|Monopoly rent on guilt|
Some say that history is written by the victors, others say that sooner or
later the truth gets told. It's hard to work out belief is supported by the
recent spate of headlines such as 'Black child abuse at crisis point', inspired
by Mick (notice-me) Dodson.
The word 'crisis' is an old favorite of both feminists and drama-queens
(not that the two are mutually exclusive). In these more enlightened days,
however, the word usually draws the question 'and so what exactly is about
to happen if the crisis is not resolved?' An answer of 'even more of
the same, just like before' does little to allay the skepticism.
Sadly though Mick actually has a point in this case. While he points out
that 90% of aboriginal families are 'affected' by violence (apparently
none of these families actually contain perpetrators), the statistic is still
alarming. But why now?
Several decades of leftist hysteria, screaming
'stolen generation', 'cultural
relativism', and 'deep dreamtime significance giant sleeping
serpent under big red rock' allowed the left to hide the problem of
Aboriginal child abuse, and their cries for more and more money allowed the average Joe to
pay his guilt money (what's a little extra tax?), and get on with watching
the footy, playing the pokies, and committing acts of domestic violence on the
wife on special occasions.
But the Left were not careful enough about what they wished for, and got
it: a billion dollars a year for two decades (not counting dole money and other
subsidies), poured into the apparent black hole that was ATSIC.
If the money was simply wasted, there would arguably have been a net
benefit - ie people would have felt less guilty, and therefore better about
themselves. Unfortunately the money was worse than wasted. Three generations
of welfare dependence
replaced the few remaining shreds of Aboriginal culture with a sound belief in
their victim-hood, no understanding of creating wealth, and a solid, if
confused, belief that wealth is dependent on not working.
The problem with giving people welfare is the imposition of an effective
marginal tax rate. If welfare recipients start to create their own wealth,
they get less welfare, and it imposes an effective tax on them. Losing 90 cents
for every dollar of wealth you create is not conducive to creating wealth -
particularly for someone who starts with few or no skills.
The damage was not through giving welfare, but through the effective
marginal tax rate it imposes. Even our richest (and perhaps most
motivated) people pay only about 55 cents in the dollar in effective tax
rate. Yet we impose between 70 and 90 cents on our poorest, least motivated and
most vulnerable people.
So people are rewarded for doing nothing, and lose their welfare if they
produce anything. That social problems like child abuse would result from this
is not surprising for some, but apparently still to difficult for others to
fathom. The problem they say is not that we have given welfare, but that we
have not given enough. How much disincentive would be enough?
But Mick (in-denial) Dodson says that violence was spread by 'poverty and social
exclusion'. Heaven forbid that a reduction in guilt money would affect his
new position of Head of the Australian National University's Institute for
Indigenous Australia. The guilt industry has worked well for him, and he's
working it a bit harder.
Mick is onto a winner, and knows that this sacred cow can be milked for a
long time yet. He has framed his comments so there is ring of truth to them, he
can pretend to be controversial, and by making it a children's and women's issue, he can remain
the darling of the Left.
Perhaps, sooner or later the victors will ensure the truth gets told.
One day. Perhaps.