Roy Morgan: Unemployment at record high

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by Chris Becker

The employment survey by Roy Morgan’s has captured a record high in unemployment for December:

6011-quarterly 6011-under-employed

The findings are sobering, and although there is a significant gap with the official (albeit very volatile) ABS figures, the trend is self-evident:

  • 1,402,000 Australians are looking for work (10.9% of the workforce, down 9,000 since December 2013);
  • 1,246,000 Australians are under-employed (working part-time and looking for more hours – 9.7%, up 154,000 since December 2013).
  • 2,648,000 Australians are unemployed or under-employed – a new record high (20.6% of the workforce, up 145,000 since December 2013);
  • After this month’s rise the latest Roy Morgan unemployment estimate of 10.9% is now a substantial 4.6% higher than the figure currently quoted by the ABS for November 2014 (6.3%).

Gary Morgan explains the year-end seasonality and the crushing reality of a large amount of underemployment, even as employers and the Abbott Government push for easier visas for overseas workers:

“The run-up to Christmas is traditionally a time in which young people that’ve finished up at school or University either look for full-time work or seek part-time employment over the Summer months. Both the Australian workforce and total Australian employment have increased in four out of the last six years in December since the Global Financial Crisis (2008-09).

“The overall picture of the Australian labour market shows an economy with a large amount of under-utilised labour – now 2.648 million Australians (20.6%) are either unemployed or under-employed. It is now more than three years that more than 2 million Australians have been looking for work or looking for more work (37 months) and the 31st straight month more than 1 million Australians have been unemployed.”

Don’t hold your breath for industrial reform however. The decline in national income as the Terms of Trade reverts to mean and the continued income recession in households will not see a reversal of this trend in 2015.

 

Comments

  1. “large amount of underemployment, even as employers and the Abbott Government push for easier visas for overseas workers”.

    A peaceful revolution has already started. Only the idiot Abbott, Hockey and LNP don’t see it. We’ve had enough. It’s time to start taxing big business. LNP will lose the election.

    • QLD or Federal ?

      Already lost Vic, SA.

      Will they lose WA ?

      I suspect Tas will go back to Labor after the crap they’ve pulled.

      This will be the biggest destruction of the LNP in history.

      • I thought their lack of judgement on workchoices was a one off.

        Clearly it’s who and what they are. Their advisers are woeful; they are woeful. It’s pretty to watch them implode. Just pray federal is next. Though I’d love to see some blame thrown at them first. Take their retirement entitlements (pension, gold card, staff and office). Make Abbotts daughter pay back the $70k.

      • “Just pray federal is next.”

        And what then? The Labor party is still completely bereft of worthwhile ideas.

        Either way, the country is screwed so long as Australian politics remains a shit slinging match between different tribes of bonobo chimps.

      • I wish LNP lose WA. No job in the west. Drug dealer everywhere. I just found a cleaning job and the cleaning boss is Croatia she ask me to delivery drug. And I have refuse but that did not stop, she and her husband pass word around the place saying that I am doing drug delivery do not hire me.

        Perth is the drug dealer city and human traffic. If you want to protect your job you have to sell or buy drug. Criminal control work place. All this criminal is raising fund for something big. The federal government need to check all import container and check all state to state border.

        A lot of fraud marriage, drug dealer is also into this kind of business. Drug money buy franchise business and then they have the right to sponsor someone. That sponsor someone is big cash in return; charging anyone in Asia or Europe who want to come to Australia in a legal way entry. And also a middle man for marriage. This business is growing at 40percent each year in Perth,

        WA LNP has done nothing to stop this from happening. Businesses is operated by criminal, because Liberal party is interest in money not anyone life. A lot of company in Perth hire foreign worker and cleaning industry is a biggest joke. Just look at the hotel, hospital and government department. They call it sub contact..

        Please don’t come to Western Australia until we kill liberal party.

    • I wouldn’t turn to any politician or party for solutions. We are governed by psychopaths whose only goal is power.

      The characteristics that define clinical psychopathy are many of the same that make effective leaders.

      Psychopathy is a psychological condition based on well-established diagnostic criteria, which include lack of remorse and empathy, a sense of grandiosity, superficial charm, conning and manipulative behavior, and refusal to take responsibility for one’s actions, among others.

      • Agree 100%. Any person capable of fixing the mess Australia is in will have to be sought out and appointed. Dick Smith comes to mind.

        “power must be confined to those whom are not obsessed with it”.

      • CP

        That is why the destruction of ‘organized labour’ is always so high on the conservative hit list, because it dilutes their power.

        Organized labour has shown here and in other countries it can and even must be part of the solution. I expect that if we are ever to be other than an a vassal state then co-operation among stakeholders will be paramount.

        That is one reason why out current set of (leaders) would be dictators will never be able to contribute to the recovery of our economy, sovereignty or social cohesion.

      • Not to single out the LNP.

        That basically covers all politicians and majority of business leaders in Australia.

      • Organized labour has to want to be part of the solution rather than be part of the problem. Indeed organized labour itself suffers from the same problem as does our political system. It is no less populated by psychopaths at the top than is politics.
        Our problems seem to be the natural result of the life process and we seem to be at some sort of penultimate stage.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        It was seeking to destroy organised labour that led to the wages boom. We would all be earning much less if a few idealologists didn’t feel the pathological desire to bring down unions.

        Massive own goal.

      • psychopaths lack a functioning limbic system, essentially making them inhuman (zero empathy) – this trait is why they are CHOSEN for leadership. It is NOT genetic.

    • Dick Smith is a moron. Sorry. He has SOME good ideas however as an exemplar of exceptional IQ and Raulston Sauls “EXPERT” from Voltaires Bastards he is almost totally incapable in vast areas.

      • @Leviathan. Yep. I think you’re right. He had the “population growth” stage and completely blew it. They tied him in knots.

      • Sorry Chris Becker – what is this first and final warning in regard to ?

        My comment on Dick Smith ? You absolutely HAVE to be kidding me.

        I post under this account and another account with my staff accounts at various IP’s.

        If I am going to get BANNED for that comment I will be cancelling several subscriptions immediately.

        That is the most ABSURD warning I have ever, ever seen.

        As someone who has been blogging and posting on forums and building forums and major international portals for well over 20 years – i have not ONCE seen a warning like that.

        Can you please confirm for me if my subscriptions are worth continuing ? Because If I am going to get banned for a comment like that then seriously – there is just no point.

      • You called Dick Smith a moron – that is not part of civil debate. If you disagree with his views or even his intelligence, there’s better ways of stating it.

        Like many non-commenters here, I didnt even read anything you said after that statement. Going back now, they seem appropriate, but you lost it when going into name calling.

        Its not a ban warning, just a sin bin for 24 hours to cool off.

        I like civil debate and I like to hear constructive criticism from a variety of sources. There’s too much fobbing off and childish name calling here and in countless other forums.

        I do allow a little more latitude in the links comment thread, which is the pseudoforum for MB, but not in the main posts.

        I gave a clear warning in the week before I started here full time that that was going to be my policy. You can wait another week if you want when I finish up.

      • R2M it was one of the first links (from the original COSMOS article) that I put in the daily links post (although in the science bit)

        actually put it in there last night….

      • This site is going down hill very quickly.

        I didn’t renew last year and I doubt I’ll bother this year if this over zealous moderating and AGW tripe keeps up.

        “first and final off” when I look back at some of the exchanges people have had on here this is nothing.

        I don’t know what brought on this new fad of trying to ride everyone into the gray PC world that lacks any passion or risk but it makes for dull reading.

        Saying that Lev’s opinion that Dick Smith is a moron isn’t exactly reducing this discourse into the Jerry Springer show.

        Spoon of cement needed for some around here. Too many skinny frappuccino at lunch making clearly people soft.

        Australia the frontier nation my arse!

      • migtronixMEMBER

        I’m with you Lev the policy is BS. The lefties (I know you’re one but still) can call everyone a denier that must be banned because they are working for Big Coal. Talk about playing the man WTF?

      • Personally I find 3d1k’s pollution (no offence intended, mate – I know a guy’s got to eat and at least you keep a digital smile on your face) far more offensive than seeing DS being called a moron. But overall I’m supportive of any effort to improve the quality of the threads. Most sites don’t bother and suffer as a result. They get captured by the nutters and psychopaths.

      • Broadly agree with McPaddy.

        Ad hominem attacks are a kind of noise pollution, and reducing them improves things, although it is more of a problem between commenters than in relation to public figures, and that one was far from the most egregious.

      • CB, thanks for trying to pick up the tone of discussion here. It becomes dreadfully difficult to contribute constructively when individuals resort to personal abuse.

        PS: No surprises to see Mig opposed to it. 🙄

      • McPaddy, I’m genuinely surprised at your response to my posts! I’m generally on topic, rarely abusive and have been sin binned too many times to count for my pro resources skeptical AGW stance.

        Je suis Charlie.

      • “I’m generally on topic,”

        That’s entirely true.

        “rarely abusive”

        Also true.

        “and have been sin binned too many times to count for my pro resources skeptical AGW stance”

        Glad to hear it. I think we all know what’s going on here. No need to go over it again.

      • I think moderating ad-homs on public figures is going way too far. If it continues I’ll be going elsewhere.

        For public figures, playing the man and not the ball is sometimes perfectly valid. For example, I can call Tony Abbott a belligerent and dangerous culture warrior. That is absolutely an ad-hom, but if that kind of thing is banned then discussion of public persons becomes very difficult.

        Look at some of the stuff Keating said, for crying out loud.

        I’ve always thought Lev a decent fellow; even sin binning him for the above comment is making me strongly consider dumping my sub.

      • @LordDudly

        First of all Leviathan wasn’t moderated – the comment stands. Only time comments are moderated is when they are potentially defamatory or outright disgusting (especially racial attacks).

        He was just warned to bring the tone back to a civil level, just as the Speaker in the House/Congress would do so or a moderator at a public debate.

        Keating got his fair share of warnings too but he has lost credibility and respect in the minds of many, especially his enemies when he crosses the line into ad-homs. And he had parliamentary privilege behind him…

        I forgot to add the “sin bin” thing after, my omission, but explained thereafter.

        Im definitely NOT about PC. Freely attack, criticise, ridicule the ideas and beliefs of others, but do not personally attack the person.

        Id like to think the non-commenters (of which outnumber the commenters approximately 100:1) want to see robust debate, not bickering and name calling.

        I thank you and others for your input and criticism.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        want to see robust debate, not bickering and name calling.

        Your sociopathic underlay does you no credit.

        Is consistency really that hard?

        CB: I cant catch every single comment Mig, over 500 a day…and I need to get some lunch.

      • It’s OK Alex I know the inquisition prefers that only the accepted Dogma and Liturgy is practiced….
        I am all for forthright and open discussion Mig, so keep your straw men out of it. My remark is squarely aimed at unwarranted personal abuse. A few exhibits.

        http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/02/global-press-turns-on-abbotts-environmental-hostility/#comment-320051

        http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/02/heatwaves-hotter-longer-more-often/#comment-325745

        http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/02/heatwaves-hotter-longer-more-often/#comment-325677

        http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/02/heatwaves-hotter-longer-more-often/#comment-325802

      • I have to agree with CB.

        If you can’t hold a serious conversation without name calling, go! No loss.

        There are many people who are turned off by name calling, and who would contribute just as much, if allowed. The ability to endure name calling, while sometimes useful, doesn’t rank all that high on the criteria for intelligent discussion of ecomomics.

        Discussion of contentious economic issues is one thing, name calling is another.

    • @arescarti42. Yep. Both parties have to go. I’ve been saying it longer than any person, website or organisation I know of. Decades.

      They’re both destroying us.


      • Worker from overseas? Doesn’t mean you still wont get screwed.

        Isn’t the whole point that having less of a local support network they’re quite a lot easier to screw?

    • If we replace LNP with ALP thats not a revolution it’s continuing to play the game by the rules set by the %1. They own both parties. And I’m starting to worry about the Greens.

      The Revolution would be changing the perception of the public so they realise how they are being sold out and start the actually consider solutions.

      Right now a lot of people are so barinwashed they think the disease is the cure. How many people think high house prices make them rich?

    • Yep the proposed changes are particularly egregious given the current state of unemployment in Australia, especially youth unemployment.

    • “A peaceful revolution has already started. Only the idiot Abbott, Hockey and LNP don’t see it. We’ve had enough. It’s time to start taxing big business. LNP will lose the election”

      Here’s to hoping we’re correct – I agree !

  2. These figures are quite staggering given that consumer spending remains steady, and housing ‘should be yielding strong wealth effect to a significant segment.

    Consumer spending and credit expansion will not remain at current levels and that is when the chickens will come home to roost.

    Perhaps the stretched borrowers have maxed out other streams of credit, as the credit cycle slows.

  3. Again, targeting the weakly positioned über-powerful hospitality (and other) workers struggling by on gouging employers for 20-25/hr (and – oh, the humanity – 30-35/hr on Sundays and at midnight) instead of Google and their ilk obviously avoiding (not minimising) tax, not to mention the likes of FBT, negative gearing and super concessions (and all manner of big business and high end rorts) is a disgrace.

    Tax act should be 20 pages. No deductions. 2 tax brackets. Tax consumption. Not saving.

    (Disclaimer: I’m not a tax expert or accountant)

    • Yes like some ancient but still current German laws (pure food) if it is not on the list of permissible then it is prohibited.

      Makes a 20 page tax act possible but would put a lot of rentiers and scammers out of manna.

      Bloody good idea.

    • @tmarsh. I entirely love your first paragraph.

      Where would the lowly paid workers live under LNP and big business plans? Australians have shown they will not put up with this. LNP and their advisers are incredibly off the ball. It now seems normal. One term Tony. Let'[s not return to Labor though. They’re worse in so many other ways.

      Second paragraph; not so much.

      I have huge deductions that would simply make my job unviable if I couldn’t claim them.

      • interested party

        Flawse,

        I suspect we have started down the slope of political collapse.
        We have all the ingredients in place and the economic/social/environmental crises we have around us make it impossible for any politician to deliver the un-deliverable.

        We will be witness to more and more electoral volatility until the system cracks and/or collapses. It is inevitable. I fear demagoguery and/or military-backed dictatorship is a slight possibility in our future.

        edit to add:
        Not only will we have one term gov but you can add many more ( as in becoming common-place)leadership spills and panic front bench reshuffles to shore up the battlements.

      • WE MUST get together over a few soon IP!

        ‘slight’ is not a word i’d use unless talking short term. ‘Inevitable’ is how i now perceive it. Frankly it makes me sad.

      • interested party

        Mate, don’t get despondent.

        Roll with it. It is all totally irrelevant if you look at it from a far enough perspective.

        On that beer….I agree. Perhaps CB can forward our emails to each of us so we can sort something out?.

      • What if your tax rate was a lot lot lower and your savings (if any) weren’t taxed.

        (I used “no deductions” to make a point. I perhaps should have been clearer. The stuff you can legitimately deduct is a joke. And makes red tape horrendous. You ought not need to be a tax accountant or need to pay thousands of dollars to comply with tax law)

      • @interested party.

        “make it impossible for any politician to deliver the un-deliverable”.

        I can’t see what would stop any party taxing big business more. Stopping further welfare dependency. Stopping further population growth. These two parties just want to tackle the wrong problems.

      • interested party

        “I can’t see what would stop any party taxing big business more. ”

        You aren’t looking hard enough.
        Scrape away the veneer of ‘respectability’ that we seem to have bestowed upon the political class and you soon discover who they cater to.

      • @interested party

        “respectability” I don’t think there’s a fragment of that with either major party. I meant a new party. Voted for by an informed electorate. Dreaming I know.

      • interested party

        rich42

        “I meant a new party. Voted for by an informed electorate. Dreaming I know.”

        I would love it to come from the youth. There are a few of us mid/old timers who would back that. A few wise eyes in the background and the drive and dreams of the younger generation. You have me dreaming now…..

  4. Sort of related: Democrats opposing Obama’s trade agenda:

    “Fast track would be yet another insult to the American worker,” Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut, said at a Thursday news conference on Capitol Hill, where she predicted the effort’s defeat. “It will not happen. We are not going to do it.”

    Winning the authority would allow Mr. Obama to finish and gain swift approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sprawling pact that his administration has been painstakingly negotiating.

    But Ms. DeLauro and other Democratic lawmakers argue that the president is asking for carte blanche to secretly negotiate a trade deal that would cost American jobs, weaken food safety and financial regulations and undermine environmental and labor standards.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/09/business/democrats-step-up-efforts-to-block-obama-on-trade-promotion-authority.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

    Australians could only wish for a similar block to the gvt’s rapture over such deals.

  5. Productivity demands wage destruction and increasing unemployment….

    Bonuses are at risk – [!!!!!!!]….

    Skippy…. only the short term matters or one risks their ***personal wealth*** survival of the fittest or bust.

    • Productivity demands wage destruction and increasing unemployment….

      There was a time this wasn’t the case. Government/s (LNP and LP) here no longer seem to have a stomach for nurturing manufacturing/value adding due to their short term outlook (one the private sector here also suffers from) and blind faith in the neolib way. So that is the likely end result. *sigh*

  6. To be honest I dont understand unemployment and I dont under-employment except in the context that they are both part of the processes by which an economy adjusts to a new reality. Unemployment is therefore transient meaning that the very concept of”long-term-unemployment” makes absolutely no sense at all, least ways not to me.

    Unfortunately I suspect we are entering a period of structural unemployment coupled with a dramatic expansion of the over-paid middle management BS job both of which are financed by an ever shrinking productive economy. This confluence should spell opportunity for anyone with ambition but instead it seems to spell oppression. I suspect this results from a form of societal denial similar to the denial an Alcoholic must breach before they can be helped..

    • Assuming for the sake of conversation that the situation forecast in your second paragraph comes to pass, the number of people it could benefit actually seems pretty small as employers of middle managers have a restrictive idea of what kind of person they want for that job.

      In the meantime, the people in the jobs being lost are people who are especially unlikely to fit the profile, and employers will hire precious few of them for this type of role.

      So a ‘dramatic expansion of BS Middle Management jobs’ will be of little or no assistance in finding new roles for ex-workers from productive industries in most cases. About the only people who would benefit are existing people in those roles, who will extract higher salaries, and headhunters, who will help employees to extract higher salaries by assisting in poaching efforts and acting as gatekeepers keeping out newbies.

      • I’m sorry if you understood me to be saying that BS middle management jobs were really the jobs of the future. For clarity they’re not, they’re nothing they’re BS jobs waiting to get swept away by the very next broom. That said if you read any Australian career advice sites magazines etc you’ll be dumbfounded by the depth and breath of BS jobs ALL counted among as the highest job growth sectors.

        I’m just glad got my education when learning skills and gaining education were actually synonymous with improving ones own personal productivity.

      • I didn’t read it that way.

        I just don’t see a conflict between high growth in these areas and a high rate of long term unemployment. People who were formerly productive workers are highly unsuitable for those jobs, so they will not find employment there.

      • Ahm The unsuitability of production workers for management BS jobs is exactly why I’m saying that this “solution” is a form of societal denial and just like the alcoholic this denial will only be evident when it has completely destroyed the productive sector. As Flawse says we’re actually selling all our assets to finance this illusion so presumably when the last asset is sold our new owners will simply shutdown the BS factory leaving many an Australian wondering WHY? what happened…I did everything I was told to do….always on message…always on call..never late……..

        If at some time in the future I ask them: What was the net product of your work? They’ll look at me like I’m some sort of loonie…it’ll never occur to them that they were part of the parasitic problem, never…never in a million years.

      • So, in conclusion you basically see a long period of long term unemployment for most in Australia, as soon as demand for our assets evaporates.

      • CB, you no doubt know your stuff (engineering, I’m guessing) within your own work and business pursuits, but you seem to be suffering from a severe case of déformation professionnelle.

        EDIT: Do you really think China would be spared the requirement to create ‘BS’ jobs to keep its populace occupied should it ultimately transition its economy to a consumer driven model with ‘actual’ productive work outsourced to the next least expensive country ?

      • @kr,

        Does China really need to create additional BS jobs?

        From CBob’s anecdote about domestic overservicing yesterday (six domestic staff keeping house for three residents), it seems like we’ve got nothing on them.

    • Absoloodle!
      “I suspect we are entering a period of structural unemployment coupled with a dramatic expansion of the over-paid middle management BS job both of which are financed by an ever shrinking productive economy”

      Not ‘entering’ Bob – in the middle of

      It doesn’t spell oppurtunity because we can continue with it as long as we are willing to sell the remains of our national assets to fund it.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        ……..well when the alternative for a lot of ordinary punters is to look at their debts through the prism of a short term contract in the retail sector, roll the dice for a short term contract in the aged care sector, or set themselves up as a small business and wonder where the customers are [while claiming taxation breaks and various small business grants] you would have to think that some of those bullshit middle management gigs are going to have some appeal – particularly if they have a reasonable working environment and/or a nice view.

        Of course doing something about that ludicrous set of affairs and attractions is more than our political process is capable of.

      • “I suspect we are entering a period of structural unemployment coupled with a dramatic expansion of the over-paid middle management BS job both of which are financed by an ever shrinking productive economy”

        I say more power to them. It has to be better than clearing out a storm outlet with a shovel like I was just asked to do..

      • Rob – the problem is that the middle-managment BS will keep more people in the drain cleaning business (if they are lucky) rather than good productive jobs in a prosperous economy.

    • Wrong. Increasing underemployment has been slowly, structurally embedded in developed countries as a consequence of freeing of movement of capital, floating exchange rates, and free exchangism for at least two decades. There is nothing transient about it. For those affected, there is no ‘adjusting’ to the new reality of laissez faire globalism other than accepting wages below which they can actually participate in society.

      Now, if there was widespread deflation within those societies (and corresponding inflation in competing un-free Asian economies) which actually levelled the playing field, this wouldn’t be such a problem. However, what we continue to see is policy directed at maintaining the value of equity of the most wealthy, with lower standards of living forced upon the most powerless.

      The Chinese at least recognise that some level of protectionism is required to keep economic growth within the context of desired institutional, political and ethical outcomes. We seem to be blindly proceeding without such old fashioned concerns.

    • @KR True who among us is not effected by déformation professionnelle we can all only ever look at our world through our own eyes and the small distorting windows through which we perceive others and their worlds. So I’ll be the first to say that our economy needs balance, unfortunately our economic masters seem to believe that balance can be achieved by jettisoning the local productive sector….I just happen to disagree.

      Do you really think China would be spared the requirement to create ‘BS’ jobs

      No China wont be spared BS jobs…noone will be spared however the question is not: Who will be spared? but rather who can structure their economy to best afford/ support this luxury.

      Hint: denying the role that asset sales play in underpinning Australia’s economy is probably not the best starting point, if our aim is long term sustainability.

      • CB
        I am in complete agreement with you essentially. Where I disagree with economic thinking/ideology is in the pursuit of unfettered deregulation of markets and movement of capital and fiscal settings encouraging asset speculation. The Chinese are not going to blink on this – they will retain their protectionist economic settings to achieve their desired political/social outcomes. To me the deregulation of financial markets, abandonment of our productive sectors to the global market, and deliberate inflation of asset markets has been criminal policy.

      • interested party

        “if our aim is long term sustainability.”

        China-Bob,

        Sustainability is a zero sum game. Equal parts in and out.
        There is absolutely nothing in our modern lifestyle that is sustainable. That is the reason we have crises everywhere you look. To talk about ‘long term sustainability’ is rubbish.

    • This.

      The number of people earning 100k-200k a year to essentially do sweet FA is mind boggling. Most of us here have seen it.

      And these largely useless, meaningless jobs are no more important than a farmer, someone delivering fresh food, or whatever.

      • What exactly makes a BS job a BS job though? Is it the actual roles, tasks and responsibilities? Or is it that they can be done by pretty much anyone without even breaking a sweat intellectually or physically?

  7. This is going to be growing and persistent feature of developed economies for some time as long as we are suckered into pursuing the blind application of purist ideological policies of ‘free exchange’ of goods, labour and capital and floating exchange rates.

    Allowing individuals and companies to pursue theoretical maximum economic efficiency, divorced from the context of distribution of incomes within countries (i.e. breadth and quality of employment), is going to result in an entire generation being thrown on the scrap heap. Their diminished purchasing power will logically be replaced by higher levels of ‘skilled’ (read: those with existing purchasing power) immigration.

    Our country is being sold out from underneath us for the benefit of the very, very few. The quality of life and opportunity for entire generation is going to be sacrificed so that those who have benefited the most from higher asset prices are spared the negative effects of the economy they have wrought.

    • Nothing new kr – it’s been going on for 60 years – that’s why we are where we are and there is no satisfactory answer.

      • Disagree – this has been massively accelerated since the deregulation of financial markets, floating exchange rates, liberalisation of capital movement, removal of tariffs, adjustment of fiscal settings to encourage short-term speculation, abandonment of quality of employment as a social objective. The most satisfactory answer is to target deflation in the price of land and other goods so that wages can then be equitably adjusted downwards. This answer is the same one that has existed a long time back in history, and for very good reason. It is called protectionism, currently practiced by our most aggressive competitors.

      • Precisely Kinetic…

        I am in total and complete agreement and this has been my experience, not an abstract concept.

        When I was 17 years old I argued that the ideology of free trade was flawed, and a trojan horse for neo con worker oppression.

      • kr – I certainly don’t disagree with your statement of ‘acceleration’ since the madness really took over. However the seed was planted much earlier. In 1970/71 universities were preaching that we didn’t need productive sectors just service sectors as a large service sector was symptomatic of a prosperous economy. Wages could be unhooked from production. I’m not sure how long before that the stupidity actually started in academic circles but i guess it was a while. For Aus economic stupidity i think 1960 was a water-shed year. The signs that things were going badly wrong were there and, in accordance with the ‘modern’ economic thinking, were ignored. Allied with this new economic philosophy, perhaps core to it, was that CAD’s didn’t matter and the magic number was GDP – over which there was a massive debate prior to its acceptance and then it was suddenly accepted as the ONLY relevant number and remains so.

        Your acceleration period was simply an acceleration of the madness sown long before.

      • The maintenance of CA surpluses never stood a chance. The marginal benefit from the post-World War two reconstruction was fading, and the real geopolitical imperative was outperforming communist economies, essentially by putting already consumerist economies on steroids and extending that economic model to all allied countries.

        Marginal demand could only be increased by increasing consumption power (wages), and as this started to push up against the reality of productive capacity and resource availability (inflation), then it was inevitable that capital would push back against those wages and look to decrease costs (particularly when argued through the prism of heroic capitalism versus evil communism/socialism).

        Only problem is maintaining local consumption power, which still requires your citizens to make a living, and given our requirement to cede production of physical goods to maintain consumption (dampen inflation), this ultimately required deregulation of financial markets, freeing of exchange rates and capital flows and trade.

        But the marginal benefits of that liberalisation is now up against the wall of crushing personal debt and lower quality and quantity of employment.

        I’m not sure what the answer was back in time other than to retain some ability to protect one’s local economy from the vagaries of deregulated global markets (not to say there wouldn’t have been some other trade offs at a local level). Perhaps you can enlighten me.

        But to me, it is not acceptable to force those who have benefited least to bear the cost of our global un-competitiveness wrought by the higher asset prices we have confected to maintain consumption in the absence of actual physical productive output (additionally caused by a lack of a level playing field). Those consuming the most (effecting the sell off of our assets) are being spared the adjustment.

    • +1 so true

      Part of it is selling the myth that we can all grow rich without innovation, risk taking and bloody hard work. That’s for poor countries, right?

      So while the means to actually make an honest living are flogged off and pocketed by the already wealthy, those who are being betrayed are lulled into thinking she’ll be right via the likes of Equity Mate etc. They won’t wake up till it’s too late. “We all have to face reality. Whocouldanode?” etc etc.

      Shhh, The Block’s starting!

      • “Shhh, The Block’s starting!”
        Thanks! I needed a laugh! (As long as I don’t think about it too much…unfortunately your comment is very close to the truth of our situation)

    • “Our country is being sold out from underneath us for the benefit of the very, very few. ”

      And the consequences of this have been (at least in part) covered up with consecutive asset bubbles. Not to mention cheap debt for consumption of goods people couldn’t afford, a reckless regard for the environment and financial trickery, but it’s slowly falling apart. Eventually we will all have to face..

      McPaddy says: “Shhh, The Block’s starting!”

      Wait, what? Gotta go!

  8. reusachtigeMEMBER

    LOL at all youse on here whinging and calling for revolution etc etc. Why do you think the powers that be created the internet? It was to use as a tool for the intellectuals to vent their rage rather than having them get off their fat lazy arses to amass real people support out in the trenches.

    They’ve got all youse hook, line, sinker. You sucker intellectuals! LOLOLOLOL

    • Not sure how much attention you’ve been paying to the world between online property ogling and masturbation, but the Internet is now in fact the tool for amassing real people to take real action. The powers that be have created deregulated financial markets and looser credit to keep chumps like you (even if you are attempting to be ironic) compliant.

      • kr
        I think reuse is no chump. You perhaps haven’t been seeing his comments for a sufficiently long time.
        However…….
        You MIGHT be right re internet. However what i see the use of the internet and mobile phones, the glazed faces and vacant stares, I’d guess reuse is correct. Further I suspect the internet is simply reinforcing the shallow thinking of the general populace.
        That’s not to say that many of us have found it a whole new source of fairly easily attainable knowledge.

      • It doesn’t take much to recognise that a free internet is the greatest threat to vested interests. It has been used to the great advantage of political and social movements to date in relatively free (some formerly free) countries; the signs are already there that the risk is increasing that this will be curtailed (attempted at least) more and more.

    • Mr Large you are too correct, what the internet doesn’t capture the wide screen tv and junk programming sweeps up. LOL. WW

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Dream on there 3d…….

      Oh yes, a unemployed proletariat, dosed up on drugs made available cheaply, playing their ipads and watching TV [dialling in for soylent green?] and not desiring or acting to improve their circumstances at all – all made cheap by a state living off minimal taxes applied to the 1%ers who have enfiladed every last ‘investment’ [or should we call it escape] opportunity.

      You would want to have free lobotomies in that wet dream of an uber elite uncontested control of everything on the planet as we know it..

      Would the uber elite also control the airconditioning/Global warming?

      • Just wait until cheap scarily good virtual reality is as ubiquitous as the smartphone…

        …a VR unit supplied with every food card

      • interested party

        ” ‘investment’ [or should we call it escape] opportunity. ”

        Never saw it that way before. Very perceptive Gunna.

        You are showing disturbing tendencies, 3d.

  9. Here’s Eric Schmidt (Google’s chairman) on this issue:

    http://www.worldfinance.com/strategy/davos-update-google-chairman-eric-schmidt-warns-about-jobs

    He has in the past stated that the fundamental problem is that as for every job created by the development and maintenance of a new technology, several other jobs cease to exist.

    This trend is accelerating. The application of machine intelligence will accelerate it further.

    The employment world in 10 to 20 years will be unrecognizable.