withdrawing super unemployed
(Image: AAP/Dan Peled)

In 2020, Australians may have been, at least ostensibly, "all in this together". A war-like national mobilisation increased social solidarity, and the federal government reluctantly improved our paltry, patchy welfare state.

Yet we enter 2021 as a society marked by deepening economic cleavages between the haves and have-nots.

Government assistance to the poor is drying up, as is the sense of uncertainty and restraint among the wealthy. New Year's celebrations were thus tainted with a Gatsby-like hue.