The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirm that real wages are falling at the fastest rate since the Great Depression, possibly even the 1890s, both period of massive unemployment.
There was once a little pub in Carlton called the Corkman. Built in 1854, it was one of the oldest buildings in the suburb. It wasn’t particularly charming—mission brown had been slopped all over it in the 1970s—and it didn’t have a particularly worthwhile social function, mostly used as a watering hole by Melbourne University law students.
“The question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from the question of what kind of people we want to be”, Marxist geographer David Harvey writes in his book Rebel Cities. “What kinds of social relations we seek, what relations to nature we cherish, what style of life we desire, what aesthetic values we hold”.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a plan to revive the State Electricity Commission, which will, if Labor is re-elected, take majority stakes in renewable energy generation projects and potentially become a retailer as well.
Banks and landlords are orchestrating a huge attack on the working class in Australia.
Fair-trade initiatives, known by a variety of names, are promoted as a way of alleviating the suffering of people in the Third World by insulating poor producers from the downward pressure on prices caused by global market competition. Proponents argue that fixed prices for their commodities allow fair-trade producers to pay their workers a living wage, hire adults instead of children, produce in a way that is better for the environment and local communities, and ensure that the conditions of production can be reliably reproduced.