PUBLIC SECTOR PERKS: Salary variation usually equates to what a person contributes, but not always.
PUBLIC SECTOR PERKS: Salary variation usually equates to what a person contributes, but not always. Topp_Yimgrimm

Wages of sin and other blights on government spending

TALKING personal income isn't really kosher, or in Pauline Hanson's case, halal, but given the vast differences in some people's extraordinary earnings and perks I can understand why many are reluctant to hint at such details in mixed company.

Here in the Clarence we have the full gamut of occupations but are more notably fluent in low-earning languages than the high-end you could hazard a guess.

From welfare recipients and exploited low-earning fields, to professional and executive salaries - and a few thousand shades in between. It's extraordinary how the lowest-paid can function at all while those into six figures must live like royalty in a place like Grafton.

There's nothing wrong with this if a person's skills and output is relative to the number of dollars they earn but I can't tell you the number of times stories about highly paid folk, from all over Australia, who, let's face it, are doing stuff, all in the grand scheme of things.

It's like there's some kind of special club out there for that category of salary earner, a place where it's not what you actually do, it's what you appear to be doing.

Sometimes this illusion take weeks, months, years before any tangible evidence of talent or acumen is revealed. Quite often, it's never forthcoming. Even when the latter is the case, they often receive a pat/push on the back and are paid an extraordinary amount to be relieved of their so-called duties. Gaaarrrrrrhhhh.

As far as the bottomless pit that the public purse still appears to be despite talk of debt, debt, debt, it's not hard to imagine the unemployment rate would massively spike if government processes and departments and their affiliated corporations were audited with the same axe some private companies have had to endure.

There's no question the government's internal systems are propped up in gobsmacking defiance of everything else around it. The irony of targeting specific groups of welfare recipients like 'young carers or parents' to wean them off the government teat, while ignoring the glut of public servants and astonishing perks pollies can glean for eternity (hello Mr Stephen 'Free Flights for Life' Conroy) is bile-inducing stuff.

It's like some employees are paid according to the number of words in their job title. For instance, the Co-assistant Advisor to the Team Leader of Human Resources Managerial Section in the Department of Planning and Pets in the Federal Office of Utopia would obviously be on a sh*tload.

Speaking of Utopia, that ABC comedy series brilliantly parodied this kind of thing but after the laughs die down it left you with an uneasy feeling courtesy of its shrewd creators. Likewise with Shaun Micaleff's program Mad as Hell. Its clever satire mirroring all what's wrong with Australia but on a platform that made you feel like it's everyone else that's the problem.

We seem to be a country that fosters incredible money-wasting and a lot of unnecessary mucking around (not that ol' plebiscite again).

That process keeps tiers of fat cats and their various offspring happy and in the cream they are accustomed to rolling around in, but their deadweight and equally dead-end views continues to drag the place down.

While low-earners never seem to have enough protection, there's certainly ample in high-end, easy rider land, and while it may take longer than a plebiscite or next revolt to crack down on that outrageous double standard, the changing face of the planet might see more and more forced off the high road as they come crashing back to earth. No amount of taxpayer-funded flights will help you there.



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