Tuesday, 8 May 2018

A Budget for Gentleness - Part Two

Welcome to this gentle budget presentation for all the family.  Or at least that is the theory.  In practice, family members are often too competitive to understand the necessity for a gentle approach to budgets.

Families with budgeting difficulties and interpersonal difficulties spend much of their time counting the cost of political mishaps.

Who in your family knows how to vote wisely, and who does not?

Who in your family knows the difference between reasoning and opinion, and who does not?

Who in your family has the ability to distinguish between politics and policy, and who does not?

Who in your family is relevant to your own budgeting practices, and who is not?

Who in your family thinks your approach to budgeting relates to very important stuff, and who does not?

Who in your family thinks you are still in tune with the times, and who does not?

If you are involved in the appropriate empowerment of members of the public, do you think your family members are part of that public?

How do you distinguish between your family and your household, if at all?

What have been your personal, family and household experiences of poverty in Australia?

How do you distinguish between economic poverty, political poverty, social poverty, cultural poverty and intellectual poverty?

How do you distinguish between economic capital, political capital, social capital, cultural capital and intellectual capital?

Most Australian politicians sitting in rotten borough safe-seat, lower-house electorates, at both the state and federal levels, are merely mouthpieces for lobby groups, much like their upper-house counterparts.  The majority of the voting public in those electorates are either complacent followers of mindless ideologies or they are seekers of political reform.

Most Australian politicians sitting in pocket borough, marginal-seat, pork barrel electorates, at both the state and federal levels, mostly tow the line for their future party pre-selection.  They are often public relations specialists rather than safe-seat party hacks.  They desperately desire to be liked by enough voters to win a seat in future.

Winning is the main aim of mainstream party politics in Australia, in the same way as winning a lottery.  The lottery funds for the political winners are the tax funds of the Australian public.  That is why there is so much irrational excitement about winning elections, spending extravagantly on infrastructure and military gadgets, and being irresponsible about the consequences.

If you are not familiar with the history of rotten boroughs and pocket boroughs, you are unlikely to be substantially aware of the urgent need for political reform in Australia. 

What will be the unrepresentative influences reflected in tonight's federal budget announcements?

Who are the super-rich in Australia?

Who are the super-poor in Australia?

Who are the people between those two economic extremes?

Who has the most political influence in Australia at present, and why?

Will you be referring to these questions when you make your own analysis of the federal budget?

If you are seeking to participate in tonight's post-budget discussions in the Adagia Rooms, please be aware that you will be expected to know how to present a properly enlightened commentary.

Before gaining entry to the venue, you will be required to audition.  This includes members of the media.

If you do not yet have a reputation for enlightened gentleness, how will you make amends between now and this evening?

Do you have an appropriately sophisticated yet philanthropic way of measuring poverty and wealth in relation to life in Australia?

There are many simplistic measures, of course.  They tend to be treated somewhat dismissively by persons disagreeing with their accuracy.

There have long been many different cultural perspectives on life in Australia.  That often means that people have their own assumptions on what is important and what is not.

Are you one of the many Australians struggling below the poverty line?

Are you an elderly person struggling in poverty?

But why are so many people struggling in poverty?

There are many causes of low income and high income, just as there are many causes of low wealth and high wealth.

Some people are more frugal than others and manage to save money, regardless of whether their incomes are low or high.  Some people, regardless of the money at their disposal, quickly dispose of it.

But what should be the job of governments in relation to money, and behaviour?

What is your understanding of economics in relation to political behaviour?

Do you have any evidence-based insights into behavioural economics from a political science perspective?

Here are a few more matters to consider before tonight's discussion:

How do you think about gentleness - and toughness - in relation to budgets, and people, and why?