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?
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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