Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Abbott’s unspoken goal: a global economic and “opportunity” monopoly for Australia

In the mainstream (Age) and even in business papers, as seen here in the Spectator, there is the ingrained belief that if Australia falls behind in climate action it will suffer economically. There tends to be little evidence or reasoning behind this, but rather an unspoken belief that if Australia removes regulations on greenhouse emissions, pollution and land clearing it will lose opportunities to invest in new technology that will grow its economy.

The fact is, however, that there are a number of severe fallacies behind this myth – a myth that I know has existed for a long time but have taken little notice of.

The basic problem is that it ignores the severe social and economic problems faced by nations with technology-based economies. Without one solitary exception, their fertility rates are extremely low (almost always less than 1.5 children per women or a population declining by 25 percent each generation) and, even if they have had free market-oriented policies in the past, government debt is a major problem and likely to grow in the future as there are fewer taxpayers to pay it off.

More than this, as taxpayers become fewer in technology-oriented economies, they are forced to specialise in higher and higher technology, which tends to make them even more inhuman – there is so little ordinary work being done by people that those without the most advanced education are excluded. This exclusion, of course, serves to severely limit the range of people a technology-oriented economy can include: in most such cases, even basic necessities such as housing, food and transport become very expensive for those without higher education.

An additional problem is that seeking to emulate technology-oriented economies is the norm throughout the Enriched and Tropical Worlds, because it promises more rapid growth and because Enriched and Tropical nations are losing to exhaustion most of the mineral and energy resources they ever had. This produces a uniform specialisation that offers little room for diversification – especially with most major companies thoroughly globalised – and much room for economic decline.

What Tony Abbott wants to do to Australia is what the Politically Incorrect Guides and their allies wanted to do to America in the 2000s:

  1. remove all the vast books of government restrictions from minimum wages to pollution
  2. remove the high taxes faced by working people
  3. dismantle most of the public sector and make what is needed (defence) more efficient
  4. privatise such government services as education, national parks, hospitals, public transport, public housing etc. etc.
  5. allow entrepreneurs to provide essential services like housing and transport without restriction
  6. encourage the poor to depend upon their own labour rather than welfare
  7. encourage those with limited academic talents to work in basic occupations and form families
For all the PIGs have told me about how a society without government regulation would be better, there is no practical example of the PIGs’ policies actually being tried in a country for one to evaluate. However, the evidence they do give and what I do know about past history does make me feel instinctively that the policies Abbott wants to implement will shift virtually all the opportunity for work social capital amongst the poor to Australia. If the poor had no taxes to pay they would be able to save their earnings to a much greater extent than I do – especially with essential services provided at lower cost due to greater incentive for cheapness. If the “super rich” had no taxes to pay the PIGs argue that they would create many more jobs than they can now even in Australia, and unemployment would be eliminated without minimum wage laws as expensive education would be unnecessary to maintain a liveable existence.

There is no doubt that requiring more and more expensive education to maintain a liveable existence is a dead-end – it is making the Enriched and Tropical Worlds elitist and unable to cater for the poor, besides their lack of natural resources. Abbott, on the contrary, desires a nation where the market gives the poor opportunities rather than the radical equality which the poor of the Enriched World wish for – but which invariably produces a super-selfish and shallow culture with no sense of community.

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