David M. Russell

Archive for the ‘Snippets’ Category

Old farts – useful or useless?

In Snippets on June 28, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Governments around the world are facing a real problem: old farts. We just won’t die for them. They’d like us to pop off this mortal coil so they could save a fortune in pensions and other welfare subsidy payments. But we just won’t play the game and longevity rates continue to rise.

The Australian government has decided to get up the nostrils of old folks by telling us that we have to work longer. They intend raising the retirement age from 65 to 67 (sequentially from 2017 to 2023). Blue collar workers, in particular, find the concept challenging, arguing that their bodies are less able to cope with the demands of (generally) hard physical labour. They’ve accused government MPs of being ‘pen-pushers’ who wouldn’t understand the very concept of work (let alone hard work!).

The government won’t budge, though, saying most of us can expect a retirement period of 19 years compared to just 11 a century ago. Despite their protestations they have our best interests at heart, the fact that they can save $800 million a year in pension payments tells the real story. Mean bastards!

Weasel words

In Snippets on June 28, 2009 at 11:09 pm

In these tough financial times, governments are looking to save every cent so they are cutting-back on service delivery. Of course, they never like to admit that so they use the spin doctors to produce some weasel words to hide their real intent.

This is especially the case when that service delivery involves some embarrassment for the government. Such as performance measures highlighting how traffic congestion is forcing commuters to take ever longer to get to work.

That would explain how more than 20 performance measures appeared in the Budget papers with this notation: “This measure has been reviewed and it is considered that the measure should either be replaced with a more meaningful measure or discontinued”.

Liars! You just know that if they can’t find a way to produce statistics that make them look better, the whole thing will be scrapped. Why can’t they just be honest enough to admit they are as useful as leeches sucking the blood from hapless victims?