– A plan for Australia
I heard an very good story on ABC’s PM a while back. Apparently treasury –working on “the principle of least regret” – don’t want unemployment to go any lower for fear of triggering dangerous inflation.
Well, I thought, I guess I can stop faking my fortnightly Job-Seeker-Diary then?
In my head I saw treasury official coming into Centrelink office and standing up on the counter to get our attention. He speaks:
Fellow citizens, our nation owes you a debt, if it were not for your sacrifice, for the poverty and humiliation in which you live, we, the successful ones, could not prosper, or feel superior to some one. You serve two great purposes in this nation, keeping those with shitty low level jobs motivated to show up for fear of joining your warty and unappealing ranks, and providing a non-racial scapegoat, ideal for redirection of scorn from the burgeoning ethnic middle class. We know that in your hearts you crave a place in society where you can contribute, where your talents and good nature can be appreciated by colleagues and those who benefit from your work, but sorry, the current system simply cannot provide that for everyone. It’s a zero-sum game, if we help you we hurt mainstream Australia, and I mean who would you pick? The battlers or a bunch of skummy dole-bludgers?
Have any of you considered heroin? We’ve done the research and found it is the most effectitive way to sap any ambition or long term goals. Users even say it destroys the part of them that feels shame, so they no longer care what the rest of society thinks. We’re introducing a new scheme, where centrelink will increase your fortnightly payments to $750 from the current $500. We’ve calculated this to be exactly enough to support a moderate to heavy heroin addiction along with a subsistence diet of beans and discarded cooking oil. Sure, you wont be the builder, baker, community worker or national parks ranger you might have dreamed of being, but really, how likely was that any way? At least this way you’ll be comfortably numb, and the rest of us can get on with the Australian dream.
Seriously though, having mainstream economists put it so bluntly, that capitalism does require a certain degree of poverty and suffering in order to function, is interesting.
On a less theoretical note, though, since we’re doing it for the country, then, and shouldn’t be hoping for jobs, can we have a bit more money, please?