Health, education, and kidney machines

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Companies have clear aims. Jonar Nader asks why countries do not have a simple statement of goals. Governments need long-term plans that do not rely on privatisation. To listen to an excerpt from the radio broadcast, please click on the green play button below.

Here is a transcript of the audio file.

Jonar Nader: How about we have a business plan. Now in business we have a business plan for 3 years and the CEOs are expected to put that to the board. Well lets have a country plan. A country plan will tell us what you mean by what. A lot of people may not be interested but let’s leave it in simple English. What do you plan to do as a government? Not this motherhood statement you know, health, education, kidney machines. Tell us specifically. That, therefore, I think is an important part of anything that we do in government, of anything that we do with work and tax reform etc.

Host: I suppose a tricky thing there though is a company has a very simple aim which is to provide its shareholders with the best gains and the bottom line is the important thing as long as you can provide the best dividends for the shareholders and their interests are always paramount, you know you are on the right track. There isn’t such a simple statement of goal for a country.

Jonar Nader: Well I’ll give you one. I’m glad you asked me. How about, ‘for the people’. This country is so rich in resources, we haven’t got a clue that we are sitting on, gold mines left right and centre, in every respect, metaphysically speaking and metaphorically speaking. We are such a rich wonderful country. We have such wonderful systems, and anybody who travels will come back and kiss the ground we are sitting on, but you know what, it hurts to see such things just sold away. Oh, a telecommunication company is doing well, let’s sell it off. Ok, well that makes sense! What are you going to end up with at the end of the day? You should only sell what you produce. If you make apples and you sell the apples away that’s great because you make more apples next year. What are we doing selling off a telecommunications company? What’s happening next?

Host: Continuing the parallel, would that mean we are selling off the apple trees or the tractor?

Jonar Nader: Absolutely. So what more do we have to generate? Now if a company is doing well, then we should support it to continue to do well and reap from it. When we sell it off, it goes into the ether. Let’s just be sensible with the farm. Let’s not sell off the farm. You were saying, ‘what is the common purpose?’ The common purpose is to look after our people. No matter what nationality or race they are. If they live in this country, we are a community. It doesn’t mean that we become naval gazers because we are a global player, but a global player must have something up his sleeves. Our wealth, whether it be intellectual or physical, must not be sold off.

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