What happened to the Australia I knew?
A comment highlighted in the newsletter on retirement affordability made me wonder what happened to the country that valued a fair go for all and the idea that Jack is as good as his master.
The comment was attributed to Suzanne:
"To reach retirement age and yet be totally reliant on welfare smacks of irresponsibility bordering on stupidity. Anybody who finds him or herself in just such a situation is in no wise position to be placing further demands on the public purse."
The first comment is obvious: the aged pension is not welfare. But more importantly why is this attitude that demonises those who have not made a fortune during their working life allowed to flourish?
I am relatively affluent because I served three decades in a branch of the ADF, 12 months of which was in Vietnam. That set me up with a defined benefit superannuation that would be the envy of people these days forced to accumulate superannuation to pay for whatever their lifespan might be. And then thanks to Little Johnny Howard's middle class welfare splurge I have a DVA Gold Card that covers health costs. I thank Providence for my good fortune, but I do not demonise and cast aspertions on those less fortunate.
I am not wanting to denigrate Suzanne for her comments, but rather to question the thoughts behind those heartless comments to ask what has Australia come to? Do we want to develop the same degree of compassionless dog eat dog capitalism that appears to be the norm and the societal aspiration in the US?
Let's encourage a fair go and drop the elitist style encouragement of riches accumulation at the expense of your fellow Australians - notably through rorting the tax law.