Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne has dismissed the essay as "class warfare and the politics of envy".
"The infamous billionaires protest against the mining tax would have been laughed out of town in the Australia I grew up in, and yet it received a wide and favourable reception two years ago," - Wayne Swan
"But Australia’s fair go is today under threat from a new source. To be blunt, the rising power of vested interests is undermining our equality and threatening our democracy."
Off to see @SwannyDPM on #FairGo @AustPressClub. For context, here are the Atkinson-Leigh top 1% estimates since 1921 http://t.co/IjIMUxaJ
Today, we are witnessing the Americanisation of the Right in this country – obsessed with defending the advantages of the most-advantaged in our society. That has become their primary cause and all else is the search for a political strategy to sell that to the public at large.
Mr Abbott's opposition to spreading the benefits of the mining boom or preparing our economy for a clean energy future is about more than his reflex for negativity. He is of course singing for his supper – we can see that in the donations from the likes of Clive Palmer that have flooded into the Coalition's coffers in recent years.
In choosing to kneel down at the feet of the vested interests, rather than stand up for the interests of Australian workers, Mr Abbott has encouraged them at every turn. That's what explains the Coalition's plans to give a tax cut to the immensely wealthy while opposing tax breaks for small business and more retirement savings for Australians workers.
When you stand up to the vested interests, you're invariably accused of being anti-business or engaging in the politics of envy – these are the convenient phrases used by the champions of privilege.
My essay has been wrongly described as an attack on the rich when it is an attack on an imbalance in influence and opportunity. In a way the criticism of the essay from some quarters proves my point.
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