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The Forum > Article Comments > WorkChoices and liberty > Comments

WorkChoices and liberty : Comments

By Mark Christensen, published 20/12/2007

The community doesnít want to hear it, but WorkChoices was, more than anything else, concerned with glorious notions of liberty.

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The Free Market doesn't work for a society their maybe winners but there are to many losers. Thatís the bit the free marketers just donít get. The other thing to say here is that we looked at the US to see what a largely deregulated employment world would look like and most of us didnít like what we see. Iím sure some who saw themselves at the top of the heap liked the view though.
Posted by Kenny, Thursday, 20 December 2007 9:04:36 AM
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In a culture that is based on the anti-ethic of unbridled competition, everyone, including the so called winners, inevitably loses. And most people really do lose. Enormous reservoirs of collective resentment, frustration, and anger thus build up, which will inevitably in one way or another be discharged via a collective psychic purging.

When such an anti-ethic becomes the accepted norm, then the motive to cooperation and sharing becomes systematically undermined. Everyone sits at home in their Macmansion with their security systems and home entertainment system which effectively function as a conduit for all of the worlds pyschic garbage and madness being piped/dumped into their "living" room. Systematic brutality and never ending gore fests as "entertainment". Give the people what they "want".

And by the way it is ALL propaganda for the system itself, with wall to wall messages telling you what you do and how to be. If you want to be "happy" then buy this product, or go to this sporting event or concert---blah blah blah.

Hate, fear, and demonise this group of people, large or small. The boogey-man is out to get you/us.

Competition is really a system of ritualised murder. The winner takes all and the losers?---well tough titties to you.

"When the entire world founds itself on the adolescent motive to aggrandize the individual, then everyone is collectively working toward the destruction not only of human culture and mankind itself, but even of the Earth itself, the very vehicle that supports life".
Posted by Ho Hum, Thursday, 20 December 2007 10:08:53 AM
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If WorkChoices was so fabulous, why didn't the Coalition advertise it as a great new policy during the 2004 Election campaign? Or maybe I just missed the ads and only caught the anti-Latham diatribes. And funny how "liberty" (according to this author) seems to involve anti-union legislation on the one hand but greater freedom for bosses to do what they damn well like.

Next time the Coalition might like to tell us what it actually intends to do in government rather than smear its opponents. Unless it wants its butt kicked by the electorate again.
Posted by DavidJS, Thursday, 20 December 2007 10:09:49 AM
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Workchoices was not about liberty. It was about Howard's ideological plan to create a pool of low paid workers that would, by virtue of it's low pay, would increase company profitablilty. An individual cannot bargain on a level playing field with a large corporation. This was tried in the past, before there were Unions and the result is history. Exploitation, misery and an increasing crime rate were the most obvious, along with the obscene wealth of the exploiters.
Get real Mark, there is no chance that Workchoices was good for the average worker. Time to get off the ivory tower of the born to rule attitude and join humanity
Posted by ianbrum, Thursday, 20 December 2007 10:24:14 AM
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Liberty? What Orwellian hypocrisy.

WorkChoices REDUCED choices for BOTH employers and employees. The number of allowable matters in workplace agreements was reduced. There were massive fines just for asking to have such matters included. Compliance costs for employers were increased. Employers, including Federal Govt departments, couldn't understand the laws. The workplace was not deregulated, but massively RE-regulated.
Posted by grputland, Thursday, 20 December 2007 10:40:09 AM
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I'm always astonished when I read comments like "An individual cannot bargain on a level playing field with a large corporation" from people like ianbrum, simply because it's not true.

It's not true for a number of reasons (excluding my own success over the last 8 years or so) - but none stand out more than ianbrums previous sentence: "It was about Howard's ideological plan to create a pool of low paid workers..."

If no one could bargain on a level playing field then we would all become low paid workers. By very simple logic alone, ianbrums statement is false. Clearly there are plenty of people who can, and I would argue that in our current environment, that number is greatly increased.

Workchoices was fatally flawed legislation. No one questions that. And the former government was creamed for not managing the change, nor for taking on the smear campaign of the unions properly. But that aside...

People are perfectly capable of negotiating with an employer if they have something that the employer wants. If you present value to your employer then they will pay to keep you, and that's especially true in the current market with the labour shortages we have. I'd suggest that if you don't like your current conditions then go and find another job - there are plenty out there and employers are screaming for good workers.
Posted by BN, Thursday, 20 December 2007 10:49:38 AM
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