But voters love rich merchant bankers!

Christian Kerr wonders why a wealthy businessman politician like Malcolm Turnbull should be ashamed of his featuring in the BRW Rich List:

Indeed, Turnbull seems to be the sort of leader we want in an economic downturn.

“For the first time in almost a decade, the rich got poorer this year,” BRW’s media release says. Rich Listers “lost more than $25 billion in combined wealth as the economic downturn hit hard.”

Yet Turnbull has prospered. Clearly a man for tough times!

In his revamped version he turns this exhortation to voters into political advice:

The Liberals might even try subliminally spinning Turnbull is the man for tough times.

I suspect that voters are less sold on the idea that someone’s ability to accumulate money for themselves – particularly that of a merchant banker – necessarily translates into improving outcomes for other people. Like, say, the broader public. I suspect that the politicians are downplaying their personal wealth for very good (and intensely focus-grouped) electoral reasons, knowing that Australians are much less inclined to worship the “acumen” of the rich in accumulating a fortune (those who didn’t just inherit one, and those who didn’t actually create or build anything) than to wonder who they screwed over to get it. I suspect that the Liberals’ actually following Christian Kerr’s advice would be suicidal.

But I’m more than happy for them to test the theory.

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18 responses to “But voters love rich merchant bankers!

  1. I agree. Much better to for your wife to accumulate the wealth, by lucrative government contracts if possible.

  2. Well, sure. Anything’s better than banking.

  3. thevoiceofreason

    Ordinary Australian’s don’t feel they can relate to Malcolm Turnbull. He doesn’t hardly seem to leave Sydney and get his hands dirty like Kevin Rudd. Rudd is generally loved in Victoria for being on site for days in our hour of need after the bushfires, people don’t easily forget these things.

    Turnbull’s silly games on debt are running out of steam, esp. when he won’t name the debt figure he would run. He needs to come out strong on an issue so people know what he cares about and stands for.

    People understand circumstances are tough, but at least Rudd seems to have a plan, Turnbull comes across as just playing politics, opposing everything and generally just poo pooing Rudd.

    Rudd comes across as a man for the people, people a suspicous of Turnbull partly for being a rich merchant banker, but mainly because of his actions and lack of trying to relate to how all those on main street are really doing.

    A pubic donation of some of his wealth, say $25mil. to something he really believed in, would give him a badly needed boost in credability.

  4. Yep it was a hard life for Malcolm, growing up in mean streets of Vauclause, defending the underprivileged Kerry Packer, and logging forests in the Solomon Islands. He has so much in common with the average aussie.

  5. “Rudd comes across as a man for the people”

    lol

  6. Does Malcolm keep his money in Australia?

  7. See, the problem for the Libs, if they take known greenie hater Christian Kerr’s advice, is someone like karl, above, might mention one of the means by which Mal made part of his fortune.

    I’m not sure that many can relate to logging/ clear felling operations in the nearby islands, even if Christian might think that it was just another clever business operation.

  8. thevoiceofreason

    Yobbo everybody knows the income and wealth gap must close but no one has done anything to close it yet.

    Obama and Rudd are trying.

    Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury – Paulson noted that the wide gap between the richest and the poorest was the one main economic issues that must be met “by the U.S. government. Discussed in one of his first public appearances as Secretary of the Treasury.

  9. The only other time the wealth gap was as large as it is now, in the U.S., I heard on radio, was at the time of the great depression. It might just be that the largest store of wealth, in just a few hands, has actually helped bring the world economy to its knees.

  10. Rudd a man of the people?? Want your left wing clipped too? He’s a bureaucrat through and through. His wife made a motza and he had the hide to write an 8000 word diatribe about neo-liberalism (neo being the most over used bullshit word as of late). Face it….Turnbull was successful at making money – lets fucking hang him because we hate tall poppies. He must be such a bad man because he was successful at creating wealth. Now who wishes to swap places with him….no one…..no one??????

    For those who have pursued the generation of wealth, they have payed more taxes and thus helped the underpriviliged more than any other doo-gooders with their sympathetic words and intentions.

    How must the wealth gap close? By enabling people to become richer – not making the ‘rich’ poorer. As these high tax payers will simply adjust their corporate structure to accomodate new laws or worse, piss of overseas and thus pay no tax. Stop belting the people who contribute the most per head of population to tax revenues. Otherwise you are just playing the class war game.

  11. thevoiceofreason

    Joe2- Yes the wealth gap causes depressions we must pass all laws that close the wide gap between the richest and the poorest.

    Cemil- this is not class war it is basic economics see Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury – Paulson.

  12. Did you hear about the Bolt blogger who was informed by his doctor he was sterile, ‘Well’ he shrugged,’ it’ll be something to tell my grandchildren’


  13. \Yobbo everybody knows the income and wealth gap must close but no one has done anything to close it yet. ”

    No, everybody doesn’t know that at all. It’s a concept unique to morons.

    What matters is absolute income, not relative.

    According to you if the minimum wage in Australia was $100,000 a year but some lucky bugger made 10 mill a year there’d still be a problem.

    You are motivated by envy and that’s all there is to it.

    I earn less than minimum wage but I’m happy, and I couldn’t give a stuff what Malcolm Turnbull makes.

    That’s because I’m not a fuckwit.

  14. thevoiceofreason

    Yobbo- “That’s because I’m not a fuckwit.”

    Yes you are and a nieve one, the worst type, with no concept of economic principles.

    “What matters is absolute income, not relative.”

    WTF everything is relative. Try reading a book.

    “I earn less than minimum wage but I’m happy”

    Ignorance is bliss.

  15. “What matters is absolute income, not relative.

    According to you if the minimum wage in Australia was $100,000 a year but some lucky bugger made 10 mill a year there’d still be a problem.”

    Since all money is is a way of dividing up resources between people, and doesn’t have any inherent value of its own, that’s not particularly ludicrous. If we printed more money and gave everyone $1 million a year that wouldn’t actually mean anyone was wealthier; it’d just mean the money was worth less.

    Obviously it’s not entirely a zero-sum game, and there are some things that increase the real wealth for everyone. But merchant banking isn’t one of them.

  16. thevoiceofreason

    Merchant bankers punt on sustainable verses unsustainable business. Govenment spending and policies has a big say in what business live and die. Turnbull has too many mates to look after with your taxpayers dollars to make sure they are not spent in the best interests of Australia should he become PM.

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