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April 21, 2024

Editorial: The have yachts 

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Australia’s image of ‘a fair go’ has waned over the past two decades, with the gap ‘blowing out’ between those who have lots, and those without much.

This is according to the peak body for the community services sector, Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).

Their latest report (at apo.org.au), is co-authored with UNSW Sydney, and claims the average wealth of the highest 20 per cent is ‘growing at four times the rate of the lowest’.

ACOSS say, ‘From 2003 to 2022, the average wealth of the highest 20 per cent rose by 82 per cent and that of the highest five per cent rose by 86 per cent, leaving behind the middle 20 per cent (with a 61 per cent increase) and the lowest 20 per cent (with a 20 per cent increase)’.

‘The overall increase in wealth inequality over the period was mainly driven by superannuation, which grew by 155 per cent in value owing to compulsory savings property investment.

‘Contrary to the public image of ‘mum and dad’ property investors, investment housing is very unequally shared: the wealthiest 20 per cent hold 82 per cent of all investment property by value’.

An alien’s perspective 

If a friendly, highly advanced alien were to arrive on the planet, and by chance they landed in Australia, what would they say? 

After consuming all the information available on the internet, and asking around a bit, it’s plausible that they might make some observations like this:

‘Humans have the ability to solve the problems of which they have created themselves. 

‘Yet greed, fear and conformity has blinded those few who have control of the masses. 

‘This includes the political/bureaucratic class who control policy levers, and those who manage large volumes of cash, the biggest on the planet being US investment firms BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street.

‘Wealth equality and education is the best insurance against poverty and misery. 

‘It protects the wealthy from fear of invasion, and creates a fairer, more advanced society because it creates opportunity. 

‘How many great minds, with great ideas, have toiled away their lives as slaves?  

‘During the global Covid pandemic, Australia’s government showed that poverty is a choice. 

‘The government made the choice to financially support the poorest and most vulnerable. 

‘After the optics of the pandemic ebbed away, the government chose to return the policy levers to again exploit that section of the community. 

It looks like everyone forgot that rather quickly. 

‘What a shame for those who continue to toil away their lives as slaves, and for human society as a whole’.

Hans Lovejoy, editor

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  1. aliens would also say, ‘why do you have a housing crisis in Australia, when you have so much land available?’

    Then we would introduce them to the self interested boomer NIMBYS….enough said.

  2. It always amuses me that Socialists (like ACOSS) seem to think that taking money from people who risk everything and work hard to build their personal assets, and giving it to people who dont, is somehow a “fair go”. That’s a joke. A true “fair go” is to acknowledge the indisputable concepts of “risk and return” and “reward for effort”. Sure, some of those yaghts/houses are bought by people with family money who didnt earn it, but to suggest that all people who have worked very hard and saved up, deserve to have that taken from them, is not a “fair go”. Ideas like “Wealth equality” are the enemy of our meritorious social system.

  3. Aliens would understand the Pareto Principle and find it digenic that we don’t kill off the bottom of the pyramid as nature does. However, they may find it repugnant that we allow individuals and groups to game the natural processes of hierarchy, so that those on top are not necessarily the most productive. Nobody likes people talking their way to wealth, rather than building a stairway to it.

  4. I doubt you would find another community in Australia that had more “have yachts” living in it than Byron Bay – battler central it is not

  5. I suppose it depends on what you call rich and what you call what is it that you gain the whole world but lose your own soul . I see young people who travel and have a life of joyful memories and experiences that make them rich yet I see those who work seventeen hours a day have ten houses and are unhappy and never really enjoy life in the now it’s all perspective . Technology is to blame and ridding society of it would kill the beast of controlling society and it’s freedoms . We all have our crosses to bare rich and poor . Society just has to be more egalitarian and quarantine the needs of people food clothing shelter health power should all be government owned . Privatization is the damnation of the nation . Liberty fraternity egalite

    • What was life like before technology? What is life like under Communism? What is life like when you have spent your life as a backpacker, then find yourself old, having built up nothing, not even a family?

  6. Oh Hans, the unfairness of it all. Everyone in this country has the same opportunities, it is up to the individual to get ahead. It is a bit of a hard beginning if you come from a low socioeconomic background, however if you don’t have the go in you to find and exploit every available opportunity who’s fault is it?. They whom sit back in poverty, not ever having a red hot go at changing their fortunes often whine and whinge about the haves and have nots. It is everyone’s fault but theirs. Lucky we have generous welfare in this country.


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