Garrett lost his way and joined the alternative capitalist
party, he sang a song with the line “when the generals talk, you
better listen to them”. At the time he was singing about both
the military and economic generals and it is the economic
generals who, to this day, continue to rule the world.
A little earlier
this week the private, for profit Macquarie Bank announced its
record profit of almost one and half billion dollars, a
fantastic sum by any account but only slightly more than a third
of the recently announced 4.4 billion dollar profit of the NAB
and on par with the Commonwealth and Westpac bank’s profits.
The media focus
over the last few days has been on the “millionaire factory”
boss, Alan Moss’, salary and bonus package of $33 million
dollars. How does this compare to the salary and bonus packages
of the heads of the other banks?
The head of the
NAB, John Stewart, ‘earned’ a tidy $8 million for his efforts as
did David Morgan of Westpac while David Murray from the
Commonwealth languished at the bottom of the salary and bonus
pile with a measly $7 million meaning that he is the poorest of
the mega rich.
between them ‘earned’ the equivalent of 1120 times the average
amount earned in Australia. That is for every dollar we earn,
these guys are “compensated” $1120. Put another way these
obscene amounts mean that for every one of us who earn a dollar
we have helped put another $1120 dollars into the pocket of one
of these thieves. We don’t have a Robin Hood to get it back so
where do we turn?
Well, let’s not
try and turn to the governments. After all they are the ones who
pass the laws that allow these situations to arise. Howard said,
on the ABC radio “PM” program that while the amount paid to Alan
Moss was “a lot of money” he went on to make the most astute
observation I think I have ever heard come from the mouth of a
that the $33 million dollar package was “a lot more than most
people listening to this program make.” Wow! This guy is so in
touch with the “battlers” he claims to represent that he knows,
in the core of his being, that MOST people don’t make that
money. But that is not all. Howard then reveals which side of
the battle for a fair and decent wage he is on.
“… I mean I am
in favour of the capitalist system. I really am, and I don't
think it's the business of government to put caps on people's
salaries.” Wow! Two revelations in the one interview. Howard
offers us nothing new. Nor does his opposite number Kevin Rudd.
Sorry but I to have to let all the welded on Labor voters in on
the worst kept secret of the year but Kevin agrees with John on
So while the
politicians continue to wine and dine with the uber rich, while
the real generals in the battle for the dollar slug it out in
negotiations over their salaries, what about the real battlers
out here in “average Australia” land?
Well spare a
thought for the bonus’s announced in the federal budget a couple
of weeks ago. I think the pensioners should be jumping up and
down in their Zimmer frames with glee at getting $500 (again)
just for being old. No work or effort required there. Those who
are forced to give full time support to a disabled loved one
should also be jumping up and down for joy. For simply loving
their son, daughter, husband, wife, father, mother, sister or
brother, they will get a $600 bonus.
I mean, come on.
How much better can it get? Unlike the hard working the bank
bosses who have to put up with all the inconvenience of having a
bevy of helpers and minions at your beg and call, having to put
up with travelling first class and staying in ratty 6 star
hotels, never having to think about where your next meal might
be coming from, these generals of the economy do it really tough
compared to the rest of us.
Think of the
carers. They get to stay at home everyday. They spend 24 hours
every day with the ones they love and they get the opportunity
to meet in well appointed offices with some of the most
influential bureaucrats they will ever encounter. What have they
got to complain about? Think of the money they save. They never
have to pay departure taxes when travelling internationally nor
do they have to face the inconvenience of the Qantas lounge
running out of those sweet little French pastries.
How did we allow things to get this bad?
The last ten
years have seen the most fantastic transfers of wealth from the
poor to the rich in history. Beginning over 20 years ago the
capitalist class, to whom Howard and Rudd cleave so closely,
began to implement their strategies. What their real strategies
were will probably never be known. What we do know is that they
have included the full purchase of our means of government, the
colonisation of our academies and the destruction of most means
of resistance to their strategies.
summed it up quite well when he said that he was in favour of
the capitalist system. It has served him and his class interests
well. The noises being made by Kevin Rudd and his offsider,
Julia Gillard, indicate that they too have no allegiance with
the working class and the poor. They also have fallen in to the
thrall of the system that has no other purpose than to
concentrate wealth upwards.
The only thing
left for us to do is to resist the imposition of any more of
this evil and divisive system. The problem is that there are
still too many of us who believe that our little contribution is
meaningless. Nothing could be further from the truth. However,
what is really missing is strong leadership – something we won’t
find in the major political parties whose main criteria for
leadership is being able to be led by the nose.
capitalist system will fail. It is not an evolving system. Sure,
the economy ‘grows’ but this is artificial. The growth is not
real and material. It is theoretical and therefore can be
manipulated. The capitalist system’s material outcomes, those
things we can truly measure, are, ultimately,
disenfranchisement, suffering and eventually, uncontrollable
The generals do
currently control vast armies but neither they nor their troops
can comprehend the battles that are looming. I suggest the ones
who are truly prepared are those who already know how to face
adversity, deprivation and poverty. Unlike the handfed,
personally groomed and manicured generals, those who struggle
know how to survive and when push comes to shove, I want to be
on the side of those who already have the survival skills
necessary to cope with a post capitalist society.