POST 1: Touching on the Economics of Inequality

James Meland-Proctor

The author of the first article I read is a senior economics writer for FairFax Media and whilst FairFax are one of the more popular newspapers they are not completely reliable for they do display bias in most front page articles. Surprisingly, in this instance the writer seems to balance out bias that I usually get from the newspaper as a whole. Irvine (2016), is a frequent contributor and has written countless other articles covering issues such as renters rights, youth unemployment and the gendered pay gap in the workforce. There is a fairly good level of research within the article; drawing on earnings elasticity and other figures, analyses of other country’s income redistribution policies and even a mention of an academic paper written on the same issue – The writer has actually used data and not emotion, to position their argument. While I’d like to think that most rational individuals share the same view, I think the author’s view is one that is still only growing to be common. People generally agree that inequality is present in any society, though we are blinded by the national myth of egalitarianism and having ‘a fair go’. Therefore, the view that solving our problems through policy becomes politically contentious, even if accurate.

Irvine, J. 2016, viewed 16 August 2016, <http://www.smh.com.au/comment/how-your-father-is-controlling-your-salary-20160616-gpkdxe.html&gt;.

 

Upon finding a good article related to my topic on the ABC, I found an opinion piece by Verrender (2016), business editor for the ABC. Having worked for other major entities such as Sydney Morning Herald and the Eureka Report, it appears that they are very knowledgeable about the issue at hand. Along with this, they have written extensively about macro and microeconomics and the ramifications of certain financial and national policy indicating their knowledge in the field. There is a good level of research in the article, to the point where it may be accepted as fact. There seems to be a level of bias despite a rich level of research, referring to Donald Trump as ‘a boorish, bellowing narcissist’. As much as I may agree with the author, on both his facts and opinions, calling him such detracts from the argument at hand when attacking personal traits. The author’s views, in my opinion are marginal when looking at the reasons, which the author has listed. Again, people have the idea in their head that Australia will never be like America even if both countries become ever increasingly similar.

Verrender, I. 2016, Pay attention, Australia – inequality won’t just affect US politics, ABC News. viewed 16 August 2016, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-21/verrender-inequality-won’t-just-affect-us-politics/7262314&gt;.

 

The author is a political reporter who has written regularly about political occurrences. Half of the article is just a block of text containing quotes. There is little research conducted for the article rather the article makes claims without actually referring to any particular study.Most of what is said is critical of Trump, however most of it just labels him names and behaviour without a clear-cut example referencing his policy or performance as a politician. This opinion is very common, for most people do think this of people as outspoken as trump. I do not agree with this article for the reasons that most people would, in that trump’s behaviour is an extreme example. I would like to perhaps investigate the following topics; 1. Extremism in the West 2. Patriotism and its role in inciting violence 3. Political extremism amongst the disenfranchised

Owens, J. 2016, Turnbull: no Trump threat, Theaustralian.com.au. viewed 16 August 2016, <http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/trump-emergence-signals-social-inequity-backlash-in-us-says-turnbull/news-story/324722b48bd341e8b8c2342a6fda5c39&gt;.

 

The author, Foyster (2016) is a widely published journalist and is known for his work in environmental research. Given his background, he presents himself as an autonomous agent who dabbles in different areas. In his writing he addresses the political rhetoric of the rising cost of living, how it is used as an argument for political gain by the major parties. Though I would not consider him an expert in this particular area, he provides a refreshing viewpoint on what truly ‘doing it tough’ actually is. In doing so, he does not dismiss low income earners in his argument; he simply aims to dispel the argument that our quality of life is constantly under threat which mostly fuels middle to upper class fear. Within an Australian context, his perspective is common, in spite of that lingering fear of higher taxes and cost of living the people against it are in reality the least affected demographic?. He presents some really good factual basis for his article, as well as primary research through interviews to convey the bigger picture that globally on the whole Australians have a supreme standard of living and that the Aussie battler is still alive and real alive, just not living in Mosman with three beach front homes…

Foyster, G. 2016, Australians are not doing it tough – Eureka Street, Eurekastreet.com.au. viewed 16 August 2016, <http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=37099#.V7Ek7JN96uU&gt;.

 

It is always reassuring to read an article, pertaining to a data report when it has been written by two people. The two authors; One journalist is a data analyst and the other has reported extensively on issues including Egypt’s revolution to youth homelessness in Australia. Both journalists work for SBS, each of them bringing different skillsets and thus, their collective approach provides a very holistic view of the issue. Essentially from the article, their research showed the gap in inequality was widening with the rich getting richer and the poor becoming worse off. There is a possibility of bias, for their scope of ethnographic research honed in on Mt. Druitt. However given the length of their report, it proves sensible to show only the worst possible scenario within an Australian context. It is hard to disagree with the facts, so I do believe that what they’re saying is true. I do not think that many would share this view due to aforementioned Australian attitude of national egalitarianism. Things are different in practice, even if in theory most people are against neoliberalism. Unfortunately people are more critical and outspoken about drastic change.

Cox, G. and Thomas, J. 2016, Inequality on the rise as Australia’s richest increase wealth and income: report, News. viewed 16 August 2016, <http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/06/21/inequality-rise-australias-richest-increase-wealth-and-income-report&gt;

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