Is there still a chance for us to live the Australian dream? 36



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For many of us the idea of the Australian dream is something we grew up with: working hard and having the opportunity to have a fair go and make a good life for ourselves was an obtainable dream. But is this still a reality today?

In an opinion piece for the Huffington Post, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen questioned this concept, instead proposing the idea that now the Australian dream is only possible if you are wealthy. With retirees constantly fighting to protect their super, pensioners living off payments that barely cover costs, and millions of young Australians priced out of the housing market, we have to wonder: does he have a point?

While we are lucky in so many ways, major changes throughout our society and our economy, even just in the past decade, are making it hard for many Australians to get ahead. Our health has declined, with more than half of our population classified as overweight or obese, our education standards have fallen with children struggling to meet basic benchmarks, and thousands of people are struggling to find work.

Some people argue all this adds up to a complicated life and hard times for many Australians They say we are struggling to meet the needs of seniors, and young parents are constantly trying to find a healthy balance between work and family.

On the other hand, there are those who consider this to be a rather pessimistic view of our society and instead point towards the so-called ‘age of entitlement’ as the real cause of the issue. We have so many opportunities now compared to what we did 20 or 30 years ago. Now, travelling overseas is only a few hundred dollars and a click of a button away. We have seemingly endless options for entertainment and new experiences, and the technology boom has created thousands of new job opportunities.

So is the real issue we have become so used to living the good life that any whiff of ‘hard times’ makes us want to run for the hills?

It seems to have many Australians split down the middle, so we’d like to hear what you think.

Is the Australian dream still alive and well? Or, is it too hard for Australians live a comfortable life nowadays?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. It was a myth in the first place so it was inevitable to slip away. Humanity at all levels (if there is a level to humanity) never slips away – ideals do.

  2. You only need to travel outside Australia to see how blessed we are here, if we maximize our opportunities.

  3. Chris Bowen is right, there are many many young people today who will never own their own homes. The high cost of housing and large deposits make it out of the reach of many , unless they have help from mum and dad. The Government could help by opening more crown land to be sold to affordable prices and helping with these large deposits and by stopping overseas buyers from owning homes in Australia.

  4. What Australian dream? It’s long gone along with affordable housing on just one income for young people starting out. Like everything these days it’s GREED driven.

  5. Our dollar is so low now since the Liberal came into power that kids can’t even afford a holiday let alone a house

    1 REPLY
    • You really can’t blame the Lib govt for everything! The dollar value is only against the US$ and has nothing to do with the price of housing – it does, however, affect the cost of international travel because of its relative value to the currency of the country you are travelling to.

  6. You just have to travel o/seas to almost anywhere, to know how blessed we are in Australia.

  7. We all struggled for the “dream”! But our “ideals” were more realistic. We didn’t have brand new anything.We had only the odd holiday and no such thing as eating out let alone sipping Lattes everyday! The wages were lower and life was a struggle,no such thing as a two car garage because you only had one car if you were lucky. So,dreams and ideals might just have to be cut to size,like we all had to do.

  8. the dream is now a nightmare for white australia

    4 REPLY
    • Julie Davies I agree with you.
      We worked for years to pay off the house and now retired and being paid pension to slow down and enjoy life more. We both have very moderate superannuation which is there for any emergency. Our health is not great but we are alive and so happy with the reduction in our medical and pharmaceutical costs, rates and taxes, water rates etc.

  9. Libbi, I agree with you about stopping overseas buyers. I think we will be very sorry about going down this path in the future. Much more so for selling our farms overseas.

  10. I had the dream and lived it for awhile. Then it fell apart because when you hit a bump in the road there is no help. As for my kids, I doubt they will ever have life easy. Not everyone can be rich no matter how smart you are or how hard you try.

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