Governments have made a difference to inequality in the past, as Roosevelt’s New Deal did in the 1930s, and could do so again if citizens acted to ensure their voices are heard.
Governments’ lack of response to rising inequality is not a problem of knowledge or public support. The problem is that those whose needs are being ignored must find a way to make themselves heard.
Workers’ falling share of national income is helping to fuel the trade union campaign to ‘change the rules’.
While government payments and programs go some way to reducing inequality, the transformation of the labour market and its institutions has cut workers’ share of the pie to historic lows.
Unions, which traditionally protected wages at the bottom end, are starting to tap into community anger at the wealth flowing to the top end of town.
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.
A mural in memory of Alton Sterling, who was shot several times at close range by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 5, 2016.
W. Clarke/Wikipedia Commons
Neither the spurious ‘facts’ about killings of police nor the supposedly ‘colour-blind’ logic of the backlash against Black Lives Matter hold up under scrutiny. Instead, they confirm its point.
South Sea Islanders working in a Townsville cane field in 1907.
Blackbirding is one of many shared Australian histories. Australian South Sea Islanders want to encourage broader community goodwill as we work towards social justice for a forgotten people.
White nationalists at the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017.
White Americans have been in denial about the fact that police go after Black men and other men of colour. But the research and statistics kept by state and federal agencies show this happens.
‘We refuse to appeal to the benevolence of White folk for our lives to matter. We remind them every day that we are still here.’
Despite the promise of Black Lives Matter, it has not been taken up as a central political movement by Indigenous Australians.
‘The call for Black lives to matter is fundamentally a call for peace. And peace must not be confused with the momentary quiet of submission.’
The peace and justice Black Lives Matter seeks require a fundamental transformation of a system that preys on and benefits from Black suffering.
Noam Chomsky explicitly rejects the idea that language may be implicated in politics.
In his recent speech accepting the Sydney Peace Prize, Chomsky returned to a recurrent theme from his work in political science: that the violence perpetrated by the West is not represented in our media…