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The truth about 'cost of living' in Australia

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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

what's community to you though? people in the same suburb gathering at a pub? I can't remember the last time i visited any suburb of sydney and thought 'wow, this place has a real community feel'. I don't really get what you mean. Glebe is a mish mash of students and transient people, Alexandria is soul-less, Pyrmont is cold and uninviting, Paddington people keep to themselves. Perhaps the only suburb that would come close to what you're talking about is Newtown..........but that's one very small suburb

Well i live in Glebe and as a snapshot I'll walk out of my house, run into my 80 yo widowed neighbour walking back from the shops and say hi, run into my sisters friends mum from primary school walking her dog and have a chat. I'll say hi to the cute Thai girls in the local joint that know me by name, then there's a good chance I'll bump into my old boss from the pub and say hi. Then there's the local characters like the mentally handicapped but lovely Jesus loves you guy walking his dogs who'll tell the ladies they're beautiful, the fellas are handsome, and who'll pop his head in the bus for a second to tell everyone that they're in the drivers safe hands. Might see my mum or dad too. All this is because there's a local environment people mix amongst everyday. That is community to me, but it does take living in a place for some time and some social effort on your part too.

You could just as easily live a loner existence if you desired, but then you'd still have strangers who would recognise you as that creepy guy.
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Originally Posted by gravyishot View Post

? You're probably the most whingey person on here about the situation in Australia

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Originally Posted by gravyishot View Post

The whingiest part of Australia is WA

Do you put pins on map each time you register a whinge or you have something else to come up with these statements?

I'm not the one who has a problem with middle-class, middle of the road, aspirational Australians like most in this thread.
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Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

I think you put way too little emphasis on television.

Well besides the oft trotted out ironic dichotomy of channel Ten's shows which have no real relation because one is about a profession and one is about losing weight, why don't you elaborate? Besides conservatively skewed 'news' I can only really think of trivial gripes like Kyle sandilands behaviour and Big Brother's banality.

The television I watch is pretty damn good, entertaining, fulfilling and informative.
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Originally Posted by walkdogz View Post

Well i live in Glebe and as a snapshot I'll walk out of my house, run into my 80 yo widowed neighbour walking back from the shops and say hi, run into my sisters friends mum from primary school walking her dog and have a chat. I'll say hi to the cute Thai girls in the local joint that know me by name, then there's a good chance I'll bump into my old boss from the pub and say hi. Then there's the local characters like the mentally handicapped but lovely Jesus loves you guy walking his dogs who'll tell the ladies they're beautiful, the fellas are handsome, and who'll pop his head in the bus for a second to tell everyone that they're in the drivers safe hands. Might see my mum or dad too. All this is because there's a local environment people mix amongst everyday. That is community to me, but it does take living in a place for some time and some social effort on your part too.

You could just as easily live a loner existence if you desired, but then you'd still have strangers who would recognise you as that creepy guy.

that happens over time. The new suburbs which are being created will not instantly have that feel, it takes time for people to settle into their new neighbourhood and for that sort of mingling to happen, but it happens all over Sydney, not just the inner city. For every one of you in Glebe, there are also reclusive people that don't want a bar of other people. In the outer areas, people are more likely to develop those circles through sports clubs etc
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Quote:

Originally Posted by phoneyhuh View Post

Do you put pins on map each time you register a whinge or you have something else to come up with these statements?

Reading the West Australian occasionally.



Quote:

I'm not the one who has a problem with middle-class, middle of the road, aspirational Australians like most in this thread.

I don't see anyone in this thread having a problem with such people. I do constantly read such people having a problem with their lot in life. Why?

Why do you whinge so much, phoneyhuh? What is wrong with your life that you feel so constantly aggrieved with the direction Australia is heading?
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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

that happens over time. The new suburbs which are being created will not instantly have that feel, it takes time for people to settle into their new neighbourhood and for that sort of mingling to happen, but it happens all over Sydney, not just the inner city. For every one of you in Glebe, there are also reclusive people that don't want a bar of other people. In the outer areas, people are more likely to develop those circles through sports clubs etc

Friends of mine who have lived in places like Pymble on the north shore, they have a giant house, know their immediate neighbours, and they drive to the shops/shopping centre. Overall, it's not as conducive to random mingling as suburbs which encourage walking. Especially given one of the families were immigrants setting themselves up a new life, I reckon they would have been happier settling somewhere more communal.

But either way, the years mended that and they met enough people through other avenues like you say. But there's definitely a greater time needed to achieve that seemingly. For all that though, Pymble is an old outer suburb and not like those new estates which have probably made efforts to rectify those isolationary factors.
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I know one thing and that is that australian consumers having been taking it in the ass when it comes to retail prices, doesn't really bother me - cant think of a more pathetic hobby than shopping tbo. have no sympathy for the retail sector whatsoever, sure people need employment but the industry has been supported by excessive profiteering and that bubble has now burst.

Not working Sundays give me a break, working on the weekends is beneficial for many people, the weekday off in lieu can let you get a whole lot more done in many cases./end rant
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Quote:

Originally Posted by gravyishot View Post

Why do you whinge so much, phoneyhuh? What is wrong with your life that you feel so constantly aggrieved with the direction Australia is heading?

I think if you search through my history, you'll only ever find posts of mine on this forum thing being scathing of the shortcomings of the fed govt and some of it's policies. In many cases I take a 'helicopter view' of what others out there are concerned about to play a devils advocate, though I dont whinge about my life, the universe or the direction of Australia. Happy to be proven otherwise though.

Last edited by phoneyhuh: 09-May-12 at 02:22pm

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Originally Posted by phoneyhuh View Post

I think if you search through my history, you'll only ever find posts of mine on this forum thing being scathing of the shortcomings of the fed govt and some of it's policies. Or in many cases I take a 'helicopter view' of what others out there are concerned about, Never whinging about my life, the universe or the direction of Australia? Happy to be proven otherwise though.

Pretty sure you've whinged about Australians 'suffering' under high costs of living before, phoneyhuh.

The majority of what I've read in the paper and heard on the news for the past five years since I returned from overseas is Australians - inhabitants of one of the richest, most stable countries in the world - whinging about how tough they have it. It's amazing.
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That was pointing out a fact, not so much having a whinge.
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Originally Posted by gravyishot View Post

Reading the West Australian occasionally.

The only time most West Australian's read the West Australian is when they are moving house or painting and need scrap paper.

Please don't judge all of us on our equivalent of the Bolt Report. You have a lot of fuckwits posing as journalists on the East Coast too.
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Originally Posted by phoneyhuh View Post

That was pointing out a fact, not so much having a whinge.

Given we pay for our own cost-of-living with the Australian dollar, how is that a fact relative to the 'suffering' you were whinging about?

Not like Australians are paying for the cost of living with USD.
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Originally Posted by Griggle View Post

The only time most West Australian's read the West Australian is when they are moving house or painting and need scrap paper.

Please don't judge all of us on our equivalent of the Bolt Report. You have a lot of fuckwits posing as journalists on the East Coast too.

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Hows that household debt to disposable income ratio going these days?

People with a mountain of debt whine. The previously comfortable, now the squeezed, even more so.

Both parties can take credit for the situation with housing and mortgage debt...
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Quote:

Originally Posted by gravyishot View Post

Given we pay for our own cost-of-living with the Australian dollar, how is that a fact relative to the 'suffering' you were whinging about?

Not like Australians are paying for the cost of living with USD.

Suffering was the wrong choice of word, granted.

Here's just as one example of what I was getting at: The cost of motor vehicles in Australia could fall by at least half if the govt were to do the following: Stop subsidizing the local manufacturers, then with the savings scrap the luxury car tax, scrap tariffs, stamp duties and other import duties. Deregulate the grey import market and compliancing. There was a report out recently that recommended all of the above, I dont have the time to search for it now.
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i briefly flicked through the NATSEM report..........interesting to see AMP advertising all over it!

Melbourne is only two index points behind Sydney on a cost of living comparison! why the hell then would anyone live in that shithole of a city Melbourne if the cost of living is on par with Sydney?
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The fact is, Australia has taken over from England as the most whingingest nation on Earth. This is something we should all be proud, and something we should make even greater efforts to continue to engage in. I wish I had a primary- and secondary-aged kid, then I could complain how the Federal Government's bribe of $410/$840 respectively just isn't enough. And while I'm at it: why the fuck is this government not doing anything to make air-fares even cheaper - I want three overseas holidays next financial year not two. Two isn't enough. Cheaper air-fares Swanny, where the fuck is that in the budget you mangy, mongrel dog.

Cheaper

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Quote:

Originally Posted by walkdogz View Post

Well besides the oft trotted out ironic dichotomy of channel Ten's shows which have no real relation because one is about a profession and one is about losing weight, why don't you elaborate? Besides conservatively skewed 'news' I can only really think of trivial gripes like Kyle sandilands behaviour and Big Brother's banality.

The television I watch is pretty damn good, entertaining, fulfilling and informative.

Are they the shows getitng the highest ratings though?

I didn't go into it because that's a whole other discussion and too dense and weighty, but given Australian's watch an average of 3 hours of TV today and generally only get about 5 hours of leisure time between time work (including commuting) and sleep during the week I think it's arguable a lot of people spend a lot of their free time in front of the television. The thing about TV is that it gets under people's normal defences because it operates in a "safe" place, the lounge room. That apparently makes people particularly receptive to what's on the TV, and what is on the TV that most people watch is a shitload of advertising, most of which is suggesting life sucks unless you buy things. I think this is a major reason for our heavily consumerist society. Advertising is heavily accountable, if it doesn't work, advetising companies and television stations lose the revenue. It works, and it works big time.

Now of course the internet is changing this pattern, but that's just a redistribution of where the advertising goes.
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Originally Posted by phoneyhuh View Post

I'm not the one who has a problem with middle-class, middle of the road, aspirational Australians like most in this thread.

If you think that's how I feel you're completely wrong. I don't really have a problem with any demographic. Most people try to do their best most of the time. But if so many of those people are unhappy, there really is something troubling going on here, because it's unlikely to get much better than this. So somewhere, in my view, values have become messed up. So many people would love to be in our shoes but all we do is complain.

Murdoch papers and commercial TV news are totally dysfunctional, I don't really understand how any intelligent person cannot see that. They are works of fiction, distortion, bias and exaggeration embedded with relentless advertising. They paint a fictitious portrait of our society and how can you not come to the conclusion that large portions of out society fall for it?
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don't people complain everywhere though? I mean i've travelled through europe and people complain, i go to the U.S and people complain...........it's just human nature. everyone is a social climber, once people's stomachs are full they crave for something else
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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

don't people complain everywhere though? I mean i've travelled through europe and people complain, i go to the U.S and people complain...........it's just human nature. everyone is a social climber, once people's stomachs are full they crave for something else

that's true buffed, but what's happening here is this widely held belief that somehow things are going pear-shaped here, and they're not.
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Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

If you think that's how I feel you're completely wrong. I don't really have a problem with any demographic. Most people try to do their best most of the time. But if so many of those people are unhappy, there really is something troubling going on here, because it's unlikely to get much better than this. So somewhere, in my view, values have become messed up. So many people would love to be in our shoes but all we do is complain.

Actually, have a read of Australian Unity Wellbeing Index Survey, it surveyed folks from different electorates under different governments and found the highest levels of personal wellbeing are found in well heeled safe coalition electorates, and the most miserable saps are to be found in inner-city Greens/ALP voting electorates. With Newtown (buffed's only suburb with a community feel) fairing the worst. Go figure.
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Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

that's true buffed, but what's happening here is this widely held belief that somehow things are going pear-shaped here, and they're not.

well i think people have seen how quickly things can go pear shaped so it's not a bad thing to be wary. In general terms, what i see is a lot of anger at pathetic governments in this country and useless politicians. People get frustrated with government waste and the inability of beaurocracy to get things done and for that, you can't blame people. For once, Australians have actually woken up and started to give a shit about the way the country is managed. For too long Australians have been happy to sit on the sidelines and take no more than a passing interest.

I can only speak for NSW, but a lot of the anger here was generated by the disgraceful state government we had here for a deacade. It's the simple things which affected people's day to day lives that gave people the shits and while on a macro level i agree that things have never been so good, people will get irritated when they have morons who can't get train timetables right. People also get irritated when it takes a local council 6 months to approve a carport extension. hese are the things that build up and cause people anger
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buffed View Post

well i think people have seen how quickly things can go pear shaped so it's not a bad thing to be wary. In general terms, what i see is a lot of anger at pathetic governments in this country and useless politicians. People get frustrated with government waste and the inability of beaurocracy to get things done and for that, you can't blame people. For once, Australians have actually woken up and started to give a shit about the way the country is managed. For too long Australians have been happy to sit on the sidelines and take no more than a passing interest.

I can only speak for NSW, but a lot of the anger here was generated by the disgraceful state government we had here for a deacade. It's the simple things which affected people's day to day lives that gave people the shits and while on a macro level i agree that things have never been so good, people will get irritated when they have morons who can't get train timetables right. People also get irritated when it takes a local council 6 months to approve a carport extension. hese are the things that build up and cause people anger

Perhaps our expectations for things are too high. I'm not suggesting that things like council approvals for renovations etc. don't take too long, maybe they do, but it is also concievable that we are losing the art of patience.

I'm also not suggesting that things like trains etcetera don't cause legitimate grievances but perhaps our expectation is for perfection and perhaps this is completely unrealistic.

I've cracked the shits about things like passport applications taking too long. Perhaps it's just that we don't see the process so we don't understand the mechanics of that process.

Legitimate grievances (like NSW Labor fudging public transport infrastructure projects such as eternally promised train-links and road funnelling to the cross-city tunnel) notwithstanding, I think we should understand that human involvement in corporations, businesses, governments and bureaucracies will always lead to imperfections.

That on the whole we aren't being subject to some kind of Kafkaesque conspiracy but should demand greater transparency of processes undertaken by the aforementioned institutions so that we have a greater understanding of what is actually happening.

.
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Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

Murdoch papers and commercial TV news are totally dysfunctional, I don't really understand how any intelligent person cannot see that. They are works of fiction, distortion, bias and exaggeration embedded with relentless advertising. They paint a fictitious portrait of our society and how can you not come to the conclusion that large portions of out society fall for it?

That is absolute garbage, claude.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by buffed View Post

well i think people have seen how quickly things can go pear shaped so it's not a bad thing to be wary. In general terms, what i see is a lot of anger at pathetic governments in this country and useless politicians. People get frustrated with government waste and the inability of beaurocracy to get things done and for that, you can't blame people. For once, Australians have actually woken up and started to give a shit about the way the country is managed. For too long Australians have been happy to sit on the sidelines and take no more than a passing interest.

I can only speak for NSW, but a lot of the anger here was generated by the disgraceful state government we had here for a deacade. It's the simple things which affected people's day to day lives that gave people the shits and while on a macro level i agree that things have never been so good, people will get irritated when they have morons who can't get train timetables right. People also get irritated when it takes a local council 6 months to approve a carport extension. hese are the things that build up and cause people anger

In Sydney average patronage on peak hour trains increasing from 119 % to 123 % of capacity in the past 12 months. Bankstown and Northern lines are at 150 % capacity with next to no standing room. Illawarra and Western Line trains are at 130 % capacity. Meanwhile fares have gone up. What exactly is O'Farrell doing better?

And he is resisting a 2nd airport
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Originally Posted by Geezah View Post

Perhaps our expectations for things are too high. I'm not suggesting that things like council approvals for renovations etc. don't take too long, maybe they do, but it is also concievable that we are losing the art of patience.

I'm also not suggesting that things like trains etcetera don't cause legitimate grievances but perhaps our expectation is for perfection and perhaps this is completely unrealistic.

I've cracked the shits about things like passport applications taking too long. Perhaps it's just that we don't see the process so we don't understand the mechanics of that process.

Legitimate grievances (like NSW Labor fudging public transport infrastructure projects such as eternally promised train-links and road funnelling to the cross-city tunnel) notwithstanding, I think we should understand that human involvement in corporations, businesses, governments and bureaucracies will always lead to imperfections.

That on the whole we aren't being subject to some kind of Kafkaesque conspiracy but should demand greater transparency of processes undertaken by the aforementioned institutions so that we have a greater understanding of what is actually happening.

.

patience is one thing.......petty, unnecessary beurocracy is another. simple building approvals should never take 6 months, never.
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Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

In Sydney average patronage on peak hour trains increasing from 119 % to 123 % of capacity in the past 12 months. Bankstown and Northern lines are at 150 % capacity with next to no standing room. Illawarra and Western Line trains are at 130 % capacity. Meanwhile fares have gone up. What exactly is O'Farrell doing better?

And he is resisting a 2nd airport

o'farrell is using common sense. he came into power and asked for reports on the effectiveness of speeding cameras..........a few months later, 30 cameras were abolished. That shows a politician who is listening and who is prepared to reverse dumb policy, even at the cost of significant revenue for the government.

he abolished the RTA and streamlined the planning and delivery of infrastructure projects

he abolished part 3a and has told councils they have a deadline for preparing their new LEP's and housing targets

etc etc simple things but he is getting the state and more importantly, beaurocracy moving again.
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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

patience is one thing.......petty, unnecessary beurocracy is another. simple building approvals should never take 6 months, never.

No doubt there is a fair amount of pettiness but, and this is only a guess, surely there is more to it than that. I'm not aware of the laws surrounding this kind of thing so it's pure speculation on my behalf.

But regarding my post, I was speaking more generally about whether or not our expectations for a whole range of things are actually realistic.
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Originally Posted by Geezah View Post

No doubt there is a fair amount of pettiness but, and this is only a guess, surely there is more to it than that. I'm not aware of the laws surrounding this kind of thing so it's pure speculation on my behalf.

But regarding my post, I was speaking more generally about whether or not our expectations for a whole range of things are actually realistic.

there are no laws.........you submit a development application to council with building plans. council checks the plans in accordance with their planning controls and then approves them. it should take no more than 60 days......30 day notification period and then 30 days to approve the development. shit ain't brain surgery
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Originally Posted by buffed View Post

there are no laws.........you submit a development application to council with building plans. council checks the plans in accordance with their planning controls and then approves them. it should take no more than 60 days......30 day notification period and then 30 days to approve the development. shit ain't brain surgery

I know my brother and his missus had their application approved within 6-12 weeks. Their's was a significant renovation too, adding a second floor, in Killara.

Surely 6 months is the exception to the rule? I can't see how the council gains any benefit by such significant delays of applications.
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I must say, places always seem to have more of a community when you can walk to the shops or the pub - you run into people you know and there is a sense of it being 'your/our' space. Many of the sprawling suburbs were designed with cars in mind - and yes, it completely ruins the sense of place. I live in the suburbs and don't go waling there - there's nothing to walk to, just more and more houses. Yet I'm very familiar with an inner city suburb, it's cafes, bars and yes, parks - because that space is used as a community space.
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Originally Posted by Abziie View Post

Perception and understanding.

Is that IPad you use on the bus to work essential? Is your daughters dancing class ? Your son's bass guitar? That short holiday after working 50 stressful hrs a week for a full year? That gym membership?

Anyway, these things that are considered "discretionary".... could be considered essential in the 21st century.

Yet a fair whack of the population do without them all.

Essential? Fuck no.

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electricity and a sewerage system isn't essential. humans have lived without them for most of their existence. I think in many parts of the world they still don't have access to those lavish excesses.
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They are essentials if there are no alternatives, but are required to being part of the functioning community. If you live in the city you have no alternative to using the city's sewerage system, you can neither shit in the gutter or install your own septic tank. The distinction is really easy to make.
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You're right.... what was I thinking? The distinction between essential and discretionary is oh so easy to make.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Abziie View Post

You're right.... what was I thinking? The distinction between essential and discretionary is oh so easy to make.

It is actually. You thinking an iPad, ballet classes, and bass guitar lessons could be considered "essentials" speaks volumes: so does thinking sewerage systems and electricity could be considered "discretionary".
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Abziie View Post

electricity and a sewerage system isn't essential. humans have lived without them for most of their existence. I think in many parts of the world they still don't have access to those lavish excesses.

Maybe there is a hierarchy of needs and some things, such as electricity and basic sanitation, rank more highly than other things, such as iPads and ballet classes?
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If people were to rank their lives from the most unfortunate instead of Brangelina, the world would be a much happier place.
But we're human, greedy as fck and crave consumption.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Abziie View Post

You're right.... what was I thinking? The distinction between essential and discretionary is oh so easy to make.

go take a shit in your bedroom before you go to bed and leave it there overnight.
then turn off your iPad for the evening.

the next morning, when you are faced with your own shit, turn on your iPad and tell us all whether a sewerage system is essential or discretionary...and whether your ability to share your opinion on the internet with a bunch of people you have never met is equally important
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Quote:

Originally Posted by didjeridude View Post

Maybe there is a hierarchy of needs and some things, such as electricity and basic sanitation, rank more highly than other things, such as iPads and ballet classes?

My comment about sewerage wasn't meant to be taken seriously.

sure, there is a hierarchy of needs. my examples were meant to only illustrate changing perceptions. What once was a want is now a need (to borrow horst's phrase) to be part of a functioning community.

maybe its a victory of consumerism as claude pointed out? Maybe it's something else? But thats the reality of the situation and the simple categorisation of expenses into essential and discretionary is misleading.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by lowkeyandnude View Post

go take a shit in your bedroom before you go to bed and leave it there overnight.
then turn off your iPad for the evening.

the next morning, when you are faced with your own shit, turn on your iPad and tell us all whether a sewerage system is essential or discretionary...and whether your ability to share your opinion on the internet with a bunch of people you have never met is equally important

Thats quite an imagination. PM Geezah. I'm sure he'll be more than happy to play along in your little fantasies
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Abziie View Post

My comment about sewerage wasn't meant to be taken seriously.

sure, there is a hierarchy of needs. my examples were meant to only illustrate changing perceptions. What once was a want is now a need (to borrow horst's phrase) to be part of a functioning community.

maybe its a victory of consumerism as claude pointed out? Maybe it's something else? But thats the reality of the situation and the simple categorisation of expenses into essential and discretionary is misleading.

I think it's definitely a change in perception and this is what represents the victory for the manufacturers, marketeers and advertisers of random stuff that we have a very low need for in the hierarchy. They have successfully distorted our lives so much that so many people think there is a very high need.... indeed must have. People then start living beyond their means and then all of a sudden people they are the one whinging about cost of living pressures. The report posted in the link by phoneyhuh shows is that it is lower socioeconomic class suckers who are the most susceptible to these marketing influences.
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Kinda related though possibly better posted in the budget thread?

Is Australia A High Tax Country?

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Originally Posted by Kiron View Post

How about you people actually learn a little thing called having a fucking conscious and not being heartless sociopath you piece of shit.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Abziie View Post

maybe its a victory of consumerism as claude pointed out? Maybe it's something else? But thats the reality of the situation and the simple categorisation of expenses into essential and discretionary is misleading.

it's a victory of the computer age over everything. i think the computerisation of our lives has also destroyed the social fabric of life.

NBN is a classic example........we are about to spend $40bn for faster porn and music downloads. $40bn just boggles my mind.
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This is pretty funny - the Daily Telegraph now thinks that Concord West and Five Dock are on the North Shore:

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/new...-1226352464040
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Originally Posted by legal-affairs View Post

This is pretty funny - the Daily Telegraph now thinks that Concord West and Five Dock are on the North Shore:

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/new...-1226352464040

It just shows how divisive Gillard really is. She is so far out of touch it's ridiculous..........i'm astounded that her political advisors didn't advise her against following up her north shore comments the way she did. Does she realise that her good mate Bob Hawke lives in Northbridge?
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