Greg Jericho sells-out workers to Fake Left

There is nothing more sad in journalism that a former firebrand blogger selling out. Greg Jericho today goes through the same data Leith did this morning:

The latest detailed data employment data has revealed that in 2017 full-time median earnings rose by less than inflation as the low wages growth problem flowed through all segments of employment while at the same time the levels of casualisation continue the trend upwards.

Last year, median full-time earnings was $65,577 – a 1.5% increase on the $64,584 recorded in 2016. But that 1.5% growth in the 12 months to August last year was below the 1.8% increase in inflation in the 12 months to September. This marked the third year since 2012 that full-time median earnings had not kept pace with inflation:

Partly the cause is the increase in the number of women working full-time. Women as a general rule earn less than men even when working full-time.

Across Australia, median full-time earnings for men is 13% higher than for women. Last year the median full-time earnings for women was $61,724 compared with the men’s $69,784. The biggest difference was in Western Australia, where male full-time median earnings of $78,000 was 20% above women’s $65,000 median:

And thus when more women move into full-time work, it lowers the overall median full-time income…for all workers, casual or not, the latest data only serves to reinforce how stagnant living standards have been over the past five years and will only add fuel to fire of the debate over how to solve the problem.

Here is how previously Jericho described that debate:

Given the inability of employment growth to keep up with population growth, and the flow through hitting the youth hardest, it is not surprising people are looking at our immigration intake.

Monash University’s Centre for Population & Urban Research last week released a paper on this subject, which noted that since January 2011, 708,000 immigrants have arrived, of which 380,000 are employed. When you considered total net employment growth in that time is just 400,000, it suggests many of the new jobs are going to migrants.

While the visa intake is supposed to help fill skills shortages, the report found that the largest occupational intake was for cooks, which have not been on the shortages list since 2010. Similarly, there has been a large influx of accountants – 5,766 accountants given visas under the permanent resident skilled program in 2012-13 – despite the department of employment finding that there is actually an oversupply of accountants within Australia.

The growth has not just come from 457 visa workers (for temporary skilled workers) but also 417 visas (those here for a working holiday). The report found the numbers of 417 visas grew from 185,480 in 2010-11, to 214,644 in 2011-12 to 249,231 in 2012-13.

And while the stereotype is of these workers picking fruit, the report notes that “by far the majority” of 417 visa holders “spend their time in the major cities.” It concluded that: “they, along with students and other temporary visa holders, are proving to be ferocious competitors for the same entry-level jobs that Australian resident youth are seeking”.

Talk of cutting back immigration is always contentious given how quickly it can be criticised as xenophobic as occurred when the Gillard government moved to tighten the rules for 457 visas.

But with the employment situation set to remain weak for at least another 18 months it’s tough to argue that the large numbers of people coming here on working visas are not making an already tough task for young job seekers unfairly tough.

But yesterday, with wages stuck in the gutter, he decided that we can’t talk about it:

This week, in a fit of relevancy deprivation syndrome, Tony Abbott sought to argue that lowering our migration intake was the solution to all the economic and social ills of the country.

He was of course at great pains to let his audience know he was not anti-immigration. Oh perish the thought! He implored the audience at the Sydney Institute that “making immigrants feel unwelcome in their own country is the last thing we need”. Abbott, the lover of immigration, preached that “immigration has been overwhelmingly and unquestionably good for Australia; as well as good for the immigrants who have voted with their feet to live here”.

And with that hokum out of the way, he got down to business.

It wasn’t immigration he was against – it was the “the rate of immigration at a time of stagnant wages, clogged infrastructure, soaring house prices and, in Melbourne at least, ethnic gangs that are testing the resolve of police”.

Well at least he doesn’t want to make them feel unwelcome – they’re just the reason why people’s wages are flat, they’re stuck in traffic, they can’t afford to buy a home and are worried about being attacked at night.

Abbott suggested “it’s a basic law of economics that increasing the supply of labour depresses wages”. Well yes, but only if your understanding of economics is also very basic.

Yes, immigrants increase supply of labour, but the demand for labour is not static – it grows, and one reason it grows is because of the increased activity of migrants.

It is this lump of labour fallacy that underlies most complaints about migration – the belief that there is a set amount of jobs in the economy and a job taken by a migrant is one less to be gained by a domestic worker.

It is a seductive argument – because it feels true. I must admit, to my ongoing shame I once wrote an article where I noted favourably some fairly simplistic research that suggested most of the employment from 2011 to 2014 was from migrants.

Sometimes numbers can beguile because they seem to provide a straightforward solution – if employment for example has increased by 400,000 over three years and in that time 380,000 migrants have been employed, it seems obvious that most of the jobs must be going to migrants.

And before you know it you are proffering arguments that would have you arm in arm with any number of racists slowly walking past with a grudge to bear and a desire to blame anyone else.

Similarly spurious is the argument that we should first improve infrastructure before then increasing our migrant intake. What you find is those arguing this path never reach a point of thinking it is time to allow greater migration – even if things are good, they never wish to increase migration because they inherently view it as a negative that will clog up roads, reduce wages, increase crime …

Immigration – because there are many desperate to hate – must be treated with extreme care by politicians and journalists, and certainly with more care than Abbott seems capable. The inherently racist parties will seek to use any discussion and any seeming evidence of the negative impact of migrants as fuel to burn their fires of hate.

The only shame Mr Jericho should feel is writing about stagnant wages while banning discussion one of the obvious drivers of such. We all know that wages are under pressure owing a number of factors:

  • the income recession owing to falling terms of trade;
  • casualisation and de-unionisation;
  • automation and outsourcing.

But running mass immigration into an already oversupplied labour market under these kinds of pressures is definitely going to make it worse. Yes, more people adds to demand, but not enough when that migration program has become the primary driver of growth in the economy. Permanent immigration is a rolling positive supply shock that will crush prices if it is not accompanied by something else to take up the demand slack, such as yesteryear’s private debt consumption economy, or the mining boom.

Sure, standard economic theory claims that net inward migration has minimal long-term impact on wages. That is, when the quantity of labour increases, its price (wages) falls. This will supposedly increase profits, eventually leading to more investment, increased demand for labour, and a reversal of the initial fall in wages. Immigration, so the theory goes, will enable the larger domestic population to enjoy the same incomes as the smaller population did before.

However, a recent study by Cambridge University economist, Robert Rowthorn, debunked this argument. The so-called ‘temporary’ effects of displacing incumbent workers and lower wages can last for up to ten years. And if there is a continuing influx of migrants – as is the case in Australia – rather than a one-off increase in the size of the labour force, demand for labour will constantly lag behind growth in supply.

Thus, if you’re already in oversupply then you are guaranteeing the labour market exists in a permanent supply disequilibrium that will kill prices.

I hope the Fake Left is paying you well, Jericho, because you’ve just sold out Aussie workers.

Houses and Holes
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  1. Why only consider young job seekers? What about older ones who worked at the Hazelwood coal power station?

    If having an insane rate of population growth resulted in higher wages, Angola and Uganda would have the most awesome wages. But it is Norway that has high wages with a population growth rate of 0.8%.

    In nature:

    Mr Williams said it was the way the Indian myna aggressively pushed nesting native animals from tree hollows that was having the most impact.

    The same is happening with humans! How is that a good thing?

  2. There are a few differences IMO, Leith knows what he’s talking about, and Greg works for the Guardian, who most likely demand his loyalty to their globalist view of the world. Leith had defined it very well in a non racist, logical way. Yet, none of this lot can bear to even look at that. You can’t defeat a view that is wrong, or get them to just have an open mind in discussing this topic. I’m not surprised, but saddened by it.

    • If the solution isn’t to reduce migration, what is the solution according to Jericho and his buddies?

      Is there a thorough point by point plan that covers the difficulties caused by rapid population growth and detailed solutions to those problems?

      – Is the increase in infrastructure going to happen in the next year ? 2 years? 5 years?
      – When is the policy on housing coming forth that doesn’t mean people have to live in a shoe box that catches fire ? That can actually raise kids or have a pet?
      – Where is the policy that addresses the fact that the train is so packed that you can’t get on and skip it in the hope that you can get a spot on the next one ?
      – Why is Melbourne considering congestion charges on its traffic to pay for infrastructure and why is this fair to working people ?
      – Why should working people have to pay for policies decided by those who can afford to live in the inner city?
      – Why is it that governments aren’t rezoning the leafy suburbs of Toorak and Malvern or the Sydney North Shore to make way for massive apartments ? Or does immigration only work by dumping new arrivals in the poorer parts of town ?

      When, and why, did the progressive parties abandon the working classes in favour of identity politics ?

      • this is exactly it, these self righteous peacocks never EVER offer anything constructive, never any solutions, nothing, EVAR, what its all about is them, its them and the self righteous buzz they get whenever they can trample all over anyone trying to offer society something

      • “If the solution isn’t to reduce migration, what is the solution according to Jericho and his buddies?”

        Solution to a problem caused by overpopulation = increase immigration

        Just like

        Solution to a problem caused by low interest rates = cut the rates even more

      • His solution is to wish really hard and hope the fairies at the bottom of the garden make everything ok despite all the evidence. Come to think of it isn’t that what politicians and economists do?

      • Well said. They won’t listen either for idealogical reasons, or their masters biddings. There in nothing wrong with immigration, just not mass immigration. Morrison argues temporary visa people leave, but I don’t think so. It’d be nice to know the truth. Either way we’re being smashed and the progressives and the not so have moved on, but they forgot to tell us we’re not invited. Leith says it well…immigration ..yes, but measured, not numbers that can’t be sustained or the infrastructure can handle. Talk to anyone in schools/hospitals/and public services and they’ll tell you it’s out of control, but like us they can’t say so.

  3. Who was it had that cat’s in the cradle lyrics
    so if 708,000 immigrants have arrived, of which 380,000 are employed, wtf are all the others doing and who is picking up the tab for their social experience.
    Easy, the workers on PAYG..
    Sooner or later there is going to be a HUGE revolution

  4. Mr Jericho used to be good but he now works for the Guardian (aka wretched hive of scum and villainy) and has to toe the party line, therefore nothing reliable is likely to flow from his pen.

  5. You may disagree with the diligent, evidence based, fine journalist, Jericho, on this matter- but the regular, lazy cut and paste, plus slag-off, is normally not the medium to do so.

      • Leith certainly does use evidence, but “Fake Left” (the most obvious example) is textbook ad hominem.

      • Would it be ” ad hominem” to refer to Greg as “Reverend Jericho” in the future? I have never been clear on the distinction between ad hominem and mockery.

    • Jericho’s article was very lacking in evidence. The only data he put forward was aggregate GDP which is not a great measure of living standards.

      The rest of his article was effectively trying to paint reasonable campaigners on the topic as tied to racists and the far right. Even he was forced to admit that infrastructure has failed to keep up but his suggested resolution (just build more) has failed for the last 15 years.

  6. When people start talking about this stuff (i.e. immigration levels) as received wisdom, then you know they’ve been been gotten to one way or another … the natural evolution of soft (l) liberal brainwashing, developing a taste for the globalisation Kool-Aid.

    Regardless, who the f**k does he think he is to wave away any democratic, popular discussion of a fundamental strategic decision of this country, i.e. the level of immigration and our target population growth. That’s no better than the dictates of the ruling mullahs of Iran.

    Does Greg Jericho welcome the devolution of Australia into a theocracy ? Is the best he can do some spurious link to racism ?

    This guy has just excluded himself from the debate. He is captured.

    • There seems to be an entrenched belief among the Left that a country has an obligation to have an immigration program — and usually a very generous one.

      The truth of it is, no country has an obligation to allow a single immigrant in (aside from, perhaps, a few humanitarian cases). If the country elects, democratically, to bar ALL immigration then that is their right to do so. What is democracy, if not that?

      In fact, in cases where countries have generous welfare programs, it is highly recommended you limit the number of immigrants as a rapid influx will only lead to an acceleration toward the State’s date with bankruptcy.

  7. “fuel to burn their fires of hate”

    I would like to endorse the use of the phrase “Baptists and Bootleggers” which is becoming quite apt in describing the Fire and Brimstone sermons these people are reverting to. I would say we are getting close to febrile prayer meetings with “Speaking in Tongues” and riverside immersions of the faithful. Get a bit of that Ol’ Time Religion into you and praise the Lord for our clogged up cities – Hallelulja! Greg Jericho even has been named appropriately, which is a clear sign of Divine Provenance.

    A while back I flushed drsmithy out of the cupboard for being a neo-methodist. In fact, Baptists and Methodists are quite similar, except Methodists are more joyless and scoldy.

    • lol and this is like the devil will capture you unawares

      “And before you know it you are proffering arguments that would have you arm in arm with any number of racists slowly walking past with a grudge to bear and a desire to blame anyone else.”

      • “that would have you arm in arm with any number of racists slowly walking past”

        Indeed! Any number … so 210,000 racists? How about 50 million racists? 50 million is “any number”.
        Now, where are we round up 50 million racists from? I know … immigration! Where else would we get 50 million racist from assuming we can’t crop farm them or dig them up.

        Also, Mr Jericho seems to have raised more questions than he answers.
        Why are the racists walking slowly? Can’t find a train, maybe?
        Why are the racists arm in arm? How would they deal with obstacles like trees and buildings.
        How can you be arm in arm with the racists if they are walking past you? That is a bad idea, because eventually they will pull your arms off.

        I am confused. Maybe Greg has been hitting the Doctor Feelgood Medicinal Compound a bit too hard.

        Praise the Lord!

      • OK, there is another problem with Greg’s theory. I have estimated that a racist, arm in arm, is approximately 1 meter wide. Any number of them (which includes 50million racists) could have width of 50×10^6 /1000 km – which is 50,000 kms. That is not going to fit even if you start at Cape York and end in Melbourne. You could perhaps fold them ten times but even so eventually they will collide with Ayer’s Rock. So, not really a good plan at all.

  8. Immigration built this country BUT it did so when labor supply was a constraint stopping higher growth. Howard expansion of immigration was in middle of mining boom. As was his last tax cuts. What we lack is a government deciding to rightsize both items to suit our current circumstances. And in their absence we have beneficiaries of current policy at our expense calling us racist. Cheeky $#@@$” so & sos.

    • Curious, when we got immigrants in the 1950s and 1960s, we did not dumb down Aussie degrees for them. The immigration program today is the most insidious it has ever been because the quality of Aussie degrees has been trashed so that 21 year olds from 3rd world villages can get one. The “degree” then results in permanent residency.

      They then end up working in supermarkets and petrol stations – while Aussie youth struggle to get a job in a supermarket.

      Also, from 1901 till 2016, less than 28% of AUS was foreign born. ie, the rate that we have had since 2009 is insane.

      Hardly any nation is over 28% foreign-born. Norway is only 11% foreign-born and is the best nation on the planet.