|Pointing the finger of blame|
"Mutual obligation" is one of the buzz-phases of the current government. Under
the principle of of "mutual obligation", welfare recipients are not just given
money - they have to give
something back in return. On the surface, this seems to embrace the new climate
of economic rationalism, trade-based economics and avoidance of welfare
dependency. Until you look closer anyway. The obligations imposed on the
welfare recipient are to help themselves.
Free trade is
normally based on both sides agreeing to trade when it benefits both
parties. Trading $1 for a big juicy orange benefits both the farmer and the
fruit lover - that's why free trade is done.
We have always known that God helps those who help themselves, but
governments help those who help themselves too. Even if they have no obligation to actually help
society. The welfare
recipient must turn up to job interviews on time, fill in job application
diaries, or do something else which is of absolutely no use to the hapless tax payer who pays them the
But it just got worse. Patric Dodson has supported the principle of "mutual
obligation" for Aborigines, and has been blasted by our favorite blond-haired,
Your ABC reports:
Mr Mansell has accused Mr Dodson of surrendering to the Federal Government's
plans in order to stay in the limelight.
Mr Mansell says the plan to make Aborigines give something back in return for
their welfare should not be endorsed.
"Aborigines have given up land, we've given up children in the Stolen
Generations, we are by far the most disadvantaged people anywhere in the
country," he said.
"John Howard now says we can forget all those issues, this is an issue of
mutual obligation, in other words Aborigines have to give up even more."
Apparently Aborigines are entitled to welfare, without reciprocity, because of
land and stolen
generations. In other words, welfare payments are not for welfare, but they
This argument has come up before in the slavery
compensation debate, where African Americans demand compensation for
slavery, and rednecks insist that it's already been payed in the form of
Mansell is setting a dangerous precedent for any future compensation claims
with this rhetoric. How much is a dry patch of land with no infrastructure and
6 months away from the nearest hospital actually worth? An Aboriginal
compensation claim which took welfare payments into consideration may end up
having Aborigines owing mainstream Australia money for overpayment.
Time to get out the calculator and run some figures. The only question is, who
should the bill be sent to?