Why are we so mean to the unemployed?
With unemployment rising in Australia as the downturn continues and no sign that strong employment growth is about to absorb the new entrants plus those currently without jobs, I was reflecting today on just how mean we are to those who are bearing the brunt of the downturn. In part, this thinking was also conditioned by my field trip out to North-West NSW on Monday and Tuesday (I will report separately). Unemployment out there is rife and the jobless have little hope. So I started to look into our unemployment benefit regime today. In the May 2009 Federal budget, while other pensioners enjoyed a generous increase in payments, the unemployed missed out on any increase. So why does so-called Labor Government have neither the creativity to generate jobs nor the generosity to help those that suffer the consequences of their failed macroeconomic policies?