Dr Peter White's Blog

Thoughts and comments from Dr Peter White -- political, philosophical, spiritual, musical and more

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I am retired from the Uni. of Queensland, and have numerous interests inside and outside of the uni. I play classical, bluegrass, country and folk guitar (hows that for a mix?) I am a member of the Australian Labor Party and am currently branch secretary of the Mt Coot-tha branch. I'm also involved in developing virtual reality builds and websites. Never bored!

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Midas Touch - In Reverse

If you are close to the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum, chances are you will have noticed that the current Coalition government doesn't have your best interests at heart.  Considering that we are experiencing very flat wage growth, notwithstanding a growing jobs market, it does seem that most people are doing it tougher than previously.  News article after news article stresses this point.

Perhaps it might be because of the infamous Reverse Midas Touch, where everything that the  government touches, turns to dross (or another good Anglo-Saxon  word).  How this so?  Let me provide some examples.

The latest changes to early childhood care means that people on middle to lower incomes will be paying more, if they are fortunate enough  to get child care at all.  This  is in spite of early childhood specialists from around the globe state that early childhood care provides a terrific boost for the young.

University fees are going up, because the government believes there are too many useless  courses and hence reducing payments to the tertiary sector so  universities can tighten up.  This is despite the fact that a university education is critical in today's workforce.  And of course, the students are being punished by having a lower income threshold where they have to start paying off their (increased?) student loans due to rising  fees. 

Technical and further education was "privatised" a number of years ago, and what we have  seen  since is a virtual collapse of the sector, as many of the private colleges took the money and ran.  But then, that's the capitalist way.  The building and construction industry, to name  but one, is crying out  for well trained trades people, and are finding they are rather thin on  the ground.

If you are on a pension or some form of benefit, you are being punished.  The vaunted  "one stop shop" AKA Centrelink, is underfunded, understaffed, and under-morale.  Is it any wonder that people attempting to contact them have to take a cut lunch to the phone while they wait?  That's just for starters.  It seems that Ebenezer Scrooge is running the system, with fewer benefits and payments available, and those  being reduced.  Leaners and Lifters, folks.  

However, if you are in the "big end of town", drawing down a lovely salary  + benefits, you will be OK.  Our corporate sector is gonna get a lovely tax cut, which of course will mean more Jobs and Growth.  We all believe that, right?

There are some examples.  I'm sure you can  find a lot more without needing to look very  hard at all.

In our next blog, we will be looking at migration.  Ought to be fun...