Evatt Journal Vol. 18

Vol. 18, No. 1

 

Vale Bob Hawke: 1929-2019

 

A great national leader and a major figure in the history of the Australian labour movement, Bob Hawke was also a key figure in the establishment of the Evatt Foundation. More 

The Wealth of the Nation: New Evatt report

Wealth inequality in Australia: 2012 to the present

 

One of the myths of the current election campaign period is that the Labor Party is proposing a novel agenda to redistribute wealth in Australia. The truth is that the Liberal Party is the most dedicated adherent to policies that redistribute Australia's wealth, the problem in this for the vast majority of the nation's households being that the direction of this redistribution is remorselessly upwards. In this issue of the Evatt Journal, we publish original research showing that, for the first time in more than half a century, it is clear that the richest 10% of Australian households now own more than half the nation’s private wealth. Wealth inequality has grown significantly over the four years from 2012 to the present, when reliable data have become available, and the pattern is clear. Wealth inequality in Australia is evolving along two fault lines. The bottom 40% of Australian households have practically no share of the rising total. Meanwhile, the middle 50% of households have a declining share relative to the Top 10%, and particularly relative to the Top 1%.  More 

The political economy of inequality

 

Achieving a fairer society will need a strong and sustained commitment over decades to come. Changing the federal government would be a good start, but it will need to be followed by strong and ongoing public support for egalitarian policies. In effect we will need to shift from emulating the profoundly inequitable US economic model to emulating the Nordic states which have much more equitable societies. And doing so in a distinctively Australian way that taps into cherished beliefs about a fair go. Frank Stilwell has written a new book on economic inequality to explain the nature of the challenge ahead, not only for Australia but for all modern societies. The book considers the patterns of inequality, the processes that cause it, the problems that result and the public policies that could reform it, given the political will to act. It is a work of committed scholarship, setting out to cooly consider the issues, the evidence and the competing currents of analysis, leading to the development of potentially progressive solutions.  More 

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