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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

dubious economic reasoning « Previous | |Next »
March 4, 2005

Laura Tingle in the Australian Financial Review has a good eye. She links a school leaver called Melanie, who is working as a casual waitress to earn money to pay for a uni course, with the bad economic news---a record current deficit, a declining economy and rising interest rates---that has surrounded Canberra like a fog.

Tingle asks a good question:

What does Melanie have to do with this week's main events?...Well, everything actually...Even the government concedes its sudden rush of bad news is all to do with skills shortages and bottlenecks. The Treasurer's answer to skills shortages? Radical industrial relations reform, apparently.

She then asks:
What does that mean? Cutting the minimium wage, he says, along with a range of still ill-defined "reforms" about a uniform industrial-relations system...But how does cutting the minimium wage help skills shortages?

It doesn't. We need dentists, allied health workers, plumbers etc not unskilled wage workers. As Tingle points out a lot of public money for training goes into subsidising unskilled laabor in restaurants.

So the Treasurer's economic reasoning is flawed. You have to watch this guy's reasoning as the rhetoric is disconnected from good arguments.

Now what about skilled labour? Well, next to nothing has been done by the Howard Government to address the skill shortages in the regions, even though jobs are available there. It adopts a short-term fix of turning on the immigration tap. It is turn on the immigration tap to dig more minerals out of the ground. Regional development is kissed goodbye because that involves the federal government intervening into the market.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:46 PM | | Comments (1)


"It is turn on the immigration tap"

And then that puts pressure on housing, water etc

If there is one IR reform I would like to see (because it would be of great benefit to me and myt family) is abolition of junior wages. I then might be able to get a job in the local hot bread shop as shop assistant. Several times I have applied but have been told they want someone with two years experience: to sell loaves of bread. The truth is, of course, they don't want to employ someone in their 50s but a young person on slave wages.

There's a whole group of older people who could into the workforce if it wasn't for junior rates of pay.