Australian governments have a habit of picking out some sector of the economy as able to lead the nation to an economic recovery. This is usually done by stimulating the sector with lashings of cash, causing it to boom by the expansion of current operations being supplemented by the entry of shysters, con artists, and shonkies.
There have been numerous examples of this over the years including the ‘housing led recovery’ and the current government spending led one. My personal favorite though came from the 80s.
Back then, the head of the Australian Council of Social Security (ACOSS), Julian Disney came up with the idea of doubling or tripling welfare payments so that the recipients could spend up big and cause a social security led recovery.
Kevin Rudd was the first to try out a version of this by sending out $900 cheques to anyone deemed ‘low income’ with instructions to spend it for the sake of the nation.
Quadrant Online has discovered Rudd’s latest plan set out in his
Malaysia, Pacific, Final, PNG
solution to the illegal immigrant undocumented refugee problem, for a tent led recovery:
… Here the characteristic Rudd genius comes into play. The unfunded, open-ended PNG Solution has the scope to rescue the sagging Australian economy! He knows that much of the $800 million annual aid budget to that country already comes back in the form of equipment orders and consultancy fees. How much further boost will accrue from the building, transportation and resettlement projects in which Australian contractors and suppliers are sure to gain a significant share. I think that Kevin has had a silent conversion from Keynesian/Krugman economics. I think he has discovered trickle-down effect.
Look at it this way: the riot and destruction of Nauru’s detention centre will require $60 million and six months work to replace. The extension of facilities on Manus Island to house up to 3000 would-be immigrants will take many more millions and years of work. In the meantime, the new arrivals – sometimes running at a rate of 300 a day – will need shelter which can be provided at such short notice only by tents. Canvas-makers all over Australia will be frantically sewing Army-style bell tents for refugees, larger mess, recreation and medical tents for the compounds.
This will have a beneficial effect on their local communities, and ultimately on spending stimulus, revenues, profits and tax.
Kevin Rudd has developed a secret plan to stimulate the economy. Quietly, discreetly, he is orchestrating a tent-led recovery.
This could be ‘stimulative’ beyond our wildest dreams, considering the demonstration of his abilities during the Building the Education Revolution effort. The buildings that were erected under this scheme cost about three times as much as a private citizen or company could get a contractor to do them for.
Considering the distance from here to Manus Island, those Bell tents will probably be erected for $50,000 each, and the bigger ones, $200,000 or more.