18. A NEW ECONOMY

Present politicians are very concerned with developing a healthy economy, but at the expense of society. We need an economy which is the servant of society, not its master, and we need a healthy society.
An economy based on waste plunders the planet. In the West we depend on spending on throw-away items and an excess of food and drink to circulate our currency. That is not genuine production. It does not produce true wealth.
I would like an economy in which we spend on necessary goods, and on services which improve and enhance our lifestyle – public and private health, housing, education, transport, and infrastructure.  An Australian version of Belt and Road would be a start on infra-structure.  We could call it The Australian Sail, Road and Rail Initiative.  It could be a part-government and part-private enterprise, to encourage investment.

The new economy will, above all else, reduce waste and litter on the planet, but it will also increase the country’s wealth and unite us more closely.  The ‘de-cluttering’ and ‘minimalist’ trends of the present are steps in the right direction, away from the profligate life of amassing ‘things’, to a more aesthetic life in which we appreciate family, friends and neighbours, our beautiful environment, sport, the Arts, and the festivals of our diverse cultures.
Such a life will lessen envy.  If the wealthy incur disapproval for owning ‘things’ they may be encouraged to philanthropy.  While it will never become a virtue to be poor, wealth and its trappings may become venerated for their ability to donate generously to charitable causes, and for the industry and astuteness of some which enable them to invest in projects beneficial to the nation. The carrot of public esteem which benefactors receive will over-ride the negative stick of heavy taxation.

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