From the FFS files in today’s Oz (my emphasis):
RESOURCE and infrastructure giants will be told to spend more heavily with local manufacturing companies in a Gillard government plan due within weeks to aid struggling industries amid fears of a wave of further job layoffs.
Big investors will have to prove they support Australian manufacturers in a new directive from Canberra that adds to existing rules aimed at increasing demand for local steel, building products and other materials.
In lieu of good policy settings and great execution, this government specifically contributes to a worsening environment in industrial relations, cost, regulation and confidence, then coerces those businesses stupid enough to still be operating to subsidise union workers.
Oh, and to pass on the increased costs to consumers, many of whom are the supposed concern of the ALP, but who seem to be bearing the brunt of ALP policymaking.
The cogs-and-levers view of the economy is well entrenched in the Left; the idea that good things can emerge from a self-organising system is clearly alien, and you can see it in all the do-good coercive measures which are the Left’s kneejerk response. Price controls, directed purchases, “just tell them to do it” thinking.
This is protection, pure and simple, privileging connected businesses to the detriment of other businesses, taxpayers, and ordinary consumers. I’ve said it before: the Left is the home of the crony.