Coalition pimps ‘skilled’ visa slaves

Liberal MP Julian Leeser, who chairs a parliamentary committee looking into skilled migration, appeared on Sky News (video below) where he argued that flights and quarantine places should be reserved for skilled migrants “to get businesses moving again”:

“I think there is a strong view among business that it [the skilled visa system] has become too complex…

“We’re looking at two key aspects:

One, what can we do to get the economy restarted post COVID…

“Two, what are the things that businesses are saying to us about the migration program that is making it difficult? Some of the issues around skills lists, some of the issues around the terms and conditions around visas, some of the red tape are questions that we will be visiting… And we will be talking to people from the hospitality industry, from the interactive gaming industry and from healthcare.

“But right across the economy we are hearing that there are real issues in relation to businesses getting the skills that they need here in Australia. During the course of COVID, we’ve lost half a million temporary visa holders. Many of those people are skilled migrants. And they are skills that just don’t exist across Australia. We need to get them back to get Australian businesses moving again…”

Here’s a genuine question for Julian Leeser and his bogus parliamentary inquiry: have they consulted parties other than the business lobby?

Because businesses will always claim that they cannot get the skills they need at the cost (wages) that they want to pay. Over the past 20 years, regardless of how the economy was tracking or how many migrant workers were imported, the business lobby always cried shortage.

If the inquiry had bothered to consult the union movement or labour market economists, they would have learned that there is no pervasive skills shortage “right across the economy”. If there was then wages would be rising at a solid clip rather that at the slowest pace on record:

Australian wage growth

Australian wage growth is at historical low levels.

In any market, a shortage of a good or service results in price increases to ration the available supply.

Therefore, if there was genuinely a shortage of workers in Australia, then labour prices in the form of wages should be rising strongly. The fact that the opposite is the case necessarily means that Australia is suffering from an oversupply of labour. The economics does not lie.

Further evidence of the skills shortage myth is illustrated by the share of the economy’s income going to workers, which is tracking around historical lows:

Australian workers’ share of national income is tracking near historical lows.

If there was a pervasive shortage of workers, then their share of the national income would have risen rather than fallen.

In any event, if Australian businesses are having trouble finding staff, there is a simple solution: offer higher wages. Let the market do its job and let wages rise to solve any purported labour shortages.

The Coalition’s proposed immigration reforms would be an employers’ and capitalists’ wet dream, but a disaster for working Australians who face increased job competition from low-paid migrants, lower wages, as well as crush-loaded cities, infrastructure and housing.

Australians have already suffered a decade of stagnating real wage growth on the back of mass immigration. The Coalition’s reforms would be a fatal final blow for wages and living standards.

Unconventional Economist


  1. Check out Leeser’s work history. If he has an original thought in his head he’s had to suppress it for two decades to get where he is.

  2. Japan now has less people than it did in 1998. How does Japan function without mass immigration.

    • SoCalSurfCreeperMEMBER

      Right. Last time I was there it seemed like they enjoy a good quality of life. Their immigration policies are definitely xenophobic, but so what? The ‘strength through diversity’ crowd always overlook Japan and Korea, as do those espousing that we need to grow the population to grow the economy or, worse, grow the population to improve standard of living.

      • Japan also hide their immigration. As far as I can tell, and I’ve done no research nor ever been there, but they have plenty of foreigners working there, they just don’t mention it, or count it or let the people become citizens, is that about right? Plus they’re not trying to pump their population. Must be very nice.

      • Diversity is not our strength. It produces weakness and stupidity. It’s just an unquestioned slogan with no meaning, being pushed by evil people for evil ends.

        As a gedanken experiment, imagine an engineering team consisting of a dozen people, that is the ultimate in strong diversity. Each person is a different race, different religion, everyone speaks a different language and none speak a common language, half are straight, half are gay, half are transgender, everybody has a physical impairment of some kind and so on.

        Put that lot up against a heterogeneous team of any kind, and see which team produces better outcomes. I know which way I’d bet.

        • drsmithyMEMBER


          diverse in character or content.
          “a large and heterogeneous collection”

          Keep slaying straw men and preaching that definition fallacy, Humpty Dumpty, the faithful love it.

          • I just didn’t want to write the word “homogeneous”, for obvious reasons.

            And where’s the straw man? People espouse diversity as bringing strength. I point out the effects of lots of diversity.

            Diversity propaganda is all bullshido. Examine the effects of diversity in practice and you’ll find no benefits at best, and usually lots of negatives. I’ve seen diversity in action all my life, and it’s rubbish.

          • I just didn’t want to write the word “homogeneous”, for obvious reasons.

            Sure. Because obviously “homogeneous” is the actual counterpoint to “diverse” and you don’t really believe that “homogeneous” (outside of some specific use cases, primarily about driving mindless obedience to create efficiency) is a good idea, because you’re quite clearly not stupid.

            So, instead, you’re constructing an artificial distinction between what people you don’t like mean by “diversity” and what people you do like mean by “diversity”, and trying to pretend using a different word that means the same thing creates a real difference.

            And where’s the straw man? People espouse diversity as bringing strength. I point out the effects of lots of diversity.

            Uh, no. You’ve created your own definition of what people mean by “diversity” to suit your argument, and then argued against it. It’s a textbook straw man fallacy, wrapped around a few others (definition fallacy, appeal to extremes / reductio ad absurdum).

            Which is why it’s immediately followed up by an explaination of why diversity – or heterogeneity, as you called it – actually works really well for effectively solving complex problems.

            As for what “value” some “diversity” even by your straw man definition might add ? To use an obvious example, someone who is blind or in a wheelchair would have useful insight on how to design a building / vehicle / tool that’s still usable for them, whereas your “heterogenuous” team – if they even made consideration at all – would probably just try imagining it, or may at best spend a few hours in a wheelchair or with a blindfold on.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      It’s not perfect : the country side is being emptied of people as people move to the city in search of higher wages. Immigration is not a solution though : they won’t be going to the country side either. The problem is the concentration of wealth in Tokyo.

  3. Highly skilled expat here, would cost me $8k for a single spousal visa, if I relinquish Australian citizenship it will cost me $6k for the both of us… the whole thing is a complete sham and another example of abandoning Australians for the elite class to benefit

    • SoCalSurfCreeperMEMBER

      This is appalling. Most likely, it is about the ability to pay. If they asked $8000 for each vibrant visa, or $16000 for a couple, they wouldn’t get many. Whereas most established Australians can stretch to $8000 to bring their loved one in. It’s not right but there it is.

  4. happy valleyMEMBER

    Just another LNPer ready to throw anyone under a bus, except their “mates”?

  5. Ritualised Forms

    There are still a very large number of Stranded Australians overseas. Certainly enough to constitute a sizeable vote. If the Torynuffs dont prioritise getting them home before opening the coolie floodgates they are simply adding another nail into their own coffin.

    Some of the stranded Australians I am in touch with have already decided against coming back, they are that pissed off with the way they have been treated. But they are still on electoral rolls and we can be sure they will vote against our government on the way out the exit door.

    • How much fun will that make election night, waiting for the o/S votes to come in. ha! not being sarky.

      • kierans777MEMBER

        As long as we don’t wait two weeks to then suffer through an laborious Rod Oakshott speech then pass the popcorn!

    • It’s pretty easy to get disenfranchised as an ex-pat, you have to submit something or other by a certain time (I’m sure this is by accident rather than design…)

  6. working class hamMEMBER

    “And we will be talking to people from the hospitality industry, from the interactive gaming industry and from healthcare.”
    I’m assuming that all of those industries are really getting upset that profits are down, because Aust employees demand minimum wage.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Went to a South Gippsland pub on Sunday. (How good are school holidays!)

      The re-skilling of Aussie kids seems to happening. Meals arrived on time! Big improvement on January.

      After dinner coffee was cold. There’s still room for improvement. We’ll be back in the July holidays to see if things are better.

      Growth mindset. 🙂

      Edit: The whole break has had a mid 90s vibe. If the vaccine rollout shambles continues, all this retro Australia vibe might become infectious. 😉

      • Will there be enough XDs, XF Fairmont Ghias, Datsun 180Bs and pannos for us all but?

        Fark I wish they’d bring back the Choc Wedge to top things off.

      • I saw a middle aged Caucasian man driving a taxi in Canberra last weekend. No turban or anything. Clearly not an accounting student from Mumbai as all Canberra taxi and Uber drivers are…or used to be. He was driving carefully at the speed limit. I almost drove off the road, such was my surprise

    • Jumping jack flash

      “…because Aust employees demand minimum wage.”

      Not only that, Australian employees know that they must become eligible for the debt they need.

  7. Honestly makes me sick to read this plicks comments.

    Where is the msm journalism on this. We get articles saying no international travel till 2024 and then this plick saying the economy won’t restart until the deluge of immigrants is back.

    On the Facebook’s a person in Qld I know of, their mother has recently arrived from the UK on holidays. Is currently in quarantine. They aren’t Australian, their pom. I don’t know what grounds they were allowed in on. But doubtful it is much to do with compassion.

    I reckon if you’ve got the cash and connected enough the rules that apply to the plebs and clods don’t apply to you.

    Disgust 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

    • The biggest example of this travel apartheid was Michael Gudinski’s funeral. It passed without comment that Kylie Minogue and Ed Sheeran had been flown in to mourn-and-perform while Aussie ex-pats languished overseas.

    • Mike Herman Trout

      Judith Sloan wrote an article in the Australian about this today actually. That the skills shortages claim is a capitulation to big Australia policy and lobby groups. Labor have an opportunity here…. come on albo have a crack….

    • As my husband used to say, “Our capital may not be called the Emerald City, but we are certainly ruled by a big humbug.”

  8. This is bipartisan. The acting Victorian premier mentioned he wanted to have places reserved for economic arrivals in Hotel Quarantine version 3. Plus Victoria was happy to have 1000 tennis players and support staff from some of the worst affected parts of the world in Hotel Quarantine. They will do the same for the Grand Prix.

  9. Lesser seems to have a conga line of migration and hospitality industry supporters over on LinkedIn. FYI he’s a member of the same faction as NSW minister Matt Kean, who seems to be a bit of a protected species despite ultra conservative views by some of in the left side of politics. One way the Coalition can ram these migration changes thru is to get Lesser a dual ministerial role doing something (nothing) on climate change

  10. Its hard not to be cynical when CEOs and exec’s say that their wages have increased latelybecause they are now operating in a international talent market, (I once heard a Telstra chairman says this at an AGM) but when workers operate in an international talent market their wages go down. As far as I know an Indian CEO earns less that an AUS CEO, same as an Indian software engineer earns less than an AUS software engineer.

    • Jumping jack flash


      They’re addicted to wage theft.
      Wage theft was originally introduced as a means for CPI/wage inflation suppression.

      2019 proved beyond a doubt that stealing wages and then relying on the wage thieves to grow the debt at the required rate and also consume just wasn’t going to work.

      We no longer need to suppress CPI or wages growth. It no longer is a problem for interest rates because central bankers will undoubtedly “look through” the inflation, or use some kind of average over 5 years or whatever they say to justify ignoring it. Yet our masters with planet-sized brains, with nary an independent or novel thought between the whole lot of them, blindly follow the path of The Howard. Howard was also completely misguided and misinformed regarding the proper functioning of the banks’ New Economy (as was the rest of the world at that time), but at least when he was in power there was a bit of CPI and wage inflation going on to suppress!

  11. Jumping jack flash

    Let them come, we may as well consign ourselves to the economic destruction of 2019 again. Prepare for a wave of business closures. Ironically it will be because of the slaves, not in spite of them. Of course this problem will be attempted to be solved with more slaves and cheaper debt. Their solution will be completely ineffective.

    How can slaves purchase the goods and services of the New Economy of debt and not much else? They are hardly eligible for the required amounts of debt, and even if they were, how can they afford the buy-in? They aren’t paid enough to consume the volumes of services (and goods) that are required to generate the wages for the business owners.