February 26, 2004

Warmongers In Lock Step

As an Australian, I am always curious to see how often and how closely US and UK government policies and initiatives correspond to the our own Government's supposedly independent policies and initiatives. The unwanted war in Iraq is the most obvious case of US, UK and Australian government fraternising - the hardening of UK and Australian immigration laws is another good example. Now Bush and Howard are simultaneously looking to drive their over-taxed peasants even harder for even longer.

Consider the latest remarks by US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan:

"'We are going to be confronted ... in a few years with an upward ratcheting of long-term interest rates which will be very debilitating for long-term growth,' Greenspan told a US committee examining the ballooning US deficit. "The age for retirement should be indexed in some way to take into account longer lifespans."

At the same time, on the other side of the Pacific, Treasurer Peter Costello was presenting the same idea to Australians.

As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, "The Government says nearly one in four people will be over 65 by 2042, when the number of people of working age will have stopped growing. It believes that keeping older people in the workforce longer will become critical to future prosperity."

The Herald also says "the government predicts demand for health care and pensions by ageing baby boomers would create a Budget hole equivalent to $45 billion by 2042."

Umm... how much is this "war on terror" thing costing us?


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