Civil Conscription

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Re: Civil Conscription

Postby pinkeye » 05 Feb 2018, 22:36

Call me a cynic. I wouldn't be holding my breath on that Lefty.
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Re: Civil Conscription

Postby Lefty » 06 Feb 2018, 06:34

pinkeye wrote:Call me a cynic. I wouldn't be holding my breath on that Lefty.


Nor I.

But the facts are simply the facts - unemployment is mainly the product of the economic system and the policies that govern it, we have banished it before and we can do so again with the stroke of the legislative pen.

In the first half of the 20th century, a situation arose that exposed the classical (now neo-classical/neo-liberal) lie that unemployment was beyond the control of government for all the prols to see. Where governments seriously adopted the countercyclical measures that John Maynard Keynes - who was still alive at the time - was calling for, the situation improved very significantly. Then WW2 broke out and governments were forced to muster all available resources for the war effort - almost overnight, unemployment basically vanished.

By the time the war was over, the population had witnessed first-hand that as soon as the motivation existed for them to do so, government could banish the unemployment that had plagued nations for so many years. Re-instating the lie that nothing could be done and subsequently forcing the consequences onto the public would now be much more politically difficult and dangerous. Those on the left seized the chance to act while those on the right now had little choice but to be seen to be taking action to eliminate it.

Here are the first three paragraphs of the Australian governments (Curtain Labor government 1945) white paper Full Employment in Australia

Full employment is a fundamental aim of the Commonwealth Government. The Government believes that the people of Australia will demand and are entitled to expect full employment, and that for this purpose it will be able to count on the cooperation of servicemen's associations, trade unions, employers' associations and other groups. Because the Referendum was not carried, the cooperation of State Governments and local authorities will be particularly necessary.

Despite the need for more houses, food, equipment and every other type of product, before the war not all those available for work were able to find employment or to feel a sense of security in their future. On the average during the twenty years between 1919 and 1939 more than one-tenth of the men and women desiring work were unemployed. In the worst period of the depression well over 25 per cent were left in unproductive idleness. By contrast, during the war no financial or other obstacles have been allowed to prevent the need for extra production being satisfied to the limit of our resources. It is true that war-time full employment has been accompanied by efforts and sacrifices and a curtailment of individual liberties which only the supreme emergency of war could justify; but it has shown up the wastes of unemployment in pre-war years, and it has taught us valuable lessons which we can apply to the problems of peace-time, when full employment must be achieved in ways consistent with a free society.

In peace-time the responsibility of Commonwealth and State Governments is to provide the general framework of a full employment economy, within which the operations of individuals and businesses can be carried on.


This was the document that defined government employment policy during the three decades or so where unemployment was virtually non-existent in this country. Note the totally different attitude compared to today.

The fact that John and Jane Average have very little understanding of the real reasons that most unemployment occurs and know nothing of the history of such policy in this country is an ignorance that is ruthlessly exploited by those of the neo-liberal persausion.
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Re: Civil Conscription

Postby johnsmith » 06 Feb 2018, 09:29

keep up the good work lefty


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Re: Civil Conscription

Postby Lefty » 07 Feb 2018, 10:26

Cheers John, I do try :jump

Pinkeye is probably correct about not holding ones breath - I think we need a revolution in the public's understanding to occur before we can remove the scourge of unemployment once again. John and Jane Average simply don't realise or understand that probably 99% of the able bodied unemployment that exists can be eliminated without great difficulty just as it was from WW2.

They don't realise that our policy is to place greater emphasis on inflation than on joblessness and poverty, ensuring an ongoing "human sacrifice".

They don't realise they have been continuously conditioned by decades of propaganda to despise the victims of this system, in order to ensure it goes unchallenged.

And they don't realise that elements in society benefit from a pool of poverty at the bottom and work continuously to maintain it's existence. Employers in general don;t want true full employment - that makes it harder to discipline workers. They want a "Goldilocks level of unemployment" - enough so that the threat of being sacked and not being able to quickly find another job is real but not too much, otherwise demand for their products would be negatively impacted (unless they are an exporter). In their veiw, there is an amount of human poverty and wastage that is "just right" for their purposes.
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Re: Civil Conscription

Postby Lefty » 11 Feb 2018, 08:02

RBA govenor urges business to lift wages

Philip Lowe says rising wages are essential to return inflation to normal levels and warns against assumptions about interest rates

The Reserve Bank of Australia governor says it would be a “welcome development” if wages growth began picking up in Australia because it would create a stronger sense of “shared prosperity” among workers.

In a not-so-subtle message to employers, and as workers endure their longest period of declining living standards in more than 25 years, Philip Lowe has said wages should ideally begin growing on the back of stronger productivity growth, but even if productivity growth were to be around the average of recent years, “a faster rate of wage increase should still be possible” now.



He also reminded employers and policymakers that rising wages would be necessary to return inflation to normal levels, and to lift the economy out of its ultra-low interest rate funk.

With households now worse off than they were six years ago, and with large businesses enjoying record profits, workers would benefit from a lift in real wages, he said.

“A lift in wage growth is likely to be necessary for inflation to average around the midpoint of the 2-3% medium-term inflation target,” he said.

“Stronger growth in real wages would also boost household incomes and create a stronger sense of shared prosperity.”


We have a situation here that at least on the surface has appeared curious - employment has been growing strongly over the past year while wages have languished.

In an economy that is driven more than 50% by consumer spending, employment growth is typically tied to how much money the great mass of ordinary workers has available to spend on goods and services. Cheaper wage costs do not greatly benefit business if the demand for their products does not increase. It is increasing demand for what a business produces that motivates them to employ more workers - even if workers become cheaper, there isn't much point spending money investing in more workers and non-human capital if you can't sell the extra output that would be produced.

Without wage growth, the only other source of additional spending workers can access is credit. But this has been travelling more or less sideways as well as we have reached a point where the servicing of debt cannot be made much cheaper, if at all.

So what's going on? The answer imo appears to lie largely in government stimulus - at both federal and state levels, government has been acting as "consumer of last resort" pouring money into the NDIS at the federal level while the governments of our two biggest states (population/economy-wise) have been engaging in an infrastructure spend of unprecedented size, with 2017 having been particularly impressive.

The sixth chart down in the article (2017 employment growth by industry and gender, can't post the chart) shows the breakdown of the solid employment growth of 2017. It shows exactly what we might expect to have seen - that employment growth was dominated by the two areas that governments have been pouring money into - healthcare (NDIS) and construction (state government infrastructure spend). The spending flows on and stimulates the overall economy - government spending works!! (I don;t necessarily agree with the title of the article by the way).

The question is - what happens when these two waves of government spending top out and wages are scarcely growing? I think the most likely answer is the most obvious.
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Re: Civil Conscription

Postby MilesAway » 11 Feb 2018, 15:25

Lefty wrote:
The Australian government is giving $430,000 to an American consultancy to tell it how to improve Centrelink’s call centre, a move unions describe as an “absolutely outrageous” waste.

The Centrelink call centre has come in for intense criticism over the wait times in recent years. In the last financial year, customers were met with 55m busy signals, up from 29m in the previous year, and the wait times are a cause of constant frustration to welfare recipients.

The pressure on the call centre, which the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) attributes to job cuts, led the government to announce this year that it would bring in multinational outsourcing group Serco to help operate the service.


Centrelink call wait times balloon to 16 minutes on average
Read more
It also announced last month that it was bringing in a foreign consultant to advise it on how to resolve the call centre’s problems.

The contract was awarded on a limited tender to Brad Cleveland Company LLC, a US-based consultancy, for $430,000.

The CPSU national secretary, Nadine Flood, said the money was being wasted and the government would learn nothing it did not already know.

The call centre was the subject of an exhaustive audit by the Australian National Audit Office in 2015 and a commonwealth ombudsman inquiry in 2014, and has been scrutinised in Senate inquiries, including in budget estimates, on a frequent basis.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/03/paying-430000-for-advice-on-centrelink-call-centre-outrageous

Money to burn in order to keep the unemployed in that state rather than simply fixing the problem once and for all.

The amount of money and resources poured into "managing" the permanent pool of poverty and disadvantage created by neoliberalism makes the argument "we can't afford to create jobs for everyone" a sick joke and obviously a simple outright lie.

Mediocrity is a needed thing in a healthy society: a slave class in other words!
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Re: Civil Conscription

Postby MilesAway » 11 Feb 2018, 15:27

pinkeye wrote:Call me a cynic. I wouldn't be holding my breath on that Lefty.


You wouldn't be holding your breath for what?
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