The week that was

November 27, 1991

By Kevin Healy

A week when I was converted from sceptic to true believer. Rather naively, i always believed that if you taxed a family of six dependent, say on the dole, at the same level as you taxed, say, Lord Kerry of Waterhouse or Lord Rupert of Wopping or Sir Peter Abeles-to-get-the-government's-ear, then there was just a scintilla of injustice in all that.

But all scepticism was dissipated when I heard those opposition MPs in there Canberra classroom cheering and yelling and tooting and getting orgasmic about a tax that does hit the family of six living on unemployment benefits as hard/soft as it hits Lord Kerry and Lord Rupert and Sir Peter.

"If those wonderful people who devote their lives to assisting all Australians without fear or favour see this as the greatest thing since Adam Smith, then who am I to question it?", I said to myself. And then, when the business and the business class economist embraced it like a returning lover, I knew it must be the best thing for the country.

For a long time now, we've been making all these sacrifices so that when things got better, we'd all benefit from the trickle down effect. Well, this wonderful new tax speeds up the process. It makes the rich much richer and poor much poorer, so that the rich will naturally use their riches to make everyone richer, and we'll all benefit much quicker than we would under the slower economic process towards the same ends being practised by the socialist now in government.

As opposition leader Johnny Hew-them and his treasurer and economic giant Peter Wrath said, under this system people can choose whether to spend or not, in other words whether to pay tax or not. That family of six on unemployment benefits, for instance, can choose whether or not to eat, or replace the shoes that fall apart, or pay the rent, or any other spending choices they have every week. They might choose to buy nothing and save their whole unemployment benefit, which would also be good for the country. And soon they'll have fewer mouths to feed anyway, as little mouth after little mouth breathes it last. Although that poses them the problem of paying for the funerals, of course, when they could pay a bit of tax or just dig a hole in the backyard — well, on the edge of the gutter, because they wouldn't have a backyard any more.

Indeed, lucky family, the whole world would be their backyard. The sheer humanity and common sense of the system leaves you breathless.

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.