10 September 2013

Gittins: Labor's problems are all in our minds

I'm not going to waste too much time commenting on Ross Gittins' strange view that we have an unconscious bias that Liberals are better at running the economy

The whole story is based on the poll question 'who is better at managing the economy?' The standout point for me was this:

There was a time during the term of the Hawke-Keating government when the economy was doing well and Labor was ahead on this question. But such times are the exception. Normally, Labor judges its success just by the extent to which it has narrowed the gap with the Libs.

So we all love the Libs, except when Labor actually do run it well, the concept of Occam's razor springs to mind. In the 41 years since Whitlam came to power there have been three periods of Labor government (cumulatively longer than Liberals) - Whitlam, which ended in a constitutional crisis, the well-regarded Hawke-Keating era which lasted about 13 years, and the Rudd-Gillard period which wasn't quite so successful

It couldn't just be that people actually hold conscious opinions on a government's performance? Likewise the fact that Liberals, who favour free markets and appeal to 'battlers', and Labor, who favour trade unions, are judged differently on the economy, is not surprising. My economics text book did not exactly regard trade unions as good for markets, but no no, it's because the Libs are the 'bosses', not the workers (never mind that Labor abandoned most 'workers' for welfare recipients and hippies before Howard)

Gittins also claims that the budget and boat people crises are 'over' - first I'd point out that it's hardly unreasonable for one party to play on two of their key strengths - border control and the economy, much as Labor will soon play on IR and public services, Labor had plenty of crises for when they were last in opposition, such as the evil inhuman border control policy - and yet in power the screaming lefties went away and the new government actually supported Liberal policy (no doubt they'll be back now Tony's in), both sides are guilty of hypocrisy when they are on the easier side of parliament, it's called a point of difference and is hardly indicative of unconscious love of 'the bosses'

Secondly, the crises not over, but surprisingly enough, when there's a new government you tend to give them a little bit of a chance (say, at least a week...) before jumping down their throats and demanding the boats stop now - ultimately there's only two choices for government and it would be rather silly to demand a change before they are sworn in...

I'd agree 'crisis' is hyperbole, but that's politics, which I'm fairly certain we could find from Labor, ultimately while we may not be in Weimar Germany the Australian people do not like the idea of spending more than they earn, they also don't like being lied to constantly and having the government fail to deliver their promises time after time (this hilariously is also the fault of our unconscious bias again), the British and Europeans were complacent about their huge levels of debt for decades (I'd never heard of a government running a surplus until I came to Australia), and look where that ended up

In short, weak drivel from Ross that appeals to the far left

I'd also make the point that this is clearly apologetic to Labor, it's simply an opinion with little empirical evidence (if any?) and therefore it's as biased as the Telegraph's daily attacks on Labor, which cause such a problem for the ABC and Labor

Yet, you don't hear people complaining much about it - I know Fairfax is biased, great, that's why I don't read it, rather than trying to censor it or running ads trying to get it to say what I want

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