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The Forum > Article Comments > Toyota, closures and protectionism > Comments

Toyota, closures and protectionism : Comments

By Binoy Kampmark, published 13/2/2014

Australia is hardly immune to the protectionist bug after all, the mining industry is sheltered and protected by an assortment of schemes that would, in the main, be regarded as distorting to the market. It is, after all, Australia's golden calf.

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Well said Binoy.

Abbott and Hockey have clearly become inspired by the Austrian School, Libertarian, Ludwig von Mises school of economics which underpins the Tea Party movement. But even in the USA this has been rejected.

Anyone interested in what to expect from the Abbott government need only visit the Wikipedia page, search for Tea Party and the agenda is eerily spelled out. This is free market fundamentalism. All things government will become smaller to get out of the way of business. And once government is out of the way, an economic miracle is expected to occur. That at least is the theory.

What we can expect is a free hand to woolworths/Coles type cartels. Across industries small businesses will be bullied, purchased and concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. Corporate profits will at all times trump public interest. Expect working conditions to be further diluted: over time rates, wrongful dismissal laws.

While governments around the world are feverishly working with their businesses to promote high technology business, Australia will now embark on a reversal of history and march back towards Agriculture and Quarrying.

Is it the end of entitlement or really the end of enlightenment. This economic theory belongs to another age - it is pure nostalgia. During colonial times this kind of pure dog eat dog economics worked because how else do you build an economy from scratch? The very name, Tea Party, betrays the nostalgia behind this movement. Welcome to the Wild West
Posted by YEBIGA, Thursday, 13 February 2014 10:11:53 AM
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I recently bought a car for my daughter. It was a Suzuki Alto 5 door automatic, and it cost $12k drive away with a 5yr 150 000 km warranty with guaranteed low service costs, and included A/C ABS stability control, electric windows, modern music system, and a 6 litre /100km fuel efficiency. The nearest equivalent Aus made vehicle was about $16k.

It is not hard to see why the market for Aussie made cars has evaporated over the past decade, and why with such a shrinking market, that there is nothing on earth that can justify propping up this dying industry when even with the government subsidy paying about $50 000 of each worker's wages. An analysis I saw showed that even if the government subsidy paid 100% of the wage bill, the industry was doomed.

I do however get irritated when the left whingers present distorted statistics showing that Australians pay per person a low subsidy, when if the subsidy per car was presented, it would be the highest in the world.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Thursday, 13 February 2014 11:18:39 AM
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So thats a no to reexamining the fundamental cost structures to make it possible for business to succeed then.

Instead we will take money from the public to subsidise the jobs of a few union parasites who earn more than the ordinatry people who have to pay tax to support the unionists jobs, and the superstructure of crooks that move between union jopbs and Labor governments - or opposition while the grown-ups fix their mad expenditures.
Posted by ChrisPer, Thursday, 13 February 2014 11:27:48 AM
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Dear Chrisper
It is some decades now since Unions exercised real power. This is now for all practical purposes a rhetorical myth. What remains of any real power is in the large Construction industry - Abbott is well on the way to eradicating this now anachronistic relic.

It is entirely disingenuous or nave to rabbit on about union excess at a time where it is illegal to even strike without a mediation process and court approval. We are all on contracts or contractors There is no security of tenure for employees virtually anywhere.

The only entitlements which remain are for politicians and CEOs.

On the other hand the malpractices and public waste of funds has not been reduced one sheckle since the 1970s. Having stripped the worker entitlements from workers, we have in its place institutionalized a hidden, but more perverse system of waste.

The now lean public sector everywhere hires through byzantine methods various consultancies, contractors. The owners of these entities gouge the public purse and their employees.

In the private sector, ever larger corporations are privileged by government and permitted to extort, harass and destroy smaller and legitimate competitors. The likes of Coles/Woolworths extort the public and their poorly paid employees. Their suppliers are more a kin to landed serfs paying in kind to their masters then businesses.

The idea of free enterprise has thus been so perverted as to be close to meaningless. The corruption at every layer of the economy stinks to high heaven. The only real businesses in this grotesque charade are cafes, hairdressers, and masseurs. The rest are cartels, oligopolies and of course the crony companies which survive by servicing them.

For example Telstra reduced its workforce by 30,000 or more and replaced them with just as many but more highly paid consultants. The same mask of efficiency is repeated everywhere: at every local council, every university, every bank. The system favors charlatans, favors to friends, kickbacks.

In the service industry: lawyers, accountants, financial advisers, wealth managers - none of this produces any value and can be efficiently run by relatively simple computer programs
Posted by YEBIGA, Thursday, 13 February 2014 2:22:10 PM
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This must be the most dishonest article I've read for a long time.

Come on Binoy, we all know the Productivity Commission, is a lefty feminist organisation doing just what you are doing, trying to justify charging the old road tax on the fuel used by mining, farming, & a few other industries. It is not, & never has been a subsidy.

Yes, we know they changed the name of the tax, but we also know it was to try to find some money to balance the budget Rudd/Gillard has so successfully destroyed, by charging it on off road work.

I don't know how much math Selwyn College, Cambridge teaches, but you must have missed it all. My 7 year old granddaughter could work out, in her head that we have been subsidizing cars at over $1000 each, where did you get your $18. Give her a calculator & she would get close to $1318, each, at least $1300 more than your $18. In fact on some it was #1800, perhaps you missed the couple of naughts.

You finish, "The future unemployed have every right to be indignant". What tripe, they have got exactly what their stupidity deserved. If anyone has any right to be indignant it is the long suffering tax payer who has been stumping up $40,000 in subsidies for each process worker employed. More than they were worth, before the fool car makers more than doubled that.
Posted by Hasbeen, Thursday, 13 February 2014 4:06:52 PM
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Hasbeen. Please pass on my best regards to your learned daughter, I knew the $18 subsidy was, to be polite 'shonky' to be not so polite.... Disingenuous, and dishonest.

Now Binoy, mate, you disapprove of government supporting 'big business multi nationals" ie mining companies, but you approve of government supporting 'big business multi nationals" ie. GMH, Ford, Toyota. Am I confused or are you?
Posted by Prompete, Thursday, 13 February 2014 5:07:47 PM
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