About melisse reynolds

A view point from Sydney, Australia

Reduced welfare integrity

A recent survey by The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research’s Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) has revealed a decrease in welfare dependency by working age people. The annually survey of 17,000 people has recorded a decrease in weekly welfare payments from 23% in 2001 to a current 18.6%. [1]

This is more information that supports what many including the IMF have stated, that equal access to health and education enables populations to not only move off welfare but to contribute to a more stable society and increase economic prosperity.[2]

The bottom line is that people will do well if they can and this is proved time and again. A society can be a prison where it continually disables its population and then blames them for it, or it can be a liberation where each individual can achieve self-determination and escape welfare and poverty and the handing down of poverty to their own children.

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Hockey and the unsophisticated argument

Joe Hockey, as I heard on the radio recently, is claiming that his recent ‘horror’ budget is fair because each Australian works one month a year to pay for welfare. Interestingly, he is not revealing how many weeks a person works to cover generous far-reaching tax concessions which significantly benefit the wealthy. Greg Jericho of The Guardian recently wrote that ‘billions of dollars in revenue … is forgone each year due to exemptions within the taxation system’.  He also relays that a recent IMF assessment of the failing Italian economy led to the IMF’s concern of the misuse by government of tax concessions that were vulnerable to lobbying. Jericho wrote that ‘the IMF working paper displayed that Australia actually has a greater amount of tax expenditures per GDP than Italy or many other advanced economies’. [1]

tax expenditure

Consequently, Hockey’s media grab reveals explicitly that his approach is a one-dimensional simplistic assessment, emotive and seeking to blame disadvantaged people for their situation. Like one friend recently made note, ‘rich people tell the middle class to blame the poor’.

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Socio-economic gluttons

Socio-economic gluttony is what we see when in the midst of long economic growth, as Australia along with many western countries have experienced since World War II, it is only the rich who get richer. They stand by to watch and blame the ills on those who where economically muscled out though withholding of health and education. Of course, it is always the poorer and more vulnerable who are easy targets for inappropriate and very often untrue blaming and labeling.

Let’s see Hockey do his stuff in May with the next Federal Budget and more statistical acrobatic distortion, and let’s see how he continues to take from the poor to prop up the rich and smug. This is exactly what he did by removing low and middle income superannuation incentives so he can add these to further increase the superannuation incentive of high income earners.

“Like most of the Coalition’s Hockeynomics, the plan to slash old age pensions doesn’t match the facts. More than a third of our elderly suffer in poverty” writes Ben Eltham.

We already have a large number of older workers who can not find work. The government doesn’t seem to be doing anything to enable these people to find viable work options.  These people struggle on unlivable Newstart payments. (Read more at https://newmatilda.com/2014/04/15/cut-super-concessions-not-pension)

There are countries who have the guts and vision to enable their populations and do a very good job at the economic development level. They see all the people in their countries as assets to strengthen not only the economic stability and prosperity, but the means to generate a full society inclusion.

Why do so many rich want to keep the poor and vulnerable deprived of education and health opportunity and with it, basic dignity? What drives this sort of ambition? They have dark hearts, indeed.

Rich people tell the middle class people to blame the poor.

Envy of those who hold true vision

It seems those who support a less inclusive approach to the vulnerable in life and society exhibit an envy toward those who do have the capacity and courage to act to support the greater good. Those who seek to propel society to be less inclusive of the more vulnerable do so as a downward envy towards those who need extra support in life for whatever numerous reasons this can occur. The less generous appear suspicious of those not solely motivated by a mean-spirited vested interest and struggle to comprehend those that exhibit such distinctive generosity of spirit and purpose.

Those who support the withdrawing of financial support to the vulnerable in life exhibit an envy of those who get the meagre financial support to assist their difficult circumstances. This misjudged envy reveals their own denigrated humanity.

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Ideas in politics

Everything in life starts out with some sort of an idea. Many great thinkers, over multiple generations, have made statements that credit the initial moment of any worthwhile activity is first in its formulation as an idea.

An idea begins as a kernel, a thought or notion, that compels a process of interrogation and development. The thought or notion may be as a response to a experience in the physical world or it may be entirely of the mind. In this way, we can peer into an individual’s soul by the pronouncement of their ideas. The pitch and tone of their ideas illuminate a worldview and that individual’s capacity that determine the quality of the type of vision they have for themselves and their world.

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Anxiety driven politics

Each political endeavour carries with it a set of values about what is and is not important as well as strategies that are deemed acceptable. It is crucial to examine the ideas that emerge from politics as they create a momentum within society to effect a particular sort of change.

A vision for the health of a country and society by its nature needs to be inclusive to entrench the positive energy within the human condition. This proceeds to enable each citizen to connect, within their individual circumstances, to a respectful humanity that carries an enabling vision and increases the healthy qualities of the human condition and that breed integrity for a constructive and fully enabled society. This engenders an equality that recognises each person as valid and resourceful in their own unique way to enrich society.

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More anxiety ridden scaremongering from Hockey

Hockey is a dramatic actor and will expressively play his political machinations through distinct repertoire of body language.  We had a ‘jolly Joe’ before Christmas and now there is the ‘furrowing his brow, bowing and shaking his jowls’ with the foreboding bad news of the budget.

As Treasurer, and without an economics degree, ‘Hockey comes across as full of bluster and bombast.’  Today he states ‘I’m dealing with the reality here.’ This is an interesting comment given this government does it’s best to ignore reality. The scientific data of climate change and ecological devastation, the denial of statistics that underpin equal opportunity to health and education to strengthen economic prosperity with positive social outcomes rather than at the cost of social outcomes that only ever touch the vulnerable.

 

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Movie review of Restless

This is a movie worth seeing. I won’t tell you the subject matter as it may be off putting or too confronting. So I believe you are best to come to this film without any expectation as I did so that you can enter without prejudice.

What I will tell you is that it is a delightful and engaging film that provides a journey to meet some of the deepest challenges that can be encountered in life. This is played out with a remarkably tender and whimsical scenario that draws on the heights of an imaginative and courageous spirit.

Economics impoverish the vulnerable in society

In Australia, economic impoverishment is what single parents, unemployed, carers of the elderly and disabled experience usually through no fault of their own. Support of family and friends often fall away when circumstances hit. So, without the support of a caring extended family, and the attitude conveyed in the meager support payments, there is the reinforcing of the demoralised valueless position that is a stigma for those who are already the most vulnerable in our society.

Surely, this is akin to the scourge of ostracism of the Middle Ages where the unlovely dwell impoverished on the outskirts of society. A society cannot consider itself sophisticated while this occurs especially in the midst of an increasingly rich country where it is only the rich who are getting richer.

 

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Unfounded Anxiety in the Coalition Government

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.

 

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