On Marco Rubio

Robert Lamontagne writes: Re. “Rundle: Rubio’s final mercy killing” (yesterday). Guy wrote that Rubio’s father was a bartender who “[fled]” Castro. Mario and Oriales Rubio immigrated to Florida in 1956; Castro came to power in 1959. Maybe they were fleeing the Bautista kleptocracy that made a Communist revolution seem like a step up, but they were probably “just” economic migrants (like me! we’re really lovely people, trust me), and certainly not refugees from socialism.

Then again, Cuban-Americans are so deeply defined by their official status as political refugees — the only people on earth the US federal government classifies automatically as political refugees, with a green card within a year of arrival — that I reckon Rubio never even considered the possibility that his family was like most Latino, or any other group, of immigrants: just people looking to make more money and access better opportunities for them and their kids.

Anyway, the actual facts still support Guy’s argument, but this is a very old chestnut, indeed.

On political dithering

Cameron Bray writes: Re. “Chaos reigns in a government that can’t even fake decision-making” (yesterday). So ScoMo has now had the face-palm moment of  realising that “the best way to drive income tax cuts ultimately, is off growth”. And in a post-GFC economy it’s pretty clear to everyone that domestic consumption, not exports, is the real sustainable driver for growth.

So the policy answers to this problem are obvious: sustain wage growth at historic lows! Ensure even more wealth is diverted into unproductive speculation on inflated housing assets! Maintain a tax system designed to channel corporate income offshore and so transfer the tax burden onto consumers!

Pure genius. Only after the government  has destroyed the drivers for economic growth will the economy grow and so deliver tax cuts to the people impoverished by the policy settings that spur growth by destroying its foundations. I have never seen this before: government by pure cognitive dissonance.

On NSW protest laws

Jock Webb writes: Re. “Baird makes some powerful enemies with CSG protester crackdown” (yesterday). The new NSW anti-protest laws represent almost a fascist approach. No surprise from the LNP here. However in an utterly scandalous and little reported action, Baird proposes to cut the penalties for illegal, exploration and drilling from $1.1 million to $5000. Where is Crikey or anyone else on this. This ridiculous fine wouldn’t even blow a CSG exec’s credit card.

Peter Fray

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