Sometimes you just gotta rant. On the front page of our regional newspaper The Dominion Post today was an article that just astounded me (no not the one about Terry Serepisos, who is after all a man creating his own destiny and whatever you think of him, good or bad, he is owning it and getting on with it and taking responsibility for his own survival). No the article that got me all worked up was sitting right next to the picture of Terry. The headline was “That’s my mum you are hurting PM told”. You can read it here http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/5528949/Thats-my-mum-you-re-hurting-PM-told
The story is about a woman who has written to Prime Minister John Key about her 63 year old mother who has learned that her job at a government department is to be axed as part of government rationalisation of public services. Apparently her mother is now depressed and anxious, she is terrified and in turmoil, worrying about her future, which someone of her age doesn’t need. The poor lady may have to leave her one bedroom flat as she won’t be able to afford rent, she will have to apply for unemployment benefit and state-funded accommodation.
I feel sorry for her, I really do. I think its tragic that this person had never realised that she has actually been responsible for her own retirement all her life, that no one had ever educated her, helped empower her to take responsibility for herself, given her some financial lessons on investing for the future. That she has never taken any of the salary she has earned as a public servant and used it to try to build some wealth for herself, bought herself a house, paid off a mortage over the years, set aside a nest egg to fall back on come the day she was too old or tired, or suddenly became a ‘victim’ of a global economic paradigm shift that is forcing governments all over the world to get out of the massive debt that is crippling their economies in a desperate attempt to avoid a global economic melt down of historical proportions…this is the real sad undercurrent of this story as I see it. People have come to expect the government to provide jobs, but the world is telling us we need to get smart, get tough and take action now before we start plunging into the desperate unteniable debt situation going on in European economies right now. Paying people to do jobs that are not really necessary in the scheme of things, that are not actively contributing to our real need to be producing more that we can sell to the world… this is rapidly becoming a luxury our economy cannot afford. We need more businesses making stuff – food, technology, valued resources, energy, water…. stuff the world is short of and we can sell for a premium. We can’t keep paying more and more for bureaucracy. We can’t afford to.
I also feel sorry for John Key. He is a businessman, he knows what to do to turn a company’s financials around. Right now he is CEO of our country’s biggest company, New Zealand Inc. Our finances are in a mess. We are spending more than we earn, we are paying people to stay and home and not contribute to our revenues, we have invested in other companies (Countries) that are on the verge of going bankrupt and potentially taking us down with them. He is a good CEO. He can see what needs to be done, he needs to re-structure. Get rid of the layers of middle management that are adding more to the expense column than they are to the income column. He needs to create more efficiencies and less overlaps. He needs to give the company a new vision, one focussed on productivity and income generation, with a workforce of loyal employees all committed to creating more revenue streams, doing more with less – spending less and producing more.
But he can’t do what needs to be done. He can’t just weild the axe and re-structure at will. Alas, the analogy of NZ Inc as a business has to end here. John Key is not the CEO and NZ Inc is not a company full of productive, motivated employees. He is a politician and he needs votes in order to stay in his job long enough to make a difference. To get those votes he has to be liked by people who have no idea that we are standing on the edge of a financial precipice heading towards disaster. He has to appease voters and pull back on the hard calls, just to stay alive. Too many people are struggling to handle survival to care about the state of our Country’s economy. He has to care about them and try to look after them, even though to do so means keeping us from moving forward at the pace we need to.
Too few people have had the benefit of an education in self-responsibility. There is too much dependency. Not enough self-responsibility. Fear driven by ignorance and generations of people used to looking to the leaders to protect them and take care of them, not challenge them to be the best they can be and prepare themselves for the day when they can no longer work. What a job he has! Who would want it? (Apart from Phil Goff… for all the wrong reasons!)
It gives you a headache just to think about it. Which is why I guess not many people do. This poor lady of 63 is about to lose her job and she has no plan for how to survive without it. That is the saddest thing. And at the root of my passion for liber8yourbusiness… helping in my own small way to empower people to create wealth for themselves and create jobs for others along the way.
End of rant.