Random fact: the reason an Australian dollar has long been worth approx. half a British pound is decimalisation. In both currencies before that, there were 20 shillings to a pound. When Britain decimalised, they decided that one old pound = one new pound. Australia, on the other hand, went with one old shilling = 10 cents, so the new dollar was only worth 10 shillings. Since both currencies started floating the exchange rate has bounced around a lot – AUD$1 has been worth everything from 34p in 1998 to 72p in 1984 – but the rate’s still around $1 = 56p today (or conversely, £1 = $1.78).
Posts tagged ‘economics’
Liked “Economics professor Ross Garnaut says Australia voluntarily keeps hundreds of thousands unemployed”
[Garnaut] says [the federal government and Reserve Bank's] decision to 'allow' hundreds of thousands of Australians to languish in unemployment in recent years, to suppress wages and inflation, as part of the country's broader economic policy settings, has immiserated people and cost the economy hundreds of billions dollars in lost economic activity.
In his new book, Reset: Restoring Australia after the pandemic recession, Professor Garnaut says our policymakers should drop that policy and return Australia to having genuine full employment.
I like the part at the end where he supports a universal basic income, too. If the target rate is this “NAIRU”, and the NAIRU is higher than zero, all these people who are unemployed solely to prop up capitalism need to live in dignity.
While it’s always good to argue for increases to the minimum wage, I feel like this article misses the most obvious “pro-small business” argument for increasing it: low-income workers are almost certain to spend any wage increases they get, with much of that spending going straight to the very retailers and hospitality businesses that like shooting themselves in the foot by short-sightedly opposing wage increases…
This is a good article about Australia’s superannuation system, and summarises pretty well all the reasons I’m so contemptuous of it (even though it’s not the conclusion of the article that you should have contempt for it). Super is neoliberal garbage, and makes the state indifferent to poverty among elderly people because they just go, “Sounds like your problem for not saving enough super.” Then you have people like Paul Keating, arguing that anyone who draws on any public resources in their old age is a drain on the public purse who should cede their whole estates to the state on their deaths to “repay their debt”, like welfare and public healthcare are conditional loans instead of absolute entitlements fought for and won by generations of workers… ugggggh
For anyone curious about COL in different cities – I found this neat tool that compares it in selected cities around the world (no southern European ones though 😔). I do disagree with it comparing mean salaries instead of median ones – median salaries are much closer to “typical salaries”, as they’re more resilient against being thrown out by crazy outliers. To put it this way: half a dozen billionaires in a given city doesn’t make the minimum wage any higher. That said, just ignore the “income” numbers and you still get interesting info on costs of housing, utilities, groceries etc. around the world.