Cashless Welfare Cards: They Don’t Work

02/02/2019

Over the last few days, the government’s cashless welfare cards have been introduced to Queensland in the next string of trials. They have been rolled out elsewhere across the country already, and despite what the government claims, it is already obvious that these cards do not achieve the policy goals they were set out for. Instead, they are (who would have guessed) another way to limit the poor.

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Why I Changed Banks

01/02/2019

It is something that I intended to do for quite some time, but today I have officially closed my account with the Commonwealth Bank. I had been with them since primary school through the Dollarmite school banking program, and to me it was simply a place to store my money – I had no savings account, no wish to secure a loan or take up any other offer from them. My only association was just making transactions with my card. So given the revelations of the Royal Commission into the private banking sector, it was an easy choice to leave.

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Oh the Woes of the Rich

30/01/2019

The Sydney Morning Herald put out an article today that decried the overly high school fees parents had to pay at the start of the school year. And they aren’t wrong – cuts to education, the expectation of new uniforms, the buying of resources like books, etc. all adds up and every year the fees just grow. But there is one problem with the article that is so outrageous it begs the question why it was written. Because the family the SMH focused on and felt sorry for was one jumping into private schools.

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Shopping In the Nude Section + Reddit Link

29/01/2019

Similar clickbait headlines were seen in New Zealand a couple of weeks ago as our better-at-most-things neighbours had one of their supermarket chains, New World, introduced “nude shopping”, a great marketing tactic. Thankfully, they aren’t committing any workplace health and safety violations, because it is the food that is nude.

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Free Service? No, You Are the Product

29/01/2019

A longer read than usual. It would be prudent to begin by saying that there is an obvious distinction between the public and private sector here. In the public sector, it is not profit but the efficiency and benefit of the service to the public that is the main goal. Things like public transport, medical care, education, etc. are all areas that should belong to, and remain invested in by, the public as those services are critical to the progression of society. Thus making them free, or at least subsidised to some extent, is worthwhile in the long term. Private enterprise, however, cannot, by definition, offer “free” services – there must always be a profit, and therefore a price to consumers. Clive Palmer also features here, because of course the shit “meme lord” has made the news again.

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Do We Need Quotas?

28/01/2019

The short answer, in my opinion (with a few possible exceptions), is no. The idea of quotas being the gauge for eligibility for any kind of work, position, award, etc. is supposed to push to the forefront diversity, be it racial or gender based. It should be acknowledged that there is still a level of discrimination that is faced in certain professions and workplaces, but immediate change cannot be forced by implementing quotas.

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The ABC’s Fate

23/01/2019

You can look at the ABC from two angles. The first being that, as our public broadcaster, is one of the most trusted news sources in the country. The second is that that trust is being slowly undermined and whittled away as the ABC becomes a tool for the Coalition to bat away or play down stories detrimental to the government. It is very clear that, if the Coalition are allowed to retain their position after the election, the ABC will be a shell of its former self.

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“Liberals vs Conservatives”

20/01/2019

Let’s start off with a quote by the late Eric Hobsbawm.

“It is to be noted that political conflicts provided an alternative to social conflicts: they tended to replace the vertical confrontation of the lower class against its ruler with the horizontal confrontation of Liberal communities against Conservative communities, and the occupation of the landlord’s lands with that of the murdered or expelled neighbours of a different political allegiance.”

This (i.e. the last segment of the paragraph) is specifically referring to peasant movements in Columbia, written in 1969 about the previous few decades (I am currently reading Viva La Revolución, a compilation of some of his writings about Latin America). But the premise remains important.

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Gillette – Pros and Cons

16/01/2019

The latest bizarre outrage and company boycott/worship fest centres around an advertisement put out by Gillette. The premise of the ad is that men should strive to be better as people and that they should take a more active role in combatting what is today termed ‘toxic masculinity’. The people have spoken, and as always, the people are in conflict.

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Unions Pressure McDonalds

13/01/2019

You don’t need to keep up with the news to know that a vast number of major retail and fast food franchises are bending or outright breaking the rules when it comes to the treatment and payment of their employees. An endless string of abuses across Australia pop up in the media all the time, and while calling these businesses out for it pressures them to make reparations, there is a solution that would ensure these types of abuses do not happen and keep them acting fairly – unions.

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