The changing world is not very favorable for business. So businesses want governments to prevent workers from exercising greater bargaining power.
It is comforting to see first the Reserve Bank (RBA) and now economic journalists grappling with a world dramatically more volatile in response to globalisation, climate change and changing demographics. After we raised this issue a few months ago, earlier this week Philip Lowe decided it was worth a speech and in response Australian Financial ReviewNine newspapers and Australian now everyone is thinking about a more complex political environment.
Not surprisingly, News Corp and Finn — where no worker who should be impoverished had yet been born — Lowe’s belated discovery that the world had changed was taken as code for the government’s criticism of changes in industrial relations.
This is perhaps true because Lowe and the RBA have now retreated into the clichés of neoliberal orthodoxy after a period of bravery in the real world. Lowe’s call for “flexibility” in labor markets reflects long-term demands by business for more “flexibility” in industrial relations – where, of course, flexibility is only one way, lower wages, worse conditions and more wage theft. .
Read more about a world increasingly inhospitable to the aspirations of big business…
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