After the pandemic is over, grocery workers and nurses will still be essential. But will they be paid any better?
Nobody else, apart from CEOs, has enjoyed a similar rise in their fortunes since the 1980s.
The official figures show things are fine, but Australia's most comprehensive tracking survey finds the typical household is worse off than ten years ago.
Last year, more than 70,000 workers walked off their jobs in New Zealand – the highest number of people on strike since the late 1980s. The reasons for the strike wave are political and economic.
Research suggests union membership by default could help reduce income inequality and its associated social ills.
This is the first article in a series, Reclaiming the Fair Go, to mark the awarding of the 2018 Sydney Peace Prize to Nobel laureate and economist Joseph Stiglitz.
Over two centuries, capitalist ethos has swung from profit-taking for the few, to a distribution of wealth to the many, and back again. Is the pendulum poised to swing once more?
Governments can't undo the technological changes behind frozen wages and rising inequality. The best policy is to invest in education and training to give workers skills of value in the new economy.
News that Australian CEO pay has soared to a 17-year high at a time when ordinary workers' wages are flatlining is ultimately bad news for economic growth and prosperity.
Despite a range of laws and policy measures, many gender inequities seem firmly entrenched. One innovative policy measure that could make a difference is basic income.
Refugee policy may well be a humanitarian issue. But it is also a development issue.
Even with the most favourable laws, unions will still need to confront the reality of a dramatic transformation in the world of work.