Frydenberg FOFA banking royal commission
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

On the everlasting stagnation

Marcus Hicks writes: There will be no surplus, because even their newest predictions are still wildly optimistic. I predict we’ll be in a full-blown recession by this time next year.

Mark Dunstone writes: On wages we have been sold a lemon for years. We have had the rhetoric of the “clever country”, been implored to up-skill and improve our education, led to believe that the future holds high paid jobs with innovative industries, etc etc. But what have we really had? We continue to subsidise and encourage low wage, low skill industries. The government has a visa program that had been amazingly effective in keeping the returns to labour low and eliminating any incentive on businesses to shoulder some responsibility in training their labour force. We have an increasingly casualised workforce. Ministers talk of wage snobs, and increasingly people are being asked to work for nothing as “interns” etc. I suspect the economic returns to individuals from tertiary education, particularly if one counts wages forgone while studying as well as the HECS debt, is probably the lowest ever.

Malcolm Burr writes: Where to start? The Courier-Wail trumpeting rises in house prices in Brisbane as a good thing, television ads telling us that over 1 million (yes 1 million) Australian children go to bed hungry at night, the homeless rate is matching that of the United States. Australia led the world over a century ago, along with the 40 hour week in 1947. Oh how have the mighty fallen. Is it too late to rectify the damage caused by these economic vandals?

On Westpac’s apology

Mark A Zanker writes: Has it won me over? No way. The fact that it’s run by people who seem to be regarded as pillars of the community, who seem to be saying its nothing to worry about, sickens me. Compare the treatment of these people with those on the end of the robo-debt harassment by the government. The people living in grinding poverty on miserly government benefits are demonised, the people who cheat, lie and ignore corporate crime on a massive scale get away with it and get multi-million dollar bonuses as they walk away. How good is that!

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