Lack of cash, ‘boom,’ unemployment

RATHER than forcing them into non-existent jobs, why not simply lock the unemployed in pillories for, say, five hours a day, and allow the honest taxpayer to hurl missiles at them as punishment for having the gall to receive $146 a week.

  The Employment Services Minister, Tony Abbott, says, "a booming economy provides the right time to ... drive unemployment down". This statement highlights the fact that, although the booming economy has seen profits skyrocket, it has not led to anything like a commensurate rise in employment opportunities.

  The minister might be surprised to learn that the answer to unemployment is jobs, and that jobs aren't "created" by benign employers to absorb graduates of the work-for-the-dole schemes.  Jobs are created by demand for goods and services in a healthy economy where people have at least a little discretionary spending money.

16 --- THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN  www.news.com.au  DECEMBER 18-19 1999 --- 16
"Booming economy has done little to help unemployment"
letter from TONY O'BRIEN,  Black Forest, South Australia

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  Since the early 90s, rising land prices and resulting rises in mortgage costs and rents have swallowed up any gains people may have received from higher wages, and have left the majority with fewer discretionary dollars than before this largely speculative boom.

  Unemployment was not created by the unemployed, it was and is created by lack of demand for goods and services.

  The only solution is to allow wages to rise by reducing taxes on labour and production, and increasing taxes on land and resources. -- TONY O'BRIEN, Black Forest, South Australia, in The Weekend Australian, December 18-19, 1999, page 16.


PM takes four times the dole

LAUNCHING his new work-for-the-dole policy, [Prime Minister] John Howard (shortly after giving himself a modest salary increase roughly four time the annual Newstart allowance [dole]) tells us that it's about time dole recipients realised they should give something back for their $160-odd a week.

  I agree.  It is not enough that those who lose their jobs give up their lifestyles, dignity and any claims to intelligence they might have had in their former lives.

  In addition to mowing overgrown verges, they should all be made to give obeisance to Canberra before the start of their work-for-the-dole day, to show that they are truly grateful. -- letter from J. DUNN, Evandale, Tasmania, in The Weekend Australian, December 18-19, 1999, page 16.

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