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The myth of 'two Australia's' : wealth and income distribution

  • Year: 2000
  • Author: Skeffington, R
  • Journal Name: Policy: a Journal of Public Policy and Ideas
  • Journal Number: Vol.16, No.4
  • Country: Australia

The thesis of this article is that Australians are enjoying unprecedented economic prosperity, with the benefits being dispersed more widely than is often recognised. The author challenges the 'favourite description used by those wanting to talk down Australia's good fortune - that there are 'two Australia's', ranging from 'black and white Australia' to 'city and rural Australia'. There is no doubt that some people in Australian society are doing better than others, but some commentators are blinded by the cause and effect of the problems, argues the author. He refers to negativity, argues that there is nothing wrong with the rich getting richer, and reports on a 'misery index' developed by the Business Review Weekly and Access Economics, which compares the performance of prime ministers going back to John Gorton, and shows that John Howard's premiership ranks first. Finally, the author summarises the consequences of unduly focussing on the negative.

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