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Archive for the 'politics' Category

The National Clamour to Build more Prison Beds

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

The current conversation around the proposed (or inevitable) new Tasmanian prison to be built at Westbury has one hell of an elephant in the room – Australians demand more people to be held in custody (with and without conviction) for longer periods of time and with ever greater security investment. That is (a) expensive, and (b) spiralling. In short, some town has to get that new prison and it looks like Westbury.

The Rising Tide of Incarceration Rates in Australia

Three snapshots from the Australian Bureau of Statistics tell the story of incarceration rates. There has been a dramatic rise in the number of prisoners, both sentenced and on remand. That means overcrowding and then ultimately beds. Beds requires a greater investment in prison infrastructure and ongoing costs of running those institutions. You can see where this goes.

Snapshot 2000

There has been a 32% increase in the adult imprisonment rate, from 112 to 148 prisoners per 100,000 adult population, during the 10 years from 1990 to 2000, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The increase in the adult imprisonment rate between 1999 and 2000 was 2%. Australia’s prisoner population has increased by 52% since 1990 to reach 21,714 people as at 30 June 2000 (the increase between 1999 and 2000 was less than 1%).Australian Bureau of Statistics

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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 (NAIRU). 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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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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