16 December 2020

Ross Gittins: “[O]ne unintended [sic] consequence of the now-ended era of neoliberalism has been to convince our manager class they have a divine right to be given whatever they think necessary to their greater success. Which brings us to the latest batch of ‘reforms’ being proposed by Scott Morrison and his Attorney-General, the misleadingly advertised Christian Porter. … I think we’re getting muddled between means and ends. The business proposition is: if only you’ll let me give my workers a hard time, my business will be more successful and everyone will benefit. If only you’ll accept an insecure job with hours that change from one week to the next according to my needs, the economy will be much better off. But if you take the workers and their dependents out of the economy, you don’t have much left. People rightly crave job security. Make their working lives a misery and a pay rise is poor consolation. (And right now, of course, we can’t afford the pay rise either.) We’re getting the cart before the horse, turning the people who are supposed to be the chief beneficiaries of a good economy into the people who, we’re told, must suffer to bring the good economy about. That’s what needs reform.”