economy

Last month I read an article that first appeared in the Huffington Post titled "X Marks the Spot Where Inequality Took Root: Dig Here".

It explains how real wages in the US shadowed growth in productivity in the years after World War II. But in the mid-1970s wages growth completely stalled.

If wages had continued to shadow productivity growth they would now be double what they are today. This explains a lot about contemporary US society: all the gains of increased productivity have been absorbed by the rich.

More than 2 million Bolivians have been lifted out of extreme poverty in the past decade since President Evo Morales's government came to power.

Bolivia's economy is on course to grow by 5% this year, placing it among the top performers in Latin America. It is one sign of Bolivia's rapid economic transformation.

Another indicator is falling poverty rates. When Morales took office in 2006, the rate of extreme poverty was 38.2%. This year, the figure is 16.8%.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has reiterated his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying on August 23 that United States President Barack Obama’s push to get the trade deal passed during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress is “outrageous” and “absolutely wrong”.

The TPP is a huge proposed trade deal involving 12 Pacific Rim nations, including Australia. It encompasses 40% of the world’s GDP. It was negotiated in secret, but draft chapters published by WikiLeaks confirmed anti-TPP campaigners’ worst fears of a huge power grab by corporations.


Residents of the favela of Horto protest against the imminent demolition of their community.

“I am absolutely convinced that history will talk of the Rio de Janeiro before the Games and the much better Rio de Janeiro after the Olympic Games,” said Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.

With calls for a royal commission into the banking sector growing, the argument for a new "people's bank" to challenge the domination of the big banks is gaining strength.

A number of recent events have propelled community anger at the "Big Four" — Commonwealth Bank (CBA), NAB, Westpac and ANZ — to the point that a royal commission seems increasingly likely.

One of the less prominent aspects of Malcolm Turnbull's federal budget is the plan to shift another 30,000 Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients onto Newstart umemployment benefits. This move has been defended as a cost-saving measure to help fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

It follows the tightened of the eligibility criteria for DSP that occurred in 2011 under a federal Labor government. Since then, the number of DSP recipients has flatlined at around 800,000.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced plans to reduce welfare payments for the poorest and most economically disadvantaged people in Australia. The cuts are part of a proposed package of $6.5 billion savings in the federal budget that parliament is still to vote on.

Turnbull has proposed axing the energy supplement fund that all welfare recipients receive. This fund is worth between $4.40 and $7.05 a week, which might not sound like much, but is a lot for people who are already living below the poverty line.

Workers at InTech Credit Union, who for the first time will be covered by an enterprise agreement, have won a 10.5% guaranteed pay rise across the board over three years, according to a statement published by the Finance Sector Union on August 19.

Under the new agreement, InTech Credit Union will also join a growing number of employers in the industry to include Domestic Violence Leave provisions in their agreement with workers.

Treasurer Scott Morrison's speech to a Bloomberg business breakfast in Sydney on August 25 echoed previous warnings by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that Australians were heading for economic trouble if the new parliament fails to pass the government's "omnibus" budget package.

United States President Barack Obama has carried out classically colonial, imperialistic policies towards Africa during his time in office.

John Feffer, from the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, said in a Common Dreams article: “Strip away all the modern PR and prettified palaver and it’s an ugly scramble for oil, minerals, and markets for U.S. goods.”

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