Charlene trashes the tardis

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.


  1. Ugh, normally I find your blogs to be entertaining but this one was pretty poor.

    There are better ways of explaining the dangers of over burdening oneself with debt that talking down to ‘little people’.

    People have been sold pretty hard on housing so yes, many have made massive errors of judgement. But higher interest rates DO represent difficult times for them, despite the fact that they also often mean a strong economy.

    It’s not peoples fault that economics aren’t taught in schools any more.

    Also, people don’t avoid Fairfax because they ‘can’t handle it’. They avoid Fairfax because it is nothing but an inner city leftist circle jerk. Talking down to people who have done nothing to you shows a lack of class.

    • Matt,
      Ever tried calmly and rationally explaining the perils of excessive debt to a bogan?
      Try it some time – but make sure you’re wearing a hard hat and protective clothing.

      • Oh don’t get me wrong, it can be hard to explain the situation to people. Especially if they have been taught to believe something strongly (ie houses never drop in price). I just don’t think that doing it from an ivory tower and mocking their stupidity is the right way to go about it.

        It frustrates me and I feel sorry for some. But they are still people.

        The people we should be mocking and attacking are the people who created the mess. Ie, real-estate agents, mortgage brokers, politicians and other assorted spruikers.

      • I said this in another post, but spare me the sympathy for the masses who are about to get creamed for their financial errors.

        They are the ones that want to tax anyone who works hard and earns more than then.

        They are the ones that dont listen to anything outside what they think they know.

        Ignorance is not bliss, its the kiss of death and sometimes in history people need to learn this lesson the hard way.

        I fount his article awesome and I also cringe at the BBQ table when people start talking about interest rates

      • Yasoo Starvos. Unfortunately a large part of this ignorance stems from our education system. Rather than going into too much detail here, it’s suffice to say that topics such as money mechanics and our constitution should be made mandatory.

        The environment we live in today is a product of social engineering. The dumber the masses, the easier the manipulation.

        Can we blame them? Partly, but I mainly blame the system.

      • I cringe too but the Nod has it right. Put another way it doesn’t make sense to marginalize and ridicule the ‘stupid’ part of an overall stupider society.
        But I believe Boganomics aim is not to ridicule, this is penetrating social analysis cloaked in a wife beater and a pair of stubbies.

      • Stavros, my point is, talking down to them like they are ‘little people’ and you are in an ivory tower of knowledge is not the way to educate the public to the error of their ways.

        This isn’t politics, we don’t need to ‘debate’. Merely offer the information. If they take it, great, if not, they can learn their own lessons.

        To be honest, what annoyed me about the article the most was the comment that essentially said people are ‘too dumb’ to read fairfax papers. I am educated in finance and economics, work in the finance industry, spend alot of my time discussing, reading and studying economics and politics and I can’t stand fairfax. It’s green/socialist tosh.

      • “real-estate agents, mortgage brokers, politicians and other assorted spruikers.”

        So those folk connected electrodes to the bogans gonads and hit the 50dc whilst waterboarding?

        Economics at school? In the 70s when we had it it was macro and micro and didn’t cover greed or the common sense of buying more than you can afford with money you haven’t got or pride vs envy (“be like the Jones”).

        Great post Boganomics hit the nail on the head 🙂

      • I am absolutely stunned at the nature of some of the responses on this thread.
        Firstly, I would have thought that this particular blog qualified as first-class social satire – something that the bogans seem to relish on other media formats (e.g. The Chaser).
        Secondly, I have now seen laid bare yet again that all-pervasive mindset of “If something goes wrong in my life, it’s some other bastards fault”.
        It’s the education systems fault for not teaching “Common Sense 101” at kindergarten.
        It’s the spruikers, pollies, RE Agents, etc. for filling their poor little innocent minds with lust and desire.
        It’s the MSM’s fault for subsequently revealing to them how unhappy they really are.
        For goodness sake! Whatever happened to common sense and personal responsibility?
        You don’t have to go to university to learn that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
        And people like Glen Stevens have been warning about excessive debt for several years now. Was anyone listening?
        Aren’t we talking about the generations that are wired, better-informed, digitally switched-on, information-savvy – with a world of knowledge, data, and information at their fingertips?
        Surely this is simply a case of people hearing what they want to hear.
        Maybe they didn’t hear the warnings because their iPads were turned up too loud.

      • So educate them.

        Speaking down to people and pretending you are their better simply because they have made poor choices in life shows a lack of class.

        Julius, this isn’t satire. Unless of course Boganomics is satirising the thoughts of the inner city ‘elite’.

      • Charles Ponzi

        Maybe they didn’t hear the warnings because they were too busy shouting at me what an idiot I was for not buying a house.

      • Yes Julius I have many times, here is what I have experienced in doing so;

        – I was speaking to a wall
        – I thought I was going to die from multiple stab wounds
        – I received blank looks
        – I received looks that killed horses
        – My ignorance to implied to me by being enlighted by the “FACT” that, “…the world now runs on debt…”.

        Well exuuuuuse me all over the place! Still a silence that speaks volumns is never heard anyway. Ironically they (personal acquaintance bogans) can’t figure out why I don’t have the same complaints as they do.

        Oh! If you’re up for a game of ‘risk of harm’, tell them they we’re the ones that crashed the economy, so they can just shut up cause, I don’t see the financial pain or burden they claim many people are experiencing.

    • Gerry Hatrick OAP

      “They avoid Fairfax because it is nothing but an inner city leftist circle jerk”

      Well spoken sir, I sincerely think you should have lead with that statement, so that immediately the readers would know the quality and calibre of the remaining text.

      Fight the good fight sir! Hats off to you!

      Gerry Hatrick, OAP

  2. The media tells people to complain about everything. Nothing is their own fault. They are unhappy about everything and have responsibility for nothing. So it is not only interest rates! Like Boganomics I suspect the media is probably the source of much of the inbuilt unhappiness and anger that pervades our society.

    • They took our jobs!

      Paradoxically they are also the source of much of the deluded bullishness and greed that move asset markets into bubble phases.

      • Hey Prince, I must admit I didn’t think that Bogans actually bought assets, I don’t know any that ever bought shares and I don’t consider houses or 4WDs to be assets.

      • Romsey – I agree, a house is not an investment, its a depreciating consumer item.

        But we are definitely in the minority with that assertion: most see the house as an ATM or an appreciating asset. History is about to prove them wrong.

      • If history fails to Prince (The), the future will bring them the face slap of the present.

  3. For every victim, there’s a predator. So who’s at fault? Is it the victim that’s been brainwashed into a false reality construct or the predator that knowingly exploits this vunerability?

  4. What is the MattR?
    Yesterday a RustyPenny was all for expelling the poor old P to a wilderness because he couldn’t afford to feed himself. Today, even those reliant upon a dubious interest rate to survive are to be denied.

    Us BBs may have to assert our collective electoral power and sort these X&Y whelps out!

  5. MattR,

    I am with you – there is no need to talk down to little people and humiliate them, but there is a real need to inform and educate them.

    And yes, i am one of those ‘little people’ who live in the wrong place, read the wrong press, but can’t pretend to understand economics and human behaviour.

    • I have to disagree, some of my more educated friends and I have attempted on numerous occasions to explain interest rates and housing to our ‘Dero’ friends, but am constantly rebuffed because we “don’t know what we’re on about….and smart asses”. This due to the drivel spouted daily by Tracy Grimshaw in the evening and Kochie in the morning telling them about all the ill’s they have to live with in their world.

      If people want to be deliberately ignorant in the face of someone trying to help them secure their financial future they deserve their fate.

      Personally I make a distinction between a “Bogan” and a “dero”.

      A Bogan is a somewhat uneducated individual who is largely a nice person who will accept advice and help wherever possible to advance their own interests.

      A dero however is a very uneducated individual who is largely spiteful of those who have anything more than they do and will ignore anyone who trys to help them. They will also aggressively defend the words of Kochie and Tracy Grimshaw as being fountains of infallible knowledge.

      • Interesting observation Tarric.

        I’ve often been ridiculed for not having a portfolio of pyramided RE and only having one house (my residence).

        Ridiculed for hedging trades/investment/saving via options and further FX when all I had to do was pyramid RE. The “what do you know” you haven’t a property portfolio, I’ve got 6 houses MATE! SIX! AND I’M BUYING 3 MORE!

        Ridiculed for wasting time getting a tertiary education and a decent career when there is a no brainer easy way.

        I get it now. There is a subset or subgroup.

    • Only ever commented on Boganomics once. On your first post:

      “A lone dissenter[…]

      Frankly, I don’t get the hate. And don’t think it is a good direction for this superblog. Reeks of superciliousness and envy. Chill.”

      There are moments of wry observation by Boganomics, unfortunately predicated on the misfortune or ignorance of others – thus negated by general antipathy to humankind.

      And it brings the ‘elite’ out in force. Those that relish ridicule as a means of reinforcing their own self-worth.

      Sorry, not my cup of tea.

  6. Love it. I recognise myself as the bogan in this story. My earliest financial story I remember hearing was how interest rates were 18% and how bad this was. I never knew it was a good thing that interest rates were high as it shows a strong economy.

    Thank you Macrobusiness for opening this former bogan’s eyes!

  7. The World doesn’t see itself through paired eye’s …their Paid.

    And to take a leaf from Mr Lee’s book..
    is to
    Absorb what is useful ,and reject the rest….Too using ‘No way ,As way’…when
    Every-little bit helps

    cheers JR

  8. unrealestate

    I disagree 3d1k. Firstly, I assume there aren’t too many over leveraged bogans that subscribe to MB to be offended by these entertaining blogs(heres hoping that dynamic is shifting though). But at least boganomics’ anlysis is written in a way that the bogan can grasp it and hopefully self-reflect. Sure – there’s a hint of ‘elitism’, but that’s what satire is. Anyway, it’s a nice break from the usual (highly informative) technical analysis on MB. I’ve become a bit obsessed with MB, and as someone who has never bought into the property game on the underlying gut feeling that the numbers and projections just weren’t making any rational sense, part of me is relieved that the long overdue correction has commenced and that I won’t be one of the multitudes (bogan or otherwise) that are going to get burned. A bigger part of me is more than a little scared of the likely magnitude of economic and social turmoil that will be unleashed on this country over the next 12 months or longer. Hold tight people.

    • “as someone who has never bought into the property game on the underlying gut feeling that the numbers and projections just weren’t making any rational sense”

      Rational and intutitive thought A+ that sorts the victims from the survivors.

      Did you (like me) have a parent that tut-tutted on higher purchase schemes (like Hradly Normals buy now pay later) that allowed one to have now and pay monthly with interest?

      I remember the introduction of “bankcard” where you made purchases and it tapped your savings account.

      When the current X/Y parents are living in a debt orgy I suspect the wisdom of debt management has been lost by a generation.

  9. For Gods sake people, sharpen your satirical teeth, and stop being so ‘right on’.

  10. If I recall correctly, when interest rates were at record highs the economy wasn’t doing that well. The era between Whitlam and Howard had high umemployment, government debt and chronic inflation.

    Also, under Fraser in the early 80’s he thought his resources boom was going to last forever…until it didn’t!

  11. This post is gold. There is no putting anyone down. Simply making humorous statement about certain elements of society. In the same way this website elsewhere makes factual observations about (apparently) educated and intelligent mainstream and bank economists who are incentivised to tout absolute crap to the masses. Keep up the good work, Boganomics.

  12. All humour is great, satire to slapstick. Love all the boganomics work.

    Stevens is only jawboning like the Yanks. The economy is worsening and deflation will assert itself across more than electrical goods and used luxury cars as RE falls become more consistent.

    Short term we’ll see some commodity falls as BB does some similar jawboning but the money printing fix is all the bankers reps (including pollies) want, therefore interest rates will come down, rational or not. Buy PMs later this month, if you can.

  13. absolute gold, love the integration of economics and quantum physics. Boganomics is hilarious – keep up the great work!

  14. Glasser and a half

    “The people we should be mocking and attacking are the people who created the mess. Ie, real-estate agents, mortgage brokers, politicians and other assorted spruikers.”
    Well said MattR.
    Boganomics, I think lampooning those that created the mess is a great gap in the market you should explore. That way you’ve got the “pincer attack” on the suppliers and consumers. Just keep it fun, that’s all.