Sunday, August 23, 2015

ALP and union movement under pressure

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The Bolt Report in this episode explores the type of conduct we have come to expect from unions.
I have some sympathy for the plight of Australian workers. The reality however is that unions don't. Unions have never truly represented workers. You can of course stick a label on anyone and say they are "representatives". That however is not in itself a value proposition. Where the unions fell foul of their worker-members was by:
1. Resorting to extortion to win better conditions for workers. They lost that power when companies simply decided to shift manufacturing capacity to Asia from the late 1980s. The implication is that the unions took the easy steps to extort money, estranging workers from bosses as custodians of their interests. But unions never stepped up and offer anything other than a 'near criminal' sanction for stop work actions
2. Attempting to jocky for influence and kickbacks between workers and contracted businesses. I.e. they attempted to force union membership as a condition for being contracted, effectively enforcing blackbans against anyone that did not comply with their demands. By so doing the unions effectively profited from worker fees.

It is interesting how the Greens have always distanced themselves from such conduct; but never so much not to profit from that relationship. It makes you wonder - who are the conservatives?

Now if unions actually cared about workers, the unions would have negotiated to ensure training so they were better prepared for job losses. They wouldn't have taken steps to obstruct productive work practices.

The reality is that unions and representatives of labour have used "tragic" rhetoric to discredit capitalists, and it is fair to say that some bosses did not treat workers well, particularly in  the old days, but the culture perpetuated by unions and their representatives has done nothing to aid that.

One of the reasons for the absence of justice in the workplace arena, and hence the intractable use of extortion to achieve desired outcome, was this culture of narrow vested interests of representatives.

It becomes more shameful when you recognise the cause of low wages. Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, unskilled workers have seen their wages stagnate in real terms. The unions lost their capacity to extort wage gains. The lost that capacity because capitalists had the option of shifting their factories to Asia to avail of cheaper labour. Not exploitation. Such jobs are welcome in Asia. The wages are far better than their parents ever had. Basically the first wage of a call centre agent is on par with a mature worker at around $400/mth.
These low wages could be considered as "exploitation". The reality however is that such wage levels are ultimately stimulus ensuring that:
1. Cashless, under-utilised workers are employed first in the greatest numbers because they are employed at the greatest benefit and lowest cost. I. E.  Working getting low wages in a low-cost developing nation are better positioned to support more people with jobs in a competition with robots.
2. Businesses are rewarded for building more manufacturing capacity requiring more workers. Economies of scale means worker costs and productivity are improved, eventually allowing for higher wage demands.
3. Consumers are rewarded with low cost products. The "long boom" for the last 25yrs have resulted in the uptake of unskilled workers at unprecedented levels because of low wages ensuring low wages. We have all benefited from a litany of electronic devices.

The implication is that, as Bill Gates alluded to, capitalism has contributed to the raising of hundreds of millions of people out of poverty over the last 2 decades. The unions of course, or their representatives, would never acknowledge these facts.

Andrew Hastie - old school standards

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Andrew Hastie is presented as a man of integrity who will get the job done, as the representative for the Canning electorate in WA.  The problem with Hastie is that "Special Forces" qualifications don't really pass as qualifiers for political life,  and living in some barracks in his electorate is not preparation for public life. It's a narrow government life experience, akin to school, followed by another school experience. There is little appreciation of economics, finance, accounting or anything outside of defence. Maybe he can be Minister of Defence in a liberal cabinet? Can he represent his electorate. Of course he can. The issue is whether he has the values to judge them,  and serve them fairly in his role. In this respect Hastie is destined to be 's carbon-copy failure like Abbott.
It is sad day when the electorate is becoming a conflation of liberal and democrat, and the liberal party is becoming more arrogantly anti-intellectual. They are not just conservative; they are trending the boundaries of fascism.
The Labor Party is full of chimps, however there is something disconcerting about a Liberal Party appointing a lot of Christian self-righteous puritans, with no life experience, who profess the calibre to tell Australians how it is.  It's disconcerting because whilst their rhetoric speaks of individualism, rights, aspiration and integrity; their policy prescriptions are completely on par with Labor. Like Labor, their members are professional politicians and bureaucrats like "tin soldiers" with no life experience. No skills that prepare him for the assaults on his integrity. I'll happily demonstrate as much if Abbott or Hastie ever chat with me on Facebook.
These fakers will defend their past legacy; they are not custodians of our future. The religious right in Australia are going to destroy Australia, just as they did the United States. Abbott is not even Reagan; but you can be sure he will spend on infrastructure like there is no tomorrow. That is not a bad thing, however like Menzies, there will be no other progress. It will be hapless "privileged" self-righteous leadership cowering to old values with no intellectual engagement. For those who don't fit the model, their will be repressive alienation; all for the sake of preserving the interests of liberal party sponsors.
The only defense from such a development will be a switch to the libertarian parties, namely Rand Paul in the USA and the Liberal Democrats in Australia. The ACT Party in NZ more closely approximates a 'right' conservative party. Mere appeasers to old values whilst they offer a respite to the centrist National Party.

There are several defences from such poor government;
1. Anarchocapitalism - denying these authoritarian governments a monopoly in their arbitrary use of force. That is to say no government can be trusted in the basis of the existing political structure.
2. More Liberal Democratic Party in the Senate
3. Not giving the Labor Party a chance because of the union-extortionists they are. 

I cannot see Hastie being anything other than a lackie for an Abbott coalition. The by-election  is a referendum on Tony Abbott. Hastie is his boy.  What we need is politicians who don't just talk about integrity, but who break the political whip, and actually display it because integrity means more to them than their political futures.

ConvinceMe.Net - Anyone up for a debate?