No previous time, at no previous place, has any person ever had it as good as the average Australian has now.
Women particularly have never had it so good. Even when I was young, married women could not have permanent jobs, and many occupations were out of bounds.
Today we can do almost anything we like. We can usually go about in public without being molested, we own our own property, most men recognise that they should not hit us, we have the vote and can enter Parliament and many boardrooms.
When I was young, unemployed men were often reduced to being tramps, children in disadvantaged schools often wore no shoes, their clothes were in rags, and Fridays were a time of classrooms of children needing a bath. The poor were hungry. There were still slums in the big cities.
Today most people can access some government funding no matter what happens to them, in accidents, disabilities, ill-health, family discord, and old age.
We have cut infant mortality. Five of my great-grandmother’s 13 children did not grow old. Sometimes parents now are even careless about their gift of children, expecting them all to grow up. All the old diseases are reduced, and the impediments of old age have medical and technological means to turn them from death-dealing to chronic. We live longer and longer.
Many of us still live “the Australian Dream” in comfortable homes with backyards and leafy streets.
Instead of worrying where the next food will come from, people worry about obesity through eating too much.
Most young people hope to travel some time in their lives, and Grey Nomads too. Anywhere in the world, and faster than ever before.
Most people have cars, TV, fridges, washing machines, and have music “coming out of their ears”, with access all the time. They can see what is happening anywhere in the world, and they can tell the world about themselves with Tweets, on Facebook and the rest.
They have so much in the way of material goods that they have to throw it out in order to accumulate more. It comes from every corner of the world, as cheap as chips. Their food also comes from all over the world, and we are not restricted to what is in season.
We need not live within our means, because individuals can have credit cards and mortgages, and the nation need not balance its trade but instead can pile up debt.
Our parents were told, “From those to whom much is given, much will be required”.
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