Saturday, January 21, 2012

Experiencing a wilderness

WOW!!! A keyboard under the fingertips again. Eons in the wilderness, with only an antediluvian cell phone at hand blogging gave way to contemplation and the odd tweet. That plus reams of hand written notes for an ongoing wilderness inspired project.
Limitations on commenting are possibly just as well, given the strange behaviour of supposedly progressive politicians; so strange the conservative side are in danger of self-harm. As WSJ recently noted, the Congressional GOP appeared to be forming a circular firing squad trying to find their new place in the political landscape.
 In Australian the conservative opposition are so intent on opposing they have become typecast as ‘The NO Team’, giving the minority government more than a little hope of survival. Like elsewhere the parties are in disarray.
My old ‘Aunt Sally’, Silvio Berluscone is gone – hoist on his own petard. The Middle East despotic regimes are imploding one by one, without outside assistance. There is still injustice aplenty, still regrettable laws, often backed by ‘progressive’ leaders. All of this happened without the benefit of my input. Amazing!
Good old economics is behind a lot of this fascinating political/social behaviour. Certainly in conventional terms Obama would be toast with the current US economic dynamic, but his opponents are intent on showing they would be far more destructive. Economic ructions might  have changed expectations.
The increased spread of social media is informing unrest around the world, spreading quickly to those who might never known they had alternatives. More power to them. To be sure, those unused to being challenged react harshly. But their very actions, the violence and bloodshed, are fuelling the resolve of emerging revolutionaries.
It would be remiss not to mention the Occupy Movement, though apart from the catchy 99% there seems to be a lack of handles to grab. I think I understand the reasoning behind the movement, or at least the desire to find their voice. Unfortunately poor articulation of the economic arguments underlying the movement, the lack of cohesive target demands, has so far negated their real potential.
Still, it is wonderful that all this goes on, for better or worse in my absence. Even better to know that my humble opinion is neither needed or missed. That revelation probably won’t change my readiness to comment. I blog, therefore I am? The truth, as I found, is that I am even in the silent wilderness.


Lindsay Byrnes said...

Welcome back Cart and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since you last posted. More deals and less reform I am afraid – back home that is certainly true.
Our economy remains dependent upon the resources for growth and sectors such as retail are shedding jobs at a rate of knots. I have some sympathy for some sectors of the retail trade unable to compete with the growing number of products which are now sold on line from sites enjoying a cost advantage because they do not pay the GST or import levies. Australians will and do purchase electronic goods or any for that matter when they are cheaper offshore and this year the government will collect hundreds of millions less in GST as a result of consumers sourcing goods from overseas which are not subject to GST. This means less tax is available for schools roads and heath. Retailers can, of course, set up their own on line shopping, but will be uncompetitive as they are subject to GST and import levies.
Currently there is a propensity in these uncertain times for Australians to save and the money that is saved buying cheaper items from overseas will not necessarily be spent on other goods in Australia subject to GST.
I was also disappointed to read recently as the front cover story on the ‘Australian Financial Review an article entitled ‘Willkie threat to Labor’s budget plan’ and note that this poses a crisis of ethics since it presupposes an independents reluctance for future budgetary reform can arise simply because of a back flip by the government to support his poker machine legislation .To have integrity any agreement with the government by an independent, must be predicated on the basis of support for legislation based on its merits and provide an opportunity for consultation where there are any concerns. This has been acknowledged by the government. Yet Willkie, according to the article, has signaled an intention to get tough on provisions he previously reluctantly agreed to support. This indeed is a crisis of ethics – either he supports change or he doesn’t based on its merits independent to whether or not he is justly feeling aggrieved over the poker machine outcome. This is what independents are elected to do.
Best wishes

Cartledge said...

Thanks Lindsay, always appreciate your thoughtful comments. I would have you as the Treasurer any day.