Australia is only a Land of Opportunity in John Howard’s rhetoric. The man has enormous gall to make his claim the day after the Reserve Bank of Australia clearly states that rising interest rates haven’t ended and won’t yet for quite some time.
John Howard seems to want to close his eyes and turn away from the working poor, the minimum wage earners, those who can’t afford to enter the housing market and those who will lose their homes in coming months. Not to mention the homeless and destitute which every society has because every society contains those for whom life hasn’t panned out as they’d have liked.
John Howard gives every appearance of wanting all Australians to live in an economy. Those who believe as he does obviously have the money, the assets and the general where-with-all to grasp opportunity. For every person who has those attributes, there are literally thousands who don’t and never will. Those who work hard, but never really get to embrace opportunity because they can’t – for whatever reason – afford to. Those people prefer to live in a society, in fact, I’m sure we’d all prefer to live in a society. A society is tangible. An economy is intangible. A society is a collective of people and attitudes. An economy is a vague collection of fiscal principles which few understand well and even fewer can manipulate to their advantage.
The terminology ‘welfare state’ is intentionally derogatory, which is why Howard uses it and why I reject it as any form of description of a community. ‘Welfare state’ infers another vague economic representation. That’s why I prefer Society. It’s real. I prefer reality over imagination and the welfare state is a conservative’s nightmare. If only they’d wake up and join society, leave their economic bad dreams behind, Australia would be a much better place.