Incumbent governments worldwide are under increasing threat of becoming one term wonders due to the desperation and anger of struggling families trying to meet their ever rising household bills. People are venting their frustration at the ballot box and this in turn is making the overall situation worse economically due to the instability constantly changing governments creates.
Unfortunately, the message is not getting through to the politicians that living standards are dropping (perceived or real) and the average working poor have had enough of false promises to reduce the cost of basic services.
Energy costs, rates, food, internet, schooling, and the unfair over charging of basic necessities such as water is cutting into the pay-packets of ordinary citizens leaving them anxious and pondering their future if the costs keep going up.
Opposition groups don’t have to work too hard at all to bring the credibility of the current government down and offer themselves as an alternative by simply broadly promising to reduce the cost of living. This means that in most democratic societies the middle swinging voters hold all the power to change government.
And, the problem with this situation is these people (the swingers) are often short sighted, easily influenced, and lack loyalty, which means they are likely to swing their vote against the incumbent out of sheer ignorance and selfishness rather than the overall or long term good of the country. Naturally, this causes governments to worry about their own existence rather than concentrate on fixing the problems so we go nowhere.
When wages don’t keep up with the cost of daily expenses the situation I just described happens. Confidence is degraded, political instability gives way to falling business investment, which leads to growing unemployment and a drop in consumer spending culminating in recession.
However, I’m not advocating for wages to increase and I personally think the average person (in Australia where I live) gets a fair wage. There is currently a debate in this country about wages for our Defence Personnel with the Government saying they can’t afford the normal pay rises this term. As an ex-soldier, who only left the forces relatively recently and whose wife still serves in the Army, I can confirm the pay is bloody good – even GREAT compared to many equivalent civilian jobs.
But, that’s another debate and through this defence pay example I only want to highlight this point: it’s NOT low wages that is hurting people it’s the LIVING EXPENCES, which are controlled by large corporates and multinationals that is doing the damage by digging too deep into ordinary people’s pockets.
The USA is pulling herself out of its own monetary woes thanks to self-sufficiency… Self-sufficiency in GAS and oil! This is a great example of how a whole country can use its own resources to stop its reliance on another and thereby save money, reduce costs, and start “living” again.
Scaled down, it’s exactly the same as a household who’s at the mercy of utility companies charging exponentially more year after year for a commodity they can’t do without. If the household suddenly has access to an alternate source of one or all of these commodities at a significantly reduced rate, they can tell the old provider (who has become accustomed to charging what they like) to bugger off!
Less expenditure on daily living allows households to save and spend more on the fun things in life. In turn, this encourages a more evenly spread of wealth, a happier household, and therefore a happier society overall.
They say governments should get out of our lives… Well, so should big business and until they do households are going to feel under stress big time! Governments need to find a way to act faster (when they are in office) to significantly reduce the burden on the average household – I mean significantly! No tittering around the edges with piddle little rebates here or there – real cuts to household cost is needed.
Because if they don’t, they better get used to the merry-go-round of revolving governments as voter wrath will be administered at the end of every term until this mess of inequality is cleaned up.
I can’t “sign off” without doing what I always do and give a plug for GYO… For those who are struggling to make ends meet don’t forget there are some easy ways to save money and one way is to grow your own food. Even if it is just a few salad crops in a large pot. The setup costs for some potting mix, a bit of fertiliser, and a packet of seeds (with a free Styrofoam container) will cost about the same as 4 bags of mixed salad greens at the supermarket but the savings overall will be much better!
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Mark Valencia – Editor SSM
You don’t have to be self-sufficient in everything… Just be self-sufficient in something; and
Look, and see the Earth through her eyes…