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The Forum > Article Comments > Manufacturing, men and disability > Comments

Manufacturing, men and disability : Comments

By Tanveer Ahmed, published 6/6/2013

Economic Man is slowly being replaced by a Casualised or Unemployed Depressed Man.

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Yes Tanveer, and it's likely to get a lot worse before it gets better.
It's a bit like homophobia, seriously declining, when almost everyone has or remembers a friend or relative who is/was inadvertently affected through no fault of their own; and or, the subject of completely unjustified imposed isolation, shame or humiliation?
Then perhaps this terrible tide will turn and effective remedial action taken, by a national Govt., rather than the few hard working stalwarts!
Posted by Rhrosty, Thursday, 6 June 2013 10:18:13 AM
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Tanveer - although the article has some interest basically you're missing several big pieces of the argument. First off, employment may be declining but its still only gradual to date. The closures you refer to are unfortunate, and a problem for specific regions, they do not amount to much nationally. (They also haven't happened yet, please note.)The real problem is that these adjustments should have occurred long ago when the economy was in better shape to absorb those who will be made unemployed.

You refer to youth unemployment. Yes, the unemployment rate among younger people is higher than the national average which is always the case and will always continue to be so. The real problem is older, unskilled workers who fall out of the workforce where that workforce has basically moved on, leaving few blue-collar jobs, particularly in Aus outside the mining sector.

As your link makes clear this is part of a major shift in the economy, but I'm not sure what, if anything, can be done about those left out of the shift. The PM's money would do very little. Those workers have to up-skill themselves somehow, but they usually are not equipped to do that.. difficult..
Posted by Curmudgeon, Thursday, 6 June 2013 10:35:36 AM
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Tanveer unfortunately you are a prime part of the problem.

You tell us of an explosion in "disability pension is related to mental health". Now government pay these people, where previously they would have been told to buck up & get on with it.

This is not just in your area of course, but through out every area. We have government supporting a rapidly growing percentage of the population, in all areas. They may be welfare recipients, health care workers, bureaucrats or what ever, but it is all increasing rapidly.

The government is now taking such a large slice of the pie to do all this, that there is not enough left for the productive sector, who are paying for it.

Companies can no longer make a profit with the huge wage bill. Workers can no longer live adequately on that "huge" wage. After the government has finally got its hand out of the poor buggers pocket, there is not enough left for them to live on. Hence they then demand government help.

Where the UK lived off it's North Sea oil, as Norway still does, & we have lived off our mining boom, without these rich prizes, governments are trying to do too much. You just have to look at the Mediterranean basket cases to see where this leads.

It would be almost amusing to hear even more calls for government spending, if it weren't so pitiful. God only knows if there is any answer, other than to have a catastrophe as in the Mediterranean, then go back to self reliance.

What ever the answer is, it is sure going to hurt.
Posted by Hasbeen, Thursday, 6 June 2013 2:27:22 PM
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Manufacturing has been declining in this country for around forty years.
Industrial dinosaurs, not able to think outside the box, have off-shored or sold out to foreign concerns.
Ford is arguably closing down, because it is a foreign owned entity, with a board, with a foreign based agenda?
We are also hamstrung by successive Govt., and an endlessly repeated mindless mantra, that Govt., has no business in business!
That nonsense pure and simple, is just ideological constipation!?
I mean, no Government owner of a corporation, actually runs the business!
But just like any other majority shareholder, relies on competent corporate executives and an entirely independent board!
It's just a mealy mouthed cop out!?
Or an excuse not to do anything that might make a real difference?
The answer to this slow drift or death by a thousand cuts, is genuine and long over tax reform and quite massive simplification.
i.e, a stand alone entirely unavoidable expenditure tax, set at just 4.8%, would raise more revenue, repair the current structural deficit, and create almost endless surpluses, and give Govt. a brand new and vastly more effective means to control inflation!
Simplification that could render the ATO and almost every tax practitioner entirely redundant.
Arguably all that prevents its imposition!?
A vastly simplified tax system, would remove the need for tax compliance, thereby adding around 7% to the averaged bottom line.
The associated repeal of virtually all other tax measures, would increase margins even more!
After that, the profitable provision of publicly owned energy, at vastly lower costs than the private model, would have the high tech corporations of the world queuing to relocate here!
We could supply that energy, via thorium, cheaper than coal; and NG powered solid state ceramic fuel cells, with an energy coefficient of around 72%, which is more than three times better than coal fired power.
Or put another way, more than three times cheaper!
Thorium produces no carbon pollution and very little waste!
Whereas, NG powered fuel cells, produce the world's cheapest electricity, free hot water and mostly water vapour as exhaust!
Posted by Rhrosty, Thursday, 6 June 2013 4:56:02 PM
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I started reading this in a braced position, waiting for the inevitable 'men under threat in an increasingly feminised world' tropes to be trotted out yet again.

But wait ... there was nothing in the first paragraph. Wa-hoo! Or the second or the third. I got right down to number 10. And no blaming of women.

Oh joy, oh bliss!

Oh, rats ...

There it was. Paragraph 11. The great big 'F' word. And it went rapidly downhill from there.

Thank you, at least, Rhrosty, for pointing out the real (i.e. non-women) issues that are screwing men big time, virtually all of them emanating from other men - i.e. the rich, powerful ones who are quite happy to screw poor, powerless men to suit their own agenda, and the governments that let them get away with it.

And Hasbeen, before its financial sector collapse, the social welfare budget per capita for Greece was second lowest in the European Union, but its military budget per capita was the highest. Go figure.
Posted by Killarney, Thursday, 6 June 2013 6:21:55 PM
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An excellent observation from the Men's Shed movement and Dr Ahmed, but it doesn't go far enough.

Men frequently value themselves by their capacity to self-determine, what they contribute to the greater good and by the estimation of others. If they are entirely beholden to others for support, have no means of contributing usefully and they are not well-regarded within the group to which they belong, then they react in various self-protective ways.

They may become aggressively dismissive of others, making themselves a society of one. They may become depressed and listless, embodying the qualities which they perceive as others' judgement of them. They may become violent, displaying their strength and fearlessness, as a demonstration of their virility. They may choose to just leave, whether quietly and without fuss, or with a flamboyant last hurrah. In that last response is also included those who leave completely by taking their own lives.

Our nation has changed immensely over the past couple of generations, both industrially and culturally. Men have been expected to cope with that change and to willingly embrace and encourage it, with nothing in it for them but denigration and a loss of any sense of self-direction.

Beyond Blue has a new campaign which was promoted by Jeff Kennett in a segment on the morning show. It is a purportedly humourous ad which features the character "Dr Ironwood" and it doesn't improve from there, saying that men need "courage" to seek help with psychological problems, that they should "get their sh!t together", that talking about their "deep fried feelings" will make them happy. It's a cringeingly awful piece of contemptuous denigration, perpetuating the image of man as cowardly, incoherent, disorganised boofhead, while Kennett told us with a straight face that men should become more like women in order to avoid mental health issues. Apparently the fact that women attempt suicide at greater rates than men (but less competently) is a sign of their emotional stability in Jeffworld.

Posted by Antiseptic, Thursday, 6 June 2013 7:44:58 PM
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