Letting the Side Down: Prince Andrew, the Royal…

The choking cloud of Jeffrey Epstein’s paedophilic legacy has been floating over…

Now is the time, Mr Morrison.

"In this bucket is my house", Aaron Crowe tells other unquiet Australians…

Climate Change: Is it now Benign or Catastrophic?

By Keith AntonysenThe science of climate change began through Jean Fourier believing…

Open Guidelines: The Foreign Interference Problem in Australian…

Education has always been a political matter, whatever the apolitical advocates of…

Money and power completely out of balance

Reading today of Bill Gates being once more top of the tree…

Children's Letters To ScoMo

A few weeks ago, Scott Morrison sent a tweet about a letter…

Government idiocy costing us billions

With a headline like that, I could go on to discuss innumerable…

I have nothing but contempt for Scott Morrison

I write today with heavy spirit and considerable anger about men and…

«
»
Facebook

The Taxed Nots. Who are they and what should we do with them?

When the Government chooses not to participate in active job creation, the expectation on people seeking employment to engage in active participation welfare programs, is unfair, burdensome, stigmatising, demoralising and counterproductive. Mutual Obligation under the Keating Government was developed based on the notion that the Government would also commit to job creation and increase vocational training. This is not the case today, nor has it been for some time.  The Government is not investing in job creation and vocational education has been largely privatised and is predominantly inaccessible and unaffordable to those who most need it.  Active Participation welfare programs are punitive and are underpinned by the assumption that the jobseeker is lazy and needs motivation by a paternalistic guiding hand to participate in society as a full human being. It is time for a new narrative and a new solution.

The latest narrative – The Taxed Nots. Who are they?

They are bludgers, rorters, welfare cheats, the undeserving poor, the drug addled, leaners not lifters, people with their hand out, a hindrance to the ‘national interest’, people who don’t try hard enough, job refusers, taking loans from the tax-payer, won’t get off the couch, lack participation, who go from the school gate to Centrelink’s front door, self-entitled, sitting at home playing X-box and eating cheezels and now the latest …The Taxed Nots.

The Taxed Nots – what should we do with them?

We need to drug test them, force them into unpaid labour, manage their income, give them a card to label them and not trust them with cash, push the welfare cops after them, get them moving, force them to live 45% below the poverty line and if they are poverty line newbie, we should starve them for six months whist the Government simultaneously breaches human rights obligations. .

With the exception of John Howard’s gem, “the undeserving poor” and Amanda Vanstone’s “Don’t try hard enough and refuse jobs”, these are just some of the labels the Australian Liberal Party has given to those seeking employment and just some of the ‘solutions’ to assist the jobless to find employment, since 2013. Pretty confronting when it is wrapped up in neat little paragraphs, isn’t it?

The dehumanisation and the stigmatisation of those seeking employment must cease immediately and a new narrative and new solutions need to start today.

A little history

Mutual obligation has always existed within the jobseeker framework.  However, mutual obligation penalties were discretionary and mostly non financial (ie write on your dole form where you looked for work this week).  However, postponement of payment could occur for up to two weeks.  This was dropped in 1984 as it was causing hardship, but reinstated in 1987.  The widening of activity based breaches will be discussed in the next section. Active Labour Market Participation (ALMP) programs were the shift towards paternalistic and punitive measures and financial penalties for the unemployed.

Active Labour Market Participation (ALMP) programs commenced under the Hawke/Keating Government. The  original intention of the ALMP programs was to manage retraining and to assist new workers to move across industries in the new globalisation and at a time where long time unemployment was the new reality and had shifted from a long period of relatively low unemployment.

Zigarus ¹ (2004) sums up another driver as, “In essence, this approach holds that the unemployment rate is influenced by how actively the unemployed search for work. The more effort people make to find jobs, and the less choosy they are about what jobs they will take, the lower the overall unemployment.”

Regardless of how well intentioned ALMP programs were when they were introduced, the very essence of these programs are driven by the notion that the unemployed do not have the same desires to achieve a full life as the employed do and they are inherently lazy.   Paternalistic and punitive welfare measures are also the antecedents to enabling the stigmatisation of the unemployed. The era of the ALMP programs were the beginning of segregating the unemployed as separate citizens from those who are employed – the bludgers and the workers. Even within the cohort of the unemployed, the narrative was able to change from discussing welfare as a necessity for those out of work to those who deserved assistance and those who did not.  Those who needed a hand up and those who just wanted a hand out.  This narrative continues today and it has become increasingly more comfortable for politicians to use this stigmatising rhetoric with conviction.

Punitive measures intensified under Howard

The shift in ALMP programs under John Howard introduced the concept that unpaid labour should be imposed on those seeking employment. Howard’s notion was to deserve a hand out, the recipient must give back to the community.  This adds the public’s scrutinisation of the intentions of the jobseeker to the mix.  Work for the Dole and similar unpaid labour programs normalised the perception that jobseekers had to be forced to work, as they were not motivated to do so; and if they were working as unpaid labour, this would be the impetus to force them to look for paid labour.

Financial Penalties under Howard

The Howard Government dismantled Keating’s Working Nation (job creation, increased Labor market programs and training and mutual obligation, including breaching penalties). Financial penalties increased and the activity for which you could be breached significantly widened under the Liberals “Australian’s Working Together” policy.  The other notable shift from Keating’s policy to Howard’s policy was that financial penalties moved from discretionary to enforced by legislation and contractual obligation on the jobsearch provider.

The initial extremely punitive measures are outlined by Eardley et. al ² as:

The initial legislation proposed to strengthen breaching arrangements by extending the activity test non-payment period to six weeks for the first breach and 13 weeks for all subsequent breaches, while all administrative breaches would incur rate reductions of 25 per cent for eight weeks.

Welfare groups successfully lobbied and this initial bill was defeated in Parliament. However, less severe penalties were adopted.  This included an 8 week breach of 100% loss of benefit after the third breach. The Abbott Government put up a bill in 2014 which sought to exempt new Newstart recipients from payment for six months. This has been defeated/taken off the table and a bill for Newstart recipients to be exempt for six weeks, is still progressing though today’s parliament.  This shows the long standing determination of the Liberal Party to impose harsh and extreme measures on the unemployed.  This also shows the shift from welfare as a human right to dignity, to one of targeting the disadvantaged as a means for budget savings.

Other notable changes

Structural changes to jobseeker programs to note (but not limited to) are:

  • The inclusion and shift from other benefits to jobseeker associated benefits (Single Parents and Disability recipients shifted to jobsearch programs.)
  • The increase in mutual obligation age brackets from 17-18 years, to 18-30 years to 18-49 years and now 18-60 years and over
  • Intensive case management
  • Enforceable preparing for work agreements
  • Increased obligation to search for more jobs, or a breach is imposed
  • The length of time travelled to search for job, or a breach is imposed
  • Relocation expectation
  • Implementation of Government approved doctors only (not jobseeker’s own doctor)
  • Shift to a jobsearch payment from Disability pension if you can work 30 hours per week down to 15 hours per week
  • Shift from Government provider to private contracted providers
  • Obligation to jobsearch if not employed for more than 70 hours per fortnight (jobsearch is a requirement although you have gained employment)
  • Income Management (Basic’s Card – non-cash component imposed)

The jobseeker’s positioning in Australia.

The reality of a jobseeker securing work in Australia, is that there are 19 jobseekers for every job available in Australia (as of May, 2016). That is however, not a true figure, as it needs to be considered that not all jobseekers are equally qualified for all jobs.  Therefore, for some, the jobseeker to job vacancy ratio is much higher.  In addition, vocational education and training has become less available and less accessible for those seeking employment; particularly in lower income brackets. Changes to eligibility for vocational training (ie The Certificate 3 Guarantee is for any eligible Queensland resident who does not already hold and is not currently enrolled into, a post-school Certificate III or higher qualification.)  Therefore if you hold a cert III in one vocational area, for example beauty, you are not eligible to undertake vocational training at cert 3 level in business administration.

In addition, specialised services such as JPET (Job placement, employment and training for homeless and disadvantaged young people) have ceased and are now replaced with a one-stop-shop model of ‘streams’ of unemployment.

The Liberal Party’s small government, free market mindset, is an inherent propensity to shy away from job creation and allow the free market to ‘sort out the jobs’, rather than the socialisation of job creation projects.  Government’s who do not commit to job creation are not complying with their mutual obligation to the nation’s unemployed citizens.  The onus is completely on the jobseeker and the framework within the jobseeker must search for jobs, is unrealistic; secure full time jobs and skills development get increasingly more difficult to obtain.

It should also be noted that barriers to employment and the adverse outcomes of financial and other punitive measures are more severe for (but not limited to); Indigenous Australians, single parents, jobseekers with a disability, youth and homeless and disadvantaged jobseekers.

The new narrative and the new solutions

To achieve the re-humanisation and the de-stigmatisation of those seeking employment; the jobsearch model must shift to a jobseeker-centric framework and away from a budget savings measures framework where jobseekers are currently seen as a strain on the public purse and a dehumanised as a target for savings measures.

Therefore, the jobsearch framework needs to shift from one of mandatory participation to one of voluntary participation.

Jobseekers need to be allowed free agency to participate freely in jobsearch activities.  To do this, the narrative needs to shift from the stigmatising rhetoric outlined in the beginning of this article to a more supportive narrative. Jobseekers should be given the support and recognition by Government that they have the same hopes, dreams and aims as the employed and are actively participating in job search to improve their life circumstance.

This then shifts the narrative away from the current underpinning assumption that jobseekers need a paternalistic guiding hand to motivate them; to a narrative that has the underpinning assumption that jobseekers are intrinsically motivated to seek employment.

This then shifts the onus for outcomes from the jobseeker and the public expectation to punish them for non-achievement to the public expectation that the Government of the day has an obligation to perform and enable an environment conducive to an expectation that secure employment can be achieved.

This should put pressure on the Government of the day to engage fully in job creation projects and the public less likely to accept the promises of a free market, small Government intervention model.  This means that there would be an increase in the expectation that the Government would create jobs where it had the power to do so.  This may include Government intervention to increase positions in all Government owned, operated and funded entities at local, state and federal level.  This may also include Government intervention to make mandatory the requirement for quotas within Government funded infrastructure projects to achieve targets of employing those who are employed and underemployed.

This should also put pressure on the Government to ensure they meet the obligation of providing skills development opportunities for those seeking employment. This may mean the implementation of yearly quotas of trainees and apprentices for all Government owned and funded organisations.  This would also place pressure on the Government to provide affordable access to TAFE and other training for all jobseekers, both under employed and unemployed.

In regional and rural areas where there is a higher concentration of unemployment; this should also put pressure on the Government to decentralise the public sector at state and federal level. In addition, pressure should be placed on the Government to provide attractive incentives for SME’s and large corporations to invest in relocations or start ups in regional and rural areas.

Government change to enhance the current model would also require the adoption of a basic wage, which will shift the public perception of one that jobseekers are welfare dependent, to a perception of a human right to a basic wage for all citizens.  This will also enable the underemployed to be as competitive for jobs as the unemployed.  Currently some incentives favour only the long term unemployed and lock the under employed out of the labour market.   Punitive measures such as income management (basic card) and financial penalties would no longer need to exist.

The most critical shift that needs to occur is for citizens to reject the stigmatising narrative that currently exists around those seeking employment today; as this narrative is the antecedent for the entire burden of secure employment to fall on the jobseeker, rather than the onus of providing citizens with full, secure employment on the Government.

All of the above can be achieved and it can start with a rejection of the current dehumanising and stigmatising narrative surrounding jobseekers; and it should start with all of us today.

“Stigma is a process by which the reaction of others spoils normal identity.”
―Erving Goffman

 

1 Ziguras, Stephen (2004) “Australian Social Security Policy and Job-Seekers’ Motivation,” Journal of Economic and Social Policy: Vol. 9: No. 1, pp 1-24

Tony Eardley, Jude Brown, Margot Rawsthorne, Kate Norris, Liz Emrys, 2005, The impact of breaching on income support customers, Social Policy Research Centre (UNSW)

Originally published on Polyfeministix

173 comments

Login here Register here
  1. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Excellent article, Trish Corry.

    I would also add two recommendations:

    1) while significantly increasing Newstart to close the 45% gap below-the-poverty-line, the Government must allow unemployed and under-employed people to earn more money per fortnight if they are lucky enough to gain any temporary employment. This way they don’t gain with the one hand and LOSE with the other. That hardly incentivises them to seek employment!

    2) The Government should get serious about providing financial incentives in the form of Micro Finance to unemployed and under-employed people (over and above Newstart for a reasonable period), if they seek to begin their own Micro Businesses in their own fields of expertise. This Micro Finance would come in the forms of Micro Finance Grants @ $10,000+ which don’t need to be paid back and Micro Finance Loans @ $20,000+ @ affordable repayment and interest rates. Forget the LNP bullshit StartUp programs which are only designed for the already ‘entitled’. The Government must get serious about MicroFinance for low and no income people since there are no jobs and energetic and intelligent people on Newstart want to begin their own microbusinesses to derive their own sustainable self-employment.

  2. Trish Corry

    Excellent suggestions Jennifer. There are so many things to add – a thesis worth or more. I’m keen to hear any other ideas. The more positive input, like your suggestions above are discussed, the more we move away from the existing negative and paternalistic model.

  3. Terry2

    By the by………..the media shy health minister Sussan Ley has slipped out a press release today saying that :

    ‘New bulk billing figures showing an increase in GP visits fully paid for by Medicare prove Labor’s campaign against the Government has no basis, Health Minister Sussan Ley says.’

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-28/medicare-figures-prove-labor-campaign-has-no-basis-ley-says/7791682

    A surprising analysis which obviously needs a great deal more scrutiny but somehow I doubt that it will.

    A recent survey by the Royal Australian College of Medical Practitioners showed that 29% of General Practitioners would be or had already scrapped Bulk Billing as a direct result of the government’s six year freeze on the Medicare Rebate to GP’s. This it was estimated would affect some 14.5 million patients who would have to start paying a co-payment. A further 22% of GP’s said they would restrict Bulk Billing or introduce capped fees for low income patients.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/federal-election/doctors-around-the-country-bringing-an-end-to-bulk-billing/news-story/67adaeb8ee527e0dfc49be11b6ebd674

    From everything I am hearing in my local area and from my own observations , GP’s are walking away from Bulk Billing and imposing co-payments or surcharges. I cannot see how Sussan Ley’s numbers are credible.

  4. Jack

    Just watching Malcolm Turnball on Insiders. He is such a sham. I don’t think he has ever got his hands dirty. He’s so insincere and talks like man who has experience very little hardship in his life. He’s one of those people who talks at you and not to you. He’s an incredible dumb and vain human being also.

  5. king1394

    First Aid Certificate, Construction White Card, Driver’s License, and industry essentials such as Responsible Service of Alcohol/Responsible Conduct of Gambling for the Hospitality industry need to be treated as basic Job Readiness requirements. Yet the Job Search Agencies are extremely reluctant to provide either the cash to pay for these requirements or to facilitate Pthe training which are needed by poor job searchers. Although the Government is providing a cash support funding for each registered job seeker, there seems to be no requirement on the JSA to expend it. When the Government audits the JSAs they may find out who is wasting taxpayers money. These lazy organisations do not even put effort into finding and publicising those free courses that come up at TAFE from time to time

  6. stephentardrew

    Great article time to promote Professor Bill Mitchell’s well researched and structured Job Guarantee program and stop unemployment altogether.

    The left are also failing to grasp the fact that we can have full employment all it takes is planning and the will to do. Post WW2 achieved it and it can be done again.

  7. townsvilleblog

    Trish, yet another great article from you, as usual well researched and good conclusions feature, thanks so much for this great effort, I agree with your thinking right down the line.

  8. silkworm

    Yes, this article totally misses the solutions that Modern Monetary Theory offers regarding full employment. The private sector cannot provide the jobs, so the public sector must step in.

  9. Marilyn R

    An excellent article, Trish Corry!

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith, I like your comment. What I am hearing from people is how difficult the agencies make the employment process and how rigid. The loss of submitted paper work and inefficiency that prevails is also outrageous. Privatisation has a lot to answer for.

    We can have full employment and there are a lot of opportunities out there but it is made so difficult and that is unnecessary. When Newstart is so low how are unemployed candidates supposed to travel to interviews or even survive? There also needs to be credible skills training and once again privatisation and the destruction of TAFe has impacted. Why are so many university graduates finding it so difficult to find employment in their field? Maybe it is because Universities now act as businesses and not educators.

    Clearly what is needed is more government involvement and a whole new system of training. Punishment is not the answer and only serves to reduce self esteem further which leads into a vicious circle. Let’s empower and encourage all people instead. Let’s provide the assistance that is needed and the employment opportunities for all that will bring this nation back to what it once was before globalisation, neoliberal policies and privatisation destroyed a fair go for all.

  10. diannaart

    People on welfare could be offered free college/uni/tafe courses and placements depending on ability (lots of talk about retraining, very little actually done about it) – and as stated by Jennifer, able to earn more than the present system which penalises instead of motivates. Retraining would then qualify a person for Austudy instead of New(NO)Start.

    Increase the rental assistance as well – people cannot retrain if living on streets, duh.

  11. DisablednDesperate

    Another excellent article.
    I cringed when I read what the Minister said about bulk billing rates. Firstly if the rates are going up it shows that more people can’t afford the gap. Second, I am on DSP and I have to see my GP every month. The gap is now $42 plus the $50 in medication per month. That is the reality.
    so many disabled being put onto Newstart yet there is no incentive for businesses to hire them. Why would they?
    Not being able to work kills me inside but to now feel shame on top………..the 40 years I worked count for nothing.

  12. Kim Southwood

    Our Prime Minister is a self described optimist, having reiterated that on this morning’s “Insiders” program. In the role of PM, I would really like to know what he is optimistic about in the context of Trish Corry’s excellent article above. He brings nothing new to the table except more pressure on those who benefit least. In current times we need a realist who can acknowledge and articulate openly the failings in our economic leadership and social fabric.

    Instead we have an impeccably educated, ex-barrister/venture capitalist whose life’s work has been built round optimistic outcomes. He presents eloquent arguments for band-aid policies and obliterates opposition with questionable but consummate ease It works well for those whose lives are predicated on an upwards trajectory to greater wealth and influence.

    However, that field is shrinking out there in the workplace on a per capita basis. The unemployed and the underemployed are increasing in number as is their lack of respect for and engagement in the processes of government and its oversight of the mechanisms which create employment opportunities. Optimism just doesn’t cut it.

    Calls for entrepreneurs and start-ups to provide necessary employment opportunities must also recognise the need for a motivated, skilled workforce to provide the driving force which makes such businesses succeed. Such motivation can only be grounded in greater recognition of equity and true worth of the individual; such skill can only be built on an education system that is focussed on future opportunities within the realms of each individual’s capacity.

  13. jim

    A great post,How is it allowed that we “a fair go mate ” country can belittle and ridicule our fellow citizens, I’ll tell you how just vote LNP and hey presto the suicide rate soars the depression rate soars the jails fill up employment rises, well then just vote LNP if you happen to be a sadist.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2817-right-wing-governments-increase-suicide-rates/

    We have the worst government . since 1949 and it’s the LNP,……As the Australia Institute’s research in June found – across a broad range of economic measures, the Abbott/Turnbull government has performed the worst of any Australian government since 1949. Economist Jim Stanford’s report examines economic performance across 12 indicators – including GDP per capita, the unemployment rate, employment growth and the growth of real business investment and intellectual property investment …

    In other newss The ALP WON NT

  14. Harquebus

    Peak energy per capita is well and truly behind us, as is jobs and growth.
    By consuming the least, the unemployed are doing the most.

  15. David

    Thank you Trish Corry!

    Perhaps you might be interested to know that the Australian Government paid $75,000,000 ($75 Million) to the Clinton Foundation. In the recent release of emails there is “Australia, Commonwealth of > $75,000,000 Strong State Dept. for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which stands to be a boon for Australian multinational firms.” My source from Wayne Madsen | Infowars.com – August 18, 2016:
    http://www.abeldanger.net/2016/08/chart-clinton-foundation-donations.html#more

    I wonder when this payment was made, by whom, and what was the benefit to the Australian Taxpayers who paid the bill?
    It doesn’t seem to pass the smell test?

  16. kerri

    Well said Trish Corry!

  17. Pissed Off

    1. Ring your job Provider
    2. Ask them how long you have been on their books
    3. Then ask them to email you a list of jobs they have put you forward for
    4. Then sit back in disbelief

  18. Matters Not

    Re David at 1:07 pm

    Australia, Commonwealth of > $75,000,000 Strong State Dept. for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which stands to be a boon for Australian multinational firms.

    Wow! Perhaps there is a ‘simple’ explanation. But until.

    One wonders what meaning to give to a boon for Australian multinational firms. While I understand that the TPP will be a boon for all ‘multinationals’ (what with ISDS clauses and all that), the notion that Australian multinationals will gain some particular advantage is beyond me. This is worthy of a detailed explanation.

  19. paulwalter

    For some reason this society has a grudge against people on welfare. I have watched it get more and more vicious over decades, welfare battlers are such a soft target.

    I really am watching closely to see whether the ALP betrays us or not and am not sure the evidence is all that encouraging.

  20. Matters Not

    David at 1.30. Treat any reports by Wayne Madsen with the utmost scepticism.

    For example, he has Obama as being ‘gay’. Using his ‘basketball’ activities as a cover to pick up men and having homosexual trysts with various Congressional members.

    Just one of his many ‘conspirator’ fantasies. $70 + million donation to the Clintons. I don’t think so

    You can read more here..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Madsen

  21. wam

    There is ample evidence of private enterprise taking liberties with public money and hedging the minimum wage for the vulnerable. The basic card is little different from the food stamps given to underpaid american workers at walmartian circumstances, But the real bite to the libs is their disregard for collateral damage. If a private company gets to keep the results of ‘punitive’ measures they will have the strongest motive for erring NOT on the unemployed side(something howard would do for free).
    The fact that anyone votes for these men and women is beyond my ken.
    However, I have a facebook full of men who see dole bludgers and union troublemakers behind every industrial tree. Argue vociferously that there is nothing racist in booing goodes, bananas at betts(The AFL have just announced that they are bringing in the “Banned Fruit Register”) or faceblacking and whose reason for having a plebiscite is ‘don’t want politicians making decisions for me’.
    They think I am bleeding heart lefty with no understanding of life and how right they may be. But, unlike shorten and ch9, I can present arguments to their american posts and jokes.

  22. Bighead1883

    Well reported and researched Trish,
    You wrote ” This should also put pressure on the Government to ensure they meet the obligation of providing skills development opportunities for those seeking employment”
    Under a government that had an ideology this would be paramount,but alas we`ll only receive lip service from the LNP and MSM

    Half way through the the LNP`s first term it was clearly revealed that Job Providing Agencies were paid a stipend for each active jobseeker they had on their books
    When we has the CES we knew the real numbers,but not now because it ” PAYS” to have/keep people on your active list

    We heard how even when some people found work themselves certain agencies put their hands out to the “New Employers” stating that they made these people job ready and wanted their “cut” for the first 3 mths of employment with ” their” trainee

    Privatisation of employment seeking agencies is a fraud,as are private prisons and health care
    Private schools have proven to be the same as they lean on taxpayers for their “share” of education funding whilst pocketing fees

    The “taxed nots” are the corporations and rich who even evade GST via their ABN`s which returns monies paid or is offset against legit liabilities but paid for with rorting that the working stiff cannot do as a PAYG taxpayer

    What are the true unemployment figures?

  23. Judith W

    This attack on welfare recipients as the taxed not is disgraceful. As well as the super right who consider it their duty to minimise their tax obligations as much as possible, there are also those who avoid gst payments by operating in a cash society.

    On another point – if there are meaningful jobs (considered suitable as “work for the dole” or internships) then why aren’t they advertised as paid positions?

  24. Trish Corry

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I have been away from the computer all day, so sorry I haven’t commented back, but I do appreciated your comments. Thank you for reading. I’ll have a good read of all the comments soon.

  25. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So Bighead,

    what would Labor do? Different but little steps that pretend to make improvements for vulnerable Newstart people, are just pretend politicking.

    What real, substantial improvements would Labor do? (Considering your party’s record for Newstart recipients has been pathetic in recent years.)

    (Apologies to Trish, for the change of mood. Your article is a good one because you are making a concerted effort in identifying the serious problems that need addressing by whoever the government is.)

  26. Michael Taylor

    “What are the true unemployment figures?”

    I’m guessing they’re much higher than the reported figures. On top of that, the ‘true employment figures’ hide the full extent of underemployment.

  27. Trish Corry

    My “probably never to be finished” PhD thesis is in this area. My thesis if ever completed would contribute to theory by seeking to understand the emotions experienced by disadvantaged jobseekers as they move between home work and learning. I also was raised in a family where my father was on the disabled pension. I have a very sincere interest in this area. Education can completely change your life and so can employment. Everyone in society has a basic right to education and employment.

    What would Labor do? The entire impetus behind my article is to create discussion that all these ‘incremental steps’ not only the political parties, but us as citizens accept, snowball into a negative system that is not the best system for those seeking employment and those on welfare. So it is not just about us whinging what this party or that party would do, but my article is also about what responsibility do we take with what we accept from the Govt.

    We see more protest movements about animals, the reef, climate change, mining, fracking etc., than about the way the unemployed are treated in this country.

    I have been and will continue to do my own things to progress my thoughts to people who can effect change. Without the citizenry making noise or pushing ideas to political parties about this, nothing will change, as most people just accept this system as just fine. They also accept the narrative that is used to describe jobseekers and the newspapers reinforce it.

    I’m afraid this is much bigger than ‘what would Labor do’ The first thing Labor Should do if people decide to vote them into power so they can effect change, is make the system voluntary and change the narrative, most other things will flow from there. That is what Labor should do. It is what the LNP should do, it what every party should advocate for if they are not in power. Apart from Rachel Siewert’s tenacity about increasing Newstart and some in Labor reinforcing this, I’ve not seen one politician in any party or any Independent come close to start rejecting our current system that is put in place to support jobseekers.

  28. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Bighead,

    that was a cop-out answer. I followed your link but I’m not going through any registration procedures to get a simple answer. Duh!

    I want YOU to state what Labor will do!

    So what would Labor do with regards to the unemployed and under-employed on Newstart?

    Your response will prove you know what Labor stands for on this most important human rights issue for unemployed Aussies.

  29. Bighead1883

    JMS
    My answer is no cop out,your own lack of understanding and inability to look through the positive policies Labor has is the cop out
    If you don`t wish to read them just say so

    POSITIVE POLICY
    Fast-tracking Priority National Infrastructure Projects>> http://www.100positivepolicies.org.au/fast-tracking_priority_national_infrastructure_projects

    POSITIVE POLICY
    Plan for Australian Metals Manufacturing and Jobs>> http://www.100positivepolicies.org.au/plan_for_australian_metals_manufacturing_and_jobs

    POSITIVE POLICY
    Backing Apprenticeships>> http://www.100positivepolicies.org.au/backing_apprenticeships

    These are just 3 of 32 POSITIVE JOB POLICIES Labor has

  30. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Bighead,

    I note your THREE examples are suited to a particular demographic in our society ie largely male-orientated blue collar workforce industries.

    Since you portray yourself as an authority on Labor principles, I would have thought you could find more diverse and inclusive examples of how Labor can address our disgusting unemployment and under-employment situation with equitable solutions.

    Sadly, you failed.

  31. Trish Corry

    “The left are also failing to grasp the fact that we can have full employment all it takes is planning and the will to do”

    Stephen what do you mean about full employment? Full employment is considered 5% unemployment rate. It is really important when we discuss policies you are talking about above to make it clear what “full employment” actually means.

  32. Bighead1883

    JMS,you never,and proved your insanity yet again,now stop trolling me

  33. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Bighead,

    if I was a troll, Michael and Carol would have expunged me.

    Are you sure you’re not the troll and insane to go with it?

    I forgive you for your sins.

  34. Trish Corry

    To answer your question Jennifer. Shorten’s Labor released a suite of policies and an agenda of achieving full employment. Which in Australia is considered around 5% For example you will always get frictional employment (people moving between jobs) Full employment does not mean 0% unemployment. (Maybe some of the economists may want to add some more)

    Shorten has discussed a number of times about Labor’s commitment to full employment. Labor have some policies similar to some of my suggestions – ie X amount of apprentices and trainees to be a standard in any Govt funded infrastructure project for example.

    He gave an entire speech at the National Press Club address about full employment and under employment.

    However, any policies which build off of the existing framework of mandatory participation and punitive measures are not the ideal, even if they may achieve good outcomes off the current system for some.

    I see a few types of commentary here on AIMN on my own pieces. One view is to be entirely cynical that Labor has any positive plans to do anything, even if these things exist. So that brings me to those who are the cynics, don’t really take the time to see what Labor plans to do in the first place.

    Please remember that I am a member of Labor, an avid supporter of Labor, but I am NOT the voice of Labor, nor do I sit in their caucus meetings and I do not represent the party’s views as a whole. My blog pieces are my own that is it. Just like the comments you are typing are your own.

    I hope we don’t spend 200 odd comments bashing Labor again. I hope I actually do see comments about the existing system and the plight of the unemployed and what can be done to improve it.

  35. wakeupandsmellthehumans

    The question about the real unemployment figures is a good one. The issue of the casualisation of the workforce is also sadly lacking in the public dialogue. I have casual employment but my boss isn’t casual at all. Neither is my bank or my landlord or my energy provider or my supermarket. They simply won’t take my casual income into consideration.

  36. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    With respects Trish,

    I will try to differentiate your status within the Labor hierarchy before I make comments and expectations.

    However, my question is of paramount importance. I want to know what Labor will do to address the human rights abuses of unemployed and under-employed people on Newstart.

    This means I want Labor to say it will SIGnificantly INcrease each fortnightly Newstart payment to each INclusively eligible Newstart recipient.

  37. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Very good point,

    wakeupandsmellthehumans.

    My very smart 23 something daughter said to me the other day that she never expected to own her own property in Melbourne. What a smack in the face is that for any parent and the ones they love!

    I want Labor to address these every day grassroots issues that their own supporters and constituents understand. When Labor gives point blank answers to your question and mine, I will take them seriously again.

  38. Trish Corry

    Jennifer, I think you are missing the point that all decisions are currently being made within the current framework. Labor has spoken out against and blocked various negative welfare measures by the LNP, Labor has proposed a suite of policies for employment and also a proposed a review of Newstart.

    However, in saying all of this. We should not be talking about increases to Newstart, we should be talking about a basic wage. It doesn’t matter what Labor or does not propose within the current system, as the problem is the existing system of mandatory participation, punitive measures and financial penalties underpins the harm that is caused.

    The conversation I’d personally like to be having is – If we think this system is wrong, then how do we push the major parties (as these ARE the only ones who can govern) to think differently about services and systems for the unemployed?

  39. Bacchus

    Trish

    Zero unemployment is somewhere around 2% with no underemployment – the 5%ish figure is based on the neocon ideal of the artificial construct called ‘NAIRU’ (Non-Accelerating-Inflation-Rate-of-Unemployment) which is designed to ensure a pool of unemployed in the economy to keep wages suppressed.

  40. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Now Trish,

    I must disagree. One, Labor has lost respectability for a decade or two with regards to how they describe the basic rights of Newstart recipients. No argument about that. Just ask any single parent with school age kids.

    Then, consider the other totalitarian conditions imposed under Labor’s watch.

    I’m trying to be nice now so remember that. Maybe, it’s time that people like you ADvocate at your state conferences for the voiceless growing UNemployed. One day, it might be you, and you, and you too.

    No unemployment is acceptable. Have you ever promoted Bill Mitchell’s Modern Monetary Theory?

    PLEASE do.

  41. Trish Corry

    Jennifer have you ever heard of the inverted triangle model? Labor is one of those – it is a bottom up model. It is actually the Grassroots members who have conversations in their community, who feed it back through branches and put policy to local and state and federal conferences that make the changes. This system is always improving, it is not a ‘its our system work with it’ attitude. But the notion that nothing is received from the grass roots and the Labor caucus sits in their ivory tower and makes decisions in a bubble, is way;, way off base. One of the biggest complaints from the Liberals is Labor conducts too many “focus groups” That is conservative talk for “They give a shit what the community thinks and we think that is wrong”

    It becomes a source of frustration that no matter how much people who are actually members of the party articulate this, that is is just constantly ignored by the regular Labor hating commentariat on AIMN.

  42. Trish Corry

    Baccus
    “the 5%ish figure is based on the neocon ideal of the artificial construct called ‘NAIRU’ (Non-Accelerating-Inflation-Rate-of-Unemployment) ”

    Thanks, this is worth it for me researching this further. So if we think outside a model of neo-liberalism than we only accept frictional employment, would you agree? Also, another of my main concerns is the implementation of the Job Capacity assessment where the state decides who is or how is not able to participate and be counted in ’employment/unemployment rates’

  43. Harquebus

    Trish.
    I take it then that, contrary to public opinion, major party donors have no influence over Labor policy.
    Yes, no?

  44. Trish Corry

    “I must disagree. One, Labor has lost respectability for a decade or two with regards to how they describe the basic rights of Newstart recipients. No argument about that. Just ask any single parent with school age kids.”

    Jennifer, do you notice any difference between Rudd/Gillard/Rudd and Shorten. I think that is the fundamental underlying question that my affect many of your assumptions about Labor.

    Until you come to some type of self awareness of if you believe Labor is different under Shorten than the other leaders, then you will just keep repeating the same arguments and my responses will be the same back; as I see very clearly that Shorten is taking Labor in a very different direction than ‘in the past’.

    Once again, you are fixated on the current system and what Labor should do within it. What do you think we need to do to get the major parties to think differently about Job seekers and the models which (don’t) support them? I would not expect any party’s thinking is not going to change, if this type of mandatory, punitive model is the accepted definition of a model of support by politicians and public alike.

  45. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Trish,

    so are you saying that Labor now currently would accept my constructive criticisms as an observer and not a paid-up member?

  46. Bacchus

    If we think this system is wrong, then how do we push the major parties (as these ARE the only ones who can govern) to think differently about services and systems for the unemployed?

    You could start by suggesting the financial brains trust (Bowen, Burke, Chalmers) talk to the likes of Bill Mitchell and Steven Hail about how a Job Guarantee could work.

    Another angle to look towards is Tim Dunlop’s new book, Why the Future is Workless, (https://web.facebook.com/timjdunlop/?fref=ts) due out this week – he looks at how employment will be affected by robotics and AI and what society will need to do to handle this. I think he mentions a Universal Basic Income as a possible answer – interestingly, Finland is starting an experimental trial of this concept shortly.

  47. Michael Taylor

    As one who worked for the Howard, Rudd then Gillard governments on social security legislation and pension/welfare payments policies I can attest that Rudd comes out on top for wanting to help welfare recipients, followed by Gillard, with Howard so far behind that one would need to take a compass and a cut lunch when searching for him.

    Rudd, in particular, was hampered by a ‘bastard’ opposition. No matter what he tried it was belted down. If the public knew how much money was wasted because of the opposition stalling everything they’d be horrified.

    The reason for the opposition’s stand was simple: anything the Labor government was trying was likely to be electorally popular so it had to be stopped at all costs. Changes to Youth Allowance was a good example. Labor had some great initiatives to help YA recipients from remote areas but Abbott (when he took over as LOTO) stalled everything. He would then run to the compliant media to complain that Labor was doing nothing to help YA recipients and he of course came out looking like the good guy. It was sickening.

    And when Rudd tried to bring in measures to help carers the same thing happened.

  48. Bacchus

    Apologies – the shadow finance brains trust I mentioned should lose Tony Burke and add Katy Gallagher, Jenny Macklin (Social services), Brendon O’Connor (Employment) and Andrew Leigh.

  49. Trish Corry

    Well it depends Jennifer. It depends on whether your constructive criticisms fit within the values system of Labor. As a member of Labor I certainly don’t bring any ideas from other that I personally feel go against our values to the table. I use my own discretion on that. No one in Labor is obliged to push what you think. But for example, Tracey Ahlmer had a blog post on here where she outlined a problem with the social security ruling for victims of domestic violence. Not only did I take that to my own branch, but I also took it directly to Bill Shorten at a town hall meeting and he came up to me after the town hall and asked me to write to him about it, because he wants to have a good look at that particular ruling in the legislation. Tracey has been made aware of this (and we are now friends on good old Facebook)

    That is just an example of how some things work. The other way is Union Organisers take the plight of their members to the party and progress policy. Many union members are not Labor voters, let alone Labor members. That is another way it can work.

    For someone so against Labor, you seem to want to have an awful lot of input on what they decide upon though. Why would you just not push you constructive criticisms to a party you consider much better? I find this a point of much confusion.

  50. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So why Michael Taylor,

    did Rudd fail to show his worthiness to poor, unemployed people. Perhaps he needed to do an apology-type of action that showed respect to unemployed people so they are perceived as truly deserving of proper financial support and advocacy in the job market.

  51. Trish Corry

    Michael, I am very anti-single parents being forced to participate in employment. Gillard is a supporter of this. Rudd spoke against it when he went for PM the second time. So just by that, I would gather than Rudd would be open to progressive welfare reforms.

    What a great experience to have that first hand insight. That particular period is so hard to even point to because of so many factors including the agenda setting by the media. I am so glad Bill Shorten does FB live feeds and town halls. That is ONE thing the media can’t manipulate for their own agenda.

  52. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Whatever the lost opportunities of that Rudd/Gillard/Rudd era,

    Shorten and later Labor needs to address OUTstanding issues that the electorate wants rectified.

  53. Bacchus

    So if we think outside a model of neo-liberalism than we only accept frictional employment, would you agree?

    Change ‘frictional employment’ to ‘frictional unemployment’ (which I’m sure you meant) and yes, I agree.

    Also, another of my main concerns is the implementation of the Job Capacity assessment where the state decides who is or how is not able to participate and be counted in ’employment/unemployment rates’

    I’d go further and do away with the concept of unemployment rates altogether. A Job Guarantee means everyone who wants a job will get one. Those who for various reasons cannot or choose not to participate in the Job Guarantee program will still need to be assessed for their capacity to work – how this is done will always be problematic. Just what welfare payments these people are paid also needs to be addressed. Perhaps this is where a Universal Basic Income approach has some merit?

  54. Michael Taylor

    Jennifer, you may have misread what I wrote. Rudd was trying very hard, but it was the opposition who was blocking everything.

  55. Harquebus

    So, what’s the going rate for a policy?
    Certainly out of reach of the unemployed I’ll bet.

  56. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Trish,

    sorry I missed your earlier response @ 8.03pm,

    but in my day of being an ironed-on totally dedicated Labor supporter, pre-polling booth person annoying type bossy person etc, etc, etc,

    I actually considered it important that the powers that be and in this current case it is Shorten, should make it clear and inviting to such as myself to WANT to come back to the party.

    IF Shorten can’t manage the energy for that, then stiff bikkies for Labor coz you’re missing SO many important, intelligent and energetic people who would willingly support if there was more inclusive leadership.

    Why do I see an ugly similarity between Turnbull and Shorten and must I say, Di Natale?

    TIME for TOTAL change so we seek good leaders of good parties with good intentions for good Aussies full stop.

  57. Michael Taylor

    “So, what’s the going rate for a policy?”

    I’m not with you, H’. I’m not sure what you mean.

  58. Trish Corry

    Yes, Sorry, I meant unemployment. I wrote this between 11pm and 9.am this morning and then went to bed for a few hours after I watched insiders, so I’m working currently on a very foggy brain, so please correct me if I say something that would imply the opposite to what I mean.

    I’m currently delving into the academic literature on MMT (I have watched Hail’s video a while ago). However, there seems to be more academic criticism of it, rather than acceptance by the wider body of economists. That is just an initial observation, I have no thoughts of my own on the topic yet (and I have also not studied economics at any great depth, so I will not be reaching any rash support or non-support for it in the near future).

    I am interested to read more about the Job’s Guarantee program and I will look into it.

  59. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Michael Taylor,

    I wish I knew that about Rudd at the time. I might have attempted to support his effort.

  60. Trish Corry

    Ok Jennifer. It appears you insist on being eternally pessimistic and cynical. I’m not sure, but you sound like Shorten should pick up the phone and congratulate you for how intelligent you are and that your great ideas will be beneficial to the party and to please join. The appeal needs to be both ways. You have zero respect for Labor, so why do you think you should a member of a party you have zero respect for and would it be weird having a branchie sitting there at the table saying how crap Labor is? Another point of confusion. There are about 23 million Australians. Decisions and progress are made by those who turn up. If you want to make any contributions to the ideas of any party (any party), if you are so passionate about it. Turn up to that party. That is the short of it.

  61. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m not fighting with you, Trish.

    I respect your loyalty to Labor and I mean that very much.

    What I don’t respect is Labor’s lack of respect to you and me and other mere believers coz the power-brokers don’t care about True Believers but Power-Brokers.

    Modern Labor operates like a business. NOT a good look,

    gals and guys.

  62. Trish Corry

    Ok. If I wanted to talk about the positives and negatives of the modern Labor party, I’d write an article about it and publish it here. I think we are getting quite away from topic, so my last comment on your queries about Labor is it from me. I’m not really in the mood today to keep rehashing the same old same old, from the same people who think I have every answer about Labor every time I publish something. Let’s talk about the Jobseeker model and the unemployed instead.

  63. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Trish,

    I’m appealing to you and your believing comrades to write an article that states what modern Australian Labor stands for and guarantees to deliver if in a position of parliamentary responsibility

  64. Harquebus

    Michael
    See my previous post.
    Trish states that the Labor Party is an inverted triangle where members “influence” policy.
    My point and opinion is, it is money that has the most influence in “dictating” policy.
    If the Greens ever get up, they will also succumb.

    “Don’t forget the golden rule.” — King from the Wizard of Id.
    “What’s the golden rule?” — Serf from the Wizard of Id.
    “Whoever has the gold makes the rules.” — Minstrel from the Wizard of Id.

    Cheers.

  65. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    And THAT article needs to be specifically about how Labor is going to provide ALL the jobs that will employ ALL the unemployed and under-employed.

    If however, that is not quite possible, i want the article to state how your Labor plan will work positively FOR people on Newstart no matter what their descriptive demographic.

  66. Trish Corry

    Thanks Jennifer, but possibly turn to the great number of Labor hating AIMN commentariat for that article. Why on earth would I put myself in that position, considering the abuse and other derogatory comments I get on here (plus inboxes and other communications stemming from here) every time I post something on AIMN? Nothing I could write on that topic would satisfy the incessant need for some of the Labor/Trish hating AIMN commentariat here to have their nasty little stabs and personally degrading remarks towards me, individually put as well as with the gang-pack mentality that occurs (today being a rare exception, and hopefully not jinxed yet). Why on earth would I put myself in that position?
    I’m just wondering if the topic of the blog post is of little interest to you, as you have commented more on your thoughts on Labor than the actual topic at hand.

  67. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Harquebus,

    I can see your frustration. I think I’ve shared it but experienced in a different way.

    Please refrain from equating the Greens with Labor. Labor lost its integrity in the early ’80s and the Greens still have a chance if we can examine Di Natale’s administration. Don’t give up.

  68. The AIM Network

    JM-S, please feel free to write the article for us if it is important to you. All the authors here write whatever they want to. They don’t write about what they’re told to.

  69. Trish Corry

    Thank you AIM Network!

  70. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Trish,

    you are the person I would have liked to have been, if Labor had stayed TRUE to the rest of us.

    Listen to the criticisms and you might exact effective change that benefits ALL of us.

  71. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If I write an article, it will probably regurgitate much of what I’ve been advocating. If that suits, I’ll do it.

  72. Trish Corry

    Thanks Jennifer, but can you please stop talking about Labor now? I’m feeling rather uncomfortable that the comments are all about bitching about Labor when there are people starving on Newstart and being denied the right to cash payments and being punished for being unemployed. Maybe we can talk about that.

  73. Bighead1883

    Antony Green was/is one of the best exponents of keeping control of an article as editor of the ABC`s The Drum
    I thought personal attacks were not allowed,yet they abound
    I fight back when attacked as anyone should

    Trish Corry,your resoluteness is admirable and once again,well done

  74. Kevin Brown

    My wife is in her last year at Uni doing an RN degree. The last QLD LNP Government drastically reduced the number of RN places at QLD Health so there are many RNs either, out of work, moved interstate or working in jobs other than what they were trained to do. Then I see an ad from a Company recruiting 457 Visa workers. Included in their list of jobs available, RNs, and the list of other professions was staggering. My Son has been looking for an apprenticeship in electrical or refrigeration for the past 4 years without success. Every ad that appears has hundreds, if not thousands of applicants and the criteria for these apprenticeships is just ridiculous. Some looking for at least 1 year experience in the trade. My Son has done Cert III certificates in a few related industries and pre vocational training and other courses relating to both Electrical and Refrigeration and even worked as trades assistant for a couple of sparkies and one supplier. But it’s still not enough. The Government needs to address this situation and get more young people into trades so we can reduce or stop the 457 Visa program altogether

  75. Michael Taylor

    “Listen to the criticisms and you might exact effective change that benefits ALL of us”.

    Jennifer, Trish wrote an article and threw open some ideas for debate. I don’t know how she can be held responsible for all the ills in the world. Now please, off her back.

  76. Michael Taylor

    “I thought personal attacks were not allowed, yet they abound”.

    That is why a couple of your comments were removed.

  77. Michael Taylor

    Antony Green probably had a few moderators that received a wage from the ABC. Our moderators do the moderating in their spare time, for zilch.

  78. JohnB

    Trish,
    Enjoy your articles – as a fellow Labor member I share many of your frustrations with the effectiveness of the Labor party in lowering unemployment rates. We can never ‘solve’ the unemployment problem without first identifying its cause – and the cause is embedded in ‘monetarist’ economic policy settings.

    Your para following the heading “A little history” did not go back far enough – you need to go back to at least 1945 to understand why/how the unemployment rate averaged around 2.2% for near 30 yrs.
    With memories of the depression era, it took an impending much feared ‘political’ crisis of no jobs for WW2 veterans to forge the changes set out in Coomb’s/Curtin’s 1945 ‘white paper’ on employment.

    I suggest that the high unemployment rate of the last 40+ years is structural – it is characteristic of economic ‘monetarism’ that blossomed into dominance after the economic ‘oil price shocks’ of the 1970’s.
    Neoliberals globally pounced on the opportunity presented by turbulent economics of the 1970’s to dismantle govt employment regulation/control established in Australia after 1945.

    I recommend Bill Mitchell’s video “1945 White Paper on Full Employment Workshop – Sydney, May 30, 2015”
    It is 1H45M in length, but every speaker adds valuable contribution to ones understanding of “how we got to where we are today”.
    Your “probably never to be finished” PhD thesis” must contain reference to the 1945 ‘white paper’ – it is fundamental to Australian labour history.

    Modern ALP politicians tinker at the edges of this structural unemployment problem, and I expect no substantive change can or will occur until some severe economic/unemployment crisis drives such fundamental change – the all powerful wealthy neocons are securely (and very profitably) administering economic monetarism – the ‘balanced budget’ is their most effective weapon against ‘full employment’, and sadly, it is wielded without embarrassment (or understanding?) by many Labor politicians.
    In my view, pressure from the ACTU and progressive trade unions may be the only way to expel current neoliberal economic groupthink from ALP economic policy – but change it must!
    We need union members to demand their organisational executives drive change.

    Only through dedicated fiscal/taxation measures can a govt. ensure employment is the cornerstone of economic policy – and that will be over the dead bodies of (corrupt?) populist neoliberals of all political stripes.
    We must strive to ensure our national economy exists primarily to serve the people’s needs – not corporate profiteers.

    I do what I can at branch level by educating fellow members/associates on the reality of macroeconomics. The level of misunderstanding is palpable – especially among ‘experienced’ long term members who mostly respond to my educational utterances with incredulous skepticism – but none has yet proved me wrong.

  79. Bighead1883

    I`m fine with having my personal attack comments removed,as they should be and I hope those who attack myself and Trish Corry personally take head

  80. Matters Not

    Bacchus at 7:49 pm provides insight re the future as speculated by Dunlop (and others).

    he looks at how employment will be affected by robotics and AI and what society will need to do to handle this.

    When I was growing up, much ‘work’ was mind bending (apart from the social interactional dimension). As an example (only), being a ‘check- out’ chick once had an important ‘skill’ component. One had to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide and do so with both speed and accuracy. Now that’s not the case. When people shop these days, they don’t even interact with a human. Just a machine. Flash the plastic and walk away. It’s technology that does the Arithmetic and does so with an accuracy that’s appreciated.

    At one level, it’s great to not be burdened by well meaning ‘checkout’ types and their relative inefficiencies. So it is with ATMs, internet banking, BPay, automated debits for rates, electricity, and the like.

    Of course, the ‘unemployment’ problem could be solved if we banned all that ‘electronic’ activity. We could go further and ban the use of ‘tractors, ‘bulldozers’, cranes and the like. We could legislate the compulsory use of ‘bucket and spades’. Or if we wanted to get really, really serious we could ban buckets as well.

    The fundamental point is that we proceed down a technological path for any number of reasons. Most of those paths are ‘labour displacing’ and also produce greatly increased profits for those who employ such technology.

    Therefore, the (economic) problem lies not with the ‘technology’ as such but with the ‘surplus’ value created and who should benefit from same.

  81. Michael Taylor

    Bighead, we don’t always have a moderator on board. If comments get through that would normally be removed if a moderator was on hand then we can’t help that. We mostly have to rely on the commenters to display some courtesy and respect.

    However authors are free to remove comments from their topics as they see fit.

  82. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes, I shall refrain.

    My attacks are not against Trish,

    I want answers from central Labor where the strategies happen.

  83. Elle

    I appreciated the strong stance towards pushing forward a completely different and new narrative, a more humanising one.

    I was taken back by a few things, in particular ….”affordable access to TAFE”

    Maybe the narrative (ideology) should change there too?

    I noticed this very ‘same narrative’ used by Shorten and if my memory serves me well by Di Natale too this year.

    Not exactly progressive grassroots (bottom up) thinking, IMO. But rather still (promoting) neoliberalism.

    Remember when TAFE was free? (minus the little administration/registration fee)

  84. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If Bighead is complaining about abuse, he needs to be examined also.

  85. Trish Corry

    Sorry JMS, but I consider Biggy and Corny my mates so no support for disparaging comments about either of them.
    Perhaps you could comment on the topic of the article now, if you want to add to your previous suggestions with a way forward.

  86. Matters Not

    Back to Bacchus again:

    where a Universal Basic Income approach has some merit?

    Will have to happen. If there’s to be the ‘good’ future.

    Why spend time, money and effort to give the punters false hopes re ’employment’ prospects when it’s neither necessary nor desirable, at least when economic concepts are brought to bear.

    As for the ‘psychological’ and ‘sociological’ consequences, then that’s a completely different dimension.

  87. Trish Corry

    Hi Elle. I’m not sure what you mean here:

    I was taken back by a few things, in particular ….”affordable access to TAFE”

    Could you please explain further?

  88. Bighead1883

    Cheers Michael and I`ll try harder to refrain

  89. Trish Corry

    Wow JohnB – wouldn’t I love to have a cuppa with you! You have mentioned so many important things. Thanks you have given me food for thought about how far back I consider what currently impacts on the current climate. I will definitely have a look at the link you provided.

  90. Matters Not

    Then there’s the problem of ’employment’ and how it’s ‘conceptualised’. For many (if not most) people these days, ’employment’ is equated with an activity that produces an ‘income’ as defined in terms of dollars. Hence those who ‘stay at home’ are (often) considered (pejoratively) to be unemployed.

    Perhaps a ‘rethink’ might be in order? Particularly if it’s a yet to be defined future we are discussing.

  91. Elle

    Trish,

    TAFE used to be free (besides the administration/registration fee, which wasn’t that much, less than the annual days (mandatory) public school fees.)

    These days TAFE courses cost students thousands, not a few hundred, thousands and for some courses ten thousand and upwards.

    Then there are the certificates (courses) via TAFE which cost students hundreds of dollars. Not exactly “easily accessible or affordable” for the unemployed and underemployed.

    NewMatilda published a pretty good article the other day worth re-reading. Not just the article, but more importantly the comments below the article where quite a few readers go into detail explaining how the job agencies refuse to help them retrain or upskill in the field they want (TAFE et al). The JA and most likely government refusal to provide the funding to do the course and in other cases, some of them at the JA either didn’t have a clue or refused to help the job seeker on their books apply for the course and so on.

    https://newmatilda.com/2016/08/25/how-job-agencies-bully-the-unemployed-and-get-away-with-it/

    Which brings me to the narrative of Job Providing Agencies in your article. Are you proposing some thing like the CES?

  92. Elle

    Matters Not,

    In regards to UBI, robotics and AI (within the next 20 years)

    Have you noticed that no one, not even Sanders, Stein, Corbyn, Shorten or Di Natale have not bothered to discuss this?

    The discourse continues to be centred around 20th century thinking and corporate speak.

    Sharing this video for anyone who has not yet watched it. Which pretty much discusses the rise of robotics and AI. There is a light debate around the UBI towards the end (I think?) Where one of the guys more or less states that UBI will be the final policy to save what is left of capitalism.

    Robert McChesney & John Nichols – The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMLESEobnFU

  93. Matters Not

    JohnB at 9:58 pm

    through dedicated fiscal/taxation measures can a govt. ensure employment is the cornerstone of economic policy

    So you are arguing that employment is the cornerstone of economic policy. Can I ask why? Is it for ‘economic’ reasons or ‘social’ reasons? Please explain.

    Elle, thanks for the link but I am only writing this as I ‘edit’ but I will watch.

    Is ’employment’ an ‘end’ in itself? Or a means to an ‘end’?

    And if you care to respond, what is the ‘end’ you have in mind? And might there be different ‘ways’ to achieve that ‘end’?

  94. Elle

    Matters Not…

    [ Then there’s the problem of ’employment’ and how it’s ‘conceptualised’. For many (if not most) people these days, ’employment’ is equated with an activity that produces an ‘income’ as defined in terms of dollars. Hence those who ‘stay at home’ are (often) considered (pejoratively) to be unemployed.

    Perhaps a ‘rethink’ might be in order? Particularly if it’s a yet to be defined future we are discussing. ]

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    And a rethink of “secure employment”.

    What does that mean exactly in a globalised world economy (and freedom of movement) with current and new Trade Agreements and with the casualisation of the workforce?

  95. Trish Corry

    Hi Elle. Thanks for clearing that up. I used the words accessible and affordable as it no longer is! Yes, a new narrative around training needs to occur as well. I went to TAFE at 17 and it didn’t cost me anything for my office studies course. It gave me the skills to work as a secretary and a stenographer that we were not taught at school in shorthand and typing class. I am appalled at the state and federal view of vocational education and believe it should be invested in very heavily.

    I haven’t read the New Matilda article yet, but just from what you have said there, it reflects how the Government’s view of jobseekers interacts with vocational education. It is not currently a good fit at all.

  96. Matters Not

    Elle, Thanks for the link (I think), but I suspect it will explore what the future may hold and not look back to what ‘was’, which is so unlikely to be repeated.

    The inability of political parties to imagine a radically different future is a big problem, given their attachment to the past and what worked then.

    But then again, political parties are about the here and now, or at least the next election

  97. Harquebus

    JohnB
    “never ‘solve’ the unemployment problem without first identifying its cause – and the cause is embedded in ‘monetarist’ economic policy settins.”
    Nope, the cause is embedded in diminishing returns on resources, especially energy. Energy per capita is declining and it is a one way street.

    Our planet can only support so many jobs and as time progresses, that number will decrease.
    The alternative solution would be to reduce the size of the population but, that ain’t gonna happen voluntarily.
    Expect unemployment to continue increasing.

    Cheers.

  98. Trish Corry

    Casualisation of the workforce is one particular topic being fought against by the union movement currently. I think we will here much more about this in the near future. In opposition, Labor needs to make this a particular focus to push against the unstable Government we have now. However, it must be done in a way that will maintain business confidence and that is a real issue in Australia. Business will rally against any threat to the current power balance. Look at Penalty rates as an example. There is a line between how far you can push the system and the tipping point where it puts jobs at risk. Incremental change and a lot of stakeholder engagement would be required to get there, as casualisation has been ingrained in our society since Howard and secure employment seen less and less.

  99. Matters Not

    Casualisation of the workforce is one particular topic being fought against by the union movement currently

    Let me assure you, that ‘currently’ is not the word you should choose, if you want to be historically relevant. That fight’s been on the agenda since World War 2 in my ‘limited’ experience. Take the termination of married women in the teacher workforce each and every ‘Christmas’ for decades and decades as just one example..

    as casualisation has been ingrained in our society since Howard and secure employment seen less and less.

    Again, look above. To suggest that Howard was the cause of the push for casual employment is naïve at best.

    Certainly he didn’t resist same but to suggest he was ‘causal’ is a step too far.

  100. Trish Corry

    Um…Howard absolutely destroyed the right to collectively bargain. He absolutely destroyed the right to secure employment. He absolutely destroyed the right to union representation on site and he absolutely destroyed the right for protection from unfair dismissal.

    In my lifetime, Howard was the biggest disrupter and change in our Industrial relations system. In QLD Campbell Newman did his best to follow in the same manner. If Newman was the PM – God help us!

    No doubt casualisation has occurred over a long period, but the most recent major disruption started from Howard.

    I mentioned something that is currently happening. For you to see that as a point of dispute is incredible.

  101. Matters Not

    Howard absolutely destroyed the right to collectively bargain. He absolutely destroyed the right to secure employment. He absolutely destroyed the right to union representation on site and he absolutely destroyed the right for protection from unfair dismissal.

    Really?

    Ducks head and runs away. And wonders about ‘history’. The need for same. The definition of same. And the like. And the meaning one should give to ‘absolutely’,

    As for ‘God’ helping.

  102. JohnB

    @Matters Not August 28, 2016 at 11:08 pm
    I contend that a govt. should ensure availability of employment is the cornerstone of their domestic economic policy.
    It goes to providing citizens fair and equitable access/share in the nation’s social and economic productive capacity.

    @Harquebus August 28, 2016 at 11:23 pm
    Planetary limitations were not within the scope of my 09:58 comment.

  103. Elle

    Matters Not,

    It has been awhile since I watched the YT video myself. lol

    I recall at the time (and much time later) discussions taking place on various social media outlets, yet the discussions were not taking place (internationally) in the mainstream (experts, politicians et al).

    Every now and then an article (MSM) would be published to inform readers but again no real policy discussion in terms of preparedness, beyond STEM. No discussion by MSM and their pundits for those left behind (of certain generation), just vague commentary re preparedness (for our kids in school today), laughable, considering the cuts to education and the thousands of people still left behind today with more and more jobs outsourced.

    I don’t know how to quote…. so

    [ Is ’employment’ an ‘end’ in itself? Or a means to an ‘end’?

    And if you care to respond, what is the ‘end’ you have in mind? And might there be different ‘ways’ to achieve that ‘end’? ]

    I hate the way “employment/employed/employee” is used.

    It’s exactly what you described earlier. It’s like if you’re not employed (in the traditional sense), you are not really considered a “valuable” member of society. (economy nor profitable)

    A stay-at-home parent while they may not be employed, they’re still working.
    A retiree while not employed, isn’t exactly sitting around doing nothing. (Senior citizens are actually quite productive in the community (family, carers, volunteering, schools, and so on) as are so many on disability, carers, as are the financially insecure struggling artists and writers (always working and always busy), as are students, contract workers in between ‘contracts’ and freelancers and those who freelance in the new ‘gig economy’.

    I think the UBI is probably the best way forward atm.

    Is UBI an ‘end in itself” Or a means to an ‘end’? 🙂

    But back to the Trish’s article here and one of her comments further up just for a little bit….

    [ people starving on Newstart and being denied the right to cash payments and being punished for being unemployed. ]

    I’m frankly tired of the usual government and opposition response for “a review, or inquiry”.

    How many more do they need? Didn’t ACOSS, Australian Business Council et al already do a review and publish their report/s for the government?

    I personally believe that unemployment, disability and pension benefits need to be increased ASAP. Not wait for another review.

    I remember Shorten at one of the town halls this year answering a question about a pension rate increase. He stated that the ALP were not looking at increasing the pension at all. Neither party (ALP, LNP or the Greens) said a word about single parent pension either nor the thousands of people kicked off disability payments onto newstart (they might have? But I obviously wasn’t paying attention to the news that week?)

  104. Trish Corry

    Yes, Shorten has said that he is not looking to increase the pension (a serious point to be debated). However, I must add that he also said that he is in favour of the pension increasing in line with how it is indexed. Labor actually changed this from memory I think with Gillard. Labor stood firm and had some very contentious debates with the Liberals during the last parliament to block the Liberals cuts to pensions by changing Labor’s indexation formula.

    I’m not saying that Pensions do not need a blanket increase – they indeed do. But sometimes the whole picture adds to the debate.

    The problem I see with some of the things Labor support is the divide between the intention of the two parties in bipartisanship. For example; I had a special interest in the disability changes and followed the debate in both houses.

    Essentially Labor supported the changes, as their main concern were ‘people with disabilities being left to think they could not engage in work” (which WAS an issue raised many years ago. and prompted more services to engage with people with disabilities to support them into employment).

    However, the implementation by the liberals is focused on reducing payments and having savings measures.

    This is the main source of frustration for me with bipartisanship, is the implementation of the ruling party and how they intend to treat people once implemented, needs more consideration, rather than the broad idea.

    You can see in my article the same ‘intent’ was from Keating with the initial reforms of mutual obligation, compared to how John Howards intent was in implementing mutual obligation.

    And some say ideology does not matter. It does. It matters a great deal.

  105. Trish Corry

    Here is the comparison on pensions. A stark contrast I may add.

    Labor’s Record

    In 2009, Labor commissioned a comprehensive review into the adequacy of the pension. As a result of this review, Labor increased the pension base rate by the largest amount in its 100-year history.

    Labor’s reforms increased the base rate of the pension by more than $30 per week, and reformed the way the pension is indexed, to ensure that the pension keeps pace with the cost of living, now and into the future.

    As a result of these changes, full-rate pensioners now have an adequate standard of living in retirement.

    Labor also introduced a pension work bonus, to assist pensioners who want to work beyond retirement age, as well as the Housing Help for Seniors program, to help seniors who want to downsize to housing that better suits their needs.

    The Liberals’ Record

    Since coming to Government in 2013, the Liberal Government has launched an unprecedented attack on the living standards of Australian pensioners.

    In their first Budget, the Liberals tried to cut the indexation arrangements for the pension, a cut that would have seen pensioners left $80 per week worse off within a decade.

    They also tried to cut deeming thresholds, so pensioners would get a lower pension.

    Labor fought these cuts, and fortunately we forced the Government to abandon them.

    Unfortunately, we were not able to prevent the Liberals from ripping $1.3 billion from pensioner concessions – a cut that risks driving up the cost of things like rates, utilities and care registration for pensioners.

    They also want to increase the pension age to 70, a change that would give Australia the oldest pension age in the developed world.

    In their second Budget the Liberals cut the pension assets test – a cut that will leave 330,000 pensioners worse off when it comes into effect in 2017. Independent analysis indicates that half of all new retirees will be affected by these changes over the next 10 years.

    Because of a deal done between the Liberals and the Greens, this cut will come into effect in 2017.

  106. Elle

    Trish,

    Neoliberalism (and in this case casualisation of the workforce) wasn’t something that happened overnight with just Howard in the 90’s.

    Matters Not, already touched on “incremental change” towards casualisation of the workforce since ww2. The (increasing) trend towards casualisation started in the late 70’s/80’s. But it was sold to us as something else for another decade or so (choice).

    These things (policy) happened incrementally, we don’t always or usually ‘see it’ or ‘feel it’ right away. 30+ years later and here we are today.

    ….

    Between 1985 and 2001 2.5 million new jobs were created in Australia. However, most of the job losses in the period came in industries and occupations with high levels of full time and permanent employment. Most of the job gains came in industries characterised by low paid, part time and casual work.

    As a result, most of the net jobs growth in the 1990s was in part time and casual work, often in low paid and low skilled industries and occupations:

    • casual employment increased from 16% of employees in 1984 to 27% in 2002
    • part time employment increased from 18% of employees in 1984 to 29% in 2002
    • permanent full time employment fell from 74% of employees in 1988 to 61% in 2002
    • women accounted for three quarters of all the new jobs in low paying occupations in the period from 1985 to 2001

    The industries in which Australians work have changed. From 1985 to 1999:

    • the industries that experienced the largest net job losses were rail transport (58,000), electricity and gas supply (49,000), textiles, clothing and footwear (32,000) and finance (15,000).

    • the industries that experienced the strongest net jobs growth were property and business services (537,000), retailing (373,000), hospitality (228,000), education (175,000) and construction trade services (173,000).
    ….

    Between 1990 and 1995:

    • the proportion of all workplaces using labour hire workers increased from 14% to 21%
    • the proportion of large workplaces (more than 500 employees) using labour hire workers increased from 16% to 55%

    The growth in casual employment has been driven by employer choice – 68% of casuals say they would prefer more predictable patterns of work.

    (The document also discusses workers who also are working longer hours and not being paid overtime, but would prefer to work less hours.)

    http://www.actu.org.au/media/244135/fowexsum.pdf

    Goodness me, what happened in the 80’s and 90’s. (not a question lol) Look at the industries which started to boom and those who fell. Ah, we were not coming off the back of another recession (or two?). Was this the very early stages (incremental change) towards the Financialisation of the (world) economy?

  107. Trish Corry

    “These things (policy) happened incrementally, we don’t always or usually ‘see it’ or ‘feel it’ right away. 30+ years later and here we are today.”

    Elle, thanks for explaining my article to me. :/

    I did indeed address the changes Keating implemented were born on the back of globalisation, the need for retraining and a shift to long term unemployment after periods of relatively short term unemployment.

    I am quite aware change occurs over a period of time and Australia has a long history of Industrial relations. There are limits to what you can put into an article. This one is already 2000 words. Perhaps others may like to write an article on the pre-Keating/Hawke history for readers, but I’m not interested in that as a specific task. But to imply I’m oblivious to the Industrial relations history in this country, is a little confusing. I’m not sure how you can even gauge that about a person from one article or a few comments.

    My point about Howard is he brought with him a drastic change in how we operated within the work place and took away so many things that underpinned the security of our work. My other point with Howard (and backed by the independent reviews of this period) is that he shifted the employment model from one of service with some discretionary penalties attached to one of punishment with mandatory financial penalties attached. It was Howard that was behind this huge shift in the way the nation began to think about those who are unemployed.

  108. Trish Corry

    As Michael Taylor said earlier:

    August 28, 2016 at 7:54 pm Edit
    As one who worked for the Howard, Rudd then Gillard governments on social security legislation and pension/welfare payments policies I can attest that Rudd comes out on top for wanting to help welfare recipients, followed by Gillard, with Howard so far behind that one would need to take a compass and a cut lunch when searching for him.

  109. Elle

    [ their second Budget the Liberals cut the pension assets test – a cut that will leave 330,000 pensioners worse off when it comes into effect in 2017. ]

    More than 300,000 Age Pensioners will have their Age Pension entitlements cut, with just under 100,000 of those affected Australians losing all Age Pension entitlements, taking immediate effect from 1 January 2017.

    As a couple, if you currently receive the Age Pension, and you own more than $823,000 in assets including super and all other assets (but excluding your home), then you will no longer receive the Age Pension from 1 January 2017.

    For those Age Pensioner home-owning couples who own less than $823,000 in assets, but more than $450,000 in assets, then expect your Age Pension entitlements to also be hit.

    As a single person, if you currently receive the Age Pension, and you own more than $547,000 in assets including super and all other assets (but excluding your home), then you will lose your Age Pension entitlements from 1 January 2017.

    For those Age Pensioner home-owning single people who own less than $547,000 in assets but more than $290,000 in assets, then expect your Age Pension entitlements to also be hit.

    The stricter Age Pension assets test will operate as follows: The taper rate for the assets test, which determines how much Age Pension you receive, will reduce your Age Pension entitlement by $3 a fortnight for every $1000 of assets you own over the full Age Pension threshold, taking effect from 1 January 2017. Currently, the taper rate is $1.50 per $1000 of assets over the full Age Pension threshold.

    On the upside, according to the government, an additional 50,000 lucky Australians will receive the FULL Age Pension (rather than their current PART Age Pension entitlement) due to an increase in the assets-test free area threshold, effective from January 2017. If your assets are below the assets-test free area threshold, you then receive the FULL Age Pension.

    From 1 January 2017, the assets-test free threshold will increase from $202,000 for a single person (home-owner) to $250,000, and for a home-owning couple, increase from $286,500 to $375,000.

    For non-homeowners, the threshold increases from $354,500 to $450,000 for a single person, and increases from $440,500 to $575,000 for a couple who don’t own their own home.

    The expansion of the lower threshold means 50,000 more Australians will be entitled to a FULL Age Pension, who currently receive a PART Age Pension, and the government estimates that increasing the threshold for FULL Age Pension entitlement will benefit 170,000 retired Australians. The assets-test free threshold is the measure for the FULL Age Pension, that is, when your assets, excluding the family home, are worth less than the threshold. You are then entitled to the FULL Age Pension, assuming you also meet the Age Pension income test.

    http://www.superguide.com.au/smsfs/300000-retired-australians-to-lose-some-or-all-age-pension-entitlements

    The link as you read it (very confusing lol) also stated that Shorten said he wouldn’t change this (new) change (law) if he was elected even though he disagreed with it. In another link (or maybe the same one) They also said this policy was something that ALP first brought up, which originally came from the Henry Tax Review.

    hmmm… See UBI sure does sound like a better way to go.

  110. Elle

    Trish,

    [ But to imply I’m oblivious to the Industrial relations history in this country, is a little confusing. I’m not sure how you can even gauge that about a person from one article or a few comments. ]

    I think you are misreading me here.

    As for word limits with articles, say no more. I understand.

    I think you would be familiar with John Passant work re Labor and Neoliberalism. I still struggle to read his writings on the matter. It pains me. It pains me because ALP just like Liberals are neoliberals. I remember the first time I read his writing explaining how Labors Carbon Tax Policy was neoliberalism. In my mind I was debating him, how could it be? Isn’t it a form of welfare distribution, that trickle down economics finally? That is how it was sold by some on the left, no?

    I can’t help but wonder if ALP didn’t start the ball rolling with neoliberal policies (as Passant describes) that maybe, perhaps? The Liberals would have a harder time to implement such measures?

    The way I am reading some of the comments under your article, some commenters are rejecting neoliberalism. And that would also include ALP neoliberalism.

    [ My point about Howard is he brought with him a drastic change in how we operated within the work place and took away so many things that underpinned the security of our work. My other point with Howard (and backed by the independent reviews of this period) is that he shifted the employment model from one of service with some discretionary penalties attached to one of punishment with mandatory financial penalties attached. It was Howard that was behind this huge shift in the way the nation began to think about those who are unemployed. ]

    Right, however that is not what some of us were talking about in regards to casualisation of the workforce BEFORE Howard

  111. Trish Corry

    “I can’t help but wonder if ALP didn’t start the ball rolling with neoliberal policies (as Passant describes) that maybe, perhaps? The Liberals would have a harder time to implement such measures?”

    Interesting Elle. I see this comment a lot and I made mention of it on another blog that this argument appears to be a consistent argument, particularly those who consider themselves “more left than Labor” as presuming from your comments, you don’t hate Labor because you are a Liberals supporter, but possibly Greens or another party.

    “This is a great article though I have some reservations Hawke-Keating introducing neo-liberal policies in the comments. I would argue they did go down the free-market path however, drawing the assumption that this is automatically ‘neo-liberal’ is a stretch. Neo-liberalism demands a pure Industrial-capitalist approach to the marketplace which in turn demands those that are unable to join it are not worthy of the support of the State per se — this has been displayed for instance the 1990s model of the exclusion of the poor from the Wisconsin electoral role in the US due to the fact that they were not ‘contributing members’ of their society and due to the fact they did not pay taxes. At no point (from memory) did the Hawke-Keating governments suggest that the unemployed be excluded from the care of the sovereign-state of Australia nor was it ever suggested that they should not still be able to vote, which would have happened should they have adopted a neo-liberal model of government. Notwithstandinng all of this ,the LNP are moving toward a neo-liberal agenda and Labor is no hero is the support of those that do not ‘contribute’ in the traditional way, work, tax etc, and really they’ve done very little to improve the plight of the unemployed etc… the list goes on.”

    Another economist I spoke to said that the changes Hawke/Keating made were necessary at the time and that if they were implemented under the Liberals it would be a very different Australia today. I’m not an economist and I’m not going to argue the finer points of economics.

    “Right, however that is not what some of us were talking about in regards to casualisation of the workforce BEFORE Howard”

    Okay – but still, word limit and such. It was only you and Matters Not actually who were discussing this. JohnB was talking about something different. In the context of the changes to the jobseeker/employment model, John Howard is a turning point. The article is not about a history of the casualisation of the workforce in Australia, where different points would be made.

    “The way I am reading some of the comments under your article, some commenters are rejecting neoliberalism. And that would also include ALP neoliberalism.”

    I’m not sure what your comment even means if you put it into context of Strobedriver’s comment I cut and paste above.

    I’m wondering do you mean that “Labor is not a purely socialist party bordering on communism and that is what it should be” When you say they are neo-liberals like the Liberals. It would help me understand if you could state maybe exactly how you believe any Govt should operate. Do you advocate a mix of state ownership and private ownership of business, or just state ownership? High taxing Govt, moderate or low taxing? If you can put it in the context of assistance to jobseekers, that would be great, so we don’t go any further off track.

  112. Matthew Oborne

    Unemployed bashing is the most rotten blame game around. What could the possible assumption be? We saw interest rates rise under Howard because unemployment fell below 5% so reality is unemployment is a financial mechanism not a measure of laziness. We dont have a leaner measure. It can be assumed a few dont want to work, so what the few that dont are less than 5 percent of the working population much less and as long as we have a system that punishes us for having too many people employed we have to understand unemployment can keep your mortgage lower. That is sick really a mortgage shouldnt be made affordable due to the amount of people working.

  113. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, Elle @ 2.26 am.

  114. Venetta Lee

    I like how you quietly slipped the Basic Income in at the end, this is ultimately what we need to move towards. With the understanding that 45% of jobs could be replaced by the technology we have at present should come the realisation that the job market will never return to it’s Utopian levels. Universal Basic Income and a shortening of the hours people work is the only way forward.
    If we cut the full-time week down to 32 hrs, keeping the same hourly rate and obliging employers to hire more staff to cover those hours it would create 1.6 million new full-time positions.
    By including a UBI of $300/wk it would fully compensate 80% of the work force and drastically reduce the cost of managing our welfare system by streamlining all the payments into one payment that everybody is eligible for. We already spend 50% of that per person of welfare and more full-time jobs = more income tax add in more disposable income = more GST it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to cover the full amount.

  115. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I like the idea of the UBI but unsure about the viability of the $300/wk level, as I wonder where that puts people, who want to try to own their own homes and who may not at this point of time for a variety of reasons.

    If only $300/wk, in current bank homeloan eligibility terms, I suspect the banks would continue to cut such low income people out of home ownership rights.

  116. Michael Taylor

    Trish (@ 1.26am) I could tell you some horror stories about the Howard years. I also worked on social security litigation. It would cost the government (the tax payer in reality) $5,000 to challenge a Social Security Appeals Tribunal finding if it found in favour of the welfare recipient. Our orders were to appeal everything, even if it was only $500 we were chasing. That’s right, spend $5,000 to try and get back $500 if the SSAT found that the recipient could keep the money.

    Rudd put an end to all that. He saw how ludicrous it was.

  117. Harquebus

    Michael
    I’ve been on that roundabout and suspect that it was around the same time.

    Authorized review officer, SSAT, AAT and High Court at which stage, Centrelink backed down but, not before I was able to get a Legal Aid Barrister to take on Centrelink’s barrister. The Legal Aide adviser was surprised to see me the second time because, she was sure that I would lose at the AAT.

    I went up alone against the Centrelink solicitor at the AAT who, does nothing else but represent Centrelink and I won. Trust me, the system is rigged against the Centrelinks customers by a minefield of complexity.
    Ooops. Who would know better than you?

    Kevin Andrews was minister at the time. I had contacted him a few times and after winning, he wrote and said that my win proves that the system is working. He did not care that I should never have been punished in the first place nor that the system is too complicated for most.

    I was set up. My name still appears in the AAT archives and I still have the six inch high pile of documents.

    I am fairly certain that Centrelink spent much more than $5000.

    Cheers.

  118. Michael Taylor

    H’, it costs $5,000 to appeal against an SSAT decision. To appeal against the AAT and take it to the federal court would cost much, much more. But under the Howard government the instruction was to appeal everything. Spare no expense. Teach these leaners a lesson.

  119. Harquebus

    Thanks Michael
    I am pretty sure that it was the High Court. AAT decisions can only be appealed on matters of law.
    Cheers.

  120. Michael Taylor

    You are correct on the matters of law, but by memory the federal court was the next step after the AAT. (But I’m not too sure, as none I ever worked on went further than the AAT).

  121. Michael Taylor

    Just Googled it. It’s the SSAT, then the AAT, then the federal court, then the high court.

  122. Harquebus

    Michael
    You are right. It was the Federal Court.
    Thanks.

  123. Elle

    Trish,

    I do not support neoliberalism.

    That would mean there is no way I am a Liberal supporter.

    Affordable TAFE IMO still falls under neoliberalism. As would job provider agencies in the way they operate now.

    I did ask you if you were thinking of something like CES instead of job provider agencies we have now for the unemployed.

    Remember when TAFE was fee at the point of delivery?
    Remember CES?

    Unless you mean the way we used to provide TAFE and Commonwealth Employment Services “is too socialistic and borderlines on communism”?

    In regards to the casualisation of the workforce. Historical referencing I don’t think is out of order, nor did it hurt to quickly discuss it. Otherwise it would be like only reading the last few chapters of a book and only concentrating on one or two things. Instead of the WHOLE picture. What drove the casualisation of the workforce in the way that it did for a decade (1985 – 1995)? (the summary I provided with link). Outsourcing of the manufacturing sector and the beginning stages of the financialisation of the (global) economy, we became a service economy at the back end of a couple of recessions.

    Which brings me to today the continuing casualisation of the workforce; underemployment, unemployment and what we have now Howard’s/Abbott/Turnbull version of reduced welfare payments, toughness on the unemployed and welfare recipients. In addition the continuing financialisation of the (global) economy and the rise of robots and AI… I see that we really do need a new 21st century deal, where I believe Universal Basic Income (that means for every one, not just the unemployed or underemployed) AND government Job Guarantee needs to be very much part of the new 21st century deal.

  124. Möbius Ecko

    Venetta Lee at 10:10 am

    With the understanding that 45% of jobs could be replaced by the technology we have at present should come the realisation that the job market will never return to it’s Utopian levels.

    Tim Dunlop’s new book “Why the Future is Workless” is worth the read.

    Currently 57% of the jobs in the world can be automated. Not that that many are at the moment, but they certainly can be. That figure will only grow.

  125. Matters Not

    Elle, I watched the link. And I wish more people would do that as well.

    Their description of what is ‘coming’ has merit. Quite accurate and all that (I think). It’s not going to be pretty for the vast bulk of the population. But I found their speculation (re how the population will react) rather disappointing. Too optimistic by far. History simply doesn’t support what they are predicting re the response.. Moreover their own explanation as to how we find ourselves in this situation seems to be ignored.

    They speak about ‘rising’ trade unionism. That’s not my experience. Indeed it’s the opposite of what the numbers show. They seem to place a great deal of faith in movements such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ and the like. Again I wonder where the evidence is for that hope. They seem to ignore the fact that so many ‘movements’ which promise so much simply fade away. Resistance(s) to social and economic directions as set by the rich and powerful requires much sterner stuff, if they are to be successful. And I don’t think that there’s any appetite for that at the moment. Maybe it will change. I hope so.

    Nevertheless it’s worthwhile viewing and thanks for the link. And I again urge people to watch it.

  126. trishcorry

    HI Elle. My question about what you define as Neo-Liberalism and you repetition of Labor is the same as Liberal and your focus on Labor in your comments, was do you consider yourself Left of Labor? I can pick up you are not a Liberal supporter.

    I think just because you are putting a few things out there, such as “if it wasn’t for Labor starting Neo-Liberalism in Australia would we be here today” (or similar) is that I am trying to understand what you mean by neo-Liberalism, as the cut and paste I inserted from StrobeDriver on another post, indicates Labor did not.

    I’m finding some of your points a little confusing. That is why I just asked your view of how Govt’s should operate, so I understand your stand. For example, Labor is not a far left socialist party. They are a democratic socialist party. They believe in a mixture of state controlled enterprise and the free market and Govt intervention. Where as the Libs opt towards as much free market as possible and small govt intervention. So My question basically is asking, how do you think Govt’s should be, so I can understand where you are coming from, with some of the things you say.

  127. Trish Corry

    With the TAFE system, I am at a loss as to why ‘affordable TAFE’ is neoliberalist. Where I say affordable TAFE, I mean that TAFE is able to be accessed by everyone. This may mean a number of models: Completely free (completely subsidised by the tax payer), Free with some administration costs (subsidised by the tax payer but to a lesser extent), A part-free (A percentage free and the rest paid by the student), A deferred model (HECS or HELP available for a deferred payment down the track, subsidised by the tax payer initially and then repayed by the student at a later date). All of these are open for discussion, as it really depends on what type of society you want to see. If you want everything to be totally free, then it needs to fit within out tax framework. I am prepared to pay higher taxes for more free public services, but many in the country are not.

    The other part of the TAFE Question is: accessibility – Not all students can access TAFE even if it was free in the current environment.
    CES – No, I do not see a return to the CES for a number of reasons. The main reason is that they did not do specialised or high support service very well. It was mainly set up for mainstream – ‘job-ready’ workers with a bit of support. Research in this field has brought us a long way from the CES.

    My vision would be a fully Govt owned and operated service. No private providers at all. In addition there should be targeted specialised services for not just job assistance need, but regional based need, as well.

    The funding model also is an issue. Currently it is a case-based funding model. The problem with this, is it leads to quick through-put and not quality outcomes. I would envisage a return to block funding, with audits in place to ensure that quality though-put is the aim, not quick through-put. I would also advocate Govt funded Advocacy services for jobseekers, possibly Govt funded and run by local community organisations, not necessarily Public sector. It should be a separate entity.

  128. Trish Corry

    As for the casualisation comment. It was suggested that this was an omission in my article. I disagree. Once again, if someone sees this as an important inclusion, please feel free to write it. My focus was on the specific changes in the employment model – not necessarily the external factors which impacted on the change. That is a different article altogether. I have no issue with it being raised, but the history of casualisation is not necessary for this article.

    Yes, we have a history of casual workforce. However, my point (as it refers to this article) is that during the period of John Howard, he removed the mechanisms that protected workers and created an enabling environment for rampant casualisation. The Workchoices act opened up more than ever before more incentive for employers to employ casual workers.

    During this time of employment growth, the casual workforce far exceeded the permanent workforce.

    In addition Howard’s welfare reforms were also conducive to casual labour. His moving people off other payments and into jobsearch opened up a market for low-wage casualised employment for low skilled workers.

    This is why I am speaking to this as particular to the article.

  129. Matters Not

    This may mean a number of models: Completely free (completely subsidised by the tax payer), Free with some administration costs (subsidised by the tax payer but to a lesser extent), A part-free (A percentage free and the rest paid by the student), A deferred model (HECS or HELP available for a deferred payment down the track, subsidised by the tax payer initially and then repayed by the student at a later date

    While you cite a number of possibilities, there are many others. A well trained workforce, for example, benefits employers ‘big time’. Where is the requirement that the main beneficiaries (perhaps) are paying their fair share? Or indeed any share? Now we know that there are so many companies that don’t pay tax in Australia (or anywhere else for that matter) yet they are benefitting from the ‘infrastructure’ provided locally (including the intellectual/skills dimension), so why shouldn’t some of the financial burden not fall on the shoulders of employers?

    That you didn’t consider that possibility might indicate the depth to which the neoliberal ideology has penetrated. But maybe not.

  130. Trish Corry

    *inserts “but not limited to” after the word “model” Because Matters Not insists on picking on semantical crap for the fun of it.

  131. Matters Not

    The answer re who should pay for ‘skills/education’ and the like varies across nations. In Germany, for example, the government and business proceed on the assumption that an ‘educated’ workforce is a ‘good thing’ for all concerned. German companies, for example, are prepared to pay for ‘skill’ development of their employees even though they recognise that a particular employee will use same to personally benefit via a movement to another company. For such employers, it’s a matter of ‘swings and roundabouts’. Lose some and win some. Companies, individuals and the Nation all benefit.

    In the US, there’s a different ‘common sense’. Initial ‘skill’ acquisition is the responsibility of the individual. Thus companies (generally speaking) don’t pay for the ‘education’ of low level employees. ‘Investment’ in that sense is all down to the ‘individual’. It all changes when the employee becomes ‘highly valued’ Then, the US companies are prepared to invest ‘big time’. Different nations have different ‘common senses’.

  132. Elle

    Trish,

    Thank you for clarifying your position in detail what you mean by “affordable TAFE and job provider agencies”

    We agree on more than you seem to realise. 🙂

    Was there much objection by the Australian community with the Medicare Levy slightly raised to help fund NDIS?

    Trish,
    I want to make this clear. I am on the LEFT.

    Just because sometimes us lefty folks point a few things out does not automatically mean we are liberal supporters or voters.

    For example, Gillard throwing single parents off the single parent pension, neoliberal agenda (yes Howard) but the ALP didn’t have to continue with it, yet they did.

    Outsourcing government services and/or continuation of them (privatisation); such as, detention centres, job provider agencies, correctional centres and transport services. Not to mention the privatisation of our Public Assets, such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Shipping Ports, Airports, Commercial Rail, Telecom, and Medibank. The incremental swing towards privatisation (model) of our vocational training colleges and Tertiary Education (HECS/HELP), and medicare is neoliberalism. This all happened yes mainly under a Liberal government but also under a Labor government, thus Labor does practise and implement neoliberalism (yes granted not to the same degree as the Liberals implement).

    …Which is why you often see those of us on the left (including Labor voters) mentioning it. Which is why there are articles discussing New Labor Party in the UK as neoliberals (Blairites) and why you also see articles discussing the Democrat party in the USA as neoliberals.

    So many other western democratic nations atm are pushing towards the Scandinavian Model ( democratic socialist model). Especially in terms of free education (for all).

    We agree on more than you think. Some of us just reject anything that remotely resembles even lite-neoliberalism, that’s all.

  133. Elle

    Matters Not,

    [ Elle, I watched the link. And I wish more people would do that as well.

    Their description of what is ‘coming’ has merit. Quite accurate and all that (I think). It’s not going to be pretty for the vast bulk of the population. But I found their speculation (re how the population will react) rather disappointing. Too optimistic by far. History simply doesn’t support what they are predicting re the response.. Moreover their own explanation as to how we find ourselves in this situation seems to be ignored. ]

    … It actually had me scared on top of already being frighten by the Liberal Party Agenda here. lol

    That optimism is American optimism (America, americans can do anything), It’s that light on the hill, that hope and change, we saved the world. I don’t mind a bit of optimism, it has it’s place when time isn’t running out. BUT. lol

    It’s been awhile since I watched it. I am a bit time poor atm, hopefully later in the week I’ll be able to revisit the video.

    I am glad you liked it and thank you for encouraging others to also watch it. I think this video and Tim Dunlop writings (I’ve only read extracts) go hand in hand. Möbius Ecko, thank you for grabbing our attention.

    [ They speak about ‘rising’ trade unionism. That’s not my experience. Indeed it’s the opposite of what the numbers show. They seem to place a great deal of faith in movements such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ and the like. Again I wonder where the evidence is for that hope. They seem to ignore the fact that so many ‘movements’ which promise so much simply fade away. Resistance(s) to social and economic directions as set by the rich and powerful requires much sterner stuff, if they are to be successful. And I don’t think that there’s any appetite for that at the moment. Maybe it will change. I hope so. ]

    …. Ah yes. I’m not sure, maybe they identify the power of the unions (as a block) during election season as “rising trade unionism”? Or maybe its just Americans Romanticizing their labour movement?

    Yes its that belief that civil rights movement, labour movement and women’s movement and so on, fixed everything and all is good in their world. Sighs. Discounting that it is not. Because (of) incremental change and the never ending “we must come to the middle and compromise”. See? All is good now – (that) Incremental change and compromising narrative, it’s a bit like that like trickle down economic narrative, yeah?

    Slightly off topic… excellent example of incremental change: Federal Min Wage. Obama and the Democrat party finally dropped their $10.10 and agreed to $12… Huge announcement, everyone cheered. But the devil is in the detail…. Not till 2020 and only for NEW federal employees, yet tax cuts for the wealthy, they don’t have to wait years for that, no.

    Incremental change/compromise means the perks are quickly distributed to the wealthy for the wealthy, the struggling working class just have to wait longer.

    You are absolutely correct there is NO appetite ANYWHERE. Not in Australia, Not in Europe, Not in the USA, Not in the UK.

    There is NO appetite ANYWHERE… (the promise) that incremental change and compromise (read that also as, review, inquiry, investigation, royal commissions) is the only way, that it has to be that way and eventually things will be better. People are not buying that line much these days, I’ve noticed.

    The ‘peasants’ are revolting and we wonder why. Unfortunately many of them are revolting and going towards the far right.

    The left continues to argue with progressives. Status Quo, Status Quo! The Greens and Labor continue their politicking. You just want to scream (out loud lol). Meanwhile, climate change, inequality, housing security, income security, job security, food security upmost urgency.

    [ Nevertheless it’s worthwhile viewing and thanks for the link. And I again urge people to watch it. ]

    …. Your welcome and thank you for encouraging others to check it out too.

    Robert McChesney & John Nichols – The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMLESEobnFU

    Tim Dunlop “Why the Future is Workless”

  134. Matters Not

    Elle I would like to respond in full but apparently when it comes to any form of ‘critical’ response I run the real risk I will be accused of:

    picking on semantical crap for the fun of it.

    ? ? ? . The reader, like Trish, will give whatever meaning they choose to that assertion. That’s unavoidable.

    As for a future PhD. ? ? ?

    Just jokin …

  135. nurses1968

    Some people are total effwits who seem to take delight in nitpicking Trish Corrys articles wouldn’t you think Matters Not
    As for being typical smartarses………
    Just jokin…

  136. Matters Not

    Always interesting that cornlegend and nurses1968 have the same inability to punctuate and the like. Same presentation style. Same ‘arguments’ – yes I know that’s a stretch.

    And yes I know, it’s all down to the ‘shared’ computer. ?

    No wonder the ALP has problems.

  137. diannaart

    Elle

    Standout commentary:

    The left continues to argue with progressives. Status Quo, Status Quo! The Greens and Labor continue their politicking. You just want to scream (out loud lol). Meanwhile, climate change, inequality, housing security, income security, job security, food security upmost urgency.

    In full agreement – lefties fighting progressives – neo-cons watch and laugh.

    Just because sometimes us lefty folks point a few things out does not automatically mean we are liberal supporters or voters.

    I wanted change so much I voted Labor this year – yet you’d think I was a right-wing plant the way any commentary I make regarding Labor is treated by certain paid-up members of the Labor party. I remind myself not all Labor members think alike. But tire of being called things like a “gaggle” or deliberately told I am not making any sense, just to avoid dealing with my POV.

    For what it’s worth, am not happy with the Greens since Di Natale took over – too much politicking – making deals with the LNP is never without strings attached. Same applies to Labor when they side with the LNP.

    A pox on the lot of ’em.

    I posted earlier on this thread, before the topic began to veer (as happens to all topics not just Trish’s):

    People on welfare could be offered free college/uni/tafe courses and placements depending on ability (lots of talk about retraining, very little actually done about it) – and as stated by Jennifer, able to earn more than the present system which penalises instead of motivates. Retraining would then qualify a person for Austudy instead of New(NO)Start.

    Increase the rental assistance as well – people cannot retrain if living on streets, duh.

    I believe it is reasonable to ask an active member of the Labor party, who wrote this article, what is Labor doing about the many blows to public education over the years? Starting with the introduction of HECS by Hawke, back in the 80’s ?

  138. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, diannaart. What is Labor doing about these basic human rights for Australian grassroots citizens?

  139. Trish Corry

    If I haven’t made it clear what I think needs to be done, I suggest you read the article again, particularly the last section. It has already been asked of you to refrain from blaming me and other members for everything Labor does or does not do. It’s a complete over-reach in expectation. It would also be appreciated if for once I could be granted individual merit or individual disproval of my articles rather than based on who I decide to vote for.

  140. Trish Corry

    What are the Government doing? Does anyone ever think about that? Labor Obsessed by Victoria Is the best article ever published on this site

  141. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Trish, if you are referring to my comment, then it wasn’t aimed at you personally.

    My comment is aimed at the current Labor organisation and the balance of power dominated by the Right and vested interest groups that fail to acknowledge vulnerable people on Welfare, as well as the student HECS debts that should never have been introduced back in the ’80s under Hawke/Keating .

    While I respect the discussion you have opened up, you should be pleased that your article provokes such discussion and that people are engaged enough to want to help find solutions that will only improve Labor’s performance and appeal to a wider voter demographic than the present.

    PS We are in full agreement that the LNP Degenerate Government is a TOTAL failure. That is all the more reason to motivate Labor to forge TOTAL remedies to the damage committed by the LNP.

  142. David

    Matters Not

    Regrettably, The matters to which you refer from Madsen are based on fact. If you choose to regard them as “conspiracy theories”, that is your choice, but it tells me you are part of the pantomime!

  143. Trish Corry

    What solutions? That my paid up membership means I relinquish my own identity and should know what caucus is doing? Do you know what the Manager of your local gym is thinking? My article was not exactly Labor friendly. Yet it’s still Labors fault although the most damaging periods have been Liberal. But we mustn’t talk about that! If I was a Liberal member would you still be so focused on Labor? This is not just about politics it’s about what we accept and reject as citizens

  144. helvityni

    I have been very puzzled by these exchanges here: this Coalition Government is the worst I have ever witnessed, but ALL the comments here seem to be about Labor’s short comings.

    The despicable Coalition gets off scot free.

    Fair crack of whip. 🙂

  145. Freethinker

    helvityniAugust 30, 2016 at 12:54 pm
    I have been very puzzled by these exchanges here: this Coalition Government is the worst I have ever witnessed, but ALL the comments here seem to be about Labor’s short comings. End of quote,

    If it is not the worst it come very close but going by the election results including the new independent senators looks like that the majority of the electorate wants more of the same.
    If you look at the polls even if Malcolm loosing popularity the people prefer him before Bill.

  146. Harquebus

    I have never known a better government. They have all been progressively worse.

  147. Trish Corry

    Thank you Helvityni it is frustrating

  148. diannaart

    Trish

    You think I should read your articles with more focus, well, here’s the deal, Trish. I have never blamed you or Cornie or Biggie for Labor’s manifold flaws. Try checking through MY comments for where I have said otherwise. All I have asked is whether Labor will be focussing upon repairing the damage that has occurred over many years by successive governments.

    I am not the first to ask, I doubt I will be the last.

    The reason this question keeps cropping up is because no one is answering not Bill Shorten and least of all Labor supporter who are so introspective any queries are regarded as threats.

    If you really believe it is unreasonable to ask Labor Party members what Labor is proposing, please explain why and clear up this block to communication between us – all of us being lefties, progressives, socialists, whatever shade of red we happen to be; we all want an end to neo-economics.

    I’ll try putting this another way – If you were a member of the LNP I would be asking much the same questions except way more forcefully, given the LNP has taken to extremes neo-economics, which is hard to fathom given that neo-economics starts from the far right to begin with.

    Helvityni

    The reason Labor comes under focus is because Trish et al, are very strident and vocal members of the Labor party. Maybe if they stopped the insinuations that anyone who dares to critique Labor must be secret members of the LNP, would be a good start.

  149. Trish Corry

    I should read my own articles……um okay……

  150. Trish Corry

    No one who regularly comments is ever accused of being a member of the LNP.

  151. paulwalter

    I could never read my own essays at uni after they were written and marked either. Urrk,know the feeling…It is an unhelpful trait, but modesty forbade as far as I was concerned also.

  152. diannaart

    Trish

    I should read my own articles……um okay……

    Too funny, did I ever say that? If so, where?

  153. Michael Taylor

    Harquebus, if they’ve all been progressively worse, then that means that the Barton government of 1901 was the best one. ?

  154. Harquebus

    Michael
    Not even “I” have been around that long.
    1977 was my first time voting.
    Cheers.

  155. paulwalter

    Barton was regarded as a conservative muddler and obstructionist. Yes Michael, it has all been downhill since the early high point…

  156. Michael Taylor

    Barton was a drunkard, hence the nickname ‘Tosspot Toby’. We certainly went the full circle when Abbott became PM.

  157. paulwalter

    Yes…I have wondered if he has a problem too. He made it to PM, screwed up on that and has deteriorated to becoming nothing better than an ideas-free nagging background noise. Certainly a whiff of denialism about him and he is a warning to me as to my own complacency; what happens to wise guys who pretend things are other than they are and dislocate from reality for fear of admitting an error.

    Hopefully he crashes in time hard enough to realise where what and who he really is and in the wake, redirects what talents he has toward something more constructive than lately, fashioned by a reversal of his current outlook…the dogs will tear him down also, otherwise.

  158. Elle

    Thank you Dianna and Jennifer MS.

    Agree with all your points. It *is* about social justice and in this case economic justice for all. (not just for the middle class)

    Maybe Labor and their hardcore members are still struggling with that concept? Not quite wrapping their heads around it completely, what does that exactly mean, economic justice for all? Words matter, framing matter. The narrative matters, especially when we blog about new ideas, whether from the progressive side, socialist side, labor membership side and when Labor speaks.

    i.e ‘affordable TAFE’

    Labor and their hardcore members keep telling us they ARE a ‘democratic socialist party’.

    Labor and their hardcore members need to just come out and say they no longer believe in universal education for all, just get it over and done with and be blunt about it. Inform the Australian people they will continue Hawke’s and Howards policy (neoliberal-lite and neoliberalism policy on that front (Tertiary and TAFE). Stay backward, continue with that neoliberal policy). Meanwhile, USA , UK (Corbyn policy) and many European nations are pushing ahead with universal education for all.

    People are starving for leadership, for a party to represent them (and not just represent the (upper) middle class and wealthy)

    People are no longer satisfied with crumbs. (compromise – ALP). Compromise = raising inequality (ALP/LNP)

    It’s about policy. Good policy. Evidence-based Policy. Long-term outcomes, not short term gains.

    I must say, Shorten was brilliant (for the most part) during the election campaign.

    Your Medicare card not your credit card.
    Interesting how things (polling) turned around with slogan, not so much when they used ‘universal healthcare and the principles of universal healthcare, liberals are undermining the principles of universal healthcare.’

    Albanese smearing of the Greens as socialists was the low point.

    And he did this as the international community (and many Australians) were starting to get to know Bernie Sanders and his socialist democrat position (policy, agenda) with a good size of the american population no longer fearful of reds under their beds. Albanese did this on the back end of The New Labor Party (UK) largest membership drive to elect Corbyn. Were the people coming out in force to join the UK party because of OLD Labor policies? Or were they coming out in force because of something else? Oh what could that “something else” be? Maybe this might be something for the ALP and their hardcore members to take (more) time to reflect on.

    Maybe it might be easier to have this particular conversation (universal education) in October (anniversary of Whitlam death). Some of us might not be smeared/accused with being Liberals, or socialist or borderline communist then.

    Americans are tired of “affordable healthcare” dribble. (there is that word again, ‘affordable’). They recognise “affordable healthcare” is NOT universal healthcare. They want universal healthcare for all.
    Sanders and his base held the democrat party feet to the fire and didn’t let up. The democrat party national platform now includes universal education for community colleges, vocational training colleges and state universities, FREE.

    Last year Hillary Clinton tried the ‘affordable education” framing/narrative. It was rejected. Grassroots activism – economic justice. Social justice won.

    I was disappointed to hear Shorten say “affordable TAFE” and then added “and put a cap on”. We will protect you from the mean, nasty neoliberal howard/abbott/turnbull liberals by implementing a cap on TAFE courses.
    Backwards. Backwards – ALP neoliberal (economics) – lite.

    Words matter. Framing matters. Narrative matters. Policy matters. Social Justice matters. Principles matter.

    What matters the most to Australians?

    We can establish medicare (universal healthcare) is at the top of the list and Australians weren’t that upset with a medicare levy increase to help fund NDIS.

    AND universal education!

  159. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes Elle,

    YOU speak ultimate sense.

    Long live GRASSROOTS activism.

  160. trishcorry

    Thank you Dianna and Jennifer MS.
    Agree with all your points. It *is* about social justice and in this case economic justice for all. (not just for the middle class)

    Oh look up there – its an entire article about social justice and the unemployed, who we can’t talk about because everyone is too busy bashing Labor.

    Shame on the bloody lot of you doing this! You can’t take a few moment out of your day to think about how this can be progressed for the sake of the people starving on welfare, because you are all so obsessed with bashing Labor. It is beginning to look like a disease. Seek help! Why bother comment if you just intend on patting each other on the back about how good each other’s Labor bashing skills are and not being serious about a very serious topic?

    “Words matter. Framing matters. Narrative matters. Policy matters. Social Justice matters. Principles matter.

    What matters the most to Australians?”

    You can’t be serious? Did you even read the article? Speechless!

  161. Matters Not

    trishcorry, what you don’t seem to get is that 99.9% of the people on this thread either vote for Labor either directly or indirectly via The Greens or at least did so in recent times. They are not in the business of voting LNP. Indeed, they would never consider voting for the LNP directly or even indirectly. Effectively they are Labor voters. I include myself here..

    What they are on about is expressing disappointment re what they perceive to be Labor’s current directions. And how to modify same.

    Just explaining.

  162. paulwalter

    No Trish. We want Labor to not be timid. We want it to stand up and be counted on serious issues like ripping off what remains of the dole and on civil liberties issues, FTAs and neolib austerity/ expropriations of the common wealth.

    We’ve never expected better from the Tories, their mindset seems impervious to change anyway.

    But Labor we kinda hope for better from, we presume they have a sense of fair play, some sense of what leftists call “consciousness”

  163. Trish Corry

    Thanks Matters Not. It would be just good for once, if my articles were taken seriously and not used as a Labor bashing fest “just because I proudly state I am a member.” That is where it ends. I do not write on behalf of the Labor party.

    People have plenty of forums to bash Labor on Facebook.

    I’m talking about people here in my article who cannot survive. People who are punished for no reason but being unemployed. But if I try to direct the conversation back to that, it is because I’m a whinger because I’m a member of Labor. I have had my heart and soul invested in the plight of the unemployed and disadvantaged for over 20 years. I haven’t written this as a joke.

    It is a bitter disappointment that an opportunity to bash Labor is all anyone has taken with them out of a solid 10 hours worth of writing on a very serious topic.

    I do not believe anyone is a LNP voter who is doing this. They are voters who think they are far more superior than Labor. They see themselves as the “True Left” and use any article they can to talk about how great they are. It is getting tiresome.

    This article is not exactly kind to Labor but it is the same old same old……

    If there is no serious discussion about the topic of the article over the next few comments (if there are any) I’m turning comments off! What is the point, if the comments have nothing to do with the article?

  164. Matters Not

    if my articles were taken seriously

    Can I suggest that because your articles are taken seriously there are so many comments. FFS, if you weren’t making waves then there would be no comments.

    bitter disappointment that an opportunity to bash Labor is all anyone has taken with them out of a solid 10 hours worth of writing on a very serious topic

    Sure it’s a very serious topic. Look at the reaction. The motive force isn’t ‘labor bashing’ (but I concede that a minority will give that meaning) but more about other avenues that might be explored.

    Don’t desist but be prepared to suffer the consequences of ‘advocacy’.

    Keep making waves.

  165. Trish Corry

    Thanks, possibly people could start with talking about the pros and cons of removing the ALMP model and making the jobsearch framework voluntary participation.

  166. Elle

    Trish,

    Universal Education is social justice, is economic justice.

    Affordable Education (Tertiary/TAFE, HECS/HELP) is NOT.

    I was talking about the principle of universal healthcare and education.

    I don’t have issues with your article. The framework is excellent and on the right track for your particular thesis.
    You also managed clarified a few things. Where we are in agreement.

    I didn’t realise our task was to only discuss within the narrow perimeters you set and not beyond that. What?
    Whether you are doing or not, this is how it feels.

    Nothing you propose in your article can be done NOW, 2016, 2017 or even 2018

    However between now and when Turnbull pulls the pin, Labor and the LEFT should be collaborating, fine tuning policy ideas, proposals.

    No one is against YOUR thesis

    The conversation moved on.

    “Shame on the bloody lot of you doing this! You can’t take a few moment out of your day to think about how this can be progressed for the sake of the people starving on welfare, because you are all so obsessed with bashing Labor.”

    Spare me.
    Nothing you propose in your article can be done NOW, 2016, 2017 or even 2018. Besides shifting hearts and minds with how we speak about welfare, the narrative. Not exactly sure how that is going to fill the starving bellies though. Words.

    However between now and when Turnbull eventually pulls the pin, Labor and the LEFT should be collaborating, fine tuning policy ideas, proposals. There are a number of additional policy ideas already shared by many readers, if you only you can look above what you see as “labor bashing”.

    Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016
    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3035529-SKM-C364e16082919270.html

    From what I can work out according to today “news”. Labor originally agreed with most of these measures? Now they’re quite upset by the inclusion of ARENA and Energy Supplement Payment Slush.

    So much more in this Omnibus Bill we aren’t hearing from Labour about that WILL impact on “the people starving on welfare”.

  167. Elle

    “Words matter. Framing matters. Narrative matters. Policy matters. Social Justice matters. Principles matter.

    I explained this, when I discussed Hillary Clintons Education Policy when she used the same framing as Shorten “affordable education” It was rejected. The public are not so stupid these days, they rejected the neoliberal economic (lite) policy. If you are paying attention, they rejected the OLD New Labor Party in the UK at their last election for similar reasons.

    Sander and his base (also on the left) held The LEFT WING PARTY (Democrats) feet to the fire and did not let up!
    He used ‘socialist borderline communist’ words like {gasp} “universal education”

    The Democrat Party Platform (at their convention) now has universal education (not affordable education) for all community colleges, vocational training and STATE (public) universities. Grassroots activism. Maybe you didn’t follow the debate. The debate was centred around economic justice, social mobility, including home ownership/affordable housing., economic growth, and so on…. Social Justice.

    Student debt is huge in the USA.

    Young people (in Australia and aboard) are priced out of the property market. There are many reason for which we don’t need to go into right now. But we can concentrate on the student loan aspect for the moment and how that plays into the wider dynamic in the economy and society overall. Graduates are loaded with huge debt. Many are not able to find employment in their field and/or secure employment. So we have job security here, income security, housing security, food security. How does this impact on the overall economy? Productivity? Society? Health? Communities? Not to mention the surplus of jobseekers vs lack of jobs out there?

    There is so much to think about, expand on ideas, policy etc beyond the back and forth mud wrestling and personals

    In many ways, with Turnbull in government we have a bit more time to get it together. Be a REAL alternative and get back to those democrat socialist principles and build on them. Enough of this neoliberalism-lite from the established left wing party’s… and that also includes neoliberal-lite discourse.

  168. Elle

    “The motive force isn’t ‘labor bashing’ (but I concede that a minority will give that meaning) but more about other avenues that might be explored.”

    Right.

    “They are voters who think they are far more superior than Labor. They see themselves as the “True Left” ”

    No. I certainly don’t see here, in here. I definitely don’t see myself as that.

    It is a discussion, people are putting across their POV. I see passionate people, driven people and that also includes you.

    “What they are on about is expressing disappointment re what they perceive to be Labor’s current directions. And how to modify same”

    Right.

  169. paulwalter

    Is the Rhino in the room globalisation/ hegemony/ homogeneity? In fifty or sixty years I’ve seen Adelaide change from an agricultural and then manufacturing hub virtually self governing it seemed, to an object thrown on the scrap heap like an old toy by the likes of Abbott and Robb.

    Have we lost the power of self determination in the meaningful sense?

    I am astonished that details of the TPP remain undiscussed and recall Labor was prepared to go along with hands over mouths stuff.

    To what extent do cartels and big powers influence Australia’s affairs, that is are we involved in a farce involving shopfront democracy where outcomes are predetermined in quiet shadowy places by people who are unaccountable?

    Labor cannot seriously expect the public to be satisfied with the support it has given this government on certain issues less domestic that involves wastage of monies that would make the plebiscite look like lolly money.

    The public is not against rational economics, it is eager see it applied, rather than the ideological perversion of it applying now and I am comfortable with myself if that is my first ambit.

  170. Trish Corry

    “Spare me.
    Nothing you propose in your article can be done NOW, 2016, 2017 or even 2018. Besides shifting hearts and minds with how we speak about welfare, the narrative. Not exactly sure how that is going to fill the starving bellies though. Words.”

    I’ve just read through heaps of comments about how Labor isn’t progressive enough. How Labor isn’t left enough. How the Liberals killed the cat but its all Labor’s fault.

    So people are living 45% below the poverty line, there are more unemployed than jobseekers and the jobseekers are punished for it, including financial penalties.

    Yet, a new framework is proposed, and other ideas, but nothing can be done about that now, so all we can do is sigh and and complain how bad Labor is, because the Liberals have done nothing at all to add to the plight of the unemployed, just Labor.

    We can’t talk about any way that this can be pushed to make life better for the unemployed, to either Labor or Liberals or even other parties. We can’t think of any ways this can be advocated for, like maybe getting unions involved or other groups. Don’t even worry about the framework itself and discussing that and if that would help the unemployed. It’s better to insist that John Howard had anything to do with what’s happening now (contrary to the evidence in the article), because it must be all Labor’s fault.

    We can’t do this, because we need to discuss all the ills of the world that are all Labor’s fault, because nothing can be done about it now. Because apparently this is “True Grassroots activism” and shame on those who support Labor (the non-true left) for following a party who is not true grass roots activism.

    Its like seeing a kid pushed in the mud and the women standing around are arguing how ugly another woman’s dress is, because nothing can be done to help the child out of the mud.

    I’m glad I joined the women’s movement in the 80s and didn’t just decide “nothing could be done”

    I’ll sign off with words from a friend who I discussed this with: “It’s easy to be a purist if you don’t have to come up with a solution”

    Yes, spare me. Comments are off.

Return to home page
Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: