Mopping up operations

Late counting adds some extra grunt to the backlash against the Liberals in wealthy city seats, slightly reducing the size of their expected winning margin on the national two-party vote.

The Australian Electoral Commission is now conducting Coalition-versus-Labor preference counts in seats where its indicative preference counts included minor party or independent candidates – or, if you want to stay on top of the AEC’s own jargon in these matters, two-party preferred counts in non-classic contests.

Such counts are complete in the seven seats listed below; 94% complete in Warringah, where the current count records a 7.4% swing to Labor, 78% complete in New England, where there is a 1.2% swing to the Coalition; at a very early stage in Clark (formerly Denison, held by Andrew Wilkie); and have yet to commence in Farrer, Indi, Mayo and Melbourne. Labor have received unexpectedly large shares of preferences from the independent candidates in Kooyong, Warringah and Wentworth, to the extent that Kevin Bonham now reckons the final national two-party preferred vote will be more like 51.5-48.5 in favour of the Coalition than the 52-48 projected by most earlier estimates.

We also have the first completed Senate count, from the Northern Territory. This isn’t interesting in and of itself, since the result there was always going to be one seat each for Labor and the Country Liberals. However, since it comes with the publication of the full data file accounting for the preference order of every ballot paper, it does provide us with the first hard data we have on how each party’s preferences flowed. From this I can offer the seemingly surprising finding that 57% of United Australia Party voters gave Labor preferences ahead of the Country Liberals compared with only 37% for vice-versa, with the remainder going to neither.

Lest we be too quick to abandon earlier assessments of how UAP preferences were behaving, this was almost certainly a consequence of a ballot paper that had the UAP in column A, Labor in column B and the Country Liberals in column C. While not that many UAP votes would have been donkey votes as normally understood, there seems little doubt that they attracted a lot of support from blasé voters who weren’t much fussed how they dispensed with preferences two through six. There also appears to have been a surprisingly weak 72% flow of Greens preferences to Labor, compared with 25% to the Country Liberals. It remains to be seen if this will prove to be another territorian peculiarity – my money is on yes.

Note also that there’s a post below this one dealing with various matters in state politics in Western Australia.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

2,119 comments on “Mopping up operations”

  1. ‘Nicholas says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 9:57 am

    In Australia today there are 1.1 million underemployed, 1.1 million marginally attached to the labour force, and 700,000 unemployed.’

    I blame the Greens for failing to persuade another 41% 2PP of the vote over the past 27 years to support them. I also blame the Coalition which has been in power for most of the past three decades.

    I look forward to Di Natale picking up the extra 41% of the 2PP over the next 3 years. Beyond that, he is young enough to lead the Greens to another 15 elections.

  2. i thought Annabel did OK with the panel part of Insiders. She moved the discussion on in exactly the same way as Cassidy used to (remember the producers have a part to play here).

  3. “The other explanation for why Australians became the world’s biggest gamblers during the 1990s was that the expansion of gambling was a deliberate government policy choice.”
    The introduction and steady growth of pokies across the nation over the past few decades, approved by governments almost without limits and often against public sentiment, has led to a proliferation of poker machines that is unique in the world. Today, pokies losses in Australia, borne most by those who can least afford it, amount to $12 billion per year.
    Poker machines are designed to be addictive, and lives are ruined as a result, yet this damage is purposefully ignored if not buried.

    The lie of responsible gambling.

    https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2019/june/1559397600/james-boyce/lie-responsible-gambling?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Sunday%20Reads%20-%2016%20June%202019&utm_content=Sunday%20Reads%20-%2016%20June%202019+CID_c3b80b8cb019ab33caa1c2ac04960e66&utm_source=EDM&utm_term=The%20lie%20of%20responsible%20gambling

  4. @samanthamaiden
    47m47 minutes ago

    So @annabelcrabb just got @PeterDutton_MP to confirm the only US based refugees we have taken in Australia under the exchange deal are the alleged Rwandan axe murderers. Can all the muppets on Twitter making cracks about scones and cookbooks shut up now. Very good interview.

  5. Stephen Koukoulas@TheKouk
    36m36 minutes ago

    Phew! Another week, and analysis of economy missing on Insiders
    Looks like Insiders will avoid discussing the labour market data this week – just when underemployment and unemployment hit a total of 1.86 million people

  6. So @annabelcrabb just got @PeterDutton_MP to confirm the only US based refugees we have taken in Australia under the exchange deal are the alleged Rwandan axe murderers. Can all the muppets on Twitter making cracks about scones and cookbooks shut up now. Very good interview.

    Yeah, I do a crap job 364 days a year but tell my whingeing clients to STFU because once a year I nail a gimme.

  7. Another 3 years of the Kouk sniping from the sidelines. Who’s worse, the Kouk or Peter Fitzsimons ? The sneering left is what Henderson calls them in the Australian. A very good description in my view.

  8. https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/council-defends-free-worm-farms-as-opponents-label-smart-bins-a-waste-of-money-20190607-p51vo7.html

    The council is also spending $200,000 providing free compost bins or worm farms to households as part of an effort to encourage households to reduce their waste.

    But the new “smart” bins, fitted with microchips that allow the council to monitor how much rubbish is generated, have been labelled a waste of money by some residents and councillors.

    The National Waste Report found 67 million tonnes of waste was generated in 2016-17, including 13.8 million tonnes of municipal solid waste from households and local government activities or 560 kilograms for each person.

    And while 37 million tonnes of waste is collected for recycling, contractors have resorted to stockpiling as countries such as China, India and Malaysia refusing to take our plastic bottles and other recyclable material.

    Whatever happened to the “said to be” beaucoup tonnes of shredded Gummint papers prior to the feared Labor victory at the last Federal Election ❓

    Would this material be suitable for worm farms ❓ Do worms like lettuce. I’m thinking of the limp material left over from TV interviews.

    and —-thanks BK for the Dawn Patrol.

    I particularly like the item
    Peter FitzSimons nicely describes the Hawke memorial service.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/strange-bedfellows-and-long-time-adversaries-come-together-for-bob-hawke-s-memorial-20190614-p51xtg.html

    All was building to the climax, the final formal speech, before Blanche d’Alpuget’s wonderfully moving farewell – that of Hawke’s great political partner and rival, Paul Keating.

    For once, it was not Keating’s words that made the impact. I can’t quite remember them. It was really just his presence, his warmth, the fact that as Hawke departed the national stage the man seeing him off was the very man with whom he had achieved so much. Had he not been there, it would have been a jarring lack of presence. The fact that he was there, paying tribute was perfect.

    That’s about enough from me for today.

    Au revoir mes amis. 😇 ☮ ☕

  9. KayJay, are there still no ‘green bins’ for kerbside pickup in NSW?

    It is all the rage here. I did away with composting and worm farms (too much effort) and just throw all my scraps into the green bin that goes to a company who make soil and profit out of it. The cat litter (and poo) can go in there too. I have tried to put the cat in as well but my children are onto me.

    Which means my rubbish bin only goes out once every 3 weeks or so.

  10. Stephen Koukoulas is claiming that unemployment and underemployment combined have “just reached” 1.8 million, but my understanding is that it has been at that level for a long time.

    Underemployment has definitely been at 1.1 million since at least February 2018 and unemployment has definitely been at 700,000 since at least February 2018.

    https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6226.0

  11. KayJay, are there still no ‘green bins’ for kerbside pickup in NSW?

    We have Green Bins. they alternate with the Yellow Recyclabes Bin. The Red Bin can go out every week if you want it to.

    #ResidentofNSW

  12. SK:

    Starting next year our food scraps will be able to go into the green bin, and normal rubbish collection will be dialed back to once per fortnight rather than weekly.

  13. Andrew says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 10:01 am
    Could Chicken Little give the keyboard back to Briefly now? Enough is enough

    The place is stuffed, Andrew. In the economy – jobs, incomes – the environment, in utilities – water, energy, communications, roads and public transport – in education and training, health, taxation and social spending, the place is in serious trouble. The brainy people I talk to think that in many places the system is so bad it’s unfixable and it’s downhill all the way from now on.

    Labor is as weak as it’s been at any time in more than a century and there is institutional dysfunction in Left-leaning politics. The union movement is a pale shadow of its former self. Taken together, this means Labor will not be able to restore its plurality and without this Labor cannot win. The Parliament is a Right-leaning one. The Right will be able to do whatever they choose, one way or another. They will. They’ve been aching to. Labor has won just one election since 1996. The willingness of working class voters to choose parties of the Right, including ON, really means the loyalties of the 20th century are going up in smoke.

    The Right use the destruction of the environment as a weapon to attack Labor. They have weaponised climate change among working people and can rely on this to continue to give rise to fear. They will use fear to attack and defeat Labor even as the economy tanks. Rely on it.

    Labor have had some success using old-style field campaign methods to reach voters. But this was an abysmal failure in the recent election. The Libs and their clones outspent Labor by a ratio of 20:1, all told. This worked for them. They will do it again. They will outspend Labor 50:1 if they need to.

    The dysfunctional campaign against Labor by the Greens is not going to cease. The Greens utterly loathe Labor. They would rather the environment is sacrificed than ally themselves with Labor and set out to defeat the Right. This is just stating the obvious. The Greens have never denied it.

    So we are fucked. Since we seem to be incapable of changing ourselves, it’s completely implausible to think we might be able to change the country. It’s not going to happen. The Right will continue to win, as they have done most of the time in the last quarter-century. They will do their worst, even as the economy goes to pieces and climate change accelerates. This is the 21st century. Get used to it.

  14. Michaelia has unfortunately come out of hiding and reminds me:

    Last year, as the government prepared another round of welfare crackdowns, Minister Michaelia Cash said she expects “that those who can work should work and our welfare system should be there as a genuine safety net, not as something that people can choose to fund their lifestyle.”

    I wonder what lifestyle Madam Cash thinks can be funded by Newstart. Whenever I see/hear Michaelia I can feel my anger rising.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/australia-takes-from-the-poor-to-give-to-the-rich-20180404-p4z7sn.html

  15. Simon² Katich® @ #1761 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 10:42 am

    KayJay, are there still no ‘green bins’ for kerbside pickup in NSW?

    It is all the rage here. I did away with composting and worm farms (too much effort) and just throw all my scraps into the green bin that goes to a company who make soil and profit out of it. The cat litter (and poo) can go in there too. I have tried to put the cat in as well but my children are onto me.

    Which means my rubbish bin only goes out once every 3 weeks or so.

    Second attempt at reply. I seem to have mastered the art of wiping my comments prior to CTL+A —CTL+C.

    Newcastle Council provide three bins as follows –
    A small wheelie bin (Red Lid) for various household odd knobs and brangles which do not suit the following two bins

    A large wheelie bin (Yellow Lid) for various recyclable items
    and
    A large wheelie bin (Green Lid) for (what else) green waste.

    We were provided some years ago with a plastic box about 500x500x400mm which was suitable (so it was said) for composting.
    I have been thinking for some time about doing worm farming and I just need some sort of trigger to get me of my butt and get to it.

    I not that somebody has mentioned Gerard Henderson
    so
    Fingers in ears —-La La La La La La 🙈🙉🙊

  16. lizzie @ #1765 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 10:52 am

    Simon Katich

    What was the worst thing about your worm farm? I’ve just bought one.

    I think it was this:

    (too much effort)

    On the other hand I have had a worm farm for over 10 years now. All I did was get some worms off a friend of mine who had plenty to spare from her worm farm. She told me to start it off with some grass clippings and a little bit of soil. Then buy a Compost bucket for the kitchen where you can put all your vegetable scraps. No protein because that encourages maggots to grow and then they eat the worms! No eggshells either because the worms don’t like the sharp edges. We also put our used paper bags in as well. I used an old Red Bin, which I put up on a pallet and then I drilled a hole down the bottom for all the worm castings to come out of it. The worm castings are the best fertiliser for the garden. It’s also good to let the rain fall directly on your worm farm every now again because they like that. Then close it again afterwards. Sometimes you need to throw some more dryish grass clippings in again to bulk it up. Then just add your scraps to it every time you fill up the kitchen compost tin. And away you go!

    I guess it’s a bit of effort. But nothing good doesn’t come without it. 🙂

  17. Ronni Salt@MsVeruca
    13h13 hours ago

    Fresh from her whiteboard hobbit hole, the Goddess of Falsehoods & the Queen of the Strangled Vowels has returned to haunt our lives.

    😆

  18. C@tmomma @ #1763 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 10:50 am

    KayJay, are there still no ‘green bins’ for kerbside pickup in NSW?

    We have Green Bins. they alternate with the Yellow Recyclabes Bin. The Red Bin can go out every week if you want it to.

    #ResidentofNSW

    Indeedy. We (Newcastle) can put the Red Bin out weekly and the other alternate as described and so have a fortnightly cycle.

    Over. 😵

  19. briefly says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 10:59 am
    “The Greens utterly loathe Labor. They would rather the environment is sacrificed than ally themselves with Labor and set out to defeat the Right. This is just stating the obvious.”

    With Palaszyuck fast tracking the most destructive mine in Australia’s history, doing a Meg Lees GST style bend-over which utterly betrays her supporters, I think the feeling may be stronger than Loathing and well justified. Labor “listens” but doesn’t “hear”.

  20. This is scary stuff :

    U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid

    WASHINGTON — The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said.

    MORE : https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/us/politics/trump-cyber-russia-grid.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

    ( ….. but making it even more dangerous is this paragraph :

    Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister. )

  21. briefly @ #1769 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 10:59 am

    So we are fucked. Since we seem to be incapable of changing ourselves, it’s completely implausible to think we might be able to change the country. It’s not going to happen. The Right will continue to win, as they have done most of the time in the last quarter-century. They will do their worst, even as the economy goes to pieces and climate change accelerates. This is the 21st century. Get used to it.

    I agree with everything you wrote. However, I would put it slightly differently – Australia needs an economic crash – followed by a short but deep depression – to shake us out of our ignorance and complacency. Yes, we will suffer if this happens. But without it, most of us will eventually be much, much worse off.

    It sounds odd, I but I am optimistic that things will get worse fast enough to allow us to come to our senses in time. The signs are all there.

    The worst possible outcome is that we simply continue to do nothing and watch our economy, our lifestyle and our democracy decompose so slowly that we can continue to fool ourselves into thinking we are doing ok.

  22. Pegasus @ #1740 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 9:21 am

    Outgoing Tasmanian Senator Lisa Singh fires some parting shots across Labor’s bow:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-16/lisa-singh-fires-parting-shots-at-labor/11213604

    The victim of factional deals at preselection, Senator Singh lost her seat at the May election after being dumped to fourth on the party Senate ticket.
    :::
    It’s not the first time Senator Singh has been done over by Tasmanian Labor factions.
    :::
    Senator Singh said Labor should use its federal election loss to examine its preselection processes and how they could be made more democratic.

    She was pushed down the ticket despite receiving a high number of “rank and file” votes at the Labor conference last year, but factional deals and weighting of delegates’ votes went against the factionally-unaligned Senator.

    Delegates voting in preselection were required to “show and tell” their completed ballots to factional heavyweights, with only a handful refusing.
    :::
    Senator Singh does not know what the future holds but has not completely ruled out a future tilt at politics.

    When a quality individual like Singh is discarded you understand how self-destructive Labor is these days with the union factional powerplays.
    It’s little wonder they lost the unloseable election.
    It’s a modern political phenomenon how blind Labor is to their self-destructive tendencies.

    Anyway, Singh perhaps should have read the tea leaves and moved to the crossbench a while ago and built a independent profile.

  23. briefly

    The willingness of working class voters to choose parties of the Right, including ON, really means the loyalties of the 20th century are going up in smoke.

    Peter Sutton (edited for clarity by me)

    Many young people are ignorant of history and context. I grew up with Liberals like Gorton Fraser Hewson Hamer McPhee. Many of those views I share and I am now accused of being extreme left. To me Left was the old Labor of Evatt and Calwell certainly not Hawke Keating Rudd Gillard.
    Ignorance

  24. Compare with our small-minded, coal-waving f-wits:

    “Politicians in the UK have been overwhelmingly united in accepting the scientific consensus on climate change since at least 1989, when Margaret Thatcher – herself a scientist before entering politics – became the first leader of a major nation to call for a United Nations treaty to combat climate change.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/a-disorienting-sight-to-an-australian-how-the-uk-got-on-with-the-climate-change-challenge-20190614-p51xqf.html

  25. The Greens wont increase their support more than say 14% or so, unless they adopt an economic platform along what both the Labour Party in Britain, along with Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are proposing. If they made that sort of shift in their ideology, then the Greens would pose an existential threat to Labor.

    As far as I know only Former Senator Scott Ludlam and Mehreen Faruqi would subscribe to those sort of economic views, among the current Greens Senators.

  26. briefly @ #1769 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 10:59 am

    Andrew says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 10:01 am
    Could Chicken Little give the keyboard back to Briefly now? Enough is enough

    The place is stuffed, Andrew. In the economy – jobs, incomes – the environment, in utilities – water, energy, communications, roads and public transport – in education and training, health, taxation and social spending, the place is in serious trouble. The brainy people I talk to think that in many places the system is so bad it’s unfixable and it’s downhill all the way from now on.

    Labor is as weak as it’s been at any time in more than a century and there is institutional dysfunction in Left-leaning politics. The union movement is a pale shadow of its former self. Taken together, this means Labor will not be able to restore its plurality and without this Labor cannot win. The Parliament is a Right-leaning one. The Right will be able to do whatever they choose, one way or another. They will. They’ve been aching to. Labor has won just one election since 1996. The willingness of working class voters to choose parties of the Right, including ON, really means the loyalties of the 20th century are going up in smoke.

    The Right use the destruction of the environment as a weapon to attack Labor. They have weaponised climate change among working people and can rely on this to continue to give rise to fear. They will use fear to attack and defeat Labor even as the economy tanks. Rely on it.

    Labor have had some success using old-style field campaign methods to reach voters. But this was an abysmal failure in the recent election. The Libs and their clones outspent Labor by a ratio of 20:1, all told. This worked for them. They will do it again. They will outspend Labor 50:1 if they need to.

    The dysfunctional campaign against Labor by the Greens is not going to cease. The Greens utterly loathe Labor. They would rather the environment is sacrificed than ally themselves with Labor and set out to defeat the Right. This is just stating the obvious. The Greens have never denied it.

    So we are fucked. Since we seem to be incapable of changing ourselves, it’s completely implausible to think we might be able to change the country. It’s not going to happen. The Right will continue to win, as they have done most of the time in the last quarter-century. They will do their worst, even as the economy goes to pieces and climate change accelerates. This is the 21st century. Get used to it.

    Albanese has shown an inclination to start to remove the barnacles from the Labor sinking ship.

    Labor people should embrace Albanese and support his initial move in discarding Setka.

    The next think Albanese and Swan need to do is disassociate Labor from donors who force the catastrophic self-wedges.

  27. Anyone saying this is condemned as ‘lefty’ by the complacent conservatives. This is Cassandra Goldie, the chief executive officer of the Australian Council of Social Service, who in the past I have felt leaned too far right to placate Turnbull’s mob.

    A package that increased Newstart and invested in large-scale social housing growth would be great for the economy. It will also mean some of the three million people in poverty might be able to feed themselves more and get a better roof over their head. Surely this would be a better fiscal lever than delivering large-scale tax cuts to people on the highest incomes?

    Governments are prone to lecturing us about the need to live within our means. If there was ever a case in point, it’s the choice about which fiscal policy levers we use right now or lock in for an unknown future.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/15/instead-of-locking-in-future-tax-cuts-we-should-increase-newstart-and-boost-social-housing?CMP=share_btn_tw

  28. However, I would put it slightly differently – Australia needs an economic crash – followed by a short but deep depression – to shake us out of our ignorance and complacency. Yes, we will suffer if this happens. But without it, most of us will eventually be much, much worse off.

    It sounds odd, I but I am optimistic that things will get worse fast enough to allow us to come to our senses in time. The signs are all there.

    I think the obsession with budget surpluses – the failure to understand the role of demand injections and demand leakages in a macroeconomy – might lead to the economic depression that you are talking about.

    The Reserve Bank is asking the government to do some fiscal expansion. So far the government is declining to do this. The Reserve Bank knows how limited monetary policy is. It is unusual for the Reserve Bank to explicitly call on the government to increase the deficit. Reserve Bank officials are a conservative bunch of people who are generally very fearful of deficit spending. The fact that even they have cottoned on to the limitations of monetary policy and the need for fiscal stimulus is very significant.

  29. ICANCU @ #1775 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 11:10 am

    briefly says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 10:59 am
    “The Greens utterly loathe Labor. They would rather the environment is sacrificed than ally themselves with Labor and set out to defeat the Right. This is just stating the obvious.”

    With Palaszyuck fast tracking the most destructive mine in Australia’s history, doing a Meg Lees GST style bend-over which utterly betrays her supporters, I think the feeling may be stronger than Loathing and well justified. Labor “listens” but doesn’t “hear”.

    I would hope Anastasia is busy finalising a direct action policy in providing generous incentives to business to create green jobs in the regions.

  30. It would be an error to suppose that a recession would favour Labor’s prospects. It might. But it’s far more likely the Right would use it to further their attacks on Labor, unions and working people, and that they would win. There is a resinous recession in parts of QLD and WA. They swung to the Liberals. They can repeat the performance. They are gearing up to win again in WA. They will win again in Queensland. They won in NSW.

    Anyone who underestimates the Right is making is very serious mistake.

  31. briefly @ #1787 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 11:26 am

    It would be an error to suppose that a recession would favour Labor’s prospects. It might. But it’s far more likely the Right would use it to further their attacks on Labor, unions and working people, and that they would win. There is a resinous recession in parts of QLD and WA. They swung to the Liberals. They can repeat the performance. They are gearing up to win again in WA. They will win again in Queensland. They won in NSW.

    Anyone who underestimates the Right is making is very serious mistake.

    The tone of resignation is unhelpful to Labor right now.

    There are many positive options Labor can turn to to regain credibility so spectacularly lost.

  32. The Australian Government neither has nor doesn’t have Australian dollars. The Australian Government is the scorekeeper for the Australian dollar. The Australian Government is the monopoly issuer of the Australian dollar. The Australian Government spends by crediting Exchange Settlement Accounts at the Reserve Bank of Australia. It taxes by debiting Exchange Settlement Accounts. These are accounts that retail banks, credit unions and other financial institutions have with the Reserve Bank.

    All of these transactions are accomplished by keystrokes on computers at the Reserve Bank of Australia.

    A macroeconomy has three demand injections going into it and three demand leakages coming out of it.

    demand injections:
    1. federal government spending
    2. external sector’s spending on our exports
    3. household dissaving (households spending down savings)

    demand leakages:
    1. federal government tax receipts
    2. our spending on the external sector’s products
    3. household saving

    Every dollar of demand injection is balanced by a dollar of demand leakage. The injections and the leakages sum to zero.

    Australia typically runs a current account deficit. This means that the rest of the world (the external sector) is in net terms a demand leakage for Australia’s macroeconomy. We spend more on the rest of the world’s products than the rest of the world spends on our products.

    Australia’s domestic private sector typically runs a surplus. That means that Australia’s households want to spend less than they earn. They want to be net savers. This means that Australia’s private sector is in net terms a demand leakage for Australia’s macroeconomy.

    The federal government needs to run a deficit that is equal to the sum of the external sector surplus and the domestic private sector surplus. The federal government’s macroeconomic task is to run a deficit that equals the sum of the other two sectors’ surpluses and that is enough to achieve full employment. Genuine full employment would involve an unemployment rate of only 1 or 2 percent, an underemployment rate that is close to zero, and a marginal attachment to the labour force rate that is close to zero.

    It is nonsense to claim that we would have accelerating inflation if we drove unemployment down to 1 or 2 percent.

    The federal government has many policy tools at its disposal to maintain price stability.

    It can enact a Job Guarantee that acts as an automatic stabilizer for the macroeconomy, that is, federal government spending automatically increases when the private sector experiences a downturn, and federal government spending automatically falls when the private sector experiences a recovery.

    It can tighten financial and credit rules.

    It can reduce the pricing power of large firms by enacting stricter competition policy and forcing large firms to separate.

    As a very unlikely last resort it can enact cuts to its discretionary spending.

    There is a lot of unused capacity in the Australian economy at the moment. There are 1.1 million under-employed people and 700,000 unemployed people in Australia. That is a horrendous waste of people’s energies and talents. Dr Steven Hail of the University of Adelaide estimates that the Australian Government could increase its deficit by about $55 billion per year without causing an inflation problem.

    The federal government needs to increase its deficit spending by enough to drive unemployment down to 1 or 2 percent and drive under-employment down to zero percent. An unemployment rate of 1 or 2 percent would be consistent with “frictional unemployment” – that is, the small number of people at any given moment who are spending days or weeks between jobs. These are not people who are involuntarily spending long periods of time – months or years – out of work. They are merely spending days or weeks to line up their next job. That kind of job search is normal, healthy, and compatible with an economy at full employment.

  33. 5 Stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

    Most people seem to have skipped bargaining and gone straight to depression. Very sensible, as it is not possible to bargain with Morrison, Frydenberg, Dutton, Cash, Porter and all the rest.

  34. Nicholas,
    Could you try being more succinct please? My eyes glaze over whenever I see your very long posts. And I would like to read them.

  35. ‘Anyway, Singh perhaps should have read the tea leaves and moved to the crossbench a while ago and built a independent profile.’

    Or joined a faction.

    She made a choice, I assume she had good reasons for making that choice, it has consequences, which she would have been aware of.

    If her thinking was that it was better to lose her seat than be in a faction, I’m sure she knew what she was doing.

  36. zoomster @ #1791 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 11:49 am

    ‘Anyway, Singh perhaps should have read the tea leaves and moved to the crossbench a while ago and built a independent profile.’

    Or joined a faction.

    She made a choice, I assume she had good reasons for making that choice, it has consequences, which she would have been aware of.

    If her thinking was that it was better to lose her seat than be in a faction, I’m sure she knew what she was doing.

    Join a faction and compromise your principles ? ..no, Singh is better than that.

    Losing Singh is just another case of Labor shooting themselves in the foot with their self-harming structures.

  37. Some Australian dollars get taxed away – these dollars leave the expenditure cycle. They are effectively deleted from existence.

    Some Australian dollars accumulate as savings in the domestic private sector.

    Some Australian dollars accumulate as savings in the external sector.

    It is important to have strict financial and credit rules so that savings don’t fuel asset price bubbles that lead to misallocation of savings and a heightened risk of crises.

  38. NSW Labor

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/16/the-blood-sports-just-beginning-as-nsw-labor-leadership-battle-heats-up

    Two right-faction MPs try to differentiate themselves to party members – while Labor supporters cling to hope of a way out
    :::
    While the Labor head office has backed her, the right’s loyalties are split and the left has not fallen in behind either candidate, which means how the caucus vote will shape out remains unclear.
    :::
    The policy tussle has failed to set things alight so far and there remains an air of awkwardness about two right-faction MPs trying to differentiate themselves to the party’s 17,000 members.
    :::
    If exchanges like that don’t exactly suggest a cavernous policy difference between the candidates, rest assured that behind the scenes NSW Labor is not giving up on its reputation as a home for political blood sport.

  39. It’s boring to again be reading Rex Douglas singling out Lisa Singh, with nary a word about her counterpart in the Liberal Party, Jim Molan. Just another day of same old, same old from Rex Douglas.

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