Letters to the editor April 21 2017

ROLLING IN: White water and waves by Margaret Johnston. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.
ROLLING IN: White water and waves by Margaret Johnston. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.

SMELLING THE ROSES

Thanks Stuart Leslie (Illawarra Mercury, April 12, 2017) for your letter reminding us there are people who are motivated by individual selfless, altruistic acts.

And agree that their acts inspire and remind us to pause "and smell the roses".

And I agree that need more space should be devoted to such acts but we still need letters that address the power levers that dominate society.

Their influence must be critically evaluated to be held in check. History is full of tragic examples where it has failed.

So let’s pause to smell the roses, watch sport, listen to music etc etc.

But let's also welcome thoughtful letters that address politics and economics.

Reg Wilding, Wollongong

TAKING A HARD RIGHT

Adrian Devlin’s letter (“Mischievous and inaccurate”, Illawarra Mercury, April 11) is a perfect example of the tenuous grasp of reality he shares with many of his compatriots on the hard Right.

Devlin has managed to link a variety of disparate forces and developments and crystallise it into a vast, subterranean Marxist conspiracy.

In Devlin’s mind, action on climate change, programs educating our children in tolerance for different sexual orientations and political turmoil at the top are not accidental nor beneficial; rather, it is the work of an all-knowing, self-interested and devious left-wing clique, who simultaneously plan economic ruin and the dissolution of archaic values in order to entrench their own power.

A few points would put Devlin right.

Firstly, anyone with a modicum of historical awareness would know that the past 30 years have been a disaster for the Left, as organised labour ebbs away and the power of employers waxes.

This hardly sits well with his analysis of Marxist conspiracy.

Secondly, he attributes to a wide variety of different social movements a directing mind and singleness of purpose, which it in fact does not possess.

And lastly, in this era of right-wing populism, it is hardly necessary to demonstrate the similarity between Devlin’s theory and the National Socialist vision of a vast conspiracy of Jewish finance capital and Bolshevism.

Brett Heino, Koonawarra

UNDERSTANDING DEFICITS

There is so much misunderstanding about deficits and the effect on the economy. One way the government can reduce the size of a deficit is for the government to spend less in relation to tax revenue.

Any non-ideologically driven economist would say that cutting government spending would not improve the state of an economy when there are unemployed resources, people looking for work who can’t find it, equipment, tools, raw materials sitting idle and gathering rust and dust rather than being used to produce the goods and services we need.

Obviously, if a major consumer, as the Government is, spends less, then less in the way of goods and services will be purchased, resulting in less people getting jobs producing what the Federal Government isn’t purchasing, therefore making a struggling economy worse off.

Historical evidence proves, in order to overcome a recession, if the government spends more money without changing its taxes, the effect of the government spending has such a stimulating effect on the economy by the government buying more goods and services, more people are put into work, they in turn buy more goods and services, putting yet more people into work.

This stimulating effect drives up the overall economy so that the deficit actually becomes smaller as a percentage of GDP, even though the deficit was increased in an absolute way.

Don Kelly, Kanahooka