The NT Government lost in neoliberal spin

I’ve been active writing the stronger together campaign blog. The positions our elected representatives take are increasingly more and more to the advantage of capital. When you are so close to elected representatives (as I am here by virtue of my work and a small population in the NT) you can see the sitting members are bereft of an intellect and blindly follow advice given to them by treasury. Even if an elected representative hoped to say increase the deficit, they would be mocked by those within the department and ostracised by cabinet. Why would an elected members do this? Because they have career prospects to think about. Michael Gunner, the previous chief minister resigned from parliament and six months later had a highly paid role with the ‘green arm’ of the fortesque metals group. Apparently they are planning some ammonium export business. The public benefit to such a project is practically nil. Let alone looking at the environmental impact such a project will have.

The legislation in the NT says a retired politician has six months before they can be appointed to a position within the private sector. The federal legislation is 18 months. Not that extending the waiting period would make much of a difference of the movement from sitting member to receiving political favours. You’d put an outright ban on it if it is something you wanted to stop.

You can bet things are similar if not worse when you get to more powerful and larger state and federal government. Worse in terms of the political favours that advance capitalist interest, and the ‘deals’ done with ‘jobs for mates’.

I said in the linked blog post how the Northern Territory Government is essentially a marketing arm for capital. It has the NT News publishing propaganda on achieving a $40billion dollar economy. How it will achieve this is unknown. What it will produce to do this is also unknown. Why has it chosen this number. It was plucked out of the air.

I said this in my linked post but I will repeat it here

Achieving a goal of $40bn GSP doesn’t account for our public well-being. GDP(GSP) is a measure of aggregate production. Producing $15billion in mining, military and other private sector for-profit investments is the same as investing $15bn in education, health and indigenous communities. It is measuring what we output. It is a quantitive and not qualitative. It is a residual number. We shouldn’t target it or look at it without context!

Achieving a goal of $40bn GSP doesn’t account for our public well-being. GDP(GSP) is a measure of aggregate production. Producing $15billion in mining, military and other private sector for-profit investments is the same as investing $15bn in education, health and indigenous communities. It is measuring what we output. It is a quantitive and not qualitative. It is a residual number. We shouldn’t target it or look at it without context!

We need to be targeting fair wages, housing for all, universal public services, (free childcare anyone?), investments in our health and education systems, guaranteed work, the list is endless on what we need to be doing. Things like ensuring our communities are using sustainable energy and developing agricultural systems that are local is a start. Rather than focusing on GDP(GSP) we need to focus on social and ecological indicators.

https://www.strongertogethernt.com.au/blog/towards-a-40bn-economy-what-for

With a bit of time I should be able to delve deeper into the GSP data set and see what is driving GSP and look at detail and provide evidence of neglect within the public sector. That is what I suspect I will find. This is what every state treasury department should be doing and advocating for greater spending on public goods and our communities well-being. Instead we have a nasty ideology that controls the purse strings. An ideology that uses an economic framework that has no evidence to support it and leaves working people worse off in material terms. And that’s before I even start talking about the impacts of climate change!!

That’s all from me.

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