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Anti-Poverty Week / The best solution is job creation

Today marks the beginning of – Anti-Poverty Week – in Australia and elsewhere. (see below)

The overwhelming reason people are poor is because they are unemployed (or underemployed). There are related reasons associated with poor housing etc, but the fact remains that if we eliminate mass unemployment by providing enough work for all those who desire it and ensure there are jobs for those with multiple disadvantages then we will reduce poverty overnight. While poverty is persistent, it wasn’t always thus. I have been to many meeting where policy makers, usually very well adorned in the latest clothing, plenty of nice watches and rings, and all the latest gadgets (phones, tablets etc), wax lyrical about how complex the poverty problem is. I usually respond at some point (trying my hardest to disguise disdain) by suggesting the problem is relatively simple. The federal government can always create enough work any time it chooses at a decent wage to ensure that no-one needs to live below the poverty line. Read: always! It can also always pay those who cannot work for whatever reason an adequate pension. Read: always. If we run out of real resources which prevent those nominal payments (wage and pensions) translating into an adequate standard of living, then the government can always redistribute the real resources by increasing taxes on those who have “too many” resources at their disposable. Too many is a relative concept in this context. The so-called complexity of the problem is just code for an unwillingness of the policy makers to use the capacity they have as currency issuers. There is nothing complex about announcing that the government will pay a living wage to anyone who wants to work – just turn up tomorrow and the wage begins. If that announcement was made then we would know who wants to work for a wage and those who do not. For Anti-Poverty Week – the best thing the government can do is announce the unconditional job offer.

The Anti-Poverty week organisers state that their main aim is to:

– Strengthen public understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and hardship around the world and in Australia;

– Encourage research, discussion and action to address these problems, including action by individuals, communities, organisations and governments.

They urge us to organise and activity to “help reduce poverty”.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 

Capture d’écran 2013-10-14 à 13.37.22

via Anti-Poverty Week – best solution is job creation | Bill Mitchell – billy blog.

About the Week – Anti-Poverty Week

Anti-Poverty Week is a week where all Australians are encouraged to organise or take part in an activity aiming to highlight or overcome issues of poverty and hardship here in Australia or overseas. It was established in Australia as an expansion of the UN\’s annual International Anti-Poverty Day on October 17. In 2013, Anti-Poverty Week will be held from the 13th to 19th October 2013.

Some activities are organised by welfare and health organisations, religious groups, community organisations, schools and youth groups. Many other types of organisation also arrange activities, including government departments, local councils, business organisations, universities and sporting and cultural groups. You can read a summary of Anti Poverty Week in 2012 here.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 

Capture d’écran 2013-10-14 à 13.39.51

via About the Week – Anti-Poverty Week.



  1. Pingback: Anti Poverty Week highlights inequalities in our country. | Lucy Morris Baptistcare Blog - January 12, 2014

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