Unemployed have it too good
ACTING Prime Minister Michael McCormack was spot-on when he said the unemployed should fill job vacancies in regional Australia (C-M, Jan 13).
Statistics show there are more job vacancies now than before COVID hit, but many unemployed refuse to fill the vacancies.
I've "walked the talk" on this topic when I left family behind and moved from Queensland to remote Western Australia to take up a job in the mines.
But many of today's unemployed obviously won't move to get work, even with attractive financial government support on top of JobSeeker.
Australia has relied too heavily on backpackers and Pacific Islanders to do seasonal work and with COVID stopping this source of labour, regional Australia is now in trouble.
We really have reached a sad place when we need people from other countries to do work some Australians see as too hard or beneath them.
JobSeeker is obviously too attractive for many people and Australia has descended into elitism.
Time to wind it back so it performs the role it is intended to do - as a temporary source of basic income until an unemployed person finds a job.
Ron James, Mooloolaba
IF MICHAEL McCormack calling dole recipients "lounge lizards" is deemed an insult, then so be it.
Some situations simply demand that well-aimed barbs are unleashed and the welfare dependency of those able to work is one of them.
If public insults won't shame them into accepting whatever paid work is offered, what else will?
Sovereign debt arising from unbridled welfare will reduce our first-world economy one day to the level of Greece when it went begging bowl in hand for an IMF bailout.
It is time those able to work were goaded into accepting whatever work is available, wherever it is, through a carefully crafted carrot and stick approach.
Requiring a designated number of job applications and interviews is not enough.
These lounge lizards must have welfare cut off if they refuse the first job offer they get.
Towards administering this measure, the government should establish an employment exchange, instead of relying on employment agencies and giving them bonuses.
All those seeking the dole must register with the exchange.
Businesses needing people may register their needs, and the exchange should allocate the "dole seekers" to these largely manual jobs on a geographical proximity basis.
If the dole seeker then refuses to do the allocated work, cut off the handouts immediately.
Name-callers can call it socialism if they like, libertarians can call it slavery, but the dole seekers will always have the freedom of choice to refuse the taxpayer hand-out.
I am sick of my tax bill supporting lounge lizards and it is time to change our gilt-edged welfare from hand-outs to true hand-ups.
Kaiyo Sattha, Eight Mile Plains
GOOD on Michael McCormack for speaking up.
It is well known that many people express openly their choice to not work while they can get JobSeeker instead.
JobKeeper originally was a lifeline for many struggling businesses, but it enabled lazy people to give up the idea of working for a living.
Why work, they say, when the government pays me to stay home. Now it's JobSeeker, you beauty!
There is even a union for unemployed people.
The world has gone crazy.
Frances Bensted, Carindale
IT'S not surprising to see comments (Letters, Jan 13) about reverse racism, or about the playful nature of the comments.
And neither is it surprising to hear someone like Leigh Matthews coming out to question the fuss about the "all lives matter" comment from our Acting Prime Minister.
But it is incredibly disheartening and frustrating to hear the same tired and ill-informed comments, all based on a particular but not fully representative perspective.
The point about racism is that it's not a single comment, nor is it just a moment in time.
An Indian cricketer doesn't hear a few isolated words, they hear a cacophony of demeaning abuse.
The person making the comment may think it's witty and those hearing it might think it was not particularly insulting, but that ignores the context of generational prejudice.
Similarly, in isolation the words "all lives matter" might seem reasonable, but when you understand that they became a catchcry to disavow anti-black prejudice, and when you hear about the institutional racism in US law enforcement, then those words become a poisonous call to arms for white supremacists.
On that basis, there is something very wrong about repeating them.
We all know that every human life has value, but we still understand that some groups need additional support.
We help the very young and the very old. We support those suffering illness or infirmity.
We even legislate against hate speech, because we know that history has some salutary lessons about the failure to stop it.
So why can't we accept that Indigenous people across the globe, when placed under the patronage of white regimes, suffered immense discrimination, and that both the historical consequences and the ongoing reality of that prejudice play a real part in the lives of those people?
It can only be ignorance or prejudice and, after all the opportunities to learn, it is impossible to not assume that for many people, it is the latter.
Stephen Morgan, Carina Heights
FLIGHTS OF FANCY TO STOP VIRUS
YOU don't have to be very bright to realise that if you allow travellers from the UK to fly here, there is a high risk the new mutant coronavirus could also enter the country.
Now that the mutated virus is in our community we rush around closing the gate after the horse has bolted.
Why our so-called chief health officers didn't pay attention to several European countries that banned flights from the UK is unbelievable.
Even now they are refusing to ban incoming flights but trying to cover their misguided decision by insisting travellers are tested on departure and arrival along with mask wearing.
A bit late, as the new virus is 70 per cent more infectious than normal COVID-19 and has already landed.
Our task now is to locate contaminated people and isolate them. We have through poor judgment put our people at risk as we are without a vaccine.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's advice was to stay home for three days during lockdown. Then what? The new virus is unlikely to suddenly disappear.
I only hope the medical experts know what they are doing. If not we are in deep trouble.
Keith Whiteside, Sippy Downs
TRUMP'S FATE DIVISIVE
I WAS surprised to see that David Haslett (Letters, Jan 13) - Peter Haslett's son - took his father to task in disagreeing with his dad on the topic of whether Donald Trump should be impeached.
That's one dinner party I'd like to attend and highlights the advantages of free speech.
We need more erudite families debating the issues of the day.
I must admit I'm on Dad's side and your Editorial (C-M, Jan 13) in suggesting President Trump has only diminished himself by acting like a sore loser.
As the Editorial suggests, "the best way to punish a narcissist like Donald Trump isn't to impeach him. It's to force him to serve out a life sentence of irrelevance".
One can only hope that the US remains strong under the Democrats.
Bill Glasson, Buderim
THE excellent letter by David Haslett outlined the reasons why Donald Trump must be impeached, regardless of the timing.
He must not be allowed to continue to have the perks of a past president, but most important of all, he must be prevented from standing for election ever again.
The US and the world cannot afford to have him in charge of the world's largest democracy and nuclear arsenal ever again.
Impeachment procedures must continue despite the timeline to his departure.
Gay Campbell, Victoria Point
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Originally published as Unemployed have it too good