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Everybody Row!

The problem is that most of the things happening in the world, or even in our own towns, are not things we have power over. We're made to be emotionally invested in things we can't solve, can't fix. "A fatal car accident today left three dead, including two children." It's awful, but it's also over. What does it mean for us to know it? Our own social support systems already exist for this kind of thing. If we needed to know, if it were someone important to us, we'd find out.

It's so simple

It’s so simple if you're the Chief Executive of the 100 biggest ASX listed companies, making an average $15,000 per day, it’s not difficult making ends meet. If you’re the Federal Health Minister, Sussan Ley, away on taxpayer funded government business (husband in tow as a guest of the Australian taxpayer), when you spot a nice little holiday/investment apartment, you snap it up for $795,000. It’s so simple.

Traditional class analysis

Traditional class analysis has little, if any, practical significance in 21st century Australia. Class in Australia today transcends occupational categories. What class you belong to is dependent on the amount of disposable income you have access to. Most people are aware of the power that is wielded by that small section of society (the one percenters) that own the means of production, distribution, exchange and communication. Most Australians are unaware of the growing power of the 15% of Australians who are a part of the investment class.

Edicts from on high

Trump’s tweets remind me of Moses coming down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments. Unlike Trump, Moses didn’t have the audacity to claim the Commandments were his, he gave the credit to God.

Housing Affordability

Housing affordability will be the single most important issue Australians will have to grapple with in 2017. Increasing numbers of Australians living on the streets, in their cars and couch surfing is only the tip of an iceberg that is having a significant impact on an increasing number of Australians. The current malaise can be directly attributed to the subcontracting of the public housing sector by governments to both the non-profit and for profit private sector.

Confused

I find it difficult to believe the Andrews led Labor government can get it so wrong when it comes to public housing. Traditionally Labor governments have built and managed public housing to put a roof over people’s heads who have difficulty in accessing both the private rental market and the home ownership market. A strong public housing sector puts downward pressure on private rents and housing prices especially for first home buyers.

Democracy and Democratic cut-offs

In the period since the end of the Cold War (c. 1991), there has been an upsurge in the number of states around the world that define themselves as ‘democracies’. So too this has been the case in Southeast Asia, if incomplete in some areas and with reversals in others. This is in part due to the turn towards electoral processes in formerly authoritarian client states that have since lost the patronage of one or other of the two then superpowers.

Turkey, the Kurds, and Syria

Turkey has gone so far as to outlaw Kurdish language. They recently leveled most of a Kurdish city that had become restive. Turkey correctly views Kurds as a threat to their power in the hinterlands of Anatolia. In fact all of the states with large Kurdish populations - Iraq, Syria, Turkey & Iran - have fought against them, and all (but perhaps Iran) actually got paid by the US to do it. Turkey was the largest recipient of US aid under Clinton when they were taking their shot at them.

Anti-Capitalists still need food and rent money.

Technically, it is still very possible to survive as a squatter living off the margins of society. You don’t HAVE to have much money to survive, if you are healthy and don’t need to see doctors or dentists and don’t have any special dietary needs or children to take care of. This condition of self imposed poverty, while it can be a fun adventure and give people time for self discovery and exploration, it leaves people dependent on the assistance of others who do work or have resources for simple things like rides and anything that cannot be picked up for free or cheap.

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