Australia is now a rights-infused society. Increasing numbers of people, including our youth (and even children) are reported to be whingeing publicly, noisily, about an expanding range of freshly-coined rights which are not being adequately met by the government – that Significant Other which disperses our money relatively freely. After all, every grant of any of these rights would most likely cost scarce taxpayer money.
It is surprising that there can be so many ‘glee clubs’, members of which will not be financial beneficiaries, supporting claims which might need some debate and proper evaluation. For example, currently the nation is being swamped by unlawful arrivals who can be identified only by themselves – because they make sure that they carry no document of identity – but a host-nation glee group demands that all such arrivals should be as free as selected immigrants, but without a need to be self-supporting.
But, governments are not allowed to introduce new taxes (eg. a wealth tax or death duties) or to increase tax revenues by removing exceedingly generous concessions which were once part of either pork-barrelling, or squeezed out of government by vested interests; or by removing sundry gifts introduced at an earlier election time. As we are repeatedly informed by our media (which normally needs bifocals), politics has replaced policies.
Thus, by and large, both politicians and the spokesmen for sundry interest groups (eg. the welfare industry) ignore the obvious – that the monies needed come from hardworking people, not from an official printing press. The claims made are indeed quite remarkable, but apparently justifiable because they represent an asserted right! Can there be many other countries which enable such stances?
What then of responsibilities? Are unemployed individuals and child-free couples required to move to where the jobs are? Are such dependent-free people allowed to move to low-employment districts and remain on welfare? Are the self-employed allowed to do the same? Are the able long-term unemployed able to qualify as disability pensioners (which gives them more than the dole)? It is not difficult to identify some of those in these categories in one’s district.
Who pays for all this? Not the high income individuals and corporations which can move money around the world or have valuable tax concessions. Not long ago, a medical specialist whom I knew had managed to reduce his tax rate to that of a shop assistant through legal means; he was an honest man.
So, who is responsible for an inequitable economy resulting partly from burgeoning asserted rights assailing the honest?