rate luvvie dickhead.

    Stott des is a complete airhead she should just have babies.

  56. JC

    Oh. My. Fucking. God. Airhead arts luvvie playing Pick Up Styx with random words, trying to convince all he is the Aborigines’ Santa Claus.

    Did you hear his bullshit about da original owners. it was hysterical. He hits all the luvvie notes. He’s a fat little porker too.

  57. lotocoti

    destroying townships and communities.

    Oh really?
    Where?
    Does “communities” include those feral blockies who aren’t keen on environmental compliance teams discovering their ‘alternate’ cash crops?
    And a follow up: Would broad acre laser levelling constitute rapung?

  58. John Comnenus

    No questions for Steyn on freedom of speech

  59. big dumb fu

    Arts luvvie is just the worst. Anyone know why there is no Laybore MP on tonight?

  60. Peter Patton

    Ah, luvvie there IS such a thing as ‘speaking Australian’.

  61. John A

    Strewth, it took Instapundit and CL near the end to expose another example of rent-seeking.

    Well, we should call it rent-giving, because the gummint did it all by itself – Wayne and Kevin introduced the totally unnecessary Bank Deposit Guarantee Scheme, which saw
    a) funds locked away in non-bank ADI’s ( what’s wrong with the old acronym NBFI?)
    b) financial markets distorted in favour of the Big Four Banks.

    And now we see them bashing the banks for making huge profits (they are not really – how many of us would want to live on a 1-1.25% spread?). Such breath-taking and brazen hypocrisy!

  62. JamesK

    Did you hear his bullshit about da original owners. it was hysterical. He hits all the luvvie notes. He’s a fat little porker too.

    He was Steve Vizard’s bandleader in his Davis Letterman rip-off show.

    He wqas pig-ugly – and not just in looks – tonight.

  63. TerjeP

    Amanada is really good value. Very funny and quite bright.

    Absolutely! She is such a straight talker.

  64. Gab

    Why is Swan attacking Reinhart, Palmer and Forrest? Are they the only miners in Australia? And weren’t they the three miners excluded from the secret MRRT meeting with the big corporate miners?

  65. JamesK

    Because thery’re not big corporate miners Gab.

    They’re local poor boys made good (Gina’s father).

    They’re saying under this new big gov/big business deal small start -ups will never make it like they did.

    Yjey are Aussies and they should be listened to rather than shouted down and threatened.

  66. Gab

    Who’s the girlie on Lateline giving Swan an absolute thrashing?

  67. wreckage

    Gab, your question answers itself.

    Reinhart, Palmer and Forrest

    the three miners excluded from the secret MRRT meeting with the big corporate miners

    The three miners considered too economically and politically powerless to bother consulting are also the three being attacked in rhetoric.

  68. JC

    Who’s the girlie on Lateline giving Swan an absolute thrashing?

    Alberici. She’s a leftwinger.

    hahahahahahahaha

    Wand says da Murdoch is one of these vested interested that has been very unfair to the government.

  69. JC

    He keeps talking about a fight with people … I wish i could have a fight with him.

  70. Gab

    I’d hate to work for Swan. He’d be a bastard of a boss. A very angry little man.

  71. JamesK

    wand is a loathsome creep.

    Peter Costello:

    “Wayne Swan had money in brown paper bags is only 8 words?

    Ok, Mister-Wayne-Swan-had-money-in-brown-paper-bags”

  72. big dumb fu

    Swan is so useless he has never once been mentioned in any of the leadership turmoil. Even his peers know what a useless turd he is. And JC he seems like the little shit talking it up at the pub only to jump behind the bar when things got real and let someone else cop his beating. Sad, sad, little man.

  73. JC

    I’d pay really good money to be able to go 6 rounds in a ring with him. UFC rules and a caged ring as I don’t him running off.

  74. twostix

    Wand says da Murdoch is one of these vested interested that has been very unfair to the government.

    At what point does it become clear that we have a thuggish hugo chavezian wannabe gangster government running this country?

    Everybody, absolutely everybody who publicly embarrasses this government gets “the treatment”, ranging from being fired from their jobs and having their bosses screamed and howled at to being threatened with “regulation” or being personally and publicly maligned by the most powerful politicians in the country.

    Does this government have an enemies list?

    Why is this acceptable behaviour?

  75. big dumb fu

    It’s really quite obscene the abuse of power these jerks have been able to get away with. There is no threat they won’t unleash. Their demise will be especially gleeful.

    And yeah you would need a cage to keep that coward in. He strikes me as an especially pitiful coward.

  76. JC

    You’re right Stix.

    I’ve been saying it for a long time now that they are descending into Chavezism.

  77. Skuter

    Everybody, absolutely everybody who publicly embarrasses this government gets “the treatment”, ranging from being fired from their jobs and having their bosses screamed and howled at to being threatened with “regulation” or being personally and publicly maligned by the most powerful politicians in the country.
    Does this government have an enemies list?
    Why is this acceptable behaviour?

    Twostix, we seriously have a bunch of fascists running the country. I used to say quasi-fascists, but with the Finko and Rickety report, I decided to go the whole hog and abandon the ‘quasi’. Fucking scary. Does this government have an enemies list? Fucking oath. Is it acceptable? Fuck no. But as you can see from the lefty allsorts that keep cropping up here, obviously they think it is acceptable. The fact that 45 percent of the population are basically gagging to be oppressed, that is the scariest thing of all. Obviously they think they are going to do some oppressing…

  78. Grumbles

    Technically Banking itself is rent seeking. Regular individuals cannot engage in fractional reserve lending, this is a special privilege bestowed on a few.

    In reply to John A the banks “spread” as you put it is far greater due to FRL. They really only have a small percentage of what’s on the books, but they make money on it all.

  79. Skuter

    Grumbles, I largely agree with you. That’s not to say that banking per se is not important to a well functioning free and prosperous society, but the system we have is deeply flawed…

  80. JC

    But it’s flawed for a good reason. It’s under capitalized, which means the banks are able to lend more than they should given their capital base.

  81. Skuter

    JC, this is a discussion for another day/thread.

    I do acknowledge the value adding of the banking sector, but it does receive a lot of protection from the government. We can argue about the social utility of all of this, but I do think there is a better way. It wouldn’t be harmful, in my view, if the banks held more capital and were a little more exposed to the consequences of bad decisions. There are a few different ways of achieving this and I don’t want to get into that here lest we derail the thread. Don’t forget the noxious lefties lurking here…

  82. JC

    Don’t forget the noxious lefties lurking here…

    lol.

    No, I wasn’t trying to raise a debating topic. I just think that people would need to realize there would be a lot less credit all round in a better capitalized banking system.

    I don’t disagree with it, by the way as eventually I think we will be stumbling into that sort of world.

  83. Grumbles

    How about a different look at banking all together where the interest rates are lower and depositors benefit from FRL. As a current example person A puts $10000 in the bank and with FRL (40:1 i believe is our current rate) the bank lends out $400000 to person B. They pay person A about 5%($500) but make 5% out of person B($20000).

    If more people could offer FRL then there would be companies (after assessing a lenders risk, still very important) offering 10% or more to depositors and offering 2% or less to borrower’s and still making money.

    Regulation will still be required, but definitely food for thought.

  84. Skuter

    It is interesting though, the way this government has, in some ways, been the best friend to the banking sector in its actions, yet its rhetoric is scathing towards them. Think allowing covered bonds, bank mergers during GFC, underpriced deposit/wholesale funding guarantees and contrast this with the rhetoric. Shane Wand is lying fucking turd. I really don’t know how the little [edited. Unnecessary. Sinc] sleeps at night.

  85. entropy

    Swan never graduated from student politics nor AWU skullduggery. The clod doesn’t realise that the same thuggish behaviour that is standard practice in the AWU is likely to blow up in his face if he tries it on in public.

  86. Is that too much to expect?

    Yes it is and it should be noted support of rent seekers is bi-partisan in many areas including a big one not mentioned forcing high earners to buy medical insurance. Even though I have major dislikes of our current government rentseeking in Australia is so small compared to the US but it appears we might be moving in that direction. So the question is how to stop this particular Americanisation trend?

  87. kae

    Mother chatting with me this evening….

    “Swan. He’s really lost the plot.”

  88. twostix

    “Swan. He’s really lost the plot.”

    His ugly unhinged ranting about the popular Rudd plus his vicious attacks on all and sundry is making him look like a staggering drunk swinging at everyone who looks at him wrong.

    His class warfare works in isolation, but taken with his vicious attack on Rudd makes him look like a pathetic try hard thug.

  89. brc

    Seeing as it looks like Swan bashing thread with nods towards cowardice, I have been told first hand that he was a nasty little bully as a schoolboy. Only he wasn’t the sort of bully to do the roughing up, he preferred to only work when the numbers were overwhelmingly on his side.

    Intellectually he is way out of his depth, being unable to muster an argument past trade union slogans. He was absolutely outclassed on lateline tonight, and told the massive porker that the MRRT will bring in as much tax as the MSPT was going to. This was after it was pointed out to him that he was the one who bent over and copped it sweet from the miners.

    Wayne Swan losing his seat at the next election will be one of the most satisfying moments. The bollocking he took on election night 2010 is just a teaser of what is to come.

    An absolute waste of space as a person and an embarrassment to the country. I would choose any of the Labor frontbench over him for Treasurer, even though it pains me to say so.

  90. Gab

    he was a nasty little bully as a schoolboy.

    He’s still a nasty little boy.

  91. Gab

    he was a nasty little bully as a schoolboy.

    He’s still a nasty little bully.

  92. Ivan Denisovich

    Swan is monumentally unimpressive. He’s such a crybaby. I actually thought he looked slightly unhinged on Lateline. The best line and biggest laugh on qanda was Vanstone saying Swan complained about the miners because he needed to boost his profile after being completely disregarded as a leadership prospect. Funny because it’s so believable.

  93. JC

    He looked rattled. Even the leftie Alberici doesn’t like him. No one does.

    He’s a nasty little shit who deserves a throttling.

  94. What’s wrong with a bit of rentseeking anyway? The banks are going to get a tax cut on the back of miners and make profits from carbon trading as most of the banks did support these initiatives. I think this might be the way to fight back in this class war thing as it is better to get those in favour of these taxes to realise they are supporting more profits for banks and insurance companies and they might change their mind, better not to confront them so much.

  95. C.L.

    An absolute waste of space as a person and an embarrassment to the country.

    Tough but fair.

  96. On your Marx

    This is lightweight stuff.

    First what is the evidence of rent-seeking?
    Well there is none just mere assertions.

    Let us look at some of these assertions.

    the NBN.
    This is a wholesaler which enables retailers to have more competition than when Telstra was both a wholesaler and retailer.

    Rent-seeking. no. Yes Telstra was particularly so under the last CEO.

    Climate change poicies. Rent-seeking. no it involves getting companies to change their practices by mainly a market based mechanism. Rent-seeking. no

    Increasing the power of unions. Hard to talk about this until some evidence is given.

    Increasing the SGC to 12%.
    Wow more people in retirement won’t have to worry about rising health costs and less people will need support of the government.
    rent-seeking no

    Industry super funds are actually run by more than Union people. Just look at the board of directors and the people who run them are not union officials!

    Stimulus is rent seeking?

    It saved us from a GFC induced recession. What is the current record quick fiscal consolidation then negative rent seeking?

    Reduce the size of government?
    Does or can anyone here read MYEFO at all?

    That is what has been happening. It is continuing to happen. That is why spending can be cut in real terms.

    It is why next financial year we will see lower outlays than the average of the last government.

  97. .

    That is what has been happening. It is continuing to happen. That is why spending can be cut in real terms.

    GDP growth is positive and the deficit continues to blow out.

    Industry super funds are actually run by more than Union people. Just look at the board of directors and the people who run them are not union officials!

    The super law unfairly favours them alongside the end of many individual contracts. I have been forced to put my super into a union run fund.

    Climate change poicies. Rent-seeking. no it involves getting companies to change their practices by mainly a market based mechanism. Rent-seeking. no

    Homer has written an essay fit for a 13 year old kid.

    Wow more people in retirement won’t have to worry about rising health costs and less people will need support of the government.

    Gibberish. Taking my earnings away from me and giving it to a poorly managed, corrupt, union run fund lowers my health insurance costs? Fuck me you are immeasurably stupid.

    It saved us from a GFC induced recession. What is the current record quick fiscal consolidation then negative rent seeking?

    Bullshit. Cap ex accelerated in falling when the stimulus was initiated. The 43 bn spent saving 120 000 jobs must have cost 347k AUD each. It DESTROYED jobs you lunkhead.

    You’re a just a thief, Paxton.

    [. - are you wondering why so many of your comments go into moderation? Off the angry pills. Sinc]

  98. .

    This moderation is offending my Irish heritage. One vulgar phrase is legitimate to use.

    That is what has been happening. It is continuing to happen. That is why spending can be cut in real terms.

    GDP growth is positive and the deficit continues to blow out.

    Industry super funds are actually run by more than Union people. Just look at the board of directors and the people who run them are not union officials!

    The super law unfairly favours them alongside the end of many individual contracts. I have been forced to put my super into a union run fund. Fuck off Homer, and the rest of your dishonest band of thieving c**ts.

    Climate change poicies. Rent-seeking. no it involves getting companies to change their practices by mainly a market based mechanism. Rent-seeking. no

    Homer has written an essay fit for a 13 year old kid trying to pass a sociology course.

    Wow more people in retirement won’t have to worry about rising health costs and less people will need support of the government.

    Gibberish. Taking my earnings away from me and giving it to a poorly managed, corrupt, union run fund lowers my health insurance costs? Fuck me you are immeasurably stupid.

    It saved us from a GFC induced recession. What is the current record quick fiscal consolidation then negative rent seeking?

    Bullshit. Cap ex accelerated in falling when the stimulus was initiated. The 43 bn spent saving 120 000 jobs must have cost 347k AUD each. It DESTROYED jobs you lunkhead.

    You’re a just a thief, Paxton.

  99. .

    LOL, the jobs actually cost 358k AUD each…before amortisation.

  100. Mother Hubbard's Dog

    He’s still a nasty little bully.

    He’s still a schoolboy.

  101. wreckage

    On your marx, you have demonstrated in depth and detail that you do not know what “rent-seeking” means.

  102. wreckage

    This is lightweight stuff.

    Thanks for the warning.

    First what is the evidence of rent-seeking?

    Using legislation to gain market advantage is evidence of rent-seeking.

    Well there is none just mere assertions.

    Well, text-book examples of the bleeding obvious do sound a lot like assertions, when heard though the ears of an idiot.

    the NBN.
    This is a wholesaler which enables retailers to have more competition than when Telstra was both a wholesaler and retailer.

    But less than there is now, where now is complete with anti-competitive legislation designed specifically and announced explicitly to make the project more profitable.

    Rent-seeking. no

    FIFY

    Climate change poicies. Rent-seeking. no it involves getting companies to change their practices by mainly a market based mechanism. Rent-seeking. no

    Again, fixed. Massive amounts of money go to companies that would not otherwise be profitable. Whether there is a rationale is irrelevant. It’s like saying laws don’t restrict free speech because they’re intended to stop hatred. Sure they are. So what?

    Increasing the power of unions. Hard to talk about this until some evidence is given.

    Are you really that dumb?

    Stimulus is rent seeking?

    All rent-seeking comes under a label other than rent-seeking. No government has a Dept of Rent Seeking or a line in the budget labelled “Rents for Rent Seekers”.

    It saved us from a GFC induced recession. What is the current record quick fiscal consolidation then negative rent seeking?

    Of course it had a rationale. Irrelevant. If it had an effect beyond rent seeking that is also irrelevant. Fiscal consolidation is irrelevant.

    It is why next financial year we will see lower outlays than the average of the last government.

    Irrelevant in any discussion sans proportions and percentages. (Irrelevant by your own lights if the previous expenditure “achieved stuff”) Irrelevant to rent-seeking.

  103. No government has a Dept of Rent Seeking or a line in the budget labelled “Rents for Rent Seekers”.

    This would double the size of the public service as the following are involved in rent seeking but can’t blame them for doing it as it has become the way, individuals, tax cuts and handouts based on your situation, community groups, charities, every business covered by any business group and the list goes on. It is possible that rent seekers are as proliferous as mobile phones out numbering the population as some people for example rent seek using several different categories eg this could be the same person female, mother, poor or rich, considered a minority, involved in local environmental group, has investments in listed companies, owns small business. This one person could be involved directly and indirectly with 5 different attempts at rentseeking. It is becoming endemic a bit like an exotic weed. You keep killing one then another pops up. This is all the fault of politics and would be good if could get bi-partisan support to stop this behaviour as it is very destructive in the long term.

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