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Inequality: Just what do you mean by that? Surely you don’t mean you are my equal?

Nothing divides a community, or a nation for that matter, more than inequality yet conservatives through out history have practised it with fervour unequalled by any other political philosophy.

Lack of equal treatment, inequality of opportunity as in education, inequality of opportunity in team selection. Inequality in sharing the country’s wealth, health services, aged care, or social service payments like the dole.

That’s what inequality means. It’s when the government assists those who have more than those who have not. It is a servant-master discipline or born to rule attitude that prevents it.

Conservatives say that their only responsibility is to help those who are in danger of falling through the safety net. After that they reward those who have a go. How they measure that, I don’t know.

Why then are they so hell bent on assisting those who “have”?

The Sports Rorts affair has shown just how elitist this government is. They are rotten, by any measure.

The evidence is in. The ‘Christian’ Prime Minister is an unmitigated liar. Nothing is more unedifying than a government handing out grants to sporting bodies in their own electorates.

If you judge a government on how it treats its most disadvantaged then this government would be lucky to score a point.

The common good, or empathy for it, should be at the centre of any political philosophy. However it is more likely to be found on the left than the right.

Do we in an equitable sense share the country’s wealth? When hundreds of companies pay no tax and others receive billions in subsidies while making huge profits could you say we are a nation of equality?

The notion that a few privileged individuals can own the vast majority of a countries wealth and the remainder own little is on any level unsustainable, politically, economically or morally.

When the rich and privileged have a smorgasbord of tax breaks from which to choose, could you say that equality sets us apart from other nations?

When the law becomes a resource affordable only to the rich can you honestly plead a case for equality?

When our Indigenous folk are told year after year that we will bridge the gap of inequality, and we fail them,  can you openly preach the gospel of equality? Of course not.

When the government openly admits that it is deliberately keeping wages low can you see any equality?

When women suffer high incidence of domestic violence how do you explain equality to others?

Now we even find that children with development delay and who live in lower socioeconomic seats are waiting longer for a diagnosis than their counterparts in government seats in order to seek assistance from the NDIS.

In recent years Australian conservative governments have changed the way rises to the pension are calculated to save them billions of dollars.

In the recipe of good leadership there are many ingredients. Popularity is but one. It however ranks far below getting things done for the common good.

A few years ago single mothers received $700 to help their children start the school year and pensioners got $1000 dollars toward the cost of their partner’s funeral. All have disappeared and there are many more examples.

The incidence of wages theft has become blight on the business sector but those on the right would have us believe that it is all so complicated that large businesses are just making tardy errors.

Home ownership is ever becoming but a dream for the low paid and in the meantime those who have purchase, with the assistance of the government, as many properties as they want.

I feel people on the right of politics in Australia show an insensitivity to the common good that goes beyond any thoughtful examination.

From Gareth Hutchens in The Guardian, (30 September 17):

“In a speech to the Business Council of Australia on Thursday evening, Morrison said the Treasury and the Reserve Bank had found, in specific analysis of current wage fundamentals, that wages were growing slowly across most industries in the economy, and most regions of the country.

And six months later Michael Janda for the ABC reports:

“Using Treasury data, as well as various ABS figures and the University of Melbourne’s HILDA survey, Per Capita calculated that major tax concessions totalling $135 billion to the rich per year were costing the budget more than the four main welfare payments — the aged pension, family assistance payments, disability benefits and Newstart — combined.”

That is astonishing. Even more amazing is the fact that the research for Anglicare finds more than half of the benefit from tax concessions goes to the wealthiest fifth of households.

“The vast wealth generated over the last three decades has decisively gone into the hands of the privileged few, and not the many.” (Inequality in Australia).

It is true to say that we haven’t had a recession since 91/92 but our wages growth has been the slowest of any sustained period since World War 2.

The fact that they are deliberately keeping wages down is both a mystery and an indictment of the Morrison government.

In terms of a more equitable share of the country’s wealth we did better post-war than we are doing now.

Despite record profits and record growth inequality in Australia over the last three decades has bounded along like an intoxicated roo.

The latest Oxfam report shows that Australia’s top richest 1% have more than double the wealth of the total bottom 50% – or more than 12.5 million of us.

Globally, the wealthiest 1 per cent of people in the world has more than double the wealth of 6.9 billion people.

The problem is an historical misunderstanding of the relationship of money and society. The origin of money in ancient Greece resulted in the formation of class societies with inequality an unintended circumstance. It all happened at the same time.

Instead of being just a means of recompense or a medium of exchange, over time, money for public purpose came into being and the characteristic of money and inequality came with it.

The evolution of money was closely intertwined with the rise and consolidation of what we know as class society. Harmony and the use of money to procure it were forgotten and greed became entrenched. In modern society money, a class society, and inequality has become a huge problem because there is nothing natural about the existence of socioeconomic inequality.

“The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” is a saying that we hear often and there is no doubting its truthfulness.

This concentration of wealth is astonishing.

The world’s billionaires, 2,153 people in 2019, have more wealth between them than 4.6 billion people.

Oxfam’s report cited World Bank figures showing almost half the world is trying to survive on $5.50 a day or less.

Conservatives have never understood that economics and the social structure are intertwined each dependent on the other.

Look around you see how obvious it is.

My thought for the day

We live in a failed system. Capitalism does not allow for an equitable flow of economic resources. With this system a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level.

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11 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    JL, this is an appalling record of maldistribution of wealth. But consider the scale here. The Liarbral Nazianal$ COALition misgovernment harps on about a “balanced budget” in public while it is gifting free gratis and for nothing to the undeserving wealthy and corporates about $150 BILLION PER YEAR in tax concessions, rebates and other financial “incentives”.

    But look at this atrocity from a COALition viewpoint ….. all these tax concessions are necessary to maintain the corporate executives in the manner to which they wish to remain accustomed and able to financially support COALiiton political funds raising for the very important policy reason of staying in power for the benefit of the undeserving wealthy and corporates.

    And remember, THAT is all before dealing with the matter of foreign owned multinational corporations transfer pricing, borrowing form related entities and other perks.

    Obviously Australian voters must pay for these self-serving policies to be considered good financial risks for further international loan borrowing ….. and that means that the PAYE taxpayer carries the can!!

  2. Pingback: Inequality: Just what do you mean by that? Surely you don’t mean you are my equal? #newsoz.org #auspol - News Oz

  3. Ken

    Very well put John and it’s only going to get worse until Scotty from marketing is no longer the PM.

  4. JANO from the Gong .

    Your a champion John Lord , you always get to the crux and heart of the matter !

    what ever happened to the enquiry into Poverty Senate report – 2002/ 2003 . ?????????………………………………………………………

    Both sides of government sent senators to listen how poverty affects a wide range of people right across Australia . This was over a 6 month period , All testamonies were heard and recorded and 6 months after this , A book entitled (.Senate enquiry into poverty was released) and at the end of the book ,there was over 70 recommendations on how to remedy poverty .!!!

    Sadly ,none of the recommendations were ever followed up ,and this book is now gathering dust in the Senate library ! !!!!!!!!!!!

    There is poverty of solutions for inequality and hardship in this country , and sadly .It looks set to get worse !

    To all social justice people ,lets never stop shining a light on this issue in this country

    ,,A fair go for some .but not all ! …………………………………………………………….

  5. Jeanne Hart

    An excellent article John. It begs the question, why aren’t we plebs totally outraged by it? This government is nothing but the political arm of big business and the millionaires and billionaires of this country. We need a government that sees as its first duty ‘to look after all its people’.

  6. leefe

    “Conservatives say that their only responsibility is to help those who are in danger of falling through the safety net.”

    And yet they demonise us, penalise us, infantilise us and do everything in their power to widen the holes in that net whilst stamping on our poor aching fingers as we cling to the weakening strands.

  7. Bronte ALLAN

    What another excellent article John! You rightly point out the complete & utter bastardy of this so-called COALition mob! Sadly I think your assumption that this fucking mob would be lucky to score a point is a bit “wrong”, I think the only “point” they deserve would be in the minus category!Just how this lying toe rag happy clapper is still in power is a mystery to me, but seeing as how he devotes so much of “our” money & resources etc to ALL his obscenely wealthy industrialist, mining, media & other categories of millionaires/billionaires etc is it any wonder?

  8. whatever

    You see, all these Sports Rorts projects did not spring-up like mushrooms growing in the night.
    All of the LNP members who had these facilities built in their electorates must have heavily publicised this largesse to the local sporting community. You can just imagine the degree of ‘Nudge, Nudge, Wink,Wink!’ employed by the parliamentary spivs who represent these areas.
    You can bet that the justification for all the spending was “Well, its about time we had the Govt. spend some money on us!!” – the Middle Class Welfare Whinge.

  9. wam

    Australia 2nd behind the war enriched swiss with a median wealth US$181,361 china 44th US$20,94 Indonesia 110th US$1977 The septics are 22nd with US$65904.
    So half of us are bloody rich enough to worry about jobs and the economy. With our median income at $55000 losing a job is absolutely scary. QED Townsville.
    ps
    Any idea which side of the median the extremists for the loonies and for phon are to be found?

    pps lord
    wow who would have expected george to have overflown manila????

  10. Andy56

    Wan, it would be a good excersise to analyse the definition of wealth that these figures represent. I dont necessarily think they give a true indication of wealth for the people as a whole. A poor person here is still a poor person but a poor person in thailand is much poorer. Whats the aggregate difference between these two? Thats a more relevant study than just a median of the extreems.
    Total Wealth of assets is what it measures, not the distribution of wealth of human existance. For example. In a country of ten, 1 will have $10b in assets and five will have nothing. The average comes out as nearly $1b/ person. Clearly the statistic is misleading.

  11. corvusboreus

    Thanks boobby.

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