Damned if you do…

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, January 16th, 2008 - 213 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

kelly7.jpg

The Herald has an interesting article about shift work posted today pointing out the impact shift work has on workers’ families. The article focuses on bus drivers – who have faced some of the biggest attacks on their conditions over the last 17 years. Auckland Bus driver Jim Kelly puts it thus:

I see young guys come into the industry and I have said to quite a few of them, ‘If you’ve got three kids at home, mate, this is not the job to be in, because it will just kill your family life’

This follows research from the States late last year that showed shiftwork increases workers’ risk of cancer.

So let’s see, working shifts ruins your family life and messes with your health and yet very few shift workers get compensation for doing the job, in fact most non-union workers (and unfortunately there’s a lot of them) don’t get a shift allowance and many don’t even get a higher rate than their regular shift counterparts.

This is a fuckin’ disgrace.

The fact that we’re eight years into a Labour government (which, by the way, was founded by Kiwi workers) and yet the law still allows for this sort of shit to happen is a sad indictment of how far right our political spectrum has swung – sure Labour has undone some of the damage National did with the Employment Contracts Act in ’91 but we’re now heading into an election that could see the Tories back in power and the first thing they will do is attack Kiwi workers some more – and it’s gonna be easier for them this time because Labour has done so little to secure our work rights.

And don’t doubt for a second they won’t. For all of Key’s spin about being on the side of working people his party is the party of employers and that means he wants your wages and conditions (or ‘labour costs’, as he calls them) to be even lower. We’ve seen this with his party’s attempts to bring in a bill that would take all work rights from workers in the first 90 days of their jobs (that’s about 200,000 Kiwi workers in any one year) and in their attacks on every piece of legislation put up to improve the lives of Kiwi workers, including increases in the minimum wage, abolishing the youth minimum wage, paid parental leave, flexible working hours and four weeks annual leave. Oh and just for good measure they want to effectively privatise ACC, which would result in workers’ access to treatment and rehabilitation for work-injuries being severely curtailed (as can be seen from the situation in the USA), and they also want to get rid of workplace health and safety delegates.

So that’s the main party choice this year – you can vote Labour for low wages and poor working conditions or you can vote National and see it all get even worse. Kinda makes all this talk from both parties about supporting families seem a bit hollow really.

It is worth noting that nearly every piece of legislation protecting New Zealand workers, while supported by Labour, has actually been driven by the Alliance and the Greens. As the Alliance no longer exists I’d suggest voting Green is the best way to truly support Kiwi families – after all one of the most important elements to having a decent life is having a decent job.

213 comments on “Damned if you do… ”

  1. mike 1

    Ok Irish – Ban shiftwork and vote green. Actually just vote green as this would close most industry down in NZ and we could all be eco-beneficiaries growing our own food and stuff…

  2. Tane 2

    This kind of thing is exactly what National, the Business Roundtable etc are talking about when they use the term ‘flexible labour markets’. The ability to force people to work crazy hours on demand for no more than their usual shift rate.

    I’ve seen first hand the destructive effect this has on families, but you won’t hear a word about it from the self-appointed defenders of the family like Bob McCroskie or Christine Rankin.

  3. Tane 3

    Actually just vote green as this would close most industry down in NZ

    That’s quite an odd statement given it’s the Greens who are pushing the Buy NZ Made campaign and for keeping manufacturing in New Zealand.

    You obviously haven’t read their policies Mike – go have a look at http://www.greens.org.nz

    [Captcha: missing Spinach]

  4. dad4justice 4

    Tane – you have a real bee in your bonnet about McCroskie and Rankin . I feel it has become an unhealthy obsession that is detrimental to the welfare of the majority of parents and children of New Zealand ?
    Talking about families ; great to see many leaving to settle across the ditch . I do wonder if it has anything to do with appalling child abuse statistics and infanticide rates?

  5. IrishBill 5

    Mike, you’ve got no idea have you? Decent pay and conditions mean a more productive workforce. It’s a sign of how rightward the pendulum has swung in this country that concepts that are considered centrist in many other OECD nations (and would have been considered so here before the fourth Labour government) are attacked as “loony-leftwing” ideas.

  6. Kimble 6

    “[Ritchies] opened a depot at Albany and now has more than 100 drivers based there, registering its own company union last July.”

    Remember this next time you crow that unemployment under Labour is really low. 100 extra jobs.

  7. James Kearney 7

    Kimble- what’s your point?

    Economy’s growing, jobs are being created. And…?

  8. James Kearney 8

    Tane – you have a real bee in your bonnet about McCroskie and Rankin .

    I know Tane tries not to engage with you dad but I’m a pretty regular reader of this site and I haven’t seen any evidence of this. Do you have any proof or is this just further evidence of your insanity?

  9. djp 9

    No one has the ability to force anyone to do shift work. People agree to it when they take the job.

    It sounds to me that you would like others to make your life better for you rather then taking it into your own hands. Thats the kind of attitude that will sink this country.

  10. Daveo 10

    You’re forgetting the inherent imbalance of power in the employment relationship djp. Most people who do shift work don’t actually have much choice in the matter. They need to work to live and if all the jobs on offer require shift work then there’s not really any ‘agreement’ or ‘choice’ in the matter is there?

    Neoliberalism is a rather hollow ideology when you realise how narrow its rhetoric about ‘free choice’ really is.

  11. dad4justice 11

    “or is this just further evidence of your insanity?’

    I take great offensive to that comment James Kearney and I seek an immediate apology from you ?

  12. James Kearney 12

    Dad- you’ve put a question mark after your demand for an apology. That’s just mental.

  13. dad4justice 13

    Go on apologize then .

  14. Michele Cabiling 14

    Standard Marxist class warfare cant.

    The wages and conditions in any particular labour market are set by the interaction of supply and demand in that particular labour market.

    On the supply side, the number of qualifed people seeking work in that labour market forms the labour pool.

    On the demand side, employers will pay what they need to in order to secure suffient workers to operate the business profitably, bearing in mind they are competing with the wages those workers could earn in alternative employment for which they are qualified.

    Thus, for an unskilled job like cleaning hospital toilets, something any able-bodied adult plucked at random off the street could do, an employer can afford to pay relatively low wages and still meet his labour requirements.

    A doctor in the same hospital has studied for 6 years, sacrificing current income for potential future income, and he must be way more intelligent than a toilet cleaner. The pool of qualified labour is therefore much smaller, and the employer must pay a commensurately higher wage in order to meet his labour requirements. He is also competing with the higher salaries on offer for doctors offshore, which undoubtedly has an effect on wage rates in terms of keeping doctors working in New Zealand.

    Sure, society needs both jobs to be done, but we can see from the above example that the market is neither “fair” nor “unfair,” but a fact of life in terms of how it operates.

    In a free society, a bus driver who is unhappy with the wages and conditions on offer is free to change jobs to something else in the same line (maybe he could drive a truck or a taxi), take alternative employment for which his skills set qualifies him, or retrain for a job that better meets his needs.

    The standard leftard mentality takes a snapshot of a particular condition, presumes that because it’s on film it’s set in concrete, then demands Big Gummint do something about it, when it’s really up to individuals to change their own personal circumstances if they don’t like them.

    It’s only in workers paradises like the former Soviet Bloc where you have no options. If the state tells you to be a bus driver, that’s what you will be. And if the state tells you when you will drive the bus and what you will be paid, you don’t complain, or for wanting more money or seeking a job change you are marked down as a “class traitor” looking for a tenner in a labour camp.

  15. Max Call 15

    “In a free society, a bus driver who is unhappy with the wages and conditions on offer is free to change jobs to something else in the same line (maybe he could drive a truck or a taxi), ”

    good idea…
    cos taxi and truck drivers don’t work at night 😉

  16. Tane 16

    Michele, you really are getting tiring.

    The wages and conditions in any particular labour market are set by the interaction of supply and demand in that particular labour market.

    That’s how a market works. But markets are a tool, not a law set in stone. If they’re creating socially undesirable outcomes then we as a society can change the rules to make life better for people. We regularly do so for all sorts of things and I don’t see why the labour market should be any different. I know you’re a libertarian and think democratic control over the economy is evil, but it’s a marginal view that’s already been discussed elsewhere.

    it’s really up to individuals to change their own personal circumstances if they don’t like them.

    That’s the standard neoliberal line, but I’ll tell you where it fails. No matter what any particular individual does, the fact is that as a society we will always have toilet cleaners. The question for all of us is how are we going to treat them? I think we should treat them with dignity and respect so they can live decent lives, and if that means intervening in the market then so be it.

    The economy exists to serve human needs, not the other way around.

    It’s only in workers paradises like the former Soviet Bloc…

    And there you go again. We’re not in the Soviet Union Michele, and no one’s advocating that we go there. All you’re doing is discrediting yourself by showing your complete lack of perspective.

  17. djp 17

    Daveo we all have two choices

    a) Work to better our situation (hard work, creative ideas, whatever)

    b) Complain about our lot and hope someone else looks after us

    If there are only crusty jobs available then why don’t they create their own jobs. Its no good railing on at employers, maybe they had a really crap job in the beginning which inspired them to start their own business.

    Michele, Good rant 🙂

  18. Sam Dixon 18

    Michele Cabiling – markets are mere mechanisms, not ends. The point is to create a society where human beings get to live full, satisfying and long lives (the greatest good for the greatest number some joker once said), the market faisl to provide that in many cases (indeed, it would fail to provide it all without a framework of laws that allows markets to function)…

    it is in society’s interest that workers have good conditions (afterall, most of us are workers) but it is is not in the interest of the owners of the means of production – they just want to extract as much production for as little cost from workers. The owners simply will not demand the kind of work that you say the bus driver should take instead of his job, and he needs to work, so he will take what he can get.

    Only very low unemployment or the use of the political system can help redress the inate power imbalance between workers and owners of means of production

  19. dad4justice 19

    Is it in societies best interests to have acute mental health units working under pressure cooker situations ? How could happen in a free market society ,totally underpaid and under staffed and under resourced ??? People are dying as a result ?

    Good one Labour .

  20. Tane 20

    we all have two choices…

    Actually there’s a third – organise industrially and politically and fight for social change. It’s what employers do, and it seems to work for them.

    If there are only crusty jobs available then why don’t they create their own jobs.

    Who then will clean the toilets, answer the phones and drive the bus you take to work? There will always be a need for people to do those jobs, no matter what choices an individual makes. The question is how as a society we allow them to be treated. Neoliberalism has no answer to this question, stuck as it is with its narrow focus on the individual.

  21. Michele Cabiling 21

    Tane wrote:

    “No matter what any particular individual does, the fact is that as a society we will always have toilet cleaners. The question for all of us is how are we going to treat them? I think we should treat them with dignity and respect so they can live decent lives, and if that means intervening in the market then so be it.”

    Yeah, OK, let’s just abolish the market, have a centrally planned economy, and pay all the toilet cleaners $100.00 an hour.

    Any interference in the market creates economic distortions leading to a misallocation of resources.

    I will briefly re-state the effect of minimum wage laws: Assume for the sake of the example 100 people would have been employed at the free market wage rate, but employers can only profitably afford to employ 60 under the higher state-imposed minimum wage.

    The winners are the 60 people employed at the higher wage rate. The losers are the 40 who would have be taken on at the market wage rate. These people lose the opportunity to get their feet on the first rung of the job ladder, and to acquire the skills (punctuality, personal grooming, work ethic, obedience to authority) to move up it in future.

    The poverty of good intentions again …

    Research shows that barring a recalcitrant intergenerational underclass that won’t do anything because it can always get welfare, the vast majority of people in the lowest income quintile (school leavers, students, young singles, young families starting out) move through to the top quintile over a decade or so.

    More leftard taking a snapshot, setting it in concrete, and crying out for Big Gummint to solve a problem that didn’t exist in the first place.

    Sam Dixon wrote:

    “it is in society’s interest that workers have good conditions (afterall, most of us are workers) but it is is not in the interest of the owners of the means of production – they just want to extract as much production for as little cost from workers.”

    Sure, in a free market, providers of goods and services must be profitable to stay in business, since if they charge too much for outputs, they will simply be undercut by cheaper competitors.

    To conclude from this fact that they “just want to extract as much production for as little cost from workers” is fallacious reasoning.

    The beauty of the free market is that in a competitive labour market, employees who feel they are being screwed by the boss are free to change jobs or retrain for a better job.

    Those who fail to do this have tacitly agreed to accept what’s being handed out to them — something in a free society they are equally at liberty to do.

  22. Santi 22

    From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs said the failed philosopher Karl Marx.

    Now, aAsk a Cuban bus driver how he feels about your beloved socialist society and economy. I don’t cite North Korea because they ride bikes there due to lack of petrol.

    Fortunately, not all men are born equal. The individual and capitalism rule!

  23. Michele Cabiling 23

    Tane wrote:

    “Who then will clean the toilets, answer the phones and drive the bus you take to work? There will always be a need for people to do those jobs, no matter what choices an individual makes. The question is how as a society we allow them to be treated.”

    The market treats all workers fairly and impartially based on the value they add for others. Should they believe themselves to be worth more, they are free to change to another job or improve their employability with further education.

    “Actually there’s a third – organise industrially and politically and fight for social change.”

    This is nothing more than misappropriating the power of the state to steal the fruits of others’ labour. The purpose of a trade union is to secure above-market wages and conditions for members through closed shops, minimum wage laws, and state-sponsored privilege allowing them to engage in industrial blackmail of employers.

  24. Tane 24

    Michele says:

    Yeah, OK, let’s just abolish the market, have a centrally planned economy, and pay all the toilet cleaners $100.00 an hour.

    What a thoroughly stupid strawman argument.

    As for the accusation that minimum wage laws lead to unemployment, check out what’s happened to the minimum wage here:
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=906

    and what’s happened to unemployment here:
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=652

    Looks like reality trumps ideology again ‘chele.

  25. Tane 25

    Michele I have a job to do so I’m not going to be able to respond to every single one of your incredibly verbose and often frequently ill-informed comments.

    I guess our disagreement is here:

    The market treats all workers fairly and impartially based on the value they add for others.

    I don’t agree the CEO of Telecom is worth 100 times more than the guy who actually installs the phone lines, despite what the pay packet says. That’s not ‘fair’.

    Nor is a market ‘impartial’ – it is based on a system of power relations and property ownership that is as man-made as any other. Markets and property rights have their uses, but they exist to serve human needs, not the other way around.

    If you insist on believing in a Randian mythology of absolute unlimited property rights that have no basis in reality then that’s your right, but please do try to drop the smarmy, arrogant tone.

  26. roger nome 26

    “”[Ritchies] opened a depot at Albany and now has more than 100 drivers based there, registering its own company union last July.”

    Remember this next time you crow that unemployment under Labour is really low. 100 extra jobs.”

    They posted a video link featuring Kimble over at NZ blog recently. Definitely worth a watch.

    http://newzblog.wordpress.com/2008/01/09/john-key-as-a-child/#comment-334

  27. Jum 27

    What is a free market/free society?

    If it involves a National/Act government selling off community owned assets that have been paid for from the community to private owners who then seek to strip for private benefit, which means the workers in that asset are on the unemployment line seeking ever decreasing jobs which employers then decrease wages on and inflict harsher employment practices on those desperate to hang on to those jobs, then I don’t want the free society/market. Also, let me repeat ‘assets owned by the community previously’- railway, et cetera, state owned by the original nanny state under Dick Seddon.

    We’ve already had that mess from previous Douglas/Richardson operatives.

    The only people that benefit from such a system are the group that does not see workers as people with their own aspirations, the toilet cleaners, eg. Free market systems, ergo, egoistic systems tend to ensure those workers don’t improve their lot, by making their journey to prosperity harder than a more altruistic system, especially financially. The class system is alive and well in free society/market land.

    In fact, that group effectively controls those workers which National/Act acolytes are cheekily accusing Labour of.

    If private buyers of public assets continue to operate these businesses, the staff are reduced, the hours are increased for the remaining staff and their wages remain the same. There is also the bigger risk of NZ foreign owned companies closing down and leaving New Zealand.
    They have no inherent loyalty at all.

    The main difference between the free society/market and Labour’s system is that while everyone under this government has a chance of reaching their goals, in National/Act’s system only their people who have sold all Kiwis’ dreams down the river stand to gain.

    In the case of private businesses, like Fisher and Paykel, when they don’t have low enough expenses, they ship work/services out of New Zealand. Is that your free market. Yes it is. Is it good for New Zealand. No it is not.

    Fair enough that private business can do what it likes. But, there should always be businesses that operate on behalf of all New Zealanders.

  28. Robinsod [moderator] 28

    Yeah, OK, let’s just abolish the market, have a centrally planned economy, and pay all the toilet cleaners $100.00 an hour.

    Straw man argument – 10 demerits

    misappropriating the power of the state to steal the fruits of others’ labour.

    Failure to account for the fact that it is indeed the labour of the workers that is being appropriated by the employer (hint a synonym for “workers” is “labour”) – 10 demerits

    The purpose of a trade union is to secure above-market wages and conditions for members through closed shops, minimum wage laws, and state-sponsored privilege allowing them to engage in industrial blackmail of employers.

    Straw man argument (the purpose of unions is actually to provide a vehicle for individuals to combine their bargaining and political power – this should fit with your ideology Michele) coupled with non sequitur (there is no way a unionised site leads to “blackmailing” of employers – the workers on a site are the ones that make the claims prior to a negotiation. They are hardly going to do themselves out of a job) – 20 demerits

    Y’know Michele if you keep all this lying up you’ll be banned by this afternoon.

  29. Santi 29

    “Y’know Michele if you keep all this lying up you’ll be banned by this afternoon.”

    The implacable Commissar Porton has spoken.

  30. Michele, markets don’t exist in the abstract, they exist because we create, transact and regulate them. Public policy objectives are always a factor, great or small, in the operation of markets. Only in text books is anything entirely free – this point was even understood by Smith. The problem I have with your arguments is that they are absent any reality or history.

  31. Robinsod [moderator] 31

    The implacable Commissar Porton has spoken

    “Implacable”? Jeez, thanks Santi – you’re making me sound all tough! And just as I had you pegged as an idiot! My apologies brother.

  32. Tane 32

    The implacable Commissar Porton has spoken.

    Still nothing substantive from you Santi.

    I’ve always said Robinsod can be out of line at times, but hey at least he’s funny and often makes intelligent comments, so we let him stick around. You’ve got nothing but unintelligent abuse. Why do you even come here?

  33. roger nome 33

    “Research shows that barring a recalcitrant intergenerational underclass that won’t do anything because it can always get welfare, the vast majority of people in the lowest income quintile (school leavers, students, young singles, young families starting out) move through to the top quintile over a decade or so.”

    This might be true of the social democratic countries which aim at equality of opportunity, but certainly isn’t true of the neoliberal countries such as NZ, the US and GB. Have a look at page 46 in the following link.

    http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/27/28/38335410.pdf

  34. Tamaki Resident 34

    “The market treats all workers … they are free to change to another job or improve their employability with further education.”

    In utopia maybe, but it is a lot easier said than done to take on further education, especially if the worker has family and/or mortgage commitments etc. Even changing jobs is not always easy, especially at the lower wage end of the scale.

  35. Ruth 35

    The market treats all workers fairly and impartially based on the value they add for others.

    What a howler!

    Tell that to the CEO’s in the US who have recently been paid out hundreds of millions of dollars when all they have done is destroy shareholder value.

  36. Draco TB 36

    Quoting Michele Cabiling
    “obedience to authority”

    Sorry, but you can take your “obedience to authority” and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

    Oh, BTW, capitalism itself is a market distortion this is due to capitalism and the free-market being in conflict. The free-market is distributive (its ideal is perfect competition) and capitalism is accumulative (its ideal is one person owning everything).

    The reality is that Capitalism isn’t an economic system but a social one and it hasn’t moved very far from its predecessor – Aristocracy of which it still has all the same fundamental problems. Capitalism, like Aristocracy, is a failed system because it requires that the majority producers live hand to mouth while those who produce nothing live in the lap of luxury.

  37. East Wellington Superhero 37

    Wage increases were higher under National in the 1990s than under Labour in 2000s.

    Surely this fact has to speak for something? Doesn’t it say something about deregulation? I’d have thought so.

    Under strong economies everyone gets richer, including bus drivers.

    The question is, has Labour wasted the golden economic weather they inherited (Cullen has admitted he inherited a great economy so please don’t try to ignore that aspect of it)?

    I’m off to enjoy the goldren weather of Evan’s Bay, Wellington.

    Good day.

  38. dad4justice 38

    Excuse me roger nome “recalcitrant intergenerational underclass”
    does not exist in New Zealand, that theory was dismissed as just “extrapolated from an anecdote “- remember silly boy !

    Yeah right, pull the other one, because it plays Dancing Under the Red Star.

  39. Tane 39

    Wage increases were higher under National in the 1990s than under Labour in 2000s.

    No they weren’t, quite the opposite:

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=527

    And for low income workers they were even worse:

    http://www.dol.govt.nz/publication-view.asp?ID=96

    Surely this fact has to speak for something? Doesn’t it say something about deregulation? I’d have thought so.

    Yes, yes it does.

  40. Matthew Pilott 40

    The market treats all workers fairly and impartially based on the value they add for others.

    This statement is so flawed I’m not surprised to see it buried repeatedly here, but I want a turn too.

    For the market to act in a fair and impartial way, we would need a perfect market. “If you had studied economics” Michele, you would know that such a market does not exist.

    The employment market is not fair and impartial, as there is no perfect information, high transaction costs, and a total lack of freedom of decision (i.e. there IS a cost of acting/not acting in this market).

    How you can profess to know a little about economics and then share such a flawed economic statement is beyond me.

    It is not beyond me to see how you could imagine the market is perfect in an attempt to discredit the notion of any form of intervention in the employment economy – objectivity isn’t your strong suit.

  41. deemac 41

    please please please put a word limit on Michele!
    her stuff is so loooong and tedious I just skip over it anyway

  42. Kimble 42

    “Tell that to the CEO’s in the US who have recently been paid out hundreds of millions of dollars when all they have done is destroy shareholder value.”

    oh, I am sure they would agree that they have been treated quite fairly.

    “Even changing jobs is not always easy, especially at the lower wage end of the scale.”

    Maybe the reasons they are paid a low wage is because they do not have the skills to improve their own situation.

  43. Matthew Pilott 43

    Maybe the reasons they are paid a low wage is because they do not have the skills to improve their own situation.

    And maybe their lower wage is the reason they can’t improve their position.

    Vicious circle the market took years to perfect?

  44. Tane 44

    Matthew, Kimble is trying to imply that low income workers are there because of some moral deficiency – that they’re lazy or somehow it’s their own fault. It’s the same argument Michele was making when she talked about people failing to “acquire the skills (punctuality, personal grooming, work ethic, obedience to authority) to move up it in future.”

    So for the likes of Kimble and Michele, low income workers are there because they are late, poorly groomed, lazy and disobedient. Any other explanation would require a deeper analysis of the failings of the ‘free market’ and a challenge to their own prejudice and, in many cases, privelige.

    The idea that poverty could be structural and that we can change the system to alleviate it never crosses their mind.

  45. roger nome 45

    Hey, I keep having comments disapear, then when I try and post them it’s denied on the basis that it has already been posted. Can anyone enlighten me on this?

  46. Tane 46

    You’re probably getting the captcha wrong. I had this happen to me last night. Try saving your comment before you post it so you can repost if it fails. If the captcha is too hard you can refresh and get a new one. And if that all fails and it won’t let you post again try changing just one character and see if that works.

    Hmmm… we should really look into this, I know how much it sucks to lose a comment you’ve put some thought into.

  47. roger nome 47

    “The beauty of the free market is that in a competitive labour market, employees who feel they are being screwed by the boss are free to change jobs or retrain for a better job.

    Those who fail to do this have tacitly agreed to accept what’s being handed out to them — something in a free society they are equally at liberty to do.”

    So why is it that in “free societies” (neoliberal societies), i.e. US, UK, Italy etc … people who have rich parents stay rich, and people who have poor parents stay poor? Why is it that in countries where there is more of a welfare state there is much more social mobility?

    I’ll tell you. When you have such huge structural economic inequalities (i.e. the US) people born into poorer families simply don’t have the resources(the private school education, the paid tutor, the help from daddy on the mortgage) to make it into the ranks of the rich. The odds are just so heavily stacked against them. In a just society people who, by accident of birth, find themselves in a poor family, are given every opportunity to pursue their dreams and escape their poverty. Not so in you “free society” I’m afraid.

  48. Kimble 48

    “Kimble is trying to imply that low income workers are there because of some moral deficiency – that they’re lazy or somehow it’s their own fault.”

    It would be nice if you were to ask me what I am trying to imply, instead of posting wildly inaccurate fanatasies.

    What I am trying to say is that there may be a correlation between the ease at which you can change jobs and the reasons you are in those jobs in the first place. I have made no value judgements and certainly no moral ones.

    “people born into poorer families simply don’t have the resources (the private school education, the paid tutor, the help from daddy on the mortgage) to make it into the ranks of the rich.”

    That would only be true is you needed help from daddy, a private school education and a tutor to become rich. In reality you dont even need a college degree.

    The problem you have is that rich and poor are measured relatively. If my parents are poor and your parents are rich and both of us improve our situation by 200%, I am still “poor” and you are still “rich”.

    In reality mobility between income groups in the US is quite high. One of the only studies to track individuals within each income group shows that around 50% of the people who were in the lowest income group in 1995 were in a higher group in 2005. A quarter of the people in the lowest quintile moved the to middle and middle-upper one ten years later. Around 5% move to the top.

    The idea that being poor is some insurmountable barrier to achieving a higher income is a myth.

    There is an interesting study about intergenerational income mobility and income inequality that I am aware of. It finds that there is a correlation between the two. That would make sense, as moving between quintiles is easier when they arent very far apart.

  49. roger nome 49

    “In reality mobility between income groups in the US is quite high. One of the only studies to track individuals within each income group shows that around 50% of the people who were in the lowest income group in 1995 were in a higher group in 2005. A quarter of the people in the lowest quintile moved the to middle and middle-upper one ten years later. Around 5% move to the top”

    The US has the lowest social mobility in the US is among the lowest in the OECD. This is due to its having amongst the largest income inequality levels in the OECD.

    Also, provide a source, otherwise we have to assume that you’re simply talking out your arse.

  50. roger nome 50

    Should have been…

    “The US has amongst the lowest social mobility levels in the OECD.”

  51. roger nome 51

    Also let’s assume that you aren’t talking out your arse, and around 5% of people who start in the lowest quintile end up in the top quintile. That’s just one in 20, where as if the playing field were level it would be five times that number.

    I wonder what the number is for those that start of in the top quintile? 10 in 20? 15 in 20?

  52. roger nome 52

    “There is an interesting study about intergenerational income mobility and income inequality that I am aware of. It finds that there is a correlation between the two. That would make sense, as moving between quintiles is easier when they arent very far apart.”

    Sure, but that doesn’t negate the fact that countries with lower income inequality provide a more level playing feild for those boorn into poorer families. In this sense they are more just societies, since none of us choose the families that we are born into.

  53. “It is worth noting that nearly every piece of legislation protecting New Zealand workers, while supported by Labour, has actually been driven by the Alliance and the Greens.”

    I have to agree with you IB.

    The two latest bills passed through the house included:

    Sue Bradfords Minimum wage (Abolition of age descrimination) amendment bill.

    That was amended as Labour didn’t want to fully support it. I remember lobbying Trevor Mallard on that bill. He turned around to me as said “I will tell you one thing, I have had more people lobby me who have told me to vote against this bill”

    His arrogance disgusted me and now he is the LABOUR PARTY Minister of Labour.

    Anyway, this bill was watered down and passed in the end.

    The other bill was sponsored by Sue Kedgley:

    Employment relations(Flexible working hours) amendment bill.
    This was supported by Labour.

    So the last two bills that focused on employment relations and conditions were pormoted by GREEN MPs.

    So I am openly critical of the way that Labour are handling employment issues at the moment and think Labour need to become the workers party again.

  54. Sue Bradford’s*

    For all those grammar Nazi’s.

  55. James Kearney 55

    No apostrophe on “Nazis”. It’s plural, not possessive. But you’re only a kid so I’ll give you a break.

  56. Sam Dixon 56

    Which all goes to shwo the importance of having a true Left party beside Labour, to counter the pull to the centre.

    With any luck, we’ll have a Laobur-Green-Prog coalition by the end of the year.

  57. roger nome 57

    “The problem you have is that rich and poor are measured relatively. If my parents are poor and your parents are rich and both of us improve our situation by 200%, I am still “poor” and you are still “rich”.”

    Not at all. Clearly there is going to be some inequality in society. That’s fine as it’s good to incentives hard work, enterprise and efficient use of resources, and as long as we do this there will be inequality. This is good and just, as it increases the overall productivity of society.

    But at the same time, it’s unjust that people should be disadvantaged by the family that they’re born into, as it’s out of their control. So it’s just that people born into poor families be given every opportunity to climb the social ladder. Ideally, of the people born into the bottom quintile, 20% would end up in each of the 5 quintiles. However, this would require massive income re-distribution and would probably significantly limit the effect of the productive incentives that I’ve already mentioned.

    Yet somehow these two just things need to be balanced, and I guess the one you give the most weighting to will depend on your personal values. Now to me it looks like Canada and Australia have it about right – they have high levels of social mobility, reasonable levels of income inequality, and no one would question either one’s economic performance over the last 10 years.

    The US and GB on the other hand have high levels of income inequality, and low levels of social mobility – not a good mix in my book. i.e. see the graph on page 46 of this link.

    http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/27/28/38335410.pdf

  58. “With any luck, we’ll have a Laobur-Green-Prog coalition by the end of the year.”

    Totally!

    I fully support a Labour-Green-Prog coalition.

    JK – Yes, general mistake. I actually re-read it and kicked myself when I saw it.

  59. dad4justice 59

    “descrimination”

    Holy Hell but I can’t for the life of me find that word in my Lexicon, and maybe, you master minds meant to say desecration by Ms Bardfoot ?

    With a bit of luck both Green and Labour will be obliterated from the New Zealand political landscape forever and forever.

  60. roger nome 60

    Too true James. Also, we have the Alliance to thank for paid parental leave, and the up-coming introduction 4 weeks annual leave (they cemented that in all the way back in 2002).

    Labour really have done bugger all to turn around National’s attack on workers that was carried out throught the 1990s.

  61. “With a bit of luck both Green and Labour will be obliterated from the New Zealand political landscape forever and forever.”

    Then your $11k per annum income will go out the door.

    You then wouldn’t be able to feed your daughter and you will be crying up to emotionless Auntie Judith for support.

  62. Laila Harre worked hard to bring in PPL, and as you say, it was Alliance who mustered that through Parliament. Not Labour

  63. dad4justice 63

    I wonder if we can reach the 100,000 kiwi’s flying out of this country for good before the election ?

  64. Matthew Pilott 64

    No apostrophe on “Nazis”. It’s plural, not possessive. But you’re only a kid so I’ll give you a break.

    Nazi is an acronym, so it’s incorrect to use an apostrophe in any situation. Are you a kid – do I give you a break!?

  65. I am still confident that Labour can deliver. We just need a good strong left wing coalition in the next election. None of this WP BS, he truly is right.

  66. Matthew Pilott 66

    Labour really have done bugger all to turn around National’s attack on workers that was carried out throught the 1990s.

    Err, Employment Relations Act vs ECA?

    However, they could/should have done more.

  67. dad4justice 67

    The only thing Labour will deliver James is more corruption .
    Forget the Nazi’s and look at this disgraceful government . It’s nothing to be proud about!!

    Biggest landslide victory is New Zealand’s history coming up .

  68. James Kearney 68

    Nazi is an acronym, so it’s incorrect to use an apostrophe in any situation. Are you a kid – do I give you a break!?

    No apostrophes on acronyms either. And I’d argue Nazi has become a word in itself now – we don’t say NAZI do we?

  69. roger nome 69

    Matt Pilot – The bst thing about the ERA is the mediation service and the employment relations authority, which have taken much of the financial pain out of the judicial process – so now a lot more workes are accessing the legal system when they’ve been wronged at work. This is extremely important in a labour market where only 20% of the work force is represented by a union!

    Other wise the ERA has done just about bugger all for workers. i.e.

    the central goals of the ERA have been to redress power inequalities inherent between employers and employees, and build productive employment relationships. Both of these endeavours were ostensibly to be pursued through the promotion of collective bargaining.
    Given the comparatively benign nature of the ERA, Ross Wilson, the CTU’s president, was hopeful that union membership would increase from about 18 per cent of the workforce to 30 per cent under the ERA (Rasmussen and McIntosh, 2001a: 131). As such, the CTU announced a recruitment drive for workers under 18 in January 2000, as an attempt to recover “a lost generation of workers” (Rasmussen and Beer, 2000b: 216). However, the available figures regarding union membership numbers and density show that this task has not been easy within the current legal environment. Despite growth in union membership of 5.6 percent between December 1999 and March 2001, by mid 2002 strong labour force growth had outstripped overall union growth with a relative decline of collective bargaining to individual bargaining (Rasmussen and McIntosh, 2002a: 136; Rasmussen et al., 2002: 205). As a result, union density (with regard to paid employees) remained relatively stagnant and from 1999 to 2003 only rose by 0.3 percent (from 21.1 percent to 21.4 percent). In fact, if unpaid employees are included in this figure a decrease in density of seven percent was recorded between 1999 and 2003 (from 17.7 percent to 17.6 percent) (Tremewan, 2004: 30). By 2005 union density amongst paid employees was only 0.8 percent above its 1999 level at 21.9 percent (Blackwood et al., 2005: 2).

  70. illuminatedtiger 70

    Trevor Mallard is a disgrace to Labour no doubt about that.

  71. Michele Cabiling 71

    robinsodomite wrote:

    “Failure to account for the fact that it is indeed the labour of the workers that is being appropriated by the employer (hint a synonym for ‘workers’ is ‘labour’) – terminal demerit for warmed-over Marxism without acknowledging the source.

    The workers are paid a market wage for the time the put in on the job. When they go home they leave the job behind. The business owner’s commensurately greater reward is for taking on the business risk of the enterprise, and all the associated stress, the long hours complying with excessive red tape requirements, dealing with wankers at the IRD etc. Thoroughly deserved, I say.

    “I don’t agree the CEO of Telecom is worth 100 times more than the guy who actually installs the phone lines, despite what the pay packet says. That’s not ‘fair’.”

    That’s funny, I thought the shareholders (owners) voted on the CEO’s remuneration package. If that’s what the shareholders say is “fair,” who are you, a non-owner, to say otherwise?

    “If you insist on believing in a Randian mythology of absolute unlimited property rights that have no basis in reality …”

    So what you’re saying is that you have some kind of moral right to gang up with other like minds and use the power of the state to harness others into involuntary servitude to group pathologies. I’m saying I don’t like being a serf, and no such moral right exists.

    “So for the likes of Kimble and Michele, low income workers are there because they are late, poorly groomed, lazy and disobedient. Any other explanation would require a deeper analysis of the failings of the ‘free market’ and a challenge to their own prejudice and, in many cases, privilege.”

    I stopped using WINZ to find prospective workers because those they sent were overwhelmingly late, poorly groomed, lazy, and displayed oppositional-defiant personalities when directed to do something.

    Not to put too fine a construction on it, these people were, in my view, unemployable. Thats not a ‘free market’ failure but a PERSONAL failure. And if these people are ill-equipped to even get their feet on the first rungs of the employment ladder, how can they get off the dole, let alone move onwards and upwards to better things.

  72. Matthew Pilott 72

    No apostrophes on acronyms either. And I’d argue Nazi has become a word in itself now – we don’t say NAZI do we?

    It may have lost its capitalisation but it’s still an acronym, and the point of correcting apostrophe use is to be exacting 😉 Tricky one though, doesn’t help that the acronym doesn’t translate into english (or it would be NSWP, which sounds far less evil).

  73. James Kearney 73

    illuminatedtiger- I agree. As a worker and a union member I’m pissed off Labour decided to give us Trevor as Minister of Labour, especially billed as a ‘demotion’ from Sport. The guy’s a liability and working people deserve better representation than that.

    Michele- fuck off, your comments are too long and I’m bored of you.

  74. roger nome 74

    Michele Cabiling:

    What do you have to say about the negative correlation between income inequality and social mobility? Do you not think that it’s just to mitigate the market’s tendency to disadvantage people who are born into poor families? Or do they desrve that disadvantage because they are, due to their poor genetics, overwhelmingly late, poorly groomed and lazy?

  75. I have used the mediation service before and I found it to be alright.

    A lot of Employers are still nasty bastards. I think there really needs to be more emphasis put on making sure employers are following the collective agreement.

    Because one place I worked, they certainly didn’t.

  76. Tane 76

    Actually Nazi is not an acronym, strictly speaking.

    The acronym is NSDAP – National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei (National Socialist German Workers’ Party).

    From memory ‘Nazi’ is an abbreviation, but I could be wrong.

  77. dad4justice 77

    “Michele- fuck off,”

    Hell thats 50 demerits over at kiwiblog ?
    Different standard here? Of course, silly ol’ me .

  78. I am not happy about Mallard getting Labour also. It’s an utter disgrace.

    How can workers have confidence in the fact that the govt will deliver better pay and working conditions when the man responsible for that is not passionate about makiing the lives of NZ workers better.

    Maybe I lobbied him when he was breaking up with his wife…maybe that is why he was so crabby, I really don’t know.

  79. roger nome 79

    “Hell thats 50 demerits over at kiwiblog ?
    Different standard here? Of course, silly ol’ me .”

    D4J if that was true you would have lasted about 2 days before each of your bans. As it stands DPF took about 2-3 weeks to ban you each time. Though you are a Tory, so that might explain a thing or two.

  80. Matthew Pilott 80

    So does one use an apostrophe on an abbreviation of an acronym?

    D4J – the fact that you have no demerits here, nor are banned, speaks volumes about the difference between Kiwiblog and The Standard, wouldn’t you say?

  81. Michele Cabiling 81

    Matthew Pillock wrote:

    “The employment market is not fair and impartial, as there is no perfect information, high transaction costs, and a total lack of freedom of decision.”

    Really? Most prospective employees, unless they are dumbasses who need a marginally more intelligent union rep to negotiate on their behalf, are well aware of what the market wage is in any occupation, as are employers.

    Sure, changing jobs or stepping out of paid employment to go back to school can impose a high transaction cost. These are simply some of the factors that people will evaluate in considering these alternative.

    In a free society, people are at liberty to consider whether changing jobs or remaining in one’s currently employment leads to a net benefit or imposes a net cost. THAT’S HOW PEOPLE MAKE ECONOMIC DECISIONS.

  82. Matthew Pilott 82

    Michele, your original quote said that “The market treats all workers fairly and impartially based on the value they add for others.“.

    A market cannot be fair and impartial except in theory. Migrants often find it hard to work because of a perception that they are less able, when in fact this is often not the case.

    Women are paid less than men. Fat people are paid less than those of lesser girth. Ugly people are paid less than us good looking jokers. Tall people get paid more than their vertically challenged counterparts.

    This is not, by any means, a fair and impartial market.

    In a ‘free society’ people are free to make a decision as irrational as they wish, and it happens all the time.

    Just because it is a pretty economic theory doesn’t make it plausible in the real world!!

  83. Michele Cabiling 83

    James Kearney said: “As a worker and a union member …”

    As a union member, my guess is you wouldn’t work in an iron lung.

    “Michele- fuck off, your comments are too long and I’m bored of you.”

    Had you read my posts, unless you are a dimwit, you’d be starting to get your head around the concept of a free society.

    In a free society, you’re at complete liberty to read them or not as you see fit. In the kind of authoritarian socialist society you and other like minds in this blog seem to prefer, you’d be compelled to read my posts because doing so would be good for you.

  84. roger nome 84

    “In a free society, people are at liberty to consider whether changing jobs or remaining in one’s currently employment leads to a net benefit or imposes a net cost. THAT’S HOW PEOPLE MAKE ECONOMIC DECISIONS.”

    Except there are structural inequalities that the “free” market perpetuates which disadvantage some and advantage others. In a free-market people aren’t born onto a level playing field, and justice requires that this aspect of the market be mitigated through wealth redistribution. Or don’t you believe in justice?

  85. dad4justice 85

    Do you know the real meaning for the word JUSTICE roger ?

  86. Tane 86

    Had you read my posts, unless you are a dimwit, you’d be starting to get your head around the concept of a free society.

    Michele this is why people find you a bore. They understand what you’re arguing but they’ve weighed up the arguments and rejected it. I know when you’re so sure you’ve found the truth you think everyone else must be stupid or uneducated, but has it ever occurred to you that others may have also got themselves an education and come to different conclusions?

    There are holes in your arguments. You still haven’t explained where your absolute unlimited private property rights come from. If I were you I’d stop being so arrogant and condescending, shorten your comments to a readable length and listen to what others are saying for a change.

  87. Michele Cabiling 87

    Matthew Pillock wrote:

    “A market cannot be fair and impartial except in theory. Migrants often find it hard to work because of a perception that they are less able, when in fact this is often not the case.”

    That’s funny, when I was a wage slave, my workplace had Kiwis, Aussies, South Africans, Poms, Scots, Filipinos, Indians, Chinese, Polynesians, Maori, a Russian, and a [black]Jamaican all working there. All were competent professionals employed entirely on their merits.

    Where migrants find it hard to get jobs is if they are unskilled, their qualifications are unrecognised in New Zealand, or their English skills are poor. These are personal limitations, not market limitations.

    Because your collectivist mindset doesn’t recognise individual rights, you blame collective institutions, rather than personal shortcomings, for detrimental outcomes.

    “Women are paid less than men.”

    Really? We have had equal pay legislation for many years now. This makes it illegal for employers to pay women less than a man for doing the same job.

    The fact that “women” on aggregate, are paid less than “men” on aggregate is attributable to different job preferences; women working part-time raising children; and women leaving the workforce for extended periods to raise kids — with attendant loss of seniority and ongoing work experience.

    “Fat people are paid less than those of lesser girth.”

    Not if they are doing the same job as their slimmer counterpart.

    “Ugly people are paid less than us good looking jokers.”

    We have only your word for this. Like all leftards your truthfullness is not to be trusted.

    “Tall people get paid more than their vertically challenged counterparts.”

    Suffering from short man’s disease are we?

    The whines of envy are deafening.

  88. James Kearney 88

    As a union member, my guess is you wouldn’t work in an iron lung.

    That’s the best you can do? It barely even makes sense. Don’t quit the day job Michele, not that you seem to do any work in it anyway.

  89. Kimble 89

    “Also let’s assume that you aren’t talking out your arse, and around 5% of people who start in the lowest quintile end up in the top quintile. That’s just one in 20, where as if the playing field were level it would be five times that number.”

    Gosh Nome, didnt you know about the US Treasury Department’s study? I thought you would be all over this sort of thing.

    http://www.treasury.gov/press/releases/reports/incomemobilitystudyfinal.pdf

    Now for your assertion that 5 out of 20 people should be able to crack into the top income quintile. The study covered 10 years, so of course over a persons life they have a much higher chance of making it there.

    Given that people are very likely to be in a different quintile over ten years, how would you determine intergenerational effects with any accuracy? I mean, if someone is born into a 2nd quintile family and that family moves to the 3 quintile before the child leaves home, which quintile would their performance be compared to?

    Also, you are assuming it should be as easy to go from the bottom quintile as any other. That just doesnt make sense. Of course it is going to be easier to reach a quintile closer to your current one. Then from that quintile it is much easier to move to the next. 10 years isnt a very long time to make those changes.

    You are also ignoring the other stat. One quarter of those in the bottom quintile, move up to the middle and middle top quintile within 10 years! One in four move to, not the immediately next quintile, but the two above that!

    “Sure, but that doesn’t negate the fact that countries with lower income inequality provide a more level playing feild for those boorn into poorer families.”

    Precisely how is that playing field being leveled? Are the filling in the pot holes are are they rolling down the mounds? You treat both as equally desireable. We can fix income inequality very easily, an ultra progressive taxation system. If no one can earn more than $100k a year, then the disparty between rich and poor is going to be lower. This is the fundamental problem with a relative view of income.

    Lower income inequality is going to make mobility a lot easier. There is less distance to go.

    I dont think that income inequality with a long skew to the right is automatically bad.

    “Yet somehow these two just things need to be balanced,”

    Yes, I agree that everyone should have the a decent opportunity to make their life better. That is why I support state run health care, education, etc.

    Where I have a problem is when people argue against private healthcare and private education. The people who do that are wanting hobble the front runners rather than help the stragglers.

  90. dad4justice 90

    James Kearney – are you in the Meatworkers Union like me ?

  91. James Kearney 91

    I thought you were unemployed.

  92. Michele, you remind me of one of these nasty employers. Maybe an owner of a Foodstuffs store. You remind me of an anti-union employer who says don’t intervene, let the market sort the problem out.

    Welcome to the real world woman, it doesn’t.
    Because if it did, then why do we have workers on such low incomes, even when the govt has intervened.

    Also, this myth about workers going down the road to get a better paying job is rubbish. The problem is, there will always be another desperate person to fill the position that was left.

  93. Santi 93

    “In a free-market people aren’t born onto a level playing field, and justice requires that this aspect of the market be mitigated through wealth redistribution.”

    That’s your opinion Roger and it’s HIGHLY questionable.
    Wealth redistribution has proven an ineffectual way of dealing with inequality.

    Free the economy, remove the controls and artificial barriers that impede its growth, and you’ll find that the citizens of this nation will end up wealthier than by any means of redistribution you may suggest.

    Pure economics. Nothing to do with justice whatsoever.

  94. Michele Cabiling 94

    Tane wrote: “You still haven’t explained where your absolute unlimited private property rights come from.”

    Property rights are not “unlimited.” They are limited by a moral obligation to respect the rights of others to what they own. This means one individual has no moral right to dispossess another of their property, either alone, or in conjunction with others who wish to do so.

    Had you read my previous posts, property rights initially came when someone took ownership of something that was previously unowned by anyone (picked some fruit, speared an animal, occupied a cave, expended his labour on it (enclosed land with a fence, erected buildings, planted and cultivated crops), made a spear etc.

    Following on from these original acts of first possession or ownership, one acquired property from its rightful owner buy bartering for it or being gifted it. Then, when money replaced barter as the medium of exchange, one came into lawful possession of it by paying for it or being gifted it.

    Because there were so many plunderers and thieves in the state of nature, political combinations came into being to give practical effect to owners’ moral right to property.

    Unfortunately, demagogues soon worked out they could attain political power by promising would-be plunderers of other people’s property bread and circuses. The plunderers like this, because now they could plunder at zero risk to themselves, instead of risking a clubbed head as they had once done.

  95. roger nome 95

    Michele Cabiling

    “That’s funny, when I was a wage slave, my workplace had Kiwis, Aussies, South Africans, Poms, Scots, Filipinos, Indians, Chinese, Polynesians, Maori, a Russian, and a [black]Jamaican all working there. All were competent professionals employed entirely on their merits.”

    If you read Professor Jim Flynn’s book you will find that African Americans are severely disadvantaged in the labour market. For example there have been statistical studies done which show that, all other things being equal, a white person is much more likely to be successful in any given job interview than a black person. You can read the whole book at the following link. It really is fascinating.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=KaY9AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA129&lpg=PA129&dq=race iq and jensen flynn&source=web&ots=AJ_kilbxMf&sig=dq4i-MxOkuvP8AMMuUachaAmU48#PPA1,M1

  96. What the hell D4J – I thought you were unemployed also.

  97. dad4justice 97

    “Pure economics. Nothing to do with justice whatsoever”

    Dead right santi – roger what the hell are you on man ?

  98. Michele Cabiling 98

    D4J wrote:

    “James Kearney – are you in the Meatworkers Union like me”

    Nah, he’s in the Meathead’s Union.

    Since I own my own consulting business and most of my clients have yet to return from their summer vacation, right now I have the leisure time to tick off dicks like you.

    As for you, James Sleep, I’m surprised you manage to detach your lips from the private parts of your idol, Tim Barnett, for long enough to post in this site.

  99. dad4justice 99

    Hahahaha 🙂

  100. Michele Cabiling – Why Tim Barnett?

    How have you come up with him. I actually do not have anything to do with him.

    Maybe you need to get out to the gay clubs a little more. Ya know…all that free time and all

  101. dad4justice 101

    James S when is Tim Barnett going back to England too live ?

  102. Michele Cabiling 102

    Roger Nome wrote: “If you read Professor Jim Flynn’s book you will find that African Americans are severely disadvantaged in the labour market.”

    How many African-Americans are there in New Zealand?

    The fact that African-Americans at the lower end of the labour market might find difficulty in procuring paid employment would be due to the same factors militating against the unemployed in every westerm country: poor education, lack of punctuality and civility, badly groomed, attitude to authority.”

    Black college graduates are seen (in many cases rightly) as having been admitted under quotas and attaining a lesser academic standard than merit students.

    The market is weighing up these factors and making a call. And in a free society, employers have a right to employ whoever they think will best benefit the business.

    In passing, I will note that the factors militating against black american employment are all caused by government meddling.

    Welfare has broken up the formative black family, In 1950, 70 percent of negroes with children were married. Now, it’s less than 30 percent. If you grow up in a household in which the kids never see an adult getting up in the morning, and the only source of income is crime and benefits, well the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

    Preferential entry to college programs and lower passing requirements sold to the public as restitution for past discrimination have only created the perception that black colleged graduates are less able and qualified than their counterparts of other races.

    Nanny State out!

  103. You’re one sick woman.

    Do you ever connect your face to your client’s private parts?

    Seeing you have lots of free time and all….

  104. Matthew Pilott 104

    “Women are paid less than men.”

    Really? We have had equal pay legislation for many years now. This makes it illegal for employers to pay women less than a man for doing the same job.

    The fact that “women” on aggregate, are paid less than “men” on aggregate is attributable to different job preferences; women working part-time raising children; and women leaving the workforce for extended periods to raise kids — with attendant loss of seniority and ongoing work experience.

    “Fat people are paid less than those of lesser girth.”

    Not if they are doing the same job as their slimmer counterpart.

    “Ugly people are paid less than us good looking jokers.”

    We have only your word for this. Like all leftards your truthfullness is not to be trusted.

    “Tall people get paid more than their vertically challenged counterparts.”

    Suffering from short man’s disease are we?

    The whines of envy are deafening.

    Michele, you write posts like this, then expect people to read your posts and be enlightened. You don’t see a faint dichotomy here do you?

    You have missed my point, as has become a tireome habit.

    I’ll make it easy – all things being equal (ceteris parabis, remember that one?) apart from the variable in question, people do not recieve equal recompense for their labour.

    The market is flawed and we all know what that’s called. You said that “The market treats all workers fairly and impartially based on the value they add for others.

    This is not true, because of the factors I mentioned previously. Your perfect market exists only in your mind and bears no resemblance to reality.

    You mention that it is illegal for women to be paid for men. Have you got such a high and mighty opinion of empolyers that to you it is inconceivable one might break the law?! Christ almighy… Take the blinkers off, honey.

    P.s. are you taking up with Santi’s bigot theme (rhetorical question btw, I know it’s a yes)? That ‘envy’ term again – how do you know about anything I may have to be envious of? Assumption being the mother of all fuck-ups, but try to repeat after me “I don’t HAVE to be repugnant”.

  105. Michele Cabiling 105

    James Sleep wrote: “Maybe you need to get out to the gay clubs a little more. Ya know . all that free time and all.”

    Since I have a fine upstanding husband how takes care of my sexual needs in a most admirable manner, why would I need to go to a gay club.

    His balls have even dropped …

  106. Michele Cabiling 106

    James Sleep wrote: “Do you ever connect your face to your client’s private parts?”

    No, I operate a professional consulting business, not a knock-shop.

    Maybe your mom …

  107. Michele Cabiling 107

    Matthew Pillock wrote: “You mention that it is illegal for women to be paid for men. Have you got such a high and mighty opinion of empolyers that to you it is inconceivable one might break the law?!”

    So a handful of employers who [might] break the law points up market failure? Gimme a break!

  108. Michele Cabiling 108

    Matthew Pillock wrote:

    “The market is flawed and we all know what that’s called. You said that ‘The market treats all workers fairly and impartially based on the value they add for others.'”

    Yes, I stand by that statement. If some people are paid less than others, it’s because employers regard them as adding less value by those whom they elect to pay more.

  109. Kimble 109

    “In a free-market people aren’t born onto a level playing field, and justice requires that this aspect of the market be mitigated through wealth redistribution.”

    It is my opinion too. Wealth redistribution can take many forms and is not code for a social welfare benefit. The local government school providing a free bus for rural children using tax payer funds is a perfect and non-controversial example.

    “a white person is much more likely to be successful in any given job interview than a black person”

    Even when the interview is conducted by another black person?

  110. roger nome 110

    I mean, if someone is born into a 2nd quintile family and that family moves to the 3 quintile before the child leaves home, which quintile would their performance be compared to?

    That’s a methodological problem for sure, but a rather small one given that only one quarter of those in the bottom quintile people move more than one quntile within ten years.

    Also, you are assuming it should be as easy to go from the bottom quintile as any other. That just doesnt make sense. Of course it is going to be easier to reach a quintile closer to your current one.

    Not if the playing field were completely levelled. But we’re arguing different things anyway. I’m arguing intergenerational income elasticity, where as you’re only taking about bare “social mobility”. i.e. a lot of rich kids will get their parents to hook them up with an entry levels jobs that are poorly paid, and will move up the ranks quickly, get help from their parents on the mortgage. So if we’re talking about inherited disadvantage, the study you link to is of very limited use.

    “If no one can earn more than $100k a year, then the disparity between rich and poor is going to be lower. This is the fundamental problem with a relative view of income.”

    But we’re talking about the real world here i.e. Australia (which I advocate as an example) doesn’t tax someone earning 100K at any thing like 100K. Income inequality keeps the poor poor not because it’s further to the quintiles above, but because they have far less resources at their disposal to advance themselves in the market.

    “Where I have a problem is when people argue against private healthcare and private education. The people who do that are wanting hobble the front runners rather than help the stragglers.”

    I don’t have a problem with either of those things. What I have a problem with is the US’s lack of emphasis on equality of opportunity. It simply isn’t just.

  111. Robinsod [moderator] 111

    Surely Michele your “sexual needs” (just thinking about that makes my skin crawl) are satisified by the market? Perhaps you and Hubby have arranged a contract based on terms of trade? Surely you don’t operate on the basis of cross-subsidisation?

    Oh and you still haven’t told me how a sweet gal like yourself finds time to write so much on a blog she clear thinks is beneath her (eweugh, I just had another of those skin creeping moments…)

  112. Maybe my Mom?

    Ok so you run a “proffessional consultancy business”….hmmm.

    From your comments today I cannot believe that.

    You are all teko.

  113. Matthew Pilott 113

    Had you read my previous posts, property rights initially came when someone took ownership of something that was previously unowned by anyone (picked some fruit, speared an animal, occupied a cave, expended his labour on it (enclosed land with a fence, erected buildings, planted and cultivated crops), made a spear etc.

    Wow. Libertarian property rights come down to “I got it first”. And you use that foundation with which to derive a moral basis for property rights?

    So if someone’s able to pick all the fruit and everyone else starves, the libertarian in you says “good”. Good morals abound, huh?

    How can you compare that travesty of an excuse for rights with life and liberty?

    “You mention that it is illegal for women to be paid for men. Have you got such a high and mighty opinion of empolyers that to you it is inconceivable one might break the law?!”

    So a handful of employers who [might] break the law points up market failure? Gimme a break!

    So you admit that the market isn’t perfect. That’s a good start, well done Michele. Now I’ve opened your eyes, perhaps you will wish to imagine other instances that will lead to market failure – they’re not hard to find.

    But you’re on the right track now – y’see, if the market isn’t perfect, it won’t treat all workers fairly and impartially based on the value they add for others. Keep going!!

  114. roger nome 114

    “How many African-Americans are there in New Zealand?”

    My example was intended to show that there can be structural inequalities that are solely based on race.

    “Black college graduates are seen (in many cases rightly) as having been admitted under quotas and attaining a lesser academic standard than merit students.

    The market is weighing up these factors and making a call. And in a free society, employers have a right to employ whoever they think will best benefit the business.”

    No, we’re talking about people with the same grades in college here. 9 times out of ten the white person will get the job if the black person has the same qualification. It’s a clear example of a structural inequality that’s based on race.

  115. roger nome 115

    “Wealth redistribution can take many forms and is not code for a social welfare benefit. The local government school providing a free bus for rural children using tax payer funds is a perfect and non-controversial example.”

    If we’re at all worried about equality of opportunity poor families need to be given enough money to feed their kids properly (nutrition is a key factor in brain development) and provide them with all the stimulation that growing minds need. i.e. home computers, trips to the museum, art classes, tutors etc…. Like it or not this requires social welfare.

  116. Robinsod [moderator] 116

    Guys you’re wasting your time. “Michele” is on her way home from work right now (she only blogs in her employer’s time – and fair enough as she’s only a temp) she’s probably on the motorway as we speak whispering hateful thoughts to herself about black folk while her mid-eighties mazda slowly overheats. Once she’s at her pokey little apartment she’ll peel the top of another heat’n’eat meal, and while it’s cooking she’ll carefully remove her work clothes, spot-clean them (she’s only got one good set), and lay them out for tomorrow. Once she’s eaten she’ll then maybe sit down in front of her computer to blog a little more (assuming she’s managed to pay the bill). Otherwise she’ll sit herself down in front of the “grown-up” books she’s got out of the public library (a place she curses but can’t live without) and carefully transcribe anything she thinks sounds intellectual into her “notebook of self-betterment”. After that she’ll do her bust improving exercises. Once she’s laid her head down to bed she’ll lull herself to sleep by recounting the ways communism has stopped her reaching the status she merits. If only the stupid people didn’t hold her back…

  117. This is bizarre. How did this entire thread get diverted into such a silly academic discussion? It’s lunacy to claim any labour market operates entirely efficiently (clearance) and fairly remunerates people entirely according to demand/skills etc. There are all manner of distortions (some intended, others historical and/or cultural) and imperfections, not all of which require regulation, but which can lead perverse outcomes. Only in an entirely abstract discussion, absent any practical experience, could Michele’s argument be taken seriously.

    Michele, you entered this and earlier debates adopting a very theoretical approach. Fair enough, I think there’s limits to this approach but it is interesting. However, you seem to be unable to respond to the simple practical challenges that are a key feature of public discourse/policy. Moreover, you’re increasingly impolite and intolerant. I don’t know what you seek to achieve in this space but I unless you’re capable of accepting the validity of other perspectives and experiences, if not agreeing, I suspect you’ll quickly degenerate into being little more than a rather verbose troll.

  118. Billy 118

    “I don’t know what you seek to achieve in this space…”

    I would have thought that was obvious. For a week now she has dominated these threads and had all you lefties tying yourselves in knots trying to keep up.

    Most of you have been unable to match her. This is surprising since everyone knows all right wingers are stupid.

    She’s been intolerant, but hardly more intolerant than lots of the lefties. That’s not why you are all upset. Face it: she’s got under your skin ’cause she’s so damned good.

  119. Robinsod 119

    Billy – if you believe that you’re as delusional as she is. Just out of interest, do you agree with her pure libertarianism?

    Ha! capture is “damaged system” – I ask once more: how does it know???

  120. Kimble 120

    “Income inequality keeps the poor poor not because it’s further to the quintiles above, but because they have far less resources at their disposal to advance themselves in the market.”

    No, they have fewer resources than other people. That doesnt mean they don’t have resources. This is always going to be the case. There is always going to be people at the bottom end of the spectrum. Poor people do not have to pay more for education than rich people, it just takes a larger portion of their income.

    “If we’re at all worried about equality of opportunity poor families need to be given enough money to feed their kids properly (nutrition is a key factor in brain development) and provide them with all the stimulation that growing minds need.”

    You mean like public libraries, free access to museums, the availability of drawing materials etc? You know, the sorts of things that have been available in the US for decades.

    No, you mean “home computers, trips to the museum, art classes, tutors etc”. You seem to want everyone to have the same standard as the most affluent in society. As soon as some kids get holographic virtual reality machines are you going to demand the same right for everyone?

    “It’s a clear example of a structural inequality that’s based on race.”

    First things first. Where is the problem? Interviewer or interviewee?

    Does the bias disappear if it is a black person doing the interviewing? This is probably the most important thing. If it is white interviewers prefering their own race (and presumablly black interviewers prefering their own) then what is the solution? Quotas? Do we take the decision out of their hands?

    Could it be that black people dont interview as well as white people? If that is found to be the case, how would you solve that? Spend a trillion dollars on mandatory interview preparation classes? Ban the interview as a means of potential employee discrimination?

    You need to identify the problem before you can find a solution. So what do we fix? The problem can either be fixed on the interviewer side or the interviewee. Which is it?

  121. Kimble 121

    “Ha! capture is “damaged system” – I ask once more: how does it know???”

    Perhaps it knows who moderates around here.

  122. dad4justice 122

    Did someone mention a “damaged system ” bloody great stuff, as I will feel at home with such people .

    Hey billy the kid – I hope ya got a real good water pistol matey, as I challenge you to a water pistol fight for your offensive comment ;

    “This is surprising since everyone knows all right wingers are stupid.”

    Retract or duel at dawn 🙂

  123. Billy said “I would have thought that was obvious. For a week now she has dominated these threads and had all you lefties tying yourselves in knots trying to keep up. Most of you have been unable to match her. This is surprising since everyone knows all right wingers are stupid.”

    Billy, if you and Michele think distracting a group of bloggers is a meaningful exercise then frankly that says more about you both than it does those that disagree with Michele. Being a smart-arse and regurgitating undergraduate philosophy is largely irrelevant to the issues.

    The point of the thread was to discuss labour market policies. This is in fact quite important to the country’s future. It is a real challenge that governments, industry and communities struggle with because it affects people’s lives and the country’s prosperity. I’m entirely disinterested in an abstract debate when there’s actually real and immediate problems to be addressed – not least of all because the solutions will not be found in hopelessly ideological prescriptions.

    Perhaps if you and Michele are interested only in competing in bibliographical citations you’d be better sticking with DebSoc or the philosophy group?

  124. The PC Avenger 124

    “Does the bias disappear if it is a black person doing the interviewing? This is probably the most important thing. If it is white interviewers prefering their own race (and presumablly black interviewers prefering their own)”

    Well, and this is just quoting from an I/O Psychology book I have handy. Please keep in mind that I haven’t read the original research papers, but can provide the citations if you like.

    “While structured interviews reduce bias and result in less adverse impact, they are not completely immune from potential discrimination. Research by Prewett-Livingston, Feild, Veres, and Lewis, and Lin, Dobbins and Farh indicates that when interview panels are racially balanced (e.g., two White interviewers, two African American interviewers), White and African American interviewers assign higher ratings to applicants of their own race. When the interview panel is predominantly White (e.g., three White interviewers, one African American interviewer), White applicants receive higher ratings from both African American and White interviewers. When the interview panel is predominantly African American, the opposite occurs: African American applicants receive higher ratings from White and African American interviewers.”

    Make of that what you will.

  125. Daveo 125

    Perhaps it knows who moderates around here.

    Kimble – Just so you know, Robinsod doesn’t actually moderate here. It’s a joke on his part.

  126. ak 126

    Just caught up with these threads (or rather “cablings”) and never thought I’d say this, but what a relief to hear from you D4j! No one can ever accuse you of insanity again!

    You’re right Kimbo – she’s damned good. I’m comparatively new to this world, but for sheer intensity, prolificity and gimlet-eyed determination to argue that black is white and sell her filthy libertarian fridge to us eskimos, young ‘chele’s in a class of her own. I shudder to think of what treatment could have produced such a chillingly nihilistic view of humanity in one so young.

    And yes Kim, our skin crawls alright to encounter such abusive and prolonged attacks on the principles that many of us have sacrificed so much for – and which have so irrefutably improved the lives of millions (including Michele). It’s a real worry to think what effect her forceful rhetoric might have on a gullible public.

    Just kidding. No it’s not. Our wee darling’s brand of impassioned quasi-intellectual salesmanship for a return to dog-eat-dog stone-age politics has been around for eons – and still has all the public support and attraction of Lindsay Perigo’s faeces.
    As she admits (somewhere in her labyrinth, don’t make me read it again!), “socialism continues to proceed by stealth”. The steady social gains that have been fiercely resisted by a thousand fringe-wailing Micheles since the invention of their mythological free-market utopia are firmly and irreversibly embedded and universally supported by billions. By Michele’s depressing analysis, even Jandal Key is a parasitic socialist imbecile; we are all deluded simpletons on the road to Hell.

    Thanks Michele. You’ve provided us with a fascinating glimpse at a rare breed: the literate megalomaniacal misanthrope. Historically, I think forming a political party is the next step for pessimists of your peculiar intensity: if you’re lucky, the consequent frustration and lonliness might one day allow a little humanity into that scarred reptilian heart.

  127. Policy Parrot 127

    It’s time there was a return to mandatory penal rates (time half) for overtime(45 hours) and between the hours of 10pm – 6am.

  128. r0b 128

    Folks, Michele Cabiling (if I was as rude as her I might be inclined to call her Michele Gabbling) is simply a troll, and we should stop indulging her. She is one of those who finds some amusement in provoking a response simply for the sake of provoking a response (as if getting a response on a political blog was in any way difficult!).

    She is not presenting any coherent belief system. Consider, above she opines:

    Had you read my previous posts, property rights initially came when someone took ownership of something that was previously unowned by anyone (picked some fruit, speared an animal, occupied a cave, expended his labour on it (enclosed land with a fence, erected buildings, planted and cultivated crops), made a spear etc.

    But in a recent thread http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=937 she pontificates:

    In a pre-Treaty society, Maori owned nothing. They simply used or occupied it until forcibly dispossessed by another tribal group. […] There was no settled form of civil government above the tribes to protect and enforce private property rights.

    Contradiction 1: Joe Caveman gets to own a cave by occupying it, but the Maori did not own anything despite using or occupying it. Contradiction 2: Joe Caveman’s property rights are a moral absolute (and the foundation of Michele’s entire belief system), but the property rights of Maori did not exist until there was a settled form of civil government to legitimise and enforce them.

    Clearly no person as intelligent as Ms Cabiling believes herself to be could have such an obviously incoherent belief system. Ergo, Ms Cabiling is just a troll.

  129. Matthew Pilott 129

    rOb, it’s pretty simple – people such as Maori, Homosexuals, feminists and othe minorities aren’t people, it’s pretty obvious by the way she denigtaes them. I guess they’re lucky the White Man gives them liberty and life, but there’s no way in God’s green earth they daserve property.

    Basically the way you treat animals if you think about it.

    (P.S. I attacked that contradiction back then – no such response, funny that eh? As we’ve been saying all along – Billy, you take note here – interesting theory, but worth five eighths of fuck-all in reality 🙂
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=937#comment-12784 )

  130. Michele Cabiling 130

    [Deleted – your homophobia and racism will not be tolerated]

  131. roger nome 131

    “No, they have fewer resources than other people. That doesn’t mean they don’t have resources.”

    But I never argued that they don’t have resources – just fewer. This not only applies to educational resources (you will see from the report that poor kids do worse out of the US education system than in almost every other county – page 55 and 56 of the below link) but then once they leave home they don’t get handouts from their parents to start their own businesses, pay their mortgage, or hooked up with jobs by their parents.

    http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/27/28/38335410.pdf

    A more redistributive economy will mitagate many of these differences. But don’t take it from me. read the actual report.

    85. Table 4 summarises the contribution of several factors to the transmission of income across
    generations. It suggests that the influence of schooling and wealth is very large: highly educated and
    wealthy parents, with higher income, are more likely to have children with high income. If parental income
    matters, other parental characteristics matter as well. These results underscore that the effect of tight
    borrowing constraints (in low-income families) may matter more when they are combined with other types
    of family background disadvantage (related for example to low education and non-employment) and in
    turn lead low-income parents not to invest optimally in their children’s human capital.

  132. Michele Cabiling 132

    Matthew Pillock takes issue with my statement:

    “”Had you read my previous posts, property rights initially came when someone took ownership of something that was previously unowned by anyone (picked some fruit, speared an animal, occupied a cave, expended his labour on it (enclosed land with a fence, erected buildings, planted and cultivated crops), made a spear etc.”

    He says: “Wow. Libertarian property rights come down to ‘I got it first.’ And you use that foundation with which to derive a moral basis for property rights?

    What other basis than first possession based on the expenditure of personal effort to achieve that possession would you suggest as the moral foundation of property rights?

    Everything owned by the state, and the state decides who gets what? That, of course, is Communism. Like it or not, the basis for your value system is Communism, irrespective of whether you own up to it.

    This fallacious reasoning of yours is based on a mythical Rousseauian golden age of primitive Communism following which man became divorced from his “authentic” social[ist] nature, to which he can only be returned by the coercive power of Big Gummint. As set out in the various writings of Marx and Engels …

    “So if someone’s able to pick all the fruit and everyone else starves, the libertarian in you says good.'”

    What a reductionist argument that is. In a state of nature, it doesn’t matter if someone picks all the fruit in a particular locality, people are so thin on the ground, another locality where nobody has picked all the fruit is a short walk away.

    In a market economy, for someone to “pick all the fruit” would be impossible, unless they could do it by force, which could only be achieved by[mis]using the power of government. This would make them a Communist.

    Again, your views are based on Marx’s intellectually challenged theories of capital becoming concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, growing immiseration of the workers, blah blah blah …

  133. roger nome 133

    “You need to identify the problem before you can find a solution. So what do we fix? The problem can either be fixed on the interviewer side or the interviewee. Which is it?”

    I never proposed a solution. The point of my example was to show that stuctural inequalities based on race are possible in the labour market – no more no less.

  134. roger nome 134

    “What other basis than first possession based on the expenditure of personal effort to achieve that possession would you suggest as the moral foundation of property rights?”

    Michele Cabiling: John Locke died a long time ago you know. It isn’t the 18th century any more. Political philosophy, and more importantly, soicety, has moved on since then. Try reading some John Rawls to get your head around the ethos that underpins the modern welfare state.

    i.e.

    Like Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Kant, Rawls belongs to the social contract tradition. However, Rawls’ social contract takes a slightly different form from that of previous thinkers. Specifically, Rawls develops what he claims are principles of justice through the use of an entirely and deliberately artificial device he calls the Original position, in which everyone decides principles of justice from behind a veil of ignorance. This “veil” is one that essentially blinds people to all facts about themselves that might cloud what notion of justice is developed.

    “no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status, nor does anyone know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence, strength, and the like. I shall even assume that the parties do not know their conceptions of the good or their special psychological propensities. The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance.”
    According to Rawls, ignorance of these details about oneself will lead to principles which are fair to all. If an individual does not know how he will end up in his own conceived society, he is likely not going to privilege any one class of people, but rather develop a scheme of justice that treats all fairly. In particular, Rawls claims that those in the Original Position would all adopt a maximin strategy which would maximise the position of the least well-off.

    They are the principles that rational and free persons concerned to further their own interests would accept in an initial position of equality as defining the fundamentals of the terms of their association [Rawls, p 11]

  135. roger nome 135

    Here’s the link for that quote:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Theory_of_Justice

  136. Robinsod 136

    I think it’s time to ignore Michele’s vain trolling and actually talk about the topic at hand. I think to a certain extent that Bill’s right about voting green to help get this sorted but there also needs to be pressure on Labour to do right by workers – given they make up the vast majority of the populace it would probably make sense as a political more but more to the point there is a moral imperative for them to do right (by which I mean left!) by working kiwi’s.

    I don’t think there is a great deal of point in this being done expressly politically but if they get another term I would expect them to remove the laws that hobble unions and thus allow workers to build their collective strength – that way our work rights will not be dependent on the whim of government. I don’t think they’ll do this though because they don like the idea of ceding so much power to ordinary New Zealanders.

    If they do then the two main areas they should look at is encouraging industry bargaining and strengthening laws to stop employers automatically passing on the gains workers have made collectively to those who choose not to participate in the collective.

    Oh and I’d make sure that unions remained voluntary because that is the key to ensuring unions remain as democratic organisations.

  137. roger nome 137

    All good points robinsod. Increasing Multi-Employer, industry wide bargaining is definitely they key to getting the union movement back up and running. One way this could be encouraged would be to remove the draconian ban on “sympathy strikes”. This law is fucking ridiculous i.e. it’s currently illegal for workers at one McDonald’s to strike in support of workers at another McDonald’s, presuming they’re owned by different people. So how in the hell are workers supposed to use their collective strength when it’s illegal to do so?

  138. Kimble 138

    “Make of that what you will.”

    Sure, it is obvious that people are more likley to score highly those applicants like themselves. This can happen with the school they went to, the place they grew up, common interests, etc. If you have two applicants who are very very similar, the deciding factor is likely to be something that would have seemed irrelevant right at the start.

    “But I never argued that they don’t have resources…”

    Actually that is precisely what you did say, but nevermind.

    “but then once they leave home they don’t get handouts from their parents to start their own businesses, pay their mortgage, or hooked up with jobs by their parents”

    So your problem is that people with money or influence share the benefits with their kids? THIS is the inequality you want to address?

    If little Chad is going to get a little interest free seed money from his parents when he leaves school to start a business, you think this is unfair and everyone should be able to get some interest free seed money?

    If little Sam is going to have a house bought for him him by his parents (with money they worked for, unless you dont think anyone who is rich actually deserves it, which would require a leap of imagination at the moment), you think that is unfair and everyone should get a free house?

    Or do you demand that the parents be banned from helping their kids? Maybe your solution is to stop them having enough money in the first place to do it.

    Hell, I learned to read before I reached school because my mother taught me. Unfair? Maybe we should redress that problem and begin schooling at an earlier age?

  139. Phil 139

    Roger, sympathy strikes dont make the unions a great deal of friends… it’s hard to stick by the other plebs when their only reason for striking is “because the guys down the road at Macca’s are too”.

    Sure, maybe they shouldn’t be illegal – I can see plenty of good reasons if, say, I work for a company that buys supplies/product off a manufacturer with dangerous H&S, and their employees are striking for better protective gear.

    But, just as you don’t trust employers with too much power in the bargaining process, I don’t trust union leaders with it either.

  140. Robinsod 140

    Phil – that’s where you make a mistake. Union membership has not been compulsory since 1991. That means members walk if they don’t like what they see and that means it’s the unionised workers on a site that make the decisions about things like claims and striking. In my experience (I’ve been through a strike) people have to have a very good reason before they walk out the door – it takes a lot to stand up to your employer and go without pay.

    Union leaders don’t have much say at all – they have to take their argument out to their members and then have to answer the questions their members put to them. If members don’t want to strike they don’t strike, if they want to claim 4% they claim 4%, it’s that simple – on the other hand managers do what they are told by head office (often in Sydney or further afield).

    I don’t trust employers Phil, but I do trust ordinary working New Zealanders – mostly ‘cos I am one and so are most of the people I know.

  141. Kimble 141

    “This law is fucking ridiculous i.e. it’s currently illegal for workers at one McDonald’s to strike in support of workers at another McDonald’s, presuming they’re owned by different people.”

    Sorry, but what you just said is fucking ridiculous.

    McDonalds are owned by different people. When a strike occurs the strikers intent is to cost the owner more money by refusing their demands than by accepting them.

    Effectively, they are holding the owner to ransom. By allowing “sympathy strikes” you allow other owners to be held to ransom as well. And these are owners that are only related to the other guy by the fact they bought the same franchise.

    These guys are obviously paying their own staff enough so they wont need to go out on strike. They are the good guys. Unless you think that no business owner can be a good guy.

    This is the sort of ‘return to the good old days’ bullshit that will doom the union movement to oblivion.

    “Why is my kid home from school today?”

    “Because the teachers are on strike.”

    “What for?”

    “Because dock workers want triple time to work past 30 hours a week.”

    WTF?!?

    How would you feel about “sympathy redundancy without pay”?

  142. Michele Cabiling 142

    Guys you’re wasting your time. “Robinsodomite” is on his way home from work right now (he only blogs on union time – he doesn’t want other union reps to think he actually does what members pay him to do. He’s probably on the motorway as we speak stroking his insignificant package to the Villlage Peopls singing YMCA while his mid-seventies Lada belches out black fumes. Once he’s at his ugly concrete block apartment (built, he fantasises under a Five Year Plan), he will carefully remove his Mao suit (he only has one set of clothes and underwear), hang his cloth cap on a peg by the door, and tear open the greasy fish and chip wrapper. Once he’s eaten he’ll maybe kick back in front of his computer with some internet kiddie porn. Otherwise he’ll sit herself down in front of the “grown-up” copies of “Campaign” and “Out!” he stole from the union office and grab his little tadger with a pair of tweezers to do his penis enlargement exercises [editor’s note: they’re not working]. Once he’s laid himself down he’ll lull himself to sleep by recounting the ways capitalism has stopped him reaching the status he merits. If only stupid people got rich the same as intelligent people …

  143. Phil 143

    Robinsod,

    Erm, No. Take the recent StatisticsNZ strike; that was a prime case of Union leaders making the call, without asking members first. Head office staff were told, “you’re going on strike to support the field collectors”.

  144. Robinsod 144

    Jeez Michele, anyone would think I hit a nerve. So which part was true? No let me guess – it was the mid-eighties mazda right? No wait a minute, it was the “notebook of self-improvement”? Hmmm… that’s probably true.. but there’s something else – ah, it’s the temp job. Of course – how does it feel to be a wageslave, Michele? I guess it must really burn to know you’re only a Nietzschean superwoman in your blogging fantasy life. I almost feel sorry for you.

  145. Robinsod 145

    Head office staff were told, “you’re going on strike to support the field collectors”

    They could not have been “told” Phil because the union can do nothing to induce them to go on strike.

  146. Michele Cabiling 146

    Roger Nome takes issue with my statement:

    “What other basis than first possession based on the expenditure of personal effort to achieve that possession would you suggest as the moral foundation of property rights?”

    He says:

    “Michele Cabiling: John Locke died a long time ago you know. It isn’t the 18th century any more. Political philosophy, and more importantly, society, has moved on since then. Try reading some John Rawls to get your head around the ethos that underpins the modern welfare state.”

    The DWM reductionist argument again. Here we see the ethos underlying the socialist or [self-styled] “progressive” project stripped bare: “all that exists deserves to perish.”

    I regard John Rawls as latter-day academic waffle invoked to justify statism. Locke is a far more convincing intellect.

  147. I worry a little about the tendency to see unions and employers as polar opposites. In my experience, they’ve a lot in common.

    I think the contrast is most stark in large publicly-listed corporates where, increasingly, first order business considerations (market access, penetration, production efficiency) are overshadowed by short-term shareholder returns (elsewhere I’ve talked about patient capital). However, given that a significant percentage of employers are SMEs, the focus is more likely to be on productivity, efficiency and longer-term profitability. In this situation, employers and employees (and any agents they might have) share an interest in growing business, improving efficiency and improving profitability so that everyone can benefit. I’ve heard Andrew Little say essentially this on a number of occassions. However, we know that there’s a growing division between those with and without wealth, that GDP has improved but that NZ wages are not keeping pace with our competitors – this tends to suggest that workers are not getting a fair share.

    The question is what’s the answer. I agree that unions have a vital role to play but it’s not just in terms of providing protection for vulnerable workers (though this is essential). It is also about leading new agreements that achieve sustainable improvements in productivity and fairly disbursing the benefits. In this regard, there’s nothing in Michele Cabling’s posts that is of assistance. Cabling argues for some idealised market which simply does not and will not exist. Let’s instead focus on the shifts and developments of policy that will improve NZ’s wealth and social equity.

  148. Robinsod 148

    So back on topic – I suspect it would do teh greens good to focus on work rights as an issue this year and it might be an idea for Labour to sell it a bit too. I reckon Helen should do a keynote speech at a mayday event or maybe around labour day and lay out how National intends to fuck working people (ie most of us) if they want to get into power.

  149. Michele Cabiling 149

    Robinsod (a small man in every way) continues to engage in unfounded idle speculation regarding my personal circumstances.

    Is that all you got?

  150. the sprout 150

    why do you bother michele?

  151. The PC Avenger 151

    “Sure, it is obvious that people are more likley to score highly those applicants like themselves.”

    Did you read the second part of the quote?

    “When the interview panel is predominantly White (e.g., three White interviewers, one African American interviewer), White applicants receive higher ratings from both African American and White interviewers. When the interview panel is predominantly African American, the opposite occurs: African American applicants receive higher ratings from White and African American interviewers.”

    In those situations, individual interviewers rate applicants higher when they are similar to the majority of the group. This is not necessarily the same as rating them higher when they are the same as themselves.

  152. Michele Cabiling 152

    Mardypants wrote: “Let’s instead focus on the shifts and developments of policy that will improve NZ’s wealth and social equity.”

    I’ve got it … since socialism creates nothing, let’s restrict government involvement in the economy to a system of laws that prevents force or fraud in economic relations, then let free markets get on with doing what they do best … the creation and democratisation of wealth.

    But that would be altogether too simple for you state worshippers …

  153. Robinsod, National are unlikely to promote any significant reform to IR – they didn’t last election. NZ needs to lift its trade intensity (export income as a percentage of GDP) which is no mean feat when you think about the existing decomposition; primarily agricultural products in various forms of transformation. A high dollar hurts us sure, but presently our major trading partners are growing so there’s opporunities. Labour was right to support the evolution of Fonterra for instance, is right to be so actively looking for FTAs and is right to be constantly looking to increase the minimum wage; we’ll not get very far simply by supporting low-wage, low-value added employment.

    Over Christmas I caught up with a chap who used to be a major owner in the aquaculture industry. He was/is frustrated by regulatory burden and a lack of skilled labour. Both of these problems are within government’s span of influence.

    I agree with you that the Greens should/will focus on workers and agree that Labour should too (they’ll reasonably claim some credit for significant improvements in employment etc) but they must also look at regulatory reform, infrastructure investment, incentives for exporters and improving the quantity and quality of skilled labour.

  154. Michele Cabiling 154

    Mardypants wrote:

    “I agree with you that the Greens … and … Labour … must also look at regulatory reform, infrastructure investment, incentives for exporters and improving the quantity and quality of skilled labour.”

    You are talking here about people who never met a rule or regulation that they didn’t like.

    The best incentive for all of the above things is a minimal tax environment consistent with allowing businesses to keep more of what they earn for R & D, market development, and employee training; and a minimal regulatory environment consistent only with the prevention of force and fraud.

    The invisible hand of the market will then take care of all those things that the deadweight and very visible hand of government is currently making such a God-awful pig’ ear of.

  155. Robinsod 155

    Is that all you got?

    No Michele – I also know you are MikeE.

  156. Michele wrote “you are talking here about people who never met a rule of regulation that they didn’t like”.

    Michele, this is simply ludicrous and wrong. Re-regulation, co-regulation and self-regulation are important but only when well through through (for instance, the self-regulation of the building industry bought about by National was a disaster). I’ve been part of a number of projects under this and other government that have focused on improving business performance through various means not simply through decreasing regulation and/or tax – decreasing company tax is such a crude instrument and may do very little to improve long-term productivity. For instance, decreasing company tax will not necessarily increase R&D however tax incentives will – in 2000, I was part of a high-level forum that looked at optiosn for tax incentives around R&D which direclty led to the Labour government increasing write-off to 100%.

    I’m afraid you’ve reverted back to your earlier approach which is to obessively cite abstract ideology instead of practical solutions.

  157. Jum 157

    Michele Cabiling

    When you set yourself up as perfect, as you have, every
    f becomes important.

  158. Tim B 158

    “…in fact most non-union workers (and unfortunately there’s a lot of them) don’t get a shift allowance and many don’t even get a higher rate than their regular shift counterparts.

    “This is a fuckin’ disgrace.”

    Totally agree with the sentiments expressed here.

    However as someone who works in retail I have to say that in this sector even those of us who are union members by and large do not get shift allowances, and haven’t done since the demise of the old award system.

    Late last year the NDU managed to get Progressive Enterprises brought in a 50c an hour allowance for night shift (only for hours worked between 12 and 5am) which was really just tokenism though.

    In the 8 years of Labour in power they have done nothing to address the problem of shift work (apart from meaningless platitudes about the need for employers to consider “work life balance”).

    Probably the only way we are going to get universal penal rates back is through a concerted campaign of industrial action, but of course thanks to our wonderfully progressive labour laws any serious united action like a limited general strike would be illegal!

  159. Tane 159

    Erm, No. Take the recent StatisticsNZ strike; that was a prime case of Union leaders making the call, without asking members first. Head office staff were told, “you’re going on strike to support the field collectors”.

    I wasn’t involved in this particular strike action but I know for a fact that the PSA would not and could not ‘tell’ its members to go on strike. Modern trade unions are run democratically. It would have been put to a vote.

  160. roger nome 160

    “McDonalds are owned by different people. When a strike occurs the strikers intent is to cost the owner more money by refusing their demands than by accepting them.”

    Wrong Kimble. Some franchisees own 4-5 stores, and over 20% of NZ stores are owned by the company. Do try to get your facts right.

    “Effectively, they are holding the owner to ransom. By allowing “sympathy strikes” you allow other owners to be held to ransom as well. And these are owners that are only related to the other guy by the fact they bought the same franchise”

    And by being disallowed the right to withdraw their labour, people are being disallowed a fundamental human right. carries a little more moral wieght than your “I’m you’re employer so I own your body” mentality.

    “How would you feel about “sympathy redundancy without pay”?”

    Not a valid comparison. An employer won’t lose the ability to feed and cloth their family, pay the mortgage on their family home etc due to a few of their employees going on strike.

    “So your problem is that people with money or influence share the benefits with their kids? THIS is the inequality you want to address?”

    Yes – and why not? So long as the economy is not severely hampered by it. As I’ve said several times, Australia has high social mobility and reasonably low income inequality (through its redistributive programme it addresses this inequality that we speak of – the US does this to a much lesser degree and therefore has much lower social mobility. Also, Australia’s economy is motoring ahead. Goes to show you don’t have to high levels of income inequality and low levels of social mobility (the US) to have good economic growth and the prosperous society that this allows.

  161. roger nome 161

    “Here we see the ethos underlying the socialist or [self-styled] “progressive” project stripped bare: “all that exists deserves to perish.”

    I regard John Rawls as latter-day academic waffle invoked to justify statism. Locke is a far more convincing intellect.”

    So I see you’ve given up Michele. Ok.

  162. Kimble 162

    “It would have been put to a vote.”

    …and those that voted against it would be allowed to go back to work.

  163. Matthew Pilott 163

    .and those that voted against it would be allowed to go back to work.

    You don’t believe in democracy then, Kimble.

  164. Kimble 164

    “presuming they’re owned by different people”

    “Wrong Kimble. Some franchisees own 4-5 stores, and over 20% of NZ stores are owned by the company. Do try to get your facts right.”

    I was working with your own assumption, Nome, you idiot.

    “And by being disallowed the right to withdraw their labour, people are being disallowed a fundamental human right. carries a little more moral wieght than your “I’m you’re employer so I own your body” mentality.”

    No one is a slave and nobody has that mentality. Quite frankly it is pathetic that you have to resort to that sort of thing to mount any sort of argument at all.

    People can withdraw their labour at any time they wish. What you are demanding is that someone withdrawing their labour should be protected from the logical outcome: they stop being paid and may not be allowed to return and work for that employer if the employer wishes it.

    This is hardly a fundamental human right.

    Striking is not about the withdrawal of labour. That is the most obvious impact; people stop working. In reality striking will have little impact unless you can prevent the employer from hiring someone else to do your job. If your job is specialised and no one else can do it, this takes care of itself. But when it isnt, you need to resort to more aggressive tactics.

    That is why unions always push for complete dominance in an industry. This gives them the power they need to dominate and control the available pool of labour.

    That is why there are picket lines. That is why strikers will get quite aggressive if you try and cross the picket line.

    That is why strikers are whores for attention. They threaten to damage the ‘brand’ of the business. They are holding it to ransom.

    As I said, they want to make it less expensive for the business to agree to their demands than to hold out.

    If it wasnt explicitly legal for people to do this it would be called extortion!

    “An employer won’t lose the ability to feed and cloth their family, pay the mortgage on their family home etc due to a few of their employees going on strike.”

    There you go again, making an idiotic assumption. Besides, a few workers going on strike isnt what you are wanting is it? You want all employees to do it. In fact, you are demanding the right of employees another unrelated business to go on strike and be protected from the logical consequences!

    “Yes – and why not?”

    I will repeat. Your problem is with the fact that rich people share their wealth with their adult children. Given that providing for your offspring is a major incentive for gaining wealth, you actually have a problem with the accumulation of wealth.

  165. Kimble 165

    “You don’t believe in democracy then, Kimble.”

    You gotta stop reading each sentence in isolation, Matt, or you will look like a fool every day for the rest of your life.

    It would have been put to a vote, with the authority compelling its members to abide by the decision regardless of whether they voted for it or against it.

  166. roger nome 166

    “I was working with your own assumption, Nome, you idiot.”

    I didn’t assume anything. I was in fact acknowledging that not all McDonald’s are owned by different people, that’s why I said “presuming they’re owned by different people”.

    “People can withdraw their labour at any time they wish. What you are demanding is that someone withdrawing their labour should be protected from the logical outcome: they stop being paid and may not be allowed to return and work for that employer if the employer wishes it.”

    Wrong again idiot. An employer is legally allowed to respond to a strike with a lockout. Too easy.

    “There you go again, making an idiotic assumption”

    Not at all. We’re talking about (unions aren’t interested in small businesses seeing as they’re uneconomic to operate within) the big employers here. They will never lose the ability to maintain a decent standard of living as a result of a strike.

    “Besides, a few workers going on strike isn’t what you are wanting is it? You want all employees to do it.”

    Um, no. Actually I’m opposed to compulsory and non-democratic unionism – fool.

    That depends on how tight the labour market is. In any case the current law forbids hiring outside your existing employees to cover work that would normally be done by someone who’s on strike. This is reasonable as their livelihood needs to be protected.
    “Your problem is with the fact that rich people share their wealth with their adult children.”

    Not at all. My problem is that this can result in unjust disadvantages for those who don’t have rich parents hat injustice should be mitigated, so that income inequality is at a reasonable level, and therefore so is social mobility. It’s a balancing act that I think Australia has more right than the US – i.e. both countries have high economic growth (clearly productive incentives are there in abundance in both countries), but Australia is a more just society because you are far less likely to be unfairly disadvantage by the family that you accidentally happen to be born into.

    Given that providing for your offspring is a major incentive for gaining wealth, you actually have a problem with the accumulation of wealth.”

  167. Michele Cabiling 167

    Mardypants wrote: “the self-regulation of the building industry bought about by National was a disaster.

    Yet another straw man argument. “Laws [that are actually enforced] against force or fraud,” anyone?

  168. Michele Cabiling 168

    Jum wrote:

    “Michele Cabiling

    When you set yourself up as perfect, as you have, every f becomes important.”

    Nah, I do plenty of typos. This isn’t, howver, a typo. What I’m pointing out is that apprentice pillow biter JS is a product of our egalitarian education system and its obsession with unearned self-esteem, in which to demand correct spelling is regarded as “elitist” and “undermining.”

  169. Matthew Pilott 169

    You gotta stop reading each sentence in isolation, Matt, or you will look like a fool every day for the rest of your life.

    It would have been put to a vote, with the authority compelling its members to abide by the decision regardless of whether they voted for it or against it.

    You were trying to imply that those who voted against it were being unfairly coerced into striking, which is wrong. In a democratic system, people will vote based upon the premise that they will follow the majority decision.

    Your comment was either shallow, trying to be disingenuous or showed a lack of understanding of democracy.

  170. merl 170

    Well, I’d just like to weight in and say that I think Michele has done a reasonable good job of outlining her points in the early part of this thread, and posts like

    Robinsod [moderator] – Y’know Michele if you keep all this lying up you’ll be banned by this afternoon.

    deemac – please please please put a word limit on Michele!

    James Kearney – Michele- fuck off, your comments are too long and I’m bored of you.

    I mean, sure, she’s started giving as good as she’s getting later on in this thread, but am I the only person who perceives these posts as attempting to silence debate on the subject, and drive away soem who certainly appears to me to be posting an honest position in good faith?

    p.s. I don’t agree with the points that Michele had to make, but really don’t like attempts to ‘shut down’ opposing viewpoints, either from the left or the right. It’s part of what makes kiwiblog such a sewer, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why it should happen here either.

  171. Michele Cabiling 171

    Nome wrote:

    “My problem is that this can result in unjust disadvantages for those who don’t have rich parents hat injustice should be mitigated, so that income inequality is at a reasonable level, and therefore so is social mobility.”

    I don’t have rich parents. They came to this country with a couple of suitcases and worked their way up. My husband is from a single-parent family whose mom never too the DPB and has always worked. Anything we have is the product of the education ethic instilled by our own parents and our own hard work in gaining a higher education.

    For every kid born into a rich family who succeeds due to advantages of birth, there is a playboy or playgirl waster who don’t amount to shit. Think Nicole Ritchie, Paris Hilton, anyone with the surname Kennedy …

    For anyone from a poor background who remains a loser, there are innumerable winners. Think Apirana Ngata (born on the dirt floor of a raupo whare); John Key (raised by a solo mom in a state house); Rodney Hide (son of a truckdriver); George Washington Carver, inventor of 110 food recipes and 100 plus industrial products (a freed slave) — I could go on and on …

    Poverty in a material sense is, in most instances, a poverty of values.

  172. Michele says: “Yet another straw man argument. “Laws [that are actually enforced] against force or fraud,” anyone?

    You’ve both failed to address the substantive points I made which rebutted your rather naive comments on the roles of government and then incorrectly criticised me for pointing out the failures of building self-regulation. Check the Hunn report, the laws were enforced; the problem was that the form of regulation was not appropriate and one consequence of this was that the wrong materials were used. My point wasn’t that National was asleep at the wheel, my point was that governments have a range of tools at their disposal to promote industry development and need to be smart in their application. Your argument was simply to advocate reducing taxes. Sadly, there’s been too little development in economic literacy out on the edges of reality.

  173. IrishBill 173

    You’re exactly right there Matt.

    I think it should also be appreciated that during strike action union members can also opt to leave the union and continue working if they wish.

  174. Billy 174

    “I think it should also be appreciated that during strike action union members can also opt to leave the union and continue working if they wish.”

    Would they be spat at and called scabs?

  175. Michele Cabiling 175

    Mardypants wrote:

    “Sadly, there’s been too little development in economic literacy out on the edges of reality.”

    Do you mean the edges of normative la la land where leftards dwell, rather than practical reality where economic rationalists dwell?

    Ignorance of basic economics and how free markets actually operate is a characteristic leftard trait. Since the indoctrination they receive in our public schools and universities largely consists of polemics against the market, not training in classical economics, this is hardly to be wondered at.

  176. Jum 176

    Michele,

    I suggest you follow up your comments about James Sleep with the National party. He was being educated in the important years (0 – 7) under their watch.

    Do not involve me in your ‘intended to be derogatory’ comments about a child.

  177. Robinsod 177

    ignorance of basic economics and how free markets actually operate is a characteristic leftard trait

    I would suggest you look at the work of Joseph Stiglitz, Michele – he examines fundamental market failure vis-a-vis asymmetric information and concludes that when markets exist with incomplete information (that means most of the time in the real world) market failure will occur. They gave him the nobel prize. Go figure.

  178. dad4justice 178

    Jum ;why was a child being congratulated by a Prime Minister at a function with alcohol present ?

    Was this child drinking when he was praised by our PM ?

  179. roger nome 179

    “For anyone from a poor background who remains a loser, there are innumerable winners.”

    Michele – It’s the statistics stupid.

  180. dad4justice 180

    Sorry to be a pain robinsod, but I think you got the wrong Joseph Stiglitz ?? Didn’t you mean Joseph Stalin ?
    No offence intended Tane .

  181. Michele, if this thread is a proxy for your skills, I don’t think I’d be making comments about anyone else.

  182. dad4justice 182

    roger gnome – pity someone that works in the economics’s department at your university went far too f##king far and said damned if you do ?

    Sad isn’t it roger ?

  183. Michele Cabiling 183

    Robinsod wrote: “They gave him [Stieglitz] the nobel prize. Go figure.”

    Since the Nobel Prize is awarded by a five member commitee elected by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and given socialist domination of higher education, especially in Sweden, it’s hardly surprising that an anti-market polemic would be deemed worthy of approbation.

  184. Kimble 184

    “Wrong again idiot. An employer is legally allowed to respond to a strike with a lockout. Too easy.”

    We were talking about sympathy strikes. Why should a person whose staff would otherwise not strike be forced to lock out his staff because they go on a sympathy strike? If he doesnt lock them out, he has to keep paying them. If he does lock them out his staff will go on strike for their own reasons and all of a sudden HE has an industrial relations problem even though he didnt do anything wrong in the first place!

    The ‘stop being paid’ thing was the first logical step. The ‘not return to work’ is the second. Is an employer is able to dismiss the staff and hire a new group? If he isnt able to do this then he doesnt have the option of not hiring them back.

    “In any case the current law forbids hiring outside your existing employees to cover work that would normally be done by someone who’s on strike.”

    Well that answers that.

    You still havent shown how a persons “fundamental right” to withdraw their labour is affected if we ban ‘sympathy strikes’.

    You still havent even taken the first step in showing how anyone can be restricted from withdrawing labour!

    “This is reasonable as their livelihood needs to be protected.”

    But the livelihood of the owners of the business? Well, they can just go fuck a duck, cant they?

    “My problem is that this can result in unjust disadvantages for those who don’t have rich parents”

    Why is it unjust? That would only be the case if you think that either a) the parents didnt derserve their wealth, or b) that they dont have a right to decide for themselves what to do with it.

    What about my example? My parents provided me with a massive advantage when I entered school, by teaching me to read beforehand. Why doesnt that mean that everyone else was at an unjust disadvantage? They did the work, I got the advantage, others did not get an equivalent advantage.

  185. Of for crying out loud, in earlier posts you’ve been more than happy to rely on all manner of international authorities, particularly philosophers read by undergraduate students, but when someone cites a respected and celebrated professional economist (formerly with the World Bank) you argue he’s got no credibility. Seriously, for all your pretensions, you’re quite foolish.

  186. Robinsod 186

    Since the Nobel Prize is awarded by a five member commitee elected by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and given socialist domination of higher education, especially in Sweden, it’s hardly surprising that an anti-market polemic would be deemed worthy of approbation.

    Of course! How could I be so foolish – that’ll be why you never won one! Damn these ignorant bigoted Nobel Prize committees! You still haven’t answered the issue of information imbalances Michele, care to try again?

  187. Pascal's bookie 187

    Do you mean the edges of normative la la land where leftards dwell, rather than practical reality where economic rationalists dwell?

    Merl, this is the sort of stuff that has provoked the reactions to Michele that you don’t like. It looks ok in isolation but in fact reveals her utter dishonesty.

    Michele in other threads has been banging on that property rights are inalienable along with the rights of life and liberty. When asked where these alleged property rights come from, her pathetically question begging response is that people have a moral right to property. On this basic unexpalined point she rests her entire political philosophy, and yet “leftards”, ( who, if Michele’s analysis of politics is correct includes everyone from Hitler to Stalin To Micky Savage through to Nixon, Roosevelt, Clinton, and well every western leader of a mixed economy ever) leftards, are the ones who are reductionist and normative in their thinking.

    She is a troll pure and simple who is using sophistry and dishonesty to piss people off in order to mess up any conversation that might otherwise take place. She shows up on any thread and spouts the same boring shite mixed with pre-adolescent comments about “horis” and “faggots” that are designed only to attract attention and annoy.

    Why she does so is anyone’s guess, but the fact that she does so is indisputable, as is the fact that she does so, so she says, during her holidays. Instead of doing anything else that is available to do.

    Which says it all really.

  188. Jum 188

    Dad4Justice,

    I repeat, I will not enter a conversation where someone is deliberately being (to their mind) insulting towards a child.

    Your last post needs explaining please.

  189. dad4justice 189

    Jum – you ask roger gnome what my last post means please. I am far too busy over at tbr, Whale oil and No Minister .

  190. Michele Cabiling 190

    Pascal’s bookie wrote:

    “When asked where these alleged property rights come from, her [Michele’s] pathetically question begging response is that people have a moral right to property.”

    Cmon I’ve already dealt to that assertion. Either people have a moral right to property, or people have no natural rights at all. They have only what the state (or those who control it) says they do.

    This merely points up the state-worshipping nature of your governing ideology. If people enjoy natural rights, the state exists to uphold, not abrogate them. The state is the SERVANT, not the MASTER of the people. That’s the essence of freedom: the maximum possible liberty consistent with upholding the equal rights of other sovereign individuals.

    If the state decides who gets what rights, the state is the MASTER, not the SERVANT of the people. “Freedom is slavery,” anyone?

  191. Tane 191

    Cmon I’ve already dealt to that assertion. Either people have a moral right to property, or people have no natural rights at all. They have only what the state (or those who control it) says they do.

    Isn’t this then an argument for limiting ownership of scarce resources so that all have a share?

    Even John Locke (whose theory you’re murdering) admitted that his prescription for private property rights ownership only held so long as there was as good and as much left for everyone else. In a world of scarcity that’s simply not possible.

    So assuming for a moment you need private property in order to have liberty, how does that justify a system in which some are left without property?

    Acutally, who am I kidding – there’s no point arguing with Michele. She’s ignorant of even the most basic arguments from POLS 201.

  192. Pascal's bookie 192

    Either people have a moral right to property, or people have no natural rights at all. They have only what the state (or those who control it) says they do.

    yawn. The first sentence is a false dichotomy. People can have rights that are not natural rights, but instead are rights that are constructed via a social contract.These rights are protected by whatever form of political system arises to do so. What form that contract can take is irrelevent, it may or may not include private property rights. Personally I think it should, but in a limited fashion. It’s all about utility on the econ side and justice on the moral side.

  193. Michele Cabiling 193

    Tane wrote:

    “Isn’t this then an argument for limiting ownership of scarce resources so that all have a share?”

    and:

    “So assuming for a moment you need private property in order to have liberty, how does that justify a system in which some are left without property?”

    Jeez you’re a sophomore intellect, bro.

    Everyone enjoys personal property in both their intellect and their labour power. These have value in exchange and can be applied to make money, which become both realised value and a store of value.

    This stored value can be exchanged for … lo and behold, PROPERTY. Based on individual decisions with respect to personal utility, this could be either consumption goods or capital goods, which can be used to acquire more … PROPERTY.

    You also fall into the standard perception-bound socialist trap of economics as a zero sum game in which more for one is less for another.

    If this was so we’d still be fighting over occupancy of drafty caves, with vast masses outside and a handful inside, and any time someone stepped out for food, the trees for miles around would have been stripped bare and a whole pile of gnawed animal bones on the ground.

    Another leftard straw man argument demolished.

  194. Draco TB 194

    What a reductionist argument that is. In a state of nature, it doesn’t matter if someone picks all the fruit in a particular locality, people are so thin on the ground, another locality where nobody has picked all the fruit is a short walk away.

    In a market economy, for someone to “pick all the fruit” would be impossible, unless they could do it by force, which could only be achieved by[mis]using the power of government. This would make them a Communist.

    No, that would make them capitalists.

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/jul2007/sell-j17.shtml
    In the section on Bolivia

    The Bolivian municipality of Cochabamba sold off its water services in 1999 to the US corporation Bechtel. Drastic price increases of up to a quarter of people’s incomes rapidly followed. At the same time, the contract between the municipality and Bechtel forbade people from drawing water from brooks, rivers and lakes and even made catching rain water an illegal act!

  195. Michele Cabiling 195

    Pascal’s bookie — the social contract is one originally entered into for the purpose of upholding natural rights to life, liberty and property.

    If these didn’t exist before the social contract was entered into, there would be no reason for the state to exist — except, of course, to create human cattle to be ordered around for the self-aggrandisement of those who enjoy power over others, and plucked for the unearned benefit of those who prefer plunder to working.

    This is self-evidently your view of the state.

  196. roger nome 196

    “Why should a person whose staff would otherwise not strike be forced to lock out his staff because they go on a sympathy strike?”

    But the employer isn’t being forced to do anything.

    “HE has an industrial relations problem even though he didn’t do anything wrong in the first place!”

    Paying a decent wage would usually be enough to avoid such a situation. i.e. union members generally don’t demand unreasonable wage increases because they want to retain their jobs (they don’t want the company to go under).

    “You still havent shown how a persons “fundamental right” to withdraw their labour is affected if we ban ‘sympathy strikes’.”

    Kimble, amongst the NZ Human Right’s commissions priorities for action, is the Ratification of the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise. This can’t be ratified until secondary strikes are legalised. Though what would the human rights commission know about human rights hey?

    http://www.hrc.co.nz/report/actionplan/6economic.html

    Making it illegal for workers to join together in order to improve their own lives via collective bargaining is in fact the denial of a pretty basic freedom.

    “But the livelihood of the owners of the business? Well, they can just go fuck a duck, cant they?”

    Or cool their heels in a their swimming pool? Take a shopping vacation in Hong Kong maybe? Whatever.

    “Why is it unjust? That would only be the case if you think that either a) the parents didnt derserve their wealth, or b) that they dont have a right to decide for themselves what to do with it.”

    Feel like it’s not getting through to you Kimble. We’ve already said that there are two sets of conflicting just goals to be balanced. It’s not about absolutes. We merely disagree about the extent that wealth should be distributed in order to pursue the just goal of levelling the playing field. I say that Australia has it about right seeing as their economic growth has been exceptional (their productivity incentives are clearly there) while they’ve done quite a good job at levelling the playing field. Go too far in either direction and you create an unjust society (i.e. the US, or Cuba).

  197. Michele Cabiling 197

    Draco TB takes responds to my statement:

    “In a market economy, for someone to ‘pick all the fruit’ would be impossible, unless they could do it by force, which could only be achieved by[mis]using the power of government. This would make them a Communist.

    With “No, that would make them capitalists.”

    A market economy, with its myriad of competing alternative suppliers and products, naturally militates against anyone “picking all the fruit.” It actually shares the fruit around, i.e. democratises wealth.

    Even the much-cited-as-a-reason-for-government regulation, the monopoly provider of a particular good or service, will ultimately be undercut or worked around by the market.

    The suggestion that government regulation in this area is required pre-supposes that [a] goods and services are all “necessities”; and [b] consumers have some kind of “entitlement” to things.

    How would the market work against someone seeking to procure an ever-growing monopoly on all the fruit?

    -there is an optimum size to the firm. Once it passes a certain size structural inefficiencies come into play that will enable portions to be splintered off or taken over by people who see an opportunity to run a more efficient operation.

    -a monopoly restricts supply in order to charge a higher price. This leads consumers to either decide the price outweighs the utility to them, which means sales decline; or a competing alternative product that gets the job done will become more attractive.

    As noted previously, the free market is a marvellous mechanism for democratising wealth.

    It is only under socialism, with massive forced expropriation from individual owners, that a “plucking all the fruit” scenario could eventuate. As seen every time socialism has been tried, this leads to the entrenchment of a priveleged elite class, and to the democratisation, not of wealth, but of grinding poverty, to those outside the banquet room with faces pressed up against the window.

    Another sophomore intellect demolished …

  198. Tane 198

    Everyone enjoys personal property in both their intellect and their labour power.

    That’s the theory, but Locke says absolute ownership of land is only moral so long as there is as much and as good left for everyone else. And clearly there’s not.

    But that’s assuming we agree with Locke in how one comes to own land.

    Firstly, state of nature justifications are stupid – the state of nature never existed, certainly not as Locke describes it, nor does it have any relevance to a modern industrial society.

    Secondly, Locke says land ownership is gained because you own property in your labour and by mixing that with the land you own the land. Why? This has always struck me as mysticism.

    Do you you own the stream when you dunk your head in to take a drink, or do you just own the water in your mouth? Do you own a pear tree when you pick a pear off it, or do you just own the pear? It all gets very absurd very quickly.

    Thirdly, even if you argue that individual ownership of land is a necessity to live because without it you’d be at the mercy of others (a rather dubious argument, but anyway) that still doesn’t justify ownership of however much you like. All it justifies is enough to live on, and only enough that everyone gets their share.

    I’m sorry Michele, but you’re just not convincing anyone.

  199. roger nome 199

    Michele Cabiling:

    You’re just sounding like another frothing libertarian to be honest. Most people recognise that the market is a great productive machine. Yet most of us also recognise that the centralisation of wealth that results from wealth accumulation results creates injustices. i.e. I get tired of repeating myself, but you seem to have no answer for this question. Why should someone who’s born into a rich family have such a material advantage over someone who’s born into a poor family? They didn’t “mix their labour” with anything to get that money, it simply appeared in their lap as a result of a hand out from their parents. This is where any libertarian concept of justice abjectly fails. And it’s why the Act party continues to abjectly fail.

  200. Robinsod 200

    michele’s been banned, bro.

  201. roger nome 201

    doh, again in english …

    Michele Cabiling:

    You’re just sounding like another frothing libertarian to be honest. Most people recognise that the market is a great productive machine. Yet most of us also recognise that the centralisation of wealth that results from market forces creates injustices. i.e. I get tired of repeating myself, but you seem to have no answer for this question. Why should someone who’s born into a rich family have such a material advantage over someone who’s born into a poor family? They didn’t “mix their labour” with anything to get that money, it simply appeared in their lap as a result of a hand out from their parents. This is where any libertarian concept of justice abjectly fails. And it’s why the Act party continues to abjectly fail.

  202. dad4justice 202

    roger gnome Michele has been banned . Nice work at Otago University eh

  203. Draco TB 203

    A market economy, with its myriad of competing alternative suppliers and products, naturally militates against anyone “picking all the fruit.” It actually shares the fruit around, i.e. democratises wealth.

    The example I gave was of the market being monopolised by a capitalist company with the help of the state. Ownership became the problem in that it prevented competition resulting in market failure. This market failure was upheld by the then government of Bolivia using deadly force. An example of conditions that you ascribed to communism which, in reality, belongs to capitalism.

    There’s no point in addressing any of your other points because they become null and void as soon as market failure occurs and that happens as soon as excessive property rights are introduced. Capitalism cannot function without such excessive property rights.

  204. roger nome 204

    D4J – If you’re talking about that fatal stabbing, it’s not really something to joke about.

  205. Tane 205

    The example I gave was of the market being monopolised by a capitalist company with the help of the state. Ownership became the problem in that it prevented competition resulting in market failure.

    Draco TB, the problem you have here is a libertarian will refuse to recognise the power big business has over the state in a capitalist economy. The fact that it’s an inevitable outcome of their system escapes them – it’s just an example of ‘crony capitalism’ and as such they refuse to address it.

    Read Atlas Shrugged and see all the mighty industrialists who refuse state subsidies on principle. Rand had obviously never worked in either business or government or she’d have realised how absurd her understanding of the system was.

  206. roger nome 206

    Sod – nah she’s probably ditched us for a hot ‘n steamy session with one of her Tony Robins videos 🙂

  207. Robinsod 207

    Nah nome, Irish banned her for posting filth on the Hone Tuwhare obit. Irish was mates with him or something.

  208. Kimble 208

    “But the employer isn’t being forced to do anything.”

    No, he isn’t. But it is either lock out his employees or be forced to pay them while they are striking. Which is the problem I identified and you said was so easy to solve.

    “HE has an industrial relations problem even though he didn’t do anything wrong in the first place!”

    “Paying a decent wage would usually be enough to avoid such a situation.”

    Yup, and usually paying a decent wage while your staff is striking in support of other people not being paid enough by a different employer is a good way to send franchise owners into arrears on their debts.

    “Making it illegal for workers to join together in order to improve their own lives via collective bargaining is in fact the denial of a pretty basic freedom.”

    And unions aren’t banned in NZ, never have been.

    “Or cool their heels in a their swimming pool? Take a shopping vacation in Hong Kong maybe? Whatever.”

    You just don’t care. This confirms what I said before about National being the party for all New Zealanders. We care about poor people, as well as rich people. We care about all races and religions. You lot dont give a shit about business owners.

    National isnt the Party of Business, it is one of the only parties that cares about people who own businesses.

    “Feel like it’s not getting through to you Kimble. We’ve already said that there are two sets of conflicting just goals to be balanced.”

    No it isnt getting through.

    The examples you provided previously were things like art classes, trips to museums and home computers. A home computer is very cheap in the US, if you dont mind the speed of it. There are also computers in most public schools. Open access museums have been available in the US forever and so have libraries, so access to books and the like are not restricted. Art supplies can be purchased anywhere. Kids dont need art ‘classes’ to benefit from the exercise.

    When asked about the US specific imbalances you talk about people getting money to buy houses and start businesses from their parents, as if these were specific things that need redressing. But the reality is that they cant be!

  209. Jum 209

    Irish Bill

    Re Hone Tuwhare

    You’re quite right Irish Bill
    My apologies.

  210. roger nome 210

    Kimble – sympathy strikes are legal in most OECD countries, and their economies haven’t gone down the gurgler. In reality they are used sparingly in extreme circumstances. Employers generally get by with them ok.

  211. roger nome 211

    “But it is either lock out his employees or be forced to pay them while they are striking.”

    Are you sure about that kimble? Can you quote the section of the ERA which outlines this?

    “Yup, and usually paying a decent wage while your staff is striking in support of other people not being paid enough by a different employer is a good way to send franchise owners into arrears on their debts.”

    Kimble – sympathy strikes are legal in most OECD countries, and their economies haven’t gone down the gurgler. In reality they are used sparingly in extreme circumstances (people don’t like to lose their income for nothing). Employers generally get by with them ok.

    “You just don’t care. This confirms what I said before about National being the party for all New Zealanders.”

    bollocks. I care that large employers are able to prosper in NZ, but in reality they’re not likely to be made to materially suffer as a result of a strike.

    “The examples you provided previously were things like art classes, trips to museums and home computers.”

    I don’t need to detail and explain all the ways in which income inequality disadvantages the earning potential of poorer people, the statistics show the big picture. I needn’t go over it again for you so I’ll just quote an earlier piece i wrote.

    We’ve already said that there are two sets of conflicting just goals to be balanced. It’s not about absolutes. We merely disagree about the extent that wealth should be distributed in order to pursue the just goal of levelling the playing field. I say that Australia has it about right seeing as their economic growth has been exceptional (their productivity incentives are clearly there) while they’ve done quite a good job at levelling the playing field. Go too far in either direction and you create an unjust society (i.e. the US, or Cuba).

    “”Making it illegal for workers to join together in order to improve their own lives via collective bargaining is in fact the denial of a pretty basic freedom.”

    And unions aren’t banned in NZ, never have been.”

    That’s just stupid Kimble

  212. Jum 212

    For Michele

    When you return

    (re your post – Michele Cabiling
    Jan 16th, 2008 at 1:16 pm)

    Michele,
    Remember that comedy The Good Life
    The husband was the free market, because if they didn’t succeed in growing and selling their goods, they would not survive.
    The wife was Labour.
    The episode was about a runt puppy who was left to die by the free market husband
    The wife took the runt puppy inside and kept on at the husband until he realised that in spite of their need to survive, what was the use of surviving if it meant losing their soul.

    He set up a mini incubator and he and his wife put in the extra time it needed to help the puppy survive, even though it meant they could not sell as many eggs that week.

    The moral of the story, Michele, is that the free market has No Empathy, No Soul. Labour does.

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  • Still doing a good 20
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  • All good, still
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  • The looting is the point
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  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
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  • Rage Bait!
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  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
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  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
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  • More support for drought-affected communities
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    22 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
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    23 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
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  • Government takes action to address youth crime
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  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
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    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
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  • Record investment in public transport services
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  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
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  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
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  • Government supporting Māori business success
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    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
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  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
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  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
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  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
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  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
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    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
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    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
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  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
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  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
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  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
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  • Making it easier to build granny flats
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    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
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    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
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  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
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  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
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    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
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    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
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  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
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  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
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  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
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  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
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  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
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  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
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    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
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  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
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  • Speech to the Law Association
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  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
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  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
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