Can You Spell ‘Disconnected’?

The recent QANTAS grounding is just one event in many that show how the rich 1% are totally disconnected from the 99% of the rest of us. Alan Joyce is a classic example in my eyes. I have no idea why QANTAS needed to hire a foreigner to head our national airline. There is an old Irish saying; ‘If you are going on a journey,never take an idiot with you, you’ll always find one when you get there’. I’m not saying Joyce is an idiot, far from it. He is, however, totally out of touch with the reality that is our lives. I believe the last time he worked in Australia was for another airline, Ansett and that went out of business around that time! He is a hatchet man, brought in because he is not Australian, doesn’t have to live here and can always scuttle off somewhere else with his golden parachute once he has done the dirty work needed to make a few rich people richer. The same thing happened with that other former public entity, Telstra and the yank Trujillo. No connection to Australia, do the dirty deeds and disappear. Surely we have an Australian citizen as able as this bloke?

He was paid $3.8 million a year to be the CEO. A disgusting amount of money when you think how half of that could make a huge difference to many old age pensioners, or anyone on a low income for that matter. Then during the worst period of industrial disputes in the airline’s history, he gets a $1.7 million pay rise! The very next day he strands 68,000 people around the world and blames it on the unions. He makes all sorts of mouth noises about being forced to do this or suffer a ‘death by a thousand cuts’ as industrial action would otherwise drag on but the truth is he had other options. I think pilots are paid too much and so too many of the staff of QANTAS but then they would disagree and fair enough. I definitely think CEOs and politicians are paid too much, too. Look at the woman in charge of Westpac Bank. She used to be the boss of St George Bank, then switched banks right before the new employer bought out her old one. And of course we are expected to believe she knew nothing about it, didn’t bring over any confidential info to help the buyout and so on. Then, like all the big banks they make phenomenal profits at our expense and still have to sack people and take jobs offshore as well as refuse to lower interest rates because of the cost of money or whatever! The truth is it is all about the dividend to the share holder and they hold a lot of shares themselves, these CEOs. They don’t care about lost jobs, they think people can just get another one right away but they can’t. These people, the disconnected 1% are different to you and me in many ways. Not necessarily smarter or more hardworking but definitely more focused and ruthless and without a care for anyone but themselves. They are a form of corporate sociopath.

The problem lies in the mindset these huge salaries help create. If I was making $150,000 a year I would not worry about being ripped off at the petrol pump for ten cents or more a litre for my imported, luxury vehicle. A few years ago when the AUD$ was worth US$0.70 and oil was US$150 a barrel we were paying up to $1.50 a litre. Today the Aus dollar is worth the same or more than the US$, oil is US$90 a barrel and we are still getting stiffed up to $1.50 a litre except for a day or two a week when Woolworths, Coles and the big oil companies play footsie with us and drop it a few cents. The government will say nothing because they would lose billions in tax revenue. Instead they create an overpaid bureaucrat and give him a budget and cost us millions a year and he has done nothing to watchdog petrol prices like he is supposed to. He has probably watched them but that is all. He, like the politicians and the corporate executives are disconnected. Big Time.

The ‘Occupy’ movement is reminding them of this but they see it merely as a nuisance. The rest of us are being manipulated y the media into siding against the Occupy protestors because a few long hairs will agitate the protest beyond common sense and stir up the police and make good television with violence and so on. I support the Occupy concept, but I think once you have occupied and disrupted you have made your point, no need to give the other side any sympathy by overstaying your ‘unwelcome’.

Times are a’changing and we will see more and more civil disobedience as ordinary people, the 99%, finally have too much. The ignorance and arrogance of the 1% and those who suck at their teat will be their undoing. As we trend more and more towards fighting hot wars in smelly, remote places, we will find the new cold war will be an economic one and between¬† the haves and the rest of us who have not as much and never will, thanks to the haves owning everything, including the politicians we think we voted for to represent us. Mark and Engels will be laughing their beards off.


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