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Economic Recession, Changing the Rules and Climate Change: welcome to 2019

In his latest blog Michael Roberts provides another useful summary of the current economic situation globally and in some specific countries.

From the point of view of Australian activists, especially in “Change the Rules” and against climate change, understanding how the economy is working, or not working, is vital. Even more so, understanding “why”.

One important point from Michael from our point of view: economic growth has fallen and is likely to continue that way in South Korea, Japan and China.

These are the 3 most important trading partners for “our” economy.

No matter who wins the national election the next recession, when it hits (as it will soonish), will have to manage that.

And so will leaders at all levels in the various progressive movements that are challenging Australia’s somewhat distinctive form of 21st century neoliberal capitalism.

Economic recessions are not normally good conditions for winning big struggles against inequality, poverty and misery.

On top of that, and interacting with it, our climate is in crisis with just 12 years (arguably) to stop and rescue the situation. Reversing climate change in Australia will require government spending and a far more aggressive approach to taxing corporations and the rich.

The last big economic crisis was in 2008-9. The years of recovery since have not enabled a recovery in wages, and the unemployed have continued to suffer at poverty levels of benefits.

So, as 2019 ticks over all of us who are active in Change the Rules, climate change campaigning, Newstart increases, and First Nations liberation, must factor in a simple question: how to ensure that the twin crises do not interfere with the momentum and urgency of our campaigns.

That will require a new old-fashioned definition of defiant mass campaigning, including if we have a new Labor government in May.

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