Hey, it's Friday!
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but on Friday I lose it a bit… but not in a bad way.
I use the day to write, rant and rave about stuff… not the normal stuff, stuff that matters to me as a freedom fighter and a wealth seeker… Stuff that doesn’t often get spoken or written about… stuff that needs to change… stuff that need to be discussed and stuff that pisses me off.
I never know which direction I will go… so be warned in advance… I take no prisoners.
So lets begin.
The biggest threat to the Australian economy is the ‘enemy within the gates.’ Ex—politicians (on a government pension mind you!) are selling influence and helping companies suck the life out of the country.
People often ask me what I think the biggest threat to the economy is.
‘Is it a slow-down in China?’
‘Is it the end of Quantitative Easing?’
‘The end of the mining boom?’
The biggest danger facing the global economy is zombies. The only thing that could truly wreck the capitalist miracle and plunge us back into some sort of Dark Age is a zombie attack.
Now I’m not talking about the kind of living dead you see on movies. That’s not much to worry about. If you have a shot-gun, a pitchfork and a pretty girl to help you, you’re fine.
What I’m talking about is the brain, soul and resource sucking parasites that are latching themselves on to governments around the world.
And I’ve got news for you. The zombies are taking over Canberra.
In the modern economy there are two legal ways to make money. The first is to produce something that people want and sell it to them, or invest capital in successful projects. This is great. Fabulous. It increases the wealth of everybody and makes everybody better off.
But the other way is to latch yourself on to the government. Get the government to rig the game in your favour – create barriers to entry and limit competition, get on a teet of cheap credit, or leverage off your contacts to secure government contracts and other privileges.
This doesn’t add any value to the world. Nothing’s created, nothing’s made. It just redistributes money from those who do the work, to those who are happy to be zombies.
I think we’ve always had zombies. As long as there’s been government, there have been zombies. But it seems like it’s getting worse.
And like always, the US seems to be leading the race to the bottom. Counties in and around Washington have become among the richest counties in the country. They’re teeming lawyers, lobbyists, contractors and other zombies who make they’re money by influencing politicians.
In fact, between 2000 and 2012, incomes in suburbs around the capital rose astonishing 23.3%, according to the US Census Bureau. That was at a time when national incomes FELL 6.6%!
Nice work if you can get it!
And the highest earners tend to be ex-Congressmen or ex-political staffers who have switched into lobbying and started milking their connections.
But this isn’t some ‘only in America’ type thing.
Last week, the Sydney Morning Herald was running a piece on the jobs boom the Abbott government’s created… in lobbyists!
According to the SMH,
The torrent of activity in the increasingly partisan lobbying industry has sparked a mini jobs boom for former Howard government ministers, retired Coalition MPs and Liberal operatives.
Nick Minchin, the Howard-era finance minister, has joined Alexander Downer at Bespoke Approach whose client list includes Wesfarmers, coal seam gas miner Santos and Chinese-owned coal miner Yancoal.
Former treasurer Peter Costello co-owns Melbourne-based ECG Advisory Solutions with his one time political adviser David Gazard. ECG has Westpac, Transurban and detention centre operators Serco on its books.
Big business knows how important (and profitable!) it is to have the ear of the government, and they’re willing to pay big bucks for it.
But this isn’t a new Coalition ‘open legs for business’ thing. Back in the Labor years, the dominant lobbying firm was the Labor-aligned ‘Hawker Britton’.
But with a change of government, 80% of their clients have jumped ship to the conservative ‘Barton Deakin’ firm.
Hey. Whatever it takes…
But get this. Both Hawker Britton and Barton Deakin are owned by the same company! STW Group!
So no matter who’s in government, these zombies are making a motza selling political influence!
But the more of the economy that’s tied up in a zombie apocalypse, the worse off we are. They’re sucking the life out of the economy, redirecting resources away from useful, productivity activity, and helping companies game the system in their own interest.
And before anyone peddles that garbage that they’re just helping the government make better policy, think about it for a second. Why would they spend that much money on it if there wasn’t the prospect of making a serious return on that investment?
It’d be fiduciary misconduct to waste all that share-holder money on ‘ideals’.
It’s like donations to political parties. They’ll tell us (and with a straight face!) that they’re just helping the democratic process.
Rubbish. If they were interested in democratic process, why are they giving different amounts to different parties?
And I’ve never heard of anyone giving money to the AEC to help them buy nicer ballot boxes!
Give me a break. Businesses spend a lot of money buying political influence because it works. You get in the pocket of the politicians and they rig the game in your favour.
You make a truckload of cash and the needs of the Australian people can go to hell.
And what worries me is that it’s just getting worse, and that the world is following America’s lead into economic abyss of crony capitalism.
And the mining industry’s take down of the MRRT (and the Gillard government at the same time, just to let us know who’s boss), and Clive Palmer’s purchase of a bunch of parliamentary seats shows us just how much sway big-money now has in Australia.
And before you accuse me of ‘class warfare’ let me state, in case there was any doubt, that I’m all about people making money. Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Warren Buffett… these guys are heroes of mine.
They took risks, backed products and services that people wanted and that made people’s lives better, and made a lot of money in the process.
All power to them.
But these zombies, who are sucking the life out of Australian economy and making a mockery of the political process, I’ve got no time for them.
Babe, get my shotgun and a pitchfork.