What we really need: more Polyannas

I just love to see Emmo, week after week, trying to put a positive spin on things.  It doesn’t matter what the topic is, the answer is always the same: the government has a plan in place, the opposition has no plan and is negative, the benefits are just around the corner.

Today he took aim at people, including members of the opposition, who are talking down the economy.

Confidence is fragile and can be easily shattered by politicians, business representatives and commentators talking the economy down. Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey seemed to have this purpose in mind when he described the most recent Reserve Bank cash rate reduction as returning interest rates to “emergency lows”.

That term was used by Wayne Swan during the global financial crisis that caused the deepest global recession since the Depression. There is no such crisis now and for Hockey to seek to draw such parallels in the minds of consumers is inimical to business profitability, job creation and the national interest.

This follows Tony Abbott’s confidence-destroying scare campaign about the economic impact of the carbon price. The unrelentingly negative Opposition Leader has gone as far as to suggest that the economy is not growing at all.

We are now returning to more normal and sustainable economic times. This is not the bad news the Coalition and some business organisations are portraying.

But it can become bad news if they succeed in smashing consumer and business confidence for their own purposes.

For the sake of jobs and prosperity, the battle must be won against those who, with whatever motive, relish talking down the economy. The optimists enter that battle with a set of good economic developments in their arsenal. But, as always, it’s the pessimistic view that makes for good media stories.

Wow, if everyone can suspend their view of reality and become little Miss Polyannas, then everything would be OK, the economy would steam ahead and the surplus for 2012-13 would be achieve and more!

Is he having a lend?  Does anyone in the business world really take much notice of what Joe Hockey says, let alone an assortment of random commentators in newspapers and elsewhere?

I’m afraid it is actually very ugly out there for businesses in quite a few sectors and even a chorus of Polyannas signing in perfect harmony will not make any difference.

On the point of emergency levels: if they were emergency levels then and we have returned to the same cash rates now, does Joe not have a point.  I guess the dollar is higher and the banks are not fully reflecting the cash rate in their mortage and business rates.  But even so, emergency is not far from the mark.

And did anyone notice Geoff Carmody’s excellent Fin piece that demonstrated that, in terms of per capita net national income, we have been in recession for nine months.  Even Bob Gregory is predicting a recession, or negative growth in at least one quarter, in 2013.

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28 Responses to What we really need: more Polyannas

  1. Mother G

    Poor Emmo. Never had a sensible word since swallowing the contact lenses.

  2. stackja

    Now how can ALP fund a recession with a deficit?

  3. cohenite

    Didn’t Emmerson have an affair with the current PM? Wouldn’t that explain his incoherence? Look at how Wilson turned out, like he was run over by a Mack truck.

  4. blogstrop

    Businesses are failing. Don’t expect them to enter any battle with “optimism” derived from a stultified economy until they see a change of government happen. Even then things will be tough for a while longer before they get better. That’s the lasting legacy of the spendathon crowd.

  5. blogstrop

    Never had a sensible word since swallowing the contact lenses.

    It’s a pity it didn’t make him more introspective.

  6. mct

    a chorus of Polyannas signing in perfect harmony

    I know its just a typo, but this gave me a wonderful mental image, just for a second!

  7. wreckage

    Business confidence is down across the board because Joe hockey seemed a little glum this week. But he did manage a brave smile this morning, which caused the markets to gain a few points.

  8. John A

    Mr Emerson certainly hasn’t been near my place.

    I am currently running at about 50% of last year’s December, and I have just a week and a bit to make it up.

    Unless something dramatic happens (I sell into the engineering and manufacturing sector in Melbourne’s east), my December looks like being down about 30% on last year.

    Oh, and please go back and READ Pollyanna (again).

    She was a smart realist who made the best of what she had – an optimist with her feet on the ground rather than an air-headed wishful thinker, as the “pollyanna-ish” expression often implies.

  9. johno

    a chorus of Polyannas signing in perfect harmony

    What would he like them to be singing?

    Horror Movie, maybe?

  10. Ivan Denisovich

    For the sake of jobs and prosperity, the battle must be won against those who, with whatever motive, relish talking down the economy.

    Labor and hypocrisy. Synonymous:

    I want to point this out – under those forecast that are in that intergenerational report, by the end of this decade, which is only six years ago, the Government’s own forecasters say that Australia’s per capita growth rate, economic growth rate, will be the slowest since the decade of the Great Depression.

    The slowest since the decade of the Great Depression.

    This is very alarming.


  11. Rousie

    Oh Emmo…

    Julia, Julia, where for art thou Julia?

  12. min

    well the contact lens certainly did not give him any insight pity all narcissists lack insight

  13. Toiling Mass

    Emmo’s (and the rest’s) adherence to fixed formulaic phrases comes accross as embarrassingly stupid.

    Always with the ‘relentless’ and the ‘negativity’.

    Mr Abbott’s relentless negativity! The Liberals are unrelenting in the negativity. They are relentlessy negative.

    It is like they don’t really understand the words, but someone came up with the a couple of years ago and it is now part of the ALP platform. And it looks as though they have little understanding of what they are supposed to defend, always beating a hasty retreat to that reassuring rubric – “relentless negativity”.

  14. Chez

    It’s like this Slipper business, the decision by Rares doesn’t change for one minute that Slipper is a scumbag, Roxon is incompetent for her interference In legal cases and Gillard is massively untrustworthy, just like Emmerson is still hopelessly defending the ineptness of this Govt cause he still loves his Juliar!

  15. Tintarella di Luna

    I saw Enemason’s piece the Oz this morning — I only take an interest if he sets them to music. From Judith’s comments maybe he’s using hindsight rather than foresight.

  16. Alice

    Stackja says

    “Now how can ALP fund a recession with a deficit?”

    Doh – the deficit stimuates the recession into producing and that reurns a cyclical surplus. How they fund the deficit? Borrow by issuing bonds to private citizens. Borrow from Oseas. Print money like the US does (with no sign of infaltion in their depressed economy either).

    Perfect time to run a deficit you idiot.

  17. mareeS

    Umm, Alice, in personal finance terms, how’s your credit card looking? Have you taken out a 2nd mortgage on your house? Have you sent your children out to work after school to help pay the interest? Have you pawned your jewellery and your wide-screen TV?

    That’s how you fund a household deficit (until you have to sell the house), and that’s how this government is funding the national defecit.

  18. stevo

    I just don’t get the premise of the argument Emerson, Julia and their pals keep presenting.

    The claim by Emerson etc. is that the opposition’s negative comment slows the economy. Its then inferred that if the opposition would only make positive comment the economy would improve.

    It seems the opposition has an uncanny knack for controlling the economy !

    So the government is trying but by by Emerson’s admission they have little if any influence at all over the economy – they are powerless and beholden to the opposition’s whim !!

    Their only option is to petition the opposition to improve the economy for them ? … by thinking positive thoughts …

    If this was true, the obvious conclusion would be the labor government is superfluous, and the opposition is already in control of the country.

  19. stu

    I’m putting my faith in these gals to get the message out.

  20. jules

    Poor Emo, he’s never been the same since returning from his last trip to the US!

  21. Lloyd

    Five years worth of deficits already to the tune of $250bn and counting. Yet airheads such as Alice want to run up more.
    And the comparison between us and other countries is disingenuous. Just because other nation want to impoverish themselves is no reason for us to do the same. IMHO our current account should not exceed 5% GDP.

  22. Infidel Tiger

    Emmo looks like he’s part emu. Any day now we’ll find him tangled up in a fence.

  23. Emmo is a strong supporter of free trade. I used to think that justified cutting him a bit of slack. But the more he writes on other stuff, the more I realise he probably didn’t understand what he was saying. He’s just a mouth with Juliar’s hand up his back (or his bottom if your imagination can cope).

  24. old bloke

    I just love to see Emmo

    Judith, you can have him.

    …with Juliar’s hand up his back (or his bottom if your imagination can cope).

    Julia groping for a lost contact lens?

  25. davey street

    While he was still married, Emerson was an item with Joolya about ten years ago, so what would you expect but McTernan created spin every utterance Emerson makes. He is the same as all the other deadbeat thugs male and female who inhabit our screens abbottabbottabbotting daily on behalf of the worst government Australia has ever known. Notice how they are denying a March election “There will no (insert whatever here) under a government I lead” which means there will be one. Still reckon the plan is to roll her in late February, reinstall Rudd who will immediately call a poll for March 23 (Saturday before Easter) during which Rudd and Therese will ridicule everything Abbott and Margie (who will be drawn in to the fray) say. Swan will publicly apologise and make up with Kevvie and take up all Abbott’s oxygen standing with Kevvie and the Luvvies. The Coalition won’t have the guts to switch leaders and believe me Rudd will win. Bruce Springsteen will be hovering then as well. Obama will have him primed to pump up Kevvie while on stage at the Bris, Syd, Melb, (and Hanging Rock) concerts and the message will be “Joolya who?” coming from the States. I can even see her making a last minute entrance at a Springsteen concert and kissing Kevvie, all choreographed by McTernan. As Richo always says, do whatever it takes.

  26. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    davey street, that scenario is like the denouement of an Agatha Christie novel. An improbable ‘look how it all fits in’ and ‘you missed that clue didn’t you?’.

    Trouble is, you might be right.

  27. Lloyd

    I don’t see JEG going quietly into the night. My bet is that the moment she thinks she’ll be rolled she goes to the GG.

  28. Jazza

    Would Emo still hold those views if his whole family’s assetts and future were tied up in a small retail business enterprise currently struggling week to week with wages and costs, poor sales and maxed out credit cards?
    Hmm, this dirty mob are so removed from the real people it is scary

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