Good working day, here is the reading from the Book Of Ginasez:
In the beginning, the people had nothing, but they were not happy because they lacked something to own and so the high priests created Money and they saw that it was good and they divided the world into those who had it and those who didn’t and they told their flocks that these who had Money were meant to have Money and those that didn’t lacked Money because they hadn’t worshipped it enough. In the past few weeks, we have had a great plague which has caused some people to turn away from money and to fill their minds with thoughts of health and family and friendships. These people have forgotten the First Commandment: “I am Money, and thou shalt have no other Gods before me”.
Yesterday I started to explain why a number of the comments from various politicians and commentators make no sense but I was halfway through a long explanation about how the economy doesn’t actually stop it merely changes when I realised that I was about as interesting as listening to Tony Abbott recall the highlights of his conversations with John Howard about cricket. Anyway, I had a moment of inspiration which may enable me to express my ideas in a much simpler form, and in keeping with the biblical theme I give you the Parable of the Toilet Paper.
The Parable of The Toilet Paper
Once there was a pandemic which led to some people grabbing as much toilet paper as they could lay their hands upon which led to a shortage in the shops and supermarkets, and this caused those who’d missed out to cry out and ask their leaders for help.
“Oh,” the people cried, “we may have to use the Murdoch newspaper and it already comes with plenty of excrement. Help us please/”
“This is a great shame,” said the leaders, “but it is really nothing to do with us.”
“Couldn’t you, perhaps, deliver a few rolls of toilet paper to each house so that those without could get by and not have to daily risk their lives going from place to place seeking rolls that are not there?”
“We are your government,” they replied. “We do not believe in intervening in your lives unless it suits our greater purpose.!”
“Can’t you intervene and take the toilet paper from those who have more than enough to last ten lifetimes and give it to those without any?”
“Socialism!” cried those with the most toilet paper. “We must let market forces control the distribution of toilet paper because to do anything else would offend the great god of Mammon and his prophets. Or should that be profits? Anyway, it’s not something the government should do anything about.”
“Quite right,” said the Man From Marketing. “those with the most toilet paper are those who had a go and if you have to go, then you should have had a go before you needed to go because those who get a go are those who aren’t using the sacred papers of Murdoch for unholy purposes.”
And so it was that some people had all the toilet paper and others had none, so we needed to get the economy moving, even if it meant sending people out in the pandemic where some would surely die.
Ok, it’s not a perfect parable but I’m only human, after all.
Anyway, the point remains. The whole urgency about starting up the economy makes some sort of sense if you’re one of the few people without any support from somewhere else, or if your business is going under, or you’re unable to live without shopping at least three times a week, I’m just wondering why so many people can say that we need to get things back up to speed as quickly as possible even if it means a few deaths. (Ok, few politicians are actually being that blunt, but check out the columns by some of the psychopaths who write for Murdoch!) For those who were previously unemployed who are suddenly no longer trying to live below the poverty line, the idea of things going back to normal for the economy is hardly a prospect to look forward to. And while there are many reasons for wanting to get the economy up and moving again, it’s not because we’re actually running out of food. The problems we’re having are exactly like the toilet paper in the parable: We have enough, it’s just not well-distributed.
And I just can’t work out how nobody in the media seems to notice the constant series of constant flip-flops from Morrison. For example, he’s gone from “The health advice has been consistent that for children, schools are a safe space for children” a month ago to asserting that he’d never said that reopening schools wouldn’t lead to more infections.
On schools, I read an interesting figure yesterday. Apparently Treasury estimated that keeping schools closed would cost over 302,000 jobs. This is quite an amazing figure and I can’t help but wonder if the information was downloaded by someone in Angus Taylor’s office. What assumptions went into the calculations? Over what time period? Does it assume that parents have to stay home to look after children and, if so, does it discount the likelihood that the job they lose would be picked up by someone without kids? Whatever, it does seem a high figure if you’re only talking a few more weeks before schools have a complete return.
I’m not advocating a socialist overthrow of our whole system here. I’m not even advocating that we stay like this permanently. I’m simply saying that now that so many of us have taken a step off the hamster wheel, it’s worth realising that the faster we ran, the faster the wheel went and maybe we could move a little bit more slowly when we do get back on.
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