Quizzically Musing

Watching the madness

Archive for August 2011

Racist cruelty does not belong here

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I was terribly saddened to hear of the death of a young Melbourne girl last week.  She was mauled by a dog. 

I was equally horrified to see this article in The HeraldSun.

Racism

Racism at work

Facebook is an international site so it is perceivable the posts came from outside Australia, but I know in my heart this is a naive thought.  Some may well have, but I know not all did.  While The HeraldSun is a tabloid, this has been reported in other media.

This is a CHILD who was mauled to death by a dog while her father was overseas.  How anyone can make the sort of attacks reported in this story is beyond me. 

Are these mindless teenagers with nothing better to do, who think it is funny?  Where are their parents?

Are they the usual batch of internet trolls?  Are they actual white supremacists?  I don’t care who or what they are, what they did is inexcusable and should be punished – yet the perpetrators will probably never be found and are no doubt too cowardly to come forward.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

August 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Not In Our Name

with 4 comments

Getup has launched a campaign to stop Australia sending children to Malaysia as part of the “asylum seeker solution”.

I am proud to put my name to the cause and it is somewhere amongst these 31,654 names.

Not in our name

Not in our name

I quote from the email sent to me by GetUp:

To see it all you need to do is grab a copy of The Age. The ad also appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday. You might need a magnifying glass to see your name but that’s a good thing. It means that the response was so overwhelming that we could only fit in everyone’s names by squeezing them in with small font.

Also:

You may have also heard that on Sunday the High Court put an injunction on the Malaysia deal. This will temporarily halt the transfer of asylum seekers to Malaysia. The final outcome of the case may still be weeks away but this is exciting news and you can read more about the court case by clicking here.

We must stop this happening.  Join the cause!

Related:

http://wonderingpilgrim.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/at-last-a-candle-lit-in-the-darkness/#comment-480

http://tonyserve.wordpress.com/2011/08/07/from-getup-not-in-my-name-refugees-australia-malaysia-children/

Written by Robyn Dunphy

August 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Global Public Debt – a simple perspective

with 9 comments

Global Financial Crisis, round two.  Global Public Debt.  The words on everyone’s lips these days.  I am not an economist, but everyone seems to have something to say, from Twitter to eminent university professors, so why not me?

I Stumbled (literally, on the website) upon this interesting little debt clock and map this morning at http://www.economist.com/content/global_debt_clock.

Global Public Debt - Three Nations Compared

Global Public Debt - Three Nations Compared

Take a look at the actual map, it is very interesting.  All the VERY red (i.e. in big trouble) countries are the ones we like to think of as being the world leaders or the most advanced civilisations or something equally complimentary.

Of course, in Australia, politicians LOVE to use the debt situation as a way to attack each other.  Looking at the media, it seems that is reasonably common globally. Looking at the figures to the left, we could be a lot worse off than we are.  I am NOT saying this to support the current Federal Government (I have my own personal little battle with that lot), I am simply making an observation about the information as presented by www.economist.com.

I’m a mother and an accountant.  Debits and credits translate into “how much money do I have” and “how much have I spent“.  Yes, I’ve had to borrow, so I have personal debt.  Don’t many of us?  Do I have more debt than I can repay?  No, I don’t (provided I don’t get hit by a bus any time soon and I have insurance against that possibility).

There are so many commas in the numbers to the left, I actually get confused!  Are  we are talking billions, trillions or something greater?  Eight trillion, creeping up to nine, for the USA, depending on which scale of magnitude you use (yes, globally we can’t agree on magnitude).  

Let’s look at the per person debt.  So far, Australia is still, compared to the other two, remarkably healthy, although I can’t say I like how dark pink we are on the map!  I am well aware of how all the economies are intertwined these days, so essentially I consider us rather lucky we aren’t sitting at USA or UK levels.

On top of my own personal debt, I only have to pay off another $11,462 of the public debt.  If I was in the USA I’d have to pay off another $28,350 and I may not have a job, given the unemployment levels in the USA.

I have read a bit about people being up in arms in the USA because the current solution is spending cuts but no increase in taxes on certain groups that many feel should be paying more tax.  Let’s face it, governments get their “income” from taxes (unless the country owns natural resources and generates revenue for the country from those resources).  Countries have budgets, just like any household or business.  Clearly someone’s been overspending!  For a long time! 

This puzzles me.  The USA policy of “fend for yourself” means that they don’t have the same funding of education, hospitals, medications and so on that we do in Australia.  How did they spend so damn much?  What on?  I could read umpteen articles and find a myriad of arguments, as everyone has a perspective.  I’m not going to, because the bottom line is simple to this simple mother.  Spend more than you have, print money you don’t have and guess what happens – you end up in the red.

I remember some years ago, when Bush introduced his first budget, global analysts stating the USA would pay about ten years down the track.  Seems those analysts were not far off the mark.  While it is now hard to find those old articles, I quote from www.economist.com again:

The most important legislation of his first year in office was a $1.35 trillion tax cut that handed an extra $53,000 to the top 1% of earners. At his farewell press conference on January 12th Mr Bush called his tax cuts the “right course of action”, as if they were an unpopular but heroic decision. They weren’t. The budget was in surplus in 2000, and both Mr Bush’s main Republican rival, John McCain, and his Democratic opponent, Mr Gore, also wanted to cut taxes, but by less, so as to pay down more debt and shore up Social Security (public pensions). Mr Bush’s much larger tax cut reflected his, and his party’s, belief that lower taxes restrain the size of government, empower individuals and are good for both growth and Republican prospects.

http://www.economist.com/node/12931660

We all know on a personal level, if we borrow money and have to make repayments, those repayments chew into our disposable income.  If we tighten our belts, we will be OK – if we keep spending at the same rate we were without an increase in money coming in, we’ll end up owing even more.  Is this difficult logic?  What applies in our own households, in our company boardrooms, even to our children’s pocket-money, applies equally to countries.

Some of the poorest countries owe the least.  No-one will lend those countries anything!  Same with poor people – they are not a good risk to lenders, so while they have little, usually they owe little as well.

What will happen?  My crystal ball is in for repairs, sadly, but while everyone is running around blaming everyone else, there is little likelihood of a good solution.  You are up the creek without a paddle, guys, so get your acts together and work in a bi-partisan way to fix the messes you either created or inherited. 

That’s what we pay you for!

Written by Robyn Dunphy

August 7, 2011 at 8:33 am

Posted in News

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The Malaysian Solution? (via Australian Immigration Blog – Grant Williams)

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Still image from the documentary film "Wa...

Image via Wikipedia

I have written several articles in the past about Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers.

Today I would like to draw attention to Grant William’s writing on the topic.

I’d really hoped not to have to write this article but the signing of the ‘refugee swap deal’ with Malaysian followed by the arrival of the first boat post signing makes it impossible not to respond. Before I start… I’m already on record (other posts and newspaper articles) as an opponent of the mandatory detention of asylum seekers. I have no vested interest in this, as my business has never received a single dollar for processing Humanitarian v … Read More

via Australian Immigration Blog – Grant Williams