VIEW FROM THE BALCONY

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By Derek Green

It doesn’t have to be this way

I’ve ranted in the past about the cultural creep of American Imperialism, and as another Federal election looms, it has occurred to me that being presided over by Liberal governments for 20 of the last 26 years is creating a dangerous situation for this country’s hard fought socialist democratic values – an entire generation of people may not be aware that the shiny, Hollywood inspired, self-centred model of user pays was not always the way here in Australia. Most of my life we’ve been a society that cares for, and looks after its people.

But I can see we’ve gradually been lulled into understanding that taxes are bad, and tax cuts are what we need, often by people who grew up in an era of free education and affordable housing, before any of us had to pay for private health insurance, toll roads, or fuss over climate change. 

What makes it worse is that we don’t seem to recognise or acknowledge that this message comes from a country with a lamentable record when it comes to caring for its own people, and a poor relationship with taxes – the independent republic was literally founded on refusing to pay tax.

How easily we have been cajoled into forgetting that TAXES PAY FOR STUFF WE ALL NEED. Meanwhile Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump and all the other rich white dudes are loving it – honestly who do you think benefits from privatisation and user-pays systems? The owners and shareholders of the corporations of course. Think about it; what multi-national do you own?

I get it, tax cuts potentially put more money in your pocket, and allow YOU to decide what you will spend YOUR MONEY on, and not some inept, out of control government with its greedy fingers all over your income.

So here’s a list of things people can (and do) spend their money on in 2022. The challenge is for you to tell me which of these is more important than free universal healthcare in Australia.

  • You can have a pet styled in a variety of cuts and colours at your local groomers
  • You can pay for a professional baby naming service
  • You can blow your monthly salary in an afternoon via a betting app on your phone
  • You can buy a house and designer clothes for your avatar in an online virtual reality game
  • You can buy a bottle of “Psychic Vampire Repellent” spray
  • You can buy clothes for the purpose of wearing them once
  • You can buy a plastic bottle with a fancy logo containing tap water
  • You can buy a third, fourth, or even fifth investment property
  • You can buy crystals to help “detox your light-force”
  • You can buy gold-plated gym weights
  • You can buy Camel milk
  • You can buy a bagel slicer

The list goes on. 

Let’s hope you don’t get sick in the United States of Australia.

derek@thewestsider.com.au

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