Author Topic: Vail Hawke  (Read 4002 times)

deborah

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Vail Hawke
« on: May 17, 2019, 02:02:04 AM »
With the death of Bob Hawke, the only one of the prime ministers who changed Australian economics to what they are today who is still alive is Paul Keating. Whitlam started the changes, although he did an appalling job of it, and Fraser fixed up the mess and took us further along the path of reform. Hawke and Keating gave us the economic changes necessary to give us the years we've had without a recession. Over the last few years they've all died. Admittedly, Howard did implement GST, but once he'd done that, his economic credentials went to pot.

The financial system we have is largely a legacy of those days. It's a pity that our politicians seem to no longer have vision or the means to enact it.

On a more personal note, for the entire time he was in parliament, I was in Hawke's electorate. It gave me a certain cynicism about voting since it was one of the safest seats in the country. My vote really didn't count. Hawke was rarely visible. Every crackpot would contest the seat so that their names would come up during election night. Our voting papers were the longest in the country.

former player

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Re: Vail Hawke
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 02:27:11 AM »
There aren't many politicians who make an impression beyond their own country, but Bob Hawke was definitely one of them: even from here in the UK I know who you are talking about.

marty998

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Re: Vail Hawke
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 03:26:51 AM »
Hawke was instrumental in ending Apartheid in South Africa.

Sat down with the head of the World Bank one evening and nutted out a plan to impose economic sanctions.

I recently read the last biographical book written about him ("Wednesdays with Bob"). Incredible insight into his character.

In 100 years time I don't think anyone will give two shits about Tony or Scott or Kevin. History will not be kind to them. But Hawke's legacy will still be remembered.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Vail Hawke
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 06:44:43 PM »
Hawke was a great politician.

As for the OP, I disagree that John Howard's economic policies were not as good as those of, say, Keating. For one thing, as you say, he gave us the GST. For another thing, without his tax reforms, we'd still be paying 47 c in the dollar on every dollar above $62,000.

deborah

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Re: Vail Hawke
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 11:59:06 PM »
Hawke was a great politician.

As for the OP, I disagree that John Howard's economic policies were not as good as those of, say, Keating. For one thing, as you say, he gave us the GST. For another thing, without his tax reforms, we'd still be paying 47 c in the dollar on every dollar above $62,000.
I can't see how you arrive at the bolded statement. Could you tell me how you did? After a bit of hunting, I found the tax brackets since 1984 here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_Australia

Of course, Keating WAS named the world's best treasurer for his economic reforms, and any list of the best economic reforms in Australia tends to include several of Keating's.

On the other hand, Howard wasted our once-in-a-lifetime resources boom by spending it rather than setting us up for the future. He also was opposed to women's rights, and managed to change our taxation system to better support stay at home wives at the expense of working women and single parents. These things have caused problems that are becoming more obvious with the aging population and the lower-than-it-should-be workforce participation rates.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Vail Hawke
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2019, 12:10:57 AM »
Have a look at the very page you quoted and you'll see I was spot on. Look at the 2001/02/03 tax rates and compare to 2007.

I don't believe letting people keep more of their own money can ever be said to "waste" money. Especially given that people are hardly starving in the streets, I think Howard had the pulse just right.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Vail Hawke
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2019, 12:25:39 AM »
Of course, Keating WAS named the world's best treasurer for his economic reforms, and any list of the best economic reforms in Australia tends to include several of Keating's.
Together they destroyed the Australian manufacturing industry, leading to millions of unemployed, to destroyed marriages and lives, gutted country towns, the collapse of our merchant marine, lending rates got to 17%, and the two of them brought on a great recession. Under their leadership, the party of the working class destroyed the working class so it could become the party of the middle-class lefty. They then wondered why their share of the vote dropped.


Bloop, Howard wasted the resources boom because while failing to tax the resources, he continued spending, leaving us with a huge debt - and with the resources all dug up and sold overseas, and the manufacturing industry destroyed, we will not have the means to repay that debt. How will we pay our bills, send hairdressers and banking lawyers to China?

AliEli

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Re: Vail Hawke
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2019, 12:42:11 AM »
But were they viable industries? History would show that manufacturing in Aust was uncompetitive. It's hard to see what Hawke and Keating could have done to change our industrial base other than to heavily subsidise it. Toned Abs pulled the pin on th car manufacturing industry back in 2014ish, and now that has gone, so obviously the Libs should be supportive of the choices made in the 80's around manufacturing.

deborah

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Re: Vail Hawke
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2019, 12:52:55 AM »
From my experience, Howard was the one I would accuse of gutting manufacturing. People in my family owned one of the foremost manufacturing plants in their industry. They started it after the war, when tariffs were very high, and it was very successful. As tariffs were progressively reduced by Hawke and Keating, they stayed in Australia, and managed to continue manufacturing even though there was more competition. The reduced tariffs did benefit them to an extent because they were able to import machinery and other items for their business, and became an exporter as well because the better machinery enabled them to produce better product. However, Howard tried to persuade them (staunch liberal party members, including some office bearers) to move their manufacturing to China. They were dead against this because they were an Australian manufacturer. Unfortunately, at this time the generation that started the business bowed out, and gave it to the younger generation who were not as committed to Australia, and proceeded to move manufacturing overseas as soon as they had control. I won't go into the subsequent demise of the business, but today it no longer exists.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Vail Hawke
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2019, 03:37:07 AM »
But were they viable industries?
Not when we were required to compete "freely" with people living in a totalitarian country on $150 a month living in dormitories, or against countries with large tariffs and regulatory barriers against our goods, no.


Countries with tariffs and regulatory barriers, like Germany and China, have continued to grow their manufacturing. Countries like Australia, the UK and the US who dropped them have seen their manufacturing base decline.


"But goods became cheaper!" Yes... but if you're jobless then it doesn't matter how cheap things are. Cheap goods benefited only the salaried (ie middle) classes, who are the swinging voters in elections.


The salaried classes and elite being oblivious to the destruction wrought by free trade and other economic rationalist policies is what caused the rise of Trump, Brexit and so on. They continue not to understand this, that when people are desperate enough they'll vote for anyone, so long as that person actually acknowledges there's a problem.

ysette9

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Re: Vail Hawke
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2019, 01:29:23 PM »
I completely understand how the plight of people on the losing end of open trade winners and losers. I agree that liberals in places like the US (okay, the less conservative of the two parties; ďliberalĒ doesnít quite appropriately describe Democrats) have done a bad job acknowledging and addressing that.

That said, my recent job switch to a new insight that has brought me to China for work trips to see manufacturing there weighs heavily in my mind. The manufacturing Iíve seen (consumer electronics) is for the most part a bunch of crappy jobs with low pay requiring basically no skills. Even in China they have enormous staff turnover with some employees staying for no more than a month and most being gone after a year. They can find staff because the cost of living between the countryside and the cities where the factories are is still so great that people are willing to suck it up and work for a few years to save up enough to be meaningful back home.
People live in dormitories at work, the normal workweek is six days long, and many people want as much overtime as possible to save up faster. The legal working age is also 14 so workers are often really young. In short, I struggle to see how such manufacturing could be brought back to places like American and Australia. We already canít get people to work in meat packing plants and agriculture. Why do you think we would be successful in finding staff for a low-pay, mind-numbingly boring repetitive job that already people in China increasingly donít want?

If it is possible Iím super curious how it would look. I am not against the idea, i just see significant barriers to overcome. And this doesnít even touch on the fact that we donít have the infrastructure or equipment or supply chain in the US to support this kind of manufacturing.

It isnít that we donít do manufacturing in the US, it is just that it doesnít hire a lot of people because so much has been automated.

deborah

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Re: Vail Hawke
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2019, 01:41:13 PM »
In Australia the Liberal party is conservative, while the Democrat equivalent is Labor.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 01:43:44 PM by deborah »