ANOTHER day, another how many hundred jobs to go?
IBM is reportedly letting go 1500 or so people from its Australian operation, shifting jobs to cheaper offshore locations.
Rio Tinto is shedding hundreds of jobs from its Western Australian iron ore mines.
The ANZ bank says about 600 jobs are going offshore to help it keep its profits up.
We already knew that General Motors was cutting more than 1000 jobs, and now it's started leaning on its remaining staff to take a pay cut and on the government to pay more protection money.
Seems every second big company around the place is sacking or offshoring, while even middle-sized businesses are taking advantage of the government's special visa deals to import cheap workers from low-wage countries for just about any job you can name.
We are importing "expert" fitters from Papua New Guinea to work in the Hunter's mining industry, for goodness' sake.
They used to tell us that we should welcome foreign capital because it helped us develop our resources years before we'd been able to do it ourselves.
Yes, profits will go offshore and yes, your communities will bear the costs of pollution and land degradation, but hey, you will get pay packets that will generate income tax and other spending that will filter through your cities and towns, creating more jobs and wealth.
Where does that argument stand, exactly, when even the labour isn't local?
Is there a point at which somebody will wake up and realise how stupid this is?
Isn't this exactly what the United States did? Sent its industries and jobs offshore, imported squillions of low-wage immigrants and then woke up and wondered why nobody in the US had money to spend any more.
All these companies want to sell us stuff, but they don't want to pay us to make stuff. They are impoverishing their customers and, what's more, they are queuing up to do it and competing over who can do it faster and tougher.
Why? Because they say their shareholders want them to.
Who are these shareholders who think the way to wealth is to cripple the purchasing power of your own marketplace?
They aren't students of history, that's for sure.
If they were they'd realise that, although it seems very clever to rant about the need to push wages to bare survival levels to maximise profits for shareholders, the end result isn't good for anybody.
Push hard enough and you can make a recession, or even a depression, with the right kind of help from the sociopaths who run the banking system.
Clever economists will wag their finger at me and tell me I'm being silly.
Any fool knows that countries, like individuals, do best when they concentrate on their areas of special expertise.
Except, what is Australia good at?
According to the economists, we are definitely not good at making anything and should quit trying right now.
Why aren't we good at making things? Because our wages are too high.
But that's why manufacturers love us, because we have enough cash to buy things.
If we give them what they want and agree to work for the same wages as a downtrodden street child in Bangladesh or a desperate refugee in Africa, they will be happy for about five minutes until they realise that we can no longer buy their stuff.
What do the economists say we are good at?
For a start, it isn't their job to tell us that. They can only tell us what we're bad at.
But we can assume they think we are good at digging up rocks and putting them in ships for other people to make things out of.
Except, hang on, we can't be very good at that either, otherwise why do the mining companies want to import workers from overseas?
Oh that's right, our wages are too high.