Trying to find the sunny side of life

Featured in

  • Published 20070306
  • ISBN: 9780733320569
  • Extent: 280 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

Selected for The Best Australian Political Writing 2008

WHEN THE HISTORICAL datelines are being drawn up, the year 2005 may be marked down as the Indian summer of Australia’s decade-long economic boom. Truly it seemed as if the sun might never set. Household disposable incomes, measured in dollars, were half as high again as they had been a decade earlier – a deluge of personal wealth we’d not seen since the halcyon postwar years. The dollar values of Australians’ homes had more than doubled, while the interest rates they were paying on their mortgages were almost a third lower. Unemployment had fallen from almost 9 per cent in 1995 to little more than 5 per cent in 2005, and the average duration of that enforced leisure had roughly halved (from about six months to three). Housing extensions and renovations were making millionaires of builders across the major cities, while big-screen televisions and “home cinema” equipment were walking off the display floors faster than they could be ordered. “The economy” – that menacing couplet which had quickened the heartbeat of thousands of newspaper readers for decades – seemed to have become what the Romans would have called a cornucopia: a horn of plenty.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

More from author

The trouble with empathy

EssayNo doubt the finite and meagre nature of our feelings does prevent us from extending our sympathies to those whom we have not seen...

More from this edition

The fence

MemoirI AM SITTING on the white wooden-frame and wire fence that runs along one side of our house and separates us from our neighbours...

The words to say it

EssayTHE FUNERAL WAS held in a rural town in New South Wales on the hottest day that year. I nodded at the priest and...

The antidote of multiculturalism

EssayWinner, 2008 Australasian Association of Philosophers Media PrizeA CRUEL IRONY has marked recent Australian social policy. Reconciliation between indigenous and settler Australians – which...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.