As stated here previously, Australians have a codeword which, when used by the ruling class, means, “we are going to raid your wallet and hand the contents to our cronies“;
Seriously, it’s a stunning example of DoubleSpeak; on face value it seems perfectly reasonable to want things to be “fair”. But without a common agreement on what fair might be and who arbitrates it, we are left with the age old problem of power being wielded by those who have it for the benefit of themselves and their cronies.
Consider this example; the Australian state government of Victoria has commissioned a report into the “gig economy”.
Some background for those readers unfamiliar with the Australian state of
Venezuela Victoria, it is the most-heavily unionised state in the country, with some fairly militant and unreconstructed 1970s style comrades calling the shots in many areas of life. The Victorians deserve what they get though, as they voted into power Daniel Andrews, a man with zero experience of managing anything more commercially-complex than a local political party branch office.
To illustrate his lack of commercial and contractual savvy, his first act upon gaining the office of Premier was to cancel a construction contract resulting in a $1.2bn bill to the ratepayers for which they received precisely nothing in return.
So, what do we think this report will say and what subsequent regulations might it be used to justify?
The Victorian government will investigate the practices of the so-called gig economy and on-demand workforce, amid claims that workers are being underpaid and exploited.
Victorian Industrial Relations Minister Natalie Hutchins said the inquiry, chaired by former Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) Natalie James, ill [sic] investigate the conditions of workers working to digital platforms.
It’s hardly a newflash that Socialist governments funded by militant unions are going to be somewhat unwelcoming of the likes of Uber, Deliveroo, Airbnb and Amazon, is it. Hilariously though, there’s a clue in the article as to the unintended consequences of increasing the cost base of a company by regulating how they contract workers. Workers who, by the way, weren’t coerced into that arrangement, especially not in a country with an unemployment rate in the mid 5% range (bearing in mind our previous point that around 2.2% of the population are, through no fault of their own, not intelligent enough to be suited to the most basic manual tasks).
The move comes are [sic, BI isn’t having a good day today] German food delivery multinational Foodora, under pressure from the tax office and the FWO over how the company classified its workers as independent contractors, was placed in administration as it prepared to shut down in Australia.
The FWO dropped legal action against Foodora over “sham contracting” in its employment contracts as a result.
The Victorian ratepayers are bloody and bruised enough from Daniel Andrews’ previous dip in to their wallets, but now they are going have to pay for a report that we already know will find that Uber et al are not fair, and then, to add insult to injury, will find that they’ll be taking expensive taxi rides home in future as gig economy companies like Uber will be regulated out of the state.
However, they voted for this bunch of strugglers, so they can enjoy the consequences.