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The Forum > Article Comments > What is good economic management? > Comments

What is good economic management? : Comments

By Chris Monnox, published 22/6/2006

Is it really madness to abolish AWAs? Kim Beazley doesn't think so and the figures support him.

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Thanks for a great article that unravelled the statistics, Chris.

According to Kenneth Davidson in The Age the latest OECD research indicates that full employment can be achieved through collective bargaining and creating an equitable society.

The dangers of creating a class of working poor is that birth rates will decline as they did in Australia in the 1930s so the spectre of an aged population looms larger. as some one who worked in an unregulated industry, IT, where long hours were demanded my personal experience was that long hours caused personal relationships to suffer and made women choose between career or children. It was impossible to find part time work and women were under the gun to get the kids to childcare and then to work on time.

We all seem to forget that the biggest losers out of workchoices will be those workers who rely on a union to wage bargain for them. Twice as many public sector workers are union members than workers in the private sector. Thus the real advantage of the government introducing workchoices is the opportunity to slash the public sector wages bill. So public servants if you want a decent standard of living you better stand up for your rights next Wednesday.
Posted by billie, Thursday, 22 June 2006 9:29:30 AM
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The unspoken facts that should be addressed by commentators is that we are already living well beyond our means (as indicated by the level of our private foreign debt), and we are about to be confronted by the end of the age of cheap oil. The combination of both of these factors means that the average standard of living will have to reduced substantially, something that no politician who desires to be re-elected can afford to mention. The workers in Australia who are internationally competitive will struggle to maintain their present living standard, and those that are not will see theirs decline substantially. As a guess I think the main difference over the next 20 years is that we will move from a nation of houseowners to one of renters, with the banks and insurance companies owning the houses, having been unable to sell them when people default on mortgages.

The greatest non-military threat that we face over the next few years is that of having our foreign debt called in. This could occur through no fault of our own, if, for example, the US were to default on its foreign debt. Thank heavens the Howard government has paid off our government debt, so we do not face the threat of sovereign default.

It is correct that we could choose to have an equitable economy with full employment. However the standard of living would be at subsistence level.
Posted by plerdsus, Thursday, 22 June 2006 12:18:27 PM
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I agree with most of what Chris has written. Plerdsus has said exactly what most think these "benefits" are really about. That is lowering Australian wages, killing off many home grown industries and leaving us with whatever is left after the resources boom dies down. Even today I hear China is trying to buy their own access to WA minerals to avoid using BHP or Rio Tinto.

The big question is what will be left for Australians if our conditions do equate with other countries? No breaks from work, no penalties for ignoring our families, no home life at all really. Certainly no home, just short term rentals, caravans perhaps. Gypsies?

I can really only think of sport as being our biggest asset after minerals. It's about the only area we excel in as people.

What are these benefits dangled in front of Australian workers? In exchange for leave, penalty payments and the rest? If your expertise is short in supply the benefit is one thing. Money. If your expertise is plentiful the benefit is the same. Except you get less or no money depending on your competetiveness.

We're supposed to accept a decline in our standards of living. Why? Certainly those that claim to be leading our economy show no personal restraint with bonuses and salaries in the multi millions. Where is their constraint? Let the politicians show the personal restraint before they preach and try to impose it.

If those people agreed to accept the same conditions as the lowest level worker we might have a deal but then we would be talking Communisim wouldn't we? And we know that works exactly the same as our supposed "democracy" does right now. Animal Farm strikes. Some are more equal than others.

Is Beasley right? No, neither option is what we need. We need equality, fairness and a chance for all. Remember that Lucky Country? Where did it go? Tell me Johnny, where? Did it die with Bradman?
Posted by RobbyH, Thursday, 22 June 2006 3:24:51 PM
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Madness comes in many forms, Paul Keating showed us that politicians can do anything with figures. 4.9% unemployment lowest in 30 years, of course if somebody is employed for an hour per week, they are not unemployed, they may not have enough to survie on, but they are not unemployed. The average weekly wage $53,000 per annum, I have met two people in my life who were on or above the average weekly wage, I'm 50.

What greedy businesses fail to realise is that by dropping the ordinary worker pay, it will save them money in the short term, however when working people don't have the money for petrol, medicines, food etc, they are unable to purchase the items the business sells, and so it begins a downward spiral into oblivion.

No problem for C.E.O.'s of large companies, just sack another thousand, and give themselves a payrise, cut services, then retire on a multi-million dollar payout. Those of us who are left behind as cannon fodder can live out our miserable lives in poverty. This is not the "fair go" Australia I grew up in, we have been almost totally absorbed by the US mantra. This used to be a proud country who delighted in being individual, Aussie, fair go for everyone, no matter what race, colour or creed, God almighty has it changed since those days.

Our national icons have either been sold or in the process of being, wages cut to satisfy greedy multi-national companies, while small business is too ignorant to realise that they are next in line for the chop, it's sad really, paridise lost, I am glad I'll be dead before the last wall in the house of cards falls, conservatism is certainly not progressive. If the employer so chooses to reward a brilliant worker, the the employer is able to pay above award, basicly the system that has just been replaced. Flexability, productivity all the other BS is simply that, how on Earth did we survive for the last 200 years without this rubbish?
Posted by SHONGA, Thursday, 22 June 2006 3:45:05 PM
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Well said SHONGA.

Have you thought about what happens next? Every worker becomes an individual contractor. Get yourself an ABN and tender for the job. It's already happening.

Everyone becomes an aspirational small business owner, Howard will love it. Then the Govt has got rid of super, workers comp, payroll tax (just to piss the states off)and the pathetic minimum standards we now have.

We must vote out Howard. I realise that Beazley is the only alternative but can we accept another 3 years of executive rule.
Posted by Steve Madden, Thursday, 22 June 2006 5:12:32 PM
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Plerdus
- Who do you think owns the banks and insurance companies? Australian banks and insurance companies have pretty low levels of foreign ownership.
- Why would the US default on their government debt considering that the vast majority of it is denominated in USD, a currency they can print? Isnít a USD devaluation more likely, something that would result in booming US exports?
- How can Australiaís foreign debt be called in exactly? Huge chunks of our foreign debt exist in the form of structured securities with fixed maturity dates issued by our own banks. The risk of default resides with our foreign lenders, who will get a reduced return on investment as each individual Australian borrower defaults.
Posted by Gary E, Thursday, 22 June 2006 9:06:10 PM
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