Brisbane Atheists Message Board Off Topic Forum › LABOR 63yrs and counting

LABOR 63yrs and counting

Mark H.
user 37075662
Brisbane, AU
Post #: 37
Labor has delivered only 1 budget surplus since 1949!!!!!
Days after handing down his fourth budget deficit, Mr Swan said he was unsure when his party last had the budget in the black. Quizzed on morning radio he said: “We'd have to go back to the 1980s, I should think. Pressed again, he replied: “I can't nominate a date.” He failed to recall the Hawke-Keating government's 1989-90 surplus.

The Whitlam government in its 1974-75 budget,( i couldn't find any info on the '72/'73 budget) recorded a deficit of around $2 billion (4% of Gross Domestic Product). Then the Fraser government moved to reduce the deficit. By 1981-1982 it had been reduced to 0.3% of GDP.

Whereas in its first budget (1983-84) the Hawke government’s deficit was $7.9 billion (6.7% of GDP) by the time of its fourth budget (1986-87) the deficit had been reduced to $2.7 billion (3.8% of GDP)The Hawke government attempted to maintain this approach until the onset of the 1990s recession. In 1989-90 the Hawke government produced a budget surplus of $8 billion (2.2% of GDP). Labors first since 1949!!

Paul Keating, who at the end of 1991 succeeded Bob Hawke as the leader of the ALP federal government, returned the federal budget to deficit. “The budget. . .collapsed... to a deficit in 1991-92 of $9.3 billion and peaked at a deficit of $14.6 billion in 1992-93.” As a proportion of GDP, the deficit was 2.4% in 1991-92 and 3.6% of GDP in 1992-93.

John Howard, after his election as Prime Minister in the 1996 federal election, proceeded to introduce legislation to commit federal governments to restrain budget deficits. During its three terms in office, the Howard government also proceeded to reduce general government sector net debt: from 19.5% of GDP (at the time that it assumed office) to a little over 5% in 2002 and to a position of negative net debt in 2005-06. Federal Government debt was considerably reduced during the period of the Howard government.

So when Wayne Swan and labor fail to deliver the budget back to surplus in 2013 and get voted out and loose the following 2 federal elections it could be an unbelievable 70 yr period of only having delivered 1 budget surplus. So taking all of this into account dont you think the ALP should SHUT THE FUCK UP and stop talking about fiscal responsibility and whats best for the national interest.
A former member
Post #: 11
a. What has politics EVER got to do with religion? Except where politics actively encroaches upon the sacrosanct church-state separation (**cough**caplaincy program**cough**). This should be a group about atheism- the existence or otherwise of a god-figure.
b. I came out of one of the modern churches which often preach (sometimes subtly, sometimes from the pulpit) that you should ALWAYS vote conservative, because god has commanded us to maintain a fiscal and moral tradition- it was genuinely not all about morality. In protestant churches in particular, economic conservatism is a demi-god. Trust me...
c. Without Whitlam's healthcare and educational reforms, I would have been either dead or nursing home material (I had a stroke aged 17 and rehabilitated in a public hospital for 2 years) and/or uneducated- thanks to GW's free tertaiary ed, I have a masters now, despite coming from a poor catholic family of eight with a profoundly deaf father. So, yes, that's why he put the country in deficit... I feel within my rights to defend it, especially since I've more than repaid my debt to society now in taxes.

Finally, and I hate to harp on about this, but it saddens me deeply to see anyone, religious or otherwise, put 'faith' in this economic that system we in the west have devised over the last 3 or 4 hundred years. It's just a construct. I know I'm a bit of a hippie (NB: I've never voted ALP in my life...) but why would we, especially as atheiests, put ecomony before humanity???

A final note note: the federal budget wasn't in surplus. **cough**Creative accounting**cough**. I'm no ALP hack. :)
Mark H.
user 37075662
Brisbane, AU
Post #: 38
this is the off topic forum. wink
This analysis of religious/voter affiliation conducted by Essential Research shows the sectarian split exists between Catholics and Protestants.

Catholics –Traditionally the Catholic Church and the ALP were inseparable, the close ties with the Labour movement and the Catholic tradition of social justice made them natural partners. The split with the ALP over Communism shifted this and many argue the Catholic-aligned DLP kept Labour out of power through the 1960s.

Some of those cold war Catholic warriors like Tony Abbott ad Eric Abetz have ended up in the Liberal Party. Meanwhile, the strongest right-wing union, the Shop Assistants (SDA) still recruits most of its officials from student Catholic associations.

During the Howard years issues like abortion, IVF for gay couples and public funding for stem-cell research saw the Church shift its allegiance to the conservatives. But a critical bellwether for Catholics was the WorkChoices legislation, which drew out many high profile figures, including Cardinal Pell against labour market deregulation, a position that frustrated Abbott but re-engaged the Church with the labour movement.

Agnostics – technically, shouldn’t these also vote ‘don’t know’? *

Non-Christian denominations – in our own little battle for world peace, we have grouped disparate religions like Islam and Judaism together, as their numbers do not deliver a statistically relevant sample. What we can determine here is that they are much more likely to either vote Labor or Green -­ payback for the years of dog-whistling from the conservative side of politics.

No Religion – People who don’t believe in God are more likely to vote Green than the general public, perhaps the search for world peace and environmental salvation is really just a heaven substitute.

So does playing religion work in Australian politics? The demise of actual membership of churches has clearly cut back the power of the sermon from the pulpit. That said, religious values do still figure prominently in people’s identity, part of their history that does seem to influence their ultimate political identity. And across the religions, it does appear that Labor has a natural advantage when God comes into play.

A former member
Post #: 12
this is the off topic forum. wink
Ok, fair call. I'm a newbie but 'off topic' is fairly self-explantory...

Very comprehensive analysis. I'm glad I stipulated that my experience was with the protestant church- that leaves my a little dignity intact...


Agnostics – technically, shouldn’t these also vote ‘don’t know’? *
Unsure what your point here is...

Anyway, my ending still stands. I think it's sad that, at our state of evolution the best we have come up with are two economically-based systems, neither of which work well, and the one we have endorsed is the one that revolves incessant competition, needless consumerism, ignorance of the needs of our fellow humans- and the other system is no better. I just think we can do better. We evolved partially because we're effective accumulators. Now we've exceeeded our needs 100 times over and all we can think about is a surplus budget...

That's my opinion. And, yes, I am aware that I sound like an indignant, self-righteous wanker.

Mark H.
user 37075662
Brisbane, AU
Post #: 39
...........it seems like china might be the go then?.....
Mark H.
user 37075662
Brisbane, AU
Post #: 40
" Now we've exceeded our needs 100 times over and all we can think about is a surplus budget...", the point is.................. labor really should be thinking about it.......cause they have only experienced 1, i don't think there are too many labor voters still left alive that have experienced 2 budget surpluses, and none that have experienced 3 or 4, being a labor voter is like being an English football supporter in that they have only won once( 1968 world cup ), but still mistakenly think they are winners!!.........it makes me laugh and cry at the same time
Wayne
user 12651770
Brisbane, AU
Post #: 3
Boy I'm impressed that you managed to get so far off topic ... I think most people on here are more interested in how politics affects our social landscape and values. Perhaps a discussion about 'human rights and equal opportunities' might be of more interest and where the parties stand on such. The ebbs and flows of surplus/debt have no 'real' affect on our everyday lives.
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