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Time to face the music on the economy

Crikey readers on the interest rates, the surplus and conservatives' rage at teen climate activists.

reserve bank

Is it wishful thinking to expect the RBA’s expected rate cuts to jumpstart the flagging economy? Maybe, but either way it should be a wake-up call to the Morrison government, write Crikey readers. Other options must be explored. Elsewhere, readers continued to discuss conservative media’s apoplexy regarding climate activist Greta Thunberg.

On economic health

Jim Feehely writes: It has been crunch time for the Australian economy and environment for over six years. The muppets have deployed zero sensible policy over that period. All they have done is pull accounting tricks and cut productive social spending to get the budget back in surplus, a vacuous pursuit, particularly with near zero interest rates. To put the muppets’ obsession with surplus in perspective, since federation 118 years ago, the federal budget has been in surplus only 27 times. Eleven of those were prior to WWI and were basically balanced. So, if in 91 years out of 118, the federal budget has been in deficit, why is Australia’s government debt so modest compared to many other developed nations?

Malcolm Burr writes: John Maynard Keynes had it right in the 1930s when he espoused his economic theory about curing the depression: spend, spend, spend on infrastructure to get the wheels moving and bugger the surplus.

On the right’s Greta-mania

Andrew Reilley writes: Of course the “radical free marketeer lobby groups” are against Greta and her argument. To them any suggestion that involves managing limited shared resources (like the air) is indistinguishable from communism. These are the people who invented the “continuous growth fairytale” that Greta explicitly called out at the UN. Guy made the same point about the same people with respect to management of water in the Murray-Darling system just a few months ago, but I’m pretty sure that the logic applies just as well on this larger scale.

John Bushell writes: In their attempt to discredit her, Greta Thunberg has been accused of various forms of mental incapacity and that she is being “manipulated by adults”. We now know from research by Exxon and Shell that the fossil fuel industry knew in the 1970s that combustion of these fuels was leading to heating of our planet with “potentially catastrophic events” including the possibility of “a worldwide rise in sea levels of five to six metres”. Therefore it is not Thunberg who is being “manipulated by adults”, it is her critics who have been used by the fossil fuel industry for over 40 years to deny this threat to life on earth in order to protect its own interests.

Colin Smith writes: Greta Thunberg’s eloquent speech is fit to be put alongside the Gettysburg Address. In the words of Alexander Pope: “What oft was thought, but ne’er so well express’d.” No wonder it so enrages the desperate propagandists of the denialist right.

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Peter Fray

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1 year ago

The vile hate expressed by climate change contrarians toward the 16 years-old girl speaks volumes about their ethics, or lack of such, vis-a-vis the idealistic youth out to defend climate science, the habitabiity of life on Earth and ciivilization.