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

it's politics not economics « Previous | |Next »
November 16, 2013

Big Business continually talks about Australia facing a productivity crisis or challenge. In calling for a more business-friendly environment in Australia their standard solution is to call for reduced wages to make Australia more intentionally competitive compared to other countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Their rhetoric all about the labour market in that our workplaces need more flexibility because more flexibility equals more productivity. The implication is that those on lower incomes are to bear the brunt of the changes---they need to take a pay cut.

MoirAignorance.jpg Alan Moir

The second bow of the Big Business lobbyists, such as The Business Council of Australia (BCA), is usually deregulation and their third is tax reform, by which they usually mean a reduction in the corporate tax rate via extending the GST to cover food, health and education.

Productivity after the mining boom is a pressing issue in the context of an aging population and a high exchange rate that has resulted in the the loss of manufacturing jobs and requires major structural adjustments. This is not being discussed in parliament.

The key is the high exchange rate given the need to find different drives of economic growth, but you really hear Big Business talking about the productivity crisis in terms of increased skills, better knowledge and working smarter now that the mining boom has come to an end. The political culture of corporate power is one that assumes that Australians will have to accept lower growth, productivity and standard of living.

The Abbott Government reckons that reversing Labor's policies will enable a return to the prosperity of the Howard era, even though the world economy has changed and Australia faces completely different economic conditions. Their lack of a positive agenda means they have they have no commitment to make Australia the most digitally skilled nation in the world.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:54 AM | | Comments (7)


Thanks for the Guardian link. And, yes, it's the dear old neocon agenda: privatise, deregulate, bash the unions and lower wages, ignore the environment, cut taxes for the rich and for corporations. Same old, same old.

Power without ethics or social responsibility.
Greedy, selfish and ignorant and incompetent to boot.

Paul Krugman:

"Oh,... when people start talking about the wonders of “structural reform,” take it with a large heaping of salt. It’s mainly a code phrase for deregulation — and the evidence on the virtues of deregulation is decidedly mixed. ..."

It's politics, not economics all right.

It is always so one sided, with these parasite vandal idiots.

The main themes of the Abbott Government promise a return to deregulation. Decoded, this means union obstructionism by restoring more bargaining power to business.

The Abbott Govt assumes that its return to Howard will create future prosperity in Australia even though low growth in the global economy looks to be the new normal.

They just can't yet tell us from where this golden age of prosperity is coming. Slashing the minimum wage ain't going to do it. Nor are subsidies to protect the fossil fuel industry.

I recently came across this (extract):

"[Mirowski] claims that once neoliberalism became a Theory of Everything, providing a revolutionary account of self, knowledge, markets, and government, it was impossible to falsify by data from the 'real' economy. Neoliberalism, he suggests, wasn't dislodged by the recession because we have internalised its messages. Have we all, in a sense, become neoliberals, inhabiting "entrepreneurial" selves which compel us to position ourselves in the market and rebrand ourselves daily?"

I haven't listened to the interview, but the summary sounds good.

Ack. to Naked Capitalism links for 17/11/13