Greens launch sensible recovery plan

Via The Guardian:

The Greens have proposed increasing government debt by $300bn in a bid to kickstart the economy out of the Covid-19 contraction through investments in industry, infrastructure and renewable energy.

The Invest to Recover plan, released on Monday, sets up the Greens’ economic argument leading into the next election as a battle against Coalition austerity and Labor, which it says is “afraid of sensible borrowing to invest in our future”.

The biggest ticket items include a jobs guarantee, free tertiary education for under 30s, $24bn over 10 years for public education, a $12bn manufacturing fund, 500,000 new public and community homes, $25bn on public transport, $6bn to modernise the electricity grid, a $6bn nature fund and $2.3bn for the arts.

The Greens also propose retaining key features of the coronavirus support packages including free childcare and the doubling of unemployment benefits to $1,100 a fortnight.

While the minor party holds just one lower house seat and can only govern in partnership with other parties, its policies from a banking royal commission, lifting Newstart and preventing cuts to penalty rates have proved influential, especially over Labor.

Labor has already proposed the government should provide more support for the arts sector and spend its way out of the Covid-19 contraction with a housing construction package and a nation-building infrastructure program.

But Anthony Albanese has warned the shadow front bench that, if elected, Labor would face a “constrained fiscal situation” and the shadow finance minister, Katy Gallagher, has called for an audit into government debt, in a bid to shame the Coalition for doubling gross debt since it took office in 2013.

The Greens estimate Australia’s net debt would rise from 30% of GDP to 44% under its plan – an increase of $300bn over 10 years – which it argues is “still less than half of the advanced economies’ average of 95% during the pandemic and well below those countries’ debt levels even before Covid-19 (which was 76%)”.

More from Domain:

A Bernie Sanders-inspired youth jobs guarantee will be proposed by the Greens to help boost the Australian economy after the pandemic in a plan designed to help young people and women recover from job losses.

Sources close to the Greens who did not wish to be named as the plan has not yet been finalised, said the model would be “similar” to the former US Presidential candidate’s promise to give every American looking for work a $15-an-hour job on major infrastructure, environmental and education schemes.

Not a bad line-up. For starters, it puts youth at the head of the recovery which is essential given it has made the greatest sacrifice.

The investment focus is welcome and will be needed. We are entering a period of severe demand deficit globally so this is the kind of spending package that will be required. Stuff like tax and personal cuts will just get saved by corporations and individuals alike.

Their public housing construction and negative gearing reform would keep house prices at bay.

I’m not sure how workable the jobs guarantee is but that’s the kind of policy that is in order – something akin to universal basic income – as private sectors deleverage for a time post-virus.

All up, it’s something of a Green New Deal which finds good timing in the post-virus world. Thus as a Keynesian package it’s good. Whether you’d want to see it bedded down longer-term as a more centrally-planned economy is a different question.

That probably boils down to what The Greens would do with immigration. The party is card-carrying pansy on borders and universally slams as “racist” anyone that moots cutting it back. If they returned mass immigration to its former levels then most of the New Green Deal benefits would flow away from the community and towards new migrants, as everything built was crush-loaded before completion, wages were suppressed, education was debased still further, and Chinese influence increased steadily.

If that were the case then the Green New Deal would start to look more like the Red New Deal.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

  1. BabundaMEMBER

    I’m not sure how workable the jobs guarantee is but that’s the kind of policy that is in order – something akin to universal basic income

    The JG is nothing like a UBI. It’s much, much better. It keeps people attached to the labour force and avoids moral hazard. Only downside is that it’s administratively more difficult to implement.

    Good to see the Greens making some sense again.

    • With a Job Guarantee the moral hazard lies with those that oversee it, much like the Job Seeker network or any current work for the dole scheme. Running a full employment policy with a return to the CES model would likely be better than a JG. It has a proven track record, unlike the JG. And, to my knowledge, UBIs have been tested and shown to have improved outcomes for education, health (mental and physical) as well employment participation.

      • BabundaMEMBER

        Depends on your definition of ‘outcomes.’ The only large scale trial (Finland) found that it made people happier and less stressed, but also kept them jobless. Anyone with a shred of pragmatism can see it’s just an incentive not to work. This tends to pi$$-off the working population. Hence the Fins abandoned their trial and moved to a work-for-the-dole model.

        • Quite a bit of research has been done into UBIs. Appendix A of this report by Guy Standing, submitted to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, looks at 13 different pilots. Not all of them were full UBIs. Appendix B is an argument against a JG.
          https://www.progressiveeconomyforum.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/PEF_Piloting_Basic_Income_Guy_Standing.pdf

          The author also oversaw a trial that took place in India that showed a UBI to have broad benefits in health across the community. While it may be easy to dismiss the improvements as not being applicable to a developed country similar results were found when looking at data from a trial in America. An description of the American trial can be found in Rutger Bregman’s ‘Utopia for Realists’. Rutger discusses this in this conversation with Richard Fidler.
          https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/conversations/conversations-rutger-bregman/8883962

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            While it may be easy to dismiss the improvements as not being applicable to a developed country similar results were found when looking at data from a trial in America.

            America might not be your best example of a “developed country” in this context.

        • I should also add that I don’t see UBI and JG as being exclusive. A UBI to prevent poverty and also provide an income for those who are caring for others with a JG for those who wish to get earn more, as most would, but can’t find work might be another option. That both the UBI and JG have advocates from both sides of the political spectrum shows that the surrounding policies should be looked at before making a judgement on whether it would be benefit society. Rutger Bergman notes in an interview on Pitchfork Economics that his European background means he envisages it being implemented alongside social services like health and education. It may not be as effective in a country like America where it could get chewed up quickly by costs people in other countries don’t have.

          The Pitchfork Economics interview is worth a listen as the presenter is really challenges Bergman on some of the assumptions.
          https://pitchforkeconomics.com/episode/a-roadmap-to-utopia-with-rutger-bregman/

          The presenter is the plutocrat Nick Hanauer who penned the infamous “The Pitchforks are Coming … For Us” article and who advocates for a fairer form of capitalism.
          https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014

          • Is this area of public policy just an area of interest for you footsore or related to your vocation/profession?

          • It’s just an area of interest. I heard Richard Fidler’s interview with Rutger Bergman while driving somewhere and have just tried to learn more about it. From what little I’ve found it appears to have been good for the people and communities where it has been trialed. Sadly the idea seems to sit poorly with many and so it is dismissed before even being given a proper look.

          • Just imagine a world where most, hell even just the average punter a. read about a bit of public policy and b. decided to learn more. Every so often I’m reminded as to why I visit this forum. Thanks.

        • drsmithyMEMBER

          Hence the Fins abandoned their trial and moved to a work-for-the-dole model.

          I don’t know the specifics of what’s happening in Finland, but a JG is explicitly *not* a work-for-the-dole scheme.

          It’s “work if you want it”, not “work if you want to eat”.

    • Can someone explain why a UBI is preferable to increasing the size of the public sector? Serious question.

      • NoodlesRomanovMEMBER

        UBI still leaves productive members of society open to entrepreneurial enterprise that may improve society as a whole.

        Becoming part of public service just means they can sit at a computer playing solitaire and letting the belt out a notch every 3 months.

      • UBI is a subsidy for big business. So the question is apples/oranges so does not make sense.

        Here is how you want to think about it. What will happen to the profits of the big 4, colesworth, telstra under UBI (Pick the 10 most influential companies in Oz, i.e. folks who run the joint).

        What will happen to their profits? Will they go up, or will they come down? I’m going to suggest the biggest companies P/L will go up under UBI. Who pays for this – the taxpayer. So we are taking money from the taxpayer and giving it to the local monopolists.

        It has no comparison to a public service. And I don’t mean because the PS is good/bad/ugly, I mean as a category error you cannot compare the two.

        A really good question to ask is who is pushing UBI and why do you think it is a replacement for the PS. As in, you clearly did not make the connection in your head yourself, so whose propaganda makes you think they are the same.

        You’ll find it is the green/left progressives backed by hard right billionaires.

        In a happy twist of fate, online randoms despise these folks, and said folks are being b***h-slapped across the Internet. You should be long popcorn.

        • Thanks T, this is far more interesting of a conversation than ‘free money = problems fixed’.
          It feels to me like a distraction from seeking real solutions to social problems. At least with a govt job there’s the potential to contribute productively. UBI provides nothing but demand, and as you point out, this is music to the ears of big business and profit takers like Harvey.

          • “It feels to me like a distraction from seeking real solutions to social problems.”

            You’re not wrong. But the fact it is a distraction can only really be ascertained in hindsight. Its really hard to tell if any specific proposal is/is-not a distraction in the grand scheme of things.

            Its also kind of how the system works. Interested participants put forward wildly skewed proposals, which get sort of brought into the mainstream after being cleaned up / competed away / compromised on, and then either (a) die, (b) succeed, (c) bit of column A and bit of B.

            Its definitely a distraction – but it also is kind of how it works / is useful. By being wildly stupid / terribly skewed is how these things get social currency, and lead to better compromises if we all play nice. So it is a distraction, and in an annoying way is slightly useful.

            How is it useful? Its a memetic flagpole to find allies with when involved in the negotiating process. So political factions will use it as an easy us vs them signifier when looking for allies to get other stuff done. It saves time to have these ‘common-knowledge’ markers in the memetic landscape. It saves time – its surprisingly practical, hence it exists.

            Which is a terribly unsatisfactory answer. It is what it is.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Can someone explain why a UBI is preferable to increasing the size of the public sector? Serious question.

        Because it shrinks the size of the public sector. 🙂

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            *Most* UBI proposals are intended to replace all social security payments and the departmental infrastructure supporting them.

            Very frequently they also have a long game to privatise most, if not all, public services (schools, healthcare, etc) by simply increasing UBI to what those services “should” cost provided by private industry.

            The typical argument in favour of a UBI is to simplify the social security system (and therefore shrink it from a departmental perspective).

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Edit function seems broken.

            I meant to add to the end of the previous:

            That is why the UBI is primarily pushed by Libertarian free marketeers and Centrists (ie: socially progressive neoliberals – or “Fake Left” as MB likes to call them).

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Good to see the Greens making some sense again.

      With the exception of a “youth jobs guarantee”, it’s all lifted straight from their existing policies, or expansions thereof (eg: previously the increased “JobSeeker” objective was much lower).

  2. Free tertiary education for under 30s? How is that going to help?

    I’m any case, at least only make it free in the areas that we need skills.

    • Nope, I suspect the greens will be all for unlimited places as well, plenty in the greens quarter believe any merit based admission scheme is just white privilege and the patriarchy at work. 10 years from now, it will be the vocational education fraud gone nuclear. Though it would make it hard for universities to argue they need intl students??

      And why the under 30′ argument. So someone who is 48 and now needs to re skill can’t access it (despite still paying the taxes that fund free education for the under 30’s).

      As far as the $1100 per fortnight unemployment benefit….. am I missing something here? That would result in a 2x unemployed household taking home $57,000 pa, not far off what the average working household earns? add in 2x children in fully subsided day care and that family is costing tax payers anywhere from $100k to 120k pa, before any other services are taken into account. I’m sure the average working folk would love that policy…?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Fix the “not enough jobs” and “dole is too low” problems and you fix the “pointless degree” problem.

        As a bonus, you fix actual problems rather than just trying to hide the symptoms by keeping people out of Uni.

        • Hmm… I’m not sure of the context here? but the preference for Tertiary education is far more than a “not enough jobs” problem. There is a whole generational shift at play. Going to to uni appears to be just another ‘thing’ one does.

          As with most services unlimited supply plus low (free) cost = worthless commodity, and yes I am linking unlimited funding directly to entry standards because we know with absolute certainly how universities act today and thus what they will do tomorrow. University places should be limited, if not by the jobs it’s seeking to fill at the very least by the merit of those attending. Only the best and brightest should be seeking those places (as it used to be??). Others without that ability should focus on other areas, it’s not as if a quality trade doesn’t offer you great income potential these days (maybe even better than many professions).

          As far as unlimited free university being linked to the ‘dole is too low’ problem, I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make there? What, that a sizeable portion of the unemployed would become viable students if the dole was higher?Or if the dole was higher those people undertaking useless degrees just wouldn’t bother? That simply equates to paying people not to go to uni, vs simply not allowing them in the first place?

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Hmm… I’m not sure of the context here? but the preference for Tertiary education is far more than a “not enough jobs” problem. There is a whole generational shift at play. Going to to uni appears to be just another ‘thing’ one does.

            People are going to Uni en masse because many even basic entry level jobs “require” a degree.

            They “require” a degree because it’s a really easy way and automatable way to chop down a list of thousands of applicants into hundreds (or whatever).

            As with most services unlimited supply plus low (free) cost = worthless commodity […]

            This is a stupid oversimplification (in general, and a misrepresentation specifically).

            University places should be limited, if not by the jobs it’s seeking to fill at the very least by the merit of those attending. Only the best and brightest should be seeking those places (as it used to be??).

            The point of “unlimited places” is not to remove entry standards and I don’t think anyone outside of strawman herders seriously suggests it is. It’s to allow anyone capable of passing the entry standards to attain an education and not be turned away because an arbitrary quote is full.

            Maintaing entry standards has certainly become an issue, but that is a problem with maintaing entry standards, not that anyone capable of being an Engineer or a Doctor can study to be one.

            As far as unlimited free university being linked to the ‘dole is too low’ problem, I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make there? What, that a sizeable portion of the unemployed would become viable students if the dole was higher?Or if the dole was higher those people undertaking useless degrees just wouldn’t bother? That simply equates to paying people not to go to uni, vs simply not allowing them in the first place?

            I was under the impression Austudy (or whatever it’s called these days) is either more generous and/or has fewer “mutual obligations” than the dole (particularly for the young), and has been for some. Thus, it drives people who would otherwise be unemployed and on the dole, into “studying” (and more importantly from a policy perspective, away from appearing in unemployment statistics).

            The underlying problem here is high unemployment. Hardly anyone is spending years are University racking up tens of thousands of dollars debt, in poverty, for a lark. They’re doing it because the other options are worse. Fix the job problem and people will stop lining up to do pointless degrees, because why would you spend years of your life racking up a huge debt when you could be earning money and not being dirt poor ?

          • “Maintaing entry standards has certainly become an issue, but that is a problem with maintaining entry standards, not that anyone capable of being an Engineer or a Doctor can study to be one.”

            Agreed, but I mentioned that I have correlated unlimited places to entry standards for very good reason, one is a proxy for the other and the moral hazard is simply too great. And that is just the entry standards, once those paying customers are in (yes customers, not students) you need to ensure that education standards are sufficiently low as well. I certainly don’t support quotas of an arbitrary nature but if universities are indeed public institutions, then they should focus courses on those the public requires not just those someone will pay for.

            “As with most services unlimited supply plus low (free) cost = worthless commodity […]” Oversimplification sure, stupid no. flooding a market with graduates in a discipline that doesn’t require them puts downward pressure on the conditions of existing workers and locks those graduates out of employment when the market is just to saturate. Ask those with graduating teachers how the job market is, particularly those with sub 50 ATARS that were granted entry to teaching degrees…. oh and with highly subsidised fees. Graduate lawyers will tell you a similar story, graduate legal labour is essentially a basic commodity so I’m told, you’re a graduate accountant? ha, best you have 99th percentile results a few contacts and/or a minority card to play because otherwise, you will be doing a hard slog for many years and that carpenter will (on average) be far wealthier than you come age 40.

            I have never heard the argument that the unemployed are “studying” in order to gain slightly higher unemployment benefit, certainly not university level courses (as opposed to TAFE or some dodgy vocational provider?). Interesting, but I’d have to see some evidence on that.

            I agree that many employers are looking for degrees as minimum entry but that does not explain the whole story. University degrees are sold as exactly that, a minimum ticket for life, and therefore that what people treat it as, “don’t care what I study, just get me a piece of paper”. Again, under and unlimited place, low standards free education world that problem would only increase (not to mention devalues the prior study of everyone else as well)

            I would have far more respect for the Greens if they recognised that a degree in intl business is NOT useful for many people (let alone some other BS degree). Committing to a trade for example would be a far more acceptable option (especially if one is going to carry on about local manufacturing as well).

            For those you speak of as seeing university as their “lest worse life option” surely a basic job or a trade comes before a commerce degree that 10 yeas ago they never would have gained access to. Injecting funds into trade schools is far more preferable than simply opening unlimited public funding for more law degrees at institutions of questionable quality. But that goes against the Green’s narrative…. everyone’s a winner and if you’re not, it is someone else fault.

            I do get it though, masses of blue collar workers are hardly a greens voting base. A triple (tax payer funded) degree holding part time barista is of far more importance.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Agreed, but I mentioned that I have correlated unlimited places to entry standards for very good reason, one is a proxy for the other and the moral hazard is simply too great.

            You cannot use the outcomes of a system almost explicitly built to turn “education” into a tick-and-flick profiteering exercise to how a properly managed system would function.

            Oversimplification sure, stupid no. flooding a market with graduates in a discipline that doesn’t require them puts downward pressure on the conditions of existing workers and locks those graduates out of employment when the market is just to saturate. Ask those with graduating teachers how the job market is, particularly those with sub 50 ATARS that were granted entry to teaching degrees…. oh and with highly subsidised fees. Graduate lawyers will tell you a similar story, graduate legal labour is essentially a basic commodity so I’m told, you’re a graduate accountant? ha, best you have 99th percentile results a few contacts and/or a minority card to play because otherwise, you will be doing a hard slog for many years and that carpenter will (on average) be far wealthier than you come age 40.

            Again, you are focused on the symptoms not the problems.

            What do you think the alternatives for those people were ?

            I have never heard the argument that the unemployed are “studying” in order to gain slightly higher unemployment benefit, certainly not university level courses (as opposed to TAFE or some dodgy vocational provider?). Interesting, but I’d have to see some evidence on that.

            It’s been highlighted on MB before. I can’t remember if it’s a higher benefit (a very quick search would suggest maybe not) or simply that the “mutual obligation” aspect is either much smaller, or nonexistent. Again, from memory, this was something that came out of the Howard years – along with pushing a bunch of people over to disability pensions – to try and make unemployment stats look better.

            I agree that many employers are looking for degrees as minimum entry but that does not explain the whole story.

            It pretty much does.

            People are studying degrees because they need degrees to get jobs. The degree may not even need to be relevant, the point is that by having it, a) the applicant has demonstrated some minimum level of intelligence/commitment/capability and b) make it easier for the employer to include (or exclude) them in/from consideration.

            Take away the need for a degree to get a job that doesn’t need a degree, and people will stop doing degrees and just take the fvcking job.

            Again, under and unlimited place, low standards free education world that problem would only increase (not to mention devalues the prior study of everyone else as well)

            Or alternatively, under an unlimited place, high standards free education world, we have a country where everyone who has the skills and capabilities to be a Doctor, or an Engineer, or a Scientist, can be, and by encouraging and nurturing them, we create an extremely industrious, innovative and productive society with incredibly high living standards.

            I do get it though, masses of blue collar workers are hardly a greens voting base. A triple (tax payer funded) degree holding part time barista is of far more importance.

            FMD, this willfully ignorant and childish conservative bullshit gets tiresome.

            The Greens support TAFE and Apprenticeships in addition to University, treat them equally, and have done for the better part of twenty fvcking years.

          • 1. “Take away the need for a degree to get a job that doesn’t need a degree, and people will stop doing degrees and just take the fvcking job.” That’s an issue with employers demanding degrees they don’t need and I would suggest, is at least partly caused by the fact that the value of degrees has been diluted some much that they are simply seen as tickets to entry, not a demonstration of an employees capabilities or intellect. ‘everyone has one so you should have one’. You don’t reverse that by telling everyone to get a degree and then having the tax payer cover the tab.

            2. “What do you think the alternatives for those people were ?” you pick a course of study that HAS JOB OUTCOMES. When I left school I had spent 10 years wanting to be a pilot, had studied to be one, but as luck would have it, the next 5 years saw a massive oversupply of pilots in the market, getting a job was very difficult, getting one that paid well was almost impossible. It wasn’t until 10 years latter that things improved….. so guess what, I did something else. Suggesting that people just go to uni and bummed around to complete a law degree because they had no other choice? seriously? and AGAIN suggesting that if the tax payer funded the whole thing that the outcome would be different, seriously? Case in point, a young girl on Q&A last night was told that when choosing an area of study, one had to be mindful of where the job opportunities were and that COVID has shifted many of those opportunities, maybe for an extend period of time. Her reply was “yeah, but we are told to study what we like when we are in school and I like this and I want a job in it, so it’s like not fair to now say I can’t get a job in that and need to study something else”.

            2. “Or alternatively, under an unlimited place, high standards free education world, we have a country where everyone who has the skills and capabilities to be a Doctor, or an Engineer, or a Scientist, can be,” We don’t have a high standards world, it has been in decline for years and there is no evidence to suggest that will reverse course especially given the greens are the VERY party to argue against increasing barriers to entry on the basis of what ever social justice cause is flavour of the month.

            Also are you confusing Australia with the USA or something? how is this not the case today? outside of the cost, which is not paid upfront anyway, where are the masses of highly capable people whom are locked out of science, education, engineering or health degrees??? On one hand you’re suggesting that even the unemployed simply sign up for study for extra benefits and on the other you’re suggesting some conspiracy to lock people out of higher education? Every 4th TV add is for some uni flogging a degree, outside of a limited subset of courses, literally anyone can sign up these days, the uni’s don’t care. Time after time, particularly with STEM the challenge to overcome is getting well paying job opportunity from that degree. And as far as living standards go, we already have significant under employment in Australia, you can’t just create 100,000 new lawyers and magically transform yourself into some global legal powerhouse with high living standards.

            3. I find myself supporting some of the greens policies, would describe myself as absolutely centrist if not progressive but at the end of the day it comes down to who is saying it not just what they are saying. I’ve spent plenty of time observing the commentary of greens party representatives and the delusional, at time poisons and completely childish narratives they spew render them little better than the right wing nut jobs. Strip away those voters that blindly equate greens with some form of environmental movement and your left with a largely fringe party. No time for pragmatism on that side of the fence (and any party member attempting as much will be torn limb from limb). They are borderline a religious movement not a political party so no, the stereotyped reputation they have is well earned.

            Lastly, what is truly tiresome is the overly aggressive bullshit people carry on with here, its an economics forum, share ideas, debate ideas, openly chastise ideas. But, its not reddit or facebook so chill the F*ck out.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            That’s an issue with employers demanding degrees they don’t need and I would suggest, is at least partly caused by the fact that the value of degrees has been diluted some much that they are simply seen as tickets to entry, not a demonstration of an employees capabilities or intellect. ‘everyone has one so you should have one’. You don’t reverse that by telling everyone to get a degree and then having the tax payer cover the tab.

            Well, throwing in arbitrary quotas so that you have a smaller and slightly smarter (or richer) group of people who pointlessly need a degree and a larger group of people with even less opportunities isn’t go to make the situation better.

            you pick a course of study that HAS JOB OUTCOMES.

            They ARE. Lots of jobs are now “requiring” a degree even though they don’t actually require the skills and knowledge acquiring the degree has imparted. The “job outcome” of having said degree is that you are able to actually be considered for those jobs. Your alternative is that they don’t have the degree, so they don’t even get considered and have to go and clean floors, ride a bike around delivering food, or just sit around and live on the dole.

            The problem here is not that degrees are being “devalued”, the problem is that there AREN’T ENOUGH JOBS. Fix that problem, and your studying-worthless-degrees problem will disappear because HARDLY ANYONE IS GOING TO SPEND 3-4 YEARS LIVING HAND TO MOUTH AND TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ON SOMETHING THEY DON’T NEED.

            You don’t fix a not-enough-jobs problem by making jobs harder to get. I mean, you kind of do, in that it’s a better situation for the people who are actually able to get a job, but it’s much worse for all the people who can’t because the arbitrary cutoff to a degree is set at, say, 87 and you only scored 86.9, even though anyone who make it past 75 would be capable.

            We don’t have a high standards world, […]

            Right. So why don’t we try and fix that by establishing and maintaining high and objective standards ?

            (Arbitrary quotas and hope are not objective standards, just in case that’s not obvious.)

            […] it has been in decline for years and there is no evidence to suggest that will reverse course especially given the greens are the VERY party to argue against increasing barriers to entry on the basis of what ever social justice cause is flavour of the month.

            Of course they would, because removing arbitrary and irrelevant barriers to entry is pretty much the whole point of progressivism. It’s the system that’s delivered you things like property rights and suffrage.

            outside of the cost, which is not paid upfront anyway, where are the masses of highly capable people whom are locked out of science, education, engineering or health degrees???

            I am not suggesting it is the system today. I am suggesting it is the system you want to create. And it is less about them being locked out of degrees, and more about them not having anywhere productive to use their skills and knowledge once they graduate.

            True wealth is created out of human ingenuity and endeavour. It is what we should encourage.

            And as far as living standards go, we already have significant under employment in Australia, you can’t just create 100,000 new lawyers and magically transform yourself into some global legal powerhouse with high living standards.

            Indeed. And it would be stupid to suggest that. Which is why neither I, nor anyone else, so far as I know, has.

            Now 100,000 highly skilled Engineers or Scientists, on the other hand, could turn us into an innovation powerhouse given the right resources and direction.

            But anyway, why do you think the 100,000 people who can’t even get a job as a secretary because that “requires” a degree they don’t have are going to be better off in your version of the future ?

            I’ve spent plenty of time observing the commentary of greens party representatives and the delusional, at time poisons and completely childish narratives they spew render them little better than the right wing nut jobs. Strip away those voters that blindly equate greens with some form of environmental movement and your left with a largely fringe party.

            You mean you’ve been lapping up the narrative presented by your local Rupertarian ? That’s pretty obvious from the childish bullsh!t you’re still carrying on with.

            The Greens haven’t been a single-cause environmental party for over 20 years, and hardly anyone blindly votes for them based on that (if they ever did). They’re a centre-left social democratic party filling roughly the same space Labour did before they took a right turn in the ’80s, and that’s why most supporters vote for them – because if you think things like egalitarianism, democracy, transparency and nation building are important, where the fvck else are you going to go ?

            The Greens have about a 95% policy overlap with MB (immigration being the obvious, and pretty much only, meaningful difference).

            Fringe ? FMD. How can you look at possibly the most right-wing Government in living memory, stuffed with corrupt authoritarians (many not even bothering to hide it anymore) and headed by a religious happy-clapper, then at an opposition largely trying their best to catch up and finally at a bunch of mostly even more extreme independents, and call the Greens “fringe” ? What baseline are you operating off where the Greens are more “fringe” than the people actively trying to disassemble what we generally consider to be the Australian society ?

            Lastly, what is truly tiresome is the overly aggressive bullshit people carry on with here, its an economics forum, share ideas, debate ideas, openly chastise ideas. But, its not reddit or facebook so chill the F*ck out.

            Yeah. Imagine having kids and caring about what the future of the country looks like enough to be frustrated when confronted by yet more willful ignorance and blindly regurgitated rhetoric. My bad for giving a sh!t, I guess.

        • Ah, mate,straw man after straw man.

          – Never did I advocate for ‘arbitrary quotas’ not once.

          – Your alternative is that they don’t have the degree, so they don’t even get considered and have to go and clean floors, ride a bike around delivering food, or just sit around and live on the dole. Come on mate? are you kidding me? Australia is not that dystopian, and again, it completely ignores trade and vocational education. 100% tax payer funded arts degrees so someone can become a receptionist is not a solution. “THERE ARN”T ENOUGH JOBS” is not fixed by FREE UNIVERSITY pumping out useless degrees???

          – outside of the cost, which is not paid upfront anyway, where are the masses of highly capable people whom are locked out of science, education, engineering or health degrees??? I am not suggesting it is the system today? Yes you are? because if it is not the system, then why argue for unlimited place 100% tax payer funded university.

          – “say, 87 and you only scored 86.9, even though anyone who make it past 75 would be capable”. bullshit! Almost any non profiteer in the university sector has been saying for years, the entry standard are consistently falling and in many cases are far too low! If a top university demands an 87, go the the next university that will take a lower score? I feel like you keep transplanting a US style system into the Australian context as if that is the case? And even if I agreed with you on unlimited places….. why do they need to be 100% tax payer funded? Why should tax payers collectively fund the arts degree for the future receptionist, why should the teachers taxes completely fund the degree of the future banker or plastic surgeon?

          – “100,000 highly skilled Engineers or Scientists, on the other hand, could turn us into an innovation powerhouse given the right resources and direction.” I appreciate the idea, and certainly the optimism but it only applies if you’re living in the Star Trek universe. Even when there are STEM roles, the commercial realities means most of the don’t pay well, 100,000 newly minted engineers doesn’t spawn a powerhouse, it simply crushes the exiting jobs market for the profession (just ask any electrical engineer or perhaps a civil engineer back in the 90’s). I’m open to proof otherwise? what nations have successfully executed an open education revolution and subsequently become a global powerhouse in high value areas (without already having some competitive advantage in the space?)

          – On the greens party, don’t presume that everyone who stands against what you think is some right wing moron for whom news.com is there only information source. I am well aware of their policy platform but I don’t care about their carefully crafted manifesto I care about the people actually delivering it, I seriously considered a green vote when Di Natale came in, but after investigating that, as much as I dislike the other alternatives, they are simply not (in my opinion) viable alternatives, funny you speak of happy clappers, because the greens party is full of members whom are essentially religious in their political opinions, they may be a minority in the party but they certainly command the attention and drive the agenda, anyone whom doesn’t hold those views will be cast down as a heretic. For anyone whom doesn’t care to go into the detail, you only have to glace at the twitter feeds of multiple greens party members to get a great insight into how they think and WILL act. And I never said I supported happy clapper Morrison, you just threw that in there as it was necessary for you narrative.

          – Oh and not even the greens themselves identify as ‘centre left’. pitching the greens party as somehow representing slightly left of true north in the political landscape with the ALP and LNP as the extremists…… yeah, right o champ.

          – The greens last election secured ~10% of the vote, so in some way shape or form, 90% of voters do not support them. They garnered just 7% more votes than OneNation? Don’t call that fridge if you wish, but their views and behaviour does not resonate with the mainstream by a long shot.

          Lastly, I don’t have to imagine having children, I have them, shocking I know, but you’re not the only one who gives a shit, you’re not the only one who dislikes the current economic model or the two parties whom pretend to offer a different vision for it (why else would you participate on this forum?) But “Willfull ignorance and blindly regurgitated rhetoric”? Not agreeing with your interpretation is not will full ignorance and much (not all) of that rhetoric you speak of is justified whether you like it or not.

          And on the subject of childish, I’d suggest your constant capitalisation and profanity fits that bill? or maybe it’s just the communication mechanism you feel is required to reach those more and less enlightened than you?

          Best we leave it at that.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Never did I advocate for ‘arbitrary quotas’ not once.

            You wrote: “University places should be limited, if not by the jobs it’s seeking to fill at the very least by the merit of those attending.”

            How is the Government going to be guessing what job demand is going to look like 3-5 years down the track and shaping University admission to match if not with arbitrary quotas ?

            I’m ignoring the second part because nobody except you is suggesting the objective is a system that does not control entry by merit.

            Also, a system that starts by allocating X number of places, then adjusts the entry requirements to ensure only that number (give or take) can be filled, is not one judging entry by merit, it is judging entry by an arbitrary quota.

            Come on mate? are you kidding me? Australia is not that dystopian, and again, it completely ignores trade and vocational education. 100% tax payer funded arts degrees so someone can become a receptionist is not a solution. “THERE ARN”T ENOUGH JOBS” is not fixed by FREE UNIVERSITY pumping out useless degrees???

            I have never suggested it was. My *very first comment* in this thread was: fix the “not enough jobs” and “dole is too low” problems and you fix the “pointless degree” problem.

            Again, you are the only one suggesting the policy objective is only University degrees and other options are being ignored, and – as I’ve already pointed out – you are wrong.

            Yes you are? because if it is not the system, then why argue for unlimited place 100% tax payer funded university.

            The argument here is for an education *system* (covering schooling, Universities, trade schools, apprenticeships, whatever) that allows people to gain knowledge and skills in line with their abilities, rather than being constrained by their socio-economic status.

            That’s it.

            Your whole complaint about reducing entry standards so anyone can get a degree and all that other bullsh!t is just a straw man massacre.

            Now, this obviously won’t solve a not-enough-jobs problem. But what it will do is produce the best outcomes from addressing the not-enough-jobs problem. Because once you start fixing that not-enough-jobs problem, nobody[0] – contrary to your seemingly deeply held belief – is going to be wasting time and money at university when they’ll get a better result in terms of employability and life outcomes from TAFE, an apprenticeship, or simply a job.

            I’m open to proof otherwise? what nations have successfully executed an open education revolution and subsequently become a global powerhouse in high value areas (without already having some competitive advantage in the space?)

            You mean other than the entire western world, post-WW2 when public money was poured into research and industry (unfortunately a great deal of it militarily-focused, but that did produce many side benefits) and education dramatically opened up ?

            On the greens party, don’t presume that everyone who stands against what you think is some right wing moron for whom news.com is there only information source.

            I didn’t assume anything, I concluded it from your comments. Your lack of any remotely objective or even meaningful criticism, just spluttering and repetitive ad hominem, since, has reinforced the assessment.

            And I never said I supported happy clapper Morrison, you just threw that in there as it was necessary for you narrative.

            My narrative is not that you’re supporting Morrison, it’s that if you’re only calling out the Greens as “fringe” in the face of the rest of Australia’s political landscape, then you’re applying a rather strange standard of “normal”.

            Oh and not even the greens themselves identify as ‘centre left’. pitching the greens party as somehow representing slightly left of true north in the political landscape with the ALP and LNP as the extremists…… yeah, right o champ.

            Well, they have a centre-left social democratic policy base that’s in the same place as Whitlam’s Labor, and they consistently back that up with their actions.

            So I guess if you think Gough was “fringe”, you can say the Greens are, too.

            Heck, their policies are largely indistinguishable from SAP. Where do you thin SAP sits in the political spectrum ?

            Don’t call that fridge if you wish, but their views and behaviour does not resonate with the mainstream by a long shot.

            Some 2/3 of the country simply votes either Coalition or Labor because they’re the Coalition and Labor. If your measure of “mainstream” is simply where the votes go, then I guess we can assume the community really likes massive levels of immigration, right ?

            When we look at their policies and actual behaviour (ie: proposing, supporting and opposing legislation), it largely lines up with what the majority of people say they want when they’re asked about it independently (obvious examples off the top of my head: universal healthcare, Federal ICAC, public ownership of core services).

            What are some of these “fringe” or “extremist” policies and actions ? Not random individuals in the party voicing opinions, but actual formally documented policies and actions taken within the context of parliament and/or senate ?

            But “Willfull ignorance and blindly regurgitated rhetoric”? Not agreeing with your interpretation is not will full ignorance and much (not all) of that rhetoric you speak of is justified whether you like it or not.

            Your willful ignorance is the continuing (and wrong) insistence that the only focus is on University degrees. This is not a matter of “interpretation”, it is a matter of fact.
            Your blindly regurgitated rhetoric is the usual Rupertarian snarl words about “s0cial justice” and other vacuous ad hominem which has carried on throughout the entire discussion. You haven’t “justified” it with anything, you’ve just kept repeating it so you can dismiss anything involving Greens policy without having to actual engage in discussion about it.

            [0] Obviously the rhetorical nobody, rather than literally nobody.

          • I’m going to take a leaf out of your book FFS! I never said it was all about university???

            “free tertiary education for under 30s”

            I questioned how the university element of that made any sense vs expenditure on other areas…. OF EDUCATION in the context of today’s environment outside of the policy rhetoric “oh look, free education for all’. Before you launched into all manner of other claims, of which not a single one demonstrates how poring billions of tax payer dollars into corrupted the Tertiary education industry is actually a good idea. Oh yeah the sector has issues…. the kind of issues that suggest those dollars would be pissed up the wall in no time, that’s ok he says, just fix them!, oh yes, maybe while you’re at it we can ‘just create them jobs, build all that infrastructure, cure that cancer? f*ucking classic. Oh it works, because the post WWI experience is somehow suitably comparable to the economic and social environment we have today?

            “The argument here is for an education *system* (covering schooling, Universities, trade schools, apprenticeships, whatever) that allows people to gain knowledge and skills in line with their abilities, rather than being constrained by their socio-economic status.” Great? I asked you specifically “where are all these individuals constrained by current education entry pathways and costs today?” YOU then claimed that you never said this was the case? YOU also claim that receptionists need to (and therefore by extension WERE) accessing university for a basic clerical job, that even the unemployed were simply signing up for Tertiary education to access more benefits…… all of this in a world were education is apparently subject to restrictive quotas and unreasonably high socioeconomic barriers to entry? And you don’t see my issue with those two claims?

            On the subject of entry standards, I am arguing that in a free and unlimited tax payer $$ world, pure conflict of interest will all but ensure entry (and exit) standards fall just as they have already. Of course, any standard of entry is just arbitrary according to you? If a govt or education body (however useless they may be) set an entry standard at 84.5, who the hell are you to suggest it should be 75, and that 75 is less arbitrary that 84.9? I’m arguing that if the public pays for it, there should be some attempt to direct resources to the most needed areas of learning which may result in reduction in available places for other areas of study) and that standards of academic competency are absolutely fair (and not arbitrary) barriers to entry. Other’s however, particularly those of the strong left persuasion have argued that such barriers ARE in fact unfair. We don’t seem to have reached the peak stupidity of the USA (racially adjusted grading scales etc.) but birds of a feather.

            Main point here:
            Not enough jobs = because its to hard to get a job on account of everyone being forced to get a degree = make it easier and cheaper to get a degree (with tax payer funds) = lots of jobs = degree no longer required to get those jobs.

            It is that logic I am suggesting doesn’t make sense….. but sure, launch into a Rupert Murdoch rant and throw in a reference to women’s suffrage and Whitlam and boom. Argument won?

            At the end of the day, hand out whom ever’s how to vote card you want, but this little policy panacea wont occur, not because everyone else’s understanding of the world is inferior to yours or because of some grand conspiracy to keep the masses from education or keep down a party like the Greens (they are quite capable of alienating large chunks of the voting public on their own). No, it wont occur because this particular policy element is ideology of substance.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            I’m going to take a leaf out of your book FFS! I never said it was all about university???

            Holy sh!t mate. 😮 Almost your entire writing above is complaining about Arts degrees, lawyers, and variations thereof.

            I have NEVER suggested that currently it is difficult to get into Uni. I HAVE suggested that your desire to make it harder to get into Uni with quotas will produce outcomes where otherwise capable people will not be able to access an education they would benefit from. I HAVE suggested that if you do nothing to improve the not-enough-jobs problem then restrictions on University access will disadvantage people searching for employment because they won’t even be able to apply for jobs that “require” degrees.

            Of course, any standard of entry is just arbitrary according to you? If a govt or education body (however useless they may be) set an entry standard at 84.5, who the hell are you to suggest it should be 75, and that 75 is less arbitrary that 84.9? I’m arguing that if the public pays for it, there should be some attempt to direct resources to the most needed areas of learning which may result in reduction in available places for other areas of study) and that standards of academic competency are absolutely fair (and not arbitrary) barriers to entry. Other’s however, particularly those of the strong left persuasion have argued that such barriers ARE in fact unfair.

            Ok, so firstly, this was just an very high level view of how admission control in a quotad system works. But even as that it can conceptually highlight the problems that can occur through capping places.

            Let’s say a single number could actually be used to demonstrate whether or not somebody was capable of successfully complete Degree X. Let’s say the number that represented that ability was 75.

            In an “unlimited places” world, anyone who wanted to study Degree X and scored a 75, would be able to do so. Score less than 75 and no go. This is admission based on academic ability.

            In your scenario 75 simply sets a floor for academic ability. But subsequently quotas are applied, and the score must be set high enough so that only the capped number of students can qualify to study. Ie: even though you might only need to be smart enough to score 75 to study (and successfully complete) Degree X, the capped places means the score must be 85 or else too many – quite capable – people will enrol.

            That is how such a system becomes arbitrary. The number of students is selected, then the entrance requirement is set not based on a students ability to complete the degree (75), but so that the numbr of students doesn’t exceed the pre-selected number (85). So they become a measure of popularity as well as ability.

            (Obviously in reality you use more than just a single number, but the same concepts apply.)

            Main point here:
            Not enough jobs = because its to hard to get a job on account of everyone being forced to get a degree = make it easier and cheaper to get a degree (with tax payer funds) = lots of jobs = degree no longer required to get those jobs.

            No.

            Not enough jobs = employers are flooded with thousands of applicants every time they advertise = employers (more often, recruiters) need to make the process more manageable for themselves = employers/recruiters introduce largely arbitrary but still somewhat relevant requirements to jobs so that either a) not as many people apply or b) the applicant list can be quickly and easily (automatically) cut down based on those arbitrary but still somewhat relevant requirements = job seekers (and the people advising them) realise this and start chasing the arbitrary but still somewhat relevant requirements = Government makes it easier to acquire arbitrary but still somewhat relevant requirements to help people get jobs (this is the supply-side approach) = still not enough jobs, but a glut of people with arbitrary but still somewhat relevant requirements (this is the outcome of the supply-side approach).

            Pretty much the only part of this you are focused on are the bits in bold, and you are suggesting that addressing them will fix the problem. It won’t. It will just produce a whole bunch of people without jobs who can’t even make it past the gate to try and get one.

            The root problem is not enough jobs. Fix that and the rest of it falls away on its own. THAT is the “main point here” and the one I have been trying to make from the beginning.

  3. What could go wrong with deficit spending on programs many of which are permanent? History suggests nothing could go wrong. Countries with high % of government gdp like France and Italy, and their generous unemployment benefits have had amazing outcomes and look totally sustainable. Moreover, those solar and wind subsidies in Germany have had the wonderful outcome of making them more reliant on brown coal and imported energy from France. Win.

  4. All the jobs in the jobs guarantee will be given to foreigners. Just look at the NBN.

    UBI funded by a tax on foreigners is much better.

  5. oh god, free tertiary education

    How many women’s studies graduates do we need?

  6. They’re called Watermellons for a reason David: Green on the outside, Red on the inside.

    Can you honestly imagine the Greens substantially shutting down immigration? The same party that wants basically unlimited refugee intake? From their website:

    “Seeking asylum is a human right. People who enter Australian territory to seek asylum do so lawfully.”
    “A permanent migration program for refugees and migrants to Australia that prioritises family reunion and humanitarian entrants”

    Get here first, then bring your extended family. We don’t care that you’ve passed through 7 other safe countries first.

    “The development of networks, materials and programs that increase community understanding of the causes and benefits of migration”

    Spend lots of Australian tax dollars telling those same taxpayers why spending their tax payments on importing and supporting foreigners at an unprecedented rate, is a good thing. Call them racist if they do not enthusiastically agree.

    “Sufficient funding for public and community sector agencies providing migrant-specific services to deliver adequate, effective and timely support.”

    Spend lots of Australian tax dollars setting up entire new bureaucracies to support the influx of foreigners.

    “Access to Australia’s migration programs, including the family migration program, to not discriminate on the basis of economic circumstances.”

    The poorer your circumstances / your country, the more we want you here. We love economic migrants.

    “Services for new migrants, refugees and special category visa holders that include appropriate English language and financial literacy classes, social security, health, legal and interpreter services, and post-trauma counselling where needed.”

    Spend lots more Australian tax dollars setting up services for foreigners that are not available to Australian citizens or PRs.

    “Greater Australian investment in Asia-Pacific regional cooperation to provide safer pathways and long-term planning for people seeking asylum and those displaced by ongoing conflicts and climate change.”

    Spend lots more Australian tax dollars helping other countries funnel their unwanted refugees to us.

    “When a non-citizen is imprisoned for a crime, once initial sentences are completed, they should be accommodated in the community unless otherwise ordered by a court.”

    When we allow people in who are/become criminals, we should not correct that mistake but instead offer them government support to stay and do it again.

    “Australia to recognise people escaping gender violence and violence on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status, as refugees belonging to a ‘particular social group’ under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees”

    Add DV to the list of reasons that we consider you a legit refugee, in case “economic migrant” being added doesn’t cover you sufficiently.

  7. BobTurkeyMEMBER

    Nothin’ in it for Boomers. Will never happen.

    PS Good on the Greens for coming up with an at least decent policy. Better than the major parties ATM…

  8. OfficeboyMEMBER

    i think if there’s a spend comin it should be a little front end loaded specifically to the 28th september 2020 when hordes
    will be shed off small business. Employment lawyers are run off their feet illucidating, templating and dispensing rules around retrenchment obligations. Ignore this and i think the xmas shutdown 10 weeks after full ticket wages are being paid will be extended leave for a lot of folk.