Australia’s Fair Pay Commission to Decide on Minimum Wage

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Guest: Australian Free Market Economist, Gerard Jackson

Australia’s newly created Fair Pay Commission is soon to make its first decision on what will be Australia’s minimum wage.

The Commission says that it will adopt a “consultative” approach with all stakeholders and will be independent of government. By law, the government is not allowed to reject Fair Pay Commission decisions.

The Commission hired Professor Phil Lewis to:

Undertake a survey over-viewing recent Australian and international research on minimum wages.

Professor Lewis has recently expressed his personal views as to what he saw as the effects of increasing the minimum wage. Namely, MORE unemployment.

Topics covered include …

ACCI – Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Chief Executive, Peter Hendy, says that the ACCI has decided to:

… move away from the ideological conflicts that have consumed it during past wage cases in the Australian Industrial relations Commission.

What does this statement mean and what’s wrong with the ACCI’s position?

What does sound economic theory say about raising labor costs above the marginal value of labor’s product? The ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions) wrongly claims recent research has falsified this theory. Why is the ACCI so ineffective in challenging the ACTU?

Do wage rates in excess of the inflation rate cause unemployment? Does the free market …

violate human dignity unless this is well-defined and enshrined in law or custom

… as the Ian Harper, head of the Fair Pay Commission has claimed?

What is the “effective minimum wage”? Under what conditions do minimum wages cause unemployment?  Under what circumstances do they not cause it? Who flat-out denies the link between the effective minimum wage and unemployment, flying in the face of the evidence and lying about the existence of numerous studies that show otherwise? What does “marginal productivity theory” say?  Do increases in real wage rates cause unemployment according to this theory?

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