The government announced in its recent budget that pensions (including the Disability Support Pension and Age Pension) will no longer be pegged to wages. Instead, they’ll only rise in line with the CPI.
Have real wages in Australia grown faster than labour productivity?
Tim Beshara, a Greens advisor, tweeted an interesting quote from Robert Menzies in 1944, on the topic of unemployment and sickness benefits:
Menzies: People should be able to obtain these benefits as a matter of right, with no more loss of their own standards of self-respect than would be involved in collecting from an insurance company the proceeds of an endowment policy on which they have been paying premiums for years.
- I have some brief comments about Thomas Piketty’s new book at Guardian Australia, as part of a panel with Julie Novak and John Quiggin.
- If someone made an “r>g” t-shirt, I would probably buy it.
- If someone re-made this video with Piketty in place of Kennedy, the internet would erupt:
The American middle class is no longer the world’s richest, according to a feature at the new NYT wonk blog, The Upshot. The feature compares American incomes to those of other advanced economies, and shows that people in the bottom half of the income distribution have fared better in Canada and the Netherlands than in the US over the past few decades. It’s a really interesting feature, but the first question that came to my mind was: what about Australia?
I wrote a comment piece about housing policy for Guardian Australia that ran on Boxing Day last year. The piece elicited quite a few strong reactions from people who agreed or disagreed with the piece, including from Godfrey Moase. Godfrey is Assistant Secretary of the National Union of Workers General Branch, and has been active in the Save Williamstown campaign. He took issue with my piece, expressing disappointment that I view neighbourhoods in “mercantile terms,” so I thought it might be interesting to tease out our disagreement a little in this exchange.