28. THE ART OF LETTING GO

There are times when it is best to let go and take your chances.   The pandemic has made us in Australia very cautious, but for many of us it is time to take a leap of faith and change our way of life completely.

Job-keeper and Job-seeker tempt us to stay in a rut of unemployment or precarious employment, when it might be wiser to look further afield and train for a new career in something less precarious.

Government has a large part to play which it is not playing, in investing in retraining rather than keeping people marking time waiting for past jobs to re-emerge.  There is far too much patter, too, in the media and by advisers about the possibility of jobs in retail and hospitality returning, when they should be urging those in the workforce to open their minds to new possibilities.

It is good for the environment, and helps combat climate change, if spending on items we do not really need is curtailed.  Instead of waiting for wage growth and employment to increase so that retail spending can revive, government should be steering folk into nation-building jobs and service jobs.  These are of lasting benefit to society.

One improvement in the economy which will remain as long as inflation stays low, is that more Australians are again living the Australian dream of owning their own home.   Being allowed to access superannuation probably has a lot to do with this, along with the boon of a generous home-owners’ grant.  It is another illustration of how it is best for individuals to make their own decisions about how their money is spent.  Compulsory superannuation is actually an affront to the maturity of workers; it treats them like irresponsible children.  It also absolves the government of financial responsibility for hard-working folk who earn over a certain amount during their working lives.  I hope the unions come to see it that way and pressure government to abolish compulsory superannuation.   Middle-men are the ones who benefit most from that scheme, while the government seems to think it wins by investing the compulsory savings.  If the money went into home ownership there would be more security leading to better mental health, more stable families, and a sense of purpose engendered in workers, all very wise and healthy investments.

We definitely need more housing.  The construction industry should be bolstered far more than it is being supported during this pandemic.  State and federal governments should be ashamed of themselves for their lack of inaction on this front.  We need a green change, or a red change, need to expand to the regions.  We are slowly doing that.  It will save the fertile regions for farming and for wildernesses where the majority of our rare fauna are located.  However, we should not be too surprised if some of our rare species become extinct, despite strenuous efforts to save them.  Some conservationists become a little fanatical, but we must remember that humanity is, to humanity, the species it is most important to nurture.   When it is a choice between the well-being of humans and the existence of some species of animal, we must seriously weigh up the benefits to humans as a whole of saving the animal.  There is now a trend among scientists who deal with nature which is alarmist and inclined to catastrophise, where once scientists were level-headed and logical.   Something or someone has to lose from the effects of climate change.  My conviction is that it should not be humankind.  We can and should adapt our way of life.  That includes less intercontinental travel.  We can adapt our diet to a certain extent, and will probably have to, but there is no need for extremes.   But to spend billions on saving animals when people in Australia are going hungry and homeless is ridiculous.  Animals at risk unfortunately get more publicity in the media than homeless and hungry people, and even when the people get publicity their circumstances are often viewed as being their own fault. Some dramatizing naturalists tell us that the extinction of any species bodes badly for the entire planet.  That is so much twaddle.  Our planet is far more resilient than that.

The rest of the world is in bad shape with this pandemic, except perhaps for China.  It may be up to China and Australia, between us, in the end, to nurse the rest of the world back to medical and economic health after this pandemic.  If China is to be our Good Samaritan partner, it is time we stopped bad-mouthing that nation, and tried a little diplomacy.  The West has a very self-righteous attitude which undoubtedly gets up the noses of some more primitive countries and cultures, such as the Middle East, Indonesia, and the South East Asian nations, as well as up the nose of China.  It is time we climbed down a peg or two if we are to get anywhere in the future, without an almighty U.S. of A. to back us

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