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Monday message board

October 17th, 2005

It’s time, once again for the Monday Message Board. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language, please.

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  1. October 18th, 2005 at 21:45 | #1

    This country certainly would be better off without those things Ian, it also would be quite a lot better off without havin to support those who will not work. If someone declines to work, fine, but why should those who will work have to pay for those who won’t? (As opposed to those who can’t, or are too slow/unproductive to be worth the minimum wage, & thus have been legislated out of any hope of a job)

  2. October 18th, 2005 at 21:59 | #2

    I wonder if Steve has been through the particular hell of long term unemployment, especially for people over fifty.

    At the moment I rather like the fact that I can walk St Kilda beach without being followed by people trying to sell me a used biro.

    By subsidy I mean existing capital like clothes, cooking pots, furniture and savings, family and friends, and the charity system. And crime.

  3. October 18th, 2005 at 22:29 | #3

    David, that is the very idea of welfare, it is not supposed to make people rich.

    I point out that the only people in Australia who do not have a job are those who are choosy about what they do, are unemployable, or are not able to work hard enough to be worth the minimum wage

  4. stoptherubbish
    October 19th, 2005 at 08:56 | #4

    So Steve at the Pub,
    What do you do with this flotsam and jetsam of humanity hmm? Oh and by the way, what about people who are working fulltime at caring for others or raising children? Low wage losers? Bludgers on the body economic? So unskilled they have been priced out of the market place? The other people who do not have a job are those who are able to live off the dividends produced by the work of others. But that’s alright, because owning capital makes them the kind of high end, skilful, useful, contributing kinds of people that deseve their luck, whilst others of course deserve their fate

  5. Terje
    October 19th, 2005 at 09:35 | #5

    People who are full time caring for others will not be effected by the minimum wage. They are not involved in economic trade. Except in so far as they are dependent on others (e.g. spouse) for cash. If they have kids then the government supplement is considerably more than the single persons dole.

  6. October 19th, 2005 at 09:37 | #6

    Rather than abolishing the minimum wage, wouldn’t it be preferable to train the unemployed so that they are worth employing?

  7. Roberto
    October 19th, 2005 at 13:32 | #7

    Alpaca – I think you assume that the Government ‘knows best.’

    If the ‘government’ knew what subjects/skills etc the unemployed needed to return to employment, surely they would have done so by now?

  8. October 19th, 2005 at 16:10 | #8

    I don’t think that the Government knows perfectly , but it must have a fair idea if it keeps going on about a skill shortage. Even if it had no idea, surely an unemployment allowance large enough for the unemployed to retrain would be preferable to abolishing the minimum wage.

  9. anonymous
    October 19th, 2005 at 18:04 | #9

    Feel very scared, that government policy on welfare has been formed by Steve at the pub. He seems to have no understanding of the real unemployment figures,for instance. Can we just ask, is the taxpayer paying for his wisdom?

  10. October 20th, 2005 at 16:30 | #10

    Alas Anonymous, I form no government policy. As a longstanding critic of the government, who has publicly stated that he will cheer when one day he reads the current prime minister’s obituary, and have stated that Tony Abbot is scum whose rightful place is in gaol. Furthermore I have taken these public positions because of reprehensible policy positions adopted by those two fellows.

    I have little understanding of “real” unemployment, beyond it being almost impossible to hire or keep staff, regardless of pay or conditions.

    19 year old girls, who despite no qualifications or proven record of any sort, are INSULTED & turn their nose up at $1,000 per week (+ free housing) saying “I won’t work for THAT”. However they are not being asked to work, at least not as my grandfather would define work. They are being asked to stand around in the shade, mixing drinks in an air conditioned room.

    The “taxpayer” is yet to pay for a single thing for me. It is possible however that a Qld government subsidy of $350 per bed to re-open closed commercial accommodation will be applied for. My contribution to the community chest is greater each month than my gross earnings for the first 2 decades of my working life.

    Please advise me how I can arrange to have the taxpayer foot some more of my bills, I am a shade annoyed at contributing so much, & in return getting nothing but grief from venomous public servants in a regulatory role.

  11. anonymous
    October 20th, 2005 at 18:38 | #11

    Your cred as a hater of regulation is impressive,mine host.
    Don’t we all dislike government interfering with our financial and social lives?

    Thrilled ,here, that you have no power over government policy on “welfare” while seriously under threat for “sedition”, under new government laws. Don’t talk of Tony and John in vain,comrade.

    Sad, that someone in your position ,as an employee, has no understanding of the real unemployment figures. Presently,someone who has been deemed to have worked for one hour a fortnight is considered employed.

    Your solicitations for young girls at large pay is under question. Are they casuals,with no rights? Are they “permanent-part time” with diminishing super benefits?

    Have you employed over 50′s?

    Cheers.

  12. October 20th, 2005 at 20:12 | #12

    Anonymous, thanks to experience with the unfair dismissal laws (link to my page to read all about it) I will NEVER hire anything but casuals.

    I do not hire permenant of any sort, part time or full time. The unions & the IRC have cured me of ever giving in to that urge.

    What do you question about the large pay for young girls? That they are worth it? They are not. It is never an issue for long, as no teenager has the stamina for sustained work. Most of my (casual) staff draw $50,000+ per annum. Extra to this they recieve free housing & free food. I would seriously doubt your claim that they are “without” benefits or “rights”.

    The compulsory superannuation is a rort, it looks great on paper, however in practice the return is less than what is put into it. Simply depositing the cash into a locked bank account would be simpler & would provide more actual $$ for the retiring employee.

    Close to 100% of over 50 applicants get hired. The failure rate of over 50′s is also quite low. This contrasts with the failure rate of under 20′s, which is almost 100%. My personal preference is for staff aged 35+, alas this is not always possible.

    My only discriminations in hiring are against the under 25′s, the unmarried, & those who are in the employ of a direct rival. I discriminate most strongly against those who are “shifty looking/acting” & those who have piercings in eyebrows, lips, nose & other non-conventional yet visible places.

    My policy influence against the “free water in pubs” push is probably insufficient to get me “noticed”, however if my breaches of tobacco excise regulations are detected, perhaps overcoated agents of the regieme’s security apparatus will be knocking on my door one of these midnights.

  13. Stephen
    October 20th, 2005 at 20:55 | #13

    Steve at the Pub, I think you may be looking in the wrong place for your staff.

    I employ people at $18 an hour casual – which means you have to work a lot of hours to be at $50,000 a year. The work isn’t usally all that hard, but it has some difficult bits, is pretty boring, and on very rare occasions dangerous. I almost never have trouble finding staff – usually those already working for me call up their friends when we have a vacancy and there is a race for the spot. 75% perform to a standard I am very satisfied with and about a third go above and beyond what could be reasonably expected.

    Our work is seasonal, and most of the staff are only on for a week or two each year. Perhaps this makes it easier – people don’t see themselves as stuck in a dead end job forever, but logically it should make it harder, as people won’t give up jobs that are less pleasant but more stable to work for us.

    Virtually all my staff are tertiary qualified.

    I spend the time setting this out to provide evidence that there are plenty of people out there who are looking for work and don’t turn their nose up at work that’s hardly well paid. I hear rants like Steve’s all the time and wonder where those people are advertising. It’s not all that long ago that I was on the dole myself, and in my experience most people who are on the dole are either desperate to take anything they can get, or suffering from clinical depression. (In my time I went through both, sometimes simultaneously).

  14. October 20th, 2005 at 21:39 | #14

    Stephen: You must live somewhere in a rust belt. Swamped in prospective staff & believing this to be universal. (The Penny Henny principle in operation?)

    My recruiting experience is typical for my province, & much easier for my industry than for many. Those who require skilled tradesmen are turning away more work than they are doing, as they cannot get trade qualified staff. Professional staff are even more difficult, particularly medical professions. Dentistry is having the most difficult time. Waiting period for a dental appointment is 7 months, (emergencies can usually be squeezed in within 21 days), dental practices cannot get dentists even by offering a full & fair partnership to freshly qualified dentists.

    For your information: Only 60 hours per week x 48 weeks will give a casual more than $50,000 per year. $18 per hour for casuals has not been seen here for quite some time. We have to compete with major employers who are offering in excess of $30 per hour, + super + holidays + housing, etc.

    I note also that you & I clearly have different definitions of what is ranting.

  15. Ian Gould
    October 21st, 2005 at 11:53 | #15

    So can anyone explain to me why there’s any reason to assume the market-clearing price for labor is necessarily higher than the absolute minimum required for survival?

    Bear in mind that for most products, the market-clearing price can fall below the marginal cost of production, leading to some producers leaving the market.

    Unless they plan to stop eating, the unemployed don’t have that option in the absence of welfare benefits.

  16. Ian Gould
    October 21st, 2005 at 11:58 | #16

    Steve,

    I’m located in Brisbane, pay $15.50 per hour for permanent staff and am beating potential employees off with a stick. (Although the number of peopel applyign for a job has dropped as unemployment falsl from a couple per day to 1-2 per week.)

    If you’re located in any area with a labour shortage maybe you should move or pay the required market rate.

    Here’s a basic economics lesson – if demand for a product rises faster than supply the price of that product will rise. The falling unemployment rate shows that the excess of labour is declining.

  17. Stephen
    October 22nd, 2005 at 21:45 | #17

    Steve at the Pub,

    I guess inner city Melbourne is regarded as rust belt by some. I certainly acknowledge that there is a major shortage of many skills. However, this isn’t because people are too picky. If the government offered a 1000 positions in dentistry tomorrow they would be snapped up the day after.

    The problem is that we have failed to train enough people in certain areas.

    My business didn’t apply for two jobs this year because we didn’t have the people to do them, but it wasn’t a shortage of unskilled staff at $18 an hour that held us back, but experienced staff for which we pay $35 an hour.

    We do our best to train staff, and often by the end of the season have trained our unskilled staff to a semi-skilled level (for which we pay a bit more). It’s hard to train people for the most skilled work in our industry because it is so seasonal – you have to train someone one year in the hope that 10 months later they will want to work at the same job again. I don’t see an easy solution in this case, but when it is a job where demand is ongoing it is harder to justify the lack of training that has occurred.

    PS If you happen to be in or near Melbourne I’d be happy to pass on the phone numbers of some of my staff. If you’re offering $50000 a year I’m sure they would be interested – unless your idea of a working week is 80 hours.

  18. October 23rd, 2005 at 19:31 | #18

    Sadly, as part of conditions,”casuals”, on $50,000, may well have to deal with an oxy-moron. Isn’t that full-time? And how does Steve get away with it?

  19. October 23rd, 2005 at 21:01 | #19

    How do I “get away” with WHAT?
    Occassionally someone wants to turn their job from “casual” to “permenant”, howver they are not prepared to take the accompanying cut in pay & conditions, so withdraw their request.

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