Friday 26 July 2019

The Good Capitalist.

Some twenty five years ago I was going through a rough patch. In addition to difficult personal circumstances, I was broke. Much more to the point, I desperately needed a job.

That’s when I met Kevin (not his real name). Kevin hired me.

Before that meeting, I would describe myself as no more than vaguely leftish. After it, I was on my way to becoming a Marxist.

But this is not your usual Dickensian tale of misery.

Sunday 21 July 2019

The Week That Was: Economic Parasitism.

Slavery was profitable to the slaveholder because slaves produced more for him than what he spent in their maintenance. Masters didn’t pay slaves their labour. Of what slaves produced in their labour time, a fraction went to their maintenance; the master kept the rest for himself. That much is evident, even to economists.

Things are evident, too, in the case of medieval serfs (although here I wouldn’t be surprised one had to draw a picture for economists, usually ignorant of history). During a part of their working week serfs worked the land his lord allocated to their maintenance; the rest of the week they worked the land the lord reserved for himself.

Those remarks are useful to understand contemporary Australia.

Saturday 13 July 2019

Quo Vadis Australia?

Although under the extremely competent management of the COALition (particularly of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg), the Australian economy, ungrateful that it is, is not doing well. It is not for nothing, I suppose, the RBA has cut interest rates to historical lows … twice … in two consecutive months.

But how worried should Australians be?

Well, I am no expert. It would be hard for me to say. So, I decided to find out what the experts have to say.

The problem is that they give conflicting messages. Philip Lowe, for instance, the RBA governor,  says everything is under control. Steve Keen, however, believes there is a 95% probability of a recession in the next two years.

That, as readers might have guessed, left me uneasy.

Monday 8 July 2019

This is Why the COALition is Victorious (Updated).

There’s class warfare, all right. But it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning -- Warren Buffett.

As reported here over a week ago, the Morrison government is again launching an offensive against the organised trade union movement. John Setka and the CFMEU are the pretext du jour chosen to justify their eternal class war on workers on behalf of capitalists.

Just today the alliance of coal-mining big business and their political cheerleaders achieved another victory against workers


Friday 5 July 2019

The No-Surprises Country.

Labor’s electoral defeats aside, Australia is a most predictable place.

Tuesday the House of Representatives passed the “Morrison” income tax cuts and to no one’s surprise Thursday night it was the turn of the Senate, where it passed with no amendment whatsoever. The COALition, with the complicity of every party and independent (the Greens and independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie excepted) ruthlessly threw four out of every ten Australians under the bus. Australians like this young couple and their infant son:

(Frankly, I’m not interested in Josh Frydenberg’s sophistry. The less I see his ugly, porcine mugshot, the better. I don’t care either about Anthony Albanese’s spin.)