Social Capital

Redeeming Inequality:

Inequality – my thesaurus offers eight synonyms of the word. Four simply describe it, while four signal negative feelings and perceptions; discrimination, unfairness, inequity, disproportion. None express inequality as a material or monetary difference, yet these popular definitions are core to the current use of the concept – as offering an explanation for all the problems of the dominant neoliberal paradigm.

Cashless welfare unsuccessful and unwelcome

As I am writing this, with the radio on, Christian Porter, the cabinet minister in charge of welfare, is announcing the local government area of Canterbury-Bankstown in New South Wales as the first site for his welfare recipient drug trial. This is the latest foray into increasingly conservative, paternalistic changes to our welfare system, already one of the meanest in the OECD.

There’s far more to the fair go than just economics

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has often argued that inequality in Australia is the worst it has been in 75 years.

An 800,000-plus jobs gap between ‘welfare to work’ and reality

The major missing factor in debates on cutting welfare spending – as has been flagged by social services minister Kevin Andrews – is the limited and falling demand for labour. Labour market figures give the lie to the need to target working-age payment recipients as the issue.

The problem is not supply-side inadequacies but the demand for labour: there are far too few jobs on offer.

Smarter budget cuts? Government to target the usual suspects

With the federal budget in the next week, there is the usual jockeying for headlines by various groups. The interest groups include those who want more for their constituency and those who are scared they may lose some benefits or privileges. It seems that the more powerful the groups are, the less likely they are to have their government support cut.

Low Income Earners Cough Up For The Coalition

The Coalition is revoking a superannuation concession introduced last year to help low income earners. Would you believe it, most of the recipients are mums working part time.

No Pay Rise For Low Pay Care Jobs

Tony Abbott wants to cut subsidised pay rises for aged care and child care workers. If he does, underpaid workers will continue to leave the industry or live in poverty.

How our super steals from the poor to give to the rich

Yes, they can be upsetting and distressing. But anti-abortion protesters have as much right to demonstrate outside a clinic as anyone else — that’s what free speech is.


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