Jobs for the hungry – the new hunger games

On the ABC PM program 29 July, about 11 minutes in, Treasurer Joe Hockey is interviewed about the proposed requirement that people on Newstart unemployment allowance will have to apply for 40 jobs a month – a proposal of concern to business in relation to floods of inappropriate applicants for jobs.

Hockey made the interesting observation that “as a former employer myself, I know the hungriest people looking for work – that is hungry for work and hungry to work – are some of the best employees.”

Well I suppose if you are hungry you certainly will be keen to work! I have interviewed a number of people receiving Newstart Allowance who have to turn to ‘below the counter’ employment at below the minimum wage just to get by – and many have to resort to the Salvos food parcels to feed themselves. So yes they are keen to work. I guess they do make good employees keen to do anything to keep their jobs so they can have enough to eat.

I thought Hockey’s comment provided an insight into where the government is going on its social policies – its about a ‘survival of the fittest’ – hard core social Darwinism way of thinking – and at the heart of it no interest in giving an inch to ways of thinking that see equality as having immense benefits both socially and to the economy.  – along the lines that people like Christine Lagarde at the IMF and Joseph Stiglitz have been promoting – and which I wrote about earlier this year in an article – https://theconversation.com/why-abbott-cant-delete-society-from-his-economic-growth-script-22636.

I don’t know much about the Hunger Games except that it is a popular film and story for young people about young people who have to fight each other to the death in order to get something to eat in some vile dystopian future.  Looks like the Hunger Games is with us for real..

And  my own article on the latest proposals for welfare reform published 29 July:

Ten job seekers per vacancy: a reality check on welfare overhaul

Republished on The Drum

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-29/sheen-welfare-overhaul-reality-check/5631592

 

 

 

 

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