Apr 142014

How is it possible for a nation’s economic structure and four year outlook to fall off a cliff in six months?In short, it simply isn’t possible, unless the previous position was being double-booked & fraudulently reported. Given the International Monetary Fund has been claiming a growth slowing for Australia since 2012, and we know for a fact that the so-called mining boom is long over with, it’s not in the least surprising that predictions of growth for the forward estimates are reduced by another 0.3%. All of which means next to nothing to you & me, dear reader. Will a slowing in economic growth directly impact us at all? Probably, but in relatively minor ways, like fuel prices rising as the A$ slides perhaps, as the main household budgetary impactor. When we consider the so-called mining boom over the previous 15 or so years, has it really benefited you & me? Not so much, except that fuel prices kept rising, so in reality, nothing has changed. In my view, nothing will change, for us.

So how, and why, is the current federal government running this overt fear campaign in relation to social services, retirement age, health care & education, all the while spending millions on keeping brown-skinned people off our shores, paying nearby neighbouring nations to look after our xenophobic debris, buying multi-million dollar drone fleets from the US, granting the central bank billion dollar largesse handouts that aren’t required. To mention but a few instances which just don’t gel with the claims of economic disaster area.

It’s blatantly clear, to me at least, that ideology plays a major part in what any government’s agenda might be once they take up the reigns of power. The conservative agenda is clear. Undo whatever their opponents had achieved during their sojourn in the big chair, in a determined bid to return to year zero. The slash & burn ethos of this current government in fiscal terms, together with the inevitable fear & loathing campaign which conservatives simply cannot help but fall into, is very much akin to Khmer Rouge treatment of Cambodian society in the 1970’s. Utter destruction and dismantling of viable programs for the overall public good, downgrading of living standards for the least able to accommodate change. I’m waiting for the announcement from Hockey et al regarding the unfortunate inability of the federal coffers to ultimately support the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The biggest single policy success of the Gillard Labor government, and one which must surely stick in the conservative craw.

Those of us in the working class, and even those of us in the middle to upper reaches of the so-called middle classes, have already contributed to stabilisation of this country’s economy. We contribute to ‘growth’ everytime we spend our pay packets. Very few of us have savings per se, other than superannuation, which in general terms we can thank Paul Keating for. Most of us look forward to retirement, but secretly know that when we’re financially ready for retirement, we’ll probably be unable to enjoy it due to ill health because we’ve had to work until we couldn’t work anymore. I’m 56 years of age, I’ve worked all my life, paid taxes all my life, both on my income and on what I buy. That’s my contribution. I don’t have anymore to give, and frankly, don’t see why I should have to give anymore by way of watching the living conditions of my fellow citizens degrade because government feels it needs to run at a profit. Why should my taxes go towards providing a non-means tested paid parental leave scheme? What use have I for a Global Hawk flying endless racetracks over the Indian Ocean? Surely the money being wasted on housing asylum seekers in other nations could be much better spent showing them what a really viable life is like in an egalitarian nation. Why should I care about increased profits for multi-national mining giants, banks & car makers if those profits….if that economic growth – because that’s how it’s measured – isn’t providing me & mine with direct benefits?

Yes, I know it’s not all about ‘me’. Who am I but just one of 24 million people? I’ll tell you. I’m an Australian citizen, and I don’t like what I see. I don’t believe this government is doing what’s right for this nation and it’s people, especially for the people. I believe this government cares not a dot for you & me, dear reader. We have no power, we’re not a concern, we are just the little people. In corporate terms, we are the cost centres of the national business. The big miners, the multi-national corporates are the profit centres and that’s where the attention of conservatives always lies. The trickle-down effect simply doesn’t work, but you can’t tell a conservative that. They’re ideologues, and they’re always right. Just ask ém…..they’ll tell you.

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