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Per Capita – origins

Per Capita’s origin story is contentious at best, sinister at worst, and certainly not helped by threats from Per Capita when someone exposes it.


So what blatant lies did the gentle Strewth Queen spout?

Lies heinous enough to provoke this warning and to spur the Per Capita team into a frenzy of vigorous following up?

This is Strewth’s tweet composed of information garnered from Per Capita’s web site and a Wiki page about their illustrious founder.

Not seeing any lies. In fact, a little research (which would seem a prerequisite skill for Think Tankers) backs up the information Strewth Queen has provided verbatim.

“Will Marshall, co-founder of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and head of the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), has been a leading advocate of a more hawkish and “market-friendly” Democratic Party for decades, and consistently sided with hardline “pro-Israel” factions to impact U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East

Insert – “PPI funders have included the weapons manufacturer Raytheon, Dow Chemical and General Electric, along with the right-wing Bradley Foundation, which funds the American Legislative Exchange Council.”Joel BleifussIn These Times magazine


Now a land of warlords and slave markets

Marshall continues to support military interventions in the Middle East from his perch at PPI. Praising the NATO intervention in Libya and offering it as a model for future interventions, Marshall wrote in October 2011 that “Gaddafi’s ouster was a triumph not only for Libya’s rebels but also for NATO, which turned the tide of battle in their favor.

… What we’ve witnessed in Libya, in fact, could be a new model for collective security in which the United States no longer bears a disproportionate share of the risks and costs of intervention.” – Will Marshall – Militarist Monitor

One can see why Per Capita want their origin story buried, particularly when their Labor colleagues “defence” policies dovetail so neatly with Will Marshall’s dangerous American fantasy of unipolar power.

Nuclear submarines and a base to keep those strategically useless white elephants in, as well as the basing of American B-52s with nuclear capabilities in Tindal (NT) are policies subordinate to American geopolitical aims.

Hundreds of billions spent on fattening the USA’s military industrial complex, while three and a half million Australians live well below the poverty line.

Or as Will Marshall puts it, “…a new model for collective security in which the United States no longer bears a disproportionate share of the risks and costs of intervention.”

The threats, insults and Labor bias need to stop – else remove that “independent” signifier

Much more could be said about your Per Capita Think Tank and your self-described “upper middle-class” staff. Hopefully that won’t be necessary.

I wrote this piece because I don’t believe attacks and threats by the powerful on unemployed people should be allowed to pass with impunity. Especially from an organisation that purports to advocate for them.

Well do I remember the Labor-inspired attacks on the AUWU by Shanks and a gaggle of right-wing Labor supporters. It’s where all the trust fund kids, rich kid poverty porn actors and other fallacious gems used by your eminent professionals originate.

The AUWU are busy advocating for the unemployed and don’t need these time-wasting distractions, which is all you people seem to provide in the anti-poverty sphere.

Your attempts at class analysis aren’t needed or appropriate – we know who we are and what you are.

And the attacks on the Greens are bloody pitiful.

Unprofessional, biased, self-praising, condescending tripe that says more about your cosy financial ties with Labor than true advocacy.

– Labor being challenged by someone with actual Labor values

Please note that people in our situations can’t afford the luxury of “picking teams” so if the Greens waver we don’t spare them either.

The “grownups informed by scholarship” can’t even “grapple” with simplicity

We don’t have any real expectations of Per Capita, but one would think self-preservation would appeal to your board if nothing else.

The lack of professionalism by some of your staff outlined in these articles is well-evidenced.

As to the cries of “Trolls” and “abuse” in response to provocatively insensitive and condescending comments…



The idea that people living in poverty, sometimes angry, desperate or in pain, should be held to even the very low standards of civility your well remunerated and comfortably-secure staff display, is absurd.

You’d think your “expertise” in class analysis would make that obvious.

Daniel Levy the AUWU’s National Secretary can have the last word…


Continued from… Emma Dawson and her Labor Think Tank Per Capita – by Mick Lawless

Supplementary piece – I was forced to write cos development – Per Capita Decide to Dig Deeper by Backing “Dole Bludgers” Hate Troll – by Mick Lawless



I am a member of the AUWU, however my writing is independent of either approval or censure from the AUWU. Any discussions that take place are for fact finding only.


Left’s identity politics crisis a progressive problem – Emma Dawson

Will Marshall

Will Marshall – Wikipedia

Libya: From Africa’s Wealthiest Democracy Under Gaddafi to Terrorist Haven After US Intervention

Opportunity lost

Per Capita is a small think tank with staff in Sydney and Melbourne, with a number of key personnel with close current or former ties to the Australian Labour Party. – Source Watch

Labor sic their pet attack dog Jordan Shanks (friendlyjordies) onto the unruly AUWU untermenschen – Mick Lawless

War crime: NATO deliberately destroyed Libya’s water infrastructure Nafeez Ahmed – The Ecologist

Labor’s Robodebt revisionism has become rote amongst it’s True Believers – by Mick Lawless

In These Times magazine

One in eight people in Australia is living in poverty, as cost of living pressures increase – UNSW/ACOSS

Evidence Based Policy Analysis 2019