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Don’t be too optimistic about your pension age!

The reality is much more complex than what Palmer, Abbott and this Fact Sheet present. People older than 65 comprise only 13.5 percent of population. The death rate at age 65 is “currently” 10 percent but increases very sharply to 20% at age 70 and almost 50% at age 75 and “around” 100% at age 85. Palmer might be wrong today but his estimation is going to be proved optimistic in next one or two decades. I tell you why:

(1) Remember this should not be about age 65 but rather 70. The bipartisan push for increasing it to 67 by 2023 and 70 by 2035 make Palmer look optimistic in near future.

This fact check might be right about the current status, but it won’t be true in next one or two decades when many of us (aged 25-50) will become pensioners. If the pension/retirement age is lifted to 70 (most likely due the bipartisan commitment and the lack public commitments to resist it) then we should recalculate our figures.

(2) It is true that the current life span (which is only an average number) is around 82 (in this age the death rate is actually around 90%). But considering the accelerating Americanization of our economy and especially the decaying, deserted social services, particularly health services (caused by these constant budget cuts and privatization processes), plus longer working hours and years (under the corrupt-tax-evading-resource-dependent capitalistic regime brought by the Australian elite – Coalition, Labour, Palmer, mining and media corporations, etc) the life span in Australia is expected to decline to 75-78 in next decade (78 is the current life span of Americans and will be our near future life span too). In this case, those who survive will have only 8 years to enjoy their retirement while many of them will be in poor health conditions with lower amounts of pension paid to them (if the whole pension is not gone). The death rate at age 65 will be around 20-30 percent and the death rate at age 70 (future pension age) will be around 50-60 percent (with the shrinking life span, the current death rate will be shifted 5 years earlier). Besides, the cost of living beyond 65/70 will also increase significantly.

This means that 50-60 percent of us (those who are in ages between 30-50) will be dead by the time we become eligible to receive pension. The government recommends that people must have a saving that would cover 60 percent of their last salary after they retire. Assuming that these people will have paid off their mortgages by that time and own their houses (and raised their children to become independent) they still need to have 1.2 million dollars in saving and/or assets to bring them 60 percent of their last income (the inflation rate in next 25 years is included in my calculations). But the superannuation companies are telling us that if no more crises happen in next 25 years (!), people can accumulate in average 350k in their funds which is only one third of what they need to secure a decent retirement. For the remaining two third of their living costs they will be dependent on pension which will be given to them after they turn 67 or 70.

So good luck young Australia if you foolishly think you will enjoy retirement life as much as your parents and grand parents enjoyed. Or Australians must wake up now before it’s too late.

ABC here by this dodgy fact check is helping the Australia capitalist elite to justify their draconian pension reform.

In terms of solutions, instead of making people work from cradle to grave, better to open up our labour market to skilled and manual immigrant workers (who based on history bring jobs rather than take jobs) and fortify our manufacturing sector (by shifting it towards green alternatives). This will increase the labour mobility internationally which reinforces their power in their home countries (China, India, etc.) to negotiate for better conditions. Thereby, Capital will have less incentives to fly abroad, and therefore you will make the economy more productive, the population younger, and the prospective retiring life more decent.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-09/clive-palmer-wrong-superannuation-access/5721968

Clive Palmer says it’s a statistical fact that over 50pc of Australians will be dead before they can access their super.
abc.net.au
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How to write a critical review article

“A ‘critical’ literature review is supposed to ‘critically examine’ a rather solid literary body of arguments/ideas around a particular topic. The literary body of ideas around the topic (i.e. literature) may include theorizations, conceptualizations, and/or explanations based on empirical studies of the topic. Each body of ideas supports at least one thesis about the topic. The critical review can be structured through answering the following questions:

Critical Review Questions (CRQs): ….”

Download: How to Write a Critical Review article

 

Occupy Cosmopolitanism: Ideological Transversalization in the Age of Global Economic Uncertainties

Globalizations

Volume 10, Issue 3, 2013

Special Issue: Crisis, Movement, Management: Globalizing Dynamics

Abstract

A new cycle of ideological clashes underpins the economic policy reforms in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis and its continuing uncertainties. This article argues that the evolving complexity of the global economic system, especially after the crisis, has been associated with not only the growth of ideological fragmentations but also with the transversalization of ideas, identities, and solidarities among grassroots movements. Rooted in the transnational movements for justice of the 1990s–2000s, a more practically inclusive mode of ‘cosmopolitanism’, i.e. transversalism, has now evolved, significantly, into a growing number of consolidated demands and multi-issue agendas, in response to the post-crisis social injustices. By focusing on the 2011–2012 Occupy movements as its exemplary case study, the article delineates the features of such an ideological advancement and its implications for social theory.
Un nuevo ciclo de enfrentamientos ideológicos respalda las reformas de políticas económicas después de la crisis financiera global de 2008 y sus continuas incertidumbres. Este artículo sostiene que la complejidad evolutiva de la economía global, especialmente después de la crisis, ha estado asociada no solo con el aumento de las fragmentaciones ideológicas, pero también con la transversalización de ideas, identidades y solidaridades entre los movimientos de base popular. Un modo práctico y más inclusivo del ‘cosmopolitanismo’, es decir transversalismo, arraigado en los movimientos transnacionales para la justicia de los años 1990-2000, ha evolucionado considerablemente a un número creciente de demandas consolidadas y agendas de muchos asuntos, como respuesta a la pos crisis de las injusticias sociales. Con un enfoque en los movimientos Occupy de los años 2011-2012, el artículo delinea, como su estudio de caso ejemplar, las características de semejante avance ideológico y sus implicaciones para la teoría social.
2008transversalization 209021110cosmopolitanismtransversalism2011-2012
2008 . , . 1990 2000 . 2011-2012 .
Новый цикл идеологических столкновений лежит в основе реформ экономической политики в период после глобального финансового кризиса 2008 года и его продолжающейся неопределенности. В статье утверждается, что разворачивающаяся сложность глобальной экономической системы, особенно после кризиса, была связана не только с ростом идеологической фрагментации, но и с “трансверсализмом” идей идентичности и солидарности среди массовых уличных движений. Уходя своими корнями в транснациональные движения за справедливость 1990-х-2000-х годов, на практике использовавших режим «космополитизма», трансверсализм, в настоящее время, в ответ на посткризисную социальную несправедливость превратился, что важно, в растущее число консолидированных требований и множественные повестки дня. Сосредотачиваясь на 2011–2012 г.г. и движениях Occupy как образцовых случаях для исследования, статья очерчивает особенности такого идеологического продвижения и его последствий для социальной теории.

Taylor & Francis Online :: Author Services.

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Alternative Capitalisms and Alternatives to Capitalism 1

Underlying the global economic and ecological crises is a global network of economic and political power relations which are rooted in the institutional bases of colonial era and then reconstructed themselves through new discourses and ideologies during the post-colonial & post cold war era. What these sources of power have always claimed is that there is no viable alternative to the current world order or world system.
What do the facts tell us about the differences between different types of capitalism (alternative capitalisms and their capacity to overcome the current crises)? Hosseini presents simple graphs, comparing historical stages of capitalist globalization and various national capitalist systems, which clearly show there is not a significant difference between these systems when it comes to provide us with liable solutions to our global crises.

The Myth of Globalization

S A Hamed Hosseini

Still a significant part of the current globalization literature represents a very popular yet narrow interpretation of global change (known as globalist approach) that emphasizes the “growing” integrity of the world and the declining power/sovereignty of nation-states in such a context. This perspective gained momentum after the collapse of Communist block in the late 1980s. However, the reality of global change since then has proved much more complex than what is described by globalists. The globalist idea of Global Village (and the like) is challenged by alternative theories. Issues that are rightfully questioned are as follows:

  1. The very Euro-centric nature of globalist theories (like the theory of global village): as this view mostly represent what the wealthy nations and their upper/middle class citizens’ experience (due to their access to internet, investment in corporations, affordable transportation, capital, market, etc.).

  2. The linearity of globalization is also questioned. In fact the history of what we may call globalization has witnessed significant Ups and Downs, advancements and regression (like the 1920s-30s Great Depression, the 1970s world recession), the collapse of dot.com market in 2000-2001, the so-called Asian Financial Crisis (1997-8), the 9/11 attacks and the rise of ideological clashes around identity and cultural autonomy, and finally the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and its consequent great recession in Europe and North America. It is interesting that when a crisis happens in the West, it will be described as GLOBAL whereas when this would happen in somewhere else it would only be seen as something regional (like the Asian economic crisis!); another testimony to the Euro-centric nature of globalist discourses.

  3. The Asymmetrical nature of globalization: While we may celebrate the integration of many populations into the world markets as something beneficial due to the rising job opportunities and growth rates in some places, we also need to acknowledge and theorize the polarization of the world, especially the widening gaps between the global North and the global South and even within each of these camps. In such a fast polarizing world, the integration of billions of people who have to live on only 1 or 2 dollars a day is highly questionable. Besides, not all nation states are equally exposed to global forces and thereby their sovereignties have not been equally/similarly challenged. The more powerful a state is, the more likely it influences globalization instead of being influenced by it.

  4. The paradoxes of globalization; the term globalization refers to so many contradictory issues and experiences (for instance a society may get highly globalized in terms of its consumption patterns but it would at the same time become highly isolated and weakened in terms of its capacity to deal with global environmental or global health issues like AIDS etc. While many poor people in the South are deprived of the benefits of globalization and therefore live on the wrong side of it, the are at the same time highly connected to the capitalist world markets when it comes to the exploitation of their resources and labour. Similarly, while many members of upper classes in the north (or even south) are highly globalized in terms of their financial or economic activities (reaching every corner of the world to find good opportunities) they are at the same time highly disconnected from the world in terms of their authority in controlling their capital (i.e. the concentration of wealth in the hands of view questions the ideas that wealth or capital is globalized!).

  5. The newness of globalization: Although the term globalization is a rather new term in the literature, many believe that the world was more integrated and interconnected in terms of population movements and even trade in the late 19th and early 20th century; in fact an excessive integration controlled by old imperial powers and their companies (like the East Indian Company) finally led to two World Wars (a rivalry between the world powers) and a Great Depression in between the wars.

You may also consult the following resources

  1. Globalization: A Triumph of Ambiguity / Martha C. E. Van Der Bly

  2. The third wave in globalization theory / Luke Martell

  3. The northern theory of globalization / Raewyn Connell

or watch the following speech by Prof. Chomsky:

CONFLICTING INFLUENCES of MONEY into politics

Fareed Zakaria has recently published a piece in Washington Post claiming that:

Historically, when the U.S. government, World Bank or International Monetary Fund have advised troubled countries, they have stressed that achieving fiscal stability is only part of the solution. The key to reviving growth is structural reforms to make an economy more competitive, as well as investments in human and physical capital to ensure the next generation for growth. Yet we have been unable to follow our own prescriptions.

The United States could become more competitive in many areas. Our gargantuan and corrupt tax code clocks in at 73,000 pages, including regulations. Vast aspects of the economy, such as agriculture, receive massive and distorting subsidizes for no larger national purpose. Regulations in industries such as finance are highly complex, and sometimes worse, with banks being supervised by multiple federal agencies and 50 sets of state agencies, all with overlapping authority.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-growth-plan-missing-from-cliff-deal/2013/01/03/a1f626ea-55bd-11e2-8b9e-dd8773594efc_story.html

My comment:

I am glad we haven’t been able to follow our prescriptions as they have been proved absolutely devastating to many others!

I can see that Fareed still thinks within the neoliberal mindset of hating government regulations of any kind and praising competitiveness of any type.Yes there are many corrupt regulatory measures and policies which are rooted in our undemocratic plutocratic system. Many of these regulations are ineffective not just because they are costly but because they do not protect peoples real interests and rights. They are made out of CONFLICTING INFLUENCES of MONEY into politics.

The solution is in radical democratization of both economy and politics and this may not become possible unless the media is freed from neoliberal mindset. Neoliberalism started roughly speaking with Reagan and Thatcher in 1980s and evolved both domestically and internationally. It is the most dominant economic agenda as today. Even the 2008 crisis did not challenge it seriously enough; that’s why we are still are prescribed more and more austerity. He perhaps needs to educate himself by reading books and articles on neoliberal capitalism (there are thousands of them out there).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkWWMOzNNrQ

and also this interesting explanation of the Crisis by Harvey (animated): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOP2V_np2c0

I understand that in the US the public and even many intellectuals do not use the same terminology as many academics like Harvey use. But using concepts like Neoliberalism can cast more light on reality especially the very existing and important real differences that are kept hidden under other terms like the ones you have used.

Both democrats and republicans share a great deal of neoliberal policy agendas. Many of those we may call ultra-liberals are in fact anti-neoliberal and anti-free market. Therefore calling them ultra liberal my imply they are even more radical in their appreciation of free market than Democrats like Obama.

I guess the American common sense and public debate must give up such an inefficient and obscuring terminology and look for a better language to reflect the complexities of today’s reality. I should however accept that even a term like Neoliberalism has lost its capacity to be as useful as before (especially since the crisis). Neoliberalism should have entered into our daily conversations long time ago (in the 80s-90s). It is still not fully expired but considering a more colorful role that the state is now playing in the economy (something so inevitable after the crisis that even neo Cons cannot deny or ignore its necessity) we must now look for notions like Corporate State in association with State-Fostered Market (instead of free market). Looking at the fiscal cliff debate and its final results, we will see how even the right in the US has realized economy cannot be kept running without the state careful regulation of taxation and the provision of minimum social protection for the majority of middle and lower class Americans.

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