More than any other quality, the Coalition is marked by a false anxiety. Hockey’s statement that we are at the end of the age of entitlement is a confusing one, particularly when this government is obviously acting contrary to this strategy. The only exception is when it is actually those in need of support who, in the eyes of Abbott, Hockey and their colleagues, must be fully to blame for their own misfortune. This is the same government who took away low and middle income superannuation initiatives to give even more to the superannuation support of the high income earners. This is the same government who wants to provide a not only a new welfare regime in the form of parental payment leave (which is a good idea) but wants to make a gold plated version of it.
This is at a time once again when the overlooked are, you guessed, overlooked. The older workers who have worked all their lives and are now unable to acquire work mostly because they are over 45 years old, along with carers who have had to sacrifice their livelihoods, and often at the prime income generating portion of their lives, to care for those who are unable to care for themselves. This is at a time when single parents and their children are living below the poverty line.
In the eyes of this government, the poor are undeserving and the rich need to be given handouts. Double standards and more of the same from this lot it seems.
I was thinking about this the other day. I thought, what if a person has been raised in a home where there is not only the usual dysfunction but a greater degree and a nastier dysfunction than what most experience. It isn’t hard to imagine. I know people who cower at the idea that there own little ones endure mild challenges and disappointments amidst their great abundance of emotional and financial security, and of course any caring parent would do exactly that.
But there are those who also do not have the caring parents, the supportive parents, the available parents, the motivated parents, or the proud parents. There are also those who have the very average parents and of course there are those who have the appalling parents.
Given that this is all very ho-hum, obvious, what about those who through no fault of their own have had to grapple with the much less favourable circumstances and done a mighty fine job sustaining themselves through a great deal of complex difficulty on every front. These very capable individuals want what most other people want but they do need a bit of extra support along the way to achieve this. This would include educational opportunities and a functional health system. These individuals not only change their own lot but also the lot of those around them and their own family. These people what to be enabled desperately, not burdened by those circumstances that lie outside of their control.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde states that those countries who provide good health care and equal educational opportunities achieve greater financial outcomes. It is obvious, that Hockey, along with his party, does not believe this and you would have to say he does not want to believe this. The elephant in the room is why. Why would he like Australia to have a large demoralised population, the only answer is so the rich can be richer.
There really is no other conclusion to make than that Abbott and Hockey and their colleagues want to make Australia a ghetto of cheap labour. They are happy to be the henchmen to do this even when there is clear evidence that this only increases the divide between rich and poor, increases the wealth of the rich at the expense of the poorer, and that the country as a whole does not improve its financial advantage. Of course, this current government and clear scientific evidence do not seem to meet at any intelligent point whether it be environmental or economic.
Why does Hockey only look to Asia for a model of economic viability? Is his ideology so one-eyed, and not a very positive one-eyed either morally or otherwise, rather than look to the success of the Scandinavian countries who show a robust population and culture and rather than exploiting their populations actually benefit from their ingenuity in every conceiveable field. Scandinavian countries are considered to have strong economies despite of a large welfare state and high taxes. In fact The National writes, “While many western countries are still reeling from the widening economic crisis and some southern European economies are regarded as basket cases, Scandinavia has been weathering the global financial storm surprisingly well.”
And it goes further to say, “The fact that Scandinavian countries have onerous tax systems and generous state welfare benefits seems to contradict accepted economic wisdom in other parts of the world, such as in the United States and the United Kingdom, where the role of the state is generally being rolled back where possible in response to the global crisis.”
The Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden are part of that prestigious group of countries with top rating financial credibility from the viewpoint of the most solid and credible credit rating agencies. The confidence in these countries is such that Helge Pedersen, the global chief economist at Nordea, a financial services group in the Nordic and Baltic region says they have the status of financial safe havens.
Now, moving to a different region, I would like to draw your attention to the value that people outside of the primary industry and mining band can produce financial benefit. The European Commission has gauged the following statistics that reveal one way that the investment in the people of a region or country can transform lucrative outcomes. The cultural and creative sector in Europe can even generate a greater financial return than the general economy. Figures reveal that the cultural & creative sector contributed to 2.6% of EU GDP in 2003, and that the growth of the cultural & creative sector in Europe from 1999 to 2003 was 12.3% higher than the growth of the general economy.
I guess these are more facts and certainties that Hockey and his group will readily dismiss for the plain fact of their inconvenient truth. The neglect of the creative arts in schools is being continually undermined by an poor educational approach that relegates the arts as not literacy and not numeracy. Evidence has shown that the creative arts increases intelligence and problem solving in all areas of life as well as being an opportunity to generate financial outcomes in their own right. Kim Williams, the chair of the Sydney Opera House Trust and former chief executive of News Corp Australia recently wrote in The Monthly that, “An acquired appreciation of the arts – especially the so-called high arts – has many ancillary benefits, with countless studies linking it to the capacity to think both analytically and laterally.”
What darkness pervades those people who want to demoralise the livelihoods and lives of the greater number so that a much fewer can be extreme in their wealth. There is no integrity in such a position and it reveals a distinct lack of confidence in the Australian population as well as a false morality. Surely these are not the types that can show leadership let alone performance to make this country and all its people great.
The ideology of this Coalition government is not worthy of the resourceful and constructive and productive performance of the Australian people. They have a distinctive anxiety that reveals their own moral depravity rather than the can do inclusive, we are all in this together attitude worthy of the Australian people.
Recently someone told me ‘the rich people tell the middle class people to blame the poor people’.
Hockey blasts attitude of ‘entitlement’ -read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/hockey-blasts-attitude-of-entitlement-20120418-1x7zs.html#ixzz2x3VHAwN1
An Audience With Christine Lagarde, http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3941811.htm
Hockey’s eye opening declaration that he would like Australia to be more like Asia is a shocking take.