China in perspective

Ian Cameron writes: Re. “‘Don’t mention this’: China’s economy is worse than you think” (yesterday). Michael Sainsbury’s article on China’s economy refers to a falling growth rate in China to 7.5%. So many commentators these days refer to such growth rates with alarm and hark back to the high growth double-digit growth rates. These commentators seem to ignore the fact that a 7.5% growth in 2013 is roughly double in absolute terms the growth of 11.5% back in the early 2000s, because of the higher base that the earlier growth has now created.

Fair and balanced

Peter Burnett writes: I have a request for Crikey for the next few months of election coverage? Could we have equal opportunity class warfare?  You see, it takes two sides to have a war, and as venture capitalist Warren Buffett told The New York Times in 2006: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

So every time a ruling class ideologue — from the IPA or the Business Council of Australia or CEDA or the Productivity Commission or the Liberal Party or the National Party or the Billionaire’s Party (sorry Palmer United Party) — makes some attack on workers, could you please label it as class warfare, as people are regularly doing with the social democratic nostrums of the ALP?  In the interest of balance and impartiality, of course, the same the very same ideologues demand of the ABC every bloody day.

What we’ll get under Abbott

Dylan Taylor writes: Re. “Abbott budget reply: mind the gap between rhetoric and reality” (Friday). No thank you, Bernard Keane, we do not need an increase in the rate and a broadening of the base of the GST — not the majority of us, anyway. And yet that is exactly what we will get  with Abbott. Note how all his mentors — John Howard, John Hewson and Peter Reith, together with the Business Council and ACCI — keep promoting it. Like Howard, he will swear never ever to increase the GST, but once he is in power, with all his mates running the states, that is exactly what we will get because he will claim “we are in a budget crisis”.

As to his COAG reform, which is now going to hand back powers to the states, God alone will help the environment when the coal seam gas miners, resort builders, hunters, shooters and fishers all get the tick from his “one stop shop”, minus any oversight by the Commonwealth.

However, let me say I relish the prospect of seeing Christine Milne and the Greens, who have never wasted a minute that they could use to bludgeon the government, deal with Abbott and the Nats in action with a cohort of LNP Premiers applauding their every move. Gone will be the carbon price and the mining tax — for which Milne never gives the government any credit at all — gone will be the green energy projects, refugees will face  an even harsher regime with less humanitarian places and boats being towed back across the Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka!

She has spent so much time berating the government, one could be forgiven for thinking that she believed Abbott had a better policy on all these matters, when in fact his policies are much worse. They are harsher on all those people the Greens wish to protect —  including the unemployed,  whom Abbott said  he will whip into “work for the dole” camps again!

I look forward to hearing Milne inviting Abbott to “work with us” then.

The Australian people will soon know the truth of the old adage: “beware what you wish for”.

Peter Fray

Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey.

This extraordinary year is almost at an end. But we know that time waits for no one, and we won’t either. This is the time to get on board with Crikey.

For a limited time only, choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50% or dig deeper so we can dig deeper.

See you in 2021.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

SAVE 50%