Issue 20 – 26 November to 02 December 2020

How the rich are cashing in on pandemic pain 
Tyler Ray | Red Flag
Millions of day labourers in India lost their pay overnight earlier this year when Narendra Modi’s central government hastily announced a national lockdown. There were few welfare payments to fall back on. Billionaires, particularly in the technology, pharmaceutical and retail sectors, have experienced a wealth windfall since the crisis began.

Better, but still bad: despite positive GDP figures Australia is not out of a recession
Greg Jericho | The Guardian
Of course we are still in a recession. It’s one of those occasions when you don’t need to be an economist to know such things; you just need to look around you to know the reality of life at the moment.

The cashless debit card could be another robodebt-style fiasco
Elise Klein, Jon Altman and David Tennant | The Guardian
The card and the account holding Indue cardholders’ quarantined funds are subject to terms dictated by the Department of Social Security. Just like robodebt, the government is undermining the foundational principles of the law.

“This Is a Revolution, Sir”
Thomas Crowley | Jacobin
Workers in India last week launched a general strike that brought out an estimated 250 million people, arguably the largest in human history. Now, they’re joining hands with farmers to protest Narendra Modi’s pro-corporate, far-right agenda.

Britain’s class war on children
John Pilger | Independent Australia
Poverty is still a major issue in Britain, perpetuated by the elitist attitudes of the Johnson Government.

Amazon Is Facing an Unprecedented Union Vote in the Right-to-Work South
Alex N Press | Jacobin
Workers at Amazon’s new Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse have filed for a union election. They’re taking on one of the most virulently anti-union companies in the United States.

Viral Economics: Lessons from the Second Wave
Josh Bergamin | Arena
It is worth pausing to ask: what do these weak points in pandemic control—hotel security, meatpacking, and aged care—have in common? The answer is obvious: underpaid, under-trained, undervalued and under-protected workers, all belonging to privatised, casualised industries where workers with few rights and fewer benefits are forced to choose between following the rules to a tee or putting tea on the table.

The Problem With Hashtag Activism
Amber A’Lee Frost | Jacobin
Twitter is now seen as an important medium of progressive activism. But while hashtags may be the quickest way for anyone to tap into the turbulent and frenetic world of online social justice discourse, their record for building the sort of institutions that can boost popular power is an unbroken pattern of defeat.

Andrew Bragg is the great hypocrite of superannuation — and that’s saying something
Bernard Keane | Crikey
This is quite the Damascene conversion for Bragg, to suddenly declare his concern about super funds wasting workers’ money. Bragg, you see, was some years ago a senior executive of the Financial Services Council (FSC), the front group for retail super funds owned — back then — by the big banks and AMP.

Why saving the Green Park hotel is the fight of our lives
Guy Rundle | Crikey
The news that Darlinghurst’s Green Park Hotel will close after 127 years of continuous operation echoed round the country when it was announced a few days ago. What makes its passing so notable is that it’s not being killed for apartments, but by a deal between its mega-landlord owners and St Vincent’s Hospital as part of its endless expansion into the neighbourhood.

Instead of taxing electric vehicles, heavy vehicles should pay more for the damage they cause | Richard Denniss
Richard Denniss | The Guardian
It’s also no accident that some of the biggest oil and gas companies in Australia pay virtually zero tax. We get the tax system our parliaments can agree on. In turn, Australia’s tax system is shaped by the distribution of power within our politics and economy.

The bottom line with super: you risk being poorer today so you can live like a king tomorrow
Ross Gittins | Nine
Truth is, super has been an unending source of conflict between Labor and the Liberals since the present compulsory-contribution scheme was implemented by Paul Keating and the unions’ Bill Kelty in the early 1990s.

Adiós Diego Maradona: The football god who played on the side of the poor
Federico Fuentes | Green Left Weekly

Australia’s Hospitality Workers Aren’t “Entitled” — They Just Know How Much Their Work Is Worth
Jules Gibson & Grace Dowling | Jacobin

Conversion therapy: love, sex and the paradoxes of progressivism
Guy Rundle | Crikey

Why the Shock?: Australian Atrocities in Afghanistan
Binoy Kampmark | Arena

Australia’s economy collapses further as tax evasion whacks revenue
Alan Austin | Independent Australia

Real Estate: Big City Buyers Boost Rural Property Market Prices, Horrify Locals
Van Badham | Bloomberg

Extinction Rebellion brought the love, WA Police brought the rage
Petrina Harley | Green Left Weekly

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews Has a Plan for Social Housing, But It’s Built on Shaky Foundations
Dino Varrasso | Jacobin

Meet Jorge Jorquera, Melbourne’s new socialist councillor
Interview | Red Flag

China scores a direct hit against Australia with ‘shitpost diplomacy’
Kishor Napier-Raman | Crikey

Nurturing the soil is vitally important to our collective survival
David Bell | Green Left Weekly

Noongar community protests homelessness on WA Parliament steps
Giovanni Torre | National Indigenous Times

Groote Eylandt Traditional Owners take control with local justice initiative
Darby Ingram | National Indigenous TImes