How many bust retailers does it take to screw an economy? (edited)

The news today that both major Australian parties, according to multiple media outlets, are trying to cut unemployment benefits to those who have a job, and then leave, made me see red.  By that I mean red ink.  I wrote to the relevant ministers, including the Treasurer Scott Morrison and the Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek* and told them what I thought of their proposals.  I also sent copies  it to my local Federal member, Senator Abetz, who I have received intelligent, thoughtful replies from, and will continue to vote for, if he keeps these people, on both sides, in check.

*Edit 12/12/16: Tanya Plibersek's comments may have been taken out of context by journalists determined to manipulate her point of view.  This at least is hopeful as Labour traditionally supported workers: 

Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek agreed there was no excuse for choosing not to work but said most people who are receiving unemployment benefits are desperate to find work.
"If someone is rorting, they should have the book thrown at them but let's have a government that's serious about supporting jobs for Australians too," she said.


I am particularly concerned by these comments by well paid politicians given another major retailer has called in administrators.  Howard Storage World joins Pumpkin Patch and Payless Shoes as entities gone bust in around three weeks.  That's one major retailer declaring unprofitable business a week.  Hundreds of people losing their jobs and looking for work just before Christmas.  No doubt many will be trying to sell their houses and looking potential personal bankruptcy in the face. 

Of course our political leaders continue to talk up the economy while proposing to screw those on the least amount of money and ignore the rising threat of a recession.  They will do what they always do, say everything is fine... until it isn't.  Our clearance rate for last weekend's real estate was around twenty four percent, hardly a healthy figure in the height of summer, the go to time to sell.

Walk around any major retail precinct in Hobart and tell me that a recession isn't hitting.  I dare you to look around and not come to the conclusion that things are bad.  Traditionally in December, for at least the last ten years the retailers were booming.  At the moment parking is easy and if I was inclined to spend I would enjoy a far more leisurely pace.  Though it seems most retailers are not quite catching on, and the service leaves quite a lot to be desired.  Nothing like losing your job and trying to survive on Newstart to promote professionalism.  

I read today that savings are at a high and consumption is trending lower by the week.  A lack of retail spending is not going to help those who rely on us spending up good.  Unfortunately, those who promote austerity forget that it tends to lead to business contraction and then flow onto their precious house values as more people lose jobs and saving becomes in vogue.

I would encourage any Australians reading this to contact their local member, the Treasurer and their local member on these measures which will only help to cripple the economy and hurt individuals who have given a job a good go.  You may want to include the following points:
  1. People leave unsafe workplaces
  2. People leave jobs where the work load is unrealistic
  3. People leave jobs when their health is unnecessarily compromised
  4. People leave workplaces where bullying is rife and they can not afford legal action
  5. Newstart is not enough to pay for basics like rent, food and medical expenses
  6. People are considerably better off working, than on unemployment benefits
Solutions you may want to propose:
  1. Full employment program
  2. Bring back supported employment for people with mild disabilities 
  3. Save money by abolishing negative gearing and bring real estate prices back to sanity
  4. Place caps on rents
  5. Increase revenue by equivalent tax on property profits for investors (same as income tax)
  6. Fund TAFEs and Universities so that the burden of training ceases to be on those least able to pay
  7. Cap places at Universities to top applicants
  8. Abolish student debt to encourage those who work hard
I am sick of those who are most vulnerable being constantly targeted by government. Those on the lowest payments, that the Business Council of Australia has been calling for increases to, for years, do the most for their money.  Those on Newstart are generally not lazy.  It's appalling to suggest that the laziest and most incompetent are on Newstart when the statistics on social problems show most people on Newstart to be hard working, engaged in volunteer work, studying and aiming to better themselves.  

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