In a world where increased profitability was shared between wages and profits, where executive pay was somewhere within the bounds of reasonable and where companies paid their due taxes, those advocating the penalty rate cuts might find traction for their main economic argument – that businesses might employ more workers on the weekends, or employ existing workers for longer shifts.
But we live in times where there is absolutely no reason to have such faith, where after 26 years of economic growth the share of national income going to Australian households is close to a 50-year low because most of the riches from the commodity boom went straight into the profits of businesses, where executive pay remains stratospheric and where we regularly read of big businesses that arrange their affairs to pay no company taxes at all. […]
The traditional neoliberal argument that workers will benefit if businesses do well is based on trust in the system and voters’ experience means that trust is pretty much gone.
Lenore Taylor on trust.