Christmas credit and rising utilities putting strain on Australians

The number of calls to the national debt helpline reached a record high last year.

From the article:

"The national debt helpline was inundated with 170,000 calls in 2017, a 12% surge over the previous year as the number of people struggling to make ends meet reached a record high.

Mounting credit card debts following the Christmas break and rising electricity bills are placing the most strain on people, says Graham Smith, chair of the NSW Financial Counselling Association.

He recommends people take initiative by being proactive when it comes to dealing with their increasing debt."

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With the growing disparity between (the real) cost of living and wages and pensions, people are struggling.

Add to that the fact that we are the tip of the macroeconomic dog’s tail, as exampled by the effect China and America’s financial dips affect us, there appears to be little control on the economy. As evidenced by the fact that our and other economies are not behaving the way traditional economic theories predict, why are the economists, and therefore the politicians who rely on them, still slavishly following the old dogma that is not working?

Unless new thinking emerges, it will just get worse. Just wait until the interest rates rise! With a laissez faire Government there will be (metaphorical) blood on the streets.


There are economists on top of things, it is just that the pollies in government (and perhaps those in opposition, but they get the benefit of doubt for now) prefer to hear only that ‘advice’ which shares their dogmatic ideology.

Thus our pollies do not rely on anyone for intelligent and unbiased advice, or advice of all flavours to compare and select the most pragmatic, they only hear advice that supports a dollar in a ‘proper pocket’ regardless of the evidence at hand or the ramifications.


Your belief in economists is far greater than mine.

I can’t remember who it was, but I saw on ABC TV one or two years ago a scholar who had done a meta-analysis of meta-analyses of economic forecasts. That is, he brought together and analysed a huge number of studies. He concluded that the vast majority (can’t remember the number, but I think it was over 80%) were wrong. Based on probability, if the economists would have guessed, they should have got it right about 50% of the time.

My recollection is that only one or two of the forecasters out of many thousands had any consistency in getting forecasts correct. That is, 99+% of economists’ predictions were likely to be less right than if they had guessed. [The economists retorted that at least they had 2% right! :laughing:] He even went on to suggest this could indicated that most didn’t know what they were talking about.

I did find a couple of articles specifically relating to economic forecasts:

The rest of your dour and probably accurate view I agree with :slight_smile:


I agree most are quacks or bordering on same and are about as accurate as a dart thrower. Economic forecasting is akin to climate prediction or worse yet, weather forecasting. Yet I have been fortunate to follow one who predicted cause and effect and approximate timing with decent accuracy over 20 years although for the first 10 I remained sceptical. He retired last year and his replacement is still working to gain trust.

But the reality is there are some economists who are on top of things more often than not, one just needs to ‘meet with’ their advice.


If you are not familiar, The Shovel has moved from satire to reporting more often than not. I think they are struggling with the possibility they might become MSM.


hahahahahah :slight_smile: (had to make the 20 character min.)