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View Full Version : Blowing away the Coalition's interest rates myth



pax
07-11-2007, 10:19 AM
Alan Kohler showed a very interesting graph last night on the ABC finance news. It was the ratio of Australian interest rates to the OECD average over about the last 20 years or so. What it showed was that the ratio is essentially flat over time, hovering around the 1.2 mark (almost always higher than the OECD average). Moreover the average over Coalition governements compared to Labor governments was exactly the same at 1.2.

This blows away John Howard's (completely unprovable) rhetoric that interest rates will "always be lower" under a coalition governement. Of course it also blows away any claims by Labor that they would do any better on interest rates, or that recent rate rises are somehow the fault of the government.

Spiny Norman
07-11-2007, 11:32 AM
Pax, you're arguing a point about about a ratio of Aussie rates vs OECD average over 20 years. I've not seen either party make any claims about that.

But you're right in suggesting that the Libs argument that "rates will always be higher under a Labor government" is unprovable. But so are many of the claims that are made in election campaigns. It might be right, or it might be wrong. Everyone can make up their own mind on that.

Capablanca-Fan
07-11-2007, 11:55 AM
How boring. Can Pax tell us exactly how Labor will be better than the coalition, esp. when they are copying at least 22 of their policies? Or does he, like most lefty "in big government we trust" types, hope that Garrett is right that the Unionists and Comrade Gillardova have no intention of keeping anything resembling the "economic conservatism" that Chairman Rudd professes.

Of course, the recent rate rises were from the lowest level in recent memory, and are still about 10% lower than what Howard inherited from Keating.

And Gunner pointed out some pretty silly Labor promises, such as Hawke's "no child will be in poverty".

pax
07-11-2007, 12:28 PM
How boring. Can Pax tell us exactly how Labor will be better than the coalition, esp. when they are copying at least 22 of their policies?

Did you actually read my post? Did I say that Labor would be better? My only point here is that the claim that interest rates would be lower under the Coalition is complete fiction. Do you disagree?

I actually agree with your point about the Rudd copycat trend. I would much rather see the opposition outline some different approaches to policy rather than committing itself to implementing Howard's policies for most of the next three years. I can understand politically why they are doing it, but I think they could do better by articulating a clear alternative.

pax
07-11-2007, 12:32 PM
Pax, you're arguing a point about about a ratio of Aussie rates vs OECD average over 20 years. I've not seen either party make any claims about that.

But the whole point is that if interest rates keep a constant ratio compared to the OECD average, then both parties claims to be able to keep interest rates lower are false. More specifically, the Coalition's (and certain people on this forum) consistent broadsides against Labor for the high interest rates of the 80s and 90s are unjustified in the context of the global economic climate then and now.

Spiny Norman
07-11-2007, 12:37 PM
But the whole point is that if interest rates keep a constant ratio compared to the OECD average, then both parties claims to be able to keep interest rates lower are false.
I understand the point you are making ... but that wasn't what the argument was about ... so whilst true, your point misses the point (if you see what I mean). Only if the parties were arguing about interest rate ratios compared to OECD average would your point be valid. So its true, but not particularly helpful in terms of resolving the argument.

pax
07-11-2007, 12:59 PM
I understand the point you are making ... but that wasn't what the argument was about ... so whilst true, your point misses the point (if you see what I mean). Only if the parties were arguing about interest rate ratios compared to OECD average would your point be valid. So its true, but not particularly helpful in terms of resolving the argument.

The point is that looking only at the bare interest rate, without any global context is meaningless. Any economist knows this, but politicians like to give the impression that they are in control of interest rates when, in fact, they are not.

Capablanca-Fan
07-11-2007, 01:02 PM
I can understand politically why they are doing it, but I think they could do better by articulating a clear alternative.
I support this, from both sides. The State opposition party has been pathetic, trying to be Labor-Lite, and the US GOP faltered for decades trying to be Dem-Lite. But why vote for the Lite when you can have the real thing?

But in Labor's case, they realize that their real policies would lose the election.

Aaron Guthrie
07-11-2007, 02:46 PM
If anyone sees this story in print (and online) can they give a link?

Basil
07-11-2007, 04:22 PM
This blows away John Howard's (completely unprovable) rhetoric that interest rates will "always be lower" under a coalition governement. Of course it also blows away any claims by Labor that they would do any better on interest rates, or that recent rate rises are somehow the fault of the government.
Actually it doesn't blow anything at all. Your headline and the point you seek to prove are both failed. The prevailing and unique circumstances and effect of averaging are mind-blowing. I do wonder how many different models Kohler plugged in to get the result he wanted :eek: Lies, damn lies, etc..

However, I do accept the Howard government and its supporters (that would be me) have failed to prove its assertion and would be most unlikely be able to prove it.

Aaron Guthrie
07-11-2007, 04:27 PM
Actually it doesn't blow anything at all. Your headline and the point you seek to prove are both failed. The prevailing and unique circumstances and effect of averaging are mind-blowing. I do wonder how many different models Kohler plugged in to get the result he wanted :eek: Lies, damn lies, etc..That hack Kohler, he isn't even a respected economist or anything.

Capablanca-Fan
07-11-2007, 04:29 PM
That hack Kohler, he isn't even a respected economist or anything.
The ABC is just the public relations branch of the ALP anyway.

pax
07-11-2007, 04:58 PM
Actually it doesn't blow anything at all. Your headline and the point you seek to prove are both failed. The prevailing and unique circumstances and effect of averaging are mind-blowing. I do wonder how many different models Kohler plugged in to get the result he wanted :eek: Lies, damn lies, etc..

It was nothing fancy, no different models etc. Just the ratio of Australian interest rates to the OECD average. Why is that not a sensible way to measure Australia's relative performance on interest rates?

It has also been written elsewhere that there was a survey of Economists prior to the 2004 election asking whether they thought the outcome of the election would have any material effect on interest rates. The vast majority thought there would be no difference at all.

pax
07-11-2007, 05:19 PM
The ABC is just the public relations branch of the ALP anyway.

Tell that to board members Albrechtson, Brunton and Windshuttle, not to mention former member Michael Kroger.

Kevin Bonham
07-11-2007, 06:34 PM
It could be that even if interest rates have been historically higher under Labor, that this is either a matter of complete coincidence, or else a matter of underlying cause (eg global factors that cause high interest rates also cause the election of Labor governments.)

The corellation-equals-causation implications from some Coalition supporters are remarkably weak, but most likely plenty out there fall for them.

Basil
07-11-2007, 06:51 PM
Why is that not a sensible way to measure Australia's relative performance on interest rates?
It is a sensible way. But that's not say that the results aren't misleading. The variables are phenomenal, not to mention the skews and spikes that both enhance and diminish performance outcomes.

Australia, while plugged into the greater economic community, enjoys benefits and suffers disadvantages which surf outside a blanket that one might throw over 90% of European economies.

The very thin end of the wedge would include factors such as
-- as the comparative economic mass of member countries,
-- lag in take-up and therefore actualisation / visualisation of data ie > 20 year ago geo-specific events impacting on a country or region where the same phenomenon had either been-and-gone or yet to have occurred

and these are just a couple of light-weight examples.

If I were to use the OECD comparative model, I'd like to see two plug-ins:
-- Greater period of time
-- Some X Y Z factors acknowledging what I have outlined above

Summary: Neither a silly nor disingenuous exercise, but of little value. There are countless comparisons that have been used in modeling social and business strategies that have fallen flat on their face on the same erroneous correlations that Kohler seeks to draw. Commercial victims include McDonalds and Gunner Duggan! :wall:

You may be interested to know that IMO the possibility exists that the results show the present Australian government in an unrealistically favourable light. I don't believe it to be the case, but my position allows for the possibility.

Capablanca-Fan
07-11-2007, 06:51 PM
Tell that to board members Albrechtson, Brunton and Windshuttle, not to mention former member Michael Kroger.
What good are they if the presenters that the public actually see are all lefties. Where is the "right-wing Phillip Adams" for example?

But here is something from the ABC (http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/06/2082711.htm)that's actually fair for a change:


Communications Minister Helen Coonan says previous terms of reference by the OECD were flawed.

She says the latest figures are more accurate and are "very embarrassing" for Labor leader Kevin Rudd.

"He simply doesn't understand the current position on broadband and he has misrepresented very egregiously what Australia's position currently is," she said.

"He's been bagging Australia's broadband performance and quite wrongly claiming that we rank even behind the Slovak Republic.

Aaron Guthrie
07-11-2007, 06:54 PM
There are countless comparisons that have been used in modeling social and business strategies that have fallen flat on their face on the same erroneous correlations that Kohler seeks to draw.Did you see the Alan Kohler bit?

Basil
07-11-2007, 07:01 PM
It could be that even if interest rates have been historically higher under Labor, that this is either a matter of complete coincidence, or else a matter of underlying cause (eg global factors that cause high interest rates also cause the election of Labor governments.)

The corellation-equals-causation implications from some Coalition supporters are remarkably weak, but most likely plenty out there fall for them.

I reject this Kevin. The causality you refer to is weak in the sense that it is never possible to run two identical governments (and their policies) in parallel, and therefore prove or disprove these things. The same is true for the left claiming to rid the world of all bad :wall: (Or more accurately 'the world will be a better place' under Labor). However, at some stage anecdotal evidence, strong suggestive evidence and 'known knowns' must be taken up into the assessment.

Left policy has consistently over a period of 100 years in a number of models entailed non healthy deficits (shit, where's the money, we can't afford this, doh too late) and a number of other known anti-growth strategies in the pursuit of moral obligation and good deeds :hand:

It is only now that anyone/ thing remotely left is starting to appreciate concepts that go beyond their immediate wallet and (misplaced) sense of justcice actually exist and may be ultimately in their best interests.

If the rich right are finally having an awakening on social and planetary matters, it is as plain as my beaming cranium that for the first time in a century, the introspective, suspicious and largely naive left have finally cottoned on to what conservatives have been saying since the year dot.

Basil
07-11-2007, 07:03 PM
Did you see the Alan Kohler bit?
No. I am responding to the simple 'because and therefore' as presented to me and attributed to Kohler.

Aaron Guthrie
07-11-2007, 07:17 PM
No. I am responding to the simple 'because and therefore' as presented to me and attributed to Kohler.Actually I'm not sure there even is such attribution to Kohler by pax. To paraphrase the OP "Kohler said this, and therefore this", and the therefore this bit seemed to be pax's move. Maybe somewhere after this he attributes, but I don't see it.

But even if he was making such attribution, so what? He clearly hasn't given the full picture of what Alan Kohler said. So I don't see how you can jump to saying that Alan Kohler is making "erroneous correlations", when they may well be either well supported and argued, or qualified appropriately.

And then even if pax was asserting that this is the full picture of what was said, you would just take his word for it? Why not just attack pax, rather than someone you haven't read?

And even then why bother? I am not, since it is a nice statistic, but I would like to see what the expert's are saying about it before I bother thinking too deeply about it.

Basil
07-11-2007, 07:17 PM
Jon, as far as I am concerned, the ABC has been undoubtedly leftist in its approach for a very long time. That said, I have sensed a genuine change in its policy or more accurately, its personnel's policy in the last two years or so.

Same of the right wing media as well. There is far more balance than there ever used to be.

Curiously, I see this improvement in standard and balanced delivery running in parallel to the media's predilection for less substantial and more sensationalist and a greater volume of short grabs journalism.

Audiences are being treated to more accurate commentary but dumbed down and out of context :doh: :doh: :doh:

There are many reasons for this IMO. Perhaps they'll be spewed out in my subsequent offerings.

Basil
07-11-2007, 07:29 PM
Actually I'm not sure there even is such attribution to Kohler by pax.
OK. I made a leap in respect of attributing a statement to Kohler.


But even if he was making such attribution, so what? He clearly hasn't given the full picture of what Alan Kohler said.
The "so what" is that I am discussing pax's perspective (as drawn accurately or otherwise) from something he saw on tv, and as pax has presented his argument to this board.


So I don't see how you can jump to saying that Alan Kohler is making "erroneous correlations", when they may well be either well supported and argued, or qualified appropriately.
OK. My apologies to Kohler.


And then even if pax was asserting that this is the full picture of what was said, you would just take his word for it? Why not just attack pax, rather than someone you haven't read?
Well in that instance, I would be entitled to "attack" Kohler as his entire case has been presented. As it happens, I am not interested in attacking anybody. If you wish to rephrase the quoted text above, I'll consider a response.


And even then why bother? I am not, since it is a nice statistic
WTF-exactly is a 'nice' statistic?

but I would like to see what the expert's are saying about it before I bother thinking too deeply about it.
I'm sure. That is where we differ.

Aaron Guthrie
07-11-2007, 07:43 PM
Well in that instance, I would be entitled to "attack" Kohler as his entire case has been presented.My point is that when someone presents someone else's argument, often a lot can be lost or changed. And I don't mean through negligence, just that interpretation has to happen if you aren't quoting directly. (and of course I am talking about the hypothetical pax that has made such a claim!)
As it happens, I am interested in attacking nobody. If you wish to rephrase the quoted text above, I'll consider a response.That was a bit sloppily put by me. "attack" as in "attack the argument". So attack the argument as though it were pax's argument, rather than Kohler's.
WTF-exactly is a 'nice' statistic?One that looks like it could explain a lot, but that needs work to establish such.

Capablanca-Fan
07-11-2007, 08:15 PM
and of course I am talking about the hypothetical pax that has made such a claim!)
A faux pax? ;)

snowyriverman
08-11-2007, 10:32 AM
It could be that even if interest rates have been historically higher under Labor, that this is either a matter of complete coincidence, or else a matter of underlying cause (eg global factors that cause high interest rates also cause the election of Labor governments.)

The corellation-equals-causation implications from some Coalition supporters are remarkably weak, but most likely plenty out there fall for them.

Increases in interest rates have become a vote-turning point because home mortgages have become a higher percentage of home income, and because wages are now constrained by enterprise bargaining and new labour laws.
It was easier to live with higher interest rates when property was cheaper and when wages chased costs.

snowyriverman
08-11-2007, 10:36 AM
If neither major party has a declared policy on changing negative gearing nor capital gains parameters, can house prices be made more affordable in any other way. The LNC has had 10 years to resolve this.

Capablanca-Fan
08-11-2007, 10:49 AM
Increases in interest rates have become a vote-turning point because home mortgages have become a higher percentage of home income,
What do you propose? Price and rent controls? Historically proven to do as much damage to housing as bombing raids.


and because wages are now constrained by enterprise bargaining and new labour laws.
A reversal of the truth. Enterprise bargaining by definition releases wages from constraint. Fewer workers are unionists, and the non-union workers generally have higher wages.


It was easier to live with higher interest rates when property was cheaper and when wages chased costs.
For those employed, anyway. There were 1 million unemployed under Keating, while now there is the lowest rate of unemployment for three decades.


If neither major party has a declared policy on changing negative gearing nor capital gains parameters, can house prices be made more affordable in any other way. The LNC has had 10 years to resolve this.
Labor tried to drop negative gearing, and had to reintate it when rents soared into the ionosphere. I've already given you better solutions: abolish housing ban open space laws and state stamp duties, and introduce a low flat tax in return for abolishing negative gearing, since that is only worthwhile because the highest marginal tax rates are so punitive. And CGT must take into account inflation somehow.

pax
08-11-2007, 11:29 AM
What good are they if the presenters that the public actually see are all lefties. Where is the "right-wing Phillip Adams" for example?


Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman and Gerard Henderson all get plenty of airtime on Insiders. And the three of them are far more right-wing than the lefties on the show are left wing (with the possible exception of David Marr).

On the whole, I would admit that the ABC is overall somewhat left-leaning. But it has the highest quality and most balanced news service of any Australian broadcaster in my opinion.

Capablanca-Fan
08-11-2007, 11:53 AM
Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman and Gerard Henderson all get plenty of airtime on Insiders. And the three of them are far more right-wing than the lefties on the show are left wing (with the possible exception of David Marr).
Come off it. None of these alleged right wingers get their own show like Adams. They are just there as a supposed balance. The lefties are all very left.

Also, when the right-wingers are on, their views are clearly part of "opinion". But the leftist views are often part of "news" or "documentary".


On the whole, I would admit that the ABC is overall somewhat left-leaning.
Yeah.


But it has the highest quality and most balanced news service of any Australian broadcaster in my opinion.
Then it should be able to fund its own way, not by money coerced from taxpayers.

Capablanca-Fan
08-11-2007, 12:55 PM
ALP rates record is a concern (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22720154-7583,00.html)
Professor Sinclair Davidson and Alex Robson
8 November 2007


EVEN though the Reserve Bank of Australia announced an increase in its target cash rate of 25 basis points yesterday, it is still lower than it was when the Coalition came to power in 1996. And even if the bank increases it again next month, as many market participants expect, the target cash rate will still be at a lower level than the Coalition inherited.

Labor taunts the Coalition with accusations of six broken promises since the 2004 election. But the Coalition has nothing to be ashamed of: interest rates are still close to historic lows, real disposable incomes have increased, inflation is low and unemployment has fallen to record lows. By any objective measure, all of this constitutes an outstanding record of economic success.

On the topic of interest rates and monetary policy, it is the Australian Labor Party that should feel uneasy. Little has been made of the fact that in July 1987, with interest rates already at record highs, Labor appointed ACTU secretary Bill Kelty to the Reserve Bank board. If Labor wins this election, what is to stop it once again appointing union bosses to the board?

In contrast, yesterday's interest rate rise conclusively proves the Coalition cannot directly manipulate monetary policy for political gain. The Reserve Bank has shown itself to be truly independent, a reform the ALP opposed.

Compare that with Paul Keating's claim that he had the bank in his back pocket. As treasurer and prime minister he presided over very high interest rates.

In the 2004 election campaign, the Coalition argued that interest rates would always be lower under it than under an ALP government. At the time, this was dismissed as mere political scaremongering.

But the Reserve Bank's own data shows that even after yesterday's rise, banks' standard variable housing loan interest rates will still be lower than their average levels during each of the Whitlam, Hawke and Keating Labor governments.

...

We have examined Australian nominal interest rates from the past 30 years. That period includes the Fraser years (now widely derided as being an economic failure), the Hawke-Keating era and the Howard era.

Daily cash rate data from January 1979 to October 2007 shows the median interest rate for the Labor years is 11.75 per cent, compared with the Coalition years (including Fraser) of 5.5 per cent.

What happened to overseas interest rates during these periods? Were international interest rates (such as the US federal funds rate) higher during the Labor years?

The answer is yes, but not by much. The US median rate was 6.79per cent during the Labor years and 5.26 per cent during Coalition years. In other words, the data shows that even allowing for international factors beyond the control of domestic policymakers, Labor governments are associated with much higher interest rates than Coalition governments.

Much is made of three-month interest rates during the late 1970s and early '80s while John Howard was treasurer. We examined those figures as well, using data on three-month rates from January 1976 to October 2007. The median three-month interest rate for the Labor years is 11.93 per cent and for the Liberal years (including almost all of the Fraser era) 6.25 per cent.

...

To make matters worse, Labor governments also tend to be associated with greater macro-economic instability. The data shows that interest rates have been more volatile during the ALP years.

...

Labor's track record on interest rates is nothing short of embarrassing. Instead of making superficial claims about how "economically conservative" the party is, it needs to justify its past policy failures to the electorate and explain why it will not make those mistakes again.

pax
08-11-2007, 01:51 PM
Then it should be able to fund its own way, not by money coerced from taxpayers.

Judging by the journalistic standards of commercial broadcasters, this would be a very bad move for the overall quality of Australian news and current affairs. Unfortunately high quality does not necessarily equate to profitable.

Capablanca-Fan
08-11-2007, 03:06 PM
Judging by the journalistic standards of commercial broadcasters, this would be a very bad move for the overall quality of Australian news and current affairs.
Typical of lefties: the people don't know what's good for them, so Big Government must coerce money from them to give them what's good for them.


Unfortunately high quality does not necessarily equate to profitable.
If people don't like them, they can go elsewhere, not even necessarily to other TV. There's a better chance of getting rid of crap if the news broadcasters have to please paying customers rather than bureaucrats or politicians.

Spiny Norman
08-11-2007, 03:21 PM
There's a better chance of getting rid of crap if the news broadcasters have to please paying customers rather than bureaucrats or politicians.
What you'll get is whatever tickles the fancy of the masses ... not necessarily something of quality (e.g. current affairs shows on commercial television). Whether this is better than whatever tickles the fancy of the bureaucrats or politicians is quite open to debate. I suspect that the bureaucrats and politicians are likely to do/say whatever makes them popular, leading us right back to square one.

What would get rid of 'crap' would be a commitment to apply a set of standards in news reporting. As to who sets the standards, I'll leave it to you guys to argue that out.

pax
08-11-2007, 03:36 PM
Actually I'm not sure there even is such attribution to Kohler by pax. To paraphrase the OP "Kohler said this, and therefore this", and the therefore this bit seemed to be pax's move. Maybe somewhere after this he attributes, but I don't see it.

Huh? I don't see what you are getting at.

Kohler presents an interesting graph on something topical almost every night. On this particular occasion, he presented the ratio of Australian interest rates to the OECD average - which was basically flat. I don't know where he sourced the graph, but I have no reason to doubt the figures themselves. Kohler made no particular comments other than to observe that it was consistently above 1, and that the average was the same (1.2) for Coalition and Labor governments.

The comment that this blows away claims by either party to be better at keeping rates down is my own. Happy now?

pax
08-11-2007, 03:37 PM
If people don't like them, they can go elsewhere, not even necessarily to other TV. There's a better chance of getting rid of crap if the news broadcasters have to please paying customers rather than bureaucrats or politicians.

Tell that to A Current Affair and Today Tonight....

Aaron Guthrie
08-11-2007, 03:47 PM
The comment that this blows away claims by either party to be better at keeping rates down is my own. Happy now?And I have no idea what you are going on about. I was countering GD's suggestion that such a comment had been attributed to Kohler.

Capablanca-Fan
08-11-2007, 03:48 PM
Tell that to A Current Affair and Today Tonight....
If you don't like it, then don't watch it (I don't). But at least they are not costing you anything.

Capablanca-Fan
10-11-2007, 10:33 PM
Our central bank is lifting rates because the economy is in great shape and it needs to be careful about future inflationary pressures. In contrast, the US central bank is cutting rates because the economy is softening under the weight of a housing downturn.

Over the past three years, interest rates have been lifted six times, from 5.25% to 6.75%. And that means that repayments on the average home loan have gone up by around $50 a week. But over the same time the average after-tax wage has risen by $130 a week. Plenty of people will feel worse off after Wednesday’s rate hike, but clearly the move needs to be kept in perspective.

Craig James, Chief Equities Economist
CommSec

Sam
11-11-2007, 11:08 AM
What good are they if the presenters that the public actually see are all lefties. Where is the "right-wing Phillip Adams" for example?


Phillip Adams works in radio...nobody sees him.:rolleyes:

Sam
11-11-2007, 11:15 AM
If you don't like it, then don't watch it (I don't). But at least they are not costing you anything.

I love how you conveniently forget that the ABC has religious shows on air.
You rant and rave about the people's money being wasted on "lefty rubbish",yet fail to mention that they show programs like Songs of Praise.
Better get that christian rubbish off the ABC,eh?

Capablanca-Fan
11-11-2007, 11:39 AM
I love how you conveniently forget that the ABC has religious shows on air.
You rant and rave about the people's money being wasted on "lefty rubbish",yet fail to mention that they show programs like Songs of Praise.
Better get that christian rubbish off the ABC,eh?
I'm not forgetting anything. A token Songs of Praise once a week won't make up for the diet of lefty antichristian rubbish for so much of the rest of the time. But if you don't like it (and I never watch it), the answer is to privatize the ABC as I've advocated. Then no-one is force to pay for programs he doesn't like, not even a misotheist like you.

Kevin Bonham
11-11-2007, 11:58 AM
Google informs me there's a black metal band called Misotheist, and quite a few people have it as a username too.

Sorry, irrelevant diversion. Carry on. :D

Sam
11-11-2007, 12:54 PM
Google informs me there's a black metal band called Misotheist, and quite a few people have it as a username too.

Sorry, irrelevant diversion. Carry on. :D

Here's something better Kevin.;)

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=184236081

ElevatorEscapee
11-11-2007, 01:33 PM
This has nothing to do with the argument at hand (which doesn't rate high on levels of interest with me), but I would just like to say that I enjoyed the music from the link of Sam's post. :) Thank you. Carry on.

snowyriverman
13-11-2007, 01:04 PM
What do you propose? Price and rent controls? Historically proven to do as much damage to housing as bombing raids.

As I said, the LNC has had 10 years to resolve the house price issues. Telling me to reject price and rent controls is not telling me what is the LNC future intention for this issue.
I am not advocating price and rent controls.
But one party could try not spending 41 billion on election promises and thus forcing the RBA to put the hand-brake on to moderate the inflationary aspect.
It is time to abandon go-for-growth as the LNC slogan would have us vote. It is time to consolidate and be conservative.
One party could try a change to the negative gearing and capital gains allowances.

Capablanca-Fan
13-11-2007, 01:17 PM
As I said, the LNC has had 10 years to resolve the house price issues. Telling me to reject price and rent controls is not telling me what is the LNC future intention for this issue.
Since housing price issues are not a matter for the Feds, what would you suggest.


I am not advocating price and rent controls.
Good, because they would be disastrous.


But one party could try not spending 41 billion on election promises and thus forcing the RBA to put the hand-brake on to moderate the inflationary aspect.
The other school of thought (e.g. Terry McCrann) is that the brake functions as it does in a racing car—enabling the car to go faster overall. We have interest rate rises because our economy is growing.


It is time to abandon go-for-growth as the LNC slogan would have us vote. It is time to consolidate and be conservative.
You mean NOT grow?


One party could try a change to the negative gearing and capital gains allowances.
Which would penalize investors, and make rents skyrocket—again!

snowyriverman
15-11-2007, 01:14 PM
You mean NOT grow?




Yes. Consolidate means not grow.
Sometimes in the economic and country cycle it is time to store surpluses, keep inflation in check, and do some skills planning instead.

Capablanca-Fan
22-11-2007, 11:41 AM
Read my laws: Australia. (tax cuts mandated by law will be difficult to execute) (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb5037/is_199307/ai_n18303852)The Economist (US), July 1993


BACK in February last year, Paul Keating promised Australians big tax cuts if only they would be patient. Some would take place in 1994 and others in 1996. Even though the cuts were years ahead, his government made them law to prove its sincerity. Mr Keating won an election mainly by promising jam tomorrow—a promise he is having difficulty keeping.

The 1994 cuts are to go ahead. But the main ones, due in 1996, will not now happen until 1998, well after the next general election is due. It is not even clear how Mr Keating will find the A$8 billion ($5 billion) needed for the first ...

And of course we know now that Keating cancelled these tax cuts after he had won on campaigning with these.

Kevin Bonham
22-11-2007, 11:49 AM
Don't forget Keating's broken promises on tax cuts.

So? Isn't Howard's "never ever" GST pretty much the same kettle of fish?

And the issue this election isn't whether people trust Rudd or not. He has made enough token trust-me noises they will vote for him whether he is really to be trusted or otherwise. The real issue is that many people are sick of Howard and Costello and neither of these characters have given them any reason not to be.

Capablanca-Fan
22-11-2007, 12:06 PM
So? Isn't Howard's "never ever" GST pretty much the same kettle of fish?
Not at all. Keating would have known, being in government, whether he could afford tax cuts. OTOH Howard campaigned in 1996 saying no GST, and he kept that promise throughout that term. Then he campaigned explicitly on a GST in 1998, so it was up to Australians to vote against him if they hated the GST so much.


And the issue this election isn't whether people trust Rudd or not. He has made enough token trust-me noises they will vote for him whether he is really to be trusted or otherwise. The real issue is that many people are sick of Howard and Costello and neither of these characters have given them any reason not to be.
Except for lower interest rates than Labor, economic growth even when Asia was in trouble, lowest unemployment for 30 years, undermining of Labor's PC black armband indoctrination ...

Kevin Bonham
22-11-2007, 12:17 PM
Not at all. Keating would have known, being in government, whether he could afford tax cuts. OTOH Howard campaigned in 1996 saying no GST, and he kept that promise throughout that term. Then he campaigned explicitly on a GST in 1998, so it was up to Australians to vote against him if they hated the GST so much.

It's true that Howard acquired a so-called mandate for the GST by winning with it as policy (in much the same way as he has no so-called mandate for WorkChoices.) But this is irrelevant as he got himself elected in 1996 by promising to "never ever" introduce one, so even by introducing it after a subsequent election, he nonetheless broke that promise.

Also if it's action within one term of government you're worried about, then surely Howard would have known that his party promising to keep interest rates at record lows was at least as big a stretch as Keating's promised tax cuts.


Except for lower interest rates than Labor, economic growth even when Asia was in trouble, lowest unemployment for 30 years, undermining of Labor's PC black armband indoctrination ...

None of these are the reasons why people are sick of them.

Crowing about their record on such things when the record hides the full picture and when the causes are often largely external is one of the reasons, however.

pax
22-11-2007, 12:33 PM
Not at all. Keating would have known, being in government, whether he could afford tax cuts. OTOH Howard campaigned in 1996 saying no GST, and he kept that promise throughout that term. Then he campaigned explicitly on a GST in 1998, so it was up to Australians to vote against him if they hated the GST so much.

What about Howard's legendary "non-core promises"?

Capablanca-Fan
22-11-2007, 12:45 PM
What about Howard's legendary "non-core promises"?
Like what? And should this go on Gunner's double standards thread?

In reality, Howard was naïve enough to believe Keating's claims that the budget was balanced, so made some promises on that basis. When his party became government, they found the real truth from Treasury: there were no funds to pay for some of those promises. So it was financially impossible to implement them, and Howard was right not to.

Keating's L-A-W tax cuts broken promises were inexcusable, because he had full knowledge of the Treasury when he made them. Same with Howard, after first winning government going to the polls on the GST.

Basil
22-11-2007, 01:46 PM
Guys we've really come full circle.

I and others believe there is nothing whatsoever wrong with John Howard saying never ever to GST and keeping that promise for the term of government. And then subsequently his presenting himself to the electorate saying that he has changed his mind and he now believes a GST is in the country's best interests and to so declare his intentions seeking a mandate in advance.

If however, Kevin Rudd, Bonham and others believes that is culpable (to any degree) then so be it. We are all intelligent men, and no-one has missed the point :lol: - we simply won't make any headway - as staggered as I am by the proposition - and as much as I think it is all self-serving expediency - there is really nought further to be said IMO.

Equally, I believe Keating's declaration of tax cuts prior to an election and then renegging IS culpable. And I find it preposterous that that can be defended.

Further, if the WorkChoices policy is accused of the same (as Keating's tax renegging), well there may be a case there too.

But apart from the (what I call dubious) attack on Howard for the introduction of GST and the (what I call dubious) defence of Keating's renegging, my main objection is that whatever voters believed of Keating, they did so at the ballot box with moderate commentary, whereas with the anti-Howard campaign (as with many lefty campaigns and mind sets) the requisite shrieking, marching, apoplectic spluttering, not to mention rank hatred and often incoherent white noise falls into the mindless category.

It is evident that none of us here are swinging voters, but I have formed the opinion that of those of us on this board, it is (broadly) the left ones who are greater in obstinacy and less genuine in their commentary than the right ones - and I believe that is a broad truism of western societies.

eclectic
22-11-2007, 02:31 PM
There's no difference between the extreme left and the extreme right save for the fact that within the former you will find an ounce of compassion.

Capablanca-Fan
22-11-2007, 03:00 PM
There's no difference between the extreme left and the extreme right save for the fact that within the former you will find an ounce of compassion.
Of course, these terms are not defined. Second, there is not the slightest evidence that the left are more compassionate. Unless you define "greed" as wanting to keep more of the money you earned, "needy" as wanting other people's money, and defining "compassion" as arranging the transfer by force.

In reality, any evidence that exists shows that conservatives are more compassionate in real terms, meaning giving their OWN money and even their blood. Prof. Arthur Brooks, wrote Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism (http://www.townhall.com/columnists/JohnStossel/2006/12/06/who_gives_to_charity) (Basic Books, New York, USA, 2006), and found:


Religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly nonreligious charities. Religious people give more blood; religious people give more to homeless people on the street. ...

If liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply of the United States would jump about 45 percent.

He had a leftist upbringing himself, so had to recheck the data before he would accept it (http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2006/11/28/who_really_cares?page=2). But most lefties use the bogus "lack of compassion" charge just to make themselves sound morally superior, not because they actually care more about other people.

pax
22-11-2007, 03:09 PM
Religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly nonreligious charities. Religious people give more blood; religious people give more to homeless people on the street. ...

Last time I checked, religion was not the exclusive domain of the right.

firegoat7
22-11-2007, 03:16 PM
Go Greens! Make History!

Capablanca-Fan
22-11-2007, 03:38 PM
Last time I checked, religion was not the exclusive domain of the right.
No, but Brooks discusses conservatism as well, showing that religious conservatives were the ones he found to be the most generous. Leftist religion is really just a pseudo-pious form of Das Kapital.

And you missed the point of my reply, which was refuting Eclectic's ignorant and self-serving claim that lefties are more compassionate. Interesting that it came out during the 2000 US election campaign that your hero alGore donated a smaller percentage of his income to charity than the national average.

Capablanca-Fan
22-11-2007, 03:42 PM
Go Greens! Make History!
Yep, I'll certainly tell them where to go! :P

Capablanca-Fan
22-11-2007, 04:07 PM
Many Laborites and assorted Lefties claim that Australia's prospertity had little to do with Howard and everything to do with prosperous world economy. Chairman Rudd recently claimed (http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22796843-661,00.html), “He has governed in easy times with no regard for the challenge that lies ahead.”

Andrew Bolt points out (http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/rudd_reckons_it_would_have_been_easy_being_howard/):


“Easy times” include the September 11 attacks, the Bali bombings, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the growing terrorist threat at home and in our region, our intervention in East Timor, the rise of people smuggling, the need for waterfront reform, the 1997 Asian stock market collapse and the huge public debt left by the Keating Government. I’m left with deep doubts that Rudd would have done as well as Howard in dealing with exactly these “easy” challenges.

Kevin Bonham
22-11-2007, 04:42 PM
“Easy times” include the September 11 attacks, the Bali bombings, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the growing terrorist threat at home and in our region, our intervention in East Timor, the rise of people smuggling, the need for waterfront reform, the 1997 Asian stock market collapse and the huge public debt left by the Keating Government. I’m left with deep doubts that Rudd would have done as well as Howard in dealing with exactly these “easy” challenges.

The impact of most of these issues on the Australian economy (which is supposedly the point at stake if you are criticising Rudd for noting that Howard's economic record has surfed favourable world conditions) was either minor or, in some cases, positive. Some credit is due to Howard for fixing up the mess left by Keating, just as credit is due to Hawke/Keating for cleaning up after Fraser, Fraser for cleaning up after Whitlam, Whitlam for cleaning up after McMahon, Menzies for cleaning up after Chifley, Lyons for cleaning up after Scullin, Scullin for trying to clean up after Bruce ... it's all hardly an isolated case and often the mess left by the previous government contributes to the mess inherited by the next one. Exactly what semi-hidden mess Howard leaves behind we may be about to discover.

Furthermore there is a very strong case that Howard has not done well in dealing with the Iraq war, and in so doing has increased "the growing terrorist threat at home and in our region". In my view, only the wideness of the opinion poll margin between the two parties has saved Australia from a terrorist attack during the campaign as a consequence of his policies. (Then again I could be totally wrong and there could be one tomorrow; the minds of al-Qaeda are not always easy to read.)

Capablanca-Fan
22-11-2007, 04:53 PM
Some credit is due to Howard for fixing up the mess left by Keating, just as credit is due to Hawke/Keating for cleaning up after Fraser, Fraser for cleaning up after Whitlam,
But he did not nearly enough clearing up.


Furthermore there is a very strong case that Howard has not done well in dealing with the Iraq war,
Australia is a minor player in that. Note that KRudd, like most US Democrats, accepted at the time that Saddam indisputably had WMDs, so I'm warning Lefties that I have no patience for "Howard lied kids died" crap.


and in so doing has increased "the growing terrorist threat at home and in our region".
I rather like terrorists being drawn to Iraq and killed there, rather than coming here to kill us.


In my view, only the wideness of the opinion poll margin between the two parties has saved Australia from a terrorist attack during the campaign as a consequence of his policies.
Oh, so it's our fault if these murderous islamofascist thugs attack us? Maybe we shouldn't have helped East Timor either, because then they mightn't have bombed us in Bali?


(Then again I could be totally wrong and there could be one tomorrow; the minds of al-Qaeda are not always easy to read.)
Yes, although Osama made it clear that Wilhelm Klinton's cut and run policy from Somalia convinced him that Yanx were cowards who would run at the sight of any blood. Well, the Spaniards sure did, and many leftists here and in the USA also want to cut and run from Iraq. Osama also knows that he has staunch allies in the Leftmedia, who were responsible for convincing Americans that the Vietcong scored a victory in the Tet Offensive, although they lost 10 times more casualties. Vietcong generals later admitted that it was a military disaster, but their one hope was turning America's Leftmedia around. (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell041504.asp) Then they could win the war, while the American Left left South Vietnam to a communist bloodbath.

Kevin Bonham
22-11-2007, 05:35 PM
Australia is a minor player in that.

Agreed, but that makes it a minor issue from the standpoint of Bolt's attempted point as well.


I rather like terrorists being drawn to Iraq and killed there, rather than coming here to kill us.

If only policy was independent of the number of terrorists who are out there. But an aggressive policy will often only breed more of them faster than they can be killed, which is one reason that Iraq is such an ongoing mess. There does seem to be some success with the current US offensive, but the human costs of it all are horrendous.


Oh, so it's our fault if these murderous islamofascist thugs attack us? Maybe we shouldn't have helped East Timor either, because then they mightn't have bombed us in Bali?

Islamist terrorism is not a uniform body of pseudo-thought. There are many who wanted to blow us up all along (the sorts that bombed Australian interests in Bali even before Australia went to war in Iraq) but my point is about the factors that influence the rate at which they recruit.


Yes, although Osama made it clear that Wilhelm Klinton's cut and run policy from Somalia convinced him that Yanx were cowards who would run at the sight of any blood. Well, the Spaniards sure did,

Not really. The Spaniards threw out their government following the bombings because it misrepresented the causes of the attacks and attempted to blame them on Basque separatists. That it was not upfront about what had really happened and tried to hide the truth from its own people made the electoral damage far far worse than it otherwise would have been.


Osama also knows that he has staunch allies in the Leftmedia, who were responsible for convincing Americans that the Vietcong scored a victory in the Tet Offensive, although they lost 10 times more casualties. Vietcong generals later admitted that it was a military disaster, but their one hope was turning America's Leftmedia around. (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell041504.asp) Then they could win the war, while the American Left left South Vietnam to a communist bloodbath.

I know not enough about Vietnam to comment, but battles are not always won upon the battleground.

Capablanca-Fan
22-11-2007, 05:47 PM
If only policy was independent of the number of terrorists who are out there. But an aggressive policy will often only breed more of them faster than they can be killed, which is one reason that Iraq is such an ongoing mess.
Conversely, my ally Sowell wrote The unlimited enemy (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell111904.asp), arguing against that apoint of view, and giving examples, e.g. Libya becoming less aggressive after Reagan bombed it, then later opening up its nuclear program to inspection after Saddam was toppled.


There does seem to be some success with the current US offensive, but the human costs of it all are horrendous.
But it the human costs of Saddam in power were also horrendous. And both sides at the time genuinely thought he had WMDs, and Saddam was happy to make the West think so.


Islamist terrorism is not a uniform body of pseudo-thought. There are many who wanted to blow us up all along (the sorts that bombed Australian interests in Bali even before Australia went to war in Iraq) but my point is about the factors that influence the rate at which they recruit.
It is probably that some are recruited by signs of weakness in their enemy, especially those in an honour-shame society. And of course, Saddam is no longer around to pay lots of money to familes of suicide bombers.

Conversely Kemal Atatürk used force against Islamic radicals to modernize Turkey.

Kevin Bonham
22-11-2007, 10:16 PM
Conversely, my ally Sowell wrote The unlimited enemy (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell111904.asp), arguing against that apoint of view, and giving examples, e.g. Libya becoming less aggressive after Reagan bombed it, then later opening up its nuclear program to inspection after Saddam was toppled.

His argument isn't very convincing because it is confined to the resources of states (eg the Soviet bloc running out of money cause they spent too much of it on nukes, Libya coming into line). I agree that it is difficult for any state to continue to fight for terrorism, but a stateless amorphous entity with rather limited financial costs is quite another matter.


But it the human costs of Saddam in power were also horrendous.

This is true but I doubt his regime would have killed anywhere near as many innocents in the last few years as have died as a result of the war and will probably continue dying on an annual basis for many years to come.


And both sides at the time genuinely thought he had WMDs, and Saddam was happy to make the West think so.

I don't dispute that Saddam deserved to be deposed. The question is whether the mess that has developed afterwards needed to be quite this ... messy!


It is probably that some are recruited by signs of weakness in their enemy, especially those in an honour-shame society.

Is "weakness" really the main recruiting point? I thought that political outrage (however misinformed) had a fair amount to do with it as well.

Capablanca-Fan
23-11-2007, 10:59 AM
His argument isn't very convincing because it is confined to the resources of states (eg the Soviet bloc running out of money cause they spent too much of it on nukes, Libya coming into line). I agree that it is difficult for any state to continue to fight for terrorism, but a stateless amorphous entity with rather limited financial costs is quite another matter.
There still needs to be some funding to arrange for explosives and training. It is also no accident that the "surge" seems to be working.


This is true but I doubt his regime would have killed anywhere near as many innocents in the last few years as have died as a result of the war and will probably continue dying on an annual basis for many years to come.
Some say that we should have given sanctions still more time to work. But others were whinigng about the inhumanity of sanctions on innocent people, while Saddam lived in luxury.


I don't dispute that Saddam deserved to be deposed. The question is whether the mess that has developed afterwards needed to be quite this ... messy!
Maybe it's this silly obsession with "democracy" without the rule of law needed for it to work properly. The Yanx should have known better, because their own country was never intended to be a democracy but a republic.


Is "weakness" really the main recruiting point? I thought that political outrage (however misinformed) had a fair amount to do with it as well.
Weakness was definitely a major point for Osama. And the constant appeasement of the Palestinians, the latest by antisemite Condi Rice, merely tells them that terrorism works.

Oh, there is outrage all right—that we are not Muslims!

pax
23-11-2007, 02:37 PM
And the constant appeasement of the Palestinians, the latest by antisemite Condi Rice,

Whoah, where did that come from?

Capablanca-Fan
23-11-2007, 06:36 PM
Whoah, where did that come from?
Staticidal Zealotry (http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/FrankJGaffneyJr/2007/11/20/staticidal_zealotry)
By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
20 November 2007

It's disgraceful that she is endangering the Jewish State and rewarding murderous terrorists.

However, conservatives would not resort to the racist smears by leftists against her, e.g. the cartoons exaggerating stereotypical black features and calling her "Aunt Jemima", showing that to the left, racists attacks on conservative minorities are OK.

pax
27-11-2007, 10:14 AM
The word 'antisemite' is used far too liberally. When you use it to describe someone like Condi Rice, it loses it's weight against true antisemites like David Irving. It is not antisemitic to want peace in the middle east. It is not antisemitic to believe that the establishment of a Palestinian state is a key to peace in the middle east. It is not antisemitic to work towards that aim. It is not antisemitic to be critical of the Israeli government (not that Condi has, but many others are accused of antisemitism for this "crime").

Capablanca-Fan
27-11-2007, 10:36 AM
The word 'antisemite' is used far too liberally. When you use it to describe someone like Condi Rice, it loses it's weight against true antisemites like David Irving.
Oh, she is nothing like Irving or AhmadiNutjob.


It is not antisemitic to want peace in the middle east.
Certainly not. Israel wants that!


It is not antisemitic to believe that the establishment of a Palestinian state is a key to peace in the middle east. It is not antisemitic to work towards that aim.
It is antisemitic in practice to demand everything of Israel and nothing of the "Palestinians" in return. Originally it was supposed to be land for peace. But Israel has given land and gets aggression in return. But still Condi insists on rewarding terrorism, in effect, and making the Jewish state indefensible but narrowing its borders and allowing the enemy closer terrorist bases.


It is not antisemitic to be critical of the Israeli government (not that Condi has, but many others are accused of antisemitism for this "crime").
It is certainly antisemitic to single out Israel for criticism while ignoring far worse problems from its enemies.

Capablanca-Fan
28-11-2007, 11:07 AM
Peace in our tomb (http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/374436/peace-in-our-tomb.thtml)
Melanie Phillips
Spectator
27 November 2007


America is putting Israel under enormous pressure to accept conditions which would entail its destruction. As a result, it is strengthening the mortal enemies not just of Israel but of the free world, against which they are currently at war. America is congratulating itself for having brought these rogue states to Annapolis because it thinks this augurs a breakthrough in their recognition of Israel and the beginning of an alliance against Iran. On the contrary, it means instead that these rogue states understand that America is offering them the means to weaken and ultimately destroy Israel — and thus in turn dramatically weaken the west. For these purposes, Iran is an irrelevance (except for the presence at Annapolis of Syria, through which its patron Iran will actually be strengthened). Such is the criminal stupidity of an America that has fallen under the catastrophic sway of the Baker-Hamilton 'new realist' doctrine, which holds that engaging with the mortal enemies of civilisation weakens them and strengthens those defending civilisation. It does not. It strengthens those enemies and weakens their designated victims.

...
[Quoting Frank Gaffney]


The interests of the free world in general and the United States in particular will suffer from what the Saudis and most of the other attendees have in mind for the Jewish State — namely, its dismemberment and ultimate destruction…
...
Today, Palestinians can remain in the terror business — can even officially and explicitly refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish homeland — and still enjoy the administration's political support and access to U.S. military equipment, training and vast amounts of taxpayers' funds.

Capablanca-Fan
05-12-2007, 03:18 PM
Income Mobility (http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/WalterEWilliams/2007/12/05/income_mobility)
By Walter E. Williams


...

The Nov. 13 Wall Street Journal editorial "Movin' On Up" reports on a recent U.S. Treasury study of income tax returns from 1996 and 2005. The study tracks what happened to tax filers 25 years of age and up during this 10-year period. Controlling for inflation, nearly 58 percent of the poorest income group in 1996 moved to a higher income group by 2005. Twenty-six percent of them achieved middle or upper-middle class income, and over 5 percent made it into the highest income group.

Over the decade, the inflation-adjusted median income of all tax filers rose by 24 percent.

...

What about claims of a disappearing middle class? Let's do some detective work. Controlling for inflation, in 1967, 8 percent of households had an annual income of $75,000 and up; in 2003, more than 26 percent did. In 1967, 17 percent of households had a $50,000 to $75,000 income; in 2003, it was 18 percent. In 1967, 22 percent of households were in the $35,000 to $50,000 income group; by 2003, it had fallen to 15 percent. During the same period, the $15,000 to $35,000 category fell from 31 percent to 25 percent, and the under $15,000 category fell from 21 percent to 16 percent. The only reasonable conclusion from this evidence is that if the middle class is disappearing, it's doing so by swelling the ranks of the upper classes.

What about the concentration of wealth? In 1918, John D. Rockefeller's fortune accounted for more than half of one percent of total private wealth. To compile the same half of one percent of the private wealth in the United States today, you'd have to combine the fortunes of Microsoft's Bill Gates ($53 billion) and Paul Allen ($16 billion), Oracle's Larry Ellison ($19 billion), and a third of Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett's $46 billion. In 1920, America's richest one percent held about 40 percent of private wealth; by 1980, the private wealth held by the richest one percent fell to about 20 percent and has remained stable at that level since.

Demagogues duping Americans about stagnant and declining income give politicians justification to raise taxes and place regulatory obstacles in the path of risk-taking, productivity and hard work that will impede the enviable income mobility that has become a part of American tradition. Raising taxes on capital formation reduces the rate of capital formation. Raising taxes on income reduces incentives to work. Unfortunately, because so many Americans [and Labor/Green voting Australians] buy into the politics of envy, politicians have a leg up in enacting measures that cripple economic growth.

pax
05-12-2007, 04:29 PM
The Nov. 13 Wall Street Journal editorial "Movin' On Up" reports on a recent U.S. Treasury study of income tax returns from 1996 and 2005. The study tracks what happened to tax filers 25 years of age and up during this 10-year period. Controlling for inflation, nearly 58 percent of the poorest income group in 1996 moved to a higher income group by 2005. Twenty-six percent of them achieved middle or upper-middle class income, and over 5 percent made it into the highest income group.

Kind of blows away your claim that the poorest become the richest over time. 26% achieved middle or upper-middle class income - I guess that means the other 74% stayed lower class.

Capablanca-Fan
05-12-2007, 05:46 PM
Kind of blows away your claim that the poorest become the richest over time.
No, that most of the poorest don't stay the poorest.


26% achieved middle or upper-middle class income — I guess that means the other 74% stayed lower class.
In only 10 years, 58% had moved up. 5% to the highest income group (which your 74% neglected to take into account). Then the percentile markers are corresponding to higher incomes. As shown, an inflation-adjusted income of $75 used to be within the top decile, now it's more than the top quartile. So where are these permanent "classes" that you lefties love demagoguing about?

pax
05-12-2007, 09:12 PM
No, that most of the poorest don't stay the poorest.

It also shows that many do.



In only 10 years, 58% had moved up.

58% moved "to a higher income group". It's a bit hard to judge anything unless you know how much higher. Given that the data is taken from tax returns, it is a very poor judge of poverty - there is no measure of which people are supporting families, and which not. It also presumably includes a lot of people who may be on low incomes for reasons of their own choosing, such as people travelling post-uni, young mothers working part time etc.

More to the point, though 42% not moving to a higher income group is a very large group (especially when you factor out the groups discussed above). But they seem to have escaped your notice.


So where are these permanent "classes" that you lefties love demagoguing about?

I've never spoken in terms of "classes". Go knock over your own strawman.

The main point, which I have made before is that income is a very poor way to measure poverty (especially tax return data). Go find a better metric.

Capablanca-Fan
05-12-2007, 09:55 PM
58% moved "to a higher income group". It's a bit hard to judge anything unless you know how much higher. Given that the data is taken from tax returns, it is a very poor judge of poverty — there is no measure of which people are supporting families, and which not.
So where are the data?


More to the point, though 42% not moving to a higher income group is a very large group (especially when you factor out the groups discussed above). But they seem to have escaped your notice.
Not at all. It is still a minority. And in longer time periods, the number is even smaller, as I've discussed before.


The main point, which I have made before is that income is a very poor way to measure poverty (especially tax return data). Go find a better metric.
I don't dispute that. I leave that to teh leftist deamgogues who want to "soak the rich" when they actually mean "soak the high income earners". That's why there are a number of filthy rich people, like inheritance welfare limousine leftists John Kerry and Teddy Kennedy, who love high tax rates, because their enormous wealth is largely unaffected by taxes on income.

But then, where is the metric to justify leftist causes?

pax
05-12-2007, 10:34 PM
So where are the data?

:hmm: :hmm: You tell me, you were the one trying to make the point :rolleyes:

Capablanca-Fan
05-12-2007, 11:16 PM
:hmm: :hmm: You tell me, you were the one trying to make the point :rolleyes:
I provided data to prove my point, so if you a point to prove, you provide yours :P

pax
05-12-2007, 11:48 PM
I provided data to prove my point, so if you a point to prove, you provide yours :P
Hang on, you just agreed that tax returns are not a very good way to measure poverty...

So you make a half-assed point with crappy data, and then expect me to produce proper data to disprove your point? :wall: :wall: :wall:

Capablanca-Fan
06-12-2007, 12:05 PM
Hang on, you just agreed that tax returns are not a very good way to measure poverty...
No, not a good way to decide whose RICH. So where are your data to support your leftist "In big Government We Trust" cause, and try to refute the claim that a free market economy provides the best way for the poor to lift themselves out of poverty?

pax
06-12-2007, 01:13 PM
No, not a good way to decide whose RICH. So where are your data to support your leftist "In big Government We Trust" cause
There's your strawman again. You keep banging him down, and he just keeps popping back up!


and try to refute the claim that a free market economy provides the best way for the poor to lift themselves out of poverty?

I have never tried to refute that claim. I am only refuting your ludicrous assertion that poor people are just rich people who haven't got around to it yet.

Capablanca-Fan
06-12-2007, 01:18 PM
I have never tried to refute that claim. I am only refuting your ludicrous assertion that poor people are just rich people who haven't got around to it yet.
Straw man yourself. But it remains true that many of the "poor" and "rich" are really the same people at different stages in their lives. If there really were policies keeping the poor in poverty, then it is strange that the majority leave the lowest income classes within a decade. And the real wealth in the lower classes has increased as well.

Spiny Norman
06-12-2007, 01:43 PM
Straw man yourself. But it remains true that many of the "poor" and "rich" are really the same people at different stages in their lives. If there really were policies keeping the poor in poverty, then it is strange that the majority leave the lowest income classes within a decade. And the real wealth in the lower classes has increased as well.
If measured by Australian standards, I'm probably quite unremarkably middle-class. Maybe slightly above-average income. Own 75% of my house, still 25% owing to the bank, no other debts at all.

When I was 21, I was probably bordering on poor. Earning a much lower-than-average income. Didn't own a home, no assets, and credit card and car debts which amounted to about 80% of my annual income.

At other times I've been cash poor, notably a period where our family (trying to hang on to our first home and keep making payments) didn't have enough cash to buy food ... some friends of ours (who were pretty poor) actually loaned us $100 to buy food.

But today, our family's net wealth is increasing rapidly, partly due to increasing asset value of our home, and partly because I'm at the stage of life where I am in middle-to-upper tiers of management in the workforce, and my life experiences/skills make me a much more valuable worker.

By world standards, I am unbelievably wealthy. And that's the realisation that I am trying (apparently unsuccessfully) to instill into my children. They have no awareness that many children go to bed at night hungry.

I'm inclined to agree that some poverty is just down to things like: stage of life, some previous poor choices, etc. Then again, some of it seems deeply embedded into particular cultures (overseas) ... and some sections of our own community here in Australia too. I suspect some people simply lack the skills necessary to get themselves out of their particular poverty 'trap'.

There was an interesting article a few days ago, about some research (probably just a poll) ... it was comparing attitudes of people on welfare with attitudes of working people ... one of the highlighted results was that people on welfare were far more likely than working people to identify as "essential" items such as: TVs, mobile phones, etc.

Very strange. What causes such a lack of perspective? Is it envy?

pax
06-12-2007, 03:28 PM
But it remains true that many of the "poor" and "rich" are really the same people at different stages in their lives.

It is true that some of the poor are rich people at a different stage. What about the rest?

Edit:

Note the absence of qualifier in your original phrase on this matter:



It's amply documented that the poor and rich are not classes but the same people in different stages of their lives.

You've got as far as "many". If you can reach "some", we'll actually be on the same page. How about that?!

Capablanca-Fan
06-12-2007, 03:41 PM
It is true that some of the poor are rich people at a different stage. What about the rest?
Even many of them have real wealth that only upper middle class people had 30 years ago, e.g. their own house and car, microwave, colour TV, and of course things that no one could had 30 years ago like DVD players and instant world-wide communication.

Dinesh d'Souza tells of an Indian friend who wanted to come to America, because he didn't believe it possible that a poor person could be fat.

pax
06-12-2007, 03:49 PM
Even many of them have real wealth that only upper middle class people had 30 years ago,

It is also true that it takes very significant wealth or income to buy today houses that were regarded as "working class" houses 30 years ago.

Capablanca-Fan
06-12-2007, 05:01 PM
It is also true that it takes very significant wealth or income to buy today houses that were regarded as "working class" houses 30 years ago.
And the common feature of expensive areas around the world is government land restrictions (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell021102.asp), usually by nice-sounding names like "open space", "smart housing" or green belt" laws. And your solutions for expensive housing is more government control or government confiscation of wealth, and government "help" is a cure worse than the disease.

pax
06-12-2007, 05:43 PM
And the common feature of expensive areas around the world is government land restrictions (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell021102.asp), usually by nice-sounding names like "open space", "smart housing" or green belt" laws. And your solutions for expensive housing is more government control or government confiscation of wealth, and government "help" is a cure worse than the disease.

You're really good at changing the subject when you're losing the argument ;)

Axiom
06-12-2007, 06:18 PM
pax and jono , you are both right !
pax , because , the poor get screwed a different way re housing costs.
and jono , because , it is the governments fault in not attending to this .

Capablanca-Fan
06-12-2007, 06:54 PM
You're really good at changing the subject when you're losing the argument ;)
In your dreams :P But it's typical of a Lefty to declare "the debate is over" rather than face up to contrary evidence.

pax
06-12-2007, 09:48 PM
In your dreams :P But it's typical of a Lefty to declare "the debate is over" rather than face up to contrary evidence.

A single piece of evidence, with no details, which you yourself have admitted isn't a very good way of showing what you are trying to show....

The debate is over until you can come up with something a bit more solid.

Basil
06-12-2007, 10:25 PM
There was an interesting article a few days ago, about some research (probably just a poll) ... it was comparing attitudes of people on welfare with attitudes of working people ... one of the highlighted results was that people on welfare were far more likely than working people to identify as "essential" items such as: TVs, mobile phones, etc.
Noted. Fascinating. Surprise Factor? Small.

Capablanca-Fan
11-12-2007, 02:21 PM
“[W]hen you consider why true poverty exists, you realize it’s not simply a matter of pouring more money into this or that government program. ‘There are two main reasons that American children are poor,’ [Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation] writes. ‘Their parents don’t work much, and fathers are absent from the home.’ The typical poor family with children is supported by only 16 hours of work per week. If work in this family were raised to 40 hours per week, he says, nearly 75 percent of poor children would be lifted out of official poverty. As for absent fathers: Nearly two out of every three poor children live in single-parent homes. And each year, another 1.5 million children are born out of wedlock. ‘If poor mothers married the fathers of their children, almost three-quarters would immediately be lifted out of poverty,’ Rector writes. But don’t hold your breath waiting for one of the presidential hopefuls to float that solution.”
—Rebecca Hagelin

pax
11-12-2007, 02:39 PM
As for absent fathers: Nearly two out of every three poor children live in single-parent homes. And each year, another 1.5 million children are born out of wedlock. ‘If poor mothers married the fathers of their children, almost three-quarters would immediately be lifted out of poverty,’ Rector writes. But don’t hold your breath waiting for one of the presidential hopefuls to float that solution.”
—Rebecca Hagelin

What solution would that be? Enforced marriage of parents?

Poverty might be reduced, but expect domestic violence and child abuse to increase. Great plan.

Capablanca-Fan
11-12-2007, 03:03 PM
What solution would that be? Enforced marriage of parents?

Poverty might be reduced, but expect domestic violence and child abuse to increase. Great plan.
Yeah, it is a great plan. Economist Dr Walter Williams said that anyone can avoid poverty in America with a few simple steps:

Finish high school
Get a job, even for a minimum wage
Don't have kids until you are married.

Men commit much more domestic violence against women they are not married to and against children that are not theirs biologically.

Pax's typical Anointed Lefty (http://www.rightwingnews.com/quotes/anointed.php) solution is more of the same policies that have repeatedly failed.

pax
11-12-2007, 04:44 PM
Yeah, it is a great plan.

Sorry, can I just clarify this. Are you advocating compulsory marriage for people who have children?

I am not disputing that it is desirable that children are born into stable and committed long-term relationships, but it absolutely cannot be legislated.

pax
11-12-2007, 04:45 PM
Pax's typical Anointed Lefty (http://www.rightwingnews.com/quotes/anointed.php) solution is more of the same policies that have repeatedly failed.

Sorry, in this case you are the one telling people how to live their lives.

Capablanca-Fan
12-12-2007, 01:11 AM
Sorry, can I just clarify this. Are you advocating compulsory marriage for people who have children?
No, I don't agree with government compulsion, despite what you claim below.


I am not disputing that it is desirable that children are born into stable and committed long-term relationships,
Good. That needs to be taught properly.


but it absolutely cannot be legislated.
But the opposite should not be rewarded by money coerced from taxpayers.

pax
12-12-2007, 09:07 AM
But the opposite should not be rewarded by money coerced from taxpayers.

Better to let them starve eh?

Capablanca-Fan
12-12-2007, 09:15 AM
Better to let them starve eh?
A few decades ago, there was a voluntary social welfare system. It was called adoption. This gave the kids a chance for family life instead of poverty amd daycare, allowed a childless couple a chance for a child to love, and gave the mother a chance to start over, and possibly reconnect with her child later. I have a cousin, and sister in law, and best who were adopted and much better off for it. And there was no drain on the taxpayer.