We were hoping for so much but it looks as though we’ll get so little.
Captain Turnbull has the palaver of a leader but the carry through of a squib, but he’s a generous bloke giving failed treasurer Boohoo Hockey a nice plum job sucking up to the Yanks and a continued opportunity to keep his snout in the trough.
BooHoo’s successor, Scott Morrison, has learned the mantra: “we haven’t got a collection problem, we’ve got a spending problem” as he steadfastly ignores one of the obvious ways to do something about the budget “deficit” – that terrible word the Coalition screamed from the barricades before the last election.
So instead of getting a bigger contribution to the public purse from those individuals and companies that can afford it, he prepares to extract the value from those who can’t afford it: reward the big end of town, punish the small end and tell everybody that the policy’s main aim is to protect jobs.
This ideological commitment to the Americanisation of the economy where you sell off and privatise everything possible and minimise the ways a community looks after itself is a potential nightmare for the bulk of the population.
Have a look at some of the features of this idealised American social and economic system.
It’s a community where the top 1 per cent of the people live in paradise on 42 per cent of the financial wealth.
The next 19 per cent do OK, with 53 per cent between them.
The bottom 80 per cent live a life of struggle sharing just 5 per cent of the wealth.
These figures come from a 2010 census and the gap has apparently become even wider in the past five years.
Just take a look at what’s going on in America.
Don’t go to the White House lawns or Times Square or Silicon Valley; go to Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago, Jackson, New Orleans or dozens of other cities where urban poor subsist in no-go zones and spend much of their lives preying on one another.
Is this the kind of Australia we want to create?
It seems to be the one the ideologues in the conservative ranks would consciously or unconsciously drive us toward.
A world where Australia is “open for business” in the largely unfettered jungle of the free market, building a community where the worst traits of humanity are rewarded handsomely and other traits ignored or even seen as dopey and punished.
But the collective voice of people can be powerful: emulating the way leaders were driven to make agreements on climate change in Paris.
We in Australia should press to stop this slide to an economic system that leads to an ever more unfair distribution of wealth and opportunity and we must keep pressure on the government to properly address the problem of climate change.
For examples, fossil fuel subsidies should end; there should be no more coal mines, gas wells; we need to know which corporations are paying appropriate taxes and how much they pay; we must end exaggeratedly preferential tax and superannuation concessions; negative gearing should go as should tax concessions for religious and quasi religious groups of all sorts and denominations.
Above all, we must demand openness and transparency from our politicians; no more “spin”; call it for what it is: “lying”.
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