||Issue No. 277||19 August 2005|
Interview: On Holiday
Unions: One Day Longer
Industrial: Never Mind the Bollocks
Politics: Spun Out
Economics: If the Grog Don't Get You ....
History: Taking a Stand
International: The Split
Legal: Pushing the Friendship
Poetry: Simple Subtractions
Review: Sydney Trashed
The Locker Room
Think of the Kids
Stand Your Ground
Letters to the Editor
Being ex-military and considering the very real threat of terrorist activity in Australia, I cannot help but think that the Howard Government's insatiable drive towards privatisation and a free market philosophy may have unintended consequences which could compromise national security?
In an age where terrorism threatens, airport operations and telecommunications are two areas, in my opinion, that should not be compromised purely by market considerations - or put more simply, THE PROFIT MOTIVE.
Mr Dixon said "our employees have nothing to complain about - I beg to differ - After posting such a significant profit, his sights have turned automatically to expectations of shareholders - yes his decision, just like the decision for the Howard Government to sell Telstra, is market driven."
The quote by chief financial officer Peter Greg "shareholders have an expectation as well, says it all."
Well known financier George Soros said it best:
"The capacity of the state to perform the functions that the citizens have come to expect of it has been impaired. This would not be a cause for concern if free markets could be counted on to take care of all our needs, but that is manifestly not the case.
"Capitalism is very successful in creating wealth, but we cannot rely on it to assure freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Business is motivated by profit; it is not designed to safeguard universal principles. Most business people are upright citizens; but that does not change the fact that business is conducted for private gain and not for public benefit. The primary responsibility of management is to the owners of the business, not to the nebulous entity called the public interest - although enterprises often try, or at least pretend, to be acting in a public spirited way because that is good for business. If we care about universal principles such as freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, we cannot leave them to the care of market forces.
"The global capitalist system has produced a very uneven playing field. The gap between rich and poor is getting wider."
In short, we should not allow business interests to dominate social and economic policy - because they can't be trusted.
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