Around The Blocks (4th Feb 2009)

Word of the week: Stimulus (plural: stimuli)

Australian Govt’s new stimulus package (from The Australian)

  • $14.7 billion to be invested in school infrastructure and maintenance and bringing forward funding for trade training centres;
  • $6.6 billion to increase the national stock of public and community housing by about 20,000 new homes;
  • $3.9 billion to provide free insulation to 2.7 million homes and solar hot water rebates;
  • $890 million to fix regional roads and blackspots, to install railway boom gates and for regional and local government infrastructure;
  • $2.7 billion small and general business tax break to provide deductions for some equipment purchases before the end of June 2009;
  • $12.7 billion for immediate one-off payments to working Australians, families with school-age children, farmers, single income families and for those undergoing training.

AUD $10 billion last year wasn’t enough, a commercial property bailout fund wasn’t enough, a tirade launched against neo-liberalist economics wasn’t enough. So now Ol’ Kev breaks the bank and comes out with the motto, “the budget deficit we needed to have“.

My opinion, this is 60% pork-barrel. The biggest cut of the chop goes to the much touted and flaunted “Education Revolution”. Which is about time anyway, people wanted action on poor retention rates and the odd photographed dilapidated school building. We all know that perhaps will make us happier but will it increase the average intelligence of our nation? The private schools will continue cranking out the excellence whilst the bogans continue to take shots at the “arrogant rich” in between swigs of whiskey cola. Heck, we still need to import our hair-dressers and tradesmen even though their income is to be envied really. This while 1/3 of our tax money goes into welfare…how could you then convince the bourgeois to even start leaning a bit left?

6.6 billion for 20,000 public homes…thats like 330,000 per building. That can house at least 5 people comfortably and since we can be austere with the needy….perhaps can cram up to say 10? Could we decrease the number of homeless by 200,000 at the end of Rudd’s 4 years in power? He says “Yes, we can!”. Walk the talk, Kev.

That 890 million for transport and logistical infrastructure is pure laughable. Where do you want to put it?
Western Australia where all the wealth is being produced? Melbourne and Sydney, where everyone hates the current public transport performance? Its nothing more than a token sum to round up the numbers really.

What’s worse is that the amount of relief going to the business end of retaining employment is kinda disappointing. Small and medium industries/commerce perhaps need those bailout money much more since spending is going to contract badly in the coming months. No profit = lets retrench. Lets retrench = less income + unemployment scares = less spending + more welfare. The whole thing goes into another vicious cycle.

The big companies are already dumping jobs and that will continue to flow on. But nothing much is going to even arrest the flow. Sure, many people are going to receive some nice gifts of cash but where will it go? The wise will use it to pay off debt, invest in bargain shares and save the rest. The foolish will invest in pokies, alcohol, drugs and other vices. The “economic scare” has put many off the spend-thrift days of the past. I doubt if much will get back into the already decreasing GDP.

Now the government will go back into debt. One always wonders where did they whisk all these money from and the most important question…why now? Where was it when BHP and Rio Tinto laid off thousands of workers? Where was it when the press were hot about the ‘shamefulness’ of our developed education and transport systems? And why is there no place for healthcare in that stimulus budget? No place even for endowments in research grants and no promotion of the modern politicians favourite baby, environmentalism.

Sorry Mr Rudd, my cynicism is in overdrive no thanks to your wonderful effort, stoked earlier by Obama’s porkbarrel largesse.

——————

In the end, what needs stimuli are the cherished but often forgotten reflections on greed, materialism and pride.

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”. (1 Tim 6:10)
“”No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love
the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You
cannot serve both God and Money“. (Luke 16:13)
“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36)

Cheerio.

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~ by shybeg122 on February 4, 2009.

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