Let me be quite clear here: I am a capitalist. I’ve always been a capitalist.
And of course, being a capitalist, I am a firm believer in the market. As Adam Smith explained it, there’s an invisible hand which guides people into making decisions in their own interest so that we can always rely on the market to sort out problems. Take pharmaceuticals, for example. If I were a big drug manufacturer and I decided to make bigger profits by cutting costs and putting the wrong ingredients in the drugs I was selling, then lots of my clients would die off and I’d be punished by losing customers and therefore revenue.I don’t need nasty government regulations to ensure I do the right thing. The market will sort things out.
Ok, things have been a bit grim for capitalists lately, because we’ve had to ask the government for handouts which is really, really hard for us to do because we think that anyone who asks the government for handouts is the sort of scum that shouldn’t have survived if Darwin’s ideas were truly accurate…
However, I’m not here to ask for sympathy because that’s what we capitalists are like… We just get someone to give us some money and away we go… And if we lose it all, we just dust ourselves off, complain about the regulations that stopped us from making a bucketload of money and find someone else to give us a loan so we can provide jobs for all those undeserving people who rely on us to keep them alive.
So I was really pleased when that Labor Premier announced that she was backing the Adani mine which hasn’t been able to raise finance thanks to those greedy banks not wanting to help out the capitalist system by lending money to a company that’s in deep financial trouble.
When confronting protesters, Annastacia Palaszczuk told them that they were not going to stop coal mining in that state. She echoed what Hillary Clinton said during the election campaign “Coal is going to be a part of our energy mix for many years to come.” Actually Clinton only said, “Coal will remain a part of the energy mix for years to come” but Palaszczuk added a “many” just so we didn’t think that the years to come were merely 2018 and 2019. However she didn’t go as far as Malcolm Turnbull who told us last year, “Coal is going to be an important part of our energy mix, there is no question about that, for many, many, many decades to come, on any view.” Turnbull was talking in the context of getting rid of those pesky rights that enable conservation groups to use the courts to force people to obey the law.
Palaszczuk tried to point out to the demonstrators that Queensland needs more jobs and that their situation will be even worse in the future when climate change makes tourism to the north far too dangerous and the Great Barrier Reef is destroyed by the run-off from mining and oil spills. Not to mention the fact that with wages growth stagnating and AI killing jobs everywhere, only a handful of capitalists will have the money to visit Queensland! Let’s be serious here: Coal has a future but tourism is one of those industries that is so last century.
Thankfully, Palaszczuk has also ensured that those silly regulations restricting access to water won’t be a problem for Adani, as it’s been guaranteed unlimited water. That’s the great thing about capitalism – if the coal project is somehow stopped or made unprofitable, Adani could simply start selling water back to all the people who need it.
Yep, capitalism provides opportunities for anyone if you’re prepared to do deals that ensure you have all the resources for a fraction of what they’re worth. If only some of our unemployed would stop looking for handouts and just approach the government for the right to take things without paying for them, then they too could have the sort of wealth that would enable them to pay almost no tax.