6 November 2019

I wonder what John Hewson — champion of the Liberal Party’s dry neoliberals — is up to these days? Huh. “The so-called capitalist model is under pressure these days for many reasons, but perhaps most importantly because privately owned and operated businesses that provide essential services, while driven by profit and improving shareholder value, are seen to have failed generally in delivering socially acceptable outcomes. Most recently, banks, energy companies, aged care operators, private health operators and insurers, have been a particular focus. … Ironically, many of the now privately owned businesses that provide essential services resulted from past privatisation of public assets. … The Hayne banking royal commission emphasised a culture of greed… Similarly, the aged care royal commission is highlighting how the quality, cost, and availability of care is being compromised for profit… There are also a disturbing number of identified cases of wage theft coming to light, again driven by a profit motive. … The profit genie is well and truly out of the bottle, facilitated by decades of policy drift and neglect in relation to many essential services, such that it is now threatening the sustainability of the capitalist system itself.”