Martin Parkinson misses the point (again)

So Martin Parkinson gave a speech during the week talking about US economic diplomacy – okay not a bad speech as far as I can see. Yet something very different got reported in the media – I suspect the off-the-cuff comments from the Q&A session after the formal speech.

“When you see evidence of corporations and wealthy individuals trying to avoid their fair share of tax, trying to take shortcuts, ignoring the social licence to operate, that erodes trust in system,” he said.

“Even if they are still themselves actually individually getting better off, it erodes their trust in the system.

“I think what we are suffering from is a loss of trust. We’ve seen it happening over the long period of time in loss of trust in institutions and now I think what we’re seeing is a rise of populism that is a broader manifestation of that.”

To be clear – I think that more and more people are losing trust in social institutions. Especially big government. But look at what our chief mandarin – the number one public servant in our ever-increasing government – singles out. Taxation.

It is not at all clear that the rise of Donald Trump can be ascribed to people being angry about tax evasion or even tax evasion. To the contrary – Trump was accused all along of being a tax cheat.

Trump’s taxes have become a big campaign issue after the New York Times released a portion of his 1995 tax returns last week and estimated that Trump likely paid no taxes for a number of years. The celebrity real estate developer, who is the first presidential candidate in decades to refuse to release his full tax returns, didn’t deny the report. He later said that he had “brilliantly used” U.S. tax rules to his advantage.

During the first presidential debate with his rival Democrat Hillary Clinton last month, Trump responded to Clinton’s allegation that he paid no federal taxes by saying that would make him “smart.”

This morning Jon Faine was trying to make a big deal out of Parkinson’s comments, yet I think they are way, way off the mark.

Another argument that is going to be fun watching is the notion of a working class backlash against “neo-liberalism” and free trade yadda, yadda, yadda – both Brexit and Trump’s election has seen the “working class” move to the right of politics, not the side of big government.

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68 Responses to Martin Parkinson misses the point (again)

  1. jupes

    I think what we are suffering from is a loss of trust.

    Certainly in you Parkinson you global warming alarmist moron.

    We’ve seen it happening over the long period of time in loss of trust in institutions and now I think what we’re seeing is a rise of populism that is a broader manifestation of that.

    “Populism” of course is the enemy of the big government bureaucrat. Fancy the proles not taking the advice of dickheads like Parkinson. Mate, the reason us proles have lost trust in institutions is because the institutions are totally clueless when it comes to the big issues of our times e.g. immigration and ‘climate change’.

  2. Roger

    Yes, but Trump also promised to close the loopholes he exploited. So he acknowledged it was an issue.

    Teresa May and Trump, in a sense, are “one nation” conservatives (or Red Tories). They will reduce the size of government but out of purely fiscal and not ideological concerns but they will retain a reformed welfare state. They have considered Friedman’s dictum that you can’t have open borders and a welfare state and opted for the latter. Working class voters exposed to the negative effects of globalisation love them as a result. This is the foreseeable future and it is coming to an electorate near you soon!

  3. Perth Trader

    The definition of a economist ..’ a man who knows 100 different ways to make love to a woman but has never had a girlfriend’..its still true.

  4. Habib

    Odd isn’t it that the only buggers who believe (or pay lip service to) the idiotic concept of a “social licence” are those who either dip other peoples wallets, or benefit from the larceny. The only licence that should be existent is a hunting one. For sport. Any and all feral parasites.

  5. ar

    Not paying your fair share of tax is certainly a recurring theme. Obviously a more convenient argument for the luvvies to make rather than “your taxes are being wasted”.

  6. Old Ozzie

    Tony Abbott sacked Martin Parkinson for a good reason, he was an incompetent global warming wanker – Lord Waflles of Wentworth Turdbull (no doubt with Lady Lucy behind him, or is that in front of him) put Parkinson back in place – shows the waste of space that Lord Waffles aspires to.

  7. memoryvault

    Roger
    #2211770, posted on November 18, 2016 at 10:57 am

    +1 Roger

  8. Tim Neilson

    There’s only one acceptable measure of what tax a company should pay.
    As little as possible consistently with obeying the law.
    Anyone who thinks otherwise can do their bit for social justice by:
    (a) buying shares in da eeebil tax avoiding companies; and
    (b) each year analysing the tax reporting in the company’s annual reports, and making a voluntary donation to the Consolidated Revenue of their proportion of the extra tax that they think the company should have paid.

  9. jupes

    They have considered Friedman’s dictum that you can’t have open borders and a welfare state and opted for the latter.

    Of course. Open borders is utter lunacy.

    Working class voters exposed to the negative effects of globalisation love them as a result.

    Well again, of course. Why wouldn’t they love getting their jobs back?

    This is the foreseeable future and it is coming to an electorate near you soon!

    Thank fuck for that.

  10. Bruce of Newcastle

    My translation into English:

    “When you see evidence of corporations and wealthy individuals trying to avoid their fair share of tax veins being sucked by vampires, trying to take shortcuts avoid drowning in paper and red and green tape, ignoring the social licence to operate the SJWs, that erodes trust in system the idea that there is no escape,” he said.

    “Even if they are still themselves actually individually getting better off survive, it erodes their trust in the system lifestyle of the predators in Canberra.

    “I think what we are suffering from is a loss of trust. We’ve seen it happening over the long period of time in loss of trust in institutions elite people like me and now I think what we’re seeing is a rise of populism that is a broader manifestation of that.”

    Important advice to whoever is next PM: do not in any circumstance appoint a Gaia acolyte to run any government department.

  11. OneWorldGovernment

    Sinc said,

    To be clear – I think that more and more people are losing trust in social institutions. Especially big government.

    And there is the ‘nub’.

    I think “it’s time” to conduct a Royal Commission into every single aspect of the Australian Government Department of Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and it’s other Agencies.

  12. RobK

    Disenfranchised voters saw merit in a quilified practitioner vowing to set things straight. Who better to have on the case. Many others have made utterances of knowing what they’re talking about but have proven ineffective. Rightly, a fresh approach is worth a go. It’s a remarkable turn of events, even more remarkable if real change is effected. The duplicity runs deep. Workers note they have no escape from taxes, they have no escape from drug testing but the biggest offenders are their overlords. There’s a merky bottom of the harbour they don’t know much about other than that it needs a good cleanout.

  13. .

    jupes positing crackpot theories. Free trade took their jobs, it didn’t give them more to do.

    You were never in this argument because you disliked Muslim immigration or were concerned about economic migrants taking welfare.

    Maybe if we have autarky we can have even more welfare and even richer manufacturing workers.

  14. John Comnenus

    I was at this speech and reported on it in an earlier thread.

    The Parkinson speech was, in my view, an ill timed full throated plea for Trump to reverse policy. It was clearly the Government’s position and I suspect Parkinson fully supports it.

    The question and answer session is not captured in the link. The first asked why Parkinson thinks this populism thing is happening Brexit – Trump etc?

    Parkinson called the response ‘inchoate’ and he didn’t understand why it was happening, but he certainly recognised it was going on. But really it isnt that hard to understand if you look at what Parkinson said in his speech.

    During the speech Parkinson noted the following as a key benefit to Americans of US trade and economic diplomacy:

    “To give some context, US residents’ ownership of private foreign assets has risen from 6.5 percent of US annual GDP in 1950 to more than 140 percent of annual US GDP, or $25 trillion today. In other words, openness to trade and to investment abroad has directly contributed to a massive increase in the wealth of individual Americans.”

    US economic and trade diplomacy created a truckload of wealth.

    In the answer to why the revolution question, Parkinson noted that 60% of US workers real wages are equivalent to what they were 30 years ago.

    Now I’m not Einstein, but even I can see the obvious connection between those two data points and popular anger.

    The last question totally dumbfounded Parkinson, it was from a CEO who asked what impact Parkinson thought the Trump tax plan would have by going from the highest corporate tax rate in the G20 to the lowest.

    Parkinson was stuck in a very long pregnant pause whilst trying to work out how to respond. Clearly the answer is obvious, but how does it fit with the narrative that Trump will wreck the world economy? In the end Parkinson conceded it is likely to create strong jobs and wealth growth and that Treasury modelling suggests that half the benefit of those corporate tax cuts will go to the workers.

    At the end of the lunch I thought how ridiculous is Parkinson? He tells us on one hand that he doesn’t know why people are voting Trump and Brexit noting that lots of wealth has been created. Later he acknowledges that wage earner has seen none of this wealth, in fact they are going backwards fast, and then finally that Trump’s tax plans will create more jobs and better pay.

    Now I don’t have a PhD in economics from Princeton but even I can connect those three dots.

    Parkinson’s speech unintentioanlly proved that the massive wealth accumulation from US trade policy has gone to very few people, that most workers have seen none of it and that Trump’s tax plan will help spread that benefit to a lot more workers. It really suggests, unlike Parkinson, that the average Trump voter understood what is going on, what Trump was offering and voted for their best economic interest. That is the average Trump voter voted the smartest way they could given the choice.

    If I were Turnbull I would be very circumspect about taking too much advice from Parkinson who assembled and looked at all the evidence only to miss the most obvious conclusion.

  15. jupes

    I think “it’s time” to conduct a Royal Commission into every single aspect of the Australian Government Department of Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and it’s other Agencies.

    Yes because Royal Commissions have proved so effective at fixing national problems.

    And it would only last about 10 years and we might even get change from a billion (though probably not).

  16. OneWorldGovernment

    These are the web sites of what may arguably be the 3 most influential departments,

    http://www.treasury.gov.au/

    http://www.dpmc.gov.au/

    http://dfat.gov.au/pages/default.aspx

    Talk about the divine right of ‘kings’!

  17. jupes

    jupes positing crackpot theories.

    Lol.

    Yes totally loopy. Fancy proles like me not liking open borders.

    You know what’s best for us don’t you Dotty?

  18. Tel

    The first thing that came to my mind on the “loss of trust” issue is the QUT kids facing quarter of a million dollar lawsuits for making a few very innocuous comments.

    As for “social license to operate” how threatening is that? I mean, at a time when we need jobs, we have a government out there telling business there’s some invisible license they need to obtain somehow.

    Government has a very clear written social license to operate known as “The Constitution” which of course is the last thing they ever look at and is seen as more of a nuisance than anything else.

  19. .

    You want to impose taxes on everyone to prop up industries that shouldn’t exist.

    You have the gall to to tell the rest of us that we are imposing our ideas onto others.

    You’re justifying legalised graft, and we know it always leads to worse outcomes.

    Always.

  20. jupes

    At the end of the lunch I thought how ridiculous is Parkinson?

    He is an arse-clown of the highest order. Highly educated but thick as two short planks.

    Good summary John, thanks for that.

  21. OneWorldGovernment

    John Comnenus
    #2211865, posted on November 18, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I was at this speech and reported on it in an earlier thread.

    John,

    I was mindful of your comments on the other thread re your attendance when I put my first post above.

    Thank you for expanding your ‘take’ further.

    And your right.
    Where will Australia be when Trump brings in his 15% company tax?

  22. RobK

    John Comnenus,
    Thank you for your insight on the speech. I concur with your views.

  23. H B Bear

    If Abbott and Sloppy Joe had any balls Martin Parkinson’s head would be on a stick overlooking Lake Burley Griffin as a reminder to the rest of the ACT public service on their morning commute. Instead Sloppy is still growing fat on the taxpayer’s tit in Washington booking up his babysitting to us while Abbott is on the back bench where he started.

    F**k the Laborals to hell.

  24. OneWorldGovernment

    jupes
    #2211866, posted on November 18, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I think “it’s time” to conduct a Royal Commission into every single aspect of the Australian Government Department of Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and it’s other Agencies.

    Yes because Royal Commissions have proved so effective at fixing national problems.

    And it would only last about 10 years and we might even get change from a billion (though probably not).

    jupes,

    I agree but I was trying to be ‘nice’.

    So okay then, and I said this on another thread, bring in a ‘toe cutter’ auditor like me and I’ll soon fix the useless elitist pricks.

    And I’d get rid of more useless empires.

  25. jupes

    You want to impose taxes on everyone to prop up industries that shouldn’t exist.

    That’s not what I said.

    You on the other hand are an open borders loon despite all the evidence around the world showing the effects of your insane theories. You even want to import more Muslims into Australia!

    Words fail at that amount of idiocy.

  26. RobK

    Tel,
    Government has a very clear written social license to operate known as “The Constitution”
    That’s the best rejoinder for “social license” I’ve encountered. It’s the only social license.

  27. .

    No jupes, you reckon they’ll “get their jobs back” if we cut back on globalisation.

    1. If the shitty migrants don’t get jobs – irrelevant.
    2. Having cheaper inputs imported and larger external markets – cannot cause unemployment.

    You really are rabbiting on with crackpot theories.

  28. Deplorable

    I wonder if a near doubling of his already obscene salary plus retirement benefits really qualifies Parkinson to give advice to any of us mere mortals. Of course we have lost trust in our institutions because they continually disappoint and then give us angry white men of a certain age the finger.

  29. jupes

    So okay then, and I said this on another thread, bring in a ‘toe cutter’ auditor like me and I’ll soon fix the useless elitist pricks.

    Now you’re talking.

    Or how about a leader who cuts through all the bullshit and changes the parasitic culture of the place. You know, drain the swamp.

  30. Ant

    “Populism” of course is the enemy of the big government bureaucrat.

    Populism is, by definition, the enemy of the Electoral College and not its ally, dupes.

    This is why populist Trump naturally advocated for the majoritarian popular vote approach to determining the presidency in the 60 Minutes interview.

    He has held this position for a long time, as far back as 2012 in fact, calling it a “disaster” back then.

    Then someone tapped him on the shoulder to remind him if he got what he wished for he would have been trounced by Clinton by a decent margin. So, of course, he did a complete 180 and now he’s the friend of the Electoral College again.

    But don’t let that force you to extract your tongue from his butt.

  31. Roger

    Teresa May and Trump, in a sense, are “one nation” * conservatives

    * That has more to do with Benjamin Disraeli than Pauline Hanson, btw. 😉

  32. jupes

    You really are rabbiting on with crackpot theories.

    Yeah, nah. That would be you Dotty.

    Open borders is the quintessential crackpot theory. You reckon you are on the Trump Train yet here you are idealising open borders again.

    As far as what you regard as my “crackpot theories” are concerned, if you can comprehend plain English you would realise that in reply roger’s comment about “working class voters exposed to the negative effects of globalisation” I simply asked why they wouldn’t love getting their jobs back.

    And I reckon that if Trump lowers company tax to 15% and imposes a tariff on products produced by American companies who have moved to another country, then their is a fair chance that they will indeed get their jobs back.

    So if that’s a crackpot theory, what would you call importing Muslims from Qatar and the Free Syrian Army into Australia?

  33. jupes

    Ant, Trump is a winner.

    You demean yourself siding with the losers after his magnificent victory.

    It’s never to late to jump on the Train. Believe me it is so much more fun than enduring what you are putting yourself through.

  34. OneWorldGovernment

    jupes
    #2211925, posted on November 18, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    So okay then, and I said this on another thread, bring in a ‘toe cutter’ auditor like me and I’ll soon fix the useless elitist pricks.

    Now you’re talking.

    Or how about a leader who cuts through all the bullshit and changes the parasitic culture of the place. You know, drain the swamp.

    Trouble is jupes we haven’t got a a ‘big man’ type system nor do I think we should.

    But what pisses me to tears is that ‘their’ politicians get into government and make secret, unilateral agreements that ‘we’ the people are f’king bound to.

    I actually think ‘we’ should have quarterly plebiscites on the majority of government decisions because the cnuts cannot be trusted.

  35. .

    And I reckon that if Trump lowers company tax to 15% and imposes a tariff on products produced by American companies who have moved to another country, then their is a fair chance that they will indeed get their jobs back.

    There is no indication of that at all. You have 20+ years and fixed capital overseas and cost differentials.

    You’re worried about the entire 600+ people who have migrated from Qatar to Australia since 1901…you are hysterical.

    Open borders with no welfare is fine. Paying an entry fee isn’t “open borders” either, unless you think paying a fee is “free entry”.

  36. OneWorldGovernment

    .
    #2211947, posted on November 18, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    And I reckon that if Trump lowers company tax to 15% and imposes a tariff on products produced by American companies who have moved to another country, then their is a fair chance that they will indeed get their jobs back.

    There is no indication of that at all. You have 20+ years and fixed capital overseas and cost differentials.

    You’re worried about the entire 600+ people who have migrated from Qatar to Australia since 1901…you are hysterical.

    Open borders with no welfare is fine. Paying an entry fee isn’t “open borders” either, unless you think paying a fee is “free entry”

    Dot,

    I am convinced that sometimes you are arguing ‘past’ the point.

    I have no problem with most of DL’s arguments, BUT

  37. johanna

    ignoring the social licence to operate,

    Says it all.

  38. John Comnenus

    Parkinson’s further remarks to the tax cuts question defy belief and indicate a complete lack of self awareness.

    Parkinson advised, in his most serious tone, that the deficits that result from tax cuts are ok if the money is invested in long term productivity improving infrastructure, but bad if they are spent on recurrent expenditure.

    There are three things wrong with Parkinson’s statement:

    1. what a damning statement about Australia’s idiotic and wasteful fiscal policy over the last decade or so. No contemporary Australian is in a position to tell any other government anything about wasting deficits on recurrent expenditure.
    2. Parkinson doesn’t get that company tax cuts are going to companies and not the government. You don’t get to direct private consumption (yet).
    3. The company owners iwill decide what to spend the additional profit on. I bet they get better and more relevant productivity improving development through private sector investment than any massive infrastructure waste government would deliver, say like the NBN.

    This whole speech, in hindsight, was just embarrasing and appropriate indicator of the Govenrment’s complete inability to come to grips with Trump’s private sector driven economic growth approach.

  39. John Comnenus

    Everyone, including Parkinson, assured us those jobs aint coming back.

    Why what was that I read yesterday? Ford is moving a truck plant from Mexico to Ohio and Apple is looking at producing iphones in America.

    Trump is on a roll and he isn’t even in office yet.

    Is it too early to call: BEST PRESIDENT EVA!

  40. John Comnenus

    Johanna,

    When Parkinson said social licence I almost vomitted up my very nice eye fillet and good red wine all over the board room carpet whilst looking out over Garden Island and up the Harbour on a sparkling clear day from the 17th floor.

  41. OneWorldGovernment

    @John Comnenus

    John,

    Jobs will come back if we get rid of the ‘dead’ weight of government.

    The fockers have never been in any money making venture in their lives.

    I have nothing but contempt for the scum.

    If they didn’t have their current lofty self created perch then they would be no different to any other swagman that wandered past the place where I grew up.

  42. John Comnenus

    One World

    I couldnt agree with you more.

    I felt like standing up and telling Martin that in the private sector wages have been flat compared to the public sector where wages are on average higher and they keep growing regardless of performance and that is before you add the outrageous level of superannuation and the obscene recent pay increases the politicians and top ‘public servants’ gave themseleves as if they have been doing a good job running the country.

    The only thing saving Parkinson from a Trumpageddon event is the fact that the US Trumpageddon event is about to create a massive private sector led economic recovery in the USA and some of that will flow to Australia.

    These morons will never learn that you can’t tax your way to growth which means you can’t government spend your way to growth either.

  43. War, debt, subsidy and the mass neurosis called Environmentalism. Who wants to pay tax to fund pure waste? (I’d rather shell out for a NSW premier’s latest monorail or light rail. At least I’d get an overpriced ride half-way to where I want to go.)

    Big Green, globocracy and the Posh Left have hijacked classical liberalism and the Market, proving that there is no guaranteed “system” now that anything can be construed as a cost or benefit. Argue with the worst kind of wastrel leftoid these days and he’ll bend your ear about the Market.

    Here are some great people whose benefits have been twisted into costs by some nifty green spirit-cooking:

  44. Mayan

    To be clear – I think that more and more people are losing trust in social institutions.

    And corporations. Any large organisation, really, come to think of it. You have a monomania about government, and while it is the obvious choice to represent large, unaccountable organisations, corporations and NGOs also fit that description. Sure, their respective fans can point to voters, shareholders, the market, donors etc. as constraints, but their power over those organisations is low and declining, especially given the self-referential bubbles that the heads of those organisations inhabit.

  45. Paul

    For me, the leading issue with taxation is the huge proportion being diverted from paying for whole-community benefits into the pockets of noisy special pleaders who demand others pay for said special-pleaders’ pet obsessions. For example, I’m sick of their ABC using my taxes to promote their private causes whilst refusing to do the job those taxes are supposed to be paying for. I’m sick of professional Yarts grant applicants treating productive taxpayers as their slaves. I’m sick of being abused by DV special pleaders who ignore not only female-initiated violence but indigenous DV whilst blaming it all on ‘men’ (code these days for taxpaying white males). Ad f’ing finitum… a good government is a small government.

  46. PoliticoNT

    “Populism” of course is the enemy of the big government bureaucrat. Fancy the proles not taking the advice of dickheads like Parkinson. Mate, the reason us proles have lost trust in institutions is because the institutions are totally clueless when it comes to the big issues of our times e.g. immigration and ‘climate change’.

    Nice one Jupes, captures the whole vibe really.

  47. PoliticoNT

    I think “it’s time” to conduct a Royal Commission into every single aspect of the Australian Government Department of Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and it’s other Agencies.

    No, it is not. It’s time OWG people like us started putting our hands up for Parliament. (A lot fucking harder than you might imagine but Rome wasn’t built in a day.) Once you’re an MP then you can start putting the boot in. There’s no other way. It doesn’t matter how rational you are, how much sense you make, the policy you write, the motions you get voted up – unless you are in the fucking Parliament the idea you will achieve something is highly unlikely.

  48. PoliticoNT

    what may arguably be the 3 most influential departments

    OWG – have you worked for any of them? The APS is full of very good, very smart people – but as a general rule dementedly awful. Try reading one of DFAT’s annual reports. It will bring tears to your eyes. Treasury hasn’t had a clue since Costello was Treasurer. PMC was good under Howard/Shergold but Rudd fucked it completely and it has not recovered. Not to mention way, way too big these days.

  49. PoliticoNT

    He is an arse-clown of the highest order.

    Yes, but away from the gentle chatter of Catallaxy Files, Parkinson is generally un-listened to, especially within the APS, and government. Another arse-clown is the odious Barrie Cassidy who has a weekly spot each Friday on Darwin ABC Radio. This morning’s ‘report’ featured hinted at conspiracies around corporate/business tax cuts, the Walton family, and fears that Trump will kill off free trade. That the ABC has embraced free trade in the aftermath of Trump’s win is almost beyond belief. Actually it is beyond belief, they’re just so rotten to the core they’ve run out of sacred cows.

  50. Squirrel

    “Social licence” seems to be code for things which are not (yet?) covered in black letter law, and which are not “fit for purpose”……..

  51. Rabz

    Martin Parkinson misses the point (again)

    Some future Catallaxy posts:

    – Paul Kelly is wrong (again)
    – The Waffler does nothing (again)
    – Bill Shorten makes a monumental idiot of himself (again)
    – The ALPBC propagates spectacular fact free dishonesty (again)
    – The SMH is subject to defamation action (again)
    – Sarah Sea-Patrol exposed as an unrepentant hypocrite (again)

  52. Empire GTHO Phase III

    No, it is not. It’s time OWG people like us started putting our hands up for Parliament. (A lot fucking harder than you might imagine but Rome wasn’t built in a day.) Once you’re an MP then you can start putting the boot in. There’s no other way. It doesn’t matter how rational you are, how much sense you make, the policy you write, the motions you get voted up – unless you are in the fucking Parliament the idea you will achieve something is highly unlikely.

    Are you sure? Most of the ex pollies I know reckon the only way to change things is to become a mandarin.

  53. Dr Fred Lenin

    Populism is the mortal enemy pf the u.n.communist globalist fascists ,they are losing it now that their media fellow travelers have lost all credibillity ,and are treated with total contempt by the working taxpayers who hold the entirs facade up . The “socialist elitists ” soros,clintons the climate carpetbaggers ,the leftoid beaurocrats the education indoctrinators the union thi]ugs who keep the workers in thrall ,are all in danger of being gor ibly removed from the easy money gravy train ,and they dont like it up em ,as lance corporal jones used to say ,Trump is just the beginning of the \Peoples Revolution that will sweep them and tgeir islamofascist allies into the rubbish bin of history where they belong . A cople of things I want Trump to do , 1) investigate clintons major financial contributors with a view to finding things to prosecute and expose them . 2) investigate electoral fraud and jail perpetrators to destroy the myth of clinton winning the popular vote , Both these actions would provide good points for his administration .

  54. Des Deskperson

    ‘Try reading one of DFAT’s annual reports. It will bring tears to your eyes. Treasury hasn’t had a clue since Costello was Treasurer. PMC was good under Howard/Shergold’.

    A common factor with all three departments is that, in them, you can get to the SES without ever having managed a project, developed a budget bid, undertaken a procurement process, ran an evaluation or ever supervised are than half a dozen staff.

    I disagree, however, about Shergold aka ‘Sh*tshark, I worked closely with the turd and he was a shallow egotist, uninterested in the long term health, efficiency and integrity of public administration so long as he could throw up some shabby, poorly planned initiative that would give him a good media image and allow him to preen at conferences.

  55. jupes

    Open borders with no welfare is fine.

    Lol. Dotty not letting go of Peak Stupid. Brace yourself Dotty, you’re about to be hit with the clue bat.

    Your hero Milton Friedman made a lot of sense back in the day, however he was not an oracle and only a fool still believes everything he said is an infallible truth. In the 19th and 20th centuries the US provided an excellent example of open borders working its arse off. So we know that a liberty loving country with English and Christian roots can absorb and assimilate a large number of European immigrants. Fair enough.

    The problem with Friedman’s open borders theory is that it takes no account of culture. Muslims for example, have a different culture to European Christians. Now that our TV screens broadcast daily the toxic effect Muslim immigrants have on countries around the world, how do you think the US would look today if every American immigrant since independence had been Muslim?

    Culture trumps open borders every day of the week. Anyone still advocating open borders now that Muslims have the means to swamp a country is stupid beyond belief. In fact there isn’t a word in the English language to describe that level of stupidity. Perhaps the phrase Too. Stupid. To. Survive will have to do.

    Now let’s have a quick look at my “crackpot” theory about American workers who have lost their jobs due to globalisation. The first thing for you to acknowledge Dotty, is that there are some negative effects to globalisation. Sure in theory everyone benefits, however it doesn’t always work out that way.

    Let’s imagine I made cars in Detroit. My company decided that due to the high cost of my labour, it is cheaper to manufacture cars in Mexico, so they moved and I got sacked. On the other hand, for wannabe lawyers and other elites, this is a good thing because they can now buy cheaper cars.

    The problem is that since I no longer have a job, I can’t afford to buy a car even if it is cheaper. The effects of globalisation aren’t really working for me. So when Trump promises to put tariffs on US companies that have moved to another country what do you think I should do Dotty? Should I vote for globalisation theory so you and your elite buddies can buy cheap cars or should I vote to get my job back?

  56. Far Right Heretic

    >Open borders with no welfare is fine

    Dot is the sort of person who would have opened the gates of Vienna for the muslim hordes and then yelled at the city defenders for being bigots.

  57. PoliticoNT

    Are you sure? Most of the ex pollies I know reckon the only way to change things is to become a mandarin.

    Empire, yes, I’m sure. As just one example: a few years ago I wrote a proposal around the reform of the EL1/EL2 levels of the APS, which as we are aware of here at Catallaxy; is completely out of control. Among the many who reviewed the proposal (and stridently agreed with it) were two members of federal cabinet, several MPs/Senators, think tank heads, and many experienced APS personnel. No matter how hard I pushed to have it taken even one step in a semi-formal direction I got nowhere.

    It’s difficult to describe why. Sure you come up against world class dickheads in politics and the bureaucracy but generally people are trying their best to do something effective. In fact my experience has been the opposite. With MPs/Senators it’s almost always a ‘fuck! we have to do something with it!‘ But then nothing happens. It’s unconscious. My view (built up over the years) is that you simply need the power and influence of membership of Parliament. Doesn’t matter if you’re on the backbench – you have as much power as you are willing to fight for.

  58. PoliticoNT

    Empire – as for the mandarins. Fuck me they are a crooked, crooked lot. If I was a minister I would have no hesitation to install my own head of department. Anything less and well, you might as well just bend over your desk.

  59. Gorgon

    Sinclair: what is your point exactly? Parkinson does not show any obvious sign of being an ideologue, unless of course you count all who take income from the public to be ideologues? Personally, I’m somewhat tired of cheap jibes and small talk that really serves only to to provide fodder for nutters and natterers. Let’s elevate this somewhat. If you were fair links you’d advocate policy and start with your self. No government student loans and no public funding for unis. They all should rely on what the market provides. I’d suggest we’d have a lot more plumbers. A lot fewer economists. Vastly fewer political science lecturers. My guess is that only good teachers would survive and much “research” would go directly to the bin (rather than by a slow boat via exotic conference venues). Judith would no doubt shut down the Productivity Commission and anything else that contributed to excess taxation. The market, after all, should drive productivity. We’d scrap all regulations that gift profits, ranging from government consulting to compulsory super. We’d make all rights to public assets (minerals, hydrocarbons, broadcast spectrum) contestable and limited by term. In short we’d be fair dinkum.
    I really want to drain the swamp, but we all have to start with the one in our back yard if we want credibility.

  60. PoliticoNT

    I disagree, however, about Shergold aka ‘Sh*tshark, I worked closely with the turd and he was a shallow egotist, uninterested in the long term health, efficiency and integrity of public administration so long as he could throw up some shabby, poorly planned initiative that would give him a good media image and allow him to preen at conferences.

    Des – in the spirit of keeping an open mind – I’d like to know more. (I was going to add that Shergold has been about as relevant to government as a lesbian-marxism doctoral student since leaving PM&C post Howard. Perhaps it wouldn’t have mattered who was PM&C SEC, Howard was so competent.)

    Whatever, you’ve got me thinking now.

  61. 3d1k

    Yes. Off the mark.

    This is another example of the social progressive elite framing the agenda on their terms. This argument was immediately raised the the losing side and its media acolytes. I might have bought it had Sanders won, but he did not, Trump did.

    Big mistake to view Trump’s win as solely some sort of anti-Globalisation.

    The media and social progressive elite are pushing this line – because as always they are intent on controlling the agenda. And the word ‘globalisation’ makes them gag. Well, not really, they love their gadgets, their travel, their branding as much as any. But it gives them opportunity do what they do best – virtue signal ad nauseum.

    Trump won because the forgotten people voted for him. Vast swathes of Middle America who are not part of the East Coast West Coast elite. Who are sick of pc, tired of being told what to think, how to act. Who would be ok with companies paying no tax if it meant jobs for their kids, their towns. Who are ok with wealth well-earned. Who have aspirations. Who generally were employed, earned more than their Democrat cohorts. Who want opportunity for themselves, their kids. Who love family, tradition, community, country. The only inequality they want eliminated is the derision with which they are held by the oh-so-superior elites that control media and social mores.

    America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.

    Trump won because the forgotten people want to Make America Great Again.

    This is bigger, deeper, more elemental than the mere anti-globalisation hobby horse of progressive elites.

  62. Des Deskperson

    ‘Des – in the spirit of keeping an open mind – I’d like to know more. ‘

    Politico NT, in my experience, Shitshark’s approach to any policy problem or initiative was as follows:

    Tell the Minister what he/she wants to hear in a brief of one page or less

    Arrange for a media launch or other attention-grabbing initiative with some clever, showy gimmick that’d stick in the press gallery’s collective mind

    Throw around a lot of faddist jargon – ‘diversity’, ‘investing in people’, ‘bias for action’ (although here he was always a bit tardy: we use to reckon that last week’s Dilbert was this week’s Shergold).

    Go to a high profile Conference and boast about it what’s been done

    Forget about it and move on.

    I can give you examples.

  63. Linden

    Hands up all those who know that they pay their fair share of tax?

  64. Eddystone

    “When you see evidence of corporations and wealthy individuals trying to avoid their fair share of tax, trying to take shortcuts, ignoring the social licence to operate, that erodes trust in system,” he said.

    I’ll tell you what, when you see welfare dependent families who live chaotic, entitled, violent lives, who will never work a day in their lives, who consume a huge share of government services, who are abusive towards the people tasked to help them, who never show the slightest gratitude towards the community that supports them, who commit crime with virtual impunity, whose appalling behaviour is classified as “mental disease” by the remote bureaucrats who never have to come in contact with them, that erodes one’s trust in the system.

  65. Village.prefect

    Tax is compulsory..right
    The rules establish what the nature of that compulsion is ..right
    So if you comply with those rules, what’s the problem?

    Kerry Packer explained this to a Parliamrntary Committee years ago

  66. PoliticoNT

    I can give you examples.

    Des

    No need, all though thank you (I think). I was on contract with an NTG department last year where the departmental sec had been on the verge of releasing his new, crack strategic plan for 18 months. Now at the 36 month mark he’s no closer. Your Shergold experience reflects my own – of every single department head I’ve been exposed to. They’re all hopeless.

    I’ll have to talk to my other half about Shergold though. She worked under him for a few years but it was national security stuff which he had no interest in. I gotta say Howard was exceptionally popular with PMC staff.

  67. wreckage

    Nobody cares about taxation. We’re sick of hearing about this or that scheme to shake-down this or that business. Governments are drowning in income. And the only thing that seems to buy is excuses.

  68. OneWorldGovernment

    Just to remind everyone what ALL these fockers are like,

    Hillary Clinton has A Major Racist Meltdown On Video

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