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John Passant

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March 2010



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
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Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Parental leave, the minimum wage and the end of civilisation

Those nasty unionists have been arguing for a $27 a week increase in the minimum wage from its current ‘exorbitant’ $544 a week. The end is nigh. Or so the bosses tell us.

There are about 1.4 million workers whose salary is dependent in some way on the minimum wage. Paying them a slight increase will evidently destroy capitalism in Australia if you listen to big business.

Many bosses ‘earn’ in an hour what people on the minimum wage make in a week.

Last year the Fair Pay Commission froze the wages of those on the minimum wage and this freeze flowed through to a range of other workers whose low wages are set by reference to the lowest paid.

The Global Financial Crisis was the reason, supposedly. The real reason of course was to transfer more profit to the bosses. This is evidently the only thing that counts in our society.

But in Australia the GFC appears to have been more like a Great Fucken Con to force us to cut our wages and prop up the banks with guarantees so they could increase their profits.

So with unemployment in the mid 5 percent range (well below the 8.5% Treasury predicted) and a shortage of skilled and other labour in some industries, the demand for workers might actually see a wages ‘breakout’.

This is boss talk for getting an increase above inflation. They use that sort of language to scare us.

And it works. The memory of the GFC and the threat of job losses or the reality of less hours work plus 30 years of trade union and Labor Party class collaboration, has frightened large numbers of workers to accept the trickle down theory.

What’s good for the bosses is good for workers, even if it is bad for workers.

The same is true of paid parental leave. Tony Abbott’s Santamaria-like tax the rich proposal to fund 26 weeks’ fully paid parental leave has seen the bosses, the Labor Party Government and the Liberals’ former mouth piece Peter Costello squawk about the loss of jobs and increased costs on basics.

It is rubbish of course.  We are talking about 3200 companies with taxable income of more than $5 million. Yet 40 percent of large business (companies with a turnover of more than $250 million) pay no tax anyway and haven’t done so since 2005.

Even most of those who do pay tax pay it at effective rates much lower than the headline 30 percent.

When big business starts paying tax then I’ll start paying attention to their bleatings about jobs and costs. But only for a second.

No-one seems to remember that the share of the national product going to labour is at its lowest in recorded history and the share going to capital at its highest. Cutting the wages of the low paid and slashing taxes on the profit bludgers will only worsen this reward imbalance.

Of course the imbalance can only really be righted by workers abolishing wage slavery.

Without workers (low and high paid) the bosses wouldn’t make any profit. We create the profit that the ruling class then fights over for their ‘share’.

They are the thieves’ kitchen divvying up the treasure they have stolen from us. And now the bosses want to steal even more from us. 

Enough is enough.  Let’s begin a real fight for wage justice for the low paid and for a decent paid parental leave scheme. 

Only our actions in the workplace – cutting off the flow of our profits to the bosses – can win both.



Comment from Arjay
Time March 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm

John ‘you have to break form this them and us the worker V’s the big bad bosses.
There are many good employers in small businesses who are just scratching out a living.With the extra straw that breaks their back, are you going to give their workers a job when they collapse?

Large Corps like banks/mining companies can afford it.

Comment from Andrew Gilbert
Time March 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Arjay: There are indeed many generous and well meaning small business owners. But eventually, for most of them, the necessity of competition inherent in capitalism invariably forces them to either attack their workforce or go under as other, more ruthless businesses undercut them. For me then, the only situation is to abolish capitalism altogether, the whole system has been stacked against achieving anything like fairness from the beginning.

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