Let's get real ....

Australia
June 19, 2012 4:58am CST
A recently elected ultra-conservative state government in Australia is practising what it preaches by reducing the state public service by about 20,000 positions. Good laissez-faire ideology, everything according to Hoyle. Now these people are predominantly administrative and clerical staff, and in an economy in which many such jobs are now out-sourced, and where most business is jumping on the Conservative Neo-liberal economic bandwagon by reducing staff (and, ultimately, service and customer satisfaction) to an almost unworkable degree, one has to wonder where these people are going to find work. Oh yes, we have a mining boom, I forgot - but these days miners are not dumb fu*cks with strong backs, they are trained technologists, so the mining boom is not going to affect this body of unemployed in any positive way. Besides, we are currently importing temporary workers for the mines from third world countries, and may the Gods have mercy on their poor bloody souls. In six months time the same right-wing politicians and business leaders are going to begin calling those still unemployed, quite possibly a majority of them, dole bludgers and parasites, and begin to agitate to reduce their unemployment benefits. Well, fair enouugh, if the lazy so-and-sos won't work, what can they expect? Eat your heart out Kafka. This is not an isolated instance, as it is happening across the world constantly. "Austerity" packages they call it. It is not drawing a conclusion from an exception, the situation I put above is a very real scenario for tens of thousands of workers in the so-called wealthy West. Their mortgages still have to be paid, their hire-purchase, their ever-increasing power bills, and they still have to put food in their children's mouths and pay for their education. Fat chance. But let's not do anything rash like providing welfare (and I don't mean some ludicrously puny "safety net") for these people, after all, it's a dog-eat-dog world, and sad though it is, they just have to suck it up - while the people who put them in this position suck up their champagne, caviare, and cocaine in the comfort of their millio dollar mansions. How do those of you who believe in this right-wing cr*p sleep at night? Lash
2 people like this
4 responses
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
19 Jun 12
Hey. I am not from Australia, but the same thing is going to happen here in good ol' America. There is nothing anyone can do, but hope and pray to whatever deity that they suddenly come into a windfall of money. Factory jobs are just about completely outsourced now, some politicians here also want to get rid of teachers and more. People are up in arms about their money and don't realize that without taxes there is no way the government can pay back debts or even pay our military. I am not saying taxes aren't bad but at the same time, tax the people who are outsourcing or in that case importing workers. If more of the right wing idiots take control of the country, people are in for a rude awakening and I'm not saying our left wing idiots are any better. While I don't know much about importing here, I would assume the importing there is the same as the hiring of illegal immigrants here. It is really sad when your country's own flag is made in another country. Right wingers (and some left wingers) make it impossible for a child to set up a lemonade stand anymore without some rigorous and completely out there regulations. I find it sad that I am living in a time in which people are so greedy and other people are so blind that they fall for this garbage. I am half the age of some of the people who believe electing "right-wing" officials is a good idea. I think all the current ones and the ones running for president need to be thrown out of office and a combination of people with fresh young minds and true experiences of being older need to be in office. Not all these darn career politicians but sadly that is all there is left for the most part.
1 person likes this
• Australia
20 Jun 12
Aida, while I agree with all you say, we (the generic we) have nobody to blame but ourselves - we are the ones who vote them in, and who stand by passively as they do their worst. We have allowed them, even here in one of the strongest union countries in the world, to weaken the unions to such an extent that they can no longer have any control over the excesses of the Vulture Capitalists. Where is Thoreau when you need him? Lash
1 person likes this
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
20 Jun 12
That we do. Granted I have only been able to vote about three maybe four times due to the voting system. Yes, we (as you stated the generic we) keep voting in these people. As I have stated before people are bought with pretty words while politicians are bought with the government. Everyone pays taxes but as I am sure you have seen most people think they are entitled to all their money and the government should be able to run without it or on the same principle when everything is going up. Those same people who find public sector jobs distasteful while all places need them to go on. There is no point in having money if you don't have those that are there to protect you, your money, and whatever else you care about. I don't think I will ever understand the way these people's minds work. Cutting nurses, teachers, fireman, policeman, etc for selfish greed will only allow more harm to the country than good. Perhaps I was born in a wrong time period or something. Most people my age don't have the views I have. Most people twice my age don't. I guess I am just weird.
1 person likes this
• Australia
20 Jun 12
If Jung's theories are right, you are probably, like me and my partner, an Intuitive Feeler, what the Temperament theorists call the Idealist, and we are indeed rare if the Myer-Briggs statistics are correct. We are the iconoclasts of this world. The system has always (at least in my 68 years) been somewhat like this, but it seems to me that what balance there was when I was growing up has vanished. Everything, including political thought and rhetoric, has been dragged down, finally, to the lowest common denominators of human greed, self-interest, and insularity. I won't be sorry to leave this mortal coil when my time comes, it has become so distresing watching the decline and fall of the Western Empire. Lash
1 person likes this
@topffer (34126)
• France
19 Jun 12
I think that such a government is under the influence of the agencies of financial notation. When a country today creates employment in its administrations or wants to provide more welfare to its citizens, you should bet to see its grade going down : the country will have to pay higher interest rates, the debt will increase and so the taxes will. These rating agencies are in my opinion responsible for these "austerity packages" lowering the quality of life of people in western countries. To sugar the pill, governments are tempted to find and point out new scapegoats, and your analysis is certainly right : their victims of today will be perfect scapegoats in 6 months. I am not sure they sleep as well as you think...
1 person likes this
@sierras236 (2740)
• United States
19 Jun 12
I actually have one question for you. Who pays for the Government Employee salaries and the Welfare?
• Australia
20 Jun 12
Taxes - to which all these people, along with the vast majority of other unemployed, have been contributing throughout their working years, and to which they will contribute again once they get a job and will continue to do till they retire - if this right-wing crap ever allows the to get a decent job again. Lash.
1 person likes this
• Australia
20 Jun 12
I should also add, their jobs as public servants are there to make the world go round for the rest of us, since they are the ones who run the transport system, the health system, the education system, etc. etc. These jobs lost include nurses and firemen and police, teachers, court workers, and so forth. Wages for such people are not a luxury, they are a necessity. Lash
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jun 12
So here's your second question. Who spends your money better? You or your Government?
@veganbliss (3903)
• Adelaide, Australia
20 Jun 12
If I believed the same rubbish & ill-informed nonsense with all the usual popularist assumptions you’ve included, then no, I wouldn’t be able to sleep well at night & wonder how someone who misunderstands things the way you seem to, can do so. I take it you are referring to a topic similar to this: http://au.news.yahoo.com/latest/a/-/latest/13953126/qld-public-servants-wait-for-the-axe/ Now let me ask you some questions: Have you ever lived in Queensland for any length of time? Are you fully conversant with the dire debt situation they’re in now, thanks entirely to Labor (correct spelling for the Australian Labor Party, about which I’m referring to, which you seem to have had problems with earlier on)? Have you ever held a job in the Public Service at either a state or federal level? If “no” to any of the above, then just how qualified & informed are you to comment on the situation??? The good people of Queensland very recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of their current state government & have a very long history of the practices of right-wing political parties. My wife has spent most of her life both in Queensland & in state & federal public service. Your arguments have been squashed many times over. Public servants can move almost seamlessly between jobs in private companies & jobs in the public service with no delay, which has been my wife’s experience many times over. The skills are almost completely interchangeable, one just needs to be organized. Perhaps you should be more concerned about those in the manufacturing sector whose skills, if not used, the workers will lose. If you can recall, the Howard Government cut public servants quite heavily when he entered office. He then put in place measures to drive the economy at an extremely rapid pace, seeing growth & most importantly employment at the very best levels this country has ever seen. He left office with more in his public service than ever before & back then, he could easily afford to do so. Are you going on the latest figures for the Western Australian economy? Didn’t you see the graphs on ABC24 the other day? Of course mining is booming over there, but importantly, their retail sector is also booming along with it. WA’s retail figures lead the other states by a long, long, long way. Private companies both spend & invest their money far, far better than governments at any level. Check the list of the failed projects of the federal government if you don't believe me.
• Australia
20 Jun 12
I have lived in Queensland for the past six years. I was an acceleratred entrant into the Federal Tax Office and worked for three years with the state public service in NSW. My assumptions are not populist, they derive from my studies for a PhD in Economic Anthropology. Yes, I know the Labor party has fallen in with LBJ all the way and changed to US spelling, but I still use the Queen's English (odd for a rabid Republican, but hey, who cares about consistency) and spell the word properly. All incumbent governments eventually fall because they have become entrenched and lost the plot, the Qld Government no more or less than any other. As for little Johnny's achievements, within the neo-liberal ideology he probably didn't do too badly, but since I do not swallow the growth and globalistion arguments any more (I did early on, having been educated at Australia's most exclusive private school), but I haven't voted Conservative since 1966. Mostly, in economic terms, I can see no point in being a rich man on a dying planet, another difference between my ideas and the general thrust of the Right wing ideology of denial. But to sum up my attitude to all this I can do no better than to quote the 14thC Dominican Meister Eckhardt: "The person who understands what I say about justice understands everything I have to say." Many of my conservative acquaintances over the years have been very fond of Fraser's comment, "Life wasn't meant to be easy." I'd be the first to agree that it often isn't easy, but I will never accept that it must be that way and can't be made easy for everone. But right-wing ideology makes that an impossibility. Lash
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jun 12
So does left-wing ideology. It's weird but the ultimate end result of left-wing ideology is exactly the same. People depend so much on the Government that they eventually suck up all the resources. When the private sector can no longer provide the resources aka taxes to pay for all those "poor souls" on welfare, the system becomes unsustainable. Government collapses under the weight of the inability of its citizens to create jobs for themselves. Greece is extremely close to this. In fact, its citizens are worse off because they no longer know exactly how to survive. America and Australia are very similar. They both were built by independent people who learned a really hard lesson that Government didn't and could never hold all of the answers.
1 person likes this
• Australia
21 Jun 12
sierra, I quite agree that left-wing ideology can cause much the same problems, but then I don't consider myself to be left-wing, so agreeing isn't hard. I do perhaps have more sympathy for some left-wing ideas than I do for right-wing ideas, but much of both I reject. As for Australia: we bounce between periods of progressive left-wing governments which bring in measures which sometimes work, sometimes dont, and reactionary right-wing governments, which delete some of the left-wing measures. But I notice that the ones they reject are those that everyone can see are wrong, and they keep the ones that work. And no doubt vice versa, although our right-wing governments rarely bring in progressive measures but find their forte in consolidation of what is already there. The progressive measures that have been kept make Australia's welfare system one of the best in the world, quite a long way from what I understand of America's system. We are far more governed than the US is. We were also in the forefront of the world union movement and female suffrage, but that was a while back now. Lash
1 person likes this