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Work Choice Pay Power

The web has provided access to personal comparative information. We can find out what the house next door sold for, how much your used car should get on the private sale market and what salaries employers are offering in your job category - but is this really what your work is worth? What's the value of a choice between work and leisure?

Let's say you're a 10 year trained nurse with special skills in intensive care for leukaemia patients and you are working 3 days a week in job share - what value does your job provide? Let's say you help save the life of a 5 year old boy who now has a life expectation of age 90 instead of 5. Should this compare to an airlines pilot who safely gets 200 middle aged people form A to B in a two hour flight, or an investment banker who maintains a safe airport?

Economists have not tried very hard to crack this problem - they generally just leave it to supply and demand. Although one economist, Tim Robinson from Queensland Univeristy of Technology has written a book "Work, Leisure and the Environment" which points to flaws in current decision making models on work versus leisure. Well we now have an unemployment rate of 4.5% nationally (2.2% for males in Western Australia). Baring an escalation of migrant workers, people now have a monopoly power to use over what they should be paid to work and whether they should work less hours and have more leisure. It's working already as the govenrment has just reduced tax by more than bracker creep (first time since 1993) in the pay range which covers most workers, with the sole aim of getting the last remaining loafers off the couch and out to work.

Posted Saturday, 19 May 2007


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