A Good Idea people will hate.


State Election For The Seat Of Caloundra

Firstly, a quick lesson in basic economics.All of what we regard as progress, good and bad, is paid for by someone.Our public hospitals, our schools, the police and ambos, even the NDIS home care package that you, your mum or the lady down the street have access too comes at a price.Right from the start of human society, whatever we have achieved in terms of making our lives better, things like progress in healthcare, housing and education, technology and industry, everything that we have now that makes our lives more than just bearable is a result of someone, somewhere, producing a surplus.The first time one of our ancestors produced more food than they needed it gave them the opportunity to put effort into doing something that wasn’t directly connected to day to day survival-it was the start of us leaving the  cave, or the bark humpy, the point at which we started to find cures for disease, to make art, the starting point for imagining what might be and then trying to make it happen.

Government Debt

Right now, with our government debt high and getting higher day by day we need people and companies to keep making profit, to keep paying the taxes that make the whole thing keep on turning.Don’t see what I have just said as a permission slip to allow private enterprise, big and small, to do what they want in the name of progress or profit.On the contrary, business is a part of society and should be required to follow the same obligation to society to keep harm to a minimum, to consider outcomes and to behave in a way that does the most good and the least harm.Profit should never be more important than the society that the profit is taken from.
And now to the part people some people will hate…….
It’s hard to argue with the idea that the work of our public service does is important. It is impossible to think that we would be better off without hospitals, police, teachers or the people that work in main roads.It is just as difficult to argue with the proposition that the the public service is a bit of a protected species, and a pampered one at that. Benefits, pay rises and job security that people in private enterprise can only dream about are normal for public servants.Remember that whatever people on the public payroll do, and whatever they are paid, it is only possible because someone else made a profit, or worked in a business that made a profit, and then that person or enterprise paid tax.If you doubt that, look to the seventy year failure that was communist Russia, or the way China has embraced private enterprise as the only real way forward.The Beijing dictatorship may call it ‘socialism with a Chinese face’,but it is business for profit, no more or less.

Public Debt

A further point-if we are ever to get out from under the mountain of public debt that we have accumulated it will take a couple of things:

  • 1)governments need to get maximum value out of every dollar that they spend; reducing waste and duplication is a good start.
  • 2)Find a way to live within their (our) means.
  • 3)Use savings from the above two to pay down debt.

Federal, state and local governments need to make sure ,as far as possible, that everyone, and every business does the right thing in terms of paying the right tax or only taking from the communal pot the things they need.Governments need to stop bribing people with their own money, and people in a position to rort the system need to be stopped, and held to account.More on this point in a later post.
I believe a good place to start is to put a hold on ALL public service pay rises for three years.The only exception would be for people whose gross taxable income last year was less than $60,00 gross, in which case pay increases would be limited to the increase in the cost of living.
Why? Firstly, the money saved would help pay down debt.Secondly, and more importantly from an ethical and societal point of view, it would help spread the pain, because pain is surely coming. Why should one section of our society be exempt from taking some of the load, especially when the pain is being felt most by the people paying the bill?
As things stand right now,the public service is the one part of society that has been spared any economic pain at all during this crisis, no loss of permanent jobs, no loss of income, no pain of any sort.Why? Politicians talk endlessly about doing the right thing, sharing the load, protecting the people in most need, etc. etc. etc-well, leaders, actions speak louder than words-start acting!!
I told you some people would hate the idea.Doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea though.

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