The Government’s line on inflation and the economy in general consistently includes a line about “wage pressures”, and how the Coalition’s economic wizards can hold them down, and how Labor’s slavish devotion to the unions will drive them up.
Think about this for a moment. What does economic growth with low wages growth mean? It means that corporate profits increase disproportionately faster than the wages of average working Australians. If you derive most of your income from investements, and use your salary as pocket money, then this is great news for you. You want a booming stock market, and low wages can only add to corporate profits. If, like most of us, you live on your salary, you want to be paid a fair wage for the amount of value you are adding to the company or comminity in which you work. Modest and proportional wage growth is not only good news for a worker, it’s a necessity for social justice in this country.
So how do they get away with using this line? Well, a big part of it is sure to be interest rates – having your income growth kept low is less scary than having your mortgage rate go up. Although most of us do live on our salaries, a lot of Australians have their overall wealth overwhelmingly tied up in the family home. This precarious balancing act of debt and unaffordable housing does not seem to me to be a healthy thing.
So what will Labor do about it? Not a lot, I fear is the answer.
(Originally from http://claytonsouthlabor.blogspot.com/)