I wanted to review my thoughts and particularly my values about what I believe is a good society to live in and what the Abbott Liberal Party have done for Australia.
Lets look at the basics for a start.
“You should do this and you should do that”. These are the messages which we are continuously given by Liberal Politicians.
This week for example we are told that the population is ageing and that we will all have to spend less so that there is also enough money in the Budget for older people in the next decades. Those people are also told that they have an obligation to work longer so that they are not a drain on the Budget. They also have to accept less via a lower indexation of their Pension.
Later in the week we have the pronouncement by Tony Abbott that Aboriginals live on their land in remote Australia as a “lifestyle” choice.
It’s the same message we got from the Conservatives of the Liberal National Party of John Howard and being repeated under the Abbott regime.
Their attack on the finances of the aged and the disabled continues apace. Their attack on the ability of Australia to manufacture its own goods has also born them the fruit that they wanted. A closed down Car Industry.
They also seem unable to get the idea in their heads that there should be a viable Manufacturing Industry in military equipment, although they do see that there is a need to spend vast amounts of money on air warfare destroyers, submarines and joint attack fighter bomber aircraft.
One wonders at the particularly bellicose (warlike) stance of conservative governments. Given that they seem to be attacking the welfare of their own people to the advantage of the Western Industrial Complex to produce arms to defend those same people.
One wonders if in fact they have ever stopped and tried to decide whether it would not be a better idea to spend more money on diplomacy than it would to spend money on military equipment which is used mainly in offensive operations and deployment in countries half way around the world.
One wonders if the stance of the Americans vis a vis the interference in the sovereignty of other countries may indeed have created the monsters of the Al Queda and the Daish “death cult.” What a great term for a Prime Minister to be able to use in the sober discussion of threats to Australia.
One wonders at the amount of money spent going to an illegal war in Iraq, looking for weapons of mass destruction which didn’t exist and the consequent refugee crisis which that caused in Australia.
Indeed one wonders at the values of people who denigrate science, who refuse to agree that a world class Broadband Network would be just the best idea for Australia and its future place in the world in terms of agriculture, manufacturing, knowledge, medical and technological progress and a host of other very good outcomes for a country like Australia.
One wonders as to why they want to stick with coal as the primary source of energy with which to power our society, when (leaving out climate change) there are many more productive and clean alternatives to go for.
What are their solutions?
Here is a list.
1/ Close down Science in Australia
2/ Close down any attempt to mitigate climate change and repeal a carbon pricing mechanism – whilst the world is actually embracing such mechanisms.
3/ Close down manufacturing in Australia.
4/ Count on world trade. By all accounts they have signed three world trade agreements yet the one with China is hiding. I can find no documents which prove it has been signed.
5/ They fail to have a plan for Australia to grow jobs. A fundamental flaw in conservative thinking is that to have viable markets for goods from these trade agreements, people must have disposable income to purchase the goods they send to Australia.
6/ A failure to understand that to have a viable economy there must be jobs for people – which is the Government’s responsibility to cause and be created.
What are their positive alternatives for change in any of the above?
In short there are none.
Lets examine two alternatives to the latest problems brought up by Hockey and Abbott.
I seem to remember that The Labor Prime Minister, Paul Keating had a plan for Australians and their retirement, it was called a Compulsory Super Scheme. At first it started at 3% and was to increase to 12%, but the present Liberal Government has slowed that down. Now the compulsory contribution is 9.5%.
On Lateline recently Roger Corbett said it should be 15% and he is a conservative and an Ex banker as well as a board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia.
So one wonders why the Super is not at 15% which would see so many more Australians being able to look after their own needs in retirement rather than rely on a government pension.
The funds under management in Australia are $1.5 billion, many of which are invested in the stock market.
So Super is under the control of the conservative side of politics. Why are these funds not being used to fund the infrastructure needs of Australians? Like building a real NBN and other road and rail infrastructure in Australia. A ‘win win’ for Australians rather than a ‘win lose’ as we have now.
Then there are the tax concessions which richer Australians are able to get from their super bundle. Even retired unionists have stated to me that they are not paying enough Tax on this pile of money.
It is a basis of economics that to have a vibrant economy you have to have Industry which employs people who are then taxed as well as having a disposable income to consume, which then creates more jobs to make the things which are consumed.
Naturally we would like the jobs to be in Australia and the money spent on goods to be in Australia also.
However this Government is hell bent on destroying jobs. Take the Public Service, at least 14,000 employees have gone. Take the Car Manufacturing Industry, where every car manufacturer in the world subsidises their car industry – the conservatives fail to adhere to this convention. They deny the Holden Submission to the Productivity Commission which said that when Australia invests $1 and Holden invest $3 it creates $18 of economic activity.
Where is the comprehensive plan to create new jobs in Australia? I have looked and I can’t find it. We see Industry closing because we cannot compete with overseas and yet we are signing Free Trade Agreements at a rate of knots unprecedented in the history of Australia. So unprecedented, that the details of the china free trade agreement doesn’t exist on the DFAT website. Have a look for yourself.
Australia is never going to be able to compete with the labour costs of China or Vietnam or Korea or Thailand or Indonesia, but if we have no jobs in Australia we are not going to have the disposable income to buy all the imported goods made in those countries.
This country has stagnated over years riding on the sheep’s back, the mineral’s back and the wheat and cereal’s back. Yet we do not value add in Australia. Sure we talk about being the food bowl of Asia but have a set of economic circumstances in Australia which deny farmers a reasonable return for their produce – and when they leave the land, the land is snapped up by overseas interests.
We have a vertically integrated monopoly situation in our two major supermarkets, many of the State based assets have either been sold or are in the process of being sold. We are told that the private sector can manage the assets better and that prices won’t go up.
That is a lie. When you sell an asset to a private enterprise the first thing they do is want to add the profit motive which was absent when it was run by the State.
Australia is being shut down by this Government. Climate change is denied, and the minerals and coal miners are given favourable treatment.
The CSIRO, a powerhouse of research in so many disciplines is being squeezed dry of scientists – their work curtailed. We do not have a Science Minister.
Industry is being shut down, possibly because of an ideological hatred of the Union movement.
The people who have always lived off the public purse in the Liberal Party are blaming the sick, the disabled and the aged for Australia’s so called woes.
What about them taking a hit for the country. What about living like the people they despise and attack all the time. What about a huge pay cut and along with that, what about doing some work for the people who employ them, the Australian Taxpayer.