1. Welcome to the Green and Gold Rugby forums. As you can see we've upgraded the forums to new software. Your old logon details should work, just click the 'Login' button in the top right.

Australian Exceptionalism

Discussion in 'Politics' started by barbarian, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. barbarian Andrew Slack (58)

    Likes Received:
    5,326
    Thought I would start a new thread to discuss this article I saw today on Crikey. It is pretty long so I won't post in full here.

    I suggest you take a look, but here are some excerpts though if you don't want to read the whole thing.

    He then proves our situation by a series of graphs using OECD economic numbers. Then:


    Basically my point is do we really have it that good? Should people take a step back and compare our situation to other countries?


    .
  2. Schadenfreude John Solomon (38)

    Likes Received:
    685
    Yeah - having just come back from 6 years OS . we really do have it soooo good.
    bryce likes this.
  3. Ali's Choice Jimmy Flynn (14)

    Likes Received:
    152
    Certainly the Coalition has done a fantastic job over the past four years of talking down our economy, and promoting the financial difficulties some Aussies face, to the point where many Australians cannot see how lucky we really are economically. Middle class welfare is now seen as a right not a privilege and people feel they have been let down by their government when they can't take an overseas holiday every year.
    Ruggo likes this.
  4. Scarfman Knitter of the Scarf

    Likes Received:
    1,527
    I completely agree with this article - I feel (economically) very lucky. Australia is a rich and beautiful country. The only reason I ever feel like leaving is the low aspirations of the people, beyond wide screen TVs. I'm in the culture and writing business and Australia is ranked pretty low in those fields. It's a country where to call someone an intellectual is to insult them. Our political culture is just stupid.

    I suppose that's why I shun the concentration of effort on economic success. I'm more interested in social and cultural success, which involves access to education and health for all Australians, including Aborigines. I also want Australia to acknowledge our wealth and to be more generous (well, at least less punitive) with refugees and the economic/social underclass.
    Bullrush, Scotty, bryce and 1 other person like this.
  5. Schadenfreude John Solomon (38)

    Likes Received:
    685
    Healthy, well off, large houses, nice climate, friendly, lots of opportunities, and quite racist.
  6. Ruggo Paul McLean (56)

    Likes Received:
    3,685
    We are young and still trying to find our identity. In the bigger picture we are very lucky but we have work to do within our society. It saddens me to see a lot of people in Australia living hopeless lives with little hope for the future. Indigenous poverty is a big issue.
  7. Ali's Choice Jimmy Flynn (14)

    Likes Received:
    152
    Indigenous poverty and crime is actually getting worse in many areas. In Queensland, Indigenous people make up just 3.5 per cent of the population but represented 29.9 per cent of Queensland’s prison population at June 2010. Moreover, Indigenous youth make up 53 per cent of the young people in juvenile detention centres across the state.
  8. Karl Bill McLean (32)

    Likes Received:
    353
    I agree with the article, but not the quote above. It's not certain, it's highly debateable to outright nonsense - blaming an Opposition Government (another "Blame Abbott for everything" reaction from Labor is what this looks like) for a national perception or attitude and level of confidence/lack thereof is just silly. And how the LNP is to blame for middle class welfare is beyond me - explain that in the circumstances of a Labor Government that has been throwing money at people like confetti for 4 years and calling it an economic stimulus.
  9. Schadenfreude John Solomon (38)

    Likes Received:
    685
    Karl - have I seen you on Q and A?
  10. MajorlyRagerly Trevor Allan (34)

    Likes Received:
    814
    Honest to god, not shit stirring, do you really think the general popuation of Aus thinks you have it shit?

    Australians that I know are far and away the most patriotic people I've met. And almost all without exception, will happily tell you that Australia is the best place on earth & fight to the tooth if you disagree with them.

    My intial thought (which proved incorrect) upon reading the thread title was "Here goes yet another aussie talking about how good aussie is", so I'm genuinely surprised that the article, and some of the responses here.

    I should add that I've never lived in Aussie, but have visted about 25 times and worked solidly with majority Australians the last 10 years.
  11. Karl Bill McLean (32)

    Likes Received:
    353
    I think the answer is no, but I'm not sure what "on q and a " means or how I would have been seen on it.
  12. Cutter Nicholas Shehadie (39)

    Likes Received:
    539
    I've only read what is posted above, but I agree entirely with the thrust of the article. Australians are incredibly fortunate and should recognise that. We should also recognise that our economic good fortune won't last to the extent it is built on mining and resources. In this context we should be setting ourselves up for the future by having a sovereign wealth fund financed in part by the mining super profits tax. The watering down of that legislation is the weakest most counter intuitive populist politics I've ever encountered and for that I blame the Coalition and Labour equally.

    Our negative politics is to blame for the perception that we're hard done by. MR I don't disagree with your perception and experience of Australians. However, politics in Australia appeals to irrational fears meaning that opinion polls are likely to show "concerns" about the price of electricity under the carbon tax because Tony Abbott tells people they need to be worried and the government supports those fears by saying "don't worry, we'll compensate you".

    Finally, in our fortunate position, we should be more responsible for global aid (in the form of infrastructure not hand outs) and we should be taking a lead on combatting global warming.
    Paris Tah and bryce like this.
  13. Scarfman Knitter of the Scarf

    Likes Received:
    1,527
    Do you only know bogans draped in the Aussie flag? Have you not ever met an American, or an Italian?

    Australia has a long and proud history of taking the piss out of ourselves and for being embarrassed by explicit patriotism. That only began to change with the Howard / Hansen era in which the long boom of toleration, extending from Whitlam through Fraser, Hawke and Keating got violently turned on its head.
  14. Sully Simon Poidevin (60)

    Likes Received:
    4,417
    I really don't think we/they are racist. Just completely ignorant to the plight of people in circumstances they can't comprehend. Both here and abroad.

    I believe we do live in a very lucky country. As for the government that's our fault. we voted for them.
  15. Schadenfreude John Solomon (38)

    Likes Received:
    685
    Actually I once tried to make that distinction to someone myself.

    And sure that's a large component. But I've since realised, actually there's a lot of old fashioned racism here too. Just look at the immigration debate.
  16. Scotty Simon Poidevin (60)

    Likes Received:
    2,894
    I agree with a lot of what scarfman said. The biggest issue I have with our culture is that if you are smart or work hard, particularly at school you are talked down rather than held aloft. It really is poor and from the school age then it feeds into the culture of deserving to be given hand outs rather than working hard and earning an improved quality of life.

    If a government is to give benefits for the reason of stimulating the economy, culture or population then I believe they should be given to all.

    Welfare on the other hand should just be used a safety net to helpnthose who can't help themselves or to help people get back on their own feet.
  17. mark_s Dick Tooth (41)

    Likes Received:
    561
    I disagree, tall poppies (whether by talent or through hard work) are lopped down in all aspects of Aus society including sport, education and so on. To succeed here in any field, you need to deal with the tall poppy syndrome. It aint easy but its part of who we are and I don't see it changing.

    As to the original question, we have no idea how lucky we are. We judge ourselves by what we don't have (usually material things which are largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things) rather than by what we do.
  18. Scotty Simon Poidevin (60)

    Likes Received:
    2,894
    Did sporting stars at your school really get lopped down? Not at mine (albeit it a fair while ago now).
  19. Karl Bill McLean (32)

    Likes Received:
    353
    Tall Poppy Syndrome is selective too. And I don't think any worse here on the whole than elsewhere although we tend to dislike conspicuous consumerism of the Geoffrey Edelsten variety.

    I never see anyone trying to bring John Eales down. Or Pat Rafter. Or Hugh Jackman (not seriously anyway). There are plenty of tall poppies who aren't arrogant idiots who continue to command respect and don't have people trying to cut them down.
    Ruggo likes this.
  20. Ruggo Paul McLean (56)

    Likes Received:
    3,685
    Agree. The examples you sight are people who carry themselves with huge amounts of integrity and the Australian public respects them for it. Peoples conduct tends to bring them down moreso. Tall poppy syndrome is more like the little mans syndrome for the privillaged. What Australians beleive in most is a fair go for all. They appreciate success but if you obtain your success by stomping on somebody elses chance at success they won't hesitate to label you.

    I think what you will find is most Australians believe in opportunity for all. What they make of it is up to them.

    These I think are traditional values but they are being tested in modern times through a more consumer driven social trend.

    We also should be very clear to define success as progressive achievment from the base one starts from. The base people start from can differ enormously and that needs to be acknowledged.

Share This Page