KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES IS EXPENSIVE
Cost of living is … not as bad as we’re told, according to one study. The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling at the University of Canberra and AMP study lead author Ben Phillips said it’s really bigger lifestyles, not rising costs, that are squeezing budgets. ”I don’t want to say everyone is doing wonderfully well. But there’s been this ‘rising cost of living’ story over the last decade when, really, Australian households are doing better than ever,” Mr Phillips said.
“We’re spending bigger, and on a wider range of goods and services, such as private schools, and we’re spending more on discretionary or luxury items, like restaurants.”
The study found the average household was $224 a week better off in 2009-2010 than in 2003-04.
1. Octomum Nadya Suleman is … going to do porn. She says she would never touch anyone or kiss someone and so has signed a deal with an adult website to perform solo in a ‘self pleasure’ video. Hmmm. She says she needs to do what it takes to support her family of 14 children which includes the octuplets she is famous for.
2. Horror author Stephen King, one of the most prolific and successful authors in the world, has written an op-ed titled ‘Tax me, for fuck’s sake’ aimed at the ongoing American argument the ultra-rich should pay more tax. King says he’s sick of the argument ‘you have money, so just cut a cheque and be done with it’ saying there are some things only the Government can fund.
“And hey, why don’t we get real about this? Most rich folks paying 28 percent taxes do not give out another 28 percent of their income to charity. Most rich folks like to keep their dough. They don’t strip their bank accounts and investment portfolios. They keep them and then pass them on to their children, their children’s children. And what they do give away is—like the monies my wife and I donate—totally at their own discretion. That’s the rich-guy philosophy in a nutshell: don’t tell us how to use our money; we’ll tell you.”
3. Male cheerleaders in the United States have been told to keep gay hand movements to a minimum. Well, that’s what the revised United States All-Star Federation guidelines suggested. “The new USASF rules included an “image etiquette” guideline that [cheerleader Kyle] Gadke, who is gay, hadn’t noticed on his first read-through. Under the header “minimize the negative,” the document said, “Males—minimize exaggerated or theatrical movements.” Yeah, stop being homos and stuff, cheerleaders. How would they enforce that? Is there a scale of theatricality ranging from ‘Pirates of Penzance to Wicked’?
4. Comedian Sacha Baron Coen, famous for his alter egos Borat, Bruno and Ali Gi, arrived in Australia yesterday as a pyjama-clad dictator to promote his latest film ‘The Dictator’. He didn’t skip a beat, asking to be put in touch with embattled, stood-aside speaker Peter Slipper. “I’ve come to find Mr Slipper,” he said. “The Slipper! Slippery Pete! What is his number? I need to hire him.”
5. The Reserve Bank Australia yesterday cut official interest rates by 50 basis points to 3.75%. But will the banks pass it on? There’s a thought and at the time of hitting publish, we’ve not heard a peep from the Big Four. The Bank of Queensland passed on 0.35.
6. Oh, it’s about that time again. Time for some Labor Party leadership speculation, which happens about every three months or so these days. Is Bill Shorten going to challenge the PM? Kevin Rudd? All of them say ‘of course not’. For now.