27 December 2022

Ben Schneiders, in his book, Hard Labour: “This book… seeks to provide some of the finer-grained detail of how inequality has increased, and how power relations have evolved between those with and those without wealth and power. Since 2015, in my role as an investigative reporter at The Age, I’ve written hundreds of articles about wage theft… Over the years, I’ve received significant pushback over my wage-theft reporting — far more than I’ve received from any of my other work, which has ranged from exposing religious abuses to political corruption. … I’ve pushed ahead, as wage theft — to me, at least — is offensive to the idea of a fair society, breachign laws and norms about how people should be treated. It is an assault on the idea of equality, which is a fundamental requirement of a well-functioning democracy. Left unsaid in all this pushback is the assumption that those with money and connections have a right to steal, unlike those with nothing, who can be jailed for smaller thefts. … However, … change is always possible, and there can be a future for a fairer, more democratic system. The solutions are there before us, at first in small steps and then later in bigger ones.”

Hard Labour is a thorough, detailed, and accessible read. Everyone interested in equality — why it has collapsed, and what needs to be done to restore it — should grab a copy. You can read an excerpt in The Age.