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The Forum > Article Comments > Nostradamus he ainít > Comments

Nostradamus he ainít : Comments

By Matt Meir, published 13/4/2007

John Howard's rhetoric that the 'greatest gift of a strong economy is a job', no matter how poor the conditions, is Dickensian.

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I would be interested in statistics showing the pattern of weekly incomes and hours worked by wage earners earning $60,000 per year or less. The numbers of workers in each $10,000 bracket might also be interesting, as would the age distribution of workers in these income brackets.

I'm wondering how much the "average wage" might be skewed upward by the mining sector of our labour force.

A graph showing the distribution of earnings over the range I have suggested above might put handsome sounding figures in clearer perspective.

Likewise, graphs of hours worked per week by the lower-paid beneficiaries of "full employment" would be illuminating.
Posted by Sir Vivor, Friday, 13 April 2007 9:59:41 AM
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Sir Vivor, I agree it would be interesting to view such statistics; there is not enough information for us to rationally gauge the legitimacy of Federal Governments claims for the need of reform to foster apparent economic imperativesÖ I just donít understand why the Federal Governments being hesitant and even refusing to release such data on the impact of its industrial relations changes, while they are more than happy to assert in Parliament that they have been good for the economy and workers.
Posted by peachy, Friday, 13 April 2007 12:34:50 PM
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I can't for the life of me imagine how anyone could vote the Government another term on the back of WorkChoices.

It is a fundamentally unAustralian law that pits worker against worker for the benefit of corporate profits.

The argument that it enhances flexibility and therefore will increase economic growth is great so long as the world wants Australian commodities and skills are in short supply, giving some workers bargaining power. My fear is what happens when the inevitable down turn comes. Those who had bargaining power will discover to their cost that they no longer do so. Employers will lay off thousands and screw down the wages and conditions of those who get to keep their jobs.

Parents would do well to consider the the impact of these laws on their children's working lives.

I'm afraid WorkChoices is a gun to the head of the Coalition. Stubbornness or arrogance or shear bloodymindedness is going to ensure that the government pulls the trigger and ends it's own tenure.
Posted by travellingnorth, Friday, 13 April 2007 1:03:05 PM
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Howard's overreached with the extremist Workchoices, to be sure. But he intended to, in the expectation that Labor will roll it back to an extent when they get in.

But the coalition probably won't really be caned for Workchoices until the next recession. And because of the booming Chinese economy, that could be a generation away.

He's more likely to lose at the end of this year because of a "time for a change" public mood.
Posted by grn, Friday, 13 April 2007 1:13:52 PM
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I think you're right grn.

WorkChoices is just one of many "negatives" that surround this government at the moment. Some of the others are...

interest rate rises, sycophancy with the US, Iraq, lack of alternative popular leadership within the Coalition, moribund climate change response, water fiasco, policy on the hop (eg Super Hornets), relationships with the states, perceptions of arrogance and tiredness in Howard, perceptions of hubris in Costello, failure to fix infrastructure bottlenecks, etc, etc, etc...

Can anyone add to the list?
Posted by travellingnorth, Friday, 13 April 2007 2:24:19 PM
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Ten years ago I was fearful for the future employment prospects of my young teenagers as well as my own.

Today my daughter,who studied music, has an unskilled fulltime job earning in excess of $700 gross each week. Her tax is less than that she would have paid 10 years ago.

My son is in fulltime study. He works part time with me and between us we earn more than double my daughters weekly pay.

When keating was PM I lost one business and was on the bones of my ....! My loss was directly attributable to his ignorant belief he knew what was best for us all and at the time of his infamous claim 'this is as good as it gets'.

Nahhh you've all forgotten that.

Throughout John Howard's steady stewardship I've battled but at 50 odd I'll soon be able to retire to a small business opportunity that involves my great love and, more importantly my childrens' futures are pretty well assured.

Stuff all you ingrates, I'm no whinger, I'm going to show some gratitude where it's due. And if you think this labor mob is any different to keating's ragtag rabble of socialist ratbags you are going to be sadly disappointed.
Posted by keith, Friday, 13 April 2007 4:04:06 PM
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