Daily News - Thursday 12 September 2013
What can we expect from a Coalition Government on social welfare?
Philip Mendes, On Line Opinion
Over the last three decades, Labor and Coalition governments have introduced far greater conditionality into the income security system. But the Liberals have been particularly harsh in their rhetoric towards welfare recipients.
This 'tough love' approach reflects two distinct ideological perspectives: a neo-liberal concern to cut government and reduce social expenditure, and a social conservatism that aims to punish the alleged bad behaviour of welfare reliant individuals who refuse to conform to mainstream values. There is a lot of stick, and very little carrot utilized in this approach. Most of those Australians who rely on income security payments are presumed by the Liberal Party to be guilty unless proven innocent.
Abbott is a new man, but the left can't see it
Mark Kenny, The Age
The truth is, Abbott in government is likely to be populist, political and pragmatic, rather than right-wing, reactionary and regressive.
And the longer the left takes to understand this, the longer it will take it to come to terms with its own failings.
Despite promising to combat the causes of homelessness, the Coalition Government has not yet committed to signing another four-year National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.
Why we should be worried about Australia’s housing market
Christopher Joye, Australian Financial Review
I am worried about Australia’s housing market. Very worried. Not so much about the fundamentals, which are solid, or current performance, which is robust without raising alarm. I am concerned about what lies around the corner – and here, I am talking months, not years.
More people are choosing to opt out of working full-time
Clay Lucas, The Age
''Breadwinner man'', once the norm in Australian society, is long gone, replaced by a nation of families on joint incomes - making concerns around job security less critical than they once were.
Implementing the Outcomes Star
Lisa Harris and Sharon Andrews, The Salvation Army (via APO)
State and Federal governments are exploring the use and implementation of outcomes measures in the human services sector in Australia, and pilot studies are being conducted at a number of sites using the Outcomes Star, one such system for measuring outcomes.
Xenophobia hurting ag
David Leyonhjelm, The Land
While their colleagues were out campaigning to keep their jobs, several Senators on the Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport have been busy saving the country from evil foreigners and their filthy money.
The object of their attention was the proposed takeover of GrainCorp by US company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). Chief inquisitors were Senators Heffernan and Nash, Liberal and National Party respectively*.
Will Tony Abbott be a ‘prime minister for Aboriginal affairs’?
Elizabeth Strakosch, The Conversation
Recently, Australian Indigenous policy has been characterised by an unambitious bipartisanship. After one too many dramatic and unsuccessful initiatives, there is a sense of lowered expectations.
New prime minister Tony Abbott stands out in this environment, exhibiting a deep commitment to Indigenous engagement and reform.
Treating people well in Abbott's Australia
Andrew Hamilton, Eureka Street
The election campaign showed that in Australia there is little sense of a shared humanity. When we put weight on the shared humanity that binds us to others we become ready to allow strangers to make a claim on our generosity. Now the bipartisan support for excluding asylum seekers from making this claim and the decisions by both parties to cut overseas aid or divert it to prisons and camps have been met by general approval.
The crucial question is that of beloning, says Avisahai Margalit
Interview, Barcelona Metropolis (2009)
Weber thought that the principal attribute of the State was its monopoly over power. In my opinion, today the principal attribute of the State has to do with its capacity to decide who enters and who does not enter. It is not the army, but the civil servant who stamps the passport that is the figure that defines the State today; having a monopoly on stamping permits. The crucial question is that of belonging, who is a member and who is not.
Pope, greeting refugees, says solidarity is not a dirty word
Francis X. Rocca, Catholic News Service
Speaking at an assistance center for foreign refugees in Italy, Pope Francis called on wealthy societies and the Catholic Church to do more to help and defend the rights of the needy.
Pope Francis urges religious orders to use empty houses for refugees
Pope Francis urged members of religious orders on Tuesday to use empty convents and other structures to house refugees fleeing war and hardship, not as hotels.
Samuel Gregg's new book -- Tea Party Catholic
In his new book, Tea Party Catholic: The Catholic Case for Limited Government, a Free Economy, and Human Flourishing (The Crossroad Publishing Co., 2013), Samuel Gregg draws on Catholic social teaching and the thought of Charles Carroll of colonial Maryland – the only Catholic Signer of America’s Declaration of Independence – to make a powerful case for the enduring value of economic freedom and the role it plays in sustaining America’s unique experiment in political and religious liberty.
Abbott an admirer of Samuel Gregg's work
Sarah Stanley, Acton Institute
On Saturday, Tony Abbott, a member of the Liberal-National Coalition, was elected prime minister of Australia despite being considered “too religious, too conservative and too blunt” to win a national election. Turns out, he’s an admirer of the work of Acton Research Director Samuel Gregg (Australian born).
US - What Makes People Ambivalent About Social Inequality?
Eric Horowitz, Pacific Standard
At the moment, there’s a comfortable level of support for the idea that people are wholly responsible for their success. One recent poll found that a majority of Americans agree that the rich deserve their wealth—it’s taboo for politicians to even say the word “redistribution.”
Social democrats' structural failure
Chris Dillow, Stumbling and Mumbling
[Social democrats could ] have used the crisis to develop ideas of non-hierarchical, decentralized, open networks - and in fairness, the Occupy movement was edging towards this. But statist social democrats missed this chance. They still seem to think that the problem with politics and business is simply that the wrong people are in charge, when in fact the problem is (also) that the wrong systems are in place.
Labor must abandon socialist objective for good
Nick Champion, The Australian
We should craft a new objective using the language of Labor's first fighting platform, incorporating the unifying concepts of multiculturalism and mutualism.
It should read: "The ALP is a social democratic party and has as its objective the creation of a society based on an Australian sentiment, mutualism, multiculturalism and the development of enlightened, prosperous and self-reliant communities."
Labor's platform must abandon socialism and embrace the community if we are to combat Abbott's big-tent conservatism.
Where To Now For The Greens?
Lee Rhiannon, New Matilda
Christine Milne is a clear communicator on economic matters. However, the party is yet to earn its stripes for having a consistent message that our potential voters understand and believe will make a difference.
Our challenge is to articulate a vision of fairness and prosperity, balanced with a strong commitment to environmental protection and social justice, and to build these values into all aspects of the party’s work in coming years.
The Death Café
Clare Davies, Aeon
Speaking about death scrubs away our facades, brings us closer to who we really are. There’s a sense of liberation in such honesty, compounded by the idea that in talking about death, one is somehow breaking a taboo.