reply to post by fooffstarr
You don't give your age, which is fine, but I'm wondering if you were part of, or at least aware that the situation you describe was already biting
deep in the late 80s and through the 90s in Australia?
It commenced really with the Hawke, Keating Labour government. You might have heard of Keating's famous 'the recession we had to have' ?
You might also remember at least hearing from your parents about Keating's 'Go get a job' remark .. complete with insane grin .. to scores of young
people trying to get him to understand that there were no jobs out there.
At least you'll have the opportunity these days of seeing an ageing, fat Keating trying to redeem himself (as if) by posing as a concerned big-wig
trying to save Sydney Harbour foreshores from development.
We were on the Gold Coast and our kids were still in high-school when it became apparent that jobs were few and far between. At the time, the
education INDUSTRY was exhorting parents to 'keep your kids in school until this recession breaks'. Yes, keep the kids in school, pay further
hundreds of thousands of dollars sending them to uni to get a piece of paper that will supposedly ensure them a well-paid career .. even though most
will be paying their HECS fees until their middle years (or never).
My son applied for work with a major golf course-resort. Fortunately, when school recommenced, he went back to school. The golf resort didn't
reply. No wonder. When it DID acknowledge applications, it was via the Gold Coast Bulletin newspaper, to say that as 1,800 people had applied, this
public announcement must serve to thank all applicants and advise that the 'position has been filled'. 1,800 had applied for that part-time job(that
was 14 or so years ago, so it's been bad a long time).
At the same time, the Gold Coast Bulletin was running feature articles about young men in the rural sector who were condemned to permanent
unemployment, no prospects, no futures, no chance of marrying or even of moving out of their parents' home. Suicide within this group was
So it was back in the late 80's and all through the 90s that I was describing those most affected (the young) as the Sacrificed Generation.
We saw friends of our children come out of uni and grab work slicing meat in kebab joints. We saw girls with degrees take work on nightclub steps in
Surfers, wearing cheap red satin split to the waist dresses as they tried to lure tourists into the club.
By the time our kids had their degrees, we got out of Queensland (one of the worst places affected) and reluctantly moved to Sydney. It paid off as
far as our children's careers are concerned, but it took a definite drop in quality of life to achieve, Sydney being as it is.
Now it's bad in Sydney too, despite it's having the largest population of any city in the country. We're aware of two people who were at the top
of the tree in their chosen professions. They're now working part-time in low-paid jobs and happy just to have work. NSW State government is almost
broke and is not replacing staff as well as conducting 'reviews' in almost every department (review = shorthand for staff cuts).
It's bad in Australia now and it was bad even a decade and more ago, when the rest of the world was reportedly cruising.
Howard claimed he'd restored 'full employment'. What a farce. The last time Australia actually enjoyed full employment (real figures) was in the
early 70s. No resumes then. Written reference or two would suffice. You could leave a job at 10 in the morning and have half a dozen offers from
which to choose, by mid-afternoon. It was commonly known that unemployment was 1.5%. In other words, everyone who wanted to work was able to. The
average blue-collar worker was able to pay his mortgage and hire purchase (car and furniture, etc) AND put money aside, AND take the family on at
least one holiday each year .. with ease. Women didn't need to work and raised their children. Apprenticeships were there for the taking.
If you'd told people then how it would be only two decades later, no-one would believe it. Yet it happened. Just as millions of unskilled migrants
were brought in thanks to Hawke, at the same time as import duty on imported goods was dropped.
In the 70's and early 80's, you'd only give someone an item made in Asia if you intended to insult them. Australia made it's own products. Then
the influx of cheaper Asian made goods to coincide with the boom in consumer technology (radio-cassettes, video players, tv, computers and onwards).
Nowadays I can't think of anything that isn't imported .. even vitamins are imported and foodstuffs. It's not that long ago that no-one but the
most desperate or crazy would eat food imported from Asian nations. Now, Australian product is being ploughed into the ground because it can't
compete with inferior overseas stuff.
Australia is described as 'the most monopolistic nation in the world'. Monopoly of the media by two groups. Monopoly in groceries by Woolies and
Coles. And now they're thinking of scrapping State governments to be replaced by a Federal giant. Banks able to prevent competition from even being
born. Monopoly even in the lucrative funeral home industry. Aussie manufacturers all outsourcing. Parents are even 'buying' jobs for their kids
and vying for the chance to do so.
Don't beat yourself up. It's a situation not of your generation's making and no-one is offering you any light at the end of the tunnel. Only card
you have to play is your vote. Meanwhile, Rudd is continuing the game passed to him by previous Prime Ministers, that of selling and privatising the
last of what once made Australia the holders of 'best quality of life in the world' title.
Hope something turns up for you soon
[edit on 3-9-2009 by St Vaast]