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Happy International Workers’ Day – have a pay cut

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, May 1st, 2013 - 64 comments
Categories: class war, national, wages, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

While most of the world recognises the 1st of May as International Workers Day, here in NZ young workers have nothing to celebrate. Law changes from the government that would love to see wages drop come in to effect today, as described in yesterday’s press release from the Same Work Same Pay campaign:

Young people facing massive pay cut tomorrow

The Government will cut the minimum wage by 20% for young people tomorrow, amid calls from opponents that it won’t help the youth unemployment crisis and will cause genuine hardship.

The campaign set up to oppose the re-introduction of youth rates, Same Work Same Pay, says tomorrow is a sad day for young people in New Zealand who aren’t getting the support they need to get ahead.

Campaign Spokesperson James Sleep says “the Government will tomorrow cut the pay of young workers. With youth unemployment at crisis levels the Government is blindly implementing legislation that won’t create jobs and solve this. Cutting the pay of young people will create genuine hardship amongst thousands of young workers and their families.”

Sleep says the Government is missing the opportunity to seriously bring down youth unemployment, by failing to invest in programmes that provide young people with well supported training and job opportunities.

“Cutting the pay of young people is not a step up, it’s yet another step down for young New Zealanders who are struggling to get into work, education and training. To address youth unemployment we need a Government that is prepared to invest in younger generations, not cut their pay and cut important services that exist to get them into work or training.” …

From an earlier press release:

Same Work Same Pay campaign spokesperson James Sleep … says the Government is wasting a significant amount of time on a policy that has failed in the past to create jobs.

Analysis from Government officials suggest the policy will have very little effect on tackling unemployment. Officials also note that the Government did not consider any other options for tackling the issue of youth unemployment.”

“Youth rates failed to create jobs in 1990 when youth unemployment reached an all time high. National need to pull all levers of Government to deliver apprenticeships, Government supported job placements, comprehensive employment support for all young people and better access to higher education.”

Sleep says the burden of the Government’s failure to drive job growth is now being put on young people.

“The youth unemployment population is big enough to fill the city of Palmerston North. These people need well supported and sustainable jobs, training or further education. The Government’s lack of action is now being placed on the shoulders of Generations Y and Z.”

Attached: FAQ and economic analysis of the bill
http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1211/Economics_Explained.pdf

http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1211/FAQ_for_media.pdf

Same Work Same Pay is supporting protest action planned in Auckland, including an 8:30am rally outside Pack’n Save (which plans to implement youth rates). Once again kudos to those good employers who are not cutting wages.

64 comments on “Happy International Workers’ Day – have a pay cut ”

  1. Paul 1

    Another very weak interview on Morning Report where Phil O’Reilly is not challenged on how youth rates will create new jobs. The obvious unasked questions were:
    Won’t the youth rate simply encourage businesses to transfer jobs from older people to younger people so businesses can save money?
    Won’t this have a downward drag on pay rates generally?
    Instead Geoff Robinson gave O’Reilly a free run to make the usual comment that it will be easier for businesses to employ young people.
    Well of course it will, but it won’t reduce unemployment.
    Now if I can think of these questions and Morning Report can’t, does this tell me that I can think of questions they are unaware of………or does it tell me that they choose not to give certain viewpoints little scrutiny?
    What’s happening to RNZ?

    • infused 1.1

      * Won’t the youth rate simply encourage businesses to transfer jobs from older people to younger people so businesses can save money? – How? It can only be used for 6 months

      Won’t this have a downward drag on pay rates generally? Why?

      Why can’t Labour admit killing the youth rate fucked youth employment?

      http://www.maniacworld.com/need-experience-for-job.html

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1

        Why would Labour admit your lies? Wouldn’t they be better to forcibly point out that you’re lying?

        • infused 1.1.1.1

          Yeah, please show me where I’m lying. Labour kills youth rate, youth unemployment rises… what? http://www.nbr.co.nz/sites/default/files/images/ericgraph_0.png

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1.1.1

            “Killing the youth rate fucked youth unemployment” is a lie.

            During the Labour Government’s term the adult minimum wage went from $7 an hour to $12 – an increase of 71%. The youth minimum wage went from $4.20 an hour for everyone from 16-19 years old in 1998 to $9.50 in March 2005 for 18 & 19 year olds and $7.60 for 16 and 17 year olds – an increase of 126% and 81% respectively. The youth rate for 16 and 17 year olds was largely abolished in 2008.

            Youth unemployment during that time kept falling to 11.8% by December 2005 – a level not seen since 1987. When Labour lost the election the youth unemployment rate of 17.9% was still below the level when they were elected 9 years before.

            A Treasury working paper in 2004 found that a 69 per cent increase in the minimum wage for 18 and 19-year-olds in 2001 and a 41 per cent increase in the minimum wage for 16 and 17-year-olds over a two year period had no adverse effects on youth employment or hours worked. In fact, hours of work increased for 16 and 17-year-olds relative to other age groups.

            Source: Unite.

            • infused 1.1.1.1.1.1

              lol Unite. Please.

              • Paul

                As if you ever present evidence.
                Divert, insult, ignore..
                But never answer.

                • infused

                  I answer often. This topic has been beaten to death over the years.

                  The evidence will be in another years time to see what the trend is. Whether it was Labour changing the law or the GFC that caused the rise.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Why such a lag?

                    If it is true that these people have simply been priced out of the market, and that there are jobs that are worth 11 dollars but no more, then they should be filled quite quickly. There’s no lack of workers to fill them afterall.

          • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1.2

            So how quickly will this reverse that infused?

            Numbers plz.

            • infused 1.1.1.1.2.1

              63 days.

              • Pascal's bookie

                *Bookmarked.*

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  It was well known in the 80’s in Wanganui that one of the local supermarkets would constantly as kids turned 18 find a reason to dismiss so they could employ another under 18 year old. Some of the kids got fired for things such as dropping a lettuce on the floor or co ing back 2 minutes late from lunch – they only got half an hour as it was.

                  The consequence of this policy was not just that the person got paid less while they were working and less able to make provision for periods of unemployment but also that:
                  1. Many got a lengthy stand-down period with no benefit
                  2. They started with a poor work history which made them less employable and attractive to other employers
                  3. They had massive drops in self-esteem, were evicted from flats, unable to pay their commitments and other social issues.

                  This type of law supports bad employers like this one.

                  It’s interesting eh. When these employer friendly policies are introduced we hear all the promises from the employers. Give us tax cuts we will employer more people, give us a 90 day trial we’ll employ more youth, give us youth rates we will employ more youth.

                  I’ve yet to see employers stand up the day or week after these well in advance announced policies and say “I’m taking on 10 youth tomorrow”.

                  The practical pragmatic reality is people lost their jobs because there was no work available and employers take on people when there is work available. When the recession occurred contracts were cancelled, developments stopped, businesses closed. That is why people lost jobs and jobs will come back when work comes back.

                  These types of policies will make no difference to the number of people employed and if a business is so marginal that youth rates make a difference you can pretty much guarantee it’s not a great place to work any way. The bad employer scenario as above.

      • Paul 1.1.2

        Why do companies like PaknSave need to employ people at the youth rate?
        They make mega profits already, so it would be easy to employ more people at the minimum wage.

        • Rob 1.1.2.1

          Because there is greater risk with hiring young people. especially untrained newbies. We have a heavy engineering environment where all workers need to be responsible. The choice between hiring a proven performer as opposed to an untried newby is obvious.

          • Paul 1.1.2.1.1

            You have ignored the question about big companies being able to afford the wages as they already make massive profits.
            I would imagine that was a deliberate strategy.
            No idea also how working at PaknSave is a heavy engineering environment.

            • Rob 1.1.2.1.1.1

              I didn’t say I worked for pak n save.

              • felix

                Rob, Paul’s question was specifically about “companies like PaknSave”.

                It’s not his fault you replied with some irrelevant tangent about heavy engineering.

                • Paul

                  It’s like asking simple questions to the Nats at question time.
                  Ignore, divert, insult..but don’t actually answer the specific question.
                  Here is my question again..
                  “Why do companies like PaknSave need to employ people at the youth rate?”

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Because fuck you that’s why.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Rob said

                      Because there is greater risk with hiring young people. especially untrained newbies. We have a heavy engineering environment where all workers need to be responsible. The choice between hiring a proven performer as opposed to an untried newby is obvious.

                      Nah that’s all bullshit.

                      The real risk is to the newbie’s life and limb you dickhead, not to the engineering company. Therefore that 16 year old should be paid at the adult minimum wage as they are being held to adult standards (you said so yourself), and if you want to make a distinction for your “experienced and trained” 19 year old, then pay that 19 year old $15/hr.

                      Also, please explain to me how paying a 16 year old $90/week offsets the commercial “risk” to your business in the slightest.

                      All I see is your owners pocketing the change themselves.

          • freedom 1.1.2.1.2

            ” We have a heavy engineering environment where all workers need to be responsible. The choice between hiring a proven performer as opposed to an untried newby is obvious.”

            If it is about newbies then just limit the application of youth rates to those newbies. Youth Rates are wrong unjust and destructive, but if you must use them then here is an easy-peasy flow chart for you to try;
            Q: have you ever had a job before ? Y or N
            Y = where etc and minimal wage applies
            N = youth rate applies

            The argument from the Government is about getting youth onto that largely fictitious job ladder (secured with a harness, a hardhat, flouro vest and a braced mainline of course – which will be deducted from their first pay ) then those youth who answered Y have had a job, so must be said to have some skills and experience, so are on the ladder.

            If the issue is valuing work history relevant to the available position, how do you disqualify the experiences or skills taught to a young person during prior employment? Life is a fairly complex affair and this contributes to humanity’s ever-mutating growth and expansion. Even the most mundane of first jobs teaches a person something. Let’s also remember many of these kids who will be facing youth rates have had numerous part time jobs throughout their schooling. To deny that is to ignore what is a complex but very aware and undeniably angry generation of people that have simply looked at the world they inhabit and quite rightly raised the middle finger. Unable or unwilling to try a better form of communication they have turned their back on the lies and hypocrisy that pounds on them and I ask you honestly, can you blame them?

            Does that annulment of previous experience not then apply to any worker, of any age, who is starting a job in a field unrelated to their previous experience? Do they not deserve the same restrictions on income? Should they not have a fiscal penance of half a year applied to their employment till proven capable of deserving the massive responsibility of earning the minimum wage?

            As far as the concerns that rightfully exist in a heavy engineering environment, which I imagine would relate to general safety and scheduling issues and subsequently not screwing up the expensive job, then I would posit that those on minimum wage are not exactly in positions of responsibility (or danger ). If they are, then you should talk to your Supervisor, Union representative or other suitably liable person and get those conditions sorted post haste! Or are you happy for the skills and training and experience of the other workers to continue being disregarded? If these are not your concerns then it really is only about the money.

            Workers who want other workers to have less for doing the same job, well they kind of suck.

          • Foreign Waka 1.1.2.1.3

            It is my understanding that a company can employ an apprentice at the same low rate for longer. So why does the law have to be changed when it is already possible to have more young people working and training (the real McCoy as they say)?
            Or could it be that, coupled with the 90 day provision the workforce is being recycled from older to younger at the expense of one group? There have been no jobs created and what that means is that the older unemployed people will have almost no chance of ever getting back into the workforce. Considering that the call for a later retirement payment (pittance really) is also being voiced over and over, someone will have to pay for their upkeep either on unemployment benefit or pension. And it will be the people who earn more. This will further erode the disposable income of yet another group. It does not make any sense unless there is one small group that is winning in all that.

          • Descendant Of Sssmith 1.1.2.1.4

            Bullshit. There’s greater risk in hiring people who are not good employees.

            Whether a youth is a good employee or not has very little to do with age.

            I’d be a shit employee in an engineering scenario and I’m in my 50’s. Skill and experience is a quite different issue. That’s what minimum wage is for – less skill.

            There is absolutely no reason why you would need to pay someone less because of their age.

            In your world young people must go through some miraculous development phase exactly on their 18th birthday where they suddenly become more mature and employer worthy.

            I’d love to see the evidence for this.

      • freedom 1.1.3

        “How? It can only be used for 6 months” It is not difficult,

        1: find reason to fire older person
        2: hire younger person
        3: every 89 days replace younger person

        this is happening and no, I cannot prove it but you know it is happening and I know it is happening , your under-stimulated goldfish that writes most of your comments knows it is happening

        this law only increases the rate of decline, and with mass times acceleration equalling force, all I can say is look out because that baby is gonna cause some damage

        • infused 1.1.3.1

          lay off the drugs.

          • Pascal's bookie 1.1.3.1.1

            lay off the drugs.

            From the guy who bookmarked a thread where he was predicting that Iran was going to invade, someone, and that a NK war would kick off within about a week, and that their president would be killed.

            Sobered up yet?

            *laugh*

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.4

        Well, infused, there was that other nasty law that National passed – the 90 day fire at will bill. What it means is that National have now created a system where young people will always be on less than the minimum wage because they will never be employed for more than 89 days.

        • infused 1.1.4.1

          Do you ever read the bullshit that comes out of your mouth? Give me a few examples of this happening.

    • Tim 1.2

      What’s happening to RNZ? It’s becoming stale – especially between 1300 and 1700 but even between 0900-1200 the same old hacks are trotted out for ‘expert’ commentary.
      Afternoons has simply become a platform for a self-appointed sage to exercise his ego and verbal gymnastics under the guise of being every person’s best better bestest friend.
      And here’s me thinking PSB was supposed to provide diversity of opinion, challenge the status quo and represent the commons. I guess that’s not possible though when its announcers operate in a bubble.

      • Paul 1.2.1

        It certainly has gone downhill.
        I just compare how Campbell Live deals with people who decline to turn up for an interview (witness his handling of Hekia Parata last year) with the tame way RNZ deals with the refusal of National ministers to be interviewed on their station.
        Holding power to account? Doesn’t sound like it.

      • Andy-Roo 1.2.2

        They have had capped funding ever since the Nact government took power.

        Like every other part of the civil service they are under constant pressure.

        Made worst by the fact that the RWNJ in government view them as being “Radio Labour”, no matter what they do.

        Hardly an environment in which you would expect quality journalism to flourish. I think it is amazing that the problems at RNZ are not worse than they are, given the pressure they are under.

        • Tim 1.2.2.1

          I can’t disagree with ANY of that A-R. It’s all true. It doesn’t explain the staleness, and it doesn’t explain the 0900 – 1700 and their bubble induced spectacle. Indeed, I’d almost put money on it that Ryan and Mora bare part of the most costly – both having locums that when they stand in, usually offer better fare.
          You’re not wrong about the “Radio Labour” part. That may well be why the 1300-1700.
          Fair and balanced after all. Morten and O’Brien could proabably cobble together better IEE (information, education and entertainment) at much the same cost as they do during the “silly season”. I’d personally rather that with a Lynne Freeman 5 days a week.
          Just as well I don’t gamble though (aye?)

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Well todays kids need to stop shopping, put their hair straighteners down and wake up. Or be service workers and or underemployed for life. Life long left battlers keep doing our bit one way or another but it is getting time to pass the baton on.

    Happy May Day. International Workers Day.

    • Rob 2.1

      Well the group outside Royal Oak pak n save this morning looked ancient.

      • North 2.1.1

        Older and bolder you idiot. Get off to Slater Porn. You might be intelligible there.

  3. muzza 3

    Adam Weishaupt would approve!

  4. tracey 4

    Surely employers employ new staff based on capacity, which has little to do with wage rates. This is not that far from the chimney sweep days of 120-200 years ago

    • Paul 4.1

      “Surely employers employ new staff based on capacity, which has little to do with wage rates.”
      A very good question and one that Geoff Robinson singularly failed to ask O’Reilly this morning on Morning Report.

  5. Bill 5

    I can’t lend expression to this contempt being exhibited by National. It’s beyond me.

    Is there another country in the world where a government would dare introduce rabid anti-worker legislation on May Day? I know May Day isn’t very well recognised in NZ, but still…

    On a lighter note, I’m reminded of the year that Speights attempted to brand May 1 as ‘Foundation Day’…an anniversary of their founding of some such. And they got…how to say?…a fair bit of unwanted attention from workers marking May Day. And ‘Foundation Day’ – funnily enough – disappeared from that particular corporate’s calender in subsequent years.

    Don’t know if any May Day celebrations have been organised down this way for this year. Sadly, I suspect not. (And such a nice sunny day for it too.)

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      The irony is that Speights + Workers Day would go down a treat at many work places if done right 🙂

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    The dirty filthy Nats know the significance of May day alright. Heh, well past time to kick their butts to the sideline.

  7. How come you didn’t put a link to the protest outside pac and save against youth rates, Im guessing because only 11 people turned up?

    I guess you were too busy on social media.

  8. idlegus 8

    minimum wage is supposed to be the ‘minimum’ right? & nearly half the workers of the country are on that currently. if businesses cannot afford to pay the min wage (which im sure even you righties would admit, is a pittance) then surely they are not doing something right.

    i heard morning report today, i heard someone talking about the youth rate instilling a work ethic into the young, i reckon anger & resentment would be the result from working for $9 an hour.

  9. vto 9

    We should just import some Bangladeshians to do the Pak n Save jobs. The bangladeshis do heaps of other stuff for us, like make our undies and singlets, so why not this too? The fact they have to move here is beside the point. This would enable even more and more people to be employed.

  10. vto 10

    We could also open up a $2 Human Shop where you can rent a worker for $2. Maybe to carry your bags from Pak n Slave to your big fancy car.

    If people refused to take part then their dole would be immediately stopped.

  11. vto 11

    This government is obese and obscene in the way it cuts incomes for the lower end and ramps up income for the upper end. What a bunch of ….s.

    Betcha pretty much each one of them has one of those lazy eat too much pot bellies from too much consumption. Its too plain – they are overweight obese slobbery robbering barons of pork dribbling at the side like mr creosote. Pigs at the table – oink give us more or we’ll go somewhere else. oink let them eat cake. Yuck.

  12. vto 12

    It would be good to see a leading business person step out and say some good words about workers on this day I would say.

  13. Murray Olsen 13

    I’m waiting for youth prices. I suspect I’ll be waiting a while. Probably about as long as we’ll be waiting for Susan Devoy to be put on youth rates while she learns her job.
    Any business that pays the minimum wage is scum. Any that wants to pay less is unspeakable. Orchardists and market gardeners are already paying irregular workers less than this, yet people don’t want to sell land to Chinese buyers? Let’s expropriate the properties of the good ol’ Kiwi scum and turn them into rural workers’ communes first, before we sell any more land to anyone.

  14. prism 14

    Years ago in Melbourne Zelda D’Aprano went out for a day of hard, trying times as she attempted to travel on public transport paying less than the set fare by the percentage less that women received than the wage paid to men. In New Zealand on the official comparison meter, however they calculate it, the rate has never got far past 80% and I think is slipping.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    The campaign set up to oppose the re-introduction of youth rates, Same Work Same Pay, says tomorrow is a sad day for young people in New Zealand who aren’t getting the support they need to get ahead.

    Make no mistake, National don’t want them to get ahead. If that happened then there wouldn’t be anybody to work to make the rich richer. National want it so that they and their rich mates are at the top and everyone else is in poverty and dependent upon those rich. They want to make serfs of NZers.

  16. Paul 16

    Here is a template to send to Foodstuffs to express your concern about the youth rate.
    Amend as you feel necessary.
    Contact here http://www.paknsave.co.nz/contact-us/

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I am a regular shopper at your store at Pak’n’Save and I am concerned that Foodstuffs are not ruling out the prospect of using youth wages.

    Several other large chains have confirmed they will not be using the new youth rates law. These include your supermarket competitor Progressive, which runs Countdown supermarkets. Other retail stores such as The Warehouse, Farmers, Kmart and Bunnings have made this assurance. A similar confirmation has also been given by Restaurant Brands, operators of KFC and Pizza Hutt, Starbucks and some Carl’s Jr stores.

    I have great regard for the workers at your store and do not want to see their position undermined by the use of cheap young labour.

    It would be good to see your company standing out from the pack, by advocating for the living wage for your employees, as opposed to being the one considering cutting costs by reducing your wage bill. With the large profits that Foodstuffs make, your company has the freedom to be more generous to your employees.

    As a customer of your store, I am doing two things I can to encourage you not to bring in youth rates, Firstly I shall not be shopping at Foodstuffs stores until you say no to youth rates. Secondly, I shall be using social media to spread the message to as many of my contacts as possible.

    I look forward to your response and trust that you will not be implementing youth rates.

  17. freedom 17

    Many of our MPs are parents, i’m not, so perhaps parents out there can answer me this. How do you explain to your teenager that no matter how hard they try or how good they are at what they do, they won’t get paid the same as other people doing the same job.

    How many sixteen year olds will have one job until they are Twenty. Did you?
    Every single New Zealander currently sixteen years of age now faces their new reality that over the next four years, they face at least one full year sentenced to 80% of the minimum wage.

    It also seems grossly unfair that those in industry training face multiple years doing 80% pay. They are being told to do their time hard, with no step rates, all for the crime of gaining qualifications.

    “Under the starting-out wage, eligible 16- to 19-year-olds can be paid 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage for six months or for as long as they are undertaking recognised industry training of at least 40 credits per year.”
    http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/about-work-and-income/news/2013/starting-out-wage.html

    seems like some messed up parenting

  18. Foreign Waka 18

    Anyone noticed that an apprentice has low pay for quite a little bit longer then 90 days? So why was it necessary to change the law?
    An apprentice would actually get properly trained and this would be an asset to the economic well being of NZ in the long run. The lower pay rate would apply for the duration so what is really the problem?
    I think that there is definitely a push to mature employees out of jobs and replace them with young workers with a 90 day’s expiry date.
    The now mature redundant people will have difficulties finding any employment (because of conditions as above) and are also bereft of any means to save for retirement.
    A push for an increase in the age for retirement will lead to an even larger proportion of people on the unemployment benefit and someone has to pay for that.
    I cannot understand the philosophy behind that other than short term greed.

    • Arfamo 18.1

      The philosophy is pretty simple – people who are unemployed and forced to be constantly applying for jobs they won’t get, or desperate enough to take any job however piss-poorly paid and short term, get ground down over time and don’t have the time or energy or resources to make a fuss about the situation.

  19. BLiP 19

    Nooooooo . . . I never said we’d love to see wages to drop. That the was the other John Key.

  20. RedBaronCV 20

    So this time we are ripping off young people so that Key can continue to enjoy his tax cuts.
    If this is the best they can do policy wise then they really are out of ideas.

    How about a labour-greens policy that after the next election anyone who has paid the youth rate will be liable to top up the wages paid at that rate to the adult minimum rate for the hours worked or will face a higher corporate tax bill.

  21. Mr Interest 21

    Higher Youth Wages Mean Lower Crime Rates

    National Bureau of Economic Research

    http://www.nber.org/digest/nov97/w5983.html

    “… a 20 percent drop in wages leads to a 12 to 18 percent increase in youth participation in crime.”

    According to a recent study on Market Wages and Youth Crime (NBER Working Paper No. 5983) by NBER Faculty Research Fellow Jeffrey Grogger, there is a strong relationship between wage levels and criminal behavior, which explains why, over the past 20 years, crime rates for young men have increased while their wages have decreased. This also at least partially explains why the crime rate is higher for blacks than whites.

    Grogger’s main source of data is the 1980 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (or NLSY), which canvassed youths aged 14 to 21. As he points out, unlike previous and subsequent versions of the NLSY, the 1980 survey was “augmented” to include questions about whether respondents had committed certain types of crimes and “what fraction of their income was derived from crime.” In the sample that he uses for this paper, “almost everyone worked, whether they committed crime or not.” Still, he concludes that “young men are quite responsive to price incentives”: the more money they can make through legitimate means, the less likely they are to commit crimes. Specifically, Grogger estimates that “a ten percent increase in wages would reduce youth participation in crime by roughly 6 to 9 percent.” Conversely, he calculates that a 20 percent drop in wages leads to a 12 to 18 percent increase in youth participation in crime.

    Grogger goes on to compare this prediction to the actual behavior of wages and crime rates over the past 20 years. On the wage side, he cites reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that “since the mid-1970s, real wages paid to men 16-24 years old who work full time have fallen 20.3 percent.” Hourly wages, “which may provide a better gauge of the labor market opportunities facing young, relatively unskilled men, behaved similarly, falling by 23 percent.”

    As for crime during this period, Grogger does not have the kind of detailed statistics that would allow him to precisely compare changes in wage levels with changes in income-producing criminal behavior. However, he does cite data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation showing that “between the early 1970s and the late 1980s, arrest rates for 16-to-24-year-old males rose from 44.6 to 52.6 per 1000 population, a gain of 18 percent.” Thus the actual behavior of the economy accords closely with Grogger’s predictions.

    In examining how wage disparities may illuminate racial differences in crime rates, Grogger concludes that “the racial differential in crime rates is in part a labor market phenomenon… Blacks typically earn less than whites and this wage gap explains about one-third of the racial difference in criminal participation rates,” he writes.

    Finally, Grogger shows that “wages largely explain the tendency of crime to decrease with age.” He notes that as people get older, their earning power increases. “The growth in market opportunities with age is largely responsible for the concomitant decrease in crime,” Grogger states.
    The Digest is not copyrighted and may be reproduced freely with appropriate attribution of source.

  22. xtasy 22

    Soooo, dear “International Worker’s Day” celebrants and “Same Work Same Pay” campaigners, who was OUT THERE to take action today and tonight then?

    I hear that the CTU in Auckland were preparing for some doo somewhere, where drinks were to be paid by members, but none of them showed up anywhere on the streets and workplaces of those affected by the re-introduction of new, low youth rates!

    While some may have perhaps made their individual, personal efforts and paid some respect, I saw NO Labour Party presence, nor Green Party presence at two sites of action on 01 May, which were the Pak’nSave supermarket in Auckland’s suburb Royal Oak, and later on that day, from 03:30 pm on (until indeed 06:20 pm) in front of Mc Donald’s restaurant in Queen Street.

    There was good and vocal participation by activists, Unite Union, Mana Party, in Royal Oak also First Union and AAAP, certainly also many other supporters and a fair number of workers affected.

    I appreciate the fact that a senior Labour member passed away, and that respect must be shown, but at least some support and presence could have shown the workers, and the public, that there would be genuine concern by Labour about the new wage cut regime starting from today.

    I also wonder, who is behind this “campaign”, as it does not seem to be well communicated.

    All I saw (as a participant to the picket outside TWO McDonald’s restaurants, where negotiations have apparently broken down, and where a re-introduction of discriminatory, appalling youth rates at $ 10.80 an hour is being considered by the corporate employer), was good support from some committed, a fair number of the public, but no-one else. Naturally about two dozen police appeared in wagons, to break up and close down the picket.

    But all is fair, calm and nice again, in so “peaceful” little dictatorship Aotearoa NZ tonight, I am sure that most are resting, sleeping well, just like “resting in peace”, I presume.

    Getting ready for another day in obedient servitude, just as George Orwell portrayed in books he wrote. Progress that is, for some, I presume, but is anybody enlightened, free and happy?

    RIP in your minds, Amen

  23. big bruv 23

    Can anybody please tell me where there might be picket lines today in Auckland. I want to go down and support those companies by crossing the picket line.

    [lprent: That was yesterday. ]

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