The Reagan and Thatcher legacies: Sorting truth from fantasy

My apologies for a long time between new threads. COVID’s fault, of course.

However, I hope you will all appreciate (in the broadest sense of the term) the following analysis by Michael Keating from John Menadue’s brilliant Pearls and Irritations (republished with permission):

Neo-Conservatives want to believe that Reagan and Thatcher achieved smaller government, lower taxes, and a booming economy. The reality, however, is very different.

Recently the Treasurer sort to appease his conservative base by citing the legacies of Reagan and Thatcher. Both are believed to epitomise small government, lower taxes, and improved economic performance. But as will be shown below, both Reagan and Thatcher’s actual record did not live up to the myths that their supporters want to believe.

Size of government and lower taxes
First, taxation did not fall under Reagan or Thatcher. While both leaders cut the amount of taxation paid by the rich, total revenue did not fall.

Instead under Reagan total current receipts represented 30.5 per cent of GDP, when he took office in 1980, and were still at that level when he left in 1988. While in the UK, under Thatcher, receipts increased by one percentage point from 37.7 per cent of GDP in 1979 to 38.7 per cent in 1990.

Furthermore, neither Reagan or Thatcher were able to seriously reduce government expenditure, although there was lots of stinginess and under-funding of government responsibilities. Thus, in the US, total government outlays as a percent of GDP rose from 33.7 per cent of GDP to 36.1 per cent under Reagan. While in the UK, over the lifetime of the Thatcher Government, total government outlays hardly changed; representing 42.6 per cent of GDP in 1979, and still as much as 42.1 per cent at the end in 1990, after peaking at 47.5 per cent in 1981 and 47.3 per cent in 1984.

Reagan also notched up large and continuing budget deficits to pay for his tax cuts to the rich. As a result, there was a massive increase in US gross public debt from 37.7 per cent in 1980 to 52.2 per cent in 1988. This debt was financed by bond sales, where the Chinese became the biggest holders of American bonds. Thus, somewhat ironically, the Chinese helped pay for the handouts to rich Americans. And it was only after the election of a Democrat, Bill Clinton, that the American budget was finally repaired, but the US budget was again plunged into deficit by future Republican Administrations.

Economic performance
Second, the evidence does not sustain the view that the economic strategies followed by either Reagan or Thatcher resulted in a strong economic performance.

In many ways the best way to assess a country’s economic performance is to compare it with that of other countries that have a similar level of development. On that basis, neither the US or the UK stand out as having a strong economic performance during the Reagan or Thatcher years respectively.

In the case of the US, under Reagan the US economy averaged the same annual rate of economic growth – 2.8 per cent – as the average for the other developed countries which were members of the OECD (Table 1). But this moderately good result reflected the fact that US population growth was substantially higher than average, and therefore employment growth also needed to be higher than average.

Table 1. US and UK comparative economic performance in the Reagan and Thatcher years respectively

  US or UK Australia OECD
US The Reagan years 1980 – 1988      
GDP growth % 2.8 3.3 2.8
Employment growth % 1.8 2.0 1.1
Productivity growth % 1.0 1.2 1.7
UK The Thatcher years 1979 – 1990      
GDP growth % 2.0 3.1 2.7
Employment growth % 0.5 2.3 1.1
Productivity growth % 1.5 0.8 1.6

The counterpart, however, is that US productivity growth at an annual average of 1.0 per cent under Reagan was well below the OECD average of 1.7 per cent. Interestingly, when the US economic performance is compared with Australia, which also had a fast rate of population and employment growth, we find that the Australian economic growth rate over the Reagan years was about half a percentage point higher than the US on average, with Australian employment and productivity growth both being higher than in the US. And during most of this period, the relative success of Australia reflected the policies of the Hawke Labor Government.

Turning to the UK under Thatcher, we find that on average annual economic growth was significantly below the average in other similar developed economies (Table 1). The main reason for this was the relatively low rate of increase in employment, and the rate of productivity growth in the UK under Thatcher was about the same on average as in the rest of the OECD.

But even that average economic performance hardly rates as an endorsement of the Thatcher policies. These policies were very divisive and had other longer-term negative consequences which will be discussed below.

Increasing inequality and its longer-term economic consequences

The outstanding feature of both Reagan and Thatcher economic policies was their legacy of increasing inequality.

In fairness, income inequality rose in most developed nations during the 1980’s because of the impact of changing technology and to a lesser extent, globalisation. In many countries, however, governments intervened to assist their workers to adapt to these changes, and they also improved the social wage, so that the increase in inequality was very much mitigated.

By contrast, the fiscal policies adopted by Reagan and Thatcher, which deliberately sought to redistribute income in favour of the rich, made inequality worse both absolutely, and relative to almost all other countries. Furthermore, this rising inequality had very damaging economic consequences for both countries.

In the US, in particular, the negative growth in the typical family’s disposable income over the almost two decades preceding the global financial crisis, was partly offset by these families going deeper into debt. That way the risk of economic stagnation, due to low consumer demand, was postponed.

But postponement was all that could be achieved. Eventually the build-up of poor quality debt in the US became unsustainable. US bankruptcies increased and the property market collapsed to half its value, thus precipitating the global financial crisis.

In sum, the economic record of the Reagan and Thatcher Governments was not only poor during the lifetimes of those governments. The rising inequality that their policies aided and abetted directly led to the global financial crisis, and the continuing economic stagnation that has followed since.

Luckily now, in response to the Covid pandemic, governments are finally repudiating the Reagan and Thatcher heritages.

117 thoughts on “The Reagan and Thatcher legacies: Sorting truth from fantasy

  1. Dearest Ducky,

    IFF you would be so kind, could you please reformat the tables? I’ve been away from html for too long, and can’t remember the syntax.

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Alexandra Smith and Kate Aubusson say that Victoria’s failure to stop the virus has left NSW effectively isolated and business leaders are concerned the latest shutdown could jeopardise national food supplies.
    Victorians face weeks of higher coronavirus infections, with average daily cases to peak at 1100 by the end of next week and staying above 1000 for eight days. The Victorian government’s own estimates, obtained by The Australian, show the average number of new cases is not ­expected to decline until the last week of August. It will remain above 300 a day even as the restrictive stage-four lockdown is scheduled to end in mid-September.
    Shane Wright reports that economists have downgraded forecasts for GDP and jobs after the stage four shutdown of Melbourne.
    Phil Coorey writes that the federal government is planning a series of housing initiatives for the October 6 federal budget, but has rejected growing calls to fund large-scale social housing projects.
    Greg Sheridan says Daniel Andrews’ leadership is superficial and a failure.
    Daniel Andrews fronts the media every day – but could his government be more transparent asks Gay Alcorn.
    Jess Irvine examines the intricacies of Victoria’s lockdown and wishes Melbourne all the best.
    In this very good contribution John Warhurst examines the concept of accountability highlightes by the Covid-19 crisis.
    NSW seems to be going OK working on this latest wave but there is still a 50/50 chance there could be a breakout.
    As Victoria recorded its darkest day of the pandemic so far, a plan was revealed for elderly people – including some still infected with COVID-19- to return to St Basil’s Homes for the Aged.
    More than 100 nursing homes across the nation failed federal compliance standards to ensure they were prepared for a COVID-19 outbreak and were served with warnings prior to Victoria’s second wave.
    The AFR says the Victorian government has rejected pleas by business to delay shutting down much of the state’s economy until anomalies could be minimised, saying it was impossible to give everyone the clarity they desired and delaying the deadline would not improve the situation.
    The SMH editorial says that Australia should be looking closely at how the pandemic is affecting regional stability.
    And Jennifer Hewett writes that the virus is far from Australia’s only threat in 2020.
    John Kehoe expands on Martin Parkinson saying that after the biggest recession since the 1930s Great Depression the country would be “poorer” and there was a real danger of a “larger permanent underclass”.
    Australia’s housing market is showing some resilience – but Greg Jericho explains how a fall could be on its way.
    Emergency medicine expert Erin Smith looks at why Melbourne’s Covid-18 numbers have not gone down yet.
    The COVID-19 pandemic has made work for the police force even more difficult and dangerous than before, writes Chris Hannay.,14173
    Should a COVID-19 vaccine be compulsory — and what would this mean for anti-vaxxers asks a professor of law in NZ, Claire Breen.
    Lisa Visentin writes that documents filed in the High Court by lawyers for John Zhang, a part-time staffer to suspended ALP MP Shaoquett Moselmane, reveal the basis for the AFP raids on Mr Zhang’s home and office.
    Katharine Murphy reports on a good speech from Ken Hayne who has urged Australian politicians to defend their institution rather than prioritise partisan self-interest.
    The AFP will have its cyber capabilities significantly bolstered so it can track down serious criminals using computer servers on the “dark web” within Australia. Reports Anthony Galloway.
    Emma Koehn and Elizabeth Knight outline what a number of business leaders are becoming increasingly concerned about.
    Pru Goward makes the case for women to fil the tradie gap.
    Vinnies’ Toby Hall warns that aged and healthcare silos are creating a life-and-death tragedy. He makes many good points.
    Assistant Superannuation Minister Jane Hume says the government has no plans to backflip on increasing the super guarantee, but concedes the decision will be “controversial” amid opposition from a group of government backbenchers.
    Mike Foley tells us that the former Howard government environment minister, Robert Hill, who negotiated for Australia on the Kyoto Protocol has urged the Morrison government to lead global action on climate change, starting with binding reduction targets for greenhouse gases.
    According to Nick Toscano, Australia’s heaviest greenhouse-gas emitter, AGL, will face a shareholder push to bring forward the closures of its remaining coal-fired power plants by at least 12 years to help limit the worst impacts of climate change.
    Clancy Yeates tells us that ASIC preparing for potential waves of small business insolvencies in 2021 and beyond, as regulators also consider moves to manage the large numbers of borrowers falling into financial strife.
    Charlotte Grieve reports that AMP is set to face legal action by the end of this year after the ASIC put a deadline on enforcement and revealed it had at least five active investigations into the troubled wealth giant.
    Elizabeth Knight reckons a slimmed-down Virgin is match fit to take on Qantas.
    We can do without this sort of crap in politics!
    If it’s good enough for tennis stars and entertainers, it’s good enough for multinational tax avoiders and consultants. Michael West addresses the Senate Inquiry into Finance and Public Administration today. This is an edited version of the opening statement to the Committee which oversees public accountability in which he calls for measures to protect Australian taxpayers from reckless spending and opaque disclosure.
    Virgin Australia’s new owners will axe the low-cost Tiger brand as industry commentators warn fallout from the pandemic could drive up airfares, writes Killian Plastow.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz writes that trade negotiators will meet later this month to discuss China’s compliance, or non-compliance, with the trade deal signed earlier this year as tensions between the two world’s largest economies edge ever closer to a new cold war.
    A young Queensland boy featured in a viral video about being bullied over his condition of dwarfism has launched a defamation lawsuit against News Corp columnist Miranda Devine and the media giant.
    Indonesia and the Philippines have been smashed by the coronavirus, but Thailand and Malaysia are slowly re-opening and Singapore has coped reasonably well. James Massola looks for the reasons for these differences.
    The media skews towards affording pro-Israel voices a substantial amount of exposure, largely excluding Palestinian perspectives, Dr Evan Jones contends.,14171
    Matthew Knott tells us about Trump claiming, without evidence, that the Beirut explosion was an ‘attack’. The idiot has lost the plot . . . again!
    Maureen Dowd says that Donald Trump’s warped view of masculinity is undermining the pandemic response and wrecking the country.

    Cartoon Corner

    John Shakespeare

    Cathy Wilcox

    David Rowe

    Joe Benke

    Andrew Dyson

    Matt Golding

    Peter Broelman

    Johannes Leak

    Mark Knight

    From the US

  3. There it is again, the same old non-apology men use when their words have hurt a woman – “I’m sorry if you felt offended.” It dumps all the blame on the victim by implying she is easily upset, a repeat of the tired old myth about women being unstable and easily upset.

    Phil Donato tp Steph Cooke – “I do apologise if she has taken offence to them. That wasn’t the intention.”

    He did not even have the decency to address his non-apology to Ms Cooke herself, instead he referred to “she”. What an oaf!

    If he did not intend to be deliberately offensive why did he choose his words so deliberately? He intended to be offensive. He knew exactly what to say to hurt Ms Cooke, he’d probably been sitting on that comment for some time, waiting for the right time to toss it out there.

    This is what happens when voters elect offensive oafs to parliament. We really, really need to raise the standard, vote for people we can respect instead of just blindly voting for a party.

  4. Ah the drama, the bleating about Victorian restrictions impacting the distribution networks

    Yes they will

    Don’t blame Dan
    Blame the mediocre reactive management of Coles & Woolworths, talking from experience of Coles
    Covid is in distribution centres of cold stores, vegtable wholesalers and alcohol warehouses
    Large known name companies have had cavalier attitude to the virus and tried to work at full capacity with infections

    When I worked at Coles, management had said they would handle worker’s compensation nationally, unfortunately each state has its own system. The clerk who managed workers compensation didn’t have authority to make decisions and the manager with authority would not make a decision, as he wanted to continue up the management tree.
    The company management in microcosm.

    • Absolutely right.

      The same applies to management anywhere. I’ve seen the same thing in schools and in business.

      The Peter Principle still flourishes.

    • Listening to ABC News bleating about confusion about permits for permitted workers.
      If all the distribution centre workers are casuals hired 30 minutes before start of shift, it will take time for labour hire companies to get permit papers from ColesWorth then they have to write permits for the people who they give a shift a week to

      IE the faults in contract labour hire are impacting food distribution centres, not helped by state government giving firms 2 days to issue permits, when these behemoths can’t organise themselves in less than 6 weeks

  5. Last night I heard a ‘posse’ of emergency/police or whatever vehicles wailing through the suburb and off into the distance. Normally nothing unusual and a fairly regular event but then it struck as to how long it has been since I have heard this. Since the start of the initial lock down it has virtually disappeared . Has anyone noticed something similar or have suggestions as to ‘why is it so’ ? Perhaps the night shift fire brigades go on occasional ‘hoon runs’ through the largely empty streets and have stopped doing this 🙂

  6. So how is McGowan’s hardline on the border going down with the Sandgroper peasants ? 😆
    Mark McGowan for PM: WA punters might want it, but does Labor?
    2 hours agoby Nathan Hondros
    The extraordinary popularity of WA Premier Mark McGowan in his home state is something few political pundits have ever seen before……….

  7. A lot of pundits are saying an explosion like Beirut could not happen here, we are better regulated etc. Sorry people it already has, in 2014 a road train full of fertiliser exploded south of Charleville, I have driven through the spot and the extent of devastation is astounding, the ground was felt shaking in Charleville 30 Kms away, though they claim that was an earthquake that entirely coincidently had an epicentre pretty close to the blast.
    There are lots of links available for a look, surprisingly little known apart from fairly local to that area.

  8. A long look at the UK covid 19 response. What a mess.

    Inside Westminster’s coronavirus blame game

    ………………The UK’s stockpile of protective kit in the event of a flu-like pandemic had no surgical gowns, despite warnings a year ago from some of the government’s top scientific advisers that they were needed.
    Unable to conduct a test-and-trace scheme because of a lack of tests, ministers and scientists now faced a stark binary choice: let the disease rip through the UK with whatever mitigation measures could be mustered or halt the virus by locking the nation down. They hesitated, perhaps fatally.

  9. The article in The Australian this morning about average daily cases to peak at 1100 by the end of next week and staying above 1000 for eight days is just more Murdoch bullcrap.

    Dan Andrews has just said there is no such information. He has not seen any such estimates, neither has his staff, his medical officer, the federal government or the CMO. The first he knew about this was when he saw it in the media this morning.

    NewsCorpse should be shut down for continuing to spread misinformation.

  10. This an excellent post, esoecially in these times. And Inwill now be easily able to refer it to any econonazis I come across.

    Reagan and Thatcher: A match made in worker’s hell.

  11. If you believe a Beirut-type ammonium nitrate explosion could never happen in Australia then you’d be wrong.

    Beirut explosion raises fresh concern about Newcastle’s much larger ammonium nitrate stockpile

    The deadly Beirut blast that killed more than 100 people has driven fresh calls for a large ammonium nitrate stockpile and plant in Newcastle, storing up to four times the amount reportedly detonated in the blast, to be relocated away from residents.

    Newcastle’s stockpile of between 6,000 to 12,000 tonnes is stored at Orica’s Kooragang Island plant in the Port of Newcastle, according to the company.

    “That factory is only three kilometres from Newcastle’s CBD and only 800 metres from North Stockton residents,” said chemical engineer and community campaigner Keith Craig

    Orica may say storage of the chemical at this facility is strictly regulated and audited, but why would we believe a company with a record for chemical spills from that and other plants.

    Kooragang Island has seen six spills in 2010-2011 and another in 2017.

    There been other pollution incidents at Port Botany and at Yarwun near Gladstone.

    That is in addition to many warnings.

    The Kooragang Island plant has been a hazard for years. In 2011 the Newcastle Herald reported that one Orica plant had breached its pollution licence 130 times since 2000.

    In 2016 the same plant was found to be contributing to air pollution in Newcastle, with higher than normal levels of ammonium nitrate.

    It seems Orica believes it is cheaper to pay fines than to spend far larger amounts upgrading their plants to prevent spillages – and potential explosions.

    • Leroy,

      I know that OH has at least one, and very likely more, wire recorders in his collection.

  12. On Hiroshima.
    last year I was in Japan for a short time. Visited Hiroshima and it’s memorials.
    Very moving.
    When I got back to hotel where I was staying, did a fair bit of reading. I can’t recall straight away where I found the info but 3 things stuck in my mind.
    1. Nagasaki not really necessary.
    2.The US was quite happy to test the bomb to measure it’s effectiveness
    3.Tokyo actually had many more deaths than the A Bombs. At the time Tokyo built mainly from wooden structures. It was the first time US used napalm. It burnt Tokyo to the ground.

    • Nagasaki: TOTALLY unnecessary.

      Given the Tokyo firestorm, Hiroshima was also TOTALLY unnecessary.

      However, that’s the Americans (and almost every politician throughout history): never lose the opportunity to score a point. That doesn’t mean I approve, btw.

  13. Australia’s richest tertiary institution, the University of Melbourne, has become the latest Australian university to announce widespread job losses, telling staff it will axe 450 permanent staff.

    It comes as the ABC on Thursday obtained an internal document from this year showing the university had budgeted $4.2 billion dollars on capital works over the next decade — a figure that has been criticised by some of the university’s staff.

    Speaking to the ABC on Thursday, the University of Melbourne’s chief operating officer Allan Tait said that budget was prepared prior to COVID-19.

    He said that had since been trimmed.

    "Already, as a result of the pandemic the university has deferred $330 million of capital expenditure planned for 2020," Mr Tait said.

  14. Well, isn’t NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard a real charmer!

    Meanwhile Gladys and her government keep on ignoring the increasing outbreaks in NSW.

    Here’s plastic surgeon Dr Nick Moncrieff begging Gladys to take action –

    Dear Premier Berejiklian

    For over a month it has been clear that the Covid-19 crisis was far from over. Yet in NSW we always seem to be about 3 weeks behind in making decisions that will prevent community transmission from increasing. I ask that you do not continue this trend and more decisive action is taken.

    In particular:

    1 – stop ‘recommending’ against travel between parts of NSW. It needs to be regulated and limited to essential travel such as for work, study or medical care.

    2 – limit indoor venues to no more than 20 people with distancing, and close bars and pubs temporarily. Yes, this will impact many businesses, but acting now will prevent longer and broader shutdowns.

    3 – make masks mandatory on public transport, shopping centres and close contact situations.

    I may not be an epidemiologist, but after more than 25 years in medicine, including over 15 as a specialist, I fear more lives will be lost, more people will be permanently physically and mentally damaged, and more livelihoods will be smashed unless you act now.

    With upmost respect – every doctor, healthcare worker and medical administrator I know say they can see that the second wave is coming and that the government is lagging behind in terms of what needs to be done. People are shaking their heads at every new case announcement, including recent cases in my city of Newcastle, because we all know there will be people who don’t follow ‘recommendations’ so need enforceable regulations to stop individual actions impacting the entire community.

    We had done so well crushing the first wave, but inaction has allowed the beast to resurface.

    As a doctor, as an asthmatic, as a father and a son, and as a member of our community, I implore you to take real action now to stop a full second wave and the terrible consequences that come with it.

    Yours sincerely,

    Dr Nick Moncrieff
    Specialist Plastic Surgeon

    PS: we would not normally use our social media to make statements like this… but this is just too important to stay silent

  15. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Sorry I’m a bit late this morning – a slept in a bit after a rather busy couple of days.

    David Crowe reports that Josh Frydenberg will reverse the tougher eligibility rules announced less than three weeks ago to ensure more companies can qualify for the payment, which drops to $1200 a fortnight from September.
    And Shane Wright says that up to 400,000 more Australians could be on the nation’s jobless queue by Christmas as the Victorian stage four shutdown smashes the economy, with the Morrison government now preparing for three quarters of negative growth.
    Phil Coorey reckons Morrison is left looking like bystander at the COVID-19 car crash.
    Michael Pascoe says that a stubborn federal government is killing social housing hopes.
    Professor Sinclair Davidson makes his case for saying that the Victorian economy is broken, but the economic crisis is still to come.
    Christopher Knaus reports on a new paper warning that the government’s Covid-19 commission poses an enduring risk to Australian democracy and must be overhauled, including by the creation of a public and mandatory conflict-of-interest register.
    David Crowe refers to Concetta Fierravanti-Wells giving the Prime Minister and his ministers a brutal assessment of the broken system that is supposed to look after more than 1 million older Australians. Crowe explains the fault lines and tensions that exist within the government on this and other issues.
    Things for aged care operators are going to get very ugly as legal actions are contemplated.
    ‘Aged care’ should be exactly that, and not places where government determines how you live and die, writes John Lord.
    It’s time we called out Karen, Jim et al for what they are: dangerously irresponsible individuals, flouting the law in a way that literally threatens our health and safety, declares Michelle Pini.,14175
    Michelle Grattan says that COVID-19 has now made us two Australias. There’s Victoria – most specifically Melbourne – and then there’s the rest of the country.
    Daniel Andrews has said he was “accountable for any mistakes” made in the hotel quarantine program that sparked a second wave of Covid-19 in Victoria, as he was interrogated by the media on Thursday about what went wrong.
    Kate Aubusson writes about a Sydney man in his 20s who visited seven restaurants, pubs and a Woolworths within 48 hours while infectious with COVID-19, potentially spawning a new coronavirus cluster in the CBD and inner west and demonstrating the difficult task of contact tracing.
    Liam Mannix reports that finally, the Trump-backed supposed miracle cure, hydroxychloroquine, should not be used to treat or prevent coronavirus, the government’s official COVID-19 evidence taskforce has recommended. So there are a lot of pills in a warehouse soemwher.
    According to Rob Harris, all Victorian federal MPs and senators will be forced into 14 days of quarantine before attending Parliament. The federal opposition will push for Victorian MPs who choose not to travel to Canberra to speak in Parliament via videolink, however they would not be given voting rights.
    Michael Whitbourn explains how NSW has become the first state to pass defamation law reforms, increasing pressure on the other states and territories to follow suit.
    Alexandra Smith reports that NSW Labor is pushing for extra sitting days of Parliament to deal with critical reports into the Ruby Princess debacle and the bushfire season.
    Anthony Galloway tells us how operators of the nation’s critical infrastructure will be forced to pass on information about cyber attacks to the Australian Signals Directorate in real time, and potentially allow the cyber spy agency into their networks to fend off major hacks.
    Nick O’Malley writes about Home Affairs’ Mike Pezzullo saying the government should manufacture and stockpile critical materials to prepare for national emergencies that result from climate change and disruptions to international supply chains. Pezzullo has some interesting insights here.
    James Adonis looks at the experience of Greek SMEs who endured many years of economic adversity to see if Australian companies can learn anything from this.
    It has taken COVID-19 to spur authorities into concerted action to keep people out of prisons. Now they have a model for fixing Australia’s appalling Indigenous incarceration rates, writes Thalia Anthony.
    The SMH editorial says that our intelligence agencies made the right call in not banning TikTok.
    The editorial in the Canberra Times says that border closures are the price of safety.
    Bloomberg believes that the US dollar’s slide is a warning that America has lost its grip on the virus.
    Angus Thomson tells us that the NSW government tried to withhold documents that show bureaucrats concealing Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s personal involvement in a council grants scheme now alleged to be the subject of rorting.
    Clancy Yeates tells us that a powerful superannuation group is urging boards to rein in executive pay and shun bonuses where companies have launched emergency capital raisings.
    Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp reckons it’s $1 billion. Google reckons it’s a piddling $10 million. News and Nine Entertainment have enlisted the Government and the ACCC in their battle to force Google to pay for their news content. Kim Wingerei looks at the ACCC’s draft news media “mandatory bargaining code” and the likely outcomes of the stoush between new media and old.
    Samantha Dick tells us why Victorians won’t go hungry during this lockdown.
    The Morrison government will be hoping it can reshape the High Court with its next two appointments. The Australian Financial Review reveals five leading candidates and two wild cards.
    Oh my! Bungled medical records given to the family of a man who died following treatment in a western NSW hospital mistakenly contained confidential notes belonging to another patient, listed the wrong surgeon and were missing a key blood report.
    A government department strategy on low emissions energy production will cause harm to both the environment and economy, writes Richard Gillies.,14176
    According to Dominic Powell, the struggling department store operator Myer has been granted a lifeline by its lenders under a new deal that will slightly reduce its debt and remove the need for its loan conditions to be tested for fiscal 2020.
    And Woolworths warehouse workers have been offered a pay rise of more than 10 per cent over three years amid soaring unemployment and sluggish wage growth after a two week standoff that tested grocery supply chains.
    Karen Maley writes that investors are worried about what’s going on behind the scenes at AMP following the abrupt departure of one of AMP boss Francesco De Ferrari’s key recruits.
    Australians attempting to return home are complaining that international airlines are cancelling tickets of economy customers in order to offer more business and first-class seats, as operators look to boost profitability while complying with Australia’s strict passenger arrival caps.
    A small Liberal-linked communications firm was given multiple contracts without tender by the office of the Australian small business ombudsman, Kate Carnell, a former Liberal leader in the ACT.
    You little beauty!!!! New York’s Attorney-General is suing the National Rifle Association, seeking to put the gun advocacy organisation out of business over allegations that executives engaged in a decades-long pattern of fraud.
    Matthew Knott writes about Trump flailing around trying to find a spot to accept his party’s nomination of him as its presidential candidate,
    World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called on US President Donald Trump to stop attacking his organisation and focus on defeating the coronavirus pandemic.
    Professor of English, Robert Phiddean, writes that Trump may well have broken satire!

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Simon Letch

    Andrew Dyson

    Matt Golding

    Mark Knight

    Alan Moir

    David Pope

    Jim Pavlidis

    Cathy Wilcox

    John Shakespeare

    Johannes Leak

    From the US

  16. “Liam Mannix reports that finally, the Trump-backed supposed miracle cure, hydroxychloroquine, should not be used to treat or prevent coronavirus, the government’s official COVID-19 evidence taskforce has recommended. So there are a lot of pills in a warehouse somewhere.”

    Pills that can now go to the people who genuinely need them instead of being snapped up by idiots who believed Trump’s ravings.

    Those who need this drug to relieve symptoms or to treat malaria can now stop wondering if they will be able to get their medication.

  17. The US apparently now has: Coronavirus Cases: 5,032,179 Deaths: 162,804 – 58,611 new cases and 1,203 new deaths.

    I’m usually a “glass half full” person. But right now I wonder if, because of the immense and escalating damage Trump, his handlers and his supporters are allowing to happen to the US, they are heading towards the scenarios you see in their big disaster/destruction of society films.

    I think this virus could have a really frightening long term effect on America and, therefore, on a lot of the rest of the planet. Consider how many more undiagnosed cases there might be, how quickly it can spread and possibly mutate. People dealing with an ever-increasing case load could be vulnerable to burnout. Are there pools of qualified back-up people available?

    Meanwhile the existing and increasing problems of global heating and depletion of resources haven’t disappeared.

    I can actually imagine the virus wiping out so many people (socially and as consumers), that so many of the food producers, scientists, medical people, tradespeople, businesses etc etc etc will disappear. Will we see unarmed citizens against armed citizens, state against state, nation against nation?

    Time will tell.

  18. Labor! Labor!

    Prime minister Scott Morrison announced this earlier today.

    “There have been over 20,000 confirmed cases in Australia and sadly 266 people have died,” he said.

    “The outbreak in Victoria has meant that there are now around 8,000 active cases in Australia.”

  19. For TLBD. A bit of Danish,well Soren Madsen to be exact. Testing out my new headphones. Stringed instruments sound heavenly.

  20. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    David Crowe tells us that industry chiefs are urging Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to offer generous help to employers to help them survive drastic restrictions after days of confusion and anger over state-wide shutdowns.
    Shane Wright says that the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy statement is clear that any thought of a V- or U-shaped recovery has been abandoned.
    Paul Bongiorno looks at Morrison’s abrupt turnaround on the WA border closure case. He says it is hard not to conclude that Morrison’s changed position is a cynical one.
    Ross Gittins is pissed off with the continued denigration of the unemployed, even in these times of 14 unemployed for every vacant job.
    Lisa Visentin continues her story on Perrottet and icare. Perrottet is expected to issue a statement later today.
    And Former Supreme Court judge and assistant ICAC commissioner. He currently chairs the Centre for Public Integrity, Anthony Whealy QC, tells Perrottet why integrity is a mist for icare.
    The Andrews government cannot identify any legislation it needed to override, but experts say that is the point, writes Rick Morton who examines what led to Victoria’s extraordinary lockdown.
    Peter van Onselen says that the state governments that disregarded the foolhardy demands to open their borders have spared the nation a much greater disaster.
    Scott Morrison appearing unruffled at a podium isn’t enough to bring calm to a crisis says Katharine Murphy.
    In this impressive essay The Australia Institute’s Ebony Bennett says that parliaments are the forum for our elected representatives and suspending them during a crisis is as dangerous to democracy as COVID-19 is to public health.
    Deborah Snow examines Australia’s progress in developing a viable Covid-19 vaccine.
    Peter Hartcher says that we are a minion in the global vaccine arms race.
    Samantha Dick tells us that worried health workers are demanding greater virus protections amid concern the federal health department’s official infection control advice is not strong enough.
    The Age reveals that a senior Department of Jobs official has been removed from their role as evidence mounts that the decision to use private security guards at Melbourne’s quarantine hotels was partly driven by a well-meaning attempt to provide jobs under “social inclusion” policies.
    Jess Irvine trawls through what economists have been saying about different approaches to the pandemic. Of course, Gigi gets a mention.
    Dominic Powell explains how Bunnings’ status has been a bellwether for the nation’s economic health and consumer sentiment as the COVID-19 crisis has ravaged the country.
    Peter Dutton denies his role in protecting Australia from the public health risks of COVID-19 – such as the Ruby Princess debacle —but the Migration Act says otherwise, writes former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Immigration, Abul Rizvi.,14179
    Dozens of “COVIDiots” are being dobbed into police every week for breaching coronavirus restrictions as South Australians strive to stop a potential second wave, official figures show.
    Professor Jim Bright looks at what a difficult time workers in customer service are having dealing with members of the public who don’t or won’t get it.
    And the SMH editorial says that Perrottet must fix the mess at icare.
    Doug Dingwall reports that the Tax Office is growing its spend on call centre services from two major service delivery companies, raising the value of its contracts with the firms to $330 million.
    The editorial in The Age looks at the precarious balance that childcare represents for many families.
    If the Liberal party truly cared about racial injustice it would pay its fair share to Close the Gap says Kevin Rudd in this op-ed.
    The Morrison government’s superannuation changes risk turning the scheme into ‘privately funded unemployment insurance’ says Mike Seccombe writing about Liberal ideology.
    Andrew Meade gets stuck into Andrew Bolt, News Ltd and other right-leaning media.
    The editorial in The Saturday Paper also has a good serve at Bolt and Creighton.
    Rod Meyer writes, “The question many analysts are asking about Foxtel is simple: How long will the Murdoch media conglomerate News Corp continue to fund it?”
    David Penberthy writes that Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has warned against anti-vaccination sentiment within her party and called on all sides of politics to resist the influence of “a dangerous anti-science agenda”.
    Julia Baird writes about living in these glum times.
    Mike Foley reports that Angus Houston has been appointed head of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority for four years.
    But ss the ACCC hands down its interim report on the Murray–Darling water markets, one architect of the current system says a Reserve Bank-like body is needed to manage the rights writes Margaret Simons.
    While the UK’s Met Office is out there educating the public, BoM is remarkably coy about any public discussion of climate change. Questions have also been asked whether its senior leadership is too close to the gas industry. Sandi Keane investigates.
    Nick Bonyhady tells us that the government has stepped into a High Court battle over whether some casual workers are actually permanent workers with a legal right to holiday backpay.
    Charlotte Grieve reports that Insurance Australia Group chief executive Peter Harmer has said there is not enough capital in the insurance industry globally to cover the financial fallout from COVID-19, as the insurer posted a 60 per cent fall in profit.
    As fossil fuel prices collapse, there is growing speculation that Adani might throw in its Carmichael operation to buy BHP’s massive Mount Arthur thermal coalmine instead reports Paddy Manning.
    Eryk Bagshaw explains why Trump’s overnight ban on WeChat is a far bigger deal than banning TikTok. (We have been using WeChat to communicate with our son and family in Beijing but we recently changed to using Signal, a far safer encrypted platform).
    New files ordered released in the Ghislaine Maxwell case reveal the depth of her involvement in child sex-trafficking offences that implicate Prince Andrew, the former leader of the US senate and others reports Richard Cooke.
    It’s taken just 12 months for Boris Johnson to create a government of sleaze writes Jonathan Freedland.
    The pandemic and inequality hold the keys to America’s November poll explains Jonathan Pearlman.

    Today’s nomination for “Arsehole of the Week” . . .

    Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir

    David Rowe

    Andrew Dyson

    Matt Golding

    Mark David

    Some gifs and a cartoon from Glen Le Lievre

    Peter Broelman

    Mark Knight

    Martin Rawson

    John Shakespeare

    Jim Pavlidis

    Matt Davidson

    David Pope

    Michael Leunig

    A Sean Leahy catch up

    Jon Kudelka

    Johannes Leak

    From the US

  21. Nice ad in the Worst Australian newspaper. The State Libs after the next election should fit into a minibus. The Feds should cop a slap as well.

  22. Katharine Murphy says ” It took him a while to find his stride, but Morrison now prioritises the projection of calm in his public appearances, because that’s what leadership in a crisis demands.”

    Calm? FauxMo? He’s anything but calm. He blathers incessantly in attempts to hide the obvious – he is way out of his depth and has little to say. He refuses to answer questions he doesn’t like, brushing them off with a snarly “I reject the premise of your question” or a curt “No!”. When too many questions he doesn’t like are asked he abruptly ends pressers and stomps off, no doubt to hurl abuse at the nearest staffer or maybe punch a wall.

    His simmering anger is barely concealed, his contempt for the media, who still refuse to criticise him, is blatantly obvious. He tosses a few crumbs around to keep them in thrall and then won’t talk to them.

    This is a man who knows little and cares less. He tells us he prays a lot. Big deal! He prays to some cargo cult god or other, believing with all his stony, shrivelled heart that the bushfires, the floods and now the coronavirus are all signs his god will soon return. If he can just hang on until then he will be raptured up to whatever heaven he fondly imagines his god inhabits. What happens to us will not be his concern. If he leaves behind a blackened, storm-ravaged, overheated, virus-ridden Australia then he doesn’t care. Why does he believe this nonsense? Because he has been brainwashed by an array of Pentecostal pastors and by his long-time mate from QAnon, Tim Stewart. He is stupid enough to believe all the crap they tell him. He supports politicians who share his views on religion and on climate change, defends them, promotes them, favours them. He will not say a word against them even when their behaviour is corrupt or way beyond inept. He reserves his contempt for Labor, especially for Dan Andrews, who has set an unassailable level of calmness with his daily pressers. Dan calmly and patiently answers all questions, even the stupid or abusive ones, until there are no more questions to be asked. He does not stomp off in a huff, he does not reject questions, he patiently deals with everything tossed by the media, then he comes back the next day, and the next, and does it all again. He’s up to about day 35 of this now, without a break, while the CrimeMinister takes weekends off, often long weekends, and only appears when he has something new to announce. This week it was new cyber safety laws promoted as “keeping Australians safe” which will give his rival Dutton even more powers to spy on us all.

    He won’t deliver bad news now, he leaves that for the state premiers to handle. He wants to be seen as the kindly uncle or maybe the father of the nation, the chap who delivers only good news.

    The CrimeMinister is not “calm”. He’s a seething mess of barely contained angst, hate and quasi-religious fervour. Soon he will no longer be able to repress those churning emotions and he will have a massive meltdown. I hope it’s a very public one, it will be fun to watch.

    • We all know the msm will not pursue this……..I’ve given up hoping that they ever will. Twitter on Thursday was a dream to follow with the general public furious with the hypocrisy of the msm. That is the only thing that keeps me hoping change may happen, but I’m not holding my breath.

  23. ckwatt

    .I know it is as effective as “thoughts and prayers” but best wishes to you and “the missus”.

  24. So the security guard debacle is all down to the CrimeMinister, not Andrews. How many journalists have reported this? Not one.

  25. Thanks everyone for the good wishes. Poor girl is layed up waiting for the locum doctor to arrive. If he can’t do anything for her then A&E at Armadale tomorrow. Her spine is crumbling and it is exceedingly painful to a level that leaves her almost immoblle.

    My nursing experience comes in handy.

    The sun will rise tomorrow and all will be well in the world.

    Again thanks all.

  26. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Crispin Hull outlines the self-evident problems that the pandemic has exposed and how we got there. He concludes this MUST READ contribution with, “In short, tumultuous events require self-examination and change. This crisis should not be wasted with a return to business as usual.”
    Australia will take a long time to recover from this recession. Don’t believe otherwise declares Greg Jericho.
    Michael Koziol (I haven/t seen him for a while writes that federal Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth has begged young people in NSW to “pull back” on their socialising, saying bar-hopping was not “the right thing to do” in a pandemic.
    And he tells us how NSW, caught in the middle, is reconsidering how to live with the virus.
    Now Frydenberg has ramped up the attack on Dan Andrews and hotel quarantine failures.
    Victoria’s second wave of COVID-19 will turn the corner and lower in the next week, the expert behind government modelling says, if Victorians ‘keep their foot on the accelerator’.
    Asher Wolf simply cannot believe the effort of DSS Secretary Kathryn Campbell at the recent Senate committee inquiry. He concludes with, “This kind of testimony before Parliament is a blight upon the Australian Public Service and ensures our democratic process remains nothing but bullshit theatre.”
    Critical infrastructure including roads, electricity and telecommunications will be fast-tracked across Sydney, reports Alexandra Smith.
    According to Fergus Hunter and Eryk Bagshaw, federal MPs are pushing to ramp up parliamentary scrutiny of Chinese Communist Party influence at Australian universities as concerns grow about the sector’s reliance on revenue from Chinese students and research partnerships.
    Jacqui Maley writes that a reprieve from political partisanship has been one of the few blessings of this horrible year as she bags Andrews. But it shouldn’t come at the expense of political accountability she says.
    Paul Karp reports that Gladys Berejiklian has rebuffed calls to extend the Ruby Princess inquiry to hear from federal officials who have refused to appear, as Labor accuses Scott Morrison of breaching a promise of full cooperation.
    Julie Szego talks about these dark days for Australia’s universities.
    Beyond Blue is pushing for a system of mental health coaches to be rolled out nationally to address the nation’s unprecedented social crisis under the COVID-19 pandemic. Wendy Touhy describes the “low intensity” mental health support is being proposed to help up to 450,000 people identified by the Productivity Commission as those who could benefit from the treatment.
    And Celina Ribeiro tells us abut the effect the lockdowns are having on the mental health of children.
    An important freedom of information ruling from the information commissioner involving the CSIRO has set a new bar on when the public service can withhold documents detailing internal deliberations if they concern matters of public importance says Anne Davies.
    Patrick Hatch goes into a lot of detail about the examination of the probity of Crown Resorts.
    Tony Abbott’s former seat of Warringah has become the epicentre of a stunning Liberal Party factional preselection battle says Michael Koziol. Quite a bit of funny business he reckons.
    A former US Republican political operative and senior policy adviser to the NSW Treasurer was part of a trade delegation to the US while he was on the payroll of icare, report Adele Ferguson and Lisa Visentin.
    Ethicist Dr Simon Longstaff examines the job Perrottet has done with iCare and the minister comes up quite short.
    Peter FitzSimons heaps praise on to Jonathan Swan aver his epic interview with Trump.
    The delays in elective surgeries due to the pandemic, while necessary, have been difficult to deal with for those suffering, writes Alyce Sala Tenna.,14182
    Countries around the world are tentatively reopening their borders to tourists, raising questions about how we can journey overseas in the COVID-19 era, writes Cait Kelly.
    Queensland churchgoers of all faiths overwhelmingly support the introduction of voluntary assisted dying laws, new research commissioned by euthanasia advocates shows. So why is the LNP so against it?
    A tug-of-war over the legacy of Labor prime minister Bob Hawke is brewing as Australia’s election umpire prepares to name a federal electorate in his honour, writes Anthony Galloway.
    Australia’s military spending now eclipses foreign aid by more than 10 to one. And the gap is set to grow says Matt Wade. His chart says it all.
    Pressure is building on Australia despite delay to international climate talks writes Mike Foley.
    Matthew Knott explains the resurgence of “Never Trumpism” and the efforts of The Lincoln Group.
    President Trump is confident of another win at the next election, but polls show it could be time for him to consider a career change, writes Dr Lee Duffield who wonders what will happen if he does lose.,14183
    Yes!!! “Spitting Image” is making a return.
    This guy Abbott has a lot to answer for – including his nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Mark Knight

    Reg Lynch

    Matt Davidson

    Peter Broelman

    Jim Pavlidis

    Matt Golding

    From the US

  27. Jodi McKay says Labor, with the help of the crossbench, will recall the NSW parliament and compel the government to produce documentation about the icare scandal.

    Gladys is really in deep trouble, not only over this but also for refusing to extend the Ruby Princess inquiry to allow federal officials to appear, but all the journalists at Jodi’s presser wanted to ask were trivial questions about masks and Year 12 students.

  28. Should be the biggest story, but you won’t find a word about it in the MSM. They are all too busy writing gushing articles about how calm the PM is, how wonderfully well he is handling the pandemic crisis, or how he has been “reborn” as a strong leader.

    For proof – this backgrounding was mentioned a week ago in The Saturday Paper by Paul Bongiorno, but no-one bothered to take it up.

    Andrews says he’s prepared to help the Commonwealth and announced the postponement of most category-two elective surgeries across public and private hospitals to free up beds and qualified staff to deal with the emergency. He did so after conversations with the prime minister on Sunday. But then Canberra began background briefing against the premier.

    Reports in the Murdoch media claimed Andrews had ignored pleas from new federal Health Department chief Brendan Murphy for a week. Murphy on Wednesday admitted to “informal discussions” with Victorian Health officials but dismissed suggestions he had to enlist the prime minister’s help to get action on suspending elective surgeries. Andrews says that as soon as Morrison approached him he took the prime minister’s request to state cabinet and gave hospitals 24 hours’ notice.

    The ill-judged leak is a sure sign the federal government is beginning to feel some political heat, and not without reason. The model it is working on is not fit for purpose, at least not the purpose of humane care. Compounding the problem, the biggest private providers are listed on the stock exchange. That means they are obliged to put shareholders’ interests ahead of patients’ interests

    A few days later the Murdoch rags ran a story alleging over 1000 cases a day were expected. It was made-up crap designed to damage Andrews, probably fed to The Australian by the PMO. Andrews then had to spend a considerable amount of time telling journalists the figures were false, they had not come from any Victorian health authorities, the CMO had not seen them and Andrews and his staff knew nothing about them until they saw them that morning in the Murdoch media.

    I keep thinking about the way the CrimeMinister, on 22 August 2018, stood beside Turnbull at a presser, put his arm around Turnbull’s shoulder, smirked at the camera and said “This is my leader and I’m ambitious for him”. Two days later he engineered the leadership spill that made him PM. All his talk about supporting Dan Andrews is along the same lines.

    • Dan A would be well aware of his shenanigans. I’m just hoping that no-one in Dan’s team has some wicked plans of destabilisation.

  29. Remember Andrew Abercrombie, Liberal “power-broker” and failed Liberal wanna-be candidate for
    Higgins, the wealthy chap whose cocktail party in Aspen brought COVID-19 infections to Melbourne?

    The cough that crossed the globe: Andrew Abercrombie’s ill-fated party

    Well, Abercrombie and his skiing pals are at it again – at Mount Buller this time.

    Obviously lockdown and stay at home rules do not apply to wealthy members of the Liberal Party.

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