Is Labor really going to waste a good wage theft crisis?

Sure looks that way. Anthony Albanese’s judgement is poor, via The Australian:

Zero. That’s how many questions Anthony Albanese asked during yesterday’s question time.

Staying true to his strategic promise of unpredictability, the Labor leader yielded the floor to his backbench for two hours. His frontbench were left to sit on their hands, literally in the case of Labor deputy Richard Marles.

…But the unconventional shock factor quickly wore off as it became apparent that Albanese’s B-Team might not be up for the job.

Within seconds of Susan Templeman, the member for Macquarie, asking earnestly about wage theft in restaurants, Morrison had segued seamlessly into an edict about “the wage theft that’s occurring in the union movement”.

…As the afternoon continued, the self-gagged Albanese drew a large zero on a piece of paper and held it up to the government benches to help Matt Thistlethwaite, member for Kingsford Smith, during his question about how many bills the government had introduced to implement the recommendations of the banking royal commission. To no avail.

Perhaps Labor has concluded that “aspirational” wage earners don’t care about wage theft. If so, it is the only one, via News:

They’re the hip Melbourne restaurants where diners usually struggle to get a table, but this week several eateries owned by embattled celebrity chef George Calombaris are eerily quiet.

Photographs taken at a number of businesses owned by Made Establishment show only a handful of people inside, as the controversy plaguing Calombaris shows no signs of easing.

He was once a darling of the hospitality scene and one of the biggest names on television, thanks to his role as judge on juggernaut MasterChef Australia.

But Calombaris now finds himself staring down intense uncertainty, losing endorsement deals, exiting his plum TV gig and battling to rehabilitate his toxic public persona.

So, household names are crashing and burning owing to the wholesale ripping off of workers in the greatest scandal of its kind in modern Australian history, and Anthony Albanese muzzles himself then scores his own performance a zero on a hastily scribbled judges scorecard for the entire press gallery to use to the ends of time.

Perhaps Labor strategists know this and are happy to let Albo be the placeholder leader, Simon Crean style, as it figures out its next move. Albanese says as much himself at The Guardian:

Albanese says progressives inclined to making scarifying judgments about the opening phase of Labor in opposition need to be clear-eyed about what’s just happened, and by this he means the election defeat on 18 May. “So part of the commentary on social media is Labor [only] just lost the election. Actually, we went backwards in seats that have been held by Labor that were marginal seats, but are now safe Coalition seats,” Albanese says.

He says the starting point for working out where to go next is to understand, clinically and precisely, the nature of the rebuilding challenge. “We have to examine things as they are rather than as we would like them to be. If you don’t start at that point, and the need to win over … at least 1.2 million people who did not vote for us … if that’s not [Labor’s] starting point then we are not going to be successful.”

Albanese says it’s not possible to stop time and transit back to early April and replay the contest, imagining a different outcome.

But, let’s not gild the lily here, as Albanese rules by committee, the party is missing out on a staggeringly obvious path back into power that the likes of Tony Abbott or Mark Latham would use to destroy ScoMo in record time, let alone by 2022.

That path is directly down Labor’s traditional path of defending workers against rapacious capital. It is manifest in the extraordinary collapse of the Australian industrial relations system into a slave labour free-for-all driven by the mass immigration economic model.

Sure, Labor toyed with fixing this under Bill Shorten by dancing around the edges with temporary visa reform, so perhaps they reckon people voted against reforming it. But Shorten did it half-heartedly, indeed reluctantly. So much so, that his paltry efforts were turned complete mockery by such bizarre policymaking as the unlimited migrant parental visa, as if nobody would notice.

QLD did notice, and rejected it, favouring instead nationalist parties that will defend national borders and interests.

So, let’s help Albo & Co along with a little advice on what Labor needs to do now so its does not waste a wages theft crisis that is so vast that it has come to define the entire contemporary economy. Complete with destroyed wages growth, no inflation, structural transformation to slave labour business models and falling living standards.

What Labor strategists need is not a folksy Albo and Keating facsimile in Jim Chalmers, even if he is from QLD. They need a Mark Latham or Tony Abbott that boils this crisis down to one simple pitch that will resonate in the polity’s bones. It is this:

“the mass immigration economic model is destroying working families.”

The pitch has three parts:

  • wages are being stolen and gutted by greedy business;
  • houses are completely unaffordable owing to excessive demand, foreign buyers and the collapse of building standards, and
  • cities are being crushloaded and public service standards are collapsing under the weight.

ScoMo is intensely vulnerable on all three given:

  • he ripped away penalty rates and poured cheap foreign labour through a Swiss cheese visa system exploited by organised crime;
  • he has done nothing to prevent the apartment crisis, nor foreign buyers and is making house prices worse with mass immigration and negative gearing;
  • he is building nothing to match the speed of population growth and is hiding behind the states.

That’s it. That’s all that is needed. Repeated again and again and again for the next three years. It does not need to be racist and should not be. It does not need to be anti-multicultural and should not be. It will ride upon an unstoppable force that has a natural news trigger every single day. The unimpeachable lived experience of every Australian, every day, as they get paid less, sit in traffic, queue up for services, are crushloaded on trains and buses, shoehorn their kids into schools, watch education standards tumble, fear environmental degradation and struggle with mad mortgages.

That is, it is the truth.

All the Labor leader needs to do to shatter the Coalition into a billion little infighting pieces is point it out. Simply point at every symptom of falling living standards, every day, and point out that “this is ScoMo’s mass immigration economic model and we will fix it by halving the intake”. Then watch as ScoMo goes war with the mass immigration business lobby.

QLD and Australia will be Labor’s.

Houses and Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the fouding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

Comments

  1. Repeated again and again and again for the next three years.

    Yep. And the ALP needs to shut up about coal – Adani is about to go bankrupt like ABC Learning anyway:

    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/07/links-26-july-2019/#comment-3397858

    Besides, Suncorp has stopped insuring new coal mines and will stop insuring old coal mines by 2025:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-coal-insurance/australias-suncorp-to-phase-out-exposure-to-thermal-coal-by-2025-idUSKCN1UL052

    What a stroke of bad luck for the ALP. Adani purchased a terminal on the coast in 2011, every bank in the world has refused to lend money for the mine – including government banks in India! – and he still insists that coal is the future. If he never purchased the terminal, the ALP may have won the 2019 election.

    • The anti-Adani hysteria doesn’t work. It lost Labour the last election. Don’t believe everything you read on the ABC. Contracts are already being tendered. As I’ve said many times, this is happening, will be tremendous for the people of Queensland, and the loony left can’t stop it.

      • The fact that contracts are being tended indicates absolutely nothing about their solvency. The only reason Adani wouldn’t be tendering contracts would be if they had already declared bankruptcy.

        I’m skeptical that the mine will ever be commercially viable. The economics of thermal coal just don’t make sense anymore on the Indian side.

      • The Abbott point terminal is an investment disaster for Adani. The uneconomic mine is still chasing/gaming any form of subsidy it can to get throughput to save the terminal. This is a big big mess and shows just how poor our industry policy and monetary policy is, and just how easy it is to manipulate the major parties on a jobs promise.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        “As I’ve said many times…”
        Just the place for a Snark the Bellman cried… what I tell you three times is True.
        You Dingaling

      • Andrew, and you know what exactly about Adani? A BIG FAT NOTHING, that’s what! ABC Learning was operating right up until it wasn’t.

        Btw, how is it going to be tremendous for Queenslanders, you ****ing clown?

      • 21 billion dollars of investment. 10000 jobs. All of the flow-on effects right through the queesland economy. If you’re concerned about the environment then just ban all air travel in and out of Sydney and Melbourne.

      • Andrew, you’re a complete dickhead, 10,000 jobs my *rse. Their own people had to admit in the QLD Environment Court that it was more like 1500 jobs and that included the port and rail jobs.

        Here you go, clown: 10,000 jobs, hey? Not according to Adani’s own hand-picked economic expert, Jerome Fahrer from ACIL Allen consulting, who told the Queensland Land Court in 2015 under oath that only 1,464 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs would be created by the project:

        Here’s the link: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/02/adani-sticks-10000-jobs-lie/

        and this: “Over the life of the Project it is projected that on average around 1,464 employee years of full time equivalent direct and indirect jobs will be created.”

        Link:https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/business-spectator/fact-check-will-adanis-coal-mine-really-boost-employment-by-10000-jobs/news-story/903c1932738b1d1a1763c74e45f4d7c7

        The second link kills your lie.

        Now, will you stop pulling your pud.

      • And just given a royalty holiday and free royalty finance by taxpayers. How good is corporate welfare.

  2. The ALP will never talk about cutting immigration even though Gough did it when the economy started tanking. Maintaining their virtue signalling is more important than selling out Australian living standards.

    • And who among us can match the 360 degree virtue of Kween Kristina, Albanese’s laughably obstinate pick for Immigration Shadow, and rapidly becoming a priceless gold asset for the Coalition.

      Our ruinous (for locals) immigration and population policy has been set in quite explicit terms by Morrison (in the Population Plan) and Frydenberg (in the Budget Papers). KK, she of the boundless compassion and social justice, is giving them a free pass, as she wastes everybody’s time asking Gauleiter Dutton emotional questions about borders and visas.

    • High immigration isn’t really a problem because the immigrants only go to Sydney and Melbourne.

      • Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

        Yeah the 2 biggest cities in the country don’t matter!

        What sort of tard argument is this?

      • They’re an irrelevance. You’d have to be pretty dim to live there. If you’re going to be that dim at least have the decency not to moan about how awful they are. Everyone else already knows.

      • Brisbane and the south-east are also going down the Syd/Melb path. People live in the cities because they have to, it’s where monetary policy puts all the money (and jobs).

    • it’s not about virtue signalling, it’s about their lords (big businesses) loving it
      ALP is a fake left neoliberal party that works for big businesses using minority rights to create some appearance of being different than LNP

      • it’s not about virtue signalling, it’s about their lords (big businesses) loving it

        Yep.

        The ALP is anti-poor lite.

      • ALP introduced all the neoliberal ideas – deregulation, privatisation, outsourcing, investment based retirement systems, …
        come on, under ALP department of finance was officially called Department of Finance and Deregulation

      • That’s correct, all the big movers and shakers from the last two decades of Labor were following neoliberal economics. They mixed it up with some minor regulatory and wealth transfer policies, but their underlying economics was the same as the dominant global economics.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        For Andrew, whose knowledge of Neoliberalism seems sketchy;
        Posted e few day’s ago by an MB reader.
        But lets not forget that the neoliberal project really began with the Mont Pellerin Society whose Its founders included Friedrich Hayek, Frank Knight, Karl Popper, Ludwig von Mises, George Stigler and Milton Friedman and who’s founding principles saw their best expression in Hayek’s ‘Road to Serfdom’ and Freidman’s ‘Free to Choose’, two of the most cynical and depressing interpretations of human nature ever written in the guise of economic rationalism.
        In 1947 when these rabidly anti-communist, free-market fanatics contemplated the world order emerging around them in the immediate aftermath of WWII, they recoiled in fear and loathing. After the tribulations of 30 years of war, depression and misery since 1914 resulting from the depredations of mercantilism and the perverted classical economics Adam Smith, they foresaw the advent of a global society more inclined to progressive politics, economic equality and the welfare state.
        At their inaugural meeting the MPS society made a determination then and there that they would all dedicate themselves to ensuring that the new world order would not develop in this more humane direction but would instead be guided by the new philosopher kings of neolibreralism. In the following years the Society’s members worked tirelessly to ensure, through their positions in government and academia and with the assistance of the prevailing anti-communist hysteria, that economists, politicians, social scientists and even philosophers who shared their views were actively promoted through the ranks at the expense of progressives until a critical mass was achieved.
        By the time of the shocks of the 1970s the neoliberals were ready to strike and by the 1980s we had the two foremost exponents of the free market running the most powerful economic and financial powers at the time: Ronald Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK.
        Ever since the key economies in the world have been run according to neoliberal principles even after their complete debunking post GFC. This is because Neoliberalism is not simply an economic theory. It was, from its inception, a drastic and negative effort to distort human society, designed to atomise it and place the emphasis on personal responsibility above that of government responsibility, leaving the market free to operate in its own interest and that of the wealthy, no matter how obvious its abject failure to produce meaningful and lasting social outcomes became.
        What is so depressing is that, like the climate emergency, in spite of a now almost universal recognition that trickle down economics is a massive con and individual self-maximisation produces selfish societies, nothing changes.
        The stranglehold neoliberalism has on most societies, academia, government and the global economy means that even with idiots like Trump, Boris and Morrison, progressive thinkers are simply unable to break into the political and economic mainstream and change the narrative.
        A narrative who’s “whole rationale is rooted [in] maintaining an economy for the benefit of the rich – maximising profits through a supply of cheaply hired, desperate workers, and all under the pretext of fighting “inflation”.

      • 🤣 Just pick a bunch of people you don’t like and label them neo-liberal. That way you don’t have to argue the merits. Total identity policitcs 🤣

  3. Oh but what of fheir own nutty leffist side, the greens who would scream racism at the thought of immigrants stealing working families jobs. And then there is penny wong.

  4. Jumping jack flash

    Yeah nah.

    Banks wouldn’t like it.
    If you start mentioning the debt and the mechanics used to inflate the debt infinitely, then strongly worded letters containing the word “confidence” will quickly ensue.

  5. “So, let’s help Albo & Co along with a little advice …”
    The problem with doing this is, that if successful, you get Albo & Co r̶u̶i̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ running the country.

  6. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    people like that friendly jordies chap would wet their panties if Albo stuck on a testosterone patch and actually was a Labor leader for Australian people

  7. Queenslanders wanted their mine for employment and the retirees there wanted their franking credits. Immigration was nowhere to be seen otherwise SAP and the like would be gaining at least a perceptible share of the vote.
    I agree on pretty much everything this site says about massive immigration and its deleterious effects but all I see around me are people who shift uneasily any time the topic of immigration is raised. I have yet to meet anyone who has voiced an opinion that immigration numbers ought to be reduced.
    Many will speak in vague terms about the benefits of immigration.
    Whether you like it or not the majority of the population believes that immigration is good as it grows the economy and feel, in any case, that opposition to immigration is rooted in racist beliefs and so best not mentioned in polite company.

    • The propaganda that links questioning high population growth policy with rac1sm is still absolutely dominant. MB has undermined it to some extent, but nearly every person that i have a discussion with on population growth starts by looking at it through a rac1sm lens. It’s also interesting to talk with tradies and the like and you can see they really have no idea about how these models are defacto wage suppression or of the staggering scale of the absolute numbers involved. It’s the same with environmentalists, they simply refuse to acknowledge how the purpose of the growth model is designed to undermine their cause.

      Put simply, the neoliberal globalist extreme population growth agenda and the propaganda model that has gone with it has been the unequivocal success of our time in terms of transferring wealth to a very small percentage.

      • It’s amazing to see it happen in your life. When people look back at history and wonder how people can be whipped into a frenzy of hate like nazi Germany they think how could people be so dumb. Yet here we are 80 years later being brainwashed in exactly the same way through propaganda in the media telling us that the thing that is ruining our country and way of life is good for us. It’s surreal.

      • blacktwin997MEMBER

        That propaganda is like an immunosuppressant, preventing the public from reacting properly to being invaded and taken over.

  8. The awarenesses that MB has brought to the extreme population growth models needs to come to Superannuation. Just 5 years ago an age story would have no comments on overdevelopment and the failure of high growth models, now the comments are full of them.

    Look at the comments on Super here and you can see the same left corporatist rubbish propaganda that ignores the factual reality of superannuation, along with housing policy, as one of the greatest policy failures in Labor history. https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/keating-blasts-monkeys-for-grand-theft-super-rejig-20190728-p52bht.html#comments

  9. bolstroodMEMBER

    Labor have drunk deep at the Neoliberal Koolade well.
    They will not change…
    Just softly and silently vanish away, and never be heard from again.

    • In the same way the conservative parties have been dragged along by populist leaders because the only option was irrelevance, there will come a time where a strong working-class leader emerges and the Labor party will have the same options – follow or become irrelevant. The globalist corporatist extreme growth experiment is over, all that’s left are the vested interests pushing it forward. It has ruined our social infrastructure, clogged and broken our hard infrastructure and trashed the environment and our ecosystems/biodiversity. The question is really time now, how long can the vested interests extend and pretend.

  10. Stewie GriffinMEMBER

    It does not need to be anti-multicultural and should not be.

    I work for a large financial organisation, they spend a massive amount of time, money and resources building ‘culture’

    Last week during an appraisal the topic of Multiculturalism came up, and I mentioned that I did not support it and preferred Integration and Assimilation. My boss looked aghast and asked me how I could support something so against the popular narrative.

    I asked if our bank had a good culture? Yes. I asked if it was different to GoldmanSachs? Yes. I asked if it was different to Woolworths? Yes. I asked it was different to McDonalds? Yes.

    Then I asked why she didn’t propose at the next executive meeting that Finance adopt the culture of McDonalds, Business Banking adopt the culture of Woolworths and Financial Markets adopt the culture of GoldmanSachs?

    At that point, unlike some, a light went on in her eyes (or she marked me down as a trouble maker).

    What is a company? A group of people coming together and working for a common economic purpose.

    What is a society? A group of people coming together and working together for a common economic and social purpose.

    Common values are a necessary pre-condition in order for any organisation to efficiently and effectively execute the tasks that people are coming together to solve. A Multicultural corporation would be a completely dysfunction entity….. why the Phuck would ANYBODY think that it would work for society?

    People who support MC need to articulate a lot better what the supposed benefits of MC are and why the phuck we should support it, other than vague notions of diversity, tolerance and vibrancy – all of which are vanishing fast than Australia’s remaining social capital.

    There is only one Australian culture, Colonial Australian culture and the migrants who assimilated and intergrated into it. Every other ‘culture’ in Australia is an invading parasite, that is reducing the ability of our society to meet the needs of its existing inhabitants, as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

    That’s – that is the irrefutable argument why Multiculturalism is complete bullshyt and anyone supporting it as big and as useless a pansy as Anthony Albernise.

  11. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Time for a bit of the old “Red Flag”

    “ The working class can kiss my ar$e
    I’ve got the opposition leaders job at last “

  12. Labor is more lost than the Jews in the wilderness who wandered for 40 years. Perhaps Labor wants to wander for 40 years themselves?

  13. To find an example of a good opposition, look no further than Tony Abbott. He was brilliant in opposition (even though I loath his values).
    Why Labour isn’t following the Tony Abbott playbook is beyond me…..just make scary shit up about absolutely everything and say it in 3 word slogans.