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Welfare Bashing the NEETS: The new team in the sport of welfare bashing

The acronym NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) is becoming more prevalent with those who enjoy the art of welfare bashing. For those who see themselves as a class above the unemployed, specialised welfare bashing is the new team sport.

Welfare bashing is no longer homogeneous. There are so many individual groups to welfare bash; it has now turned into a team sport. For those who enjoy the sport of welfare bashing, like any sport, it is very important to pick a side. Picking a side ensures the stigmatisation of anyone on welfare is further ingrained in society, because it adds to the generalisation that anyone on welfare is lazy and undeserving. Those who participate in welfare bashing see themselves as part of an elite class; even if they fail to recognise it in themselves.

Let’s have a look at four of the leading Welfare Bashing Teams, currently active in society today.

The Single Mother Welfare Basher

There are those who enjoy the art of welfare bashing the single mother. Gender is important here; because the act of sexual activity of behalf of a woman is still in 2016, considered a slovenly act by so many, particularly if it produces a child out of marriage.

For the women who have been brave enough to leave a domestic violent relationship; this too does not matter. Single Mother Welfare bashing jersey wearers truly believe that women are stupid and should have thought of not having kids if she was with someone violent.

No matter how you plead for leniency and understanding towards single mothers, the loud obnoxious Single Mother welfare bashers all point their fingers at the woman and her vagina as the spawn of all the evil in the world, which takes away their hard earned taxes.

Team Colours: Yellow and Red – (opposites to Purple and Green the power colours for women)

Favourite Stigma Play: Stigmatising mothers who are unable to work due to caring responsibilities as scum and a burden on society

War Cry: Keep your legs crossed!

The Unemployed Youth Welfare Basher

It is important to distinguish the Unemployed Youth Welfare basher as separate from one who welfare bashes all unemployed people. I have come across a significant peculiarity amongst some voices in mature aged welfare. Although these baby boomers are currently unemployed, it is not unusual for people within this group to see their welfare as more deserving than unemployed youth. I have seen some very disheartening comments from people who belong to mature job seeker groups and general welfare groups on social media. Including degrading comments about young single mothers as a particular favourite.

General comments about young people unemployed are normally associated with ‘laziness and bludging’ however conversations around mature aged unemployed are normally blamed on external factors such as ‘ageism and discrimination.’

Young people are seen as desperate to avoid employment and mature aged jobseekers are seen as desperate to find employment.

The media also encourages this separation. For example, A Current Affair appears empathetic to mature aged jobseekers, whilst demonising the rest of the unemployed, including single mothers (with hard hitting investigative stories like “should single mothers be forced to go on contraception?”).

Disparaging media claims about unemployed youth focus on young people rejecting jobs, participating in welfare rorting, ripping off the system, sleeping through interviews, choosing welfare over work and being idle and lazy, playing X-Box and eating Cheetos.

Regardless of how you ask for consideration that there are far more unemployed youth, than there are jobs for them to fill; the unemployed youth basher, will strongly argue that ‘they are not trying hard enough.’ They often compare their 1970’s utopia of going straight from year 10 into an apprenticeship as if that still exists today. They often still believe that free university education exists and that even TAFE is free and completely accessible for all.

Team Colours: Black – (opposite to white for poverty awareness)

Favourite Stigma Play: Stigmatising young unemployed people because the Government is too lazy to engage in job creation policy and laying the burden of this on jobless young people.

War Cry: YA BLUDGER!!!!! TRY HARDER!!!!

The Homeless person Welfare Basher

The homeless person welfare basher is a particular type of sick and cruel person. This type of welfare bashing jersey wearer places all blame on the individual and truly believes homelessness is their own making. They believe that the homeless are truly lazy individuals and do not want to work due to alcohol or drug addiction, or are just destructive young people who could go home if they really wanted to.

Race is also particularly important. Those that don this welfare bashing jersey see if people of colour are homeless; it is simply because their skin colour makes them drug addled, drunk, lazy and homeless, according to the loud mouthed, obnoxious, racist, vile crap that can smack you in the face all over social media.

This group champions official authoritarian responses to further degrade homeless people. The increased ban on homeless people using public restrooms, nail spikes to prevent sleeping in some areas and pop up sprinklers to deter them as well. Income management, especially for indigenous homeless people is a real vote winner for the Homeless Person welfare basher.

This group likes to point out that there are groups that help homeless people, so what is the problem? Some Government Ministers even like to blame the groups they cut funding from for the problem of homelessness; such as Western Australian Minister Liza Harvey who defended the use of sprinklers in Perth:

“The accommodation is there, the support services are there, the not-for-profit groups are there, the money’s flowing into the system. Clearly if there’s homeless people sleeping on King Street, those people aren’t doing their jobs properly.”

No matter how you much you plead for understanding and consideration of factors, which cause homelessness, the homeless person welfare basher will always, insist that all of these measures are avoidable. The ones that are not avoidable, such as mental illness or child sexual abuse, they should ‘just get over’ so they can stop being homeless.

Team Colours: Yellow (opposite to Purple the colour for homelessness)

Favourite Stigma Play: Stigmatising homeless people because they insist homelessness is their choice.

War Cry: Get off the drugs and get a job!!!

And Introducing….The NEET Welfare Basher

NEET hailed from the UK as a young person Not in Employment, Education or Training. The NEET Welfare basher is the hipster of all welfare bashers. They target this niche group of welfare recipients as the most abhorrent and lazy of all welfare recipients. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if the young person is in receipt of benefits; being under 25 they may well be reliant upon their parents for support. As long as the young person is not in school, TAFE, Uni or employed, the finger is extended to frantically point with judgemental criticism and wailing screams of ‘back in my day..’ at the NEET.

The NEET welfare basher is often someone who has had the luxury of getting a job when they were young, through the ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ or the ‘Daddy has rich friends employment scheme’. Or the woman who married someone quite young, who has the income to support both of them, whilst she stays at home and looks after the children.

The NEET welfare basher has had no hindrances to enter into university or has no confidence or financial issues with undertaking study. The NEET welfare basher also falls into the same category as the youth unemployment welfare basher who still lives in the utopia of the 1970s where public sector exams and entrance to the public sector was the norm, or apprenticeships for young men were in abundance, all done by just completing junior high school with a pass average.

The NEET welfare basher feels quite comfortable that they have the undeniable right to judge and stigmatise young people who are not engaged in employment or education, because to them finding a job or going to TAFE all seems so simple.

This type of welfare basher reassures themselves that there is nothing wrong with welfare bashing NEETs, because they believe that this group faces no hardships whatsoever.

They do not see themselves as stigmatising a young person who is the primary carer for a child or a disabled parent; or a young person who is disabled themselves. They just see it as degrading a lazy young person, who deserves it.

The NEET welfare basher can normally clear their conscience by asking a NEET who has been severely depressed due to constant rejection from employment, “RUOK” on that one day of the year. This self-absolves them from being arseholes.

The main factors associated with being a NEET are low level of education, low household income, having some type of disability, immigration background, living in a remote area, and a difficult family environment (Eurofound 2012). In tougher labour markets, the size of the NEET group will increase.

Regardless of how many facts that are presented by journalists who want to present the actual facts about NEETs; the NEET welfare basher reminisces about their youth and when they job hunted and how easy it was for them and waves the facts away with an indignant snarl.

Team Colours: Orange (opposite to Green, the colour for hope)

Favourite Stigma Play: Stigmatising young people who are not engaged in employment or education, because they truly believe after 30 odd years of a punitive jobsearch framework, coupled with the idea that ‘the free market will sort the jobs out’ that hindrances to employment for young people are just a myth.

War Cry: “Back in my day…”

In a country where we consider young people, ‘young’ up to 25 years of age and where the Prime Minister champions the ‘free market’ as the answer to everything, rejects Government intervention for job creation and truly believes that anyone can just go and be innovative and create an App to bring themselves out of poverty and into self-employment; welfare bashing will be an Olympic sport by 2020.

 

Originally published on Polyfeministix


37 comments

  1. stephengb2014

    Damn good – very true

  2. brickbob

    ‘Good article and spot on,the time i had to go on welfare saved my life and got me back on track to full time employment.

  3. bobrafto

    One of the low acts of J. Gillard was to reduce welfare payments for single mums, it didn’t resonate with me at all and some singles mums on Fb were distraught and weren’t going to vote Labor and only to find themselves even worse off under Abbott.

  4. helvityni

    When you come to Australia, you have to learn the Australian lingo, English is not enough.

    Unemployed people are not simply out of work, they are on the dole, they are dole bludgers.
    When you retire, you become a pensioner or a self-funded retiree. In many countries both rich and poor get a pension, and are ALL called retirees.

    It’s embedded in the Australian psyche to make divisions to do with money. It’s a value judgement: you have been lazy, you have not worked hard enough…no excuses about there not being any jobs, or having an accident, being disabled…

    People are also divided when it comes to their homes: they are either renters or owners. More respect is shown to home owners.

    Also if you are politically of the Left, it’s automatically assumed that you are poor. As if the man with means can’t have compassion and work for a fair share for all.

    ( maybe the last asumption is true in Mal’s case) 🙂

  5. Freethinker

    I agree 100% with you Trish, if there it is something to bash will be governments with bad policies, greed in society and lack of education by those that pass judgment on others without the right to do it so or by being uninformed.
    IMO it is repulsive to judge the homeless knowing that one of the reasons is mental health, it is repulsive by a politician blame them when these politicians are relaying in volunteer organizations to to the job.
    Today we have in the news how the backpackers are treated by many farmers and shelter providers. Are we going to bash the unemployed because he/she refuse to work in that conditions or are we going to bash the employees?
    No many years ago politicians and many people for that matter used to bashing the ex James Hardy workers that were claiming compensation for the effects of asbestos, now there are same that start blaming the miners.
    I only wish that those that pass judgment to others that once in their life are going to go trough to the same experience.

  6. Kay Schieren

    The biggest problem for Oz is the fact that our biggest “industries” are service industries which create the problems which we face. Marketing and spin-doctoring, financial services and all sorts of other nebulous bulldust raising attract high salaries and produce far less than nothing. That’s our most damaging welfare sector, populated by multi-mortgaged, foreign-debted spivs and nonsense spruikers. Real jobs is what they destroy, self preservation at any cost is what they preach. They have no future, but they are intent on taking all down with them.

  7. bobrafto

    Is there such a thing as downward envy?

    From owning my own home and from circumstances beyond my control I ended up with nothing and ended up on a disability pension and the only way to live in decent accommodation was to share a house, I’ve been in 3 in the past 5 years.

    In one of these houses owned by the mother of a life long friend and had his own house on the 52 acre property said to me why should I get more money on the pension than him. The disability pension pays an extra $5 or $6 extra per week and I told him to get a disability.

    The second house I lived in for a few months, the lady in her early sixties and was temporarily unemployed owned her own house and owned a income producing unit on the Sunshine Coast and she was bemoaning I was getting more income than her.

    I still can’t believe that people with assets could be jealous of me.

  8. townsvilleblog

    Trish, another excellent article from you! Item 1. The Single Mother Welfare Basher these lazy thinkers don’t think long enough to realize that a good proportion of people in this category could well have ended up that way due to the irresponsible actions of their husbands/boyfriends who have deserted them when another woman became involved in their relationship, it takes two to tango.

    Item 2. The Unemployed Youth Welfare BasherAccording to Morgan Research July unemployment figure was 10.5% August 10.4% down 0.1%. There are far in excess people wanting/looking for work, than there are jobs vacancies to fill. This is a State/Federal government responsibility which is not being met because government revenue is far too low. This situation is created by the corporations avoiding billions of dollars in tax, thus leaving the federal government short of funds, as the federal govt is short of funds they cannot pass those funds on to the States. However the LNP govt plans to do nothing to solve the situation, largely due to those corporations or at least some of them donate to the Liberal Party.

    Again laziness on the part of the thinker, The Homeless person Welfare Basher, Homelessness can occur to anyone, especially a couple who have children early in their relationship, and who happen to live on the median (most common) Australian wage of just $43,000 per annum, they normally have to rent, this takes a huge slice out of their income and there is no money left to save for a home of their own, and then unemployment can strike, leaving them homeless living in their car, if they have one. There are so many different scenarios it is impossible to name them all.

    Then lastly,
    And Introducing….The NEET Welfare Basher, a have a child in this situation. She was bullied out of school in Grade 9 by a young bloke who told her that he was going to rape her, then came the threat of burning our house down while she slept, this to an impressionable 14 year old girl. She suffered deep depression, for many years, but like me, she does have some smarts, howver when she applies for a job, at the end of the day, like me she has Grade 9 educational level. She does NOT receive any govt benefits.

    The situation with ‘lazy’ thinkers is they do not take into account real life. They pass judgement far too quickly, yes of course there are a certain proportion of lazy unemployed people in the community, but until the federal government can say that there is a job in Australia for anyone who wants one, the welfare bashers will always get an answer from me. I worked for 30 years before I broke down, in that time I worked three jobs simultaneously seven days a week for 7 years, sometimes 12 hour days, and sometimes for free, to enable me to keep my clerical sweatshop job. I have have no qualms at all accepting my DSP and with medication I usually sleep well.

  9. Roscoe

    I was having a discussion with a NEET welfare basher who was telling me how wonderful he was to be a self funded retiree. He had worked for the government for 30 years and in that time he had squirreled away as much as he could afford into his super which was matched $ for $ by the government, those dollars earned being from the taxpayer, and money put into super becoming tax free dollars, and the dollars contributed by the government from the taxpayer. with his early retirement, he padded out his super with a PS pension. But he is quite proud of the fact that he is not dependent on government welfare to fund his retirement.

  10. Freethinker

    What Bobrafto and Roscoe are saying about their experiences is a clear example why minorities with extreme ideologies are in power creating and using division in the majorities.
    Greed and envy in society works in favor of those that know how to use it for their own purposes

  11. Andre

    Good article & well written!

    Murdoch & its empire have certainly played a key part/role, in the bashing of anyone receiving welfare. I think that he & its ilk are doing it intentionally/on purpose, in order to try to create class divisions, social engineering etc.

    I hope he & its ilk, will one day be forced to walk at least a mile in the shoes of everyone, whose lifes these bastards are trying to ruin & destroy!

  12. trishcorry

    Bobrafto. Yes, indeed there are theories that can explain this. Distributive Justice is how people perceive as what is fairly distributed. With welfare, the fair distribution is based on the view of ‘fairness of need” (Tony Abbott’s daughter’s scholarship is a good example of a person who should not be determined as ‘fairness of need’ for a scholarship).

    However (theory of) relative deprivation means that people view this fair distribution as unfair compared to the amount of effort put in by others to the effort put in by them (Or any other type of deservedness). (They feel deprived of not ‘getting money for no effort).

    This is when the (theory of) “principle of least effort” (not working) becomes observed as more rewarding than the (theory of) “Principle of best effort” (working). Therefore, the perception is that some people feel ‘deprived’ regardless of their best effort to gain reward (employment) and feel they are most punished. This is as opposed to how they view those who put in the least effort (not working) but appear (to them) to be the most rewarded.

    The twisted thing about this entire thing is in terms of welfare, is that some people actually perceive people living 43% below the poverty line as people being rewarded, and they perceive this ‘reward’ as unfair as compared to the effort they put in for working.

    In the case of your pensioner friend: I would assume he sees the limitations to work as both being equal and he doesn’t recognise that disability imposes more limitations and more expense, when deciding upon ‘what is fair to distribute amongst people’

    There are probably other theories which explain this, but these are the ones I am most familiar with.

  13. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Good article and interesting comments.

    We all know people like those categorised above. We all know the churn in the stomach when they speak their ignorance and lack of compassion.

    The RUOK reference is spot on too coz it reflects the capacity of neoliberals and numpties to use good concepts of such days as avenues to palm off responsibilities to the vulnerable for the other 364 days of a normal year.

    That example is like those executive sleep-outs once a year where so-called celebrity corporate types try to show what good guys and gals they are by sleeping rough once, when the reality is their negative, exclusionary business practices are the cause of true homeless people sleeping rough for 365 nights any year.

  14. Jack Straw

    If you did a cost benefits analysis of the Job Network system I am sure it would come a cropper. Apart from it’s punitive measures it’s outcomes are undefined and cost the taxpayer a motza. I would abolish the so called service altogether. Imagine the savings to the bottom line.Then there would be enough money available to genuinely help support them.Though this would put the Capitalistic snouts in the trough out of joint.

  15. king1394

    The TAFE system has been almost destroyed in recent years. My local TAFE college has closed down most of the courses it used to offer, including its entire Hospitality section. In a country town where the next closest TAFE is 60 k away, and not particularly accessible by public transport. The high quality Arts faculty is also gone, as are most of the childcare, aged care, and Assistant in Nursing courses. The TAFE system has been hollowed out and brought down so that inadequate private providers associated with the Job Search Agencies can have job seekers directed towards them instead.
    The possibility of entering worthwhile education and training is limited

  16. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Jack Straw. My thoughts exactly.

    king1394,

    that is an immense travesty of justice on so many levels.

  17. Trish Corry

    Oh Shaun / Townsville, I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. That is so terrible. I wish her only the best and that she keeps getting stronger and moves forward everyday. I wish her every success.

  18. Stephen Brailey

    Trish a very nicely written piece that beautifully captures the essencial hypocracy of the welfare bashing winger and shows them to be the mindless foot soldiers of neo-conservativism.

  19. NFP.

    The Current story on 2 female NEETS, I can understand people welfare bashing them to all extents.
    They had a favourite hangout called macdonalds, The story went to air, made the media rounds and Their Favourite Hangout offered both girls a JOB at the same time at the favourite hangout and what did they say and do???
    They refused the JOBS, and said they would rather die than work.
    Most unemployed people are honest to a degree, and genuinely have a hard time finding the right work for which they trained in.
    The single mother is not at fault for being a single mother in 80% of the cases, some are,some choose to be.
    Some are on sickness/compensation payments, and that is through no fault of their own…………….
    Those on Pensions have a disabilty or Illness which they can not help………Epilepsy is major health destroying experience, so is depression, anxiety, Mood swings, Schizophrenia, Etc and they can destroy a lot, I know that from personal experience………

    As for others, I know how they feel, Before I was on the pension, whilst on unemployment benefits as it was called back then,
    I was out every single day. Often walking, rarely a train or bus………From Granville To Auburn To LIDCOME< TO PARRAMATTA, Back to harris park, back to granville, then back to Auburn and strathfield, then off to Parramatta north, Just looking for work, over 1 month 1 clocked up 900 job applications and I did that everyday for 7yrs straight. Done numerous job courses, done numerous training courses
    including 1st Aid and Forklift Driving, and worked long hard hrs each Oct to Jan being a christmas Casual at Australia Post.

    Yet the 2 females in the current situation they are in because they choose to be, boils my blood, Others I have no problems with.

  20. Trish Corry

    NFP Thank you for your comment. I would like to address your comment in two parts.

    Firstly the condemnation of the two girls who were used as scape goats by the media. As individuals (and non-psychologists) can we truly understand if there are absolutely no hidden barriers in their way to even accept a job if it is offered?

    What is there level of self-efficacy to join the workforce? Do they have fear and anxiety of being ridiculed amongst people they don’t know? Is there a level of social anxiety we aren’t aware of? Do they have a terrible fear of stuffing up and getting the sack from ‘somewhere like McDonalds’ Sometimes people don’t do many things due to fear of failure. Self-Efficacy itself can also be a huge hindrance. Are there other factors such as hidden disability we are not aware of, or even undiagnosed disability? These are just a few examples. How come there are not provisions in the system to understand the the unemployed better to really assist them?

    The problem is with the system we have now, those employed to find people employment are not qualified in psychology or career counselling, they are merely sales people with KPIs for quick through put to secure case based funding for successful placements, normally for a private or overseas global enterprise.

    Why should we even judge them? Why should we be angry at them when we don’t know all the facts. This is an easy way that people extend to external judgements of all people on welfare.

    Secondly, Where you say it ‘boils your blood’ because they choose to, you cannot 100% understand all the factors or barriers associated with them. This is why it is easy for others to judge people, because they truly believe they know all the facts about a person. Look at Townsville Blogs example. I’m sure there would be many people who may look at his daughter and just assume what they want to assume; yet the facts when detailed are confronting and heartbreaking.

    Stigma of the wider group is caused because too many people judge just that one individual, then another, then another as if they know all the facts, and then this extends to ‘most of them’ until it becomes ‘all of them’

    The media is very powerful and we are not privvy to any deals the media have done with these girls, nor are we privvy to the type of editing that has occurred in the segment.

    Secondly, What was the real purpose of the media to use these two girls as scapegoats when there are overwhelming facts that the young people in this category are not just flat out rejecting employment, education or training and in fact in todays the society, they are are the lowest percentage of this group for a very long time?

    Perhaps boiling people’s blood just sells one hell of a lot of advertising and that makes a hell of a lot of money. If the agenda set by media is also political, boiling people’s blood also give so much more acceptance when pushing more and more punitive measures on the unemployed.

  21. Christian Marx

    Great article. Unfortunately the evil of Neoliberalism has infected large sections of society like a cancer.
    Mainstream media has become the Neoliberal propaganda arm and it needs to be dismantled.

  22. Andreas Bimba

    Vote Greens. Greens policy is for a fiscal stimulus of 3% of GDP which is about an extra $50 billion p.a. for government spending to drive the urgent transition to clean energy, sustainability and to provide critical infrastructure along with responsible environmental, economic, foreign, defence and social/health/education policy.

    Even better would be a federal government fiscal stimulus that is adjusted up and down to keep involuntary unemployment and underemployment near to zero and a job guarantee scheme for the residual unemployed as recommended by Professor Bill Mitchell and other Modern Monetary Theory economists but we are still waiting for any party to adopt this approach as policy.

    The duopoly remain trapped by the neo-liberal mass media and right wing corporate leaders into further implementing the nonsense of ‘fiscal responsibility and paying back the governments debt’, ongoing chronic tax evasion and massive tax concession rorts for the wealthy, rule by the corporations, fraudulent privatisations and totally exposed free trade for manufacturing while having cosy crony capitalism for the banking/finance sector such as superannuation funds management and the property price bubble.

    Labor under Bill Shorten are undeniably better than the reprehensible LNP – that are really just servants for the rich, as at least Labor redistribute the miserable funds available after the rich have first had their fill, in a more beneficial and socially responsible way, but we deserve better. Where is Australia’s Bernie Sanders?

    Our nations wealth disparity has increased substantially since the mid 1970’s when neo-liberalism and monetarism macro-economics took over from Keynesian stimulus, near to full employment policies and a fairer job market and accessible educational sector. We have slavishly followed the stupid U.S. style free market approach which is code for socialism for the rich and a ‘law of the jungle – survival of the fittest’ economy for the rest. Real net disposable incomes for the Australian working and middle classes have either stagnated or declined for the last forty years while a wealthy few percent have ran off with the nations wealth.

    Our biggest welfare recipients are the banking sector which receives a mortgage repayment windfall of about $40 billion p.a. (~half of all mortgages) due to the property price bubble which was a Howard government creation using the negative gearing concession and the CGT concession as well as opening the flood gates to foreign money into real estate. Then comes the superannuation fund managers that receive about $25 billion p.a. in management fees. Then comes the accelerated depreciation concessions, 150% exploration tax write offs, government funded infrastructure and services and the diesel fuel tax rebate for the mining industry that is also in the tens of billions p.a. Where are the tax revenues and royalties for a nations mineral and energy resources? How much tax does Chevron pay for example? Are we a developed country or a third world banana republic where a well connected few run off with the nation’s wealth with the permission of a corrupt political class? Martin Ferguson is a wonderful example.

    The superannuation contribution concessions, the negative gearing concession and the CGT concession cost the federal governments tax revenue many times more than the aged pension.

    Our deplorable mass media, including the ABC have relentlessly promoted the ideology of neo-liberalism and monetarism and far too many shallow thinking people have directed their frustrations and contempt at the victims rather than the real perpetrators that are in the media, the capital controlling elite, in our politics, bureaucracies and in ourselves – the voter.

  23. Harquebus

    Good article and good comments.
    Thanks.

    Spot on Christian Marx.

    In regards to unemployment. We have growing populations combined with the pillaging of our diminishing resources which, is poisoning us and our environment while we are hammered by the already has begun climate disruption. The overall trend can only go one way which, is up.
    Some might say “Yeah but,” and I say TARP, QE, ZIRP, NIRP and the always exponentially increasing mountain of global debt of which, Australia has played its part.
    This can not end well. The only consolation will be that, the more one has, the more one will lose and the higher one is up the ladder, the further one will have to fall.

    Avagoodwun.

  24. Kim Southwood

    Great leading article and discussion. This forum goes a long way to revealing the tremendous complexity of social issues at home and globally. It is often very frustrating to see how the media and politicians shy away from these complexities beyond examining them within the bounds of the status quo. Any real depth of analysis might take contentious social issues outside the realms of the Labour/Liberal dichotomy to a place where compassion and equity are paramount. This place is humoured with superficial lip-service by mainstream media and politics alike eg. RUOK. Quick and catchy, but largely ineffectual in outcome. Then there’s the ‘angry’, hard-line brigade who heap scorn on any attention given to time-wasting complexities.

  25. abbienoiraude

    Thank you for writing a great article.
    Great comments …meat for thought…as well.

    Most sole/single parents are mothers over 30 but no one mentions that. Reasons for becoming a single mum is not a choice unless you consider fleeing Domestic Violence/abuse so you can save your own life and that of your child/children. What Julia Gillard did to the support needed by these women and especially their fragile children is unforgiveable. Children beyond 6 years of age need their sole parent even more that those who have two. Stupid stupid stupid decision by the first female PM. Still 48 women a week have been killed this year thus far…but those like Kevin Andrews MP believe in ‘Go Home/Stay Home’ no matter what whilst the last PM Abbott slashed funding for women’s shelters and those in need now must attend the very few ‘Homeless Shelters’ which also harbour men. How would that feel for her and her children who have just been through (usually) years of abuse and threats to have to ‘live’ with male strangers.

    I wonder Trish what you might make of the DSP Bashers. Oh yes there are many, especially if you ‘present well’. Those bashers think you are on a ‘good wicket’ being on such a pension when most of it goes on housing ( owner or renter), food and medical help and pharmaceuticals. It IS by its very nature a ‘full time job’…just getting onto a waiting list to see specialists ( who can change the appointment at will) or a hospital event. You have to be ‘available’ at all times for everyone. Under Conservative Govts you also have to contend with the threatening tomes from Centrelink that demand..’if you do not comply….’ consequences.

    Thank you for writing this and I wonder if very many understand that the way Government Economics works means that there must be a % of unemployment as it is necessary for a healthy economy + taxes are not gathered to ‘pay for welfare’. Taxes are gathered to control inflation. That there is not a ‘budget repair’ needed. Australia is a Sovereign Nation with a Sovereign currency so the Govt controls all the needs of the citizenry through money management NOT through taxation.
    The ignorance of the populace on how Economics works means the politicians can tell lies and keep the populace fearful and choosing the target for hate ie ‘Welfare bludgers’.
    @Andreas Bimba is correct; The greatest Welfare Recipients are those reaping subsidies from the Govt coffers…eg mining ( Gina Twiggy et al) get around $13 Bill a year…think on that!

    We on DSP, Unemployment, sole parents, etc are not the ‘bludgers’. Corporations are by the grace of Neoliberalism and with the support of Governments who prop up the wealthy and destroy free education ( from kindy to uni) and TAFE!

  26. Trish Corry

    Hi Abbie. I originally did have DSP in there, but the article was simply too long. I had to cut it back, I ended up just choosing four. Disability and work is a special interest of mine. I have done an article previously on Disability and work previously http://theaimn.com/lnps-new-talent-disable-people-disability/ Perhaps I may do a follow up article just about disability. There is so much to speak to in just this segment alone.

  27. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    abbienoiraude,

    mothers with single parent responsibilities and sacrifices are understood in more places than you think. However, the stigma attached is problematic and has been for yonks.

    Many reading now know the abject discrimination in all socio-economic-political senses and the total ineptitude of the duopoly to address that persecution.

    Time to re-visit how such circumstances are to be re-defined to bring justice to the mums and to their kids (and other related parties).

  28. Rob Holmes

    Nobody seems to understand that what is missing from the discussion is that unemployment is a deliberate economic policy of government. Government deficit spending is kept at a level to ensure unemployment does not sink below about 4%. Taking into account part-time employment together with unemployment we now have a wasted human resource of up to 14% resulting in a huge number struggling to survive. As economist Bill Mitchell puts it – the unemployed are those who are unable to find buyers for their labour. Why is unemployment a deliberate policy? It is based on the misguided belief that a reserve of unemployed keeps the lid on wages – workers are fearful of demanding better conditions due to the risk of losing their jobs – and therefore a lid on inflation. This is all within the neoliberal belief that balanced budgets and surpluses will bring prosperity – which has no basis in fact or reality.

  29. Robert Foran

    Well said Rob Holmes and… well….. everyone else too. Unemployment is very much a deliberate policy, used as both a tool of fear against the worker and a resource for industry (where else is a start up business going to find employees, without poaching from another business). Also that 4% is only a percentage of the workforce, (not the actual population). Australia’s workforce is actually just under half the population, so the number of Australian’s who don’t work is just over half the population. This demonising of the unemployed is so effective precisely because it plays on our fears. The fear that we will end up unemployed. The fear that the unemployed are sapping the life from our society. The fear that the unemployed are getting a share of our hard earned rewards, without putting in the same level of (or any) effort. Fear is the tool ‘they’ use to control us. I resolved long ago not to live in fear, how successful I’ve been is open to debate, but I try, and I think we should all at least try not to buy into the scaremongering, whatever form it takes.

  30. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear to Rob Holmes and Robert Foran.

  31. Trish Corry

    Dr. John Falzon on Lateline last night brought tears to my eyes. He immediately brought to Alberici’s attention that her language was all wrong, by framing those on welfare as ‘dependent’. Something I try my hardest to do. To point to the damaging narrative. If everyone did what Falzon did last night we would start to remove the stigma. We cannot let this new attack on welfare take hold.

  32. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Antichrist Porter was just on AM again emphasising the need for savings in the Welfare budget. Why?

    Maybe so he can skim the dollars off the top to give to Marise Payne so she can spend it on Defence budget which will help the US bomb Syrian soldiers to help Daesh?

    Great way for reducing the world’s population. Starve vulnerable people at home and bomb vulnerable people abroad. Hitler would be proud, Antichrist Porter, Minister of SS.

  33. Carol Taylor

    Jennifer use of language isn’t it – that Porter is ‘targetting’ groups – the 1st group mentioned was young carers who apparently, instead of sacrificing all for the benefit of a loved one need to levitate themselves off their lazy bums and get off welfare. How pray tell? Is Porter going to step forward and offer these young carers eg extensive respite breaks, daily home help? Does Porter realise how much carers SAVE governments in providing services for the lousy pittance which is the Carers Allowance. Whatever it is that this “revolutionary shakeup” is, it would be assumed given this government’s attitude to ‘leaners’ such as the disabled and their carers, that it’s going to be punitive.

  34. helvityni

    We are obsessed with border protection, not interested in protecting, our sick, unemployed or the aged. I don’t think Turnbull cares about our public schools either.

    Marise did not say much on 7.30. We ‘ll find money for other peoples’ wars and unnecessary Plebiscites..

  35. amethyst

    Hi Townsvilleblog. I feel for your daughter, and although I am in SE Qld, I would like to help your daughter, if I can. I am a semi-retired high school teacher, and I have worked variously, including with adults.

    I recommend a TPP (Tertiary Preparation Program) course, which can be done by correspondence, email and on line. University of Southern Queensland is very open and encouraging. The staff and lecturers will go beyond their official tasks to ensure that everyone who attempts can achieve. I worked as a tutor at Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre and by this method I was able to assist inmates to prepare for Uni entrance. (They did not have access to internet nor any digital gadgets, but could use word processing and submission by hard copy.)

    TPP at USC only involves 2 subjects – yes, you guessed it – English and Maths. The English is an introduction to University writing, so no analysis of text, as in standard Year 12 English, and the maths is at whatever level the student has last studied.

    I am happy yo assist your daughter by skype, or whatever, so that she can improve her life choices.PM me.

  36. Pingback: The myth of Jobs Growth – Australia Awaken – ignite your torches

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