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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the media's budget « Previous | |Next »
May 12, 2005

The media's representation of the Costello budget is all about the tax cuts and the politics of the ALP not passing the Government's legislation. This representation is marked by gaps and silences.

One silence is the way the media has ignored strategic economic policy. The basis for any meaningful expansion of Australia's export capacity lies in the shift to a services and information economy from one based on physical goods. Should not facilitating this shift be important, when Australia continues to run a huge current account deficit at a time of record high commodity prices and increasing mineral exports to a booming Chinese economy? What happens when there is a slowing of growth, or a slump in demand for our mineral exports? Silence.

A gap exists in the politics of cutting welfare dependancy:


Behind this lies another strategy to reduce the welfare state because it is outdated. This is Peter Saunder's argument. He, is from the Centre of Independent Studies, and he is a long time advocate of welfare reform--kicking the welfare habit--and he usually wears the mask of a social policy intellectual fighting the lefty academic welfare establishment's defence of the welfare state.

In his op.ed. in the Australian Financial Review strange Saunders welcomes the government's welfare reforms as a necessary step in cutting welfare dependency, reducing the welfare rolls, and creating a self-reliant society.

He says that:

Single-parent lobby groups have predictably attacked the changes, but requiring parents of school-age children to look for part-time work is asking no more than is expected of anyone else, and it promises to improve the quality of their lives as well as benefiting their children.

This is strange response. Single-parents are not opposed to working part time to earn extra money. They want to work but they require childcare places to enable them to do so.

Child care is a key, not the "shirking" by dependent welfare dependents. Saunders is silent about the need for childcare. He is also silent about employers not really willing to employ single mothers who are available only part-time and constantly worried about their children because they have no childcare. By not mentioning this Saunders is implying that single parents have a shirker character: "needy" addicted people who refuse to pay their own way and demand the government provides them with an income.

Saunders, in tactily implying that the single parents are shirkers, is wearing the mask of an idealogue. The mask of the public intellectual has slipped.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:26 AM | | Comments (0)