all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

25 October, 2012

“It’s a Good Idea”

In olden times, our ancestors thought, in their ignorance, that a public official’s own self-interest should not be the major factor in determining how that official might disburse taxpayers’s funds; in modern, enlightened times, however, governments have decided that ministers are most qualified both to establish what might constitute prudent fiscal responsibility and to determine whether their own friends and families ought to obtain lavish perquisites at the public’s expense.  Australia’s foreign minister, Sen. Bob Carr, for instance, considers it “a good idea” that Australians—who, sadly, are already burdened by an incompetent, imprudent federal government with its stupid, ruinous “carbon” tax—should pay for his wife to jet all over the world; the rest of us, of course, must meekly accept such well-argued, disinterested reasoning.  Similarly, Sen. Stephen Conroy excuses spending untold milliards of dollars on a scheme to provide a few thousand people an inordinately expensive, and soon to be outdated, “national broadband network” solely on his uninformed suspicion that “it’s a good idea”.
We can surely suppose, then, that the Government has used the “good idea” criterion for other decisions:
Minister:  So, professor, you say that the world is warming dangerously, though no data support your contention, that the seas will rise catastrophically, though there be no evidence for that either, that we shall suffer continuous droughts and endless summers, that millions of “climate refugees” will die on our shores, and that, in order to stop all this, or at least to whine about it publicly, we should appoint you to head a “climate commission”, part time, at a salary of a quarter a million a year, plus expenses?
Tim Flannery:  I think that it’s a good idea.
Minister:  All right, then.
Prime Minister:  So, though we have few trained installers ready, and no carefully considered plan, you want hundreds or even thousands of millions of dollars to provide financial incentives for people to install insulation in their houses quickly (though you’re surely aware that any shonky fly-by-night outfit might consider it a licence to exploit people), in the pious but unexamined hope that such spending will stimulate the economy (as least in those parts of China providing cheap but ineffective insulation materials) because the certain reduction of their heating bills is insufficient encouragement at the moment for householders to insulate their roofs?
Peter Garrett:  I reckon it’s a good idea.
Prime Minister:  All right, then.
Prime MinisterIn addition to the “carbon” tax, which does nothing for the environment, but does raise the cost of living for all Australians, you want us to impose more taxes on some companies within the mining sector (which largely funds our economic growth and exorbitant spending), though it might actually reduce mining and its profitability and thereby reduce our revenues?
Treasurer Wayne Swan:  I think that it’s a good idea,
Prime Minister:  All right, then.
Prime Minister:  In order to embarrass the leader of the Opposition, you want to misreport what he said, to protesting Aboriginal activists, in the hope that they will be enraged, organise a race riot, and attempt to assault him at a venue wherein I am also intending to appear?
Senior Adviser:  I think that it’s a good idea.
Prime Minister:  All right, then.
We can also surmise that other decisions by “progressive” governments, such as whether to protect an ambassador in Libya or just to let him be assassinated, are made with equivalent rigour.
Perhaps defendants may hope that the judges, appointed by such incompetent governments, may be equally receptive to such intelligent reasoning:
JudgeIt is established by incontrovertible evidence that you defrauded your union’s members, you misappropriated further funds by deception, you stole, you cheated, you lied, you calumniated others in order to deflect just criticism of your abominable peculations and reprehensible iniquities, and yet you still claim that you’re not guilty?
Defendant:  I thought at the time that it was a good idea.
Judge:  All right, then; I find you not guilty; you are free to go.
UPDATE I:  see “Carr: my wife’s cheekbones won it for Australia”, by Andrew Bolt, and (linked therein) “Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s wife Helena has cost taxpayers $120,000 in six months on overseas trips”, from AAP.

UPDATE II (26 October):  see also “Unelected Foreign Minister’s Wife Spends $120K in 6 Months”, by Philippa Martyr, as well as her “Unsolicited Advice to Mrs Bob Carr”.

UPDATE III (26 October):  in response to a comment, on Prof. Bunyip’s “Suddenly, the Sounds of Silence”, suggesting that “the odd cocktail and stir fry” for Sen. Carr’s wife, would not “do much damage to our already seriously damaged economy”, I posted:
Even supposing that the costs of two people staying in luxurious accommodation are not much different from the cost of one person staying in luxurious accommodation (which I doubt), a major problem here is that if the senator’s wife cost the taxpayer only an extra dollar a year, rather than at least $120,000 in six months, it would still be too much; ministers of the Crown and public servants should not be adding to the public purse at any time unless with sound reasoning and with appropriate authorisation.
The sort of deplorable thinking, whereby every tea-room of a department might be provided with fancy coffee-maker and hi-fi system, or every teacher with a “free” computer, or every parliamentarian with a part-time assistant straight out of a political-science major with a salary twice or thrice that of a bloke who labours hard all day actually making stuff, on the fallacious grounds that it’s only a pittance and doesn’t amount to so much really, is part of the sloppy, imprudent, improvident thinking, I submit, which has led to our seriously damaged economy.

No comments: