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“A Tale of two countries” – NZ/Aotearoa

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, November 3rd, 2013 - 81 comments
Categories: broadcasting, class war, cost of living, david cunliffe, democracy under attack, economy, housing, labour, telecommunications - Tags:

Two news items in this morning’s NZ Herald online cause me to feel despair for the current state of New Zealand after a couple of decades of “neoliberalism”.  People can debate some of the detail with respect to the policy direction indicated in Cunliffe’s speech yesterday, and as to whether we need a NEW, fair and inclusive direction or the resurrection of an OLD one.  However, Cunliffe outlines the problem here:

A Tale of two countries I grew up in a New Zealand where if you worked hard and played by the rules anyone could get ahead.

It was a country in which Kiwis could trust that government worked more or less in the interests of all its citizens.

Sadly, those days are gone.

We are confronted by a government clearly ruling in the interests of a few at the expense of the many, and creating two New Zealands.

One for the rich and powerful, who don’t pay their fair share of tax because they have smart accountants to ensure they avoid it.

And there’s the other New Zealand. Where people struggle to put food on the table for their families.

Where children go to school hungry, and senior citizens shiver in their homes.

Families who pay tax on every dollar they earn, pick up the slack for the mega-rich and the foreign corporations who don’t.

Middle New Zealand is working harder than ever.

Two NZ Herald articles indicate where NZ has sadly gone wrong.  Now more than ever we need a state run/supported truly public TV broadcaster linked to online delivery.  We need the kind of mainstream media that enables democracy to thrive, as Nicky Hagar explained in his Jesson Lecture.  It requires a media in which jouranlists speak truth to power and operate for the “public interest” and not the in the interest of the powerful, the lobbyists for the wealthy corporates.

Yet today an NZ Herald article shows that our ailing state supported TV broadcaster has become one dominated by the wealthy side of a socio-economically fractured nation.

State broadcaster’s six-figure salaries sign of ‘an excessive organisation’, say Greens

Nearly a quarter of TVNZ’s staff were paid six-figure salaries last year.

The state broadcaster’s figures show 226 of 940 full-time employees at the state broadcaster were paid more than $100,000 in the year to June.

Top of the list is believed to be chief executive Kevin Kenrick, on between $720,000 and $730,000.

Twenty-four employees were paid $200,000 or more.

[…]

Green Party broadcasting spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter said TVNZ was paying “excessively” high salaries when the public sector should be trying to curb pay inequality.

“They’re seemingly becoming quite an excessive organisation with a huge number of highly paid staff at a time when a lot of New Zealanders are struggling.”

TVNZ’s 2012/13 annual report also reveals it paid more than $4 million in redundancies and to settle employment disputes – the highest figure in five years.

The second Herald article waxes lyrical about some recent NZ imports, living the high life in Auckland.  The tome of the article is about how great it is to have such a glamorous elite now part of our biggest city, giving it a cosmopolitan shine.  But the unspoken downside is that these are some of the very people pushing up the price of homes: homes that Kiwis struggling on relatively low incomes are increasingly unable to afford to buy or rent.

Never mind Lonely Planet ranking Auckland one of the world’s top 10 towns for backpackers — international analysis this year shows the city joining the ranks of the world’s most desirable cities for the uber-rich. Over a glass or two of Veuve Clicquot while enjoying the view over Rangitoto, a couple of millionaires tell us why

Houses with sea views sell for $10 million – and there’s a waiting list to buy them. Gleaming superyachts wait at the wharf while their owners sun themselves at beach houses on private islands.

At restaurants, well-heeled couples don’t blink at dropping half a grand on dinner. And not far from a string of shops where handbags retail for thousands of dollars, a woman recently walked out the door of a high-street retail jeweller with a white diamond dress ring sporting a price tag of $72,690.

[…]

Over the past year, Auckland’s high-end property prices have increased 12.7 per cent, the seventh-fastest rate in the world.

Auckland’s overall property prices are now in the top 50 in the world, putting the city in the same realm as global centres such as London, Manhattan, Sydney and resort getaways including the British Virgin Islands, St Jean Cap Ferrat and Monaco.

But what you get for your money in Auckland is still attractive by international standards.

[…]

He [Real estate agent Michael Boulgaris says] says there is always a waiting list of buyers for top-level homes.

Privacy is paramount for the very wealthy, he says, followed by a sea view. “I looked at a house that was $7 million or $8 million the other day and you could stand in the main bedroom and touch the neighbour. Space and privacy are what are important.”

Charlie Brendon-Cook, of Luxury Real Estate, says some super rich are broadening their sights beyond Auckland, looking for that privacy.

Cunliffe is tipped to include something about housing in his Conference speech today.  I will be looking for something that is most likely to work for those struggling on the lowest income.  And an increase in safe, and secure state housing needs to be part of such an agenda.

81 comments on ““A Tale of two countries” – NZ/Aotearoa”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    The incoming Green-Labour Government should cap and benchmark the salary of TVNZ’s CEO as well as the salaries of top senior employees. As well, such a cap/benchmark should apply to equivalent positions throughout the public service & SOEs. To round it off, the Remuneration Authority will be statutorily required to apply a cap/benchmark to the remuneration of Cabinet Ministers and MPs.

  2. bad12 2

    To tell you the truth i cannot remember the last time i watched a whole program of anything TV1 has broadcast,

    It would appear that buying or having made content that anyone wants to watch has been discarded in favor of spending the budget on the bloated hired help,

    Obviously this largesse extends across the whole of the State Sector and i would suggest that such over-blown salaries are unwarranted,

    Servants of the State i would suggest should not be paid more than 150 thousand a year,(and even that amount seems overly generous)…

    • miravox 2.1

      “Servants of the State i would suggest should not be paid more than 150 thousand a year”

      I’d rather see they were paid x% of what the lowest paid were getting (including contracted staff), that way they’d have to increase the wages of the lowest paid to be able to increase their own salaries, instead of decreasing them through ever-tightening contracts to find the extra dosh for themselves.

      Edit: P.S. Karol – typo? Aotearoa

    • BM 2.2

      Servants of the State i would suggest should not be paid more than 150 thousand a year,(and even that amount seems overly generous)…

      Such as Julie Anne Genter or is she a special case?

      • bad12 2.2.1

        Way more special than you will ever be, 99% of readers would get that i was addressing the remuneration of those hired by that State not the Elected Representatives of the people…

        • BM 2.2.1.1

          Seems a bit rich though, here’s Genter bagging people for getting paid over a 100k and whining about the cost and how obscene it is.

          At the same time she’s on the taxpayers tit sucking over 150k + perks, unreal.
          Does she not see the hypocrisy or is she so blinded by her own awesomeness that it didn’t even register.

          • bad12 2.2.1.1.1

            A bit rich, not at all, you whine about Julie-Ann getting 150 thou a year for in effect helping run the country,(and i hear your waa waa She is only the Opposition befor you spit it out),

            Yet you are quite happy for those running, and i would say badly, a mere television broadcaster to be sucking at that same taxpayer trough to the tune of over 700 grand a year,

            i think there is something wrong inside your head if you cannot see your own hypocrisy on this issue,

            • bad12 2.2.1.1.1.1

              My view is that there is a couple of billion dollars annually of ‘Fat’ that need be trimmed from the salaries of those who work for and manage the States day to day business and assets over a decadal time frame,

              The Parliament as the Head of State should be the pinnacle of earnings that as salary the State pays to those who serve it and all those serving the State should be remunerated at a level below that of the Parliament,

              Alleviating child poverty by extending the tax credit system to include ALL children and future payments of NZ Super could be achieved by drawing a clear distinction between working for ‘the State’ and working for the private sector,

              i am sure we used to do this befor the Neo-libs arrived with their fucked up elitist ideology…

      • Just Like Tiger Woods 2.2.2

        “Servants of the State i would suggest should not be paid more than 150 thousand a year,(and even that amount seems overly generous)”

        I can help Julie there.

        “Servants of the State i would suggest should not be paid more than the average wage,(and even that amount seems overly generous)”

        Start with the socialist Genter.

    • Lanthanide 2.3

      “Servants of the State i would suggest should not be paid more than 150 thousand a year,(and even that amount seems overly generous)…”

      That’s a good way to ensure that the most productive and valuable people will never work as Servants of the State.

      Which is the whole reason these people are being paid market rates.

      • felix 2.3.1

        “the most productive and valuable people” in any organisation are seldom paid anywhere near such a rate.

      • bad12 2.3.2

        What a load, and befor the paying of ‘market rates’ did we have any worse a TV1 than we have now,

        There’s a zillion talented people in this country quite able to run the States broadcasting who would happily do so for a fraction of what the ‘fat cats’ are now paying themselves…

        • Lanthanide 2.3.2.1

          Unfortunately it’s very difficult to prove that one way or another.

          • felix 2.3.2.1.1

            * “good way to ensure”
            * “whole reason”

            Sounds like you’re pretty convinced “one way” despite it being so “very difficult to prove”.

            • Lanthanide 2.3.2.1.1.1

              I think you’d have a hard time arguing that in the general case, high performing people tend to know what they’re worth and tend to work for companies willing and able to pay them that rate.

              The specific case of TVNZ vs other companies, and the specific media people working at TVNZ, would require more specific evidence one way or the other – bad12 is suggesting that there are heaps of people in NZ who could do as good or better job than the specific individuals at TVNZ, which is difficult to prove without actually running that experiment.

              My comment however was on the general principle of pay peanuts, get monkeys.

              • felix

                I know what your comment was on. I was pointing out that the idiom doesn’t hold in reality. What we actually do is pay millions and get monkeys.

                For one obvious example the monkeys who ran the finance and banking sector into the ground. Or closer to home, the monkeys who damn near bankrupted Air NZ and NZ Rail.

                The point is that “the most productive and valuable people” are the workers who keep the trains and planes running, not the interchangeable executives at the top.

                • Lanthanide

                  “The point is that “the most productive and valuable people” are the workers who keep the trains and planes running, not the interchangeable executives at the top.”

                  The executives keep the entire company running, and in most industries growing. That enables the workers that keep the trains and planes running to have job security and a career etc.

                  • felix

                    Oh sorry I didn’t realise we had stopped talking about the examples I gave already. Can we go back to them for a moment?

                    • Lanthanide

                      Or we could look at all of the other hundreds of companies that aren’t run into the ground on an annual basis.

                      It is human nature to make mistakes and have bad ideas, especially when you’re in a competitive environment and trying to take risks in order to make more money.

                    • felix

                      Go on then. Pick a large company and demonstrate how “the most productive and valuable people” in it are the pool of CEs who move from co to co and industry to industry every couple of years.

                      I can’t think of an example.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Once again, I’m talking in general, not about a specific company, TVNZ or any other.

                      Also I’m not exclusively talking about executives either; just people that are paid a lot for their skills. There are several hands-on engineering staff at my company making $120k+, not too much less than our managing director would make (guestimating).

                      The other point I’d make is that these directors and executives are mostly in the background keeping things ticking along or introducing new initiatives for the company. Unless you’re intimately involved with a particular company, it’s unlikely you’d be able to name any of them and their particular contributions – just like you’d have trouble identifying and naming any particular cleaner who works in a hospital or train driver that keeps the trains on time.

                    • felix

                      Oh well I guess my examples of air travel and rail in NZ and the entire world’s banking and finance sector don’t stack up against your nothing.

                    • Lanthanide

                      No felix, it’s your example of a ‘few’ companies failing in the course of a decade, set against many thousands more that don’t fail in the same period.

                    • felix

                      Really Lanth? The global financial crisis was just a few companies failing?

                      Anyway “failure” isn’t what I’m getting at. I’m addressing your entirely unproven assertion that we currently pay people according to their productivity.

                      In the examples I gave that is demonstrable untrue. I’m yet to see any evidence that those who produce value are paid on that basis in general or otherwise.

                    • Lanthanide

                      The GFC was just a few companies failing… that wrecked the underlying economy and business confidence and took other companies with them.

                      Actually I said “productive and valuable people”, not just “productive”.

                      Also I’m not saying that people who earn 20x as much as someone else in the same company *deserve* to be paid 20x as much. Merely that the people who get paid the most, are the most productive and valuable people. They could be paid just 1.5x as much as someone else and this would still be true: they get paid more because they’re more valuable.

                      To suggest otherwise says that companies are making irrational choices in their pay decisions, and are paying groups of people far more than they’re worth for no reason.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      Dude, the remuneration game is NOT a meritocracy.

                      The GFC was just a few companies failing… that wrecked the underlying economy and business confidence and took other companies with them.

                      This isn’t a very good way of describing what actually happened.

                      Your approach explains nothing about the causes, how and why failure precipitated, what happened to make the knock on effects much worse than they needed to be, why issues still are not sorted out and lessons learned/not learnt.

                      So it appears that your explanation isn’t that good.

                      To suggest otherwise says that companies are making irrational choices in their pay decisions

                      Yeah, because as per neoliberal economics, only rational decisions are made by the people who run companies, nothing to do with greed, prejudice, internal politics, misinformation etc.

                  • vto

                    Lanthanide “The executives keep the entire company running, and in most industries growing. That enables the workers that keep the trains and planes running to have job security and a career etc.”

                    What a load of hogwash. You have it completely arse-about.

                    Try this simple experiment in an example of, say the trains…..

                    1. Take your fancy pants executive and send him into the bush for a few days where he is incommunicado…. Will the trains stop running?

                    2. Take your overall-clad train driver and send him into the bush for a few days where he is incommunicado… Will the trains stop running?

                    You’re way off the planet with that claim Lanth. But I suspect that stems from looking at it through your own lenses of management / executive rather than any type of objective lenses.

        • Populuxe1 2.3.2.2

          That must be why we have a brain drain – the zillions of talented kiwis going off shore to find jobs that don’t pay as well as the ones at home…

      • Paul 2.3.3

        If they are that valuable, then I’m sure they can go to other countries and pay no taxes there instead.

      • Francis 2.3.4

        That’s a good way to ensure that the most productive and valuable people will never work as Servants of the State.
        Yet another neo-liberal lie. While there’s no problem with our most talented, skilled, hard-working people being paid a salary in proportion to the skills they have (and how much effort they put in), that’s not what happens in reality.

        The so-called “market rates”, particularly for management roles, are stuck in an upwards spiral as companies constantly increase the salaries of their management. So instead of getting a CEO who takes the job because they believe in what their company does, and wants to make a difference, you get a CEO who takes the job purely because it pays hundreds of thousands of dollars. Quite often, if things start to go poorly in the company, they’ll be the first ones to run off and go into another high-paying job.

        The alternative is in-sourcing. Get someone who’s been with the company for a reasonably long time, and thus understands how things works, and really believes in what the company does. I’m almost certain that people like this wouldn’t turn down a job because it only pays $150,000 per year (as if 4 times the median income is somehow small)…

  3. bad12 3

    Karol, David Cunliffe did mention housing in His speech yesterday,(from the reprint in the David Cunliffe speech to the Conference post),

    The reference, along with the 100,000 homes to be built, was to ‘the middle class’ struggling to pay Rents and Mortgages,

    My thoughts on just how much of a struggle the middle class are having paying said rents are unprintable,

    Is there another Cunliffe speech today???…

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Take GST off of rates.

      Probably that’s too expensive, though.

      • vto 3.1.1

        Take GST off housing

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1

          GST only applies to new builds.

          • vto 3.1.1.1.1

            Lanthanide, not sure how many times this needs pointing out to people but if new house builds drop in cost by 15% due to the GST being dropped then there will without doubt be a corresponding drop in secondhand house values.

            GST applies to new builds but dropping the GST has an effect right across the housing sector.

            I am surprised this needs to be pointed out.

            • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I seriously doubt it, because the existing housing stock is many many times larger than the number of new houses built in any year.

              Drop GST off new builds, might see a price moderation of ~5%, but it won’t be 15%.

              Such a policy would also be very difficult to actually police and implement, because there are typically dozens of companies involved in any individual house construction, and they’d now need to track 15% GST for renovations/repairs and 0% GST for new builds. Sounds like easy room for rorting there. But council rates are only charged by councils and the reporting and accounting of that money is very clear.

              Furthermore dropping GST on new construction, even if did equate to a 15% drop in existing housing stock, doesn’t do shit for people with existing mortgages, in fact all you’re doing it putting them underwater (which reduces labourforce mobility). Rents would be unlikely to go down in the short to medium term. On the other hand, council rates are an ongoing expense that apply to everyone that owns a house, and there’s a chance that a 13% drop in the price of rates could be passed on to renters; certainly it would be a factor in rent prices not needing to increase in the short term.

              • Lanthanide

                For example, a large determinant of housing price is location. In old established suburbs where there are no vacant sections and very little rebuild going on, prices would be largely unaffected by the cost of a new build because it isn’t an option in that suburb and people who want to live there are forced to buy an existing home.

              • vto

                I think you might have had a tough weekend Lanth because that is simply more hogwash.

                If all new house and land packages across the country drop in price by 15% ($500,000 house drops to $435,000) you think the effect on existing housing values would be relatively unchanged? Maybe 5% ($435,000 house drops to $415,000)?

                My opinion is that your opinion on this is nuts.

  4. Paul 4

    And the Herald puts forward articles that continue the myths of neo-liberalism.
    Damien Grant: “Poverty isn’t fault of rich”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11150603

    One assumes Mr Grant is educated.
    Therefore is he?:
    a) a disciple of neo-liberalism and so indoctrinated he believes in the cult of selfishness as proposed by Ayn Rand ..despite all the evidence now apparent.
    b) a paid puppet of the corporates who write their spin.
    c) a member of the 1% himself who actually benefits from the present paradigm.

    • miravox 4.1

      A wannabe c) + a)

      “One assumes Mr Grant is educated”

      One knows Damien Grant has a conviction for making people poorer. He’s not worth the time or effort to read, or to try and understand.

      • Paul 4.1.1

        Does his sort change when they are around 50 and realise that this aspiration stuff is just nonsense for 99% of the population?

        • miravox 4.1.1.1

          Ha! I wish -probably just take the bitter and twisted pills, I reckon.

          • Paul 4.1.1.1.1

            How does someone turn out like that?
            Did they miss the empathy gene?

            • David H 4.1.1.1.1.1

              It has to be in the environment that you are brought up in. Me I am trying my best to instill the right values into my 2.5 year old. the values that everyone is valuable, no matter what, and to share, and sharing is an alien concept to a 2.5 year old lol.

            • miravox 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Poor parenting?

              Between 4 and 14 and being a brat, did no-one ever make say “how would you like it if someone did that to you?”

    • joe90 4.2

      Therefore is he?:

      d) a disciple.

      [9] THOU SHALT KNOW THAT INEQUALITY IS NATURAL

      Neoliberals regard inequality of economic resources and political rights not as an unfortunate byproduct of capitalism, but a necessary functional characteristic of their ideal market system. Inequality is not only the natural state of market economies from a neoliberal perspective, but it is actually one of its strongest motor forces for progress. Hence the rich are not parasites, but a boon to mankind.

      http://www.the-utopian.org/post/53360513384/the-thirteen-commandments-of-neoliberalism

    • damien grant 4.3

      d) see Joe90.

      • Paul 4.3.1

        And no evidence can show you otherwise…

      • joe90 4.3.2

        Hi tealeaf.

      • NickS 4.3.3

        Oh look, another idiot how can’t grasp that natural doesn’t equal right, let alone desirable :roll:

      • Paul 4.3.4

        Damien if you fall sick, or lose all your money through misfortune, do you expect the state to help you?

        • damien grant 4.3.4.1

          No. Either I can pay or I am insured.

          • Tat Loo (CV) 4.3.4.1.1

            You sorta didn’t read what was actually written, did you? And instead decided for some reason to answer your own imaginary question.

          • lprent 4.3.4.1.2

            Personally I think that your ability to assess risk is more of an issue. Only an idiot would accept an analysis from Bill English without checking it.

            Your quoting of his tax fallacies carefully managed to ignore that the majority of the GST and most other consumption taxes was paid by the poor. Because Bill English was lying with numbers. He was referring to revenue only from income tax, and expenditure paid by all taxes. GST has been of similar revenue size to income tax since it was raised to 15%.

            You read like a complete fool content with aphorisms because you lack the capability to do analysis.

      • locus 4.3.5

        I’m sick to my stomach with narcissistic randists being given a stage by the msm on which to act out their sick fantasy that income inequality is ‘natural’. If it’s is a necessary condition of capitalism to maximise inequality (the logical outcome of your philosophy Damien), then capitalism is rotten.

        In the ever swelling propaganda of the neoliberal right this kind of self-serving rant is typically showcased alongside oikings of disgust about the lower class who deserve their poverty because they have chosen it, or are lazy, or are bludgers, while the wealthy have earnt what they’ve worked hard for.

        Just keep on spouting randian ideology long enough and apparently all intelligent people will agree.

        The basic difference between your sociopathic opinion Damien, and left wing thinking is that we think.

        • damien grant 4.3.5.1

          “If it’s is a necessary condition of capitalism to maximise inequality”

          It isn’t.

          • Tat Loo (CV) 4.3.5.1.1

            Then you’re leaving money on the table. Make sure your shareholders don’t hear of your lack of vision, or you’ll be replaced.

          • locus 4.3.5.1.2

            Minimising payment for the factors of production (e.g. labour) is a basic mechanism of capitalism. This means that the owners of capital – or their business managers – do all they can to remove the power of workers to negotiate a fairer share of the profits.

            The end result of this, if unregulated, is… the maximisation of inequality.

            Perhaps you’ll tell us what controls you think are appropriate to curb the burgeoning income disparity resulting from neoliberal capitalism?

    • QoT 4.4

      Ah, that’s Damien “poverty is meaningless and doesn’t exist and I’d rather buy an iPhone” Grant.

      Another of the Herald’s wonderfully insightful, edgy columnists.

    • Blue 4.5

      It’s much simpler than that. Damien’s a sociopath who hasn’t figured out what’s wrong with him and why hardly anyone agrees with his ideas yet.

      • Paul 4.5.1

        We are failing as a society if people can grow up with so little concern for other people as he has.

  5. tricledrown 5

    Tea party homespun propaganda no research same sort of BS Thatcher used.
    Sarah Palin and Bachman use this comparing the home budget crap with running an economy.
    Fox News or herald.

  6. tricledrown 6

    Damien Grant how did John Key make it out of poverty Hey didn’t have a farm or business He could improve over the others.
    He got a hand up by the state his mother got a widows pension state house free education and healthcare even though their family had paid no tax or had jobs.

    • damien grant 6.1

      Children are educated in Iran; this does not validate their political or economic system.

      • Tat Loo (CV) 6.1.1

        Thanks for your irrelevancies.

        Now please answer the question (if you can): how did John Key make it out of childhood poverty and have the opportunity to become PM?

        • gobsmacked 6.1.1.1

          Damien blithely assures us: “Either I can pay or I am insured.”

          OK, it’s not unusual for right-wingers to hark back to the 1950’s, or even the 19th century.

          But Damien has bigger, bolder ambitions – he believes we should go back to the 16th century.

          http://www.historyonthenet.com/Tudors/poor_law.htm

          Yes, it was way back then that our English forebears first worked out that there was a collective responsibility, and that it should be financed by taxes. An idea that’s been developing ever since.

          So on the one hand, we have 4 centuries of human history.

          On the other hand, there is Damien.

          • Tat Loo (CV) 6.1.1.1.1

            There are actually lots of very successful countries in the world full of happy, high achieving people, which are run on the kind of economics suggested by Damien Grant.

            I’m sorta, uh, struggling to remember which ones…uh…exactly…but there’s lots of them, and the track record is exemplary!

            • miravox 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Well if there isn’t, it must be because no-one is brave enough to implement his economics in its pure form…

              Else he could give a shit, as long as he’s all right.

          • joe90 6.1.1.1.2

            I’m picking an island or apostle – although Damien might just be a little creepy.

            http://leftycartoons.com/the-24-types-of-libertarian/

  7. tricledrown 7

    Don’t forget the child allowance and free milk in schools.

  8. joe90 8

    On income inequality.

    Anyone who has worked in the corporate milieu knows that the arrival of McKinsey on the scene tends to not be a sign of good news for the rank and file. What is less known is McKinsey’s role in the creation of the CEO-to-worker gap itself. In 1951, General Motors hired McKinsey consultant Arch Patton to conduct a multi-industry study of executive compensation. The results appeared in Harvard Business Review, with the specific finding that from 1939 to 1950, the pay of hourly employees had more than doubled, while that of “policy level” management had risen only 35 percent. If you adjusted that for inflation, top management’s spendable income had actually dropped 59 percent during the period, whereas hourly employees had improved their purchasing power.

    […]

    But invoking the name McKinsey as a rubber stamp for self-serving corner-office decision-making is a long corporate tradition, and for six decades now, those holding the strings of the corporate purse have chosen to simply skip the “rigorous” part in rationalizing ever more absurd levels of CEO pay. In its 1996 obituary, the Times reported Mr. Patton’s chagrin at how managers had abused his survey, in large part by assuming that “all [executives] were above-average performers.” Asked in the 1980s how he felt about the effect of his work, his reply was simple: “guilty.” Consider, too, that the 1982 CEO-to-worker pay ratio was only a relatively paltry 42:1. One wonders how he’d feel today.

    http://observer.com/2013/08/the-godfather-of-ceo-megapay-mckinsey-consultant-arch-patton-didnt-invent-wealth-inequality/

  9. tricledrown 9

    Tat loo Agentina tried that experiment cutting all benefits including the pension .
    82 year old grandmas had to work breaking rocks on motorways for a pitance !
    Unemployment went from 6% to 38% .
    If grants wishes were made to come true in our country the likes of key and his mum would be picking through rubbish tips for a fee scraps!

  10. Disabled Liberation Aotearoa NZ FLANZ 10

    DLANZ feel ‘hand on heart’ the government has not considered the ramifications of what DLANZ would describe as a ‘Systemic Abdication of Sovereign Responsibility’ The fact that over 270 thousand kids and their whanau / families, live in recognized ‘poverty levels’ (Solutions to Child Poverty in NZ – Families Comm. 2012), clearly indicate Aotearoa NZ ‘Laissez Faire – We Don’t Care’ attitude is causing great chaos, pain and economic havoc onto its citizens.

    Disabled of DLANZ had hoped our request to the NZ Maori Party Conference.2013, to call for an early election would stop this systemic indifference, sadly no response. The NZ Disability Strategy 2001 “Whakanui Oranga” is a solution based Social Model of Disability which as like the ‘Litmus Test’ Whakanui Oranga NZDS 2001, is a structural frame world strategy that helps identify ignorance from indifference when it comes to setting policies for future generations of Aotearoa.’s Able-bodied / Maarohirohi, and Disabled / Hape (with and without other disabilities Hauaa)

    Speaking as a Hape (Physical and haappy; to be here 🙂 , It would be fair to say that: From Damascus to Darfur, Doha to Detroit and all the way back to Dargaville…Children suffer in poverty, while hypocrisy reigns / rains (Refer i.e. ‘Solutions to Child Poverty in NZ’ 2012)

    Kia Kaha Waitangi and keep smiling to all
    Doug Hay…dougie (-:

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  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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