If travel has taught me anything, it’s that we all share a common humanity. Put aside our cultural and political quirks, we are all the same. We all laugh, cry, feel love and pain. We share far more than what separates us, despite what the self-interested want to claim.
The downside to travel is that you also realise that stupidity is everywhere. Despite the access we have to learn from one another, our common humanity and knowledge in general, many are still ridiculously racist, sexist, abusive and just outright stupid.
Luckily, they are only the occasional person that sours your day for a moment and are easily forgotten, not the majority.
I have heard this being said in the past few years. Usually from my left of centre friends. Now I know that they mean well in trying to amend historical abuses, but it’s just a bit racist.
Why? Because lumping together peoples of hundreds of different tribal and language groups simply because they have the same skin colour is wrong.
The situation many Indigenous face in this country is horrid. Lumping them into one group because of their skin colour isn’t going to help.
I recently went on a little trip. It took seven weeks. The first and last two weeks in the UK and the other three tripping mostly across the Caucuses and the Balkans. The itinerary went something like:
London > Warsaw > Yerevan (Armenia) > Georgia > Istanbul > Greece > Bulgaria > Macedonia > Kosovo > Albania (transit - got the stamp) > Montenegro > Croatia > Bosnia > Croatia again and finally Slovenia. Then back to London.
I’m back in Melbourne now with many photos and little money.
"Under the government’s plan, from next year, unemployed people under 30 will have to wait six months before receiving benefits. They will then be put on work-for-the-dole for six months, before the money is again taken away for half a year. And so on it will go. This policy manages a rare feat in being both astoundingly cruel and incredibly dumb.”
This is an excellent article that points out the obvious flaws in a policy that is “designed to hinder efforts to escape unemployment”.
"Pyne told parliament: “Imagine going to the bank and saying to the bank manager, ‘I’d like to borrow a credit card for $16,800’ – which is the average Hecs debt in 2012 – ‘but there are a few conditions that I am going to put on this loan."
I would imagine if a customer took out a loan with set conditions of repayment and the bank manager later changed those repayment conditions without consultation, that it would make the customer pretty angry and be grounds for breaking the contract.
One in four people on the dole for more than a year have been forced to beg on the streets and six in 10 have approached a charity for help, a grim new academic study into life on unemployment benefits has found.
"”People don’t just lose dignity and connection with the world but they start to rely on increasingly risky and haphazard strategies for survival,” he said."
Cutting the dole to young people doesn’t do anything, but kick them when they’re down. It doesn’t even save enough money to come close to justifying it, especially not when the govt is going to spend $8.8 billion on the paid parental leave scheme.
It’s a heartless change that doesn’t address the core problem: a lack of education and jobs. Instead of blaming those that cannot help themselves, maybe the politicians should focus on bettering the economy so there are opportunities for the young to take up.
"A man may be a tough, concentrated, successful money-maker and never contribute to his country anything more than a horrible example."
— Robert Menzies
Just for a moment, let’s imagine that the Federal Government is actually a corporation and we as citizens each hold a share.
Now let’s imagine that the AGM is coming up on Tuesday. The CEO and CFO have both made statements to the affect that due to ongoing revenue falls, structural changes to expenditure are going to need to be made. Some products are going to be discontinued, others will cost more, efficiency measures will be taken, there will be lower dividends and employees pensions are going to change and many will lose their jobs altogether.
The CFO has even said that the burden must be shared by all.
Now as a shareholder, I have a vested interest in the long term viability of my company’s balance sheets. I understand that costs need to be cut in the face of lower earnings and I accept that. In the long term, it should mean higher dividends for all shareholders.
Given the situation we are facing though - I think it’s time we discussed the remuneration packages of the CEO, CFO and other board members. After all it was the CFO that called for the burden to be shared. Should their remuneration package not be trimmed to suit the unfortunate situation we have before us? That the burden would be indeed shared by all.
I would hope so.
"So yes, war is hell — but have you considered the alternatives? When looking upon the long run of history, it becomes clear that through 10,000 years of conflict, humanity has created larger, more organized societies that have greatly reduced the risk that their members will die violently. These better organized societies also have created the conditions for higher living standards and economic growth. War has not only made us safer, but richer, too."