The welfare state and social solidarity

After the Jessica Gilbey episode, more evidence that (depending how you look at) shared participation in the welfare state is the basis of social solidarity, or that welfare hand-outs bring out the ugly, grasping, envy-ridden side of human nature:

“The fact that I’ve fallen through the cracks has absolutely destroyed me,” says Melbourne documentary maker Kerry.

“The most annoying thing is feeling like I’m the only one, like everyone else is getting it but me,” says PhD student Chris.

“Self-funded” retiree Stuart is more measured: “I was disappointed in as much as the Government loves to advertise the good bits but I think they keep the nasty bits away from you. I could have done with it for repairs to our home,” he said.

Genuinely self-funded citizen Andrew of Carlton did not receive the $900, and was not interviewed for the article, but if he had been he would have said that he was glad not to have further added to Australia’s already far-too-high budget deficit.

Science, engineering and political identity

Some commenters on my post on the academic backgrounds that that the science and engineering graduates should be distinguished. I have done this and also separated out those with qualifications in IT.


As can be seen, while science graduates were the largest single component of the original broad ‘science and engineering’ category for both groups, social democrats are relatively speaking more likely to come from a science background, and classical liberals from an engineering or IT background.