Irony lost on shoppers
IRONY: the use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.This term seems to have been more and more applicable over the past few months.
We’re told the interest rates rise is a necessity as a way to ‘curb consumer spending and borrowing to keep inflation under control’ ( The Australian August 2).
We then have our shopping centres open for 24 hours straight at the one time of year when people are most likely to go into last minute, impulsebuying debt.Ironic?
At a time when childhood obesity and diabetes are at their highest ever, we’re forced to have both parents in full-time work, spending less time with their families due to the ever-rising cost of living.
Not to mention all those people who are being forced to work more hours so that we can increase the country’s credit card debt.
Apparently this causes home loan rates to rise, which in a vicious cycle, sends the parents back out to work longer hours and forces business to be open longer!
It is ironic, when Peter Costello says we should all have three children.‘‘One for you, one for your husband and one for the country.’’
We still have limited and expensive childcare places and housing prices are increasing, which makes it almost impossible for a family to purchase a house.And if you’re fortunate enough to own a home to raise your ‘one for the country’ child in, at the rate interest rates are increasing and the cost of child care, you’ll soon be selling that house because you can’t afford the loan, let alone buy fuel.
We have private schools getting more funding than public schools, which means if you want a good education for your kids, you need to see less of them again so that you can work and pay for the fees.Is that ironic?
I’ve just been through yet another retail Christmas with customers rushing, pressured and overspending.
Kids of all ages roaming the shopping centre halls at all times of the day and night without parents and credit card spending like I don’t remember seeing in my many other Christmas trades.
Why is it that we suddenly need 24-hour retailing? Why are we open until 5pm on Christmas Eve?
I s it because we’re spending excessively and are forced to work longer hours to cover our debt?
Which means we have less time to do anything else other than work, and therefore need stores open longer to do what we used to do by 5:30pm weekdays and by 1pm on Saturdays?
And if so, then isn’t the answer to actually reduce shopping hours, therefore reduce debt consumers can rack up, which will decrease their bills and mean they can work fewer hours to service their debt?
Would this not also curb consumer spending and borrowing so that there is less likelihood of an inflation issue, therefore leaving home loan interest rates as they are?
Is spending really the way out of our current situation?
Or should we be ‘spending’ more time volunteering at our public schools so our kids are not only getting more quality time with the leaders of society and their parents, but also getting a better education.
With volunteers doing some of the work we can spend more of the limited funds on other projects.
Perhaps we could spend less time shopping and more time taking the kids to the park on Christmas Eve.
Or heaven forbid, doing some charity work to aid those less fortunate.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if next year your kids told you what they were ‘doing’ for Christmas instead of what they were ‘getting’?
Wouldn’t you like to be at home Christmas Eve with your children instead of being at work?
And for those of you who are at home and will say ‘But I l i ke shopping Christmas Eve’, don’t you think that the rest of us deserve those days off too?
Is life really so dull at home with your family that you’d rather be battling crowds at Stockland?
Let’s all make Christmas next year a family affair. JENNIFER GRUBBA,
LEFT: Extended trading hours take their toll on both shoppers and staff