Sunday, 6 July 2014


By Dave Wheeler   
    Before I commence this yarn I will tell you that at times I will go off on a tangent in green italics like I am doing now then return to the main rave.
   It was not until 2003 I realised that the Berra had within it a dangerous cult which has since been spreading its dogma like a cancer. It has even infiltrated the ranks of our main political parties. 
    To begin my story, it was in that year I was working with a pleasant young woman in her mid twenties. Her name escapes me so I will call her Cheryl. Despite her youth Cheryl was working as a child protection worker. Not many people stay frontline child protection workers for too long, and Cheryl, who was looking for greener pastures, had applied for a job with the federal government that involved some sort of social work. She was shortlisted and the morning she went off for her interview I wished her luck.
   She returned a couple of hours later and told me of her experience. She told me that when surrounded by the interview panel they began asking her questions related to computers. She did not find this unexpected because most positions within the public services by that time involved having to have some basic competency with computers, and Cheryl had the computer skills she needed for her job, but no more. But the questions became more and more difficult for her to answer as they continued to be only about computers. She told me that after a while they might as well have been asking her questions in another language because she did not understand the terminology or have any idea what they were on about.
   Eventually it became established that someone had stuffed-up and that she was being interviewed for an I.T. position, which of course is all about computers. Some profoundly introverted computer nerd with zero social skills was probably interviewed for a social work position at the same time Cheryl undertook her interview.
   I saw that sort of incompetence often within the public service. I’ve also seen it often in the large corporations I have worked for, and whoever has had to deal with tradesmen will have experienced much incompetence in small business. I am also not saying that making stupid mistakes applies to others and not me, as I’ve made plenty during my life. Making errors is a part of the human condition and for that reason it could be said that no economic or political system can “work” for the same reason it is impossible for a motorcar designer to design a reliable and efficient motorcar if he is required to build it with faulty components.
   Our species will always be held back by incompetence, stupidity, nepotism, corruption, manipulation, etc, but more so nowadays because we are overpopulated and life gets more and more complex as we become more global, more dependent on technology, more addicted to gadgetry, more subject to manipulation by the mass media which has its own interests at heart, and generally more interdependent. Given that our genetics are geared towards maximising our chances of surviving and reproducing our genes as members of small bands of hunter gatherers I’m surprised our world is not more chaotic and violent than it is.
    Although no economic or political system “works,” we can debate which economic and political system is the best of a bad lot. I have my own preferred political and economic system which attempts to take into account human incompetence. I will not discuss it as it is not the subject of this yarn and I would need to write a book to describe it and qualify why I believe it would be not as bad as the other political and economic systems that have so far been tried, even though there is no way I could say it would “work.” 
   Of course it would need to be wanted by the majority of Australians in order for it to have any chance of being established, and as we are a sort of democracy, and as the herd is easily manipulated by the media who are interested in perpetuating the status quo, there is virtually zero chance of Australians voting for any economic or political system that differs very much to what we are currently subjected to until they are starving and have the arse out of their trousers and frocks.
  I would not contemplate attempting to change the system by any way other than the ballot box, because totalitarianism becomes unbearable even when it is established for the best of reasons.
    It is not just me saying out of the blue that most Australians are not politically aware and are easily manipulated; it is recorded in history. Australians have a record of voting for parties who they should have known intended to act against the best interest of the majority of Australians. They did not even want to change the system during and after the 1930’s depression! It comes down to equal votes for unequal minds.
    An example of most Australians voting for a government that shat on them occurred relatively recently when Howard implemented the part of his industrial relations legislation which he called “Workchoices.” He even said what his intentions were before the election, yet he still won! It was not until penalty rates began to go and the race to the bottom began that a large number of affected Australians woke up and realised they had made a terrible mistake. It resulted in the Coalition being kicked out and Howard losing his seat.
   What occurred was the equivalent of someone asking Australians to place their hands on a hot stove and them doing what they were told without realising how hot it would be until they experienced the pain. How thick can you get?
    Chinese businessmen regard most Australians as naïve simpletons and they are right in making that assumption. We even allow foreigners to buy houses in Australia, and in doing so make it even harder than it currently is for young Australians to buy their first home. Yet we are very limited in how we can invest in places like China. And the Chinese are not prepared to float their currency!
    We have also allowed our gas fields to be purchased by foreigners and as a result we pay export prices for the gas we use in our homes.
     We now find Tony Abbott and his mob are trying to bring back Workchoices by stealth and they will probably get away with it. While the majority of Australians are passively entertained by watching sport, drinking piss, gambling, watching American sitcoms and listening to low IQ commercial radio, they are being shat on and manipulated. On building sites you will hear music from commercial radio blaring followed by advertisements and comments by right wing shock-jocks. The Roman ruling class knew the value of “bread and circuses” and it has not been lost by the capitalist class today. Unfortunately Labor are also a bunch of sub-humans who are of the far economic right, as is Clive Palmer who bought his seats by way of advertising through the media. He took advantage of the simpleminded herd so he could repeal the mining and carbon taxes, which have been hitting him in the hip pocket.
    The latte-sipping Australian Greens who are to the fashionable social left but are of the economic right mumble platitudes and take on relatively easy issues like gay marriage. They would not however, dare upset the bottom line of large corporations who have them in their pockets, which can be seen by the fact that they do not even have a policy on population, which is the very guts of the environmental movement! It would upset their corporate mates who want a surplus of compliant workers and more customers.
    The Australian Greens are a long way to the economic right of Bob Menzies. Most Green members will turn their lights off for an hour once a year, ride their bikes while decked out in lycra that was manufactured in the Third World, and continue to drive cars and use air conditioners.
    Imagine if Australia had kept its population at 7.6 million,(which is what it was after WW2), kept the dollar pegged, retained high tariffs, (which we could get away with doing given that most of our minerals are owned by foreigners and therefore our having high tariffs would not have prevented them continuing to buy them from their own companies) and not exported its natural gas but instead used it as an alternative to petrol. Our individual share of the cake would be enormous.
   Our bean-counters have never been concerned about the social costs of exporting unskilled work, but I wonder if they have ever calculated the policy's real monetary costs. Increased numbers of unemployed unskilled workers leads to the need for an increase in unproductive services. I refer to a need for more gaols, more drug rehab facilities, more coppers, greater security costs, more hospitals, etc.
    Instead the “populate or perish” creed ensured post WW2 young adults produced too many of us baby boomers who are now facing retirement. Today, instead of lessening the problem by stopping population growth and creating Kibbutzim or similar solutions to deal with the unemployed and elderly, the 5 main parties, being Palmer, Greens, Labor, National and Liberal, are encouraging population growth and thus passing on enormous problems to future generations. Their obsession with economic growth means they have yet to realise that nothing in the universe can continually expand. They obviously don’t love their kids and/or grandkids and have nothing but contempt for our youth in general.
     The subject of this yarn began with how Cheryl’s interview went wrong and how that sort of thing will always occur because of human incompetence and stupidity, but the yarn will progress to describing an evening I had with a group of people after I met Cheryl’s husband.
    I met Cheryl’s husband one evening a short time after Cheryl’s interview when I was obliged to stay after work for a retirement party. I will call her husband Godfrey. Godfrey was aged around thirty. He told me he was an economist and that he worked for the Australian Treasury. He also told me he had travelled to Cuba and that Cuba was a very inefficient and poverty-stricken place, which, he said, was to be expected because all forms of socialism have been  complete failures.
   Without defending the Cuban economic and political system, or referring to the success of the Danes, I pointed out several things to him. I told him that if he was going to condemn Cuba and maintain that other systems are superior he should remember that other than it only being able to grow a few crops, make cigars, raise some animals and conduct some fishing, it has very little in the way of natural resources and is also overpopulated. For those reasons alone he should expect it to be poverty-stricken. 
   I also told him he should be comparing the Cuban’s standard of living with other islands within the region that also lacked resources and were also overpopulated but are capitalist. He should also compare the standard of living of the majority of Cubans today to what it was for the majority prior to their revolution in 1959 when most Cubans were living like dogs under capitalism while a minority who had the capital lived the good life.
    I also told him that Cuba was now a totalitarian regime and that totalitarian regimes were always far more corrupt than democracies whether they are capitalist or socialist, which is of course because more transparency occurs in democracies, which means it is more difficult for politicians and public servants to get away with being corrupt and incompetent. He seemed to be comparing Cuba to resource-rich semi-democratic Australia, which is like comparing oranges with apples.
   Although he referred to Cuba as being communist I stressed to him I was not trying to defend communism, although my own preferred political and economic system could be described as a form of democratic, isolationist socialism. (The term socialism in itself is vague and means different things to different people). I did however inform him that real communism had not been tried (and still has not been tried) to the extent that the guts of communism involves workers having control of the means of production, which in essence amounts to them also having a say in the running of the place which involves being a part of a functioning form of democracy. Above all, if workers are to have control of the means of production it also means the country must be  economically isolationist. As an economist why did he not know this? 
    I doubt real communism would be any better than our current economic system, but because it has not been tried that is only a calculated guess on my part. Chile may have eventually had a truly Marxist economy if the Yanks had not financed the coup that overthrew the democratically elected Allende government and replaced it with the brutal Pinochet regime.
   I felt like some fun so I began putting shit on the right wing free market ideology we have had to endure in Australia since Whitlam reduced tariffs by 25%, and which has got progressively worse with each successive Labor and Coalition government going further to the economic right. He regarded Labor as "left" but I told him that Labor and the Coalition had gone so far to the right on their economic policies it’s a wonder they could walk upright. It would make an old economic lefty (protectionist) like Menzies roll in his grave, and if he were to return today advocating his economic policies he would be labelled a communist by today’s Coalition and Labor parties.
    I told him we were far better off during the fifties and sixties when we had virtually 100% employment because we were less global due to us protecting our industries and economy by way of high tariffs and the ability to peg our currency. At that stage we also had less emphasis on the growth of the economy, our population had not reached the dangerously high level it is today, we had no GST and our revenue was collected mainly by way of tariffs and the wealthy paying a higher proportion of direct income tax. The wealthy paid a maximum tax rate of 65% at that time as opposed to the maximum of 45% they now pay. We also collected revenue by way of profitable government-owned enterprises which have since been sold off for short term political gain.
    Selling off profitable government enterprises like the Commonwealth Bank, Telstra, etc, is like a person with an investment property worth $500,000.00, which gives him a regular income, spending $400,000.000 in a year on champagne, caviar, etc, then boasting about being able to handle his finances well because he is still $100,000.000 in the black even though he has lost most of his capital and no longer receives the income he had.
    Godfrey did not offer much of a counter argument to what I had to say. He did however, tell me he was a part of a movement that called themselves “Libertarians” and that if I wished to go out for a meal at Kingston with him and his fellow Libertarians the coming Friday I could debate my point-of-view. He also assured me that he and his fellow “Libertarians” had the capacity to go for the ball and not the player.
    Although my outlook was very different from Godfrey’s he impressed me at that time, as most of those who subscribe to his form of Libertarianism, which involves free market ideology with minimal taxation and regulation, have not had the guts to take me on in debate in regard to my assertion that the majority of Australians had a far better quality of life in the fifties and sixties because of our economic policies than the majority of Australians today who have been subjected to deregulation. It all comes down to the fact that since then we have drastically decreased tariffs, floated the dollar, sold profitable government-owned assets and have ensured the wealthy pay a lower percentage of their income in taxation than the poor.
   I also thought there was a possibility he had a genuine open-mind, a very rare attribute, and I know that had I have ever brought one of his kind to a union meeting I would have been as popular with my socialist mates as a turd in a swimming pool.  
   What I have just said about my being willing to take on a qualified economist may sound like the height of arrogance given that I have never had any formal study in economics. I do not see it that way however, because although I do not claim to be an economist I know the difference between those who study with an  open mind and those who are blinded by blind faith in an ideology and do not know how poor Australians survive. 
   Taking on in debate free market ideologues is as easy as it is to take on in debate fundamentalist Christians, or the Moslem fundamentalists who believe they will have a cartload load of virgins waiting for them if they martyr themselves, even if the fundamentalist Christians and Moslems are graduates of the theological schools which taught them such cultish dogma.
   To explain the metaphor, a Christian can graduate from a theological college and after doing so may know the Christian Bible inside out. However, he also accepts the premise that the Bible is non-fiction, which means his knowledge of the Bible will be only useful for those who also accept that premise. But for someone like me who believes that the Bible is pure fiction his "qualifications" mean absolutely nothing.
    When it comes to economists, what they are taught today is based on the premise that an economy that is far more deregulated, far less protectionist and far more privatised than it was in Australia in the fifties and sixties will deliver a standard of living (or increase in wellbeing) which is higher than it would be if it were run by way of the fifties and sixties model. 
   I do not agree with their premise, and our recent history has shown us that it is ridiculous. But, unfortunately that dogma has been swallowed by all our major political parties despite the fact that the GFC occurred, despite the fact that we have entrenched unemployment, despite the fact that we have increasing problems such as congestion caused by overpopulation (population growth goes with economic growth) and despite the fact that houses are virtually unaffordable for most young people. 
    What I am saying is that I can prove by way of facts and figures that the majority of Australians were far better off prior to deregulation and the massive reductions in tariffs despite the fact that gadgets today are cheaper than they have ever been.
   Deep down it would seem that most economists today know they have been taught bullshit or are not quite sure, and for those reasons have no wish to put their cherished beliefs on the line in debate.
    Conversely, there is no way I would ever consider taking on physicists or mathematicians, or engineers whose discipline combines both those disciplines. Maths and physics are real and as such their training is entirely based on reality. If their lecturers were talking garbage they would be put into place by their students very rapidly, whereas those in pseudo sciences like economics can continue to peddle their faith-based ideology because they can always invent excuses as to why their cherished free market ideology has failed.
    Anyway, Godfrey showed all the signs of not wanting to back away, even though he did not wish to debate me at the work function, which was fair enough, and I agreed to meet him and his “Libertarian” mates at a Kingston restaurant so we could have a nice civilised debate.
    When I arrived at the restaurant I sat next to Godfrey and I was introduced to 4 of his cobbers who were surrounding me. I was to learn that 11 out of the 12 people at the feed were economists, and of course all strong “Libertarians.” I also found out most of them worked for the Australian Treasury or the Dep’t of Finance and as such obviously had the ear of our simpleminded, self-centred, scumbag politicians.
   The most obvious question I asked myself was, “If these people are so in love with the market and the capitalist system why have they chosen to work in secure public service jobs?”
   I was familiar with Libertarianism and was aware that its ranks are divided in many ways, although a particular form of American Libertarianism has become far more popular than others and remains that way. 
   I often receive visits from the late Russ Hinze, shown above. Russ became a born again socialist/isolationist/environmentalist just before he died, which is why he was made an angel. He told me that if Australians do not elect a government which is socialist/isolationist and takes real steps to look after our environment, which also means reducing our population, we will all be in Shit Street.
  That most popular form is very right wing as far as its economic policies are concerned in that it wants an unfettered market with minimal taxation and with taxation being used mainly for what is needed for defence. They also believe in the right to bear arms, which could also be considered a very right wing belief. 
    It is however, in another respect considered left wing in that it wants maximum freedom for the individual as long as the individual does not do things that impinge on the wellbeing of others. For example, it believes that the government should stay out of people’s bedrooms, and if people wish to be homosexual, polygamous, etc, that is their right. They also believe adults should be free to use drugs of any sort if they wish, and they are pro voluntary euthanasia. 
   I agree with them in regard to the freedoms mentioned in the last paragraph but I do not agree with them in regard to how they also want to give people the freedom to exploit workers and they want to deprive workers the freedom to withdraw their labour collectively.
    There is a less popular form of Libertarianism which has a supposedly left wing economic agenda to the extent that it is more egalitarian in that it believes that natural resources should belong to everyone and that those who claim rights over them should pay everyone for the value of them, which is something Gina Rinehart would strongly object to. A mate of mine told me he would like to see Gina Rinehart fall out of an aeroplane without a parachute and explode as she landed on cement.
   I do not believe in equal pay for unequal work and for that reason I see nothing wrong with a brain surgeon earning four times a labourer’s wage, as the former has invested a lot of time in study and he, unlike those who inherit wealth or acquire it by exploiting others, works for a living. Gina Rinehart inherited her initial wealth and has become obscenely wealthier out of the sweat of others who have mined for her minerals that should have belonged to all Australians.
   It would seem Libertarians of all persuasions have the firm belief that we are autonomous beings, which is ridiculous considering we are powerless to do anything to prevent the forces of the universe acting upon the atoms within our bodies. Said another way, what happens is a result of what has previously occurred irrespective of whether or not matter at a subatomic level is determinable or indeterminable. Looked at yet another way, we can only be products of our genetics and environment of which we have no say. For a famous essay on the subject of free will I suggest the reader read “Free Will Skepticsm, Where are the Skeptics?” by Tom Clark. The essay says nothing new but it is a beautifully written and very hard-hitting.
   Some “Libertarians” pick and choose in regard to “liberty.” For example, many members of the American “Tea Party” call themselves Libertarians but would not tolerate communists or atheists expressing their points of view and would resist the right of unionists as individuals to choose to unite with other unionists and withdraw their labour in order to get better pay and conditions.
   Some Libertarians claim to be anarchists, but they really stretch the definition of the word and are in the minority.
    My guess at the time was that the Libertarians I was feeding with were of the anti-socialist economic right and generally pro American culture and politics, but all for sexual freedom, voluntary euthanasia, the right of people to use any drug, etc. I am getting back to the most popular form of Libertarianism.
   It did not take me long to have my suspicions confirmed when I heard a couple of them talking about 11/9, (or 9/11 as the Yanks call it because of their dating system being the reverse to ours). One of them said that the reason Bin Laden and his mob flattened the twin towers and hate America was because of “jealousy.” Although I am no fan of Bin Laden or any other religious fanatic I said to them, “Why would a multi-millionaire be jealous of Americans?” I received no answer. 
   I also told them that many American adults are paid a pitifully small minimum wage (It is currently as low as $7.25 per hour in some USA states compared to our minimum adult wage of $18.70). I told them I could not see how anyone could be jealous of a country that shat on its poor. Again I had no response.
    I asked a few of the economists if they had studied the works of the green economist Ernst Schumacher. One had heard of him and had a very basic understanding of his philosophy but two of them had never heard of him let alone studied him. And these people were “qualified” economists! 
   When we discussed Marx I was amazed at how little they understood of his writings and how none of them knew what real communism is. It is a very sad reflection on the quality of our universities. It is one thing having a certain point-of-view but another being entirely ignorant of what the alternative points-of-view are.
  I told them that when Whitlam took the first step to the economic right and reduced our tariffs by 25% our quality of life began declining, as it inevitably meant we would begin competing with Third World exploited labour and that it would lead us to digging up and growing stuff and sending it overseas unprocessed, which is okay for a minority of Australians but not in the interest of the great majority of us, particularly in periods where there is a decline in exports.  
  Whitlam referred to himself as an “economic rationalist” yet the herd got sucked into believing he was pro-worker. He also had blind faith in the market and he thought that by reducing tariffs industry would remain here and become more efficient. This did not occur as it could not hope to compete with Third World labour and as a result our manufacturing industry has virtually folded. Imagine what would happen in a real depression when our minerals were no longer needed. We have lost our ability to be self-sufficient.
   The market has been so worshipped it has crept into government departmental policy and language, with government employees being told to refer to the members of the public they deal with as “clients” even though they purchase nothing. Instead of the schools having subject masters they are referred to as “executive officers.” It’s quite sickening.
   Because we no longer have a large manufacturing base the union movement has been emasculated to an enormous degree and workers can no longer call strikes without notice, nor can they have secondary boycotts. This has allowed far more casualised work and an erosion of conditions. The Labor party once it gained office kept many of the anti-worker nasties that were introduced by Howard. What a bunch of right wing arses!
   “How many colour TV’s did you own before Whitlam?” one of the younger lads asked me. I told him that other than the fact they were not available in Australia at the time, in order to measure one's standard of living one had to do far more than measure the affordability of electronic gadgetry.
   Although I did not have the official facts before me at the time I was debating these people, I can now look back at the question,“Were most Australians starting out in life better off during the fifties and sixties than they are today?” and the answer is a definite yes.
    Rather than lay them out before the reader now, I will say to the reader that the facts can be easily accessed through the net by looking up the CPI index, wage rates at the time, employment figures, housing affordability, etc. It will take little effort to check these facts.
   Although I am not retracting my statement regarding most Australians being better off in the fifties and sixties, I acknowledge that women were not given equal pay for equal work until around 1966 for most jobs, and not until after 1969 for virtually all jobs, although far fewer women participated in the workforce at the time. Sometimes this was through choice and obviously sometimes it was not. However, when equal pay for equal work was achieved during the sixties the figures will tell you that most women were better off then than they are today.
    Obviously gadgetry is far cheaper today, as are virtually all manufactured items, because they are manufactured overseas, usually under appalling conditions. Today it is very difficult to purchase manufactured items and clothes that have not been made in Third World sweatshops. Even the iconic navy blue Jackie Howe worker's singlet is now made in the Third World. 
   Many people, including me, believe that a very low minimum wage, poor working conditions, weak unions, poor social security and a lack of government housing can explain why there is so much more crime and violence in the USA today than there is in Australia. Yet most mainstream politicians would love to see us become just like the USA, the land of the "free."
    I contacted the Institute of Criminology to find out whether crime increased on a per capita basis as tariffs dropped, because I thought that if those persons who are unwilling or unable to gain a skill cannot find work they would be more inclined to get into crime.
   It is such an obvious question we should expect the IOC to be able to answer it instantly, but despite the fact that the woman I dealt with was extremely helpful they had very little information on the subject and I could not get a clear answer. I don’t know if this is a result of incompetence or deliberate government intervention as a result of it being an uncomfortable fact they wish to keep suppressed. There have however, been several academic papers which the authors maintain prove conclusively that there is a definite link between unemployment and a rise in crime, which one would expect. And we know that between the end of WW2 and 1970 any unskilled person who wanted a permanent full time job could get one, and those jobs included rec leave, sick pay, penalties, etc.
   In regard to comparing the buying power of our wages over time we find that for political reasons the Reserve Bank is not allowed to include house prices or mortgage repayments when calculating the CPI, which renders it of little value. See the Reserve Bank inflation calculator
   Godfrey had brought me to their gathering to either convert me or to use me as a verbal punching bag, as he would probably have hoped I would have been verbally attacked by his Libertarian mates and put in my place. I instead went on the attack, and with little resistance. Again, I emphasise I am not boasting, because it is very easy to get the better of simpleminded ideologues who have blind faith in a failed ideology based on false premises.
    Anyway, I tired of what was going on and instead focussed on enjoying my tucker, which was quite good. I then excused myself from the gathering, and as I was departing unasked for thoughts came to me and activated a more primitive part of my brain. Before I gained control I muttered to myself something like, "Hitler gassed the wrong people," and I envisaged the Libertarians being herded into an oven. 
    Yet although we have limited control of our thoughts we can usually control our actions and I would not wish mass murder of any group of people. I would prefer to have the Libertarians humanely treated after they had been sterilised and imprisoned on a working farm. 
   Why I have this attitude towards the Libertarians is because I consider them a grossly immoral group of people. To explain, we can agree to disagree with others and keep a friendship with them as long as one considers the person one disagrees with is a moral person, or as long as the disagreement has nothing to do with morality.
     For example, people who are on the board of a charity which has the objective of raising money for the homeless may have vastly different ideas on how to raise the money, but they all have a common objective, which is the welfare of the homeless. This means that because of their shared morality they can remain the best of friends after they have had a heated argument regarding how they should raise the money.
    In regard to my relationship with the Libertarians however, we did not have a shared objective. It was not a case of both sides wanting to raise the wellbeing of all Australians and disagreeing on how we should go about it. The Libertarians I ate with, being economists, were fully aware of the misery that many Australians would suffer if we did away with regulated wages, social security, government housing, etc. But they thought they themselves would be better off under such a system and they simply did not care about those who would suffer as a result. 
    They were also aware of the fact that workers in the Third World suffer gross exploitation, which we would not contribute to if we did not buy their products. And we did not buy their products when we had protectionism and were able to produce most of what we needed. Again, they simply did not care about the welfare of these workers. 
   We could debate whether or not buying Third World products in Australia today is an immoral act given that in regard to many goods we have no choice; but when it comes to the act of voting-in an Australian government which actively encourages buying products from the Third World we are getting involved in Third World politics. We are getting involved in their politics to the extent we are assisting the exploiters exploit the exploited, and I cannot see such an act as anything but grossly immoral. 
   Some however, such as the Australian Greens who are not as extreme as the Libertarians and the Coalition and Labor parties, tell us we should only buy products from the Third World when we know the workers are not exploited. The problem however, is that it is impossible for us to police what is going on in another country. It cannot even be done in Australia! The Australian government has not even been able to ensure that live cattle are treated and killed humanely when sent overseas, despite its best efforts.
   The only way we can be sure that workers in foreign countries are not exploited, (and kids are not used in the manufacturing process) is for Australia to not buy their products.
   Manufacturing our goods here also decreases the emission of greenhouse gasses as the products travel shorter distances and our legislation ensures that environmental standards are met during the manufacturing process.
   Buying Third World products when the buyer knows they may have been made by kids could be considered as immoral as buying kiddie porn, to the extent that making little kids work like slaves would probably be just as damaging to them as exploiting them sexually for financial reasons. And if people did not buy kiddie porn or goods that are manufactured by kids the exploitation would not occur.

   So here I was, walking away from the restaurant and another unasked for thought came to me. I found I was saying to myself, "I've been talking to human garbage and I never want to talk to those people again." 
   In order to come to the latter conclusion I had become momentarily lost in my thoughts, which is not a good thing if one tries to not make a habit of being lost in one's thoughts. I say this because life is more pleasurable and less painful if one is able to accept, and whenever possible, savour one's here and now. Yet nobody can stop unasked for thought entirely; all we can do when we become conscious of the fact that we have lost ourselves in thought is to not feed such thought with deliberately created conscious thought, and attempt to return to accepting and if possible savouring our here and now.
    So what can we do about the Libertarians given that much of their dogma has spread like a cancer in varying degrees of strength amongst most mainstream political parties, and given that we do not have the advertising capital to enable us to convince the herd that they are being shat on and that they should vote in a government which truly has their best interests at heart?
    Assassinating extremists like Tony Abbot may make some of us feel better, but I would not recommend it, as it would be counterproductive. It would make him a martyr and his fascist party would simply grow another head. I would not recommend trying to change the system by way of any form of violence. 
   As I have already indicated, other than it being impossible, I would not consider being a part of a movement which removed a government by ways other than the ballot box. The counterargument to my pro-democracy stance is that if China did not have a totalitarian system it would not have had a one child per family policy, and had it not had a one child per family policy there would have been chaos, as it would have been forced to expand its territory, which may have affected us.
   If I were a Chinese citizen in the mid 1940's I could see why it would have been worth fighting for a totalitarian socialist government, but we have not yet reached the stage where overpopulation makes democracy worth discarding, as totalitarian regimes are generally miserable to live under. There is no way I could have a blog like this under a totalitarian regime. The system lets me get away with writing what I write because my audience is tiny in relative terms and as such no threat to the affluent effluent.
   Having said what I have said, although totalitarianism has shown itself to be a failure, democracy in Australia is currently on trial. It is on trial because unless Australians wake up and prevent us continuing on our current course, particularly in regard to increasing our population to satisfy big business, we will be suddenly brought down to a level where life will be hell for a large proportion of the population. Reversing overpopulation would be far more difficult than getting rid of the Howard government after it introduced Workchoices.
    We can also engage in political raves like this one, as it can pass the time and can be good fun, even if the amount of people it influences is tiny. It also exercises the brain and for older people like me it may even assist in staving off dementia. 
    We can also choose to not vote for any of the mainstream political parties until they stop wanting to increase our population and begin returning to protectionism. Our not voting for them may make no difference to the outcome, but the alternative is voting for the lesser of the evils, which lowers one's self-esteem and as such lowers one's quality of life. 
 Australia could double its refugee intake, continue to allow overseas spousal marriages and adoptions and still have no net increase in our population. All we would have to do is cease bringing in the thousands of migrants who settle here for financial reasons.
   Corporations accuse people like me who do not wish our population to grow of having racist attitudes. They do this because they are desperate to come up with strong arguments for why we should not stabilise our population. Using the racist card is the best they can come up with.
   Although I am no fan of our species, I have yet to be convinced that one race is genetically superior to others, although one could take the subjective stance that one culture is inferior or superior to another.
   As far as I'm concerned, although bringing as many people as we have into a dry and largely uninhabitable country was insane, now that they are here they have the same right to be here as any 6th generation Anglo Celtic Australian. Many Anglo Celtic Australians however, don't see it that way and believe that it is their right to have an exclusive Anglo Celtic country. It is a ridiculous argument, because it would only be relevant if they were descended from the first people to inhabit the place, which they obviously are not. They refuse to acknowledge the fact that all non-Aboriginal Australians are living on stolen land.

    Other than that, there's not much else we can do, and if we are powerless to change things we should be conscious that our objective in life should be to maximise pleasure and minimise pain in a way that genuinely fulfils that objective, and as such, is not self-destructive. 
   This is easy to do if we treat life as one big joke whenever possible and accept and savour our here and now.  

   The above photos of child workers in 19'th century industrial Britain demonstrates what happens with unbridled greed. If it were not for the democratic process and unions we would rapidly have a return to child exploitation in Australia.
   Unfortunately the "Libertarians" and many within the previously mentioned Australian political parties, would love to see an unregulated economy and the full emasculation of unions, which would lead to the sort of exploitation shown in the above photos and drawing.
   Although we do not have legal child labour in Australia, the poor quality human beings within the Coalition, Labor, the Australian Greens and the Palmer United parties, are all for keeping our tariffs low, floating the dollar and importing manufactured items from the Third World. In so doing they cannot guarantee that children are not used as cheap labour, as shown above, which to me is totally immoral.
   They are also very happy for us to poach highly qualified Third World labour, including medical doctors who should be saving lives in their countries of origin where their governments have struggled to have them educated and trained.
   Again, if you think of the lives that are lost whenever we poach a medical practitioner from a Third World country, such an act could be seen as more immoral than committing an act of paedophilia. It would be nice if our politicians at least acknowledged that so they could be seen by the populous as being the lowlife they are.
   The poem below was written by Henry Lawson after the 1891 shearer's strike. After it was read out in the QLD Legislative Assembly they wanted him arrested for sedition. It should be compulsory reading for all kids as we are turning into a nation of gutless scabs. Below that it is put to music by Raymond Crooke and PM Adamson.

 by Henry Lawson.
"Australia's a big country
An' Freedom's humping bluey,
An' Freedom's on the wallaby
Oh! don't you hear 'er cooey?
She's just begun to boomerang,
She'll knock the tyrants silly,
She's goin' to light another fire
And boil another billy.

"Our fathers toiled for bitter bread
While loafers thrived beside 'em,
But food to eat and clothes to wear,
Their native land denied 'em.
An' so they left their native land
In spite of their devotion,
An' so they came, or if they stole,
Were sent across the ocean.

"Then Freedom couldn't stand the glare
O' Royalty's regalia,
She left the loafers where they were,
An' came out to Australia.
But now across the mighty main
The chains have come ter bind her –
She little thought to see again
The wrongs she left behind her.

"Our parents toil'd to make a home
Hard grubbin 'twas an' clearin'
They wasn't crowded much with lords
When they was pioneering.

But now that we have made the land
A garden full of promise,
Old Greed must crook 'is dirty hand
And come ter take it from us.

So we must fly a rebel flag,
As others did before us,
And we must sing a rebel song
And join in rebel chorus.

We'll make the tyrants feel the sting
O' those that they would throttle;
They needn't say the fault is ours
If blood should stain the wattle!"

The following youtube clip depicts the sort of society we would have if the Libertarians and other neo-liberals had their way.


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