Issue 28 – 21 January to 27 January 2021

As Joe Biden moves to double the US minimum wage, Australia can’t be complacent
Van Badham | The Guardian
America’s minimum wages have been in decline since their relative purchasing power peaked in 1968. Meanwhile, America’s cost of living has kept going up; the minimum wage is worth less now than it was half a century ago. Soon, the US’s minimum wage may leapfrog Australia’s.

Scott Morrison is driving progressives nuts. And it’s their own fault
Guy Rundle | Crikey
ScoMo is driving progressives nuts — mostly because Labor is failing so absolutely at providing an alternative — which in turn makes progressive politics worse, and so on. The fantasy that the Morrison government is some sort of Trump-lite outfit is utterly distorting a political response.

It’s government policy to increase inequality
Michael Pascoe | The New Daily
In happily blessed Australia, it is official government policy to keep travelling down the Trump road, to increase the inequality and division that made President Trump possible.

PM’s trust and respect for public servants vital for the economy
Ross Gittins | Nine Newspapers
You’d hope that one of the big things Scott Morrison learnt in 2020 was to have more respect and trust in his public servants. After all, they must get much of the credit for helping him – and the premiers – respond to the pandemic far more successfully than most other rich countries. What Morrison did right was take their advice.

Ranger uranium mine is dead: a victory for the Mirarr people, and for activism
Jerome Small | Red Flag
A salute to Yvonne Margarula and the Mirarr people, who fought for 40 years against incredible odds, and to the kids of the time of the blockade who are now the next generation to fight. 

How political fear erodes Indigenous rights
Claire G Coleman | The Saturday Paper
Most Australian politicians, particularly those in the two major parties, lack the political will to do what the majority support. Instead, they pander to conservative ideologies, driven by the morbid fear of criticism from a small but vocal minority. Australian politics is, for the most part, power without passion. And nowhere is this more stark than in Aboriginal affairs.

Australian economy and sustainability: Sorry, the economy’s bum does look bigger. We’ve put on a lot of weight
Ross Gittins | Nine Newspapers
Like the paperless office, the weightless economy remains surprisingly elusive. Which doesn’t change the need for us to put the economy on an ecological diet.

Corrupt, Right-Wing Machine Politics Are Crippling the Australian Labor Party
Harry Stratton | Jacobin
The ALP’s right faction is riddled with corruption and cover-ups that are holding the party back. We can’t rely on the legal system to clean out the ALP’s stables — empowering Labor members through real party democracy is the only way to break the cycle.

Reject Australia day. Celebrate resistance
Jasmine Duff | Red Flag
The problem with Australia Day isn’t just the date. Australia Day exists to celebrate Australian nationalism. It’s a holiday designed to bond us all to the idea that all Australians are part of a single national project: that ordinary people, you and I, have something in common with those who rule this nation.

Australian government’s housing policy continues to ignore low income earners
Greg Jericho | The Guardian
The Coalition’s homebuilder program does nothing to tackle rental stress and lack of affordability. It is just the latest in a very long line of policies that have focussed on the housing market, in terms of keeping the value of housing rising.

Solidarity campaign launched for Ansell workers in Sri Lanka
Chris Slee | Green Left Weekly
A new international solidarity campaign with sacked workers from the Ansell factory in Sri Lanka’s Biyagama Free Trade Zone, in the west of Sri Lanka, was launched on January 21. The workers were sacked for being members of a union. Ansell, which is based in Australia, is one of the biggest glove manufacturers in the world.

Morrison’s private school funding model ignores the Bank of Mum and Dad
Trevor Cobald | Pearls and Irritations
The Bank of Mum and Dad is the fifth-largest bank in Australia. Its home loans alone were worth $92 billion in 2017 with an average loan of $73,522.

If your child asks why Australia is celebrating a day of invasion, what will you tell them?
Amy McQuire for Indigenous X | The Guardian

Handling Invasion Day fatigue
Darby Ingram | National Indigeous Times

Venezuela sends oxygen tanks to the Brazilian Amazonas state amid COVID-19 surge
People’s Dispatch | Green Left Weekly

On current trends, Australia will reach carbon neutrality in 300 years
Sarah Hathway | Green Left Weekly

Reality ‘starting to sink in’ after European Investment Bank chief admits ‘gas is over’
Jon Queally | Green Left Weekly

Mitigation, adaptation or do nothing: Responding to climate change
Amanda Macleod | Independent Australia

Uber Xploitation: Uber’s secret settlement presages a wave of lawsuits
Callum Foote | Michael West

Exit the thug, enter the elite: presidential power returns to the establishment
Guy Rundle | Crikey

Political donations and the resources sector’s influence
Royce Kurmelovs | The Saturday Paper

Google versus Australia: The war is on
Paul Budde | Independent Australia

Activists take aim at Santos’ greenwashing
Kerry Smith | Green Left Weekly

The Dutch Government’s Benefits Scandal Is Rooted in Stigma Against Welfare Recipients
Kevyn Levie | Jacobin

Tent City aftermath highlights WA’s lack of homelessness solutions
Aaron Bloch | National Indigenous Times