If there is one single theme that continues to run through the Fraser government’s approach to economic policy, it is that real wages in Australia are too high and profits are too low. Economic recovery and a reduction in unemployment can only come about when the share of output going to wage and salary earners has been sufficiently reduced, the government argues. As well as consistently pursuing this policy before the Arbitration Commission, the government is also applying it to its own workers and attempting to discipline individual firms which, for the sake of industrial peace, feel it is in their interests to grant more to their own workers than the socalled wage indexation “ guidelines” allow. The crusade is to get the profit share back to the value it had in some (ill-defined) golden age.
Recommended CitationO'Shaughnessy, Terry, Economic Notes, Australian Left Review, 1(69), 1979, 20-26.