Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Poor dont drive very far

Well Mr Hockey, our esteemed Treasurer, is in the news yet again and this time over comments that he believes that poor people won’t be impacted by any fuel tax because they don’t drive cars very far or even perhaps own one.

This simple and generalised statement shows how out of touch Mr Hockey really is. In the last 10 months he has been photographed smoking expensive cigars, sitting on a silk chair when making his austerity speech, dancing on the night he announced the need to slash pensions, told us that cuts to the budget didn’t go far enough and complains how hard it is to be the treasurer.
In case you haven’t caught up with the latest, Mr Hockey hopes to re-introduce the fuel excise tax that he sees as a way to raise money to pay for roads.

These comments from a man who is chauffeured to work every day!

The Australian Institute recent analysis states that the poorest 20% spend more than three times as much of their income on petrol; the lowest income earners in Australia spend the greatest amount on fuel as a proportion of income. This research does fly in the face of Mr Hockey’s comments.
Most in the higher income brackets tend to have multiple cars and potentially get a deduction on fuel or have their company pay for all costs associated with their car.

How will a fuel tax impact business and transport of goods, will the additional costs be passed onto the consumer – I suspect it will.
In Melbourne the urban sprawl goes for kilometres into the vastness that is Victoria fuelled by the great Australian dream to own a home on a ¼ acre block.

Inner city high density living is also not a choice for many families, elderly or low income earners due to affordability, lack of space and community feel.
So more and more people are moving out and commuting back into the city or inner city suburbs to work.

The urban sprawl may cater for family, housing and lifestyle needs however it does not necessarily cater for employment needs.
So many of our ‘urban sprawlers’ in fact are driving distances to work. Now according to Mr Hockey’s statement and data, only the rich drive long distances, therefore does this make our ‘urban sprawlers’ rich?

I would suggest Mr Hockey that this segment of our community may disagree with you.
Across the country public transport budgets have been slashed, in fact it was Mr Hockey who slashed the funding to any public transport projects in Australia that wasn’t already under construction.

Anyone who catches public transport in Victoria will certainly agree that we have issues with our trains, trams and buses running to time and in many country areas are non-existent. Which means that they need a car, unless they intend to start riding horses again.

Many in the country drive long distances just to get groceries, get their kids to schools or themselves to work.
The figure Joe is quoting of $16 per week on petrol is an absolute farce. I would love to know who does actually pay that much per week for petrol.

Mr Hockey is making the assumption, based on his data of course, that low income earners don’t have cars or drive long distances is so far from the reality; in fact most often they have old cars that are not fuel efficient. Remember too that low cost housing isn’t always located in the inner city fringe.
Joe Hockey needs to understand that owning a car is not a luxury item, it is a necessity. Majority of us need a vehicle to get us to and from work, visit family and friends, take out kids to school and do the shopping.

The comments made by Mr Hockey smacks of elitist, condescending, us and them mentality which is not what this country is about.
It seems that selling his budget hasn’t been as easy as he thought it may be and he needs some basic sales lessons. Perhaps I will invite him to our next training session.

It sadly does show however how out of touch Mr Hockey and his government perhaps is. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Cat Fish Phenomenon

Most of Melbourne seems to be tuned into the Private Investigator case files with Chrissy and Jane on Mix 101 with the ratings for this segment is through the roof.

Not sure what it is about?

Well it started out as cases about women who have been duped by men on an online internet dating sites. It has however morphed from this and there have been some great stories and connections made.

However when I first heard the program my initial thoughts were – surely they won’t find too many women who have been duped by men; boy was I wrong. 
Whenever I hear the segment I have a mix of sadness, anger, frustration and sheer disbelief at some of the stories.

It seems hard to fathom how people think they have an online "relationship" with someone for years, think they are in love with them yet they have never met them or had any type of social or intimate contact. In fact they are being duped and lied to.
The term used to describe this is “cat fish”; a catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they're not using online dating sites or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances. This concept is not exclusive to male perpetrators either.

What is sad that many have been part of the catfish hoax for years and the perpetrators have absolutely no remorse on what they are doing.
In fact in the USA there is a TV show around this whole issue and yes the word catfish has actually been added to the English dictionary.

These days many people choose to use online sites to find their next partner. You connect with people who you don’t know, have never met and you spend significant time talking via the chat site, text messaging or email.
The old fashioned meet and date – where you took someone out for a drink, shared with them who you are, what you do seems to have disappeared. The drink at the bar has been replaced by the internet chat sites and the romantic dinner where you have a face to face conversation is now via  text or email.

The problem with dating sites replacing old fashioned dating is that people can and do lie about who they are, what they do, their age, marital status, name, build, professional and much more.
And it seems that even the smartest of people are being fooled by these “cat fish”.

How have we come to this as a society?
According to statistics almost 1 in 2 people now get divorced. Which means that more and more are going to find themselves on these online sites looking for love.

Yet how can we find love when so many people on these on line sites are lying, cheating, looking for one night stands, married and creating elaborate hoax’s simply to get a date or sex.
I am still finding it hard to fathom that as humans, all with feelings, all with the ability to get hurt, are behaving in ways that cause nothing but distrust, distress and pain.

In fact if you are on-line dating I would suggest that you approach anyone you meet with the acceptance that they are going to be lying to you about something. Stop trusting everything you are told, that is simply stupid and you will get hurt.
People we meet on the internet wether on face book, dating sites are not friends or even acquaintances; they are strangers about whom we know nothing about.

Loneliness, fear of being alone, needing someone in your life to love you and share the good and bad stuff is all normal and it is this that drives many to online sites looking for that next person to love or be loved by.
However sadly it seems that the unemotional on-line world has the capability brings the worst out in many of us.