Unemployment, Housing and Sacred Rights

A Buddhist perspective on recession by Stephen Piuk

What is unemployment maybe it should be redefined to be underEmployment (camel case to help reading) hmm ..... much is made of being in a job that is regularly payed and enjoyable but what happens when those things no longer apply?  I have been reading Grapes of Wrath.   This led me to read Wikipedia on The Great Depression and its causes and effects.

Economic enfranchisement

The major effect of being underEmployed is a lack of  power in dealing with large government organisations and private corporations that control our decisions about every aspect of transactions in daily life.

Empowereing smaller groups

Large business = Large problems

By becoming part of any large group (even Buddhism) one takes up certain views and ideas that relate to that group but how can we maintain independance in this globalised economy and world system?

The answer is usually to increase the complexity of transactions to mitigate the effects. Some examples being I have found it very valuable to shop away from home in another suburb of Sydney.  Why is that? basically the IGA (independant grocers association) opened in my inner city suburb because rents are high there is only one shop to service the community the previous shop (Food for Less) was quite inexpensive in comparison and i have to go away to shop.  This is a form of protest against shops that use monopoly unwisely ( for a average 100 dollar shop i can save up to 30 dollars by shopping elsewhere)

Other relevant articles can be found on SMH website (sydney morning Herald) look for the title below for one example about IGA Waterloo

Supermarket employees underpaid by thousands

By Jonathan Pearlman
August 5, 2005

This sort of exploitative behaviour of big organisations is what causes civil unrest (read oklahoma farmers during The Great Depression) Owners of property feel obliged to cut costs so lay off workers or lower pay rates.  Some poorer areas are even redlined (the process of defining a area as unservicable) for many years people wouldn't deliver pizzas to our area because of percieved violence ( i go for a walk every night and have never had problems for the past 30 years) although i am 6 foot plus and quite fit. The last 10 years or so has seen a increase in services in this area (but increases in some services like police bring their own problems for more on this see article on death of  T J Hickey on SMH website

The root cause of TJ Hickey's death

July 17, 2004

Social ills of this sort need to be addressed i went to the protest that is held every year for T J Hickey the regular faces were there but what has changed? The area where TJ died is now called "Waterloo Green" but the state Labour minister (Redfern/ Waterloo Authority) and the Council are arguing about it.   This area needs a radical vision to invigorate the community that has rotted under the yoke of years of federal Howard Government  ( the conservative parties policy is to let every problematic area to "Destroy itself" and they the property developers can get the land.  But unfortunately this isn't happening (remember what i said about violence? it isn't here just another media beat up for the benefit of the propertied classes)

There are some victories over social housing as exhibited by countries such as the US where lack of social housing leads to vase homelessness in familes (but after years of similar economic fundamentalism we are joining the US with a vast divide of people who can afford adequate housing and not)

 Also view related articles on Green/Left concerning the imprisonment of Lex Wotton resident of Palm Island in Queensland.  

 Hmm talking about Queensland ( the hill billy deep south of northern Australia ) with some laws dating back to 1899 for Abortion laws these laws are based on the English Offences Against the Persons Act of 1861 which was designed to protect women from back street abortions.  Anna Bligh the female premier of Queensland is urged to review these laws.  Reproductive rights are part of the fabric of modern society if government/Big Capitalism isn't going to give people adequate wages then how are they going to provide for their young ones?

Books to read on this issue

Sacred Rights 

The Case for Contraception and Abortion in World Religions

Daniel C. Maguire (Editor)