The Coalition have made their strategy quite clear. They are delving back to the 50s for a reds-under-the-bed scare campaign.
Turnbull said Shorten was “thoroughly Stalinist”. Matthias Cormann waffled on about Cold War socialism and “socialist revisionism”, whilst, ever the adherent to today’s talking points, Dan Tehan accused Shorten of being a “would-be East German” who’d “be perfectly happy as a Castro-era Cuban.”
Morrison says we have the most left-wing Labor movement Australia has seen in generations.
“The neo-socialists in the Labor party have joined forces with the cynical opportunists to create quite a deadly faction and they are running the Labor Party and if Bill Shorten gets to slither into the Lodge then this will be wreaked on Australia,” he told reporters after his Bloomberg Address in Sydney.
This childish advertising strategy of ridiculous hyperbole ignores the fact that it is the socialist parts of our economy that people care most about.
Medicare, the PBS, education, the age and disability pensions – all are examples of socialism. The police, the fire brigade, the ambulance service, the SES all come when you call for help. Socialist bastards. We used to own our utilities, we even owned a bank, but that sort of public ownership has gone out of favour.
The government is trying to sell the idea that Labor is anti-business and anti-investment which means anti-jobs.
But the headlines show that it is businesses that are not fulfilling their part of the bargain.
“An audit by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) shows rogue employers short-changed staff by an average $2.81 billion every year between 2009 and 2015, hitting a peak of $3.3 billion in 2014-2015.
According to the ATO audit, the worst offenders include small-to-medium businesses in the construction, retail, food services and accommodation sectors.”
These industries have already had tax cuts, the superannuation guarantee increases frozen, the benefit of instant asset write-offs, penalty rates cut, record low wage growth, the right to employ 457, student and backpacker visa holders, and the power of unions to take industrial action criminalised.
Despite all this government intervention, not to mention removing the carbon price to supposedly make their power bills cheaper, they still choose to rip off their employees.
Large companies, despite record profits, still choose to take aggressive tax avoidance measures. They do not see an obligation to contribute to the society that provides them with a skilled, well-educated, healthy workforce, the infrastructure for them to get supplies and distribute their product, the stability provided by our security, legal and political systems.
Malcolm Turnbull himself wrote a tax reform paper in 2005 where he cautioned that overly generous tax concessions for property investment were skewing investors away from more productive enterprises.
As the Coalition try to scare us with boogey men, we should be asking them for the evidence that increasing profits for businesses will translate into benefit for the broader community. As they talk about the “politics of envy”, we should be pressing them about the tax advantages available only to the wealthy. Compare the rates they pay to what workers pay.
The Coalition is fond of saying “you can’t tax your way to prosperity.” What they fail to add is that taxation can’t make a profitable business unprofitable.
If public or collective ownership is now seen as such a dreadful thing, are we relying on the integrity of private businesses to willingly share the wealth created by their workers, their customers, and this country?
Shareholders are removed from personal accountability, as our PM has shown us time and again. Should they be encouraged to have more of a social conscience rather than a focus on the bottom line?
Name-calling and scare campaigns cannot hide the reality that inequality is one of the greatest challenges facing the world.
The World Economic Forum said “rising income inequality is the cause of economic and social ills, ranging from low consumption to social and political unrest, and is damaging to our future economic well-being.”
Giving rich people more money hasn’t worked so far. They choose to exploit the system regardless of what you do for them.
It’s time for the umpire to blow the whistle.