Left, Right and Centre: Not Just a Marshmallow Figure (21/04/09)


 Returning for another week, despite the ever-growing horde of protestors outside Radio Adelaide: Subscribe to the podcast of the show by visiting the podcasts page. Or download this week’s show directly.

With the team reunited at last, Timothy, Mateo, Casey and Christopher pulled their knees in tight, and shot from their respective hips:

The Budget


I hope he was listening, we offered some sound economic advice.

I hope he was listening, we offered some sound economic advice.


The guys had some fun this week designing their own ideal federal budgets using News Limited’s online instabudget game Thing. How did they do?

  • Mateo’s ideal state was a warmongering Poland, quadrupling the current defence budget and increasing the public order and safety budget tenfold. He also more than quadrupled the mining/manufacture/construction budget, and increased by sixfold the agriculture, forestry and fishing budget. Budget balanced by cutting dramatically the recreation and transport and communications budgets. $70 billion deficit.
  • Tim (aka Treasurer Awesome) doubled spending on defence, by trimming fat from every other department. Budget surplus.
  • Casey spent most of his budget on social security, renewable energy, education and health and dropped the tax rate for those earning under $34,000 to 0% while maintaining a healthy slush fund. How did he pay for it? Easy! Cut spending on defence and law and order to virtually nothing, raise the company tax to 75%, and raise the highest tax bracket to 100%. Slight budget surplus.
  • Christopher, of all the team, managed to deliver the most money to frontline services. $120 billion to health, education, defence, recreation, social security, communications…. in fact everything. He managed to provide all this spending for necessary services, while racking up a measly $1.6 trillion deficit.

The moral of the story? We should totally be in charge of the country. How would you do as treasurer? We want to know. Design your own budget, and then give us the link in the comments. For some inspiration, check out Casey and Mateo‘s full budget.

Asylum Seekers

Immigration was back on the agenda, after a boat containing  49 asylum seekers that had been intercepted by the navy exploded. Debate amongst the Left, Right and Centre team started with an argument on the appropriateness of the phrase “boat people”, and continued by touching on the tendency of some commentators to use events such as this to breed xenophobia, whether or not WA Premier Colin Barnett should have speculated on the events without knowing the exact situation, and then on to Australia’s immigration policy in general. You really should’ve been there.

Australia’s One Child Policy


You can only have one.

You can only have one.


Sustainable Population Australia has come out advocating a one child policy in Australia. The President of the organisation, former Democrats MLC Sandra Kanck has said that she believes Australia’s current population of 22 million needs to be reduced to 7 million, in order to combat climate change. However she does not suggest further immigration restrictions, stating that Australia should take responsibility for cutting its own population rather than barring entry to others.

How long would Sandra Kanck’s population goal take to be achieved? Tim went away to calculate a lower bound. Supposing we allow no more immigrants, and allow no more women (or men) to give birth (i.e. only allow people to die), it would take approximately 54 years to reach 7 million people. Given that the immigration rate is only very slightly lower than the death rate, when we include this and one child per couple, we can safely say that it would take much much much longer than 54 years, if indeed we had negative population growth at all.

Moral of the story? Don’t let Tim do maths. It only serves to embarrass everyone involved.

Rapid Fire News:


  • Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants, a little bit of foresight from Wild Beasts
  • I Will Tear You Down To Make You Happy, a little bit of tough love from Pinky Beecroft and The White Russians
  • Where Do My Bluebirds Fly, a little bit of rhetorical questioning from The Tallest Man On Earth
  • Karma Hunters, a little bit of retribution from The Pinker Tones
  • Drunk On Election Night, a little bit of coarse language from Dan Kelly and The Alpha Males

Done! Don’t forget to design your own budget and give us the link. And tune in next week!

Cha Cha!

~ The Left, Right and Centre Platoon.


One Response to “Left, Right and Centre: Not Just a Marshmallow Figure (21/04/09)”

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