Trickle-down greed

Keith Binns writes: Re. “Blaming only globalisation for inequality is misguided” (yesterday). As has been shown many times, inequality within a country is largely down to greed on the part of those in power. The NYTimes published a graph a few years ago showing that, in the USA, wages kept growth with productivity until about 1970. Then productivity kept on going up but wages flattened out. This was deliberate government and business policy. A net flow of money from the mega-rich to the middle was occurring, so they put a stop to it and Reagan presided over the first generation of Americans who expected to do worse than there parents. When the WFC happened we were in England and visited friends, one of whom is so high up in Lloyds Bank he can almost sit on the moon. When I asked him whether the WFC was a result of greed he replied “Yes (Of course)”. Abolishing negative gearing in Australia will bring housing prices down and the young will be better able to afford housing, but the rich won’t make as much money so it will never happen. The world runs on the Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold makes the rules.

On 457s

Lee Tinson writes: Re. “Despite scandals, 457s help a changing economy” (yesterday). A fairly scholarly review, relevant only to dry economists. Nowhere do I see any mention of people …. just “the economy”, “business sectors” and the like. 457 visas popped up as a way basically for business to avoid its social contract to participate in training of young Aussies for work in the market place. Double whammy: no training costs, and exploitation of foreign workers with lower wages.

Great for the economy? It’s hard to see it. Aussies don’t get trained, don’t get jobs go on welfare. Foreign workers tend to send money out of the country. It IS great for business, whose costs are screwed ever down, and their profits increase. They don’t pay tax on that, and where does the money go? Out of the country, to join the PM’s wealth in a tax haven.

There’s no long term benefit in this for Australia, no matter what you economic psychopaths appear to believe about “the economy”.

Gwen Clark writes: I can’t see why ICT 457 visa’s are at all appropriate while current Australian ICT graduates can’t get work. I can’t help but conclude that the 457 visas are being used to simply reduce costs and not to fill position where no skills exist. There are plenty of graduates willing to fill those positions. With the IT industry’s predilection of not hiring people over 40 there are panty of experienced people too.
If there is any industry where 457 visas should be sparingly used it is the IT industry.

Peter Fray

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