The Australian Alert Service is the weekly publication of the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia.
It will keep you updated of strategic events both in Australia, and worldwide, as well as the organising activities of the CEC.
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In this week's Australian Alert Service
11 October 2017
The fight is right vs. wrong, not right vs. left
The electricity and gas crises head the list of predicates
of Australia as an economic basket case. Despite competing
to be the world's leading gas exporter, and having
the most abundant supplies of coal, uranium and thorium
for electricity generation, Australians don't have reliable
electricity or sufficient gas. Households and industries
are suffering alike, and the experts' solution to the
electricity crisis is to manage "demand response", which
is newspeak for shutting down industries in a heatwave
to ration electricity.
Other predicates relate to the banks. Economist and
former Labor minister Craig Emerson wrote in the 9 October
Australian Financial Review that Australia's economy
is a house of cards. "Pull the house-price card out and
the whole economy can collapse", he warned. "Such is
the folly of orchestrating a housing boom as a substitute
for an economic strategy."
Another economist, Stephen Anthony from Industry
Super Australia, wrote in the 3 October Sydney Morning
Herald that the banking system needs to be fixed to improve
productivity and living standards. "Australia's banks
are failing to meet their public obligations to drive growth
and raise community welfare", he identified. "This is a
long-term problem." One of the latest examples of the
banks' failings is UBS analyst Jonathan Mott's survey that
showed that one third of borrowers with interest-only loans
do not know they are not paying down the principal of
their loans. "Monthly repayments on interest-only loans—
which do not require payment on the loan principal for
about five years—jump by about 50 per cent at the end
of the interest-only period", the 7 October Australian reported.
"The findings ... suggest many homeowners were
unaware they are heading towards a financial cliff." In a
4 October Bloomberg column, titled "Australia's luck has
run out", former banker and influential financial analyst
Satyajit Das wrote that "a debt bomb is growing Down
Under", adding: "The high debt levels increase the risk of
a banking crisis, which could be sparked by rising losses
on real estate loans."
The political debate
on the electricity,
banking crises is
along the usual
right vs. left, Liberals
vs. Labor divide.
The divide is
not real, however.
By their own admission
there is a
both sides on neoliberal
The real debate
is between the present neoliberal consensus, and history.
How did Australia's nation builders make the economy
work and lay the foundations for decades of economic
prosperity, which neoliberalism has almost undone? Australia's
greatest nation-builders were in "old" Labor, who
waged a do-or-die political fight for the Common Good,
against the oligarchical financial interests that Labor called
the "Money Power". Old Labor's fight was principled, not
ideological, and their interest was in what worked, which
they defined as what worked for everybody, not just an elite
few. Their fight wasn't right vs. left, but right vs. wrong.
Labor knew that the most fundamentally "right" policy
was a national bank, a government financial institution
through which the public interest was represented in the
financial system, so the public would not be at the mercy
of the Money Power. They fought for public infrastructure,
public health, public education, and other public institutions
for the same reason—to make the agency of government
serve the Common Good. Australian old Labor's
last hurrah was Gough Whitlam's push to bring Australia's
resources under national control (see Almanac). His dismissal
by the Queen precipitated the ALP's sell-out to the
Money Power through its embrace of deregulation and privatisation,
the disastrous consequences of which we see
today in the energy and banking crises.
The Corbyn nationalisation revolution in the UK is recruiting
people back to the principle of government serving
the Common Good (p. 8). Due to the Citizens Electoral
Council, it's catching on here too: economist Stephen
Anthony's suggested banking reform is structural separation
(Glass-Steagall) and a public bank.
Articles include the following:
- Take back the common wealth!
- Don't miss the bigger agenda behind China's BRI
- Another ALP veteran speaks for BRI engagement
- Monetarism vs. public credit
- 'Magic of the market' makes fuel security disappear
- Abbott backs nuclear power
- 50-degree future a scientific fraud
- A tale of two conferences
- Bank of England steps up global bail-in drive
- Economic collapse fuels divisions in Europe
- Why go to China?
- Robert Mueller, Anglo-American hit man
- Trump rocks Wall Street with Puerto Rico debt pledge
- CEC activists put the spotlight on APRA agenda
- Columbus's first 'Belt and Road' inspired by Cusa
- ALMANAC: The Money Power vs. the Whitlam Government
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