David Leyonhjelm on President Trump

Whenever anyone asked my views during the US election campaign, I made plain my support for the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. He shares my distaste for big and intrusive governments.

I am no cheerleader for the policies of President Trump. In particular, I am disappointed that he has withdrawn the US from the Trans Pacific Partnership. This has serious consequences for Australia.

Open markets ultimately benefit everybody, but they are especially important to a nation like ours which produces a lot of primary products but lacks people to sell them to. Abandoning the TPP means universities, farmers and miners will miss out on greater access to overseas markets, sugar growers will lose a chance to triple their exports, and consumers everywhere will miss out on more affordable goods and services.

That said, I respect the fact that he was democratically elected and take comfort in the fact that if he turns out to be a terrible President, each of the states of the US, the US judiciary and its Congress will hold him back. And the people of the United States will correct the situation in four years’ time.

But the truth is, nobody gives a rats about what I think of Trump. And neither should they. Which brings me to the message I want to deliver to Australians who call themselves progressives – I have searched far and wide to find people who care what you think about Donald Trump and came up with nothing. The simple fact is, nobody cares what you think about President Trump.

To begin with, you need to know that President Trump can’t hear you. You are in Australia, not the US. Secondly, if he could hear you, he wouldn’t care. In fact, if it was possible for everybody in the world to be ranked according to how little they care what Australian progressives think about President Trump, I suspect the person who would care least would be President Trump himself.

I get why the Left hate him so much. He is a capitalist from Central Casting – one of those appalling people who creates wealth and does not share their values. But the anti-Trump obsession in Australia makes little sense. There are few if any American voters living here, and those who do live here have every right to be annoyed by arrogant foreigners trying to tell them what to think.

The sheer shrillness of the anti-Trump mob gives an insight into why Americans elected him in the first place. Even though I have plenty of reasons to disagree with him, I know instinctively that I am not on the side of those who use Groupthink as their guiding philosophy.
So who are the anti-Trump brigades trying to impress? The answer, clearly, is each other. What they are doing is engaging in that great modern affliction known as virtue-signalling, defined as conspicuous expression of moral values to enhance a person’s standing within a social group.
In other words, people who don’t have any original ideas of their own have discovered that an anti-Trump tweet or Facebook post will make them feel like they are part of a gang. It’s a way of feeling relevant.

This is of limited consequence when it is confined to social media and shared between networks, but it takes on much more significance when journalists inflict it on the rest of us, presumably to impress their progressive friends.

The media’s unwavering criticism of President Trump not only erodes their credibility, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish his genuine missteps from their manufactured outrage.

Those who criticise Trump for his perceived lack of tolerance are the same people who direct streams of personal vitriol at him and his supporters, and would gladly have him banned from entering a country to speak. They are hypocrites of the first order.

Trump’s presidency might be only a few months old, but the hysteria is already very old. It is time for all those creatures who chirp, croak and belch from every undrained swamp in this part of the world to give it a rest.

If there is one thing the anti-Trump brigade in Australia can be rest assured about, it is that if President Trump knew who you were, he wouldn’t like you either.

David Leyonhjelm is a Senator for the Liberal Democrats

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69 Responses to David Leyonhjelm on President Trump

  1. Confused Old Misfit

    “which produces a lot of primary products but lacks people to sell them to. ” And the TPP was going to magic those people into existence? If they were out there last week they are still there this week!
    And thinking that there is any need for governmental involvement in trade negotiation is certainly not libertarian. Set your safety regulations & standards (if you really feel you must) and let the merchants and their customers do the rest.
    “Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. He shares my distaste for big and intrusive governments.” But you WANT something like the TPP??? Credibility shattered David!

  2. Confused Old Misfit

    I have now read through to the end of that elitist screed! What condescending supercilious twaddle! He is right about this though: ” nobody gives a rats about what I think”.

  3. Dr Faustus

    The media’s unwavering criticism of President Trump not only erodes their credibility, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish his genuine missteps from their manufactured outrage.

    Correct.
    But the media has long passed beyond…

  4. v_maet

    Gary Johnson was a moron and didn’t support libertarian ideals. The fact that the green candidate and the president were more reasonable and more libertarian than Johnson is a reflection of how unhinged he was.

    The criticism for pulling out of the TPP is also unwarranted as it would not have benefited us or the US in any way.

    The rest of the article is sound.

  5. ken n

    Yes, David. I suspect that Trump will damage the US but that the checks and balances will limit that damage.
    The pity, I believe, is that he will make it difficult for a politician of genuine libertarian/free market beliefs to be elected.

  6. Andrew

    Unfortunately, one of the Regressives who screech anti Trump hysteria is the incoming LM. And Trump666 knows full well what he said.

  7. Rebel with cause

    Why didn’t you leave out the first 4 paragraphs David?!? Self awareness?

  8. Mark

    ‘creatures who chirp, croak and belch’
    The great benefit of their unseemly noise is that we can better know where they are. It is useful that they have abandoned their usual practice of stealthy infiltration.

  9. struth

    TPP, really?
    It is not worth the time.
    You will never get my vote.
    However, I make one point.
    If Donald Trump were to visit Australia, would the reaction be worse than that of Britain’s.
    Our media would go beserk.
    Heads would explode and the filth around this nation keeping us down, would go ballistic.
    Preschoolers would be marched down the street, holding up signs made by their communist Kindy teachers, looks of confusion as to why they had to put their finger painting of a wind generator down, while those same teachers looked tearfully into an ABC camera explaining that the “children care” and felt it was the right thing to do.
    The airport he flew into would be closed down on strike.
    Unfunny uni prats called chasers would be running after the Limo dressed as anything they feel opposes Trump, but now not Mussies, as with Bush, as they would now think twice about that.
    Three protesters outside Taronga zoo during the compulsory cuddle a koala stop, will get world wide media coverage as numbering thousands…….
    I think I am not exaggerating in the slightest.
    Near extinct cuddly Australian possums and marsupials will all be claimed to be killed off by a Trump visit, due to the disasterous effects of CO2 caused by that particular flight of Air force One.
    Even the French will be taking notes.
    It’s over.
    Finished.
    Kaput.
    Bail out now.

  10. Mark

    Though I have to say the best reveal lately has not been the attitude to President Trump, but to Castro’s death. Many, like Pope Francis and Trudeau, outed themselves with their lamentations. If only silence about the disaster of Venezuala spoke so loudly.

  11. TheDawg

    You are a detestable fraud lyingholm.

    Everyone knows this, so stop highlighting and reinforcing it by writing will you!

  12. .

    which produces a lot of primary products but lacks people to sell them to. ” And the TPP was going to magic those people into existence?

    Yep. A lot of Australian farmers were concerned about the TPP being scrapped.

    The TPP had provisions about IP that were terrible. Scrapping it is not all that bad.

  13. .

    TheDawg
    #2331349, posted on March 20, 2017 at 10:13 am
    You are a detestable fraud lyingholm.

    Everyone knows this, so stop highlighting and reinforcing it by writing will you!

    Wow, you seem to have some issues. Maybe getting them off your chest will help.

  14. King Koala

    Yep. A lot of Australian farmers were concerned about the TPP being scrapped.

    That’s funny dot because I am a farmer and none of the farmers I know were concerned.

  15. .

    What do you produce? Most of the grain and cattle farmers I knew or spoke to over harvest were worried about the TPP being scrapped.

    http://www.nff.org.au/read/5097/tpp-positive-result-for-australian-farmers.html

    The TPP will eliminate 98 per cent of tariffs on Australian exports to TPP countries and create longer term benefits for Australian farmers beyond those that can be achieved in a bilateral free trade agreement, specifically in the three countries where we did not have agreements in place, namely: Canada, Mexico and Peru. Importantly, the TPP will also provide for the opportunity over time to include other economies in the Asia-Pacific.

    Farmers currently face a range of tariff and non-tariff barriers across the region. Reduced tariffs and greater certainty on rules means more market opportunities and more investment and this means more jobs and growth in regional centres.

    More specifically, the agreement greatly improves market access and terms of trade for a number of Australian commodities. In the red meat sector, beef tariffs will be further reduced in Japan and Mexico and will result in the elimination of price safeguards in the United States. Tariffs on sheep meat exports to Mexico will be eliminated in eight years and from day one of the agreement coming into effect in all other TPP countries.

    In the grains sector, the agreement will result in the creation of new quota volumes for wheat and barley exports to Japan under the simultaneous buy-sell mechanism which were worth approximately $481 million in 2014. It will also provide for new quota access for roasted malt exports, while tariffs on exports of Australian wheat and barley to Mexico will be eliminated.

    For the rice sector, the TPP results in new quota access into Japan with a new 6,000 tonne quota from entry into force, a reduction in tariffs on a number of rice preparation products, and an amendment to the WTO quota of an extra 60,000 tonnes of medium grain rice for processing use.

    The TPP will eliminate all remaining tariffs on Australian raw wool and cotton exports to TPP countries from day one of the agreement coming into effect and also deliver improved rules of origin for textiles, which will encourage greater demand for Australian fibre products.

    In the dairy sector, the TPP will improve on the Japan Australia bilateral agreement to eliminate tariffs on certain cheese products, and provide tariff reductions and new quota allocations for remaining cheese products.

    Maybe they’d be concerned if they knew they were getting a good deal (or at least their sector was).

  16. Jo Smyth

    Plenty of people give a rats about what Trump supporters think. If they didn’t, Hillary Clinton would now be in the White House. The anti Trumpers, the totalitarian brigade which includes the MSM, ABC and to a large extent the Government and Opposition are doing their best to do away with anything resembling free thought and that includes Mr. Leyonwhatever but thank goodness there are still plenty of people around, in whatever country, who are prepared to speak out. The day he announces a visit to Australia will show the extent of the totalitarian takeover by the media and the silent voices from the politicians in support of such a visit will just prove the extent of the power the media now has over every facet of life in this fading democracy.

  17. A Lurker

    That missive from Senator Leyonhjelm would be more appropriate to Facebook than to Catallaxy.

  18. .

    No doubt he put it up there too and is getting flamed by all manner of profile filtered career social justice warrior princesses.

    In fact, he did; he also published it on Medium dot com to maximise upset princesses:

    https://www.facebook.com/SenatorDavidLeyonhjelm/posts/1307540559321509

    https://medium.com/leyonhjelm/the-donald-isnt-listening-anyway-40e86a31b65b#.yimfyw2x6

  19. stackja

    DT is a shock to the Left/MSM.

  20. C.L.

    It’s true and it’s hilarious.
    Every second two-bit Australian news anchor, ‘academic,’ drive-time radio duo and columnist just can’t help cathartically voicing their anger, mockery and ‘slap-downs.’
    Earth to the aforementioned dickheads: TRUMP CAN’T HEAR YOU AND HE DOESN’T CARE.

  21. struth

    It’s true and it’s hilarious.
    Every second two-bit Australian news anchor, ‘academic,’ drive-time radio duo and columnist just can’t help cathartically voicing their anger, mockery and ‘slap-downs.’
    Earth to the aforementioned dickheads: TRUMP CAN’T HEAR YOU AND HE DOESN’T CARE.

    They’re not saying it for his benefit.
    They are actively at war with his ideas and shit scared that an Australian Trump will bring their war on democracy and freedom crashing down.
    They are letting anyone who dares try, know what they’ll be up against.

    To begin with, you need to know that President Trump can’t hear you. You are in Australia, not the US. Secondly, if he could hear you, he wouldn’t care. In fact, if it was possible for everybody in the world to be ranked according to how little they care what Australian progressives think about President Trump, I suspect the person who would care least would be President Trump himself.

    So incredibly naïve of the Senator we have come to know as the typical theory in the face of reality libertarian.
    They aren’t saying it to affect American Politics, but ours.

  22. Cui bono

    Looking forward to Greg Norman doing the introductions on the tarmac. Shorten being snubbed because the President doesn’t shake hands with ugly women.Pyne Pyne and Frydenberg etc greeting the President in the House of Representatives. The Greens spontaneous walkout. Get up boycotting golf. Waleed ululating

  23. .

    struth why do reckon David write the article? Because he wants the GOP to win the NY Senate seats?

  24. mh

    So who are the anti-Trump brigades trying to impress? The answer, clearly, is each other. What they are doing is engaging in that great modern affliction known as virtue-signalling, defined as conspicuous expression of moral values to enhance a person’s standing within a social group.

    That’s good. However I disagree somewhat that it is simply virtue-signalling. The Left feel the need to keep dumping on Trump because they see Trump’s ideas as dangerous to their cause. Outrageous ideas like national sovereignty.

  25. Eddystone

    Well said DL.

    A journalist writing about the Women’s Open golf tournament recently inserted a little anti-Trump note into his article, because one of the players was an American of Mexican heritage.

    It’s madness.

  26. Anton

    The open borders and gay marriage LDP again demonstrates why their support is limited to left wing circle jerks

    I am disappointed that he has withdrawn the US from the Trans Pacific Partnership. This has serious consequences for Australia.
    Especially serious are the consequences for people that work (actually make stuff) for a living. I know, dot believes we could be a prosperous nation based on just banking and lawyers, as long as they are “productive”. But outside of the perfect vacuum we actually have to pay for stuff we buy

    Open markets ultimately benefit everybody
    But distorted markets benefit only the selected few

    Abandoning the TPP means universities, farmers and miners will miss out on greater access to overseas markets
    Globally traded auction priced goods?

    and consumers everywhere will miss out on more affordable goods and services
    Which would be important because those Centrelink cheques only go so far. Would the TPP lower the government imposed cost of living in Australia? – rates, power, water, taxes, rents, fuel taxes, sin taxes, healthcare levy, flood levy, red tape, green tape, payroll taxes, land taxes, professional registrations, compulsory insurances, protection of monopolies, $50/hr waitresses on Sundays and more

  27. Anton

    Struth

    So incredibly naïve of the Senator we have come to know as the typical theory in the face of reality libertarian

    Precisely

  28. DM OF WA

    I made plain my support for the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson

    Stop there: that is all you need to know to realise the loquacious Mr Leyonhelm should be taken no more seriously than Mr Di Natale and the other ideological purists in our parliament.

  29. .

    Anton
    #2331535, posted on March 20, 2017 at 12:19 pm
    The open borders and gay marriage LDP again demonstrates why their support is limited to left wing circle jerks

    These issues have got nothing to do with the thread. Did you note Trump’s view on SSM?

    I am disappointed that he has withdrawn the US from the Trans Pacific Partnership. This has serious consequences for Australia.
    Especially serious are the consequences for people that work (actually make stuff) for a living. I know, dot believes we could be a prosperous nation based on just banking and lawyers, as long as they are “productive”. But outside of the perfect vacuum we actually have to pay for stuff we buy

    Actually, if you read what I posted from the NFF before, the TPP would have had the folling benefits for Australia through the ag. industry:

    The TPP will eliminate 98 per cent of tariffs on Australian exports to TPP countries and create longer term benefits for Australian farmers beyond those that can be achieved in a bilateral free trade agreement, specifically in the three countries where we did not have agreements in place, namely: Canada, Mexico and Peru. Importantly, the TPP will also provide for the opportunity over time to include other economies in the Asia-Pacific.

    Farmers currently face a range of tariff and non-tariff barriers across the region. Reduced tariffs and greater certainty on rules means more market opportunities and more investment and this means more jobs and growth in regional centres.

    More specifically, the agreement greatly improves market access and terms of trade for a number of Australian commodities. In the red meat sector, beef tariffs will be further reduced in Japan and Mexico and will result in the elimination of price safeguards in the United States. Tariffs on sheep meat exports to Mexico will be eliminated in eight years and from day one of the agreement coming into effect in all other TPP countries.

    In the grains sector, the agreement will result in the creation of new quota volumes for wheat and barley exports to Japan under the simultaneous buy-sell mechanism which were worth approximately $481 million in 2014. It will also provide for new quota access for roasted malt exports, while tariffs on exports of Australian wheat and barley to Mexico will be eliminated.

    For the rice sector, the TPP results in new quota access into Japan with a new 6,000 tonne quota from entry into force, a reduction in tariffs on a number of rice preparation products, and an amendment to the WTO quota of an extra 60,000 tonnes of medium grain rice for processing use.

    The TPP will eliminate all remaining tariffs on Australian raw wool and cotton exports to TPP countries from day one of the agreement coming into effect and also deliver improved rules of origin for textiles, which will encourage greater demand for Australian fibre products.

    In the dairy sector, the TPP will improve on the Japan Australia bilateral agreement to eliminate tariffs on certain cheese products, and provide tariff reductions and new quota allocations for remaining cheese products.

    This is important. Do you think these farmers are made up parasites? Do you think these export markets matter?

    (The TPP was flawed because the IP provisions were simply absurd. You don’t want US IP law.)

    Open markets ultimately benefit everybody
    But distorted markets benefit only the selected few

    That’s right.

    Abandoning the TPP means universities, farmers and miners will miss out on greater access to overseas markets
    Globally traded auction priced goods?

    What’s your point? The TPP not only had tariff provisions, it had provisions for several significant quotas and other NTBs to be cut.

    and consumers everywhere will miss out on more affordable goods and services
    Which would be important because those Centrelink cheques only go so far. Would the TPP lower the government imposed cost of living in Australia? – rates, power, water, taxes, rents, fuel taxes, sin taxes, healthcare levy, flood levy, red tape, green tape, payroll taxes, land taxes, professional registrations, compulsory insurances, protection of monopolies, $50/hr waitresses on Sundays and more

    Yes and you probably want you Dad to buy you a pony. Anything that might have benefits isn’t good because it isn’t a panacea. What a pointless position to hold.

    Precisely

    Anton. It is not pointless to force the left to admit their virtue signalling is irrelevant or force them to admit they’re concerned about smaller government or rejecting political correctness.

  30. .

    DM OF WA
    #2331541, posted on March 20, 2017 at 12:22 pm
    I made plain my support for the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson

    Stop there: that is all you need to know to realise the loquacious Mr Leyonhelm should be taken no more seriously than Mr Di Natale and the other ideological purists in our parliament.

    “Stop there” “ideological purists”…cognitive dissonance much?

  31. DrBeauGan

    The anti-trump hysteria runs because the memes have taken over their sad little brains, DL. These are not critical minds. And neuroses are infectious.

  32. struth

    struth why do reckon David write the article? Because he wants the GOP to win the NY Senate seats?

    Who cares what he wants?
    The point is he is about as politically aware as your average two by four.

  33. .

    The anti DL hysteria here is nearly as bad as the left’s anti Trump hysteria.

  34. Mark A

    Regards to TPP I can’t understand why you can make a trade deal as individual countries equally as good as through a complicated multi nation partnership?

    If the deal is good for all it’s good for all.
    With multiple partners all involved, there actually could be some pressure applied to do some deals that are not beneficial to everyone in order to get some other deals through.

  35. NewChum

    Blah blah blah open borders gay marriage men in ladies bathrooms.

    A party which had a chance but would be best described in a monty Python skit.

    For people who hate big government support for TPP is a very strange stance. But whatever, ‘the dead economist made me do it’.

  36. .

    NewChum
    #2331590, posted on March 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm
    Blah blah blah open borders gay marriage men in ladies bathrooms.

    Now you’re just talking smack and conflating an Obama era executive order with support of SSM with caveats in Australia.

    You are probably the first commenter to conflate Barack Obama with David Leyonhjelm.

    This is stupid. You ought to be embarrassed.

    For people who hate big government support for TPP is a very strange stance.

    It could have been renegotiated to get rid of the IP provisions.

    Care to explain what was “big government” about the TPP? The NFF article describes many trade concessions Australia would have gotten in exporting agricultural commodities – lower or abolished tariffs, higher or abolished quotas and cutting other non-tariff barriers.

    But whatever, ‘the dead economist made me do it’.

    This is a very odd thing to say. You hate free trade (less taxes and regulation) and think protectionism is about small government.

    This again is stupid and embarrassing.

  37. Anton

    .

    You have to look at trade deals outside the academic “perfect sphere in a vacuum” reality.

    Trade deals that Australian politicians are so keen to sign are very poor approximations to free trade (free markets). Look back to your first year textbook to see the underlying assumptions on which free market theory is based. Check especially the free flow of capital and free flow of factors of production. Also the free will of consumers.

    How easily can I invest or work in China? Can Chinese workers freely come and work in Australia, and does the population want this? Are Chinese factories subject to the same red and green tape as their Australian counterparts? Will the Chinese manufacturers be subject to the same regulatory burden and costs as their Australian counterparts?

    In the real world, compromise is seldom an optimum position because you tend to get the costs and disadvantages whilst losing many of the benefits of either extreme. Socialism is not better than either communism or capitalism.

    No trade deal signed by Australia has actually been of net benefit to the nation apart from the selected few. We get cheaper goods whilst the economy is deindustrialised. Skilled workers are migrating to government jobs because there is less industry (I am not affected because I work in mining), with consequent increase in demand for tax revenue. The welfare demographic is now the dominant voter block – completely detached from the industrial economy. Australia is reverting to the “hewers of wood and drawers of water” for the global economy while the welfare labour regulations still assume Australia is capable of being a high wage country

  38. .

    Anton
    #2331594, posted on March 20, 2017 at 1:07 pm
    .

    You have to look at trade deals outside the academic “perfect sphere in a vacuum” reality.

    You don’t think the NFF have those credentials? Do you know David owns a 2000 acre farm? Yes I’ve worked as an academic but I’ve also worked in the private sector for others and myself.

    Trade deals that Australian politicians are so keen to sign are very poor approximations to free trade (free markets).

    That is correct. Unilateral free trade is best. This has been empirically proven over and over again. Ad nauseum.

    Look back to your first year textbook to see the underlying assumptions on which free market theory is based.

    That’s a bit condescending (facetiously so) but I’ll forgive you.

    Check especially the free flow of capital and free flow of factors of production. Also the free will of consumers.

    They’re part of it but to say free market theory is based (solely) on its own mechanics seems rather flawed.

    You seem to be implying support for strategic trade theory. It is the granddaddy of an ivory tower theory that gets nowhere in the real world.

    How easily can I invest or work in China?

    This is the sort of thing the TPP was dealing with. Market access. Unilateral free trade is good, but it doesn’t get you market access.

    Can Chinese workers freely come and work in Australia, and does the population want this? Are Chinese factories subject to the same red and green tape as their Australian counterparts? Will the Chinese manufacturers be subject to the same regulatory burden and costs as their Australian counterparts?

    I don’t understand how you can reconcile purist judgment of trade deals earlier and then invoke democracy, or democratic control of other people’s businesses as a critique of free markets. If Australia ruins its own competitive environment, we are better off dealing with that ourselves rather than asking China to hobble herself as well. Furthermore it is entirely possible to segregate immigration from trade and investment issues.

    In the real world, compromise is seldom an optimum position because you tend to get the costs and disadvantages whilst losing many of the benefits of either extreme. Socialism is not better than either communism or capitalism.

    A few things. The free market isn’t extreme. It is about allowing people to make choices without coercion.

    We probably would be better off with the TPP than without it, despite my dislike of the IP provisions, which are woeful. Americans voted for protectionism. This is why Clinton, Sanders and Trump all opposed it. If Trump comes up with something better and reduces trade barriers yet more, then I fully support him and commend him for that.

    No trade deal signed by Australia has actually been of net benefit to the nation apart from the selected few.

    This is absolute rubbish, not supported by any evidence at all.

    We get cheaper goods whilst the economy is deindustrialised.

    Australia did not “industrialise” since the 1980s. There is more manufacturing than ever. The structure of the economy changed, but the volume of manufacturing outoput has grown significantly.

    Skilled workers are migrating to government jobs because there is less industry

    Because the government pays too much and is taking over too much of the economy, it spends too much.

    This is why we’re nearly in 700bn of debt, all up for our combined whole of government tally.

    (I am not affected because I work in mining)

    Mining is an industry that would greatly benefit from free trade, or freer trade.

    The mining industry suffers from what is called a negative “effective rate of protection”. Your industry pays for everyone else’s protectionism (this is on top of generating the most export income and paying the taxes for millions of South Australians and Tasmanians).

    with consequent increase in demand for tax revenue.

    The government spends too much. Being able to buy a car without tariffs on it doesn’t make you more reliant on welfare or services, it patently makes you less reliant on others. Your cost of living and standard of living would have fallen and increased, respectively.

    The welfare demographic is now the dominant voter block – completely detached from the industrial economy.

    There are many reasons for this. Making a deal with Japan to be able to sell more rice to Japan isn’t one of them.

    Australia is reverting to the “hewers of wood and drawers of water” for the global economy

    There is nothing particularly wrong with this, the inter-industry multipliers for agriculture and mining are the highest in the whole economy, compared to all other sectors.

    welfare labour regulations still assume Australia is capable of being a high wage country

    Wage regulation is destructive no matter what, as are welfare traps/badly designed welfare, as is overly generous welfare, or inequitable taxes like tariffs that hit the poor the hardest.

  39. Anton

    .

    If Australia ruins its own competitive environment, we are better off dealing with that ourselves rather than asking China to hobble herself as well.

    The dominant welfare dependant voting block will not allow it, so the inevitable path is total economic destruction. A great example for future textbooks, so I suppose the destruction of actual working people and families is a small price to pay.

    Furthermore it is entirely possible to segregate immigration from trade and investment issues.
    How?

    Being able to buy a car without tariffs on it doesn’t make you more reliant on welfare or services, it patently makes you less reliant on others
    Provided you have a job

    Free trade (not lopsided trade deals) is great, but you also need to have a feasible path to get there. The high structural costs of doing business in Australia need to be removed before we try our luck in the first league. Voting demographics probably preclude this from happening. Eventually falling exchange rate driven inflation will correct things, but that usually ends up quite badly

  40. .

    The dominant welfare dependant voting block will not allow it, so the inevitable path is total economic destruction.

    I see where you’re coming from now, but over the last 30 or so years, policy hasn’t gone their way.

    Furthermore it is entirely possible to segregate immigration from trade and investment issues.How?

    Current policy already does so.

    Provided you have a job

    Even the indigent are better off with lower tariffs. Tariffs are inequitable for the reason they are regressive taxes.

    Free trade (not lopsided trade deals) is great, but you also need to have a feasible path to get there.

    No one can explain why the TPP was lopsided against Australia.

  41. Anton

    No one can explain why the TPP was lopsided against Australia

    Because it disadvantages high value adding and technology based industry, which is where the bulk of the (true*) middle class earn their living. A country should exploit all primary industry opportunities available to it (where it is competitive), but being either capital intensive or low wage dependant limits their ability to support a “high wage” middle class. Without a thriving manufacturing industry the middle class can’t survive and you end up with only welfare bludgers and political elite (and growing national debt).

    *the term middle class looks to have bene replaced with “low to middle income earners” in Australian political commentary. This drags the welfare dependant and public servants into the fight against “big whatever” should be taxed more.

    Previously the middle class was made up of independent, self sufficient and aspirational people that just wanted to be left alone. Lacking “old family money” and “connections in high places”, these people had to rely on skills and effort to achieve their goals. More likely to be a boilermaker, florist, sales representative or engineer than carry a degree in gender studies and work as community organisers. These are the people that are negatively impacted by the type of trade deals Australian politicians have bene making

  42. Jannie

    The media’s unwavering criticism of President Trump not only erodes their credibility, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish his genuine missteps from their manufactured outrage.

    Very true, its becoming necessary to calibrate the pitch of the hysteria to discern the probable fact. Its hard to triangulate on the low level outrage, but when the pitch gets above High C it seems good things are happening. The squealing about budget cuts is genuine, its the note to aim for. If the press doesn’t make that sound then Trump knows he is off the mark.

  43. .

    Because it disadvantages high value adding and technology based industry, which is where the bulk of the (true*) middle class earn their living.

    How?

    A country should exploit all primary industry opportunities available to it (where it is competitive), but being either capital intensive or low wage dependant limits their ability to support a “high wage” middle class.

    Capital intensity is why there is a middle class at all. Higher wages are a function of greater capital intensity.

    More likely to be a boilermaker, florist, sales representative or engineer than carry a degree in gender studies and work as community organisers. These are the people that are negatively impacted by the type of trade deals Australian politicians have bene making

    How? How would the TPP have disadvantaged florists and sales reps? Or even boilermakers?

  44. Anton

    Or even boilermakers

    A previous (recent) mining construction project I worked on imported ALL steel from China. From Bolts (which failed when tightened to Australian standards) to complete tanks and hoppers so large that the entire road was closed when they were trucked from port to site. Several of the welds actually fell off some of these structures (an extreme case of lack of penetration in weld engineering terms).

    Buying from China was probably a sound decision, because the low quality and transport costs were more than compensated for by lower prices. Can Australia extradite the Chinese engineer when a structure fails and kills someone?

    Did you know that Chinese FIFO workers (in China) work over 11 months away from home before going home for a 2 week holiday? Should Australia implement the same labour laws as this?

    Most rare earth metals are still produced in China. This is not because of a monopoly on ore bodies (Australia has more known reserves than China), but because the current processing technology is so environmentally damaging that few other countries allow it.

    Australia has one of the highest known reserves and production of rutile (titanium oxide mineral), but produces no titanium metal due to environmental legislation and energy costs (titanium oxide is very stable, making titanium metal production unavoidable energy intensive)

    Current trade deals are a big advantage to the owners of capital, who can manufacture in low wage regions and sell in high wage regions. They are much less beneficial to the owners of skilled labour

  45. TheDawg

    I didn’t think that there was a bigger lying stooge than Lyingholm, but this muppet 233 wins the award.

    More made up stuff than Homer Simpson could ever muster.

    Probably 233 is just the deranged Lyingholm himself.

    What an irrelevant retard.

  46. Yohan

    The DL hate on here is unfair and overblown.

    But its true this was a man who could have promoted the LDP by running against political correctness (a bulletproof populist strategy). Instead he ran on gay marriage and gun rights, which shows how politically useless he is (a true Libertarian).

  47. Eddystone

    Gun rights are about as politically incorrect as they come, Yohan.

  48. Muddy

    Back in the Sun King’s day, the collective noun for a group of political journalists was a ‘stroke.’ What might it be now I wonder? A ‘froth’ of journalists? A ‘pus’ of journalists? [Not to self: ease off on the obscenities. Stop repeating the ‘J’ word so often].

  49. .

    Anton
    #2331673, posted on March 20, 2017 at 2:58 pm
    Or even boilermakers

    A previous (recent) mining construction project I worked on imported ALL steel from China. From Bolts (which failed when tightened to Australian standards) to complete tanks and hoppers so large that the entire road was closed when they were trucked from port to site. Several of the welds actually fell off some of these structures (an extreme case of lack of penetration in weld engineering terms).

    That sounds like it would have kept boilermakers IN work.

    Buying from China was probably a sound decision, because the low quality and transport costs were more than compensated for by lower prices.

    The Australian firm still is responsible for due diligence.

    Did you know that Chinese FIFO workers (in China) work over 11 months away from home before going home for a 2 week holiday? Should Australia implement the same labour laws as this?

    Cry me a river. Maybe they want to work this much. The law shouldn’t dictate working conditions. That should be negotiated.

    Most rare earth metals are still produced in China. This is not because of a monopoly on ore bodies (Australia has more known reserves than China), but because the current processing technology is so environmentally damaging that few other countries allow it.

    We have gold mines that use cyanide. The reason why don’t have it yet is because Mt Weld hasn’t been developed yet.

    Australia has one of the highest known reserves and production of rutile (titanium oxide mineral), but produces no titanium metal due to environmental legislation and energy costs (titanium oxide is very stable, making titanium metal production unavoidable energy intensive)

    This is similar to aluminium. We have high energy costs so we can’t do it anymore. Protectionism won’t make it any cheaper. Again, we use cyanide in gold processing and have uranium mines and it comes down to risk management and property rights. I am sure you don’t want any trade waste in your drinking water.

    Australia’s OH&S and environmental protection laws are overly onerous and aren’t a reason not to trade with China. There has never been a history of systemic environmental vandalism in Australia. The difference is in China their industry is state owned. That is bad for China, but not a reason not to trade with them.

    Current trade deals are a big advantage to the owners of capital, who can manufacture in low wage regions and sell in high wage regions. They are much less beneficial to the owners of skilled labour

    This is nonsense. There is more capital in high wage regions.

  50. .

    TheDawg
    #2331750, posted on March 20, 2017 at 4:43 pm
    I didn’t think that there was a bigger lying stooge than Lyingholm, but this muppet 233 wins the award.

    More made up stuff than Homer Simpson could ever muster.

    Probably 233 is just the deranged Lyingholm himself.

    What an irrelevant retard.

    Go join the Greens, ‘tard.

  51. Remember when this used to be a libertarian blog?

  52. JC

    Remember when this used to be a libertarian blog?

    No 🙂

  53. King Koala

    Dot won’t be satisfied until we are all dirt poor, working 16 hours a day alonside our kids to earn our bowl of rice just so we can compete in a free market with third world hell holes.

  54. .

    Because since we had trade liberalisation since the 1980s…we’ve had less working hours, higher standards of living and higher real wages.

    Look it up. Look at the real world data. Look at the empirical evidence.

    I am not going to give that up, for sure.

    As we trade with poorer nations, their wages equalise to ours – and not at our expense. As they get wealtheir, their trade pattern changes from vertically integrated goods to horizontally integrated goods.

    If you think giving unions and corporations more subsidies, or taxing consumers or companies that use foreign made inputs (like mining and ag) is going to make us wealthier, you should probably join the greens.

  55. Anton

    Hey ., I looked at the empirical evidence. You can too:
    Aofm
    The Australian government is now $481 billion in debt (about $20000 for every man, woman and child).

    But there’s more
    ATO (2012/13 is the latest available)
    3% of taxpayers (little more than 1% of the population) payed 27% of all income tax
    The top 9% (less than 5% of the population) paid 47% of all income tax
    26% paid no tax at all

    Note that the above figures include senior public servants that have muscled their way into the top income categories. As these people are paid out of the taxes from others, the above statistics don’t give the full horror story.

    For last tax year welfare plus healthcare made up about 60% of the federal budget, effectively paid for by about 5% of the population.

    Your rose coloured glasses are indeed very effective

  56. .

    Can you explain how Rudd, Gillard, Abbott, Swan, Corman, Turnbull, Morrison, Hockey and Wong spending like drunken sailors has anything at all to do with free trade?

    Or how a progressive tax system is “caused” by free trade?

    The fact that SS&W makes up for 40% of the Federal budget has nothing to do with free trade.

    Your rose coloured glasses are indeed very effective

    …and you don’t know what you’re blabbing on about. Sorry.

  57. Anton

    ., you are living in an economists dream world:
    Because since we had trade liberalisation since the 1980s…we’ve had less working hours, higher standards of living and higher real wages

    Those increased living standards have been paid for on by debt and a (now defunct) commodity boom. While the GDP, unemployment and real wages may look better than ever, your underlying model is flawed. Like the climate change advocates, you are trying to get reality to move to your perception. And like climate change advocates, you get hysterical when people don’t believe you. And like climate change advocates, you are wrong

    Ignoring your massaged and tortured data:
    >Industrial estates in every city and town I have been to are now collections of closed businesses. The only things being traded are the “For Sale” signs
    >Most of the metal refining capacity has left or busy leaving Australia (where the ores are mined). These industries have not been replaced with any “high tech” “jobs of the future” industries
    > The public sector continues to grow in an attempt by state and federal governments to hide the actual unemployment

    Australia needs to become competitive before it looks to gain from the benefits of playing in the first league

  58. .

    No Anton, you really, truly are babbling about stuff you don’t understand.

    This ought to be embarrassing. Someone with more sense would realise they are bringing up irrelevant data, but you don’t.

    The commodity boom started in 2003 or thereabouts and by 2007 we had accumulated a huge governmental surplus and saw excellent productivity growth and high wages growth. The dollar had risen and yet we managed to still attract significant foreign direct investment at that time.

    While the GDP, unemployment and real wages may look better than ever, your underlying model is flawed.

    What do you think national income and real wages represent?

    I’m not referring to an “underlying model”. I am referring to easy obtainable data, some of which you’ve been able to collect and ignore on theoretical grounds you cannot justify, but otherwise the plethora of government and private sector reports that you refuse to read or look at.

    Like the climate change advocates, you are trying to get reality to move to your perception. And like climate change advocates, you get hysterical when people don’t believe you. And like climate change advocates, you are wrong

    This is just nonsense you cannot support with anything else than rhetoric and the laughable idea that free trade causes government spending to increase.

    Ignoring your massaged and tortured data:

    I did no such thing, this is a desperate and intellectually dishonest accusation and you ought to apologise.

    >Industrial estates in every city and town I have been to are now collections of closed businesses. The only things being traded are the “For Sale” signs

    Explain why commercial rents are so high then.

    >Most of the metal refining capacity has left or busy leaving Australia (where the ores are mined). These industries have not been replaced with any “high tech” “jobs of the future” industries

    We had a carbon tax, MRET and onerous environmental legislation. None of these have anything to do with free trade.

    > The public sector continues to grow in an attempt by state and federal governments to hide the actual unemployment

    None of that has anything to do with free trade.

    Once again, Australian manufacturing output is at an all time high. This is despite shrinking as a proportion of the total economy.

    Australia needs to become competitive before it looks to gain from the benefits of playing in the first league

    Australia did become competitive during the 1980s as trade liberalisation begun. A case in point is the PMV industry. Profits rose during the 1990s and so did margins and productivity. They chose to remain subsidised, went back against policy and they closed down.

    The US subsidised their industry until it became totally insolvent.

  59. King Koala

    Dot has been shown to be full of shit and is now clutching at straws. Sad.

  60. Anton

    Explain why commercial rents are so high then
    Because these are mostly city office and retail space. Not areas that actually produce anything

    We had a carbon tax, MRET and onerous environmental legislation. None of these have anything to do with free trade
    No, but they will contribute to no trade after free trade deals are kicked off.

    (Public sector employment) None of that has anything to do with free trade.
    No, but a sign that Australian industry is suffering and employment opportunities are moving to the government sector. Could Australia be a prosperous nation if everyone worked for the government? Even if they were extremely productive?

    Once again, Australian manufacturing output is at an all time high
    What are you measuring as manufacturing? Does this include making those “Closing Down Sale” signs, which does look to be a boom industry at the moment

  61. .

    King Koala
    #2333013, posted on March 21, 2017 at 6:43 pm
    Dot has been shown to be full of shit and is now clutching at straws. Sad.

    No. You haven’t shown anything.

    Explain why commercial rents are so high then
    Because these are mostly city office and retail space. Not areas that actually produce anything

    The places that don’t produce anything are bidding up rents? Very odd.

    Once again, Australian manufacturing output is at an all time high
    What are you measuring as manufacturing? Does this include making those “Closing Down Sale” signs, which does look to be a boom industry at the moment

    Look at the data. You keep on refusing to do this!

  62. JC

    Koala

    When I say, this blog has been infested with riff raff, you’d be up there in the 10th percentile.

    Just to remind you, you once told us that the Rothschild’s are the richest family in the world run by a shady patriarch. You also told us that the Rothchild’s financed WW2.

    You’re now telling up that renters of office space don’t produce anything despite paying commercial rents. This is so unfathomably stupid that I would have to say, it’s very close to taking out the Asshat of the year award for 2017.. and we not even past March yet.

  63. .

    To be fair, I was largely responding to Anton.

  64. .

    Industrial production, 1976 to 2016

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/industrial-production

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/manufacturing-production

    They have long term average growth of 2 to 2.5%.

    They have not declined. Services and primary industry have simply grown more quickly.

    You cannot argue with these incontrovertible, unskewed, unmanipulated (and relevant) empirical observations.

  65. .

    Industrial and manufacturing production.

  66. Twostix

    Remember when this used to be a libertarian blog

    I remember when you posted that you think christians should be arrested for not baking fag wedding cakes and the government should force children to get immunised.

    Definitionally it’s more libertarian since you left.

  67. Anton

    From Dot’s link:

    Industrial Production in Australia decreased 0.20 percent in the third quarter of 2016 over the same quarter in the previous year.

    You are supposed to offer evidence in support of YOUR argument, not mine. It really is that easy

  68. .

    Quarterly data, Anton. We’re discussing a 30 year period!

    You really are a mug.

Comments are closed.