The election is coming! Roll out the pork barrels! What a sickeningly familiar pattern we are witnessing as DD-Day approaches.
Last week, the Malcolm Turnbull government's front bench went into an ecstatic chorus about the $50 billion deal to build submarines. It was said to be an investment in jobs bigger than the epic post-World War II Snowy Mountains Scheme.
According to Turnbull, about 1100 jobs will be created in the construction phase in Adelaide and a further 1700 Australian jobs through the supply chain — all to build some more very expensive death machines.
Imagine a totally different announcement of a big public investment in something that society actually needs. Imagine if we had a government that announced a $37 billion a year investment over the next ten years to shift to 100% renewable energy across Australia, as proposed by Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE).
Such an investment in our future would create many more jobs. BZE has estimated that such a shift would create up to 80,000 jobs from installation of renewable energy generation at the peak of construction, and more than 45,000 jobs in operations and maintenance that will continue for the life of the plant. If just half the manufacturing of wind turbines and heliostats is done domestically, this would create a further 30,000 jobs.
Sadly we cannot expect an announcement like this from the Coalition government or the Labor opposition. Both are trapped in a capitalist mindset that offers no decent future for most of us.
But these old parties are fast being left behind by public consciousness. According to a recent survey conducted by Harvard University in the US, 51% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 do not support capitalism. Only 42% said they were in favour of the current economic system.
There is a big shift in thinking happening out there and things are gonna change.