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The damage done by inequality

The great advantage of having retired, is the time and opportunity it provides to see how things could be improved.

The first observation relates to the ability to compare progress – or otherwise – over time.

One unfortunate example is the very obvious increase in inequality.

I can remember, back in the UK in the 1950s and ’60s, that the top tax rate was 90%.

Should any modern government seek to raise tax rates to such a level nowadays, all hell would break loose!

Income tax has been justified – and fought – on a number of grounds, and many other taxes – including the GST in Australia – have been introduced to provide further revenue for government purposes.

Many taxes over time have been levied on particular groups – many of which have been bitterly fought as being ‘unfair’ to the groups most closely affected.

Conventional economics refers to capital and labour as the two forms of generating income, and the corporatised nature of many industries has, wrongly, provided an aura of humanity to corporate bodies.

Using money to make money is a perfectly valid activity, but there are associated risks of which the investor must be aware.

And those risks include the possibility of losing all the capital while – for those who, for example, indulge in trading in the futures market – may end up with considerable debts.

To put it bluntly, such forms of trading do, in reality, constitute a form of gambling, which can be dangerously addictive!

So – where is all this leading?

Why do we pay tax?

Primarily, to provide governments with funds to provide services for the public benefit.

On the face of it, that sounds like a good idea.

But that then depends on who benefits most from those services.

In general, Labor governments concentrate on helping those with the greatest needs, while the conservative forces prefer to ensure that their supporters are their greatest beneficiaries.

Few Australians would happily get rid of our government-funded health system – which was essentially introduced and supported by the Labor government.

All governments see provision of education as being an essential public service, but allowing private schools to exist – for the primary benefit of the wealthier portion of the population AND still providing assistance to those which are already well endowed – could (and I believe should) be regarded as a misdirection of public funds!

We have just experienced another, relatively lengthy, period with a conservative government.

We have also experienced a severely damaging pandemic.

The net result has been an alarming increase in inequality.

There are now many people whose ability to work is temporary or non-existent, whose hope for a better future is dwindling, and who are being actually damaged by government policies – which, wrongly, blame those individuals for failing to make the necessary efforts to improve their lives!

We are also living in very uncertain times.

All – except those determined to deny they could be wrong – are becoming aware that man-made climate change, global warming – call it what you will – is actually a factor with which we absolutely must take into account in our planning.

This means moving away as fast as possible from using fossil fuels – which in turn means completely re-thinking our whole system.

Many people need to be re-trained to take up employment in new areas, our whole power distribution system must be re-engineered to ensure that renewable energy provides power that can flow smoothly and Australia has got to become a manufacturer of goods rather than solely a provider of services.

Where are our electric vehicles?

Where are the re-charge facilities which they will need?

This requires a level of planning which, to judge from their performance during the pandemic, is beyond the capacity of the current Coalition government.

Within the next 12 months, we will have another General Election.

PLEASE do not be fooled into believing that the Prime Minister – whose face accompanies every announcement made by this government – is someone who is competent to lead us into a changed future.

He is as narcissistic as is Donald Trump – and equally devoid as Trump in understanding science and the need for method, planning, and evidence.

Think back to 2019. What policies did he take to the last election?

NONE!

He concentrated on telling untruths about the mess which Labor would make, while offering only tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the land!

Climate science is in the Coalition’s too-hard basket.

But without action in the immediate future, we will be spending our time relocating people inland to avoid rising oceans, coping with severe storms, droughts, and fires, and, generally, struggling to cope with continuing disasters.

I am actually an optimist!

I believe that Australia has the capacity to become a viable country.

But we need leaders who can actually visualise the road to a worthwhile future – not a selfish collection whose first interest is in courting support from the wealthy for their personal benefit!

Why do you think they are promoting gas?

Who were their consultants during the last year or more?

WAKE UP, AUSTRALIA!

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10 comments

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  1. Phil Pryor

    Let us recall that communities, societies, tribes, groups, districts, neighbourhoods, states, etc. are our secure foundation in life, after the family. We cannot all get, maintain, remember, a stable and happy family life, but all the other enclosing social networks are our family life at times. If we have had hardship, deprivation, some vacuum or gap, we know that society can guide us, protect us, offer help in support, health, education, paths. The nasty networking nitwit conservative nongs are basically wrong in thinking that cheated and stolen “success ” is all that is needed. Pout and pose away, peanuts, but let us have a healthy well financed society. I’d say up to a half of any and all earnings, in a sliding scale, should go to the nation, for us all, to aim at and achieve real happiness and a future.

  2. Kerri

    Whether you are areligious person or not you must surely recognise that a person who claims to have been given their high position by god has an ego incompatible with a fair and just society?
    There are many other people who have claimed themselves to be false prophets.
    Most of them were also liars and theives.

  3. Zathras

    In a fair society taxes paid are returned in the form of services and a sense of security and not siphoned off as handouts to mates and political sponsors. There’s nothing wrong with higher taxes if they are fairly applied and you get value for money.

    The money no longer connected by Government is now gouged out by privatised entities and opportunists filling the gaps left behind by cutbacks and typically left to charities to take up the slack. Homelessness continues to rise in this utopian society despite the self-professed professionals in power.

    The main problem today isn’t that we’re ruled by corrupt and inept government but the fact that their supporters don’t even seem to care.

  4. RosemaryJ36

    Zathras – sadly, your final statement is true!
    We need to provide our youth with an understanding of ethics! Although perhaps more of them understand the need to care for others than do their parents!

  5. Terence Mills

    I am still haunted with the image in my mind of Scott Morrison and Stuart Robert on their knees praying before the vote that removed Turnbull from the leadership of this country and gave us Morrison.

    My question is, to whom were they praying ?

  6. Harry Lime

    Terence….Beelzebub.

  7. New England Cocky

    The Australia of today is most accurately described as a ”Corporate Socialist State” where an inept COALition misgovernment looks after their financial ”political donors” AKA ‘political bribers” at the expense of the national community of Australian voters to insure the re-election of the currently incumbent bumblers.

    The principal beneficiaries of this uncaring self-serving incompetence are the foreign owned multinational corporations that pay little/no taxation in Australia and receive over-generous government subsidies to conduct their businesses in a secure social environment.

    This is the same scenario from 1972 when the MacMahon COALition misgovernment demonstrated a continuous stream of lying and misrepresentation of the facts to suit their political agenda. Well, ”It’s time” once again!!

  8. Ross

    Why do we pay tax?
    Rosemary, taxes are not there for government to spend, taxes are levied so working people can’t spend. There is no government bank account at the RBA chock full of tax receipts, the moment a federal tax is paid that money ceases to exist.
    If asked the RBA will tell you the federal government has no real money in its OPA accounts. These accounts are just ledger entries. Ask yourself where the money for the current federal budget comes from and the answer will be like every other federal budget it comes from nowhere, it’s created out of thin air by the RBA.(The Reserve Bank of Australia being the magic money tree).
    If large amounts of federal cash are created out of thin air then some mechanism to destroy most of that cash has to be found otherwise the currency would quickly become worthless. Hence TAX. And federal government taxes must be paid in AUD.
    All federal government spending of our Fiat currency is new money created out of thin air by the Reserve Bank. The RBA governor has publicly stated this fact on several occasions.
    What this means is the federal government is not financially constrained and can fully fund anything it likes, without the use of tax receipts.
    In the end its politics that decides what gets funded not taxes.

  9. DrakeN

    @ Ross

    Precisely the case.
    This concept of taxes paying for government services disappeared with the ‘Gold Standard’ where the value of the currency was tied to the amount of gold held by the treasury.
    That was discontinued in Australia in 1932, but it serves the shennaneghans of politicians and financial manipulators to continue with the charade that taxes pay for things.
    Keeping people confused and ignorant is very profitable.

  10. RosemaryJ36

    I think it is time for us to tell the government what to do, and remind it that people are out of work because of Coalition government decisions.
    Plus – and more importantly – without united, global action to combat global warming, there is no need to plan for the future!

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