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Job cuts and the future of work

Written By: - Date published: 3:54 pm, March 29th, 2016 - 73 comments
Categories: grant robertson, jobs, labour, leadership - Tags: , ,

A good editorial today:

It is time to think about the future of work

British academic and writer Guy Standing coined a word we are guaranteed to hear more and more over the coming years and decades. The word is “precariat”, which describes the notion of a precarious proletariat — or, to simplify matters, a workforce that can expect less job security and greater disruption.

The Labour Party has been doing some bold thinking in this area. The proposal to fund three years of post-school education by 2025 is one way to help guarantee a more flexible, technologically adept workforce. The release of “future of work” ideas, timed for a conference with international experts such as Reich and Standing, was another. It was there that the idea of a Universal Basic Income was put forward, as a means of both redistributing the benefits of technological progress and providing an income during periods of precariousness.

It is pleasing to see some long-term, future-based thinking in New Zealand politics. It is sometimes said that Labour has spent too much of the past decade mired in identity politics and relative trivia, playing games of reactive “gotcha!” politics rather than tackling big issues that will actually change lives. Instead, it was the Prime Minister’s turn to engage in short-sighted, headline-grabbing politics when he dismissed the ideas of Labour and experts like Reich and Standing as “barking mad”. Like climate change and ageing populations, the future of work needs consensus not name-calling. …

And as if to underline the point, two headlines:

NZ Post to cut 500 jobs by July

Inland Revenue to cut 1500 jobs between 2018 and 2021

We need a Labour government in 2017.

73 comments on “Job cuts and the future of work ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “We need a Labour government in 2017.”

    So they can institute a UBI and put even more people at IRD and WINZ out of work?

    • sabine 1.1

      Well, the market will fix it? And they will get their UBI like everyone else.
      I see no issue with that.
      And for what its worth, some people will keep their jobs, so frankly i would venture to guess they will cut those who have simply not been providing a service good enoug or else they would not have lost their jobs, and you know, small government n shit.

      🙂 See how that goes?

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        Sure, I just think this idea that a UBI is roses for everyone is a bit short-sighted.

        There will be winners and losers. Losers may include superannuitants, depending on the funding level. It will definitely include government workers who are now out of a job due to less complexity in law resulting in less administration overhead.

        • arkie 1.1.1.1

          But then these government workers you mention are not going to be out of a job in the sense that they will have no income so how exactly are they losing? They would be able to work on their own projects and hobbies, hell, if they miss a 9-5 so much they could volunteer at the many NGOs needing support.

          • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1.1

            Are you seriously trying to suggest that someone who has a comfortable job earning (say) $80,000 a year, is no worse off when they are made redundant and forced to get by on an $11,000 a year UBI?

            Are you from Planet Key? Do you have to pay your own rent and mortgage and other bills, or does someone else take care of that for you?

            • arkie 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “Are you seriously trying to suggest that someone who has a comfortable job earning (say) $80,000 a year, is no worse off when they are made redundant and forced to get by on an $11,000 a year UBI?”

              No, you’re saying that right now. No UBI that i’d support would provide such a low amount.

              • Lanthanide

                Well you’re unlikely to get the option to support a UBI with a higher amount than that.

                Lets be generous and say the UBI is $25k a year. That still doesn’t pay people’s mortgages, if they were previously on an income of $80k.

            • dave 1.1.1.1.1.2

              they ell be out of work udi or no udi a software dot can administer all day and night at near zero cost middle management will not be needed in any organization

        • sabine 1.1.1.2

          Have you got a better idea?

          Does National have a better Idea?

          Do you think replacing the myriad of ‘individually applied’ benefits and entitlements are better then a universal UBI?

          And again, have you or the National Party got a better idea other then let them eat cake and starve to death in a ditch.

          • Lanthanide 1.1.1.2.1

            I never said I think UBI is a bad idea. What I said was “this idea that a UBI is roses for everyone is a bit short-sighted.”

          • Nic the NZer 1.1.1.2.2

            “Have you got a better idea?”

            Job Guarantee.

            Most beneficiaries would rather work than collect a benefit. Start listening to the people you are trying to help and stop talking down to them.

            Minimum wage increases and benefit increases as and when politically possible.

            Stop trying to smuggle in significant taxation changes in the name of a UBI, it looks and is dishonest (if transparent).

            • Lanthanide 1.1.1.2.2.1

              “Stop trying to smuggle in significant taxation changes in the name of a UBI, it looks and is dishonest (if transparent).”

              Not sure how it can be dishonest and transparent at the same time.

              It’s not like governments in general or Labour tax the populace just for the sake of taxing, or institute changes to the tax rules because they think it’s fun to do so. They use tax money to provide goods and services that won’t or can’t be provided by the private market, and change the tax rules so that the amount of tax raised and who is raised from can better reflect a ‘fair’ distribution of cost and value in their opinions.

              • Nic the NZer

                Your conclusion is incorrect, your reasoning goes wrong here.

                “They use tax money to provide goods and services that won’t or can’t be provided by the private market”

                Which is backwards. The govt purchases goods and services in order to provide the funds to settle tax payments (which it imposes). It could hardly logically be any other way because they operate the only institution which provides the funds which you must settle your tax liabilities with.

                • Lanthanide

                  So to take your bizarre claim to it’s logical extent, you are saying that a private enterprise, without the authority to tax, would provide unemployment benefits and superannuation benefits.

                  Uh huh.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    You will have to explain how that follows. The ability to do this happens because the govt can legally impose tax liabilities on its citizens.

                    Private enterprises impose similar conditions via ticketing of course. The tickets have economic value because you only gain entry to an event with a ticket. The difference with a govt being of course that they determine your ticket liability and its considered pretty much certain you will have a liability (if your participating in society that is).

                    This is a very old idea in fact. The earliest example I heard described was Mesopotamia. Alexander the Great would march off and conquer some region at which point he had a hungry army and long supply lines and a hostile population. The solution was to impose a tax liability on the conquered population and pay his army is coins (minted in his image). This created trade between the two (and is probably the basis for markets). The coins circulate back to his tax collectors.

              • alwyn

                ” Labour tax the populace just for the sake of taxing”.
                I would say that, in Michael Cullen’s case, the bit of your comment I have pasted wasn’t too far from the truth.
                Remember him labelling people as “rich pricks”?
                Remember the highest tax rate being put up to 39% on any income over $60k when there was no need for it?
                Cullen was only too happy to tax people for the sake of taxing.

                Actually, if a UBI was brought in and the tax rate was set at 40% or 50% there would be a definite need for far more people working at the IRD. People trying to avoid taxes at that level on all their earned income would be vastly more than those trying to avoid the current maximum rate of 33%.
                We would have tax department staff by the tens of thousands as it would be in everybody’s interest to try and conceal their income.
                Cash jobs would become rampant wouldn’t they?

                • Sacha

                  “Remember the highest tax rate being put up to 39% on any income over $60k when there was no need for it?”

                  Wasn’t that to allow paying for some of Labour’s announced policies? Unlike the Nats putting up GST in 2008, at least it was disclosed to voters before the election.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Yip. Labour campaigned on a tax increase, and won the 1999 election handily.

                    “Remember the highest tax rate being put up to 39% on any income over $60k when there was no need for it?”

                    I remember National repealing Labour’s tax law that would have put the top threshold up to $80,000. So now it still sits at $70,000. I guess National consider anyone earning over $70,000 to be rich and therefore worthy of having the top tax rate imposed on them.

                    “Actually, if a UBI was brought in and the tax rate was set at 40% or 50% there would be a definite need for far more people working at the IRD. ”

                    Probably broadly true. Gareth Morgan set income tax at 30% in the Big Kahuna; ie broadly in line with current income tax.

                    • alwyn

                      And exactly what was going to be the tax rate on incomes of $70-80K under this Labour policy you talk about, and the rate on incomes above $80k?
                      It doesn’t matter very much, as Labour couldn’t be trusted to do anything they said anyway. Remember how Cullen “cut” taxes prior to the 2005 election? Then after the election he scrapped the cuts because people weren’t suitably grateful. What makes you think that the Clark-Cullen Governments would keep to of their pre-election policies? Some they might, some the wouldn’t. They were congenital liars.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @Alwyn:
                      From $70-80k the tax rate would be 33% and for $80k+ it would be 39%.

                      “Remember how Cullen “cut” taxes prior to the 2005 election? ”

                      No. I remember how he suggested that the tax brackets might be indexed to inflation, to once and for all get rid of fiscal drag. Then National and others called it at “chewing-gum tax cut”, and after the 2005 election the carbon tax they had mooted that would be used to fund the tax cuts was in doubt because the Maori Party said they weren’t in favour of the carbon tax and Peter Dunne and Winston Peters also weren’t going to support the carbon tax.

                      So the tax-cut never happened because the carbon tax wasn’t supported by National. So instead we got the lame emissions trading scheme which no-one really wanted.

                    • alwyn

                      @Lanthanide
                      “I remember National repealing Labour’s tax law that would have put the top threshold up to $80,000. So now it still sits at $70,000. I guess National consider anyone earning over $70,000 to be rich and therefore worthy of having the top tax rate imposed on them.”
                      You really aren’t serious are you?
                      Labour were more generous????
                      By your logic I suppose National could put in a 34% rate for incomes over $50 million. Then you would have to say that the top rate only applied to such people. What utter rubbish.

                      “So the tax-cut never happened”. Why don’t you stop right there. The tax changes had been passed before the election and were cancelled after it. I don’t believe that Cullen had any intention of implementing them. He was just lying to people before the election.
                      He simply hunted around afterwards for any excuse, no matter how ridiculous, to scrap them. He wasn’t thought of as “Scrooge” Cullen for nothing.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @alwn:
                      “Labour were more generous????”

                      Did I say that? No, I did not.

                      I was using the facile argument that National supporters trot out, that “Labour think anyone earning over $60,000 is rich”, by pointing out that National themselves repealed a tax change that would have put the top tax rate at $80,000, instead choosing to keep it at $70,000. Ergo, National think anyone earning over $70,000 is rich, by your own facile argument.

                      ““So the tax-cut never happened”. Why don’t you stop right there. The tax changes had been passed before the election and were cancelled after it.”

                      This NBR report from November 2005 after the election says:

                      He said people had sneered and turned up their noses at the Budget decision to adjust tax thresholds to stop bracket creep.

                      “We will just have to see how things play out in that respect because we haven’t legislated for it yet,” he told National Radio.

                      http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/cullen-ties-kyoto-agenda-personal-tax-reform

                      So you’re wrong, it was never passed into law.

                    • alwyn

                      @Lanthanide
                      You are correct. They apparently didn’t pass the law.
                      I like everyone else believed they had or they were going to do it. From the link to the NBR you posted so did his coalition partners.
                      So, apparently did you. You say, in this comment stream.
                      ” remember National repealing Labour’s tax law that would have put the top threshold up to $80,000″.
                      Now you are telling me that there wasn’t any such law. Please make up your mind.
                      Looking at some of my old tax returns I see that in the 2008-2009 year the maximum income in the bands were 9.5k, 14k, 38k, 40k, 60k, 70k and over 70k. There were more bands, and much higher rates but the maximum was 70k.
                      So now you will agree, I hope, that National never reduced the starting income for the maximum band. Labour had, apparently never passed a law increasing it to 80k so National could not have repealed such a law.
                      I would still have to say that “Scrooge” Cullen could never allow people to keep and spend their own money if he could take it away from them.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @alwyn:
                      “So, apparently did you. You say, in this comment stream.
                      ” remember National repealing Labour’s tax law that would have put the top threshold up to $80,000″.
                      Now you are telling me that there wasn’t any such law. Please make up your mind.”

                      Please do try to keep up, alwyn.

                      I am not wrong. In 2008 (3 years after the events you are talking about), Labour passed their tax cuts. This was to increase the top bracket from $60k to $70k effective 1st October 2008. It moved it to $75k on April 1st 2010, and $80k on April 1st 2011. All 3 years worth of changes were passed into law.

                      National won the 2008 election, and in the 2009 budget repealed Labour’s tax cuts.

                      “So now you will agree, I hope, that National never reduced the starting income for the maximum band. ”

                      No, I won’t agree, because that is not what happened – National DID repeal Labour’s tax law that increased the threshold of the top tax bracket to $80,000, effective 1st April 2011.

                      You may recall that Cullen bragged that he had “left the cupboard bare” for any tax cuts from National, going into the 2008 election. Cullen was assuming that National wouldn’t borrow to fund tax cuts. Cullen was wrong, hence why we now have a record national debt, thanks to National.

            • Sabine 1.1.1.2.2.2

              How would you guarantee a job?

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.3

          I just think this idea that a UBI is roses for everyone is a bit short-sighted.

          It is better for everyone. Sure, a few people will lose out but society itself will be better off.

          Losers may include superannuitants, depending on the funding level.

          It shouldn’t do. If it does then we have a very poorly set up UBI.

          It will definitely include government workers who are now out of a job due to less complexity in law resulting in less administration overhead.

          GREAT!!!

          We can get them back into uni and doing R&D.

          Oh, wait, that’ll mean that they’re not out of a job.

          • weka 1.1.1.3.1

            “It shouldn’t do. If it does then we have a very poorly set up UBI.”

            Yep, I really wish people would stop pushing this idea that the more vulnerable people will be worse off. It doesn’t have to be that way, and we could instead be arguing that any UBI system has to protect the more vulnerable people. Otherwise, what is the point? A UBI shouldn’t be about rearranging around capitalism so that its workforce is a bit less stressed and more available for wage slavery.

            • Lanthanide 1.1.1.3.1.1

              Sure, but I think the choice we are going to be presented with is “a poorly set up UBI” or “business as usual”.

              Outside of something radical like a tobin tax, a capital tax or (Draco’s favourite) printing money, there just isn’t a way to make the figures work out to give everyone $20k per year as a basic income.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Under standard capitalism the figures don’t work out which should tell you that capitalism doesn’t work and cannot work.

                All we’re doing is putting in place a system that would ensure that everyone has a reasonably decent living standard. Nothing flash but reasonable and we have people saying that we can’t afford that.

                While we have people saying that and everyone else agreeing with them then we will always have poverty.

                And really, the only reason why we can’t afford to give everyone a reasonable standard of living is because of the greed and selfishness of the rich. Simple as that.

            • The lost sheep 1.1.1.3.1.2

              The question of what would happen to WINZ / Ministry of S.D. is not going to be brushed off lightly.

              In Finland, where the UBI is being seriously debated, the fate of their Social Welfare dept. has turned out to be one of the major issues.
              The UBI is being proposed by a Govt. intent on saving money, and all the indicators are that they intend for the almost complete scrapping of the Social Welfare bureaucracy to be a major ‘funder’ of the proposed scheme…if it is to be viable.
              ‘Smaller Govt. costing less money’. Isn’t that traditional Right Wing territory?

              So yes, you have a proposal that involves a deliberate decision that may potentially put 1000’s of people out of their current employment – being proposed by a Labour Govt?
              You will need to resolve the issues that raises?

              • Sacha

                Hey, at least they would have a UBI and accompanying supports like job training to help their transition.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  +1

                  That’s what people don’t seem to get. They will be supported into new careers. My preference being that they go to uni (free of course) and get into R&D.

                  • The lost sheep

                    No one ‘gets it’ Draco, because only a tiny handful of people believe in your totally artificial economy.

                    In the world of ‘the actual parameters the vast majority of us think will actually be workable and are willing to vote for’, the UBI will live or die pretty much within the current orthodoxy.

                    Sorry. But that’s how it is.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Well, the totally artificial economy that we have now is already dying.

                      It’s a difference between you and me – I believe in reality. You believe in delusion that’s been created to make a few people rich. A delusion that always crashes the civilisation that implements it.

                • The lost sheep

                  So they are currently paying off a mortgage on a median wage…..and their income drops from $688 pw to say $300.
                  Will they be happy with that? Have you asked them?

                  And what are you guaranteeing they are ‘transitioning to’?

                  And there may be 1000’s of them. How do you make this a ‘positive’ story the voters will be comfortable with?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    So they are currently paying off a mortgage on a median wage…..and their income drops from $688 pw to say $300.

                    1. Median wage isn’t that high. It’s more like $550/week before tax
                    2. Is that household or per person income?
                    3. If household how many adults in the house?
                    4. If multiple adults are in the house then they’re are they’re all paying towards the mortgage even if it’s actually rent
                    5. If multiple adults is it one person losing this median wage job or all of them?

                    It’s too complex for your simple scenario to apply – ever.

                    • The lost sheep

                      1. Median wage isn’t that high. It’s more like $550/week before tax

                      It’s actually $882.
                      Did you get your figure from the same planet you get your economic theories?

                      You are already 60% off reality and the rest of your questions are irrelevant. The UBI may well involve the downsides that myself and other commenters are pointing out.

                      People who are advocating a UBI in this world will have to have resolve that issue. No one has yet.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Did you get your figure from the same planet you get your economic theories?

                      My bad, was thinking median income.

                      the rest of your questions are irrelevant.

                      But they are relevant – you just don’t have answer for them. And all those bad things that may happen certainly wasn’t a concern when other reforms resulting in tens of thousands of people suddenly without jobs were enacted by RWNJ governments so why the concern now?

                      The UBI may well involve the downsides that myself and other commenters are pointing out.

                      Only if it’s done badly. Simple answer – don’t do it badly.

              • Lanthanide

                That’s my thinking too, it’s all very well to say “oh well, they lose their job in the name of progress”, but these are actual peoples lives we’re talking about here.

                And what about the secondary and tertiary effects – office space leases will end, driving down the cost of office space in Wellington and other cities, there’ll be less foot-traffic and spending in the community without all of the salaries being earned any more.

                Also the people who are now out of work will be competing with all their colleagues for the jobs that are available – it’ll definitely be an employer’s market.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That’s my thinking too, it’s all very well to say “oh well, they lose their job in the name of progress”, but these are actual peoples lives we’re talking about here.

                  Yep and they’re going to be better off.

                  And what about the secondary and tertiary effects – office space leases will end, driving down the cost of office space in Wellington and other cities, there’ll be less foot-traffic and spending in the community without all of the salaries being earned any more.

                  An estimated $60 billion dollars flowing into the economy and you think there’s going to be a downturn in business?

                  More likely to be more foot traffic with more people actually spending. Not that I think foot traffic is valid any more – people shop online. I just spent in three different stores and I didn’t go anywhere close to a shop. Really, it’s cheaper and easier to get stuff delivered.

                  Also the people who are now out of work will be competing with all their colleagues for the jobs that are available – it’ll definitely be an employer’s market.

                  Again, nope. Employers will find that they actually have to be good to their employees and pay well else people will just tell them to fuck off. That was the complaints back in the 1980s by the employers. That the welfare was too generous and thus people weren’t coming to work for them. It didn’t seem to occur to them that the reason that people weren’t working for them was that they just weren’t paying enough or that they were simply arseholes (pure bloody market fundamentals really).

                  • The lost sheep

                    Not that I think foot traffic is valid any more – people shop online.

                    Online Retail is only 6.8% of Retail sales.

                    And that’s twice in two comments you have made statements based on wildly inaccurate assumptions. But as we are living in a delusion I guess little things like ‘facts’ are irrelevant….

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Facts are always relevant – how many people shopped online 10 years ago? How many ten years before that?

                      Physical shops are going the way of the dodo but people keep clinging on to the past about them. It’s so much easier and cheaper to shop online. I’ve educated a few people about that through selling on TradeMe. It’s truly amazing as you watch the penny drop for them as to how cheap and easy it is. We’ll need more courier drivers – until we won’t.

                      As I said months ago: We don’t want to make the central area a business area as we did in the 19th century, we want to make it a social area.

                • Sacha

                  ““oh well, they lose their job in the name of progress”, but these are actual peoples lives we’re talking about here.”

                  And what exactly do you think will happen under current settings when redundancies become way more common?

        • weka 1.1.1.4

          “Sure, I just think this idea that a UBI is roses for everyone is a bit short-sighted.”

          I haven’t seen anyone saying that.

          “There will be winners and losers. Losers may include superannuitants, depending on the funding level.”

          Doesn’t have to be that way though, and it’s not just dependent on funding level. It depends on the design of the whole system. If getting rid of WINZ is a big priority for people, that creates a lot more issues than if WINZ is restructured and downsized.

          As for job losses at WINZ, I think the job losses at IRD suggest that those kind of jobs aren’t safe anyway. Automation of WINZ has been in process for some time now.

          • Lanthanide 1.1.1.4.1

            “I haven’t seen anyone saying that.”

            This post implied it with:

            And as if to underline the point, two headlines:

            NZ Post to cut 500 jobs by July

            Inland Revenue to cut 1500 jobs between 2018 and 2021

            We need a Labour government in 2017.

            It’s suggesting that under a Labour government, these things either won’t happen or won’t be a problem any more.

            When actually if a Labour government got in and implemented a UBI, then there would be many thousands more from IRD losing their jobs.

            • Hanswurst 1.1.1.4.1.1

              The sentences you quote don’t even come close to implying that the UBI will make everything “roses”. The implication is that a Labour government will improve the precarious conditions for workers as they currently stand. The post isn’t even chiefly about the UBI, but rather about an editorial covering Labour’s “Future of Work” initiatives, stating that Labour has ideas for dealing with the labour market, whereas National doesn’t. As so often, you seem intent on presenting an air of reasonable scepticism in the face of wild claims that nobody is making.

            • Chris 1.1.1.4.1.2

              “When actually if a Labour government got in and implemented a UBI, then there would be many thousands more from IRD losing their jobs.”

              Not sure about that, might be more work at IRD. MSD numbers will certainly drop but we’ll need IRD to administer the UBI and importantly more people will be looking for ways to increase income so the tax take will increase hence more work at IRD.

    • linda 1.2

      alot winz staff attitude sucks anyway and software bot doesn’t come to work to screw people over what comes around goes around

    • Chris 1.3

      But the whole idea of a UBI is about acknowledging that paid employment as we know it “will not set us free”.

  2. Nessalt 2

    So a labour government in 2017 will somehow make us post more mail? and a labour government in 2017 will also be better for government finance as it’s going to find the expected $7b that the ird changes will have elsewhere while retaining an inefficient tax collection system that will also reverse changes that will greatly benefit small businesses?

    • sabine 2.1

      nah, we can just keep on voting for National to make sure nothing ever changes.

    • Chris 2.2

      So you’re content to rely on the 1% to initiate adjustment of a system designed to suck wealth from the 99% to the 1% to ensure that the 99% live healthy and happy lives?

  3. Amanda Atkinson 3

    Here we go again. In the 1800’s they said the Industrial Revolution would eliminate need for workers, instead it created millions of jobs.

    Check this link (at 54 mins) https://www.tvnz.co.nz/ondemand/q-and-a/20-03-2016/series-9-episode-2 … unions saying in 1985 that half the NZ work force will be unemployed by 2000 because of technology.

    It didn’t happen then, won’t happen this time either.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Actually a lot of what is being said is that the type of work will change, and it will be less secure and more periodic.

      Your example of the Industrial Revolution actually confirms this.

      • Chris 3.1.1

        “Actually a lot of what is being said is that the type of work will change, and it will be less secure and more periodic.”

        Yes, precisely why a UBI is needed.

    • sabine 3.2

      Looking in the Future and pretending it will be like today or a hundred years ago is short-sighted, and lazy.

      As for your industrial revolution, how many jobs were made obsolete ……..? I think on of the words i call myself dates back to the industrial revolution…..Luddite.

      Luddite, a member of any of the bands of English workers who destroyed machinery, especially in cotton and woollen mills, which they believed was threatening their jobs (1811–16).

      How many people still work in the Weaving Factories of yesteryears? Those in my hometown were closed down in the 80’s costing the jobs of pretty much all of the ladies in my family. These jobs are now being done fully automated. The ladies for the largest part stayed unemployed, cleaned houses and did odd jobs until they retired. Most of these ladies only went to school till they were 14 and then went to work in the many factories of Germany that all have closed down so re-employment option were really not plenty.
      And the same is going to happen again and again, in search of cheaper means of production and lesser labour costs.

      So unless we are going to sterilize/neuter people to prevent them from re-producing we need to look at meaningful ways as what to do with the surplus population that is not working, but still needs the basic necessities in order to survive.

      A UBI is not an end to it all, but essentially only a means to prevent riots/revolution/chopping of heads once the bread runs out and no cake is being baked.

    • Colonial Viper 3.3

      Here we go again. In the 1800’s they said the Industrial Revolution would eliminate need for workers, instead it created millions of jobs.

      it created millions of wage serfs, you mean.

      Who the fuck wants a “job” if it entails existing in an anti-democratic top down hierarchy driven environment where you are treated as nothing more than a replaceable low paid cog in the wheel of the machine?

      Even the well paid often can’t be bothered with their jobs, dreaming of earning an early retirement golden parachute, getting the fuck out of the big smoke and buying a lifestyle block and a boat next to the beach far far away from the rat race.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Labour’s musings are largely irrelevant.

    What is needed is aggressive, systemic, paradigm altering change.

    Because they buy directly into the neoliberal economic framework and orthodox monetary policy, all Labour is capable of is well intentioned tinkering around the edges.

    National you’d give a 3/10 score to. Labour, a 4.5/10. Maybe.

    Both are fails.

    • BM 4.1

      You will never get aggressive, systemic, paradigm altering change with MMP.

      MMP was voted in to stop that sort of thing from happening.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        I wouldn’t say “never”, it’s just a lot harder – a majority of the public need to support it.

        But it also allows otherwise-niche views, like Social Credit, to get a foothold in Parliament, and from there their influence could grow.

        • BM 4.1.1.1

          I agree anything is possible, any change though has to be done in a “boiling the frog” sort of way, certainly not aggressively.

          Bit like how National is doing it at the moment, start out like Labour and then very gradually move right.

          • linda 4.1.1.1.1

            change will come with economic collapse and its not to far off

            • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, but it is likely going to be very unpleasant change for the vast majority of people.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2

          I think that both yourself Lanth and BM make valid points about MMP. The interesting thing will be if the NZ electorate becomes increasingly disenchanted with our 2 party duopoly, like the public in other overseas western countries appear to be.

          NZF and Greens could be the big beneficiaries of such a trend.

        • Chris 4.1.1.3

          Despite or because of MMP or even if you take the view that MMP hasn’t properly bedded down yet in NZ, the numbers haven’t in fact been too far away over recent elections. A slight move on both sides has the potential for a Labour/Green government. The real barrier to “aggressive, systemic, paradigm altering change” or any sort of meaningful change is Labour’s hell-bent reluctance to move away from neo-liberal thinking which in turn has the effect of giving key and his mates the all clear. Labour is the huge problem here because regardless of Little’s rhetoric and all the talk about the future of work blah blah blah Labour doesn’t have the will to change a fucking thing. The very real but invisible to many problem is that Labour’s position tells the public generally that what key and national are doing is good. Any kind of change then becomes near impossible.

    • Chris 4.2

      “National you’d give a 3/10 score to. Labour, a 4.5/10. Maybe.”

      I’d give Labour a 0/10 after factoring in the co-option of a party that claims to represent the left, it’s failure as an opposition whose role it is to halt the likely irreparable damage greedy neo-liberal ideologues are doing to NZ by fucking with cultural values and how it sees self-preservation as its main priority and that lying to the public is the means to achieve this. These are the things that followers like leftie and the pigman and others who give Labour 30% support are blinded to and that ensure Labour sits in this politically irrelevant no-man’s land. In the meantime key and his mates eat babies and go up in the polls.

      • the pigman 4.2.1

        it sees self-preservation as its main priority and that lying to the public is the means to achieve this. These are the things that followers like leftie and the pigman and others who give Labour 30% support are blinded to and that ensure Labour sits in this politically irrelevant no-man’s land.

        Wow Chris, you wouldn’t respond with any examples in the thread, and you’re still that sore that Leftie and I pointed out you were making things up? Tell us again how Labour supported Red Peak and the flag change process… I do love a good revisionist history by someone who has publicly stated their intention (in much stronger terms than CV) to destroy Labour. You won’t get there by telling fibs…

        • Chris 4.2.1.1

          “Tell us again how Labour supported Red Peak and the flag change process… I do love a good revisionist history by someone who has publicly stated their intention (in much stronger terms than CV) to destroy Labour. You won’t get there by telling fibs…”

          I’ve outlined numerous times how Labour gave tacit support to the process. If you don’t understand what I said by now you never will.

          What have I said that shows my intention to destroy Labour? All I have said are things along the lines of how there’s no hope for Labour in its current form and that at the moment their self-destruction would be a good thing. Is that view too much to bear for a proponent of the “Labour can do no wrong” brigade”?

          Your accusation that I’m lying is consistent with the calibre of your psuedo/pop analyses.

  5. saveNZ 5

    UBI has already been trialled!

    The Town Where Everyone Got Free Money

    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-mincome-experiment-dauphin

  6. gristle 6

    Thanks SNZ. Good article.

  7. joe90 7

    Good.

    The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo recently wrote an oddly lamenting piece about how “the Uber model, it turns out, doesn’t translate.” Manjoo describes how so many of the “Uber-of-X” companies that have sprung up as part of the so-called sharing economy have become just another way to deliver more expensively priced conveniences to those with enough money to pay. Ironically many of these Ayn Rand-inspired startups have been kept alive by subsidies of the venture capital kind which, for various reasons, are starting to dry up. Without that kind of “VC welfare,” these companies are having to raise their prices, and are finding it increasingly difficult to retain enough customers at the higher price point. Consequently, some of these startups are faltering; others are outright failing.

    http://www.salon.com/2016/03/27/good_riddance_gig_economy_uber_ayn_rand_and_the_awesome_collapse_of_silicon_valleys_dream_of_destroying_your_job/

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