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Reap What You Sow, Part II

One of the more insidious consequences of the neo-liberal deregulation, privatisation, globalisation, corporatisation revolution that has swept the globe over the past 40 years is the human cost of allowing corporations whose primary responsibility is to create ever increasing profits for their major shareholders, to self-regulate. “Fears over faulty glass”, Sunday Age (2/7) highlights the pitfalls of replacing regulations that were enacted to protect consumers and the public with laws that allow that small section of society that owns the means of production, distribution, exchange and communication to regulate themselves.

It increasingly looks like the public is now reaping the consequences of governments giving unaccountable corporations free reign. Over the past few years The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and the Sunday Age pages have been full of stories about the horrors that occur in almost every aspect of life when the private sector is allowed to write its own rules. The tragedy is, successive State and Federal governments have become apologists for the excesses of the private sector.

Not only is public safety put at risk and consumers ripped off, the structures that have been established by governments to oversee the deregulation revolution are impotent because they are understaffed, under resourced and do not have legislative remedies they can access. Many of these very same corporations that have benefited from deregulation are not contributing to taxation revenue while they use public resources to fatten their bottom line. This has not only led to increasing inequality in Australia, it has also contributed to the increasing desperation, violence and anxiety that is affecting an increasing number of Australians who are beginning to realise they and their children have no future in the brave new crony capitalist world they live in.

The increasing dissatisfaction with parliamentary democracy not only in Australia but around the world is directly linked to the inability and unwillingness of governments to put the interests of those they represent in parliament before the interests of unaccountable corporations whose only responsibility is to their major shareholders.

We currently stand at the crossroads. Successive governments’ obsession with legislating in the interests of unaccountable corporations have created a crisis of public confidence that if not address will lead to the destruction of our political system, economy and eventually our nation.