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26 February 2017


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As said of ‘status quo’
meaning forms sensible
and scene as judicial
politic and trade flow

bisnes wants certainties
less commercial doubts
too bad if govman debts
forms profit pleasantries

viewed measures singular
lukim non-resource GDP
silence gripped news media
image-clipped commedia
wield no weal of PNG
reports stretched peculiar

strongim bias urban
looks multiple treasures
brooks singular measures
wrongs beyond suburban

as sad of ‘status quo’
per capita saddingly
spend less a slight to see
politic and trade blo.

Hi Lindsay - Thanks for the comment. On the bias against the rural poor, you may be interested in a longer piece covering this issue on PNG's 41st Independence Day (

On the legal debt limit, this is set in PNG's Fiscal Responsibility Act. This sets a limit on the level of general government debt to Gross Domestic Product of 30 percent from 2016 onwards.

The government has worked hard to give the appearance that it is under this legal limit (it claims the figure is 29.4 percent). It does this in part by understating general government debt, placing debt off-budget, but also exaggerating GDP growth rates.

The IMF confirms fears that even on narrow definitions the legal debt limit is 33.5 percent, so above the legal limit.

On the translation - I'm good with numbers and much less so with words. Keith is obviously doing a sterling performance in translating some of my more technical and long-winded arguments to a larger audience. More PNG voices doing the same would be welcome.

Paul is pointing to the utterly egregious failure of the PNG media to actually hold the government to account.

On the face of it this is either an act of editorial policy or a profound ignorance of what is going on or a mixture of both.

History strongly suggests that the political class will do nothing to challenge the status quo until utter catastrophe ensues. Then, the responsible politicians either go to well deserved oblivion or, much more commonly, begin large scale blame shifting.

The old favourite, trotted out since time immemorial, is that "external conditions beyond our control" caused the problems. This is often coupled with that old stand by of blaming a preceding government.

In Australia, we have a government in complete denial about the monstrous housing asset bubble that it, together with the Reserve Bank, has now created.

They (and the Opposition) are also in denial about the necessity for root and branch reform of the economy to equip it (and us) to adapt to a highly uncertain future. Basically, too many interest groups with a profound commitment to the status quo hold far too much power in both major parties.

PNG is in a similar position, albeit for slightly different reasons. All those pigs with their snouts firmly in the public trough won't willing remove themselves, especially the politicians and their fellow travellers.

The marvellously informative book, The Big Short, showed how, amongst other things, people benefiting from what they know to be a clearly corrupt and unsustainable system will simply keep going until the entire thing collapses.

Basically, they bet that they can escape the inevitable economic carnage with enough wealth intact to make it worthwhile. A few of them are right, but most are wrong. They are indifferent to the fate of the millions who are dragged down in the collapse.

In my assessment, the bets have been placed across the globe and the players are now waiting to see how the cards fall.

So we collectively careen onwards to economic disaster, with those on the bridges of our respective ships of state being both unable and unwilling to do anything to change course.

Bias economically against "rural poor cash croppers" surprisingly favouring that cohort vacationing abroad or investing offshore or shady bisnis?

So what is the meaning of the word "legal" where commentators write:
"...government debt to GDP ratio at 33.5% exceeds the legal limit..." and
"additional borrowing which will likely continue to violate the legal ceiling".

How to translate mani spik into voter tok?

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