13 November 2020

Australia’s leaders don’t understand the experience of poverty, says Rick Morton: “It would be nice if they tried, though. Money is a force that acts on time and space. It can extend both, quite literally prolonging our lives, if there is enough of it. And its absence can shrink the borders of our world. The lack of it can and does cut short our time on this Earth. Vast chunks of the Australian welfare apparatus, and especially the malignant employment services sector, exist because we just do not trust poor people with cash. In the latter case, it actually costs money to enforce this instinct. There has been no effort to understand the psychology of bare-knuckle survival. Rather, a prodigious, emotionally barren attempt at blame and punishment has taken root. And, like the foundations of prosperity gospel, we have allowed it to happen because many of us believe in the atomic truth of these welfare proposals: that money measures worth and moral character. It never has.”