HALFPENNY LANE

Terry Lane, on permanent loan to Melbourne’s Age from the museum of communism, is depressed:

As the voices of dissent falter under the weight of the free market, power is shifting further away from the working class.

Out here on the pseudo-neo-ersatz-Marxist-extreme left the mood is gloomy. We know that news of factory closures and the export of jobs to Asia should cheer us up because Karl predicted it would happen …

There is now no voice of dissent in the political realm – unless you count the valiant Greens – arguing for a different way of living. Less competitive and more co-operative. Less greedy and more concerned about the welfare of sacked windscreen-wiper makers and fly-screen weavers and seatbelt assemblers.

If Terry is genuinely concerned about the workers’ welfare, he should be rejoicing. Take a look at these numbers, Mr Gloomy:

A record 61.2per cent of the working-age population now hold a job, with the latest unemployment figures showing the rate still at a 29-year low … The labour force participation rate—those either in work or looking for a job—has also reached a record 64.6 per cent.

Who knows where Lane’s apocalyptic unemployment notions came from. Perhaps he thinks we’re still ruled by Gough Whitlam.

Posted by Tim B. on 06/19/2005 at 08:16 AM
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