America of old was a hardy place where free men and women built their fortunes from the ground up all on their own. As the bailout mania attests, nowadays independence is a lost value. Auto companies, banks, insurers, mortgage companies, all have been given a government teat to suck on to reward the financial ruin they brought on themselves through mismanagement. Robert Prasker ponders the equation that rewards private failure with government goodies. What about the businesses ruined by government policies, like the restaurants and bars that have been bankrupted, not through incompetence, but through government smoking bans? Shouldn’t these victims suckle at the public teat?
Crack. Fizz. Gulp. Ahhhhhh. Is there a drinking experience more classically Australian than ripping the ring-pull off a beer? "The visceral pleasure from that first crack of a beer can is identical to popping a champagne cork," says wine and drinks writer Mike Bennie. "There's also huge appeal in the tinnie's nostalgia factor."