Category: Industrial Relations

Outdated workplace laws deny the dignity of work

One of the great sources of human fulfilment is the dignity of work. It establishes independence, the means for material sustenance and allows us to provide for our families. The most effective way that employment opportunities can be harnessed is for government to get out of the way to allow job creation by liberalising industrial relations laws to encourage employees and their employers to determine the terms of their own relationship.

History attests to this with record-low unemployment at 4.3% during the Howard era after he deregulated workplace laws. Similarly, we see booming job reports under the Trump administration with his pro-enterprise agenda that involves cutting business red tape. Unfortunately, with election season around the corner, there have been worrying proposals from Oppositions both state and federally, that will return us to the bad old days of inflexible labour markets, disruptive industrial action from militant unions, and businesses tied down … Read the rest

Read more

Jobs Guarantee: a guaranteed failure?

US economist Stephanie Kelton, a former adviser to Bernie Sanders, has just embarked on a tour of Australia. Kelton is promoting her vision  of government funded jobs to deal with unemployment and underemployment in Australia: a government Job Guarantee. While the idea sounds nice, a government guarantee is nothing but a guaranteed failure.

The economic rationale for this proposal is the idea known as Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), which  began gaining popularity in the early 90s, evolving from existing theories developed by economist Georg Friedrich Knapp in the early 20th century. The theory proposes that taxation does not fund government spending and is merely a policy tool to control inflation and unemployment. The same thinking applies to government spending being a policy tool. Further, MMT proposes that when a sovereign nation establishes its currency as fiat money and is the sole supplier, the government commands an unlimited ability to Read the rest

Read more