Australia’s New Ruling Class

Australia’s New Ruling Class. By Claire Lehrmann.

if there is one overarching theme that emerges from these discussions [online, about the Voice], it is that there is a divide in Australia, but it is defined by class and asset ownership — not race.

When figures such as Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull take selfies with Allegra Spender and Tanya Plibersek in support of the Yes campaign, it sends a message to ordinary Australians that, regardless of party lines, they belong to the same economic club.

That club is the urban, professional, asset-owning club that is very comfortable and cosy on the inside but, for those standing on the outside looking in, appears smug, self-congratulatory and exclusive.

This week, for example, a three-bedroom house situated on less than a quarter-acre of land within Spender’s (formerly Turnbull’s) electorate sold for $7.8m. To put that in perspective, the average pre-tax salary in Australia stands at $90,800. That means a modest dwelling on a small plot of land just sold for 85 times the national average wage.

In the context of promoting “social justice”, it is fair to ask what these politicians have done to address land availability and housing supply.

The left-right divide is now weaker than the upper-lower divide. The upper and professional class is now bonding into a single political alliance, including both left and right, in opposition to the rest of us. The uniparty emerges. This is the great realignment. At the root of it is money, and the great explosion of paper money under central bank guidance, which has boosted asset prices to stratospheric levels.

It is a return to the politics of the middle ages, where the big divide was aristocracy and professionals versus the great unwashed. It was not left versus right, which only emerged as the principal divide later after the revolutions that overthrew the aristocracies.

Now, it’s the asset-owning upper and professionals versus the rest — deplorables, mostly on minimal wages or welfare.

High immigration of new workers ensures the real wages of the lowers stay low, while money printing ensures the values of assets soar.