On abandoning effluence

23 12 2014

Some of you might remember that if ever there was a book that changed my life, it was Ted Trainer’s “Abandon Affluence”.  These days, I have a tendency to call it “Abandon Effluence”, as the planet chokes on waste of all kinds produced by our effluent civilisation, be it CO2 in the air or plastic in the ocean….

Today, an article in the Sydney Morning Herald prompted me to comment further on this.  Titled “Miserly Newstart keeps unemployed further away from jobs”, I could not help thinking “thank god for the unemployed”.  For two fundamentally and totally contradictory reasons.  Poor people can’t consume the planet to death, and poor people keep the economy afloat…  You won’t read that in mainstream media…

The morons in charge of our country right now seem to take great pleasure in denigrating the unemployed (and the disabled, and the sick, and anyone else who may have fallen on hard times) for not doing any of the “heavy lifting”.  The media loves to tell us that these dole bludgers live off our taxes (all monopoly money created out of thin air let us not forget) and we should therefore look down upon them as inferior people.  From the SMH:

Australia’s Newstart was comparable to benefits provided in the Southern European nations of Greece, Spain and Portugal, which have all been rocked by the global financial crisis and sovereign debt problems. So we’ve got southern European generosity even though Australia is richer than those nations and escaped the financial crisis relatively unscathed.

What the morons keep forgetting is that whilst these unemployed people may not be paying income tax, they do pay GST on almost everything they buy with their $500 a fortnight (including food, as most of these people probably buy processed food rather than fresh), and rent to their landlords who profit handsomely.  When you earn such paltry amounts of money, everything you get gets ploughed back into the economy and is counted as GDP.  I believe that the main reason the unemployed are so derided is because they don’t actually participate in growth, they simply don’t get enough to consume like those who work!  And they cannot get in debt, except with high interest rate credit cards…. and no doubts the banks love cashing in on that one, even if there are a few defaulters among them.

Unfortunately for the unemployed, nearly all of them do not realise what an opportunity unemployment really is.  They have been so brainwashed into thinking the Matrix is the only modus operandi that they find it impossible to think outside that box.  To be fair, none of the employed do either!

Imagine this…:  next month, all the unemployed wake up to themselves and decide to abandon the Matrix.  They each find one of the 800,000 houses that are empty at any one time in Australia, and squat there.  After all, Australia has a tradition of squatting, that’s how this nation began…!  Using their last dole payment (or two or three), they buy chickens and seeds, a few gardening implements, and start growing their own food.  They won’t need electricity because they won’t be watching TV or charging their smart phones.  They would surely have enough clothing already to keep warm if it’s cold, and most of them would quite likely own essentials like bedding etc….

Now I realise this is pure fantasy, but just bear with me a little longer…..  what would happen to the economy?

According to the ABS, there are 777,700 unemployed people at the moment in Australia, representing 6.2% of the 12,500,000 who make up ‘the work force’.  The underemployed number 14.8%, or another 1.8 million people, for a total 2.6 million people who presumably earn their $500 a fortnight’s worth of pound of flesh.  I make that out to be a total of (in round numbers) 33.8 billion dollars a year.  What, exactly, would happen to the economy if that much spending/consumption was removed from the economy?  Or the 3.4 billion in GST for that matter?  What of all those landlords who suddenly lose their tenants, causing a crash in the housing bubble?  What of the power companies that suddenly find themselves having to shut down 10% of their power stations?  Were the government to exile the unemployed, it would cause an instant depression…….

The reason of course there is any unemployment at all, is due to the very market forces the morons in charge constantly push on us.  If there were no unemployment, it would be an employee’s market instead of the current employers’.  In a labour shortage situation, any potential employee applying to fill a vacant position would be able to name his price (wages) and desperate employers would have little choice but to accept.  And we can’t have that now, can we…..  the labour market will not pay any more than is absolutely necessary.  So the morons in charge continue denigrating the very socio-economic sector they and their precious Capitalism created, even ensuring they mostly cannot get a job even…….  according to the SMH:

Morris and Wilson argue Australia’s current approach is counterproductive. Their study into the implications of life on Newstart found many recipients were so deprived they were ill-equipped to get work. Newstart’s very low rate was “scarring” the unemployed and making it more difficult for them to find a job.

If there were jobs to be had of course.  Furthermore, my imaginary scenario above will one day come to fruition; it’s only a matter of when really.  So many pundits are proclaiming that it will all start next year, like Paul Craig Roberts…

We need a reboot, no doubt about it, but first, we have to rid ourselves of the morons in charge.  Before it’s too late.  If it isn’t already of course, they all have their heads in the sand.

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7 responses

23 12 2014
John Doyle

Rather than just rely on pundits like Paul Craig Roberts one can also look at fundamentals.
A big one is Demographics. The total population rises but the financially productive cohort has peaked. The world is getting older. Peak spending has passed [it was 2003- 2007 in the USA]. So we are now in a deflationary spiral.
2015 just might see a new crash as a result.

23 12 2014
rabiddoomsayer

World wide war is being waged upon the middle and working classes. Surprise, surprise, the utterly poor do not spend much. The destitute do not buy new 4WDs, buy coffee at Dome or other discretionary spending.

The working poor who do not know if they will have a job next week, do not take out mortgages.

The greed of the few, knows no bounds. They want it all, and they will get it. It will, however, be all of nothing.

Modern western capitalism requires the unshakeable faith that the future will be better. From peak everything, to climate change we know that the future will not be better. Once this sinks in to our decision making processes and beyond the force of habit, our global economy crashes completely. Civilization follows soon afterwards.

We are poised upon the down slope of a Senecan curve. If you think things are nasty now wait twelve months, now will be seen as the good times.

23 12 2014
Dr Bob Rich

As usual, Mike, I am in full agreement. Even in the 70s, I was saying that unemployed people do the rest of society a favour.

The other aspect you could have included is the major benefit that every dollar one spends goes to subsidise the multinationals. That was my main reason for choosing voluntary poverty.

🙂
Bob

23 12 2014
mikestasse

Thanks Bob….. I have chosen voluntary poverty for exactly the same reason!

23 12 2014
Idiocracy

‘Shirtfront’ was bound to be Word of the Year 2014, even if it was just another ‘broken promise’ by our budgie smuggler in cheif… But in fairness to Tony, if he’d of tried to, Putin would’ve just Judo chopped him anyway! 😛

Now to the relevant point – if I was to pick a Word of the Last Half Decade, it would have to be ‘Recovery’. Anytime I hear a financial talking head on the wireless it’s… “slowing economic recovery” this, “weakening economic recovery” that, and ohh look “economic recovery boosted” (momentairly) by some fudged numbers over there…

Wake up sheeple!!! There is NO RECOVERY… just lumps in the road towards a long hard drawn out collapse.

Now, merry consumerism and a happy global warming to you all! I hope you at least breifly enjoy your new gizmo/whats-it before you toss it in the effluence heap… okay, seriously now, happy holiday’s all! 🙂

23 12 2014
bev

yeh look at fundamentals, are your really expecting the yuppies and pseudo wealthy to give up their life styles??

us low life live as simple as we can, we build modest homes as against mcmansions built by the effluent

seasons greetings
happy new year
please try and be realistic

23 12 2014
Lee

Pity this article will never hit the MSM Mike. It’s ALWAYS the bottom of the pyramid that holds up the top.

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