Almost 10 years before he became one of the nation’s most accomplished welfare bums - living off the very parliamentary super scheme he railed against as Opposition Leader and now gloats about receiving in his newspaper column - Mark Latham was making a lot of sense about the explosion of welfare dependency in Australia.
Latham was especially energised by the surge in the number of Australians on the disability pension. He tackled the issue at length in his dour but valuable1998 tome Civilising Global Capital. The book was ridiculed as an unreadable doorstop by the Libs, run down by envious Labor non-thinkers as the showy work of an intellectual poseur who was using it only to position himself for the leadership.
But it contained a lot of provocative thinking about the (dictionary definition) incredible rate at which Australians were signing on in their 50s, 40s, even their 30s for a life on handouts as they convinced the welfare state that they quite simply could never work again.
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