Issue 73: 2 Dec to 8 Dec 2021

Festive Levelling Spirit

Territory Covid-19 outbreaks highlight housing failures
Anna Krien | The Saturday Paper
Recent Covid-19 outbreaks have prompted Territorians to get vaccinated, but the cases tearing through Indigenous communities highlight broader inequalities – and the damage done by deliberate misinformation.

What is exploitation and abuse in the workplace?
Anna Boucher | Progress in Political Economy

In middle Australia, rosy wealth data can hide a world of pain
Greg Jericho | The Guardian
Workers under 35 are more likely to be casually employed than earlier this century.

Robo-revenue raising too tempting for greedy governments
Ross Gittins | SMHAge
Robo-debt showed us how governments can unlawfully use technology to shake down vulnerable people for money they don’t have. But that doesn’t mean they won’t try it again.

Suffering in comparison: Australia’s economic outcomes the worst in 60 years
Alan Austin | Michael West Media
For the second consecutive quarter, total compensation to workers was below 47% of GDP. A level that low has appeared only rarely since 1959.


Doubts raised over emissions cuts at Santos CCS project receiving government subsidies
Michael Mazengarb | Renew Economy

Two reasons why progressives need to temper hopes of victory, if not shelve them
Guy Rundle | Crikey
Progressives quietly expect that victory has become likely. Here’s one small and one big reason why they probably shouldn’t. 

Climate change policy: Australia has never had a carbon tax
Jessica Irvine | SMHAge
Unlike other countries, Australia under the Coalition has a “safeguard mechanism” to control emissions – and a Labor government would rev it up. But what is it?

Labor’s climate plan trumps the govt’s. But it’s still depressing
Alan Kohler | The New Daily
The baseline reductions make it a much better plan for net-zero by 2050 than the Coalition’s, but that’s not saying much.

Policy failures caused the historic decline in September quarter GDP
Gareth Hutchens | ABC News
One of the striking things about this era of Australian politics is how we’ve all experienced the cost of policy failure.

School safety neglected as COVID-19 infections rise
Karen Armstrong | Independent Australia
Politicians framed their decision to reopen schools as being based on the welfare of kids and while it was a relief for many to return, if the politicians were genuinely motivated by concerns about children’s welfare, they would be doing a lot more to keep them safe.

Jobactive report: who profited from it?
Callum Foote, Stephanie Tran | Michael West Media
The two largest jobactive providers, Max Solutions and APM are both controlled by American investment firms and together account for 56% of the $3.3 billion handed out to employment service providers since its inception in 2015.

Family focus helps keep kids home
Giovanni Torre | National Indigenous Times
Two pilot programs placing Aboriginal families at the centre of child protection decision making could help bring down WA’s high rate of Indigenous child removal.

The Hope of Audacity

India: Victory for farmers protesting fascist farm laws
Gauri Gandbhir | Green Left
At its peak, one of the year-long protest’s camps on the Ghazipour-Delhi border hosted more than 2 million farmers.

2021 in review: The persistence of instability
Jordan Humphreys | Red Flag

Hospital Workers Lead Struggle Against Privatisation
Ned K | Vanguard
In the last week of November about 400 support services workers from Flinders Medical Centre, Noarlunga Hospital and the Repatriation General Hospital went on a half-day strike. These workers comprise one of the last groups of support services workers not yet privatised.

NSW teachers strike, rally against staff shortages
Jim McIlroy | Green Left

Why we are going on strike
Dan Hogan | Overland

East Gippsland defeats mineral sands mine
Alan Broughton | Green Left

When developers strike: Activision-Blizzard’s mistreatment of workers
Jason Drake | Overland
Perhaps, the last best hope in this sorry and sordid saga is that this may be a wake-up call to workers in the videogame industry. It’s a strong argument for unionisation, an example of how passion alone cannot create a safe work environment, and motivation to hold abusive bosses to the fire.

Post-viral syndromes

Australia’s splintered healthcare system is plagued by inequity
John Dwyer | Pearls and Irritations
On average, if you live in a rural community your life expectancy is four years less than someone living on Sydney’s north shore.

Australia’s under-funded healthcare system confronts major nursing shortages
Gary Alvernia | World Socialist Web Site

6 ways to prevent a mass exodus of health workers
Sara Holton, Bodil Rasmussen, Karen Wynter, Kate Huggins | The Conversation

It’s the Stupidity, Stupid! On Technocratic Populism
Richard King | Arena
The lack of an alternative account of freedom in the face of the new libertarianism does not derive from political illiteracy; it derives instead from a political world-picture formed through educational meritocracy, abstract knowledge and systems thinking.

Relational Medicine
Lisa Stefanoff | Arena Quarterly
COVID, colonialism and fighting the memes of conspiracy in the Northern Territory.