Friday, November 03, 2017

Wrong to mock foolish unionists who are destroying their own jobs?

They are so highly paid that their employer can bring in product much more cheaply from Europe. In trying to hang on to the high pay, they are asking people not to buy their employer's product.  The products are very popular so the attempted boycott will have little effect.  With a hostile attitude from the unionists, however, the employer could well close the factory altogether and import the product, thus giving the unionists NO pay

A PAIR of New South Wales Young Liberals have drawn the ire of Facebook users after posting a photo of themselves flouting the ice cream boycott created to support employees.

The duo were pictured enjoying Cornettos at Sydney’s Circular Quay, along with the caption: “Quick #cornettocaucus to support Streets Ice Cream. Nothing wrong with Australian jobs and investment. #reverseboycott #oneicecreamatatime.”

But Facebook users responded with fury, calling them “out of touch”, “uncool and distasteful” and “spoilt little rich kids who have no social conscience.”

Others posted hashtag #whiteprivilege and criticised the two young people for their apparent lack of compassion for struggling workers.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union on Sunday announced the boycott of Streets ice cream’s popular treats, including Paddle Pops and Golden Gaytimes, over a potential 46 per cent pay cut for factory workers.

Australia’s largest ice cream manufacturer is owned by multinational consumer goods giant Unilever, which has said it will end an enterprise agreement with the Streets factory in Minto, in southwestern Sydney.

It is launching a $250,000 “Streets Free Summer” blitz on social and traditional media, calling for everyone to boycott snacks such as Blue Ribbon, Magnum, Viennetta and Calippo to protect the rights of the 140 workers.

“Streets’ application to the Fair Work Commission to terminate its enterprise agreement is likely to get up,” AMWU media director George Simon told at the weekend. “That means workers go back to the award rate, which is 46 per cent less than what they are getting now.”

Unilever released a statement announcing its application with Fair Work Australia to terminate the existing enterprise agreement and saying it wanted “to create more flexible working conditions and enhance the competitiveness and viability of the factory”.

Unilever denies a new agreement will result in a 46 per cent drop in workers’ pay. It says the Minto factory is “not sustainable” at current costs, since it is almost 30 per cent cheaper to import a Magnum Classic ice cream made in Europe than to make the same ice cream in NSW.


Two-thirds of Australians DON’T support the ban on climbing Uluru after Aboriginal leaders called an end to tourists clambering up the world’s most famous rock

Ayers rock is crown land and, as such, is owned by all Australians.  No minority group has any legal right to claim control of it. It's pandering to superstitions to allow blacks to do so

Almost two-thirds of Australians don't support the decision to ban climbing Uluru.

Although visitors are still welcome, they will be barred from climbing Uluru from October 2019 following a decision by its traditional owners this week.

Indigenous leaders say Uluru is not a theme park and a ban on climbing the sacred rock is righting an historic wrong that's long overdue.

The Central Land Council said the board was to be congratulated for its move and said 'nobody will miss the climb'.

'This decision has been a very long time coming and our thoughts are with the elders who have longed for this day but are no longer with us to celebrate it,' land council director David Ross said.

However, a poll by the NT News found that 63 per cent of respondents don't agree with the ban.

The NT Government and tourism bosses are confident the decision won't affect visitors to the region.

Tourism Central Australia chief executive Stephen Schwer told the NT News that most complaints came from overseas visitors opposed to the fact the climb was offered.

'For a number of years, they've said 'how dare you keep the climb open', while domestically, it's a different message,' he said.

'(Australians) have an emotional connection to Uluru, and some people feel it's their right to climb. But there are so many other ways to experience the rock.'

Mr Schwer added that visitors will still be able to experience Uluru a number of other ways, including treks, scenic flights, Segway tours and buses.

The last day of climbing will be October 26, 2019.

The ban will be imposed under the terms of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Management Plan.

The plan includes a provision to stop visitors scaling the rock if the proportion who chose to make the trek fell below 20 per cent.

Figures from Parks Australia indicated only 16 per cent of visitors to the park made the climb between 2011 and 2015, down from about 74 per cent in the 1990s.

Federal Indigenous Affairs minister Nigel Scullion said he was comfortable with any decision by the traditional landowners and was not worried about losing tourism in the area.

Uluru has around 300,000 visitors each year with Australian tourists the most likely to climb the rock followed by the Japanese, according to the park's figures.


Last chapter for Gould's Book Arcade

I knew Bob Gould and sometimes shopped at his bookshop so I feel some regret at the loss of an institution.  There would be some reason to make a museum of it.  As the current owners have found, book are obsolete now. I have given most of mine away

Real estate prices have won. They've routed the socialists and killed words on the page in Newtown.

Gould's Book Arcade, for 50 years the last word for Sydney's discerning left-wing readers, has been priced out of gentrifying King Street, its future uncertain.

"Books have little place in the lives of people moving into Newtown these days," said Mairi Petersen, the first wife of bookshop founder, the late Bob Gould.

"Once Newtown was students and the working class. No more. Now they are paying millions to buy in and when you look at real estate agent photographs of houses for sale there is not a book to be seen."

Firebrand Bob Gould, who died six-and-a-half years ago, was a prime mover in Vietnam War protests, including one that went down in history for Premier Robert Askin's​ direction to his driver to "run over the bastards". He also collared the man who tried to assassinate Labor leader Arthur Caldwell at Mosman Town Hall.

The following year, 1967, Mr Gould opened the Third World Bookshop in Goulburn Street. It remained a centre of dissent for years. He stayed in the CBD until it turned into a retail ground zero, in 1990 moving to the spacious single-storey building in Kings Street with its cosy community of working class, left-wingers, gays, students and academics.

Three decades of readers have browsed the estimated 1 million second-hand volumes on display. In recent times, Gould's caught up with the 20th century and went online with 40,000 titles but it was the shop, with its miles of aisles and teeming shelves of books, magazines and records threatening to collapse under their own weight, that remained the draw.

"All the shops have been a gathering place for people who want a better system and wanted to know how to change it," said Ms Petersen, who worked selling books around a teaching career and motherhood.

"But now you can look anything up on Google and other search engines. Books have gone out of fashion. There's still a place for them but people seem to have forgotten where that place is."

Their daughter, Natalie, grew up in the bookshops. But it had been a real struggle to survive for Natalie – who has been running the bookshop since her father's death (following a fall in the shop) – to stay afloat.

Will books come back?

"We bought a place around the corner in Newtown for Natalie in 1994 and the place next door sold the other day for 10 times as much," Ms Petersen said.

"It seems mortgages leave no room for reading."

Rain damaged much of the stock this year and now Gould's Book Arcade will close in three months unless cheaper premises can be found.


Healthcare industry needs a scalpel to be taken to wasteful funding

Pointlessly taking antibiotics has become part of Australian culture. What’s the point of seeing the doctor, and wasting half an hour in a waiting room, if he or she doesn’t “do something”?

Doctors in Australia dispense antibiotics at twice the rate of doctors in The Netherlands, 80 per cent more than those in Canada and 40 per cent more than those in the US. Health outcomes aren’t markedly different.

“Approximately 75 per cent of acute bronchitis is treated with ­antibiotics despite evidence that indicates the rate should be near zero,” the Productivity Commission noted in its latest report on how to boost the efficiency of Australia’s economy.

Deputy prime minister Bar­naby Joyce’s exit from parliament might revive Labor’s push for a royal commission into banking. An inquiry into the efficiency of the health system would provide greater benefit.

The commission was right to focus on health in its mammoth report. Governments, patients and health funds together spent more than $170 billion on healthcare in the 2016 financial year — more than $7000 a person — up 5.4 per cent from a year earlier, with little sign of slowing.

In 1973 Labor minister Bill Hayden said Medicare was the “most equitable and efficient means of providing health insurance coverage for all Australians”.

Over time the medical industry — hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic imaging companies etc — has rationally taken advantage of a system that is based around paying for fees for services, rather than outcomes.

Excessive dispensing of anti­biotics is just one of an array of easy savings the commission identified. Studies in the US routinely suggest that between 6 per cent and 29 per cent of health spending is a waste, implying massive scope for greater productivity — and lower taxation (state and federal governments contribute $114bn to the total health expenditure). More conservatively, the commission ­reckons $2.2bn a year could be saved by 2025 by scrapping what it calls “low value” care.

Reducing overuse of the Medicare Benefits Schedule is high on its list. “Very few services covered by the MBS have undergone any formal evidence-based review,” the commission noted. In other words, government in effect asks doctors what should be listed on the MBS. Not surprisingly, the list of services on the MBS has exploded from about 300 in the 1970s to 5700. Its cost to taxpayers is on track to swell 18 per cent to $29bn over the next three years.

“The weight of evidence in Australia and internationally suggests that much of the variation documented in the Atlas (Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation) is likely to be unwarranted,” the Australian Commission of Safety and Quality in Health Care politely puts it in its latest analysis of the ­remarkable degree of variation in use of the MBS procedures across Australia.

One is more than twice as likely to have a knee arthroscopy in Sydney’s Sutherland shire, in the top quintile of the income distribution, than across the Georges River in Fairfield, an area in the bottom quintile. Women are more than six times more likely to have hysterectomies — and three times more likely to have caesarean births — depending on where in Australia they live. This suggests a mix of ­ignorance among patients and even doctors, and supplier-­induced demand. Experts believe about two thirds of the 55,000-odd arthroscopies performed each year in Australia are justified, a ­potential saving of $200m a year, the commission said.

Prominent Australian surgeon Ian Harris, in his book Surgery, the Ultimate Placebo, says swathes of surgical procedures haven’t been scientifically proved. Yes, some people get better after surgery; that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have got better anyway.

Taxpayers are also funding homoeopathy, via the private health insurance rebate, a practice that has little scientific support. “It is questionable whether items that have no proven efficacy should ­receive any effective support by taxpayers,” the commission says, calling for the rebate to be dumped for “extras” coverage.

Digital technology should play a much bigger role in making ­interaction with the health system more efficient. About a 10th of consultations with GPs could be done over the phone or ­online — time worth about $300m a year to patients, the commission said.

Politicians love announcing the construction of hospitals but do we need so many in the 21st century? “About 30 per cent of total state hospital budgets is catering to people in the last couple of years of life,” says Christopher McGowan, chief executive of Silver Chain Group, a not-for-profit organisation delivering community health and aged care services. “And about 30 per cent of people in hospitals shouldn’t be there,” he adds, suggesting far better ways of treatment, including in the home, could improve the quality of care of the patient and save taxpayers huge sums.

From July the government stopped remunerating hospitals and doctors for so-called sentinel events — operating on the wrong person, leaving surgical instruments in patients, or giving newborn babies to the wrong family. This is a good, sensible, if symbolic, start to making significant savings.

The government’s inquiry into the efficacy of procedures listed on the MBS, established more than two years ago, is moving at glacial pace. And no wonder: chopping items would cut millions in revenue to particular medical companies and professionals.

One shouldn’t blame the industry for dispensing too many anti­biotics, or performing some operations needlessly. Patients’ ­ignorance of medicine can underpin demand for practices that are ineffective. I’m meant to be educated but had no idea until recently that chemotherapy isn’t effective for some cancers.

“Nearly 70 per cent of those with lung cancer and about 80 per cent of those with colorectal cancer did not understand that chemotherapy was not at all likely to cure their cancer,” the commission notes, referring to studies in the US.

Government needs to take a tougher stance in ruling out funding things that have little or no benefit. If people want to pay for surgery that makes them feel better psychologically, they should, of course, be welcome to do so.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

In the Private Medical sector, rorting and over-servicing (to the point of assault) are increasingly common. There is the "pop in to 6AM and say hello" which then finishes with a bill to the health fund for an out-of-hours call (common, this one), then there is the extended-course prophylactic anti-biotics for a cold that require weekly blood-level testing, which again is billed to....yep, that's right. Then there's the big one: refusal to refer to ICU or transfer to a real (public) hospital following acute deterioration in case they lose the goose that lays the golden abscess (or get busted for their customary third-world standard of care.