Thursday, September 20, 2007

Friday Politics

Idiots in the Press

Matt Price, is starting to rival Glenn Milne for inaccurate prognostications and unfounded political warbling.

He even admits it himself.

My criticism- he is forever concentrating on the cut and thrust of day to day politics- the bullshit, spin, the unimportant.

His head is so constantly buried in shit he never seems to get the bigger picture.

Contrast his inaccuracy, with the more considered political analysis delivered by George Megalogenis.

One is a quality journalist, one is a hack.

I don't understand why the major daily papers continue to employ hack journalists who just turn out copy about politics that contains no real insight into policy at all. Grattan, Milne, Price, Shanahan- the list goes on.

Annabel Crabb has been in great form for the SMH/ Age- although she is ostensibly a hack political journalist like Price, at least she is a humorous and talented writer. Not a bar room bore like Milne or Price.

The way they spend hours and hours disassembling the unimportant, the trivial and the inconsequential- shame.

That's what blogs are for- anybody can have a stupid opinion about how some piece of spin will turn out for either side of politics.

I'm just sick of all the crystal ball reading. The way they couch there reports- this gaff could be good for Kevin Rudd, or it could be the end of the Universe for Labor and the Union movement. GIVE US ALL A FUCKING BREAK.

They are so collectively up to their ears in the horseshit end of politics they have lost all grasp of the fundamental ideological differences between the left and right of Australian politics.

If I read one more article saying that Rudd is like a lesser copy of John Howard I will scream. Rudd may be a gentle mannered Christian socialist, and social conservative. But, when he stands before the Australian people he is representing the proud social democratic tradition of the ALP forged over 120 of struggle. He quotes John Curtain and Ben Chifley, he is opposed to Australian involvement in the war in Iraq, he wants to introduce a fairer work place relations system- there are so many philosophical and ideological differences it isn't funny. But because he appears to be a conservative, he is painted as a conservative.

Beazley

It was sad this week to see Kim Beazley deliver yet another fine speech- when he is on the way out. My only wish for Beazley was that he could capture the eloquence and emotion of his concession and farewell speeches when he was in office. Paul Keating was right when he said that Beazley was let down by his advisers. A moral giant, who was led astray by poll driven hysteria. My endearing memory of Beazley the Parliamentarian is when he was moved to tears by the 'Bringing them Home Report'- compare his response to that of the Prime Minister and the conservative jackals in the press to the dispossession of generations of Koori children.

Who can honestly say there is no difference between the helping hand and the Iron fist.

The Generation Gap

If we were going to hand out awards to those who misunderstand the economic situation faced by Gen Y's- it should probably go to Avril Moore.

As Ross Gittins argued earlier in the week, the Boomers have been able to benefit from tax preferred investment in housing, and a massive supply shortage to become incredibly rich on the back of the real estate boom. Boomers have Gen Y's over the barrel in the housing market.

I have read many articles that state that if current trends are played out, Gen Y's will never become as rich as the boomer generation.

Housing affordability is the elephant in the room in Australian politics at the moment, and a key source of generational inequality. Neither side of politics is willing to accept that two things need to be done urgently to ensure that Gen Ys can avoid housing stress.

1. Remove tax preferred treatment for real estate investment
2. Increase supply of public/ affordable housing.

Unfortunately there are more boomers than Gen X/Y's- so it would be impolitic to remove the tax incentives- but they can still increase the supply of public housing.

I'm not sure why public housing has become so impolitic?

But, Moore picks up on an important point. Boomers control the lives of their children to a much greater degree than their parents generation did. They provide deposits for houses, purchase cars for their children, and provide bridging capital for children as they pursue tertiary learning opportunities/ other life experiences.

This can be a good thing, because Parents are more involved in their children's lives, take a greater interest in what their kids are doing etc. But it can also be an inherently conservative, paternalistic and patronising situation. 'We know whats best for you', 'we will give you money provided you do what we want'. Children are more and become investments- this I think is borne out in tertiary education becoming more vocational in outlook, amongst other things. Parents want the greatest return on their investment, rather than respecting the individual dignity of their children.

If boomers trully valued there children they would make cheap housing affordable to the younger generation within access of employment and cultural opportunities, and they would make free education a birthright to all Australians.

7 Comments:

Blogger C-MAC said...

Timbo! What have you got against Pricey? He is no Megalogenis, but he isn't meant to be. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who gets enjoyment out of reading about the thrust and parry of parliamentary politics. Policy analysis is something else. If it were popular enough to make it in the papers, my blog entries would get more comments. :p


1. Remove tax preferred treatment for real estate investment

Let's do it. Liberal Socialist Democrats say yes.

2. Increase supply of public/ affordable housing.

How? The whole land on the edges of our cities thing is less of an effect than we'd like to think. I think relaxing development codes and letting people build upwards in desirable areas is key, but noone important wants to see that. The potential inhabitants of the non-existent apartments can't exactly form an effective constituency, but the people who live near potential development sites can.

12:03 AM  
Blogger larson_b said...

2. Increase supply of public/ affordable housing.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/the-great-land-grab/2007/09/21/1189881777497.html

9:35 PM  
Blogger C-MAC said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:14 PM  
Blogger C-MAC said...

Calling Graham Samuels?


"Planning Minister Justin Madden said Victoria's record on housing affordability was strong compared with other states."


Assertions are much more convincing when no evidence is provided don't you think?

1:15 PM  
Blogger larson_b said...

yeah, but evidence doesn't fit into eight seconds.

going right back to timbo's initially disdain at nitty-gritty political reporting. the age's jason koutsoukis has written a piece on the minor parties and how ignorance of the nitty-gritty may destroy the democrats.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/so-is-the-party-over/2007/09/22/1189881833182.html

i don't agree with the characterisation of the greens, but it's an interesting diagnosis of the democrats.

1:09 AM  
Blogger timboy said...

Great article on land-banking Larson.

These two articles appeared in the age online today.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/green-megasuburb-push/2007/09/23/1190486137307.html

Lockerbie would be taking urban sprawl to monumental new levels.

Kind of fitting that the name conjures memories of a terrorist attrocity.

There was this also

http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/new-homes-even-less-affordable/2007/09/23/1190486137316.html

I notice Stephen Fielding wants tax deductible home loans for first homebuyers.

I love this, don't level the playing field- put a new class of snouts in the tax incetive trough.

Great economics from Family first,

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim, regarding your closing paragraph.

There is no connection between universal & equality in education and the cost of education (well at least not at our present HECS costs). The real barriers/problems commence earlier in life, during VCE, High School and Primary School. Seriously, as an example how many Aboriginals don't attend university because of the cost involved? Its more likely to be a string of other reasons.

With regard to housing I see the problem as follows:

There is a lack of inner city accomodation. This is caused by a "not in my backyard" attitude to high rise housing. Which results in tradegies such as the commonwealth games village. As far as I see it the only real solution to housing affordability/availability and environmental sustainability is to build up, not out. I also think we will face a situation in the next 10-20 years where there is too high a percentage of retired people living in the inner city suburbs. This will force city workers to travel from the outer/middle suburbs. I also see the cost of this sort of travel increasing due to PPP for rail upgrades and increasing car costs.

Its kinda scary to think that most of our peers are going to buy a home and spend the next 40years paying it off. Much better to fuck off to SEA and live like kings me thinks..

-Alex.

-Alex.

12:36 AM  

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