Thursday, August 1, 2013

Reason #3 why the Age is doomed: Eli Greenblat

No one needs to be told that McDonald’s is out of favour with the Age. The fast-food company is well run, which makes it an incomprehensible oddity to those who work at Media Floor, and it turns a profit, further compounding the general bafflement. Add that Macca’s is being harassed by Greens-voting Age readers in the Dandenongs  – the sort who define injustice as any VCAT decisionthat goes against their wishes – and the company makes a handy stand-in villain whenever there is insufficient opportunity to remind readers that Tony Abbott is (shudder) a Catholic.

One such report appeared last week, when business writer Eli Greenblat began a story thus:
McDonald's, the world's biggest fast-food chain, says sales in Australia are going backwards, citing incorrect figures on the level of youth unemployment to help explain why fewer people are buying its burgers and fries.
The “incorrect figures” refers to the assertion that McDonald’s sales are down in Australia because, as the CEO told investors, “Youth unemployment in Australia is about 25.5 per cent. So they're facing something; unemployment for them has risen.” This was just plain wrong, Greenblat explained, citing ABS figures. On the paper’s home page that day, one of his colleagues wrote a teaser that all but accused McDonald’s of working hand-in-glove with the Coalition to “talk down the economy.”
Greenblat will now have to publish a correction, and that is not merely the opinion of a partisan Bunyip but the official, fact-checked  view at former Age editor Andrew Jaspan’s TheConversation.
“The current full-time unemployment rate (that is, people looking for full-time work) for youth aged 15- to 19-years-old is 27.3%, according to the June 2013 ABS Labour Force Data. That is the highest rate for 15 years, when it hit 29.7% in 1998. The lowest level of youth unemployment was in 2008 when it fell to 15.5%.”
The Age needs to review its sympathies for those Tecoma protesters, no matter how endearing their deployment of “a sacred fungus” at a Litijus-Mordy’s smoking ceremony intended to drive Macca’s out of the Hills.

A few more McDonald’s outlets and burger-flipping jobs and, who knows,  Greenblat might actually be correct.


  1. Surely Greenblat has just removed any prospect of future employment when Fairfax finally goes belly-up.

  2. He could always get into the smoking ceremony business

  3. If 90% of the people of Tecoma are against Maccas, maybe they should not go there when it opens in their town.

    If the Golden Arched outlet has too little custom it will close down.

    I wonder if they want to vet every business that opens in their precious town, or are they jusy opposed to the naff ones.

  4. I have a hippy mate who is involved in the Tecoma hoo-hah. Of course, he's not a local resident. He was underwhelmed by my support. "If you didn't want a McDonalds on the site, you should have bought it. You had ample opportunity."

    To which he replied that they couldn't because the owner - for mysterious conspiratorial reasons he couldn't explain - was determined to sell it to Maccas.

    I suspect that the mysterious conspiratorial reasons were that they offered him more money for the site than a bunch of whining deadbeat hippies did, if any.

    Much cheaper to let someone else buy the property rights and then prevent the owner from exercising them. I wonder how they'd feel if McDonalds squatted on their property and prevented them from getting to Centrelink each week.

    Finally, the Tecoma shopping strip is a drive-through shithole - not a "hamlet" as touchingly described by said hippies. At least a Maccas would give the hill-bogans a reason to stop on their way home to Belgrave.

  5. Bunyip, welcome back.

  6. Smoking ceremonies are and always have been the final ceremonial act for funerals, often carried out a year after the disposal of the body to make sure the spirit has properly gone, now of course they are a just a scam like the possum skin coats imported from kiwi land.Note you were more likely to get a spear in the guts than a welcoming ceremony.

  7. Overall unemployment is 16% according to the Conversation article, relatively small numbers are in FT employment and thsubgroup is of no particular relevance in relation to adolescents' discretionary income- the issue at hand.

  8. Er ... Bunyip, this is the second time your blog has bought into this obscure controversy. I've always wondered about Tim Blair and his regular salutes to the tobacco industry, and now I'm getting the same feeling about you and the junk food people. Just what is your relationship with MacDonald's?
    Just askin'.

    1. Blackie it's not so bloody obscure if you run one of the small businesses in the vicinity that this unwashed rabble are also effectively boycotting by preventing access thereto. Permits applied for and approved, VCAT decision handed down but what the hell the process of the independent umpire only counts if it decides in your favour. And Craig Mc's comment above re Tecoma is pretty well spot on. It aint no quaint little rustic village nestled around the common.

  9. The business about full-time vs part-time youth unemployment is pretty bloody obscure though.