I despair for this country. The teachers want more money, the health sector wants more money, our defence forces are reminiscent of The Mouse That Roared, rich people and landlords only pay tax if they want to.
20% of our population lives overseas. Of those who remain, 12.5% of working age adults are on benefits and 20% of our children live in benefit-dependent families.
We’re still steadily sinking in the economic rankings relative to Australia, and to everybody else on the planet. Our jails are full to bursting—mostly with people who should be working in the community to right those they’ve wronged—the bureaucracies are inefficient and incompetently managed.
Our roads are dreadful but the transport playing field is tilted in favour of the trucking industry that’s wrecking them. Our biggest city and our capital are choked after decades of stupid transport decisions but all we do is build more roads and pour in more vehicles to make things worse.
We set up task groups of knowledgeable folk to tell us how to get out of the mess then we ignore the good advice we pay them big money to provide. There are many influential people who know what’s wrong and how to fix it but we ignore them.
Successive governments have become more and more enslaved to special interest groups, myopically focused on winning the next election, cynically disregarding long term—or even medium term—growth . Unless you—yes, you—get off your backside and start a revolution it’s just going to get worse.
We live in 250,000 square kilometers of the best real estate on the planet, we have plenty of space, we have far more renewable energy resources than just about anywhere but we’ve managed to botch it so badly that everybody wants to bugger off to hot, dry, desertified Australi. As a result we can’t even afford to pay the going rate to replace our rapidly depleting stock of GPs. We can only attract immigrants whom the Australians don’t want or those who hate snakes. Many of those we do take stay here until they get citizenship and then scarper off across the ditch.
We’re spending the education budget training graduates and tradespeople to run Australia. Our universities are going broke, our farmers can’t afford to buy our land, our housing is grossly overpriced relative to our incomes and the only reason we can drive halfway decent vehicles is that we import used cars and buses that the Japanese don’t want.
The industrial base in Dunedin has turned off the lights and the houses the workers used to live in are filled with drunken students.
We can fix this mess inside 10 years.
- Hold our politicians feet to the fire. Make the sods stick to their election promises. Hold them accountable.
- Force them to stop using unaffordable bribes to elicit votes from those voters who are unsophisticated, the stupid, or myopic.
- Get rid of the current party political structure. It’s no longer working. They’re all competing against one another to pander to special interest groups. Examples? retirement age; compulsory superannuation; student loans; tax reform; capital gains tax; vital infrastructure; Telecom.
- Get it into our heads that if we want to spend money on health, police, defence, superannuation and all the goodies everybody wants then we have to earn the wherewithal to pay for it.
- That means increasing per-capita GDP.
- By a lot.
- That, in turn, means we need jobs in industries which generate high wages. It means that, although farming and tourism are necessary, they only provide low-wage jobs and we’re not going to get back to being a rich country without generating high-tech jobs!
- Create policies which induce people to save, to reduce frivolous spending.
- Create policies which encourage business to invest in R & D and in high-tech industries.
Don’t believe me?
A picture is worth a thousand words: watch this video presentation “Beyond the Theme Park and the Farm Gate” by Professor Sir Paul Callaghan. It’s entertaining, interesting, authoritative and worrying.
When you’ve watched it tell me where I’m wrong. I dare you. I beg you!
It’s really important.
I don’t want my grand-children to live in Australia. Neither does Dr Callaghan.