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Out of touch on jobs

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 am, October 26th, 2012 - 9 comments
Categories: exports, jobs - Tags:

New Zealanders understand that unemployment costs, so it’s worth spending to prevent it. They also understand it’s not inevitable, it’s caused by factors the Government can influence.

Even the new Reserve Bank Governor says “the high New Zealand dollar is undermining export earnings and encouraging substitution toward imported goods and services”- which is a big reason why so many jobs are disappearing.

Yet National’s position is that there isn’t a problem, let alone that they can do anything about it.

9 comments on “Out of touch on jobs”

  1. Jane 1

    Isn’t that one of those questions where the result will always be for yes? For example it’s like asking ‘should we have a lower dollar to help exporters?’, the answer will be yes, everyone likes more exports. But if asked ‘should we increase petrol by 20 cents to help exporters’ the answer will more likely be no.

    It’s an important topic done a disservice by TV3 treating it so poorly with meaningless ‘polls’.

    • Pete 1.1

      It’s not meaningless. It’s at the very core of the austerity vs stimulus debate and demonstrates most New Zealanders are Keynesians. Only one bloc of parties is advocating a Keynesian growth model.

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        Really??? I didn’t think that too many parties, and none of the major ones, are advocating increasing the size of the deficit hugely. When did this become a policy plank of the left bloc in parliament?

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      On the other hand, if the question was “should the government raise the top income tax rate by 1%, in order to save manufacturing jobs?” the answer would still be a resounding yes.

      This particular question, as you’ve identified, doesn’t tell us where the money is coming from (the cost of the policy), so of course people are going to say yes. My point however is that you could have a question which identified where the money was coming from that people would still be in favour of.

  2. Pauley 2

    But hasn’t history made it obvious that unemployment _is_ an “inevitable” and permanent feature of capitalist societies? Focusing on what National or any government’s (not) doing simply obscures its real source.

    Business and employers hold the real power over the economy, and unemployment is beneficial for them as a powerful tool to discipline labour, to keep wages down and provide a cheap, readily available resource for new investment. Of course this isn’t primarily due to some conspiracy but rather the systemic imperative under capitalist competition that each business must continually accumulate profit while reducing its costs, e.g. labour, by investing in new technolgies and improvements in so-called “efficiency”.

    Sure, while social and political pressure can persuade governments to “influence” unemployment through public spending policies, if such policies or other factors begin to seriously threaten business profits, then business can enforce their reversal by threats of investment strike etc., and in that case even left/labour/”Keynesian” governments are helpless to resist. Hence I think its time to admit political solutions are insufficient.

    Why not a radical re-structuring of socio-economic relations at the root of unemployment? If kiwis can refuse to understand unemployment as inevitable, why not capitalism?

  3. Didn’t they say a while back that the reason people were unemployed was because they weren’t searching for work? If New Zealand unemployment ever reaches 9 or 10% by the end of their term, then they could always fall back to dividing society through emotionally charged political propaganda like calling the jobless ‘lazy, smoking, alcoholic dole bludgers’. Meh.

  4. Georgecom 4

    I took the specific ‘poll’ with a grain of salt, but viewed the general feeling of this poll amongst a number of polls as bad news for the National government.

    By itself this ‘poll’ can be talked down or ‘contextualised’, as some in this thread have attempted to do. Given the year the National government has had, however, I’d be a very worried person were I wanting a National govt re-elected in 2014. The mood is running against National and they now seem to firmly be in the territory where they ‘piss people off’ more than make them happy.

    Its not a landslide against Key et al but peoples perception of Key being in control, his government having a plan, and trust in the Governments ability to cope are all steadily waning through 2012. National party people should be feeling a tight know forming in their stomachs.

    • We can’t be sure about that, unpopular governments have got back in by the nose before; there are also political phenomenons such as the Reagan cult in the US i.e. where people would rather believe the lie rather than face the reality of Reagan’s deficit and economic mismanagement. National and John Key could still get back in if political apathy gets the best of voters.

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