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The Weekend Quiz – June 18-19, 2022 – answers and discussion

Here are the answers with discussion for this Weekend’s Quiz. The information provided should help you work out why you missed a question or three! If you haven’t already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.

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The Weekend Quiz – June 18-19, 2022

Welcome to The Weekend Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention or not to the blog posts that I post. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.

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Australian labour market – strong full-time employment growth

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released of the latest labour force data today (June 18, 2022) – Labour Force, Australia – for May 2022. The labour market improved markedly in May after several months of weakness. The robust full-time employment growth was a good sign as was the increasing participation rate. That particularly favoured the younger workers. The official unemployment rate was unchanged but the underlying (‘What-if’) unemployment rate is closer to 6.1 per cent rather than the official rate of 3.9 per cent. There are still 1,355.5 thousand Australian workers without work in one way or another (officially unemployed or underemployed). The only reason the unemployment rate is so low is because the underlying population growth remains low after the border closures over the last two years.

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Australia minimum wage rises but the Fair Work Commission still did not preserve real value as they claim

I am back at about 70 per cent but improving. This morning was good news although it should have been better. Australia’s minimum wage setting authority – the Fair Work Commission (FWC) – increased the federal minimum wage by 5.2 per cent or $A40 a week to $A812.60. In their decision – – Annual Wage Review 2021-22 – the FWC sought to protect the real living standards of the lowest-paid workers in the nation after receiving a ‘direction’ from the new Federal Labor Government to do so. They failed. Real wages for low-paid workers will still fall over the next 12 months, just not by as much as they would have had not the Federal government intervened and supported a 5.1 per cent rise (which was the March-quarter inflation rate). So good but should have been better. The major employer groups argued for variously very low nominal rises, while at the same, they enjoying booming profits and rising productivity growth. A scandalous indictment of our system.

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My blog is on holiday today …

Today is a public holiday in Australia to celebrate our dated our social outlook is – yes, it’s the Queens Birthday. Our head of state – a legacy of our colonial past which we have not yet been able to jettison. The vast majority of Australians want to live in a Republic with our own chosen head of state but it seems we are waiting for the old lady in Britain to leave the stage before we will commit to that preference. I don’t usually recognise this holiday but since last Friday I have been struck down with a bad flu and so I decided to suspend writing until later in the week. I have some interesting things coming up though.

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The Weekend Quiz – June 11-12, 2022 – answers and discussion

Here are the answers with discussion for this Weekend’s Quiz. The information provided should help you work out why you missed a question or three! If you haven’t already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.

Read More

The Weekend Quiz – June 11-12, 2022

Welcome to The Weekend Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention or not to the blog posts that I post. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.

Read More

The class war is over, viva the class war – inflation and all that

Political leaders have been keen to promote individualism over the last several decades because it suits the class interests they serve. Margaret Thatcher denied the existence of society. John Major, who shafted her to take over the Tories in 1990 and pressured the UK to join the EU, claimed there was a society but that he would render it “classless” so that everyone has the opportunity to shine according to their talents. Within the Tory tradition, David Cameron, who effectively through bungling paved the way for the UK to leave the EU (finally) told the people “There is such a thing as society; it’s just not the same thing as the state” and promised to create a “Big Society” where we all worked together to volunteer and provide public services as charitable endeavours. On the Labour side, in 1999, Tony Blair clarified all these claims to classlessness by declaring that “the class war is over”. Class struggle is dead. We are all on the same side now. All sharing in a commonwealth that we create together. I recall a BBC program I saw around the turn of this century that declared the ‘class system’ was dead and that we had all become elevated, together, in the middle class.

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