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A “Culture of Entitlement”?

Written By: - Date published: 3:39 pm, August 17th, 2017 - 48 comments
Categories: business, class war, Economy, employment, Financial markets, infrastructure, jobs, manufacturing, minimum wage, poverty, socialism, uncategorized, welfare - Tags:

With the current dialog about welfare, It is time to look at the people who are the real  beneficiaries, of the welfare system.

Who use the educated and healthy  workforce, the safe environment and the functioning infrastructure, our taxes and work, provides.

The people who say “everyone should stand on their own two feet”, “you don’t work you don’t eat”,  and “take personal responsibility”,

The business sector.

What Business wants.

  1. Staff fully educated and trained. “Job ready”.
  2. Low wages.
  3. Tertiary education.
  4. Better infrastructure, including power, roads, transport links and other services.
  5. Better Government services.
  6. Protection from crime.
  7. Help with research.
  8. Help with exporting.
  9. Help with business development.
  10. More immigration to keep wages and training costs down.
  11. A pool of casual labour/unemployed, available when and where wanted.
  12. Welfare benefits at starvation level, so people will take any low paid irregular hour job offered.

All supplied by tax payers and/or  employees, at great cost to the rest of us, that pay our taxes……

Now get this.

Not happy with being able to use, tax rebates, PAYE earners cannot, and the numerous accounting loopholes to minimise tax, as well as outright tax fraud, they also want………….

TAX CUTS for business!

 

What business wants, is a lot of benefits supplied by tax payers, and the unemployed.

But.

They want someone else to pay for it.

“Socialism for Business”.

Where is the outrage from the “Tax Payers Union” and the “bene bashers” (the ones that were so upset with Turei last week)..?

48 comments on “A “Culture of Entitlement”? ”

  1. Ad 1

    “The Entrepeneurial State”

  2. greg 2

    they what subsidized like farmers and sky city and we pay

  3. tracey 3

    You forgot relief from flood and drought… even for those who convert to dairy in drought prone areas (North Otago and North canterbury I am looking at you)

  4. Jordan Williams 4

    In fact, the Taxpayers’ Union has been very focal fighting “Socialism for Business”. Refer to http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/tags/corporate_welfare
    Jordan Williams

    • tc 4.1

      Yes dear, crawl back under your rock cammy misses you.

    • lprent 4.2

      I am not sure that I would describe a average rate of about one badly publicized report every year as being a ‘focal’ part of your organisations presence. It looks more like a single figleaf being pointed to among a forest’s worth of fallen oak leaves.

      Even then I have to generously count what looks like a simple political hit on the upper hutt council as being something more than just being politically mischievous. But that looks just like dirty politics hit to me. In other words more like what your organisation seems to stand for.

      This last document by Jim Rose looks like teeny figleaf with a title disguising simple stupidity. Just reading the summary shows several errors. For instance it appears to confuse who owns the track and land with who operates on top of the rail. I guess that is why it only showed up in NBR (who are a bit retarded these days in the ability to judge facts), and scoop – where anyone can place their own bullshit.

      But when I look at beneficiary bashing from the Taxpayers ‘Union’ that happens at a rate that barely lets a week go by as you criticize any and every welfare policy.

      Basically as an organisation, you appear to have a severe myopia and a bigotry that is hard to justify in your choice of what to focus on.

      Incidentally if you are a union for taxpayers – how about giving us taxpayers some transparency about where you get your funds from? Until I see detailed exposure of who you are operating for, I’ll consider you to be an organisation that is being run by some capricious business parasites and fronted by untrustworthy and morally challenged morons who are neck deep in some highly unethical behaviors.

      But you are such a great representative for the organisation…

    • Man, that things full of real, absolute BULLSHIT.

      Corporate welfare is not only a waste of taxpayer money but also counterproductive. Look at Emirates Team New Zealand. Removing the direct corporate welfare saw Team New Zealand bring home the Auld Mug. Forcing private businesses to compete on their own footing, rather than rely on government handouts, will inspire competition and innovation.

      Team New Zealand gets more government funding

      We can probably assume that if they didn’t get the government boost we wouldn’t have won.

      The largest recipient of taxpayer funded corporate welfare is KiwiRail. The latest budget has allocated $396 million to KiwiRail, a 50% increase on the previous year. KiwiRail has now received more than $4 billion in taxpayer handouts since 2008 despite being valued as a $1.5 billion liability.

      Except that Kiwirail isn’t really a corporation but, like the roads, is an essential government service. Treating as a corporation is the problem.

      If you actually do the research you’ll find that almost all successful technologies came out of government research of one form or another. Cuting corporate taxes won’t magically change that as we’ve seen – cutting the corporate taxes just means that more goes out to dividends. The corporates don’t actually increase research.

    • KJT 4.4

      Shouldn’t your outfit be called the “Tax dodgers Union”?

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 4.5

      @Jordan Can you justify why you are opposed to a tax on sugary drinks which would save the taxpayer by reducing the incidence of diabetes, plus reducing the amount of surgery required for the extraction of rotten teeth in children? So far the only argument I have seen from you is one of individual choice which proves to be costly to taxpayers and therefore this view would appear to be not representative of the group that you purport to be representing. Are you in fact simply representing your own personal point of view?
      Deleted duplicate comment.

      • Jordan Williams 4.5.1

        Hi Taitoko,

        I don’t think the Taxpayers’ Union has relied much on the “individual choice” argument. We tend to avoid (not always successfully) the libertarian arguments on these sorts of matters and try to focus on the economics. I think on sugar tax, the freedom to choose argument doesn’t get one far, because it is inherently value or ideologically-based, rather than evidence.

        The evidence that a sugar tax (which for present purposes is actually a soda tax) would have a material impact on the consumption of sugar is weak. Only 1.6 per cent of New Zealanders’ total energy intake comes from the added sugar content of sugar sweetened non-alcoholic beverages and New Zealanders are still getting fatter despite consuming fewer calories, suggesting that we’re not burning as many (I was really surprised to learn this, but apparently it is the case across the Western World since the early 1990s).

        A lot of politicians point to Mexico’s soda tax as an apparent success, however when we’ve taken a closer look at this the reported reductions in soda sales have all relied on expressed preference data (i.e. survey), whereas the actual sales data (now that it is available) shows that the impact has been around 1% (there was a blimp when the tax was first introduced, but sales have bounced back).

        So in order for a soda tax to save the money claimed in the health system it would need to have a material impact on the sale of sodas (which appears doubtful, unless it is set at a very high level) and sodas would need to be a big part of our calligraphic intake (which they’re not).

        If a soda tax was set at high levels, I suspect there would be a lot of subsidisation – I am told that one of the reasons most modern luxury foods have so much sugar is because for a generation we were trying to reduce fat and salt content (so these were replaced by something as pleasing on a pallet (i.e. sugar). A soda tax may cause people to eat more chocolate. A pure sugar tax may just cause people to eat more pies.

        So if they don’t work (or don’t work much) and there is a risk of substitution, the next question is whether we should just do it anyway.

        Putting aside my ideological view (that few on this blog would agree with) that the government – being about 40% of the economy – is large enough as it is, even if a sugar tax saw an equal reduction of other taxes (say on income), I would still resist it because a sugar tax is particularly regressive. By that I mean sugar taxes impact the poor the most. That might be OK, *if* you take the view that those are the people you want to reduce sugar consumption the most anyway, but note that, counterintuitively, higher tobacco taxes have had the least impact on those who can least afford to smoke. The socioeconomic gradient has increased as smoking taxes have risen.

        Finally, you mention kids’ teeth being extracted. I have a lot of sympathy for what is, (and I’m calling it for what it is) child abuse in giving sipper bottles of cola to infants and young kids every day of the week. I’ve heard Rob Beaglehole (he dentist from Nelson)’s very effective presentation and I have huge respect for his efforts to draw the public’s attention to what is an abomination. I don’t agree with Rob’s policy prescription (for the reasons outlined above), but I certainly acknowledge that there is a problem.

        In relation to tooth decay, I think it more to do with the acidity of the sodas, than the sugar per say, and I think more education of parents about the dangers of overconsuption of sugary drinks at any age is certainly called for.

        Jordan

        PS. I didn’t write it, but a few years ago the TU published a report on the subject of sugar taxes. See http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/fizzed_out

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata 4.5.1.1

          Just to clarify matters, can I ask if any of the soft drink manufacturers are donors to The Tax Payers’ Union?

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata 4.5.1.2

          Just to clarify matters, can you confirm that the Tax Payers’ Union does not have any soft drink manufacturers as a donor?

        • Craig H 4.5.1.3

          Personally, I would like to see sugar (and probably fat) taxes based on the additional government health spending required, similar to tobacco tax.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    There is a disconnection. Just as farmers once had huge subsidies .
    What is needed is an acceptance of a livable wage.

    • Stuart Munro 6.1

      Reptilians tend to overstretch their s’s – he figured focusssssed would raise uncomfortable questions.

  6. Ad 7

    Nothing wrong with wanting lower taxes.

    We all want more stuff for less.

    Hell you should see the wish-list from the commie parties.

  7. eco Maori/kiwi 8

    Yes in my view of reality in NZ the Big business get to capitalize on the benefit systems. The accommodation benefit, and family support are part of the equation to keep wages low.

    I am a empty Nesters . Now what about the retired people who work for the minimum wage in working in Bunnings or other business if the system was fare there minimum wage should be $20 a hour to these people to help pay for all the extra expenses to get to work. I no the work is good for our elderly it gets them out of there houses and they get a social life . Please do not harp on about super that they get as there health expenses are high they are lonely and vulnerable so.
    Dont fucken target them or beneficiaries because they are in a similar situation

    The benefits system will be adding directly to business profits this could be worked out by a economist so all these business leaders should look hard at them selves before they put down beneficiaries anyone with shares in the NZ stock market should do the same. As all business that have a few employees are being subsidized by the tax payers . Its commonsense.

    But we need these business to provide work and money for our economy.
    So please do not over tax them or treat them and there owners badly.
    Or this dumb ASS cycle will continue 9 years of labour and then 9 years of Natianal.
    We need to find the right ballance for our tax and the expences of NZ .
    We need to treat everyone in our country with dignity give everyone a healthy happy and safe live . Or we will keep slipping down the OECD economic ladder.
    Its is also commonsense not to sell our assets to business and definitely not to foreigner.
    Ban sales of land to foreign business or foreigners
    One does not sell the house you end up losing any capital gains and paying renting
    We do not need advice/ be conned from foreigner interest to run our Country

    • eco Maori/kiwi 8.1

      Foreigner interest are only interested in them selves look at what our Ossie cousins
      are doing to us trust no one

  8. Jeremy 9

    As regards our business, a lot of what you’ve outlined businesses “want” we most definitely don’t want or are indifferent to:

    1). Staff fully educated and trained. “Job ready”.

    Sure, but a bigger benefit goes to the individual, their family and society. Businesses should be directly assessed a relatively small part of the taxes to pay for this.

    2). Low wages.

    I have no problem paying high wages, if the person employed can generate value in excess of their wages.

    3). Tertiary education.

    Usually preferable, but not necessary.

    4). Better infrastructure, including power, roads, transport links and other services.

    Sure, but again this is a societal benefit and businesses should be directly assessed a small part of the taxes to pay for this, unless they are heavy users, trucking companies etc. Or they should be made to pay for them outright, Telcos, etc. come to mind.

    5). Better Government services.

    Depends on the service. Good courts, absolutely (hopefully never needed). Archives NZ, couldn’t care less as regards business. Most government services aren’t relevant to business or exist solely to regulate business and therefore should be efficient if they are necessary.

    6). Protection from crime.

    Again this seems to be a societal benefit from which business derives a small part of the total benefit and should therefore part a commensurate amount of the tax.

    7). Help with research.

    Dear Lord please no. Stop this type of rort.

    8). Help with exporting.

    Dear Lord please no. Stop this type of rort.

    9). Help with business development.

    Dear Lord please no. Stop this type of rort.

    10). More immigration to keep wages and training costs down.

    I have my own personal view on immigration, i.e. that I’d like more of it, but it has nothing to do with business. In a business sense I’m indifferent.

    11). A pool of casual labour/unemployed, available when and where wanted.

    We use temps from time to time when people are on leave. We use them to take the pressure off other staff during extended absences. They are highly paid on a per hour basis compared to regular staff. If we had to bear that level of wages for all staff, all the time, the business would be barely viable, certainly not worth working 70+ hour weeks when I could work for someone else for what we would be earning. I think they’ll always be a pool of people keen to earn temp wages while they pursue other careers, writing, acting, etc. and some people who are building skills to make themselves employable full time. But if the pool shrinks below a certain size hourly rates will go up to attract more people to temp roles. As a business we could probably handle higher rates for the small periods requiring coverage. So I’m indifferent on this point.

    12). Welfare benefits at starvation level, so people will take any low paid irregular hour job offered.

    The whole MT resignation has shown me I need to learn more about welfare before I can comment intelligently, but to be fair we need experienced people with a particular skill for a niche industry so we aren’t really in a position to hire people off benefits or from prison unless they have that skill.

    I’d imagine many businesses and business owners would share similar views, especially regarding “research”, “exporting” and “business development”.

    • KJT 9.1

      Jeremy. It is all the things that organisations such as the manufacturers, Federated farmers and other employer groups say they want.
      But they do not want to pay for it.

      As for the idea that employees should only be paid their value to the business.

      Any business which cannot pay a living wage. Is not paying the full cost of the resources they use. It is a tax payer and employee funded hobby, not a business.

      • Molly 9.1.1

        “Any business which cannot pay a living wage. Is not paying the full cost of the resources they use. It is a tax payer and employee funded hobby, not a business.” QFT.

    • Vinnie 9.2

      I think you hit the nail on the head with point 2.
      That would sum up the sense of entitlement kjt was talking about

    • AB 9.3

      “I have no problem paying high wages, if the person employed can generate value in excess of their wages.”

      Seems sort of rational in theory, but ‘value generated’ can’t be calculated at the level of the individual worker, only in aggregate across a workforce. Therefore the way wage levels are actually determined for individuals have little to do with this fictional metric. It’s much more determined by availability/scarcity of that type of worker and what the guy down the road is paying similar people. You therefore can drive wages down by eliminating scarcity through high immigration and making life on a benefit a sort of Kafkaesque psychological torture that everyone is desperate to avoid.
      Empirically – if employers did actually pay workers according to the “value” they created we would have seen wages track upwards along with productivity. The fact that this historical pattern stopped in the 1980’s suggests that wage-setting mechanisms are not primarily related to “value generated”.
      Even when “value generated” is calculated across an entire workforce its measurement is pretty crude – basically it’s measured by the profitability of the enterprise. Profitability is influenced by so many other factors beyond the skill and value generated by the workforce, e.g. companies that make good products wiped out by 3rd-world low cost competitors.
      Actually – I think it’s a feature of neoliberal economics to divorce the effort and value generated by workers from their actual income – the former goes up while the latter stays flat or declines.

      • KJT 9.3.1

        If wages were paid according to “value added” cleaners would be paid more than bankers.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8410489.stm

        “Bankers cost the economy”, in the UK, “£7 for every pound, they earn”

        We would certainly appreciate the “value added” by mothers of children, more than we do.

        • Molly 9.3.1.1

          Original publication from the New Economics Foundation is: A Bit Rich which has the information found in the BBC article you linked to.

          The organisation is worth having a look at. They defined the SROI – social return on investment calculation, which has been picked up around the world. I believe Auckland Council uses it as a tool – or at least was contemplating it.

      • Jeremy 9.3.2

        @ AB,

        Yes, that is fair enough. Business and individuals vary in how much of the value they create they can capture. I would say however that this isn’t just the result of the rich trying to screw the poor, it is also a fundamental feature of economics, just compare historic margins for airlines vs. asset light airfreight forwarders vs. aircraft part manufacturers. Same supply chain, yet the margins are 40% vs. 12% vs. 0% to -2%. Wages, not surprisingly, are higher in the high margin business.

        We are lucky that our business is such were we seem to capture (in terms of revenue / profit) a fair amount of the value in our supply chain, and the individuals contributions (in terms of profit) is very measurable, which makes it easier than most for us to pay higher wages, bonuses, etc. than average across the economy.

  9. Eco maori 10

    Foreign interest are only INTERESTED in them selves look at what our Ossie cousin’s are doing to us trust no one

  10. carlite 11

    1.

    In my industry, the industry standard qualification is not enough. Entry level positions require 2 years’ experience.

    For positions that are on the immigration skills list.

    I cannot for the life of me think why the government would put these roles on the skills list, while at the same time allow employers to be so picky. Such bullshit.

  11. Nic 181 12

    It is preaching to the converted to express an opinion against NZ business but I will do it anyway. These bastards think that PAYE earners owe them a living. In return we get crap wages, crap employment contracts and crap working conditions. #!*?/*

  12. CLEANGREEN 13

    “The meek shall inherit the earth”

    The bible says!!!

    And it is high time we changed this toxic rorting Government which is just a “carpetbagger” mobster, with their foreign mates with criminal intent as they rape our once beautiful country.

  13. Incognito 14

    Red tape; I think you forgot that Business wants much less red tape, e.g. a watered down version of the RMA.

    • KJT 14.1

      Yes. I forgot to include “removing red tape”.
      Translation. Pass risks, environmental costs and other externalities onto the community.

      • Incognito 14.1.1

        Indeed, red tape means unnecessary oversight & regulations as well as some level of public scrutiny & accountability. Enough to trigger an anaphylactic shock in Business. Luckily the State is always keen to bail them out …

    • Molly 14.2

      I like the proposal someone made a few months ago, about renaming the legislation/terms to “protection”. So instead of “environmental regulation” – we have “environmental protection” legislation. Small change, but big impact when you will have politicians like David Seymour promising to remove protection rather than regulations.

      Same goes for “water protections”, “worker protections” etc.

      We need to claim more accurate language use, rather than allowing it to be watered down and allocated for use by those who wish to cause harm.

      There is an interesting read in one of James Hansen’s book about the coining of the term “climate change”. A deliberate choice of words that was intended not to spook the horses.

  14. gsays 15

    Well put kjt.
    You can add to the list;
    legislation favouring the employer (90 day right to fire and ‘weta’ contractor not employee laws),
    Punitive drug testing as an indiscriminate tool to be rid of staff when it suits.

  15. The OP has hit all the high notes on the rort that is NZ big business.

    Nic 181 has captured the frustrated anger that is quietly present among such a large number of the population that endures this rort ;

    … ” These bastards think that PAYE earners owe them a living. In return we get crap wages, crap employment contracts and crap working conditions. #!*?/* ” …

    And being the stuck record I am, and having to repeat it constantly , what Nic 181 and many of the rest of us express is a DIRECT CONSEQUENCE of the neo liberal reforms of the 1980’s.

    The difference being the gutlessness of our politicians in actually naming it and picking up the ball and running with it. As Jeremy Corbyn did. NZ big business feels safe and secure in the knowledge we are a small population , easily misinformed by our media, that can equally as easily have our democratic process interfered with by the likes of the New Zealand Initiative and others to ‘ buy off ‘ our politicians for use as their ‘ front people’ , our academics / critics can be either silenced by funding cuts or cherry picked for promotion over others if they play the game.

    Virtually ALL the above in the list provided by the OP has been directly enabled by the original Roger Douglas neo liberal reforms. Thus what we are seeing are only the symptoms of Corporate Welfare.

    It almost has a laconic irony about it. It is , in fact , a serious issue.

    Not only has it enabled the poverty in this country , – poverty that we never experienced post late 1940’s and created an unfamiliar ‘tiered class based society ‘ between the haves and have not’s , – it has also had a corrosive effect on our democracy. Like a self consuming monster, … and as more and more wealth goes upwards ( never downwards) that monster feeds upon itself with large political donations , back room ‘ sweet deals’ and creating a situation where big business has inordinate influence on political party’s , …sponsoring report after report and recommendations that favour big business interests only , and , – along with those recommendations , – ensure they are passed into law often against the wishes of the general public.

    This we saw time and again during the 1980’s and 1990’s , and despite massive ongoing protests and opposition , both under David Lange and again under Jim Bolgers govts, passed such laws as the Employment Contracts Act and the punitive and draconian ‘ Mother of all Budgets’ , – both under Ruth Richardson in 1991.

    Since then , NO GOVERNMENT has sought to rescind the bulk of those initiatives , we have seen only ineffectual tinkering and minor adjustments , – and that only to placate a vengeful population at the polling booths. There STILL IS a kind of quietly kept secret to maintain that status quo and only offer small concessions .

    There IS NO Jeremy Corbyn.

    Even the mere mention that there is now serious poverty in this country is met with a wall of denial and deflection.

    And there is NO Jeremy Corbyn because what Jeremy Corbyn advocates is in direct opposition to the neo liberal narrative with which the New Zealanders now live under : neo liberalism.

    And what Jeremy Corbyn advocates ( and with which he has met with wide public approval ) is KEYNESIANISM. And from that naturally springs : SOCIAL DEMOCRACY.

    You CANNOT have a true social democracy that operates under a neo liberal monetarist ideology.

    The two are diametrically opposed.

    Far right wing supporters of neo liberalism will try their best to say that ‘ socialism’ does not work. Poppycock . Frequently , they will use a time honored argument tantamount to trolling ,… they will cite third world/ emerging nations failed socialistic attempts and use that to try and influence and use scaremonger tactics to maintain their argument .

    An example of this is Venezuela as their latest example , – while studiously ignoring Scandinavia , – among the most wealthy nations per capita on earth WITH a well equipped and successful welfare state. And among the HIGHEST WAGED WORKFORCE .

    New Zealand during the late 1960’s early 1970’s was among the top wealthiest nations globally , around 6th. After the neo liberal reforms at various times it was 32nd , – behind Mexico. At other times it slipped behind Albania.

    And New Zealand during the 1960’s and 1970’s was a social democracy with a Keynesian economy. Similar to the Scandinavian country’s are in 2917.

    A favorite catch cry of the neo liberals especially under Thatcher was TINA , – ‘ There Is No Alternative’ .

    It is high time the social democratic movement cried ” Enough !!! ” ,… and changed that catch- cry by challenging the neo liberal narrative justifying poverty by quoting : ‘TINE , – ” There Is No Excuse” .

  16. Oh ,… and this,…. dontcha just love National ?

    Tech firms won concession after claiming NZ tax proposal ‘most …
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/…/tech-firms-won-concession-after-claiming-nz-tax-proposal-m…

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