Tag Archives: free trade

Aussie Jobs For Aussie Workers? Not In Our Capitalist Corporatocracy

2 Jul

From Tim Colebatch at The Age:

Rudd’s efforts to reach out to business have got nowhere. Some groups made impractical demands for Labor to withdraw its legislation to stop rorting of section 457 visas – which, as I reported earlier, has meant that in two years Australian-born workers have gained just 34,000 new full-time jobs. Brendan O’Connor as minister deserves credit for trying to restore the integrity of the system so that it operates as intended.

See also Colebatch’s earlier article, The books are being cooked on 457 visas

Last month Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor announced new reforms to stop alleged rorting of section 457 visas. Prime Minister Julia Gillard then beefed up the issue by telling western Sydney the reforms would stop ”foreign workers being put at the front of the queue with Australian workers at the back”.

Since then Gillard’s opponents have claimed she is out to destroy the 457 visa program, which allows business to import temporary workers at will if they cannot find suitable workers in Australia. And at the other extreme, some tell us the whole 457 program is a rort allowing business to bring in foreign workers to undercut wages and save firms from the need to invest in training their own workers.

So far Gillard seems to be losing the debate; but then, she usually does. What do the figures show?

They show that while demand for section 457 visas had declined in most sectors with the slowing economy – visa applications from mining companies are down 15 per cent so far in 2012-13 – that is outweighed by surging demand in other industries that seems at odds with what we know about how they are faring.

For example:

Until mid-2011, few firms used 457 visas to import cooks; in 2010-11, just 45 visas a month were issued for skilled kitchen staff. Yet by January this year, 1690 cooks had been granted 457 visas, 240 a month. Cooks have suddenly become the biggest users of section 457 visas.

Why? It’s not because of any surge in demand. The Bureau of Statistics estimates that spending in hotels and restaurants fell 1.1 per cent last year, as Australians economised on discretionary spending to avoid more debt. Where is the labour shortage that requires us to suddenly import thousands of foreign cooks?

It’s not just cooks. This year alone, the number of chefs, their superiors, entering on 457 visas has shot up 150 per cent to almost 90 a month. Imports of cafe and restaurant managers have quintupled, from 27 a month to 134 a month. Does anyone smell a rat here?

Digging right down to the true root of the problem, I blame usury.

The central evil in our wonderful world of “capitalist” “competition”.

It means the “survival of the fittest”, you see — another pernicious doctrine.

The “fittest” are those most willing and able to borrow and then repay the banks their debt “money” … plus usury.

How Do You Spell Sycophant? L.I.B.E.R.A.L.

16 Nov

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Libs angered by Nationals going alone on policy

Liberal frontbenchers and MPs were angry yesterday when the Nationals leader, Warren Truss, and the Senate leader, Barnaby Joyce, ridiculed a free-trade pact entered into by Australia, the US and other nations at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Hawaii.

The Liberals support free trade and the proposed partnership and were dismayed yesterday when Mr Truss rubbished it as a ”thought bubble” by APEC leaders, including the US President, Barack Obama, who arrives in Australia tomorrow for a 26-hour visit.

”It is simply inconceivable that the United States would agree to remove trade barriers in what is an election year,” said Mr Truss, a former trade minister.

I agree with Mr Truss.

And loudly applaud his having the testicular fortitude to say so.

Although I’d go even further. The USA has form. It is inconceivable that the United States would agree to remove their trade barriers at all.

Despite Mr Obama announcing at last year’s APEC in Yokohama, Japan, that he wanted progress on the partnership when leaders met next in Hawaii, Mr Truss said the announcement on Sunday was designed ”to make a conference look like it was useful”.

The Nationals believe the deal could have an adverse impact on sectors such as agriculture.

Mr Truss’s comments were at odds with Coalition policy and comments by the deputy leader and foreign affairs spokeswoman, Julie Bishop, who believes the partnership needs to be encouraged.

Privately, Liberals were furious. ”It’s a US initiative and we should embrace it,’‘ one said.

Ahem!

We should embrace an “initiative” because it’s a US initiative?!?!

That’s the kind of “logic” that got us wasting billions of dollars … and far more importantly, priceless lives … in Iraq and Afghanistan, dancing to the tune of the bankers’ rhythm-and-blues smash hit, Warring About My Endless Profits.

It’s the kind of “logic” that has our banking system buried under $16.8 Trillion in derivatives … with the galactically bigger carbon derivatives scam still to come.

And it’s the kind of logic that prompted our World’s Greatest Finance Minister to use taxpayers money to buy up $20 billion worth of “financial weapons of mass destruction” known as Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS).

Not familiar with that word “sycophant”?

That’s ok.

Here’s a synonym.

“Brown-noser”.

Now, while “brown-noser” is essentially identical to “sycophant”, it is spelled a little differently.

“L.A.B.O.R.”

And that, dear reader, is a huge part of the problem in this country.

Two “sides”.  No essential difference.

Like “brown-noser” and “sycophant”, one is just a cruder version of the other.

And the truth is, both are always trying to insert something up your @$$.

It’s time for the Nationals to really go it alone.

The whole hog.

I’d actually consider (cough, splutter) joining if they did.

Provided one of their independent policies, was to never again be a party to sending other people’s kids off to die as part of a bankster-enriching Coalition Of The (S)Willing.

Barnaby The Realist Nails Our ‘Core Beliefs’

9 Sep

Wisdom. Common sense. Realism. No-bullshit-ism.

Intellectual honesty.

Senator Joyce writes for the Canberra Times:

Playing a game of cheap tricks

What is a philosophy? In politics, philosophies are sometimes pulled on like a football jersey for a team that you have never played in. They are convenient for camaraderie, the conviviality of the club or to separate a person who by all other examination is unexceptional to yourself.

There are so many platitudes spoken in absolutes in politics but if they were authentic, life must be cheap and the mind must be weak, or the salesman is simply getting where they need to go via feigned fervour.

When I hear Dr Craig Emerson talk about the purity of the market I hear a screaming hypocrisy or an immense analytical laziness. Who is pure, Craig? China with a currency falsely tied to the US or the US with their use of cheap, illegal migrant labour, and the printing of money? Maybe the Europeans with subsidies, a Common Agricultural Policy, bail-outs and tariffs?

There is a golden rule; people will trade where ever they make money regardless of our benevolent world view that extends beyond this concept. Listening to some preach about Australia’s sins you might believe that we are vastly more substantial beyond the reality of our 1.4 per cent of the globe’s GDP.

Emerson and others like to believe in free trade, just like some may believe in Buddhism or Catholicism. Of course in trade very few are put up for canonisation and deal, without much guilt, in the reality of a partially sinful life.

Apparently protecting our pear industry from fireblight disease would be the greatest economic folly; however spending $1.5 billion putting pink batts in the roof for the rats and mice to sleep on is laudable.

If you are authentically genuine let’s actually drill down to some core beliefs. Do you believe in free trade of labour across borders? So if I can get Sudanese to pick the fruit in my orchard for $2 a day, I should be able to do it? That is free trade.

Do you believe in relaxing occupational health and safety regulations or environmental requirements to match those of the countries we trade with? No more renewable energy requirements, certainly no carbon tax, and let us build factories, log and fish in a far wider field, not where the prescriptive zoning laws have restricted us to. That is free trade.

Other ”free trading” countries artificially lower their currencies- maybe we should too? As of tomorrow our currency is to be 60c US. Surely free trade means the freedom to cheat like other countries. At least grant us reciprocity, I will trade with you in the same fashion you wish to trade with me. If your government can buy our farms then our government can buy yours.

Trade purists believe they won’t be taken to task on their beliefs. That the audience is less informed than they are so they won’t be questioned on consistency. It is the division of labour theory. I am too busy so I take on faith your belief.

Maybe I am harking back to that residual of Jesuit instruction which says that it is far wiser to say that I don’t have an opinion on that, or I don’t know the answer to that, than it is to jump in and state an uncategorical belief devoid of any caveats or mitigants on that belief.

Give me a child until he is seven years old, and he is mine for life. Which alternatively might read, present me the absolutists and I will show you the fool. Not even the middle of the night is totally black, in the middle of the day you can only see shapes by reason of shade.

So Emerson and others have now read so many books, or at least pretend to have, that they have the whole thing worked out in all and nothing arguments. On trade, like life itself, if only it was so simple. If on the trade battle one could win the war with one theoretical piece of artillery.

Most of the Australian economy is protected in one way or another. Industrial relations, financial regulation, native vegetation laws, chemical and pesticide regulation. Once you start protecting some things then you start to protect others.

So Emerson, do not get me wrong. I am all for genuine free trade, it is just that it’s never going to happen and you would never support it.

So which is it Emerson? Are you an apostate or hypocrite?

Barnaby is right.

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