The essential debate in New Zealand politics (and all capitalist economies) is between Right and Left over how big a share of the economy’s production should go to the workers who produce it (ie wages, salaries) and how much should go to the capitalists who invested in the means of production (ie dividends, interest). The default position, since the capitalist owns the revenue of production and gets to do the division, is that the capitalist gets the lion’s share but workers’ rights – the right to organise into unions, the right to a minimum wage etc – give workers the power to win a larger share off the capitalist. Labour and the Left’s policy is to extend these work rights – high minimum wage, more bargaining power for unions etc. National’s policies are the opposite – they don’t raise the minimum wage meaning inflation makes it worth less and their policies weaken the power of unions.
The simple and intended result of these policies is that when the Left is in power not only do wages go up they go up as a % of GDP, and when National is in power, not only do wages go down, they go down as a % of GDP.
National tells us they will boost growth and boost wages. Their record suggest otherwise, not only have the Labour-led Governments out-performed National on GDP growth, they’ve also increased the share of GDP that goes to workers.
Some people would have you believe that ‘the old Left-Right divide is over’. That’s bollocks. And it’s bollocks coming from National because they don’t want you to know that a vote for National is a vote for weaker work rights, that a vote for National is a vote for a smaller slice of the cake.