13 May 2007

I couldn't believe it was true

For anybody who reads this blog - all three of you - who don't read Peter Martin, Economics Editor for the Canberra Times, here's a link to an article by him analysing a possible reason behind the apparent drop in productivity in Australia over the last 5 or 6 years. Previous recent articles have also looked at the productivity data.

However, Martin now goes one step further by drawing a possible link to the Keating workplace reforms, Enterprise Bargaining Agreements. Martin points out that EBAs were meant to be negotiated on a workplace basis, drawing management and employees together in a collaborative process aimed at delivering benefits for all parties. By contrast, WorkChoices pits stronger management against weaker individuals, and pits individuals against each other.

If anything, the lack of common sense behind such a design simply reinforces the fairly commonly held view that WorkChoices was all about driving a stake through the heart of the union movement first and delivering concomitant benefits to capital second. Any thought that it would deliver national benefits is risible.

Having read a few of Peter Martin's columns recently, it's nice to see a new (ish?) economics commentator on the scene who doesn't just chew and regurgitate Government press releases.

I couldn't believe it was true. (But I hope it is).

1 comment:

David Bath said...

Yep, good to see Martin writing critical analyses of the basics, rather than the very limited number of metrics favorable to the Howard government. The ALP stupidly fails to publicise the greater number of metrics that look "deeper" into the fundamentals.

The big question is why these basics outlined by Martin are not reflected in the mainstream Australian publications, especially as The Economist is critical of Howard..

Interestingly The Economist points out this week that house-price bubbles DECREASE productivity my limiting the mobility of labor.

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