1.5 million Australians live in poverty
How has this happened? Australia is a country that has had 24 years of consecutive growth and is in better financial shape than much of Europe but yet so many people are struggling. Have we been blind and just left people behind or is this just a consequence of “Free market economics”? For years we’ve been told that free trade agreements between countries and “free market economies” are the way to solve all our problems but I wonder whether we have been sold a “dud theory”.
It has been fine for all the developed economies over the past 50 years to embrace capitalism but in the meantime all these economies also placed tariffs on imports and supported uneconomical industries such as the vehicle manufacturing industry in Australia. They then told all the developing countries such as Africa that they have to join the “free market economies” but of course you weren’t allowed all the advantages such as import tariffs and industry support. So now we have the developed countries doing very well and the rest are “basket cases”.
Even in Australia it seems you have to play the “capitalism game ” the correct way or you are left behind. Be brave, take chances and risks and be a winner. Be humble and not adventurous and you’ll be in a pool of the “working poor’. I find it very sad that this term has even been created. Why do we have a working poor? What has gone so wrong that we now have an underclass who find it difficult to support themselves even though they work just as hard as anyone else?
It’s easy to lie – Bernie Madoff did.
You only have to occasionally listen to the evening TV news to hear our brilliant economists talk about the “downturn in the mining industry”. These downturns are inevitable but they do not tell us that. When was the last time you have heard an economist mention the Global Financial Crisis? I can safely say that I think it was a long time ago. They have moved on from the GFC but everyone else may not have. When did you last heard an economist or any of their financial friends being jailed for ruining the lives of everyday people? I know the answer is never. Not one person who created the biggest financial Armageddon we have ever know has been jailed. In America they chose a couple of scapegoats like Bernie Madoff (who was jailed for about three life times) but this was not because of the GFC. He and others were determined on enriching themselves to the detriment of valued long term clients. He ruined many families and took the life savings of entire generations because of his greed. Bernie Madoff was so good at living a lie that even members of his own family had no idea he was running the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.
Education, education, education
How do we stop people like Bernie Madoff and other financial institutions taking our money? A good place to start is to improve your own financial education and take more control of the decisions that define your future. Invest in yourself and your family for the long term so you will be able to live comfortably in your later years. It doesn’t need to be complicated but you must make the decision now and start saving for your future. I’ll include a few links to articles I’ve written previously about starting to save but also please use your favourite search engine to look on the internet for information.
Please don’t hesitate to share your story of where you found some good information that others might enjoy.