I will mark Australia Day 2013 with this statement “Australia is still by far the luckiest country in the world”. Not to emphasize that it just happen Australia got some ridiculous amount of mineral which happen got their eager buyer who then keep the economy in positive note no, , not this time. Unfortunately, this year I need to emphasize to the sarcastic aspect of a “Lucky Country”. Let’s hear the whining….
The term “Lucky Country” was coined by Donald Horne in a book titled “The Lucky Country” in 1964. He was also not boasting back then, he was actually sarcastically saying that Australia only got the democracy and freedom from the British, not fight it. Just inherited it. hence the luck. Actually, one of the famous quote from the book read:
“Australia is a lucky country, run by second-rate people who share its luck.“
Again, unfortunately, that phrase from that book rhymes perfectly with the situation that Australia is in at the moment: (sorry about the sarcasm)
- We are lucky to have the best treasurer in the world who although never ever run any business was lucky enough to get “Finance Minister of The Year” from EuroMoney magazine. He manage to make $20 billion surplus in the pocket become more than $240 billion debt (and counting). This classic quote immediately come to mind: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. In regione caecorum rex est luscus.
Ah, come on, why the attitude…: I shall say: it’s fantastic, although he never run a business, he can be the finance minister of the year- the best in the world, it’s incredible!!! Right?
As comparison the previous treasurer manage to make $96billion debt disappear, but, of course, he was not finance minister of the year.
- We are lucky that $240+billion debt is still moderate compare to our $1500+billion economy (still under 20% – as comparison Japan is almost got 200% debt, while USA got around 84% debt – 2011). You can imagine if you earn $100k but got $20k, which is not too bad. But of course have no debt is always good.
- We are lucky to have the most expensive carbon tax in the world (Leader in environmental movement, yaayyy!) – thanks to our PM that explicitly promise that “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”. No wonder electricity is such a cheap price….
- We are lucky to have lots and lots and lots foreign investment without any control whatsoever – millions hectares of farm lands, all classic company and brand name product that used to be Aussie, is now foreign own. For example, the government of China is now a legal owner of some significant chunk of land in Australia, try the other way around: can Australia buy the land in China extensively ?). This is Dick Smith, a great Australian on this matter (enjoy this as intermezzo/break, we are just half way…):
- We are lucky to have the first woman Prime Minister who is now famous around the world for her speech about misogynist in parliament. Unfortunately, only a few Australian (not to mention foreign journalist) who really follow the story behind that the speech: it was for defending a disgrace MP who really treat woman just like sex object (his dirty sexist SMS was revealed in a court case, that makes him resign the same day after PM’s speech – the PM defend him for nothing) – Gee, we are lucky lots and lots of people were not aware about the real problem. Otherwise, our proud PM will be tarnished, isn’t she?
- We are lucky that we can get debt so easily so that we do not have to put reality check on project and got rip-off:
– National BroadBand Network: our cost us almost $40 billion, China do the same with only $10billion reaching 150 millon people (instead of 12 million of Australia) and in faster time. Nicee…, well done, government !!!
– Building education revolution where we build school at the rip-off-rate of $5800 per square meter, rather than normal $1400 per square meter. Nicee…, well done, government !!!
– Solar panel fail scheme? hmm…don’t get me started
- And how about the border protection program? We are lucky that more and more people wants to live in Australia (more population, more tax, right? NOT!) The illegal immigrant comes with boats week after week after week costing the government billions dollar per year. It’s good that we care about alleged “refugee”, but behind that care, the government choose to cut the welfare of single parent recently – that’s good priority, isn’t it ? And to top it up, the social support for refugee is almost double than those ordinary Australian.
- And we are so lucky that government boost too much business confidence so that too many (more than 10,000 went under in 2012 alone, the highest since 10 years) Australian business goes bankrupt, and with commodity price is forecast to be on the way down, some analyst predict this alone could lead Australia into recession.
And it also happen, 2013 is the year of federal election! So, any Australian out there who really want to make Australia better knows what to do. They will vote the new government and chuck the current government in a landslide. And it will happen, because Australian not only lucky, they are smarter now (although get tricked with carbon tax false promise). On this note, although still early, I have to say goodbye to Mr Oakeshott and Windsor – thanks for nothing, so long…
Be Gracious, Why Whinge?
The point I try to make is 2 folds: (1) Australia could do so much better, (2) Lots of people have short memory or never care about day to day politics situation that affect day to day living. So, by knowing all the above, we know pretty much the situation surround us and make a better choice, before all the election jargon started in the campaign in few months.
However, If there is one thing to end the litany of whinge above, I have to give credit to government to finally actively pursuing child sex abuse by church/other organization by establishing a Royal Commission. Good stuff here ! (Unfortunately, not much, eh?…)
So, to keep you “on the matter”, just until this next election, please choose your talk back radio like 2UE or 2GB (in Sydney, and its affiliation) and listen to the debate while driving to and from work. (Please don’t do ABC, tough) Then made up your own mine whether I was too negative on the above , ot it was a real problem!!
OK, enough politics!!
Whatever happen above, it’s already happen. Don;t worry too much about it, just worry about the next one. We need to keep move on and always, I mean ALWAYS, be gracious and thankful that we live in Australia, a lucky country, that run by second-rate people who share its luck. But it is still lucky, isn’t it?
So, Make sure you have your doze of lamb, or shrimp-on-the-barbie… sorry, scratch that, beef-on-the-barbie, your full strength VB and fun in the sun, because that’s Australia day !
(For you that just arrive in the land of OZ and want to blend in, here is a tutorial on what to do for “Straylia Day”)
Happy Australia Day 2013, Australian !