Williams’ Word

by admin on July 14th, 2018

filed under 苏州美甲美睫培训学校

MONEY AND MORALITY DON’T MIXIn a just world no-one would be able to become an economist or financial adviser unless theyhadalso studied some other subject at university, such as one of the social sciences.Finance should not be a ‘stand-alone’ subject because it affects everyone. Alack of socialjustice can lead to great uprisings and even wars.
苏州美甲美睫培训学校

There were great social changes in many parts of the world in the middle of last century,mainly after WWI, with bloody protests at the concentration of wealth in toofew hands and the power those people wielded. These protests varied: fromstrikes by workers’ groups in different European countries to the rise of communismin Russia, a movement that led to the death of an estimated 30 million people and the creationof the long-running ‘Cold War’.

Alot has changed since then, but there is one common theme still today: that money means power. It has been estimated that in a few years’ time, about 80 people will control more than half of the world’s economy. It is a blatant blow to the whole concept of democracy.

We have already seen, even in Australia, how the very wealthy have been able to manipulatethe decisions of our governments, which are supposed to be a democratic ones. Money(meaning power) is being used to force governments into decisions that are farfrom democratic. One billionairehas a lot more voting power than all the people of the electorate put together.

There is no morality in wealth.The Federal Tax Office is reviewing the operations of 35corporations for routing income through low-tax nations to avoid paying taxesowed to the country where they made their profits.And the scores of Australians who have put money into off-shore banks to avoid payingtax to the government of the country where they made their profits show theyhave no more morality than the illegal drug barons who also think they are above the law.

It might be difficult for all countries to set aninternational minimum tax for all corporationsoperating in those countries, but it could be possible for the governments involved to set, not atax but a special invoice, aimed at these tax avoiders for ‘services rendered’ to thosecorporations which included the costs to, say, the Australian Government for “providingtraining for their staff, providing electricity, roads and other services used by the consortiumto operate a profit-making business in this country”.Just send them a bill for the facilities they have used in making their big profits.

An unusual scheme, certainly, but one that could ease the problems likely to arise in thefuture by the serious concentration of wealth and power into fewer hands.History has made it clear that taking action now to stop abuses from the hands of theextremely rich might involve some risks, but that would be far better than the reactions thatmight come from that increasingly huge international imbalance of money and power.

HOME – MORE THAN A PLACE TO LIVE!Australia has become a nation that can no longer house its own children, according to Labor’sChris Bowen, who argues that soaring home prices are cutting young people out of themarket.He is right, of course, but the impact of the ridiculous cost of buying a house has much moreimpact.

Australia not only has huge house prices; it also has the world’s largest homes on average andthis is one of the problems.We do like big homes compared with the rest of the world, but thebig problem is keeping up with the demand for extra homes because of our increasingpopulation.

However, the ‘natural’ population growth in this country should mean that ourpopulation would be reducing, not growing. The growth comes from our very bigimmigration program.Demographers say that Australian women are not producing enough children for any increasein population, but we do have a big immigration program and that creates the housingproblem.

Maybe the answer to the serious housing problem would be to reduce our big immigrationprogram, but our politicians don’t see it that way. They can only see that immigration meansgrowth and that means there are jobs, jobs in building the roads, infrastructure, schools andhouses these extra people need. The pollies are incapable of visualising a country with astable population, one where there would be just a steady but naturally-controlled demand formore houses.

One day, however, the government of Australia will have to accept the fact that we cannotallow our population to increase forever. One day there will be the realisation that, like theworld itself, there has to be an entirely new approach to population growth. So, why not starttalking now about some sort of stabilisation?

One thing is for sure, Australia will find it increasingly hard to compete with other countrieswhile the cost of an ordinary home hovers around the million dollar mark. How can weexpect to compete if our workers need huge pay packets just to buy or rent a home?

Sure, some people are making swags of money simply because house prices continue to rise,but if Australia is to compete with other countries, either in manufacture or food production,we will need to re-assess this increasing problem of buying or even renting a home for anyworker to live.We are already importing far too many goods, simply because the cost of producing them inAustralia is far too expensive – and that is because of the cost of employing people who needa big pay packet just to find somewhere to live.

Maybe it’s already time we started talking about limiting Australia’s population growth.

Ray Williamshas been a Post columnist since retiring from the newsroom in 1993.

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