A growing body of evidence around the world suggests that inequality hurts economic growth. A new report from Labor's Chifley Research Centre finds that inequality rose in Australia in recent years, with damaging economic consequences. A link to the report is here. Alternatively, you can read the Guardian's take here.
"If they’re to have any chance of reviving, Australian unions need to abandon backroom deals and activate their rank-and-file," argues Simon Copland in Jacobin. "Last month’s Australian election has apparently given the country’s union movement reason to celebrate. Labor leaders are trumpeting what they see as the rejection of the Turnbull coalition government’s 'destructive policies' and the important role unions played in anti–Liberal Party campaigns across the country.
"The coalition’s reduced majority seemed unthinkable only ten months ago when Malcolm Turnbull rose to power. And, in many ways, the election can be seen as a remarkable turnaround for a labor movement that has been under attack for years.
"Some will blame the Australian labor movement’s decline on a 'wide-ranging attack' launched by 'the establishment,' but these problems go right to the heart of the movement itself." Continue reading the rest of this article here.
It is increasingly clear that political and economic verities are under strain. In May, Yanis Varoufakis argued that capitalism is dead and that we now have financialisation and bankruptocracy. And, closer to home, Richard Denniss (The message was clear,.Brexit, Trump and the federal election show how the old categories of left and right are crumbling The Monthly) argues:
... the neoliberal agenda is failing badly at ballot boxes around the Western world.
The old world order of the Washington Consensus has broken apart more quickly than a new one has been built, but the lack of a clear path forward in no way diminishes the significance of the collapse in public support for free trade, trickle-down economics and the privatisation of essential services. The new “right-wing” populists are hostile to all that the neo-liberals held dear.
Open Laborers take note. But is it a positive or a negative without a clear social democrat economic strategy?