As it seems that we will not, praise be, be moving house this year, DH and I have decided to move some furniture around. This means moving the fish tank, which means requiring a power board with extension cord. As I'm not so great with heavy lifting, I decided I'll take Baby G in his pram to the local shopping centre to pick one up whilst DH gets the moving done...until, that is, I realised this simple expedition would cost $7.20 in bus fare. Reflecting that if I was on the single parents pension the trip would cost $2.50, and if I were unemployed $3.60, I found myself thinking "goddamn it, they're always trying to punish working saps for trying to get ahead".
I was instantly seized with guilt and shame. A right-wing thought! Where had that come from? Was this the beginning of a slippery slope to listening to talk back radio and blaming boat people for the nation's economic woes? I know, of course I know, that equality doesn't mean giving everyone the same; it means attempting to redress the disadvantage many people start out with, so everyone can end up with the same opportunity. I know providing cheaper fares to others doesn't hurt me in any way. I know that the social safety net was there for us when we needed it; now we don't, and we're lucky, and I don't actually wish I was a single parent, or that I was unemployed.
That said, I think we can all agree that $7.20 to travel 3km to the local shops is too damn expensive.