The NBN we had to have

A man with a fleet of ageing taxis had a bold plan to replace the clapped out taxis with new Teslas with all the mod cons. He thought that with such a fleet he would provide Australia with the best taxi service in the world for years to come.

Just when the first new cabs arrived, he was replaced as CEO by a bitter enemy. The new CEO said the plan was all wrong. Australians didn’t need a taxi that was so advanced and besides, they were going to cost a lot of money. He said the old taxis still had some pretty good bits.

The new CEO said that by chopping off the rear of the Teslas and attaching them to the front of the taxis he could save thirty percent of the cost and deliver more quickly, taxis that were quite suitable for Australians, who had become used to sub-standard taxis.

However, when the new pieced-together taxis arrived it was found that, despite the still considerable expense, they were actually slower and less reliable than those they replaced. Now Australia had the worst taxis in the world.

The CEO replied that if someone still wanted a Tesla then they could always go out and buy their own like he had done.

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Innovation and exploitation

The Australian economy is fundamentally exploitative rather than innovative.

The problem with our type of economy is that what you exploit eventually gets used up and turned to waste. The Australian rich-list is dominated by miners and developers. Look at other countries and see who are their wealthiest – American IT entrepreneurs, Italian designers, German automotive engineers, Chinese trading magnates and Japanese industrialists. What do we do? Our wealthy become rich by digging up the ground or chopping up the land. Then we sell it off cheaply to foreigners anyway. There’s no skill in that, there’s no intelligence and there is no future either. But we are addicted to this lazy life of thoughtless exploitation. When Australia does innovate, what happens? If we manufacture, regular booms in commodity prices bring a rising dollar, killing competitiveness in our secondary industries. When the commodity boom ends, the dollar falls and our industry is ripe for takeover by foreign interests.

And our government is complicit in perpetuating this paradigm of exploitation, rabidly defending and promoting coal mining and the destruction of our environment while undermining and denigrating those who seek more intelligent solutions to the world’s problems.