BludgerTrack: 54.7-45.3 to Labor

After a dire result from Newspoll, the BludgerTrack poll aggregate is hardly better for the Coalition than it was immediately after the leadership coup.

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate has been updated with this week’s Newspoll and the YouGov Galaxy poll from Queensland, the effect of which is to add another half a point to Labor’s two-party preferred vote for a gain of only one seat, that being in Western Australia. The Queensland poll, which was a relatively good result for the Coalition, negated the effect of Newspoll in that state. Newspoll’s leadership ratings resulted in little change in the trend readings – no doubt it would have been a different story if I had a net satisfaction series for Scott Morrison, who did particularly badly in Newspoll, but there is still too little data for that to be feasible.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

995 comments on “BludgerTrack: 54.7-45.3 to Labor”

  1. No, the robots are not coming for our jobs. There will always be ample paid work that is meaningful and relevant. The key issues are making the right fiscal policy choices and influencing our society’s ever evolving concepts of what paid work can be.

    Schumpeterian long-wave analysts of industrial revolutions identify six waves of industrial revolution:

    the steam engine revolution of the 1780s and 1790s

    the high quality iron revolution of the 1850s and 1860s

    the electricity grid and high quality steel revolution of the 1890s and early 1900s

    the electromechanical and chemical technologies revolution of the 1950s and 1960s

    the information and communication technologies revolution that we are currently undergoing

    the sixth wave is likely to involve artificial intelligence and robotics, perhaps with elements of biotechnology and nanotechnology

    There is only an extremely remote prospect of artificial intelligence ever attaining a human being’s capacity to do socially valuable tasks that depend on care and kindness and empathy. This is one good reason to resist the alarmist claims that advances in artificial intelligence and robotics will reduce the overall need for paid human workers.

    There are other reasons to doubt the mainstream narrative that “robots are coming for our jobs”.

    First, if robots were really coming for our jobs, labour productivity would be skyrocketing, as would job churn.

    Job churn is a measure of the ratio of changes in the sizes of particular occupations to the total number of employed persons. If job churn is high, this indicates major impacts of automation on human employment. In reality, during the past 15 years labour productivity growth has been low and job churn has been at its lowest level on record.

    There is an instructive report on these points entitled False Alarmism: Technological Disruption and the U.S. Labor Market by Robert Atkinson and John Wu of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a think tank based in Washington D.C.

    Second, automation has been the dominant economic trend since the first wave of the industrial revolution (the steam engine revolution of the 1780s and 1790). We therefore have 240 years of rich data on the impact of automation on human employment.

    Automation certainly creates worker displacement effects that should not be downplayed. There is a need for governments to make active use of fiscal policy to enable displaced workers to maintain their standard of living. Such interventions include generous federally funded income replacement payments for a transition period (say, five years); free education and training at all levels for all citizens and permanent residents; strategic federal government investments in new industries; increasing the supply of public sector jobs. A currency-issuing government has immense fiscal powers to soften the blow of labour displacement.

    This does not mean that it is painless for people to face a world in which their hard-earned skills are no longer in high demand. That is a very distressing experience and people in that situation need and deserve generous support. But the negative impacts can be alleviated significantly.

    A problem I see is that labour displacement effects are the only impact of automation that gets attention in the popular media. In truth there are two other important offsetting effects of automation: worker augmentation effects, and overall productivity growth (with attendant increases in household spending power).

    Many forms of automation do not displace human workers. Rather, they augment the worker’s capacity to do their job. They enable the worker to do the job with more precision, accuracy, and quality than was previously possible.
    Automation in general increases the productivity level of a society. It enables our society to do more with less. With the right fiscal, labour, corporate, and financial sector laws in place, the gains of productivity growth are broadly shared. The result is that households have increased purchasing power, which increases aggregate demand, which induces firms to increase output, which requires firms to employ more people to create the extra output that households want to buy.

    In all previous five waves of the industrial revolution, the total need for human workers has increased, not fallen, as a result of automation.

    Third, many tasks require what MIT economist David Autor calls “tacit knowledge”. Tacit knowledge comprises knowledge that humans can attain without being able to describe precisely how they attained it and what it entails.
    Caring, kindness, and empathy work falls into that category.
    So do a variety of advanced cognitive tasks such as:

    developing a persuasive
    argument

    positing a hypothesis that can be tested

    creating a new idea

    So do a variety of sensory-motor tasks that most humans can accomplish effortlessly:

    walking steadily on an uneven surface.

    entering a room and instantly recognizing the faces of different people

    entering a room and instantly recognizing different objects

    exercising the manual dexterity required to do gardening and landscaping jobs, cut hair, apply make-up, perform janitorial work

    Artificial intelligence and robotics are still at a rudimentary stage of development.

    Schumpeterian long-wave analysis suggests that there is usually a time lag of 20 or 30 years between proof of concept of a new technology and widespread deployment of that technology. For many socially vital tasks, artificial intelligence and robotics has not even reached the proof of concept stage. Therefore, predictions of the imminent demise of vast swathes of human jobs are unsupported by evidence.

    Third, the variety of jobs that societies pay people to do is limited primarily by our imagination and cultural norms. A wide variety of tasks that our culture currently defines as hobbies, leisure, and volunteer work can and should be converted into good quality minimum wage jobs on demand.

    A federally funded, community-administered Job Guarantee would be the best mechanism for widening our society’s concept of what paid work can be. A JG would eliminate involuntary unemployment and the massive economic and social costs inflicted by unemployment. Bill Mitchell of the University of Newcastle and Steven Hail of the University of Adelaide are leading proponents of a Job Guarantee in Australia. In the United States the relevant economists include Stephanie Kelton, Randall Wray, Warren Mosler, Pavlina Tcherneva, Scott Fullwiler, and Eric Tymoigne.

    I am optimistic about the future of paid work. The federal government has the power to achieve and maintain full employment and price stability at all times. There will never be a shortage of socially useful, environmentally sustainable activities that people can be paid to do.

    The Australian government should immediately make an unconditional offer of minimum wage employment to anyone who wants it (the wage and non-wage costs would be paid by the federal government; the program would be administered in a decentralized way at the grassroots level of society).

    The Australian Government should make other productivity-enhancing investments:

    Zero user fees for all levels of education and training from very early childhood interventions all the way to doctoral studies.

    Zero user fees for health care (including dental care and pharmaceuticals).

    Massive increases to federal investments in research and development (including the humanities, not just science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

    First-rate public infrastructure.

    Federal spending is constrained only by the the availability of real resources that are for sale in Australian dollars. Currently there is a lot of used real resource capacity that the government could mobilise into socially useful, environmentally sustainable uses. The Australian Government is not financially constrained when it spends in Australian dollars.

  2. meher baba @ #236 Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 – 12:56 pm

    c@tmomma: “These are the three states that enabled Trump to win in 2016. Now, with Democrats in control of their redistricting and with 46 Electoral College votes between them, they will ensure he cannot win in 2020.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that redistricting was irrelevant in a Presidential election. Or is Summers suggesting that the Dems are going to play hardball with things like the electoral rolls? (ie, find some way of excluding Republican voters from the rolls: that’d be a major turnabout!)

    I’m not sure of the details in relation to these states but I think different states have different ways of deciding their representatives to the Electoral College – some are proportional and some are winner take all. Perhaps (I don’t know) some do their count by House district and then allocate all their “house district” electoral college votes to the party that won the most number of house districts, rather than the majority of the state vote. In that case redistricting could be relevant.

  3. Darc: “I did put a smiley at the end of my comment but it didn’t make it”

    Oops! I’ve only just seen that.

    And I can understand why many Labor supporters don’t find the Greens to be particularly appealing.

    But I have a deep loathing of the elephant killers and an enormous distaste for Leyonhjelm.

  4. Trump will not win in 2020, if he runs (which I very much doubt).

    Looking closely at the only representative mid-term vote that can clearly indicate where things are going – the election for the House of Representatives, the Republicans got creamed DESPITE the gerrymanders and the voter suppression tactics in place in so many states. Senate and Governor are meaningless because they did not cover the whole nation.

    I know that Presidents like Clinton and Obama have come back from mid-term thrashings to win a second term, but there are big differences here. First and foremost, the voting was historically high this time – close to a Presidential election number.

    Secondly, and most importantly, Trump is not a normal President. There has been nobody like him in my life (thank Dog). The people who voted out Republicans left, right and centre in the mid-terms largely did it (I believe) out of disgust and dismay with the way the President has behaved and the way he has been enabled in the most appalling conduct by the Republican reps in Congress. These include Democrats who would not have voted in mid-terms usually and Republicans who are just appalled at what happened to their party. By contrast, Clinton and Obama losing mid-terms just reflected disappointment in their not delivering on expectations.

    I can’t see those emotions going away in two years. We are now seduced by the idea of Trump’s base being solid and even reinforced by his conduct as President. But their numbers are not growing and are only sufficient if enough of their opposition sit out the vote in the next election. These mid-terms demonstrate how unlikely that will be.

  5. the deeply ingrained norm of reciprocity that is common to all human societies on record

    Fuck this Nicholas. You’ve no fucking idea of real people.

    As I’ve already pointed out to you there are going to be people for whom a JG will never work, who are going to fall through the cracks. You also seem oblivious to the fact that the current system is stigmatising – and this is exploited politically.

    You’ve totally fucking not understood that people actually want to do something meaningful. That’s its not about “reciprocity” but instead its about what motivated real human beings. Very few people are genuinely lazy and in any case under a UBI there is still a very big incentive to have more money.

    Also given this is your attitude, I wouldn’t trust you to run a JG scheme. Someone who subscribes to this “mutual obligation” bullshit is inevitably going to support a JG that looks voluntary, but isn’t – by virtue of the fact of still putting people outside of the JG into poverty – and then rationalising it.

  6. Nicholas
    Third, the variety of jobs that societies pay people to do is limited primarily by our imagination and cultural norms. A wide variety of tasks that our culture currently defines as hobbies, leisure, and volunteer work can and should be converted into good quality minimum wage jobs on demand.

    You’ve literally just described a UBI. With a UBI people could theoretically choose to devote 100% of their working time to things that don’t currently pay a wage.

  7. Re UBI v JG

    Someone earlier posted that famous Soviet era joke where the employee says “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work”. I think it was posted posted to diss the UBI, but it is far more applicable to a job guarantee.

    With a UBI, in principle nobody has to pretend anything. The person gets paid and can either look for meaningful work which pays a more serious income or use their life for other purposes, most of which actually have a public benefit. They don’t have to go and be shoehorned into a job where they are ill-suited and have no interest, burdening their workmates. HANDS UP THOSE IN THE REAL WORLD WHO HAVE HAD TO WORK WITH SOMEONE WHOSE PRESENCE DRAGGED EVERYONE DOWN!!!@!

    A JG has demonstrably failed big time in every Communist or hard-line socialist society it has every been tried in. And it’s been tried in them all.

  8. Cud Chewer: “More to the point imacca, in a well designed UBI, the likes of Gina are going to be paying more by other mechanisms.”

    Sounds like a totally inefficient and unnecessary process: why give someone an income they couldn’t possibly need and then take it away from them again through taxation?

    If you really want something like this, I suggest you’d do better looking at a GMI (guaranteed minimum income) scheme, which at least doesn’t feature the nonsense of the government paying welfare to the richest decile of the population.

    My main problem with GMI and UBI schemes is that one of the main things their proponents are after is to get rid of any real incentive for welfare recipients to seek employment. Sure, the universal nature of the payment would incentivise some to go out and seek supplementary income to improve their standard of living. But, assuming that the payments are sufficient to support a bearable lifestyle (and most proponents of UBI seem to be demanding that the payments would be significantly above current pension and benefit levels), then I would expect many more recipients to effectively drop out of society altogether.

    And, when large numbers of people choose to drop out of society, the rest of the community will likewise choose to ignore them. And the ignored population will fester. And we’ll end up with large no go areas in our cities and all sorts of other good stuff like that.

    Some bleeding hearts to whom I talk consider the work test for the dole to be harsh and unfair. But I reckon that, while it might be a bitter medicine, it’s also a sustaining one, in that forces people to retain some contact with the labour market and thereby with the broader society as a whole. Highly educated people with absolutely nothing to do often take up arts and crafts or create vegetable gardens or whatever. But a substantial proportion of ordinary people with absolutely nothing to do are inclined to drink and take drugs and abuse their families. If they are forced to spend a part of the week looking for work or engaging in training, it gives them less time to engage in these harmful practices. And, if they find a job, it can be a life-enhancing experience for some of them.

  9. My main problem with GMI and UBI schemes is that one of the main things their proponents are after is to get rid of any real incentive for welfare recipients to seek employment.

    ______________________________________

    When you get away from personal anecdotal evidence, in many cases informed by prejudice and ignorance, and look at the huge and hugely expensive and highly punitive arrangements now in place to ‘incentivise’ welfare recipients to seek employment (often being so onerous as to obstruct or even debilitate them from seeking work), that sort of right-wing moralising bullshit just doesn’t hold water.

  10. Re UBI, the current rates of the Age Pension would serve as a guide to the amount. These are about $24,000 p.a. for a single and $36,000 p.a. for a couple. Under a UBI scheme there would be no need for pensions (age, disability, carer) or unemployment benefits. There would be no need for tax concessions for superannuation, especially once pension payments have started. These tax concessions now cost as much as the Age pension.

    As for taxation, have a standard rate, say 25% including Medicare, cutting in just above the UBI, which would be fully taxable.

    Have a progressive tax scale, with minimal deductions / rebates / loopholes. If we can stop the sort of wholesale tax avoision that’s happening now, maybe we could keep the top rate of income tax below 50 and have a corporate tax rate in the 30s.

    For other savings, stop supporting private schools and subsidising private health insurance. Religious institutions could tithe their members to support the former if they like. People can still choose to go private (as now, if they can afford it) but the taxpayer is under no obligation to help them pay for that choice.

    I have no idea how the numbers add up, but maybe it’s doable, indeed if the future does turn out to be workless, or work-scarce, something like this would have to be done.

  11. ‘the sixth wave is likely to involve artificial intelligence and robotics, perhaps with elements of biotechnology’

    The latest big agricultural wave is the application of big data, improvements in sensors, AI, gene technology and GMOs to agriculture. I had a bit of an opportunity to observe some of this in action over the past week and the results are, IMO, quite stunning.

    Meanwhile, over much of the western half of NSW, goat farming and drought are combining to speed up Australia’s desertification crisis.

    I also listened to the Landline interview of Steffan. This was cut short but, again, the global warming impact was quite stunning. Steffan was talking in the context of dryland wheat farming and in terms of ‘reliable years’. The latter is a year in which the Autumn break provides sufficient soil moisture for sowing and then sufficient follow up rains to allow for harvesting. In South-western WA reliable years per decade have halved and the long term drop in rainfall is 40%.

  12. Interesting discussion today on UBI. Alaska pays it’s residents an annual amount, just for being a resident. I think that includes children. You only need to be a resident, which you prove by living in the state for a calendar year. This is a link to a Wikepedia article, specfically to the amounts paid each year.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Permanent_Fund#Annual_individual_payout

    It isn’t enough to live on but arguably it is a UBI.

    This article also makes the point that “The annual payout from the fund is credited with keeping many low-income Alaskan families out of poverty.”
    https://www.reuters.com/article/alaska-payment-fund-idUSL1N11N03U20150917

  13. S777

    ‘Re UBI, the current rates of the Age Pension would serve as a guide to the amount. These are about $24,000 p.a. for a single and $36,000 p.a. for a couple. Under a UBI scheme there would be no need for pensions (age, disability, carer) or unemployment benefits. There would be no need for tax concessions for superannuation, especially once pension payments have started. These tax concessions now cost as much as the Age pension.’

    The UBI would be on an individual basis, not on a couple basis.

    ‘As for taxation, have a standard rate, say 25% including Medicare, cutting in just above the UBI, which would be fully taxable.’

    25% would not be enough. A UBI @ $25,000 would cost around $500 billion a year. Our current Budget is, say, around $400 billion a year. So we would need to find an additional $100 billion in taxes to cover the UBI and then additional taxes to cover health, education, transport, science, environment and defence costs.

    ‘Have a progressive tax scale, with minimal deductions / rebates / loopholes. If we can stop the sort of wholesale tax avoision that’s happening now, maybe we could keep the top rate of income tax below 50 and have a corporate tax rate in the 40s.’

    Not nearly enough. The tax take would have to be at least doubled to pay for the UBI.

    ‘For other savings, stop supporting private schools and subsidising private health insurance. Religious institutions could tithe their members to support the former if they like. People can still choose to go private (as now, if they can afford it) but the taxpayer is under no obligation to help them pay for that choice.’

    Swapping a million private school students into the public system would cost more, not less to the Budget. Ditto with forcing private patients into the public system. You increase the queue size, you increase the waiting lists and you increase the cost to the taxpayer.

    ‘I have no idea how the numbers add up, but maybe it’s doable, indeed if the future does turn out to be wireless, or work-scarce, something like this would have to be done.’

    The numbers do not add up.

  14. Cud Chewer: “You’ve totally fucking not understood that people actually want to do something meaningful. That’s its not about “reciprocity” but instead its about what motivated real human beings. Very few people are genuinely lazy and in any case under a UBI there is still a very big incentive to have more money.”

    It’s not f___ing about f___ing laziness or lack of f___ing motivation. Or even about financial incentives. You’re too f___ing idealistic by far. (Phew, thank goodness I’ve gotten that off my chest now.)

    Many people on the fringes find it difficult and stressful to engage with society, largely because they lack the skills to engage effectively. If you make it too easy for them to cut loose and still live reasonably well, that’s what they will choose to do. They will be totally aware that they could live even better if they chose to participate and earn a bit of additional income, but the risk to return ratio won’t work for them.

  15. For those of the ‘Puritan’ persuasion re UBI . Take our very own champion of UBI, /Boerwar ( 😉 ) , think of the freedom a UBI could have offered Boerwar to fight for protection of the environment or the betterment of those in remote areas. Would such work be considered not work or useful ? Of course not

  16. Late Riser
    It is like UBI because it is universal.
    It is not like a UBI because the ‘BI’ stands for ‘basic income’.
    The general notion of the latter is that it is enough income to live off.

  17. TPOF: “the huge and hugely expensive and highly punitive arrangements now in place to ‘incentivise’ welfare recipients to seek employment (often being so onerous as to obstruct or even debilitate them from seeking work)”

    What do you base that assessment on? Anecdotal evidence perhaps?

  18. Meher baba –

    The point of paying a UBI to every one is that there is almost no administrative cost to doing so.

    First and foremost, a UBI gives people, particularly marginalised people, the freedom of choice. A UBI would serve and protect people who are coerced into the labour market by their circumstances and into low-paying jobs where they have no bargaining power. Low-paid precarious employment is not a life-enhancing experience. It’s a soul-destroying one.

    Furthermore, you are ignoring the fact that there currently is a very real disincentive for some people to move from welfare to work by virtue of the fact that low-paying casualised employment will not cover the loss of welfare payments.


    Some bleeding hearts to whom I talk consider the work test for the dole to be harsh and unfair. But I reckon that, while it might be a bitter medicine, it’s also a sustaining one, in that forces people to retain some contact with the labour market and thereby with the broader society as a whole. Highly educated people with absolutely nothing to do often take up arts and crafts or create vegetable gardens or whatever. But a substantial proportion of ordinary people with absolutely nothing to do are inclined to drink and take drugs and abuse their families. If they are forced to spend a part of the week looking for work or engaging in training, it gives them less time to engage in these harmful practices. And, if they find a job, it can be a life-enhancing experience for some of them.

    Some people who work also drink, take drugs, and abuse their families. Some people who are very well off also drink, take drugs, and abuse their families. The above statement is just right-wing ratbaggery.

    Highly educated people take up arts and crafts and gardening because they can afford to do so. Pretending that poor and impoverished people are somehow uninterested in the full spectrum of human activity and will only be drawn to drugs, alcohol, and violence is pure unadulterated snobbery.

  19. Meher its less effecient to have an army of bureaucrsats paid to decide who gets it and who doesn’t. The U in UBI means efficiency and it mean no stigma.

  20. p
    You raise some interesting considerations.
    Is the whole point of a UBI and or the JG that you should do nothing?
    Because if you do do something you are competing for work that others desire to be paid to do.
    This is one of the arguments against volunteering, free internships and other forms of partially government-subsidized work.
    Being old fashioned my definition of work has always been something that you get paid to do to the standards someone else wants, with the efficiency someone else wants, under the general conditions someone else wants, and when someone else wants.
    I currently spend a very large amount of my time ‘working’ at my hobby. It requires large amounts of stamina for my age. (Two days ago I spent something like six hours tramping around on sandy soil in 30 degree heat carrying around 10kg of equipment.) At times I have to get up before dawn. Since then I have spent something like ten hours of intense concentration and large intellectual effort to process the results. My body, brain and eyes are somewhat exhausted as a result. I do not regard that as ‘work’ because I choose not to sell the results.

  21. TPOF: “With a UBI, in principle nobody has to pretend anything. The person gets paid and can either look for meaningful work which pays a more serious income or use their life for other purposes, most of which actually have a public benefit. They don’t have to go and be shoehorned into a job where they are ill-suited and have no interest, burdening their workmates. HANDS UP THOSE IN THE REAL WORLD WHO HAVE HAD TO WORK WITH SOMEONE WHOSE PRESENCE DRAGGED EVERYONE DOWN!!!@!”

    And that’s the crux of my point. Contrary to the rhetoric you sometimes hear, helping the most disadvantaged people into the labour market is not good for the economy. They tend to be relatively unproductive, have poor skills and often poor attitudes. To the extent that the government pays them sit down money, that’s a good thing for the profitability of businesses and for the efficiency of governmental and not-for-profit operations. Society as a whole benefits, apart from the fact that we have to spend a bit more on police and security to protect ourselves from these people.

    But it’s not good for the people themselves. It simply isn’t the case that most of them will “use their life for other purposes, most of which actually have a public benefit.” What will happen to a lot of them is that they will become totally bored and uninterested in everything: even sex, alcohol and drugs. They will become increasingly prone to crime, violence and other acts of thrill-seeking. They will be bad and dangerous parents for their children, and a menace to the rest of us.

    Paid work can be boring and tiring. But the one thing it does generally do is to force you to engage with a broader spectrum of society than you would otherwise do. Yes, there are other ways of achieving this if you don’t work but are motivated to seek it out. But most long-term unemployed people don’t have the wherewithal to find these ways of engaging with society.

    Living on welfare can be a very sad and lonely experience.

  22. meher baba
    Many people on the fringes find it difficult and stressful to engage with society, largely because they lack the skills to engage effectively. If you make it too easy for them to cut loose and still live reasonably well, that’s what they will choose to do.

    I would suggest to you that this a small proportion of the population.

    In any case, why do you think that forcing them to “engage” in society by forcing them into low-paid precarious work is somehow a better outcome? Why is low-paid precarious work the metric by which we judge whether a marginalised person is or isn’t sufficiently engaged in society? Sounds like bullshit to me.

  23. Boerwar, I guess it depends on the meaning of “basic”. I can accept that it is a partial universal basic income.

    But I found the Alaskan idea interesting for several reasons. First, everyone gets the money, even I think children. Second, is the idea that the money represents a share in the wealth of the state. It isn’t “money for nothing”. (There is a flaw in the argument of “reciprocity”.) Third, this has been going on for quite a while now. I expect lessons might be taken from the experience. And lastly, the source of the money is a fund. I wonder if funds could be established that return a larger annual payment.

  24. Jimmy you nailed it.

    In order to create a JG that creates a job for literally anyone who wants one you need to create a lot of “jobs” for people who are best described as marginal. You might as well pay them to go to the beach. Theyd fulfil the socially useful function of being healthier and happier. In other words zero difference to a UBI.

    And then there are people like my sister who are unemployable yet would feel traumatised if not offered a job with “status” (my sister wants to be a hugh school teacher).

    Nicholss has no sensible response.

  25. I am not a labour market economist but it seems to me that there would be three feedback mechanisms that might prove intractable:

    1. The exceptionally high tax rates (double what we pay now, at least) would shift lots of work o/s.
    2. Wage inflation (and general inflation) as employers have to pay extra for wages and conditions.
    3. A serious decline in labour efficiency leading to an international lack of competitiveness.

  26. Cud Chewer: “Meher its less effecient to have an army of bureaucrsats paid to decide who gets it and who doesn’t. The U in UBI means efficiency and it mean no stigma.”

    I don’t get the argument that paying someone welfare indefinitely and not work-testing them will make them less stigmatised than current arrangements. Yes, the current arrangements can be intrusive and make people feel harassed, but I don’t think they are especially stigmatising.

    What is stigmatising is endlessly applying for jobs and being rejected because you have nothing or hardly anything on your cv. Assuming that someone receiving a UBI is going to keep applying for jobs, then they are going to continue to experience this form of stigma. If they stop applying for jobs altogether, which a UBI could enable them to do, I guess they won’t feel stigmatised anymore in this particularly way, but they will experience the stigma of being seen as long-term unemployed. However, if they live in a community in which everyone they know is on a UBI and not concerned about looking for work, I guess they won’t be stigmatised.

    Sounds like paradise, doesn’t it?

  27. meher baba
    What do you base that assessment on? Anecdotal evidence perhaps?

    TPOF is spot on:

    The Work for the Dole program is a “sham”, putting young job seekers in unsafe and potentially deadly situations, say unions, lawyers and the family of a teenager who was killed on a Queensland worksite two years ago.

    They are calling on the Federal Government to scrap the program, also known as ‘Jobactive’, which has been in place in various iterations since 1996.

    The Department of Jobs and Small Business said it taught jobseekers skills while helping them “increase confidence”, “meet new people”, and “make contacts who can be a referee” when applying for work.

    But lawyers familiar with the program said it was “punitive” and “mind-numbing”, and said it left job-seekers in risky situations without adequate insurance and other protections.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-19/calls-to-close-work-for-the-dole/9673238

  28. Boerwar

    But what you are doing is work and it sounds like your “hobby” is ‘adding value’ to the environment. You mention to “other peoples’ standards” . Which would be higher in what you are doing as a ‘hobby’, yours or the average peasant who would be employing you to do what you are currently doing ? I have a sneaking suspicion yours would be higher 🙂

  29. ‘Late Riser says:
    Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Boerwar, I guess it depends on the meaning of “basic”. I can accept that it is a partial universal basic income.’

    Agree.

    ‘But I found the Alaskan idea interesting for several reasons. First, everyone gets the money, even I think children.’

    That IS universal. I think my figure of 20,000,000 on UBI in Australia would include everyone older than 16.

    ‘Second, is the idea that the money represents a share in the wealth of the state. It isn’t “money for nothing”.

    I like this thought.

    ‘Third, this has been going on for quite a while now. I expect lessons might be taken from the experience.’

    Yep.

    ‘And lastly, the source of the money is a fund. I wonder if funds could be established that return a larger annual payment.’

    The fund is ‘state money’. I suppose, but don’t know, that using a fund means that the payments are credit-funded rather than debt-funded. I really don’t know.

  30. @meher baba

    I have plenty of evidence.

    1. Employers see people on Welfare as someone are not any good and a liability.
    2. Employers see welfare as lazy.
    3. Job Agencies are dodgy as shit and Corrupt.
    4. Job Agencies demonise people and grab Government money while they make people only so job searching.

    Seen it first and second hand.

  31. JimmyD: “I would suggest to you that this a small proportion of the population.”

    Yes, by definition they are a small proportion. They are on the fringes. Last figures I saw showed that around 180,000 able-bodied working age people have been unemployed for 2 years or more. That’s a bit more than 25 per cent of all unemployed and around 1.4 per cent of the total labour force.

    But it’s also equivalent to the population of Townsville, so quite a lot of people in absolute terms.

    Contrary to the views expressed by some other posters, I would expect that a much higher proportion of this 180,000 are living a rather boring and pointless life on the margins of the society than are passionately engaged in productive good works.

  32. Cud Chewer – Nicholas’ mistake is to treat a UBI or a JG as a statement of values, when they are simply potential policy mechanisms aimed at achieving a particular outcome: lifting marginal people out of poverty and keeping them out.

  33. Regard UBI , I think it is a good idea. Although the Greens proposal for it is needlessly expensive and necessary. Since we in Australia have a social security system funded from general tax revenue, as opposed to social security taxes which are the norm in a lot of other countries.

    I believe Labor should propose reforming the Centrelink benefit system to a form of UBI. This form of UBI would specific a minimum level of income people should have. There would be adjustments to payments made on the basis of personal circumstances, any income they get from paid work and etc.

    Any extra expenses incurred from this proposal can be funded throughout getting rid of negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts for residential property.

    Anyway ‘dole bludging’ is actually a quite minor phenomenon, because plenty of people on Centrelink benefits are either working in casual or part time jobs or are genuinely seeking paid employment.

  34. zoidlord: “I have plenty of evidence.

    1. Employers see people on Welfare as someone are not any good and a liability.
    2. Employers see welfare as lazy.”

    And they’ll feel exactly the same way about someone on UBI.

    “3. Job Agencies are dodgy as shit and Corrupt.
    4. Job Agencies demonise people and grab Government money while they make people only so job searching.”

    I’ve been in roles where I employ young people and I’ve seen evidence of this too. And I’ve seen the exact opposite: agencies that do great work in preparing people for the workforce.

  35. Kohler on the ABC News last night had a graph highlighting the under performance of the ASX when put alongside the rises globally BUT that the ASX then out performed the falls – adding “until now because our falls have been less than elsewhere this time”

    The further fall of 100 Points in the ASX today means this latest fall again, easily, out performs Global Markets.

    The adherence to right wing ideology being the disgraced trickle down economic model sees this outcome as the Australian economy, 70% plus reliant on the Services Industry, continues to perish in the face of stagnant wages growth, job insecurity due to the state of the economy and the impact on retail, media and house prices as the lead indicators.

    Therefore confidence, so self fulfilling on the downward spiral

    And all this whilst the Cash Rate remains at 1.5% – and for the reasons it is at that historically low rate and not projected to move in the foreseeable

    Stiglitz’s descriptions of the USA and Trump equally apply to Australia and (currently) Botch Up Borrison.

  36. Here is a running tally of what Morrison and his Gang of National White Ants gets paid to do:

    1. The Jerusalem Embassy Cockup
    2. The Iran Agreement Cockup
    3. The Religion Report Gay Kids Cockup
    4. The Kids Cruelty R US on Nauru Cockup
    5. The Crewther S44 Cockup
    6. The ‘I lied about Turnbull’ Cockup
    7. The Indigenous National Day Kite Flying Cockup
    8. The ReefGate Cockup
    9. The 14 Coalition Members Citizenship Eligibility Cockup.
    10. The CDEP Cockup
    11. The 48 million missed Centrelink Calls Cockup
    12. The Chemicals Authority Cockup
    13. The Live Trade Cockup
    14. The MDB Water Looting Cockup
    15. The Damaged Relations with Indonesia Cockup
    16. The Necking Turnbull Cockup
    17. The Necking Bishop Cockup
    18. The Abbott Envoy and the Joyce Envoy Cockup
    19. The Longman Cockup
    20. The Wagga Wagga Cockup
    21. The Wentworth Cockup
    22. The Serial Bastardization of Liberal Women by Liberal Men Cockup
    23. The Ditching the Coalition’s Own Budget Rules Cockup.
    24. The Raiding the NDIS Funds for Drought Funding Cockup.
    25. The AWM rather than Vet Suicide Prevention Cockup.
    26. The Nazis R Us Cockup.
    27. The White Supremacist Support Vote Cockup
    28. The Bird Family Citizenship Stripping Cockup
    29. The Scullion Rip Off of Indigenous Funds Cockup
    30. The Tehan Intellectual Suppression Cockup
    31. The Vets Boarding First Kite Flying Cockup
    32. Split Election Date Kite Flying Cockup.
    33. The Robert Moolah Cockup
    34. Health Records Crash Cockup.
    35. The Bus/Plane Double Act Cockup
    36. The Serial Piss Up Cockup
    37. Forcing Newstart Recipients to Pick Fruit Kite Flying Cockup.
    38. Power Price Cut Grandstanging Cockup.
    39. Adani Water Trigger Cockup.
    40. Food Bank Backflip Cockup.
    41. Indonesia FTA Cockup
    42 Health Records Extension Cockup.
    43. The Stripping Research Funding/Dopey Australia Cockup.

  37. meher baba
    I would expect that a much higher proportion of this 180,000 are living a rather boring and pointless life on the margins of the society than are passionately engaged in productive good works.

    And I would expect that a vast proportion of the population are working in boring and pointless jobs rather than passionately engaging in productive good works.

    And you still haven’t answered my questions: why do you think that forcing marginalised people to “engage” in society by forcing them into low-paid precarious work is a better outcome? Why is low-paid precarious work the metric by which we judge whether a marginalised person is or isn’t sufficiently engaged in society?

  38. On a UBI or similar.

    As someone who is 55 and now reduced to “gig economy” delivery jobs and who has recently started to see those later-in-life health problems like heart disease and bladder cancer, what I’d like to see is not every one gets a UBI but that you can apply for it and get it without questions asked and that if you earn too much on top you simply pay it back at tax time.
    The cost involved in torturing people such as me on centrelink payments make it simpler and more cost effective to just give us a minimum payment regularly. A substantial saving if you take into account all these kickbacks the jobsearch suppliers get.
    I earned $7k last year and the tax dept knows this so why can’t centrelink. I had a healthcare card but they cancelled it. Who knows why. I pay full price for all my meds. I have health insurance for the moment but when my savings run out I’ll have to forgo it.
    I have 15 years to go until I presume I’ll be able to get a pension if the bastards haven’t done away with it by then.

    I just want to be PM for 1 term so I can tax their parliamentary super at 99%

  39. @Observer

    Negative gearing and capital tax gains discounts on property have played a significant part in the deindustrialization of the country. Because why bother to invest in productive assets, when you can get much better returns on investing in residential real estate. Although the high value of the Australia currency during the Mining Boom did do a significant part as well.

    There will need to be a significant amount of state investment to help develop new industries so we can reverse the needless deindustrialization caused by those policies.

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