BY KERRY ANDERSON
All too often people have a negative attitude about business without understanding why it is crucial to everyone's future. Be loud and proud if you are in business because you are making Australia a great place to live for everyone.
Business should be the number one priority of every Australian and sadly this point does not appear to be understood.
Underpinning our entire country’s health and wellbeing is the ability for the majority of our population to earn a living in one of two ways: through self-employment, or by being employed by a self-employed person.
Let me try and explain in layman’s terms (mainly because I am one) why this should also be important to the fourteen million residents of Australia (58 percent of our total population) who are either not employed or employed by the public service.
Every business that generates a profit and every person that is employed in the business sector contributes revenue (taxes) into the government treasury that in turn funds all those wonderful services that we have come to expect and enjoy in our society.
So, even if you aren’t in the workforce, you will value that your welfare payments and access to education, health care, emergency services, and a range of other benefits, are totally reliant on the members of our society who are contributing taxes directly from the business sector.
Yes, I can already hear the public servants protesting loudly that they also pay their taxes but I’d like to remind them where their wages come from in the first place. Every public servant position is funded by the revenue generated by the business sector.
In simple terms, the contribution of a public servant is the equivalent of borrowing $100 from the cookie jar and gradually paying it back into the same cookie jar. It is not contributing anything new.
When I researched what factors contribute to economic collapse, a high rate of unemployment is always cited as the number one indicator, leading in turn to poverty and civil unrest. If you want an indicator of what the tipping point is, 25 percent unemployment was estimated in the Great Depression in the United States.
I’d like to think that, with a current unemployment rate of 5.7 percent here in Australia, we are a long way from that level; however, an ageing population and many other factors are ringing loud alarm bells. This is becoming a serious issue that we all should be concerned about.
Considering that the equivalent of one person working the business sector is already funding government services for approximately 2.5 Australians (including themselves), I wonder if we are already approaching that crucial tipping point?
Thriving businesses, and the employment it creates, is crucial if we want to continue living the way we do today. A painful alternative is that we lose the welfare safety net for our vulnerable members of society and valuable services that we all currently enjoy in Australia.
And, let us be clear on this point about employment. Creating more public service jobs will only create more debt unless the equivalent revenue (and more) is generated through the business sector. In fact, maintaining the current level of public service jobs is probably already unsustainable given the high amount of debt our nation is desperately trying to rein in.
So, the next time a politician or an economist starts spouting that it is important to stimulate the business sector, please understand that this is not about favouring business, it is for all our benefit.
KERRY ANDERSON: A businesswoman, philanthropist and community advocate from Central Victoria, Kerry Anderson is passionate about rural and regional Australia. She works with small businesses and rural communities to help them embrace new opportunities. READ MORE http://www.kerryanderson.com.au/about/
MEET KERRY IN PERSON: During August Kerry is sharing her knowledge on entrepreneurship as part of the Small Business Festival in Melbourne (8 Aug), Geelong (19 Aug) and Bendigo (31 Aug). READ MORE