Australia - you're standing in it

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Sheepdog started the topic in Friday, 18 Sep 2020 at 11:51am

The "I can't believe it's not politics" thread.

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Ralph Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 12:56pm

Well, he won his High Court appeal in a unanimous decision with his conviction overturned, so there's that

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truebluebasher Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 1:10pm

Googley Gobbledy Gook (or) How good are Geeks!

SMH Google
2018 Googled owed Oz $481m in 10 years back Tax
2019 Rupert / Costello hit up Google for $600m...just coz!

Kinda sorta got rounded out to a Shop Cart figure...of about...
Xenephon > ACCC Inquiry nominated $1b

SMH 2019 Google had Invested almost $1b in Australian operation...(Nice try, but didn't wash!)
https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/google-s-australian-revenue-hi...

Seems as though Rupert / Costello / PM wanted more deeper tangible commitment.

SMH 2021 PM : ($1b over 5 years) Google Digital Future Initiative
Strewth! Media claim > (Largest investment in Oz to date!)
https://www.smh.com.au/technology/google-invests-1-billion-in-australia-...

[ Factcheck ] Despite $200m/year being 80% less than Google's $1b/yr investment in 2019...doh!

[ Digital Future Initiative ] It's one of those!

Google Definition : "We pretend to pay for a 5 year Tech Hub lease in Sydney > With harbour views!"

Oz PM's Definition : "Back Tax" or "Graft" that get's dressed up as a last ditch desperate IT poll ploy!
(Comes with a Daggy Dad / Brutal handshake / Deep Gruffy Voice + A Footy to kick some goals!)
https://www.facebook.com/7NEWSsydney/videos/google-to-invest-1-billion-i...

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blindboy Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 1:12pm

Yeh but your conspiracy theory was all about him being charged. It said nothing about the jury's decision which clearly justifies the decision to charge him. If there was enough evidence for a jury, even mistakenly, to convict him, there was clearly enough evidence to justify the charges being placed. If there was a conspiracy against Pell, they need much better evidence than was presented in that article.

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Ralph Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 2:59pm

It's not my theory, conspiracy or otherwise, it's just an article that I shared because I thought it was interesting. I'm not a catholic or a big fan of Pell but I was glad to see his conviction overturned. Restored my faith in the Australian justice system.

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Constance B Gibson Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 6:00pm

Poor ol' Pell. Brother Nestor and the good ol' chaps salute you!

Anyway, here's a piece that Nine's Age and SMH declined to publish. From a former PM in response to that New/Old Cold War Warrior Peter Hartcher's shtick (hey, a journo in today's news environment has to eat!):

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/politics/australian-politics/2021/11/17/...

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batfink Thursday, 18 Nov 2021 at 8:27am
Constance B Gibson wrote:

Achievements Of The Coalition Government

A comprehensive list of (almost) everything the current Australian government has done since Abbott. In reverse order. Latest to first. 964 things and counting.

https://www.mdavis.xyz/govlist/

Now that’s a list. You could be forgiven for thinking these muppets were grossly, heroically incompetent, but you’d be wrong. This is a government of malevolent intent that have basically taken over all parliamentary and Westminster norms and standards of accountability and trashed them and skived off billions of dollars for their mates. Paul Keating was right about us becoming a banana republic. They came through the back door.

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batfink Thursday, 18 Nov 2021 at 9:09am

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/nov/17/centrelinks-cance...

The LNP government, via Centrelink, going after the big guys again. Courageous.

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Constance B Gibson Thursday, 18 Nov 2021 at 5:59pm

Winning!

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Roker Friday, 19 Nov 2021 at 7:18pm

He was acting in self defence! And protecting property, or at least posters. Rittenhouse trial version Melbourne coming up.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-19/victoria-covid-pandemic-bill-andy...

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Constance B Gibson Friday, 19 Nov 2021 at 7:51pm

...And his name is Kyle too!

As prophesied!

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Blowin Saturday, 20 Nov 2021 at 1:52pm

Just read that “anti-fascists” in Melbourne are protesting against people who oppose vaccine mandates…..WTF?

Isn’t fascism when an authoritarian government dictates to a population against their will? Surely anti-fascists would be the ones opposing the government? Anti -fascists who propose undying love for governments oversight and control of someone’s every move within society?

I guess “anti-fascist” sounds cooler than “Foot soldiers for the establishment “, even if it’s not really appropriate.

Who the fuck wants to spend their Saturday waving flags and walking through streets declaring their support for Pfizer executives, Scomo and Dictator Dan? Weirdos.

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gragagan Saturday, 20 Nov 2021 at 1:57pm

Not for me but I know a few crew who'd love it. Marching around the streets all day drinking piss being a yobbo with thousands of other people. I don't think the cause would matter much or whos side they're on, it would be an excuse to run amok with a bunch of like-minded people

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blindboy Saturday, 20 Nov 2021 at 2:05pm

I have been in marchs for everything from reconciliation to climate change and the war against Iraq, never seen as much as a tinny at any of them.

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Cockee Saturday, 20 Nov 2021 at 7:43pm

Maybe no tinnies but the air would be thick with dope I'm guessing.

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bonza Saturday, 20 Nov 2021 at 8:34pm
Cockee wrote:

Maybe no tinnies but the air would be thick with dope I'm guessing.

Hutch is back

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Constance B Gibson Wednesday, 24 Nov 2021 at 5:44pm

Morrison’s credibility crisis places his Cry Freedom reelection plan in danger
(Bernard Keane and Crikey)

"Does anyone believe Scott Morrison anymore? His credibility problems mean the government's legislative agenda is in disarray, while his reelection strategy is being undermined by perceptions he can't be trusted.

“They are doing that to protect their own workers. To protect their other clients … it’s got nothing to do with ideology. And, this, you know, these issues around liberty and so on.
We all believe in freedom, but we also believe in people being healthy, and the sheer fact of it is, if you’re not vaccinated, you represent a greater public health risk to yourself, to your family, to your community and others about you. So, it’s only sensible that people will do sensible things to protect their public health.”
Scott Morrison, August 25, 2021

“They’ve got to be able to, as they have done here in New South Wales, given business, given Australians the clear signal that this is not something they want to continue doing and this has to come to an end, and governments have to step back and governments have to start letting go of all of these controls on people’s lives.”
Scott Morrison, November 19, 2021

It’s bad enough that the prime minister has shredded the last vestiges of his credibility on an important issue like vaccine mandates. It’s worse still that his unapologetic backflip — right down to overriding one of his own senators to allow Pauline Hanson to introduce a stunt bill to ban vaccine mandates — has failed to prevent the government from sliding into chaos and risking his election strategy.

The government’s agenda for what could be the last sitting fortnight before the election is on hold, with the determination of Gerard Rennick and Alex Antic to withhold support for government legislation, and three other right-wingers — Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Matt Canavan and the Northern Territory’s Sam McMahon — crossing the floor to support Hanson.

It’s as if Morrison’s constant stream of lies and falsehoods has made others disinclined to believe him when he announces his latest position on an important issue, cognisant as they are that it’s merely five minutes since Morrison said something entirely different.

This is the real cost of slowly but steadily acquiring a reputation as someone who says whatever is convenient at the time — no one believes you, and demands that you act rather than merely announce, which is what extremists like Rennick and Antic want from the PM. Angry backbenchers might previously have accepted an assurance from Morrison that he would pressure state leaders in national cabinet. But Scott Morrison’s assurances are now worthless, a barrowload of paper money in a political economy marked by a hyperinflation of bullshit.

But more gravely, Morrison’s entire election strategy — portray himself as the fearless leader of the forces of freedom from government control — is now in the balance, because people don’t believe what he says. It was already an absurd premise for the leader of the biggest government since World War II, committed to increasing the tax burden on Australians way above levels inherited from Labor. It’s made much worse by the fact that the very people he is seeking to woo, including fringe elements of his own party, don’t buy the act.

The link between the budget and the vaccine mandate issue isn’t spurious — there’s a real resentment within conservative ranks of the Liberal Party membership over Morrison’s embrace of big government stretching for years off into the future, and a view that Morrison believes in nothing.

And the questions about Morrison’s judgment keep coming. In question time yesterday, all but one of Labor questions were about Morrison’s lies, falsehoods and reversals. And the pressure paid off — Morrison produced another falsehood, about the infamous Hawaiian trip, claiming he’d told Anthony Albanese where he was going, only to be forced to come back twice and correct the record, admitting he hadn’t, with the tortured excuse that when he said he told Albanese “where” he was going, he meant “on leave”.

Peter Dutton would have been watching with interest as Morrison stumbled."

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Blowin Friday, 26 Nov 2021 at 11:21am

It’s getting harder and harder to not assume that Australia is just another franchise of an unannounced pan-national neoliberal organisation. The lockstep and synchronised actions of the various governments ( Canada, UK, Australia, NZ etc ) are even upheld by our respective opposition parties. There’s no voting our way out of it all. Democracy is an illusion.

https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2021/11/migrant-influx-stunts-canadian-...

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AndyM Friday, 26 Nov 2021 at 11:34am

I thought this has been pretty apparent for maybe 50 years.

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gragagan Saturday, 27 Nov 2021 at 1:45am

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Constance B Gibson Wednesday, 1 Dec 2021 at 7:27pm
gsco's picture
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gsco Friday, 3 Dec 2021 at 10:56am

This follows in from some uni discussion stuff prompted by questions and remarks by Bonza in the covid thread, and I thought it best to put it in here.

The main cause of the issues in Australian universities is their continual, gradual path of privatisation and commercialisation, as encouraged by their funding model - its total amount and its composition. Funding is being pulled and its composition is changing. Universities are told that they need to find alternative sources of funding.

Overall this privatisation is focused on trying to turn our university system into the US model of a tiered system dominated by elite, private research-intensive universities strongly funded by endowments and strong ties to and partnerships with private sector commercial interests. Hence, it's just a continual a move to making universities private enterprises with no clear distinction between them and big business.

I think this is a big mistake and the causes of the issues we see in academia, which I notice have also been mentioned in recent speeches and policy announcements of (the now seemingly disgraced) Alan Tudge (eg https://ministers.dese.gov.au/tudge/lifting-impact-universities-strength...).

It's interesting that even politicians and uni leaders (chancellors etc) are now starting to publicly hint at and openly refer to the research culture issues in academia that have been hidden for a couple decades. covid has partly forced this since it has decimated the international student funding model.

Since this international student funding model has been exposed in terms of both covid putting a halt to it and the research culture problems of academia becoming public, the bright idea of Alan Tudge is a full blown focus on research commercialisation and partnerships with the private sector...

So now, in order to keep on going down the path of privatisation and pulling of funding from the uni sector, the bright idea is to push for universities to partner with the private sector and commercialise research...!

It all sounds good in theory. The main driver of living standards over the past few hundred years in nations is growth in real GDP per capita. This in turn is driven by increases in productivity, efficiency and competitiveness driven by research and development, innovation, technological advance, etc. Universities have a big role to play in this. And as Alan Tudge is openly admitting, the huge volumes of research paper output from our universities is basically embarrassing and universities are having little impact on innovation in the private sector.

But I believe the focus on commercialisation is a huge risk and ask what will be the most likely outcome? Universities are not just going to be able to suddenly, overnight transform themselves into research and innovation powerhouses that drive productivity in the economy.

I think the most likely outcome will be university research teams just becoming creative advertising, marketing and public relations teams for big business. The line between research and big business will just blur even further. In the cut throat quest to win the funding of the private sector, research teams will have to bend to outputting research aligned with private commercial interests.

It's a very risky and dangerous game.

I believe the correct way forward is to restore government university funding.

Academics, like anyone else in society, need job security - they need to be able to wake up each morning and feel safe that they have a job and not live in fear that they will lose it if they don't fabricate pointless crap research and publish it in preprint archives or open access journals.

The main role of Australian universities should be to educate Australian people.

The are not just another for profit private enterprise left to fend for themselves by competing in the global capitalist economy.

Our universities are there for the benefit of Australia and its people.

They do not exist to educate Chinese students or to publish biased research aligned with big corporate commercial interests.

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bonza Friday, 3 Dec 2021 at 11:23am

"I believe the correct way forward is to restore government university funding."

Yep.

Brian Schmidt addressed some of these points the other day on RN.

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/universities-wel...

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gragagan Friday, 3 Dec 2021 at 11:30am

Don't forget about funding for public schools. And Tafe...

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H2O Friday, 3 Dec 2021 at 3:04pm

Well said gsco!

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gsco Friday, 3 Dec 2021 at 8:09pm

Really good link Bonza, thanks for that, I hadn't noticed it. I also didn't realise the debate was now so open, upfront and frank. ANU Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt knows that he's on about and made some very good points, and much more diplomatically and sensitively than me! I just don't know why the LNP is so hellbent on gutting our universities, almost punishing them.

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blackers Saturday, 4 Dec 2021 at 10:13pm

From the Saturday Paper, the level of the Coalition’s commitment to addressing the problem:
“This week it emerged that the federal government has been working to overturn the capacity of states to meet their targets(Net zero emissions) An email from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told the Victorian government it had 14 days to leave a global coalition of subnational governments focused on arresting climate change.

The ACT, Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia were also told to leave the consortium because they “failed to properly classify” their involvement in a memorandum of understanding. New South Wales, which is a signatory, is attempting to clarify its position.

The extraordinary intervention was made under the Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act, which Morrison hastily passed last year. At the time it seemed designed to allow the federal government to tear up Victoria’s Belt and Road partnership with China. Its usage to limit action on climate change is staggering.”

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Constance B Gibson Wednesday, 8 Dec 2021 at 4:45pm

Can-do capitalism > don’t-do government?!

ProMo + LNP = can't-do either!

https://johnmenadue.com/its-about-opportunity-a-lesson-on-capitalism-for...

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Vic Local Wednesday, 8 Dec 2021 at 5:15pm

"I believe the correct way forward is to restore government university funding."
Would anyone be shocked if the LNP tried to privatise the tertiary education section in the future?
Their standard approach to privatising public services is to gut them with a thousand cuts. Covid has allowed them to gut universities in record time. When unis fail to achieve their basic aims, the cry goes up "privatisation will solve the problem", and we do need to fix the budget.
The LNP would happily sell intelligent working class people down the tubes by privatising their opportunities for a better future. I'm sure Scumo and Co know a few mates who could make a few bucks out of it too. Gina, Twiggy etc.

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Constance B Gibson Wednesday, 8 Dec 2021 at 5:36pm

Some of us have been talking about this forever, VL.

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mattlock Wednesday, 8 Dec 2021 at 6:25pm

Menadue and West tell it like it is.

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Constance B Gibson Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 1:23pm

"At some stage, we are expecting the UK High Court ruling on the US appeal to extradite Walkley award winning journalist Julian Assange. Yes or No judgments may still lead to further appeals and indefinite time in jail for Julian. Punishment and persecution by process. A deliberate strategy to destroy Assange."

Article here:

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/07/the-us-diplomatic-assuran...

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Blowin Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 11:42am

More gaslighting exposed. This time it’s the old favourite that Australia’s Universities are underfunded and that’s why they need to act as immigration transit points.

From the well worthy Macrobusiness site:

Can Australia’s universities evolve? Nope
By Unconventional Economist in Australian budget, Australian Economist
Associate Professor Salvatore Babones has released a new book entitled “Australia’s Universities: Can They Reform?”, which is a follow-up to Babones’ influential 2019 CIS paper “The China Student Boom and the Risks It Poses to Australian Universities”.

The book shines a bright light on the political economy of the Australian higher education system, exploding the myth of chronic government underfunding and showing how international students are actually being subsidised by Australian taxpayers.

Babones shows how Australia’s top universities recycle international student fees into international rankings success with little regard for the hardships this imposes on domestic students, who experience larger classes taught by less-qualified instructors in order to balance the books.

The most startling finding from Babones’ new book is that domestic Australian funding per domestic student consistently exceeds the average tuition paid by international students. In other words, Australian universities are, on average, losing money on international students (or, more precisely: earning less revenue per student for educating international students than they receive for educating domestic students).

Per-student revenues equalized in 2019 on a nationwide basis (see Figure 2, page 43), but remain lower for international students at 17 of 38 universities, and at 6 of 8 Group of Eight institutions (see Table 5, page 47).

Key findings include:

Domestic funding per student has hovered at near record levels for the last thirteen years.
Domestic funding per student consistently exceeds tuition paid by international students.
Australian university research funding meets or exceeds US, UK, EU, and OECD norms (pp. 33-35).
Roughly 20% of Australia’s population between the ages of 18-30 consists of international students (p. 68).
Australia’s international student statistics are by far the most skewed in the world.
Fewer than half of all students are satisfied with their university’s level of engagement (pp. 143-150).
Each Australian university offers on average 94 bachelor degrees and 83 master degrees (pp. 150-156).
Key recommendations include:

Caps should be placed on international student numbers of 20% per course, 15% per university, and 10% from any one country.
International students should have to pay tuition at least equal to the per-student amounts paid on behalf of domestic students.
The time that academics devote to be research should be explicitly acknowledged and financially valued in research budgets.
Commonwealth support should be limited to one undergraduate degree per student in order to free up places for more students.
According to Babones:

That final recommendation would enable Australia to make Commonwealth Supported Places available to all students who want them for initial bachelor degrees, while encouraging strong students to progress to master-level studies.

Australia’s universities may not be able to reform themselves, but they can be reformed. It’s up to the Commonwealth and the states to do it. Instead of focusing on red herring issues like university mergers or rankings success, they should focus on promoting better educational practices at Australia’s existing universities. No one wants government telling universities what to teach, or even how to teach. But government can and should put in place mechanisms that promote a race to the top in educational practice among all universities that receive public support.

I look forward to reading the book

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batfink Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 5:13pm

I like Babones Blowin, any heterodox economist is good as far as I’m concerned. The study of economics is a Frankenstein that is now devouring its creator (the University sector).

Macrobusiness, an excellent site. Well we’ll have to diverge there, but each to his own.

But what you’ve written there is a grab bag of truths, half truths and general misinformation, in my opinion. This is not a statement of your personal worth though. Please don’t arc up.

Costs of delivering courses, no, the funding per student has not kept up with inflation during the LNP years, and I don’t think prior to them during the Rudd Gillard years, and not during the Howard years either. As for international students, the funding and what they pay, it’s possibly true but all arse about. To teach one student costs a certain amount, to teach 100 costs only a little bit more. The marginal cost of teaching extra students is vanishingly small, so all those international students paying full fees (nearly all of them) are just cream on top for the universities. They have been making a bonanza on the back of it and much of the excess was due to international students. As much as I agree that universities became fat and lazy on that, it was deliberate policy from government that steered them that way. Australia earned ridiculous amounts of money from it, tertiary education being usually our third biggest export earner over the last 20 years.

But you can’t stand between a Vice-Chancellor and a bag of money and live to tell the tale, and like their corporate brothers, empire building became a way of life. Removal of caps on international student numbers was government policy, and therein lies part of the disaster.

So I’d agree with caps on international student numbers, but a lot of our research was funded from it. Government has cut back on research funding constantly, and more importantly meddled with it. Wasteful research (carbon capture and storage being the worst example).

“ That final recommendation would enable Australia to make Commonwealth Supported Places available to all students who want them for initial bachelor degrees, while encouraging strong students to progress to master-level studies.”

That pretty much happens now. I don’t know what Babones would be on about there. Hardly anyone misses out on a place in University if they want it, and the best go on to masters level, except where governments pull funding (anything arts related, which includes political science, but not economics, where brains go to die).

So calling for some great new change so that they do what they have been doing for the last 30 years pretty much undermines whatever argument Babones is putting forward.

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batfink Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 5:17pm

Apropos of nothing much at all, there are around 52,000 people employed in coal mining in Australia (many of them sitting behind desks in Melbourne and Sydney!). Around 18,000 in coal and gas extraction industries.

Around 40,000 people lost their job in the University sector as the government continually ducked and weaved to avoid paying JobKeeper to universities. I was one of them.

Not complaining, just saying.

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sypkan Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 6:57pm
batfink wrote:

Apropos of nothing much at all, there are around 52,000 people employed in coal mining in Australia (many of them sitting behind desks in Melbourne and Sydney!). Around 18,000 in coal and gas extraction industries.

Around 40,000 people lost their job in the University sector as the government continually ducked and weaved to avoid paying JobKeeper to universities. I was one of them.

Not complaining, just saying.

without commenting on your personal worth...

facto and co. have been rattling on endlessly about the uni's not being payed jobkeeper

now, combining some simple mathematics, an assessment of the very well known over reliance on overseas students, a bit of geo-politics, and your experience... tells us those jobs aren't coming back anytime soon...

jobkeeker, by name and design, was to tide people over until the pandenic passed and their jobs could return with some form of normalcy

the uni jobs clearly don't fall into this category, as they weren't coming back... so as unfair as it may seem, it was just some harsh reality / prudent economics not to include these positions under jobkeeper...

there were no 'jobs' to 'keep'

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AndyM Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 7:07pm

“ prudent economics ”

Well that’s one way of describing it.

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sypkan Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 7:08pm

cunt economics?

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gsco Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 7:09pm

umm

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sypkan Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 7:10pm

female orifice economics that eased some much pent up resentment as much as saved a dollar?

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sypkan Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 7:11pm

some possibly justified much pent up resentment...

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gsco Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 8:11pm

The crisis situation academia is now facing is of course partly also the fault of universities themselves since they got completely drunk on the international student dollar bolstering their research academic ranks, department budgets, personal career progression, and global university rankings.

And not only did entering into the cut-throat game of global university rankings and the chasing of international student money lead to an absolutely toxic research culture, it also led to a significant degrading of teaching and course quality:

Ahhh...the international student experiment...people should also be asking things like:
- Do many of the foreign students even have the prerequisite background to successfully complete the courses and degrees they enrol in?
- Is the material taught dumbed down as a result?
- Is the bell curve of course grades regularly shifted up to make sure that many international students don't fail and have to repeat courses?
- Can many international students even understand much English?
- Is plagiarism rife and how much are assignment writing services relied upon?
- ...etc...

Most importantly, people should be asking how much of this is just swept under the rug and ignored by universities in order to keep the foreign student dollars flowing in.

If the government basically not helping universities financially during covid, resulting in the significant job losses mentioned above, was their way of implicitly saying that these toxic research and teaching quality outcomes have to stop and universities need to evolve...then...well...it's a harsh way of sending that message but so be it.

However, if this is the case then it needs to be backed up by new government policy direction and subsequent funding arrangements aligned with that new policy direction.

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velocityjohnno Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 8:14pm

Haven't read the above conversation much apart from gsco's comments above, let's just say it was tragic to see one's smart Aussie kid suddenly have to complete the group project but also try to translate into whatever language it was, the points that needed to be addressed. We watched the Aussie kids drop like flies. Enjoy your new doctors/specialists.

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velocityjohnno Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 8:16pm

Group assignments too, those are evil.

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zenagain Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 8:37pm

I used to do regular group assignments at uni with two pretty smart girls and we always got pretty good marks. One time however it was a group assignment for a computing subject and everyone had teamed up and I found they'd ditched me and hooked up with this full computer geek leaving me in the lurch. Computers and tech are a big weakness for me. Anyway, I was left to hook up with a couple of friends, a guy and a girl and all of us together were still pretty hopeless.

However, cause I was pissed at my normal girls dropping me I vowed to show them what's what. Long story short, worked my absolute bottom off and did the bulk of the work. Ended up getting a distinction and the others only got a credit- suckers!

For the rest of my degree the girls stuck with me.

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bonza Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 8:50pm

good comments from gsco and batfink.
while they are at it they can also clean up the PhD pyramid scheme. bloody joke,
i can't remember figures or have time right now looking but from memory last i looked globally (and fits the australian experience less than 3% of doctorates go on to work in academia).
over skilled in a specialist area. free labour for the uni for research. 10 years of paid uni fees for no job security (if you choose academia). average pay. contractual work.
spare me the skillset argument of specialist doctorates for the corporate world. setting kids up with debt and delayed life choices for project management skills. sheesh. what a cop out.
again can't remember details so call me out if wrong but from memory we graduate around 30,000 PhD/ year VS 30 years ago which was about 3000.
massive ponzi,

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frog Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 10:38pm

I was surprised at the persistence lecturers pursued my child to do a Phd even after she got a very good job offer. Their plans were clearly not in her best interests and raised my skeptic scam meter. Then I learned how their funding model pays big time for each student doing research and it all made sense

The Pied Pipers pipe their tune as they walk towards the cave luring the hopeful or lost somewhere they often regret - often proudly and uncritically watched by their parents.

At around 29 many stumble back out into the sunlight blinking away, still a bit lost, often disallusioned with their path, no house, no job and saddled with lots of debt.

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AndyM Monday, 13 Dec 2021 at 10:40pm
sypkan wrote:

**** economics?

Maybe we found a suitable synonym for neoliberalism.

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gsco Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021 at 8:55am

Yes successful PhD completions are a nice money earner for university departments, particularly full fee paying international PhD students, so it's in departments' interests to pump them out.

PhD students are also free labour for higher ranking academics to enhance their research output, profiles and standings, and hence their careers. There's a lopsided balance of power here. Very questionable conflicts of interests and ethical practices arise.

The increase in PhD completions is reflected in their reduced quality, and this overall situation is itself reflective of the toxic publish-or-perish environment.

Regarding neoliberalism/capitalism, again Dalio has some interesting perspectives here:

The US has been the dominant global power in every way since WWII. The world has been living under its system since then.

But US neoliberal capitalism is engineered to only benefit the US wealthy elite, and at the expense of the masses and of any other country who won't cooperate. The US government and military are just global enforcers of the interests of the US wealthy elite.

And meanwhile, inequality and poverty, political and ideological polarisation, and civil unrest, etc, worsen in the US, as does economic instabilities of massive government debt, extreme concentrations of wealth, and asset price bubbles, etc.

I think there is a very strong case to be made for the idea that the world needs to get out from under the US wealthy elite's rule.

We in Australia, like many countries, are also completely blanketed by the US media and big tech. We're just getting duped and sucked in big-time by one-sided US misinformation. And it's not in the US media's or tech's interests for the global system be challenged since they've realised absolutely massive, huge concentrations of wealth and power from it.

Australia needs to get out from under this blanket smoke and mirrors, and plain con, of the US media and big tech propaganda machine.

But we now see things like the French submarine situation, the dumping of European Taipan helicopters for US Black Hawks, the following of the US political boycott of the China Winter Olympics.

We really are just the US's stupid little puppy following it around and doing whatever it wants us to do.

And this is at a time when the US system is being challenged, not just by China but by a lot of countries forging strong ties and political and economic relationships with each other to counter US power. Indeed, does anyone remember one of the main original motivations for the formation of the EU?

We are even more strongly aligning with the US and burning our bridges with other countries precisely at a time when the global shifting of power is moving away from the US and towards power blocks against it.

I don't see how Australia's actions here are intelligent.

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams Tuesday, 14 Dec 2021 at 2:57pm

gsco speaking volumes of reality as always. excellent