More Civility

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.

‘Empowerment’ feminism is not working – we need a far more radical approach to gender equality

International Women’s Day has come and gone, leaving the annual short burst attention to “women’s issues” in its wake. So now is a good time to look at what emerged from it, and whether gender equity has stalled.

The state of Australia: welfare and inequality

In the lead-up to the budget, the story of crisis has been hammered home, but there’s more to a country than its structural deficit. So how is Australia doing overall? In this special series, ten writers to take a broader look at the State of Australia; our health, wealth, education, culture, environment, well-being and international standing.

Creeping spread of income management must be challenged

One of the bizarre bipartisan policy overlaps between the Coalition and Labor is in the area of income support known as welfare payments. Labor has been seen as the party that cared about the poor and disadvantaged, but the former ALP government adopted and extended a range of the Howard government’s paternalistic and punitive measures.

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.

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