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A quick letter from the team In many ways, 2020 is the year most of us would rather not look back upon, but for once it’s not hyperbole to say that this has been one for the history books. Great disruptions of the kind wrought by the COVID-19 virus occur infrequently, but when they do they tend to mark the end of eras and open the way for genuine social and political reform. This year our small team at Per Capita has shown that we can be drivers of that kind of reform and that our supporters can be sure the impact of every dollar donated to us is maximised. If you'd like to support our work, sign up to become a monthly supporter here: We’ve worked hard this year to push against the “snap back” to what came before, and to argue for a better future on the other side of...

It's December and the sun is out even in Melbourne (or at least, it was yesterday). With the promise of a few weeks of respite from a hellish year just around the corner, the time has come again for us to share our top 10 progressive reads released over the year. And, for the third year in a row, you have a chance to win them all! To go into the draw to win all 10 books just donate $10 to our summer fundraiser here. Want extra entries? Every $10 donated will get you an extra entry - and make your donation a monthly gift to double your entries.   Now, without further ado...

We'd very much like to extend our thanks to everyone who attended our Jobs for Australia online symposium on Friday 29th May. The event marked the 75th anniversary of the Curtin White Paper on Full Employment and the launch of our own project on full employment: Jobs for Australia. Taking inspiration from the postwar Labor Governments of John Curtin and Ben Chifley, our Jobs for Australia project is rooted in the explicit purpose of reducing inequality and constructing an economically and ecologically sustainable world. Please find the recordings and slides from the day linked below, and don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be kept up to date with the project. If you are one of those fortunate enough to still be in secure work, and have the capacity to contribute to this important project, please consider making a tax deductible donation to Per Capita’s research...

The extraordinary public health measures taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in the biggest economic shock Australia has ever experienced. Unemployment is expected to rise to levels not seen for more than a generation, and the government has rightly taken on significant public debt to support jobs and incomes while a large proportion of the nation’s economic activity has been temporarily shut down. As we emerge from the immediate crisis, attention is beginning to turn to how we will rebuild our economy, restore jobs and livelihoods, and pay down that debt, which has been described as a massive burden on future generations. It is important to recognise that it is not the debt itself that poses a risk to our future: it is how we choose to respond to it. What comes next is critical. The decisions taken in the aftermath of this crisis will have a material impact on the...

To the followers of Per Capita and the readers of our work, This letter is being written at my dining room table, as I and the rest of the Per Capita team are in our second week of working from home to avoid spreading the terrible virus that has upended our world. The devastation to lives and livelihoods has been swift and widespread, and our primary focus, like everyone’s, is getting our families and communities through the immediate crisis. All we can be sure of right now is that our society, and our economy, will never be the same again – although that need not be a bad thing, in the long run. Of course, in the immediate future, the outlook for many people is ruinous. The COVID-19 pandemic will result in a world-wide economic downturn unseen since the Great Depression almost a century ago. Global recession is inevitable; a depression (a recession...

It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the beach is inviting and hopefully you’ll have a little bit of downtime to spend with your loved ones over the holiday period. If you’re looking for something to read, then we’ve got you covered! The Per Capita Progressive Summer Reading List is released in December each year, and in it we compile the books from the past year that we found most interesting, most compelling, and most innovative from a progressive standpoint. This collection has been curated to inspire, encourage and enliven your summer, and we hope that these books help frame your thinking, as they have ours. More importantly, we’re offering the opportunity for one lucky supporter to win the full set! All you have to do is donate at least $10 (or more if the Christmas spirit takes you!) to our Christmas campaign to enter the draw to win all...

Homelessness and the house of lies Don Dunstan Foundation's Homelessness Conference, Adelaide, 07 August 2019 Dr John Falzon Senior Fellow, Inequality and Social Justice I remember learning an important lesson From a young woman experiencing homelessness in Melbourne. Everyone was walking past her, refusing to meet her eyes. She wasn’t asking for somewhere to live. She wasn’t even asking for something to live on. All she was asking for was just enough to buy some breakfast. But everyone just kept walking past and the angrier she got the wider the berth they gave her and the faster they moved past her.   I’ve been here since five this morning, she said. I just want some coffee and something to eat. And then she said: I didn’t choose this life, you know.   In this simple utterance, She summed up so much of what is wrong With the way homelessness is defined In the guts of the neoliberal nightmare.   I didn’t choose this life, you know.   Neoliberalism is presented by its purveyors As the...

Our deepest thanks to all the young people who entered the Per Capita Young Writers' Prize 2019. We had more entries this year than ever before, from young people aged 16-24 in school, university, and work. It's time to announce the winners! First Prize - $1500 First prize was awarded to Alexander North, aged 24, who proposed a federal job guarantee. The judges gave Alexander the following feedback: "The judges agreed that your essay is a superb paper on how to achieve full employment by implementing a federal job guarantee. They found your argument coherent and well researched, with the copious footnotes showing the wide array of sources on which you draw. Your argument for a policy of full employment based on government being an employer of last resort, automatically increasing and decreasing ‘buffer stock’ jobs according to the cyclical rhythms of the private sector capitalist economy, was clearly and effectively presented. The judges...

Speech to the COTA Australia National Policy Forum National Press Club, Canberra, 13 June 2019 Emma Dawson, Executive Director, Per Capita I begin by acknowledging that we meet today on the land of the Ngunnawal people, and pay respects to their elders past, present and emerging. This is, and always will be, Aboriginal land, land which was never ceded. Thank you to COTA and the Benevolent Society for inviting me to speak to you today about the economic impacts of ageism. Per Capita has long standing and valued relationships with both of you, of course, and we, like all Australians, greatly value the work you do to advocate for older people and improve the lives of all our citizens. It’s a particular privilege for me to be a member of the steering committee for the “Every Age Counts” campaign, which is doing such important work combatting ageism in Australia. As has often been noted, Ageism...