Are you really alright, Jack? Pollyanna-ism and the 99% in Australia - article by Sally Pepper
(Article by Sally Pepper.) On New Year's Day, January 1st 2018, as I surfaced around 10.00 a.m, I heard on the news that power prices and tolls on roads around Melbourne will both increase and, that this year many Victorians will experience additional economic hardship. My immediate defensive thought was, "Well I don't use tollroads and I guess I can be more frugal with my use of gas and electricity."
But on reflection, this is, in a way, beside the point. Such thinking does not ward off forever the effects of these increases. Many people rely on toll roads to get to work each day. The fact that I don't use them only puts me at a slight advantage to those who need to use them. It is not in any way to my benefit though that other people are being disadvantaged in their daily struggle to feed their families and pay the mortgage. It is also beside the point as these increases are,unfortunately, only part of a progression. Tolls will go on increasing, as will power prices. Beside this, there will be more toll roads until I won't be able to avoid them. I also will be caught in their web. I can delay the impact but I can't avoid it.
Where are we headed? Not only I will be caught but so will many others who hitherto have felt untouched by the imposed hardships on those less fortunate. There will be a cascade of those affected. The tentacles of the owners of toll roads and power companies will eventually have most of us in their grip. After all, this is all about maintaining that ratio of the 1% as opposed to the 99% . Remember the "Occupy Movement"?
Many people I know count themselves lucky, comparing themselves with those who are not as well off. They do not see themselves as affected by the rising inequality in Australia. This "glass half full" attitude is so much more socially approved of than mine, which compares my lot with both what it used to be and also what it could have been were it not for the 1%. To me "glass half full" attitude is a sort of misplaced Pollianna-ism and given what I believe from the trend I observe it is really a sort of "precipice complacency."
It seems that all will be taken from those who don't own the means to extract from the majority. Those about to lose are those who now feel secure, even somewhat wealthy: those with superannuation, who have finally paid off their houses and look forward to a carefree retirement. Neither will things get easier for their overworked adult children, in turn trying give their children the best start they can in life. They all appear unaware, unsuspecting, that things will be taken from them by the system that once gave to them. In one lifetime - theirs - the "accumulation phase" will be over and the outgoings will be larger than the income. Most of us will be financially and time stressed. Our children will be hungry for work. Or just hungry.
Our society is as a collection of frogs being slowly warmed to boiling point by a few big frogs who've got control of the frypan. We had better take the pan off them before the bubbles start to rise.