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Don't worry, be happy

It’s OK!! Don’t worry, be happy. For the purposes of this Thought Bubble, let’s say Australia’s population is exactly 25 million. Currently it is approximately 24.7 million, give or take a few thousand.

You know, and I know, we live in the greatest country on the planet. You know it is one of the most egalitarian countries in the world. For once let’s try to bridge the ever growing rhetoric reality gap that exists in Australia.

The rhetoric reality gap is undoubtedly the fastest growing social and political issue of our time. In the past we called the rhetoric reality gap propaganda, today we call it fake news. Fake news isn’t something new, it is a permanent feature of the human double helix. The second coming, the meek shall inherit the earth, the martyr will be rewarded by having access to 36 virgins. I wonder what the female martyr is promised, I doubt it is 36 male virgins. Let’s get off the subject, so much fake news, such little time to absorb it.

Oops I’ve veered in a political cul de sac. It’s OK, don’t worry, be happy. Getting back to my original proposition. Did you know the richest TWO, yes TWO (that’s why I used capital letters) Australians own more assets than the poorest 20% of Australians? The majority of whom eke out an existence on less than $400 per week. I’ve never liked percentages, they give people a glossy picture of reality. Getting back to that figure of 25 million Australians. Let’s repeat this information to those of you not listening – the richest TWO Australians own more assets than the poorest FIVE MILLION. Sorry I’ve used capital letters again to highlight the enormity of this little sentence. Don’t worry, be happy you’ve got television, the internet, porn, sport and a million other ways to drown your misery. The good thing is even if this fact makes the evening news, it will disappear before you can say Jack Robinson. Who the heck is Jack Robinson and why do I have the need to beguile you with his name.

Just in case you’re depressed about this little fact, don’t worry, be happy there’s more to come. Did you know that in 2017 the richest 1% of Australians own more assets than the poorest 70%? Just to put it into a context most people can understand, I’m going to use CAPITALS again. Thank the dicties for the SMS and the Tweet, they’ve done more to rehabilitate the CAPITAL than anyone has done since it was invented thousands of years ago. In plain English this means – the richest 250,000 Australians own more than the poorest 17,500,000 (SEVENTEEN and a HALF MILLION) Australians.

Lucky we live in an egalitarian community, lucky we live in the greatest country on earth, if we didn’t these two simple facts would be front page news. There would be riots in the streets, parliamentary democracy would have reached its use by date and Australians would stop doffing their caps and forcibly reclaim their birthright. Lucky for me, lucky for you we have pornography, television, sport, the world wide web and so many more pathways to nirvana.

Welcome to the lucky for some country. Want more of the same? Consume, defecate and die quietly. Not willing to go without a fight? Punch on until you’re punch drunk – you’ve got nothing to lose.

Dr. Joseph Toscano