Media Circus: Hockeynomics edition

Good news everybody! Our esteemed Treasurer Joe Hockey just told the Kiwis that the Australian economy is not in crisis nor even in trouble!

Joe Hockey has told New Zealand that there is no crisis in the Australian economy, nor is it in trouble.

The treasurer also made no mention of the “budget emergency” he and his government referred to when justifying their unpopular budget to Australians.

Instead, Mr Hockey reassured Kiwis that their second biggest trading partner is benefiting from 23 years of consecutive economic growth.

“The Australian economy is not in trouble,” he told New Zealand political current affairs show The Nation on Saturday.

Mr Hockey also denied drastic reforms to Australian healthcare, education and taxes were about ideological change.

Looking forward to him repeating this excellent news on one of our very own political current affairs shows any moment now. A…………ny mo………..ment.

As usual for media circus threads, please share your bouquets and brickbats for particular items in the mass media, or highlight cogent analysis or pointed twitterstorms etc in new media. Discuss any current sociopolitical issue (the theme of each edition is merely for discussion-starter purposes – all current news items are on topic!).

Categories: culture wars, economics, ethics & philosophy, media

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18 replies

  1. Hmmm. I used to classify Joe Hockey among the ‘liberals I could almost just about see myself voting for’. Not so much any more…

  2. Love First Dog. His one about the IDF ringing up the people they are about to bomb was a beaut, too.

    Apply for 40 jobs a month? Seriously? People are going to have to apply for jobs for which they have neither the skills or expertise. What’s the point of that?
    We have heard from Megpie how the current rules add stress and difficulties to an already hard situation. They want to make it worse?
    I long for the day buying my vote becomes a priority, and suddenly socialist/environmental policy announcements become de rigueur.

  4. 40 jobs a month equals 10 jobs a week, or 2 jobs per working day, every day. The current maximum is 10 jobs a fortnight (1 per working day).
    The assumption this government appears to be running on is this: anyone who is unemployed is looking for work at the lower end of the range of available jobs. They’re unskilled, uneducated, barely literate, and only fit to earn minimum wage. They’re only fitted to apply for jobs which essentially require warm bodies capable of moving about (brain optional). There is nobody unemployed in Australia at present who is even vaguely capable of applying for and getting a job which requires education, intelligence, or the ability to complete a statement to selection criteria. Therefore they don’t need much time to be filling out applications, and they can easily belt out ten of them around 25 hours per week of working for the dole.
    Given the only reason I don’t apply for jobs which require a statement to selection criteria is that I’m lousy at writing the things (they ping off a lot of my insecurities and neuroses) I leave the accuracy of the government’s assumptions as an exercise for the reader.

  5. Apply for 40 jobs a month? Seriously? People are going to have to apply for jobs for which they have neither the skills or expertise. What’s the point of that?
    If this is anything like the government here in the UK, to humiliate them.

  6. My question is, of course, where are they going to find all the work-for-the-dole jobs they’re going to need to keep the ever-growing ranks of unemployed busy doing make-work? I have a suspicion: they’re going to make it possible for anyone earning at or above a certain level (let’s say $200,000 per household per annum) to “hire” one or more work-for-the-dole participants to perform duties such as domestic cleaning, cooking, dish washing, shoe polishing, general household maintenance, gardening chores, waiting on the household and their guests, child care, and so on, all at a reduced rate. Thus the Liberal party will be able to sit back, and realise they have achieved the completion of a major plank in their long-term political platform. Namely: doing something about The Servant Problem, and we will have managed to make history come full circle.
    Looking forward to Mr Abbot bringing back the Workhouses next. Maybe a treadmill for the persistent unemployed (we can say it’s an initiative to deal with the obesity epidemic).

  7. Further note: the current government lies to the public as a matter of course. It’s not even policy – it’s just reflexive. On top of which, they can’t keep their lies straight. It’s getting to the point where I’m not willing to take their word on basics such as “sky blue, water wet” without double or triple checking.

  8. Lovely suggestion cropping up in the comments to this article on the Grauniad:
    <a href="</a&gt;
    If you’re unemployed and required to send off 40 applications per month, why not send a few of them to the offices of the Liberal Party MPs and Senators? Let them bask in the wonderful warm glow of helping a fellow Australian in their campaign to assist in their share of the heavy lifting for this economy… when they can see their desk, or their email inbox again.

    Article is too brief, but Eric Abetz claims that they are pursuing work for the dole because there is no alternative. Well, that’s a bit like a Catholic claiming they have no alternative, considering they already follow the One True Faith.

  10. It just occurred to me, too, that if you genuinely want a position it’ll be harder to get as the employer has to sort your genuine application out from thousands of pro forma ones. Not too much of a problem if you’re brilliant and in demand, but if you aren’t the worlds best job applicant it could really be a pain.

  11. There are plenty of alternatives. For example, they could do some serious work on job creation strategies other than “the market will provide” (but that wouldn’t pass muster with their mates in the IPA). They could start putting money into serious long-term infrastructure building projects (but that wouldn’t pass muster with the IPA either). They could raise the rate of the dole and the pensions, such that they’re not an absolute poverty rate, and thus give the economy a boost from the bottom up (but that’s ideologically incorrect and sounds like socialism).
    There are plenty of alternatives. The thing is the Liberal party won’t touch those alternatives with a bargepole, because it might cause their chums in the Institute for Public Affairs and the other branches of the Glibertarian (always) Right to frown at them and tut.

  12. Apparently on ABC radio they interviewed Abetz and put to him that out of 5 options for increasing employment studied (by whom I can’t recall) Work for the Dole is the least credible one for getting people jobs. Abetz had no answer for that.

  13. Yesterday the Guardian published an article by a man describing how he applied for 40 jobs in 9 minutes, using an online program.
    Today this in response from Abbott and Co.
    Abbott’s fascist henchman is quoted as saying they expect people to apply for a range of jobs: so how will they know which ones are genuine?
    It becomes more obvious that the real purpose of this push is to make the unemployment numbers go down.
    Side of despair with your rage, anyone?

  14. FFS how are they going to police that? Ridiculous.

  15. Fiona Scott-Norman in the Big Issue suggests that increasing dole restrictions, especially withdrawing them from people under 30, is a way to get people working under the counter for cash so as to slowly reduce workplace rights and unionisation. Which I thought was interesting.
    I’m lucky, I’m starting study again in a few months so Centrelink doesn’t harass me so much. Just the regular job search, the fortnightly appointments, the monthly appointments with an employment agency and compulsory full-time job search courses. But I still feel subhuman for being on the dole, and especially so for having study lined up when others have no such future to look forward to.

  16. I think that’s right Kim. It also gets people used to working for less than minimum wage and employers used to playing less. We can only hope for a resurgence in union membership.

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