Bizonomics the new ‘trickle-down’

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April 8, 2017
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You’ve heard of ‘supply and demand’ and ‘trickle-down’. Now, there’s a new, trending breed of economics: bizonomics.

Apparently coined by Australian economic journalist Ross Gittins, bizonimics refers to a business-first (and, by default, employees second) approach to fiscal policy. Basically, its trickle-down economics wrapped in a fancy new buzzword.

A striking example of this is the Fair Work Commission’s recent decision to trim Sunday penalty rates for hospitality and retail workers – from double time to time-and-a-half. The Commission argued that, by cutting businesses costs in this way, businesses would have more cash to spend on hiring more employees.

More recently, the government’s decision to shave 2.5% off company tax rates fits within the bizonomics paradigm.

The problem is, however, the efficacy of bizonomics’ is untested. The Commission itself admitted as much:   “reducing penalty rates may (emphasis added) have a modest positive effect on employment”, the Commissioners wrote.

So, what does this mean for the greater public? A turn to bizonomics is a further shift to individualism – to the employer – to making things happen for oneself. As we’ve seen with companies like Uber and AirBnB, being one’s own boss is increasingly becoming the norm in industries where employees used to rule. This will require people to be innovative, whether by starting a new businesses or chasing opportunities in existing ones.

He may have dire approval ratings, but Turnbull might be right about one thing: innovation will be essential, just perhaps not in the way he foresaw.