As government resources are currently stretched, questions will be asked about what categories of welfare recipients are less deserving than others, so that the welfare bill may be reduced.
That seems OK, doesn’t it? People shouldn’t be receiving welfare they don’t deserve, should they?
That also appears to be in keeping with Dr Ken Henry’s recent inquiry into Australian transfer payments, where he suggested there are too many classifications for welfare recipients.
But what if there was another way of looking at the question? What if every Australian was entitled to a universal basic income?
That’d be great, but how could we possibly fund it?
Well, I’ve shown that there’s enough land rent available to abolish all taxation. So, what if Australians’ rightful entitlement to their share of mineral, fishing, forestry, spectrum and aircraft licenses were used for the purpose?
It’s certainly possible, and it would provide a universal basic income for everybody: a “citizen’s dividend”.
However, there’s a problem.
We’ve been brainwashed by the few people who aggrandize themselves by stealing our land and natural resource rents to believe that the current tax system is the best we can do for ourselves.
In fact, they’re already telling us that Australian wages will have to be suppressed if we’re not to fall into the economic recession that has gripped the world.
That’s actually a prescription for disaster. Lower wages will send the economy into a downward spiral.
It was understood in the “Progressive Era” that higher wages from production assisted economies, whereas lower wages did not, but Thatcherite/Reaganite economics has turned this logic on its head. We’re now told we’ve got to favour the big boys: risk-takers, entrepreneurs, employers, CEOs. And we’ve come to believe it!
Progressive Era economists of all shades of politics would tell us this is nonsense, that it is workers with a dollar in their pockets to be spent who create employment for others. Today, there is no such middle ground consensus.
We’ve swallowed, hook, line and sinker, the web of lies neo-liberal economists have spun for us over the last thirty years of “economic rationalism”: wages must be kept to a minimum, and there is little or no place for government.
George Orwell’s “Big Brother” is now well and truly ensconced in western society, favouring privileged rent-seekers at the expense of worker and industry alike.
And the results are there for all to see. As the West descends into terminal decline, lowly China is beginning to emerge economically, because she encourages production.
Nevertheless, there are warning signs that China, too, is falling victim to her real estate speculators. The difference is she is trying to deal with them; we aren’t. Systemic indifference to financial corruption is highlighted in the film “Inside Job”, but it’s a pity it failed to make the connection to tax systems’ complicity in setting us up for financial and economic collapse.
I should give Michael Hudson the last word on the incredible “back is white” economic system into which the West has now degenerated, where we penalise workers and production and reward uber-wealthy rent seekers. As usual, he’s right on the money.