Is this wrong?

Is this wrong

I suspect this job offer is below the minimum wage and invites tax avoidance. Okay – so what? At a time when youth unemployment is obscenely high and the government is introducing work-for-the-dole for people up to the age of 49 should we care that some casual work will pay $15 an hour in cash?

Just wondering.

I’m not a big fan of the work-for-the-dole scheme. Its only merit is that it keeps people in the habit of getting up and getting out in the mornings. The CIS’ Peter Saunders was quite correct on that point. The problem, however, is that it becomes a ‘gophers for bureaucrats’ scheme, where bureaucrats get to sit around and think up make work for job-seekers. But if bureaucrats were any good at devising employment opportunities they’d be entrepreneurs and not bureaucrats. I’m not saying this to diss bureaucrats, that is just the way the world is.

So why not a scheme like what the Sexpo is offering? Let job-seekers do odd jobs for private enterprise at any wage for any period of time and let people get work skills and experiences that way. Or it could be formalised: Allow firms to apply for a quota of job-sekers for a fixed period of time where the firm could pay (or not) any sum of money to the job-seekers and let the firm find make-work for the job-seekers. That way they get to do ‘real’ work and the potential employer gets to have a look at the job-seeker.

Just a thought.

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117 Responses to Is this wrong?

  1. Token

    Is the make up perk they get to take home a sample of what they are trying to sell?

  2. Pete of Perth

    Wankers need not apply?

  3. thefrollickingmole

    I notice they have tactfully avoided saying which sex they would prefer for the positions offered as well.

    There is nothing wrong with cash in hand work for extremely casual positions IMHO, where welfare shits it up is by making it painful to report, and punishing in cost.
    If they advertised casual full wage they would cut thier applicants by 2/3 just because people go “not worth it, centerlink are dashed bounders of the first water” (trying the ye-olde swearing out for a spin)

  4. egg_

    Hopefully not demo’ing Viagra?

  5. Tom

    Guffaw. Guffaw.

    Apart from that, I think the public have had a gutful of the minimum’s wage’s devastation of casual employment in this country (not to mention the insane tax rules). Kids I know working two or three jobs couldn’t survive without “cashies”.

  6. I like the idea.

    And if you cut it loose from Centrelink, then there is no danger of some hapless devoutly religious job-seeker being sent to a job like this and told that if they don’t do it, they’ll lose their benefits.

  7. Ant

    Cut the dole to anybody over 50 who has received it for 12 months.

    If you can’t find work here or somewhere else in this big wide land after 12 months you’re either too choosy or too lazy.

    If you choose not to work that’s OK, too, just don’t expect those that do work to finance you while you site on your fat arse.

  8. Ant

    Whooops!!! That’s anybody under 50.

    I’m not that heartless.

  9. Infidel Tiger

    “Good morning, I’m calling about your advertised position for a dildo spruiker.”

  10. stackja

    But the ALP chooses not to allow any work. Better for the ALP if people remain unemployed.

  11. H B Bear

    Clearly Snic you have not built a $300m business supplying job market services to government. Then you would see the benefit of schemes like this.

  12. Infidel Tiger

    Isn’t life bizarre. Some bloke is looking to hire a buttplug salesman and he wants them to be “non-smokers”.

  13. JohnA

    On the “work-for-the-dole-scheme”, I note screeching comments by Sen Milne of the infamous Greens, to the effect that Sen Abetz is off his tree (my interpretation) to suggest that Tasmanian job seekers move to Melbourne.

    I would prefer to suggest that the job seekers stay in Tasmania or try South Australia, and stand for the Senate. They can not possibly do any worse than the present Green incumbents.

  14. Ben Gray

    I don’t know Ant, I think that anyone who can’t get a job after 12 months shouldn’t be getting the dole, oldies or youngsters.

  15. Ms Dolittle

    Some bloke is looking to hire a buttplug salesman and he wants them to be “non-smokers”

    It’s discrimination against shitlips.

  16. Matthew

    Or just give a Basic Guaranteed Income (BGI) and in exchange end all other income transfers, as Charles Murray suggested in his book ‘In Our Hands : A Plan To Replace The Welfare State’.

    The BGI gets welfare constituencies on board while breaking up bureaucratic power centres that rely on government intervention.

  17. Driftforge

    Why not simply drop the minimum wage to the dole rate, and then top up proportionally from there to the current minimum wage?

    Employees would see a simple market that scaled seamlessly from the dole — which they have to work for — to unassisted employment.

    Employers would see a simple market that scaled from some number that allowed for full employment all the way to unassisted employment.

    This way no one receives money for no work, and no one does make work of no value.

  18. Token

    Isn’t life bizarre. Some bloke is looking to hire a buttplug salesman and he wants them to be “non-smokers”.

    Good pick up.

    There may be a lurker on this site who is very keen on the product and may even pass on the $15 in return for goods in kind.

  19. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Some bloke is looking to hire a buttplug salesman

    Oh my. SfB? Off the dole at last if Sinc’s suggestion is taken up.

    No, no, that’s unfair. I doubt Stevie’s got the personality for it.
    And I think they want a sexy chick anyway. Plus the job’s multicultural.
    Those dildos don’t just come in one type or colour.

  20. If you can’t find work here or somewhere else in this big wide land after 12 months you’re either too choosy or too lazy.

    Then let me access my super at 50. Virtually no one is interested in giving a job to a geriatric ie 50 or over. These days they even want street sweepers to be “qualified”, and even then they would give the job to the younger applicant. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on this one, because, you know, you’re an ant.

  21. Whooops!!! That’s anybody under 50.

    I’m not that heartless.

    Whoops!!! You may be an ant, but clearly, I’m not as smart as you!

  22. Shelley

    I am reckoning on the usual victim outrage crowd to get offended at the ‘fluent English required’.

  23. srr

    Prostitution is legal, and Brothels are legal businesses.

    How far away are we from cutting people off the dole, who knock back job offers from Brothel Owners?

    Keeping in mind that it is now criminal for doctors who object to late term abortion to refuse to refer people to doctors willing to do it.

  24. Why not just scrap the minimum wage, and make that the income tax threshold? Simplify reporting and allow it to occur after the fact.

    Why do I have to think of everything?

  25. Mr Rusty

    I’m not a big fan of the work-for-the-dole scheme. Its only merit is that it keeps people in the habit of getting up and getting out in the mornings. The CIS’ Peter Saunders was quite correct on that point. The problem, however, is that it becomes a ‘gophers for bureaucrats’ scheme, where bureaucrats get to sit around and think up make work for job-seekers.

    What?! Clearly you’ve never hung around work-shy mendicants who have made a living out of doing nothing. There is a ton of work that could be done out there and you don’t need to be a genius to invent jobs. Removing graffiti, cleaning public transport and public buildings, parks, painting bus shelters, directing arriving passengers at airports, hospital porters – I’m not even warmed up yet. The idea of work-for-the-dole should be to make even a minimum wage job more attractive and provide some kind of service to those who have to foot the bill.
    The Government managed this stuff back during the Depression the 30′s when there was no internet / mobile phones etc. Seriously, how hard is a group email;
    “Dear Sir / Madam,
    In order to receive you Centrelink benefits this week you must turn up for 30 hours labour at your local bus depot located at BLAH
    Cleaning materials and rubber gloves will be provided. You must report to BLAH at the start and end of the shift. Absenteeism and failure to complete tasks will be reported and result in your payments being cut off.”
    People might be a bit more amenable to paying tax for the massive welfare bill if we saw something in return for it.

    On another note, I worked at Sexpo last year…for no pay. It was the best job I ever had.

  26. How far away are we from cutting people off the dole, who knock back job offers from Brothel Owners?

    And to do anything to anyone, on demand. All 52 genders now have access to every orifice of every person not currently employed.

    You know it makes sense!

  27. Steve of Glasshouse

    Heard someone this morning on the local radio station whinging that the 25 hours requirement would cut into his cash in hand jobs. LOL whilst driving..

  28. Raider580

    Already happening , Know two people on the dole and both have second jobs. Mind you they are useless and unreliable and so are paid exactly what they are worth, bugger all .They seem pretty happy with their lot.

  29. Combine Dave

    So why not a scheme like what the Sexpo is offering? Let job-seekers do odd jobs

    Lol.

  30. ar

    “Fluent English Speaking”…

    Racist perverts…

  31. Tim Neilson

    Work for the dole also sends a message that society doesn’t exist to hand out “free” stuff at the expense of people who work. I don’t know what the cost benefit analysis would be (and I’m inherently wary of funding bureaucratic programs to “raise awareness” or to be “symbolic”) but that message is surely in itself another advantage of work for the dole.

  32. Leigh Lowe

    On what basis do you say “I suspect this job offer is below the minimum wage and invites tax avoidance.”

  33. Alfonso

    Indeed, most of the High St businesses in our beach town will be closed unless they do not declare cash for tax purposes. Welcome to how Australia works. Unskilled employment would collapse. Tut tut if you like…nobody gives a rats what the govt thinks…..

  34. Errol Flint

    The productivity commission should be expanded to calculate personal productivity. Get rid of all income support and impose automatic dismissal for anyone who does not meet average productivity. That way we simply push the slackers into unemployment and highlight rational behaviour.
    Lots of bludgers who spend their time whining or at lunch or both would be out on their arse! Financial planners, fund managers, union officials, political advisers, bank CEOs, media watch announcers and Sinc would all be at risk!!!! Exciting!

  35. Percy

    On the “work-for-the-dole-scheme”, I note screeching comments by Sen Milne

    Not sure what her problem is, the good Senator is essentially working for the dole. She just gets a higher rate.

  36. Isn’t life bizarre. Some bloke is looking to hire a buttplug salesman and he wants them to be “non-smokers”.

    They want ‘em to work an hour for their $15 instead of spending half their time “just popped out for a smoke”.

    Quite a common request, though not usually codified. I do the same thing. All else being equal, non-smokers will always be hired over smokers.

  37. rickw

    A minimum wage in a country with the dole is beyond stupid.

    Any worker has a choice, accept a job with a given set of conditions, or go on the dole. The worker can do the math as to which option suits them best.

    What does a minimum wage do except meddle the ability of employees and employers to form mutually beneficial agreements of their own design?

    Where there is trust between the parties, these agreements are already being formed and implemented regardless of what the pointless regulations say.

  38. Oh come on

    On another note, I worked at Sexpo last year…for no pay. It was the best job I ever had.

    You were on the LDP’s desk, weren’t you? Ooer missus!

    $15/hr cash is pretty reasonable as far as cashies go…I’m quite surprised they’d advertise cash in hand publically, though. Inviting trouble from those nice folk at ‘Fair’ Work Australia.

  39. thefrollickingmole

    Steve at the Pub

    The minesite Im at now is just about to bring in a “no smoking on site” policy, as part of the rollout theyve had a hypnotherapist out a couple of times as well as lots of other “give up” stuff on.

    Its Japanese owned/managed so I wonder if its a productivity idea from them?

    Those 1/2 hour smokos stack up after a while, plus its always a pissoff for non-smokers seeing them duck out.

    Strider: “Gentlemen! We do not stop till nightfall.”

    Pippin: “What about SMOKO?”

    Strider: “You’ve already had it.”

    Pippin: “We’ve had one, yes. What about second smoko?”

    *Strider walks over the hill*

    Merry: “Don’t think he knows about second smoko, Pip.”

    Pippin: “What about elevensies? Lunch smoko? Afternoon smoko? Dinner smoko? Supper smoko? He knows about them, don’t he?”

    Merry: “I wouldn’t count on it.”

  40. MemoryVault

    Government mandated Work for the Dole and Youth Training/Work Experience schemes have been tried before. In both cases they were unmitigated disasters. Two reasons:

    1) – Both create major distortions in the labour market.

    2) – Within six months of their introduction they were being rorted by virtually all employers, from small sole traders, to local councils, to major corporations and public companies, to state governments.

    The end result was a significant increase in the number of people receiving unemployment benefits.

    If you are going to amuse yourselves dreaming up hair-shirt and self-flagellation solutions for the unemployed, at least start with the some realistic assumptions:

    1) – The vast majority of unemployed/underemployed people desperately want work/more work and are already constantly actively seeking it to the limit of their abilities and circumstances.

    2) – It costs far more to “supervise” the existing hair-shirt and self-flagellation solutions than it would to simply transfer every unemployed person onto a pension. Not that I’m suggesting that for one moment, but such a move would save between $3 and $5 billion a year, and remove the “need” for about 10,000 employees in the Dept of Human Services, plus 30,000 working for the “Employment Service Provider” qango industry.

    3) – The biggest impediments to unemployed/underemployed people obtaining work/more work, are these very same hair-shirt and self-flagellation solutions you people are hell-bent on extending.

    If I may cite the example of a young man I am currently helping get his bond back from an unscrupulous, lying former landlord. This kid isn’t the brightest light on the block, but he’s honest, and works hard. He’s been gradually building himself a reputation for doing odd-jobs.

    Over the next fortnight he has no less than five (5) compulsory interviews to attend with Centrelink, Human Services, and his Employment Service Provider. Since he lives 40 kilometres out from the regional centre, and public transport is non-existent, that means his entire allowance of fuel for the next fortnight is going to be expended complying with the hair-shirt and self-flagellation solutions that you people, and apparently, even Sinclair, seem to think are a good idea and need expanding.

    There ARE cost-effective solutions to the “welfare conundrum”, and they are not that difficult or complex to implement. They would be welcomed by both taxpayer and welfare recipient alike. The impediment is not the “dole bludgers” nor the “disability malingerers”, nor even the “gutless politicians”.

    The heart of the problem lies with the vast bureaucracies which have come into being to “manage” the situation, and see human suffering as a major growth factor and promotional opportunity.

  41. Matthew

    MemoryVault speaks the truth.

    People are not going to be happy when they find that they lose their job to an endless supply of work for the dole slaves.

    The opportunity costs for work for the dole can include missing out on the opportunity of getting a job! Work for the dole us only for the emotional satisfaction of people that are upset about paying the taxes needed to sustain the welfare system.

  42. AP

    Oh my God. Imagine the outrage. The poor exploited workers. 13 hour shifts selling sex toys for less than the minimum wage! And no smoko breaks either! The world will end.

  43. AP

    A minimum wage in a country with the dole is beyond stupid

    Employers still have difficulty filling vacancies even when paying more than the already substantial minimum wage. Why else does it cost $6 for a schooner and $36 for a steak dinner at my local pub? The publican has had to sponsor foreigners’ work visas because the local yoof can’t be bothered. And I am in an area with 16% yoof unemployment.

    The only real option is to scrap both the minimum wage AND the dole.

  44. Tel

    1) – The vast majority of unemployed/underemployed people desperately want work/more work and are already constantly actively seeking it to the limit of their abilities and circumstances.

    OK, and with work for the dole they get what they want… a chance to work.

    Over the next fortnight he has no less than five (5) compulsory interviews to attend with Centrelink, Human Services, and his Employment Service Provider. Since he lives 40 kilometres out from the regional centre, and public transport is non-existent, that means his entire allowance of fuel for the next fortnight is going to be expended complying with the hair-shirt and self-flagellation solutions that you people, and apparently, even Sinclair, seem to think are a good idea and need expanding.

    So given that this guy desparately wants work (as you have pointed out) what was his alternative plan for obtaining it? In what way was he constantly actively seeking it to the limit of their abilities and circumstances, while also not discussing this with any potential employers?

  45. Tel

    The heart of the problem lies with the vast bureaucracies which have come into being to “manage” the situation, and see human suffering as a major growth factor and promotional opportunity.

    The heart of the problem lies in employers being actively discouraged from hiring in a situation where the employer must face any risk whatsoever. After that the useless bureaucracy will naturally form once it gets the chance.

  46. Yobbo

    Employers still have difficulty filling vacancies even when paying more than the already substantial minimum wage. Why else does it cost $6 for a schooner and $36 for a steak dinner at my local pub?

    Are you retarded?

    Jobs in pubs are one of the most sought-after jobs in Australia. It’s easy work that pays $30+ an hour. There’s no way those pubs can’t fill those positions.

    Your beer costs a lot because it costs employers close to $40 an hour to legally employ someone. It’s not because of a difficulty of finding workers.

    Memoryvault’s post is the only post worth a pinch of shit in this entire thread on this now-worthless blog that’s been completely overtaken by lauranorder christian conservative fuckwits.

  47. Matthew

    Why else does it cost $6 for a schooner and $36 for a steak dinner at my local pub?

    World beef prices are up. Alcohol excise tax may be impacting the price of your beer.

  48. Fisky

    If it were affordable, I’d advocate putting all dole-recipients who can’t prove they are looking for work/studying on full-time minimum wage make-work schemes. Basically doing local council stuff but getting paid less. In fact, the entire public sector should be on the minimum wage anyway, so maybe that’s how my make-work scheme could save money.

  49. Fisky

    So, cancel the dole and have only minimum-wage make work schemes. And reduce public sector salaries to pay for it. That should stop the private sector rorting and exploiting work-for-the-dole positions.

  50. MemoryVault

    OK, and with work for the dole they get what they want… a chance to work.

    Yes, in positions that were previously occupied by people who were employed to do those jobs, who were laid off (onto the dole queue) so they could be replaced by people subsidised by the taxpayer to no benefit whatsoever to anybody except the employer getting the taxpayer-subsidised labour. AND the supervising bureaucracy, of course.

    So given that this guy desparately wants work (as you have pointed out) what was his alternative plan for obtaining it? In what way was he constantly actively seeking it to the limit of their abilities and circumstances, while also not discussing this with any potential employers?

    He drives around looking for work – lawns that need mowing, trees, bushes, shrubs that need trimming, rubbish that needs removing, and so on. Then he knocks on doors and makes an offer.

    . . . while also not discussing this with any potential employers?

    See Tel, this is where you display the utter, total and complete ignorance of the reality of the situation so common amongst people like you, Sinclair, and the other commentators here. I said the kid had to attend five interviews, and you just assumed they had something to do with actual employers or employment. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    First, he will attend an interview with his Employment Service Provider. He will wait anything up to two hours before he finally gets to be interviewed for five minutes, at which point he will be asked if he is fulfilling the requirements of his “Pathways to Employment Agreement”. He will lie and answer “yes”. He will be lying,because what he agreed to was to drive around, looking for work opportunities, and instead he has wasted the morning waiting for this five minute interview. His Employment Service Provider will tick a box on her computer screen, generating an $800.00 payment to Therese Rein or Sarina Russo, and the interview will be over.

    His next interview (on a different day) will be at Centrelink. Again he will wait two hours before finally being summoned to a counter where he will be asked if he has been meeting his obligations to his agreement with his Employment Service Provider. He will answer “yes”, confirming what the woman behind the counter already knew, because the previous woman had already ticked the appropriate box on the computer screen. His dole payment will now be assured for the next month. provided, of course, he jumps through all the other hoops, designed to accomplish little more than create employment for public servants.

    His third interview, again on a different day, will be to attend a half-day course on writing an up-to-date resume. It will be the third time he has attended such a course. It’s not that he keeps getting it wrong, it’s that the powers that be keep updating what they consider to be an up to date resume. He attends the course, even though he is never likely to ever apply for a job that needs a resume. He loses half a day looking for work, but the rent-seekers running the course get paid $300.00, and the Employment Service Provider gets paid $100.00 bonus for referring him to the course. All courtesy of the taxpayer, of course.

    His fourth interview, again on another day, is back at Centrelink. It is with a duly qualified and accredited Job Capacity Assessor. Again he will wait an hour or two so he can be interviewed by some recent university graduate to ascertain how the government might “help” him obtain employment by “identifying” and “mapping” his “barriers to employment”. She will almost certainly recommend he attend a course on how to write an up-to-date resume.

    I do not know what his fifth interview is about. I listen, I offer what help and advice I can, but after a point it gets too depressing to hear anymore. About the only thing more depressing is coming here and reading comments by ignorant, ill-informed oafs like you and Sinclair – who believes the average unemployed person actually needs government sponsored assistance to get out of bed in the morning.

  51. The coalition have made several decisions since winning government that are basically dole-bludger-bashing. Here’s a news flash for the Libs:

    Australia’s unemployment program, the dole, was very badly rorted…
    Back in the 1980s.

    The dole-bludger problem got fixed three decades ago. Stop shadow boxing against problems of yesteryear. It just makes you look like retrograde dinosoars, and it also comes across as spiteful and mean. There is no public interest in you taking on dole recipients.

    There is no need to reform the dole as it currently stands. Furthermore the public mostly know this, so there’s little political mileage in it either.

  52. Is this wrong?

    Why are you making trouble for sexpo?

  53. incoherent rambler

    There is always Stalin’s method of reducing unemployment numbers. Probably less vote damage …

  54. Piett

    In fact, the entire public sector should be on the minimum wage anyway, so maybe that’s how my make-work scheme could save money.

    Good idea, but in fairness the entire finance sector should likewise go on the minimum wage. There are a few public sector folk who are worth more than the minimum wage — in Immigration, for example — but no one in banking and finance that I’ve ever met.

  55. Infidel Tiger

    The public service is a giant work for the dole scheme.

    None of them are doing actual and necessary work, but it keeps them off the streets.

  56. Squirrel

    “Alfonso

    #1397016, posted on July 28, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Indeed, most of the High St businesses in our beach town will be closed unless they do not declare cash for tax purposes. Welcome to how Australia works. Unskilled employment would collapse. Tut tut if you like…nobody gives a rats what the govt thinks…..”

    Yes, and the people who (officially at least) are very concerned that everything be done properly – wage rates, tax, super etc. – are too often the first to complain about the adequacy and availability of services which would simply not be viable if all those rules were always strictly observed. Such folk seem to have trouble understanding that (unlike their employers) businesses, particularly in the services sector, don’t get guaranteed funding, underwritten by money expropriated from other people’s pockets.

  57. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    All the discussion revolving around mandated, legislated and monitored solutions brings to mind a couple of examples I’ve witnessed in recent times:

    On dole bludger fake work solutions – a young labourer turned up on a very big civil works project here, appointed under some bullship corporate social responsibility program, was given a job to do and later that day was chipped for not doing any of it. He confided to a new workmate that he didn’t have to do anything he was told because he was an aborigine.

    The boys were under the pump, earning a good quid to finish on time and unimpressed.

    They sent him to coventry.

    The fellow who handed out the tasks at the pre-starts omitted him, gave him nothing to do, didn’t mention his name. When he sat down with any of the work crews at smoko they physically moved twenty feet away, or relocated to the twin cab truck and enjoyed the air conditioning behind closed doors. If he attempted to attach himself to a casual conversation the fellas would physically relocate. Come knock off they left for the yard in the truck together and he was left behind to work out for himself that it was over. Nothing was said to him, not a word.

    He wandered about a very big site for three or four days, friendless and ignored, until he got the message and disappeared.

    All of that occurred without any paperwork, written instructions or employee training.

    On mongrel employers – a bloke from NSW on a big pretend water project who regularly didn’t pay his workers wages (130 of them) and never paid their super eventually saw the head contractor withhold his progress payments and give him was was left. It took them a year to act, during which he talked big, spent big and rattled up fabulous debts with suppliers. The civil construction industry is chockers with these spivs.

    Most of the fellas had worked together on and off for their entire career and the bush telegraph was well established. It didn’t take much to piece together what he owned and where, because he’d boasted about every bit of it to one or other of them over the years. The liquidator was handed a comprehensive, detailed list of assets and company names.

    The union contacts undertook to refuse him work in QLD and held to that. He all but won a major contract in north west WA until the union here was told and phoned their WA bruvvers to put the chocks under those wheels.

    He’d threatened a former foreman when he rang looking for his money, on a phone with a recording device. That fella smiled and quietly sussed out evidence of the local girl he’d knocked up, the receipts for viagra necessary for that enterprise (scrip, local pharmacy, away from wife and daughters in Sydney) and details of the abortion date, time, place and doctor. It turned out the gopher got jack of being barked at to do his shopping for him and held on to the paperwork.

    The recorded threats were posted to him by a wily solicitor, for information purposes.

    The paperwork was hand delivered to his missus.

    No job, no more real estate, no car, no-one prepared to work for him, no suppliers, no preferred contractor status with the union and no more missus.

    The final part of the undocumented, un-project managed, non compliant work plan was a three month holiday in St Vincents hospital after the enforcement team caught up with him and gave him a hell of a touch up.

    News of that initiative flashed around the Australian mobile network one morning in less than an hour, about three years after he insulted so many, generating deep satisfaction and universal amused approval.

    The look on the face of the young accountant lass for the liquidator was worth seeing – she was astonished that such things happen.

  58. Fisky

    First, he will attend an interview with his Employment Service Provider. He will wait anything up to two hours before he finally gets to be interviewed for five minutes, at which point he will be asked if he is fulfilling the requirements of his “Pathways to Employment Agreement”. He will lie and answer “yes”. He will be lying,because what he agreed to was to drive around, looking for work opportunities, and instead he has wasted the morning waiting for this five minute interview. His Employment Service Provider will tick a box on her computer screen, generating an $800.00 payment to Therese Rein or Sarina Russo, and the interview will be over.

    This is the real thing. By supporting “Work for the Dole” and other bureaucratic programs we are actually stuffing the pockets of rich Leftists like Kevin Rudd’s wife. Why do we do this? There is no rationale at all.

    Instead, we should just sack public servants and hire the unemployed on the minimum wage to do make-work projects. If they don’t turn up, they go back on the dole rather than the minimum wage.

  59. Yobbo

    The minimum wage is what creates the majority of dole recipients. Some people just aren’t worth $30 an hour or whatever the true cost of hiring someone at the minimum wage is nowadays.

    Go to somewhere like America where restaurants hire borderline retards to do nothing except top up the water glasses of diners. Jobs like that do not exist in Australia. Customers pour their own water.

    In Australia those water bearers would be lifelong welfare recipients.

  60. None

    Some people just aren’t worth $30 an hour or whatever the true cost of hiring someone at the minimum wage is nowadays.

    Jobs packing potatoes go for $16.35 an hour here on commercial farms. Just for a harvest season of course. Must have own transport, oh even if they send you interstate for another cropping season. You have to pay your own accommodation there as well, natch. $16.35 an hour. Retards need not apply. You have to be functionally literate and speak management speak. Even just to stand for hours to pack potatoes. Because Coles or Macca’s won’t buy your spuds otherwise. People without a reliable car need not apply. No public transport within cooee. People with families would be mad to apply. Over 50s, no over 40s need not apply. Actually don’t bother, applying it would help if you knew one of the spivs who run the joint. A 457 visa and a tent might help. And maybe an employer hand out by the gov. But one you’ve worked for the required number of months for the boss to get the taxpayers dosh you’re out.

    Try this people: put some applications in for low paid/minimum wage jobs – all you clever darlings – and then tell me how you go.

    I pity the young man mentioned above outside a town in a regional centre. I can tell you far worse stories about older workers, former farmers etc out country. All because of an accident of birth and Australia’s impossible geography and demographic spread.

    We are probably near or at the point where more people of working age are pie eaters and/or not working than are working. We already have more public servants than manufacturing workers down here. I say just half the public service – local, state, federal (noone will notice) and put remaining public servants on minimum wage. The fact that public servants now have AWE higher than the private sector is scandalous.

  61. None

    As to “is this wrong?” Maybe the local brothel would pay higher.
    Would you want your mother to do that job? Your wife? Your daughter?

  62. Yobbo

    I’d rather my sister worked as a whore for $500 a day than as a factory worker for $15 a day, yes.

    At least in one of those jobs she would attain financial security.

    But then I am an outlier I guess, since I know dozens of active sex workers. They don’t consider their job that horrible, indeed that’s why they chose it instead of working in a factory. Most of them have much brighter life prospects than the girls who choose factory work.

  63. Tel

    Yes, in positions that were previously occupied by people who were employed to do those jobs, who were laid off (onto the dole queue) so they could be replaced by people subsidised by the taxpayer…

    So you believe that only a finite number of jobs can ever exist? As our population grows, presumably the rise of unemployment will be inevitable. Sounds like crap to me.

    He drives around looking for work – lawns that need mowing, trees, bushes, shrubs that need trimming, rubbish that needs removing, and so on. Then he knocks on doors and makes an offer.

    Ok, so what he is really doing is running a business on the side, presumably with no paperwork. Aren’t you worried that this might compete with a real business doing the same thing? Imagine all those landscape gardners trying to run a legitimate business but now put out of work by a kid with commonwealth subsidy doing it on the side.

    …that means his entire allowance of fuel for the next fortnight is going to be expended complying with the hair-shirt and self-flagellation solutions that you people…

    Hmmm, how does he drive around looking for odd jobs when his entire allowance of fuel is expended?

    Look, it may sound silly, but it happens to be that running a business legitimately requires paperwork, and insurance certificates, and BAS statements, and a whole lot of other shit. Some of it is pointless and annoying, but the reason is that one day the guy running the cash in hand no-paperwork gardening business falls off a ladder and maims himself and then he really is unable to work. Someone has to provide medical care for him, so Workcover pops up and asks, “where is his insurance?” next thing the sweet old lady who asked him to trim her trees finds herself without a house to pay fines, because she gets deemed his employer.

    He would be better off finding a real odd-job company (presuming he hasn’t driven them out of business) and try to become an employee. Well, no he wouldn’t be financially better off, because he would be earning minimum wage instead of dole plus cash on the side, but he would be doing it legally.

    First, he will attend an interview with his Employment Service Provider. He will wait anything up to two hours before he finally gets to be interviewed for five minutes, at which point he will be asked if he is fulfilling the requirements of his “Pathways to Employment Agreement”. He will lie and answer “yes”. He will be lying,because what he agreed to was to drive around, looking for work opportunities, and instead he has wasted the morning waiting for this five minute interview.

    Yes I agree those Employment Service Provider are pretty useless, the incentives are wrong, they get paid to keep people on the books, not to find them jobs. However, if the person in question is going to run an illegal business on the side then there isn’t a whole lot the Employment Service Provider can do about that.

    Doing odd jobs is not employment, our system is structured around employment agreements, for better or worse.

  64. Sinclair Davidson

    the hair-shirt and self-flagellation solutions that you people, and apparently, even Sinclair, seem to think are a good idea and need expanding.

    Are you illiterate?

  65. Sinclair Davidson

    I’d rather my sister worked as a whore for $500 a day

    Try “sex-worker” or “prostitute”. “Whore” contains unfortunate value judgements.

  66. MemoryVault

    So you believe that only a finite number of jobs can ever exist? As our population grows, presumably the rise of unemployment will be inevitable. Sounds like crap to me.

    Ah, the economists’ “free enterprise, free market solution” answer, Tel. You do Sinc proud.

    No Tel, I don’t believe “that only a finite number of jobs can exist”. However, at any given moment in time there is only a certain amount of unskilled work that needs to be done, and at that moment in time somebody is already doing it and getting paid for doing it. The moment government subsidised competition is introduced,somebody loses their job.

    This is precisely what happened the last time we had a ‘work for the dole’ scheme – the Community Development Employment Program” (CDEP). Within six months virtually every local council in Australia had laid off all their permanent outside maintenance staff, and replaced them with taxpayer subsidised CDEP employees.

    What did you think was going to happen Tel? That somehow, in accordance with your magical, mathematical, economist’s solution of an infinitely expanding job market, each council’s area of parks, gardens and roadside verges to maintain doubled overnight to accommodate all the extra, subsidised workers?

    Ok, so what he is really doing is running a business on the side, presumably with no paperwork. Aren’t you worried that this might compete with a real business doing the same thing? Imagine all those landscape gardners trying to run a legitimate business but now put out of work by a kid with commonwealth subsidy doing it on the side.

    Tell me Tel, do you butter your toast on both sides? First you invoke a “free market” solution when you invoke the magical infinitely expanding job market solution, and now you want to hide behind the red tape and regulation that dogs business. No, the lad isn’t running anything “on the side” – he is honest, and declares his earnings to Centrelink.

    Is he competing with a “real business doing the same thing”? If you mean the landscaping business that wants a $90.00 call-out fee to drive 40 kilometres out to give the little old lady a quote to remove the Lantana that has overtaken her back yard, then yes, I suppose he is. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work in a free-enterprise system Tel? Or does the “free market solution”only apply when it suits your argument?

    The one valid point you raise is insurance. Yes, something needs to be done there. As a taxpayer funding this insanity, I would rather I was paying $20.00 a fortnight into some group insurance policy to cover this kid, instead of $800.00 a fortnight to Therese Rein or Sarina Russo, so some clerk can tick a box on a computer screen.

    Besides Tel, the Minister for Employment, Eric Abetz has just announced that people under 30 will be required to do 30 hours work for the dole, and those over 30 will have to do 15 hours. Who will cover them insurance-wise, Tel? The employer? The taxpayer? Would it be fair to say that neither you nor Abetz have expanded your work for the dole thought bubble far enough yet to even consider such complications?

    Hmmm, how does he drive around looking for odd jobs when his entire allowance of fuel is expended?

    Obviously he doesn’t, cretin. That was the whole point. He can either expend the fuel finding work, or he can expend it satisfying Centrelink. He can’t do both.

    He would be better off finding a real odd-job company (presuming he hasn’t driven them out of business) and try to become an employee.

    People like you really DO live ‘under the dome’ don’t you Tel? Safely, hermetically sealed off from the harsh realities of the real world. Out here in the real world, such companies don’t have “employees”, they have “contacts”, people just like our young lad. Here’s how it works:

    Little old lady phones landscaping company to get a price on removing the lantana that has taken over her back yard. Landscaping company say they will send somebody out to give a quote. That will incur a $90.00 fee. Little old lady agrees.

    Landscaping company phones our lad, or somebody like him, that they know does odd-jobs in the area, and gets him to give them a price to do the job. He checks out the job, phones back, says it will take him two days, and he will do it for $200.00. Company phones little old lady and quotes her $500.00, plus the $90.00 call-out for the quote, plus $10.00 council fee to dump the lantana at the tip. Little old lady agrees.

    Lad goes out, does the work, takes the lantana to the tip, pays the $10.00 out of his own pocket, uses half a tankful of petrol in the process, lets the landscaping business know, and declares his earnings on his dole form as required, even though he’s actually out of pocket at this stage. He has to declare the whole $200.00 because Centrelink are only interested in GROSS earnings, not his costs. Centrelink docks his dole accordingly, that fortnight, even though lad hasn’t seen a cent.

    At the end of the month the landscaping company sends the little old lady a bill for $600.00. A month later she pays it. A month after that the company pays the lad $175.00, being $200.00 less a $25.00 “booking fee” for getting him the work.

    And you know what, Tel? If the lad falls off a ladder and injures himself, he STILL isn’t covered by insurance. The little old lady is protected – she hired a “legitimate” company. The company claims the lad was employed as a sub-contractor, so he’s on his own.

    Now I’d like to say here endeth today’s lesson in real life, Tel, but as likely as not, it doesn’t. About now Centrelink writes to the landscaping company to confirm the lad’s earnings. The company replies that they paid him $175.00 on such and such a date. Since the amount is different to what was declared, and “such and such” a date is three months after the lad declared it, Centrelink automatically assumes it is a “different” payment that was undeclared.

    If the lad is lucky Centrelink will merely dock his dole, and give him a twelve week suspension of benefits. If he is unlucky they will have the DPP commence prosecution proceedings against him.

    Are you getting the picture, tel, or should I continue?

  67. MemoryVault

    Sinclair Davidson
    #1397831, posted on July 29, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Are you illiterate?

    Sinc, I’m not the one who wrote:

    I’m not a big fan of the work-for-the-dole scheme. Its only merit is that it keeps people in the habit of getting up and getting out in the mornings.

    Ergo, you believe that unemployed people are so damned bloody useless that they have to be forced out of bed in the mornings, and work for the dole schemes serve this purpose admirably.

  68. Sinclair Davidson

    Ahh – I understand. Yes, I do. It is important that good habits are formed and maintained. People who become unemployed and subsequently disheartened by an unsuccessful job search process can fall into bad habits.

    Mind you – I wouldn’t be expressing myself in the same pejorative terms that you do, but that’s just me, I suppose.

  69. rebel with cause

    Knowing the people they have got running the Work For The Dole Scheme, you can expect it will be the usual bureaucratic disaster. Enormously expensive and not doing an ounce of good for the unemployed or the broader community. It wouldn’t pass a cost/benefit test, not even if you count the dubious ‘benefit’ of people who are uninformed about the scheme thinking that it will actually involve an element of getting unemployed people to do genuine work. The only people Work For The Dole will make work for is bureaucrats.

    If the Liberals were even remotely serious about getting unemployed people into work they would go after the minimum wage with vengeance. It is hard to think of few laws more illiberal than a law that does not allow a man to name his own price for his labour. It is absolutely bizarre that the poster above wouldn’t cause half as much trouble as if I whacked up a poster with my mobile number saying that I was willing to do odd jobs for $15 an hour. The authorities would be all over me like a rash.

    The high minimum wage and its rigorous policing isn’t just an issue for the current unemployed. We’ve got a whole generation of teenagers who mostly have no idea what it means to work. I was doing paid work at 12 – is it even legal to employ a teenager anymore? I’ve heard of far too many kids graduating from university in their mid-20s never having done paid work before. That cannot be good for our society.

  70. Motelier

    Rebel,

    We have done in the past (about 2 years ago was the latest) employed 13 year old.

    The first came to us at 12 looking for a job, any job but he did not want to be in a take-away food shop (ie Maccas).

    We needed someone to mow the grass, weed the gardens, do simple painting jobs and clean the pool in the southern motel. Two afternoons a week.

    We wondered if it was legal, so we did some research and found out what needed to be done with the paperwork.

    The end result was we had a happy kid running around the motel on Monday and Friday afternoons after school for a couple of hours each afternoon doing the grass, edges, trimming hedges and cleaning the pool. A win win situation i would say. We only had to be ready for the local workplace inspector to come knocking on the door as we were.

    Memory Vault. You seem close to the kid you have mentioned. Methinks he is a bit of a self-starter. Self-starters should be encouraged. Perhaps you should start to teach him about being in business for himself.

  71. Motelier

    Oh and we have had 15 year old school girls working in the restaurant of a night time. They wanted work, we did everything above board.

    The local schools usually have an person on staff now that helps with employment for the school children.

  72. rebel with cause

    Motelier – cheers, thanks for that. I believe I don’t see as many young kids doing after school jobs as what I used to, but it could just be I’m not out and about as much. When I was young, having an after school job was fairly commonplace. Even kids in wealthier families did holiday jobs.

  73. Motelier

    Rebel,

    We do not go looking for them. We only employ those that walk in the front door, well presented, look us in the eye, and, politely ask for a job.

    A step through the door. Each one has gone on to better things. We are proud to been of help. Maccas and the other fast food chains know this as do the supermarkets. But they usually do not go below 15 due to the paperwork that appears with the student.

    The only common thread with any of them was the way we first meet them. A step through the front door.

    First impressions always count. People seem to forget that when they apply for positions.

  74. MemoryVault

    Sinclair Davidson
    #1397882, posted on July 29, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Ahh – I understand. Yes, I do. It is important that good habits are formed and maintained. People who become self-employed and subsequently disheartened by an unsuccessful contract tender process can fall into bad habits, like drinking to excess.

    I suggest we enforce a 6.00pm closing time on all licensed premises, plus strict limits on take-home purchases of alcohol. That will keep them in the habit of not getting drunk at night.

    Well, it’s for their own good, after all, and it works in the mining camps.

  75. Sinclair Davidson

    I suggest we enforce a 6.00pm closing time on all licensed premises, plus strict limits on take-home purchases of alcohol. That will keep them in the habit of not getting drunk at night.

    More fool you, then.

  76. MemoryVault

    rebel with cause
    #1397884, posted on July 29, 2014 at 10:07 am

    If the Liberals were even remotely serious about getting unemployed people into work they would go after the minimum wage with vengeance.

    Spot on. And if they were remotely serious about the alleged future financial disaster of age pensions, they’d stop taxing superannuation contributions. And if they were remotely serious about government expenditure they’d be scrapping PPL, Gonski, NDIS, the NBN, and the Employment Service Provider slops troughs – for starters.

    They fact that they aren’t even contemplating any of these things means either they aren’t the disasters in waiting that we were led to believe they were, or they are, and the Fiberals aren’t serious about doing anything about them.

    Or a combination of both.

  77. MemoryVault

    Motelier
    #1397892, posted on July 29, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Memory Vault. You seem close to the kid you have mentioned. Methinks he is a bit of a self-starter. Self-starters should be encouraged. Perhaps you should start to teach him about being in business for himself.

    1) – Yes it happens. I try to avoid it but it happens.
    2) – Yes,he is, and very good at practical, manual application. Just not too bright when it comes to the business and bureaucratic worlds.
    3) – Yes, they should be encouraged.
    4) – Yes, I am, as far as is possible.

  78. MemoryVault

    Sinclair Davidson
    #1397949, posted on July 29, 2014 at 11:39 am

    More fool you, then.

    So I’ll take that as a yes, then.
    Only unemployed people are stupid enough, lazy enough, and useless enough to require a government-imposed regimen to keep them from falling into bad habits.

  79. Sinclair Davidson

    You are illiterate or a liar or both. This is what I said:

    People who become unemployed and subsequently disheartened by an unsuccessful job search process can fall into bad habits.

    This is what you say:

    Only unemployed people are stupid enough, lazy enough, and useless enough to require a government-imposed regimen

    Why you insist on pejoratives to describe the unemployed reflects very poorly on your general point.

  80. Motelier

    I see we are stuck between a rock and a hardplace.

    A free market would have the ability to fully negotiate wages and salaries. We only partially have that now. We can only ever negotiate wages upwards. Good if you have a skill that is in demand.

    Business has the ability to negotiate either way as the demand fits.

    So somewhere along the way we now have boot in both camps. I can not see this helping anyone reduce the employment rate.

    50 year olds plus that find themselves retrenched are finding ways to employ themselves as contractors to businesses, and yes younger ones are doing the same thing.

    We have at our fingertips over 1000 small tourism and hospitality relief management teams. These are usually husband and wife teams that travel the country side providing relief to small – medium business operators for shot breaks.

    Because they are willing to travel, are willing to be exposed to new situations almost weekly to monthly, are contractors and usually well presented, these couples often find themselves settling down for longer tenure stays of up to 3 or 4 years.

    My industry relies on people like this. Rates are from $200 per day to $500 per day, with full board included during their tenure.

    Surprisingly all have and ABN and are registered for GST purposes.

  81. Oh come on

    MV: I don’t believe in protecting people from themselves, so if your lad wants to charge $200 for 2 days of work inclusive of all his costs, that’s his lookout. But (assuming you don’t live in the 3rd world or Tasmania), he’s vastly undervaluing his labour. I am acquainted with quite a few skilled and semi-skilled – even unskilled – tradie/labourer types who have been known to take the occasional Centrelink-funded vacation, plus the odd cash job on the side. They are, to a man, exquisitely aware of the value of their labour, and some of these guys are not exactly what you’d call bright, either (although others certainly are). From what I’ve seen, your lad is very much an outlier, rather than the norm. Thus I’m not sure anything especially useful should be taken away from your lesson.

  82. MemoryVault

    Actually, Come On, he doesn’t work for $100.00 a day.
    It’s a figure I plucked out of my arse for the purpose of the example.
    I’m not going to come onto a public blog and start and start disclosing actual monetary figures relating to a private individual’s business affairs.

    For the purpose of the example (Tel’s naive assumption that the kid could “just become an employee”, plus the run-around people get from Centrelink), the actual amount was irrelevant.

  83. Oh come on

    Ok, well either he charges a rate that couldn’t possibly make it worth the effort of working, or he works for something more reasonable. Your example is only relevant to your wider point if it’s the former, but now you seem to be suggesting it could be the latter.

    How can anecdotal evidence be legitimate if it’s inaccurate?

  84. Fisky

    The minimum wage is what creates the majority of dole recipients. Some people just aren’t worth $30 an hour or whatever the true cost of hiring someone at the minimum wage is nowadays.

    And over-credentialism too. We can freeze the minimum wage, but how to cut back on credentialism?

  85. Yobbo

    I’m not sure you can ever do anything about the tendency towards credentialism, but getting rid of free, publicly funded tertiary education would certainly result in less of it.

  86. Piett

    Sinc,

    MV has a point. You wrote:

    People who become unemployed and subsequently disheartened by an unsuccessful job search process can fall into bad habits.

    I cannot think of any other field of human activity in which libertarians support correcting people’s “bad habits” with taxpayer money. Gambling? Smoking? Supersized cups of soft drink? Libertarians, quite rightly, wouldn’t dream of “improving” other people’s habits.

    And the work-for-the-dole scheme will cost more than the current arrangements do. They’ll be hiring bureaucrats and funnelling money to those damned “job service providers”.

    If there was also an effect in which WFTD reduced Newstart claims to the point where it paid for itself, it might be supportable. But I very much doubt it will.

  87. Sinclair Davidson

    I cannot think of any other field of human activity in which libertarians support correcting people’s “bad habits” with taxpayer money.

    Have you all been hit with the stupid-stick? This is what I wrote:

    I’m not a big fan of the work-for-the-dole scheme. Its only merit is that it keeps people in the habit of getting up and getting out in the mornings. The CIS’ Peter Saunders was quite correct on that point.

    How that gets turned into support for the scheme I don’t know.

  88. Piett

    I don’t know about the stupid stick, but I was certainly hit by the careless stick, in reading the opening post very hastily, and then jumping into the comment section. Apologies. :)

  89. JC

    And over-credentialism too. We can freeze the minimum wage, but how to cut back on credentialism?

    Just over supply the market with credentials. If someone wants to say be a pre-school carer or whatever they’re called a 2 hour course will suffice

  90. MemoryVault

    Piett
    #1398278, posted on July 29, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    It’s okay Piett, it’s just that the Doomlord doesn’t handle sarcasm very well.
    ‘Specially when it’s aimed at his good self.
    No sense of humour, you see.

  91. wreckage

    Just over supply the market with credentials. If someone wants to say be a pre-school carer or whatever they’re called a 2 hour course will suffice

    Exactly, the whole credential thing is largely to pass the buck back to people who cant get sued; the government.

  92. wreckage

    Work for the dole is justified by appeal to bullshit, but is usually good for the welfare and self-esteem of the person who does it. It’s a good program, by accident.

  93. MemoryVault

    Work for the dole is justified by appeal to bullshit, but is usually good for the welfare and self-esteem of the person who does it. It’s a good program, by accident.

    So speaketh one obviously with intimate knowledge of what happened last time.

    Sarc/OFF

    Seriously, I should tell you exactly what ultimately happened to the “welfare and self-esteem” of the people on the CDEP schemes last time around. But I think I’ve already pissed Sinc off enough already for one thread. Time to pull my head in.

  94. Piett

    wreckage,

    Can you give us an actual example, from your experience? Can you tell us how WFTD got someone into sustained private-sector employment? A real person?

  95. Alan Austin

    This article, as often happens on this site, confuses several issues.
    Is short-term casual work desirable?
    When is tax evasion acceptable?
    When is it okay for corporations to avoid normal employer obligations?
    What is the impact of lowering wages on the economy overall?
    Should a vibrant personality be a prerequisite for selling vibrators?

  96. Tel

    I cannot think of any other field of human activity in which libertarians support correcting people’s “bad habits” with taxpayer money.

    I’m more than happy to provide less money.

  97. Tel

    Tel. You do Sinc proud.

    Sinc does me proud, I come here of my own free will.

    No Tel, I don’t believe “that only a finite number of jobs can exist”.

    Good, ’nuff said on that then. Competition and cooperation are both facts of life, whinging serves little purpose.

    First you invoke a “free market” solution when you invoke the magical infinitely expanding job market solution, and now you want to hide behind the red tape and regulation that dogs business. No, the lad isn’t running anything “on the side” – he is honest, and declares his earnings to Centrelink.

    I was being somewhat tongue in cheek, based on your obvious dislike of competition.

    I never said that red tape was a good thing, but every other business has to deal with it, and there are indeed reasons for that. Like it or not, Australia is a first world economy, and does not operate the same way Africa does. Maybe we could cut some of the red tape, and cut it for everyone. Let’s start a campaign to streamline business paperwork across the board, it may help many people.

    Is he competing with a “real business doing the same thing”? If you mean the landscaping business that wants a $90.00 call-out fee to drive 40 kilometres out to give the little old lady a quote to remove the Lantana that has overtaken her back yard, then yes, I suppose he is. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work in a free-enterprise system Tel? Or does the “free market solution”only apply when it suits your argument?

    The system is what it is; the business that charges $90 per hour must by law hire an accountant, and run a bunch of systems to achieve compliance left, right and center. They don’t drop that money straight in their pocket I assure you.

    You won’t change a bad system by helping one guy slip under the radar. At least take the time to think about where the problem is coming from.

    The one valid point you raise is insurance. Yes, something needs to be done there. As a taxpayer funding this insanity, I would rather I was paying $20.00 a fortnight into some group insurance policy to cover this kid, instead of $800.00 a fortnight to Therese Rein or Sarina Russo, so some clerk can tick a box on a computer screen.

    Look, I accept that the incentives are kind of crap. The whole of government operates on peverse incentives from start to finish. We have a welfare state because people learned that they can vote for largesse. This must surely be the biggest peverse incentive in history, but so far we have managed to live with it, because it’s the least worst system.

    Besides Tel, the Minister for Employment, Eric Abetz has just announced that people under 30 will be required to do 30 hours work for the dole, and those over 30 will have to do 15 hours. Who will cover them insurance-wise, Tel? The employer? The taxpayer? Would it be fair to say that neither you nor Abetz have expanded your work for the dole thought bubble far enough yet to even consider such complications?

    Dude, I was the one who brought the matter up. Your thought bubble on the problems of insurance was put there by me.

    Obviously he doesn’t, cretin. That was the whole point. He can either expend the fuel finding work, or he can expend it satisfying Centrelink. He can’t do both.

    That would be economic calculation — handling a trade off. Centrelink offers him $800 which buys a lot of fuel (even at today’s rate). The odd jobs must presumably pay less, else he would skip Centerlink completely. Those guys charging $90 per hour must cover fuel as well, and without help from Centerlink, indeed those guys must pay tax to fund their competition… how dreadful.

    Landscaping company phones our lad, or somebody like him, that they know does odd-jobs in the area, and gets him to give them a price to do the job.

    So before you were saying he was driving around looking for work, but now you are saying he is taking calls where someone else has lined up the jobs for him. This story gets more and more interesting as it keeps on changing. I appreciate your illumination of these fine details.

    And you know what, Tel? If the lad falls off a ladder and injures himself, he STILL isn’t covered by insurance. The little old lady is protected – she hired a “legitimate” company. The company claims the lad was employed as a sub-contractor, so he’s on his own.

    At least in NSW, the landscaping company would be responsible for checking the insurance of subcontractors. Dunno about WA but I would guess even in the Wild West they have tightened up a bit. You talk about people “hermetically sealed off from the harsh realities of the real world” and I can tell right away you have never been even remotely involved in running a business, nor dealing with Workcover regulations.

    About now Centrelink writes to the landscaping company to confirm the lad’s earnings. The company replies that they paid him $175.00 on such and such a date. Since the amount is different to what was declared, and “such and such” a date is three months after the lad declared it, Centrelink automatically assumes it is a “different” payment that was undeclared.

    That’s why he sits and explains to Therese Rein or her employee what he has been doing rather than telling them lies. They explain to him that this will not lead to real employment and he must make a decision between genuine (and legitimate) self employment (which he probably cannot handle) or becoming an employee and getting low wages in return for low risk.

    Don’t blame all this on me and “work for the dole” it’s how our entire society works. The system is designed to flush out those fringe cases that don’t conform to the mainstream, and to force them to follow the officially approved methodology. That’s considered a feature, totally intended to operate that way.

    If you want to be a fringe dweller you have the choice to:
    [A] get hurt, and shrug it off because that’s the price you pay, or,
    [B] be exceptionally good at something to the point where people begrudgingly let you do it.

    If those options don’t look good, then consider doing it by the book. Really. Here endeth the lesson in real life. If you don’t get it by now there’s no point in me continuing, but please don’t lead your boy astray, he still has capacity to learn.

  98. MemoryVault

    Tel
    #1398594, posted on July 29, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Wow, Tel.
    15 hours to come up with that slithery, slippery, constantly moving the goalposts, non-response.
    Tell me, have you ever thought of going into “climate science”?
    You appear admirably suited to the challenge.

  99. Yobbo

    There’s a perfectly good free-market solution to unemployment – getting rid of the minimum wage and regulations that destroy jobs.

    There will always be a certain percentage of the population that are unemployable at any cost, but it’s probably closer to 1-2% than it is to the 10-15% of Australians who currently live on some form of welfare now.

  100. Matthew

    There’s a perfectly good free-market solution to unemployment – getting rid of the minimum wage and regulations that destroy jobs

    That is a good start but keep in mind that Australia now has a large criminal population whose predation are somewhat held in check by welfare benefits. Any plan to drop the minimum wage had either better include welfare or a security strategy to deal with these people.

    There will always be a certain percentage of the population that are unemployable at any cost, but it’s probably closer to 1-2% than it is to the 10-15% of Australians who currently live on some form of welfare now.

    There is no way of knowing what the unemployment rate will be. The current high levels of immigration will make life very hard for a good percentage of the population in a no welfare no minimum wage society.
    There will be quite a few people that will be able to afford servants, like in Hong Kong on the other hand.

  101. Piett

    Tel,

    That’s why he sits and explains to Therese Rein or her employee what he has been doing rather than telling them lies. They explain to him that this will not lead to real employment and he must make a decision between genuine (and legitimate) self employment (which he probably cannot handle) or becoming an employee and getting low wages in return for low risk.

    You’re still missing the point. Think of it this way. These are the options the lad faces (although some of them are non-options in reality):

    1) Becoming a full-time employee of the landscaping business, 40 hours a week. (Or indeed any business in his area looking for unskilled labour.) The lad would probably love this, even at minimum wage, but it’s not on offer. From the business’s perspective, they don’t want to pay people when there’s no work on.

    2) Making do just on the casual work he finds for himself, plus the contracts the landscaping business gives him as a subbie. This would be fine too, perhaps even better than (1), apart from the insurance angle. But it’s not an option either, because he doesn’t get enough hours per month to live on, and the amount of work coming in is highly random.

    3) Giving the whole thing up in despair and going completely on welfare. He could do this, but he has a decent work ethic — which like MV, I believe the majority of unemployed people have.

    4) Trying to combine as much work as he can get, with welfare to fill in the gap when necessary. This is what he’s doing. But the point is that Centrelink and the Job Network system make this complicated and hard — harder than it need be.

    And WFTD will make it harder still.

    I would point out finally that a Friedman-style negative income tax (NIT), like Matthew was advocating upthread, would solve a lot of these problems. The lad could go for as much work as possible, facing a constant EMTR (effective marginal tax rate) on each dollar he earns, with the NIT as a safety net, and no run-around and bullshit from the government.

    P.S. I take me hat off to MV for going to the length of explaining what the real world is actually like for the unemployed. Hopefully some ivory-tower libertarians, with secure full-time employment, might begin to realise that things aren’t always so rosy for other people.

  102. Matthew

    I would add one very important thing. Enforced job searching causes chaos, and actually gives incentive to people forced to apply for jobs that they are unqualified for. The reason for this is that being knocked back for a job is easier than going through an interview process for a job that they don’t want anyway, and probably won’t get anyway. So they make a phone call or send an email for a job that they couldn’t possibly be qualified for, and they are immediately knocked back. Better yet they can tell the employer that they are calling from the centrelink job Centre.

    For an employer (for I have been one) this creates a frustrating situation. You end up with a lot of applications, far more than you would receive otherwise. It is a waste of time and then government is making it happen. There isn’t any opt out either.

    The opportunity cost (remember that?) of the enforced searching is the possibility that getting the chance for actual employment is missed.

  103. Yobbo

    There will be quite a few people that will be able to afford servants, like in Hong Kong on the other hand.

    Most Australians could afford servants now. Filipino maids in Hong Kong work for about $200 a week.

  104. Yobbo

    Actually the minimum wage for domestic helpers in HK is only around $550 a month. And there are hundreds of thousands of people willing to work for that amount of money.

  105. Matthew

    Most Australians could afford servants now. Filipino maids in Hong Kong work for about $200 a week.

    At HK wages, yes. Not at the wages mandated by the government currently.

    Remember that HK has insignificant immigration. If Australia dropped the minimum wage and had these levels of immigration as well, quite a few Australians would be desperate enough to take those pay levels too. It represents a massive redistribution of wealth from poor to rich.

  106. oldsalt

    Not so simple. Many wealthy Asians migrate here and eventually go back because 1. we’re not corrupt enough to do business the way they’re used to 2. they can’t get used to not having servants. Change both of these and we can have all the Asian wealth we want moving here. And we change our society.

    Few years back a bloke in the West who likes to promote Asian maids in the media secured 400 visas to bring hospitality workers from Bali. Somehow the monopoly over the ‘block’ of visas ended up with an agent in Renon. Only 50 odd ever came here to work in hotels and eateries. The sort of people they were looking for just didn’t want to come without their families.

    You’re mad if you think a Filipina is going to come here and work as a maid for peanuts for more than a few months. As soon as she knows her rights and starts hanging out with the girls, and the Philippine community will ensure she does, she’ll be off to get a decent job.

  107. oldsalt

    Sinclair, this is how it worked in the North until fairly recently. We called it Jacky Jacky Labour. Boats would take out a ‘tucker decky’ on a tucker trip. Work for your tucker until you learned enough to get a job. Some do, most get ripped off. Or, doing Jacky work on a property, This is always a ripoff. You do two jobs for the pay of one, or none. ‘Hey youse boys wanna come back next year dontcha, it’s in your interest to build these new quarters for me so youse have a better place to camp.’ And so on.

    The Jackeroo system can work well as a way to get some experience. Or not. All relies upon goodwill, which takes trust, and time. Better off sending the kids to TAFE and preparing them to get a properly paid job.

  108. Matthew

    You’re mad if you think a Filipina is going to come here and work as a maid for peanuts for more than a few months. As soon as she knows her rights and starts hanging out with the girls, and the Philippine community will ensure she does, she’ll be off to get a decent job.

    Not really. In a welfare + minimum wage system, a lot of these people will be unemployed. In a no minimum wage + high immigration system these people won’t have any options at all (Australians too!). In that situation there are no ‘rights’ of any kind at all. Please think two or three steps ahead.

  109. Yobbo

    At HK wages, yes. Not at the wages mandated by the government currently.

    Yes, that was my point.

  110. Yobbo

    In a no minimum wage + high immigration system these people won’t have any options at all

    In a society with no minimum wage, thinks would be a shitload cheaper too, don’t forget that.

    $200 sounds like a pittance to Australians because everything is ridiculously expensive here, in no small part due to our minimum wage. But you can live pretty easily on $200 a week in many parts of the world. Even the USA is significantly cheaper than Australia.

    eg:
    http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=United+States&city1=Dallas%2C+TX&country2=Australia&city2=Perth

  111. Matthew

    Yobbo, right but, if I may say, it may take 20 or 30 years for prices to catch up to the new reality. Wages are not directly related to prices, at least not immediately.

  112. Aristogeiton

    30 years? Really?

  113. Matthew

    30 years? Really?

    Yes. Look at the actions of the ARB. Plenty of people predicted massive inflation but it didn’t come to pass. There are too many unknowns. Ultimately we can make a solid prediction. Timing, however, is impossible.

  114. Matthew

    Can’t make a prediction. Sorry.

  115. Aristogeiton

    Matthew
    #1400801, posted on August 1, 2014 at 1:33 am
    [...]
    Remember that HK has insignificant immigration. If Australia dropped the minimum wage and had these levels of immigration as well, quite a few Australians would be desperate enough to take those pay levels too. It represents a massive redistribution of wealth from poor to rich.

    The minimum wage represents a massive redistribution of money from the unemployed to those with a minimum wage sinecure.

  116. oldsalt

    Filipina and Indonesian maids work in HK KL and Saudi. They don’t like it, they get treated like shit by bastards and only do it to send money home to their families.

    Let’s say we take 500 Filipina maida from HK. If she’s single, the first thing she’ll do here is get a decent feller, look for a better paid job to start a family get a house and push a pram in the mall etc. If she’s married she won’t be sending money back home any more, she’ll be saving to bring her family here and to do that she’ll need a decent paying job. I guarantee you, within 12 months out of those 500 the total left working as maids here will be – tadaaa- zero. They’re not stupid.

    However your idea does tick some boxes. You’re right to look for economic complementarities between ourselves and our neighbours. And you get a Kookaburra stamp for wanting to bring out Filipinas. Excellent work. The best way to do this is to bring out more of their nurses. This is something they excel at, and we need. The more we bring, the more opportunities open up for more women to train up as nurses there. Only, to do this properly we need to cut the red tape that makes it so hard for them to have their qualifications recognised in a timely manner because they don’t have a University level Nursing Degree. These girls have left school at year 10 to train in a Nursing College and on the job in hospitals and rural clinics. Just what we need.

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