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The Forum > General Discussion > Are we just fooling ourselves?

Are we just fooling ourselves?

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I have just returned from a break in Thailand and have found my self wondering if we are just fooling our selves.
Thailand is meant to be an emerging economy at best, but I found a very competent economy with well advanced social structure and community health standards. Beside this I also noticed the quality of the telecommunications infrastructure and the standard of the roads and bridges, even the country back roads compared to the rubbish I drive on here.
I commend the Thai people for their hard work and social unity, it puts us to shame. My visit there, complete with a trip to the dentist who was very professional, clean and cheap leaves me wondering if we are just kidding our selves. Are we simply suffering for a greedy government that wants everything? Thai people donít have personal income tax only business tax, yet there is much development and quality of life is good. All the recent political trouble barely raises a comment from the general population and on the whole they felt embarrassed by it all. I am not suggesting that they have utopia but what do you all think?
Are we living a foolís paradise? Could we operate with much less taxation and government support of the welfare sector? Could the social structure of Australia make the adjustments required to ensure social and economic support for all itís community or are we really that selfish that we are only interested in ourselves?
Posted by nairbe, Sunday, 10 October 2010 10:10:09 PM
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Hi Nairbe

Well..depending on which way you came back..I suspect you have the same reaction I do when coming to Sydney or Melbourne Airports which is:

"Yikes...here I am back in 3rd world Vic" in my case.

We don't even have a fast train to the airport.. man have we been lefffft behind. Kuala Lumpur shames us.. Changi belittles us...

We are sliding down....down....down...

Oh wait.. some of us are not :) Builders Laborers, Electricians, Warfies..they are doing fine...by the outcome of brute force and cowardly Politicians.

Ohhh how I drank in the efforts of Peter Wreith as he bludgeoned the thugs of the MUA into submission. Still more work to do... we still have the builders laborers and construction workers to deal with.
A few more 'lashes' will be needed there.

Ask yourself this.. 'WHY' has our desalination plant cost blown out so far ?
Hmmmmm perhaps because it will be employing 450 electicians for the next decade and they were getting $150k/annum during construction...
Dean Mighell (ETU)has a lotttt to answer for to the Australian people.
Posted by ALGOREisRICH, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 8:56:29 AM
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Or is it that the Thai people are better managers than we are. Most things I touch in business and public life have the influence of crap, incompetent management about them.
Posted by renew, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 9:10:30 AM
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AL,
Yes the Phuket airport was nothing to write home about but it was certainly no less a facility than any of the Australian airports i have traveled through.
I noted that without social security basically everyone had a job. Many tasks where done using man power that we would use machinery for. This was not because the machines were not available but rather because everyone needed a job. The result is lower wages and on the personal wealth stakes they are clearly running behind us, but this did not seem to effect the basic quality of life. I expected to find slums and poor villages as i traveled around further north from Phuket island but to my surprise there was a lot of new home being built in the villages. I didn't see any shanty towns like those everywhere in India.
In the end i was left wondering if we all could do a lot better with less individual focus and better facilities and infrastructure. The most notable was how does poor little Thailand manage to build a mobile phone system that works everywhere and i mean everywhere. I was on a two day jungle trek and had coverage the whole time, in fact i was never out of range my whole visit.
I feel you have a good point, Many are being over rewarded for the work they do leaving less money to be invested in the actual bricks and motar of the job. We need to find a better balance to our work places.
Posted by nairbe, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 9:43:25 AM
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The Malaysian Airport that I went to was nothing short of a large shed. Our flight started boarding two hours early and wouldn't take anymore passengers on the stated boarding time. That left 28 people to either set up camp on the airport/shed floor or find your own way to a hotel.
KL city was friendly but the smaller areas around were underdeveloped, run down and foreign to the concept of westerners walking freely among the streets.

However Thailand was humble. I was humbled by being around the people. I was at a tattoo parlor, the tattooist was Buddhist, his lady friend was Christian, their buddy who gave us a ride home was catholic and his little lady friend was Hindu.

Bizarre right. I got to thinking about how graceful Thai culture is, the whole thing is practiced with respect, sure they have conflicting beliefs but they don't conflict because they accept and they are humble.
I think if Australian people were humble instead of forever seeking more then our economy would grow. The focus is on ourselves and not on what we can do to improve our nation (for the vast majority).

So
'Could the social structure of Australia make the adjustments required to ensure social and economic support for all itís community or are we really that selfish that we are only interested in ourselves?'

We are really that selfish. What is practical in theory is not desirable in practice. I would give, you probably would too but how much and for how long?
Posted by Nicnoto, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 11:54:15 AM
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Nicnoto,
Having not been through Malaysia or indo i can't comment on things in those countries. I do though agree with you about the Thai people. They are humble and i know it had an affect on me and how i felt toward them. I feel it would be very difficult to effect social change in Australia. You only need to sit and watch the way so many Aussies behave over there to see the arrogance and selfishness. As to whether i personally could sustain such a change? Well i hope i live my life as best i can toward such goals. I am on a property, i graze my own meat and though not much of a gardener try to produce some veggies. I have no Television and until recently had only solar power. My cost of living and level of luxury are minimal compared to the suburban lifestyle. I could easily reduce my costs some more without it affecting my quality of life but there are limits to where it moves from being lifestyle choice to a struggle. I do also enjoy to travel and do so with my children when and where i can. The lifestyle choices i make are what allows me to do this as my income is modest.
Posted by nairbe, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 12:59:34 PM
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