It’s Not All Just Dumb Luck

It’s Not All Just Dumb Luck
Dumb Luck
DEAR FRIEND – I HOPE YOU ARE HAVING YOUR WHACK OF GOOD LUCK (c. 1909), by Hal Gye (1888-1967) artist via Eve Pryor Collection of Comic Postcards, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria

I admit it. In fact, I proudly declare it. I am a “bleeding heart liberal.”

It’s probably because I grew up poor. The seemingly dumb luck of it.

I mentioned in the dedication to Holistic Personal Finance that my mother saved the one and two cent pieces for herself. She saved the 5c for me.

Not sure what she’d be doing now we don’t have 1c and 2c coins anymore – would she spend anything on herself?

I believe we have a responsibility to fend for ourselves in this big bad world; to earn when we can, to save while we can, and draw on our savings while they last.

Mind you, I also think when the time comes I need government support, it simply won’t exist. Now, there’s a conspiracy theory for you.

But I also believe the government should be doing more to help the less advantaged.

Especially now, when months of Covid lock-downs have forced most people to the brink.

So many people had no government support. Those that did, received it through the businesses they worked for. And some of those businesses made profits and gave them to their shareholders.

Shareholders are people who own equity in a business, so Government support for wage earners ultimately went to business owners. I suppose they’re people too, but not the ones that needed the support.

I do have to acknowledge that some businesses have returned the money to the government, but certainly not all of them.

In the meantime, the moratorium on evictions is about to end, coincidentally at the same time as the shareholder subsidy, so it seems safe to assume that thousands of people will find themselves out of homes as well.

Because while the rent didn’t have to be paid, it was still there. Accruing. Every month. The total falling due at the end of this month.

And after months out of work, who could afford tens of thousands of dollars in rent owing?

They aren’t in this position because they’re lazy. Or because they deserve it. It’s just random dumb luck. Or even worse, the outcome of structural inequalities over a lifetime. For example, access to competent educators in high-quality facilities.

Despite what governments say, we all know that one job is not essentially the same as any other job. Wages and conditions are not all the same. And having a “bad” job affects your chances of getting a “good” job.

It comes back to my constant diatribes about the fat old white men who run the country.

The ones who don’t know what it’s like to be racially vilified. Who don’t know what it’s like to be judged by your appearance. The ones who don’t know what it feels like to go hungry, or have nowhere to live. Who aren’t reliant on government-funded care.

Those with enough money to shelter themselves from the ugliness that ordinary people face every day of their lives.

Or, given the recent round of allegations about Ministers, the ones with generous enough wages and conditions to be able to take a month or two off work to avoid the unpleasant outcomes of their decisions.

Australia’s next Federal election is due sometime between 7 August 2021, and 21 May 2022. And the Prime Minister hinted last year he’d go the full term, suggesting 7 August would be the earliest.

So I’m suggesting, that when it comes to the next round of elections wherever you are, remember, it’s not just dumb luck.

Consider your candidates in terms of the people whose lives are affected by the decisions they make.

Whether, as individuals, they voted for or against rises in care, reform and human dignity. Or whether they voted for business tax cuts, reducing employee rights and environmental protection.

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