Are Australians really more egalitarian?
Is or was Australia an egalitarian country? [closed]
As @Oddthinking pointed out, the term "egalitarian" is poorly defined; means egalitarian:
- Equal opportunity or
- Equality of results?
If you chose to do this, you mean equality in:
- political force,
- social position,
- Body Mass Index (just kidding)
Your first quote and the first paragraph of the second quote seem to refer to "Australian egalitarianism" as a social construct - an equality of outcomes in social interactions, that is, one person is no better than another due to differences in birth, wealth, or education.
The first article is clear and consistent and in my opinion, as Australians, is what is meant by "Australian egalitarianism". This is and has always been a relative measure - Australian interactions are less formal than European and even American - titles and honors (even Mr & Ms) are rare outside of very formal situations and everyone can be addressed as a "partner" - regardless of gender, ethnic Affiliation or social status. I know that my sister-in-law (an Austrian) is very uncomfortable.
We are dealing here with a cultural identity or a myth - as with all myths, it is about how it should be - not how they are or were. Just as the Americans want to believe in "the land of the free" and the French in "freedom, equality and brotherhood", Australians want to believe that their society is fair and just - it is not, never was, never will be.
The second part, however, relates to that Equal opportunities in business, and the entire article generally links these two very different definitions of egalitarianism.
The equality of economic results is easier to measure than that Equality of Economic Opportunities. Let's get this out of the way first
Because of this, some measures have increased income inequality slightly over the past 40 years, but Australia was roughly in the middle of the OECD countries then and is still in the middle today. So not much has changed.
The second article you cite deals with in general of equal opportunities and specifically cites a paper by Dr. Leigh, which at best is tangential to the anecdotal case the article is about. This article compares intergenerational income mobility between fathers and sons who both were born in Australia. It is worth quoting the abstract:
From four surveys conducted over forty years, I calculate intergenerational income elasticities for Australia using projected parenting income as a proxy for actual parenting income. In the latest survey, the elasticity of sons 'wages in relation to fathers' wages is around 0.2. When I compare this estimate to previous surveys, I find little evidence that intergenerational mobility in Australia has increased or decreased significantly over time. When I use the same method on data from the United States, I find that Australian society has greater intergenerational mobility than the United States. My method seems to slightly exaggerate the level of mobility between generations. If the true intergenerational income elasticity in the US is 0.4-0.6 (as recent studies have shown), the intergenerational income elasticity in Australia is likely 0.2-0.3.
This means that in Australia there is a bigger Equity between generations than in the US exists and that this changes over time Not has changed significantly. In other words, what your father made has less of an impact on what you make in Australia than in the US. Of course, this cuts both ways - social mobility is not always upward.
This is then used as the basis for deciphering the economic opportunities of a person who:
- Not born in australia
- has a father who presumably Not was born in Australia
- not raised in Australia
- is a relatively young immigrant
- from an English as a second language country
- work in an unskilled job.
The suggestion that this person does not deserve much and has little chance of improving himself; As a result, Australia is no longer egalitarian and full of logical errors, both formal and informal.
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