Contrary to what we are told by politicians and the media, the cost of welfare is not a major element among the issues that we face in achieving and sustaining the financial viability of Australia.
Currently, the crippling costs to the economy are –
Corporate handouts and concessions.
Tax Avoidance, particularly by multi-national corporations.
The costs of Direct Action on the environment which should be paid by a tax on polluters.
Gross waste and inefficiency with Defence.
Superannuation tax havens.
A hugely bloated Public Service.
Enormous duplication costs between Federal, State and Local Governments.
The totally unnecessary costs of perpetuating racism at Nauru, Manus and Christmas Island
Added to these will be the proposed tax cuts which are based on the blatant lie that the benefits will trickle down from the rich to the poor. It never has and it never will.
Nevertheless, too many politicians have always believed that there are lots of votes to be won by belting citizens who are old, handicapped, unemployed or homeless. So, they commit perjury every day as they blatantly dig deep to reach the darkest elements of the voting public.
Yet, the facts of the matter are quite simple.
There is no such thing as a perfect world, nor are there many people who do ‘the right thing’ for society, mainly because there are a hundred definitions of what ‘the right thing’ actually is.
There will always be a shortage of jobs and too many people who can’t or won’t work.
An ever expanding ageing population will perpetually be with us and most of them won’t have adequate financial resources to meet the fundamental necessities of life.
Even if Australia survives for a thousand years, there will never be a time when there a no people who are handicapped or homeless and there will forever be children who are deserted by parents as well as there being too many people in prisons.
And we are light years away from integrating indigenous Australians into a society of equality.
So, we must accept the blatantly obvious. There is an inevitable expenditure involved in maintaining a civilised nation and this must be peacefully and wisely accepted as a fundamental cost of a mature society.
No amount of pious political hand wringing will ever remove any of these obligations from our national scene, so we must stop wailing about it like spoilt children.
This expenditure must be, and ever will be, the first item recorded in every Federal Budget of Australia every year, ahead of all other items. It is as inevitable as the sun coming up tomorrow morning.
This means that we must stop calling this societal cost by the demeaning title of WELFARE which far too many hope will suitably hurt and humiliate those who receive it because a wholly unfounded belief prevails that they really do need to be punished.
Instead, let us give it the honest title of BASIC INCOME because, in every enlightened nation, this is a fundamental right of all citizens.
This being so, a smart nation will take the very logical step of giving a basic income to every citizen no matter how wealthy some may be. There will be no such thing as welfare any more as every person will get the basic income in their bank account automatically every month and it will become part of their taxable income.
The huge bureaucracy which handles Centrelink and other similar agencies will simply disappear from government payrolls. They will be superfluous to need.
Australia can finance basic income by scrapping Income Tax totally along with all its corrupt deductions and replacing it with a Revenue Tax which everyone will pay on all their earnings above the basic income even if they are operating at a loss. This will catch all the multi nationals before they syphon taxable funds offshore.
All of this will cause a huge revolution, but its time we had one. Like Donald Trump so vividly said, ‘It is time to drain the swamp.’ However, the concept of basic income is not really original. Finland is giving it a trial run in one of its regions and Scotland will do so this year in two of its counties. The pioneer of this fascinating concept here in Australia is my friend Mark Carnegie. Type his name into Google and read all about it.
Can I say in closing that its time for all the ‘holier than thou’ people to shut up and stop denigrating those who struggle to handle the enormous pressures of life.
Australia is a far finer nation than the vindictive image those guys so persistently strive to create.
As Adam Lindsay Gordon once wrote, ‘Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own’.
Yours at Large
If you would like to buy my book ‘The Man on the Twenty Dollar Notes’, please go to my website everaldcompton.com and click on the book title.
If you wish to be notified of by email of future articles that I post, please indicate opposite or on my website