Private v Public Spending?

Why is it that we can afford to spend more on private schools and health care but we can’t afford to even maintain our present level of spending on public schools and public health care.

I thought that the object of paying tax was to maintain a level of excellence for all of our citizens rather than to advance the difference between those that can afford to have health care and those that are struggling to survive.

The situation will be further exacerbated when we get all these 65 and 70 year olds dropping down exhausted, or worse, as they struggle to work so that they can obtain an age pension for a week or so before they die!

We must all feel grateful that we have good christian leaders in power? I’m sure that Jesus would be proud of them??

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Ignorance or Ineptitude

I listen to the likes of our present treasurer talk about the over spending and waste of money the previous government indulged in. I find these claims to be most dishonest and misleading. It is obvious that the present government has no idea about how to manage the economy to benefit the country as a whole, it seems to have the objective of making the rich more rich and the poor more poor.

If one imagines a residential house in a city, it is possible to proceed in two ways. It is possible to develop the house for ones own comfort or to just knock the house down and develop the site for sale. I view the present situation as one where the this government is keen on knocking down all that has been accomplished and just  making profit for the few, whereas, the previous government was interested in developing the country to make it better for us all, rich or poor.

I base this assumption on the fact that a week or so before the change of government, the rest of the worlds financial experts were lauding the accomplishments of the then government and pointing out that we had avoided a recession and were slowly coming out of the down turn in world economy without having suffered any great trauma. I am sure that the world experts as a credible body are more reliable that our present untried treasurer!

What we really had was a government in power that was doing its best to shield us from a world recession by spending prudently and borrowing wisely, in a manner which would allow us to service the dept. It seems to me that it did this very well, considering the lack of support that it had from the parliament as a whole and having to manage a minority government. Also I would point out that we don’t pay taxes to have the government save, we expect the government to budget to spend wisely and provide us with the services that we require as a civilized nation. Surpluses are just idle money doing nothing.

Unfortunately we now have a government that wants to dismantle all that the previous government has accomplished and take us back to the middle ages. We now have a reduction in spending on public schools and health etc but more spending on tax relief for the rich, benefits for the rich mothers on maternity leave etc.

There is no way that the present government could accept the previous governments agenda because this government has no real interest in the long term future of this country.  For example, when the effects of global warming really take hold in places like Old Bar, who will be able to afford the dykes around the area to keep back the flood water? We should be looking at a really long term solution to these problems not listening to the rantings of the likes of Alan Jones.

What other country in the world would commission a three star general, and give him a sizable strike force to drive back 50,000 or so unarmed women and children. In fact, what other country would be so heartless and cruel that they persecute these poor people. It could be likened to a bank robbery where you imprison all the people using the bank because it is robbed. Punish the people smugglers, if they are ripping off and endangering people lives, but to punish the victims, surely this isn’t justice? Besides which, it isn’t really an economical solution to the problem, it must be costing us billions for no return.

It has always been my opinion that the way to succeed is to borrow wisely, i.e. be able to service the debts but have the use of the goods while paying them off. This requires an income which is reliable and this government is not doing this fundamental thing. The state and federal governments are flogging off the assets to obtain a surplus of dubious benefit, and when, we eventually, need to refinance our hospitals and schools, there will be no income except to raise taxes.

It is my opinion that my late wife would be able to run rings around all these state and federal treasurers. S

 

he had no tertiary education. She understood what was required to keep things going and was not obsessed with a need to have a surplus which is only an indication that one isn’t spending what is required and budgeted for.

I am afraid that this government like, all right wing governments, will divide and ruin my country which is something that I find terrible. But as every one said before the election, a minority government isn’t good for the country and, despite all the claims by the Liberals, this is a minority government where the National party rules the roost.

I’m afraid that things will get worse as this pack of vandals continue to lurch from crisis to crisis without any clear policy on how to obtain a solution to the problems. I am old so I am able to sit back and say, ” I told you so “, but this is not what I would prefer to be doing.

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Valediction

To help me to relieve my grief, I return to my blog with this valediction to my late wife. I do this not to raise sympathy but as a way to help myself to put things in perspective and to enable me to accept my loss.

I knew my wife almost all our lives from small children till she died on the 17th December, 2013. We married on the 11th August, 1951, and I have never regretted this decision and never will.

My wife was a loyal, loving, kind, brave lady and she never complained even though the end of her life was far from a comfortable one. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1997. Parkinson’s disease is a cruel disease which progressively gets worse and never gives any hope of cure. By 2005, my wife was beginning to fall and had her first major fall that year when she crushed one of her vertebra, this was the beginning of a long life of pain and inconvenience.

In October, 2011 she had a fall and broke her hip and this was the real end of any comfort for my wife. She was never able to again walk with any ease and often fell again and again. She, at her last body scan, had suffered three crushed vertebrae, seven broken ribs, a broken elbow, a broken wrist, and, the broken hip. It must have been hell for her yet she never made a fuss and always tried to be friendly and kind to her visitors and family.

After my wife broke her hip, she needed full care, one on one, and I was lucky enough to be able to provide this care and keep her from having to go into a age care facility. This was a prospect that she was really in great dread of. She had been in a facility for a while when she broke her hip because I was unable to carry out the onerous duties involved. The experience was hard for my wife, not because the facility was bad, but because the state of many of the other residents was so sad that it made my wife afraid that she was looking at her own future degradation. The prospect was not to her liking, she said that she would rather die.

The last two years of my wife’s life were most cruel and very hard to witness, it is heart wrenching to have to watch someone that you love slowly fall apart and suffer. My wife towards the end couldn’t feed herself, clean herself, read, write, stand, put herself to bed, she struggled to try and maintain some dignity but she knew that she was fighting a losing battle. In the end, on the 17th December, she simply said to me, ” Goodbye “, when I asked her why she said this, she replied, ” I am going to die “. She shortly after this, asked me to take her to the toilet. We never got there, she dropped dead on the way. Even in death, my wife was calm and dignified and made no fuss.

It is now some ten weeks since my wife died and as time goes by I more and more realize just what a wonderful lady she was. I realize also that a lot of my grieving is a kind of selfishness and I am missing all the many comforts and love she gave me over the years.

My wife is also greatly missed by her three children, seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren to whom she was always loving and kind and considerate. I offer this farewell also on their behalf.

I make this valedictory statement as a testimony of my love of my beautiful wife, Constance Pamela Tyler nee Almond, and my never ending appreciation of her never failing love and attention throughout our marriage. She made our lives happy and comfortable and secure, Connie may now be dead but her love and kindness will live forever in my heart. Goodbye

If anyone should read this valediction I apologize for any discomfort it may give them, this was not intended to cause sadness to others, it was written purely to salve my own suffering.

I hope in the future to he able to comment more upon the destruction of my country by this vandal government.

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alan jones as policy maker??

I am really petrified to think that we are likely to replace the present PM with one that gets his policies from Alan Jones.  This may seem absurd but I recently watched a demonstration against the carbon tax outside the parliament which was addressed by Alan Jones. This was in itself not surprising, since he has the uninformed view that believes that climate change is not factual and is a ploy by scientists to extract money for phony research. From the reaction of the demonstrators, they all seemed to accept this unbelievable assumption that all the scientists of repute are in fact working to fool the world goverrnments into funding their research into climate behaviour. I can understand that there will be stupid people that will accept this assumption but when I looked past Alan Jones, I observed Tony Abbott and members of the would be next government, nodding their heads and cheering on Alan Jones even when he made the statement that all the scientists of the CSIOR were government employees that had no credibility and should be sacked.

Does this observation of the happenings outside parliament mean that if Tony Abbott gets to be the next PM, he will sack all the CSIRO Scientists and rely on Alan Jones for  his scientific guidance??

I find it most disturbing that the people of this country have a really good country but they are not seemingly able to assess what is fact and what is fiction. Surely the majority of Australians don’t really believe that Alan Jones is an acceptable source of scientific advice to the CSIRO??

 

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Howard the politician

Howard was an excellent politician because he could understand the electorate. This enabled him to manipulate the electorate regardless of whether or not the end result was good or bad for the country. Hitler had such qualities!

When Howard was in danger of losing an election he was able to invent a situation which enabled him to use the unreasonable fears of the electorate such that he was able to get re-elected. In one instant he demonized the boat people and in the other he took the country into an illegal war in Iraq.

In the case of the boat people, Howard was able to convince the Australian electorate that a small number of refugees arriving by boat of our shores was a threat to our borders and we needed to increase our border security by refusing these people landing rights on the Australian mainland.

The Austalian electorate seemed to be unable to understand that probably 99% of our population were boat people or decendents of boat people of one kind or another. Up till Howard demonized these people they had been accepted and processed and most had become quality citizens of this country. Now they are tortured and bullied and sent to off shore places which no one wants to go, and then, after a number of years they usually end up back here in Australia as accepted refugees.

Besides the cruelty of this off shore processing there was the absolute uneconomical aspect of the whole procedure.

Firstly we had to employ our military forces, mainly the Navy, to intercept the boats and escort them into Christmas Island. Then the refugees had to be transferred to the off shore destination.

To use the off shore destination, the Australian Government had to lease the, even build,  the detention centre, and staff it to UN standards. The off shore establishment had to be staffed and operated at Australian expense and this included the responsibility for the welfare and health of the refugees.

The refugees were, often after a very extended period, processed and found to be genuine refugees so they then had to be re-shipped back to the Australian mainland. By the time many of these poor people were returned to Australia, they were badly  traumatised and were, consequently, not the same calibre of migrant that they would have been if they had not been subjected to the extra suffering of an off-shore detention centre.

The whole exercise was a magnificent political ploy for Howard to get re-elected using the unrealistic fears of a timid and callous Australian electorate. Tends to make one ashamed of being Australian and I’m sure that many of our Armed personnel feel nothing but shame at having to bully painfully under privileged and defenceless women and children together with somewhat more capable men that were probably responsible for the women and children being on the boats. It would not have been the sort of shameful job that they had joined the armed forces for!

I thought that when we had a Labor Govenment in power that it would realize how   uneconomical  and cruel off-shore processing of the boat people was and return to processing these people back on the main land and avoid the build up of people waiting to be processed by increasing the number of officers doing the processing. However, I am now ashamed to see that the Labor Government has been sucked in by the Howard ploy and the Abbott urge to return to the past, and is now trying to compete with an even more cruel solution to this problem. I think that eventually any one with any conscience will just have to vote Green”s regardless of whether or not they agree with all the Green’s policies, they at least seem to have some moral regard to politics!

I have lived long enough to have been around when Hitler was making it necessary for a great many German’s and other Europeans to flee Europe. These people had similar experisnces to the present day boat people. Firstly, before Germany was officially at war, the nations such as the USA rejected German refugees because of a similar fear that they would lower living standards etc. Once the war was real, the refugees fleeing Germany had to rely on the equivelent of ” people smugglers “, which in those times were viewed by the allies as heros. The people that helped the refugees escape the Germans often accepted payment for their aid, necessary as they had to survive also.

I would suggest that it should be put to the Australians that these people, fleeing their country of birth, often do so out of fear for their lives and the lives and welfare of the wives and children. Do we as Australians want to have the lives of these people on our hands by sending them back to from whence they have fled? Especially knowing that so many of us have ourselves come from other places.

I would also like to make the point that the name ” people smugglers  “, another Howard political ploy, are often simply fishermen that are paid to transport the refugees. They don’t attempt to smuggle the refugees into our country, they just deliver them to our , shores. Not really too much dis-similar to a taxi driver that accepts payment to deliver a pregnant woman to a hospital in an case of emergency! Because we have made such a fuss about these boats coming, it has been possible for entrepeneurs ( crooks ) to find ways of extorting money to get these desperate people onto leaky boats.

If only Gillard would challenge Abbott on this matter and simply state that the off shore precessing was inhumane and uneconomical and instigate a more efficient processing procedure on the mainland, this would really show leadership and courage, and I think that she could have both of these qualities, she just needs the right advice.

Refugees fleeing for their safety and the safety of their famlies, usually do not have the luxury of going through official procedures in the country that they are fleeing from. So we have to accept that we have to carefully check the new arrivals out to ensure that they are in fact refugees but this should be done as quickly as is possible. We should also ensure that we have the right to deport those arrivals that are not acceptable to this country for one reason or another. We should not keep the rejects hanging around for years in detention, it is better that they be deported quickly and humanely.

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Back to the past??

We in NSW had a government that was Labor and should have been for the people but it lost its way and became more interested in internal wrangling and self promotion. Consequently, it was dismissed as is as it should be for effective working of democracy. However; another important requirement for effective operation of a democracy is the availability of a credible alternative government and unfortunately, here in NSW we didn’t have this.

The previous Labor government was inadequate in that it forgot what it was elected to do and became ineffective. However, with all its faults it didn’t want to turn back the clock. We now have a government which, as with all conservative governments, wants to go back wards and has no real dream for the future of this State.

When I first arrived here in Australia way back in the fifties, they had these oppressive laws which allowed the police to charge people for such petty, and undefined things, like swearing and even walking on the wrong side of the pavement. These laws were repealed and we got down to some sort of self discipline and language selection.

Now we are back to the situation where a policeman can impose an on the spot fine for swearing when swearing isn’t defined under the law. For example, when I was young my mother would carry on no end if I said “Damn”, now days I don’t think that any one now would remember that Damn was once considered a swear word. However, if I should use damn in front of a policeman of my era, he could book me which is absurd in the extreme.

Perhaps the O’Farrell government has realized that it can pay off the state debt by standing at a bus stop when all the private school students are going and coming from school and imposing on the spot fines for swearing. These conservative politicians seem to live in cookoo land, English is a live language which is changing with the passage of time and I have lived long enough to be aware of a great many of these changes. The use of language is often not too nice to hear for the older people in the community but it is not so unacceptable as many of the acts of vandalism which seem to be so prevalent now days.

I am not an expert on the effects of swearing, but I understand that psychologists  actually can prove that the use of strong expletives is a relief to tension under certain circumstances. Can you imagine hitting your finger with a hammer and saying “Oh Dash it ” and have some passing copper slap an on the spot fine on you because he considers it swearing. It’s laughable, and they say they are a responsible government.

Another example of a lack of understanding of real life is this legislation to effectively deny the public servants access to a fair means of arbitration. O’Farrell says that he will demand actual productivity gains before there will be any pay increases, a real economists solution to a problem. The trouble with this argument is that it presumes that every one is working inefficiently and ineffectively,   as are most economists. If a nurse is working 17 hours a day and is fully occupied, how can she possibly increase her productivity other than by doing 19 hours a day. I’m sure that such an increase in hours would be well offset by a decrease in effective operation. Most economists wouldn’t understand the need for efficiency as they are very rarely correct in their forecasts and predictions and being wrong has no effect on any outcomes!

If any other profession was to be wrong in its work place as often as politicians and economists, there would be chaos!

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State Premiers

Once again we have a petty state premier willing to damage this country because he doesn’t agree with the politics of the legally elected Federal Government. First we had Premier Joe in Queensland prepared to act against the then Government. Now we have the Western Australian Premier boasting that he will destroy the federal governments budget, as if this is a good thing for Australia.

This action by the Western Australian Premier will cost us all dearly and if Tony Abbott were to get into power at the next election, he would also have to deal with this problem caused by the WA Premier’s irresponsible betrayal of this country ( Australia ).

These premiers talk of the great service given by our military forces in the service of this country but they themselves are willing to betray this country to obtain their own political ends. If we can’t get rid of these State Premiers we should at least remove from their control any authority over the mineral deposits that happen to be in their state but are really the resources which should be shared by all Australians equally.

If the resources were controlled by the Federal Government it would tend to even out the economy throughout the country and there wouldn’t be this two speed economy which is causing such problems at the present.

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Should the PM run the country?

I hear and read all this rubbish about the PM having said prior to her election that she would not sanction a carbon tax. At that time I would think that this attitude was easily explainable. The Australian electorate could never look to its future and always has tended to dwell in its past so would never have voted for something as futuristic as a carbon tax,especially when a good portion of the electorate is still not convinced that global warming is a problem.

So if we assume that the pre-election statement by the PM was an election ploy, we now have what we expect of a PM. Do we expect the PM to keep to promises that are proven to be not in the long term interest of the country or do we expect the PM to adjust her decisions to take account of what is happening in the world subsequent to being elected. If the PM does think a change of plans is necessary, do we then expect the decision to be made by the PM or do we expect the PM to shirk the responsiblity and go back to the electorate to make the decision.

It is my own opinion that the PM is there to govern in the best interest of the country and this must take account of day to day happenings throughout the world. I would liken it to being the captain of an airliner and being charged with flying from Sydney to Perth. This would be the pilots intention, but if advice was received in flight that there was a cyclone over Perth and it was dangerous to land there, I would expect the pilot to make the decision to divert to, say, Adelaide. I certainly wouldn’t expect the pilot to go out into the passenger section and seek advice as to whether or not he should divert the plane. If he did I’m sure that he would get so many directions that he would go no where.

I am sure that the PM would have preferred not to make this decision with a minority government but has probably listened to her scientist advice and as a consequence thinks that it is in our best interest, over the long term, to try to control carbon levels in the atmosphere. If this is the case, I think that the decision to have a price on carbon is the right one.

All this talking to economists, industrialists, mine magnates, etc is getting us now where in the solution to this problem which it is plain to see exists by just monitoring the changed weather patterns. The scientists are actually the only ones that understand the consequences of not doing anything to solve this problem and are also the only ones that are in a win win situation, If the scientist can get action on the control of carbon emissions, then that must be a plus. If the predictions of the pending disaster if nothing is done, proves to be baseless, then the scientists are still in front because they don’t have the problem of the disaster.

All other parties have interests to protect which may be quite valid but the science of nature isn’t dependent on the financial or work status of individuals, it is relentless and will go its way regardless of whether or not humans survive. Most of these people that have these big money interests are blinded by their own greed, they are the sort of people that would sell their last drop of water for a million, even if they were in the middle of the Simpson Desert, and think that they had made a bargain.

I am really fearful that this idiot Abbot will get elected next time around and I think that this would be as disastrous as global warming!

Question, how can Malcomb Turnball disagree with the Coalitions carbon policy and still be as one with Tony Abbott as claimed. Like most things that the opposition carries on about, it makes no sense!

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Who will pay out more of our money?

I notice in the Telegraph of the last couple of days that they are making a big deal about money being given to the trade unions. That was Monday’s head line and today they continued this thrust by citing letters from readers saying that the trade unions are not worthy of any support.

I am not sure whether the report in the paper is factual because very little in the Telegraph is, however, it is obvious that the letter writers don’t realize that they only enjoy good working conditions as a result of a struggle of our elders in guilds or unions. If these bodies hadn’t made the effort and the mill owners were satisfied with their income, there would have been no change and we would still be back in the dark ages.When the workers got better conditions, the mill owners had to improve their efficiency and so not only did the workers wages improve but the actual works made more money and improved the production rates and the increased spending power of the workers also lifted the whole economy of that time.

I am not so old, well I suppose I am, but I can still remember that the boss couldn’t be spoken to except by going through the foreman. The boss was address as sir and this applied even if you met in the street and your wife was expected to also call him sir and his wife madam. The foreman was addressed as mister and was the only direct contact with the management.

If you wanted to go to the lavatory during working hours you had 3 minutes and any time over and you lost half an hour. Now days every one reckons that they should get maternity leave but when I was young you didn’t get sick leave, or holiday leave except for public holidays. A tradesman working on an hourly rate could be sacked on a moments notice and was responsible for his own safety on the sites.

As a consequence of my own experience I am prepared to accept that the unions have made mistakes but we should never forget that the bosses have yet to find one example where they have come up with the idea of improving the pay or conditions for their workers.

I would further like to point out that whereas Labor is only giving $20M to the unions, the Coalition wants to give over $20B to the mine magnates and they have yet to do anything good for the country. They make money and as a consequence pay taxes but the ore they mine is from our land and it is, therefore, something that is found and not something that the magnates actually create or produce. I get the impression that most of the money made by the mine magnates goes off shore and we get a pittance as payment for allowing the mining to take place. I also understand that we are in the main rather a stupid lot and do very little thinking for ourselves so when papers, like the Telegraph, tell us that the mines will go off shore if we make them pay their way, we actually believe them. We don’t seem to understand that the ores they mine are under our land so, if they don’t mine it here, we still have it and can make alternative arrangements. Also as a consequence of going of shore, the magnates would have to find alternative sources of ores and these are often in locations where it isn’t so convenient or safe to operate a mine.

In all my working life, I have never heard an employer claim that he/she could afford a rise for their workers,  they will always be going to go broke if a rise is given. Some times this is the case where the operator is very small and not cashed up, but in most cases the employer not only manages to pay the bill but increase the profit margins. As an example look at the banks, one gets the impression that for every wage rise for the tellers, the bank profit margin doubles!!

We should start to wake up and begin to look after our living conditions not worry about the ability of the very rich to maintain their high standard of living, often at our expense

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welfare for the rich

I can’t understand why the press and talk-back radio, talks about the hardship that will be incurred by the people on 150 grand that won’t get their welfare updated under the new budget. It seems obscene that these people on such big incomes get any welfare at all. I am a self funded retiree that doesn’t get half the talked about 150 grand and I am not even able to qualify for the old age pension. Being so old, I don’t really need the extra money from the pension but I would like the various benefits that go with the pension.

I understand that people on a mere 150 grand find it hard to manage with the high cost of living, this again is an enigma, the only reason that they cannot manage is because they waste their money on private school fees, too many dinners out, too many trips overseas, etc. I bet that these people are the vary people that talk about the disgusting dole bludgers and complain that they have to keep them by paying high taxes but don’t accept that they are themselves digging into the national purse and their taxes also have to pay the money that they are taking out of the system to fund church schools and the their luxurious life style.

Surely the Australian electors are not so stupid that they would change a government on such a matter when most of them are not even getting anywhere near the figure being quoted. But then one must realize that the voters turned against Labor at the last election because it was going to tax companies that are taking billions of dollars out of the country and avoiding paying their way here. Why does the Australian electorate seem so concerned about those that have so much when most of the electorate has so little?

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