The Biggest Threat To Global Prosperity – Business

I know it is Wednesday and The Insiders was several days ago. But something that was discussed on “the couch” is still sitting in my craw.  You see, a dominant proportion of the Insiders panelists from last Sunday implied that the biggest threat to Australia’s prosperity is the business sector/community.  And in particularly successful business.  Not North Korea. Not a global pandemic. Not terrorism.  Not even Donald Trump. Nope.  Business and its evil spawns of globalization and climate change are the main threat to our standard of living.

As a brief reminder, on last Sunday’s Insiders couch were 1 public servant (Barry Casssidy of the ABC), 2 NGO workers (Lenore Taylor of the Guardian and Comrade Mike Seccombe of the Saturday Paper which is published on Thursday) and 1 employee of a private business (Shane Wright of The West Australian).  More than 1 of these 4 panelist would struggle to actually spell the word “business” let alone understand how business works.  But notwithstanding.

When discussing the recent “Fair” Work Commission determination regarding conversion of casual employment to permanent, business expert Mike Seccombe, said:

If you go back a generation, part time work has doubled, essentially, in that time. The number of people. It’s hovering, I think now, over 50% for women. And some of that is because there are more people who are students, so they work part time while they are getting a degree.  But at least half of that change, I was talking to a labour market specialist, who called it “involuntary”.  So in other words, it’s not the choice of the worker, it’s the choice of the employer. And they (business) put them (workers) on at a time that suits them.

Where can one start with such insightful analysis from The Saturday Paper’s national correspondent.  Perhaps Mr Seccombe, familiarize himself with new phenomenona including the internet.

Accepting Mr. Seccombe’s thesis, it is possible, just possible, that while the negotiating power of workers may have diminished, it has not been to the benefit of business. It has been to the benefit of consumers who can now better chose what they buy, from where and how much to pay.  In response to this increasing consumer power, business has reorganized to meet what the customers demand, including through changing operating models to incorporate things like global supply chains and flexible work practices.

To the extent that there have been “transfers” from workers, it has been to the benefit of consumers. And where consumers have not benefited, it is more likely to be the result of governments rewarding rent seekers through regulation and legislation.

There is a reason that iPhones aren’t built in Australia.  Given Australia’s labour practices and costs, not to mention energy costs, it is difficult to imagine anyone paying $4,000 for an iPhone.

Trying to return labour market practices to pre-internet and pre-globalisation times through legislation will be just as effective as trying to travel through time through legislation.

Further to Mr. Seccombe’s other observation that the number of part time workers has doubled (in absolute terms), might that be impacted by that phenomenon called immigration which is increasing the population of Australia.

One must wonder whether Mr. Seccombe’s “labour market specialist” is in fact a Union official.

But a more general point on the attitudes of too many commentators, you know those people who have no idea how business works, yet like to lecture on business.

There seems an increasingly hostile narrative towards business in this country. Allegations of underpayment of tax are based not on profit but revenue.  Pricing behaviors caused by government policy (reference energy and health) are blamed on business complying with government policy rather than the government policy itself.

The usual default seems to be that, when business make mistakes (and they do and do often and will continue to mistakes) then the better pathway is for government intervention. Yet never does it seem to be considered that no matter how bad business does it, governments do it exponentially worse.  More expensive, slower and worse.  What better example than the NBN.

They can’t handle the truth! We live in a world that has government, and that government has to be paid for with taxes. Who’s gonna do that? You? You, ABC? You Guardian? Business has a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.

This morning I was at a presentation about the just passed Commonwealth budget.  It was asked of one of the speakers if they thought that it would take some sort of external shock to wake Australia up to the need for budget repair and economic reform.  The response was essentially, don’t hold your breath.  It was also commented that we should cheer up because it was only going to get worse!

There is an ever increasing indulgence and sense of entitlement by an ever increasing number of people.  I despair as to where this great country is headed. Our national anthem says wealth for toil and not wealth through government.

Perhaps we just rename our national capital to Caracas and get stop pretending.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus

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28 Responses to The Biggest Threat To Global Prosperity – Business

  1. The world, not just Australia, is becoming one ostensibly of modern-day beggars, people expecting others to contribute to their well-being, while they put in little or no effort themselves. One group alone has been given the name of beg-packers: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4400790/Rise-Western-backpackers-begging-fund-trip.html. I’m posting my own missive on this on Friday, as I’m gobsmacked and saddened/angered by what our world is becoming.

  2. Howard Hill

    It’s what happens when you let the biggest bludgers of he lot run the show.
    Ah democracy mob rule, for I knew it well. It’s THE END!

  3. EvilElvis

    Fuckwits, the lot of them.

    And another reason part time has doubled? Who the hell wants to employ entitled, bogan, dipshits on full-time to royally screw yourself as a business owner?

  4. Norman Church

    If what Shane Wright has written in the West Australian is anything to go by, he wouldn’t know his arse from his elbow.

  5. J-man

    The usual default seems to be that, when business make mistakes (and they do and do often and will continue to mistakes) then the better pathway is for government intervention. Yet never does it seem to be considered that no matter how bad business does it, governments do it exponentially worse. More expensive, slower and worse.

    Mike Munger describes the above phenomenon well (here paraphrased):

    A decision about whether to have goods and services provided by private businesses or government is similar to a beauty contest for pigs. The private business “pig” is rolled out and people rightly say it is ghastly. However, rather than looking at the government “pig” to compare, it is just assumed that it must be better looking than the first.

  6. anonandon

    As a small business owner I find using casual and contract workers is an absolute, non-negotiable necessity.

  7. struth

    So in other words, it’s not the choice of the worker, it’s the choice of the employer. And they (business) put them (workers) on at a time that suits them.

    Choice?

    The employer’s choice?

    FMD.
    Not an ounce of understanding.
    Thinks the big cigar smoking white man boss can hire heaps of people , he just “chooses” not to.
    It’s insanity.
    It’s emotion over logic.
    Expect more of it.
    Envy and greed are the emotions of the left.
    They are strong emotions and truth and logic can be dismissed out of hand.
    This is the onset of socialism.
    Australia is very fast now, becoming Venestralia.

    This mentality is due to the march through our institutions.
    Next, like socialist Germany under the Nazis, you’ll get the young told to dob in their parents or anyone who disagrees.
    A true mental sickness.

    You’ll note there is a quickening now.
    The tipping point has been reached and the fear of a Trumpslide back to freedom and wealth and happiness, has the left in this country being extra militant.
    It’s serious and it’s deadly.

  8. Stimpson J. Cat

    it’s the choice of the employer.

    He is definitely not a rocket scientist.
    And probably not a business owner either.

  9. hzhousewife

    As a small business owner I find the premise that business is the greatest threat to global prosperity ENRAGING.
    I have work to do.

  10. Texas Jack

    Four years of (utterly useless) Coalition government hamstrung by Wets embedded in the ranks, and a far-king very stupid election-eve commitment Abbott didn’t need to make and Barry & Co are free to take couch as far off the reservation as they like. Don’t blame the ABC for doing what it’s always done in pissing forever to port. Blame the Libs.

  11. Rufus

    Business deciding when it needs employees to work? An outrageous proposition in the eyes of Mr Seccombe! Workers should be able to decide when it suits them to work, at the very least the gummit should decide.

    Want to open 10-6 on a Sunday? Too bad, the staff would prefer to work 9-5 Monday

  12. Donald Trump’s catch cry was ‘Make America Great Again’.

    Is there anyone in Australia that can say ‘Make Australia Great Again’?

    MAGA, make it so.

  13. Fulcrum

    I believe the number one threat to Global Prosperity is unethical Lawyers.
    I firmly believe the number two threat is unethical Lawyers, also.
    Not suprisely 3 to 10 spots go to – you know who.
    I hope I am not boring you but but I believe without
    masses of unethical lawyers society would be a safer, more tolerant place.

  14. Eyrie

    40 years ago Mrs Eyrie and I decided never to employ, only subcontract work. That has had its issues but they pale into insignificance compared to the problems of employers.
    We’re glad we’re much nearer the end of our business lives than the beginning.

  15. Dr Fred Lenin

    Everone should work for the u.n.communists there is no argument ,it worked well in the soviet union,it works in North Korea ,Venezuela is on the way . Those revisionist Chinese with their crony capitalists are showing the way . Comrade Hitler started it with his buddies Krupp and IGFarben a socialist trail blazer for the future . Turnbull Shorten di natale are acolytes of the future . Aint we lucky to have them ?

  16. Jannie

    The biggest threat to Australian prosperity is the ABC. Lawyers are the second biggest threat.

  17. miltonf

    The ABC unwatchable, unlistenable and beyond reform.

  18. Rabz

    Just wait until you’re all enjoying the next labor/greenfilth goat rodeo.

  19. Rob MW

    Where can one start with such insightful analysis from The Saturday Paper’s national correspondent.

    Lol….I hate these trick questions. Start at the beginning……say after me Spartacus……I MUST REMEMBER TO NOT WATCH THE FUCKING ABC NO MATTER HOW ENTICING IT IS TO WATCH TAX EATERS AT WORK (sic).

    It’s better fun reading barking Betty than watching the ABC.

  20. incoherent rambler

    Is there anyone in Australia that can say ‘Make Australia Great Again’?

    No.

  21. struth

    Is there anyone in Australia that can say ‘Make Australia Great Again’?

    The closest we got is an ex Labor leader.

    It’s a strange world.

  22. KaaBee

    I lasted less than ten minutes on ABC AM this morning and about the same on ABC TV news tonight. I guess tuning in is a forty year habit I must learn to break.

  23. cynical1

    Want to open 10-6 on a Sunday? Too bad, the staff would prefer to work 9-5 Monday

    Oh, I dunno.

    2.5x rate for Sundays.

  24. JohnL

    The world, not just Australia, is becoming one ostensibly of modern-day beggars, people expecting others to contribute to their well-being, while they put in little or no effort themselves.

    Wrong. For “world,” substitute Australia, America, Western Europe and then you may be correct.
    I have been travelling for past 8 weeks, starting in Vietnam (4 weeks), then South-Eastern Europe – Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia – Adriatic coast, Albania, Montenegro, Bosna-Hercegovina, Serbia and Romania.
    Here are some of my observations from the trip and comparisons to Australia. I have escaped from communistic Czechoslovakia in 1969 and immigrated to AU so I am in a position to make the comparison.

    1) Australia was established as a penal colony and still remains a penal colony. The only difference is that the British jailers were replaced with the homegrown socialist variety. After experiencing a period of relative freedom, AU is now progressing to socialist dictatorship – only a step away from the Venezuelan model.
    2) On the other hand, S-E Europe, after the encounter with socialist-communist dictatorship, S-E Europe is now experiencing freedom and progressing to total enlightenment and personal freedom.
    People from Western Europe, Germany, France, England etc. come to S-E Europe to experience personal freedom.
    3) Progress and development in Vietnam are exponential and AU will never be able to come anywhere close to it let alone reach the tail end of it. $20 mill “gift” Gillard gave for development of “the freedom bridge” would not even cause a piss in the wind in comparison with the billions invested from Singapore and S-Korea. Not even a laughing stock – maybe a little yawn on a slow day.
    4) Superlatives like amazing, spectacular, unbelievable don’t even come close to describe the views, attractions and tourism facilities one can find in S-E Europe.
    “Hospitality” is difficult to describe in a few words. It perhaps could be summarised as such:
    If you walk in a restaurant, hotel, resort or any tourist facility, the first on the person’s mind who is greeting you – waiter, receptionist, hotel manager – is “how can I p[lease this guest, how can I make him happy, what best service can I provide”.
    In AU such person will think “how much money can I extract from this new guest.
    5) EU is an Evil Empire! People of S-E Europe, after experiencing Ottoman’s, Russian’s, Nazi Germany and various socialist evil empires, will newer except EU and it’s dictatorship. EU – this Evil Empire – will die its natural death.

    some personal encounters:
    In Dubrovnik, I met a couple from Liverpool. Typical Englishman and his wife. Redish hair, pale complexion. He told me that he was very angry when an immigration officer at Liverpool airport, dressed in the full burka with only the slits for eyes, took 10 minutes to check his passport and do facial recognition.
    Welcome to future Australia (just around the corner).

    In Sarajevo, on the ride to the hotel, I asked the taxi driver to stop at the mini-mart to buy beer. (In Europe every supermarket, corner store, mini-mart and petrol station sells packaged alcohol). I asked him “are you a Muslim”, he said yes. So you don’t drink beer, “no I drink whisky,” he said. How about the vine? He said ” I can’t enjoy the vine because after 3 or 4 whiskies I fall asleep. I asked him “what about Islam and prohibition of alcohol?”, he said, “fuck the prohibition”! Then I asked him if has got a family. He said yes, son and a daughter – 18 and 20. I ask him does your wife and daughter wears the burka? He said, “only idiots wear the burqa”!
    There are many observations I can quote, the differences are startling!

  25. manalive

    Mike Seccombe once work as a journalist on The Vineyard Gazette on Martha’s Vineyard, I know that because he includes that in all his autobiographical notes.
    I came across an article he wrote there complaining about the private beaches on the island but concluded with the comforting note that they would soon be consumed by global warming induced sea level rise, so there!
    The sea level rise across Vineyard Sound at Woods Hole has been a steady 2.5 mm/yr for the past century with no apparent acceleration so at the current rate it would take ~400 years to rise just one meter.

  26. IDefender of the faith

    Insiders is useful is revealing how little journalistic work these commentators do. Lenore Taykor and Mike Seccombe both assume that we want their largely uninformed opinion on matters. The host of course is an ALP functionary who heads the dominant house faction in the ABC. The man from the West is a waste of space.

  27. Good grief, the temerity of business owners deciding how many employees they can afford, and how they need to employ them to remain in business – thus providing jobs for those who decide not to try their hand at running a business. These ding bats who think employers/business owners must comply with the wishes of the employees have obviously never operated anything more challenging that a door knob.

    I have a very small business, as an owner-operator, and I don’t even employ my spouse to do the books, as a recognised employee comes with a whole world of additional red tape, expenses and time consuming obligations. And even in this case, my spouse as a bona fide employee would have to have work cover, in case they got a paper cut or something. It’s a mad, mad world we now inhabit.

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