On this Budget “morning after” where public spending is at 33.5% of GDP and rising, all the debate is about the detail, weather or not the “baby bonus” should be retained, the validity of the forward estimates given recent history, and increase in the personal tax rate of 0.5% tearily described by the PM as just a small increase in the Medicare levy.
To my mind, we have missed the point.
It seems to me that a real problem in this country of ours is that we have allowed a culture to evolve that punishes errors of commission, those errant outcomes from someone actually taking some initiative, doing something, but getting it wrong. Sometimes they are the result of circumstances beyond their control, sometimes they just misjudge, and yes, sometimes, are just plain stupid, but at least they got off their arses and did something.
By contrast, we seem to just put up with those who do nothing but follow the party line, do as they are told, accept the status quo no matter how dumb they think it is, and just park their brains at the door.
Not the image we hold of ourselves.
The reality is about as far away from the bronzed Aussie gazing into the sunset somewhere harsh, taking all life can deliver with a grin and a stoic resolution to persist.
Perhaps it is about time we started focusing some light on those who did nothing, took no responsibility for their actions, and just sucked at the teat delivered on a platter.
Our public sector consumes well over 33% of GNP, yet produces nothing. Much of the money is necessary if we are to be a civilised society, but not all of it. The lack of productivity in the public sector is a national disgrace. Layers upon layers of paper shuffling, process management with little regard to outcomes, and meaningless KPI’s chased by intelligent, educated people, many of whom would love the opportunity to make change, but are prevented from doing so by the inertia of the system and prevailing culture.
The greater error should be the one of omission, not commission. How do we empower the bronzed Aussie of our collective imagination?. We should be seeking better outcomes for the money spent, not just arguing about the amount spent.