You’re a bloody disgrace, Greg Jericho

Australia’s great worker class pretender is at it again today. Greg Jericho, card-carrying fake leftie who only looks after his own skin:

Have you heard the joke about the treasurer who walks into parliament and says that wages within two years will grow faster than 3%?

OK, it’s not exactly a side splitter, but the latest wages growth data released by the ABS on Wednesday highlight that the wages predictions in the budget papers are fast becoming comical – and put into doubt the size of the projected budget surplus.

Annual wages for all workers in the March quarter of this year rose 2.1% – up from the record low of 1.9% a year ago, but show no improvement from the December quarter.

…The latest wage data shows barely any sign of wages growth improving. At least things don’t appear to be getting worse, but the rebound remains rather less than spectacular – and certainly below that predicted in the budget just one week ago.

All the schadenfreude in the world can’t save Jericho from his own monstrous hypocrisy. He can pretend to care about wages, and throw potshots at the Government, but the truth is he supports lower wages with gusto.

How? This:

 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.

Actually, Jericho, your shame is now. Intellectual and moral shame for betraying Australia’s wage earners. How else do explain that we’ve had huge jobs growth as the Botox Boom and NDIS rolled out:

Firms still need labour:

Yet wages growth tumbled across the entire period?

Heck, even the Treasury/Department of Home Affairs report, Shaping a Nation, admitted that migrants have taken most of the new jobs:

 “Recent migrants accounted for two-thirds (64.5 per cent) of the approximately 850,000 net jobs created in the past five years. For full-time employment, the impact is even more pronounced, with recent migrants accounting for 72.4 per cent of new jobs created”.

You can blame all of the usual micro-economic forces: weaker union power, gig economy, automation, corporate power etc. They have all played a role at the margin. But the key factor is macro and much more simple. We’ve been running a massive supply shock into an over-supplied labour market via mass immigration and visa fraud, also from UBS a few months ago:

It’s an inflow of workers way beyond anything we saw during the mining boom even though the only economic activity we have is building houses and roads for the same influx of people. Sound a bit circular?

Why is it not OK to hate excessive levels of immigration but it is OK to hate you’re own working classes (which includes many, many immigrants)? Dr Katharine Betts from The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI) recently published a new report entitled “Immigration and public opinion in Australia: how public concerns about high migration are suppressed”, which explains why. Below is the Executive Summary, along with the key graphics from this report:

Australia’s remarkable population growth over the last decade is mainly being driven by high levels of immigration. The survey taken by the Australian Population Research Institute (Tapri) in August 2017 found that 54 per cent of voters wanted these levels reduced. But there is some division here. Sixty-one per cent of voters who are not university graduates wanted a reduction but only 41 per cent of graduates agreed.

Data from the 2016 Australian Election Study (AES) collected after the July 2016 federal election show that 72 per cent of people working in arts and media actually wanted a further increase in immigration, as did 49 per cent of teachers and academics. In contrast, those business managers who are not graduates were the keenest on a reduction.

The AES data also reveals an even more striking finding. Sixty per cent of the candidates standing for election in 2016 wanted an increase in migration and only four per cent wanted a decrease.

This position was especially marked for Labor and Greens candidates.

At that time 67 per cent of Labor candidates wanted an increase compared to only 31 per cent of Labor voters. Labor candidates were much closer to Greens candidates and to Greens voters than they were to their own supporters.

On the immigration question politicians live in an attitudinal world remote from the average voter.

Over a year later in 2017 Tapri found that 74 per cent of voters thought Australia did not need more people and that 54 per cent wanted a reduction in immigration. But adverse public opinion has had little impact on policy. There are two reasons for this: political pressures on policy makers applied by the growth lobby, Treasury and the Reserve Bank, and social pressures generated by cultural progressives (most of them university graduates). It is they who promote, and monitor, the doctrine that opposition to high migration is racist.

The Tapri survey documents this, finding that nearly two thirds of voters think that people who question high migration are sometimes thought of as racists. Thirty-one per cent of this group say that this is because such sceptics usually are racists (an opinion endorsed by 41 per cent of graduates). Sixty-nine per cent of this sub-group say that the accusation is unfair ‘because very few of them are racists’, a proportion rising to 75 per cent among non-graduates.

These results are used to construct a free-speech-on-immigration variable. This consists of four categories: the ‘guardians against racism’ (those who said sceptics usually were racist); the ‘threatened’ (those who said the accusation was unfair); the ‘fearless’ (those who said sceptics were not ‘sometimes thought of as racist’); and the ‘confused’ (those who said ‘don’t know’).

Graduates predominate among the guardians. Twenty-six per cent of graduates took the strong moral position that questioning high migration was usually a manifestation of racism. Not surprisingly, graduates who are guardians against racism are much more likely to want an increase in migration than are the threatened or indeed the sample as a whole.

A further question found that people who were threatened by possible accusations of racism were less likely to speak out about immigration, especially if they were graduates. As for the confused, 45 per cent said they didn’t know enough about immigration to discuss it.

Many voters are either silenced by the threat posed by the guardians or too confused to take an active part in public debate. If the two categories of threatened (45 per cent) and confused (10 per cent) are added, 55 per cent of voters may be deterred from entering into any debate on immigration.

The guardians are right to take a strong stand against racism but wrong to see it where none exists. The problem lies in the moral reflex that equates discontent about high migration with racism. The silence this promotes does more than inhibit democratic reform, it gives comfort to the growth lobby. This profits from immigration while leaving the silenced majority to pay the costs.

Jericho is a card carrying member of the “guardians against racism (those who said sceptics usually were racist)” clique. He now actively buries fact and argument in this goal despite working for a paper that professes to be Left and to care about the poor and working classes.

Jericho is much worse than the Government he claims to hold to account. For the politician, lying is a part of the business. For the blogger, the truth is all he has.

Comments

  1. He has to follow his editors motives….simple. If not he’d be sent packing. You can effectively disregard his posts as coming from him, and that’s the problem with their version of the truth. It’s opinion or talking their book. Most people in Melb/Syd would ignore him by their daily reality.

    • rentsailorMEMBER

      Agree. “Journalists” who work for organisations are required to tow the party line or they are out.

      Whether they admit it to themselves or not.

  2. You’ve lost it with your attack on this guy. You’re right that he is suffering from the “don’t mention its name” disease as regards immigration.

    But you’re wrong, by implication, to blame the lack of wage growth on immigration. It is way way more complicated than that. But by beating him up for his failure to consider immigration as a cause, you vastly over simplify the debate.

    This lack of wage growth and inflation in the developed world since the GFC is at the very least a long-running cyclical event, but more likely a structural change that will last for decades. It also has a whole host of sociopolitical causes.

    You’re leading people down the wrong track here.

    • A reduction in immigration would cause wages to go up. This is a direct correlation. Examples include, the UK, where wage growth has been seen post brexit, and the US, where enforcement of preexisiting laws means average wages are going up and unemployment is down.

      Yes, there are other issues, but cutting immigration would fix so many things so quickly, that realistically, all the other issues can be ignored. Your implication, that immigration has a small, almost negligible impact on wages is flat wrong.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Actually, you are wrong. Immigration reduces wages. It is a logical conclusion, and there are plenty if empirical evidence to back it up.

      https://gborjas.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/published-version.pdf

      The writers who claim ‘it is more complicated than that ‘ doesn’t have a model. They just claim it must be wrong because.. racist!! Ask anyone who works in Australian IT on the impact of 457 visas if you still have doubts.

      • I work in the Aus IT industry and have since 2010. Agreed immigration depresses wages in many areas. But in many areas there are significant shortages and wages are abnormally high.

        But this is the nature of IT, certain areas boom for a while, a whole lot of people skill up in those areas (or immigrate) and then the tech goes out of fashion, there’s a surplus, but shortages spring up elsewhere.

        Wont argue that immigration is a factor in this, but again its far from the only one.

      • Immigration from low wage countries is especially likely to reduce wages. A hot shot coder from Silicon Valley used to USD $200K isn’t going to work for much less in Sydney. Coming from India where a good salary might be $20K – well what would you expect?

        Likewise immigration from countries with large informal sector, poor work conditions, reduces compliance with our labour and tax laws. Hence so many working cash in hand for half the minimum wage.

    • greedypuppyMEMBER

      Bravo. Immigration is merely a visible sign that something is wrong not the cause. I would be curious to see what a the chart looked like for National and Lib MPs and Candidates regarding immigration…when last I looked they have been on the Treasury benches for the past two elections (and as we know have actively courted One Nation who have behaved just like the pup they are) and the migration rates have continued to rise. Real wage growth stagnation at a time when corporate profits have soared and executive pay has gone sky high illustrates the answer lies elsewhere

      • “Real wage growth stagnation at a time when corporate profits have soared and executive pay has gone sky high illustrates the answer lies elsewhere”.

        No, it illustrates the point beautifully. Expanding the number of consumers via mass immigration lines the elites’ pockets at the ordinary workers’ expense. Former Treasury Secretary Ken Henry summarised this point beautifully in a recent speech:

        “Research NAB carried out earlier in the year showed that among our customers there’s not wholesale support for a larger Australia. For many, the prospect of a higher Australian population means more stress in the ability to buy a house, to live where you want to live, to get to work with a reasonable commute time. And many in the community are also concerned about our ability, as a nation, to maintain norms of Australian social and economic inclusion, and to continue to provide access to high quality services in areas such as healthcare and education…

        But what is the business perspective? The same NAB research showed that most of our business customers would strongly prefer a larger population, which supports better business growth”.

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        (and as we know have actively courted One Nation who have behaved just like the pup they are)

        This is gratuitious and doesn’t really fit in with your post. Champing at the bit to give your pet hate a tongue lashing as an aside doesn’t really contribute to your credibility.

        Why is One Nation a “pup” and what is the obsession with juvenile dogs?

    • We have never argued that mass immigration is the only issue pushing down wages. There are several. But it certainly makes the issue worse (just like with housing affordability). It also raises the cost of living for the working class (think housing costs, increased infrastructure costs, etc), degrades their standard of living, and raises inequality. So why don’t Fake Left commentators like Jericho ever question mass immigration?

      Answer: Because to do so is supposedly racist. Who would have though: immigration numbers are a race now.

      • Actually, I never argued immigration was the key cause.I argue that wages were always going to weaken owing to the terms of trade crash. Immigration is a way of ensuring that that adjustment is heaped upon labour while protecting capital.

      • Agreed with these points. Immigration is one of the tools capital uses to increase its share of the pie, and this should definitely be called out.

        GJ is wrong not to do this. But he’s also right on many other points.

      • “But he’s also right on many other points”.

        As noted explicitly by H&H. But Jericho jumped the shark as soon as he played the race card against anyone arguing for immigration to be lowered to sensible and sustainable levels.

    • I challenge anyone to show that wages growth in the US or UK is ONLY due to immigration or lack thereof. It is way way more complicated than that. For a start UK hasn’t left the EU yet, which is its main source of immigration.

      Yes, immigration can stifle wage growth. But my bet is there are plenty of other causes contributing more.

      By attacking GJ for not considering immigration in the way some of these articles do, you lead people to the conclusion that it’s the ONLY cause. Whether you intend to or not.

      • “Actually, Jericho, your shame is now. Intellectual and moral shame for betraying Australia’s wage earners. How else do explain that we’ve had huge jobs growth as the Botox Boom and NDIS rolled out: Firms still need labour. Yet wages growth tumbled across the entire period? Heck, even the Treasury/Department of Home Affairs report, Shaping a Nation, admitted that migrants have taken most of the new jobs. You can blame all of the usual micro-economic forces: weaker union power, gig economy, automation, corporate power etc. They have all played a role at the margin. But the key factor is macro and much more simple. We’ve been running a massive supply shock into an over-supplied labour market via mass immigration and visa fraud”

        This is pretty clear I think. From my reading, you’re putting far too much emphasis on the role of immigration here.

    • DarkMatterMEMBER

      is at the very least a long-running cyclical event,

      It is virtually impossible to identify any plausible mechanism that would lead to long term harmonic cycles in a a complex system like an economy. What you might get are repeating sequences of metastable states, however you would need to show a history of the inferred state machine to propose this. The characterisation of harmonic cycles in economics is simply a hangover from the tatty origins of economics in 19th century mathematics.

      • Maybe my words were chosen clumisly… what I meant here was that there’s a school of thought that the world economy is about to re-enter another extended period of high inflation akin to the 70s and 80s. If that happens then the current low levels of wage growth in developed economies would be seen as part of a long-term cycle through some of the 90s,00s and into the 10s.

        There’s another school of thought that low inflation and low wage growth are actually the normal order of things and we’re just returning to that, with the 1970s-90s being a true outlier when viewed over the timeline of a few centuries.

      • DominicMEMBER

        Mmmm, unless I’ve misunderstood what you’ve written I’d have to take issue. Perhaps ‘harmonic’ is where I’ve gone astray but economies are very much subject to cycles and it is fairly to explain what causes them. Since the advent of our fiat money system the amplitude (and length) of such cycles has increased markedly — again, the causes all very easily explained.

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        A harmonic cycle is where two variables track 90 degrees out of phase as a sine and cosine. This is typical of mass springs, pendulums or orbital mechanics. In harmonic cycles you will always observe a 90 degree phase shifted compliment and the cyclical transfer of a system variable (like kinetic potential energy). It is very much 19th century physics.

        What you do see in systems is something like Limit Cycle Oscillation, which is a type of state machine with the system moving from state to state. This can look like a cycle, but in fact it is not the same and not predictable like harmonic oscillation. The “cycles” described by Minsky are like this, however they are not reliable in the way true harmonic cycles are and the period is irregular.

        The other spurious “cycle” is the simplex function – similar to Perlin Noise. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplex_noise The easy way to describe this is to take a random number at a regular interval and draw continuous curve through these points. This curve has a correlation of 1 , falling off to 0 either side. The noise function is everywhere in nature and complex systems (like economic systems). Humans are hardwired to see patterns and cycles, so if you look at a simplex (noise) curve, it is very easy to convince yourself there is a cyclical pattern. The brain loves perlin noise https://planetside.co.uk/terragen-image-gallery/ – all perlin noise with some paint splashed on.

        I would be interested if there were true harmonic cycles in economics. Are there any?

  3. Man is this gunna be put to good use~
    “For the politician, lying is a part of the business.
    For the blogger, the truth is all he has.”

  4. It’s possible for more than one thing to be true. There are people who don’t have a racist bone in their body who oppose high immigration because it creates traffic jams etc and there are people who oppose high immigration because they really are racist. The latter group can be split into sub-groups, those who are explicitly racist and those who hide their racism by pretending to care about traffic jams etc.

    Then there are those who know perfectly well that high immigration causes traffic jams etc but also know that if they say that they will branded as racist, which would be social death, or career death if they work for the Guardian. Jericho probably is in this group.

    And then there’s those people who say that high immigration need not cause traffic jams etc if infrastructure was properly planned and paid for, migrants were incentivised (forced) to live in the regions, and so on.

    There’s a lot of competing and overlapping narratives in which progress can’t be made because of the currently fashionable mode of shrill, social media soundbite driven political discourse. The opening piece by HnH which is just a personal attack and a rant is a classic example of lashing out which advances the cause not one millimetre.

    • Very superior and all of that.

      But if I can make him think twice about writing his garbage on wages then it is a win. This has already stopped many from declaring “racism” at the first mention of immigration. It was key to swinging the debate away from the moral panic is was in.

      So, basically, it advances debate and you’re too pompous to see it.

      • Do you really think Jericho cares what you say? He probably has never heard of you, or this blog.

      • ‘Do you really think Jericho cares what you say? He probably has never heard of you, or this blog.’

        Hahaha. love it. cognitive dissonance and projection, all rolled into one. Can’t fake a snowflake being triggered. Salty much buddy?

      • DominicMEMBER

        Actually, Joe Bloggz, if you Google ‘Greg Jericho’ you’ll see this very article posted at the top of the page. Jericho won’t miss that.

        Perhaps you are he?

      • I just googled Greg Jericho and this article is not at the top of the page. And I am not he.
        Bullion Barron’s link implies that he is aware of Macrobusiness. So that’s something. But Jericho’s tweet suggests that he could not give a fat rat’s clacker what is said on this blog. Why should he? He writes for an international newspaper and has 42,800 Twitter followers. He has no reason to care about what is said here.

    • then there are those people who write long winded comments with no meaning or conclusions…..

    • DarkMatterMEMBER

      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.

      This is quite a bizarre piece of writing. The only way I can interpret those figures is that jobs growth almost exactly matches immigration, and so we are standing still but with the extra burden of a growing infrastructure shortfall. If there is a more subtle interpretation, Greg Jericho doesn’t seem willing to share it with us. Next paragraph he is off to the races with melodramatic images of Racists slowly walking by with arms linked – any number of them, possibly 100 million I suppose.

      I think Reverend Greg thoroughly deserves a good kick in the pants for this silly twaddle. If he is an Economics Blogger, then he should stick to rational facts and reasonable arguments. If he wants to try his hand at fiction or poetry, then stick to creative prose and imagery. Perhaps not a wise choice if he wants to keep paying his bills.

      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.

      More hamfisted pot boilers from Greg. It is almost like Buzzword Bingo where the contestants try to construct a sentence which has the most hysterical hyperbole as possible. Hate – 5 points. Racist – 10 points. Vile racism – 20 points. Fires of hate – 40 points. Hard working Mums and Dads – 100 points. Victim of racist taunts – 100 points.

      Hard working mums and dads were confronted by scenes of hatred yesterday in Buffallo Road, Ryde where vile bogans had sticky taped poorly spelled racist slogans to an abandoned shopping trolley. Emergency services were called when the ordinary, everyday Aussies were trapped by out of control fires of hate at one end of the street, and any number of vile racists arm in arm, slowly blocking their exit at the other end.

      A couple of hours and some Python scripts could probably replace Greg and nobody would notice.

  5. Well isn’t he just so morally superior. Reminds me of the letters pages of the newspaper (my favourite section) where people write in to tell the rest of us how it really is because only they have a real understanding of the issue. Love it.

  6. oliver47MEMBER

    Jericho does no more than summarise the ABS statistics of wages & employment and the budget forecasts.
    He includes, without commentary, the wages growth and unemployment data 1998-2018 as a “Phillips curve”, which has the qtrly data for the past 5 yrs hanging below the curve like dogs’ balls. The budget forecast is for a return to the curve within 3 yrs with a “perfect” 3.5% wage growth & 5.3% unemployment by June, 2021 – That’s the “joke”!
    The downward wages growth trajectory started before the 1st Hockey budget (remember “lifters and leaners” & “poor people do not drive cars”) and has been hovering at 2%for 2 yrs. Scomo’s cynicism in putting forward such a forecast, without any significant changes to past policy, is breath-taking.

  7. Similarly spurious is the argument that we should first improve infrastructure before then increasing our migrant intake.

    It’s outrageous to prepare for things before you do them. That might lead to positive outcomes.

  8. Immigration is a cult with Guardian readers and is a prime weapon in their culture wars against right wing cultural warriors. Guardian idiots are in favour of mass immigration because they hear right wingers like Abbott and Hanson oppose it. Even Jerijoke at one stage says he initially believed that most new jobs were going to migrants and then he mentioned that belief put him in league with racists. So he changed his tune and his facts to be on the correct side of the struggle against racists. Similarly the right wing cultural war battle front is renewable energy. Lefties and greenies like it so they don’t. Look at those dribblers Ross Cameron and Rowan Mean on Sky Fox news. The facts don’t matter, if left wingers like renewable energy then whatever the facts, they will argue against it. Jericho and his ilk are fighting a culture war, they could never admit someone like Abbott has a valid point. It’s the vibe that counts, not the substance

    • It’s not a cult with me.
      I tend to agree with most of Jericho’s arguments but on this one think that he is wrong. In fact I find H&H’s arguments extremely persuasive.
      On the other hand I don’t see the point of aggressive name calling. What is the point of it?

      • Come back to us when you have spent five or six years like him combatting the lies and propaganda of the plutocrats and their useful idiots in the fake left media and pass judgement then would be my advice

      • Come back to the “rest of us” then. Is that better? The remainder of my point stands, five or six years of combat against the odds does not make for high diplomacy sometimes

      • Even StevenMEMBER

        @ Davie – name calling accurately conveys the extent of HnH and UE’s disgust.

        When used appropriately, I have no objections. This felt appropriate.

        Jericho has made a thinly veiled swipe that anyone who opposes high rates of immigration is racist. Disgraceful. Stick to financial analysis, Jericho. And stay well away from moralising sermons.

  9. sydboy007MEMBER

    I’ve noticed that the various terms the left have used to shut down debate re having less of an effect these days. There’s only so long the snowflakes can try to deny reality before it eventually has to be acknowledged.

    My hope is the guardian will eventually go the way of the dodo. It considers anyone right of Mao to be practically a nazi