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The Forum > Article Comments > Will the plight of Australian battlers get worse? > Comments

Will the plight of Australian battlers get worse? : Comments

By Chris Lewis, published 22/9/2009

The Australian government must adopt polices that ensure welfare assistance and wages are fair and appropriate.

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With most people in the world living on $1 a day, these "Battlers" earning over $100 you speak of are doing okay for themselves in my mind.
Surely there is always the option if youíre struggling on 45K a year to downsize your house or upsize your income by getting a better job. After all is not the author an example of that? The Government should be a safety net not a venture capitalist.
Posted by Kenny, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 12:40:37 PM
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Kenny,
I think it goes below US$1.20 per day is poverty level. But your point is valid.

Chris is pro union and as I've said before the first priority of any organizations is it's own survival...in his terms it means being able to provide increasing benefits for the 'battlers' as in potential members (better wealth distribution. In the Aussie context he neglected the homeless, pensioners etc.

I tend to agree that everyone in Western society excluding the latter two should learn to exist on less addiction to the false god Mindless Consumerism. Along with increasing both personal responsibility in the society we live but also on that of the world community.

While there are good people in Unions but like businesses they are in effect supporting the ultimate destruction of the world as we know it through Consumerism.

I guess my point is that consumerism in pursuit of ever more self indulgence is akin to gold embossed fluffy bathrobes for ALL passengers of the Titanic
Posted by examinator, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 1:45:12 PM
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Examinator.

It is amusing to be told that I am pro-union. I am just noting what I believe is mostly the case. It is unlikely that ordinary workers will get higher wages without them. I have seen workers still on the minimum wage after 25 years, and they are not hopeless workers.

While I would not view myself as a socialist, I do believe in a fair go for all. And it is getting harder for many. I am sorry I did not mention pensioners and the others, although I thought their plight spoke for itself.

I acknowledge your points about consumerism, but it will long drive the real world. And while it does, all Australians should expect a decent lifestyle rather than working just to pay rent, food and utility bills.

Point of article, was to highlight how things are getting harder for a growing minority
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 2:15:04 PM
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Chris your point would be better made, if you didn't exaggerate so much.

I was a house buyer in the late 50s, & early 60s, & I never saw any houses at anywhere near 3 times average income. My first, an old, almost 2 bed fibro, & timber box, in Fairfield {Sydney] was almost 4 times, & the next couple, in Liverpool, & Riverwood, [Sydney], in 62, & 65 wewe just on 5 times income.

I might mention the next 2 were ex housing commission houses, so not exactly Mc-Mansions.

What you missed, & what does make a really bid difference, was the interest rate, & the income tax rate.

Banks had to make housing loans at 4.25%, although on my first house, as a just 21 year old, I could not get a bank loan, & had to pay a little higher to an insurance company.

In 62, when I bought a better house, with a bank loan, I was paying just 7.5% income tax. This was possible as we were not expected to keep a couple of bludgers each, & old age pensioners were a much lower percentage of the population.

This meant we had a much greater percentage of our gross to pay those loans.

So, I agree with your point, it's much tougher today, for our kids, but they don't help themselves. None of my kids would live in my first house, & probably would not have been too interested in the second. The third house was probably good enough for them, but Riverwood they would not have found attractive by reputation, if not in fact.

If you think about that last statment, I guess that must be my fault, somehow.
Posted by Hasbeen, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 2:48:58 PM
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Hasbeen

I suppose what was trying to say is: family of two ($900 disposable income) after paying rent (say $300 for cheap house in many cities), food (say $200), utilies and petrol (say $50), has $150 left at most to buy extras (including clothes) and save for house. And there are many such families. Golden days are indeed over and we all need to rethink what strategies can be adopted to make basic lifestyle still affordable.
A cheap house is say $300,000 if you are lucky
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 3:21:38 PM
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Chris expects an ongoing rise in the living standard, but doesnít seem to understand that what causes it is a higher quota of capital per person. That is why people in Australia, including the poorest, are among the richest in the world.

Anything that retards the general process of capital accumulation, causes the poverty and disadvantage that Chris is trying to solve with more forced redistributions, but these actively cause or exacerbate the problem.

Underlying Chrisís belief in welfare and unions is the false assumption that the way to increase wealth is by decreasing production.

Chris says he believes in a fair go, but he doesnít say whatís fair about some people working without receiving, so that others can receive without working.

He also does not acknowledge the role of government interventions in creating the most disadvantaged class.

For example, if you illegalise employing people, or penalise people for employing people, the result will be that itís harder to get employment. This will most affect those with least literacy, experience, skills, capital and income Ė the people Chris is most concerned about.

People donít employ someone unless the income he brings in is greater than the costs. Every on-cost the government adds makes marginal workers non-viable, thus adding to unemployment and disadvantage.

Yet look government illegalises employment with every on-cost it imposes: the employer must pay the income tax, must adminster the income tax, and pay super, and workers comp, and pay compulsory licensing fees, and often compulsory insurances as well, and comply with hundreds of regulations. These costs do not come out of profits: they come out of wages.

Minimum wage laws presuppose that a worker is better off unemployed on a lesser amount on the dole, than employed on a higher amount learning new skills. Sheer economic illiteracy.

If we were serious about helping the disadvantaged, we would make it much easier for them to earn money by abolishing some of the many restrictions on earning including income tax, GST, compulsory superannuation, minimum wage laws, occupational licensing, and compulsory insurances.
Posted by Peter Hume, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 4:12:02 PM
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