Gravy Train of Greed

While we’re on Australia’s favourite subject and national obsession, no I don’t mean sport, this essay by Alison Pennington may give you food for thought, about our insatiable appetite for property as the essential (and unchallenged) form of personal investment and enrichment in the Wide Brown Land: ‘a nation of one-dimensional wealth builders’.

The consequences of this ‘government-bankrolled gravy train’ are far-reaching and far from benign, as negative gearing and exemptions of capital gains tax on the family home are both huge imposts on society. Indeed there are ‘victims’ of this regulatory largesse, which Alison explains cogently: ‘Australia’s investor-dominated housing system has walked the nation to the cliff’s edge of our egalitarian history’.

We’ve all heard or read about how young people are increasingly ‘locked out’ of this pernicious system of spiralling property prices, which is compounded by the prevalence of insecure work. Many have given up on the great Australian dream of owning their own home. Indeed some have even been forced to give up on renting their own home.

If you’re a well-heeled boomer with your property portfolio ticking over nicely, I invite you to consider the bigger picture of the society where those assets are located, and recommend the Pennington essay in The Conversation (an edited extract from her new book: ‘GEN F’D: How young Australians can reclaim their uncertain futures’).

P.S. Reader Matt drew attention to the cynical abrogation of responsibility for the gravy train by our self-interested political class, which was covered previously here.


  1. Geez Maate, with the overwhelming majority of those dickheads of all political persuasions in both Canberra and no doubt the State Governments too, firmly invested in the wrought of which you speak, i predict that we’ll see something done to change the status quo about the same time you are swimming laps in the Port Mac Ocean Pool.

    Doing any of the proposals put forth in ‘the Conversation’ would render that government/opposition unelectable at least until the Boomers i.e., ‘Generation Greed’ are dead. “Don’t get between a Voter and a bucket load of cash.”


    1. Thanks Matt,
      The rorts referred to were indeed wrought by decades of political self-interest, as decried previously in KC, which I forgot to recall above, and will add as a footnote. Appreciate your vigilance.

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