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The Forum > Article Comments > Aiming to please - and failing > Comments

Aiming to please - and failing : Comments

By Peter Saunders, published 3/5/2006

Trying to please all the people all the time results in an expensive, patchwork system which satisfies nobody.

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Cossie's tactic "to buy off some pressure" underlies the Howard government's attitude of total indifference to childcare. The more the Government's feeble attempts at presenting themselves as caring,sharing guys are exposed the better. Its an insult to throw a few dollars the electorates way and hope the problem will sort itself out. Childcare is a major and complex PROBLEM - not 'issue' that low to middle income families alike have to deal with contiually as they face severe childcare payments week in and week out.

GSR
Posted by stormont, Wednesday, 3 May 2006 10:58:14 AM
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It sounds like a good idea but child rearing costs donít suddenly stop when the children reach school age.

Instead of funding private schools and transport schemes and family payments, simply have a fixed payment per child similar to the fixed childcare payment suggested in the article. Parents can then decide for themselves their best allocation of resources.
Posted by Rob88, Wednesday, 3 May 2006 12:30:50 PM
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Rob88:
How about a tax cuts for the target group, instead?
Posted by DLC, Wednesday, 3 May 2006 12:53:33 PM
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What's gone wrong in this country over the past few decades? It used to be that the average Australian family could get by fairly confortably with only one income. They could have more kids than now, own their own three bedroom houses on quarter acre blocks, etc. Now people seem to be running faster and faster just to go backwards. Part of the problem is obviously that we live in a more consumeristic society now and a lot of money goes into financing credit card debt for "necessities" that would have once been considered luxuries. However, it seems like government is taking in more money and spending it less efficiently, and/or that there are fewer people pulling their weight in society. What's going on?

stormont: It's all very well to say people face severe childcare payments, and in an ideal world, the government would throw sacks of money to everyone, but who is going to pay for all this childcare? The short answer would be the middle class who are financially responsible. For them, the biggest struggle is supporting all the hangers on at both ends of the spectrum. They'd be quite capable of dealing with the "childcare problem" otherwise.

Rob88: When in doubt, blame private schools! Never mind that parents who send their kids to private schools are saving the public system money (and why shouldn't all schools get funding?). Never mind that parents who do so are more likely to contribute more into the tax pool to begin with. Never mind that many (or perhaps even most) such parents are not filthy rich (so what if they are?), but are pretty middle class (or even working class) who aspire to better jobs, are careful with their money, and forego luxuries to afford school fees. No, when in doubt, blame private schools!

I fear that for many, a standard government handout would mean more money for alcohol or take away, or a windfall of a new giant television, and within no time they'd be back to whining about how tough it was. Reward responsibility.
Posted by shorbe, Wednesday, 3 May 2006 1:07:01 PM
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Shorbe.. 'comfortably by on one income' yes.. agreed. My parents did it. But.... what has happened since ?

ECONOMICALY/CULTURALLY

1/'FEMIINISM' sent females out to join the workforce, and whatever else you or I might think of that idea, in economic terms it immediately told all the real estate agents "more money to spend" hence, housing affordability became a '2 income' proposition from then on. Now.. we are LOCKED into that economic and social prison.

2/ CHILD CARE .. Now that we have locked ourselves into the '2 income' economics of feminism, we ALSO have to spend money on child care, because the Mums are out working (mostly to pay for child care of course, earning $500 a week and spending $300 on child care or whatever it is)

3/ ECONOMIC LINKAGE. Much of our 'comfortably by' situation previously was based on an economic connection to the rather ruthless exploitation of others. I don't think it is too longer bow string to draw, to suggest that the economic wealth which propelled the settlement of Australia, was derived by and large from the exploitative practices of British Empire Capitalism. (Opium Trade, Manufacturing and Trade in India, Plantations, Slavery etc)

So, perhaps our 'ancestors' chickens are coming home to roost in OUR chicken pen, and we don't like the smell.

Perhaps a return to the better family values of the 50s without the racism which seemed to accompany that generation, would be a good turn of events. Nothing wrong with 'his' work and 'her' work, and females being the primary nurturers, and having a values framework which keeps marraiges together rather than tearing them apart.
Extended family support networks are also of great value in contrast to our hyper individualism.

We could also try St Pauls approach

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. ...whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Phil 4.12-13
Posted by BOAZ_David, Wednesday, 3 May 2006 2:20:06 PM
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Come on D_B, just a smallpoint here but WAR had a little to do with putting women en masse into paid employment. Feminism may have helped keep us there but you can point the finger at war for putting us there. Of course, as we all know, women have always worked.

To give an example a bit closer to home, I've been reading historical excerpts from a local newspaper printed for the sydney suburb in which I live.

I noticed one of interest that would have alerted me if not for a gap of sixty-odd years. A public notice appeared in the early 1940's asking all mothers to be aware of the brand new daycare centre for their children which had been established for the purpose of allowing women to register for war work
Posted by Ro, Wednesday, 3 May 2006 5:13:57 PM
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