Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Equal Pay, Housing, Employment and Bonuses

Equal Pay
Now for childcare workers because there’s probably no more important job than looking after very young children.  Childcare in lower socio-economic areas should have subsidized teachers to increase educational opportunities and outcomes for families that don’t have the time or inclination to read to and stimulate their kids. But what to do about those that don’t work and don’t care?

“The proportion of households [i.e. outright owners] without a mortgage has declined from 42% to 33%, while the proportion with a mortgage has risen from 30% to 35% in 2007-08. The decline in outright home ownership may reflect increasing uptake of flexible low-cost financing options which allow households to extend their existing home mortgages for purposes other than the original home purchase”
“Australia's preference for a free-standing house on its own block of land is most evident among home owners. Of the 5.5 million households that owned their home in 2007-08, 88% lived in separate houses (graph 10.8). Over a half (56%) of all renter households lived in separate houses; 30% lived in flats, units or apartments; and 14% lived in semi-detached dwellings.”
“At the 1966 Census of Population and Housing, 71% of all occupied private dwellings were either owned outright or owned with a mortgage by their occupants. Following the 1967 Referendum and changes to the Census Indigenous question in 1971, the Indigenous count increased 45%. Lower average Indigenous home ownership rates at that time, compared to the population as a whole, contributed in part to the decrease, to 69%, in average home ownership recorded in the 1971 Census. Since then the rate of home ownership in Australia, as measured in the Census, has ranged between 68% and 70%”.

The ABS has a very revealing interactive graphic on employment, showing the growth of mining sector employment and the decline of manufacturing jobs.
For a primer on understanding labour force figures see http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/6202.0main+features999Oct%202011

No Bonuses
From Nicholas Taleb in the New York Times
Consider that we trust military and homeland security personnel with our lives, yet we don’t give them lavish bonuses. They get promotions and the honor of a job well done if they succeed, and the severe disincentive of shame if they fail. For bankers, it is the opposite: a bonus if they make short-term profits and a bailout if they go bust.”
Banning bonuses addresses the principal-agent problem in economics: the separation between an agent’s interests and those of the client, or principal, he is supposed to represent.”

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