By Christian Marx
In case you have been living under a rock or living on a diet of Rupert Murdoch, you will be aware of the massive underemployment and unemployment problem enveloping Australia, and indeed the rest of the Western world. This has not occurred by accident. It has been implemented strategically and systematically by design.
The pathological greed of the very wealthy and the nature of capitalism itself ensures that this will only get worse and continue to strangle an already decimated society and dying economy. Australia is copying the Neoliberal policies of the United States, where there are now 50 million living on or below the poverty line.
How can this slide be stopped? Sadly, it may be too late. The populace are up against an entire political and social system designed to protect the rich and powerful at the expense of the vast majority. Both Labor and Liberal governments are absolutely entrapped by their corporate handlers in big business and the halls of power. All our media is pro Neoliberal and will not promote even moderate social changes. Even if a third party comes to pose a threat to the two duopolies, they will be forced to acquiesce to the power of capitalism. The whole system is designed to enforce the tenets of profit at the expense of the many. ANY political party that goes against this doctrine will either face an onslaught of negative propaganda or will be forced to adapt a very benign agenda that is palatable for the rich. (See ALP economic and social policy).
Australia now has an absolutely chronic unemployment and underemployment problem. Roy Morgan conservatively put unemployment at just under 10% and underemployment at nearly 10% and rising. Latest 2017 statistics have a combined underemployment/unemployment rate of 19+%! That is nearly 1 fifth of the adult workforce!
One of the biggest contributers of underemployment is the massive push to casualize the retail, service and hospitality sectors. It is almost impossible to obtain a full-time job in any of these sectors. Many are on permanent part-time contracts, sometimes on as little as 15 hours a week. Still many more are on zero hour casual contracts. We are not talking about high school or university students either. A huge majority are mature adults, often with a degree and lots of work experience under their belt.
The economy cannot sustain this gross level of unemployment or underemployment.
Large corporations don’t seem to be able to understand this. As Karl Marx quite rightly posited 150 years ago, if people do not have money to earn then they cannot spend that money.
Australia is spiralling towards becoming a Banana Republic: a nation that provides services but has no manufacturing industry and produces nothing locally. The wealthy are not overly concerned, as in the event of a total collapse they will buy up all the forced sales and grow even wealthier. Some could argue that they are deliberately trying to destroy the economy to raid its dying carcass in a cheap fire sale.
What then? Well once the economy has collapsed and the majority get ever more desperate and hungry, a police state will be enacted. Private prisons will proliferate and a new profit enterprise will spring up. People will go to prison for stealing a loaf of bread. Ironically we will be back to where we were 200 years ago! America already imprisons massive amounts of poor people for petty crimes. Some languish in jail for years.
How are both sides of government getting away with this sham system? Easy. Our unions are toothless and all but decimated, and our media is a criminal sham that is intent on pushing fluff, distraction pieces. Media inflame tensions and divisions via their anti-Muslim rhetoric and their continued attacks on the most vulnerable, while giving corporations and in particular corporate wars strong support. ABC is also in on the act, having of late been shamelessly propagating American hegemony and all but ignoring and twisting very important developments around the world, particularly in Venezuela.
We see daily the meddling activities of dubious wealthy actors manipulating the political debate and orchestrating more profit making incentives for their own sick benefit. Serco who run the concentration camps on Manus are very cosy with the LNP.
How about all the job network shonks? All nice little earners for their benefactors while they suck the public purse dry and do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to obtain employment for those so desperate for it. Bring back the Commonwealth Employment Service! These parasitic job agencies are engaging in legalized theft! The theft of taxpayer’s money.
Unless people get active and refuse to partake in this capitalist fiasco the situation will continue to slide, and the media will piss on you and tell you it is raining. Media, our government and indeed a large part of our laws do not protect and serve the majority. They are all there to serve the interests of the wealthy 1%.
If we do nothing, we perish as a democratic society. We must face the deeply uncomfortable truth that our whole way of life has been hijacked by corporatism … a.k.a. Fascism. There will come a time when it will be illegal to speak out against these evil-doers. Do we wait for that? Are we prepared to live in ghettos while the very powerful live in gated decadence and police the rest of us military style? This is the future if the majority lay back in an idle stupor. Mark my words.
Christian Marx is a political and social activist interested in making the world a fairer place. He has a Bachelor of Social Science and has a keen interest in sociology, politics and history. He was one of the organizers of the March in March rallies in Melbourne and is the founder of the progressive news and information page, “Don`t Look At This Page”, and is also a co-founder of “The Global Revolution” website.