It's been hard to understand the level of anger that has gripped the American political system - an anger so profound that the two leading candidates for President are "outsiders" - Donald Trump, an egotistical blowhard and Bernie Sanders, a "social democrat" in the mold of Theodore Roosevelt.
At the core of the anger is years of big business and the wealthy taking an increasingly larger piece of the pie as the middle class sees their dreams of a better future for their children gutted.
Australia is no stranger to this phenomena.
Today Cairns is getting an obligatory pre-election visit by current Labor leader Bill Shorten. He's here, not to support an overhaul and modernisation of the Australian tax system, but to lodge his objections to the suggestion that the GST is going to rise. Gutless politics at its best.
And then there's Bob Katter - Donald Trump with a big hat.
Katter yesterday shocked some (not us) when he endorsed the idea that the failing Palmer Nickel Mine in Townsville should get a federal government bailout.
That's Right. Bob Katter, "Populist", wants to spend OUR tax money on a bailout of his fellow parliamentarian, Clive Palmer.
As always he claims he's on the side of the "battler" - but if this were true, he'd be asking for money to retrain workers for the 21st Century economy and an investigation into the books-fiddling being done by this Palmer company. Katter is just as corrupt as the rest of them. Where was Katter and his mouth when Palmer was stripping hundreds of millions out of this company??
And the situation at the Yabulu Townsville location are even more dire than most of the lamestream media have discussed. Palmer's companies have systematically stripped Palmer Nickel of assets, including the required clean-up fund for the toxic environmentally damage to the site and surrounding areas.
Palmer purchased this nickel refinery from BHP Billiton in 2009 for a reported $35M, after which Palmer has taken over $335M out of the operation - much in cash, but much in a "fiddling" with the books that has left NO MONEY left to do site remediation. This is a world-class scandal.
Meanwhile a collapse of the refinery has also left the government of New Caledonia in a precarious position, with President Phillipe Germaine warning Palmer last year of likely civil strife the result. This after Palmer Nickel strong-armed the Noumea government into exclusive sales contracts with the Yabulu refinery, leaving the country now unable to secure new customers for their nickel laterite mines.
And the LNP response? Some silliness about demanding the Palmer Party parliamentarians return Palmer contributions to help the nickel mine. They don't want the real situation exposed either, because the next one will have THEIR name on it.
All the politicians are in it together. And we're the victims of this massive collusion between big business and our elected "leaders".
Meanwhile the Cairns Post suggests that we deserve a pennies-per-litre price reduction on petrol that SHOULD cost about .80 cents. We're still getting screwed on insurance, on electricity, on food, on most commodities, with another 5% GST coming.
It's no wonder the Americans have turned to a TV Reality star and a socialist.