The Politics Thread 2013

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The Politics Thread 2013

Post by Manbush » February 12, 2013, 11:46 am

Good work guys, don't let it be said I don't give credit where it's due.


Federal Government forces Apple, Microsoft and Adobe to testify in pricing inquiry
By Claire Porter, technology editor
news.com.au
February 11, 2013 1:35PM

APPLE, Adobe and Microsoft have been summonsed to appear before the Government's inquiry into the price of consumer electronics.

Until now the tech giants have refused to publicly front the IT pricing inquiry but today the federal government subpoenaed the companies, forcing them to explain why Australians have to pay so much more for goods than their US and UK customers.

The companies will appear before the House Committee on March 22 at 9.30am to explain themselves and answer questions raised by consumer watchdog Choice and ACMA.

Ed Husic, the Labor MP driving the inquiry told News.com.au that the subpoenas were an important move "but one we shouldn't have to take".
 
"These firms should have cooperated and been prepared to be more open and transparent about their pricing approaches," he said.

"In what's probably the first time anywhere in the world, these IT firms are now being summoned by the Australian Parliament to explain why they price their products so much higher in Australia compared to the US.
 
"Adobe, Apple and Microsoft are just a few firms that have continually defied the public's call for answers and refused to appear before the IT Pricing Inquiry."

While television and computer prices fell 14 per cent according the to the latest Consumer Price Index Figures Mr Husic said there was still a long way to go.

"Some estimates suggesting that Australian prices are up to 60 per cent higher than the US," he said.
 
"Given the widespread use of IT across businesses and the community, the prices paid for hardware and software can have a major commercial and economic impact.
 
"Getting downward movement on IT prices and easing the bite of price discrimination should be an important micro-economic priority – so I'm looking forward to hearing from these firms about their pricing approaches."

Choice welcomed the summons and said in a statement that it had proof that Australians were paying up to 50 per cent more than US consumers for "identical music, software, games and hardware".

"Australians are waking up to the fact that we are being ripped off," said Choice CEO, Alan Kirkland.

"We believe it’s time that these companies realise this and start pricing fairly in the Australian market."

"We found that with one Microsoft software development product, you could fly to Los Angeles return to buy the software and still save thousands of dollars."

"With price differences this stark, the same old excuses just won’t cut it anymore."

The move to force tech companies to publicly explain themselves comes just days after Ed Husic said that Apple "hid behind a cloak of invisibility" in testimony before Parliament on Wednesday.

He also questioned why if Apple Australia made $6 billion in revenue last year, it only paid $40 million in tax.

"It would be great to learn more about what they do, but Apple steadfastly refuses to engage with stakeholders," he said.

"Ask anyone who has sought answers from them about their Australian operations and you will hear a common theme: they will not talk."
Read more about Husic's testimony here.

A spokesperson for Adobe told News.com.au that it had received a summons from the Committee.

"Adobe will cooperate with the Committee as we have done since the Inquiry began," the spokesperson said.

Apple declined to comment.

Microsoft has been sought for comment.

http://mobile.news.com.au/technology/bi ... 6575424795
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by gergreg » February 12, 2013, 9:13 pm

Why stop with IT products? I can buy a mountain bike from the UK and have it shipped to my home address for half the price, if not more, I can buy it for in Australia. I'm sure there are many such products which are exactly the same.
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by Manbush » February 12, 2013, 9:39 pm

While not really mentioned in that report the downloadable stuff was a major sticking point early on, no transport costs etc yet still pay ridiculously a lot more, it's a start at least and I've read elsewhere if they want to ignore the government the government will threaten to drop the parallel import laws relating to them meaning we could get it cheaper with our dollar than the yanks actually pay.
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The Politics Thread

Post by Albi » February 12, 2013, 11:26 pm

My subaru forester needed a timing belt and water pump change, and I saved $500 by ordering it from the US. How is this even possible, especially considering our dollar is stronger?
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by T_R » February 13, 2013, 12:22 pm

Good timing - I was about to start a separate thread on this subject.

I needed to have a few design projects done. One was dead simple – a modification of our company logo for a new opening of a Korean based arm of the company. Design was to be based on the existing logo, with the addition of some Korean fonts and colour changes.

I got three quotes, the best of which was $600 with a 14 day completion time.

I went to freelancer.com , outsourced the job to Venezuela and had it completed for $30 in 2 hours. The quality of the work was absolutely outstanding and was as good, if not better, than anything I could get done in Australia and the designer was happy to keep revising till he got it right (unlike the usual '2 revisions and then you pay through the nose' rule in Australia).

We also had a project this week to redesign 24 x double sided flyers. Quote from our usual design team here in Australia was $800 a pop. I pointed out that I could hire in-house design for 6 months at that price and still finish ahead. They generously revised their quite to $650 a pop, with a 30 day turnaround.

I got a chap in India to do it, again with superb results. It cost me $20 a page and will be completed within a week.

Guys, I would pay double to have the job done locally, BUT TWENTY TIMES MORE??????? I spend about $20-30k each year on design work and another $20k or so on websites. It will now all be sent overseas.

Something is seriously amiss in this country.
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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The Politics Thread

Post by Stuat » February 13, 2013, 1:14 pm

Design work is a bit different to music, videos etc given that there is actually a large labour component. In terms of the digital stuff, it's the same file, likely from the same sever, yet there are huge differences in price between regions.

Our wages, like those in all developed countries are much higher than those in developing countries, so they have a significant competitive advantage in terms of wages that no developed country can hope to match. That's why simple manufacturing, design, web design etc will almost always be far far cheaper in other countries. Unless you are from the Gina Reinhart school of thinking, wanting to lower wages to $2 a day, competing in relatively low skill labour intensive industries is something the developed world in many cases can't do. So unless you want to seriously slash wages and the standard of living to most of the country- there isn't all that much you can do in some parts of those industries to stay competitive. That doesn't mean that you have to lose the manufacturing, design or whatever industries, it's just developed countries have to be smarter. Germany is a good example of a developed country whose manufacturing industry is thriving. It doesn't try and compete with china on wages, it invests heavily in technology, education etc so that it can do things nobody else in the world can or do things better than anyone else in the world. The thriving sectors of the American manufacturing industry do the same. In terms of investment in tech and R and D in Australia we are well and truly behind the 8 ball and that's the real worry. Most of our decent inventions go overseas, many to Germany and the states, because they simply can't get funding here. That's the real issue IMO, because we wont and definitely don't want to compete with China and India on wages- it would mean a huge step back for Australia in almost all ways. If other countries can do things cheaper, that's fine- its the advantage of the global economy, we just need to be a hell of a lot smarter about how we approach those industries, invest in tech and R and D and get a hell of a lot smarter if we want strong competitive manufacturing, design etc industries in the future IMO...

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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by The Rickman » February 13, 2013, 1:22 pm

Nice work T_R, selling out to some sweat-shop and costing good, honest Aussie jobs.

No wonder this country's stuffed.
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by T_R » February 13, 2013, 2:07 pm

The Nickman wrote:Nice work T_R, selling out to some sweat-shop and costing good, honest Aussie jobs.
I assume that's tongue-in-cheek, but let me clarify. I wasn't selling out to any kind of sweat shop. I dealt with two very professional people working from their own home and producing a remarkably high-end product. Perhaps those good, honest Aussies of yours might need to start thinking about being a little less absurd in their quotes. Should a graphic designer really be making $300 an hour?

I fully understand what Stuat is saying about labour, and it was kind of my point. There is now a major gap between how people in this country value their labour and how much the market can afford to pay. I was speaking to an admittedly rabidly right-wing local businessman the other day, and he was showing me the sheer impossibility for restaurants and cafes in Noosa to make a profit trading on Sundays and public holidays. There is simply a gap now between what a consumer will pay for a meal and the cost of the labour to produce it.

I believe that this pervades our entire IR system. Think of Julia's pointless little election year missive that employers will now be legally obligated to negotiate flexible work for recent mothers. Now, first and foremost the vast majority of employers will do so anyway. I have 7 or 8 employees with children under 2 who are working reduced or changed hours - it's the decent and normally sensible thing to do. But it's also a burden - and the day that Gillard ALSO legislates that other employees of the business will be forced to negotiate different hours to help cover the gap I'll start listening. But it will never be that. Rather, small businesses will once again be expected to carry the full burden for this - one employee can change their hours and there's no obligation for anyone else to do so...so the employer is once again stuffed.

Eventually, something has to give.

So, **** it. I've spent millions of dollars investing in businesses around Australia and it's now just plain too hard. The two new branches I was going to open, Sydney and Melbourne, will instead now be Seoul and Tokyo. It will cost me half as much, I will need deal with only half the legislative bull**** and it will be the first major step I take in moving the majority of my positions offshore.

Now times that by many thousands of other businesses doing the same, and it's precisely why this current IR landscape is costing this country big time.
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by The Rickman » February 13, 2013, 2:33 pm

I agree with you 100% T_R, my comment WAS tongue-in-cheek.
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by Michael » February 13, 2013, 2:37 pm

What is the alternative? I'm not taking a stance on this either way, just interested and I've been largely sheltered from this kind of stuff (among other things) to this point of my life.
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by T_R » February 13, 2013, 2:44 pm

What is the alternative to what?
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by The Rickman » February 13, 2013, 2:44 pm

Peptides.
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by Michael » February 13, 2013, 2:46 pm

An alternative in the sense of how can these issues you've highlighted be overcome? How can we create a system whereby people are willing to pay an amount for certain things that reflects the cost of producing it?
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by Please » February 13, 2013, 2:48 pm

Spend 6 months a year in South East Asia where you can live in luxury for next to no money.
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by T_R » February 13, 2013, 2:55 pm

Michael wrote:An alternative in the sense of how can these issues you've highlighted be overcome? How can we create a system whereby people are willing to pay an amount for certain things that reflects the cost of producing it?
Doubt it's possible now - we've shown repeatedly that you can't take something off someone once they have it. So I imagine we'll just keep going down this same ridiculous route until we're all unemployed and enjoying hypothetically high paid jobs with negotiable conditions rather than real one.

We pay $70/hour wages for jobs that in the US and Canada cost $25/hour, and in the UK $35/hour. This is entirely regulated by Award and the costs increase each year, no matter how other input factors are impacting the businesses. The costs of our teachers increase each year as they move up a pay grade (determined by a Federal body according to the equivalent of a full year's teaching hours) and they also receive a cost of living increase under the same Award. We cannot sack staff, even casuals, once they have an 'expectation of continued employment. We can't increase our fees as we are an exporter and have already had an effective 30% increase in price with the movement of the Australian dollar (which has made competitor countries that much cheaper, too).

It's demented. We're so busy protecting people's conditions that we're not noticing that anything that can be sent overseas is on the way.
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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The Politics Thread

Post by Stuat » February 13, 2013, 3:08 pm

Michael wrote:What is the alternative? I'm not taking a stance on this either way, just interested and I've been largely sheltered from this kind of stuff (among other things) to this point of my life.
From what I gather the business lobby wants more "flexible" IR laws, abolishment of penalty rates, awards etc... It would be great for businesses, especially poorly run ones or in industries now facing further competition from OS (eg Harvey Norman, manufacturing etc), but by and large, what that means for most Australians is that they would be paid less...

I get what TR is saying, he happens to be in an industry that has been screwed over a fair bit by legislation (not IR laws per se- but student visa laws etc) and there does need to be a balance between wages and pro business policy. However, the wages to business profits ratio is historically quite low (businesses on average are making more per dollar they spend on your wages than they have historically), productivity has grown more under Gillards IR laws than under work choices which was a step towards what I think TR would like etc etc so personally I'm not sure drastic pro business IR changes are warranted.

There are structural issues with the Australian economy making it hard for some sectors that have far bigger effects than IR. IR is unlikely to change that all that much tbh. For example the mining boom, getting through the GFC relatively unsaved etc have pushed the dollar up to all time highs making it very hard for export based industries (TRs business education is one) and making imports cheap in comparison. This arguably makes Australia's economy less robust and makes the base shallower because a lot of those businesses have failed/are struggling and now more reliant on mining, an historically volatile industry, which isn't a good thing. So far nobody has really tried to adress that bar Rudd who got shafted for it (the economic rationale for the original mining tax was to dampen the mining boom, lower the dollar, make it easier for other industries and raise cash)...

The other point I was making is that the countries/businesses in developed countries who are competing and thriving as manufacturers etc are doing it not by competing on wages but by being technologically ahead of the game. Germany's IR laws are more restrictive yet their manufacturing industry is thriving... If we want to have thriving manufacturing and other industries in the future, IR just ain't going to do it, we need to, to steal an old political slogan, drive towards an knowledge economy and get a competitive advantage through tech and R and D etc etc- something that has been shamefully neglected by the last two government (Howard and Rudd/Gillard). The number of great Australian inventions (materials research, solar etc etc) now being commercialised on Germany and the states because there was no funding here is shameful. It's those inventions that you can build an internationally competitive manufacturing or design industr around- if you try to compete on labour you are stuffed.

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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by T_R » February 13, 2013, 3:14 pm

You are completely correct in regard industry specific issues, Stuat, such as student visa policies. They have been a complete fiasco and were put in place by an incompetent government who simply did not have the level of sophistication to make the decisions that they were entrusted with.

But I'm talking simple competition here, and the restrictions placed upon us by Awards and other IR issues. We have virtually no flexibility, are locked in to wages that are more than double our developed world competitors, struggle to remove underperforming staff and, under Labor's laws, are defenceless against behaviour from Unions that is nothing short of bullying.

To start talking about wages v profits is a debate massively skewed by mining and finance, and does not reflect the larger employer of people in Australia - small businesses and SMEs.

I'm sure that you've got an outstanding academic take on this, and I always enjoy reading your posts in that context, but quite frankly your comments like '...especially poorly run ones' are just embarrassing.
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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The Politics Thread

Post by Stuat » February 13, 2013, 3:49 pm

I think we are discussing two slightly different points TR. The changes to the global economy (globalisation) and other changes some businesses simply can't exist now in Australia, propping some industries up is simply money down the drain (much of manufacturing that is competing directly with China for example- best thing there is to just leave it- it it fails it fails). I don't think propping some businesses up by reducing wages etc and with that the standard of living of Australians is necessarily a very smart thing to do. Businesses fail, strong economies rely on that, it allows for people and capital to be more efficiently distributed into industries that are more profitable and contribute more to the overall economy. While bad for the individual businesses, business failure isn't necessarily bad for the overall economy and in fact capitalism relies on failure for its dynamism and robustness. That's in theory anyway.

Now, as you point out, that is exactly what has happened with the mining boom and that ISN'T a good thing for the Australian economy, even though theoretically the businesses being forced out of business around the country frees up capital etc to be more efficiently used by the mining industry etc etc economic BS... The problem, is that mining is a very volatile industry, so by narrowing the base as we have, we have most likely made the Australian economy less robust which will be really bad when the mining boom eventually bursts- there wont be enough businesses in other sectors to take up the slack (one of the reason I think the capitulations on the mining tax were a really bad decision)... So sometimes theory needs massaging a bit ;)

As you say, it's unlikely to be very popular to start paying people half or a third or what they are used to- and with only 5.5% unemployment- that would be a huge over-reaction...

That's all pretty simpliffied- I too think there have been some terrible decisions re economic management- but they differ to yours a fair bit. To me IR isnt really an area where we can get most bang for our buck economically through reform- there are other policies which will take some of those pressures off export businesses that would be more effective (but are politically not on the agenda right now), that don't involve lowering the standard of living/wages of people, real people. Germany, Finland etc have shown that high wage, high productivity economies are possible. Tech, R and D and reforms to make start ups easier, encourage entrepreneurship etc are all ways to do that that don't rely on paying people less... To an extent a strong economy long term relies on the businesses that don't exist yet (entrepreneurship etc are really important to an economies long term health) and I think making an environment where those businesses are more likely to prosper/exist is pretty important- which is mainly what I have been ranting about- us letting so many potential industries that could compete internationally with our wages make up leave to more forward thinking, funding rich areas...

In any case, it's all pretty complex and there is room to improve policy in many areas (including IR- I just don't think it's hugely important and we probably disagree on exactly how it should be reformed but that's neither here not there), sadly most of that hasnt really been on the agenda since the big structural reforms of Hawke/Keating and the GST... Since then we have been sitting around resting on our reform laurels and I think ultimately it will come back to bite us...

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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by T_R » February 13, 2013, 3:57 pm

I think that was a splendid academic response, Stuat :)
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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The Politics Thread

Post by Stuat » February 13, 2013, 4:00 pm

You know me TR, I don't like to get bogged down in the "real" world all that much ;)

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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by T_R » February 13, 2013, 4:16 pm

:lol:

Better that way
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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The Politics Thread

Post by Albi » February 13, 2013, 5:14 pm

I think we should just all accept the wisdom of Empress Gina, and start working for $2 per day
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The Politics Thread

Post by Albi » February 13, 2013, 5:15 pm

By the way, I have no idea what Stuat just wrote :(
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by T_R » February 13, 2013, 5:22 pm

Albi wrote:I think we should just all accept the wisdom of Empress Gina, and start working for $2 per day
Well, I guess ultimately you get paid what you're worth, Albi.
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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The Politics Thread

Post by Albi » February 13, 2013, 9:32 pm

T_R wrote:
Albi wrote:I think we should just all accept the wisdom of Empress Gina, and start working for $2 per day
Well, I guess ultimately you get paid what you're worth, Albi.
I'm worth every cent of my $4.35 per hour!!
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by Dr Zaius » February 14, 2013, 7:06 am

T_R wrote:
Albi wrote:I think we should just all accept the wisdom of Empress Gina, and start working for $2 per day
Well, I guess ultimately you get paid what you're worth, Albi.
Not entirely correct. You do however get paid what people are willing to pay.
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by T_R » February 14, 2013, 7:20 am

Greenbits wrote:
T_R wrote:
Albi wrote:I think we should just all accept the wisdom of Empress Gina, and start working for $2 per day
Well, I guess ultimately you get paid what you're worth, Albi.
Not entirely correct. You do however get paid what people are willing to pay.
Not in this country. You get paid what legislation requires, no matter how disconnected that is to your productivity - hence Albi can make $4.35 an hour.
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by The Rickman » February 14, 2013, 7:20 am

Yeah, no way I get paid what I'm worth.
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by Dr Zaius » February 14, 2013, 7:29 am

T_R wrote:
Greenbits wrote:
T_R wrote:
Albi wrote:I think we should just all accept the wisdom of Empress Gina, and start working for $2 per day
Well, I guess ultimately you get paid what you're worth, Albi.
Not entirely correct. You do however get paid what people are willing to pay.
Not in this country. You get paid what legislation requires, no matter how disconnected that is to your productivity - hence Albi can make $4.35 an hour.
OK, using something I know a little bit about as an example. A plastic surgeon gets paid 5 to 6 times what an intensivist does. A plastic surgeon enhances boobies while an intensivist saves your and your loved ones lives. All jokes aside, I think I know which one is worth more.
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The Politics Thread

Post by Stuat » February 14, 2013, 8:08 am

T_R wrote:
Greenbits wrote:
T_R wrote:
Albi wrote:I think we should just all accept the wisdom of Empress Gina, and start working for $2 per day
Well, I guess ultimately you get paid what you're worth, Albi.
Not entirely correct. You do however get paid what people are willing to pay.
Not in this country. You get paid what legislation requires, no matter how disconnected that is to your productivity - hence Albi can make $4.35 an hour.
Not necessarily. The mining industry/Australias high employment applies here as well ("full" employment is somewhere between 4-5% given lag times in people changing jobs etc etc etc)... George Columbaris' IR rant last year illustrated that perfectly... He wanted to get rid of the awards because wage costs were high and was also annoyed it was really hard to keep good staff... Turned out he was already paying staff 30% more than the award and they still kept leaving to jobs that paid better... So changing the award would have done absolutely nothing to fix his staffing issues. Under the current system he could cut wages by 30%! Awesome!

Why doesn't he? There is a labour market- for the people he wants staffing his fancy-ish restaurants- smart, socially competent staff- they demand more on that market than the award rate- so he has to pay more than the award to attract them and keep them... In that specific case, his high wage costs have more to do with the labour market than the award rate. The mining industry and the high wages it pays, have at least played a small part in pushing up the "value" of competent staff, because they have taken a lot of them out of other industries- making them relatively scarce (increasing demand for them) compared to before- so the award definitely isn't the whole picture. It is for low paid low skill workers (being a bit of a socialist lefty I think society owes some sense of dignity/living wage to those less fortunate)- but in many other industries, where skills, qualifications etc are important, the labour market is a more important driver of wages...

Albi- I think you are undervaluing your time- all the psychologists and psychiatrists I've seen over the years charge like $180 an hour plus ;)

On another note- Abbotts dam plan is **** insane! It's been looked into numerous times (the food bowl in the North, piping Northern water south) and invariably it comes out as being a colossal waste of money http://www.environment.gov.au/water/pub ... -water.pdf Some of the anti flood dams probably make sense though...

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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by T_R » February 14, 2013, 8:26 am

Stuat wrote:
Not necessarily. The mining industry/Australias high employment applies here as well ("full" employment is somewhere between 4-5% given lag times in people changing jobs etc etc etc)... George Columbaris' IR rant last year illustrated that perfectly... He wanted to get rid of the awards because wage costs were high and was also annoyed it was really hard to keep good staff... Turned out he was already paying staff 30% more than the award and they still kept leaving to jobs that paid better... So changing the award would have done absolutely nothing to fix his staffing issues. Under the current system he could cut wages by 30%! Awesome!
So get rid of the Award. And taking an extreme example in a boom industry doesn't really support your argument, particularly as we keep getting told it's an industry that employs just 2% of Australians.

Let's look at it in a situation more relevant to most of our lives. On the weekend, I went out and had a coffee at my local cafe. The person serving it was paid $18.60/hour under the Award. Add super to that and they are on about $20. On a Sunday, they are on $40/hour. Is the labour involved in serving a coffee really, hand on your heart, worth $40 an hour? And can a cafe make enough to cover those costs?

In this case, no. The cafe will no longer open on Sundays and the waitress, a university student, will now earn nothing.
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by T_R » February 14, 2013, 8:30 am

The idea of an Award being used to protect the lower skilled and vulnerable is something that I completely support, by the way. But let's look at a situation very close to my own heart.

We are required by legislation to employ highly qualified and skilled staff - most of them have post graduate qualification and many have Master's degrees. Many of these people are paid a minimum of $70 per hour (up to $90/hour, by the way) under an Award.

Why the hell does someone with that level of qualification require the protection of a minimum wage? Surely if you are skilled enough to expect $90/hour your bargaining position is sufficiently strong that you don't NEED the protection of an Award? Why take the free market completely out of the equation?
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by Nick » February 14, 2013, 8:37 am

Greenbits wrote:
T_R wrote:
Greenbits wrote:
T_R wrote:
Albi wrote:I think we should just all accept the wisdom of Empress Gina, and start working for $2 per day
Well, I guess ultimately you get paid what you're worth, Albi.
Not entirely correct. You do however get paid what people are willing to pay.
Not in this country. You get paid what legislation requires, no matter how disconnected that is to your productivity - hence Albi can make $4.35 an hour.
OK, using something I know a little bit about as an example. A plastic surgeon gets paid 5 to 6 times what an intensivist does. A plastic surgeon enhances boobies while an intensivist saves your and your loved ones lives. All jokes aside, I think I know which one is worth more.
Plastic surgeons arent only around for cosmetic stuff like tits and lips.
Granted a lot do go into that line because they can make a truck load of money of people vanity
But if you want to see what real plastic surgeons do, go and visist your local burns ward. They deserve every cent they earn
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by The Rickman » February 14, 2013, 8:46 am

A cafe might be relevant to your life T_R, but certainly not relevant to mine... :P
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Re: The Politics Thread

Post by T_R » February 14, 2013, 8:58 am

I wasn't thinking along these lines, but actually, completely by accident, I now own a cafe.

Didn't see that coming.

5% off coffee for GH Members in Perth*

Conditions apply. Lots of them.
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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