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Jobs and Superannuation

The next time I hear a politician, business leader or media commentator talk about jobs, jobs, jobs!! I’m going to put my fingers down my throat and vomit. Politicians, commentators and corporate types always wax lyrical about the need to create jobs. Obviously in a capitalist society if you don’t have access to inherited wealth, have a pile of money in the bank, shares and stocks and real restate or have won a Tattslotto first division prize, you need a job to survive in a capitalist society if you're not entitled to social security benefits.

We’re constantly told it’s only the private sector that creates jobs. Occasionally in an era of belt tightening, new jobs come up in the public sector. In the private sector jobs exist in transnational corporations, medium, small and micro businesses, while in the public sector jobs are available in a shrinking local, state and federal government bureaucracy.

It’s depressing to think there are such few job options available today. Fortunately, jobs can be created in a capitalist society in a totally different way. Historically co-operatives and collectives have provided stable, well paid jobs to tens of thousands of people. Today the co-operative and collective sector has been euthanised as a result of lack of access to seeding money to establish co-operatives and collectives. Banks are unwilling to lend seeding capital to new co-operatives and collectives, most established co-operatives and collectives have relied on their own funding sources. Today there is a crying need for seeding funding for co-operatives and collectives to provide jobs for an increasing number of Australians who are unable to obtain fulltime work.

The problem of seeding funding could be resolved by ear marking 1% of superannuation money, approximately 100 million dollars, to a new public authority whose job it is to assess the applications that come in for funding. This seeding money would give people who don’t want to work in the public or private sector or who can't find a job, the opportunity to become involved in productive work. The expansion of the co-operative and collective sector is the shot in the arm the current moribund Australian economy needs.

For a fraction of the cost involved in creating private or public jobs, tens of thousands of Australians could be incorporated in this new economic initiative. A moribund economic system dominated by unaccountable corporations is ripe for change. Co-operatives and collectives can, have and do provide secure employment to many people around the world. It doesn’t take national bloodletting to expand the co-operative and collective sector. All it takes is parliamentary legislation to free up funding from the trillion dollars tied up in superannuation funds. The potential benefit to the economy and much more importantly the benefit derived by those Australians that cannot access jobs by a growing co-operative and collective sector, is immeasurable.

Diverting 1% of superannuation funds to a growing co-operative and collective sector is a very small price to pay for the benefits that come from secure full time employment.

Dr. Joseph Toscano