Utopian thinking: the easy way to eradicate poverty | Rutger Bregman

Keeping people poor is a political choice we can no longer afford, with so much human potential wasted. We need a universal basic income

Why do poor people make so many bad decisions? It’s a harsh question, but look at the data: poor people borrow more, save less, smoke more, exercise less, drink more and eat less healthily. Why?

Margaret Thatcher once called poverty a “personality defect”. Though not many would go quite so far, the view that there’s something wrong with poor people is not exceptional. To be honest, it was how I thought for a long time. It was only a few years ago that I discovered that everything I thought I knew about poverty was wrong.

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Reserving natural gas for Australian market wouldn’t have ‘good outcome’, says Matt Canavan

Resources minister uses a steak analogy to argue against domestic gas reservation policy, saying rationing doesn’t work in other markets

The resources minister, Matt Canavan, says adopting a national policy where a proportion of natural gas would be reserved for domestic use would not deliver “a very good outcome” because rationing doesn’t work in other markets.

Canavan, a Queensland National, used a steak analogy on Monday to make his point. He said Australian beef producers currently exported a significant quantity of steak, and that practice didn’t create a domestic shortage of prime cuts in butchers and supermarkets.

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Michaelia Cash ‘mortified’ to miss investment declaration deadline, Turnbull says

PM says employment minister has apologised for being late to register the purchase of a property

Michaelia Cash is “mortified” she missed the deadline to declare the purchase of an investment property, Malcolm Turnbull has said.

Cash bought an investment property in Floreat, Western Australia, which she declared on 21 January, then declared a Bankwest mortgage for an investment property on 21 February.

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Abuse revelations in Australia’s military cadets were a ‘catalyst for change’

Vice chief of ADF says reforms since royal commission in June included creation of new safety standards and a more centralised command structure

Disturbing evidence of abuse and violence in Australia’s military cadets has acted as a “very important catalyst for change”, according to the vice chief of defence.

In June last year, the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse examined the experiences of Australian defence force cadets since 2000.

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Call for website to compare doctors’ fees and services

Consumer body pushes for MySchool-style site after study finds some patients paying five times more than others to see a specialist

Patients would be able to compare medical doctors’ prices and services on a MySchool-style website under a proposed transparency measure being pushed by the national healthcare consumer body.

But the Australian Medical Association has criticised the plan as an “unwieldy” imposition on specialists.

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