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Byron Shire
September 28, 2023

Editorial – E-con-oh-my

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Review on remote Indigenous Australians sheds light on the Voice to Parliament

As a white man living on Bundjalung Country, I acknowledge that it is not easy to make the cross-cultural shift from a Western paradigm lens to comprehend and appreciate the rich diversity and complexity of 65,000 years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ sociocultural and spiritual history.

If there’s one thing that the LNP lays claim to, above all else, it is the assertion that they are the better managers of the economy. But what does this bold claim actually mean?

Are they talking about ‘the economy’ as a metaphor for society?

Because if they aren’t, then really, what is the point?

For all those undecided voters out there who are considering sticking with the devil they know, please think twice on this.

The nauseating mantra of ‘Strong Economy. Stronger Future.’ and ‘We aren’t Labor’ are frankly a poor case for re-election.

But whatever, let’s work with it and consider their central claim that they are good with money.  

A ‘strong economy’ can be measured in many different ways, but the public discourse usually boils down to jobs and growth.

Such simple metrics of deficits and unemployment don’t tell the full story of what is actually happening out here in the world. Our lives don’t automatically improve when the stock market goes up. Company profits have a funny habit of just lining the pockets of the wealthy few.

The notion that growth is always good and a bigger GDP equals a more prosperous society flies in the face of reality. It ignores the well documented ever increasing divide between the haves and have-nots.

A striking outcome of the pandemic crisis of the last couple of years is the obscene amount of wealth hoarded by a few billionaires, while the less fortunate have been allowed to raid their superannuation to get through tough times – gee thanks for that, so generous.

Perpetual economic growth is also the fundamental driving force behind the rampant destruction of our natural environment, and is hastening global heating. The devastating climate change consequences of the business-as-usual approach are now painfully clear to see. To just measure success in dollars while ignoring the true social and environmental costs is not good management at all.

Putting aside how few of us really benefit from all those undertaxed massive corporate profits, at least we should be happy to have a job, right?

If the government is claiming credit for the current low unemployment figures then they should also own the blame for stagnant wages.

Wages have been flat for so long – while the cost of living has ballooned – that wages in real terms are going backwards.

The low number of jobseekers is also on the back of a ruthlessly punitive approach to welfare recipients that has led to many of them just giving up.

Not to mention that the pandemic forced a large chunk of the workforce to leave the country, and prompted many of us to rethink our own jobs.

That magical number of four per cent unemployed means less when so many of us are underemployed and underpaid, and whole industries are in a staffing crisis.

I’ll give Morrison and co the benefit of the doubt that they are genuine in their belief that a flourishing free market creates wealth that benefits us all. But this simplistic radical ideology is flawed and dangerous.

It has failed dismally in terms of social equity, and the environmental consequences are writ large all around us.

This decade-old government has achieved little, made a mess of much, and smirked at us condescendingly all along the way.

It’s high time to give someone, almost anyone else, a go.

Ziggi Browning, Echo production manager

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  1. Great article Ziggi. Yeah trickle down economics has not worked . They’re to greedy . Big business is all for the big bosses and shareholders. The average worker doesn’t see it. Some new Ceo has a great plan for profits. We’ll pay the workers less , make a profit , then give ourselves big bonuses . Great plan , Not. You’d think someone on 20 grand a week , if they really cared, wouldn’t mind getting 18 grand a week instead , so workers could earn 1 grand in the hand instead of 700 . How can you live on 7 to 800 a week when the rent is 6 to 700 a week. Mum Dad and 2 or 3 kids. How do you survive on that . It’s not fair . Trickle down has not worked ………………. .. As far as where’s the money coming from to pay low income workers , well what about the lazy 40 bill that big business where paid with job seeker that they didn’t need . They didn’t spend it, they put it in the piggy bank for a rainy day , paid themselves bigger bonuses and patted each other on the back for a job well done . Utter conceit and lying. It’s not fair , It’s not right . …. Average wage is meant to be 1500 a week. I don’t know many people that earn that. Maybe if you run your own biz and work 10, 12, 14 hours a day , 6 days a week . Average worker , not talking about tradies here. For the gov , it looks good on paper , but out there in the paddock it’s not happening. People need help , not a hand out. Better wages for their work . That’s what they need .

    • People just need to know their station, heaven help if they should complain about the few $’s crumbs that might manage to treacle down to them as at the same time they see the $’s flooding upwards to the real battlers…CEO’s.

      I mean, our battling CEO’s, it is hard work deciding which employees to sack, how many to sack, how quickly they bring in replacement smaller in number workforce sourced from labour hire companies paying lower wages compared to the former employees that got sacked.

      All the hard work, gotta be done by someone, yeah.
      So, it quite proper that the savings of wages go to the battling CEO’s.
      Workers, the ones actually performing the work, have no right to complain. Just be so be thankful that they got a job, one hour a week is all it takes to have a job, know your station of being ‘the working poor’.

      Afterall, as President ScamMO likes to tell us, this is “the economy that we all live in”.

  2. Haha,,,, God,, haha,,, true . Look after the poor and the weak , protect the innocent He gave us all this bounty and it’s our obligation to look after it and each other . Not destroy . Protect . Help families , help battlers .

    • Depends which God you are talking about Phil. Are you refering to the Judeo or the Christian? Cause those two have very different ideas about such things.

  3. For all the detractors and haters of the Morrison
    Government and that would be the majority here .
    Ablo has been a absolute 💯 embarrassment
    Not only for himself, but more broadly the
    Labor Party .. what a trainwreak his campaign
    Has been . Did not know what the cash rate was ?
    Been the same for years / did not know the
    Unemployment rate was ? Labor all about jobs , jobs , jobs . NDIS announced his six point plan
    His own policy and that of labors ? Did not know .
    Passed a cheat sheet to answer the question!
    When asked the hard questions in Albo,s
    Words i wont run from ! .. yet passes those to his
    Babysitters.. oh Albo can supplement after me ..
    So many more Gaffes.. those stuff ups have been shown to viewers in America & the UK and this is going to be your next Prime Minister, oh and the
    Greens Brandt & Ms Thorpe, what a undesirable
    B that women is ..and of course the Teal independent’s all supporting the greens / Labor
    One policy hypocrites.. no details no costings
    yep the transition to renewable energies
    Will be seamlessly easy.. how one reporters asks ?
    Because Billionaire Holmes a court told us so !
    Joachim how forgetful the Borders ? The 30
    Billion it cost taxpayers for Labor / greens
    Open borders on the high seas .. as a result
    The amount of lives lost is unknown ? in the thousands . Those unfortunate defence forces personnel
    Plucking body parts from the waters yes many were
    Children.. most seeking counselling or have just
    Left the defence forces as a result..traumatised !!
    Correction if iam wrong or not factual echo ?
    Don’t recall the Paper doing a Article on the Lives
    That were lost at Sea ? As a result of Labor / Greens
    Open borders when last in Power ? Anyway Joachim all will be fine you vote in your Greens & labor & the ABC .. and then it’s your Turn ..
    One Broken Promise or mistake.. can’t wait !!

    • Ho, ho, ho, our man The Barrow is baaaaack.

      Barrow, I’ll give you credit for the Liberal election campaign that you just launched.
      President ScamMO should have employed you as his speech writer for the ‘Official’ LIEberal election campaign launch yesterday.

      By the way, what sort of political party launches their election campaign 6 days before election day?
      Talk about taking the punters for fools, yeah.

      Reading your speech, so much to unpack, I just don’t know where to start.
      I did pick up a bit of theme though, negative, more negative, even more negative the longer you scribbled away with dummy spitting about political opponents who haven’t been in government for 10 years and at the same time ZERO positive anything to put forward about your man, President ScamMO.

      But I know –
      – Best not to talk about the Bushfire Apocalypse 2019/20 when your President ScamMO was in Aloha Hawaii and that today we still have people living in makeshift living conditions despite your President ScamMO hoarding some $’s4.8billions of Disaster Recovery Fund money. It ain’t his money, it OUR money to be used to help our fellow Australians in their time of desperation.
      – Best not talk about the Covid Pandemic that has killed three times as many Australians so far this year compared with the time from when the pandemic started up to the end of 2021 and all of President ScamMO’s CovidFAILs along the way, of the Killing Fields that were aged care settings, of the “it isn’t a race” Vaccine procurementFAIL, of the RAT procurementFAIL, But hey we get it, President ScamMO does so deeply care about the health and welfare of the citizenry,
      -Best not talk about the hundreds of thousands of people that were deliberately left behind with JobKeeper that your President ScamMO and Treasurer JoshingusallFraudenberg hail as a stunning success,
      – Best not talk about that JobKeeper ‘stunning success’ that saw $’s40billions of OUR / Taxpayer collective hard earned given away to businesses that didn’t meet the Government’s criteria to quality receiving $’sJobkeeper. And of that $’s40billions, $’s20billions was given away to businesses that actually increased their profits during the pandemic. Getting that $’s20billions back is a dead end with your President ScamMO, the $’s are gone for good, made off with by bandits it seems. Thank dog we don’t have a Debt and Deficit Disaster or a Budget Emergency these days. No Siree, with a $’s1trillions of debt pile looming, what’s a lazy $’s20 – 40billions JobKeeper give away in the big picture.
      – Best not talk about RoboRobberyDebt that saw your President ScamMO make up debts and terrorise some 400,000 innocent Australians with fictitious debt notices that resulted in crushing financial hardship, family and marriage breakdowns and suicides. But hey we get it, President ScamMO does so deeply care for the health and welfare of the citizenry. How President ScamMO isn’t in jail for perpetrating the biggest state sponsored fraud in our history is a mystery for the ages. Thank dog , there isn’t a Federal ICAC, yeah, your President ScamMO must be praying each night that we never have a Federal ICAC that will look into his RoboRobberyDebt Disaster that cost Us / Taxpayers $’s1.5billions in a settlement deal that is a joke in itself, which pales into insignificance to the broken lives.
      – Best not talk about our Squeegee-in-Chief who comes to Lismore and insults the flood victims with his squeegee photo op antics, runs away from patiently waiting locals and to top it off hands out Flood Relief Payments according to how they vote. WTF!!

      Barrow, I’m a Greens voter, not Labor voter.
      I don’t run to Labor’s rescue for the sake of it but on the Refugee and Asylum seekers you need to get with the program that there is so much fault on both Liberal and Labor side.
      Your Liberals make a sport out of using innocent people’s lives for political purposes, whip up fear and anger in the citizenry is all good with your Liberals. Shame on the LIEberals.

      The Tampa Affair and “Children Overboard” was the day that ‘Humanity was chucked Overboard’ thanks to your Liberals / Honest Johnny.
      Refugees and Asylum seekers arriving by sea, sent straight to mandatory detention on island hell holes despite having committed no crime.
      Australia is a signatory to the UN Conventions for Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Seeking asylum is NOT a crime, no matter what the method of arrival. That is F A C T.

      The great failure is that Australia has not tried to agree a process with our regional nation neighbours to handle asylum seekers and refugees that flee danger via sea. This is why desperate people, risking their lives fleeing danger, end up losing their lives.
      That failure is on both Liberal and Labor.

      Barrow, the damning indictment of it all is your Liberals, having kept asylum seekers in detention for 9 years, now releasing them into the community.
      So we won’t take any lectures from you about your faux concern for innocent lives or about this $’s30billions.

  4. Phil – our block-headed ScoMo can’t even tell the US what he’s on about
    even when ‘Subs’ are at stake let alone Albo & the OZ’s voting public.
    Can’t believe a ‘thing’ since he’s all spiel. Strange man. Needs an IQ test.

    • French President Emmanuel Macron can’t believe ScamMO either, “I don’t think. I know”, ScamMO lied to France about the now cancelled submarines deal.

  5. All theses Chris barrows , right from the beginning the echo was a lonely voice in amongst the barrage of right wing papers . That’s all there was , . Northern star , Byron shire news , telegraph , Australian etc etc etc . It was good to see a left of centre new media locally , Coz there was nothing else . Why don’t you go and start your own paper , circulation 10,, , then you can pat each other on the back as much as you want and don’t have to be so offended by save the planet statements and save the koalas and trees . You can carry on about how good Clive and Pauline and colonel mustard are , and bring back mr rabbit and the little rat and have a lovely old time instead of your senses being offended by us terrible radicals just wanting to save something for our kids and grandkids . Clive will fund it , Pauline will endorse it and you can happy clap with sco mo afterwards . Sounds real hubbly jubbly

  6. Stefanie and Joachim , I’m trying as best as I can . You two are much more articulate writers than me , I’m an amateur , keep it up you guys , keep the faith . Good job .


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