The bogan is a voracious consumer of media. It will, on any given day, access any or all of a variety of newspapers and news sites ranging from the Herald Sun to the Daily Telegraph and occasionally the Courier Mail. On the days it’s feeling like pretending it knows something about economics or politics, it will brush up against Fairfax, but often retreat hurriedly, confronted by the lack of likeness to Andrew Bolt’s blog.
The bogan consumes all of this media because it cares about the big issues. It needs to opine vociferously on matters of importance. And to the bogan, there are two matters of greater importance than anything else: stopping boats and the economy. The performance of the economy, the bogan knows, is entirely the responsibility of the Federal Government, and, moreover, the bogan knows that there is only one true measure of economic performance: interest rates.
However, unlike the ‘conventional’ economic wisdom, which the bogan is assured by News Ltd is spurious, the bogan knows that a truly strong economy exists only when interest rates are at all-time record lows. The bogan approaches interest rates much like a climatologically paranoid beaver. Should it rain heavily, the beaver’s dam could well be inundated. Likewise, the bogan, nestled in his McMansion, sees rising interest rates as an impending torrent; that is, a clear signal of approaching economic doom.
In the frenzy to attract the bogan eyeball that has appeared in the online media ever since they realised they could precisely count said eyeballs, there is now a monthly orgy of reporting on the first Tuesday as the RBA hands down its decision. This month in particular was instructive regarding the power of those eyeballs, as, robbed of any movement in the cash rate, the media instead focussed on the an August rate rise.
Having ripped the time-space continuum, they now had what they needed: the chance to recalculate the monthly cost facing overleveraged bogans’ average mortgage repayments. Accordingly, bogans themselves need no longer wait to express their outrage. When the banks have the temerity to ‘pass on the rate rise’, even in the distant future, they’ve got it coming, and right now. In this strange way the bogan has itself comes to resemble its own credit card. It is borrowing from future rage, for today’s indignation. It is, however, one of the miracles of modern economics, a magic pudding as it were, that the source of this rage is inexhaustible.
Once the dust has settled next week, the bogan will begin complaining to its brethren that the August rate rise is crushing its budget, that they are now in ‘mortgage stress’ because that is a term they heard Kochie use once, and that its all the government’s and the banks’ fault. This is despite the fact that mortgage rates are still below the long-term average and also despite the fact that the bogan has happily loaded up the credit card at 20% for a new plasma from Harvey Norman.
When August comes around, of course, there will be reason for twice the aggravation. For at that point, in an inexplicably unfair moment, the rate rise will be doubled. Piling in on top of May’s August rate rise is Augusts’s August rate rise. The bogan will, in effect, shake hands with itself across time in a moment of quantum disgust that could split the atom.
The bogan, now under sub-atomic levels of mortgage stress, will rail against the policies of a government that has no control over interest rates (or quarks), and will approach the bank, asking it to fix its exchange rate. Having been told by the bank that the only fix it can provide is an interest rate peg, it resigns itself to watching reruns of Two & Half Men via Foxtel on the new plasma. From there it exercises its right to free speech to opine vociferously about how unaffordable life is in Australia.
That is, until the following first Tuesday.