Saturday, April 2, 2011

Money, Money, Money

I've a column in today's Sydney Morning Herald, 'Super-rich exceptions are closer to being the rule'.

I'm looking at super-rich folk like the Candy Brothers, and what their luxury 'One Hyde Park' (left) apartments say about our society.  A sample:
Every middle-class Australian is rich, next to the poorest Aussies, and billions around the globe. And worse still, our lifestyle requires poverty, particularly overseas. It's what keeps labour cheap. It's what skips costly environmental laws, and avoids cycles of under-consumption. It's what makes and ships, for a fraction of the cost, the electronics in the golf simulator, iPad or Darth Vader voice GPS.
In this light, One Hyde Park is no aberration. It's part and parcel of the kind of world we have: unfair, unequal. We condemn the Candy brothers' showy privileges, but forget our own. We might baulk at mining magnate Nathan Tinkler's contempt for the working man, berating a journalist's ''pathetic hundred grand a year''. But many well-employed Australians are equally scornful of so-called ''bludgers'', who provide the invaluable psychological service of being inferior. Nothing lifts the chin like smug superiority.
(Photo: Habitables)