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Inequity in Australia - Joe Toscano

A billionaire legally pays no personal income tax despite being heavily involved in the biggest resources boom ever seen in Australia. Poverty, unemployment, homelessness and inadequate public housing, public healthcare and public hospitals continue to be a pressing concern for an increasing number of Australians living on a continent inhabited by 22 and a half million people who are in the midst of an unprecedented resources boom. The Victorian state government, needing 250 million dollars to tackle the crisis in the child welfare sector, can find 55 million dollars for a four day Grand Prix but can only find 12.5 million dollars to tackle the pressing issue of child welfare.

Disillusioned?

Billionaires publicly squabbling over football teams bring the game into disrepute. Another billionaire tries to squeeze every last cent out of the Australian Grand Prize concession despite successive Victorian State government’s having wasted half a billion dollars of public money trying to keep alive a private sporting event that should have been euthanised years ago. A billionaire legally pays no personal income tax despite being heavily involved in the biggest resources boom ever seen in Australia. Another billionaire uses he enormous wealth built by exploiting public resources which she pays a peppercorn rent for to buy up 16% of Fairfax corporation because she’s not happy with the coverage of her activities. Billionaire corporations invest 22million dollars in a publicity campaign to unseat a Prime Minister who had the audacity to try to introduce a mining resources super profits tax which would have resulted in them pushing a few more crumbs off the corporate table into public coffers. Billionaire banks make record profits and increase their interest rates despite the Reserve Bank not increasing interest rates.

Poverty, unemployment, homelessness and inadequate public housing, public healthcare and public hospitals continue to be a pressing concern for an increasing number of Australians living on a continent inhabited by 22 and a half million people who are in the midst of an unprecedented resources boom. The Victorian state government, needing 250 million dollars to tackle the crisis in the child welfare sector, can find 55 million dollars for a four day Grand Prix but can only find 12.5 million dollars to tackle the pressing issue of child welfare. Every day we see a handful of oligarchs use the monopoly they exercise over parliament because of their enormous wealth dictating parliamentary policies to political parties that are more interested in extracting every last dollar from pay as you earn taxpayers and small business than taxing billionaires and corporations in a county where the corporate owned media and the government gelded ABC are too frightened to report the facts. No wonder I'm disillusioned.

The only comfort I draw from my disillusionment with the political processes and institutions in Australia is, as despair, not hope becomes the prevailing public emotion in this country people will follow the example set by the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement and tip over the apple cart to ensure everybody living in Australia can enjoy the bountiful fruits of this land.

Source: Joe Toscano,Anarchist Age Weekly Review, Number 968, 5th March – 12th March 2012

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Comments

This brings to mind a marvelous quote from American activist and author Derrick Jensen in "Endgame: The problem with Civilization" (2006)

“Surely by now there can be few here who still believe the purpose of government is to protect us from the destructive activities of corporations. At last most of us must understand that the opposite is true: that the primary purpose of government is to protect those who run the economy from the outrage of injured citizens.”