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AFR, GENERIC, OFFICE Businessman walking out of a revolving door — money, business man, commuters, employment, wages, jobs, economy, CBD, city, building, property. Monday 24th November 2003S photo illustration Louie Douvisafrphotos苏州夜总会招聘 AFR, SPECIALX 21948 ***afrphotos苏州夜总会招聘*** Photo: Louie DouvisScott Morrison’s budget projections rely entirely on orthodox economic thinking about what drives wages. Unfortunately that orthodox thinking is demonstrably wrong.
The textbooks say that, as unemployment falls, the labour market tightens and wages rise. Supply and demand and all that. But it’s not happening.
The fancier version of that story is that we’re enjoying a surge in national income as our resources export volumes rise, a surge that will result in higher profits that labour will subsequently want a share of. But wanting and getting are two very different things.
Last week’s n Bureau of Statistics wages index showed wages growth falling to 1.9 per cent and lower in the private sector. Real wages shrunk despite the economy overall motoring along reasonably well.
It takes a huge leap of faith – or perhaps blind belief in old textbooks – for Morrison to forecast in the face of present experience that wages growth will double in the next four years. It’s more likely that we’ll run into the problem of inflation rising and wages failing to respond.
And it’s not just an n problem. Much of the developed world is suffering weak wages growth . Over the weekend, Bloomberg offered eight possible reasons why wages aren’t picking up despite the US unemployment rate dropping to 4.4 per cent.
The answer to the conundrum for is likely to be a combination of those factors.
Rising underemployment on top of unemployment is an obvious suspect. The increasing casualisation of the workforce, the rise and rise in part-time rather than full-time jobs, eats away at labour’s ability to demand wage rises.
The collapse of organised labour. Over the past quarter century, trade union membership for the individual’s main job has fallen from 40 per cent to 15. In the private sector, 942,000 workers are trade union members in their main job – 10.4 per cent. There are more private contractors now than private sector unionists.
Globalisation – the pressure to be internationally competitive – weighs on wages even when local unemployment is down.
Low inflation expectations become self-fulfilling – since the global financial crisis, workers have become used to wage increases of about the inflation rate and have accepted low inflation. The Fair Work Commission determining minimum wages tends to stick around the inflation rate.
Corporate culture since the GFC has swung towards chief executives and chief financial officers relying on cost cutting or containment to get their bonuses. In a highly competitive business environment, where there’s often little confidence to invest in the business to grow the bottom line, reducing costs has become an important KPI. The boss just says “no” – and gets paid more for saying it.
At the extreme, there are cases such as Coates Hire looking to cut wages by as much as 40 per cent by terminating an existing pay agreement. And that’s despite Coates doing increasingly well from the infrastructure boom taking off on the east coast.
Yet Treasury is sticking with its textbook fairy tale despite the official family’s wage price index forecasts being consistently wrong, as the accompanying Reserve Bank graph shows.
While Treasury and the RBA sip from the same forecasting cup, it seems our central bank is becoming less assured of the Happy Ever After projections.
The May board minutes released last week sounded much more cautious than Treasury:
“Members noted that, although it seemed unlikely that wage growth would slow much further, wage pressures were expected to rise only gradually as the effects of structural adjustment following the mining investment and terms of trade boom, which had weighed on aggregate wage growth, continued to wane.”
A research paper in the RBA’s March bulletin on low wages growth concluded it was difficult to identify if structural changes were driving the wages outcome, but they need to be monitored.
The paper noted that only about 20 per cent of workers have wages determined by awards, with another 10 to 15 per cent indirectly influenced. Wage growth in industries that have a higher prevalence of individual agreements has declined most significantly over recent years.
Individuals did well when the economy was booming, when employers were willing to compete for them, but with the boom days over, so is the average individual’s bargaining power.
And aside from the falling proportion of organised labour, much of the remaining union movement has mellowed. With a few obvious exceptions, unions such as the shoppies seem more interested in maintaining jobs – and union membership – than pushing for wage rises that could threaten employment.
Disruption is heavy upon the land. The great achievement of the internet isn’t the ability to go online and buy a cheap shirt from China, rather it is the empowerment of customers – they can’t be fooled any more. Everything is effectively up for tender, resulting in competitive pressure being a daily reality. That generally means containing costs.
The irony of retailers and cafes pushing for reduced weekend penalty rates is that such employers want to pay their own staff less, but want all other employers to pay their staff more so they can afford to eat in cafes. It could prove a bitter victory for the business lobby to find that pushing for a “more flexible” labour force ends up meaning fewer customers.
The bigger danger for the budget is the possibility of a double whammy. The lack of much faster wages growth means the government won’t get the income tax boost it’s relying on. On top of that, inflation edging higher through energy and housing costs means real wages shrink more, which would flow onto lower consumption growth – unless we blow out our debt levels even further.
RBA board members this month “noted that the ABS would issue revised expenditure weights for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the December quarter 2017 CPI release, which would reflect changes in consumption behaviour over the preceding six years in response to factors including large changes in relative prices”.
In other words, we might find our inflation rate is higher than we thought. If workers can’t win wage increases to at least keep pace with it, the government will have another political fire to put out before the next election.
“This is just a hiccup for America,” says Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He is at the Cannes Film Festival to help promote a documentary about underwater life, called Wonders of the Sea. Spectacular as it is, everyone wants to talk to Arnie about his attitude to Donald Trump. For a start, they have had closely followed spats on Twitter. More importantly, Schwarzenegger’s career shift from body-builder to action movie star to the governor of California makes him perhaps the ultimate American immigrant success story. Even as a high-profile Republican, surely he can’t support bans on Muslim visitors or walls along the border
At first, the Terminator doesn’t want to be drawn. “We are promoting Wonders of the Sea, not Trump,” he says. “This is a whole other campaign.” But Schwarzenegger is a born campaigner – he is particularly proud of having signed off on America’s toughest environmental legislation when governor – insists he’s not bothered by Trump’s proposals for budget cuts to environmental protection and reducing refugee numbers. “I think America will work its way through it. You will see the reaction and the way it is all going to unravel very quickly.”
The United States is still a democracy, he insists. Nothing depends on the will of just one man. “I think everything will sort itself out. I think that the kind of un-American tone has been struck down by the judges, so I am not worried. We have gone through Watergate, all these different troubles and America always came out well.”
Wonders of the Sea is a 3D film shot and edited by Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the great oceanographer and film-maker Jacques Cousteau, who won the top prize in Cannes with his The Silent World in 1956. It follows a spectacular journey across the Pacific, with stop-offs on reefs in Fiji, Hawaii and California. The point, says Cousteau, is to encourage children and their parents to love the underwater world and want to help preserve it. It carefully avoids any hint of political ideology or blame for the toxic pollutants still poured into the sea by Industry.
“It presents something so beautiful to people they will fall in love and want to protect it,” says Schwarzenegger, who narrates the film’s commentary. It was knowledge, he says, that turned him into an environmentalist. “I wasn’t into it at all, like everyone I ws just living my life, I appreciated the environment because I grew up in Austria but when I became governor I saw people die because of pollution and saw what offshore drilling does, all this stuff.” He approached the Democrat bloc in the state legislature to help him push through new regulations. “They said: ‘You’re a Republican, are you serious?’ And I said ‘I’m very serious because I don’t see this as a political issue. We must do it.'”
Why that isn’t working for President Trump he can’t explain. “I don’t know what makes people tick. All I know is that when I see him going in the wrong direction, as we have done, whether it’s about him striking the budget of after-school programs or the environment or in any other way, we will speak up. We have the power to make changes. Let’s not wait for this one guy to change his mind.” Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me. Sad end to great show??? Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017Hey, @realDonaldTrump, I have some advice. See you at Hart Middle School? Here’s more info about #afterschool: https://t苏州夜场招聘/NOgdhBHyyppic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/NQI2OdVqtF??? Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 21, 2017
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou praised the way Celtic have managed Tom Rogic’s return from injury and expects the Canberra product to be fresh for a big month for .
Postecoglou named Rogic in his 30-man squad for the crucial World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia, as well as the friendly against Brazil and subsequent Confederations Cup.
The squad will be cut to 23 next Wednesday ahead of the Saudi clash at Adelaide Oval on June 8.
Rogic came off the bench at half-time in Celtic’s 2-0 victory over Heart of Midlothian on Sunday to wrap up their record-breaking Scottish Premier League title triumph.
The 24-year-old scored in his first full 90 minutes after overcoming an ankle injury in a 5-0 victory over Partick Thistle on Friday and will finish his Celtic campaign with the Scottish Cup final against Aberdeen this Saturday.
Rogic missed almost four months due to the injury, which required surgery, but returned to the pitch in early April to finish the season.
He faces a hectic couple of months with not only the Socceroos games, but also Celtic’s Champions League qualifiers in July.
Postecoglou was happy to have the Canberran back in the selection mix as the n team begins their push to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
“It’s good to have him playing again obviously and he missed an extended period of time, but I think Celtic are using him pretty wisely – they haven’t just thrown him back in there,” Postecoglou said.
“He’s playing bits and pieces of games and [Friday] night was probably his first 90 minutes, which was great for us because I think they [Celtic] have already programmed in that he’s got a big June ahead of him and are looking after him.
“So from that perspective I guess the positive is that Tommy won’t come in jaded after a long season. If anything I think he’ll be looking forward to having some games.”
The Socceroos squad will start arriving in Adelaide on June 2 to begin preparations for the crucial clash against second-placed Saudi Arabia.
sits three points behind the Saudis, who are level with group B-topping Japan on 16 points.
They have to finish in the top two in the group to avoid a couple of tricky play-off games to force their way to Russia.
A win over Saudi Arabia would see them draw level with them on points ahead of their final two group games – away to Japan on August 31 and then home against Thailand on September 5.
Postecoglou felt the Socceroos were in good shape going into their deciding three games.
“We’ve done a lot of work over the last couple of years for these games. We kind of knew the final three games in qualification were going to be the key ones and starting with Saudi at home,” he said.
“I think we’re in good shape – the work we’ve done over the last couple of years, the players we’ve exposed to international football and the experiences they’ve had.
“I’ve got no doubt we’ll be up for the contest and hopefully start June off with a really strong performance and the right result and carry us through the rest of June.”
While the World Cup qualifier was the most important in the Socceroos’ June schedule, he was hopeful they would be able to add a trophy to their cabinet in the Confederation Cup, where they have drawn Germany, Cameroon and Chile in their group.
They’ll warm up for that with a friendly against Brazil in Melbourne on June 13.
“When you look at Brazil, Germany, Chile and Cameroon – particularly the first three – you’re talking about three top-10 nations,” Postecoglou said.
“It’s exactly the arena we want to be in and the environment we want to test ourselves.
“It’d be great to get to the end of that month knowing we’ve acquitted ourselves well and maybe have another trophy in our cabinet.”
Socceroos squad: Mark Birighitti, Mitch Langerak, Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic, Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Alex Gersbach, Rhyan Grant, Dylan McGowan, Ryan McGowan, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Bailey Wright, Mustafa Amini, Craig Goodwin, Ajdin Hrustic, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak (captain), James Jeggo, Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Riley McGree, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tomi Rogic, James Troisi, Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Jamie Maclaren.
The Parkville tram derailment has created traffic havoc and left the driver shaking. Photo: Channel 7Fourteenpeople havebeen taken to hospital after dozens of passengers wereinjured when a truck slammed into a tram in Melbourne’s inner-north on Monday morning.
Emergency servicesrushed to the scene of theserious smash in Parkville after a truck slammed into a crowdedWest Coburg route 58tram on Elliott Avenueabout 8am.
The force of the accident buckled one side of the tram, forcing it several metres off its tracks, and tippedthe truck on its side causing it to leakfuel.
Paramedics treated29people for mostly minor injuries at a triage area set up at the scene. Police were also at the scene.
Fourteenpeople were taken to hospital, including threetoThe Royal Melbourne Hospital, fourto St Vincent’sHospital, four to The Alfred hospitaland three to Footscray Hospital.
The remaining injured did not need further treatment.
The tram driver was photographed lying next to tram witha defibrillator after reportedly complaining of chest pain but hiscondition is unknown.
Twelve firefighters are on the scene of the diesel spill with the clean up expected to take hours.
“The tram has been derailed so Yarra Trams heavy maintenance will attend to put the tram back on its tracks,” aMFB statement said.
Elliott Avenue between Flemington Rd and Royal Pdein Parkville remainsclosed in both directions and is not expected to reopen until after Monday afternoon’s peak-hour commute.
Drivers have been advised toavoid the area and seek an alternative route such as usingBrunswick Rd to Mt Alexander Rd and then travelling to Flemington Rd from there.
Tram services on routes 70, 75 and 58 have also been affected.
Photos from the scene show the tram’swindows have been smashed by the force of the smash and the inside of the tram is covered in dirt the truck was transporting.
One woman named Jennifer who witnessed the crash told ABC Radio Melbourne thatpassengers heard screams before being thrown from their seats.
She said after the crash the truck driver had been seen sitting next to the tram, shaking, and passengers were “lying everywhere”.
Schapelle Corby (right). Photo: Dimas Ardian. Cassandra Sainsbury faces 20 years jail if convicted. Photo: StarNowSix days from freedom, many years later and a million years wiser, you could easily imagine what Schapelle Corby was thinking if she had a60 Minuteslive stream in Bali on Sunday night.
Just who got their money’s worth here?
Answer: Not the woman behind bars. And probably not the program waving the big bucks.
Almost 13 years to the day after the Corby family pocketed its first alleged Channel Nine cheque to tell the alleged story of an alleged innocent waif abroad caught up in an alleged drug-smuggling sting, the family of alleged Colombian jailbird Cassandra Sainsbury took the same alleged time-honoured route to … what?
What – allegedly – indeed?
It’s hard to know what anyone is thinking when these cluster-farts of media hysteria and foreign judicial systems collide in an explosion of moral outrage and moral confusion, breathlessly presented to a national audience over Sunday night dessert.
Colombian police released this photo of Cassandra Sainsbury with the drugs she is alleged to have smuggled. Photo: Colombian National Police
But once again on60 Minutes– direct from the streets of Bogota, Colombia and the red-lit doorways of Sydney – came a tale of moral turpitude and questionable ethics, most of it related to the program delivering the story.
Here were some of the opening lines from a program Nine flagged as a “special edition”.
If only there had been anything special about it; alas, it was entirely predictable.
“The most extraordinary development….”!
“But that’s not all about Cassandra’s secret past…”!
“Her life as a prostitute…”!
“An admission she did it…”!
“Her lawyer tells us she…”!
The latter line – “our investigation” – should be treated with caution when dealing with a program whose investigative techniques have sometimes amounted to throwing large sums of money in the direction of people who’ll talk to them.
In 2004, it was60 Minutesand Nine who did more than most to forge the national belief that Schapelle Corby came from a Brady Bunch-like clan from the classier areas of the Gold Coast, and that her unjust incarceration deprived the nation of a young heroine’s wisdom on eyebrow maintenance. And when Corby went down in 2005, it was60 Minuteswho paid their way into both the courtroom and the family’s post-conviction Bali villa.
Cassandra – Schapelle for a new generation? Please, no! – risks the same fate, at least as the subject of gratuitous media carry-on.
One wonders what Sainsbury’s mother, Lisa Evans, and sister, Khala, are thinking this morning, after viewing Sunday night’s chequebook-laden tale. It came complete with staged jail phone calls and pointless but camera-friendly hollering outside the prison walls – juxtaposed with a second story reported from Sydney.
In this back-after-the-break knees-up, the harbour city’s allegedly long-dead nightlife was given an alleged new lease on life: “This is ‘s party strip, the notorious Kings Cross in Sydney’s eastern suburbs”.
One imagines the only people cheering were the city’s tourism chiefs, relieved to finally have someone painting the area allegedly known as “the notorious Kings Cross” as still breathing, let alone notorious.
60 Minutes’ endeavours to convince us that it, too, is still breathing consisted of interviews with Cassandra’s mother and sister, conducted in environs ranging from the back of a cab, to a park bench, to the aforementioned hollering outside prison walls, to breast-laden pictorial renditions of Sainsbury’s alleged previous life as a Sydney sex worker. (Corby-case aficionados will recall that Schapelle’s downfall included allegations that she had taken a similar path in Japan, prior to her alleged Bali misfortune.)
On60 Minutes, the story of Sainsbury’s alleged previous life was delivered with the implication from an alleged former colleague that Cassandra’s alleged life was (take your pick) illegal, immoral or that she-got-what-she-allegedly deserved: “I can guarantee you 100 per cent that is her body, that is her in that profile”.
This was a judgment no doubt encouraged by the60 Minutespromise to the woman making it: “We have agreed to conceal her identity and change her voice.”
The main alleged conclusion to draw from it all?
That60 Minutesmay be willing to conceal the identity and change the voice of the people it pays for stories … but none of it conceals the modern identity of the program itself.
You can pay for anything – but you can’t buy credibility. Allegedly? No, you can bank on that.