Saturday, March 25, 2006

Do you need a DJ?

Enjoy thumping electronic beats? Live in the Australian Capital Territory? Thinking of hosting a party? Looking for that something extra to spice up the night (or day)?

If you answered yes to all those questions then why not give DJ Cadre a call? He can play all styles of modern dance music, has all the equipment and his one-off fee is ridiculously low. For more info send me an e-mail! (My address is available in my profile)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Young debt

A recent Washington Post piece on young adult debt makes for interesting reading. The basic thesis is that the time spent investing in professional qualifications at academic institutions, geared towards establishing a foundation for a vocation, do not adequately provide for the costs of modern living. There isn't enough money to earn to pay for all the goods and services a young adult will need or want.

Despite covering an interesting and relevant topic, the article comes across as somewhat ironic and hypocriticial. The solution the article profers for this dilemma is to buy one of a number of self-help books on how to keep your budget in the black. Young people are in debt or don't have the capacity to fund their lifestyles... so buy a book that tells you how to do it.

I've noticed that usually these sorts of books or commentaries lack one key ingredient - institutional analysis - what are the economic principles, and how do the institutions which manage or control the economy create an environment in the costs of living increase?

Take the present situation. The commons is constantly being privatised. Less and less public money is being invested in the public, more and more public money is being privatised (for example, aid and disaster relief money going into the coffers of corporations, privatised roads, public utilities, hospitals and academic institutions, and so on). This automatically leads to an increase in costs. At the same time, the overall share of wealth is being less equally distributed. There are now more billionaires than ever (partially explained by an increase in population which has increased the global economy, and partially explained by inflation) yet this has not been matched by a comparable increase in the general population's wealth.

There is limited mention of the deleterious effect of corporate consumerism on youth debt. The fanatical and always increasing promotion of fashionable consumption (purchasing items that aren't a necessity) by corporations as the pre-eminent form of social expression - typically at the expense of other, more meaningful forms of expression (for example political or familial). The 'urge' to purchase products, to consume, is an unchallenged axiom in the Washington Post article (although it is good to see some reference to 'European social policy', also known as 'common sense'). The urge to consume is presumed to be an almost organic human right. Yet once you remove the facade, I think the article is really just a spruik for the books it mentions. The corporations (in this case the Washington Post, which sells readership to advertisers) are so shamelessly obsessed with profit they will even sell you books bemoaning the pressures of purchasing the goods corporations sell to us! As I am keen to say at every opportunity, Orwellian stuff!!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Friday, March 17, 2006

Occupation Iraq Part IV - Bomb dem rag heads

The assault is expected to continue for several days as a thorough search of the objective area is conducted

Translation - we're going to blow the crap out of everything in the area.

The United States has launched the biggest aerial assault on Iraq since 2003. There is no doubt Australians participated in selecting targets for bombing. Media reports read like a press release from the production set of the latest Hollywood blockbuster. The focus is on the American and pro-American Iraqi troops and some of the hardware to be used. The only other reference to the locals is the use of the terms 'rebels' and 'insurgents'. The civilians who will likely also be targeted, either deliberately or otherwise, are notable by their absence from the report.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Our collective shame do you send your kids to school every day when you share your house with 17 other people?

That’s only the average number of people who live in a single dwelling in Wadeye - when NIT visited last year we found one two-bedroom house (and we use the term ‘house’ loosely) with 31 people living in it.

Unemployment among the Indigenous people of Wadeye runs to 90 percent. It would be almost 100 percent if it weren’t for the work-for-the-dole CDEP programs, which deliver a ‘wage’ of just a few hundred dollars each week.

Life expectancy for a male in Wadeye is less than 50 years.

For decades, the federal and NT governments have being underspending on education, health, housing and economic development while overspending on welfare, policing and community corrections.

It’s a road map to the destruction of a community and the condemnation of its people to a life of abject poverty.

The National Indigenous Times publishes another excellent article on the shameful state of remote Aboriginal communities. This is our shame, for it is not the result of natural disasters but Government neglect.