There is a lot of talk about the percentage of elderly people in the population increasing as time goes on. It seems rational to suggest that they should stay in the workforce. Unless there is legislation to force young Australians out of the "desk" jobs and into manual labor, this will not happen.
As one gets older the body lets you down. You no longer have the stamina to keep going, on a production line for example. Persistent pain that you have to live with is also a problem. Chronic illness can only be treated, not cured. Where do you draw the line between keeping someone at work who is clearly sick or sending them home? When an elderly person says, "I can't do that anymore", maybe they can't.
If you are young good health is taken for granted. You heal quickly and continue to enjoy life. For many, to be old is to be sick. Medical specialists do refuse treatment to the elderly because it is seen as a waste of money, notwithstanding the fact that a new knee or hip would make life less painful.
The whole structure of society will have to change to keep the elderly employed. Young people have the feeling that a "mature" person should work as hard as an employee in their twenties. A significant proportion of the young believe that the assets of the elderly should be taken by the government and spent on them, even though retirees worked hard in their younger days to buy homes.
We will need a Star Trek world where people choose to work not for financial gain but to benefit others. Such a world is too utopian to be believed. It is not the elderly who need to change, it is the young. Respect and consideration of the elderly is not something the young understand.
Bank staff are to be allowed to monitor the bank accounts of the elderly to see if relatives, friends and carers are stealing money. At first glance this may well seems to be a good thing. However, banks staff swear to keep all bank information private. Instant dismissal is the penalty for telling others about a customer's financial status.
The thought of bank staff having the authority to pass on private information to government is frightening and will, no doubt, be challenged in court. Of course people with dementia will have someone managing their bank account. Reporting a carer just because a customer is permanently incapacitated is stupid. You don't need special training to see someone has decreased capacity to manage their own affairs.
Smart Sparrow's who are developing the app to do this are wasting their time. Society will not accept bank tellers snooping into their affairs. It will not be allowed. Tremendous damage will be done to families on mere suspicion. Tellers will be expected to examine the accounts of people who just look mildly incapacitated. Bank staff are not qualified to judge health issues.
Can you imagine a social worker knocking on your door based in the perception that the parent you are looking after looked a bit lost in the bank? Surely, social workers have got better work to do than snooping around perfectly innocent family members. Smart Sparrow's seems stupid to me!
The present federal government has a policy of the market will solve all problems: we will get rid of regulatory bodies and legislation. This would be good if it was right but it isn't. Private industry will not build roads, for example.
Getting rid of regulation on investment advisers was a mistake. Thankfully it was resurrected and defeated in the Senate. If it had stayed, advisers would have pulled the wool over the eyes of the poor in society - those who do not know how the system operates.
The government is trying to abolish the body that reviews charity organizations. Senate opposition will put an end to this. Why is the government wasting its time and taxpayers money throwing legislation at the Senate that clearly will not get through?
There is no debt problem in Australia contrary to the wild obsession put forward by the Coalition. Australia has only 17 per cent debt. This compares to over 90 per cent for most other Western countries.
The economy has had a dramatic fall in growth. This could be seen as due to spending cuts. However, there have been only small spending cuts. The national debt is higher now than it was under Labor. Blaming Labor would seem to be right, but Independents, Greens and the Palmer United Party are blocking radical changes.
Abolishing the carbon tax is seem as a win for the Coalition. This is only for the short term. There is no doubt it will be back when we have a labor government after the next election. Just the threat of cuts is offending voters right across the board. Putting it bluntly, Tony Abbott looks like a fool stumbling in the dark. Reason and common sense are not part of his arsenal. National debt is a furphy: people don't care about debt as long as they can earn an income.
There isn't much doubt that all future purchasing and banking will done with a smart phone. New tech being tested like no pin number or signature payments are just "fill ins" until the final technology is perfected.
An old idea that has fallen by the wayside is having a picture of a card holder on the card itself. Just why this concept was dropped is unknown. The only card now with your photo is your driving licence.
Paying with a finger print is also something thought about, tested but never marketed. Retail at the moment is a mishmash of different methods of payment including the old fashioned cash payment. Older people still like to draw cash from an ATM. They like the idea of having cash on them so they can pay immediately. Immediacy will be even quicker using a smart phone.
Bendigo Bank has developed a system where a phone app generates a random code to finalize a transaction. They have been using such a system in the UK for many years now.
Eventually, a phone held against one's skin will take a measure of blood flowing through. A partial DNA reading will be taken which will verify that the phone owner and bank account holder is indeed the correct person. Much of this is possible with existing technology.
There isn't much doubt that we have the most "out of touch" prime minister in Australian history. He goes oversees and visits world leaders and says absolutely stupid things. It makes you wonder if he lives in the same world as everyone else.
He blatantly believes that he didn't lie about what he would do if he won office. He has gone full circle and made cuts to areas he said he would not change. He takes voters for granted thinking they are as stupid as he is.
Again, he has made a statement that the majority of Australians know to be untrue. He said Australia was unsettled when Europeans arrived. Color blindness seems to be one of his flaws.
Suggesting that British investment made Australia what it is today is applying modern theory to times when economic theory was in its infancy. There was little understanding of investment in those days. Anyway, Britain's investment was really more people, unwanted in their homeland. The only real investment was in the police force that did cost a great deal.
Admittedly, white people brought industrious ideas with them and they were responsible for growth in the economy by hard work and toil. Australia is a harsh land and back breaking effort was required to survive. They just applied European ideas to a land that had the Aboriginal culture which was not economically based. Given time, Aboriginals would have caught up if they had continued to have the land to themselves.
Everyone is spying on everyone else. This is a matter of fact. Life has changed so much since the advent of the computer. Trojans are easy to create and even easier to spread. When you log on to just about any site trojans flood onto your system. Even if you delete them they are immediately put back on your computer again. They do their work as soon as you start work on anything, sending information back to the target source.
PCs, tablets and mobile phones are all vulnerable. New trojans are created daily in their thousands. Some are very damaging. The presence of the Hesperbot banking trojan doubled in two weeks. They spread like "wildfire". Emails commonly contain phishing bugs that look like real banking communications. They are after your username and password so they can empty your bank account.
When you are working on your PC have you ever had a txt file mysteriously open on it own? This could indicate keystroking where what you type is being watched and in many cases a foreign source is controlling your computer. Everything you see on your PC is being seen by another person.
This is a warning - do not save your banking username and password in a txt file in the Documents folder or in a password managing program. Password programs can be cracked and every password you have to all your sites can be accessed. If you cannot remember your password store it on a device that can easily be disconnected from your computer.
We do not know what the future holds. However, a bank login site can be copied exactly and look like the real thing. Do not click a link in an email that seems to be from your bank. You could be taken to the rogue site. Once they have your username and password they will empty it of money in a few minutes.
Everyone is in debt. That seems to be the case. But if we all owe money to whom are we indebted? Who are these fat cats who spend their days on the beach having cool drinks brought to them while they while away the time sunbathing?
If truth be known the money does not actually exist. It has been created in the books of independent and national banks. In centuries passed the local blacksmith acted as the bank. Gold, silver and promissory notes were left in his safe. He soon became aware that the "goods" left for safe keeping would not be taken out by the owner for a very long time, if ever. For storing the valuable minerals and promissory notes he gave promissory notes in return. This meant that he could create money. He could also give loans, a large part of which would return directly back because the debtor opened a new account.
When large private banks started, governments gave an assurance that a run on an institution would be protected by public money. We have seen how silly this concept has proved to be by the US and European governments bailing out private banks. Private debt has become public debt. This on top of the mushrooming private debt worldwide.
Much of Western debt is owed to China which buys US bonds. It is a mistake to believe that it wants the money back any time soon. If it did the world economy would grind to a halt. Then, who would buy its exports?
The real problem is economics. This social science is just theory. There are complicated models that do not apply to the real world, with demand and supply curves, meeting long term average costs and so on. Real business doesn't operate that way. There is not one model for cost plus 10 or 20 percent, or get it cheap and sell high until demand stops then throw the stuff out. That is how business really runs.
Note the supermarkets, they don't cut the price of everything that doesn't sell. They would rather throw it away than sell it. After all, they make the supplier take the loss. Economic advisers have not helped one government to balance the books. And the advice they are giving now to raise taxes and cut spending will surely prolong the recession. Cutting debt is like turning the water tap down - someone has to go without! Let's be honest much of this debt will never be paid. It doesn't really exist.
Australia is a lucky country. Its citizens have become much wealthier over the past 30 years. We have to thank the politicians for this. What? We most certainly do not owe it to politicians. Australia is richer because China has become richer and Australia is the main source of the minerals China needs to make all the exports which have been leaving that country in increasing amounts, by the year.
The Labor Government had the money from tax collections horded by the Howard Government to bail Australia out of the impending recession. We don't have to thank Howard for this. The money should have been spent on hospitals and schools. The Coalition Government held the economy back even though it was doing very well. And Labor should not take all the credit for Australia not going into recession. The money was there and it spent it. The Coalition somehow lost the plot of governing. It most definitely should not have kept on blaming the states for the hospital crisis. The Coalition spat the dummy and refused to reform the medical system.
Labor tried to reform the medical system. So it hit the Coalition over the head with missed opportunities when the Coalition lost power. A new revamped medical system would have been well set up by now if change had taken place when it should have. The Coalition government is now abandoning Labor's hard fought revamping of health care
People worry over the debt the Labor Government has run up. Remember the colossal amount of money the Coalition Government got from boom times. When the recession is over, which won't be long now, that debt will be paid off quite quickly. The Coalition looks lost in the wilderness at the moment. Members of both Coalition parties know Labor will have all good news for many years to come. The Coalition knows that Labor will be looked upon as a positive government in history as spending cuts must be done - now. This will push the economy into a short recession while the rest of the world booms. You can be sure that when Labor wins again they will start spending again. This is what happens in Britain and the rest of the ex-colonies.
There are calls from many quarters for keeping Australia's car industry alive. I am not so sure that a country needs its own motor industry anymore. Times have changed. No vehicle is made entirely in one country today. The days of getting prestige from it are long gone.
Propping up a floundering car sector is against all practical economic and social theory. It doesn't make sense to spend taxpayers money in such a wasteful way. Holden and Ford continue to take handouts while still not making any profit. Ford has already gone. The days for Holden are numbered. Holden was never a truly Australian car. It was an old General Motors design left in a drawer collecting dust until it was thrown on the table at a meeting in Australia.
Australia has never been a manufacturing country. It is not like Britain which has very in the way of natural resources so must generate income somehow from industry. Large businesses have only been in the primary sector. Exporting what comes out of the ground has always been the way Australia survives.
Those who hang on to so called Australian icons are sentimentalists. Things do change and old things fall away. Vegemite and Billy Tea are foreign owned. This doesn't stop us from claiming these icons. If Holden dies in this country that will be it. The car is not composed completely of Australian parts anyway. We can always rebadge an American designed car and race it at Bathurst.
There is clearly something wrong with the Australian economy. We seem to in the same position of Indonesia several decades ago when it had oil and the high price was pushing up the value of the currency. A high currency makes it difficult for those producing "non-boom" products to export. That is why the US is printing more dollars to weaken the currency, improve the economy and create more jobs. Nothing much is happening for it though because the US dollar is the major international currency as gold used to be.
Just why Australian shopkeepers are crying fowl is more difficult to understand. A strong currency means imports are cheaper. Australians are very import dependent in their spending habits and buying cheap imports is what they like to do. They buy such imports over more expensive Australian made products, but this shouldn't hurt the bottom line of retailers.
They claim Australians are spending less. Though figures show this to be the case, spending is not that easy to understand. If people save, the banks have more money to lend out to business and those who want to go into debt. However, due to the financial crisis Australian banks have tightened up on lending criteria. They will no longer lend to those with no offsetting assets. In other words, banks are withholding money. This money is not active within Australia. It may be invested overseas by banks.
The retail sector is wrong to blame exporters of minerals, the economy in general or interest rates. Obviously, the cause of reduced spending is the behavior of banks. Government could force the hand of banks. It will not do this as politicians fear a bank crisis occurring here in Australia. Some European countries were devastated by the global banking crisis. Their governments lost billions in propping up banks by giving them money that borrowers could not pay back. It was taxpayers money they were "giving" away.