Dutch disease

Published 15 September 2011 05:02, Updated 22 September 2011 04:16

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Today we are going to talk about Dutch disease. Dutch disease is a condition that was first isolated in Dutch countries, nations that are generally referred to either as Holland, or “those strange places where people wear clogs and live below the water line”.

Dutch disease basically progresses in five phases, which are:

a) the patient contracts a terminal case of resource riches;

b) the patient feels an uncontrollable urge to buy clogs and invest in Van Gogh paintings;

c) the patient develops an eerie attraction to orange T-shirts, tulips and underperforming soccer teams;

d) the patient loses their job because they are not employed in the resources sector;

e) the patient cannot afford clogs any more and goes off to die.

I hope that helps. Australia, apparently, has a serious case of Dutch disease. Down Under, it goes in six phases:

a) the patient contracts a terminal case of resource riches;

b) the patient feels an uncontrollable urge to buy clogs and invest in Van Gogh paintings;

c) the patient decides that clogs look terrible as hats and concludes that Van Gogh is the half-back flank for Collingwood;

d) the patient loses their job because they are not employed in the resource sector;

e) the patient decides they don’t give a toss and goes off to the pub to get rat faced;

f) with Van Gogh (who is half-back flank for Collingwood and a really good bloke).

I hope that helps. It should be observed that the only thing worse than having Dutch disease in developed economies is not having Dutch disease. This is because Europe, Japan and the United States are:

a) dead;

b) resting, more or less permanently;

c) as defunct as Julia Gillard’s popularity;

d) entering advanced stages of rigor mortis.

Yes, being the proud owner of a disease at least means that you are still alive. For now.

FLOODS OF IMMIGRANTS

The Immigration Department has warned that there will be a flood of unwanted immigrants because of the High Court’s finding that the proposed Malaysian solution is not legal. They are very right to be concerned, as should we all be. The prospects are unthinkable. The next wave of immigrants could be:

a) American investment bankers;

b) people called “Hank”;

c) people called “Hank” who are American investment bankers;

d) winners of the Eurovision song contest;

e) Barry Manilow;

f) Barry Manilow impersonators;

g) Barry Manilow look-alikes;

h) anyone whose first name is Barry;

i) or Craig;

j) or Kylie, especially a Kylie who sings;

k) or pretends to sing;

l) George Soros, with or without the singing;

m) George Soros look-alikes, such as the bubonic plague, for instance.

Yes, if these people are allowed to enter the country unimpeded, they could really bring down the tone and destroy the social fabric, quite frankly.

There is no doubt about it. It is time to panic and run around in circles with a paper bag on your head singing Waltzing Matilda at the top of your drunken prejudice.

After all, ever since our great beginning as a convict colony, we Australians have always decided who comes to this great land.

Oh, wait a minute …

SOME IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS

Moral obligation: Something that, once understood, is immediately forgotten. Especially when money is involved.

Spreadsheets: Something that ordinary people put on their beds at night so they can lie on them. As opposed to accountants, who mostly just use them to lie.

Holidays: An act of treason. Proof that employees lack any sense of ethics.

Federal parliament: A place where leadership is proved to be an old-fashioned concept that needs to be replaced by well-managed focus groups. Plus a poll or two.

Apologies: A device popular among media outlets when they are wrong about something but in fact right all the time. Also popular among managers as a way to keep the vocal chords exercised during redundancy negotiations. Perhaps the most meaningless noise in the known universe.

Austerity programs: An opportunity to spend nothing on government because it is worthless.

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