Reducing financial risks by looking at financial capabilities as a structural issue

Problems with making financial decisions are often presented as individual issues, but Dr Jeremiah Brown (@JeremiahTBrown) of the Brotherhood of St Laurence argues they are often better understood as instance of structural failure. He illustrates with an example of an aged pensioner trying to change energy providers.

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Loneliness and living with mental health problems

December being a difficult month for many people who feel under pressure to socialise and be merry whilst feeling lonely, was an apt time to launch UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) cross-disciplinary Loneliness and Social Isolation Mental Health Network, of which the University of Birmingham is a part. Dr Sarah Carr explores the theme of loneliness and living with mental health problems in a re-posted blog originally hosted on the Institute for Mental Health website.

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Asians out! Not in this suburb. Not in this apartment

Originally posted in The Conversation (November 22nd), Alanna Kamp, Ana-Maria Bliuc, Kathleen Blair and Kevin Dunn (Western Sydney University) present some startling statistics on racism experienced by Asian Australians. Approximately 85% of the 6000 people surveyed had faced some form of racism and for almost 6 in every 10, this racism has prevented access to housing. The authors put forward several explanations ranging from a perceived loss to Anglo-Australia hegemony to generalised sinophobia, and conclude with a call to action grounded in Australia’s laws against racial discrimination.

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Don’t believe what they say about inequality. Some of us are worse off

Professor Peter Whiteford examines the Productivity Commission research paper Rising inequality? A stocktake of the evidence released last week and cautions us not to believe the media spin that all Australians are better off. To tackle inequality, he argues, we need both policies that generate economic growth and policies that ensure it’s well spread. This piece was originally published in The Conversation on 31 August 2018.

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The Cashless Debit Card: Flawed Beyond Technological Redemption

In this article, Dr. Shelley Bielefeld, Professor Eva Cox, and the Accountable Income Management Network Secretariat critique the Mindaroo Foundation’s report on the Cashless Debit Card (CDC). They cite the ‘cherry picking’ of results to support claims of success, a lack of attention to human rights, and security issues, among other points. Ultimately, they argue that the benefits of the CDC for communities are “negligible to negative” and that the proposed expansion of the trial would further marginalise those purported to benefit from the CDC.

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ASIC’s MoneySmart is encouraging women to have regular money conversations

Women face specific challenges when it comes to managing money. They tend to spend more time out of the paid workforce to care for others and this impacts on their ability to generate wealth. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is aiming to address this issue by normalising conversations about money. Check out these interviews where ASIC’s Laura Higgins chats with five influential and inspirational Australian women about their experiences with money.

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Why we don't need to prepare young people for the 'future of work'

While there is little consensus about the “future of work”, one thing is certain – young people are at the coalface. Young workers experience insufficient opportunities for work experience, a mismatch between work and education, a lack of career management skills and scant entry-level jobs, according to a report from the Foundation for Young Australians. In this post, Shirley Jackson from the University of Melbourne, says we need to stop fixating on increasing the supply of talented young people, and start addressing the lack of demand.

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