Welcome to 'Middle Ground View' where we seek to find reason, common sense and clarity in all matters of life. It is our firm belief that no matter how muddled a topic is or how emotionally charged, with a bit of investigation a sensible Middle Ground position can always be found.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

We Are All In This Bed Together

Senator Bob Brown is angry and the target of his anger is an unusual suspect. The President of the Australian Workers Union Paul Howes has sad that he will not support the carbon tax if even just one job is lost and that got Bob Brown into a spin. He has accused Howes of being 'ignorant' backward' and 'in bed with big business' and we can't have that can we?

Now I am no great fan of big business or the fat cats that run it. Just the other day an Audi driver cut me off on the freeway. I was so angry I almost screamed. 'You bustards!' I fumed 'You own the big businesses, the expensive cars, now you think you own the road too!'

In truth, the thought of the big end of town paying a bit more tax doesn't upset me much and I suspect a lot of Australians feel the same. The problem is, I just don't think it will work like that. Let's just say we bring in a Carbon price of $20 a ton or $30 a kilo or whatever they are telling us it will be and the business has to find the money to pay. What will your boss do? Well he trade in his Audi for a Toyota? Maybe. Put a wind turbine on the roof? It's possible. Or will he just sell up and relocate to China? In a world where a manager is as good as his last  financial report, I suspect that more then a few of us employed folks should be feeling worried. I am reminded about this every time I make a tech support call. Just think - years of marching for workers' rights thousands of strikes in the fight for minimum wages, penalty rates, equal pay, all so that when my computer breaks I get to talk to some guy in Bungalore who works for five cents an hour, doesn't speak English and never even had a bite a Vegemite. You think that's funny? Next week that same guy could be doing your job. Now if I was a union leader, I too would realize that this is a battle worth fighting, if only because unemployed people don't pay union fees. The union may be getting into bed with big business but that bed might be the warmest place to be if you want to keep your job. To paraphrase Anna Bligh after the Queensland floods: 'We are all in this bed together.' If I was a Greens Senator, I might hold off on some of the harsher adjectives, especially when publicly disciplining a fellow activist of the Left. As for me, next time a guy in a Lexus cuts me off at the lights, I will remind myself that he may be giving a job to some fellow just like me. But not after the Carbon Tax comes in because by then I might not have a job to drive to.  

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