Rudd gets the big heave-ho.

In what the press seem to feel is tumultuous and all the other guff that is involved in dumping him Rudd, yesterday’s turkey has become today’s feather duster. Goodbye and good riddance.

Much of the press this morning seem to put the emphasis on the ‘historic’ nature of Julia Gillard becoming the nations first female PM. For some reason ‘historic’ seems in the eyes of the media as equating with good. This is about the silliest idea, well one of the silliest things we can be asked to believe. In 08 the US got all caught up in the possibility that history could be made by electing the first black President.

That hasn’t worked out very well for them.

Historic is irrelevant, quality is the important thing. Watch for, “the opportunity to make history by electing our first female PM,” when the election comes around.

Gillard has given a fairly manicured performance in interviews today, which is to be expected. The press is still too bemused to ask serious questions so probably for the time being we will find out little. We can expect some improvement, as there is an indication that the whole of the ministry will now be doing the thinking instead of Rudd’s gang of four.

The great big mining tax is still on the table as is ration and tax, although the latter is on the backburner for a while. The government has suspended its anti-mining advertisements and ill advisedly the mining industry has agreed to stop its anti-tax ads. Mining has been offered the chance to negotiate with the government to reach a consensus, and seem to have been sucked in.

There is absolutely no moral justification for an additional tax on mining profits; they should be treated in the same way as those of any other industry.  Natural resources are no more the ‘property of the people’ than is air, sunlight, or rain. Miners need to reject any concept of a Resource Rental Tax, make it clear to both sides, and stick to it. Rational economists have dismissed the fallacious concept of resource rental long ago as a myth.

Probably the most important improvement the ascension of Gillard will achieve is hopefully some improvement in the opposition. Tony Abbott cannot rely on Rudd’s unpopularity to sweep him into office, and he and the opposition will have to come up with policies that will offer a real alternative to the government.

At this point in time they have not done this. After defeating Ration And Tax in the Senate they looked the goods, but then in a fit of stupidity turned around and backed a new form of emissions tax.

Abbott seems to concentrate on the idea that the way to offer an alternative is to push for the same things as the government, only different in some way. The utterly stupid concept of taxing our most profitable businesses extra to provide a Rolls Royce parental leave scheme at up to $150,000 per year is an indication of this. They have actually come up with something worse than Rudd has inflicted.  As it stands now the only real difference between the government and the opposition is on the mining tax.

The productive sector work for themselves, and in so doing improve the lives of everybody. Currently all that the big two parties are offering is differing degrees of looting to feed the avaricious desires of federal, state, and local governments that are out of control.

The Liberals have to start aiming at reducing the size, scope and cost of government and offer an alternative to the current growth of big government or get out of the way.

The only party that is consistently opposing the growth of government and offering viable policies to reverse it in this country is the Liberal Democratic Party. (LDP)

32 thoughts on “Rudd gets the big heave-ho.

  1. If Julia and the Labor Party are tossed out at the next election, will she still get all of the lifetime perks and benefits that ex-PMs receive? (Whitlam has done quite well at the trough for the last 35 years.)

    Seriously, Australia simply cannot afford these outrageous and ever-growing “retirement” packages for former politicians and “public servants.”

  2. there’s one nonobvious benefit that might flow from Julia getting the top job- the BBC might have Dr. Who and his ginger ‘friend’ come over for an episode! (I’ve often wondered if Ned Kelly got his inspiration from an outpost of cybermen in the outback, an outpost the doctor destroyed, leaving behind just the idea of men in metal.)

  3. They all get the perks, all thats needed to qualify is to have been PM, unless they have changed the rules but as far as I am aware they haven’t.

    Black Jack McEwan was PM for 23 days while waiting for Harold Holt to get back from his swim and was entitled to it.

  4. You’re a strange man, nuke… though if Gillard as PM ensures a visit from Amy Pond, then I say it’s worth it.

  5. The annoying thing is, that if ALP lose next election, Rudd will feel some sense of vindication, and at the risk of sounding petty, I don’t want him to!

    Speaking with a friend, we decided that the best outcome is for Labor to lose by just two seats… with Gillard and Rudd both losing their seats 🙂

  6. True, jc, but one can dream…

    Nuke: Yes, Amy is the finest companion in some time. Pity about the new Power Ranger Daleks though.

  7. Funny how policy is forgotten when politics turns into a popularity contest.

    Have Abbott and co. came out with any statements opposing ALP’s proposed ISP filter? It would seem a no-brainer and an easy point scorer for the Libs, which leads me to the depressing conclusion that they will probably be supporting it.

    There is a huge base of young people vehemently opposed to the plan and I think the new glazely-eyed Gillard supporters will wake up from their trance if she is pressed on the censorship issue.

    The 18-35s are sick of this two-party charade and it will be sad to see their votes end up with the Greens on account of this issue. I hope the LDP can balance out it’s “lower taxes” mantra with a big plug for civil liberties.

  8. @Stuart, Abbott has indicated in interviews that he’s opposed to the process rather than the principle (ie, he doesn’t think it’s workable). That is disappointing – but is the lesser of two evils, atm.

  9. Had to laugh at this story concerning Abbott and Gillard’s appearances on the Today program:

    With plenty of smiles, jokes and even a bit of flirting, the pair entertained morning television viewers in much the same way Mr Rudd and Joe Hockey did on Sunrise in the lead-up to the 2007 federal election.

    I must have missed the Sunrise appearances that showed us Rudd and Hockey flirting.

  10. I doubt that there will be much probing reporting done anytime soon. Hell, most of what came out yesterday from our tenacious investigative journalists can be pretty much summed up as:
    1. She’s a woman, and:
    2. She’s got red hair.

    Kerry O’brien who I seem to remember calling her, “The thinking mans sex symbol,” when she got the deputy job, will probably ask next, “Does the carpet match the curtains?”

    The Libs are probably too chicken shit to develop an anti censorship policy in case someone calls them friends of child sex fiends. Apart from that, they really have no understand or have any concept of individual rights, nor are they friends of liberty.

    Conroy now wants to ban anyone without anti-virus protection from web access. When are they going to replace him with someone who has a clue about the job.

  11. Yes, I was going to post here about their latest web idea. They really are a bunch of meddling, grade-A morons.

    The Libs aren’t great in this area – but like I said: lesser of evils (and not half as retarded)

  12. Nice article Jim.
    Yes, I think some people forget that whether or not our PM is a woman or a man has nothing to do with whether or not they are good at their job.

    I remember telling a friend of mine one night why I thought Obama would be a terrible president. His reply was: “You don’t get it Tim, I think it’s great Obama has been elected because he’s black”.
    This is racist. Obviously his skin colour is irrelevent to his political ability. Unfortunately we live in a society where people often fall into the trap of thinking in terms of collectives when it is inappropriate to do so.

    I also second your concerns over the Labor rhetoric on super profits taxes. The idea that natural resources somehow “belong” to everyone.
    I noticed Wayne Swan yet again using this language just yesterday on the radio.

    Labor are being allowed to frame the issue here. They have been very clever because their argument goes straight to the fundamental concept of property rights and egalitarian type ideology. Labor don’t believe in property rights and their policies are logically consistent with this belief. The Liberal party also don’t defend property rights per se. They believe in business regulations just like most Australians.
    Will anyone in the Liberal party challenge the idea of collective ownership of natural resources? Will anyone defend the principle of property rights? Unfortunately I doubt it.
    The Liberal party politicians, if challenged would probably concede that they DO believe in this collective ownership bullshit. But that they don’t want the super profits tax for other less fundamental reasons.
    Australians are ignorant but they’re not idiots. The Labor argument is highly convincing because it’s logically consistent with the fundamental ideology it’s based on and these fundamentals are not being challenged.

    This is similar to Work Choices. Labor and the unions framed this debate by talking about “fairness” and “rights”. In reality there’s nothing fair about using government force to control the employee – employer negotiations and employment contracts. Additionally, you shouldn’t have the legal right to initiate force against your employer (or anyone) and tell him how to run his business. And rejecting Work Choices has been harmful to more people than passing this legislation would have been. But people were sucked in by the language (fairness and rights) and the false ideology.

    The Liberals didn’t defend WorkChoices by discussing the idea of proper legal rights and the concept of fairness. Because like Labor they also believe that employers should be controlled by the government, just to a slightly lesser degree.
    The problem is, if we concede that an employer does not have the legal right to control his business, his land and his staff but only has partial permissions in these areas subject to various levels of regulation, what’s to stop his partial permissions becoming more and more partial? Socialists can keep chipping away at property rights. If one policy is shown to fail, they’ll try another and another.
    One step forward, two steps back.

    The Liberal party are a temporary band-aid at best. The world needs “radicals for capitalism” to quote Ayn Rand. Having said that, I sincerely hope the damage inflicted from the current Labor party can be contained and minimized.

  13. At least Joe Hockey has come out and opposed Internet cenorship purely on principle. But I get the impression it rather suits Tony Abbott’s conservatism.

  14. Perhaps natural resources don’t belong to “the people” but if that is true what business do mining companies have mining the natural resources on and under the property of others just because government gave them a license?

  15. Fleeced; its probably worth putting that post up, it could get some action.

    Thanks Tim; During the US election I raised the point after some of the revelations of Obamas past and his inexperience that it would be a mistake to go all historic and vote the black guy in for the sake of making history, as if, as it seemed likely at the time he wouldn’t be a good President it would create a set back for the election of any good black guy for quite a while.

    Terje; some of what you are saying goes back to sentiments expressed by Tim as well as me. I much prefer the system in the States where if you own the land, you own the minerals beneath it. One of my contacts over there found he is sitting over a sweet spot over a gas basin and as result will probably be a rich bastard fairly soon. He has arranged venture capital and is about to start producing his gas as we speak.

    It is the fact that the government feels that it owns the minerals under properties that causes them to claim the right to prevent the owner from exercising any right to stop companies accessing those deposits. I understand in NSW the government will not even allow a property owner to hold out for a high price, they will resume it.

    In other words one injustice creates another, and another, and ….

  16. I don’t know if property acquisition should come with a “lucky dip” clause, though.

    Why is it legitimate for someone to acquire property that wasn’t part of the original deal just because it was hidden within the property they acquired?

    If my grandma dies and I sell off her handbag at a garage sale, and then I find out that her handbag actually still had her purse in it should I have any right to try and claim her purse back?

    I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem straightforward to me that unknown resources are de facto owned by the person that purchases the land on top of them. Especially if it is contractually stated that if any resources are found they will be the property of the original seller (the government in this case).

    I don’t really like the RSPT because it’s retroactive and because it’s a narrow-based tax. But if the government only sells land on the contractual condition that it can levy a profit on the resources, then that is at least morally justified. (obviously not the case here, but if we were starting over…)

  17. If my grandma dies and I sell off her handbag at a garage sale, and then I find out that her handbag actually still had her purse in it should I have any right to try and claim her purse back?

    Well Shem which is the case?:

    1. Should the buyer claim ownership of all that he bought including the purse, he owns it.

    2. That you have the right to it even though you sold it.

    3. That the government has the right to regard it as property of the people and claims 40% of it.

    The tax is just plain wrong, companies already pay tax.

  18. it doesn’t seem straightforward to me that unknown resources are de facto owned by the person that purchases the land on top of them.

    That’s how it’s done in nearly all the rest of the world. It works just fine.

    What do they say about people who think everyone else is wrong?

  19. If we start from first principles, then the owner of any land should have all rights to anything under the surface. In tribal societies, the tribe owned all the land collectively, so the elders would meet and decide what to do with it. This is the basis of governments meddling in ownership. We should be moving towards greater autonomy for all individuals, which should include freedom for one owner to decide what to do with any land one owns.
    Otherwise, the governments of the world will keep on interfering.
    This is why I have adopted the label, “Pro-Secessionist”. I think that landlords should be absolute landlords of their land, and anything under their land, and the airspace for one Kilometer above their land. If they feel that governments are getting too big, they should secede, and have the right to secede.

  20. What do they say about people who think everyone else is wrong?

    I don’t know, what do they say about you?

  21. Shem, it would be ridiculous to think that by buying land, you own the material below you until you reach the centre of the earth, or that you have ownership of the space above your property until you reach outer space. But just because the land owner shouldn’t own resources down to the centre of the earth, doesn’t mean I or the government (who claim to be representing me) deserve money from any mining he may do, just because we all live in the same country.

    What I think is important:
    1) Average Jo who has nothing to do with mining doesn’t deserve any royalties for ore extraction. Average Jo (unless he’s a mining company share holder) doesn’t own the ore. This assertion would require challenging the idea of public ownership, which dates back thousands of years. Labor’s in a good position here.

    The Gillard/Tanner argument I’ve heard for royalties is based on the idea that these resources are “non-renewable”. Firstly I don’t think this is really true considering metals are constantly being resued and recycled (for hundreds if not thousands of years). But I don’t see why this is the fundamentally important aspect of paying royalties anyway. Many resources are scarce. In a technical sense, many resources are non-renewable.
    More importantly this argument still rests on the idea that we are all collective ownsers of the ore in the ground.
    Resources are “non-renewable” therefore we all own them (or at least deserve a royalty payment). This is a non-sequitor IMO.
    Labor are hoping this idea will be taken for granted and not be challenged. They’re hoping people will accept the status quo without checking the premises upon which the status quo ideas rest.

    2) Once a company(s) has done the work to extract the ore. They should then be considered the owners.

    But are the Liberal party willing to be staunch defenders of property rights?
    Do the public understand the importance of property rights?
    Will Australians and the media be receptive to this kind of debate?

    Hopefully the Liberals can avert some of the damage Labor will gleefully unleash if given half the chance. But I’m skeptical.

    I enjoyed this Objectivist article on the problem of private ownership of waterways if you’re interested:
    http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2010-spring/private-waterways.asp
    Here in SA, we hear a lot of debate over how the Murray River is managed or mismanaged. One thing is for sure, the current and past systems have afforded poor results and other Australian states have also experienced poor water management. So I found this article interesting.

  22. To go back to the topic of Rudd’s departure.

    I am disgusted to hear that Gillard wants a small Australia or something similar?

    My guess is that Gillard is less of a pragmatist compared to Rudd. She is probably more consistently socialist like Obama. And therefore more dangerous.
    Also, if she is more principled than Rudd she won’t get caught out back-flipping on issues. She won’t piss off the greenies like Rudd did.

    I suspect she’s against human freedom at a deep level. She’s not a defender of property rights (current mining debate). She supports Australian troop action in Afghanistan. (To me this is just another wasteful Vietnam type scenario, nothing to do with self defence). And now I find out she’s anti-immigration. I suspect she’s probably one of these malthusians.

    Three strikes and you’re out Gillard.
    Thankfully we live in a world of vocal coaching though! She does seemed to have toned down her simultaneously harsh, nasal and bogan accent somewhat. Pity she’s still a wranger. Unfortunatley that means she has no soul 🙂

  23. Hey Jim, The mining tax is intended to replace royalties which you have not commented on. I think Kev07 assisted BHP & FMG to get an lucrative iron ore price increase from china so my perception is that kev07 thinks he is entitled to gouge some of it back from the lucrative profits that the two companies are making.

    Pulling off such a lucrative iron ore price increase makes kev07 the most successful capitalist & entrepeneur in Australia!!! Pity he cant tell anyone cause they might call it collusion and not really in the spirit of left wing socialism…think that might be why he has no friends in labor….

    I think that kev07 managed to get an iron ore price increase by agreeing to take lots of chinese migrants. apparently the chinese are the largest migrant intake in Australia.

  24. Sorry I missed your comment when it went up. I was working away and just noticed it.

    Royalties are a state matter and nothing to do with the tax other than than a claimed allowance for that expense. There has been a blue ever since on whether the tax goes down if states increase royalties. The miners say yes, the government says no.

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