Thursday, May 1, 2014

Labour reforms for a prosperous Australia

It is our opinion that the Commission of Audit's proposed changes to the minimum wage and unemployment benefits do not go far enough and that further measures must be taken to address Australia's decline in productivity and international competitiveness. It is high time that Australia introduced the concept of indentured labour into its employment options.

Roman indentured workers
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
We propose that Australians who have been unemployed for a period of six months or more without a an alternative source of sufficient income be sold via a bidding process to an employer. The employer is then responsible for the food, housing, training and welfare of the worker, thus absolving the government and the taxpayer of any further costs to support the worker.

In return the worker will be required to supply labour and services to whatever task the employer requires of them.

This service would also be extended to debtors who could agree to a position of indentured servitude to the holder of the debt in exchange for the cancellation of the outstanding debt.

It is well known that unemployment can be a multi generational affliction with the children of the unemployed not learning the benefits of hard work from their parents. For this reason the government should strongly consider extending the indentured service of parents to their families as well, ensuring that their children learn the value of work from a young age.

The benefits of this program are vast should it be taken up in its entirety. By transferring the responsibility for the welfare of the unemployed and those who cannot pay their own way on to private industry the government can eliminate their huge outlays on welfare benefits, low cost housing, public health and education. Whole departments can be dissolved and services privatised with enormous cost benefits to taxpayers.

For the private industries that employ indentured labour the benefits are similarly huge. Australian companies will finally have access to a workforce that is globally competitive and free of productivity damaging regulation. As an example of what can be achieved with the power of indentured labour one need look no further than the radical development of Dubai and the Emirates as a global powerhouse.

Companies will be have the flexibility to deploy their workforce as required and marketplaces will develop to allow trade in indentured contracts. We recommend minimal government regulation of the marketplace as we believe that market forces will quickly determine the optimal levels of service required to incentivise indentured workers to provide maximal productivity.

For example, we envisage that some organisations may wish to pay indentured workers based on their individual productivity so that they can purchase their way out of their contracts after a sufficient number of years of service. Other benefits, like access to better housing, health services or education, may also be offered as a means of motivation.

Highly productive workers will become valuable for the organisations that own them as they will be able to be traded in the indentured marketplace for higher sums.

Naturally, it will be necessary to remove the right to vote from indentured workers similar to those serving a prison sentence of three or more years. Furthermore, penalties will need to be enacted to punish indentured workers who refuse to provide an adequate level of service to their employers. Responsibility for enforcing these sanctions should be the domain of the employer and could include forms of corporal punishment.

We believe that indentured labour is the foundation that is needed for a prosperous future Australia and we urge the government to speed its introduction into Australia as a matter of urgency.

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