Caro’s Flotsam and Jetsam: screw you all edition

Let's tackle the real bludgers in our society -- pensioners, young people trying to get an education and asylum seekers. Screw 'em!

Jane Caro

Novelist, author and social commentator

Screw the old ... You know who is sucking our economy dry? The elderly, that’s who. Lazy bludgers the lot of them, spending their days sitting around playing bingo or bridge (depending on their social class) and laughing behind their arthritic hands at the young slogging their guts out to keep them in the (slightly musty) style to which they have become accustomed. Brave Treasurer Joe Hockey is going to put a stop to their sense of entitlement as he takes up cudgels against the old and the frail. Well, actually, only the old and frail who’ve earned fairly average wages in fairly average jobs all their lives are likely to be affected because they are the ones most likely to have to rely on getting a pension to survive. Self-funded retirees will continue (if budget leaks or lack thereof are any guide) to get the absurdly generous tax concessions that John Howard and Peter Costello showered them with over 13 halcyon years. But hey, as Coalition voters, they're entitled. Trouble is, somebody will have to hire the less fortunate over-50s and keep them in jobs for Hockey’s policy to work. Wise (ahem) economists pontificate about increasing life expectancy to justify a pension age of 70, but the lack of jobs and declining health will most affect the elderly. (Maybe we could put the elderly who are unfit for work or just unable to find a job to use in other ways -- Soylent Green, anyone? Comedian Peter Berner did suggest in last years Seniors Week debate that as the elderly were 65% water, they could be squeezed out during drought years.) Just to get serious for a moment, we are already seeing the terrible combined effects ageism and sexism can have on women over 55 and the reward many can expect after a lifetime of work. The fastest-growing group among the homeless are women of a certain age. Talk about being past your use-by date. What the smug fail to realise is just how quickly anyone can tumble from member of the middle class to outcast, as this sobering piece from The Age makes clear. You know what is really tragic about these women who have fallen on hard times? They are the good girls, the women who did as they were told when they were young and didn't bother with further education or a career or any of that feminism nonsense. They did what they were told and got married and had children. Tragically, as Betty Friedan warned them at the time, it seems they really were just one breadwinner away from the poverty line. ... and the young ... Turns out there are quite a few groups sucking the rest of us dry, including the young, who seem to think they are entitled to a reasonable education! Here is a lovely piece from The Huffington Post about how the data maniacs are making sure that doesn't happen. ... and the desperate! Asylum seekers and the desperate are another bunch of bludgers, eating the rest of us out of house and home. Apparently, their influence is so pernicious its even starting to disrupt international air travel -- though not in the way the paranoid among you may think. Julian Burnside has a rather novel idea about how we could save $4.5 billion a year by not being cruel to the desperate (hey, maybe that might even allow the exhausted old to retire at 69). Unfortunately, it would involve behaving in a humane and civilised fashion, and where’s the fun in that? After all, if we have to put up with a job we hate until we are 70, why should those bastards get a free ride? Unfortunately, all this ending of the age of entitlement doesn’t appear to be making our current leaders very popular. Despite (nearly) finding MH370, signing free trade agreements (whatever they are) and promising to set our racism and bigotry free after years shackled in dark corners, the Abbott government has lost even more popularity. What part of bullying the ABC, the CSIRO and the elderly does the average voter not like? Our not-very-beloved PM has tried everything -- including looking very important on the phone -- but nothing has worked. It seems the only thing Tony Abbott has got going for him is the Labor Party.

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6 thoughts on “Caro’s Flotsam and Jetsam: screw you all edition

  1. Migraine

    I enjoy hearing well-paid politicians with generous, publicly-funded superannuation provisions (still, after all the reforms) and, in most cases, substantial asset portfolios talking about the need for people to work harder and longer and not be such a drain on the taxpayer almost as much as I enjoy listening to affluent middle-aged white guys talking about discrimination.

  2. klewso

    The main difference between this government and the Howard one they were part of (with such economic legacies as tax cuts and the cost of Iraq, impacting on the deficit) seems to be they’re still mean, but not as sneaky?

  3. bushby jane

    Nah, they’re still sneaky. All Abbott’s efforts re ridding us of those dreadful asylum seekers is sort of contradictory when you read that the ‘Free’ Trade Agreement with China (and others) will probably eventually extend to the free movement of people between us and them. Seems to me that this woould include, well, asylum seekers? China is already demanding that Chinese funded anything in Australia must employ Chinese workers as part of what Abbott is ‘negotiating’.

  4. Tom Jones

    Ageism and sexism. It seems that by targeting pensioners grandmothers are the target. Many of the women in the gun will be the good girls who always put others needs first. No husband, no super and now no mercy shown. Women doing the ironing will know that the men with plenty will still be drinking Grange.

  5. klewso

    Of course they’re still sneaky – bad ‘abbotts are hard to shake – they’re just not as sneaky as Howard (Iraq/Children Overboard), Reith (Children Overboard/Patricks)), Downer (AWB/NPA/East Timor), Ruddock (anything he touched), Abbott (“cast iron guarantee on Medibank safety net”/Bernie Banton), Andrews (Hanif) et al.

  6. TheFamousEccles

    I know how we can add several millions to the national bottom line – pull every religious organisations’ snout out of the public trough. No exceptions. Easy…

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