Issue 21 – 3 December to 9 Decemeber 2020

The quiet death of public housing
Louise O’Shea | Red Flag
Given there are currently more than 100,000 people waiting for housing in Victoria, and it is the state that spends the least per head of population on public housing, it’s not hard to see why any measure purporting to address this crisis might seem like welcome relief. But the “Big Housing Build” is no such measure. It instead represents a disastrous new milestone in the privatisation of public housing. 

All the recent growth can’t hide the fact that Australia remains in a deep recession
Greg Jericho | The Guardian
Our economy shrank almost three times more in the past year than it did at the worst point of the last Australian recession

The secret sauce missing from Morrison’s recovery recipe
Ross Gittins | Nine Newspapers
According to Reserve Bank deputy governor Dr Guy Debelle, a big lesson from the global financial crisis was “be careful of removing the stimulus too early”. Good point, and one that could yet bring Scott Morrison and his nascent economic recovery unstuck. But there’s something else missing that may do it: lack of wages growth

Christian Porter’s new wage growth attack defies Reserve Bank advice
Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer | Crikey
In a clear triumph of right-wing ideology and business self-interest over economic growth and the advice of the Reserve Bank, the government intends to directly undermine wages growth by locking in what will amount to a “worse off overall” test for the next two years for workers.

Why is nobody in prison over robodebt?
April Holcombe | Red Flag
The Liberals knew from at least 2017, if not from the start, that robodebt was unlawful. But they pursued the policy for years and settled out of court just hours before the case against them was to begin.

Private debt collectors face penalties for failing to claw back enough money from Centrelink recipients
Luke Henriques-Gomes | The Guardian
Agencies handed government contracts by Services Australia will be subjected to ‘specific performance targets’ in a move that has drawn comparisons with robodebt scandal

Andrew Bolt flees Melbourne, trading one lefty paradise for another
Guy Rundle | Crikey
The column in which he announced his departure was the typical Bolt fantasia for the diminishing but loyal, actual paper-buying readership that he throws red meat to: Melbourne, one of the safest cities in the world, is some sort of Mogadishu East where you take your life in your hands.

Peru’s Neoliberal Success Story Is in Meltdown
Peter Leys | Jacobin
An undemocratic power grab by hard-right politicians in Peru was defeated by popular mobilization on the streets. The Peruvian political crisis has deep roots in a failed model of technocratic, neoliberal governance that has turned the state into a plaything of private interests.

The seven-year plot to undermine the NDIS
Rick Morton | The Saturday Paper
After years of careful manoeuvring, the Coalition government is readying to make radical changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The revised system will force new assessments and tighten eligibility.

Cashless debit card permanency Bill centres on two Senators’ votes
Rachael Knowles | National Indigenous Times
The Morrison Government’s cashless debit card permanency Bill is on its way to the Senate after narrowly passing 62 votes to 61 in the House of Representatives on Monday.

Until recently, pressure on Australia to drop carryover credits had little impact. But times change
Richard Denniss | The Guardian
Political pressure makes the impossible inevitable. Unfortunately, so much has been written about how democracy is broken, that it can seem churlish to point out that sometimes it works just as it is designed to: slowly, imperfectly and then suddenly. 

The End of Public Schools Would Mean the End of the Common Good
Jon Shelton | Jacobin
If education is nothing but a provider of the “human capital” that will help students get a job, the argument to privatize public education will be far too convincing. Instead, we should look at our schools as institutions to educate kids to be citizens in a democracy with expectations for better lives.

Why women continue to bear the brunt of COVID-19
Zita Henderson | Green Left Weekly

At this weekend’s climate summit, no one will be perfect but Australia will be awful
Ketan Joshi | Renew Economy

The Left and the Climate Crisis After the Pandemic
Adrienne Buller & Daniel Finn | Jacobin

Gratitude in the Time of a Pandemic: Melburnian and Indigenous Solidarity during Coronavirus
Emma Lee | Arena Online

Undue Influence: oil and gas giants infiltrate Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology
Sandi Keane | Michael West Media

‘Worst since WorkChoices’: Unions declare war on workplace changes
Josh Butler | The New Daily

Company profits soar and wages fall while the media continues to mislead
Alan Austin | Independent Australia

Corporate Power in Australia
Pearls and Irritations | Michael West Media

Locked-out Coles warehouse workers need your support
Jim McIlroy | Green Left Weekly

To understand right-wing extremism, we need to move past Dutton’s ‘cop logic’
Tom Ravlic | Crikey

Assuming employers will lift wages in place of rise in superannuation levy is a triumph of hope over experience
Harry Chemay | Michael West Media

Why Venezuela’s National Assembly elections matter
Federico Fuentes | Green Left Weekly

Are you a Trotskyist?
Luca Tavan | Red Flag