poverty

Australian inequality skewered, but few solutions found in Labor

Battlers & Billionaires: The Story of Inequality in Australia
Andrew Leigh
Black Inc. Books, 2013
210 pages, $19.99 (pb)

In Australia, notes economist and Labor MP Andrew Leigh, the poorest 20% of the population own just 1% of total household wealth. The top 20%, however, hog a fat 62%.

Screwed by vulture funds, Puerto Rico is the US's 'Greece'

The world has been focused on the spectacle of the “Troika” of the International Monetary Fund, European Union and the European Central Bank crushing the Greek people, but it is far from the only example of strong nations using a “debt crisis” to extract more wealth from those that are weaker.

A case in point is the US colony of Puerto Rico. In a June 28 New York Times interview, the governor of the Caribbean archipelago nation declared its debt of US$73 billion “is not payable. There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics. This is math.”

'Free' trade deals a corporate power grab

Three huge free trade deals are being negotiated right now, that will sacrifice workers' rights, health care and the environment across much of the world on the altar of corporate profits.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are being negotiated in secret, with privileged access for selected corporations.

New call for‭ '‬pan-European movement‭' ‬against austerity

Thousands of people protested on July‭ ‬15‭ ‬across Europe‭ – ‬and in cities around the world‭ – ‬in solidarity with Greece's struggle against austerity.

The next day,‭ ‬Marina Prentoulis,‭ ‬spokesperson for Syriza in Britain,‭ told TeleSUR that what was needed was a‭ “‬pan-European movement‭” ‬capable of confronting the power of European capital and the neoliberal agenda of European leaders.‭

Britain: Labour establishment worried as left-wing MP takes lead in leadership contest

Private polling shows veteran left-wing Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, who takes a strong stand against austerity and has a history of backing supporting popular movements, ahead in the first round of voting, the New Statesman said on July 15.

The New Statesman said the success of Corbyn's campaign surprised observers. Corbyn collected 40 nominations from local parties, just eight less than the bookmakers' favourite, Andy Burnham.

German Left Party votes against Greek deal, Podemos slams creditors

More than 60 lawmakers from Germany’s Die Linke (The Left) party voted against the proposal for further austerity for Greece on July 17. They accused the German government of “destroying Europe” by forcing Greece to accept hard-hitting austerity measures required by the eurozone for a third bailout deal.

Greece: Austerity bill passes despite SYRIZA rebellion, street protests

The Greek Parliament voted in the early hours of July 16 to back the deal agreed to by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the tough economic measures demanded by Greece's creditors.

The vote came despite street protests and strikes -- and in the face of a statement released the day before by the governing SYRIZA party's central committee against the deal.

Britain: Savage new budget offers spending cuts for the poor, tax cuts for the rich

The British Conservative Party government introduced new austerity measures on July 8, which include slashing millions of pounds in social spending, increasing the military budget and cutting corporate taxes.

Chancellor George Osborne announced the new budget to parliament, which includes some 12 billion pounds in social spending cuts over three years.

Debt campaigners slam Greece's creditors' 'imperial politics'

Leading British campaigners against global debt have slammed the creditors over a deal reached between the European Union countries and Greece, likening the deal to the imperial politics of the 19th century.

The debt campaigners also drew parallels with the way debt was used to control Latin American nations in the 1980s.

In or out of the euro, Greece needs our solidarity

Regardless of the result of the latest round of negotiations between the SYRIZA-led government of Greece and the heads of the 28 members of the European Union, one thing is certain: in coming years, the Greek people are going to need all possible solidarity because their struggles and sufferings are bound to continue.

The best imaginable deal with the EU will mean six years of Troika-imposed austerity grinding along to one degree or another. Forced Greek exit from the eurozone will drive the country deeper into recession, further contracting an economy that has shrunk by 25% since 2008.

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