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Minimum wage myths: unemployment

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, February 2nd, 2010 - 126 comments
Categories: class war, minimum wage, unemployment - Tags:

One of the old saws that the Right brings out whenever the topic of increasing the minimum wage comes up is ‘oh no, it will increase unemployment’. They said it this year. The Business Roundtable said it every year as the Fifth Labour Government put up the minimum wage and unemployment kept falling. Hell, they probably screamed it when, in 1975, the Third Labour Government nearly doubled the minimum wage to $12.46 in today’s dollars, and were mystified when unemployment didn’t skyrocket.

In fact, the neoliberal consensus among economists that minimum wages are bad news has been unravelling for decades. In 1978, 90% of economist agreed the minimum wage increases unemployment. By 1990, 62.4% fully agreed and 17.5% disagreed. In 2000, only 45.6% (I’m guessing the older ones) still wholeheartedly thought the minimum wage increases unemployment and 26.5% thought otherwise. The numbers are probably still dropping and there is growing evidence of no relationship between unemployment and minimum wages. It is simply not a truth universally acknowledged by economists that the minimum wage increases unemployment.

It is only in the bonehead world of the rightwing pundit or editor that it is taken as gospel that raising the minimum wage increases unemployment. But, wouldn’t you know it, those annoying facts don’t agree. Check out the minimum wage and unemployment rates from 1970 to 2009:

[Positive correlations go from 0 to 1. The higher, the stronger the relationship. 0.05 is so laughably low that there's probably more relationship between the colour of my shirt on a given day and the weather in Ulan Bator than between the minimum wage and unemployment in New Zealand]

Face it, the Right isn’t worried that about low-paid Kiwis losing their jobs. Low income Kiwis don’t even exist in their imaginations (go on, righties, guess the median income without peeking, and remember 50% of people are poorer than that). No, the Right is interested in bigger profits and bigger salaries for the bosses.

At the end of the day, there’s only so much pie to go around at any one time. Cutting bigger slices for the working poor means slightly smaller slices for the well-off, and that’s what the Right is against.

126 comments on “Minimum wage myths: unemployment”

  1. TightyRighty 1

    Marty, did you read your “growing evidence”. thats a pretty good own goal. basically saying that the methods used by card-krueger were not very scientific in their approach. I really like the final comment

    “Despite the above mentioned shortcomings, the Card-Krueger findings have been seized upon, both in the United States and abroad, as providing support for increasing the minimum wage. Initially, there was a rush to judgment and a rush to celebrate and acclaim the results. With the emergence of major questions concerning the accuracy of the basic data in their major natural experiment, there has been some retreat from that position. We think this retreat is wise. Certainly, until some of the major questions are resolved, it might be well to accept the statement made by Krueger at a Milken Institute conference, where he stated, “I want to emphasize that my comments should not be interpreted as support for the position that increasing the minimum wage is sound public policy” (Krueger 1993:11). “

    • TightyRighty 1.1

      Oh, and this is from 1995. so if there hasn’t been any more evidence, which was discredited anyway, like the IPCC, since then, it’s not growing. it’s stagnating. how about this,

      http://expectedreturns.blogspot.com/2009/07/increase-in-minimum-wage-means-more.html

      • Bright Red 1.1.1

        No. The old guard don’t accept the findings of the study – ie that it doesn’t increase the minimum wage.

        And it’s just one study among many. I think we’re still waiting for any empirical studies that show the minimum wage increasing unemployment.

        How do you respond to the soaring numbers of economists who don’t think the minimum wage increases unemployment?

        • TightyRighty 1.1.1.1

          Um, the study was proved to be statisctically false. you’ll rip on the herald for it, but when it’s one of your own, it’s one of many, lots of consensus. yeah wikipedia is always accurate. IPCC AR4, himalayan glaciers, i see a trend emerging. i’ll go make some pretty graphs to back it up. where are these other studies then bright red?

          • snoozer 1.1.1.1.1

            tighty. if you want to talk about the IPCC f*ck off to the appropriate thread and stop threadjacking this one.

            • TightyRighty 1.1.1.1.1.1

              not threadjacking. using it as a comparison point for dodgy studies. if you can’t comprehend what i’m saying, fuck off back to school.

              • snoozer

                So, what is dodgy about the study? that some old neoliberals disagree? Boo, hoo.

                And how do you dismiss the growing number of economists who don’t agree that the minimum wage increases unemployment? With “yeah wikipedia is always accurate”? Weak, check the studies, links are provided.

                Oh and sonny, how do you explain that complete lack of correlation between the minimum wage and the unemployment rate in nz?

              • TightyRighty

                some old neo-liberals disagree? pull your head out of the sand snoozer. the study got pulled apart because it was based on dodgy stats, put together by dodgy methods. It doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. sorry to tear down the things you hold dear. it’s not disagreement, it’s peer reviewed and found wanting. we on the right no the left can’t handle this, so it’s no suprise your being a fucking tool about it. trying to run interference for marty with his 15yr old discredited study. “wikipedia, wikipedia”

              • snoozer

                so we’ll conclude that you have no answer to the fact that there is no concensus among economsits that increasing the minimum wage increases unemployment.

                And we’ll conclude that you have no answer as to why there is no correlation between unemployment in New Zealand and the minimum wage.

              • TightyRighty

                and we’ll conclude with the fact you haven’t acutally provided any evidence apart from a wiki link to consensus on economists.

                surveyer – is there a link between the minimum wage and unemployment?

                economist – can i hold all things equal?

                surveyer – sure

                economist – then there can be no link.

                the “growing evidence” was growing mould from being left in the closet to long. there is no rhyme or reason to raise the minimum wage by 19%. it’s an idealogical thing, and cheap political point scoring. some jobs just aren’t worth it. as some other commentators have called, if it can be $15 with no impact, why not $50? any answer to that question snoozer, or are you just going to keep your head in the sand?

              • snoozer

                the answer to your question is that you’re arguing reductio ad absurdum and it makes a fool of you. We’re talking about increases to the minimum wage within the ranges that NZ has experienced, indeed thrived under, in the past. Not some silly idea of making it double the average wage.

                Remember, it is you guy’s who are arguing that there is a positive link between minimum wages and unemployment.

                You’ve got no evidence of it.

                Economists increasingly don’t think its true. (and I don’t know what you’re playing at making up survey questions)

                and the evidence from New Zealand is completely to the contrary.

          • lprent 1.1.1.1.2

            TR: AR4 has no significant issues. There are a couple of dodgy links in a massive compilation of the available studies in the descriptive parts of the release.

            If you think that invalidates the science – then I’d suggest you’ve proved yourself to be a moronic dork with very little idea about the depth of the AR4 reports.

            If so then you’re probably a moronic dork about the subject of the post as well.

            • TightyRighty 1.1.1.1.2.1

              it’s lazy referencing. kind of like marty’s “growing evidence”. it’s a benchmark thing Lprent and it’s an emerging trend. if you are only as good as your weakest link?

              • BLiP

                I do tend to put my own slant on whatever is being said, which means i read, comprehend and then argue without reference.

                irony 1 noun (pl. -ies) [ mass noun ] the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect

              • TightyRighty

                irony? i don’t think you get it BLiP. you seem to make out that i reference, and then lazily. i don’t. i know my argument before i walk in. it’s not my fault all your beliefs are based on shaky ground and you feel the need to act like a superior twat to get your kicks. i bet you got bullied as a kid and the teachers didn’t care as you brought it on yourself.

              • BLiP

                You may well know your argument before you walk in but, as the presentation of facts and application of logic strip it down to just another lump of ignorance, your inner nastiness swells up and it becomes ad hominem. Whattaguy!

        • Paul Walker 1.1.1.2

          As I have noted below no economist thinks the minimum wage increases the *overall* unemployment rate. What economists do say is that minimum wages reduce employment of low-skilled workers; adverse effects even more apparent when research focuses on those directly affected by minimum wages.

    • toad 1.2

      I think there is a growing consensus that moderate minimum wage increases have no statistically significant impact on employment.

      Your challenge, TightRighty, if you choose to argue that moderate increases in the minimum wage reduces employment levels is to find a study that shows, to a level of statistical significance, that it does. Card and Krueger now accept that their earlier assertion that such minimum wage increases increase employment rates is not backed by statistically significant evidence. But the same applies to the contrary assertion of Neumark and Wascher:

      The exchange between Neumark and Wascher (2000) and Card and Krueger (2000) provide some resolution of the differences because they essentially re-examined the earlier natural experiment of the fast-food industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania originally done in Card and Krueger (1994). Neumark and Wascher (2000) were critical of the fact that the original study was based on survey data of firms. They provided new evidence based on administrative payroll data of the firms and found that the survey data exhibited much more employment variability than did the payroll data (causing them to question the accuracy of the survey data). More importantly, they find that the payroll data imply that a 10% increase in the minimum wage would reduce employment by 1 – 2.5% which is almost exactly equal to the earlier consensus estimates of 1 – 3%, although their results are often statistically insignificant. They conclude (p. 1391) that:

      “minimum wage increases reduced fast-food employment [and] we can be more decisive in concluding that New Jersey’s minimum-wage increase did not raise fast-food employment in that state’.

      Card and Krueger (2000) respond to that critique by reanalysing the Neumark and Wascher payroll data (arguing that it is not based on a representative sample of employers) and by using two alternative sources of administrative payroll data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They conclude:

      “Consistent with our original sample, the BLS fast-food data set indicates slightly faster employment growth in New Jersey than in the Pennsylvania border counties over the time period that we initially examined, although in most specifications the differential is small and statistically insignificant (p. 1397) the increase in the New Jersey minimum wage in April 1992 had little or no systematic effect on total fast food employment in the state (p. 1398) The increase in New Jersey’s minimum wage probably had no effect on total employment in New Jersey’s fast-food industry, and possibly had a small positive effect’ (p. 1419).

      One interpretation of this exchange is that both sides converged closer to zero effect. That is, although Neumark and Wascher (2000) found estimates that were in the earlier consensus range, they were often not statistically different from zero. As well, the new Card and Krueger (2000) estimates moved away from their earlier ones of often finding statistically significant positive employment effects, closer to ones that find no employment effect, and this seems their “preferred interpretation’.

      • TightyRighty 1.2.1

        so the downward results are there, just a statistcally insignificant negative effect or a “possible positive effect”? maybe due to other factors, pop growth etc. so extrapolating from that, the minimum wage could remain where it is, and then unemployment would go down. hardly fucking rocket science is it? based on NJ fast food industry data and all.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    Notice also that the minimum wage on your graph is inflation adjusted.

    So, how would a rise to $15 dollars per hour equated on an inflation adjusted basis given the extremely low rate of inflation during the financial crisis?

    Lets assume for arguments sake that the evidence you quote is water-tight, even though, as TR points out, this is unlikely to be the case. Your graph shows that the minimum wage may not have had a huge effect on unemployment during relatively normal economic times. However, to assume that a substantial increase of 20% (as Labour wanted) when inflation is at two percent during the worst economic times since the great depression won’t increase unemployment is lunacy. You simply aren’t comparing apples with apples.

    If what you are saying is correct then increasing the minimum wage to $50 per hour won’t affect unemployment either.

    • TightyRighty 2.1

      it’s just one of the old saws of the left. “there is no impact from minimum wage super-rises, we’ll back this up with shonky evidence, taken straight from the IPCC playbook”

    • snoozer 2.2

      Of course the numbers should be inflation-adjusted, ts.

      Nominal dollar values are just numbers on pieces of paper, real inflation-adjusted values show actual ability to purchase good and services.

      So, guys, how come unemployment didn’t head for the stratosphere when Labour doubled the minimum wage in 1975, during a period of drastic economic crisis?

  3. luva 3

    Why are Labour not advocating for an $18 minimum wage if there is no connection with unemployment.

    Please explain their reason for only $15

  4. Pete 4

    “At the end of the day, there’s only so much pie to go around at any one time. Cutting bigger slices for the working poor means slightly smaller slices for the well-off, and that’s what the Right is against.”

    …but it’s all about GROWING the pie, and that’s apparently what this government has been elected to do…

    …and where are businesses going to get the money for to pay their employees??…

    …and what about employees on the cusp of the minimum wage? Their wages will be forced up too, who will pay for that…

    etc etc

    (sorry, I thought I’d get those out of the way)

  5. Why is it that trying to give workers the dignity of a reasonable minimum wage attracts such opposition from the right? It seems to me that at the slightest mention of “minimum wage” the comments pour in.

    • BLiP 5.1

      Because, to their minds, human beings are goods, just like a pile of sand at a cement factory.

      • lukas 5.1.1

        No, I think you are confused…. it was a certain green MP who compared trees to humans, close though.

        • BLiP 5.1.1.1

          Ahh, reminds me . . . I’ve been meaning to ask one of the trolls, and you’re just as clever as the others: how come, so far as the right is concerned, a tree is worth more chopped up than standing up?

          • lukas 5.1.1.1.1

            Firstly, I do not speak for “the right” I am quite capable of thinking for myself.

            A tree can be useful and productive when cut down obviously. We have a need for timber.

            I am not saying all trees should be cut down, I am quite happy for our native forests to be protected within reasonable grounds, they attract tourists and obviously help clean up our air quality.

            So BLiP, I’ve played your game and answered your question, will you finally answer the question that I have asked you many times, do you think comparing the lose of a child’s life is comparable to chopping down trees?

            • BLiP 5.1.1.1.1.1

              As a rhetorical device it certainly resonates with you . . got a little bit of the cognitive dissonance creeping in there, Lukas?

              • lukas

                Not at all.

                Yes or no BLiP, is a childs life more valuable than trees?

              • BLiP

                Let me answer with a question:Yes or No – do you understand the word “metaphor” and, if so, what would the answer to your question be if you were to ask Tāne Mahuta?

                Do you live in Aotearoa?

              • lukas

                Yes or No do you understand the word “metaphor’

                Yes.

                what would the answer to your question be if you were to ask Tāne Mahuta?

                Ask him yourself. I don’t make a habit of talking to made up things/people.

                Do you live in Aotearoa?

                I live in New Zealand.

                Yes or No BLiP, is it appropriate to compare chopping down trees to the lose of a childs life? Here is a hint for you… the correct answer is No.

              • Pascal's bookie

                …is a child’s life more valuable than trees?

                Certainly. There are very few things, I imagine, that survive the face off when you put it like this. If there is a decision to make between your child getting killed and some other thing happening, most will prefer the other thing to happen, almost always.

                …is it appropriate to compare chopping down trees to the loss of a childs life?

                This depends entirely on what comparison you are making. No one would argue that chopping down a tree for necessary ends is exactly the same thing as burning babies on an altar for lolz. I strongly suspect however, that there are certain legitimate comparisons that could be made. ie, that there are certain aspects involved in losing a child’s life that could be compared to other things. It is very common, for example, for people to compare the loss of a beloved pet to the loss of a child.

                So let’s see the quote Lukas. You are using two very different versions here, and I’d like to see what it is you want people to defend.

                I’m guessing it’s closer to the second quote of yours above than the first, but let’s see it.

              • lukas

                here you go PB

                “That’s like saying you’ve got six children, so it doesn’t really matter if you lose one does it.”

                http://static.radionz.net.nz/assets/audio_item/0006/2047776/ckpt-20090827-1707-Conservation_land_assessed_for_mining-m048.asx

              • Pascal's bookie

                “That’s like saying you’ve got six children, so it doesn’t really matter if you lose one does it.’

                Cool, ta.

                So it is closer to the second version, and it’s about mining conservation land rather than chopping ‘trees’.

                Now, is it an unreasonable comparison?

                If you take a simplistic, literal, and frankly rather stupid reading of it, then sure. It isn’t exactly like losing a child in every respect. In the same way that taxation isn’t exactly like theft.

                But what is it about our children that makes the loss of one of them so tragic? Is it that children are rare? Is it that they are expensive? Is it that we could make lots of money from them? I think not. I think it’s something else.

                What is it about children that is so valuable? What type of value is it that they hold?

                Whatever the answer is that you have, I guess it will be something along the line that the value is intrinsic to the child. It is senseless to talk of placing a price on children, or to assess their value in any sort of way that doesn’t address their intrinsic value as individual, irreplaceable and unique humans. Their value is determined by their intrinsic qualities, which are a part of them.

                Right?

              • lukas

                PB, perhaps it is because I am literally hours away from becoming a Dad for the first time, or perhaps for completely different reasons… one can not tell logical thought from ideological thoughts to sleep deprived thoughts during times like this :D

                But, I find it abhorrent to put a value on the life of a child and compare it to mining the estate and chopping down trees in the process. I would literally kill for my child, as I am sure any parent who reads this would, and would personally find a way of chopping every last tree down in my neighborhood if it saved my child’s life.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Ahh. Congrats. I’ve just got mine to bed.

                I think you miss her point. She is not saying that you shouldn’t chop down lots of trees to save your child, if such a scenario was the thing.

                The value is the thing she is comparing. She is saying that we should neither kill children, nor mine the conservation estate. She is not putting a price on the life of a child, but rather putting those lands similarly beyond price.

                This may be of use in explaining, perhaps not now, but at a less busy/restful time maybe: (circa 6 months ;) )

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrinsic_value_(ethics)

                see also:

                Conservation Act 1987 No 65 (as at 01 November 2008), Public Act

                Conservation means the preservation and protection of natural and historic resources for the purpose of maintaining their intrinsic values, providing for their appreciation and recreational enjoyment by the public, and safeguarding the options of future generations

                This means, in short, that by law, the lands must be protected for their intrinsic value. They must be treated as ends themselves, rather than as means to ends. Just as we do with children.

                Anyways, you may not agree with that, but it is not unreasonable, nor degrading to children.

                Good luck, and I hope it all goes well.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    “IrishBill
    2 February 2010 at 10:19 am
    I think you’re right, luva, it should be $18.”

    So if you can just pluck figures out of the air like that, why not $50 per hour? After all, the minimum wage doesn’t affect unemployment, does it?

    • snoozer 6.1

      ts. the evidence is that increasing the minimum wage clearly doesn’t affect unemployment in the ranges we’ve experienced in NZ in the last 40 years (ie 30-70% of the average wage).

      Setting it at double the average wage is clearly a different matter.

      Now stop being silly and engage with your mind.

      In fact, tell us why, deep down, you are opposed to increasing the minimum wage even if only back to levels it safely sat at in past decades. Is it that you just don’t think poor people deserve a living wage for a day’s work? Or is it because you want all the wealth for yourself?

    • IrishBill 6.2

      Yeah why not? And while we’re at it why not take the upper tax level down to 0% cut all social services and let the poor fight for food in the street like dogs? And the three strikes law, why not apply it to all offenses and then bring back the death penalty?

      Reductio ad absurdum is an argument that makes you look stupid, tsmith, try a little harder please.

    • Bill 6.3

      What about calculate the entire net profit of business in NZ and pay it out in wage rates to the workers? Of course, each instance of a business being compelled to stop stealing money from workers to five to owners or/and shareholders would be treated on a case by case basis…ie the wage level would vary across the economy based on current wage + nett profit/ no. of workers for any particular business venture.

      (The bosses can get a fair share too if they put in the graft.)

      On this scenario, where is the impact on unemployment? As far as I can work out, there would be full employment insofar as nobody would be treating the workforce as a liability…as an outlay of cash to be trimmed and cut where possible to allow for the generation of more profit.

      And if anyone is up for explaining where the negative impact in employment arises in the above scenario, would they be kind enough to also point out for me that really difficult to recognise and isolate element in today’s scenario, whereby rising wages come at the direct expense of profit levels?

      Thankyou.

      • kelsey 6.3.1

        The effect on employment would be huge. By ensuring that there is no return on capital invested in the form of profits, you remove the incentive to start new businesses and invest money in business to, for example, increase productivity or keep up with technological advances. As such, what businesses that do exist will slowly die off and no new ones will be formed. Economic collapse.
        [yeah like that economic collapse that happened to aussie when it put its minimum wage at $14.50]

  7. “Or is it because you want all the wealth for yourself?”

    But, but, but if I don’t get all that wealth for myself, why did I have to lose so much time reading Ayn Rand novels?

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Snoozer : “ts. the evidence is that increasing the minimum wage clearly doesn’t affect unemployment in the ranges we’ve experienced in NZ in the last 40 years (ie 30-70% of the average wage).”

    Tell that to the workers on the minimum wage who are losing their jobs to China where the minimum wage doesn’t exist. There is no argument that we have been losing industry to low wage economies. This logically will have a major effect on those on the minimum wage. Tell me why it shouldn’t.

    Snoozer “In fact, tell us why, deep down, you are opposed to increasing the minimum wage even if only back to levels it safely sat at in past decades. Is it that you just don’t think poor people deserve a living wage for a day’s work? Or is it because you want all the wealth for yourself?”

    Because I believe people should be paid on the basis of what they’re worth, not what they need.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      Labour theory of value then is it?

      • tsmithfield 8.1.1

        The polar opposite I would have thought. How can an arbitrary minimum wage be even be close to paying people on the basis of what they are worth? Afterall, you get it no matter what you’re worth.

        • IrishBill 8.1.1.1

          And what (or who) determine a worker’s “worth”?

          • tsmithfield 8.1.1.1.1

            If I pay the wages its what they’re worth to me.

            • snoozer 8.1.1.1.1.1

              left ot your own devices, you would pay them as little as you can get away with. That’s the nature of the market.

              Is that a just and moral way to value the time and effort of a human being? No. decent pay for a decent day’s work. This is about the right of a working person to enjoy the fruits of their labour and a decent standard of living.

            • Bill 8.1.1.1.1.2

              And what if they decide that your arrogance is worth a bullet? That okay with you? I mean, fair’s fair afterall. If you have the right to judge worth and mete out reward on your evaluation, so do they. Right?

    • @tsmithfield

      China introduced minimum wage regulation in 2004. Of course, there are issues about patrolling the legislation, just as there are here.

      Your argument appears to accept the ‘race to the bottom’ approach (if they pay less, we should too). Now, of course, that was the impact of the ECA. It becomes a self-fulfilling process, in turn leading to ever-increasing inequality, fraying of social and labour market inclusion, and, eventually, political unrest. This is why the Chinese brought in their 2004 and 2008 legislation.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.2.1

        And most of our minimum wage jobs are in cleaning, retail, hospo and other service industries. Kind of hard to do those jobs from coastal China I’d think.

  9. randal 9

    why is it okay for the right to claim that lowering taxes will increase investment but giving poor people more money will ruin the whole system and send it into a terminal spiral with no chance of recovery.
    this is a straight us versus them argument with the ruling party divvying up the pie in their favour and trying to smother any resistance.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Of course the minimum wage causes unemployment, in conjunction with the dole. How do we know this? There are unemployed people of course!!

    If there was no minimum wage and no dole, there would be no unemployment other than for people who couldn’t work due to illness/injury etc, or people who were unemployable at any price. This logic is fairly irrefutable.

    • snoozer 10.1

      oh jesus. You’ve really just given up haven’t you ts.

      In fact, there is wide-spread unemployment in countries with no minimum wage or unemployment support. But what you’re saying is that if you reduce people to absolute poverty, they’ll do anything to scrap enough food together to live – it won’t be formal ‘work’, it will be crime, a desperate scramble to survive, and many won’t.

      Yeah, not a society I want to live in. It’s the society my ancestors fled from Victorian London.

    • Clearly this person (tsmithfield) seen brigandage as a career option, for his argument assumes that work will stretch to include everyone at some price or other (presumably ever-lower, as we bid each other down in an undistorted market). History shows us that, at some stage, people will leave the labour market, retreating to subsistence activity or brigandage (that is, preying on those in the labour market). Now, there’s a slogan for National at the next election – “work or crime: the thinking person’s options”.

    • Clarke 10.3

      …. and the people starving to death on the streets would simply be a non-relevant economic indicator, I presume.

    • toad 10.4

      Bollocks tsmithfield.

      Macedonia has no minimum wage. Explain why it has unemployment of 33%.

  11. tsmithfield 11

    Snoozer “Yeah, not a society I want to live in. It’s the society my ancestors fled from Victorian London.”

    I wasn’t giving a value judgement on whether I thought this was a good thing. Just refuting the irrational logic that the minimum wage can’t effect employment.

    Snoozer “In fact, there is wide-spread unemployment in countries with no minimum wage or unemployment support”

    In those countries the amount of people exceeds the jobs available. I don’t think that applies here somehow. If there is work that can be done it is just a matter of determining the price. If the price is too high the work won’t get done.

    My wife is a real-estate agent. She often does work she doesn’t get paid for at all. Her worth is determined by how effective she is at selling. She doesn’t get any minimum wage.

    • felix 11.1

      Just refuting the irrational logic that the minimum wage can’t effect employment.

      I’ve yet to see anyone make such an argument.

      The position being advocated by your opponents is that there has been no discernible impact on employment in NZ as a result of setting minimum wage levels at anything up to 83% of the average wage.

      If you have evidence to the contrary I’m sure there are plenty here who would love to see it.

      • tsmithfield 11.1.1

        I think the error is that using backward looking research to project to the future requires that all things remain equal going forward.

        However, there are a lot of things that are not remaining equal. For instance, the worst recession in living memory, the increasing tendency for jobs to be exported overseas to name a few.

        Therefore, if things are not remaining equal, as they clearly are not, then there is no basis to project forward past research to the future.

        • felix 11.1.1.1

          Therefore, if things are not remaining equal, as they clearly are not, then there is no basis to project forward past research to the future.

          Why didn’t you add the words “for anything, ever” to the end of that and really let the crazy out?

          • IrishBill 11.1.1.1.1

            Indeed. I’m really starting to appreciate exactly what makes the right tick here.

            • Dean 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Is it the same kind of insight you had when you told someone they were an “uncle tom”?

        • snoozer 11.1.1.2

          “I think the error is that using backward looking research to project to the future requires that all things remain equal going forward”

          I believe I can fly, sure every time I’ve tried to fly in the past I’ve fallen to the ground, but that was the past, man, let’s not be “backward looking”, I’m gonna jump, whoo!

          yeah, when was the past ever an indicator of the future? Let’s ignore all the evidence from the past and come up with wild theories that just so happen to validate our ideologies.

          Pity, I actually had ts down as one of the smarter righties.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    There are lots of people who work who are not entitled to a minimum wage. e.g:

    Small business owners who pay themselves what their businesses can afford to pay.
    Sales people who get paid commission only.
    Voluntary workers.
    Parents who choose to stay at home to work by providing care for their children.

    Since there are lots of people who work who are not entitled to a minimum wage (as listed above) you seem to think there should be a special category of worker who is entitled to a minimum wage. Why so?

  13. randal 13

    the ‘other’ categories described by tsmithfiled are there by choice.
    people who work for an employer are entitled to at the very least a subsistence wage or we are not a first world country.
    furthermore if an employer is only paying the minimum wage then they are either exploiting their workers or they are not very good bsuinesspeople or they are in business for the psychological pleasure of watching poor people struggle.
    dig?

  14. tsmithfield 14

    felix “Why didn’t you add the words “for anything, ever’ to the end of that and really let the crazy out?”

    lol. Obviously there are some situations that are more unequal than others. Where there are minor fluctuations it is relatively safe to make assumptions going forward, and obviously necessary and wise to do so. However, when there is a major trend change, as has been happening, then clearly it is dangerous to project forward.

    Surely that is not too much of a difficult concept?!

    • Bright Red 14.1

      do tell, ts. what has changed?

      Why if, as you are now conceding, raising the minimum wage has never before been linked to a rising unemployment rate (even in times of recession) are you so confident things have changed?

      What are these fluctuations of which you speak? What evidence do you have that they would cause something that hasn’t happened before to happen now?

  15. tsmithfield 15

    It may surprise you to know that I don’t actually subscribe to having people live on a pittance and starving on the street.

    However, I believe there has been a lot of people locked out of the work-place due to things such as the minimum wage, the dole etc. There is enough work to go around, as there seems to be judging by the amount of people we import to work in orchards etc while we still have people unemployed who could be doing it. Therefore, it would be better for businesses to tender to WINZ or whatever for workers for various roles available. Those that tender the best wage would get the workers. Any shortfall from a living wage would be made up by the taxpayer.

    That would get a lot of people back into the workforce rather than having them stagnating as they are at the moment.

    • Pascal's bookie 15.1

      “Those that tender the best wage would get the workers. Any shortfall from a living wage would be made up by the taxpayer”

      I’m no expert at game theory, but I reckon the taxpayer will get fucking shafted in this game.

      • tsmithfield 15.1.1

        Not if the workers are tendered for. This then would rely on the market to come up with the best price that can be paid for the workers. Therefore, the cost to the taxpayer will be minimized. In many cases it will probably be less than having to pay the dole.

        • Bright Red 15.1.1.1

          that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. You’re thinking of human beings like their labour is bails of wool and the government is giving farmers’ a guaranteed minimum price.

          Labour simply isn’t that flexible or homogeneous.

          And it’s pretty obvious there isn’t enough work to go around when you’ve got 3,500 people lining up for 150 jobs.

  16. tsmithfield 16

    You obviously haven’t thought that through very well. Want to try again?

  17. tsmithfield 17

    BLiP “Brilliant!! Lets turn WINZ offices into slave markets . . .”

    Not what I said.

    I don’t think it is the employer’s responsibility to effectively be part of the social welfare system by paying more than what the job is worth to them via an artificially set minimum wage.

    The employers can offer the work at what they can afford. Employers who offer the best rates get the employees. It then becomes a function of the state to ensure the income is fair. Its really not a lot different to what happens with WFF now if you think about it.

    • felix 17.1

      So you want the rest of us to pay even more of your wage bill than we already do via WfF.

      What a bludger. The sooner you and your kind fuck off to China the better.

  18. gomango 18

    So looking at the graph, it would appear the highest ever real minimum wage is under the current Nat government.

    Credit where credit is due and all that.

    Oh and Mary G, it may or may not change your correlation conclusion but it is essentially meaningless to plot a coincident indicator (wages) with a lagging indicator (unemployment). You are looking for a cause/effect relationship which naturally implies a time lag. Anecdotally I’d guesstimate 9 to 12 months is the right sort of lag, though differnt industries would likely have different lags. Ljung-Box test is the right one.

    Without taking into account the non-coincident nature of the data your graphs are just interesting but ultimately meaningless anecdotes.

    • The Voice of Reason 18.1

      “So looking at the graph, it would appear the highest ever real minimum wage is under the current Nat government. Credit where credit is due and all that.”

      There seem to be two peaks, one in the early seventies (Kirk Labour Government) and the second levelling off in 2008 (Clark Labour Government), and the rises all appear to be with Labour, the falls with National. The next drop starting, um, about now I guess.

  19. “One of the old saws that the Right brings out whenever the topic of increasing the minimum wage comes up is ‘oh no, it will increase unemployment’.”

    Don’t lie Marty, no economist says this. As I have pointed out many times, what economists say is that both theory and evidence tells us is that the minimum wage has little effect on the *overall* unemployment rate. But as Neumark and Wascher write (“Minimum Wages’ by David Neumark and William L. Wascher, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008: from Table 9.1 page 287 when dealing with the effects on employment, under the ‘Summary of evidence’.)

    “Minimum wages reduce employment of low-skilled workers; adverse effects even more apparent when research focuses on those directly affected by minimum wages.’

    That is, an increase in the minimum wage will reduce employment for those directly affected by minimum wages such as workers with low-skills or those returning to the labour force. In Chapter 9 “Summary and Conclusions’ Neumark and Wascher write

    “Three conclusions, in particular, stand out. First, as indicated in chapter 3, the literature that has emerged since the early 1990s on the employment effects of minimum wages points quite clearly despite a few prominent outliers to a reduction in employment opportunities for the low-skilled and directly affected workers’. (p. 286)

    • Pascal's bookie 19.1

      He said ‘the right’ says it. And they do. John Key did for one. Perhaps you should be trolling him.

      • Bill 19.1.1

        Interesting that ‘the right’ is apparently synonymous with economists for the likes of PW, who in turn claim to operate from a scientific and rational basis.

    • IrishBill 19.2

      There are close to a half a million workers on the minimum wage or within a couple of dollars of it. That’s a large enough chunk of the working population that any significant effect on it in terms of unemployment would also significantly affect the overall unemployment rate.

      Which didn’t happen.

      Which means you’re wrong.

      • Paul Walker 19.2.1

        Bill, read the evidence. “Minimum Wages’ by David Neumark and William L. Wascher, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008 being a good place to start. As a percentage of the labour market those on or around the minimum wage are a small part. So the increases in the minimum wage that you see have little or no effect on the *overall* unemployment rate. What is claimed is the the changes in the minimum wage will effect the employment opportunities of those in the group at or around the level of the minimum wage. This shows up in the empircal studies.
        [Paul tell us why the number of economists who think the minimum wage increases unemployment is falling (I believed you claimed 90% agreed on your blog, only 32 years out of day, mate). Also, tell us why there is no correlation between the real minimum wage and unemployment. Marty G]

        • Pascal's bookie 19.2.1.1

          Which means that it isn’t the knock down argument against min wages that people pretend it is. The small effects (on opportunities) that are found could surely be mitigated by other policies, which is what we pay economists for isn’t it?

        • Bill 19.2.1.2

          Read my response to your fellow idiot gomango below who also seems to be incapable of reading what it was I actually said but responds to what he thinks I might have said if it were he who was writing my response.

        • The Voice of Reason 19.2.1.3

          “What is claimed is the the changes in the minimum wage will effect the employment opportunities of those in the group at or around the level of the minimum wage”

          So, I assume you are concerned. Paul, at the plight of the low paid. You must be absolutely livid at another threat to their employment; the 90 day Fire at Will Law. Or is it all academic with you?

        • Paul Walker 19.2.1.4

          Read the post you have commented on. It is explained there. Increases in the minimum wage that you see have little or no effect on the *overall* unemployment rate. That is the *overall* unemployment rate. Because those effected by the increase will be a small proportion of the whole labour market. Got it?

          The increase in unemployment caused by the minimum wage will show up among those at or around the minimum wage, that is, those directly effected by the minimum wage. Got that too?

          Simple.

          • Pascal's bookie 19.2.1.4.1

            “The increase in unemployment caused by the minimum wage will show up among those at or around the minimum wage”

            You keep changing your tune. It’s usually “a decrease in employment oppurtunities”, but here it’s an increase in unemployment. You should get more sleep, your sophistry is showing.

            • Paul Walker 19.2.1.4.1.1

              Actually you will get both.

              • IrishBill

                And as I pointed out there are a half a million workers on or around minimum wage. That’s a large enough group (about 20% -25% of all workers) that, according to your argument, we could expect changes in employment in that group to show as changes to employment in general if the minimum wage was increased.

                The problem you have is that we didn’t.

              • “And as I pointed out there are a half a million workers on or around minimum wage. That’s a large enough group (about 20% -25% of all workers) that, according to your argument, we could expect changes in employment in that group to show as changes to employment in general if the minimum wage was increased.

                The problem you have is that we didn’t.”

                Where does the 20-25% figure come from? But no, you would need very large elasticities in the effected groups and a large increase in the minimum wage to have a large effect overall. Given all the other things that effect labour markets, finding the effects of minimum wage changes in the overall unemployment stats would be very difficult.

              • Pascal's bookie

                So as everyone has been saying, employment effects are a pretty shit argument against minimum wages.

      • Marty G 19.2.2

        Nah mate. The problem isn’t with Paul and his increasingly unpopular theory. It’s with us and the statistics.

        See there’s this magic unemployment of only low paid and low skilled workers that takes place. For magical reasons it doesn’t show up in the stats. But if you look real hard (ideally while looking through a copy of Milton Freidman) it’s there to be seen.

  20. gomango 20

    Bill – your comment reminds me of the response one gets from a fundamentalist christian when their belief system is questioned.

    Andrew Walker points out some research, and a very quick overview of the conclusions. Your response is essentially “That conflicts with my personal beliefs therefore you are wrong.I don’t care about any of that data or research nonsense.”

    • Marty G 20.1

      All Paul has is one book from the school of economics that he worships. It is not proof. In fact, it is a theory that is increasingly rejected by economists.

      • Paul Walker 20.1.1

        the book just happens to be the most recent large scale survey of the literaure and thus is worth reading to get an overall of that literature.

    • Bill 20.2

      What the fuck is this twattery?

      I made no response to Paul on the min wage/unemployment assertion. I pointed out that he claimed convergence between ‘the right’ and economists and rationality. Which is fucking nuts; ie irrational. End.

  21. Marty G 21

    Actually, Paul. As you are conceding that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t increase unemployment – in fact, you’re going so far as to claim that no economist believes that – can you tell us why you are against increasing it to $15 an hour?

    Pro-tip: you can’t say ‘because it will increase unemployment.’

    • I can say what i have been saying all along. The increases in the minimum wage that you see have little or no effect on the *overall* unemployment rate. That is the *overall* unemployment rate. Because those effected by the increase will be a small proportion of the whole labour market. Got it?

      The increase in unemployment caused by the minimum wage will show up among those at or around the minimum wage, that is, those directly effected by the minimum wage. Got that too?

      Simple.

      • Macro 21.1.1

        I read that about 10 times and still can’t work out what your talking about, and I don’t think you know either.

  22. Studies of the UK minimum wage that suggest little or no impact on employment (by economists too). There are others.

    Machin and Manning (ILRR 47/2 1994) “the minimum wage has either no effect or a positive effect on employment’.

    Stewart (JEEA 2/1 2004) “No significant adverse employment effects are found for any of the four demographic groups considered (adult and youth, men and women) or in any of the three data sets used’

    Metcalf (JIR 50/3 2008) Why has the British National Minimum Wage had Little or No Impact on Employment?

    • Pascal's bookie 22.1

      That wiki page in the post (“unravelling for decades”) also points at some Statistical Meta-analyses:

      Several researchers have conducted statistical meta-analyses of the employment effects of the minimum wage. Card and Krueger analyzed 14 earlier time-series studies and concluded that there was clear evidence of publication bias because the later studies, which had more data and lower standard errors, did not show the expected increase in t-statistic (almost all the studies had a t of about two, just above the level of statistical significance at the .05 level). Though a serious methodological indictment, opponents of the minimum wage virtually ignored this issue; as Thomas C. Leonard noted, “The silence is fairly deafening.” More recently, T.D. Stanley has criticized Card and Krueger’s methodology, suggesting that their results could signify either publication bias or the absence of an effect. Using a different methodology, however, he concludes that there is statistically significant evidence of publication bias and that correction of this bias shows no relationship between the minimum wage and unemployment. In 2008, Hristos Doucouliagos and T.D. Stanley conduct a similar meta-analysis of 64 U.S. studies on disemployment effects and concluded that Card and Krueger’s initial claim of publication bias is still correct. Moreover, they concluded, “Once this publication selection is corrected, little or no evidence of a negative association between minimum wages and employment remains.”]

      source refs at the link. (“unravelling for decades”)

    • Robert Winter

      No sure how interesting these results are. It will depend, in part, on the level of aggregation of their data. The more aggregated the data the less likely you are to find any effect of changes in the minimum wage.

      • Robert Winter 22.2.1

        Well, you may not be sure, but they are from solid, established performers and part of an emerging consensus in the UK, apart from the die-hard market fundamentalists, to the effect that the impact was negligible or nil. Cambridge’s Willie Brown, over here last year, reported extensively on that consensus. And, of course, in a reductio ad absurdum approach, one can disaggregate and disaggregate until one finds a single (negligible) case of anything.

  23. gomango 23

    sorry – i actually meant irish bill – didnt see your post. coincidence.

  24. SPC 24

    In a word globalisation changed the way the market impacted on jobs.

    Once a domestic market, and we are a very good model being so open a market, is part of the global economy it loses price sensitive jobs in manufacturing.

    It will retain low wage jobs in the domestic services sector and these are jobs where the minimum wages can be increased and costs passed on to the rest of the workforce.

    Some Americans think they can mop of the unemployment of those losing manufacturing jobs and “immigrants” by having a low wage service sector – downward mobility for the once unionist worker and “domesticated” roles for “immigrants” (no health cover etc). It’s part of their increasingly disparate society ethos and their ever increasing disparity of wealth. There is no evidence as yet that the number of jobs providing services increases if wage levels are lower – except as domestic servants (often involving “immigrants” and only if they can get into the country where such work is available).

    PS There is the practice of cheap farm labour used in some areas of the USA (below minimum wage illegals?).

    • Macro 24.1

      “In a word globalisation changed the way the market impacted on jobs.
      Exactly!
      And the “democratisation” of the “communist” block.

      • BLiP 24.1.1

        Try hopping onto a Chinese server, calling up Google and doing a search on the word “democracy”.

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  • Updated poll of polls, now with dubious new ‘election’ datapoint
    ...
    DimPost | 28-09
  • Updated poll of polls, now with dubious new ‘election’ datapoint
    ...
    DimPost | 28-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • No time for self-pity
    After 23 meetings across the largest non-Maori electorate in the country – almost all of which went fantastically, approx 4,500km on the odometer, positive MSM and social media coverage, and polling well, I admit my team and I headed to...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • The 30 second speech that could have saved the Moment of Truth
    As the dust settles and we struggle to understand what the bloody hell happened on Saturday, many point to Kim’s failure at the Moment of Truth to present his evidence. I think that Kim was poorly advised and that politics requires a...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Internet MANA and the 2014 election
    It was always going to be a hard task for Hone Harawira to hold onto his Te Tai Tokerau seat when the political establishment united in a coalition to defeat him and the chance for Internet MANA to bring more...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Campaign to make Murder of Unborn ”Safe and Legal”
    The IPPF have launched an international campaign through its 161 affiliates including the New Zealand Family Planning Association [NZFPA] to make the murder of the unborn safe and legal and accepted as a human right. This is an acceleration of...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Grant Robertson Labour leader hopeful on TVNZ Q+A
    “Look I think what we need to be is relevant, clear and consistent with New Zealanders about the Labour Party's values,” said Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour Needs to Get House in Order Before Deciding Leader
    Ex Labour party leader and possible repeat contender David Shearer says the Labour Party is going about the post-election period in the wrong way....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
    “It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Women’s group heartened by response to promo girls
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand is heartened by the strong response to the inappropriate use of bikini-clad girls at a technology expo....
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet
    Lisa Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto
    Lisa Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Prime Time on Labour
    Mike Smith - former General Secretary of the NZ Labour Party Jim McAloon, Assoc Prof, Victoria University of Wellington History Department (currently writing official history of the Labour Party) Rob Salmond, consultant to Labour Leader's office and...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 September 2014
    Saturday 27 September 2014 | One million people voted for National in last week’s election. Another million didn’t vote at all. In Kia Korero Mai this week, Eru Morgan talks to political commentator Henare Kingi about the figures and what...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • On The Nation this weekend: Labour, National, The Media
    This weekend on The Nation… Labour’s had its worst election result in 92 years, so what happens next? We’ll talk to former Labour president Jim Anderton, CTU president Helen Kelly, and tech entrepreneur and past donor Selwyn Pellett about the...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Red Cross, Pacific leaders prepare for cyclone season
    The New Zealand Red Cross Pacific Advisory Group, met for the first time this week, to develop a disaster response plan for the upcoming Pacific cyclone season, which is forecast to be severe....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Teachers support PM’s call for solutions to child poverty
    NZEI Te Riu Roa is pleased to hear that the Prime Minister is calling for new ideas to address child poverty....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • First batch of household protection kits arrives in Liberia
    Kits containing protective gear will equip a network of community-based Ebola care centres nationwide...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Dr Paul Hutchison praised for work to reduce child poverty
    The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) has thanked retiring National MP Dr Paul Hutchison for his work to reduce child poverty....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Bag snatch hero deserves a medal – McVicar
    The Justice Spokesman for the Conservative Party, Garth McVicar, is calling for the woman known as the bag-snatch hero to be awarded a medal for bravery....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Police Remembrance Day
    This week, Police staff and others have been wearing the distinctive huia feather-shaped Police Remembrance Pin as they reflect on those who have lost their lives in service to the society they swore to protect. Police Remembrance Day falls on...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Affordable Auckland Attacks Creeping Apartheid
    Affordable Auckland Leader Stephen Berry is disturbed by developments increasing the number of local body regions choosing racially based representation. The Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regional Councils already have Maori wards, while New Plymouth...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Dairy Strategy Proving to be a Disaster
    The intensification of the dairy industry is proving to be a disaster, says SAFE. This comes after the forecast 2015 milk price payout was cut 12% by Fonterra this week. “Last year, the government effectively gave the green light for...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Where Next for the Left?
    26 September 2014 A discussion of the post-election prospects for radicals, facilitated by Fightback. 6pm | Monday 28th September | 19 Tory St [ Facebook event ]...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
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