According to the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey we have never been able to buy so much with our income. Over the last decade income inequality has hardly changed, Wages have risen faster than inflation. Of course, we know that announced inflation is lower than real price rises.
Although Australia's debt is low compared to other developed countries, less than half of Australians believe this. Despite the good times, many are feeling down and depressed feeling that the country is not doing well economically. This is probably due to the negative political arena at the moment with any bad news being blown out of proportion, with political blame and counter denials being kept uppermost in people's minds.
We should be happy but the minority, politicians, are pulling us down. Things are certainly changing now with Chinese demand for primary products falling as well as prices producers receive. The new government, in September, will have to deal with rising unemployment. There isn't much doubt about this. Pressure to reign in national debt will mean job cuts in the public sector, and reduced government spending will push up unemployment.
The job market has structurally changed over the last 10 years. More people are in part-time and casual employment, good for business bad for job security. Welfare is being cut and will fall further as politicians take larger income rises for themselves and a "couldn't care less" attitude to the poor. Charities are feeding more of the less well off than they ever did before.
While incomes have remained the same, wealth inequality has risen. This continues as wealth is solidly held and increased by a few. The top 1 per cent have assets of $5 million. The bottom 10 per cent enjoy less that $10,000. Some of these have no assets at all.
Good times are not for everyone apparently. We should be laughing or at least smiling. If you are poor and without a job or assets you have to grin or grimace and bear it. No help for you mate either today or in the future.