A Prediction

26 June 2011

My prediction is that businesses will close and there’ll be mass unemployment.

And what will cause this dire state of affairs?  Anything really that changes the status quo.

Introduce a mining tax?  Businesses will close and etc etc.

Plain packaging for cigarettes?  Businesses will close etc etc

A carbon tax?  Businesses blah blah.

Introduce betting limits on poker machines (fruit machines)?  Businesses blah blah blah.

Suspend the export of livestock?  Businesses will . . . . . well I think you’ve now got the picture. 

And this is just in the last few weeks.

All my life this has been the opposing side’s argument to any change.  The introduction of a minimum wage in the UK?  We’ll all be out of work. The banning of fox hunting?  Ditto.

I understand when Fringe Benefit Tax was introduced into Australia this was the argument used by its opponents.  Apparently loads of restaurants would close because nobody would be spending money on long business lunches.  Looking around Sydney now, it really doesn’t look as though it’s short of restaurants and cafes.

Businesses DO close and there is unemployment in some industries because working life changes all the time.  Jobs have disappeared in my working life time (shorthand/typists for example and who remembers comptometer operators?). But who would have thought that practically every home would have a computer and this new massive industry would be created? 

Henry Ford probably had rotten food thrown at him for daring to do something that would result in putting the cart makers out of business . . and the farriers.    

It’s used as an argument against change because it makes the proponents of the change look like heartless bastards who don’t care about people being jobless.  It uses usually shonky figures, often based on nothing but blind guesses,  put together by the opponents of the proposal.  I now take it all with a pinch of salt unless someone can actually provide me with proper research, produced by an independent party.

The rest is all emotional blackmail. 



  1. What’s a comptometer operator?

  2. My great-grandfather was a compositor; they’re all but extinct now!

  3. We had a comptometrist (is it a compositor?) at the NSW Audit Office when I started there as a cadet. I wanted to be one, I just loved playing with the printing calculator and keying in kilometres of number columns.

  4. 1973 at the John Fairfax building in Jones St. I remember a huge room full of comptometrists, typing pools and down in the bowels of the printing presses, compositors working with hot lead and addressograph machine operators. I was a junior clerk with a manual typewriter. The journalists used to type one paragraph per sheet of paper and these went to the editor.

    The bosses had a key to their private lift and the top floor had a full commercial kitchen to service the board’s dining room.

    And when the printers went on strike against the introduction of computer technology, there were cries of imminent mass unemployment as business would close……

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