Post-GFC austerity measures weren’t popular in Greece. Photo: iStockphoto

Financial crisis a 50-50 call

Spot the difference in these two statements: one in two households rely on pensions to make ends meet; and one in two reliant on public purse’.


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It is important to remember that Greece does not issue it's own currency as Australia does. Because Australia is a currency issuing Government it is not revenue constrained. The Government does not need taxes to run the country, the Government creates money in Australia. What constrains the Government in Australia is the productive capacity of the nation. If people wanted a job we could give them one, and we could pay for all the schools and hospitals we need. Taxes do not pay for these things, although many politicians and so-called economists might tell you otherwise. Start questioning things and learn more about Modern Monetary Theory.

Modern Monetary Theory is not good. What you have suggested above is a recipe for hyperinflation. Taxes DO pay for public schools and hospitals - because they represent the government's redirection of resources away from private uses. The tax represents a redirection of productive capacity.

As one of the 43%actually paying more I tax than I receive from the public purse, do I get a bigger say in how the money is spent? This position supports the often suggested position where, only those who pay taxes get to vote on how it is spent. Al others can vote for systems and support of any kind or nature, however, if you don't put it in, you don't get a say on how it is taken out.

Wembley Downs
The solution has many parts but fundamentally in a democracy everyone has one vote. However, there should also be an additional vote for every say $10,000 in tax that you payed since the last election or some such formula to make sure that those who are paying for the party get a better say in how the largesse is dispersed. Another fundamental reform is to get rid of career politicians. You get 2 terms, 8 years max on the treasury benches to get your reforms through, after that you are out. Lets face it Government moves slow enough that you do not want the process slowed any further by those who have no need to make a decision in the next 10 years because of their "safe seat". If you cant achieve what you want to get done in 8 years then b*??%#@ off and let those who can do something get on with the job. Anyone who doubts the power of the Sword of Damocles need look no further than disgraced politician Peter Slipper who actually rose to the role of speaker and would not be pushed around as his time had come and he wanted to go out on his terms. Oh and while we are at it, you get $1,000,000 per year for you, your staff, your office your car everything and not a cent more for spin doctors or any other perks. When you leave office you get a Thank you card and that's it. You get no pension or anything else. If you cant get by on a million a year and put some away for after parliament then guess what, you join the dole or pension queue like anyone else. And speaking of reform, why don't we have a true democracy where we can vote if we choose or not vote is we choose, that's hardly revolutionary but making people vote is more like Zimbabwe than democracy. Whilst hardly original the quote "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy." is partially overcome by these reforms.

This article is just unnecessary alarmist exaggeration. Many receiving a pension and govt benefits are relatively well-off, or in many cases , rich.High earners and even miilionaires, can receive a part pension. High number of pensioners is not symptomatic of a worsening economy but excessive govt largesse. For example, the Howard govt expanding benefits prior to the last election in an attempt to reverse its fortunes. GDP has not fallen and is expanding. But some gradual tightening of benefits, transferring money back to the govt maybe necessary.

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