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Archive for the 'politics' Category

Australia Needs an Honest Conversation about Unemployment & the Economy

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Every so often I want to pull out my eyeballs and throw them at the media. No, at society. At a society that demonises unemployment as a personal failure, but at the same time does not understand the structural integrity of the economy being underpinned by a need for job scarcity. Australia demands about 5 per cent of our labour market must be unemployed in any given week at a participation rate currently around 66 per cent. And government will take measures to ensure that happens. But nobody is having that conversation outside economics. Certainly not in politics.

The Scarcity of Labour and Inflation

Enter the economic concepts of the Full Employment Rate of Unemployment and the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment. In short, employment and inflation are linked. And inflation is controlled using the scarcity of labour (aka jobs). In that relationship we choose a full employment rate of unemployment to be around 5 per cent; this calculates to approximately 700,000 job seeking Australians that we would rather, as an economy, weren’t able to get a job in the given fortnight.

Here’s the idea in a nutshell. If too many people get work then the scarcity of labour falls to a point that recruiters would need to offer higher wages to attract employees. The market power would be in the hands of the workers. This means the companies would have to charge more for their products and services to cover those higher wages. In turn, the rising cost of products and services to those workers increases and they would demand higher wages as their standard of living declined. Again, this leads to a spiral of price rises and resulting wage rises. Spiraling inflation.

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Anti-Vaccination & the Social Contract

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

It’s fine to say that we live in a Free Country, like that idea somehow means everybody around us are living their lives to self-determined whim without limitation. But, deep down, we all know that isn’t the case. Between taxes, police forces, rules and regulations, there is a minefield of moral and social constraints – the country, any democracy, is not free in the sense those people claim. It is free in a far more general sense.

The way our country is free would be more in the way of a social contract. We are allowed by government to self-determination as individuals in a greater sense. Nobody pulls your child out of school and says “You will be a plumber!” … nobody taps you on the shoulder and says “You are now in the army!”

However, we do have things like picture identification, tax file numbers, business numbers, standards, licensing, accreditation, criminal databases and a whole bunch of other things that strike a balance between you and how far your freedom extends. You are free to operate within the constraints of societies limitations.

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A Brave Simple Cure for Tasmania’s Housing Crisis

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Before you even read about the question or the constraints I’ll give it to you here. For free. Start building new affordable housing targeted at the young families who want and need to buy into a property future. There. Was that so hard to digest?

OK, the problem is more complicated. In the short term, people need shelter and security. And we should do that like it was a State emergency; we should be activating our situation room as though a suburb burned to the ground last week and we need to house and feed everybody who lived there. But we won’t. We would, as decent human beings, except consecutive governments have gone down the road of vilifying anybody who is unemployed and/or homeless as burdens in our society. Giving the poor too much of a leg up out of the gutter just won’t happen… too many Tasmanians would complain.

So, while you’ll see a lot of meetings and discussions in the public sector, it will always end in croissants at noon and everybody back to their safe warm office buildings by afternoon tea. Public servants and their masters just don’t care about the homeless. Not enough to fix the problem. However convincing their tears.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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