Bob Brown: xenophobic and economically illiterate


Tell us something we didn’t already know. Sinclair Davidson in The Australian spells out the consequences of Brown’s brainlessness, which he exposed at the National Press Club yesterday:

Economic illiterates make several mistakes in their analysis. Because of his anti-foreign bias, Brown overlooks the benefits of interaction with foreigners. Unfortunately, he is not alone in exhibiting “capital xenophobia”.

Australia has long had to borrow money from the rest of the world to finance our economic prosperity. The local economy has grown and foreign investors got their money back. This arrangement has benefited everybody; Australian savings are simply too small to finance our economic growth and standard of living. Foreigners invest in those economies with good prospects and low levels of sovereign risk.

Australia has a good reputation as an investment destination. But Brown is placing that hard-earned reputation at risk. Suggestions by a major political party, in a formal partnership with government and holding the balance of power in the Senate, that foreign investment can be taxed with impunity, or even shut down, raises perceptions of sovereign risk. What’s worse, he is not alone. The ill-fated resource super-profits tax also raised serious concerns about sovereign risk.

Remarkably, Brown admits that Australia gets “jobs, export income, royalties and company tax” from mining. But that is not enough; he wants it all. He seems to object to foreigners, in return for their loans and investments, getting “profits, dividends, [and] capital appreciation”. There is also a bit of double counting going on; dividends and capital appreciation amount to profits. Or perhaps Brown doesn’t know that.

Economic illiterates believe that with some tweaking the world can be made a better place. In Brown’s case the existence of a carbon tax and the demise of the coal industry would make the world a much better place. Yet he has given little thought to how that world would be powered. It’s all very well talking about “renewables”, but which renewables and how much would they cost?

As the Productivity Commission recently flagged, renewables are expensive; wind power costs $150-$214 a megawatt hour, solar costs $400-$473 a megawatt hour. By contrast, coal-fired electricity costs less than $100 a megawatt hour.

A coal-free Australia would be a lot more expensive, with lower standards of living.

Brown quoted the UN statistic that for every year of delay on climate change $1 trillion of costs will be incurred. What he hasn’t explained is how undermining the Australian economy would reduce that cost and why Australians should bear that cost when the UN hasn’t managed to convince its members to act in concert on climate change.

The biggest problem Brown faces is that you can’t intervene in the economy on the scale he desires without a massive reduction in our economic wellbeing. The problem Australia faces is that Brown doesn’t understand that point.

Read it here.




  1. It’s not just cost of renewables that is prohibitive right now; it’s how dilute and unreliable they can be. Brown has no clue about that, either.

  2. Oh Simon, Brown understands it allright! That is one of the aims of his and Julia’s socialist agenda. They just don’t understand they are being played for the fools they are by international interests intent on reducing world population.
    and “pooring us” all down.

  3. rukidding says:

    Browns speech yesterday seemed to contradict its self at every turn.
    He does not want foreigners buying up Australia but he wants to hand sovereign power to a world government.He wants to close down iron and coal mining but he wants the government to support holden in building the Cruise here.He wants Australia to use renewables but does not want any dams built.
    The man is a walking contradiction.

  4. Russell Chapman says:

    Coal is a renewable energy source we just need a couple of climate changes, the Ice age then warming and so forth, its really covered very well in Primary School.

  5. fred nerk says:

    This has to stop NOW.I don’t know about you but I don’t want this f—–g moron DICTATING to Australia.Where will you draw the line?

  6. A good article. Also, Bob Brown does understand the technical requirements of baseload power which we need when everybody turns their airconditioners, toasters and kettles on The only renewables that provide base load power is hydro and because we dont have giant waterfalls in Australia to create hydro power you have to dam rivers. Damming rivers causes flora and fauna habitats to be flooded. Indeed the green party came about through its stance against the damming of the Franklin for the purpose of create a baseload power source for Tasmania.

    So a future powered only by renewables also lowers our standard of living because the population would have to schedule their power use to fit with the battery life, sunlight and the wind. My suggestion for stage 1 of the power scheduling is that those of us who vote against government intervention taxes and systems for man-made climate nonsense get to power up our kettle, toaster, air-con, computer, lights, computer and plasma whenever it suits us and that the bleeding hearts who want to put a carbon measure before the standard of living of humans can only access power when we have finished with it and if their is enough juice left in the batteries.

  7. Baldrick says:

    Bob Brown’s communist links:

    3 of the 4 new incoming Senators have communist links-

    *Lee Rhiannon (NSW Senator-Elect) former member of the Socialist (Communist) Party

    *Larissa WATERS (Qld Senator-Elect) obtained her Senate seat with preferences distributed from the Socialist (Communist) Alliance

    *Penny Wright (SA Senator-Elect) obtained her Senate seat with preferences distributed from the Socialist (Communist) Alliance

    Greens Adam Bandt (VIC House of Reps – Melbourne) Member of the Left Alliance and Marxist in 1995 said, “Supporting the Greens would perhaps be the most effective strategy at the next election. The Greens are in many ways bourgeois, but they have been able to exert influence over the Government’s agenda. They are all we have at the moment …”

    Is it any wonder Brown is economically illiterate with people like these fools on his team!

  8. Continental Australia has an electric connection to Tasmania, via the Baslink undersea cable. This link is a one way power link which can be switched from Vic to Tasmania or visa versa, depending on requirements.
    It’s carrying capacity is 500Megawatts or 600Megawatts peak. with brown coal fired supply from Victoria’s Gippsland.
    Tasmania is mainly hydro, now with a smattering of wind turbines, Woolnorth and central tablelands. ( I haven’t been down there for a couple of years )
    There has been drought conditions in Tasmania over the last few years, which can dry up hydro power. Hence the Baslink connection.
    What will King Bob do if the brown coal fired power stations are shut down, due to:-
    (1) being brown coal fired – a Green requirement
    (2) lack of finance to retro fit for gas operation – due to pressure from Greens on the financial institutions.
    What will King Bob do for baseload power if the dam levels decrease ? Surely not accept ‘dirty brown coal power’ .
    Maybe he will go off his Fracking mind and allow some coal seam gas to be mined and used for baseload power.

  9. Graham Richards says:

    This is a very dangerous “man”. He’ll sell us all down the river.

    IF there are any Labor MP’s that care more about Australia than their superannuation they’ll help force an election to get rid of this “cancer”, that has somehow oiled it’s way into office, once & for all.
    Those that act will be rewarded with re-election by an appreciative electorate.

  10. This is hilarious! The dumb leading the blind! Let’s all join up and be idiots together!


  11. Gee Simon, don’t you know the rules ? Only the left is allowed to use words ending in -phobic. In fact applying labels and name-calling is all they have (they think it constitutes an argument). Don’t take that away from them. On second thoughts, yes do take it away and use their pathetic tactics against them.
    Yes, Brown is a fool and he perfectly represents a hopefully declining segment of the electorate. I hope Bob keeps talking, and I hope the media broadcasts every thought bubble. It will be the end of the Greens, and the end of Gillard who will be seen as the base opportunist she is for getting into bed with these reprobates.

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