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Since when did we become a greedy nation?

Watching QandA last night I was struck dumb when a young female member of the audience pounced on Bill Shorten for the government not matching the handout she could expect under Tony Abbott’s PPL scheme. It wasn’t so much the question she threw at Shorten that stunned me, but her attitude.

I cannot remember her question word-for-word, though I remember she introduced herself as a young, ambitious lady who would soon be entering the workforce and confidently embarking on a successful career. In her opinion, as a successful young lady, she feels she would deserve to be paid a bucket load of money to have a baby.

Is it just me, or is that attitude wrong?

Good luck to her in her career, which I hope is very rewarding. I also hope her success matches her enthusiasm. She might know that success in a career usually comes from putting in the hard yards. Do that, and the rewards will more than likely come. Nobody is going to hand success to her on a platter. Yet she wants the government, nay, taxpayers, to give her $75,000 for six months of baby time.

Why should she have the expectation that her pre-supposed success should be rewarded? Why should she have such a sense of outrageous entitlement? Or rather, why should she expect anything at all?

I don’t have issues with paid parental leave but I do have issues with people who expect the government to cater for their every whim. Women or anybody for that matter who is in need of government support should be able to receive it, but why should a successful person be entitled to receive more for something (that is basically a life choice) than a person who is unable to make that choice purely based on financial grounds? In essence, this young lady expects the government to give her a handout. A huge one.

Maybe I’m showing my age but I don’t recall these greedy attitudes from older generations. Since when have we become a country of people who want something for nothing and expect hard-working taxpayers to provide it for us.

This young lady made it clear – without saying so – that her vote would go to the party prepared to give her the most money to have a child. There was little-expressed concern that most of the taxpayers who foot the bill earn less in a year than she would pocket under Abbott’s PPL scheme (assuming, of course, that she is in a successful, high-paying job as she expects to be).

I don’t like Abbott’s scheme for a few of reasons. Firstly, I can’t see it as being viable (which I won’t go into as it is not the purpose of this post). Secondly, I find it discriminatory (again, I won’t expand on this). Thirdly, and most importantly, as shown on QandA last night it produces a sense of ‘unearned’ entitlement and greed. And sadly, at the expense of people who are more needy.

Someone is sure to enlighten me by announcing that her attitude is typical of today’s generation. If it is, then I was seriously unaware of it. If it is, then I find it extremely disappointing. If it is, do we really need to keep encouraging it?

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  1. PeterF

    Abbott was going around yesterday saying that if Rudd opposed Abbott’s scheme he would be ‘turning his back on the women of Australia”, conveniently ignoring the fact that under Rudd, there already exists a scheme helping women.

  2. Gaik Ng

    Why are we paying mothers to have babies in the first place?

  3. Louise

    Well said Michael. Greedy with a huge slice of entitlement. I was thinking of all the self funded retirees and those with money in shares in their superannuation funds who will all lose out to pay for this unfair scheme.

  4. Peter

    So true Michael.

  5. Chris

    This is one of the reasons I will not be voting for TA. And I’m a member of the LNP .

  6. Debbie Mannix

    So true, I was also amazed at the people twittering “I should earn more so I should get more”.

  7. Sue Peterson

    I’ve been banging on about this for ages but I’ll say it again. The main reason why women fee they have to return to work is the cost of housing. If mortgages were manageable on a single income all these other allowances and subsidies wouldn’t be needed as much. Cutting negative gearing alone would reduce house prices and enable women of child bearing age to take as much time as they need without the pressure of paying the rent or mortgage

  8. Susan

    To answer your question “is she typical of the younger generation?” I don’t think so. I have two bright young ambitious daughters who are horrified by this PPL, simply because it, as you stated, moves public money away from those in need, to those with greed. No, not all young people are as selfish as that one, just the children of LNP voters.

  9. ananda1955

    Now i see abbott offering to give long term unemployed people thousands of dollars, for getting a job and them keeping it for at least 2 years. HMMMM? and this from a man talking about a budget emergency. just vote buying i think ! well someone has to pay for all of this, obviously the low paid worker and pensioners propping up those well off.

  10. Kaite M.

    I’m with you here Michael, well said.

  11. Terry2

    The young lady in question has probably fallen for the Abbott/Hockey line:

    ” if it’s alright for a bloke to be paid his normal wage while on annual leave or sick leave then why isn’t it alright to pay a mother her normal wage whilst on maternity leave”.

    This argument has been misleading as, of course, employers pay the annual leave and sick pay to employees in accordance with respective conditions of employment, no matter their gender.

    This young women would probably agree that a government should only ever seek to achieve equity within the community when it comes to distributing public money. The present scheme achieves that equity and if an employer agrees to top-up the basic wage provisions to normal salary then so be it: the government should not engage in supporting and fostering privilege at the expense of equality.

    It might be nice for pensioners to be paid their pre-retirement income by the government or for the unemployed to receive Newstart based on their previous working income but it ain’t going to happen because it is too costly, it is unfair and inequitable.

  12. CMMC

    Narcissism confused with libertarian bravura, the model citizen of the Abbott dystopia.

    And, considering Barnaby Joyce’s preference deal with One Nation, it must be……

  13. Kelly Bowman

    Obviously , she is a woman of privilege who has no understanding of a NEEDS based welfare system. She clearly feels that her already advantaged situation in her career and education should be subsidised by the rest of us including the poorest tax payers on a minimum wage. The current parental scheme is better and fairer. By the way, you guys wingeing about any parental leave at all need to take off your dinosaur suits, parental leave benefits the whole society including your wives and daughters, prevents a massive braindrain and gives women an alternative to the drudgery and lonliness of unpaid servitude in the home. If it was so good more men would do it. What I object to in her comment is the sense of entitlement and greed. Why does anyone on $150000 a year need a handout from taxpayers? If they can’t make the mortgage payments on their million dollar lawyer’s house then sell it and buy one you can afford while you have your kids!

  14. Geoff Of Epping

    Since when did we become a greedy nation?
    Since 1996 when one John Winston Howard pissed our surpluses up against the middle class wall of entitlements.

  15. misseagle

    Michael – I agree – but I think you and I are both showing our age. Women of my day could seldom aspire to much, except the more glamorous could aspire to be Miss Australia. So I suppose I have to admire the chutzpah and think that perhaps this is what we old school feminists were working for!?!

  16. joy cooper

    Yes,Geoff of Epping my thinking exactly JWH was the divisive one who fostered this sense of entitlement amongst the upper middle class which then filtered down the line. Me me me. Fortunately, not all young people are like the one mentioned here. There are many bright intelligent ones who have a wonderful sense of altruism BUT there are still those who, despite their expensive education subsidised by the taxpayer, still believe we owe them big time. Their sense of entitlement is unbelievable.

    Great article, Michael.

  17. nikki

    whoever is still arguing in favour of this scheme has obviously not understood or is not interested in the difference of ‘equality’ to ‘equity’. that has nothing to do with feminism. things have changed, but it seems that the ones that expect most from the government and know how to get it are not the ones that need it most. it’s not specific to Australia though. i am not born during the hardships of WW2 or after (more gen X) and yes, we are better off and can ask for more but even i find some of the egocentric attitudes of younger generations pretty disturbing and very wrong.

  18. Susan

    Spot on Geoff of Epping. What a nasty time in the history of Australia JWH introduced and sadly it will be perpetuated by TA or KRudd regardless who wins on Sept 7. JWH’s idea of entitlement will be given an added boost if he’s made GG should the horrid happen and TA wins. Imagine MOON, mother of our nation,aka MrsH gloating as she’s once more ensconced by he harbour

  19. Bacchus

    Perhaps she should join a union and fight for PPL to be included in her employer’s Enterprise Agreement as a work entitlement, like we had to do to achieve every other workplace entitlement 😉

  20. Heather

    What perturbs me about Abbott’s throw out at women, is that it is meant to hype up the greed factor. Disgusting really. As if women dont have it bad enough already with basic survival on this planet. The statistics show that worldwide women are impoverished. I call it all “carrots for the donkeys” with the LN Coalition Paid Parental Scheme. It is so obviously that. Designed to suck women in to vote for them, and drop them in to the negative emotional levels just like the “mean little people” of the LNP. Quite easily cloned or some sort of weird vampirism…gobble you up number.

    I cracked a joke with my friend re Kelly O’Dwyer on QandA “my god what sort of species is she?”. You notice how they are all gobbly, mouths open and feeding all the time. Be like us we are greedy and loving it!!!…and we will gobble you right up…eeeek!
    stuff of nightmares.

  21. richo

    I was going to say something about JWH and the pork barrelling he did however John of Epping beat me to it.

    I find it frustrating that the comparrison with holdiay leave etc is being drawn. There needs to be more made of the fact that those are paid for by the employer not by the taxpayer. They are in a different realm all together.

    It is like the whole furphy of a private school education being a matter of choice. A choice only available to some … oh that’s right it’s only the some that count to the LNP isn’t it.

    Private education is a choice that some can make. It is a choice that the some can and do choose to make should be willing to pay for. The government education should be funded adequately by the government and the private one by the private

    It is very clear when going past these facilities that the immense funds they receive are only bolstering their capital infrastructure.

    I attended state and private schools and there was minimal difference in the quality of the education I received.

    How does this related to the entitlement feelings of the young. Well I guess it’s just one part of the picture. One part of the middle/upper non means tested hadout pork barrelling that the LNP are so famous for.

  22. hannahquinn

    It’s an example of narcissistic me-ism without any insight or ‘outsight’ for that matter. But, I wonder if she was a plant; but perhaps that is because it was such an ugly sense of yet-to-be-earned entitlement that I find it hard to believe it as genuine. That could just be the ignorance of on older woman who remembers when people struggled, literally, to feed and clothe their families and medical or dental attention was pure luxury.

  23. marx kery

    John Howard and the rest gave women money to have babies. Guess what ? They did on mass and thus the journey of slave labor for women thinking they where liderated is nothing more than delustional.

  24. hannahquinn

    If this child’s question was genuine, I shudder at the audacity and selfishness it displays. If it was a ‘plant’ [by the Left] it serves to expose the inequity of the Abbott Paid Parental Leave Scheme and did that well. If it was a ‘plant’ [by the Right] it demonstrates the base politics of en’gendered’ greed they are deploying in order to get themselves elected, i.e. literally at any price. Whatever the driver of the question, in time to come, this child will come to rue it. At least, I hope she does.

  25. My 2c

    I am becoming increasingly annoyed that simply because Abbott is offering an ill-conceived & unfair PPLS, the idea is being conveyed and derided is that ‘we’re paying women to have babies’. Grow up, get into the 21st century & have a good, hard look at yourselves. And don’t give me that rubbish about ‘I didn’t rely on government handouts when I had my babies so why should these lazy, selfish women get paid to do what I did for free’ – it’s called progress & if we followed that style of thinking, we would all, including very young children, still be expected to work 12 -15 hour days, sick leave, holidays, overtime etc would not exist & women would still not participate in the workforce at all. Times marches, things change.

    Why should mothers be financially disadvantaged – because only they can become pregnant & bear children, which then comes with some responsibility to care for said babies. If women really became selfish & decided to stay in the workforce to continue their careers and not to have children, the workforce would diminish to zero within a generation.

    So having babies is an economic issue in today’s world. Having to take time off work to do that is a social issue. Whilst I disagree with ridiculous baby bonuses, I think any PPLS must recognise the unique contribution that women make and not devalue it because it is ‘natural’.

    My own view is that women should be paid their full wage, including superannuation, and they should be entitled to take a full six months off from work, when they have children. It’s how it’s funded that’s the real issue – and I think it should be funded through some sort of government run social insurance scheme that all employers & employees contribute to – like superannuation. Yes, it means that some people who do not have children will pay – and some employers will be outraged at having a new cost…but employers as a category get the pay-off with each new batch of workers women have produced for them. And the cost for such a small time off work, as opposed to funding one’s retirement, would be quite small, especially as both employers and employees (in my scheme) would contribute.

    I also think men, as equal financial contributors to the social insurance costs & as participants in family, should also have the right to be able to take up to 6 months off to be at home with their new family. A side-effect of making over our whole IR field may even be more jobs for more people, as vacancies left by new parents need to be filled.

    Finally, I would like to add that I am a grandmother so neither I nor my children will be able to take advantage of such a scheme. And my essential point is that as a society we must move forward and realise that workplaces are made up of people, not just economic units. So even if Abbott’s proposal is a shocker, and Labor’s is a great leap forward but still somehow wanting, we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. There is a way to do this.

  26. cassilva48

    Someone needs to remind this misguided lass of what might have been

    Authors: Dr Yvonne Hartman and Dr Sandy Darab Affiliation: Southern Cross University. Contact Details:

    In workplace negotiations, the Standard will apply unless the AWA’s provide a more favourable outcome for the employee. All other conditions – such as overtime, penalty rates, annual leave loading and redundancy – are to be negotiated with the employer.

    The emphasis on ‘choice’ and ‘flexibility’ is in keeping with neoliberal ideology but in actuality Work Choices is heavily regulatory for employees. The employer can choose whether to offer a potential employee an award or an AWA and the only choice the worker has is whether to accept or not. There is no guarantee of minimum hours or of maximum hours. As Waring, de Ruyter and Burgess (2005) point out, wages can be averaged, overtime and penalty rates removed, and all hours rendered ‘ordinary’ so that working hours may well exceed 38. One of the criteria for determining if additional hours are reasonable is consideration of the operational requirements of the workplace (Australian Government OEA 2006b, p. 9). Without recourse to unfair dismissal laws in businesses with 100 or less employees, many employees may find it difficult to refuse an employer’s request to do more hours at a lower rate of pay. Their only entitlement is $12.75 per hour minimum rate of pay and three leave provisions. Work Choices ensure the deregulation of employers’ obligations in the workplace, declining working conditions and a wages race to the bottom, as has already been predicted by a number of commentators (Ellem et al. 2005; King & Stillwell 2005; Waring, de Ruyter & Burgess 2005; Fenwick 2006). In fact, we have seen the commencement of this process already, as discussed below.

    More than
    one in five workers (22%) had no entitlement to pay increases over the life of the agreement.

    Sixty three percent lost entitlements to penalty rates,

    52 percent lost shift allowances,

    64 percent lost annual leave loading and

    40 percent lost gazetted public holidays.

    In addition,

    31 percent of this cohort had their overtime loading modified,

    29 percent had rest breaks changed, and

    27 percent had public holiday payments altered (Australia, Senate 2006, pp. 86, 98, 100).

    Howard argues Work Choices is designed to strengthen the economy. However logic suggests that the government’s purposes in redesigning the industrial relations legislation can be interpreted as an ideologically driven attempt to force down wages, remove workers’ conditions and emasculate the power of trade unions. The welfare reform legislation is similarly ideologically motivated to cut government spending and stigmatise dependency. These two pieces of legislation therefore arguably form a policy suite which will relegate those with an inability to participate in the formal labour market to the status of long-term unemployed, with its attendant indignity and poverty. Those deemed able to participate – even when incapacitated – will endure working poverty.

  27. cassilva48

    What this young girl has no knowledge of is that if Whitlam had not introduced equal pay for women, there would be no woman earning $150,000 per year.
    The Whitlam Program
    Whitlam came to office claiming a mandate for a wide-ranging program of social reforms.

    He referred to his policies as “the program”.

    In a whirlwind of activity over three years the government:

    ended conscription and withdrew Australian troops from Vietnam.
    implemented equal pay for women.
    launched an inquiry into education and funded government and non-government schools on a needs basis.
    established a separate ministry responsible for aboriginal affairs and supported the idea of land rights.
    recast our foreign policy by withdrawing support for South Africa, recognising China, granting independence to Papua-New Guinea and distancing Australia from USA foreign policy.
    abolished tertiary education fees and established the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme.
    increased pensions.
    established a universal system of health insurance known as Medibank.
    established controls on foreign ownership of Australian resources.
    passed the Family Law Act, establishing no-fault divorce.
    passed a series of laws banning racial and sexual discrimination.
    extended maternity leave and benefits for single mothers.
    sought to democratise the electoral system by introducing one-vote-one-value.
    – See more at:

  28. Tashi Witekauha

    Whole heartedly Agree.

  29. cousincat

    Great blog, Micheal. And kudos to Geoff of Epping!

  30. cousincat

    oops, typo..I meant “Michael”…sorry!

  31. diannaart

    >>>This young lady made it clear – without saying so – that her vote would go to the party prepared to give her the most money to have a child.<<<

    No doubt this young woman considers herself to be one of Abbott's 'women of calibre' dog whistle.

    Sad, but not surprising given the LNP's record of middle and upper class welfare, which began as others have pointed out with Howard.

  32. Brian

    This young woman is just another example of what I think of as the light bulb type. If by chance they are struck by lightening they shine, whilst those about them do not. What they fail to realise is that it is simply luck that makes them standout. A matter of an opportunity that came their way or a situation that they were able to exploit. Instead of seeing this for what it truly is, they believe they are something special; more deserving than the rest. Hence we have tweets like the “I make more, I contribute more,therefore I deserve more”. No sense of a social conscience. Just gimmee, gimmee, gimmee. There are some who spend their lives in the sun, some who will enjoy it for while and them slip through no fault of their own into the darkness and there are those who will never know it at all. The arrogant belief that this woman displayed even though so obviously young and inexperienced, highlights her complete ignorance of the true nature of our existence. Though an atheist myself I am reminded of that old proverb which says “There, but for the grace of God, go I”. To many of these types and to this woman as well perhaps, enlightenment will come. Then they’ll recognise why social welfare exists and it’s not so the haves can have more.

  33. Fed up

    Michael, I am in my seventies. You have reminded me of something, I have long forgotten. It was the Child Endowment, that I received for my four kids.

    Yes, it was a powerful tool to me. It was only small, but gave me the only independence I had from my husband,

    It put food on the table on many occasions.

    Now, these women want it all. They want to work, get to t

    Yes, I do believe that maternity leave is a workplace benefit, and as so, should be paid for by the employer.

    With the present scheme, we have the government supplying a safety net, that is to be topped up by the employer. As it should be.

    NPC Peter and Tanya.

    Tanya is telling Peter, much of what he is proposing has already been done.

    That seems to be the norm with most of Abbott’s policies, no matter the field.


  34. Ian

    Just a guess, but sounds like a University Liberal Party stooge to me, saying anything to get her hero Abbott elected, not a single original thought in it’s little head, just repeats ad nauseum her masters voice.

  35. GeorgeMitchell

    She radiated ‘Young Liberal’ vibes, that young girl. Having seen her on Q&A, I’m glad I’ll probably never have to work with or even meet Caitlin. What a self-serving question? The idea of anyone’s taxes helping her to breed is a bit off-putting.

  36. RichardU

    “ask what your country can do for you—ask not what you can do for your country.”

  37. richo

    Great call RichardU

  38. What a Hide!

    I worked my butt off for 50 odd years so that I could support myself in my old age, plus I bought my own house on my low wage and paid it off @ 18.5% interest rate. I did not have the money to buy the latest tv, stereo, furniture (which was all rescued from going to the tip) and still don’t have the latest or the best. Now Abbott wants to take my money and give it to selfish twits like that girl. If she wants to have a baby let her pay for it, not others like me. No one is forcing her to work and have a baby.

  39. Sian Mann

    I am 19 and I am against the PPL scheme. I am unsure why people who earn MORE money should receive the BIGGER hand out – perhaps they were able to get into a great university and a high paying job because they were raised in a financially stable home, or had access to opportunities based on a variety of factors: location, gender, race, financial status etc. Why should one receive a larger hand out because of the privilege and entitlement they’ve been born into? I call bullshit.

    It is Abbott’s way of giving to the rich and taking from the poor. I will be voting for the party who has my best interest at heart, and being a part of the lower middle class, I know who I am voting for. Clearly, this young successful lady who posed the question came from different circumstances, and that is okay, we vote selfishly, what is good for me, may not be good for others.

  40. kayelee1

    The up and coming generation of Conservatives are a very scary bunch of people. At the Qld LNP conference in July they put forward three proposals to “improve” our nation.

    1. Bring back cracker night. “I think more than anything this is about sending a message that we don’t necessarily subscribe to the notion of the nanny-state,” Mr Vorster (state president of the Young Liberals) said.

    2. Random illicit drug testing for long term unemployed and welfare recipients

    3. Removing Australian content quotas for free-to-air television

  41. Umberto Ledfooti

    Of course the particulars of Abbot’s PPL will change.

    Remember how he did a complete 360 on it once before, and Kerry O’Brien tarred and feathered him with that infamous “Gospel Truth” comment?

  42. richo

    I love that Gospel truth interview.
    But seriously Random drug testing of the welfare recipients and long term unemployed WTF is this. I am calling Bullshit on the whole bloody LNP

  43. Mark Marriott

    I am philosophically opposed to eugenics programmes, and Abbott’s scheme has that smell about it.

  44. Que of Brisvegas

    I think the point we are all missing is why aren’t men getting the same PPL entitlement as women? After all we are supposed to be equals.

    Has Abbottpell gone from misogyny to misandry in one policy?

  45. EDG


  46. richo

    It is all very interesting isn’t it. I see Abbott is now calling for any of his “Signature” policies to be supported through parliament or he will call a double disollusion election. Typical LNP don’t get what I want so I call foul and to hell with the costs to the tax payer. As if we need to be put through another election just so he can get what he wants.

  47. Terry2

    There does seem to be a consensus developing within the community on how to tackle PPL in an affordable and sensible way. From my observations this is how it is stacking up:

    It seems that the existing minimum wage ($622 pw) over 18 weeks is generally agreed to be a good start but should be increased to 26 weeks, probably incrementally over the next five years.
    Employers should, as a workplace entitlement, be required to top-up the minimum wage to normal income, again incrementally so that within five years we should be up to 80% of normal income plus superannuation: that’s it.

    I wonder if the pollies are listening.

  48. Carol Taylor

    Mark and,

    I am philosophically opposed to eugenics programmes, and Abbott’s scheme has that smell about it.

    My feelings also..Abbott’s rewards for the wealthy to breed reeks of elitism. The thing which struck me about this young lady was her sense of entitlement: I want a baby, I am superior, therefore I should be handed a motza because I choose to breed.

    Any PPL should be for the sole purpose of enabling families who cannot afford to live on a single wage to be able to have a family. At present many couples do not have a choice, both must work or they simply would not be able to pay the mortgage. A PPL should not be a handout to those who can afford to save and if someone on $150,000 cannot save, then they should be having a hard look at where their priorities lie.

  49. diannaart


    While high income earners are no doubt flattered by being categorised as “of high calibre” (I really loathe that elitist phrase) – as demonstrated by Sian Mann, I understood aspiring to higher pay, meant one could be independent from government welfare.

    How do the neo-libertarian brigade see such promises from T Abbott? Are they as gullible as some 19 year olds?

  50. Michael M

    Not all programs do, but Q&A’s website does provide transcripts of the show within 24 hours, and before that, transcripts of the questions, on its website.

    So, with regard to Michael’s article, this was the question as asked:


    Caitlin Spence asked: As a young woman looking to enter the workforce in the next 2 years I am prepared to work hard and hopefully be successful.
    My dream would be to one day have a family. My fear is that people like you Mr. Shorten and the Labor Party are attacking women who have been successful and would qualify for the Coalition Paid Parental Leave Scheme. As I see it, it is a fair scheme because it gives all women the same pay as their regular wages, no more, no less and it’s for six months- the recommended minimum time to breast feed a new baby. How can you call that unfair?”

    OK, that’s the bald statement of her question.

    However, the body language and stony features (but for a curl in the lip for Bill Shorten) of the young woman was combative and demanding, and it seemed to me that she was saying that she wouldn’t actually be in employment for all that long before her “dream” of having a family would be embarked upon.

    That, in short, she’d get herself employed to get herself into a Paid Parental Leave Scheme situation.

    I wonder if she’s considered just how long anyone of any gender has to be employed to rise to the salary levels where Abbott’s scheme significantly advantages a woman on maternity leave over the existing government program?

    Or is she so convinced, as she certainly appeared to be signalling she is, that she’s most definitely a woman of calibre?

  51. Douglas Evans

    Points well made. Laura Tingle in her Quarterly Essay ‘Great Expectations’ wrote an analysis of this Australian sense of entitlement, the idea that that the major, perhaps only purpose of government is ‘to deliver more stuff to me’. She argued that it has always been a part of the Australian psyche. I’ll copy the blurb off the back cover as it looks pertinent to me.

    ” Since the de-regulation era of the 1980s, Tingle finds, governments can do less but we wish they could do more. From Hawke to Gillard each Prime Minister has grappled with this dilemma. … Through all of this and back to our origins runs an almost childlike sense of the government as savior and provider that has remained constant as the world has changed. Now we are an angry nation and the age of entitlement is coming to an end. … even if a leader surfs the wave of anger all the way to power, what answers can be given to our great expectations?

    ‘It is wrong to see the anger of the last few years as a one-off, which might go away at the next election. The things we are angry about betray the changes that have been taking place over the last few decades. Politicians no longer control interest rates, the exchange rate, or wages, prices or industries that were once protected or even owned by government. Voters are confused about what politicians can do for them in such a world.'”

    Sorry to rattle on but it seemed to be relevant to your question – ‘since when did we become a greedy nation?’ Tingle’s essay is worth reading.

  52. richo

    Interesting points made.
    The young lady in question smacked of a LNP plant. A young lady of calibre probably hoping to be cherrypicked straight into an LNP’s law firm or the like. The sad state is that for many who have to work up the ranks to those levels of income some are just handed it on a platter.

  53. Chris Gould

    It seems to be widely accepted that this PPL scheme would never pass the senate, in which case is it a real policy? Perhaps it is a distraction as there are no real policies only cuts and the fraudband which I’m guessing Rupert Murdoch stands to somehow make another fortune from.
    Some interesting comments on this page
    GeorgeMitchell you are so right. An ugly thought this little miss breeding and getting paid for it.
    Geoff of Epping Yes, Howard accelerated the greed with the increase with the first Home Owners Grant and other cash splashes. However the greed started with the worldwide love affair with money in the 80s. Thus Gen X, Y etc expect everything to be laid on for them. I can’t see their attitudes changing in a hurry.


    I began working as a teacher in 1960 and taught through till 2005 and occasionally since. For me this has been a gradual cancer on a society that now values selfish over selfless, successful entrepreneurs are admired regardless of how much damage they cause(d), unsuccessful entrepreneurs and ‘wife’s name sharp operators get chance after chance to clip unsuspecting clients, the rich are revered regardless of how the wealth was acquired, the cue card reader is regarded as a source of knowledge rather than the news, self regulation is abused and government regulation is administered by the least experienced and poorest paid public servants. The social stereo types of racism and sexism are perpetuated at the face to face end of service industry. CEO and boards became victims of global influences in their importance and paid themselves accordingly. Politicians capitalised on this surge, discovered their ability to avoid scrutiny for greed and put themselves into the top 1% of earners. the attitude of the kid’s to teachers indicated the change and by the end of the sixties, high school teachers no longer had senior teachers setting the week’s teaching nor setting the weekly tests. Many high school students were from homes more affluent than those of school teachers. High school teachers were no longer paid more than primary school teachers and when a secondary teacher left they were often replaced by a primary trained general teacher. There were no exams to exclude kids, there were not tests to regulate teaching, the bottom end jobs for school leavers had dried up or were taken as second jobs or spouse jobs and kids were prevented from taking apprenticeships at 15. This left a school senior cohort with 3 or 4 times the number of students than the system was able to teach. The curriculum was geared to the top 10% as measured by IQ tests leaving thousands of students ‘in a holding pattern’. The teaching was either beyond the students or beyond some students or unchallenging for some students. The end points were not exams to measure the success of the teacher and in all areas standards of success were set very low. Even in craft folding a piece of tin or hammering a nail became 5 out of 10 instead of right or do it again. Howard’s input was to keep students till year 12 this led to a certificate that in SA and the NT has a minimum standard of grade three and in individual cases a lower standard can be negotiated. This has allowed a senior group of teachers that are not required to achieve any maths, science or literature at degree level. It allows teachers to gain a teaching qualifications without maths science or literature studies at degree level. School is as meaningless now as it has probably always been but now the students know it and control it down to grade 10. They open their mind and demand to be fed like a chick. They open their throats and pour down the spirits. They are battered by TV violence by ‘realistic’ film reality by porn by political lies by misshapen history. regaled by the worship of ‘record’ profits’ and numerically meaningless ‘market movements’ without explanation at every news bulletin. All leading to money as the key to life. The last time I taught year 12 they could see no problems claiming the dole and moonlighting for cash casual jobs. ie no problem with cheating the government. for me the end of social innocence was with corruption of bjelke regime in queensland,(until mid 70’s Qld TV was beamed across QLD and into darwin) then 27 years of CLP dominance in the NT plus wran’s and kennet’s excesses. Poseidon released a fervour of greed appreciation even I bought shares in offshore oil(0.5 cents they went up to 11 but I was overseas, still got them somewhere) sorry just rambling old cynic. I am glad I brought my kids up to be honest and appreciate altruism and they are bringing up my grand children the same way. But we have no illusions that society cannot rely on teachers and classrooms for education beyond literacy and numeracy with certainty that schoolyards will perpetuate stereotypes and prejudices and the media schools

  55. doctorrob54

    Spoilt little bludgers will always exist,and should be treated with irrelevance.Their colours are shown when in their next breath they start moaning about the unemployed and single mothers bleeding the nation dry.

  56. Ken Brown

    Spot on Michael….there is no reason taxpayers should be paying for middle (and upper class welfare. Abbott is skewing the poor vs rich gap even further and if he wins it will be more of the same. Why should the poor subsidise the rich? It boggles the mind….but as you say greed rules these days and it is getting worse as time goes on…

  57. Michael John Wilson

    What a waste of time my advice to all you people just get on with your lives and stop counting other peoples money and what they desire, who cares plenty of money to go around

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