Emperors

7

These senior business journalists. These people who constantly, in AFR and Australian, scream hatred of Greens, Unions, Labor.  Would, it seems, like to see all three groups banned, their members jailed. What the hell is this all about in what remains, on paper at least, a Democracy?

The only interest. I repeat, because it is so extraordinary, the only interest these people have is the welfare of a small number of very large companies and their Emperor-like owners. The aim is for these companies to pay very little, preferably none, tax. That their workers be subject to the most restrictive workplace conditions (“flexibility”), and are paid the lowest possible wages. That the companies are freed from all legislative, regulatory restrictions, so they can do whatever they like to the environment, to the social structure of the towns under their domain. That they will keep gobbling up small companies, even larger rivals.

They have set great snowballs rolling across the continent. These companies gathering up all people, resources, money in their path so as to grow bigger and bigger, more and more powerful, returning ever greater profits to owners here or in Australia, whatever. Australia and its people are merely there to serve, to feed, these monsters as they roll along. And all of this is presented, by these media Enablers, as the most natural thing in the world, the only possible way an economy can work, the end of history, all of human endeavour for thousands of years destined for this outcome. In other countries Enablers are doing the same enabling for their Behemoths.

The astute among my readers, and you are all astute, will have noticed one tiny problem with this cunning plan.  If these giant companies are sending massive profits overseas, and if their tax contribution is getting smaller, then the country’s government, its people, will be getting smaller and smaller. Now to our Enablers this is not a flaw but part of the plan. These people, and their mates in right wing think tanks, think government should be drowned in a bathtub. That everything in economy and society should be just handed over to the free market, with the people, through their government, to have absolutely no say.

So let us see Australia through the Enabler’s eyes. Species and ecosystems are disappearing fast, trees are cleared, unregulated irrigation dries up rivers, overfishing and pollution wrecks the oceans. Schools suffer from lack of teachers, resources, decent buildings. Hospitals lack nurses and doctors and modern facilities. Old people are dumped into rooms with few care staff waiting for death. Arts and other cultural activities dry up through lack of support. Infrastructure – roads, ports, railways, airports, electricity distribution, irrigation – crumbles and decays. Aboriginal communities battle the problems of health, education, social dysfunction. Child care costs more than a second salary can pay for, as the qualifications of carers decrease. The disabled continue to receive little support. Housing is unavailable to the poor. Rural communities die as they lose support facilities.

The Enablers don’t want you to see any of this, to see that their Emperors have no clothes. Don’t want you to see that their “modern economy” is just nineteenth century robber barons writ large. Don’t want anyone, Greens, Unionists, Labor, who see reality, to be able to communicate that reality to the public, transfixed by the glorious robes. So they abuse them, denigrate them, call them old-fashioned, call them Communist, do anything to discredit them. And so far it is working.

But hey, you bastards, I’m calling you – the Emperors are naked. Anyone else want to add their voice to mine?

7 comments on “Emperors

  1. Hi David,
    I concur with your views. I have been reading ‘The Price of Inequality’ by Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. His focus is on the US, but it is abundantly apparent that the source of our local right wing obsession with smashing the social contract and returning to what was for them, apparently, a ‘golden age’ when workers knew their place – face down in the mud beneath the wheels of their rightful master’s carriages – is derived from the resurgence of naked capitalism promoted by the ever more extremist Republicans. I’ve read comments in the US media suggesting that the old rogue Ronald Reagan, often credited with having started the rollback of Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’, would be considered far too ‘socialist’ to be a Republican Presidential candidate in the current election. Now it seems Romney has been trying to distance himself from any ‘social welfare programs he might once have supported, and selected a running mate in Paul Ryan to ‘stiffen up his right wing image’.
    Stiglitz’ argument is powerful. Far from achieving a golden age, the architects of unregulated capitalism will create the opposite: endless cycles of boom and bust – now endemic in US economics, after 40 years of stable growth up to the late 70s. Since then the American economy has grown substantially, but almost all of the wealth generated has ended up in the pockets of the top 1%, while the incomes of the middle class have remained stagnant, and the bottom 20% have been driven into poverty.
    Americans are stunned by the persistent lack of recovery in the jobs market. 8.3% unemployment (+2% in prison and 10% who’ve given up looking for work in the ‘legitimate’ economy) makes no sense in a country where the minimum wage is $6.00 an hour, and unemployment benefits are soon exhausted and replaced by $500 a month worth of food stamps. Recovery was actually faster during the ‘Great Depression’. As usual, it is the poor who never had a dollar to speculate on derivatives who have lost their jobs and all hope of ever getting another one at any price. They’re thrown out of their houses by banks that can’t sell the re-possessed properties. So the people live on the streets outside boarded up houses.
    By contrast the financial market has entirely recovered, and the 1% are rewarding themselves with enormous bonuses as if the GFC never happened. America criticizes Europe for its financial stagnation and failure of the rich to pay the taxes they owe. Meanwhile the US 1% financial elite have successfully lobbied Congress to distort the taxation system so that the rich have no bills to pay. Romney paid less than 15% tax on an income of tens of millions!
    Their solution to the present crisis? Reduce taxes on the rich so that they will have enough money left over to create a few jobs for the poor, and everyone will be ‘relatively’ happy again!
    I predict a somewhat less satisfactory outcome.

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    • Eric Snyder says:

      A few points John, the 40 years of stable growth up until the ’70′s in the US was a period of significantly less regulatory restrictions against business, hence more growth. The huge influx of illegal immigration after WWII was met with a sound response by our gov’t; not so since the 60′s. Hence a HUGE increase in the amount of food stamps, poverty and burden on our medical care system. Also, the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977 forced banks to make loans to unqualified applicants in order to “help” provide homes to basically everyone who wanted one. So, lying and deception consumed those seeking loans and greed consumed those making the loans.

      I’m no economist but common sense tells me there are a number of factors involved in the economic cycles any society goes through. But, I am enough of a student of history to recognize that the greater amount of freedom a gov’t gives its citizens results in the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people. And, the opposite is true as well; greater gov’t intervention in the marketplace results in less growth, less health care, less food, and less education. Simply look at the failures of totalitarian/collectivist gov’ts around the world.

      I’m certainly not “anti gov’t”, but it should be limited IMO. Free people are able to help those in need much more effectively and efficiently without the confines and restrictions of invasive gov’t regulation of their lives.

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      • Keith Woolsey says:

        Hi Eric
        trouble is in some societies and circles ” Free people are able to help those in need much more effectively and efficiently without the confines and restrictions of invasive gov’t regulation of their lives” just doesn’t happen and people are exploited and/or ignored.

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        • Eric Snyder says:

          I suppose you’re right Keith that some societies don’t give. But I do know that the citizens of a number of nations (US & Australia are always in the top listings) give generously whenever a need arises. If I remember correctly, Australia outgave the US when the tsunami hit Banda Aceh.

          Consider how much more charitable folks could be if they didn’t have such crushing tax burdens imposed on their incomes.

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  2. Keith Woolsey says:

    Sorry David, I have lost faith in Labor over the last couple of years, so would not include them and would not rely on them (except sadly of course we have to put up with a virtual duopoly AKA Coles and W…. errrr Labor and LIberal). Oh for proportional representation !

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  3. fred says:

    Hey David,
    Guess what I found in a second hand bookshop in the Barossa Valley?
    A book titled “The Pure State of Nature – Sacred Cows, destructive myths and the environment”.
    Looking forward to reading it.

    Like this

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