11
May

Easy Come. Easy Go!

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My Kevin 37 bonus tax payment came and went. So much for stimulating the economy with it. I hope the wretched people at NRMA Insurance spend my insurance dollars in a manner that will prop the economy up in a more enduring way than I have. I’m thinking that the cost of registering and insuring my car seems disproportionate to its value. My insurance company claims the market value of the old Hyundai Elantra is roughly 10 grand while it cost me $1500 just so I can drive the damn thing. And where does my tax dollars go? With petrol excise, registration, green slip and insurance costs perpetually on the rise, I never seem to see any improvement in the quality of Sydney’s roads. 🙁

Well somebody in these hard economic times is raking in the dollars and it sure as hell aint me! But no one ever said the privilege of driving an automobile was ever going to be cheap and the amount of money that is sunk into these pieces of scrap metal on wheels is staggering. Not even in the monetary sense, the ongoing price these metaphorical penis enlargements inflict upon the environment leaves the carbon traders drooling as tax dollars come their way. That is, once we stop fucking around. Procrastinating about the damage the trading scheme will impact upon the bottom lines of industry polluters and global money markets isn’t doing the eco system any favours. It is high time we started paying these taxes to the environment! But what’s all the hype really about? To be honest, I really don’t have much of a clue on how the carbon trading scheme works let alone how it purportedly is going to reduce carbon emissions.

Thousands Protest Global Warming by wstera2

Thousands Protest Global Warming by wstera2

As a layman in the whole climate change debate (if one can call it a debate) I can only go with what the media feeds me and a certain level of faith needs to be directed at the media which hopefully is being informed by scientific inquiry whom one hopes is basing its analysis and prediction in an unbiased objective way . But can I really be sure that what’s being said, really is the truth? I can’t. What it all boils down to is the question of whether or not I trust the information being filtered down to layman, such as myself, as truth, or at the very least, the closet thing to truth we presently have. But perhaps when faced with such devastating consequences playing Pascal’s wager is not a bad philosophy to be guided by and ultimately it may be better to play it safe rather than sorry. Regardless of truth, to err on the side of caution may be the only hope humanity has in evading the wrath of nature as she thrashes and convulses in the throes of our abuse.

So we have the carbon trading scheme being touted as the definitive solution to global warming but how exactly will charging a tax on carbon change how much of it ends up in the atmosphere? This is the part I have trouble with because we seem to be applying a bandaid fix to a gash that is bleeding profusely and almost certainly needs more than a bandaid to patch. Is our only hope in the form of an idea or presumption that by increasing the cost of carbon it will somehow reduce consumption? How much sanity is behind this thinking? What alternative do we have but consume the energy given to us? To believe that increasing the cost is going to curb the demand seems ludicrous. Our society and living standard, our whole growth fixation depends upon energy and increasing the cost will do little to dampen our addiction to it. Perhaps if the price rises too high then it will produce an effect which is experienced by heroin junkies in times of famine, where substituting one kick for another is standard practice. But what alternative do we have? What substitute is there for kicking a fossil fuel addiction?

Mining, oil and gas will invariably just shift the cost to the consumer under a carbon trading scheme, so we’ll just be taxed more for what we need to maintain our lifestyle. Will we use less? I don’t think we will. So are we destined to be stuck at square one? Or will the dollar drive a demand for alternative energy, which is taxed less and thus cheaper for the consumer? Perhaps this is what the scheme is bargaining for but will it eventuate? The 64 thousand dollar question. Will innovation and technology rise to the challenge to provide a cheap, renewable and alternative energy? Because the social impact if it doesn’t is surely that we’ll fall further into class divide; those that can afford energy and those that can’t. Developing countries will certainly be hit the hardest and remain in perpetual poverty while the divide between the haves and have nots widens to epic proportions.

Only time will tell if the Carbon Trading Scheme takes foot and as we procrastinate, analysing the pros and cons of such policy, more carbon is pumped into the air. It’s a shame politics is the determining factor  in how climate change is managed when we all know political policy is myopic in nature. What really needs to be done is development away from fossil fuels into sustainable renewable energy. But unfortunately the political arena is in bed with industry which produce the carbon energy we so eagerly use while ambivalently wanting to diminish, so it seems oxymoronic that policy be drafted up by the very people whose interests are to increase the carbon footprint and profit margins associated with it rather than eliminate it. Ultimately the question is, do we as the consumer want change? Is the environment worth the cost to our hip pockets and perhaps lifestyle?  At the moment it appears that we like paying lip service to the cause but none of us wants the sacrifice or discomfort of change. Are the majority like me, wanting to make change but still carrying the wants and needs embedded into the psyche by corporate machinery. Who wants environmental salvation but at the price of fossilised sunlight.

Category : Rants | Blog
12
Oct

Whew! My savings are safe?

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Well the Government is going to insure our bank balances for a piddley 20 grand. Ha! Well it’s okay for me because being the compulsive spender that I am, my bank balance falls well short of the allotted guarantee. To be honest I am inching towards that amount and it probably leaves me with some assurance that the little savings I do have is reasonably safe. But what reasonably safe means is still no where near clear in these dire times.

When the powers that be, try and instil a message that our banks are safe, is that just empty rhetoric or are our banks immune to the selfish desires that other international banking entities have been devoured by? In my mind, now is the time to be investing in the stock market, when the fear takes a strangle hold of investors then it is time to stock up on the bargain priced shares that they are trying to off load. Of course the risk is greater because one can never be sure if the downturn won’t bankrupt the would be investment but you probably shouldn’t be in the market if you can’t afford to lose.

I’ve been tempted to explore a new strategy and buy some stocks but I have absolutely no idea of what I’m doing in that arena. But it might be fun to see if I can score some easy money if I could pull the winning number out of the hat. But that would be just gambling now wouldn’t it? And gambling is a sinful and decrepit disease is it not? Like so many other behaviours that are founded in the debauchery self indulgence that have become the mainstay for 12 step cult religion.

I will probably play it safe and keep my money in the bank but who knows, perhaps it is no safer than anything else in these uncertain times.

Category : Rants | Blog