Daily News - Monday 17 June 2013

Posted 17 June 2013 8:04am

Humiliation at the heart of homelessness
John Falzon, Eureka Street

It is time, as a society, that we named homelessness for what it is; not a manifestation of poor behaviour, poor choices, hard luck or blind economic forces but rather a systematic form of humiliation, a means, sometimes as part of a continuum with incarceration, of producing outcasts, of manufacturing shame, of marking and scarring people. Our mission should be simple: to stand against shame.

Homeless people committing illegal offences and injuring themselves after being turned away from shelters
Stephanie Masters, Courier Mail

Ten homeless people a week are being turned away at a Waterford homeless shelter before the harshest period of winter even begins.

Homeless should be priority
Scott Holmes, Newcastle Herald

As the weather turns to winter, and I’ve been complaining about the rising cost of heating our house, my daughter started her first post-university job at a women’s refuge in Kings Cross.

Victoria - 'Money grab' hits state's vulnerable
Henrietta Cook, Sydney Morning Herald

The Napthine government has lifted public housing rents in response to carbon tax compensation payments, angering tenants and state and federal Labor.

Life on edge as new divide ignored
Brian Howe, The Conversation

The Fair Work Commission’s recent wage review may have struck an increased pay deal for low-paid workers but its decision overlooks the growth of a worrying new divide in the Australian workforce.

With the rise and rise of the insecure worker, the issue has become less about adequate safety nets and more about the power relationship between employee and employer, the way that shapes the work contract, and the increase in a ‘disposable worker’ syndrome.

Why Sweden has riots
Johan Norberg, The Spectator

So what’s to blame? The aspect of the Swedish social model that the government has not dared to touch: strong employment protection. By law, the last person to be hired must be the first person to be sacked. And if you employ someone longer than six months, the contract is automatically made permanent. A system intended to protect the workers has condemned the young to a succession of short-term contracts. Sweden’s high de facto minimum wage — around 70 per cent of the average wage — renders unemployed those whose skills are worth less than that. Sweden has the fewest low-wage, entry-level jobs in Europe. Just 2.5 per cent of Swedish jobs are on this level, compared to a European average of 17 per cent.

Industrial demise forces blue-collar retreat
Clay Lucas, Craig Butt, The Age

Melbourne's blue-collar workers are increasingly being driven to the city's outer suburbs, while the suburbs they leave behind are swamped with white-collar workers.

Survive or thrive? Overqualified a matter of management
Alex Luksyte, The Conversation

... it turned out that the most important reason why overqualified employees put in little effort, came in late and took excessive coffee breaks was because they had grown cynical about their jobs. This was reflected in survey respondent attitudes that questioned the necessity of working hard on a job that did not challenge them and which wasted their skills, talents and qualifications. Why bother with such a job? These cynical attitudes were the strongest explanations for the positive link between overqualification and counterproductive work behaviours.

UN decree 'fuelling' asylum disaster
Greg Sheridan, The Australian

The range of people who conclude that the refugee convention was a creator of problems rather than their solution indicates the convention is in crisis. It also explains why no new nations in Southeast Asia are likely to sign it.

Coalition announces plans to deport foreigners convicted of serious crimes

The Coalition says asylum seekers who commit serious crimes should be deported without having access to the right of appeal.

Recent indigenous policy failures can't be pinned on Aborigines
Noel Pearson, The Australian

Since ATSIC's demise, across the nation indigenous organisations have been de-funded and closed down. The bureaucracy's share has grown considerably and the share of the consultants and service providers has grown exponentially. Today the nominal budgetary outlays for indigenous affairs are way more than in ATSIC's heyday, and indigenous affairs is indeed a true industry.

Two players have grown enormously. First, large non-government welfare organisations have moved into the vacuum following the dismantling of ATSIC. Mission Australia, the Smith Family and an array of mainstream bodies have pushed indigenous organisations to extinction. Their vast scale and capacity to win large government tenders mean local and regional indigenous organisations cannot compete.

Second, numerous private, for-profit organisations have moved into the indigenous service scene.

Real education, real jobs
Alison Anderson in In black & white - Australians All at the Crossroads (book)

The non-Indigenous NGOs, or not-for-profits, are easy for government to deal with, especially the Commonwealth government which takes a long view all the way from Canberra. Often these NGOs are bright and shiny, run like clockwork, and fill in all the paperwork perfectly. They are good at lobbying and writing submissions. I do not mock that, however, they are not as good at providing services because they do not understand the communities they go into.

The best of intentions, the worst of outcomes for indigenous people
Peter Shergold, The Australian (8 June 2013)

... government programs still tend to be designed for administrative convenience rather than centred on the needs of the individual. They offer little diversity, choice or flexibility. The particular problems of indigenous communities whether in remote parts of Australia, regional centres or inner cities are treated as uniform.

There is far too little willingness to tailor services to local need or to devolve responsibility and decision making to the community level. There are also too few opportunities for individuals and families to direct and manage their own publicly funded support.

US liberal exposed flaw of welfare policies
Noel Pearson, The Australian (12 Feb 2011)

In a memorandum to the Secretary of Labor [Daniel Patrick Moynihan] wrote:

"One of the things it seems to me has got to be said before long is that the greatest single danger facing the Negroes of America is that the whites are going to put them on welfare.

"The conservative votes of most communities profess a great distaste for welfare but in fact it will be a good deal easier just to pension the Negroes off, as it were, than to accept the major and sometimes wrenching changes in our way of doing things that will be required if we are going to bring them in as full-fledged members of the larger community.

"Nothing would be more terrible, if it should come to pass. We will have created an entire subculture of dependency, alienation, and despair. We have already done as much to whole sections of Appalachia, as I understand it, as also to the Indian reservations.

"It is in truth the way we cope with this kind of problem. As against giving men proper jobs and a respectable place in their community and family."

US - What Part Family Plays in Poverty
Belinda Luscombe, Time

Moynihan['s] solution for the “tangle of pathologies” that vexed the black community was to focus on rebuilding the family, which he called “the fundamental source of the weakness of the Negro community.” He believed that black neighborhoods had become matriarchal and that this would lead to further disenfranchised men and more community disintegration. His report, The Negro Family: the Case For National Action, remains both influential and controversial. (It was the provocation for the book Blaming the Victim, by William Ryan, for example.)

Pope Francis on poverty: opposition Within The Curia
Sylvia Poggioli, NPR

Grumbling is beginning to be heard in conservative circles about the pope's emphasis on the poor and the need for the church to shed its image of wealth and be humble.

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