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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