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On Target

26 October 1979. Thought for the Week: "Who ever knew Truth to be put to the worse in a free and open encounter?"
John Milton

REALISM REQUIRED CONCERNING UNEMPLOYMENT

If the public opinion polls are reliable, a majority of Australian electors now believe that unemployment is a bigger problem than inflation. For obvious party political reasons, Federal Opposition leader Bill Hayden is devoting more attention to the unemployment question, stressing an aspect that is concerning many people other than party politicians: the far-reaching social implications of a growing number of Australia's youth being unable to find paid work.
A survey of the growing crime rate reveals that increasing numbers of young people are engaging in robberies in order to obtain money.

All the evidence indicates that in the absence of a major change of financial policy by the Fraser Government, there will be a further upsurge in unemployment early next year when another group of young Australians leave school. No realistic approach to the unemployment issue is possible without asking basic questions. Why, for example, is "full employment" praised ritually like a god, while at the same time scientists, inventors and producers are all striving to develop more advanced technology that will displace human labour?

If the true purpose of the production system is to provide paid employment, then surely all labour saving technology should be rejected? But if the true purpose of production is to produce in the most genuinely efficient manner (with the minimum of labor costs) what consumers genuinely desire, then surely the truth must be faced that in a modern, industrialised society "full employment" is not only impossible, but it is a most illogical objective?

It is not so many years ago that those people called "economic experts" argued that so far from a developing technology displacing labour, it would actually help ensure "full employment". A large number of wage earners whose employment is threatened by technology have a very different view. Not that it is the loss of employment as such which concerns them, it is the loss of a monetary income when, for example, a sophisticated computer does the job they have been doing.

"Making work" merely obscures the basic issue. Mr. Bill Hayden recommends "the creation of a community service corps to produce as many as 50,000 jobs for young people during a full year." Mr. Hayden claims that the financial outlay for this scheme would be $100 million, and that it would provide meaningful jobs in many fields and would harness the enthusiasm and idealism of young people..."
A man called Adolf Hitler had a similar idea as a means of reducing the number of unemployed Germans during the Great Depression. President Franklin Roosevelt tried a similar scheme in his Fabian Socialist programme for the U.S.A. during the thirties.

Those who recall the RED scheme, introduced by the Whitlam Government to reduce unemployment, will recall that many of the projects were wasteful and unnecessary and that there was little enthusiasm or idealism amongst those taking part. Now comes the news that State Liberal Party leaders have informed the Prime Minister that unemployment was becoming an increasingly important national issue. Sir Charles Court, naturally, is concerned about his next State Election, so is pressing hard for greater Commonwealth funding for capital works.
He and his State Liberal Party colleagues are arguing that an expansion of labor-intensive programmes would not be inflationary. This is the same type of argument that the Federal Labor Opposition has been advocating.

While a programme of capital works - irrespective of whether they are genuinely necessary or not, may help to offset growing unemployment resulting from technology and reduced consumer demand, it must also under present financial policies, intensify inflation. A healthy society is one in which the individual members participate in activities which to them have a meaning and a purpose.
Every week hundreds of thousands of Australians pay money to participate with intense interest, and often with great physical effort, in a wide variety of sporting or cultural activities.

Instead of Government programmes "to make work", what is required is a financial policy, which will enable individuals to participate voluntarily in a wide spectrum of meaningful economic and social activity.

As it is elementary that the whole of the Australian population, including women, is not required to work from 18 years of age to 65 years of age, in order to produce the nation's requirements, then commonsense indicates that the first essential is to reduce the retiring age to, say, 55. All those retiring to be paid a social dividend equivalent to their salary upon retirement. This would release a vast army of mature and responsible people to assist with a multitude of social activities and enable large numbers of young Australians to enter the production system. Instead of more debt finance to "make work", credits should be created and used to increase family allowances, thus removing the pressure on mothers to compete against men for work in the production system.
Women with economic security can easily employ themselves without Government directed programmes.

Most Australians would agree that Government spending on military defence is dangerously inadequate. Adequate orders placed with Australian firms would automatically make it possible for a growing number of young people to obtain valuable technical skills. Necessary economic activity to maintain Australia as a free, sovereign nation can be undertaken while at the same time not merely reducing inflation, but abolishing it. Lower total taxation, lower interest rates, and consumer price subsidies, financed out of new credits, are essential. All attempts to reduce unemployment under present finance economic policies are doomed to intensify the problems now threatening the future of every developed nation.


BRIEF COMMENTS

Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, who could not even stand up to the pressure which forced her to discuss the future of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia with terrorist thugs, has warned the Soviet Union's leaders that any "military adventures" in Europe would cost them more than the immense price they paid for victory in World War II. Mrs. Thatcher's "warning" resulted in the inevitable verbal barrage from the Soviet. But while this verbal duel was taking place, British blood transfusions to the Soviet continued while the European Economic Community and the East European grouping COMECON prepared for further talks in Moscow on November 2nd, to consider possible links between the two communities. And to think that the British people were told by Conservative Party propagandists that they had to remain in the EEC as a strong buffer against Communism!

Since our comment last week on financial contributions for Kampuchean relief funds, the Federal Government has announced that these contributions will be tax deductible, but only for the current financial year. The essence of the Kampuchean tragedy is that it is the product of the Vietnam betrayal engineered by Dr. Henry Kissinger, currently attempting to present himself in as favourable a light as possible. The unfortunate people of Kampuchea are the victims of two sets of Communist thugs. But while Western politicians wring their hands about events in Kampuchea, they continue to fall over themselves to send more economic aid to the two principal thugs, Red China and the Soviet Union. The Kampuchean disaster is regarded by many as something unique. But the story of Communism from the beginning has been one of bloodstained terror and massive loss of life. Millions - some estimates being as high as 7 million - of Russian peasants were murdered, starved to death, or committed suicide in despair, when Stalin was brutally imposing his farm collectivisation programme. We can still hear those "enlightened intellectuals" who hailed Stalin as some type of God. All those who have aided and abetted the madness known as Communism are guilty of contributing to the mass destruction of human life. Moralising about effects must not be accepted as an excuse for not dealing with basic causes.

A distinguished Canadian, Dr. Robert McLure, former moderator of the United Church of Canada, and a man who won worldwide respect for his medical work in Borneo, has, like Australia's Sir Lawrence Hartnett, advanced a constructive programme for resettling the "boat people". In an address to the Northwestern Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Dr. McLure said that the $10,000 - $12,000 required to bring a refugee family into Canada would be better used in helping tropical countries accommodate them. He suggested Borneo. Such a realistic policy is taboo with those determined to impose their multiracial and multicultural theories.

The Fraser Government's industrial legislation, which may not even be used for many months if the Trade Unions carry through the threat to challenge it in the High Court, obviously is designed to produce an election issue next year. There is no argument that the majority of Australians are "fed up" with strikes, particularly those in the essential services, and "strong action" by Governments may be good politics. But such action is, in the long run, doomed to disastrous failure while present inflationary financial policies are imposed. While the Communist leaders in the Trade Unions will naturally be the strongest critics of the "strong action" policy, they know that it must increase their influence and their strength. The only policy the Marxists fear is a constructive anti-inflation financial policy. The Marxists strongly oppose all suggestions of reduced taxation and consumer price discounts.

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159