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Oct 17, 2012



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41 thoughts on “The not very funny story of Fiona the unemployed bettong

  1. John Donovan

    This is very depressing. Ideas on what to do apart from contacting our local member?

  2. paddy

    Even though I’m a more of a Trichosurus vulpecula sort of person myself, today’s depiction of Fiona was heartbreakingly spot on FD.

    I keep dreaming that the powerfox will suddenly produce a fist full of dollars for the power-slimmers on Newstart.
    Fat chance I guess.

  3. zut alors

    A 59 yr-old Eastern Bettong pal of mine is on Newstart, she can’t afford bus fare (even at the concession rate) and walks many kilometres per week. She used to be slim but now is too thin. She’s fortunate to have Affordable Housing otherwise she’d be dossing down with friends or out on the street.

    Perhaps the strategically-minded CEO would like to offer her a job?

  4. klewso

    Cheer up, it might be second lowest in the “developed world”, but how does it stack up against the rest of the “undeveloped world”?

  5. klewso

    …… and if they have to walk everywhere, think of the road kill they can clean up.

  6. klewso

    Mike Smith “earnt” or “got paid”?

  7. drovers cat

    Just when you think the reputation of banks and their CEO’s can’t get any lower than the below-barrel level they currently reside, along comes Mike Smith, uneducated, cloistered prick that he is

  8. SBH

    And then there’e also all those pesky beggars working people like me have to contend with:
    “The HPLC recently undertook a recent survey of people begging in the Melbourne CBD. The survey revealed the reality of the lives of those
    who beg.

    It found that:
    73% were long term unemployed;
    over 50% had a mental illness;
    23% had experienced domestic or family
    violence; and
    almost 90% were sleeping rough or in
    squats, or lived in a men’s refuge or rooming
    house.” (the rest are in crisis accommodation according to other data)
    We Want Change – PILCH 2010

  9. margbozik

    Depressingly true

  10. SusieQ

    And to think Labour – who used to be the party of the worker, the poor etc – are going to throw single parents onto Newstart too, all so the budget can be balanced and we have more money to spend on the war in Afghanistan and other useless things.

  11. drmick

    If Smith gets paid more than the Prime Minister and more than the American President, what does he actually do that justifies that payment? How many sums can you do to be paid that much? How many mortgages do you foreclose or how many unjustifiable charges do you make people pay to justify that amount?. How many low income workers has he helped by providing tax relief? How many hospitals has he built. How many schools has he built. Has he been called a piece of work?

  12. klewso

    What’s wrong with “the lash”? That used to get people to work too.

    “We” could try withholding food and services – see if that works?

    “Stalag ANZI(?)” – “Arbeit macht frei” …..?
    (If he’d “lost” $9 million from his wages, last year, he’d only have had nearly 2 million left to make ends meet? He could have gotten a loan to make it up to that two million.)

  13. ernmalleyscat

    small arms

  14. Salamander

    It’s not just reffos but even our own downtrodden who are being cast out on their ear. We are becoming a society in narcissitic denial oblivious to human need. This is immoral, pathetic and short-sighted. Pride goeth before a fall.

  15. Andrew L

    Makes for grim reading

  16. Venise Alstergren

    Very sad and deeply depressing. Perhaps there’s a limit to the amount of people the state can afford to support? It’s quite obvious we would all be better off without governments building sports stadiums, holding the Grand Prix, supporting the various churches-especially the Catholic church-and stop paying for the English Royals to bot on the system.

    The trouble being the amount of votes and photo ops in being seen bowing to her maj and the utter lack of news worthiness to be seen with a pensioner. Life is hard!

  17. Mike Smith

    (Mike Smith earnt $10.86m last year) Mike Smith wishes that this was true.

    Why are you all picking on me?

  18. zut alors

    Mike S, let’s hope the ATO Deputy Commissioner isn’t reading this thread.

  19. Mike Smith

    In this alternative universe FD has made, he’s probably my bestest friend.

  20. Salamander

    What about taxing the churches? I know they do a lot of “charity” work, and provide heaps of aged and other health care and education etc, but given the hefty govt subsidies provided for these activities, who is really ahead financially?

  21. NeoTheFatCat

    I’ve never understood the complete disconnect when talking about incentives:

    – BANKER: we must pay him (mostly a him) more to encourage him to work harder.
    – UNEMPLOYED: we must them less to encourage them to work harder.

  22. Mike Smith

    @Neo: If you remove the last word, harder, it makes sense. But it’s a very brutal philosophy.

  23. drmick

    Mike Smith.
    Sorry mate. I was talking about the other overpaid underworked financial bigwig. Any mate of FD is a mate of mine.

  24. Mike Smith

    Yeah, I know 🙂 Which isn’t to say I’d object to 10.86m

  25. Venise Alstergren

    SALAMANDER: Exactly my point. Also, the states and Federal Governments could save a heap by refusing to support huge teams of no hopers, and their coaches/trainers/assorted hangers on, to go to two Olympic games every four years. Ditto all these hugely expensive wars entered into to suck up to the Americans. Afghanistan was so vital to Australian interests, wasn’t it? Not!

  26. SBH

    I think FD was suggesting small alms EMC

  27. klewso

    V-nise – all this “investment” and we can only win silver in “The Lowest Unemployment Benefits of the Developed World”.

  28. Venise Alstergren

    KLEWSO: Ouch. Well said and very clever. {smile}

    Don’t you love the daily ‘Honk’? Ditto the Gnus. I’ve always wanted a Ge Nu.

  29. Christopher Nagle

    You go vegetarian, avoid alcohol and smoking, ride a bike for transport, make your own coffee, share a room to cut living costs and do what most of the people of the world do with their washing and cleaning, manually.

    And if there are no jobs in your skill/education capacity, use the leisure you now have to upgrade it at your nearest TAFE. Start reading something improving. Become involved in your community by volunteering and use that to network opportunity. And if there are jobs elsewhere, albeit incnveniently out of the way, you move to where the jobs are.

    Unemployment isn’t just a disaster. It is also an opportunity to do better and be more enterprising.

    All the rest is just bullshit and excuse making rationalization.

  30. Bird Kenneth

    Low New Start payments and unemployment in general are not there to encourage the the unemployed to get back to work. It is there to discourage us working mugs from abandoning our soul destroying, meaningless jobs and not push for better conditions and pay.

    Unemployment may not be good for the individual, but is good for the economy. Look how many jobs are created in the unemployment industry. There’s CentreLink, all the employment agencies just to start with.

    Unemployment is good for the GDP. Not too large, but just enough so us workers, sorry, us employed people know our places and don’t rock the boat.

  31. klewso

    “Follow the herd with Gnus International!”

  32. shaz_uae

    Christopher Nagle – spot on. I’ve always been able to get multiple jobs, because the “job seekers” just couldn’t turn up on a Friday or Saturday night because they were down the pub commiserating with their other unemployed friends. Why people think they “deserve” a dishwasher, flat screen TV and car is beyond me. I’ve got by living out of a small bar fridge with 2 flatmates for years, and we cycled everywhere and were incredibly fit and healthy, and had a great life! I’m now a business owner in a place where there is absolutely no social security at all, and some days I’ve had nothing in the wallet to eat or travel with, but life looks after those who try.

  33. First Dog On The Moon

    this is not a cartoon about telling people how they should live – i will leave that to the commenters

  34. AsGrayAs

    Millionaire bankers advising us how we should deal with unemployment.
    Billionaire miners advising us how not to tax billionaire miners, and how to work harder and/or accept le$$.
    Millionaire business owners advising us how and where to shop, like they’re doing everyone a favour.
    Governments restructuring welfare to make poor people poorer and be riddled with guilt. And they get to keep ‘all of the above’ on-side.
    Chummy. That’s Australia, 2012 style.
    It’s a sad state of affairs. It is a continuation of history – nothing has changed.
    Alms for the poor, anyone? I’d bet my last pineapple that not many *illionaires would put a hand in their treasure chest to help a struggling stranger. That would just encourage begging…

  35. Venise Alstergren

    An Indian friend once told me the difference between poverty in Asia and poverty in Australia, is that here you have to work at it.

  36. pritu

    Nagle & Shaz, you have a point, up to a point. However, while it’s hard to sympathise with deliberate shirkers it may give us pause to consider the effects of extreme poverty on those dependent on them. How (and why) should the rest of us motivate them to become productive? Unlike Margaret Thatcher, I hold that we are a society and we ignore the plight of the weaker (and the de-motivated fall into this category as being damaged) ones among us at our peril. Consider the increase in beggary and petty crime.. Hard times can befall any of us. Remember the GFC.

  37. Henry

    I am banned from commenting here, but if I could comment here, it would be that this cartoon is one of my favorites, probably best all time favorite. The comments too…brilliant.

  38. elbento

    Did you forget to mention Mike Smith is also busy making local jobs redundant in favour of cheaper Indian-based resources? Hypocritical much?

  39. beryceann@bigpond.com

    Thank you FD for telling it the way it really is.

  40. fractious

    Frame #2: “the second lowest unempolyment benefit in the developed world”

    This, in the Lucky Country, one of the world’s biggest and most profitable timber lots/ mines/ farms.

    For bl00dy shame.

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