Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution

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Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution

Postby HBS Guy » 25 Jan 2010, 09:32

Read about half of this last night. Fascinating.

Like Curtin, Paul left school early and chose mentors and learned from them and went to other mentors. One was Kelty, ACTU secretary and qualified economist and lots of people in Treasury.

Some things I hadn't thought were connected (and may not have been when Paul first thought of them) like dividend imputations and the industry super funds. These funds arose out of the move to compulsory super and dividend imputation and the cut to company tax meant that, as shareholders, these funds received triple the dividend as before (as did other shareholders of course!) These changes were done by a Labor Treasurer, Paul's conservative predecessors obviously couldn't give a fuck about doing this sort of reform! too much like hard work maybe!

(Howard called the industry funds "union funds" tho bodies like the motor traders,the AMAA also run an industry fund and is why Howard reneged on a promise he made to Paul to bring the super deduction to 15%. Howard, yesterdays man fighting yesterdays battles, mere populism, complete waste of $400Bn of mining boom revenue, what a tragedy he became PM. No reforms done in 11+ years (the GST was a political measure, because the mental pygmy had run out of agenda after about 12 months.))

Other changes were made, floating of the dollar, letting in overseas banks, cutting tariffs etc, setting the scene for the prosperity in the last 25 years, just like Curtin, even in the depths of WWII when the Japanese were just on the other side of the Owen Stanley Ranges, at least started the reforms and articulated the vision that would keep Australia prosperous from 1942 to first oil shock in the 70s!

Now greed has destroyed that prosperity, the dreaded CDOs, the bloody ratings agencies giving these parcels of toxic loans AAA status and this present Labor government has coped very well with that and is about to start its changes to the economy.

Firstly, Enterprise Minister Craig Emerson (PhD in commerce) working with state counterparts, working to make Australia one seamless economy, ultimately to save business $9Bn per year. This came out of the 2020 Summit.

Also out of the Summit and now handed to the govt but not yet released, the Henry Tax Review. Making the tax sysem fairer, simpler (boy did Howard & Costello squib that, Tax Act grew by 10,000 pages!) and more efficient, more encouraging to enterprise and initiative. So, this Labor govt has its chance to perform the big reforms. It is always Labor that does the reforms, only ever Labor!
Bee die off very concerning—they pollinate most of our foodcrops.

Without an ecology you can’t have an economy!
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Re: Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution

Postby HBS Guy » 25 Jan 2010, 17:08

I will post some big extracts from the book here over the next few days. Absolutely fascinating!
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Re: Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution

Postby ele » 25 Jan 2010, 20:27

Yes- i would be very interested to see them- thanks.
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Re: Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution

Postby HBS Guy » 25 Jan 2010, 21:18

Ok quick few facts.

Keatings father was a businessman, not an employee. This could well be the key to understanding Paul, as well as his very sharp mind. The family business received a letter from the Malaysian govt wanting to use the Keating family company's expertise in tin dredging--a sure thing. Bloody bank wouldn't advance the money, needed bricks and mortar and the opportunity disappeared. So, Paul had NO love for the 6 then Australian establishment banks.
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Re: Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution

Postby HBS Guy » 26 Jan 2010, 14:37

Campbell committee report tabled in 1981.

By the time Hawke Labor defeated the Fraser Lib govt in 1983 one recommendation had been implemented, a govt bond tendering system. That's it, folks! And that came because of Howard's advisor, Hewson.

But Howard has enjoyed a charmed life when it comes to. . .his tenure as Treasurer. . . .he simultaneously presided over an economic mess. . . .interest rates reached 21%. . . .In 1981 wages grew by 16%. . .leading to a recession. . .stagnant growth and high inflation. By the time Howard handed. . .over. . . to Labor in 1983 the economy was growing at only 1.4%, the unemployment rate was 11% and inflation had reached 11%


Fucking crap Treasurer or what? *C*r*a*p* for sure!

Re the Campbell committee report Hewson said to Howard "You will kill yourself politically if you allow he thing to be jettisoned. Shelving it will be seen as just a short-term populist thing. . . ." Fuck, Hewson knew Howard alright! Short term populist just defines Howard!
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Re: Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution

Postby Left of Centre » 26 Jan 2010, 14:42

To have been so completely and utterly crap and still have ended up seizing the prime ministership for ten years shows just how low, canny and cunning John Winston Howard was.
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Re: Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution

Postby ele » 26 Jan 2010, 15:01

Assuming your assessment of his character is correct, it makes one wonder if there is something wrong with a political system that can allow someone like that to get and keep power?
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Re: Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution

Postby HBS Guy » 26 Jan 2010, 15:08

Media diversity or lack of it.

Willingness of people to be fooled.
Bee die off very concerning—they pollinate most of our foodcrops.

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Re: Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution

Postby HBS Guy » 26 Jan 2010, 17:01

"The currency was now under full-blooded speculative pressure. In the last four months of '83 a net $4Bn flowed [in] . . . .In the first nine days of Dec '83 $1.5Bn flowed in." The Martin committee (inquiring into the Campbell committee reports conclusions) prepared to report, Paul saw the favorable conclusion and on the night of Dec 9th Paul made it law--the Australian dollar was floated.

"it was the boldest, most profound, reform by a treasurer in the relatively brief history of Australia. Said Keating 'Speculators can now speculate against themselves and not against the Australian government""
Bee die off very concerning—they pollinate most of our foodcrops.

Without an ecology you can’t have an economy!
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Re: Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution

Postby HBS Guy » 26 Jan 2010, 18:06

Before Paul completely revolutionised the economy he had a thesis that from 1880 to 1980 Australia had run on a "tripod model."

One leg was the strong terms of trade: we got much more for our gold, minerals wool and wheat as time went on, so national income rose. the traditional banks made their money financing this.

Second leg, protectionism

Third leg, high wages for unionists due to the protection

So the farmers, graziers and miners got a big cut. The manufacturers had their cut via protectionism and even the unions had their cut.

"It was a dull, tight little island run as a conspiracy against the population as a whole . The people who caught no more than a crumb off the table were the ordinary men and women getting nowhere and paying twice as much as they should for cars, for shares. . . .the spirit of mediocrity. . .no. . .flexibility. . ." The model was breaking down about the time Bob Menzies retired as PM.


OK, some more in a couple of days.
Bee die off very concerning—they pollinate most of our foodcrops.

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Re: Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution

Postby HBS Guy » 27 Jan 2010, 20:59

In the Hawke/Keating caucus was the fear that the H/K govt would go the way of the Whitlam govt. But many unreconstructed Lefties were still in there. They felt they should side with Westpac etc against overseas banks.

What H&K wanted to do was"
. . .expose the banks to international competition. . .deregulate the banking system. . .free float the $A. . .remove all restrictions on capital [inflows and outflows]. . .finish the freeing of trade in govt bonds. . .open home funding to all comers. . .steadily lower tariffs. . .


So how did the changes get caucus approval?

I asked Ted Evans, Sec of Treasury. . .about the importance of Keating

He was unique as a persuader within his Party. . .[Treasury warned Keating] that the [Howard] budget deficit must come down. His first repsonse was that he needed an argument to put to. . .caucus. . . .So I sat down and write him a presentation to caucus. . . .[Keating] rewrote [Ted's 3rd draft] in longhand into his own words. He had an ability to know what he didn't understand and to admit this. . . .When he went to caucus he took me along. . .And as I listened to him present it I thought to myself "I could not have hit the mark as nicely. . ."


. . .he spoke like a Bastard from the Bush. . . .described Malcolm Fraser as a man with his arse stuffed full of razor blades. . . Snedden as a carcass swinging in the breeze that no one had gotten round to cutting down yet. . ."

Evans described Keating ". . .innately intelligent. . .but more. . .he knew how to learn." A visionary.
Bee die off very concerning—they pollinate most of our foodcrops.

Without an ecology you can’t have an economy!
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