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Friday, June 10, 2005


It amazes me - the financial brains currently directing our country are either very dumb or very greedy. Currently, the Australian Government is trying to deprive many of those it is supposed to serve of work and wage justice. It is doing this in two major ways:
  1. Removing the rights of workers employed in places of 100 employees or less to take action for unfair dismissal. Small business is not always known for its following of procedural fairness for employees. If such business got good advice AND followed it, they would find that unsatisfactory employees could have their services terminated without the employer being found guilty.
  2. Reordering the way wage decisions are made for workers in Australia which will mean a diminution in the value of real wages of the lowest paid workers who do not have any powerful collective strength in the workplace. In the US there are people who work but do not even receive a wage - such as drink waiters who have to survive only on tips and those tips have to be shared with people behind the bar. Driving wages down for the poor could eventually lead to such a situation.

All this is happening when wages for CEOs in some companies have reached heights the cow that jumped over the moon could not jump over. The CEO for Macquarie Bank has had HIS wages lifted to $18 million and the new CEO of Telstra gets $2 million before HE actually starts work.

Surely it makes sense to make every endeavour to ensure that all Australians can receive a FAIR and REASONABLE wage. Surely as we all have reasonable amounts of money jingling in our pockets we can spend more - so there can be more home mortgages, more car sales, more computer and electrical appliance sales and so on and thus increase jobs and grow our economy. Statistics show that lower income families tend to spend all their income and are the most likely to provide stimulus to the economy. If this is the case, then why are we winding back income and job opportunities for Australians at the bottom end of the socio-economic ladder.

In my view, it can only be because those who are the decision makers are dumb and incompetent - or it is that they are greedy and couldn't give a fig for the rest of us. As long as they, their families, their friends are doing well, buying consumer imports and luxuries, what does it matter for the rest - even if one day they find, as the wealthy did in Thatcher's London, that they have to step over the begging poor as they are economically forced to the major cities and take their ease in the theatres and places of elite entertainment. Perhaps, the poor might then inhabit the gateways and doorways of Mosman, Point Piper, Kirribilli, Toorak, Kew, and the Commonwealth Offices near Treasury Gardens in Melbourne.