Who is doing it tough?


So we are having a debate about couples earning $150,000 with our Opposition leader saying they are “doing it tough.”

I’d just like to talk about people who are doing it tough. Let’s start with the 750,000 people in Haiti who are still homeless after their earthquake last year. Then continue on with the people of Japan recovering there while they face uncertainty with several nuclear energy plants and radioactive poisons spilling into their water.

Ahhh, water. There’s an item. What about the well over half the people in Africa and India who have no access to clean water and sanitation? What about the 3 million children who die of malnutrition every year?

Then we have the refugees. The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants gives the world total as 62,000,000 refugees and estimates there are over 34,000,000 displaced by war.

We might also like to think about the tens of thousands of people across the Middle East who are fighting for the right to cast a vote clean of corruption.

Further up the scale look at the people in Greece and Spain facing huge unemployment and inflation due to the GFC. Look at the unemployment rate in the U.S. which is twice ours, among the black and Latino population it is five times ours. How about the tens of thousands of people who have lost their homes in the U.S. sub-prime bust? Living in a country where medical costs are so huge and crippling that over half of all personal bankruptcies are due to medical costs.

I might complain about how much electricity cost me last quarter and that I pay too much in rent to live in Sydney but I know I’ve got it so easy that I bless this country, it’s stability and it’s democracy every time I listen to the news from Syria, Libya or Japan.

Yes, there are people in Australia “doing it tough.” We could do a better job of looking after our indigenous population, our pensioners, our homeless and our mentally ill.

However if you are a couple earning even a good percentage of $150,000 then you’re not doing it tough.  Get out of your huge car, your huge house and your huge waistline and develop a sense of proportion.

You have a roof over your head, food on the table and clean water coming out of the tap. That’s not tough. Nor are you a “battler.” A battler is someone who picks up a rock and says “give me the vote or shoot me.” You get to vote so often you complain about it.

Let’s call a spade a spade. This argument is about welfare for the well off middle class, of whom I count myself lucky to be a member. I don’t begrudge my government taking a few dollars off me to make sure they can give more to the mentally ill and build the infrastructure we need for the future.

Oh, and Mr. Abbot, you wouldn’t know the first thing about tough.

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