Daily News - Friday 30 August 2013

Posted 30 August 2013 8:13am

Poverty saps mental capacity to deal with complex tasks, say scientists
Alok Jha, The Guardian

Poor people spend so much mental energy on the immediate problems of paying bills and cutting costs that they are left with less capacity to deal with other complex but important tasks, including education, training or managing their time, suggests research published on Thursday.

Willpower, Poverty and Financial Decision-Making
American Psychological Association (archive)

If people in poverty are more prone to willpower depletion, then perhaps reducing the number of difficult decisions they must make can help to maintain their stores of self-control for future decisions.

FactCheck: are newly-arrived asylum seekers paid more than pensioners?
Peter Whiteford, The Conversation

Clive Palmer’s claim is wrong, as has been pointed out by bodies as diverse as the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association of NSW, the Human Rights Commission, the Parliamentary Library, and television presenter David Koch.

Early action is key to improving the lives of all children
Anne Hollonds, Brisbane Times

Last week I found myself reading the harrowing account of a day in the life of a Family and Community Services caseworker in the Herald. I only made it to ''10am'' before I had to stop. The memories of my time as a front-line child protection worker came flooding back.

I did that job for four years in the 1980s - and then moved on to work as a child and family counsellor in community health and in non-government organisations, and eventually in the management of these services.

Childcare more vital than PPL: sector
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

The nation's largest childcare provider has declared that increased funding in childcare will increase female workplace participation more than boosting paid parental leave and warned that, without it, parents will be hit with the additional cost of the quality reforms.

Goodstart Early Learning will today release a recently commissioned survey that found strong support from parents for improving the quality of early childhood education through better-trained educators and higher educator-to-child ratios. The survey found support for the national quality reforms was strongest among families with children under five, but many were still unsure about the impact of the changes.

Catholic Church offers Hunter disability services

The welfare arm of the Catholic Church in the Hunter says a new disability services office will enable it to bolster support for local people with a disability.

CatholicCare Social Services will this morning open its new facility in Charlestown's Hilltop Plaza.

DoHA faces possible class action
Australian Ageing Agenda

High profile law firm Slater & Gordon has confirmed it is investigating a possible class action against the Commonwealth’s Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency and the Aged Care Complaints Scheme over the alleged improper accreditation of facilities and mishandling of complaints.

Charity in the firing line
Kenneth Wiltshire, The Australian

The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission was created with eminent Australians such as Robert Fitzgerald at the helm and the sector felt that all might be well. But the ACNC has grown to be a mega-regulator with an incredibly large workforce and any so-called support functions are hard to identify.

Regrettably, most not-for-profits have meekly accepted the new onerous regulatory regime.

Online Petition to Save ACNC
Pro Bono News

A Victorian and Tasmanian-based Christian Church welfare organisation has begun an online petition to try to save the national charity regulator, the ACNC, from the Coalition’s plans to dismantle it.

The Churches of Christ Community Care is a Not for Profit Public Benevolent Institution working in the relief of poverty, sickness and disability, working with local food agencies and disadvantaged young people.

Shift the Political Debate - Better NFP Outcomes Need Better Infrastructure
Anne Gawen, Pro Bono News

The current political debate needs to shift towards capacity development for the Not for Profit sector rather than focusing on the charity regulator, the ACNC.

Rudd to unveil outer suburbs plan

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is to unveil his plan to make living in the outer suburbs more affordable.

Mr Rudd, who is campaigning in Perth on Friday, will commit to appointing Australia's first Minister for Cities and will also pledge to set up a task-force to look at boosting jobs and economic growth in the outer suburbs.

Rural voters' key issues
Vernon Graham, The Land

Economic management, rural infrastructure and services and protection of prime farmland were rated the most important electoral issues in our exclusive poll.

Barry Jones: the 2013 election and the death of rationality
Barry Jones, The Conversation

Party spin-doctors, on both sides of politics, work on the assumption that by this stage in the election cycle about 80% of voters have already decided how they will vote, and that short of some major event (cabinet ministers charged with felony, perhaps) nothing that is said or done in the campaign will change that. The 20% who are uncommitted, profiling suggests, are neither interested nor involved in the issues, do not much care about the outcome, are largely voting because they are obliged to do it, and will make up their minds on the day – perhaps as they stand in line waiting to receive their ballots.

Reaching these voters is not by raising serious issues, setting out a vision or challenge, by emphasising fear (“you don’t realise how bad things are…you are at risk…”) or by entertaining them, appealing to quick jokey references, as with Twitter, or offering bribes, the appeal to greed.

Book Review - Hearts, heads and pockets
Frank Bongiorno, Inside Story

Bowen’s “vision” for Labor is what you get when a party of the centre-left abandons a moral critique of capitalism as well as any sense that it has a role in promoting social solidarity. All that’s left for Labor to do is to provide the conditions under which individuals can do well out of the system.

Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech: What does it tell us about him?
Claire Bates, BBC

The speech reminds us how Dr King made the Civil Rights movement appeal to a broader section of society. Zoe Colley, a lecturer on civil rights history at Dundee University, said: "He sat across white liberals, poor black southerners, and the international community. That was his most important role."

This is demonstrated in his speech in which he declared his dream was "deeply rooted in the American dream", and told black Americans: 'We cannot walk alone'.

"He was portraying himself as a quintessentially American leader pursuing American goals, and this appealed to northern liberals," Professor Ward says.

"Civil Rights were now seen to be in keeping with the ideals of middle America.

Rev. Martin Luther King and the Value of Faith
Timothy Dolan, Archdiocese of New York

For [Martin Luther King], politics was shot through with religious values and for him there was no apologizing for the fact that the Bible, that Jesus, that the Old Testament prophets, they were definitive in culture, in life, in our nation….So, I’m proud of him as a religious leader, as a clergyman, as a minister, as a preacher, that he’s the one that led us in this great act of freedom and emancipation.

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