Labor senator breaks ranks on 'new economy'

Australian senator Doug Cameron once described his own Labor Party as the lobotomised party:
Labor senator Doug Cameron confirmed what some had long suspected: the ranks of the federal Labor Party are populated by reanimated corpses. "It seems to be like having a political lobotomy," Cameron opined ...

"You know ... your brain is just ripped apart, you can't think about things, you're not allowed to talk about things, um, and, really, you know, we don't want zombie politicians."
Recently the leader of that party, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, was in fine zombie form giving a speech about Building A New Economy Together, which put a positive spin on the ravages that the mining boom (and subsequent rise in our dollar) is having on our economy:
The level of the dollar – and the pace of its rise – has broken some business models and forced economic restructuring. It’s already been behind some closures ...

These are powerful, economy-wide transformations, perhaps best thought of as “growing pains”.

Our success is driving the dollar. In turn, the dollar is driving change and in doing so it’s making our economy leaner and stronger, forcing us to move more of our effort – more money, more equipment, more people – into the parts of our economy where we can create the greatest value.

We’ve said for years, for decades, that given a choice between competing on quality or competing on price, we’d compete on quality; that we’d take the high road to high-value, high-wage, high-skill employment, that we want to create jobs based on making and selling the best products and services we can.

And we’ve said too that we want our consumers to have the benefit of lowcost high-quality goods, wherever they’re made.

Well, the strong dollar is locking in that high-value, high-quality approach for us. We never really wanted to compete on price alone – but now it’s just as well, because at parity with the US, we just can’t.

It’s as if the world is turning up the speed on the treadmill while we’re exercising. It’s an adjustment, it takes work, it builds strength, it’s an adjustment up, not an adjustment down.

And we can make it work for us...

That’s the modern Australian economy, and I know no serious advocate for any sector or industry who wants to stop the world changing.
So how did business respond to such a rousing pep talk? Did the rats run faster on the treadmill? Nope, we've seen a whole bunch of job losses and business closures e.g. the Holden Caprice police car exports to the US are down on expected sales.

Gillard talks, and business scatters. We're just expected to sit by and watch the high dollar drive our manufacturing/exports out of the market, and somehow, someway, transition to mythical new competitive markets. Pfft. It's nothing but wishful thinking.

How does the media respond to all this? There are some critics who notice the decline in manufacturing but few with any ideas what to do about it other than tinkering at the margins with productivity, and stopping the futile and self-defeating carbon tax.

But at last someone has broken ranks and shattered the fatalistic free-trade groupthink. You can literally feel the ground shake when an ideology is challenged.

Doug Cameron, Labor senator breaks ranks on 'new economy'
A bad day for the Prime Minister may have got worse, with Labor Senator Doug Cameron taking a swipe at what has become the Government's new mantra: the "new economy"...

Senator Cameron says the problem is jobs being shed in the manufacturing, agriculture and tourism industries in the middle of a mining boom.

"I don't like it because it doesn't seem to me as a new economy. It's a mining boom, in fact it's a mining bubble," he said.

"I'm sick and tired of hearing economists tell us that you've got to crowd out good jobs in manufacturing, crowd out good jobs in the finance sector, crowd out high-paid, high-skilled jobs because we've got a mining bubble.

"I just don't think it's a new economy. I think it's a very, very challenging economy."

He says the Government needs to get more social and economic benefits out of the mining boom...

"I used to argue that we shouldn't be a quarry, a farm and a tourist destination. I think now I'm just arguing that we shouldn't become a quarry because I think farming's in trouble, I think tourism's in trouble and I think manufacturing's in trouble."

Senator Cameron says he fears the Prime Minister's "new economy" is simply a focus on the mining sector.

"I think we need to look at how we can put some brakes on that mining bubble so that the rest of the economy is not decimated, so that the dollar is not decimating the rest of the economy," he said.

"So I'm pretty keen to start talking about policies that can ensure that we moderate that so-called boom which is simply a bubble, and try and manage the economy more effectively for all Australians."

Senator Cameron says rather than resonating, the term "new economy" causes fear and concern among many in the electorate.

"Why wouldn't they be concerned when ... we were told a few years ago the new economy was going to create finance jobs, that the finance sector was the sector to be in, and thousands of finance jobs are going?" he said.

"Why are they going? Because the finance sector wants more and more profits at the expense of ordinary people. And we've got the mining industry, just wants to boom away regardless of the impact it has on the broader economy." ...

"The jobs keep on being lost because of the dollar. I think what we have to come up with is innovative ways of trying to dampen the rise of the dollar so that good industries like manufacturing have got an opportunity to continue."
Now, ignoring the fact that Doug Cameron will cry at the mention of refugees or gay marriage, at last finally someone hit the nail on the head.

Currently our economy is shaped controlled by demand from China, and everything else is pushed and pulled accordingly. Now I'm no economic genius but it would seem pretty obvious that, if we want to control our economy, control what industries live and die, control where we work, then we have to limit the mining boom.

Yep, that's a hands-on old-fashioned intervention. "Oh no", they doth protest, we can't intervene with free markets. Well, er, the free market is already ripping our economy apart. It's us or them.

File under: Doug Cameron finds his head.


  1. Hopefully Cameron will come out against mass Third World immigration next.

  2. I read that Cameron said multiculturalism has failed and we need a more "muscular liberalism". Yet net immigration has been at a record high since he took office.
    So I trust these politicians as much as I trust Gillard when she says she'll secure our borders.

  3. I was referring to Doug Cameron, not David Cameron.

    You are correct though - David Cameron has been an abject failure. Immigration into the UK continues to run at high levels, despite the country's economic meltdown and worsening ethnic tensions.

    One gets the feeling that the Anglosphere countries, i.e. Britain and its colonial offshoots, are doomed. The United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand are all being ruined by massive Third World immigration, aggressive nation-shattering multiculturalism, and totalitarian political correctness.

    To quote the blogger Fjordman:

    " ...although all Western countries without exception are sinking under the weight of Third World mass immigration and in the process becoming a part of the Third World, they are not sinking equally fast. With the exception of France, Belgium and possibly the Netherlands and Sweden, the English-speaking world is leading the disintegration of the West, ideologically and demographically. The entire West is sick, but the Anglosphere is sicker than most. The English-speaking countries still have the most dynamic military traditions of the West, but that counts for little as long as they are used for promoting global Multiculturalism rather than for protecting the home country.

    I cannot see that the Anglosphere has more freedom of speech than Continental European countries, either. The USA with its First Amendment does, which is great (we'll see what their new President does about that), but al-Canada is plain nuts and Britain is a Multicultural banana republic. Australia and New Zealand could be a part of Greater China by mid-century. Maybe they will be more prosperous than France will be as a part of Greater Algeria or the United States as a part of Greater Mexico, but by then they will be Asians, not Westerners.

    I'm not sure why the Anglosphere is so bad. In the case of Britain, I strongly suspect it's partly caused by a Post-Imperial Stress Syndrome for a nation that once ruled much of the world and now cannot even rule its own suburbs. Empire was their identity. Much of the same can be said about the French. Indeed I suspect that one of their motivations for supporting the awful EU project is for them to resurrect some of their past imperial glory in another form.

    Yet this cannot explain the actions of the United States, which is still the world's greatest power although that may not last forever. There is some form of universal proposition nation idea with roots dating back to the Enlightenment at work here. It's the concept that a country is not a nation based on a shared heritage, but an abstract entity which can be joined by absolutely anybody, a bit like an enlarged video club. If you claim that the United States is a "universal" nation and that Hamas-supporting Muslims, with which Westerners have absolutely nothing in common, can and should be imported to the USA, then you are a supporter of the concept of a proposition nation."