The real issue

If you read the Age or fairfax, particularly their ‘only published because they pay’ subscribers, then all the problems of the world are caused by ‘neoliberalism’ etc etc. If they dont start out blaming this, pretty much every comment thread quickly devolves into how the free market is all a conspiracy to make the rich richer and the poor poorer etc.

If you read the Heraldsun, then its all ‘socialist dan’s’ fault, (and climate change is all rubbish as well).

Thats it. Pick a side. Very frustrating, and wrong. And keeps the real problems going.

The ‘sides’ in our economy are not either a rampaging free market or a state controlled economy. The division is between the well connected rorters and the rest of us.

A perfect example: the Pharmacy Guild. Since 1990, they have had a policy of restricting areas pharmacies can services, euphemistically call the ‘community pharmacy location rules’ (competition prevention rules, more like). This means they can block new entrants who want to set up within 1.5km of an existing pharmacy. This has been a massive goldmine for the existing pharmacy holders, so that most of them no longer have to work, they can just employ their $25 an hour casuals to slave away for them. They are laughing and enjoying the monopoly. This is what was behind the pharmacy guild making an approach to the One Nation Party, to protect their lurk.

These type of arrangements are repeated virtually everywhere else in the economy. A protected elite, using government to tilt the rules in their favor.

And that story sums up the real division in Australia. Its not between ‘business’ and the ‘worker’. its between the insiders, like the Pharmacy Guild, who’ve managed to get a government rort for their members that makes them billions for nothing, and the rest of us. The miners, (who dig minerals out of the ground, pay 5% (if they feel like it) and wont even have a proper bidding scheme for the rights) and the rest of us. Get the picture? Its the people who’ve rigged the free market lording it over everyone else.

Thats what we should be focused on. We all have a common issue, if we put away our labels, of squaring up to the monopolies and rorts that put all our costs up.

But sadly, apart from what is usually way-off-base criticism of bankers, it all gets drawn back to either blaming the ‘neoliberial’ LNP (as if they are anyway) or ‘socialist Dan’ (very odd socialists whose privatized stuff that would make Jeff blush). When the real crooks, the ones that have rigged the business system for their monopoly, are laughing.

Try it yourself. So blaming one side or another, and look at who actually benefits from govt decisions. .Transurban, the Pharmacy Guild ; and who’s really shelling out the donations. The Age readers and Herald Sun commenters might discover a common enemy hiding in plain sight. Its a real game of mates, as the book says.