Australia is the lucky country by any real measure but according to our current Government, we live in desperate times and the super rich need as many handouts as we can manage to give them without having to bring the Army out to maintain public order. So desperate in fact, that it’s worth slugging the poor to prop up the super rich in the lost cause of trying to find the point where the benefits trickle down to the less well off. You know the one? Where Gina decides she has so much cash she decides to give some away to those she has so little regard for.
We could be somewhere well south of that point at the moment.
Now consider this scenario which will capture some poor folk under the new regime of Tony Abbott.
Bill’s getting on a bit in years. Worked hard all his life in a job that requires a lot of physical effort and bears the scars and damage from those years where Health and Safety hadn’t even been dreamt off. Like thousands of others, he carries a few issues with his back, so from an employment point of view, he is a bad risk and, let’s face it, the young blokes can do the job quicker, lift bigger loads, and generally take the more rugged stuff in their stride.
But Oz being the considerate society that it is, and having the resources that it has, leaves Bill to get on with his life and respects his effort and the taxes he has paid. Still doing his job and adding his experience to the young blokes.
Then along comes a new Government chock a block full of Economic Rationalists with no contact at the lower end of the workforce but a nice shiny spreadsheet full of fancy theories, some even factual but a lot simply unrealistic, who thinks it can squeeze a few extra bucks out of society for their generous sponsors.
Belt tightening ensues and things start going pear shaped. It doesn’t necessarily mean Bill’s not contributing. It may mean that in an aggressive job market, someone younger can work faster and earn an extra dollar for the Company. Or it may have nothing at all to do with costs.
Joe Hockey proudly boasted before the Election that he was going to kill off 12,000 Public Service jobs. Not because they weren’t providing value to our society, not because Private enterprise could do it cheaper, just because he had a theory that not everyone was providing the best value for our tax dollar. He could tear it apart and see which bits the Voters would demand he repair.
It’s management by wrecking ball and anyone with real business experience simply wouldn’t go there. It’s irresponsible, you lose skilled operators, you don’t know where the fracture lines are because haven’t done the work to find out the where the system is going to crash. It’s also lazy and insensitive but I guess it fits in nicely with Joe’s lazy Budget where he duck shoved a lot of the work on to the States and Territories.
So Bill finds himself out of a job, with little prospect of full time employment, and because his Government likes to blame the victims, facing some much harder conditions on income support. Just to cement home what his Government thinks of him, they have also decided to require a mountain of job applications per month because deep down they know everyone getting a Government handout doesn’t deserve it or at least the ones who aren’t members of Financial Elite.
Things looking a bit grim you think? Well it’s about to get a lot worse for Bill.
Like most blokes his age, Bill has a couple of kids and they have kids too, and as it happens, one has lost his job too as his industry is left unsupported by the Government.
That’s where things really get nasty.
Because Bill’s son has not reached the age where he qualifies for income support after 2 weeks, he has a six month waiting period where he presumably becomes a breatharian and so do his family. His house payments just went tits up and the Government haven’t prepared the market for the jump in the homeless, so it’s back to Bill’s house for somewhere to sleep, cadge food and fill out job applications.
Crushed by the sudden stress of the shiny brave new world, Bill is about to get stung again when he fronts up for a doctor visit. There’s a big new tax on going to the doctor to help fund the generous handouts being delivered to those subsisting on a lazy few millions.
It’s turning into the perfect storm for Howard’s Battlers, but instead of just suffering John’s WorkChoices, every turn made by the Abbott government is aimed directly at those who can least afford it.
The passing of Gough Whitlam is a timely reminded of what a male dominated, Liberal Party stands for and you don’t have to look too hard to see Tony would fit in well with the Libs of the 1960s.
When you let the blokes make the rules, especially when they are strutting around dripping testosterone, you get the sort of dumb decisions we are getting right now. Nonsensical, insensitive and destructive of traditional Aussie values, and destructive of the Aussie Economy to boot.
http://goo.gl/OLwZa Donald Horne’s The Lucky Country
http://goo.gl/KQgP7p Laura Tingle, Australian Financial Review
http://goo.gl/8HHTok Phillip Coorey, Australian Financial Review
http://goo.gl/QYDWm Wikipedia Trickle-down economics
http://goo.gl/TJ6G1V Duncan Kennedy BBC News – YouTube clip
http://goo.gl/gLPQVp Annalyn Kurtz The new “unemployables” – CNN Money
http://goo.gl/GPt29G Mary Hamilton Budget 2014: Key points – The Guardian
http://goo.gl/rvOpSb Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer The day Joe Hockey didn’t like public service cuts – Crikey.com
http://goo.gl/HgcyZ3 Katie Lambert Can humans survive on air alone – How Stuff Works
http://goo.gl/1cwQc1 Cate Swannell Medical Journal of Australia
http://goo.gl/hZgqLP Wikipedia WorkChoices
http://goo.gl/hs2nF Wikipedia Gough Whitlam