A consortium of more than 100 organizations in San Diego is working on a plan – a kind of paradigm shift – a new vision of how to make sustainable food sources more available to all San Diegans. The group wants feedback on plans before Thanksgiving.
Sona Desai, Associate Director of The San Diego Food Systems Alliance, said the number of San Diegans residents who are experiencing difficulty getting healthy food has more than doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before the pandemic, the county estimated one in seven San Diegans was food insecure. That translates to nearly half a million people. Desai said current estimates suggest about one million people, or one in three San Diegans, experience food insecurity this year.
Food Banks are part of the solution, Desai said, but what’s also important is developing more local sources of healthy food, encouraging local farmers and fisheries to continue producing fresh food. He said shopping at farmers markets and buying take-out food from local restaurants were the main ways to help the local food economy, which employs hundreds of thousands of San Diegans. An estimated 50,000 food industry jobs have been lost during the pandemic, he said.
San Diegans can also make the most of the food supply avoiding waste of food. Desai said pre-pandemic estimates suggested the San Diegans wasted 500,000 pounds of food a year. The new policy encourages less waste, food diversion or composting from entering the landfill.
The San Diego Food Alliance has gathered input from the community and is now conducting an online survey, with dozens of ideas on how to promote a more sustainable food system in San Diego. The final step before creating a report is to gather input on which ideas should be the top priority in future efforts to make healthy food more available to all San Diegans.
Once input has been prioritized, the Alliance plans to begin mobilizing to realize this vision.
The rollercoaster of 2020 saw South Australians experiencing the hardest this week and, at that time, the shortest COVID lockdown yet.
Details are hard to pin down, but within days, authorities believed they had caught a new virus, spreading so fast that even pizza deliveries were at risk. The entire state is closed. Even jogging around the block is prohibited.
Two days later, it was discovered that someone had lied to contact the tracker. The virus is not transmitted through pizza deliveries, and restrictions were lifted.
The entire episode is a reminder of the lingering uncertainty surrounding how the virus is behaving, the difficulties faced by authorities trying to make quick decisions about the information before them and the completely asynchronous approach of every state and territory struggling to keep the pandemic outside. they. bordering on all means.
This year has been tried, painful and unpredictable – and it’s not over yet.
So, having acknowledged all the abundance of uncertainty, it seemed natural to highlight some good news. The national economy is starting to recover. There is a long way to go, but the signs over the past week have been positive, especially in the field of work.
High hopes for the unemployment rate
Thursday’s official figures confirm unemployment has now crept up to 7 percent, but a better measure (as has been since the crisis began) is the “effective” unemployment rate. This includes people at JobKeeper who can’t do much or any job.
This “effective” unemployment rate fell from 9.3 percent to 7.4 percent last month, a much better result than the Government had hoped for. There are now hopes that unemployment will not rise as high as the Ministry of Finance forecast in the Budget, even though no one has yet been bold enough to make it public.
The better news on the job could largely be relegated to Victoria’s reopening and restoration of confidence there. After serving Australia’s longest lockdown, Victoria has now had an incredible three weeks without any new cases.
Coincidentally, Prime Minister Dan Andrews’ approval rating has jumped back from 54 percent a month ago to 65 percent now, according to the Essential poll. For all the outrage directed from some to the Prime Minister, it seemed that the voters were quite satisfied with his appearance.
The economic recovery is giving the Morrison Government breathing room now to think beyond emergency measures and consider more durable reforms. His efforts to date in launching JobKeeper, JobSeeker, JobTrainer, and JobMaker are significant (despite the ridiculous names), but setting aside tens of billions of dollars through these programs doesn’t take much political capital to spend.
Over the coming months we will see if the Government has the will for structural reforms that persist after this crisis.
The long-awaited retirement income review
On Friday, the Government dipped its feet into the tricky problem of pension reform, releasing its long-awaited review of pension income. The review, chaired by former Treasury official Mike Callaghan, makes no firm recommendations, but provides some important findings.
Employers currently pay 9.5 percent of workers’ ordinary income into their super funds. It is scheduled to rise to 10 percent in July and then reach 12 percent in 2025.
Some employers argued that they couldn’t afford it and would not be able to raise salaries if the super increases continued. The sizeable Liberal support group agrees. Even Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe said increasing super guarantees “will definitely have a negative impact on wage growth”.
According to a Callaghan review, maintaining the super security level at 9.5 percent would “lead to lower retirement balances at all income levels” rather than increase to 12 percent, but it would “allow people to have a higher income over their working life while still being able to afford it. maintain their standard of living in retirement “.
Equally, the review says if people made “more efficient use of their retirement savings” the much better off with a 9.5 percent contribution than a 12 percent contribution.
So how does Callaghan suggest we use retirement savings more “efficiently”?
Some tinkering with the withdrawal rates and retirement fees is suggested, but the real game changer is “accessing equity in the house”. Again, the review provides clear recommendations, but says including family homes on the asset test for Age Pension would mean “homeowners will self-fund their retirement income to a greater extent than possible”.
This, with care to note, would be the “more optimal” system.
Itching for a fight
Reading between the lines, this review seems to suggest that the best retirement money can involve trade-offs. Maintain the super coverage at 9.5 percent and include the house when assessing eligibility for Age Retirement.
The Prime Minister and Treasurer have not yet made a decision on any of this and it will not be until the May Budget. They can stop the super contribution by 9.5 percent or 10 percent or they can choose to hold off the increase for several years.
Any change will require legislation and the support of Pauline Hanson and Stirling Griff on the cross of the Senate, given the refusal of Labor and the Greens to back down on this point. Josh Frydenberg won Hanson recently over subsidizing his youth salary and may seek his support again.
But a narrow victory in Parliament won’t stop the super election battle.
This is an issue that the Labor Party and trade unions are eager to fight. Fully armed super funds will also stand by to protect their patches.
And then there’s superannuation architect himself, Paul Keating. The former prime minister recently pursued what he called “a bunch of annoying little Liberals who are trying to snatch 2.5 percent of people’s income for the rest of their lives”.
It was a spray aimed at a small group of backbenchers. Imagine what would happen to the Morrison Government if they had taken this path.
David Speers is the host of Insiders, which airs on ABC TV at 9am on Sundays or on iview.
Governor of reserve bank, Philip Lowe, has confirmed the big change in Australian monetary policy by saying the central bank will now focus on jobs rather than inflation.
This shift means the RBA will concentrate more on labor market conditions, including wage growth and job shortages, rather than on rising and falling prices across the economy.
Lowe told the Australian Economic Development Committee’s (Ceda) annual dinner on Monday that the global dynamics the RBA acknowledges have changed in recent years – with the process being accelerated by the pandemic.
“The labor market is working differently than usual and wages and inflation dynamics have changed,” Lowe said in his speech.
“This has made rely on forecasts more difficult. With this in mind, we have now moved to place more emphasis on actual results, rather than forecast results, in our decision making and future guidance. “
The RBA has focused primarily on inflation since the 1980s following the stagflation crisis that marked the 1970s.
At the same time, Australian workers have seen wage growth slow down and job shortages – where workers want more hours than are available to them – increase significantly.
The reserve bank governor said the future challenges for the Australian economy were more likely to be jobs and job creation than controlling inflation.
“So that’s our focus too,” he said. “The Council wants to do what it can, with the tools at its disposal, to support national efforts to reduce unemployment.”
Lowe said that does not mean banks abandon their inflation target (keeping inflation averaging between 2% and 3% over the medium term) but he said at the Ceda dinner that the best way to increase inflation is to reduce unemployment.
“If this can be done, we will get closer to full employment and inflation targets and improve the economic welfare of the Australian people,” he said.
In Australia, full employment is considered to be 95% of the working population as having a job. Recent debate among economists has centered around whether the definition of full employment should be changed to ensure more Australians are working and unemployment falls well below 5%.
However, Lowe said it was “very likely” the pandemic would leave its imprint on jobs, warning Australians would face “a period of higher unemployment than we are used to”. “Addressing this is an important national priority,” he said.
Lowe also spoke about the newest bank dive into quantitative easing (QE) – in which the bank will buy $ 100 billion worth of government bonds over the next six months, in an attempt to drop interest rates across the economy and keeping the Australian dollar low for domestic producers.
The governor said monetary policy has returned to a world where “quantity, not just price, matters”.
“Over the last few decades, monetary policy has been about money prices, or short-term interest rates,” he said. “Little attention has been paid to the amount of money. This has now changed. “
Basically, the RBA will keep an eye on the amount of money in the economy rather than just overnight cash interest rates. But Lowe said reserve banks can’t do all the tough work and that business and the private sector need to spend and invest to boost economic growth.
He reminded that the RBA is still not sure how its QE program will actually work.
“We are still learning about how robust and durable this transmission mechanism is and we will learn more in the coming months as we implement our own $ 100 billion QE program.”
Even if the successful launch of the COVID-19 vaccine causes the current health crisis to recede the following spring, the unemployment crisis will remain. That is especially true in Great Britain, where fiscal stimulus is urgently needed to avert decades of – if not lost generations – of growth.
EDINBURGH / LONDON – Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the US and European economies are gearing up for large-scale job creation. US President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to invest $ 700 billion manufacturing and innovation, plus $ 2 trillion in the “Biden Green Deal” fighting climate change and promoting clean energy. Meanwhile, Germany has abandoned years of austerity by supporting the EU’s € 750 billion ($ 887 billion) recovery fund and, like France, will maintain its own national job retention and job creation program throughout 2021.
In contrast, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, is lagging behind the curve. Back in March, many had hoped that Britain would experience a V-shaped recovery. As these prospects faded, it became clear that Sunak’s rescue operation needed to be balanced with a viable recovery plan.
The consensus view is that the UK and global economy will be smaller in 2021 than it was in 2019. The International Monetary Fund predicts that the global economy will be 6.5% smaller than expected before the COVID-19 crisis, with a legacy of unemployment at least double from pre-pandemic norms.
These gloomy forecasts have prompted international calls for a restoration of active fiscal policy, with the IMF urging rich country governments to embark on major public investment programs. Latest Fiscal Supervision, fund the word that increasing public investment by 1% of GDP can increase GDP by 2.7%, private investment by 10%, and employment by 1.2%.
The IMF’s call to action is critical, as the IMF was a supporter of fiscal austerity during the 2008-09 global financial crisis, although it clearly needs stimulus. Previous macroeconomic models, like most economists and policymakers of the time, were based on the false theory that market economies have a natural tendency to achieve full employment. This ignores the truth, most convincingly articulated by John Maynard Keynes, that in the absence of government stimulus, the economy could naturally be stuck in recession for a long time.
The Bank of England, too, has changed its tone. The BOE will inject an additional £ 150 billion ($ 198 billion) into the UK economy, in addition to the more than £ 200 billion it has pumped out by 2020, and now realizes it can’t do all the tough work. Businesses will not invest, however low the cost of capital, until they see the market. That’s why the BOE has now joined the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank in calling for fiscal stimulus.
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Prior to COVID-19, monetary policy seemed to come first the only game in town. Now, if we are to avoid mass unemployment and the consequent loss of demand in the economy, job creation must be the top priority after the lockdown.
To its credit, the UK government generated £ 8 billion in infrastructure spending last summer. But that is only a fraction of what is needed. The government is now incorporating a £ 40 billion five-year investment plan over the next two and a half years, and is giving priority to large environmental and social housing projects. Retrofitting homes and local facilities can quickly create a lot of work, with an immediate multiplier effect.
Regional and local employment and training schemes are essential for the long-term task of reallocating jobs and skills to the labor market in the future. The lesson from the 1998 British New Deal for Youth and the Future Employment Fund 2009 is that such a program should offer not only training and work experience but also assistance in job search and incentives for employers to hire people permanently.
We estimate that one million British youth under the age of 25 are unemployed, not in training or education. But the government’s Kickstart job creation scheme, that is launched late earlier this month, it had offered job placements to youth for only a six month period.
The government hopes Kickstart will secure placements for 300,000 young people, but perhaps only around 100,000 will be enrolled in the scheme by the end of 2020. Ministers assume 5% of UK entrepreneurs will employ young people, but outside the retail and logistics sector, thousands of companies instead planning layoffs and will almost certainly not offer jobs on the scale expected in the coming months.
If we are to help the 900,000 or so others under the age of 25 who need assistance and create the approximately 1.5 million youth placements that will be needed over the next year, the public sector must be the employer of last resort. Thus, rather than passively responding to rising unemployment, fiscal policy should aim to replace Karl Marx’s “unemployed reserve force” with a state-supported supply of job buffers and training schemes that expand or contract the business cycle.
What we need most from UK policymakers is a renewed full employment commitment in the spirit of Keynes and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. An important condition for this is the coordination of monetary and fiscal policies. The BOE must maintain its anti-inflation mandate, but policymakers should not use this to cut the necessary fiscal stimulus.
Earlier this month, the BOE echoed the then ECB President Mario Draghithe famous 2012 promised to save the euro by stated that it is “ready to take whatever additional action is necessary” to boost the economy. To increase the credibility of the forward guidance, the government can give the BOE a dual mandate to fight inflation and unemployment, while banks can argue that they will not tighten monetary policy until unemployment falls below the pre-crisis level of 4%.
Pfizer’s successful launch of the new COVID-19 vaccine (and possibly others) could bring life back to normalcy the following spring. But even if the health crisis subsides, the unemployment crisis will remain. British policymakers must act now to prevent lost growth – if not lost generations -.
When job seeker coronavirus supplements were halved recently, I had to adapt. Instead of being able to afford fresh food and medical care, I have to prioritize which ones I need most every two weeks. But I can still afford food in my stomach and take care of my body, even though it’s not the best quality. With the next $ 100 cut, a two-week cut at the end of December, all that changes.
Losing another $ 50 a week from supplements meant I was back at Newstart’s condition. Am I eating or am I taking care of my health? I can buy one, not both, if I want to survive. The quality of the food I eat will go down again. Back in rotation will be fried noodles 40c fried noodles and bread. Dreamed of getting my Ps and the car will be stuck again, because I will never be able to buy VORT [Vehicle on Road] test.
The minister for social services, Anne Ruston, said this would “encourage people to get back into the workforce”, but the numbers were not growing. The fact is that there isn’t enough work to share. I’ve applied for jobs that Seek says have applied to more than 800 other people. I have seen jobs on the east coast that have more than 2,000 applicants. We’re obviously looking for a job but the job isn’t there yet. To punish me further for only there is indifference at its most heartless, evil neglect at its worst.
All I’m asking for is a little humanity, a chance to live in a world where I don’t have to decide between eating and being healthy. Where I don’t have to fight every day to survive. Where I don’t have to feel like a lesser person in society because I walk around in shabby clothes and haven’t been able to afford a haircut in what feels like an eternity. To have dignity. But clearly that’s too much to ask.
• Bane Williams, 36, Adelaide, SA
Karen Perkins: “There’s no room for dignity”
I just wanted to cry when I heard the social services minister on the radio this week saying they need to cut unemployment payments again so we have an incentive to find work.
I had a great job 10 years ago as a personal assistant to the managing director of a small engineering company. I have great skills – but for years now I have had a really hard time finding permanent work.
The job market is very competitive, especially when you are in your 50s. I only got a short-term contract, then I was unemployed again for months until I got another short-term contract.
Since March I have written and sent between 10 and 30 job applications each month. I get interviews occasionally, but so far have been unable to find a job. I even offered to start volunteering so they could try me out.
I worried a lot about getting back into the stress of surviving on $ 51 a day – that would be enough to cover my rent, food, and maybe public transportation.
I’ll be struggling again to pay for electricity bills, medicines, cleaning products, and personal care like shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant – forget makeup or haircuts.
I needed a prescription medication for migraines – migraines became more frequent when I was feeling restless or stressed, but after December I knew I would again have to choose between buying food and medicine.
Large, unexpected purchases will stress me out. My washing machine hose is starting to leak now. I know that even if I get an interest-free loan to repair or replace it, it is impossible to pay job seekers’ rates directly by word of mouth.
Last year I lived in sweatpants and T-shirts. When the supplements came in March, I bought some clothes for sale – great tops and pants so I can look neat at a job interview. I can meet friends and drink coffee.
After Christmas, it feels like life is permanently locked in. You have to stay at home because you don’t have money to socialize – you can’t go to local cafes or restaurants. The thought of returning to such isolation is heartbreaking.
There is no room for pride. Anyone can do it for a month or two, but I have struggled like this for years.
I thought it was heartless and cruel. There is no justification for forcing people to live on only $ 51 a day. It doesn’t help us get jobs, it just makes it harder to compete.