Young people are extremely unhappy with The Australian columnist & industrial relations expert Grace Collier.

Last night on Q&A, she told the unemployed that if they wanted to stop being unemployed, they could just start a business! It didn’t go down well. There were heckles.

It began – as these things so often do – with a reasonable question about the future of Australia (in this case, the auto manufacturing industry), and quickly dissolved into empty statements and daring the very busy Greens leader that if he was so worried about unemployment, he should just start a business and hire at will.

A Q&A Panellist Told Unemployed People To Start A Biz & Y’All Aren’t Happy


“I’m going to say something that’ll offend everybody in the room,”
Collier (correctly) began, during a panel discussion about the future of manufacturing and if the government should subsidise certain industries.

“Nobody has an entitlement to a job. Society doesn’t owe you a job. The Government can’t get you a job. The Government shouldn’t have to get you a job. There’s no such thing as Government money. There’s your money and my money.”

Then her advice began to drift dangerously close the the “follow your dreams” garbage hole of motivational quotes.

“Everybody has something that they’re good at,” she said. “Everyone does. And then you work out what you’re good at and you try and make a career out of that.”

But it was when Greens leader Richard Di Natale pointed out that there were less jobs than people in Australia, hence the unemployment rate (5.8%) that the audience started to get rowdy.

“People can start their own businesses,” she offered as a solution to the unemployment rate, prompting a chorus of heckles. “Ohhhh it’s terrible isn’t it!” she yelled at the crowd. “Wouldn’t it be awful to have to start your own business because someone else has to give you a job?”

A Q&A Panellist Told Unemployed People To Start A Biz & Y’All Aren’t Happy

Di Natalie called out Collier’s statements as “false choices”.

“Why don’t you start a business and hire some people,”
Collier goaded. “Go on, I dare you.”

“I’m a bit busy at the moment,” he replied.

Collier turned on fellow panellist & president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions Ged Kearney. “Why don’t you?” she asked.

“There’s no point me starting a business if nobody has any money in their pockets to spend in that business,” Kearney replied, to actual cheers from the audience.

Over on Twitter, people were extremely unhappy about this suggestion to end all their employment woes:

Honestly, file this one under the Joe-Hockey-telling-young-people-to-afford-a-house-by-getting-a-good-job sub-category of truly terrible and ill-thought out advice.


Photo: ABC.