Labor: Good Vision but Wrong Direction

By now you have probably noticed Australian Real Progressives has a rather heavy focus on jobs.  This is because 2 million Australians are looking for work or more hours.

Anthony Albanese

Labor party leader Anthony Albanese gave a great speech in a vision statement about jobs.

Labor will always be better on health and education than the Coalition. That’s true. We actually believe that education is about creating opportunity, not just entrenching privilege. And we believe that health should be accessible to anyone regardless of their income. You should get proper health care. So, that’s a given. Specific policies, we’ll work on. We obviously will work on, in terms of the funding, that will be available. If we don’t have the same level of revenue, you can’t have the same level of expenditure. That’s just a fact.


We obviously will work on [specific policies] in terms of funding that will be available.  If we don’t have the same level of revenue, you can’t have the same level of expenditure.  That’s just a fact.

Labor is often better on education and health, however, Albanese is mistaken in how modern macroeconomics works.  Australian Real Progressives uses the Modern Macroeconomic Toolkit (MMT) and knows that revenue raised by the Australian government is little more than an accounting artefact.  It does not shape funding.

Albanese and active members of the Labor Party would do well to take a look at Five (5) Things to Read about MMT or if that is too much of an overload then – at least – How MMT is NOT printing money!

The very fact that the government imposes taxes has an automatic tendency to create high unemployment and unemployment leads to lack of access to services and bad behaviour.  This unemployment is a buffer stock and a feature of the economic system.  Should it be?

Albanese offers a solution:

One option would be to investigate the barriers to business offering fulltime employment.

Thankfully, he says that is one option.  I would very much like to know what the other options are as that sounds very much like microeconomic reform that insiders have been calling active labour market policy.  That is exactly what got us into this situation.

What we need is a much larger structural reform in the form of a Job Guarantee.  It will provide work for the underemployed, it will allow unemployed workers to transition into quality work and best of all it will operate as a buffer stock of employed people and act as an additional macroeconomic stabiliser.  It won’t fix all employment-related issues but it will go a long way to remedying many injustices caused by the current system.