Search Results: inequality

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cruelled by the Budget

    • John Falzon
    • 14 May 2014
    4 Comments

    'You don't help young people, or older people, or people with disabilities, or single mums, into jobs by making them poor. You don't build people up by putting them down. And as even the OECD acknowledges, you don't build a strong economy by increasing the level of inequality. You don't create a strong country on the backs of the already poor.' Statement by John Falzon

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A Budget to enshrine inequality

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 May 2014
    47 Comments

    Governments have always included in their budgets a 'we're serious' clause as part of their determination to fix the economy. It has normally been directed at the vices of the underclass such as alcohol and tobacco. Now governments slash spending on the welfare of the disadvantaged.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Whose liberty matters as Dickensian budget looms?

    • Fatima Measham
    • 06 May 2014
    16 Comments

    French economist Thomas Piketty argues that current conditions have set us on track for a return to 19th century-levels of inequality. The Commission of Audit proposals suggest that the auditors and the Government are keen to expedite this neo-Dickensian era. It's all done in the name of 'incentives' toward 'personal responsibility', but this cannot remain coherent in the face of those who will be hit hard by the proposed suite of cuts and co-payments.

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  • RELIGION

    The peacemaker pope

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 23 April 2014
    7 Comments

    Quite striking is the similarity between the warm response to Pope John XXIII half a century ago and to Pope Francis today. Both broke through the gilded cage of outdated conventions and stereotyped expectations. Both stepped over barriers of ideology or religion to evoke bonds of a common humanity committed to promoting the wellbeing of all people, especially the poor and marginalised. The contexts were of course quite different.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Normal' royals are not like us

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 13 April 2014
    22 Comments

    By clinging to this notion that the royals are just like us, even as we treat them as anything but, we brush aside the inconvenient fact that their status is a relic of a bygone era in which royal rule was enforced through brutal means. Is it right to forget that the British monarchy presided over colonialist expansion with all its associated genocides? A class system that bestows inherited superiority is a remnant of a more oppressive era best left in the past.

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  • RELIGION

    South African lessons about racial discrimination

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 March 2014
    7 Comments

    The South African experience suggests racial discrimination begins with the appropriation of wealth and power by one racial group and its consequent suppression of other groups in order to extend its wealth and power. If we are to address racial prejudice and discrimination we need to examine the way in which wealth and power are distributed and protected in society. In Australia, they are being concentrated increasingly in fewer hands.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    New Zealand rocks but the poor are rolled

    • Cecily McNeill
    • 16 February 2014
    4 Comments

    With the Australian economy in disarray, the Abbott Government is showing keen interest in New Zealand's projected unusually high growth. But NZ's status as a rock star economy is in question from commentators who say it has never recovered from major policy shifts 30 years ago. In particular its sexy image on the global business stage does not translate to a better life for those on low incomes, particularly women and children.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope's pointers for Australian welfare review

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 January 2014
    27 Comments

    Pope Francis' message to the World Economic Forum at Davos developed the Catholic understanding that government and business economic actions should be governed not by trust in the workings of the free market, but by care for the good of the whole human community. Coincidentally the Australian Government announced a review of welfare payments.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Celebrating diversity on Australia Day

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 January 2014
    20 Comments

    This week began with Australia Day and ends with the Chinese New Year. The juxtaposition suggests pertinent questions about Australian identity, especially the ways in which Australians have alternately included and excluded those seen as outsiders. This is most evident in the relationship between Australian settlers' attitudes to Indigenous Australians, but it is also seen in Australian attitudes to Chinese and other Asian peoples.

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  • MEDIA

    Best of 2013: McGuire ape gaffe exposes Australian tolerance as myth

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 08 January 2014
    1 Comment

    Those who object to Indigenous people being called 'apes' and to white men painting themselves black are dismissed as being politically correct and denying free speech. But how can Adam Goodes choose not to be offended by comments conceived for the very purpose of justifying crimes against the racial group to which he belongs?

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  • RELIGION

    Is the pope a Marxist?

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 16 December 2013
    27 Comments

    Pope Francis' vision for the church of the poor is now joined to a stinging critique of our globalised economy which promotes a 'new tyranny' of unfettered capitalism and an attack on the 'idolatry of money'. While such language has not been uncommon, buried in the riches of Catholic social teaching, this pope has made it up front and centre stage of his message.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Christmas story's whisper from the edges

    • John Falzon
    • 16 December 2013
    13 Comments

    Recently Pope Francis blasted the so-called trickle-down economic theories in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Some will scorn his message as naive at best and dangerous at worst, while others will regard it as an urgent enkindling of hope in the face of degradation and despair. The Christmas story hints that another kind of world is possible.

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