Paraphrased fro an article by Robert Reich as the Australian experience parallels the American
1.The link between falling unemployment and rising wages has been severed.
2. It’s easier than ever for American employers to get the workers they need at low cost by outsourcing Outsourcing can now be done at the click of a computer keyboard..
3.Developing nations now have access to both the education and the advanced technologies to be as productive as American workers. So CEOs ask, why pay more?
4. Rather than pay higher wages, it’s cheaper for employers to install more robots.
5. Casualisation has created “reserve army” of the hidden unemployed – again, without raising wages. Insecure workers don’t demand higher wages when unemployment drops. They’re grateful simply to have a job.
6.Workers are living paycheck to paycheck. They won’t risk losing a job by asking for higher pay.
7. Fewer workers of private-sector workers are unionized.
None of these changes has been accidental. The growing use of outsourcing abroad and of labor-replacing technologies, the large reserve of hidden unemployed, the mounting economic insecurities, and the demise of labor unions have been actively pursued by corporations and encouraged by Abbott. Payrolls are the single biggest cost of business. Lower payrolls mean higher profits.
The human costs of this “efficiency” have been substantial. Ordinary workers have lost jobs and wages, and many communities have been abandoned.
The goal of Corporations is to steadily weaken their workers’ bargaining power and the link between productivity and workers’ income. If severed labour costs can be kept low and profits high.
This is not a winning corporate strategy over the long term because higher returns ultimately depend on more sales, which requires a large and growing middle class with enough purchasing power to buy what can be produced.
But from the limited viewpoint of the CEO of a single large firm, or of an investment banker or fund manager it’s works out just fine with a government like Abbott’s on side The key strategy of the nation’s large corporations and financial sector has been to prevent wages from rising.
And, if you hadn’t noticed, the big corporations are calling the shots. They say jump and Abbott says how high.