Australians bemoan nation’s ‘decline’, say reputation as ‘the lucky country’ is under threat

Australians have exposed the country’s “decline” online, saying our reputation as a “happy country” is falling apart.

Unaffordable house prices, a struggling education system and the demise of cherished Australian brands were among the factors cited by pessimistic residents.

The flood of concern about the country’s direction came in response to a viral Reddit thread titled: “Is it just me or is Australia just ‘blah’ right now?”

“I’m in my early fifties and just look around me and feel that this great country is directionless, boring and divided,” said the author of the original post.

“Nothing more to look forward to and be proud of. Is it because I’m getting old and past it, or is it something more? Do younger Australian Redditors feel the same way, or are they hopeful and excited about where we’re headed?”

The post has been upvoted more than a thousand times and attracted around 900 comments at the time of writing – mostly negative in tone.

We’ve collected some of the most telling ones below.

“I’m not particularly excited about the future,” said user ProfessionalKnees.

“Mostly due to financial pressures and worries about age: I can’t afford a home and I don’t have a big family, so I worry that I won’t be able to if I don’t spend every minute at work. to afford a secure future.

“I also think that we are in a bit of a cultural decline. Music festivals are being cancelled, there’s not a lot of good Australian content on TV or in the cinema and hospo is dealing with it. The Australian brands and stores I grew up with were closing and there weren’t many quality replacements. There are these weird, soulless pop-up experiences everywhere that seem to be created just so people can take pictures of themselves pretending to have fun and then go back to worrying about how they’re going to put food on the table.

“I do not like. I wish the best for all of us!”

Another user, Isisius, claimed Australia was “a shadow of the country it used to be”.

“One day we could be proud of our worldwide free healthcare system. No one in Australia had to pay a cent to see a doctor, you just went. “Emergency rooms in hospitals did not have a 12+ hour waiting period, nurses were not forced to work three shifts,” they wrote.

“Our public school system was among the best in the world. I am not exaggerating when I say that he is in critical condition. The conditions for teachers are simply appalling, not the pay, even teachers will tell you that the pay is not the problem, but the sheer amount of administration expected of them, plus obviously the jobs of the parents.

“We left a country where a full-time employee with an average salary could afford a home, as his loan was only four to five times his annual salary, not 15-20. And the fact that people actually thought of them as homes, not as investment vehicles to rent out to peasants to get fat off of like you’re a feudal lord.

“Somehow the household income went from one person working full time and the other taking care of the children to two people working full time but without any real increase in purchasing power.

“What exactly can we be proud of or excited about in Australia? It turns out that we are a nation of short-sighted, greedy, selfish lemmings.”

User Christopher theorized that Australia was “a few years behind” Canada and Britain. Like many other commentators, he highlighted the issue of housing affordability.

“We are slowly returning to a feudal society where the rich are the ones who own more houses and the serfs are mostly tenants,” he said.

“Housing was so expensive that it sucked up capital that could have been used to create innovative businesses and other industries.

“Mass migration also creates a population trap, where our economy is essentially dependent on the growth of immigration, but our infrastructure does not grow with it, which also causes a drop in living standards and GDP per capita.

“Because it looks good on paper that overall GDP is growing, but not on a per capita basis, any time we are close to a technical recession, the government will essentially open the floodgates to immigration to boost GDP. It’s a vicious cycle.”

CrashedMyCommodore – not a good sign given usernames, it must be said – argued that people in his generation “have no future but what amounts to essentially serfdom”.

“I can’t afford a house, I can’t afford kids, I can barely afford a new car,” they said.

“Most of my money goes to landlords looking for rent and I cook for myself. It costs an arm and a leg to go out and do anything.”

The thread continued in much the same vein.

The original poster later thanked everyone for their “amazing comments and thoughts”.

“I think the scale and magnitude of the response here suggests that what I’m feeling is not just a product of my age and demographic (Gen X),” they said.

“I am comforted by this, but saddened that our ‘happy country’ seems to be wallowing in this insular cultural, political and economic malaise, and that it is such a big struggle for the youth.

“I’ll try to change my perspective to ‘glass half full,’ but it’s hard when you’re growing up in a golden age that’s turning into tin.”

To put it poetically.

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