Henry ... this thought provoking article below raises the issue of demography and its centrality to economic well being. It comes from 'Big Questions Online'. This is a rather good site that deals with major issues that linger in the background but are fully prepared to bite us painfully if we neglect them. Our demographic problem is one such issue. One of the side benefits to our recent political changes is the final overthrow of Sydney/Melbourne from being the total and 100% domination of our politics. We have all spent our entire adult years with these two cities and their needs being the entire core of Australian politics. No more, thank Heavens.
In recent times I have become an ever growing fan of Western Australia. Not only does it have the raw material base to employ a vastly bigger population but it also has the space and water to welcome millions of people. The Fitzroy River which flows uselessly out from the Kimberleys into King Sound has an annual volume about twice the current water usage of WA in its entirety. King Sound, with the little town of Derby on its south shore is under 100 kilometres from James Price peninsula, the site of the next big $40 billion plus gas development. So, money, jobs, land and water are in abundance in the lower Kimberleys. All it needs is a government with imagination. The government doesn't have to do much beyond show enthusiasm for the area's development and spend a few billion on the standard government infrastructure of roads, schools hospitals and such like. Private enterprise will do the necessary when they see State and Federal governments putting up some money along with words.
A sensible aim for Australia would be to have Western Australia set out on a Thirty Five Year Program to have by 2045, 50% of Australia's population, 65% of Australia's exports (by value) and 65% of Australia's GDP. The core requirement to achieve these targets are ... 1. the predominance of private enterprise in the whole scheme; 2. a basic business tax rate of 25%; 3. a serious population policy which emphasises local births and migration to Western Australia from North and South America, East and West Europe, and very importantly two million Afrikaaners and English/Indians from South Africa (which is now a permanent shambles and will only get worse). Of these the growth of local births is a matter that is generally ignored by policy planners. This should stop.
Henry, I have no children. This is now a source of very much and deep regret on my part. I deem it the silliest thing thing I ever did (or actually failed to do). I'm too old now and much too unwell, but I can at least see clearly how important children are both to the happiness of the parenting couple and equally importantly to the nation, our tribe. Your site has mentioned strongly the truth that Australia is alone and friendless in this part of the world. This is obviously true and is made more dangerous for us by our growing wealth. The recent excellent film 'Tomorrow When The War Begins' deals with this situation of loneliness and friendlessness that is Australia's lot. I reviewed it and would urge readers to see this movie and urge their teenage children to also see it. It points out clearly why we need a lot more people.
To overcome the foolish mistakes made by people like me we need a natalist policy which actually gives a great deal of help to a parenting couple who undertake to have a given number of children in a given number of years. How do these following ideas sound?
A couple gets married ... marriage is important psychologically and the age of the hippies has ended (thanx be to God!). Dad should be more than Mum's boyfriend and Mum should be a lot more than Dad's current girlfriend. A married couple could undertake to join a program whereby over a 12 year period the parenting couple have 5 children. There are numerous and onerous burdens involved with the raising of 5 children. Not everyone in Australia has a big house in Kew or by the beach in Sydney. Such a program would attract a great many couples. The success of the program would be intrinsically involved with the strengthening of Australia in the future when the plot of the movie 'Tomorrow When The War Started' may very well occur. Needless to say Henry, the Program would be part of a worldview which was based on our view of Australia (and being an Australian) as the central part of our personal identities. Anyone who asks the question ... 'what is an Australian?' has missed the boat already and needn't bother any further.
My view is that such a Program could be put through a pilot phase in Western Australia. Of course, those Green voters who think human beings are pests and bacteria on the face of the earth can stay away. Others who do not like this can also avoid the program, except, of course, their taxes will be contributing to the success of the program. As we have increasing wealth in this country it would not be difficult to devise an expenditure stream which amply and properly financed such a program. Assistance can be given with taxation, transport costs, education costs (parents must be free to send their five children to the school system of their choice), a mortgage with a fixed very low interest rate, a suitably sized house built on a piece of land which is granted free and gratis with the services provided. This latter element of the assistance program would mean that that such assistance wouldn't be available in Watson's Bay or Toorak, but fortunately we are now at the political stage where Sydney and Melbourne are no longer the total dominators of our politics and the policies that flow from politics.
Western Australia would be a good place for the pilot program because sensible governments, State or Federal, in 2010 will soon enough see that we cannot simply continue down the road of exporting expensive dirt. The value adding stage has to be reached at some time soon and this will create a great many jobs in non metropolitan areas of Western Australia. Unless we become serious about our wealth we will just leave ourselves open to being a terrible political and military temptation to some large power which covets what we have. We become serious when we value add and when we build proper cities and infrastructure in the provinces where the raw materials are found. Now that the three independents have pushed Sydney and Melbourne to the side there is no need to miss this opportunity; we should start seeing the rest of Australia as suitable places for national population growth and economic development.
Population growth is only successful when the nation, the Australian tribe, grows steadily with new adults from overseas who are part of our basic cultural worldview and babies galore born locally who are raised around our 'campfires'. Race and religion are unimportant as long as they are not promoting ideas and attitudes which have been rejected already by the the Australia of 2010. No one in Australia would support a policy which turned Australia into a South Pacific 'Lebanon'. We don't want a nation where groups are isolated from each each other and have no interest in ending the isolation. Lebanon is a warring shambles where members of all the groups are distinguished only by the level of contempt they have for their fellow Lebanese who are of different groups. This social system is totally unacceptable to Australia. We do not need people from such like societies nor more babies from such like families. Around the world there are many countries like Lebanon. We can avoid them all.
Henry, I realize that ideas like these are somewhat strange to the ears of many people. However, I suspect that these and similar future oriented ideas have now arrived. We cannot any longer pretend that 'life is a Cabaret' and it is all about the ego and the instant 'yes!' Nations like Australia which are super rich and vulnerable have to be serious about themselves and their future if they want to have one. Our politics have changed since August 21. I believe this change can be for the better if we finally dispense with the detritus elements of the 'baby boomer era'. The good things from that era will hold on because we have absorbed them into our daily lives. However we need to start taking a far more nationalist attitude to ourselves and our problems. More 'Advance Australia Fair' and an end to 'Kumbaya'.
These problems can only be solved by us taking action among ourselves, no one can do it for us; we must put our interests first, we must stop trying to be Miss Goody Two Shoes and solve the world's problems. We need to approach our nation's future and survival with a proper sense of nationalism. We need more of us as a first step. We will be on our way forward when a lot more men step forward and answer what I hope becomes a great and urgent cry in our country ... 'daddy, I'm thirsty'.
Sir Wellington Boote
Demography and Economic Destiny
'One day in 1999, I went to visit the billionaire financier Peter G. Peterson in his office high above Park Avenue. In those days, Peterson surveyed a city booming with leveraged deals and paper profits that hourly added to his wealth. Yet he was worried about the future. He warned of a world going gray and predicted that the aging population of the industrial world, particularly in Europe, would tank the era of prosperity then being called “the long boom”.'