John Richardson writes: Re. Friday’s Editorial. While Crikey‘s belief that “we’ve never had it so good” might be accurate, it could also be that their analysis is more than a little superficial. For example, I would question the accuracy of Crikey‘s assertion that the growing number of short-term airline departures reflects hundreds of thousands of Australians heading-off overseas to take advantage of the Aussie dollar’s purchasing power. Has there been any real analysis of this data to separate out business travellers from our pleasure-seeking hedonists?
And, while there is no doubt that a large number of Australians have done very well over the past decade, I would argue that an increasing number have continued to fall further and further behind; like the 40% of the labour force trying to exist on casual work, receiving an average hourly rate around a third of that paid to their full-time colleagues — without any of the benefits, or those trying to survive on fixed incomes.
While it’s easy to believe that everyone is doing nicely, when a Labor Prime Minister picks-up a pay rise of $130,000 a year and earns $100,000 a year more than the President of the United States, let’s not forget that, while the cost of living has risen by 22% over the past five years, average weekly earnings have risen by only 14%.
Martin Gordon writes: I actually did not criticise solar panels as suggested by Roy Ramage (Friday, comments). Given the difficulties South Australia has (and I appreciate them as I used to live there), I was impressed with the can do approach he espoused. I hope he and his town are successful, but I think his and his townsfolk’s initiative contrasts with the dead hand of a tax, which was my point.