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Challenges of 2015: economy, environment, religion

By Everald Compton - posted Tuesday, 2 December 2014


2014 was not the greatest year in history.

Be this as it may, the one element of life that will never be lost is Hope. This means that we can plan for 2015 to be a better year, but, as in all things, success happens when we face and plan to overcome obstacles.

So, as 2014 draws to an uninspiring close, we look at three significant roadblocks and talk about how to get around them.

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Let's start with the ECONOMY.

Despite the hysteria generated by politics and the media, the Australian economy is not in bad shape by current world standards.

What is needed is a change of the mindset that keeps politicians from pondering pointlessly at the impossibility of recreating a glorious past, when they should be pioneering a new brand of economics required to meet a changing world.

It was a failure to change this ancient rear-window mindset that caused Joe Hockey's 2014 Budget to fail badly. Astonishingly, every element of it pointed us in the wrong direction, and sought to generate a childish version of fear. We can do better, but the ALP, Greens, PUP, and the Senate rabble offered no better solutions than the Coalition. They simply offered a better way to look backwards.

Our plan for a better future must not be mesmerised by the currently poor state of world economics, where the financial trouble centre is Europe. It will remain on a knife-edge for a long time, with many of its nations being in significant strife, particularly Italy, which, if it crashes, will cause a huge hit to every major bank in the world.

The best way for Australia to help in overcoming this likely disaster is to encourage the United Kingdom to leave Europe, thereby irrevocably forcing change to a monstrosity that is heavily overloaded with incompetent bureaucrats and has a fragile currency, the Euro, which does not have the asset backing of any nation, and is simply paper of convenience to be used by traders to make money through easy manipulation.

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The crisis in Europe will hit harder as its population ages and the grossly overburdened European Commission (EC) welfare budget implodes spectacularly. Of particular concern is Germany, which faces a huge ageing problem and has made little provision for it. We must make sure that we provide for it.

In the meantime, what can Australia do to strengthen the structure of our own house so we can again withstand any world shocks as we did in 1908?

A first step will be to stop pushing for economic growth targets and get heavily involved in economic efficiency, ie, the better management of our existing human and natural resources and the creation of level playing fields, so people on lower incomes have a chance to become more productive for the sake of their own lives and the nation.

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About the Author

Everald Compton is Chairman of The Longevity Forum, a not for profit entity which is implementing The Blueprint for an Ageing Australia. He was a Founding Director of National Seniors Australia and served as its Chairman for 25 years. Subsequently , he was Chairman for three years of the Federal Government's Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing.

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