Archive for category International

I’m just glad . . .

. . . that these fucking morons aren’t in charge of my portfolio.

Issue of the Day – Asylum Seekers

Some previous background on this issue can be found in an earlier post The Cruelty Index, and the associated video of the same title on YouTube.

This is a really tough issue, because we definitely want to be firm with lawbreakers, but not resort to cruelty, incredible amounts of monetary waste, or becoming international lawbreakers ourselves. Unfortunately this is exactly what we are doing with this government, or the last, for that matter. But there are solutions.

You can take it from me, or go to a more reputable source, like Mr. Julian Burnside QC, who published details of an approach that is fair, just, and not cruel or wasteful of money around the time I was last talking about this.

It’s personally an issue I have been trying to put forward solutions to since 2000 when the Howard government was throwing out “Babies Overboard”. I sent my ideas in writing in great detail at the time to a bloke named Mark Latham, who was trying to become the next Prime Minister at the time. But they were ignored, as the non-intelligent are prone to do with good ideas.

Actually, I am being unfair to Mark, as I don’t think the ideas even made it to the man himself, but I did get them into a brief exchange with the aide that operated his email account.

As an immigrant myself, I wanted to come up with a proposal that is:
• Firm on lawbreaking. In this case the people smugglers who operate boats for money to deliver asylum seekers to Australia;
• Humane and in-line with our international obligations;
• Fair from the perspective of the average Australian citizen; and,
• Fiscally sound, and even beneficial to the country in the medium term.

The first part of my solution is firm application of the law to people smugglers, who I believe can be classified as pirates under the law of the sea. The Australian Navy or Customs vessels that intercept asylum seeker boats shall take the vessel under control, capture and take all personnel on the vessel into custody and safety scuttle the vessel at sea. All passengers shall be taken to the nearest safe port where the government is a party to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees. In many cases this will be Christmas Island, as a lot of our SE Asian neighbours are still not signatories to the convention, and frankly ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Once all vessel passengers are onshore, they shall be processed to determine valid asylum claims, criminal records, and complete health screening. This will include interviews with all passengers to make every effort to identify the people smugglers.

People smugglers will go into mandatory detention and prosecution, regardless of their age and have all assets stripped. Children amongst this group will be returned to their family in their home country, where this can be established, and after full interrogation and processing. Adult people smugglers will get life without parole, or the harshest penalty allowed for pirates following successful trial.

All remaining vessel passengers will be classified as refugees and processed for relocation to an acceptable interior location until such time as their asylum claims have been fully processed and put on a basic allowance from Centrelink. Housing can either be purchased on the basis of the allowance, or provided from surplus accommodation available in a host location.

Any local government area can apply to host refugees up to a limit of a small percentage of their population, if they can demonstrate availability of work for a portion of refugees they want to take. Infrastructure upgrades from the federal government to local communities will be made available to ensure the refugees can be housed, provided basic health care and schooling (mandatory for all ages unless proficiency in English and a skill can be demonstrated) where they will be hosted.

Any refugees being hosted on a temporary basis that are found to break the law in a significant way, or are serial offenders in minor lawbreaking will be sent to mandatory detention and deportation/prosecution at the first opportunity available. In short, fit in or fuck off.

All refugees will be allowed to work, pay taxes and fund superannuation, in a manner similar to people on 457 visas. Refugees that have valid asylum claims assessed will be provided with residency visas that require them to stay in the original hosting community for a period of at least three years, prior to being free to move anywhere they choose. Businesses and states that want to sponsor temporarily hosted refugees may apply to do so as they would people on 457 visas and relocate them for work.

If conditions improve in the home country of refugees during the period of temporary hosting to the satisfaction of the Australian government, refugees may be returned to their home country at no cost to themselves. Any refugee that wants to voluntarily return to their home country in the period from initial processing but before the three year period of temporary hosting is up may be returned to their home country at no cost to themselves.

This is a fair, firm and economically beneficial system that meets our international commitments and is no picnic for refugees. It should be applied to all, regardless of their manner of arrival. It will also be economically beneficial to Australia in the medium to long term because it can be statistically demonstrated that immigrants (regardless of their reason for arrival) cost a country a small amount in the first several years they are here, but pay back into the system much more in the 5 to 10 years after that. Don’t trust me on that, look it up. Immigrants, especially refugees, are extremely grateful to have an opportunity to start fresh, and can be educated on our rule of law, the benefits of learning English, and often bring skills and capabilities with them that we need. How much would some small towns with seasonal harvest work benefit from a workforce that was available and interested? Often refugees are also doctors, tradies and intellectuals like artists. We can use all three of those in small towns, or at least all the ones I remember.

In summary, we need not be a pushover to resolve the issue of asylum seekers, and can absorb them in a manner that is organised and beneficial for both the host and the refugee, while dealing appropriately with criminals.

Woah there big fella!

OK, in an otherwise excellent post about the out of touchness of CEOs, Vyan goes way too far by saying:

“As a matter of fact most Investment people like Perkins, Zell or even Mitt Romney don’t actually do any real “work” at all, because their Money Does their Work For Them in the form of gaining interest and paying dividends.”

This is kinda bullshit. As a Director and company owner, I worked my way up from the bottom of a business I built myself with no outside investors gifting me anything, or inheriting the whole show. As a result of that, I also have a significant retirement investment account I manage myself and do quite well at, thank you. But if you think for a second that all the research, analysis and planning that I do to make sure I meet or exceed the markets I invest in isn’t work, then fuck you. If you think I shouldn’t use the advantage I have in intelligence, patience and opportunity to make the most of my time, money and ideas, then once again, fuck you. If I am smarter than you and as a result have a better job and am on the way to financial independence and you don’t like it, {ahem} well, you know the drill. It’s ok, I don’t need to be loved by all, but I bet I will be included in many people’s zombie plans, so I sleep OK.

What you should be focusing on is whether the whole package of labour, capital and ideas I am putting into a business and assess whether I am duly compensated for that. A good basis has always as a multiplier of the CEO salaries in comparison with the average worker salary. Way back after WWII it used to be in the 40s. When Ronnie the Raygun took office in the USA, it was 78. Its over 4000 today. Hmmmmmm, but what does the peak CEO do for the world? Isn’t he responsible for making the whole economy work, keeping liquidity maintained and other superhero type shit like that? well, fuck no obviously.

The same guys that inflate the big bubbles in the economy, overheat them with outright fraud and then watch as the fuckers explode while counting their fees based on the transaction, not the OUTCOME of the transaction, get 4000 times the average worker in their companies. And I understand that Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman’s actually spends the large amount of any given week wandering around the house in his undies eating chips, drinking beer and playing whatever Call of Duty is currently hot. And hey, I got no problem with that. You are basically describing my perfect weekend several times a year. But it ain’t worth 4000 times, is all I’m saying.

There’s a revolution coming, and things have gotten so out of balance in the balance between the return on money, ideas and labour in the world, that when it does occur, it’s going to be quite a shock to some, if the balance is corrected.

Ever Feel Like A Mechanic . . .

Reading the news this morning from the USA, “… House passes $40 billion cut to the food stamp program over the next 10 years”, and having seen the recent news from only a couple of days ago that was analysed across the business media across the political spectrum of perspectives, as represented in the following graph leads me to that position I am in occasionally with a client, where I end up saying, “See, now here’s your problem right here”


Now, when I read that graph I arrived at what I believe to be an obvious conclusion. Clearly, however, many of the supposed experts who examined the same data arrived the conclusion: “Yes, that was pretty effective. Now what we want to do is make sure that the poor fuckers who have gained nothing for their input in increased productivity over the last 40 years now can’t even have the pittance that has been provided food assistance to keep them going when we heap out largess to the farming industry every few years. That’s the way you balance a budget.”

Really, at this point I don’t see how any other objective conclusion could be reached other than that this is one big natural experiment in psychohistory with the following thesis: How far can you push a (lower) middle class before they actually do start rioting in the streets and stringing up bankers they can find when they loot lower Manhattan?

I mean fucking honestly. There is no one I could find disputing the data in the graph above as I have been reading about the update in the research that I first read a year ago. Sure the WSJ puts quite a different spin on it than does The Nation, but neither dispute the facts. The middle class has lost any gains due to productivity for 40 years so that those supplying capital and those that run the major companies in the world can enrich themselves vastly. And, unless there is some significant outcry and political movement in the near future, the US may actually be at the point in society where they will let the poor and working poor starve (and freeze) to death. Fuck em, right? They won’t riot, they’ll be too hungry and tired from working their two fast food jobs. And fuck the new indentured class too – those students that thought they would get a leg up by borrowing to go to uni and instead found their aren’t any jobs in their field or anything similar, and they aren’t allowed to go bankrupt so they can just fight for a couple of those Walmart jobs themselves for 30 years to pay off their debt.

What will it take until someone says directly to the power, “See what you got here is a problem with your minimum wage. Unless you raise your minimum wage, you aren’t going to reduce the need for food stamps. And if you don’t raise that minimum to something like a living wage, your middle class (that drives 70% of GDP growth) is going to disappear.”

You might also want to consider the motivation and interest in continuing to participate in a civil society for folks in the middle and lower end of the spectrum. What would motivate someone to work a job at Taco Bell and a job at 7-11 for a grinding ability to just stay out of poverty their whole life as opposed to something illegal, when clearly those who are too big to jail would call it foolish.

Then consider how there always seems to be this exasperated search for motive when someone brings a shotgun into the office. I wonder if a society so steeped in inequity and so desperate to maintain access to guns doesn’t realise how close it is to an MO for a mass murder on a daily basis. Sure, you could say that all these people are random crazies, but then they aren’t covered for mental health care or even institutionalisation since Reagan’s time either. You are just getting used to how bad things have gotten for the majority, how disconnected ‘leaders’ are from subjects, and only lack a spark to set a lot on fire.

The Cruelty Index

Well, the campaign period is winding down, and I have to work during the week, so I can’t be out doing face to face campaigning during the day, so I have decided to keep putting out videos on issues of importance to me in the campaign. Today’s video it’s about asylum seekers.

I have been interested in this subject since the Howard government started making a big issue of asylum seekers arriving by boat and attempting to emotionally affect my vote by lying about things like children being thrown from boats. Back then, I used to write long e-mails to the opposition leader to no affect. Now I put my research on film.

All data in my graph (below) are drawn from statistics available from the Department of Immigration fact sheets and annual reports. Data on costings comes from the current budget, and government records of mandatory detention offshore under the Howard government. Column #2 is the total number of visas issued in the humanitarian intake portion of the program. Column #3 is the total number of migrants to Australia, or the current quota for the last two years. Column #4 is the total number of persons held in mandatory detention at year end, and Column #5 is the percentage of migrants as a portion of the population.

Screen shot 2013-09-04 at 12.50.36 PM

The values, when plotted, remain pretty stable and boring, except for the numbers held in mandatory detention, of which several key points must be made:

• It is not illegal to seek asylum in Australia, regardless of the manner by which you arrive
• It costs between 5 and 10 times (up to $500,000 per person) the amount to manage an asylum seeker offshore as it does onshore.
• Money wasted on treating people cruelly has exactly ZERO effect on the criminals that they pay to transport them to Australia. People smugglers are criminals, yes, but punishing their victims is not addressing the root cause.

We need to have a chat about Syria

Hey, I was downtown at the Senate Forum last night, but didn’t get to share my view on what action we should take in Syria to counter the abominable response by the worst candidate I have met for election to the Senate this cycle, Sue Lines (LAB).

See, the Labor government is now ready to rush to support military intervention in Syria, and Sue attempted to pull our heart strings with ‘I am not sure the children of Syria can wait for the UN or the Australian Parliament to deliberate’.

Once again, a government with no real answers is ready to dance to the tune of the US or Britain with respect to military strikes that will do more damage, be indiscriminate in their effect (surgical strikes, my arse). Like the Coalition before them, then aren’t willing to do the hard work for years, then rush to some populist travesty in order to prove they are doing something.

Now I care as much about human beings as the the next guy, but we didn’t get here in a couple months in Syria, lots of people are already dead or dying, and unfortunately many more are to come, regardless if military action is taken now or not. If you want to do something about genocide, you need to support a change in the definition of the term by the UN, and to put fast action triggers in the UN plan for addressing it when it raises its ugly head. Addressing issues like this with violence in the short term is virtually never effective, doesn’t really save that many lives in the overall scheme of things, and leads to problems of regime change and occupation (who do you support amongst the dozens of rebel groups? Sunni, Shia, Alawite, Druze, Christian, etc?). You can only grow a representative democracy, not impose it, and this is a country that has had more than 40 years of dictatorship, since Assad’s old man Hafez used to compete with the Shah over the title of Most Evil Motherfucker on the Planet.

You want real short term action. How about the NSA using its powers for good instead of evil for a change? How about the NSA publish all it knows on Syria in as transparent a fashion as possible, and keep at it worldwide through all its available propaganda organs? Frankly, that will scare the shit out of all of us, including the Assad regime if they know that they will get no safe harbour anywhere unless they immediately surrender to the International Court of Justice. We can also continue to press the General Council and the Security Council to take joint action as and when we can get it through. Prepare for humanitarian assistance to refugees in neighbouring countries, and do what we can to ameliorate the worst of the negative effects.

That’s reality, and what we should be pursuing.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a complete pacifist wuss, and I have a long history here of appropriate use of the dogs of war, but we ain’t there yet.

Today’s conversation

The following is the issue of the day as requested by email. I think it is indicative of how to provide cruelty free leadership toward Sustainable Prosperity. I will publish more of these as they come up.

Hi Anthea -

Thanks for voicing your concerns. I believe they are fully addressed in well established policy on the issue, as attached. However, I will elaborate for you briefly so I can demonstrate to you that I understand the issue, AND how to fix the problems you identified. Live export of animals must be eliminated with a preference for the shipment of frozen meat products (including halal conforming meat). Further, we need to address conformance to acceptable behaviour through random audit of Australian meat processors, and insure they have systems in place to meet those requirements. Those that demonstrably cannot or will not conform with be closed. Those that can meet requirements will thrive with new business in processing additional frozen meat for export.

With respect to battery farms, and any other animal production activity, I support the development of an independent and scientifically overseen standards for labelling of “free range”, “organic” and other terms that are misleadingly used in advertising. See the National Carbon Offset Standard for an example of what works in this type of area.

Long term, it would be nice if we could all be vegetarians, but that isn’t going to happen, not even to me. However, I have a long history as a problem solver, including the invention of pollution control devices and development of systems of controls to minimise environmental, safety and health risk in industry, and for the public. Please check out my profile if you want to know more. I and my company practice what we preach, as the first voluntarily carbon neutral consulting firm in the country, we have been carbon emission neutral since 2008. We support communities where we live through things like Wakakirri.

I truly believe I will be the most competent and effective representative you could elect this election, and ask for your support.

William Thiel, Australian Democrats Candidate for Senate (WA)


NPER 2043071


On 29/08/2013, at 6:25 AM, Anthea wrote:

Hello fellow Australian,

I am writing to enquire about your policy towards Animal Welfare. I hope if successful your party will give serious consideration to this problem. I am a very serious activist in this area, and disgusted how our poor animals are treated, not only in the live export practice but also in the farming area.

I have watched many videos of how our poor sheep, cattle, hens and pigs are treated. Recently it has been uncovered how sows are forced to lay down permanently to feed piglets, whilst bolted in place, this is happening at a piggery in NSW. This and all the other cruel practices should be abolished and free range farming enforced as in New Zealand and other countries. We are supposed to be a first world country but have practices that not even third world countries allow. Not very Australia.

Even Paul Krugman misses the point

Memo to America, but with lessons for lots of people everywhere. How to kick start your way out of a liquidity trap, by focusing on a root cause. First a definition from Krugman from his very good article on Japan this morning: Liquidity Trap

“But all of this is totally irrelevant to our current situation, where inflation is running below target, the target is too low anyway, and the reason we have mass unemployment is that there just isn’t enough demand, and hence there just aren’t enough jobs, no matter how desperately people search for them.”

But he should finish the point and say why the economy could fail in the manner that it did, and stopped where it did to begin the great recession: the rich took all the fucking money! Or at least they took enough of it already that they caused the liquidity problem that the middle class has right now, which is why that 70% of the economy is not driving the production that keeps all the yanks (and plenty of others) in jobs with ever spiralling wage rises (hopefully based on productivity gains, but that is another story).

See, I’m not a Nobel prize winning economist, or even in the profession by training, but I can still see the whole system of an economy linked together in a synchronistic way. One man’s debt is another man’s credit and all that. Have a good read of Matt Taibbi and Michael Lewis on the con that was perpetrated, and still is going on, but here’s my take on the cause and effect. The rich (banks in particular) tricked the middle class in America into getting in over their head with debt in often a fraudulent manner (I’m look right at you Countrywide) and lot’s of common people did not have enough sense to realise the risk. And the rich took the middle class for their last dollar in debt because remember the context; this is after the slow fall since about 1979 in wage gains by people making a wage. Almost all productivity gains in those decades went to the suppliers of capital to the equation (and not labour or true innovation), and resulted in a significant increase in the concentration of wealth at the top. Look it up, that is published economic fact. So the middle class buying power has been falling for decades, and they supported the demand they were creating artificially with household debt. Then the trigger point and the house of cards all falls in, and even giants like AIG are proven to be fools and criminals (yet strangely enough, none go to jail).

Now the rich will make a show of how fraud was insignificant (or lie, in common language), and how there is just cause for the gains made in the 1%, but that is just maskirovka; the real gains were made in the 1% of the 1% (or 0.1%). And in that club, for every Steve Jobs, I will show you 10 Gina Reinhart’s, greedy opportunists that turned a whopping great big fortune into an immensely whopping great fortune through no real skill or innovation of their own. Parasites that then even turn on their children and deny them their probabilistic right to the spoils that they also did not earn.

But I don’t want to get off on a rant here, and back to my point. With the middle class in (now bad) debt up to their eyeballs, low and falling wages relative to their productivity input, and no one who will loan them any more money for a hand up to get something started even if they were entrepreneurial, where the fuck is aggregate demand going to come from to move the economy along? The 70% ain’t got it, and the 0.1% ain’t spending it. That’s your cause, and your trigger point for the GFC. But it also suggests the solution to get things moving again. Find a way to get some money back into the hands of the people who actually buy the vast amount of goods and services in the economy in the short term (and then we will get to countering over concentration of wealth in the mid term).

Wouldn’t you think that at times like these, when the US government can borrow any vast sum of money it wants without raising interest rates from basically 0%, that it might make a good plan for the government to do major maintenance on its infrastructure? Note here, I am not talking build a lot of pork barrel shit that doesn’t go anywhere, but why not fill some of the pot holes near the CBD of some major cities that you could drive a VW into, or I don’t know, upgrade your electricity transmission network and solve your greenhouse gas problem at the same time. Do some thinking on it, and you will come up with of a number of decent ideas for shovel ready projects to improve productivity, reliability and innovation of US infrastructure.

Otherwise, you can do the alternate plan: go beg those like Gina to buy more jewel encrusted golden backscratchers and hope that form of is demand enough to base a modern economy on.

Sure, but what have you done for us lately?

So, how’d we do in our predictions? And will I be foolish enough to publish a few more?

Well, as predictors go, I’m no Nate Silver. But that would require a devotion to pure math I just ain’t got.

On the other hand, I predict multiple things, so you know, its harder to hold up a record.

Anyway, on to the specifics:

• The carbon tax will end up being a non-issue, or even net positive to the Gillard government with the electorate when it comes into effect on 1 July.

Spot on.

• Kevin Rudd will not successfully challenge Julia Gillard to take over leadership of the Labor Party.

Spot on, and although only three weeks out, I wish I had tried to find a bet on it.

• Europe is already in a recession, and when they finally do the numbers after the fact, it will be a big one. My guess is a drop in GDP in the Euro zone of 3% and a duration of 2 years. Keynesian economic theory will win out in the argument over austerity or stimulus, but the Germans (and others) who want to paint the sovereign debt issues in Europe as a morality tale will realise this way to late, or refuse to admit it at least.

Still in the running, with all the timely stuff spot on, and the Germans are actually still taking that line.

• Greece will default on its sovereign debt after failing to come to an agreement with its lenders and failing to get assistance from the European Central Bank (due to the point above) and will therefore leave the euro and reintroduce its own currency so that it can devalue it in order to address its problem as an alternative to the austerity program being pushed on it (that cannot work in any case).

Nope. Maybe still this year, but it depends on what the Greek government is forced to propose next, and whether protest on the streets and escalation ensues.

• The USA will escape any serious damage from the european sovereign debt crisis and have surprisingly good growth in 2012 of about 2% of GDP.

Well, the final numbers for 2012 aren’t in, but when they are this is going to be spot on or near enough to.

• Barack Obama will be re-elected as President in the USA over Mitt Romney.

Oh, I rock, spot on. This one is particularly satisfying as I did manage to get a bet on this one, and I had the economy predicted right in the first place.

• Synaptor apps will be one of the biggest internet successes of the year in Australia

Dead wrong. Many problems with the market, the market fit, schedule, etc. Still technologically very good, and the next app is nearing release that should have more broad appeal.

OK, so let’s see if I have nay predictions for 2013. I really don’t have any big shocking ones, as it isn’t like 2012, when there seemed to be a lot of important things coming up that could change history.

Well, I shouldn’t say that, as we will likely have a Federal election in August, or soon after. This government will very much want to pick its time, and will need all the luck it can find to overcome the many stumbles and own-goals of 2012, which distracts from a pretty solid policy output. This government, on balance, deserves to be returned at this point, but only just on balance. If they fuck up even one seriously important thing from this point on, then its the Mad Monk for us for sure.

Economically, I think we have to bank on things getting better, albeit slowly. Australia should have at target, or just below GDP growth. Mining investment may be on the wane, but mining income from its investments will be ok to good, depending on how much growth we see in China on a recovering price. But the continuing recovery will not be wild, and I don’t think the Sydney market is going to go through the roof. Or Perth. Maybe New York, late in the year once any Sandy stimulus is finally passed and works its way into that market.

The US is going to go on at or just below target GDP growth, maybe 2-2.5% growth. It will be constrained by links to Europe, and its own dabbling with austerity when the fight over the debt ceiling raise occurs in 2 months. Keep some money in the bank to make some good buys in the market during that time of uncertainty, as there are likely to be anxious sellers of good value based on how bad the noise of that argument gets, despite the fact that we all know how it will come out. The debt ceiling will get raised to cover the money already committed by the US House in legislation and will not default in any actual way on its debt. Virtually nothing will happen to US interest rates even if any of the ratings agencies bother to lower their ratings during the manufactured crisis. I mean, do we take anything these venal idiots seriously anymore anyway? The US stock market will take a hit and be volatile then, but will recover and have a good to very good year. Who knows in the Australian market, and it’s pretty boring anyway.

The ECB will, as quietly as possible, start carrying out its actions in a manner that is consistent with a belief in keynesian economics, and also act as the lender of last resort as required, to keep the euro alive.

It’s going to be another very cool year in science, from NASA to to the Halron Collider, but I have no predictions there.

Start the New Year Off Wrong

. . . with some politics on both sides of the pond.

So the US Senate passed a compromise and now the US House has to vote on it, and the fanatical Republicans (all the usual actors, Bachman, Goh, etc.) don’t like it and are having a spack.

Then fucking don’t vote for it and fer fucks sake get on with it. There isn’t a filibuster in the US House, so unless the speaker is too much of a girl to bring it to a vote, and then hopefully not get re-elected speaker on the 3rd, as could happen with the reduced numbers the Republicans got in the last election. Also remember that that election (for President) was also run on a tax hike for the rich, and a specific one that is a hell of a lot tougher on them than the one in the US Senate bill. The progressives get the tax hike and you get exactly nothing is my starting point. Take it or leave it and we slash defence by 20% and blame it on you for sure. Obama can figure out a way to take care of the poor within its programs, and take more of a fair amount from the rich, in the many welfare programs for companies and the middle class that end up benefitting the rich more anyway.

Now shall we talk about the debt ceiling. I am totally in to reducing the total amount owed by the US government, and also the current account deficit, where it suits given the macro economic conditions. However, if we really want to reduce overall debt, we have to start with defence and health care (not health insurance) and forget about trying to take it all out of the middle class and poor. Look at productivity gains and distribution of those gains over the last 30 years, and you should come to the conclusion that what is proposed is very fair on the rich, and that there is a lot more that we need to do to make sure that workers share from increased productivity they provide.

Here at home in Australia, we have what passes for a scandal these days, with Maclin reportedly saying she could live on the $35 a day new start allowance. Well I got some news for some whingers here too, harden the fuck up. I can and do live on less than $35 a day now, and although Jenni makes allegedly 25x what the new start allowance equates to in a salary, and I have no idea what I am on. But I live on that amount now, and I don’t think that new start is meant to be the full amount to maintain any “lifestyle” whatsoever. Its meant to be the money use use to get around and feed yourself while you look for work. The Labor party needs to look straight down the barrel of the camera on the next dozen occasions and talk about a few things that really matter, and not worry if someone tries to pick at them, from right or left over statements that don’t really mean anything in the overall scheme of things.

Otherwise, show me the data that Australia and the States are fucking over poor people on a regular basis, forcing them to live in inhumane conditions, or not providing them additional support if they have bigger problems like disability or drug dependency. $35 a day to look for a job sounds about right to me at present.