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21 March 2014

by John Passant

Let he who is without sin-odinos cast the first stone

I tutored for two hours this week. Where's my $200,000 Arfur?

My pay per hour of tutoring (which covers one hour of preparation - it actually takes much much longer - and one for student availability and admninistration) is $116, or $232 per week for the two hours. My calculation in terms of real preparation time, availability, student contact etc is I am paid about $25 an hour. If I did this 2 hour tutoring each week of the year I'd earn almost $12000 a year.

Arthur Sinodinos on the other hand, when he was with an Australian water company and before he became a Senator and then Assistant Treasurer after the election, was paid $200,000 a year for 2 hours work a week, or $2000 an hour, 80 times per hour more than me.

Of course all I do is (hopefully) inspire students to think critically about society. Arthur was paid to open up connections with politicians. Nice work if you can get it.

That is the point. We work our guts out and on average are paid about $75000 a year. The median wage is much lower. Despite there being a 38 hour week supposedly, the actual average working week in Australia is 44 hours a week, with about $110 billion in unpaid overtime stolen by the bosses. Meanwhile Sinodinos was sunning himself for $2000 an hour.

The one percent bludge and get rich rewards. We bust a gut.

The likes of Liberal Arthur Sinodinos, and Labor man Eddie Obeid, live off our labour. The two parties are in competition to run capitalism. It is why the lurkers and perkers are to be found on both sides of capitalist politics.

Greed in a society built on greed sees many of the one percent bend the rules to enrich themselves. But individual corruption isn't the problem.

Capitalism is corrupt. It is built on the back of our labour. It exploits us by paying us the value of our labour power, ie enough to get us back to work the next day and raise the next generation of workers. Yet the value we workers create in the goods and services going to the market is much greater than this. In other words we are not paid the full value of our work, and the difference goes to the capitalist.

There is only one way to get rid of corruption and that is to overthrow the corrupt system. That is a stone I'd like to cast.

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