Re: More Green Party

From: Emlyn (onetel) (
Date: Thu Jun 29 2000 - 03:21:05 MDT

Damien wrote:
> I thank Marx every day that I live in Australia, because with my slum
> background I would have been dead and maimed a number of times over if I'd
> had to depend in childhood on my parents' income to cover my health. (As
> is, my dentition is in fairly awful shape (despite late and expensive
> repairs), as we don't have universal dental cover.)
> I love the way such topics (from a non-US perspective) go instantly
> hysterical with fear & loathing. Might do many people on the list some
> to spend some time in other First World nations where we do things
> differently (yet haven't ended up in an immiserated Gulag).
> Damien
> [incredibly irritated by the recent Australian govt introduction of a
> & Services Tax that will almost certainly impact the poor more than the
> wealthy]

Infrastructure is good. Mmm, infrastructure.

Economic restriction inversely correlates with innovation... well, here's a
case study...

I'm currently living in the world of self employed IT contracting. It's
pretty risky, and I don't have savings to fall back on (yet), if jobs fall
through. I'm working for your classic startup, woefully undercapitalised but
with a brilliant vision and a damned good (although by no means certain)
chance to make some sales. Cool.

However... this is a terribly risky venture for me. Particularly, I find
myself wondering, often, if the next paycheck will arrive (which they always
have, to my employer's continued credit). My current situation is that, for
various reasons, the contract will do one of two things at the start of
1 - Terminate
2 - Continue (part time, which means I'm taking on other work anyway, but
that's an aside)

This is a difficult situation that many contractors face; I do not know
whether I will have a job past 1 August. Do I stay? Suddenly, my income
stream may evaporate, and what does my family eat?
Do I go? It takes a while to organise new work; I'd have to do it now, and
chuck in this project. But I have a stake in this project (ie: some
ownership), I believe in it, and I think I could profit quite substantially;
that's why I've borne the risk so far.

The key concept here is risk. Can I afford to bear the risk, believing as I
do that the gains will be substantial, if only we can hang on? I've got
little kids; they have to come first in such a decision. I don't have
savings, I don't have a network of wealthy family or friends to fall back
on. A week without a paycheck is not tolerable.

Except that it is. Luckily, I'm in a country with a solid welfare system.
Much as I'd loathe doing it, I have this to fall back on. While welfare
would be a substantial income drop, it would be enough to keep us going
indefinitely. I've been double checking this, because things are at a
particularly dicey and anxiety generating point for me. Now I'm sleeping
easier (when I have time!).

So what do I do? My decision is to stick in there. That's what I want to do,
and I can because of this nasty socialist government (hoo hoo, there's a
laugh) and the welfare system.

If there was no welfare system, I would be back in the public service like a
shot (except there probably wouldn't be a public service; how about a big IT
company, or Andersons, someone like that). The system I'm building would
likely not exist, and have no hope of existing. My personal career as a
contractor, and my new company, for which I have many, many plans, would
remain a pipedream.

I'd be paying less tax. But I'd be far less innovative.


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