Compassion & Decency, Not Greed

What is it with “Some” people in Australia these days ?

The last time l checked we were all entitled to freedom of speech, the right to not be discriminated against and among other things the expectation of fairness and equality within our society.

Why is it that some people work hard and only get the minimum wage, while others may “claim” to work very hard and get paid Millions of dollars each year?

Why is it that some people complain that they pay too much tax even though they are in a position where they can most certainly afford to be paying it?

Why is it that those who are down on their luck, entering their twilight years, born with or acquired a disability have become the punching bag of many others?

How can it be that a supermarket giant can “force” a dairy farmer to sell milk to them at a loss or at a ridiculously small margin of profit?

How does someone like Gail Kelly (Chief Executive of Westpac) suffer a pay cut and still earn $9.18 Million for the year 2013?

Before l proceed to much further l should point out that l am not pro socialism or communism, but l am about some degree of equality and fairness across the board for all who live here in Australia.

Do you remember when we got paid “cash” in a lovely yellow pay packet?

I ask this question because it highlights how some at the top end of town have been able to manipulate the system for their own long term benefits.

I say this because when we got paid “cash” we were able to store that money any way we liked….. some would deposit money into a bank and others would stash it under the mattress or carry it around in their wallets or purses. But now days it has become the norm for our wages to be paid directly into a bank account and then we access our money through the banks….. It all sound good in theory, but in practice it is not so good (as many Australian’s are learning)

Obviously “Bank Fees” were a concern at first, because we were all “Forced” to open a bank account (if we did not already have one) and subsequently pay bank fees.

But then it got worse, staff cut backs in banks meant that we would be forced to wait longer in line to be served by our bank tellers, then we would be charged a fee for “excess” staff assisted transactions and the latest one is the charging of $2.00 every time we try to withdraw “OUR MONEY” from an ATM which is not associated with the bank that we are with.

On a side note, it is strange how all the big banks were able to come up with the plan to charge $2 for using opposition ATM’s and impose this further financial impost on the customers at the same time as one another (ACCC are you sure there was no colluding going on there?)

Anyway, my point is that the banks pushed a product many years ago (Direct Deposits) as being a marvelous way of paying employees and a fantastic way for employees to safely receive their wages…… but the truth is that the banks slowly and methodically worked a plan which would see all of our society become totally dependent on the banking system and once we were all trapped they would start to turn the screws and drain us for every penny they could.

I am sure most people have noticed that the big supermarket giants, “Coles” and “Woolies” are slowly buy surely stacking their shelves with the own branded products. For many who read this it may not raise any alarm bells, but for me and l am sure many others it certainly does.

When supermarkets rely on purchasing stock from “Separate” or “Unrelated” companies they must negotiate a price with that company and purchase the stock in the knowledge that “Other” shops and independent supermarkets may also purchase stock from that supplier/company.

As Coles and Woolies establish more and more of their own brands for more and more products, they are also gaining more control over the cost and the sale price of that product simply because their competitors are unlikely to have access to this product.

So when Coles and Woolies bring out their own brands they are shutting the door on many outside suppliers who “used” to supply products to Coles and Woolies and this ultimately means that yet another business slowly falls by the wayside due to a sharp drop in sales and inability to maintain their current workforce as the remaining stores (IGA’s etc) do not make up for the lost demand that results from Coles/Woolies making their own products.

While it may sound “Fine” to many shoppers who think it is great that they can buy certain products from Coles or Woolies at a cheaper cost than they would otherwise pay for the “Brand Name Product” just keep in mind what the banks did to us and ask yourself do you think that Coles and Woolies are slowly working us all towards a situation where there are no other options….. It may well come to a point where we are forced to buy Coles or Woolies owned products because there is nothing else available on the market…… and yes that means Coles and Woolies can start to raise prices as they are the only ones with the products that we may desperately need.

Earlier l did mention the unfairness of wages/salaries and it was with good reason.

We all remember “Work Choices” l am sure. That was all about trying to make our country more competitive and more productive, but the problem was that it was a blatant attack on the little guy or girl. If you were an employee or contractor you were expected to do more work, longer hours and take home less pay (in most cases) yet those at the top of the tree were not subjected to such ridiculous treatment.

Tony Abbott as our current Prime Minister earns a salary of around $507,000 and Joe Hockey around $365,000 while a Backbencher earns around $195,00 per year.

Now many would say that some of these politicians do not deserve a penny, but they are elected to “RUN OUR COUNTRY” and l guess they all need to be paid for their efforts (Good, Bad or Indifferent)

But how is it that “Mark Scott” Managing Director of the ABC earns about $678,000 ?
Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson” earns about $$784,000 ?
The PM & Cabinet Secretary “Ian Watt” earns about $802,000 ?

And then if we look at CEO’s, like “Gail Kelly” (Chief Executive of Westpac) who earned $9.18 Million in 2013

It becomes clear that there is certainly some in Australia who are being paid out of proportion to others, and well out of kilter with what the “Average Australian” earns in a year.

For people to be paid such massive salaries, the money must be sourced from “somewhere” be it the tax payer who pays the wages/salaries of the Public Service or be it the consumers who goes a long way into paying the wages/salaries of the CEO’s and highly paid executives of so many companies throughout Australia.

So when you see someone doing it tough, please do not look at them as being a “bludger” or a “Loser” or a “Poor Decision Maker” and rather look at them as being in the group of Australians who are being left behind.

Our country can not afford to have people at the top earning so much money “UNLESS” they pay a higher rate of tax. If these people who “believe” they are worth Millions each year want to argue about their level of tax, let me make the following points

(1) If you earn an excessive income in the eyes of most Australian’s then perhaps it is only fair that you also pay an excessive amount of tax as a result.
(2) What ever your tax rate may be, l am sure your NETT income will still remain the envy of many Australian’s
(3) The taxes that you do and will pay allow the Government to fund a lot of things including Health, Education, Welfare and many other critical and important services. When your time on earth has ended….. wouldn’t you like to think that your fellow Australian’s would ensure that your children, grand children, great grand children (and so on) are all looked after and taken care of in times of trouble and difficulty?
(4) Remember that you did not build Australia on your own, many pensioners played a bigger role than you did and perhaps it is fair that you consider to contribute a lot more to Government revenue on behalf of those who lived, worked and went to wars before you in order for Australia to be the country that it is.

The issue comes down to people/companies showing a lack of morals and a lack of fairness to others. There only only so many jobs, which means there will always be people without work, there is only so much wealth at any given time so please do not “hog” too much to yourself, graciously hand a bit more back by the way of taxes or charity donations (Tax Deductible) Spend less time with your taxation adviser or financial adviser who helps you avoid or reduce your tax bill and begin to show some compassion, decency and generosity to those who are less fortunate than yourself!

Ohh and do remember that people who are doing it tough may resort to all sorts of measures in order to survive, so if you are one of those lucky ones earning several hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) each year and owns a big home and a number of holiday houses and flash cars………. What good are all hose flash cars if the streets are no longer safe to drive them on ?

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