As one gets older, one is immediately confronted by the shock of dates… No, I don’t mean going on them… Although that would be quite a shock too. I mean, the shock of when someone says something like, “When the GFC hit ten years ago…”, you tap your watch and go, “Ten years ago, I’m sure it was just this morning”.
It’s with this thought that I am buoyed by the fact that the Federal election will be held any moment now and next year’s Hot Cross Buns will be appearing.
Of course, the other thing that age does is makes you wary of predictions. As I often remind people ninety percent of everything is very predictable, but it’s that, that lulls into a false sense of security and gives us the shock when we actually have that Black Swan moment like Brexit, the election of Donald Trump or the Liberals releasing a coherent policy on jobs.
So, in spite of this, I’d like to peer into the crystal ball and annoy all the rationalists who insist that I have no psychic powers by telling them that I knew they’d say that.
A Peek Into The Future
It’s 2024 and there’s not a Royal Wedding in sight, although there’s a lot of speculation from royal watchers that Prince George may be dating. There’s also a lot of speculation from Republicans that the whole Royal Family idea has already dated, but the recent death of the Queen means that it’s too soon to mention the idea that Australia should hold another referendum on the Republic. Similarly, in Britain, there is discussion about whether the Queen’s death should result in Charlies now becoming monarch or whether they should just embalm her and wheel her out for public ceremonies as Her Majesty is still more popular than Charles.
Meanwhile, in the USA, Kanye West has become President on his platform of eliminating all mention of slavery and the promise to rename the State of the Union Address: “At The House With The Kardashians”.
Australia has just spent twenty billion dollars celebrating the tenth year of Coalition government. The 2018 election was surprisingly lost by Labor after Peter Dutton’s Border Force arrested all Labor candidates as a threat to national security.
The 2024 Budget reminded us all how many jobs had been created and how the unemployment rate had been reduced to zero with the idea that anyone who spent their time breathing could be considered fully employed. The Treasurer repeated the oft-quoted line that “the best form of welfare was not to complain too much” because complaining got you nowhere. In reporting this, no journalist mentioned that – in fact – complaining could get you quite a long way. Deportation, if you weren’t a citizen. Citizens, of course, still had the right to complain so long as they did it quietly enough that nobody reported them for Sedition.
The 2024 Budget also announced measures to counteract poor people forming companies to take advantage of the government’s company tax arrangements. After cutting zero company tax rate to minus ten percent in 2021, some poor people formed companies so that they too could be given money simply for existing. In abolishing this loophole, the Treasurer told us that poor people were only here as a cautionary tale and if they got money for simply existing, then it would encourage more of them to exist. Henceforth, only companies that made a profit would be given money from the government and any shelf companies which existed purely as a scam would be outlawed unless they could show that they were part of a multinational company tax minimisation strategy or had a history of political donations to approved parties.
Ok, it may all sound far-fetched, but go back just three years and tell me if you’d have believed me if I”d written Donald Trump will be President, Prince Harry will marry someone in “Suits”, Tim Paine will be Australian cricket captain and the Budget will be in surplus by next year…
Actually, that last one still sounds a little dodgy, but Scott Morrison said it so he’d hardly risk looking ridiculous by getting it wrong. Although I guess, he might still think that he could use the old “We don’t comment on operational matters’ that worked so well when he was Minister for Sinking The Boats.