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In a country where a Liberalist Government has retained power for the past eleven years, Australia has experienced a paradox of growing misery in the face of growing wealth. The Liberals, lead by Prime Minister John Howard, are currently Australia's second longest serving political party in power. (Russell 2000, 29) It can be proved that social and economic inequality stems from political ideologies and power distribution in the form of policies and behaviour within governments, business' and societies. As explained by Brett (2004, 61) more than half of the tax cuts to be used for social relief went to those on more than double the average wage. Evidently, the primary purpose was not to provide social relief and increase the living standards of the poor.
Liberalism is a political ideology that is built around the individuals. Equal rights or opportunities and individual freedoms are protected through the deregulation and limited role of government.
Social cohesion does not support a liberalist view and this is upheld by privatisation and decreasing welfare benefits. (Manne 2004, 8-11) This encourages employment, as welfare benefits are given sparingly and only to the very needy. This system ensures that citizens prefer employment and increased living conditions. (Ryan, Parker, Brown 2003, 269)
As individuals within the working-class compete for wealth, the non-working and low-socio economic class compete for benefits and social welfare. Because the working class through government taxes provides social welfare, the distinction between the two classes strengthens. As the gap between the rich and poor increases, the ability to move from the poverty class to the working class becomes more demanding. Individuals within the low-socio economic class become complacent as rejoining the workforce and increasing social status becomes too hard and unattainable. As the working class increase wealth, the...