David M. Russell

Is there ANY water in the glass?

In Commentary on July 1, 2009 at 2:58 am

With the world embroiled in doom and gloom thanks to the Global Financial Crisis, pundits everywhere are looking for signs of an upturn – or, at least, some spark of confidence returning. Which led The Australian newspaper to publish a Newspoll detailing how Aussies feel about the prospects of an improvement or a decline in their standard of living.

The remarkable thing is how little real change there has been over the past eight years. Sure, there was a marked dip in the second half of 2008 as the global economy fell apart. Hardly surprising! But, otherwise, the trends have remained interestingly smooth.

The results for each half year since the last two quarters of 2000 show that roughly 20 per cent of Aussies think their standard of living will improve. About 60 per cent believe they will stay the same. Another 18 per cent or so think things will get worse. About 2 per cent remain uncommitted and fear falling off the edge of the world.

It’s interesting that so many people remain so steadfastly committed in their view of things. A fifth of us are optimists, two-thirds of us aren’t sure what day it is while nearly another fifth want to slash their wrists. The others are those people who stand in front of you at queues in supermarkets.


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