The social utility of the tax return

As you do a lot this time of year, I have been yarning to many people about relatively random stuff. One singularity that was repeated in different ways in many conversations was the social utility of the tax return. The focus of the conversation was obviously not the tax return, but what the tax return was going to enable. Perhaps it is ‘Australian’ and more specifically a ‘youth’ thing, but all the great plans people had for next year – the kind of stuff New Year’s promises are made from – involved a reliance on funding derived for the annual tax return. Has the taxation regime of our tragically neo-liberal, neo-con government unwittingly become the central investment account of the many young adults I have talked with? For example, one guy was going to Sweden, some one else wanted to install a sick car stereo, and some other person wanted to get a boob job(reduction). Is the practice of day-dreaming about what can be done with this seemingly amazing windfall of cash-money a (relatively) new ritual in our post-industrial society?

I know I have to stop thinking about imaginary thesis topics and start the head-down-bum-up stuff with my own monstrosity, but surely this regulated return of monies that is like a guaranteed government run lottery service deserves some sort of attention. It is not merely an accounting anomaly but the motor-cause of dreams. How does it operate across the networks of sociality perpetuated by the new ‘under-resourced’ almost-working-class of the immaterial service/knowledge/performance-based economies? Does this increase the hegemonic aspirational tether that the current government has tied around their necks? That is, by giving people a taste of what it is like for the affluent they can aspire to become affluent.

Again, I am buggered if I know. Yep…