Whilst this is a very good and articulate article there is an historical issue with poverty that might be of interest to the readers’ of this article. Prior to the Great Depression (GD) of 1929 poverty was thought, at least by the elite in the USA and elsewhere in the West, to be somehow of ‘God’s work’ inflicted on those that were essentially ‘lesser beings,’ or had some sort of moral ineptness, or in simpler terms they were morally bankrupt and/or stupid. Then along comes the GD and many, many rich people who were of inherently ‘good character’ became poor, so therefore those that were in poverty couldn’t all then be labelled to be of a morally questionable nature, could they? If rich people become poor then it must be something else (perhaps the economy) that has thrust these otherwise decent people into the morass of poverty. Hence poverty became redefined as having causal issues rather than moral ones. Of course the political backlash to that was consecutive American presidents investing in getting the poor out off their situation/s : the New Deal being one such program.
It seems that it will take something like this to change PM Abbott’s opinion of the poor (which I would argue he gained from John Howard’s political and religious ideals) as staunch Conservatives such as Abbott are unwilling to admit to the failures of the capitalist system until an economic catastrophe strikes and their political base shows sign of deep strain/s ( a good example of a political base fracturing and there being a change of policy would be Work Choices for Howard). It is however, abundantly clear that Abbott sees the poor in Australia as the ‘problem’ and not the economy that has placed them in their dire straits.
Can anybody make any sense out of what this government doing? asks Jennifer Wilson.
It seems to me that it’s a core conservative tradition to use the most vulnerable people in society as a means to an ideological end. There are endless current examples of this: threats to pensions, restricted access to Newstart for unemployed youth, destruction of universal healthcare, proposed reduction of the minimum wage and a cap on that wage for the next ten years, all part of the Commission of Audit’s recommendations to the Abbott government prior to its first budget in a couple of weeks.
None of these measures will affect anyone as disastrously as they will affect the poor, and while middle class journalists on a good wage, some of whom are Abbott’s most vocal supporters, scream like stuck pigs about the flagged “debt levy” on incomes over…
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