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The Great Australian Swindle

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.


32 comments

  1. Joseph Carli

    A sample of the ageless arrogance of the wealthy..From Mommsem’s History of Rome..:

    ” Nor was there any lack
    of luxury also in travelling. “When the governor travelled,”
    Cicero tells us as to one of the Sicilian governors, “which of course
    he did not in winter, but only at the beginning of spring–
    not the spring of the calendar but the beginning of the season of roses–
    he had himself conveyed, as was the custom with the kings of Bithynia,
    in a litter with eight bearers, sitting on a cushion of Maltese gauze
    stuffed with rose-leaves, with one garland on his head, and a second
    twined round his neck, applying to his nose a little smelling bag
    of fine linen, with minute meshes, filled with roses; and thus
    he had himself carried even to his bed chamber.”

  2. Joseph Carli

    We will have to get used to the wealthy getting even worse..there will be no limit to their gluttony..nothing new under the sun..: Again ; Mommsen.
    ” Table Luxury

    But no sort of luxury flourished so much as the coarsest of all–
    the luxury of the table. The whole villa arrangements and the whole
    villa life had ultimate reference to dining; not only had they
    different dining-rooms for winter and summer, but dinner was served
    in the picture-gallery, in the fruit-chamber, in the aviary,
    or on a platform erected in the deer-park, around which,
    when the bespoken “Orpheus” appeared in theatrical costume
    and blew his flourish, the duly-trained roes and wild boars congregated.
    Such was the care bestowed on decoration; but amidst all this
    the reality was by no means forgotten. Not only was the cook
    a graduate in gastronomy, but the master himself often acted
    as the instructor of his cooks. The roast had been long ago
    thrown into the shade by marine fishes and oysters; now the Italian
    river-fishes were utterly banished from good tables, and Italian
    delicacies and Italian wines were looked on as almost vulgar.
    Now even at the popular festivals there were distributed,
    besides the Italian Falerian, three sorts of foreign wine–Sicilian,
    Lesbian, Chian, while a generation before it had been sufficient
    even at great banquets to send round Greek wine once; in the cellar
    of the orator Hortensius there was found a stock of 10,000 jars
    (at 33 quarts) of foreign wine. It was no wonder that the Italian
    wine-growers began to complain of the competition of the wines
    from the Greek islands. No naturalist could ransack land and sea
    more zealously for new animals and plants, than the epicures of that day
    ransacked them for new culinary dainties.”

  3. Joseph Carli

    Until finally and prophetically and tragically..a repeat of the inevitable..: Mommsen.

    “It is a terrible picture, but not one peculiar
    to Italy; wherever the government of capitalists in a slave-state
    has fully developed itself, it has desolated God’s fair world
    in the same way as rivers glisten in different colours, but a common
    sewer everywhere looks like itself, so the Italy of the Ciceronian epoch
    resembles substantially the Hellas of Polybius and still more decidedly
    the Carthage of Hannibal’s time, where in exactly similar fashion
    the all-powerful rule of capital ruined the middle class, raised trade
    and estate-farming to the highest prosperity, and ultimately led to a–
    hypocritically whitewashed–moral and political corruption of the nation.
    All the arrant sins that capital has been guilty of against nation
    and civilization in the modern world, remain as far inferior
    to the abominations of the ancient capitalist-states as the free man,
    be he ever so poor, remains superior to the slave; and not until
    the dragon-seed of North America ripens, will the world have again
    similar fruits to reap.”

  4. Judith W

    Unexpected sms on Sunday reminds me of 10am meeting at “Job Service Provider”. Knowing it is impossible to get a telephone response or email acknowledgement I arrive at 9:55 to find I am the 3rd (of 4) to have a scheduled interview with the same person at the same time.
    I am “interviewed” 2nd.
    By the time I have asked questions & photocopied a few pages and I am leaving it is 10:07.
    By the time I get home this 5 minute interview has taken nearly 3 hours.

  5. Graham King

    Ernesto, we are slowly regressing to serfs. Wages show negative growth, profits are at record highs. PAYE and GST are destined to go higher as companies minimise and evade tax so the tax burden will grow for the working class to increase the trickle up effect. The militarization of police forces is forward planning by the elites to protect their ill gotten gains

  6. Cathy Sutcliffe

    Thank you Christian for putting into print what my housemate and I have been talking about for months. There has to be action NOW! But What, Where and How? We would be more than happy, in fact, very very keen to help such an action. Do you know what is happening? How do we find out without running into the popular press, who as we know, will not cover such an event. I will be checking out your other pages for clues……

  7. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    kidsthis article by christian should be read widely. it is readable and many should be able to understand it. the whole systematic theft christian refers to is being implemented by free trade policies and strategies such as occur in the TPP which allows capitalism to spread from one nation to another nation with cheap labour (as Karl Marx accurately predicted and warned against) by a debt strategy and by privatisations. The system is nothing but a theft of public assets, which all citizens have a vested sovereign and equal interest in, by the 1 % and the right wing globalists.

  8. babyjewels10

    Judith W, I grieve for people being treated so shabbily. This is no longer the Australia I loved.

  9. babyjewels10

    Graham, those who say the LNP have done nothing in four years are wrong. They’ve been extremely efficient in depreciating the worth of 90% of the population.

  10. Mark Needham

    “real unemployment is 9.4% in July; down 1.1% from a year …” Google.

    “The Markets Are Up, Unemployment Is Down.” Google.

    Meanwhile, we keep ourselves busy, talking about marriage.

    Ah well,
    Mark Needham.
    PS. That firing squads were not kept busy during the GFC, has me beat. But boy, Christian Marx, you sure beat a bloody good drum, hey. Man the battlements, light the fires, down with ’em all……….!

  11. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    babyjewels10. i am a 8 th generation australian whose caucasian ancestors were among the first europeans on this continent and who have died for it. this country is not what they envisiaged or gave so much up for. Australia is now a shameful and disgraceful hole of a place whose only saving grace is the weather.

  12. John

    The ‘TPP11’ continued talks in Sydney without the US, hoping to revive the TPP by November. The Coalition government wants to rush through implementing legislation for the World Trade Organisation Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) before negotiations have even concluded. 100 US corporates want even stronger ISDS rights in the new NAFTA, which is currently being renegotiated. And PACER-Plus is high on the agenda at the Pacific Island Forum Meeting this week.
    http://aftinet.org.au/cms/node/1454

  13. roma guerin

    I will share this on Facebook and hope people will take the time to read it properly, including the historical excerpts. Surely there is enough Australians with the brains to realise that this is all the absolute truth? Murdoch has so much unearned power too, what is to be done about this?

  14. Glenn Barry

    I have a simple solution to this problem – all those who want to inhabit a crumbling American society should emigrate to America.

    It has always bothered me to see that we have propaganda which seeks to influence our society with what can be described as one of the ugliest developed societies on the planet – namely America

  15. John

    Judith W

    My “Job Service Provider” client service officer/desk warmer is younger than my daughter. She is the fourth one in two years, this one shipped in from Darwin. Apparently they are rotated out of the office before they get to know their clients. She tried to get me in to their office twice a week for a bit of “job search” overservicing. I pointed out I have the internet at home and asked if they would subsidise the $8 round trip as i live 30 km away. She acceded to a visit once every three weeks.

    I send my mandatory 20 job applications a month report by email and added a read receipt request to the last one. It has not been opened…

  16. David Bruce

    Bring out the pitchforks! Turn off your TV, stop buying print media and buy local, not name brands! Writing letters to the editor is a waste of time. Buy gold or silver bullion and be prepared for a major currency adjustment when China controls the medium of exchange! North Korea is a distraction created by the Zionists who pretend to be Jewish. The real action will be in Indonesia later this year. Only a revolution can change the status quo, as history has recorded through the ages. Are we so infused with Hexafluorosilicic acid, commonly used for water fluoridation, that we can’t get off the sofa?

  17. paul walter

    Good comment Joseph Carli early.

    As for unemployment, people actually believe that the 5% of today is the same sort of 5% as a generation ago, mainly because so few people have discovered how the measure of unemployment is so different today.

    The measurement criteria got changed because measured the old way, today’s unemployment would have people rioting on the streets.

  18. Clean livin

    A solution in the offering. Implement a ( variable) expenditure tax, and cancel ALL other taxes.
    Say, 0.1% on living essentials and 500% on luxury goods.
    No need to dodge taxes, move profits overseas, etc. and no need for deductions.
    But what really matters is, it makes money worthless until spent! Then GOTHCHA!

  19. stephentardrew

    Straight shooting Christian and spot on.

  20. Brett Stokes

    We need greed limits urgently – simplest perhaps is the idea of a variable GST, escalating for higher priced items (a bit as per suggestion here by Clean livin),

    We also need a decent Universal Basic Income (or Guaranteed Adequate Income as per the Greens’ policy).

    Then we can tell all these cruel parasites to f off.

    And there are plenty of other stupidities in need of correction.

  21. win jeavons

    Bring back the CES indeed . Centrelink increasingly resembles the Labyrinth with a bull headed monster at its heart. Decisions made destroy lives, clients are made to wait interminably and the phone service (?) is a bad joke . As for the “employment agencies” they are rent takers, offering non existent jobs .This should be entirely a government responsibility, so all know who to blame for the mess we are in today. Also, in my opinion a “job” is only a job when you can live on the pay, which one cannot with much casual work. And casual work is a sure way to damage families, specially those with young children !

  22. Harquebus

    I think that incompetence has a large part to play. Either way, our current economic system based on growth and consumption is unsustainable. That should be obvious to all by now.
    Our politicians are failing to face reality and are only seeking but, not finding ways to continue business as usual rather than design a new economy using the Earth’s natural sustainability as the goal.

    How can this slide be stopped?
    Stop borrowing currency and keep paying down your debt. It’ll soon stop.
    In other words, discourage home loan and other borrowing.

  23. Tristan Ewins

    Interesting what you mention about the exploitation of the working poor on the United States ; arguably US middle income living standards depend on this ; and on this basis the US working class is divided. If my understanding is correct it could be viewed as an outer dialectic compared with the overall (inner) dialectic of class struggle in the US. That can be seen as a ‘safety valve’ to maintain the support of the (middle income) working class for the system in the US.

  24. Tristan Ewins

    What you say about the media is also poignant. We need for platforms like AIMN to ‘break into the mainstream’… Once more The old is dying and yet the new is struggling to be born. How long will it take for alternative media to really become ‘mainstream’? Or will the corporations somehow reassert their control?

  25. townsvilleblog

    The problem being that in reality it is NOT the 1% but rather the 0.1% of the global population who are wealthy beyond our wildest dreams and we are very quickly coming to a cross road where we stand and fight or retain our apathy and lose everything. There are still working people in this country calling themselves “middle class” when in reality all they really own is a car under 5 years old and a convex microwave oven, and a huge debt on the plastic. I am proud to be “working class” and in the 70s we fought like tigers to see wages and conditions grow, and since then the generations who have followed have traded all those wages and conditions that we fought for away for not very much in return.
    My hope is with Sally McManus the new ACTU Secretary but she can’t do it on her own, workers need to develop some militancy which is difficult when the ‘real’ unemployment rate for August was 10.2% but fight the workforce must, I also take heart from the RAFFWU new union covering retail and fast food workers which is quickly growing to replace the old right wing SDA who have the gall to call themselves a union and who have sold their members out.First item on the agenda is to rid ourselves of this wicked rabid right wing government, then put a lot of pressure on the Labor government that replaces it.

  26. townsvilleblog

    HarquebusSeptember 8, 2017 at 11:48 am would I be correct in thinking that you own your own home and are living a debt free life, but do not want to see the younger generation to have same?

  27. townsvilleblog

    win jeavonsSeptember 8, 2017 at 9:33 am in August there were 1.241 million Australians “underemployed” which lends facts to your argument, according to Roy Morgan Research which was 9.5% of the workforce up 2.4% on last year. In August 2.565 million people were either unemployed or underemployed (19.7%) of the workforce.

  28. townsvilleblog

    Brett StokesSeptember 7, 2017 at 10:54 pm and to achieve this aim all that need happen is to make all corporations domestic and foreign pay their fair share of taxation whereas as things stand now 30% of corporations pay no tax, not a cent, whilst the remainder pay between zero and 5% and are getting away with it, and have been from 2013 when “their’ mates got into government.

  29. Chris

    @John…
    “I send my mandatory 20 job applications a month report by email and added a read receipt request to the last one. It has not been opened…”

    You might consider adding a read receipt request to each one, and then after a month sharing the results with your most progressive senator (or your rep if it’s someone like Adam Bandt or Andrew Wilkie). Never know what might get asked in Estimates….

  30. Harquebus

    townsvilleblog
    Like the other poor people around me, I live in government provided housing. Lucky me.
    I am also debt free. My choice and no luck involved. I don’t even have a credit card. I make do.

    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” — Boyd K. Packer

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