The attack on the English language by the political class reached new lows yesterday. The Prime Minister announced her intention to proceed with ‘investments’ in education reform and disability insurance. She called this ‘new structural spending’. It will be paid for with ‘new structural savings’.
An investment is capital you spend that generates a measurable return, hopefully a profit. In politics, an ‘investment’ is what you call spending other people’s money on things you want because you are morally superior. Plus, the return on a public policy ‘investment’ is hardly ever measurable, and therefore the people who made it are never accountable for a ‘bad’ investment.
To be sure, when you spend money on roads, bridges, or infrastructure, there’s a real benefit, even if it can’t be precisely measured. But in the Welfare State, anything that gets called an ‘investment’ is probably a handout to somebody disguised as being for ‘the greater good.’ We all know it happens. And we all know some public goods cost money without a measurable return. But yesterday’s trickery was impressive.
Take the use of the word ‘savings’. In reality, the government means it has to raise taxes because it refuses to cut spending in light of revenue forecasts that turned out to be naïve. On no planet we’ve ever lived on where dictionaries existed was a tax hike called ‘savings’. But ‘savings’ does confuse people about what you really mean, which is that you want to raise taxes to pay for something you like but don’t have any money for.
The possibilities of the universe are infinite, however. In some universe, it is not abuse of the language to call tax hikes ‘savings’. In that universe, it’s ‘fair’ to ask people to pay higher taxes because they can afford to, even if you spent money that wasn’t yours and you didn’t have in the first place. After all, other than racking up a large Federal debt future generations will have to pay off, you can’t very well tax people who don’t have money, can you?
for Markets and Money
From the Archives…
Gold Demand: The Great Disconnect Between Paper and Bullion
26-04-13 – Greg Canavan
Lest We Forget
25-04-13 – Greg Canavan
Praying for Government Incompetence
24-04-13 – Bill Bonner
The Cracks in Solidarity at the Recent G20 Gabfest
23-04-13 – Greg Canavan
How Central Planners are Committed to Ruining the Economy
22-04-13 – Joel Bowman
Imagine you could see — with clarity — what was going to happen in the Australian housing market over the next few years?
This man can.
Dubbed ‘Australia’s most controversial economist’, Philip J Anderson says Australia is headed for another ten years of surging property prices.
If you rent somewhere and want to buy… you’re planning to buy or build… you own a home with a mortgage… or are interested in real estate as an investment… you must get this report.
- How to time your investments to the real estate ‘clock’: you’ll see how the economy moves over time — and why — and can use this to time your real estate investments. Not only will you know when property is cheapest, you’ll never be suckered into buying at the peak and becoming trapped in negative equity.
- The Secret of The ‘Law of Rent’: Just as gravity is one of the laws of science, the law of rent drives the boom and bust of the property cycle. Learn the secret behind mastering the law of rent and how you can use this unique forecasting tool to create a mass of wealth from property.
- Why the US property market holds the key to property profits in Australia: As an investor outside the US, you have a huge advantage. In this report you’ll discover why the Aussie property market is inextricably linked to the US. And you’ll learn why grasping the predictable movements of the US property market could make you rich.
To download your free report ‘The 18 Year Real Estate Cycle That Says Aussie Real Estate Will Boom’ simply subscribe to Markets and Money for FREE today. Enter your email in the box below and click ‘Send My Free Report’.
You can cancel your subscription at any time.