Reality check

Peter Martin has written a column which is a great rebuttal to all the claims that Labor is a frightening risk to teh economy:

Don’t for one minute swallow the line that the incoming Labor government isn’t ready because it knows nothing about economics or management.

It is far better qualified than the government it will replace.

A quick check of the parliamentary website reveals that eight of the incoming Labor ministers have degrees in economics. One of them, Craig Emerson, has a PhD in the subject.

By contrast only three Coalition ministers have economics degrees.

And even one of the “union bosses” has the management side of the equation covered:

Labor’s policies are not all good ones. But it is very well equipped to govern. Even the incoming union bogyman Bill Shorten has an MBA.

Cross-posted at PollieGraph.

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Posted in federal election '07
14 comments on “Reality check
  1. Economics degrees? That settles it, the economy is stuffed!

  2. Mug Punter says:

    I want my economy run by lawyers!

  3. boredinHK says:

    No anonymous bloggers obviously have all the answers.
    Oh ,and let’s not forget that social scientists are the best educated to advise about every subject….. climate change , rural doctor shortage , agriculture , fisheries policy , a computer on every desk, all technology issues and the bigeest single item they know all about – labour relations and industrial policy.
    They will be ably assisted by copywriters, artists and suits from the advertisisng industry.

  4. Andyc says:

    But will there yet be ANYONE in Parliament with a Science degree, post-24th?

  5. Craig Mc says:

    It’s a big assumption to think that the best qualified (and that doesn’t mean academically) people will get to call the shots. That’s not how the ALP works.

    Hopefully we’ll get the right people in the jobs that count.

  6. boredinHK says:

    From the linked to Peter Martin article-

    “Also from January 1 it’ll( the ALP) slash the budget of the National Capital Authority (to stop its “heavy-handed interventions” in our affairs), it’ll take away one staff member from every Senator and MP and begin installing solar panels in 9,600 Australian schools.

    The solar panels idea is one of Labor’s silliest. As a means of directing money to education it is poor value – solar cells are an expensive means of powering schools, and as a means of fighting climate change it is tokenistic. If the spread of solar panels is really a good idea, why limit it to schools?

    One of the justifications for the program is among Labor’s most stupid: “the generation of jobs”.
    As anyone who has tried to get a solar panel or heater installed knows, suppliers are run off their feet. The last thing they need is more work.
    The head of the Treasury Ken Henry had it right when he slagged this sort of talk in March.

    Other Labor schemes are similarly silly.
    Most Australians who want broadband can already get it, yet one of Labor’s biggest spending items will be $4.7 billion sunk into a new broadband network to duplicate those services.
    Wayne Swan’s claim that this would bring on “productivity gains of up to $30 billion per year” was embarrassing and indefensible.
    Perhaps tellingly, in the seven months since the Canberra Times exposed the flawed nature of that calculation Labor has been unable to come up with another.

    The Education Tax Rebate is another idea owing more to symbolism than filling a need.
    It is essentially a tax cut dressed up as a means of getting laptops to children.
    The children most in need of help won’t get laptops as a result of the program – their parents still won’t be able to afford them. The parents who can afford them and most likely already buy computing equipment will simply pocket the refund cheque.”

    Looks like those economics degrees aren’t helping much. Still vigilant citizen journos will ferret out all the good stuff (they could keep reading the same article ) and rebutt this outrageous attack on the incoming government of enlightened persons.
    Quick , to the Blogs !

  7. bjohns says:

    Re: boredinHK #6: “Most Australians who want broadband can already get it, yet one of Labor’s biggest spending items will be $4.7 billion sunk into a new broadband network to duplicate those services.”

    It’s a bit more than simply ‘giving homes a broadband connection’. I’ve yet to get into the nitty gritty of the policy but the core of it is providing an alternative to Telstra in the intra-city/township links. There is currently a monopoly on these fibre links especially in regional areas. I feel that the Labor party is on the right track to ‘kick off’ new data infrastructure in these areas as there are plenty of organisations that are willing to invest in a Telstra alternative.

    It’s a difficult message to get across so I think they’re throwing the term ‘broadband’ around in an attempt to gain some kind of understanding from folks who don’t live and breath data networks.

  8. CK says:

    “But will there yet be ANYONE in Parliament with a Science degree, post-24th?”

    Excellent point.

    “Economics degrees? That settles it, the economy is stuffed!”

    Stop stealing my lines, SATP.

    “The solar panels idea is one of Labor’s silliest. As a means of directing money to education it is poor value – solar cells are an expensive means of powering schools, and as a means of fighting climate change it is tokenistic. If the spread of solar panels is really a good idea, why limit it to schools?.”

    Cost comparisons over time? It may be tokenistic, but it would be nice to think it may have unintended spin-offs like revitalising solar R&D instead of handing the whole shebang over to BP. Talking seriously big bucks here.

  9. CK: buying the same amount of power from wind turbines is much, much cheaper.

    And, frankly, the amount of dough we’re talking about is trivial in the global solar power market. It’ll make bugger-all difference to R&D budgets, which are already large and growing.

  10. Furthermore, there’s “broadband”, and there’s big-b Broadband.

    Your basic DSL connection barely deserves to be called broadband. It can transfer things about four times as fast as a phone line. You can’t send decent video at that rate.

    The kind of broadband that Labor’s talking about is fast enough to carry HDTV channels in real time. Monopoly busting on a grand scale ensues…

  11. joe2 says:

    If Labor were talking of replacing existing hot water systems in schools with solar based units, as they need to be replaced, it would surely make good sense.

  12. joe2 says:

    As for that predictable attack on those good ol’ economics degrees I reckon we could do well to make such a qualification a prerequisite for anybody wishing to be treasurer. Apart from being elected to parliament, of course.

    The idea of someone controlling an area of government, with at least a basic knowledge of the area they are working in, is appealing to me.

  13. Paul Burns says:

    Yeah,
    It’d be better than the rat-cunning of the truly stupid, which is what we’ve had for the past eleven years.Among a lot of other nasty things.

  14. Either someone can handle a quid or they can’t.

    An economics degree does not confer any ability to handle a quid.

    It is more cause for concern than it is an endorsement of the holder’s ability to handle money.

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