Herald tells Kiwis to bend over

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, April 12th, 2009 - 32 comments
Categories: Media, workers' rights - Tags:

The Herald’s article this morning on how to ‘Future-proof your job in the recession’ tells Kiwi workers to bend over for your boss and take it; cause that’s the only way you’re gonna keep your job.

No.

Workers are in danger of losing their jobs because of fat greedy corporates in the first place. We owe them nothing. All Kiwis deserve fair pay, fair working conditions, and deserve to enjoy time with their families and friends. If there’s anyone who should be bending over, it’s those corporate pricks who created this recession in the first place.

32 comments on “Herald tells Kiwis to bend over”

  1. Jerry 1

    Can you name one corporate prick in NZ that created this recession ………. just one ?

    • r0b 1.1

      Well one glib answer would be John Key, Merrill Lynch banker. The dodgy practices of Merrill Lynch resulted in it being among the first of the big institutions to go under in 2008…

  2. Berry 2

    What’s that got to do with anything? capitalism is international. so is it’s conflict with the working class.

  3. Jerry 3

    In between your abuse of apostrophes you might like to remember that it’s 2009 not 1909.

  4. Pat 4

    “…it’s those corporate pricks who created this recession in the first place.”

    In NZ, the Reserve Bank spent several years trying to engineer a recession, by maintaining strict adherence to the inflation-based target of the Reserve Bank Act. Interest rates were finally raised to a level where the recession became a reality, just in time for the double-whammy of the Credit Crisis to ceate a global recession.

    So, because NZ successfully created it’s own recession, I presume the corporate prick you are referring to is Dr Michael Cullen, since he had the ability to make a change to the Reserve Bank Act away from an inflation-based target to a growth-based target.

    • r0b 4.1

      Full marks for creativity Pat. No marks for credibility though.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.2

      Are you saying the government should use monetary and fiscal policy during the upswing of the business cycle to inflate the balloon harder?

      That’s pretty much what the Fed’ did in the States, both under Greenspan and ‘helicopter’ Ben. It doesn’t prevent any recession, just as the RB here didn’t ’cause’ it.

  5. jcuknz 5

    >>..Workers are in danger of losing their jobs because of fat greedy corporates in the first place. We owe them nothing.<<

    How stupid can you get …. the worker needs the boiss just as the boss needs the worker and only by working together will either survive the present crisis. If the trade unionists and employers were not so millitant we would get somewhere … as it is it is just stupid folk on both sides getting nowhere fast.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      If they were all working together then none would be the boss as all critical decisions would be discussed and mutually agreed upon by the workers. We also don’t need the capitalists – any society is capable of supplying the needed resources to get a business going. Once the business is productive it can either sink or swim in the free-market taking no more of the communities resources.

      Bosses and capitalists are what destroy the economy as they only look out for themselves.

  6. gingercrush 6

    In fairness to Labour they actually did make a small but subtle change. Previously, the reserve bank was expected to be far more stringent with inflation. Labour’s changes allowed a relaxation on inflation and more allowance on growth. It use to be that inflation was to curbed under all costs Had that policy still been in place under Labour I daresay the interest rate would have been a lot higher than it ever actually got during Labour’s time in government.

    Of course one can argue whether Labour made big enough changes. But inflation is actually very dangerous to any economy. And while a strategy around growth would be preferable. We’d still need something that deals with inflation. Labour’s small changes allowed for inflation to be still a concern but allowed the economy to grow without necessarily having to hike rates.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      The only way to slow inflation over the last few years would have been to stop overseas investment. I actually think this is a good idea anyway as foreign ownership takes away that which we need to progress the economy.

  7. BR 7

    “Workers are in danger of losing their jobs because of fat greedy corporates in the first place. We owe them nothing.”

    That’s right. The workers (one would assume that it is them you are speaking for) owe the “fat greedy corporates” nothing, and after the workers have been paid at the price they agreed to work for, they are owed nothing either.

    Was there a point to this statement?

    Bill.

  8. Greg 8

    Pat

    “n NZ, the Reserve Bank spent several years trying to engineer a recession, by maintaining strict adherence to the inflation-based target of the Reserve Bank Act. Interest rates were finally raised to a level where the recession became a reality, just in time for the double-whammy of the Credit Crisis to ceate a global recession.”

    When did you decide to throw economic theory out the window? Your assuming that there is a trade off between economic growth and inflation – and indeed your right – in the short term. The problem in the long term is that you keep the inflation, but lose the growth. Higher inflation, for no long term gain.

    Are you a Winston supporter? Go on………. be honest…….

    Jerry

    “In between your abuse of apostrophes you might like to remember that it’s 2009 not 1909.”

    Firstly – it’s a brave man that refuses to learn the lessons of history. Secondly – and this is a wee bit of a gripe. What’s with all the anal-ness about grammar on this site? It sounds like your getting up on your academic high horse and turning your noses up at those who get the occassional semi colon in the wrong place. It’s a forum man, surely you can tolerate the ocassional typo? This ain’t a thesis. Also this grammar thing tends to be used as a deflection to ignore the point of the post, it annoys me. And it ain’t just you Jerry.

    “How stupid can you get . the worker needs the boiss just as the boss needs the worker and only by working together will either survive the present crisis. If the trade unionists and employers were not so millitant we would get somewhere as it is it is just stupid folk on both sides getting nowhere fast.”

    Seriously – can anyone poke a hole in that argument? Because its about the smartest thing I’ve heard all day.

  9. infused 9

    Weak. What a shit argument. Employers owe you nothing. If you have to reduce pay or working hours of your staff to make the business survive, what’s the problem? At the end of the day, business owners are humans as well. Not that The Standard views it this way.

    I’d be firing a staff member before I let my business go under, that’s for sure.

    BR is right.

    • Ab 9.1

      Damn right. And, apropos of the linked article, if I had to make someone redundant in order to stay afloat and my choice was between an average employee I didn’t like and a great employee I did like, you know which one would get notice.

      PS Hi Draco, NZG represent

  10. Bender 11

    If you righties can’t see the disproportiate power structures inherent in capitalist society then there’s no point commenting.

    From what I see Eddie wasn’t making an argument, he was stating a fact. Of course you rich Tory boys would be too busy sipping your lattes and drinking your chardonay to notice working people suffering.

    • Chris G 11.1

      No they dont Bender, infact you can rarely get them to even address the problem.

    • latte 11.2

      I thought it was the socialists that sip latte and drink the chardonnay as per Jafapete…. example as below…….

      “jafapete Says:
      December 31, 2008 at 12:06 pm
      Adam, Thanks. Came up to Napa Valley and had Xmas at one of California?s top wineries (friends of the wife?s). Will post on SF and the class struggle soon. Promise!

      Happy New Year to you and to all the readers of this blog, regardless of politics. Peter”

    • BR 11.3

      The fundamental position of the socialist is based on the idea that if commerce and trade were permitted to function without restraint and without government restrictions, (illegal activity such as drug trafficking and fraud excepted) successful business owners would get progressively richer, while everyone else would get progressively poorer, until eventually there will be only a handful of extremely rich moguls, with the vast majority of the population poor, destitute, and near starvation.

      Am I correct in this assumption?

      Bill.

      • RedLogix 11.3.1

        until eventually there will be only a handful of extremely rich moguls, with the vast majority of the population poor, destitute, and near starvation.

        Interesting question. The last two centuries has seen a massive changes in human life. It can be seen from two perspectives:

        1. An explosion of knowledge, science and technology, creating an entirely new world unimaginable to our ancestors. Near universal education, communication, travel and globalisation has multiplied human productvity by many orders of magnitude, unleashing potential for near universal prosperity if we wished. But 90% or more of the human race remains impoverished; 45% of all humans have zero access to any form of health care; and fewer than 100 people control almost 50% of the worlds wealth.

        2. A total transformation of all social institutions, the end of absolute monarchy, the abolition of chattel slavery, the diminishing role of religion, the gradual erosion of rigid patriarchy, the advent of the welfare state, the sexual revolution and equal rights regardless of race, gender, orientation and belief.

        Despite all this our political beliefs remain rooted in notions of conflict; that prosperity is a zero-sum game; that bigger always equals better.

        You ask if socialists believe in the regulation of markets to serve wider long-term social purposes. The answer is yes. Moreover we have solid empirical evidence that the reduction in extremes of wealth and poverty is inherently a good thing, for everybody. Prosperity is NOT a zero-sum game; wealth is only a net benefit if everyone is able to participate. But even the most cursory glance at human affairs shows how short of this ideal that we fall. In my view, there is more than adequate evidence to suggest that unrestrained capitalism would inevitably result in the kind of hyper-wealthy oligarchry oblivious to widespread impoverishment, that you describe.

        In general there are two types of regulation that society imposes. The more common is the kind that prohibits or discourages a certain action or behavior; eg the criminal laws against unlawful killing, assault, rape and so on. This kind of law we generally accept and understand.

        The other more contentious kind of regulation arises from notion of universal human rights, and the positive implementation of them. This kind of change is always contentious, whether it was the abolition of slavery, universal suffrage, universal pensions, homosexual rights reform, or the rights of children regarding assault.

        Eliminating the extremes of wealth and poverty is the next great moral frontier. Exactly what form it will take I cannot predict, but undoubtedly if the current crisis is severe enough (and this is not an unreasonable thing to suggest) that it will become a great catalysing moment of human history in this regard.

        • ak 11.3.1.1

          Nicely put as always Red. The final frontier… I like it

          Beam us up Mr Obama, klingons all around. 🙂

          • BR 11.3.1.1.1

            “You ask if socialists believe in the regulation of markets to serve wider long-term social purposes.”

            I asked nothing of the sort. Read the question again.

            “there is more than adequate evidence to suggest that unrestrained capitalism would inevitably result in the kind of hyper-wealthy oligarchry oblivious to widespread impoverishment, that you describe.”

            What evidence? A broke and destitute population is bad for business. How can any business sell high priced goods to a starving population? Prices would come down until a sustainable equilibrium is reached. You will note that I didn’t describe an “oligarchy oblivious to a widespread impoverishment”; those are your words. Widespread impoverishment would certainly not go unnoticed by businesses, be they large or small.

            Socialists conveniently forget that every luxury they have ever enjoyed was provided to them by businesses. Governments on the other hand not only provide nothing, but with their ever expanding bureaucracy and increasing numbers of restrictive laws, get in the way of those who do, all in the name of “reducing poverty” or “closing the gaps” or some other such idiocy. Governments are the problem, not the solution.

            It seems obvious that it is desirable to eliminate extremes of poverty, but why the need to eliminate extremes of wealth? That would serve no useful purpose. When wealth is created efficiently and abundantly the rich get richer, but the poor are also better off. If a poor person’s circumstances improve, why would it bother him if a rich person’s fortune increases in roughly the same proportions? Such things are of concern only to the envy-driven socialist who believes in a grey, and at best, mediocre world where everyone is burdened equally under the inefficiencies of state control.

            You can’t make poor people rich by making rich people poor, any more than you can spend your way out of a recession or borrow your way out of debt.

            Bill.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.3.1.1.2

            Socialists conveniently forget that every luxury they have ever enjoyed was provided to them by businesses.

            Businesses that were under government contract and/or massive government subsidies. Without that social support the businesses wouldn’t have been successful.

  11. Stephen 12

    If there’s anyone who should be bending over, it’s those corporate pricks who created this recession in the first place.

    What the hell does that even MEAN?

    The advice in that column actually sounds damned good, doesn’t matter if it’s a recession or not.

  12. Gustavo Trellis 13

    I respectfully disagree with the notion that corporate NZ is responsible for the recession – there was a lot of very dated legislation that allowed several billion dollars of New Zealander’s money to disappear. Were they foolish for investing in these companies? Probably? Were they corrupt? Some of them, sure. But could we have done more to reign them in? Absolutely. Take a look at the liquidity requirements Australia has for their finance companies – then check out ours. They are practically non-existant by comparison.

    To continue the line of question talking, would things have been any different under National? No, not at all. In fact, the way it was ignored is probably what would have happened. But I expected better from Labour. This was unregulated greed posing as stimulating capitalism. There were a lot of laws that could have been tightened up, and have not been even now. It will happen again. The difference is that with things the way they are, the next revival of finance companies could damage the country irreperably. Bring us in line with Australia. National, Labour, I don’t care who.

    Sure, corporates have a less than stellar track record. But the government could have done a lot to fix them. The fact of the matter is we should (with a fair degree of cautiousness) expect corporates to eye up the easy way out. So our best choice is to pre-empt them, lay down the law, and prosecute those who choose to go around it. We didn’t do it last time, let’s make sure there isn’t another.

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      There is much to agree with here. But the fact that the government didn’t do enough to ‘rein them in’ as it were does not absolve anyone.

      If the problem is that the private sector in a free-ish market will always go as hard as it can, act irrationally and inevitably blow up the joint, then it is fair to point the finger at them.

      They are agents in their own right, have volition and make choices. If we decide that those choices need to be restricted for the long term good of us all, then that is an indictment on the corporates firstly, and the derugulation lobby and it’s mantras secondly.

      This blaming the government for not stopping them, as if that somehow forced their hand, is a cop out in my view.

      Especially given the fact that the political ‘wisdom’ since the eighties has been that the market can and will police itself to a greater rather than a lesser degree. That idea has obviously come under some pressure recently, with Greenspan’s comments about the ‘flaw’ he discovered most notable. But pretending that that idea was not mainstream, or indeed the dominant view, does not help in getting rid of it. It’s wrongness must be faced explicitly and rejected as a sensible view for any party that seeks the centre. If in fact that is the idea that is being rejected.

      Blaming the government for not regulating, given the western political consensus over the last decades, is hitting the wrong target. As the neo liberals have been telling us for all these years, ideas have consequences.

      • Gustavo Trellis 13.1.1

        Of course, the blame must be apportioned to those who are ultimately responsible. But I believe my attitude towards blaming solely the dipshits running finance companies is akin to your views on people blaming the government; it’s only one side of the coin. The problem is that you need a holistic approach to tighten the loopholes so that these things are effectively legislated against.

  13. RedLogix 14

    BR,

    What evidence? A broke and destitute population is bad for business.

    Look around you. Of the 6-7 billion odd human on the face of the earth, the huge majority IS broke and destitute. Even in the context of the developed world, you overlook the fact that a properous middle class is historically speaking, a very recent thing; most of recorded human history provides ample evidence of extremely polarised societies. All of which is, and was, presumably quite ‘bad for business’.

    Socialists conveniently forget that every luxury they have ever enjoyed was provided to them by businesses. Governments on the other hand not only provide nothing, , except for the complex system of legal, property and contractual, the commercial, technical and physical infrastructure without which no business could function. And of course educated, healthy and capable employees who are vital to any business. Capitalists really do seem to forget that almost all the time.

    It seems obvious that it is desirable to eliminate extremes of poverty, but why the need to eliminate extremes of wealth?

    A simple and seductive argument that turns out to be quite wrong. Start here .

    Such things are of concern only to the envy-driven socialist who believes in a grey, and at best, mediocre world where everyone is burdened equally under the inefficiencies of state control.

    Nothing to do with envy. Socialists have no moral problem with recognising merit and achievement, but we do challenge the kind of generational, ossified social privilege that so many conservative people seem to mistake for the same thing.

    You can’t make poor people rich by making rich people poor..

    You make poor people better off by increasing total prosperity and giving everyone equitable opportunity to access it. What usually prevents this from happening is a powerful class of oligarchs who strive at every point to extend their control, power and privilege…. whose thinking is based on the primitive, pre-industrial idea, of conflict over fixed resources… the zero-sum fallacy.

  14. ak 15

    Socialists conveniently forget that every luxury they have ever enjoyed was provided to them by businesses.

    Just love it how this obscene and insulting distortion is still trotted out…..the generous, beneficent captains of industry toiling single-handedly to provide us lucky, bludging lesser mortals with “luxuries”. Despite the fact that in most outfits, the owners are never seen, no one notices if upper management disappears for days or weeks at a time – while in many cases the lowliest (and lowest paid) worker can bring the operation to a standstill by their absence.

    “I provide luxuries” “I make widgets” “I’m milking 700 cows” “I’m shearing tomorrow”. Uh, no you’re not. Not in that suit with that gut and hands. Some other poor bastard earning a fraction of your income is. You’re just another cog in the machine who happens to be enjoying the lion’s share of this pie we all make.
    For the present.

  15. Bevanj 16

    RedLogix April 13, 2009 at 9:20 am “You make poor people better off by increasing total prosperity and giving everyone equitable opportunity to access it.”

    I don’t think either the blue or red sides have even looked at this in recent times. There’s little equity in the way services are dished out.

    Income testing is making sure there’s a perceived taking from the rich look after the poor. Negative from both sides.

  16. BR 17

    “Look around you.’

    When I look around me, what I see are large numbers of people being paid public money to do nothing, and large numbers of people being paid out of public money to be unproductive AND obstructive. I refer of course to able-bodied people being paid the dole, and the council and government bureaucrats that are paid to administer and enforce all the unnecessary and pointless legislation that has been enacted in recent times.

    “Of the 6-7 billion odd human on the face of the earth, the huge majority IS broke and destitute.”

    That is because the majority of people in the world are ruled by tyrants. Businesses fare poorly under tyranny where the only avenue for advancement is to kiss the backside of the tyrant and his associates.

    “…..except for the complex system of legal, property and contractual, the commercial, technical and physical infrastructure without which no business could function. And of course educated, healthy and capable employees who are vital to any business. Capitalists really do seem to forget that almost all the time.”

    The legal system is far too complex, and self-serving politicians have made it that way. Government has a function, and I would never promote the view that there should not be a government, or no taxes either for that matter. However, the functions of government should be clearly defined and LIMITED by a constitution. The function of limited government should be simply to protect freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of exchange, and to apply and enforce the law equally with respect to all citizens regardless of their circumstances. I certainly don’t need any government to keep me educated, healthy or capable.

    ‘It seems obvious that it is desirable to eliminate extremes of poverty, but why the need to eliminate extremes of wealth?’

    “A simple and seductive argument that turns out to be quite wrong. Start here”

    Instead of pointing at links, why not make your own argument? Idiot Savant is making the preposterous claim that knighthoods kill people. Whilst I would concede that knighthoods are these days handed out to people who do not necessarily deserve them (they were traditionally given to those who performed extraordinary acts of self-sacrifice or bravery. “Sir’ Mick Jagger has done nothing of note other than to promote himself). Nevertheless, the idea that knighthoods kill people is a ridiculously long bow to draw. It is also absurd to suggest that it is detrimental to one person’s health for someone else to increase their wealth or status without incurring any cost on the first person. The statistics quoted in the Whitehall II study could be better interpreted by regarding poverty as a symptom rather than a cause. For example, smoking is bad for one’s health, but it is not caused by poverty. Smoking is expensive. Most people who live in poverty do so as the result of their own stupidity and laziness, and this has it’s roots in an education system that no longer promotes the advantages of hard work and enterprise. As for things like obesity and reduced physical activity, these are things that each individual has control of, and it is up to each individual to make their own decisions about their own health. Of course one could also use the Whitehall II study to support the view that there are too many public servants.

    “Nothing to do with envy. Socialists have no moral problem with recognising merit and achievement, but we do challenge the kind of generational, ossified social privilege that so many conservative people seem to mistake for the same thing.’

    Socialists believe that they have a guaranteed right to the fruits of another man’s labour. They see someone who has more wealth than them and they want that same amount of wealth, but they don’t want to do the things that the other person had to do, or make the sacrifices or take the risks that the other person had to take in order to get them. If you are referring to people who inherit a lot of money from a wealthy benefactor, the obvious question is: What business is it of anyone else’s whom a benefactor decides to leave his money to? It is his money after all, and what he decides to do with it is up to him.

    “You make poor people better off by increasing total prosperity’

    And to increase total prosperity, you need to increase total PRODUCTIVITY, and you can’t do that by increasing the size, the power and the influence of the central government.

    “and giving everyone equitable opportunity to access it.’

    When you say “give’, who’s doing the giving? What do you mean by “equitable’, and who gets to decide what is “equitable’?

    “What usually prevents this from happening is a powerful class of oligarchs who strive at every point to extend their control, power and privilege .’

    Oligarchy is government by the few. It is the stuff of dictators. The Likes of Kim Jong Il, Castro and Mugabe come to mind. Communists.

    ” whose thinking is based on the primitive, pre-industrial idea, of conflict over fixed resources the zero-sum fallacy.’

    That sounds to me more like a border dispute between countries ruled by dictators.

    Bill.

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