Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Home ownership and a difference (sic) of opinion

I watched ABC’s newish post-Media Watch show, “Difference of opinion” for the first time last night. For the previous five (?) weeks, I’d watched the first 30 seconds, scanned the membership of the four-person panel (which changes weekly, as each week has a specific topic, relating to which the panel members ostensibly have some expertise), and then quickly hit “OFF” before I popped a vein in my forehead. While gender equality/diversity (two men, two women) is always obviously of the utmost importance, age equality/diversity has apparently been of zero consideration. I’m fairly sure that not a single Xer man (aged 30-44) has been a panel member to date.

Certainly there was no Xer (male or female) panel member on last night’s show. Which is rather strange, because if you’re taking a serious look at the future of home ownership in Australia – which last night’s “Difference” purported to do – then you’ve got a readymade “now” with the current crop of Xers (born 1963-1976).

Home ownership (/buying) among this cohort is currently 50-something per cent. Anecdotally (I haven’t seen any stats on this), home ownership among university-educated Xers is below 50% (no prizes for guessing why 30-44 y.o. tradies live in owner-occupied McMansions, while 30-44 y.o. professionals live in rented inner-suburban McLifestyle pads; take a bow, John Dawkins). These home ownership rates are obviously unlikely, because of the cohort’s age, to significantly increase in coming decades unless house prices fall by a very significant amount (I’m guess-timating by half or more, from current prices).

In lieu of this current reality, which “Difference” did not even momentarily allude to, three baby boomers (2F, 1M) jostled among themselves for the honorary award of the being the Night’s Biggest C*nt to My Generation, while the token non-boomer – GenYer (= 20-something, and so the stats aren’t even in yet) Ryan Heath, got to take some of the three boomers’ copious over-flowing shit.

Thanks, Ryan. Well, sort of. If it had have been me, I think that the particularly vile, prissy SMH journo Elizabeth Farrelly (the Night’s Biggest C*nt, by far, BTW) would have left the studio with her Paddington (?) terrace house title deeds newly encumbered, as it were.

Yeah, I don't think that Ryan was very impressive, but the fact that he wasn't moved to physical violence against the other panel members is probably to his credit. One of them said the reason young people don't have high homeownership is because they're too busy going out to dinner every night. She then went on and said the days of free milk at school etc are over. Hang on, she got the free milk AND the home, but the next generation has to chose between a night out at the local Indian and a mortgage. She visibly reeked of generational privilege and the odours were disgusting.

The show was a botch. There are any number of great researchers, such as those linked to AHURI, who could have provided a reality check on who's missing out on home ownership and why.
Anthony, you're referring to the SMH journo I mention: Elizabeth Farrelly. The show's transcript is *still* not online, BTW. Maybe the Xer (I'm guessing) monkeys they pay peanuts to type these things up are on strike until they get Farrelly's head on a platter.

Clive Hamilton is another boomer who has said tut-tutting things very similar to Farrelly. A jihad on both of them!
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