A Streak of Hypocrisy: Reactions to the Global Financial Crisis and Generational Debt

Jeremy Sammut
15 December 2008 | PM90
A Streak of Hypocrisy: Reactions to the Global Financial Crisis and Generational Debt

This paper examines the policy challenges associated with the ageing of the Australian population through the prism of the global financial crisis. The paper observes that much of the commentary prompted by the financial crisis has featured a reaction against credit-driven consumption—the so-called ‘debt binge’ that has plunged household savings into the red in recent years—and a shift in sentiment that favours traditional values such as thrift.

There is a streak of hypocrisy about the reaction to the financial crisis because of what isn’t being said about the most important issues concerning the national saving culture or lack thereof.

Jeremy Sammut is a research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies. He has a PhD in history. This is his fourth contribution to the Papers in Health and Ageing series.

Latest Publications

The Kinship Conundrum: The Impact of Aboriginal Self-Determination on Indigenous Child Protection
Jeremy Sammut
08 December 2014 | PM144

This report argues that mainstreaming revolution in Indigenous policy should be extended to Indigenous child protection policy, and that Aboriginal exceptionalism—typified by the operation of Aboriginal Child Placement Principle (ACPP)—must cease. To help ‘Close the Gap’ in social outcomes between Indigenous and other Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous children should be treated the same, including by using adoption (or permanent guardianship)…

READ MORE
An Ounce of Prevention? A Toolkit for Evaluating Preventive Health Measures
Helen Andrews
26 November 2014 | PM143

Preventive health is a broad umbrella that includes such disparate services as vaccines for schoolchildren, blood pressure screenings, ad campaigns to discourage binge drinking, and special taxes on tobacco products. What all these programs have in common is an intention to spend money now in order to save money later—catching costly health problems before they arise or when they are…

READ MORE
Regulating for Quality in Childcare: The Evidence Base
Trisha Jha
05 November 2014 | PM142

The National Quality Agenda (NQA) endorsed by all states and territories in 2009 regulates childcare systems across Australia. It mandates increased minimum standards in various aspects provision of care and a ratings system with the goal of improving quality. The NQA mandates substantial and costly reforms to staff-to-child ratios and carer qualifications of care. This report details that the costs…

READ MORE
Complex Family Payments: What it Costs the Village to Raise a Child
Trisha Jha
06 August 2014 | PM141

In 2013–14, $32 billion was spent on family payments, amounting to 7.7% of total federal expenditure in that year, and 22% of total federal spending on social security and welfare. Family Tax Benefits (FTB) and child care fee assistance are the two areas in which spending is the most significant and, in the case of child care assistance, the most…

READ MORE
Lessons from Singapore: Opt-Out Health Savings Accounts for Australia
David Gadiel, Jeremy Sammut
28 July 2014 | PM140

Singapore’s distinctive health funding and service provision arrangements have delivered comparable First World standards of care and health outcomes at much lower cost. A new vision for funding health in Australia based on the Singapore model could be achieved by applying the principle of choice for those who wish for an alternative to Australia’s taxpayer-funded, universal health care system. This…

READ MORE