Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, April 9th, 2018 - 159 comments
Categories: class, cost of living, Economy, housing, minimum wage, poverty, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, workers' rights, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: mike hosking
Like an obnoxious uncle who has drunk too much at Christmas Mike Hosking continues to loudly broadcast his reckons on all the things that are terrible with this country and with this Government. Like how they and Auckland Council want to stop him driving his maserati and will force him in the near future to live in an apartment with no windows and (gasp) no parking spaces for his cars. This is personal for him. There is no way he will let the Government take his car keys from him while he still draws breath.
He has lots of other reckons. His qualification for having all these reckons and saying them loudly is that he is a rich white male and so of course his reckons should all be listened to because they are right reckons.
And his basic reckon is that being rich is good and being poor is for losers. This is why he is such a strong supporter of the free market. It delivers the perfect result, at least as far as he is concerned.
Unsurprisingly he thinks that putting up the minimum wage is a very bad thing. In his latest reckons he said this:
Costs are market-driven, market and demand. The prices for something are based, or should be, on what the market can bear.
The Government coming in over the top of that equation and arbitrarily handing out instruction disrupts the markets. It brings an artificiality into it that the market might not be able to bear, and if it can’t, the only loser is the person out of work. Or worse, the owner out of business.
Further, the more cost you put into the market, the more inflationary it is. The higher the tax on petrol, the more literally everything costs because everything has a transport component to it.
And the more inflation you have, the higher interest rates go. And interest rates affect borrowing, both domestically for things like housing, and commercially for things like business.
Take that poor people. The only reason you can’t afford to buy or even rent a house is because you took that last minimum wage increase. It is ALL YOUR FAULT.
I don’t know why he just go full hog and advocate for no minimum wage and pure free market. Sure our grandmothers will then have to engage as slave labour so that we can compete with the third world but at least Hosking’s coffee will be cheaper. And the piece of information he does not seem to understand is that if the minimum wage goes up, and get ready because this is really significant, POOR PEOPLE WILL BE ABLE TO AFFORD TO BUY MORE COFFEE. Why is it that poor people do not seem to enter into Hosking’s calculations except when they are supplying him with something.
But don’t take my word for it. After all I am a compromised left wing hack. But Treasury seems to think the same. And Branko Martinec in the Spinoff recently read the research into the subject and came up with these comments:
In fact, the consensus among researchers has in recent decades shifted away from the once-thought conventional wisdom that a high minimum wage leads to closures and unemployment. The Ben Hurof these studies was completed in 2014 by two researchers who pored over more than 200 English-language scholarly and policy papers about the minimum wage, mostly published since 2000. They determined that “moderate increases in the minimum wage are a useful means of raising wages in the lower part of the wage distribution that has little or no effect on employment and hours”.
More than 600 economists have signed on to a statement that says “increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labour market.” Even those you wouldn’t expect to endorse it have. The International Monetary Fund called for the US to raise its minimum wage in 2014. The same year, despite its original warnings in 1999, the Economist declared that “no-one who has studied the effects of Britain’s minimum wage now thinks it has raised unemployment,” and that partly because of this, “The Economist has changed its mind.”
Does that mean the minimum wage has no impact whatsoever on employment? Of course not; many studies show there is usually a small impact, typically on young jobseekers. There is also evidence that employers are responding to wage increases with increased automation. But employers are turning to automation regardless of how high the wage is, because it’s always going to be cheaper to hire an unthinking, unfeeling, tireless machine over a human being – even white-collar jobs are under threat.
A higher minimum wage doesn’t have to be a job- or economy-killer. It can and has been rolled out in numerous locations with none of the cataclysmic results that minimum wage opponents have been warning about for literally 80 years. If the sky hasn’t fallen yet, it probably isn’t going to.
So who are you going to believe? Someone who thinks the Government wants to take all of our cars away? Or scores of International academics and researchers including the IMF and the Economist and Treasury officials.
To those on the minimum wage. Enjoy the increase. You deserve it.