Thursday, September 07, 2006

Not Quite Water off a Duck's Back

The other morning while out on my walk (yes, hamstring sucks and so there has been no running for me) I happened upon two severly disorientated ducks. They were waddling back and forth across a busy road not certain of which side they should stay. Cars raced by driven by distracted commuters chugging back coffee and I could see that this would likely only lead to disaster for the ducks. So I chased after the ducks until we were close enough to the creek that I was satisfied they wouldn't be venturing back onto the road.

My duck encounter got me thinking about an article I had read recently where John Howard (Australia's Prime Minister for anyone not in the know) was quoted as saying that the state governments here in Australia are to blame for the skyrocketing housing prices because they are "bowing to greeen pressure" and not releasing enough new land. (Big mental leap but there was a whole ducks losing their habitat logic going on)

Just like that. As if it is that absolutely simple. Encourage even more urban sprawl in a country where infrastructure is already struggling to hold up to the current demands. He said nothing of that fact that perhaps the problem lies within the government policy that has encouraged its citizens to buy buy buy as a means of stimulating the economy. Well Australians listened and now they have the highest per capita debt in the entire world. Inflation is quickly sliding outside even the highest reaches of acceptable. Still John Howard chooses to blame these issues on the banana prices. Sure, Hurrican Larry destroyed banana crops and at $12/kg they are expensive. I for one have not eaten one in weeks. But expensive fruit does not a debt and inflation problem create.

And this completely visionless man is the most powerful man in the country??? I could go on about how he is nearly singlehandedly destroying the trade industry by ripping power from the unions and handing it over to international corportations. Or how he has abosolutley no plan for addressing the issues of greenhouse gas emissions. His comments are we won't ratify the Kyoto agreement because Chine doesn't have to.

But there is an election coming soon. And unemployment rates being at an all time low certainly look good for his government.

I love my masters program and it certainly is helping me to understand relevant economic issues. But right now the more I understand the angrier I get.

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