Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a new tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Australians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods --merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Australian labour.

This year will be different. This year Australians will give the gift of genuine concern for other Australians. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Australian hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Give someone some pavers by your local paving manufacturer.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small owned detail shops & car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Panasonic of a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. If your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local cafe. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the Australian working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mum? Mum would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, & I KNOW I can find some young fellow who is struggling to get his repair business up & running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool & knit them into scarves. They make jewellery, & pottery & beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. How about going out to see a play or ballet at your local theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another 10,000 Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a $5.00 string of light, about 50 cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the postman, garbo or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining Australian pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging our small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. When we care about other Australians, we care about our communities, & the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

THIS is the new Australian Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- This is a revolution of caring about each other, & isn't that what Christmas is about?

Merry Christmas to Australians in 2011


Of course there is nothing intrinsically wrong with international trade, and trade that supports third world countries develop and grow their GDP is not to be despised out of hand.

We need a redistribution of wealth, not just nationally, but globally. We also need to refocus away from importing waste, cheap, trinkety items that add no value to the planet. Commercialism and materialism are the driving forces of the economy, but they are not freely driven, in the words of Smith, by the "invisible hand," they are exploited by the wealthy to increase their wealth.

There is nothing quite like making a globe that will stop working in the space of 12 months, so that the consumer will replace it, when we know that it is possible to make globes that last a lifetime.

Multi national companies feed consumerism. Two thirds of the American economy relies solely on consumption. That is why it is so difficult for America to get out of its recession. The middle class is struggling, and there are no tax cuts to give out, interest rates can't be cut any further, lending is already to high, and the one thing that could actually work, increasing the tax on the wealthiest, who of course can afford to pay taxes and for who the recession has little effect, but the Republicans control the house and have just rejected exactly this measure.

Today I listened to Tony Abbott moan and whine about the mining tax, as if the very world was going to end. The mining tax redistributes the wealth of the nation, even in its watered down version. It was watered down after the mining companies jumped up and down and threatened a billion dollar advertising campaign to destroy the government.

Third world debt ought to be abolished. It is only owed by those who can't afford to pay to those who don't need to be paid. Our own banks ought to be nationalised, after all, they have become an essential service, and are exploiting their monopoly position in the economy to exhort vast profits from those least able to pay. Interest rates paid by banks are 5%, and yet they charge 20% interest on credit card debt. They are making a whopping 15% profit on deposits.

There is a lot more that can be done for the Australian economy than stopping foreign imports. In fact that is exactly the wrong policy. Australia already produces sufficient wealth, but a great deal of that wealth is exported out of the country, not in buying cheap imports, but in foreign owned companies taking the wealth and profits out of Australia. A slight tweaking of the Australian economy could have everyone working who wants to work, and a liveable benefit for those who cannot. Abolishing negative gearing, taxing super profits of major companies, establishing death duties, using these funds to bolster public housing and infrastructure, investing in public transport, bringing refugees into the country in order to fill the jobs that will continue to be created, treating refugees humanely instead of locking them up in expensive detention centres for god knows how long, giving them a job and some dignity, rationalising the migration into Australia by PRIORITISING the refugee intake, all of these are only some of the building blocks upon which we can build a better Australia. Cutting off third world imports is not one of them.