Saturday, 8 July 2017

Australian Wages: Theory and Reality.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. The picture below -- courtesy of the ABC News' Andrew Probyn/Reserve Bank of Australia -- shows how wage growth forecasts made by the RBA (skinny colourful lines) compare to actual wage growth (fat black line):


Beyond the embarrassment some Very Serious Failed Forecasters might feel, this has a more serious side. So much so that politicians claim to be concerned about wage growth stagnation, Probyn added. In my experience, this is unheard of.

Probyn apparently was told so by at least one. Unfortunately, he never named names. Maybe those politicians aren't worried enough to put their troubles on the public record.

Probyn does mention, however, that the new RBA governor, Philip Lowe, a month ago exhorted workers to demand higher wages. I missed that.

In the meantime, the wage cuts the Fair Work Commission, in their immense wisdom, decreed at the beginning of this year took effect last July the 1st.

More good news: PM Turnbull announced this week a new and wonderful workfare scheme where the Government will pay retail employers $1,000 for each 18-24 year old kid they employ as unpaid intern. The lucky interns will get $100 a week (yes, you read that right: one hundred dollars) from the Government for that, plus a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of becoming a shop attendant. Dreams will come true for ten thousand kiddies (if they actually get the job). Oh, happiness!

One thing's for sure: Turnbull is neither the politician Probyn spoke to, nor he gives a shit about what Lowe says.


  1. Australia is ahead of Canada in implementing punitive policies against the poor.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Bob.

      Sorry I didn't approve it before. For some reason Blogger decided to consider it spam and only today did I check Blogger's spam list.

  2. That's to say nothing of cases like the 7-Eleven pay theft, the 457 temporary migrant workers visa and backpackers and foreign students scam, the theft of superannuation and the proliferation of "pay-to-work" schemes.

    Like we proudly say over here: Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi. :-)

    1. From where do you think has this attitude has come from? Australia is located far from the USA, which I would assume is the greatest promoter of looking down upon and punishing the poor.

    2. Australia has always been like that. Ask the Aboriginals. Only now this has become essentially acceptable: people whinge in the media, but that's it.

      We are the proud product of nineteenth century unadulterated English capitalism, is my guess. Maybe Canadians are lucky to have had a little pre-nineteenth century French input to make the end result less poisonous.