Well…What the Hell can I do ??
For various reasons, all of which are important, Cranky Lizard has fielded numerous enquiries from people across the rural and semi-rural regions of this Nation; seeking information about what they can do personally, to remove ourselves from the economic jaws of the Nine Dragons that dwell to our North.
The reason for this is not that they think Cranky Lizard is an omnipotent guru with answers for everything, but they know they can expect an honest response without any frills or puffery.
So…what is Cranky Lizard’s honest response.
You are a consumer in the Australian market place, and power resides in you because of that fact. It is a power probably recognized but misunderstood in its potency.
Each time you enter the market place; a supermarket, a clothing store or a hardware store, you have the opportunity to exercise that power.
For any number of reasons, initially, some of them quite sound, this country, Australia, allowed itself to be folded into the arms of the dragon. The driving force behind this occurrence was that we needed foreign investment in this Nation; we still do. And we take from wherever it comes…with some supervision by the FIRB – The Foreign Investment Review Board.
We occupy a vast continent, a landmass as enormous as the United States, with only 25 million people and a large percentage of that land is uninhabitable and unproductive at present.
The foreign investment, along with our substantial export income from agriculture and mining, assisted us in dealing with our National debt. What with the various market place surges in the global economy – we were able to cruise along, riding out the bumps and convincing ourselves that ‘ everything will be OK ‘.
Cranky Lizard, has, on previous occasions, drawn attention to the fact that our National fuel reserves were ridiculously vulnerable, but most people just yawned! This was just another example of national complacency – a sovereign nation with a landmass as big as the USA and a fuel reserve that consists mainly of fuel tankers on the ocean. This situation reflected accurately the ‘ globalist ‘ mindset that had overtaken our Nation.
We drifted along.
COVID-19 brutally punctured that bubble, leaving us exposed and vulnerable; our supply chains for food and essential consumables were clearly broken and we hit our bums on the floor of reality pretty fast.
And we know because it is now pretty much accepted as a reality, that we shall not be the same Nation as we were before this disease attacked us.
There is growing global anger at the Chinese Government – not the Chinese people.
The consumer power that resides in you can be an expression of that anger.
Before you throw any item into your shopping trolley, in the future, have a good look where it is made.
If it is made in Australia, and it suits you, buy it!
Cranky Lizard suggests that you actively seek out objects, goods and services that are made or grown in Australia.
That is how we get our economic wheels spinning again…
Buy Australian products.
You may think that what you do does not make a difference, and, on your own, it probably does not. But, if large numbers of consumers start purchasing only Australian items, then the market place will reflect that.
In economic terms – demand always precedes supply.
If the demand for Australian made and grown products becomes strong and certain, then that is what will happen.
We also know that we shall pay more for Australian products, simply because our wage structure is based upon a reasonable standard of living, not just mere existence.
Cranky Lizard suggests that a fundamental shift of attitudes is occurring in Australia, and we are all a part of that! Or we should be!
Discussions held with local leaders, politicians and business people indicate a certain willingness to lead this attitudinal change – for example – supermarkets could dedicate at least two isles of floor space to products made or grown entirely in Australia.
Cranky Lizard reckons these two isles if they existed, would be very, very busy…
Hardware chains and clothing chains could do the same and Cranky Lizard predicts that they would become very, very busy as well.
In this country, we grow some of the best cotton in the world. Why not process it in this country? For years Cranky Lizard has been purchasing clothing from Goondiwindi Cotton…no better clothing than good quality cotton to deal with hot, steamy Queensland summers. Beats the hell out of sticky synthetics!
Many of our necessary manufacturing skills have been lost; but not irrevocably, and it is in these sectors of the economy that we should focus our energy.
It is inconceivable that we allowed ourselves to have such dependence, in our economy, on service industries. These industries are essential to our daily lives, food supermarkets, retail chains, hardware stores, fast food outlets, the hospitality industry in general, all of these fundamental services provide employment for millions of Australians, but, when they are affected, as they have been in this global pandemic, then millions of Australians are suddenly and shockingly out of work.
A strong manufacturing sector allows us to absorb these shocks on a broader base throughout our community : and a strong manufacturing sector in Australia grows from increased and certain demand for Australian made and grown products.
Apart from the afore mentioned cotton, Australia grows some of the best agricultural products in the world. Fine merino wool, beef cattle, dairy products, wine, a huge variety of grains and vegetables plus sugar and associated by-products. Close to 70 % of this production is exported, in raw form or semi-processed form, to global markets where it is value-added and sold back to us and to other global markets.
We depend upon our export income ; we need the foreign currency, but we have become dependant to the point of foolishness upon this export income – it seems to Cranky Lizard that we can still export but instead of raw materials we can/should export finished goods and products.
Many voices can, and will, be raised arguing against these ideas, branding them idealistic and unrealistic – Cranky Lizard has no illusions about how difficult it will be to breathe life back into our manufacturing sector, but if we have the political will we shall find a way.
There is one certainty in all of this – a pandemic, in one form or another, will be baaaack! Because that is the way globe functions these days, ease of international travel makes it so!
Next time we shall be better prepared and better economically equipped to deal with the circumstances – and, there will still be some people who will have sheds full of toilet paper leftover from this pandemic!
Enjoy your days and please, buy Australian made and grown products.