On gas company regulation

Richard Davoren writes:  Re. “Gas companies — especially Santos — have brought regulation on themselves” (Thursday)

Turnbull is claiming kudos for a plan to solve the gas crisis. The gas crisis that has seemingly, crept up upon us. Yes we know who the bad guys are, but no one is saying who created the conditions that brought about the situation where Australia’s huge gas deposits are mostly being exported, and there is none left for Australia’s industry and domestic consumers. 

Oh yes, its always, “Labor’s fault”. Labor premiers are reluctant to destroy productive farmland and risk polluting our vital water resources to generate the extra gas that will divert the crisis and give the gas exploration companies even more opportunity to attempt to create riches at our expense. In 1975, the Whitlam Government endured the, “Overseas Loans Affair”, a loan to raise overseas, $4 billion, a paltry sum in today’s climate of multi-billion dollar deficits, to be used, in part, to fund a number of natural resources and energy projects, including the construction of a natural gas pipeline to the Eastern States.

Present day Australians watch China, with its cheap labour resources, hoover up Australian jobs and industry. Yet Australia once had an economic advantage over all our competitors. An abundance of cheap energy resources. Sadly we sold these to others, for peanuts. We killed the “golden goose”. Imagine an Australia that didn’t have to grovel to multinationals and overseas countries to obtain back, sufficient energy resources to run our factories warm our homes and be competitive on world markets. We might still have a motor industry.

Those of us with long memories, who have endured Liberal Governments since 1975, know who to blame for the “crisis.”

On the Murdoch media vs Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Richard Smith writes: Re. “Attack on Yassmin Abdel-Magied is the act of myth-loving, right-wing cowards” (Friday)

As a matter of historical record, Manus, Nauru, Syria, and Palestine were all sites of conflict during WWI and/or WWII. Lest We Forget. The right-wing trolls who object so vehemently to Ms Abdel-Magied could publish a list of theatres of war they believe should be removed from public discourse. To help them, I’ll point out the Glen Eira war memorial in Caulfield Park Victoria dares mention both Syria and Palestine. 

On good debt vs bad debt

Damien Smith writes: Re. “Turnbull spins ‘debt is good’ as Australia’s net worth collapses to an all-time low

Whoever allowed Alan Austin’s incoherent contribution to the incoherent debate on public “debt” in Australia to go to print can reasonably be forgiven. We have been thoroughly misled by mainstream orthodox economics which, in my opinion, is a body of fake knowledge. Starting with the basic assumptions, through to Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium models used by Treasury and the IMF to set the course for our economic lives, we can show, with evidence, textbook economics is b^(($&it.

Doing the books properly, correct macroeconomic accounting, and understanding what money is in our modern economic system has sparked a revolution in economics, literally rewriting the textbooks. Alan Austin implicitly assumes our economy functions in a world that no longer exists, where the money is exogenously supplied, from the mother country, a gold mine, or as my four-year-old believes, the tooth fairy. That money is generated internally, endogenously by the system itself is controversial but a recent 2015 working paper by the Bank of England sets the story straight. A result that can be reproduced by citizen economists on software such as Steve Keen’s open source Minsky, or even by establishing a household economy for chores.

Without a proper understanding of how the system works, the econo-babblers of the fourth estate are reduced to the status of soothsayers examining pigeon entrails. Assumptions, true under a commodity-based system such as the old gold standard are not true under a modern monetary system with a fiat currency. Even the concept of government debt is misleading, it is really a savings tool for the private sector which allows the government to set the interest rate for risk free investment. The Australian government will always be able to repay any “debt” borrowed in Australian dollars. Our real concern should be the balance between inflation, unemployment and private sector profit share.

Without taking the time to learn modern monetary theory, my opinion, commentators such as Alan Austin should not inflict their uninformed and outdated opinions on everybody else.

 

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