Thursday, February 05, 2009

Kevn Rudd: Champion of rhetoric

In a previous On Line Opinion article (September 16, 2008), I noted the level of intellectual dishonesty displayed by Kevin Rudd with his rhetorical attack on a supposed mean spirited Howard in an article titled “Howard’s Brutopia” (The Monthly, November 2006).

Since September 2008, Rudd has adopted considerable reforms that have upheld Labor’s policy platform: a minimalist (yet important) shift towards carbon trading to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, targeting vulnerable groups in a bid to boost consumption with $21.5 billion given to pensioners, families, and low-to-middle income earners in two packages (latest February 3, 2009), and increasing resources for public education and health.

But now Rudd - who is fond of telling us how Australia is in a better position to deal with the current crisis without giving credit to the Howard government’s elimination of Commonwealth debt - is guilty of another massive fib. In his Australia Day Citizenship address (January 26, 2009), Rudd declared:

… this great global crisis is not of Australia’s making, but as Australians we are left to deal with it … The causes of this crisis are complex. But ultimately they go to a set of values that are the very antithesis of our own. Values of unrestrained greed, encouraged by an ideology of unfettered markets. Nothing of courage and certainly nothing of concern or compassion for others, or the consequences of their actions.
Further, in the February 2009 issue of The Monthly, Rudd reportedly calls for immense policy change after 30 years of neoliberalism “with its flawed brand of free-market fundamentalism” which culminated in the current global financial disaster which he believes represents the ultimate expression of “extreme capitalism and excessive greed”.

Such arguments are flawed. Australian governments (including Labor) and voters embraced such policy decisions in recent decades because they believed that it was necessary to uphold both national and international economic goals. And if US consumption (more than 25 per cent of world GDP in 2007) had not been boosted by debt (and even sub-prime lending), then Australia may not have enjoyed the same level of economic growth in recent years. >> more Chris Lewis

Have a look at Chris Lewis's past articles here

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