Dear Readers: For this week I thought the following letters were interesting in light of Trump's appeal to parts of the white American working class and underclass. The discussion is also interesting on account of the modern Left's neglect of class after having fully embraced Identity Politics. Both were sent to 'The Age' at the date indicated. Once more, neither were published.
And opposite: a photo of the Front Cover The following is a brief synopsis of the book:
Australia having a population of just over 23 million people versus the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, Australia and countries of a similar population size will struggle to compete against these economies in the 21st century in terms of wages. However, the implication of the low wages of these countries will also mean two things that middle-tier countries will find it hard to argue for increases in taxation, reduce costs in other areas of the economy or find niche or new industries to compete in. This is why it is imperative more than ever for middle-tier countries like Australia to invest in science and technology. Public investment in science is needed, because it would take pressure off private sector research and development budgets by conducting basic research in technology before it becomes commercialised by technology start ups. So the question is how can we balance these competing objectives of having to keep taxes at a competitive level, investing in much needed basic research, providing finance to technology start ups, while maintaining income levels in an increasingly competitive global market. I argue in my book "Making Science Work for All" that we can do this through a participatory budgeting scheme for science.