People have different opinions. I accept that. When someone launches a racist attack on a group of people, I tend to think of them as narrow-minded and prejudiced. Of course, I could be wrong. Perhaps, I have been indoctrinated by a society that believes that people are equal and in the future we’ll find that there is – in fact – an alpha race of people. I don’t believe that, but I feel that I have to at least consider the possibility. (Mind you, I’ve always said the strongest single argument against white supremacy is a photograph of the people who join white supremacy groups. The second biggest argument is listening to them speak.)
I can see that, at least occasionally, people with which I disagree have a different world view. And that the values that they espouse are consistent with that world view.
Which brings me to the current Federal Liberal Party!
It’s not the fact that it’s pro-business and anti-union that makes me shake my head with disgust. Or the fact that they seem content to allow businesses like Holden and SPC-Ardmona to go to the wall with a shrug of their shoulders because it’s supposedly not up to the government to directly help industries. These things are part of a potentially consistent world view, even if one doesn’t agree with it.
No, it’s the wonderful way that we have, on one hand, a criticism of Labor’s attempt to apply a means test for private health insurance subsidies to people earning $150,000 or more. These people are not wealthy, we were told. However, someone on the minimum wage was being paid quite enough and any increase would risk jobs.
And lately, we have the a number of the front bench suggesting wages are too high. Wasn’t it just last year that we were being told about cost of living pressures, people freezing because they couldn’t pay their heating bills and about how many families were struggling to put food on the table? (Or as George W. Bush once said: “I know how hard it is to put food on your family.”)
To me, it makes no sense at all to say it’s outrageous that you’re struggling like this, but you do know that you’re paid too much. I don’t see how you can argue that the cost of living is too high AND that wages are too high, unless you’re planning to reduce the cost of everything by plunging Australia into a recession. (Actually, one right wing economic genius commented on one of my blogs that this country would only be prosperous again when we were in recession.)
Of course, wages are one of the major costs of most businesses, and for the individual employer keeping them as low as possible seems like a great idea. Unfortunately, if everybody does this, people’s purchasing power goes down and it becomes harder to sell things. Now, I know that it’s more complicated than that. But basically, if our capitalist system is going to work, there does need to be a balance which enables the employer to make a profit and still leaves the worker with enough to be a consumer of more than just the necessities of life. Reducing everyone’s wages to zero – apart from removing one of the incentives for actually turning up to work – would destroy the sytem, so why do some people think that moving closer to zero will necessarily help the system?
Like I said, it’s more complicated than that, so don’t bother to write an economic thesis in the comment section explaining the links between the whole system, and why Adam Smith and Milton Friedman were essentially lefties who didn’t go far enough. The point of this blog is just to remind people that the Liberals seem to lack the capacity to articulate a coherent concept of what should be happening. As Milan Kundera wrote:
“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory over forgetting.”
No wonder so many things are disappearing off websites that the government has control over.
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