Minimum wage review

Written By: - Date published: 2:08 pm, January 18th, 2011 - 241 comments
Categories: wages - Tags: ,

When the government, eventually, gets back from its month-long holiday, one of the first decisions it needs to take is the annual minimum wage review.

Business, short-termist as ever, wants no increase and the re-introduction of youth rates. A kick in the guts for poor working families.

To keep up with inflation (minus GST increase, which is, just barely, offset by income tax cuts), the increase needs to be at least 50 cents an hour to $13.25.

If we’re serious about catching Australia we should copy them and lift it to $15 an hour. How else is the gap going to start closing if we won’t match their wage rates?

I hope John Key won’t start election year by making the poorest workers poorer. I would love to see him back his promises with action for once and make a bold move by lifting the minimum wage to match Aussie’s.

241 comments on “Minimum wage review”

  1. mcflock 1

    Great. Remind the nacts we still have a minimum wage.

    That way they’ll “review” it into nonexistence.

  2. Well if anyone believes the ACT/NATS are going to raise the mininum wage to a decent and responsible wage they are living in wonderland. No National Government has ever raised wages to a decent pay . Their friends in Federated Farmers ,Employers Fed,Chamber of Commerce and all the rest of their Right Wing wealthy supporters would just say NO!

  3. big bruv 3

    And if we really want to do something about the shocking rate of youth unemployment then we should reintroduce youth rates.

    The minimum wage is fine where it is, there is no need for an increase the neither business or the economy can afford.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      The economy can afford it, even businesses can afford it – only profits will be affected. The economy can’t afford the minimum wage staying where it is as more people will drop into poverty increasing other costs on society such as increased crime.

      A business isn’t viable if it can’t cover the full costs of that business which includes paying it’s employees well enough to fully cover their costs.

      • big bruv 3.1.1

        Profit is a dirty word in your world Draco?

        • Blighty 3.1.1.1

          we’re not talking about eliminating profit, bb. just a fairer distribution of wealth between capital and labour.

          • big bruv 3.1.1.1.1

            Blighty

            Without those willing to take the risk there is no work for the “labour”.

            Those entering a place of work do so with the full knowledge of the terms and conditions, if the “labour” are not happy with what they get then they are always free to look elsewhere.

            Tell me, if the company makes a loss for the year would it be acceptable to have a fairer distribution of the loss…in other words the workers receiving a bill for their share of the loss?

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Those entering a place of work do so with the full knowledge of the terms and conditions, if the “labour” are not happy with what they get then they are always free to look elsewhere.

              No they’re not. If they were they wouldn’t even have to contemplate working to make some other arsehole richer.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Yeah OK Big Bruv lets do it

              Without those willing to take the risk there is no work for the “labour”.

              Hey buddy how much risk did Hotchins take again? Yeah thats right, none. His customers and his workers took all the risk.

              So explain to me how that works again?

              Tell me, if the company makes a loss for the year would it be acceptable to have a fairer distribution of the loss…in other words the workers receiving a bill for their share of the loss?

              Tell you what, you think that workers don’t take enough risk?

              Game on.

              Lets start some worker venture capital systems up so that workers can buy into private companies and start having a say in management and board decision making.

              After all, you are happy for workers to receive a bill for any potential business losses. Fine. I know workers who would happily do that. Let’s make it happen.

              And all they will want in return is a share of the profits from the company, a share of the capital gains from the company and involvement in both day to day and strategic management decisions. That’s pretty reasonable eh?

              So how about it bruv? You game on?

              Let workers share more of the risk, but also more of the profit and definitely more of the say. Its only fair, right?

              • big bruv

                Viper

                Why use Hotchins as an example?, for me those who lost money with Hotchins and the rest of the finance companies got what they deserved, they were greedy and got burnt, the tax payer should not have had to bail them out.

                As for worker capital systems…there is nothing stopping workers approaching the boss and offering to invest in the company right now, all they need to do is mortgage their home, borrow the money at commercial rates or use their life savings.

                Worker are free to leave at any time, they take no risks at all other than the possibility of having the company go under, wages are a fair reward for the little they invest.

                Workers can have more of the risk just as long as they are happy to pay for it.

                How about it Viper?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  …wages are a fair reward for the little they invest.

                  40+ hours per week isn’t “little” especially considering that when they lose their job so that the owner can protect his profits they’re likely to lose their house.

                  • infused

                    Bullshit. Most businesses are funded by borrowing, it’s how most small busienss start. If a small business goes under, it’s the owner that loses most. Get a clue please.

                    • Maynard J

                      Bullshit. Most businesses are funded by borrowing, it’s how most small busienss start. If a small business goes under, it’s the owner limited liability company that loses most. The owners are free to go off and screw things up again. Get a clue please.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Workers can have more of the risk just as long as they are happy to pay for it.

                  How about it Viper?

                  Exactly, mate.

                  More of the risk, and the profit.

                  they were greedy and got burnt, the tax payer should not have had to bail them out.

                  This is corporate welfarism that the moneyed supporters of the Right simply love.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Bullshit. Most businesses are funded by borrowing, it’s how most small busienss start. If a small business goes under, it’s the owner that loses most. Get a clue please.

                  So share the risk with the workers by inviting the workers to take an ownership share.

                  Solves the problem of risk concentration quite nicely.

              • Jum

                Colonial Viper

                Yes, let’s do it.

                The expert worker who knows the business takes on the required workers needed to buy the parts, design, complete and despatch the product. The only difference with this scenario is that the cost is spread over many and the risk with the bank lending works out the same.

                If the banks cause any trouble, remind them about Hotchins, the underwriting they took from the NZ people and the zillions they have scammed from us with their bank fees, etc. which in places like Britain aren’t even charged – the depositors wouldn’t let them.

                All it takes is for the worker to realise their own value. The so-called ‘owner’ is only good for their money which they have to go to the bank for and if workers get the money, the owner is redundant. The manager is a worker and we need guiding skills so is kept on.

                JKeyll and co are trying to destroy any decent education for workers by destroying the teachers’ loyalty to one another and privatising the parts of education which reduce the ability for workers to control the education system as New Zealanders. Then they can control what workers receive as education, thereby reducing workers’ skills and choices.

                All New Zealanders who want a fairer New Zealand for all NZ children’s children are workers, paid or otherwise.

            • Vicky32 3.1.1.1.1.3

              “Those entering a place of work do so with the full knowledge of the terms and conditions, if the “labour” are not happy with what they get then they are always free to look elsewhere.”
              When there are no jobs? Don’t be absurd.
              I had an interview yesterday. The boss lady put her sad face on, and assured me that they were “coming out of a recession” then explained to me that she wanted me (or the poor cow to whom she gave the job!) to take minimum wage, I expect, because she thought I would feel symathetic to the poor old lady… Maybe I’d have got the job, if I hadn’t been so quick after two years of unemployment, to agree?

              “Tell me, if the company makes a loss for the year would it be acceptable to have a fairer distribution of the loss…in other words the workers receiving a bill for their share of the loss?”
              In effect, that’s what the stupid cow wanted me to do…
              Deb

              • Rusty Shackleford

                Ummmm, what are your skills? The “cow” doesn’t owe you a living.

                • Colonial Viper

                  ANS: Move to Australia like 530,000 NZ’ers have already done.

                  The cows here are crappy bad managers who don’t know how to run businesses in ways to pay their employees decent living wages and who don’t know how to value their people.

                  Ummmm, what are your skills?

                  Ummmmmm whatever your skills are there are more jobs at 30-40% more pay across the ditch. The hollowed out NZ economy doesn’t value NZ skills, thats why our highly trained university grads and new MBAs know that they have to head to Australia or Asia of they are to develop their careers in meaningful ways.

                  Rusty I’m embarrassed that you think a business offering someone with years of work experience and who can clearly type, has comms skills, can use a PC and get around the internet the minimum wage is even vaguely acceptable.

                  But I know the Right Wing theme, that people are cheap and expendable business resources. No surprise that in a system called “capitalism”, that capital is primary, and people are an after thought.

                  Your whole “skills” question is a red herring to the real problem: NZ has a low pay low diversity low value added economy with a hollowed out job market full of shite <$15/hr service sector jobs.

                  Thankfully Bill and John are on the case with their detailed economic plans.

                  Someone hand me a Tui.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    I hardly think being able to post on an internet message board qualifies you for anything.

                    In any case, what is with the obsession with Aus?

                    And what is with the “right wing” strawman. If anything I’m a liberal (look the word up in the dictionary). Left and right are fairly poor descriptive devices. Sure, if you want to treat political economy as cock fight, they’re marvelous terms, but as a motivating part of civil discourse, they are worthless.

                    “NZ has a low pay low diversity low value added economy with a hollowed out job market full of shite <$15/hr service sector jobs."
                    Why?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If anything I’m a liberal

                      Economically or socially? A liberal who thinks its OK for workers to be paid like cheap expendable business resources?

                      Someone hand me a Tui.

                      Why?

                      Insufficient diversity of high value added, high tech industries, with a history of offshoring well paid manufacturing and technical jobs resulting in an employment base of low skilled, low paid work.

                      Combined with measures designed to flood the market place with excess labour and reduce the organisation and bargaining power of labour.

                      But if you were a liberal…in the US political sense at least…you would know these things.

                      In any case, what is with the obsession with Aus?

                      They value their workers and pay them more. Much more. To the extent that 530,000 NZ born kiwis live over there now.

                      I hardly think being able to post on an internet message board qualifies you for anything.

                      ? Its the learning way of the future my friend. Every uni course uses them. Also not sure how you can declare that being able to type and operate a PC, being able to use English in whole sentences, etc aren’t tradeable skills.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      ‘”If anything I’m a liberal’
                      Economically or socially? A liberal who thinks its OK for workers to be paid like cheap expendable business resources?”

                      Where have I said this is a good thing?

                      “Someone hand me a Tui.”
                      Tui is rubbish.

                      “‘Why?’
                      Insufficient diversity of high value added, high tech industries, with a history of offshoring well paid manufacturing and technical jobs resulting in an employment base of low skilled, low paid work.
                      Combined with measures designed to flood the market place with excess labour and reduce the organisation and bargaining power of labour.
                      But if you were a liberal…in the US political sense at least…you would know these things.”
                      Let’s look at it another way. What is the difference between NZ and those countries that fulfill your criteria? Which countries have “sufficient diversity of high value added, high tech industries”? How are they different from NZ?
                      What measure flood the market with cheap labor? And how is the power of organised labor reduced? The teachers’ union seems to get whatever it wants.

                      “‘In any case, what is with the obsession with Aus?
                      They value their workers and pay them more. Much more. To the extent that 530,000 NZ born kiwis live over there now.”
                      What does “value” mean? People enter into contracts. In the case of labor, to perform a designated task for a designated level of remuneration. There is more to it than simply mandating that wages should be at some certain level. As I have said 100 times this evening. If it were that easy just mandate the minimum wage to be $100 (or more).

                      “‘I hardly think being able to post on an internet message board qualifies you for anything.
                      ? Its the learning way of the future my friend. Every uni course uses them. Also not sure how you can declare that being able to type and operate a PC, being able to use English in whole sentences, etc aren’t tradeable skills.”
                      I love the fact that education is available free online. In fact, just today I browsed Khan academy and MIT lectures. However, what point have we come to with our public education system that basics likes tapping out a grammatical sentence on a keyboard are considered noteworthy?

                • Vicky32

                  My skills are obviously more than adequate (or she would not have interviewed me). The cow doesn’t owe me a living no, but she shouldn’t whinge and plead for me to, in effect, subsidise her business!
                  Deb

                  • M

                    Deb, I can tell your English and writing skills are excellent so take no notice.

                    As a fellow English enthusiast, some would say pedant, I understand your affliction. I’m lucky to have a good friend who is also similarly afflicted and we both do proofreading work when we can get it.

                    It is such a pleasure to read to something well written, with no syntax errors and apostrophes in the right place – bliss.

                    Good on you for not being treated like a K Mart mark-down.

                    Anti-spam: writing

                    • Colonial Viper

                      All Rusty is trying to do is what every good capitalist does: devalue people and devalue labour.

                      Try to find a reason to pay people less to extract more off the top for themselves; this is the system for the few, not for the many.

                      However, what point have we come to with our public education system that basics likes tapping out a grammatical sentence on a keyboard are considered noteworthy?

                      Elitist moron.

                      As I have said 100 times this evening. If it were that easy just mandate the minimum wage to be $100 (or more).

                      No reason to do that. $16-$17 is a fair living wage for most to be able to pay the bills and contribute to society.

                      You would deny that in favour of your failed Austrian School economic theories?

                      And how is the power of organised labor reduced? The teachers’ union seems to get whatever it wants.

                      The teachers union in which country?

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          Profit is a deadweight loss as can be proven by the fact that this government, and previous Labour led governments, have promised billions of taxpayer dollars to upgrade our telecommunications despite the fact that we’ve already paid for such upgrades (many times over) through our phone bills.

          • ZeeBop 3.1.1.2.1

            Pay many times over.

            Doesn’t that mean you have to be rich before you can say that?

            Where’ my tax cut, its my money I paid too much, but not where’s my bonus I earnt more than your paying!

            Oops, then we’d have to tell the rich that if they don’t like it they can move to another
            domical. Yeah, but they plan on doing that already! For the tax evasion!

            Look fairs fair, if you don’t like the wages, then talk to your fellow workers and start a co-op and put in a bid for the work. If the farmers can, why not anyone else. Why unions are helping workers set up co-ops I don’t know its the perfect alternative to contractors – since its effectively the same thing. Eventually if enough people are in an industry the workers could create competition, or buy out the private entity.

    • Deadly_NZ 3.2

      What and do you want to be the chief slave driver? wielding the whip when they don’t go fast enough for the $5.00 per hour that they will get under this ripoff govt

    • KJT 3.3

      Small and medium size Businesses cannot afford the continued drop in wages and benefits. That only works if other businesses or the Government still pay decent wages while yours manages to pay lesser wages.
      If everyone’s wages and benefits are reduced there is no one to buy business products.
      Anyone who thinks reducing wages at the lower end are good for business, were not in business in Northland during the Ruthanasian and the start of the double Dipton.

      Reducing wages removes jobs. It does not magically make more paid consumers to buy things from SME’s..

      Only a RWNJ still believes we can catch Australia by doing the opposite. Are you all so blinded by faith in “the market” you cannot see how the USA and UK are now “failed States”.

    • KJT 3.4

      Yeah why not. Then bring back Maori rates for the shocking level of Maori Unemployment. And the Women’s rates because they have a higher unemployment rate than men. Then we will have to drop white males rates because nobody will employ them when they can get a women cheaper.

      Hell why not drop all wages to zero. Business will then reinvest in the economy and jobs.

      But wait! that is what was supposed to happen as wages only rose 15% when labour productivity rose 83%, since 1978.
      Actually investment in NZ productive business dropped by 2/3 in the same period because savvy businessmen know that a low wage economy cannot afford their products.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    In this time of economic hardship I agree with mcflock. There is a need for belt tightening and for everyone to pull their weight during this international down turn. Austerity is a good thing when times are tough.

    But the minimum wage should not be cut, perhaps just temporarily suspended as a requirement. I predict that this will provide an economic boon for all concerned as the number of jobs skyrockets because employers will now be willing to take the risk of hiring new staff. At between $4/hr and $5/hr each, employers will be able to take on three times the number of workers that they did before.

    Unemployment will consequently plummet as all employers triple their headcount, and Bill and John will have proven their worth to the country as economic planners.

    • Armchair Critic 4.1

      Why not go the whole hog and suggest reintroducing slavery? ACT may not be saying it, but you can be sure they are thinking it.

      • Blighty 4.1.1

        Armchair – I’m sure both CV and mcflock are taking the proverbial.

        • Armchair Critic 4.1.1.1

          I’m sure they are taking the proverbial too. Well, I’m certain CV is, mcflock I’m less sure.
          What I was hoping for was a bite from the right.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            Hey, if we halved the minimum wage, unemployment would halve – and pretty much straight away, would it not? Surely its worth giving it a go. What harm could possibly be done. Its all upside, and the (big) business community would be grateful (for a week). Don’t you think?

            This would certainly work for youth unemployment anyways, that’s what I read from the Right Wingers. And they can’t all be wrong, can they? Guys?

        • mcflock 4.1.1.2

          I was saying that the only reason Nact would look at it is to eliminate it.

          The minimum wage should really be in the region of $17/hr, but that won’t even happen under labour, let alone the current pricks.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2.1

            The income of the bottom four quintiles of NZ wage earners actually needs to be boosted significantly, and immediately. Somewhere in the 10% region for starters might do (minimum wage to $14.02/hr), with another compounding 10% increase 12 months after that ($15.42/hr).

            The median wage would go from $41K p.a. to $45.1K p.a. initially then to $49.6K p.a. a year after that.

            However, apart form the minimum wage, Government has no ability to directly set wage levels in this country.

            It has to create the conditions required for pay to go up. Which means workers getting a bigger slice of GDP. That means stronger unions, more productive businesses, new diversified high value industries, R&D, a much tighter job market with lower unemployment and higher skills.

            Co-incidentally, these are all things that National is doing the opposite of.

            • Deadly_NZ 4.1.1.2.1.1

              And be honest, do you really expect the NACTS to do anything other than slash wages???

              The “we’ll have parity with Australia speech from the Teflon John ” must have been a pipe dream….

            • Lanthanide 4.1.1.2.1.2

              “The median wage would go from $41K p.a. to $45.1K p.a. initially then to $49.6K p.a. a year after that.”

              All else being the same, changing the value of the minimum wage won’t affect the median at all, until such point as the new minimum wage is above the current median.

              I think you’re talking about the average wage.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yeah you are correct, other steps will be required to boost wages in the bottom four quintiles of earners.

                You need less than $60K p.a. to get into the top 20% of income earners, even the well paid in this country are poorly paid. That figure should be raised significantly.

      • Drakula 4.1.2

        AC; If you go to the ‘Yes Men’ site they had effectively infiltrated a far-right neo-con group operating in the World Trade Organisation and recorded a certain Mr. Schmidt? as saying that slavery is a good idea that people who can’t be responsible for looking after their own affairs should be owned.

        When it was blown out he was awfully embarrassed!!!!

        Roger Kerr of the business Round Table has often advocated the elimination of the basic wage; that in my estimation is tantamount to slavery.

        Clothed in euphemisms of course!!!!!!

  5. Rusty Shackleford 5

    By some of the logic floating around here, why not just raise the min wage to $100 an hour?

    People tend to forget a few facts when talking about this issue.
    -Most workers aren’t on minimum wage. There value to the market is higher than $12 an hour.
    -Those that are worth less than $12 an hour (mostly the young) simply won’t be employed.

    Therefore the result of min. wage mandates is to actually hurt low wage workers, not help.

    • Marty G 5.1

      Are people still seriously making those arguments?
      1) no one is talking about a hundred dollar minimum wage, raising it is a desperate distraction. We’re talking about just keeping it up with inflation or 10% more to be the same as australia.
      2) the value of a person.s labour is not determined by the value they add but by the balance between supply and demand for the labour they can supply. Wages are falling- is that because workers have become less productive? Of course not. It’s because there are more people competing for fewer jobs.
      3) a worker is more than a widget. our wages are our livelihoods, how we support our families. The minimum wage recognises that their is a minimum income a person deserves and needs for a days work and that is more than what some would get if there were no minimum wage
      4) the minimum wage does matter, about 150,000 people are on it from memory and another couple of hundred thousand are on near minimum wages that rise when it does

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        3) a worker is more than a widget. our wages are our livelihoods, how we support our families. The minimum wage recognises that their is a minimum income a person deserves and needs for a days work and that is more than what some would get if there were no minimum wage

        And this is the main reason why I support a Universal Income as it actually ensures that people will get that minimum while relying on the “job market” will just ensure that we have poverty, desperation and increased crime.

        • Rusty Shackleford 5.1.1.1

          We have a universal mandated income. If you lose your job you can take unemployment benefits. How has that worked out?

          • Marty G 5.1.1.1.1

            only 60,000 of the 150,000-odd unemployed are on the dole.

            it does help but it’s such a minimal that it’s nearly impossible to live on.

            • Rusty Shackleford 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Is it such a big ask to expect unemployed people to draw from their savings in order to supplement unemployment benefits? The idea is (should be?) it is a stop gap until you find work. You aren’t supposed to live on it for any great length of time. Though, it seems some do.

              • mcflock

                Wow – retro.

              • Marty G

                most people have no savings. 50% of the population has zero or negative net wealth.

                I’m well aware that the unemployment benefit is a stop-gap. you are the one who was saying it was like a guaranteed minimum income – it isn’t.

                and, no, most people don’t stay on the dole long. before the great recession started, only 1,700 people had been on the dole longer than four years and only another 3,400 for longer than a year. Of course, the great recession – which isn’t the workers’ fault – has made it much worse: 19,200 have now been on the dole for over a year.

                It’s clear from these figures that very few people choose to remain on the dole if there is work going – it is not a lifestyle choice.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  I would posit high taxes are a factor in low savings. As well as the artificially cheap borrowing over the passed decade.

                  I never stated “most” people stay on the dole, I stated that “some” do.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I would posit high taxes are a factor in low savings.

                    Taxes should be higher.

                    And incomes should be higher.

                    People don’t go to Australia to work because they have lower tax rates. They go because they have higher incomes. A world of difference, do you understand it?

                    I would posit that low incomes are the main factor in low savings: if you only earn enough to live on day to day how can you save?

                    Tax cuts only give the illusion of having a higher income – just like spending on your credit card.

                  • Marty G

                    “I would posit high taxes are a factor in low savings. As well as the artificially cheap borrowing over the passed decade.”

                    you would be wrong in your positing – most families on low and middle incomes pay nearly no net tax thanks to working for families. Moreover, the income tax rates are low. Even on a high income like $60,000 (ie top 15% of earners) your total income tax bill is just 19.6% of your income.

                    The disparity in net wealth existed long before the credit bubble.

                    Glad to see you’ve dropped the snarky line implying that people on the dole are bludgers. A little information goes a long way, eh champ?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I’ve never been able to understand WFF. Taking cash with one hand then giving it back with the other. Why not just let the families keep the cash in the first place?

                      “Glad to see you’ve dropped the snarky line implying that people on the dole are bludgers. A little information goes a long way, eh champ?”
                      What line? I haven’t implied anything. Unemployment beneficiaries are only responding to incentives. Why would you work 40 hours a week for $300 when you could get a little less for the sum total amount of work of showing up at WINZ for an hour? I can completely respect someones decision making in that situation.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Why would you work 40 hours a week for $300 when you could get a little less for the sum total amount of work of showing up at WINZ for an hour? I can completely respect someones decision making in that situation.

                      WTF, $300 for 40 hours work per week is way below minimum wage.

                      Unless…you already managed to get it abolished while we weren’t looking.

                    • Marty G

                      the dole is $210 a week. The minimum full time wage is $510.

                      try again.

                      WFF is a redistribution of wealth. Personally, I would be just as happy with a 0% bottom income tax bracket or negative tax rate.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Seriously, do these Right Wingers not know anything about what they write about? Like, its not important to know or something?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’ve never been able to understand WFF.

                      It’s a taxpayer funded subsidy to businesses because they don’t want to pay enough for people to live on.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “I’ve never been able to understand WFF.

                      It’s a taxpayer funded subsidy to businesses because they don’t want to pay enough for people to live on.”

                      Where do tax payer funds come from?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Where do tax payer funds come from?

                      The workers.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      No where else? Only workers?

                • marco

                  I agree the Unemployment Benefit is effective and it works in assisting people back into work, when administered properly.

                  Sickness Benefit is one to watch when it comes to people rorting the system. It’s meant to be temporary, yet often has very long term clients, who should if they are seriously ill move to the Invalids Benefit. It’s also incredibly easy to get on the Sickness Benefit, just claim that your feeling anxious or depressed and most doctors will sign it.

                  As for the minimum wage, now that employers have no risk in hiring staff due to the 90 day trial bill then $15 per hour should be the bare minimum for the wage. If the employee doesn’t work out, they can let them go with no cost to the business, so they might as well pay them fairly.

                  • KJT

                    “It’s also incredibly easy to get on the Sickness Benefit, just claim that your feeling anxious or depressed and most doctors will sign it”.

                    Bollocks. Have you actually been on a sickness or invalids benefit. Gone through all the hoops and form filling to get it.
                    Not very pleasant when you are seriously ill.
                    Why should the majority, 99%, of genuinely ill people have their lives made a misery because some RWNJ is so concerned about the less than 1% who may rort the system for few hundred dollars. Some insider traders in SCF just rorted the system for 100’s of millions.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.2

            We have a universal mandated income.

            No we don’t. We have the UE which is far below what is needed to live on and also administratively complex.

          • Vicky32 5.1.1.1.3

            “How has that worked out?”
            I’ve been on one for the past two years, and the polite answer is: not at all well, since you ask. It’s currently $180.00 a week, as WINZ constantly stuffing up charging my earnings (casual) has left me with a debt I have no realistic hope of paying this side of the grave. Luckily I got the debt cut in half from $1500 by querying the amount – when I was informed by a WINZ minion that oops, someone had accidentally doubled my debt when s/he calculated it.
            You try living for 2 years on $180.00 a week (with occasional casual earnings assessed by the swinging criteria they use,,)
            Deb

      • Rusty Shackleford 5.1.2

        1. Neither am I. Whatever the wage is, it is an arbitrary figure pulled from thin air. How do you know the current min. wage isn’t too high? There is no mechanism to test this.

        2. I don’t think these two premises follow, but let’s pretend they do. In this case falling wages are completely necessary in a recession, and will lead to less unemployment in the short term. Wages don’t necessarily need to persist at lower levels. When demand picks up wages do also. Simply trying to persist at the pre recession wage levels will only stifle growth.

        3. This is a value judgement. It has no place in a discussion on how to raise prosperity.

        4. How many people simply don’t have jobs because employers chose not to hire certain workers at that wage level?

        Sure, there are some positive effects from mandating wages, but it is wrong to ignore the considerable harm these policies cause.
        http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basEss1.html

        • Marty G 5.1.2.1

          1) there is a mechanism to test the employment impacts of the minimum wage and inflation – the department of labour does it every year. They never mention any effect on growth.

          2) Yes, it does follow that when you have higher unemployment wages will be stifled unless there is government protection. You say growth will be stifled if wages aren’t allowed to drop – well, how come wages are still dropping when the recession supposedly ended in march 2009? in fact, what has happened is the portion of GDP going to workers has fallen.

          3) Yes it is a value judgement because the economy isn’t an end in itself, it is for people. Even if your dream world would work – with no minimum wage etc and somehow amazing growth – it would be a world of a tiny elite with even more of the wealth than they already control and the rest with even less than they have now. I don’t think that’s acceptable – people aren’t widgets, any decent society worthy of the name believes in a minimum acceptable standard of living and should ensure all have it. You would get rid of the minimum wage and that would see the children of poor workers to starve in the streets.

          4) you tell me how many jobs abolishing the minimum wage would create. I’ve yet to see any evidence that abolishing the minimum wage would see the poor end up wealthier. It might create a few jobs but at the expense of everyone whose wages are cut, whose reduced demand would in turn reduce employment (we’ve seen something similar when the 1991 benefit cuts reduced beneficiaries’ spending, leading to more unemployment). Moreover, when you have cheap labour the incentive to use it efficiently and invest in productivity-enhancing capital is reduced. Look at the number of staff in a third world railway station and on the trains, then compare it to Western Europe. In wealthier countries labour is too expensive to waste, so it is used efficiently and productively – do we want to imitate the wage policies of wealthy countries or poor countries?

          • Rusty Shackleford 5.1.2.1.1

            2. The recession obviously isn’t over.

            3. “it would be a world of a tiny elite with even more of the wealth than they already control and the rest with even less than they have now.”
            Stop being hysterical. We wouldn’t see children starving in the streets. Most people aren’t on the minimum wage doofus.

            4. That is some loopy logic. Let me just say that mandating high wages does not increase growth. If you believe that is the case then you must agree with me that there is no difference between a $15 min. wage and one arbitrarily decreed at $100 (or $1000 or $1,000,000).

            • Marty G 5.1.2.1.1.1

              most people aren’t on the minimum wage and most kids wouldn’t starve if you take it away but some will. How many is an acceptable number to you?

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.1.1.2

              Most people aren’t on the minimum wage doofus.

              And most people aren’t on the average wage either. They’re well below it. Removing the minimum wage will force those wages down pushing a hell of a lot of them into poverty.

              In a viable society, poverty is unacceptable.

        • mcflock 5.1.2.2

          “Neither am I. Whatever the wage is, it is an arbitrary figure pulled from thin air. How do you know the current min. wage isn’t too high? There is no mechanism to test this.”

          Well, minimum wage revolves around non-doctrinal principles such as “fairness” and “just returns”. I’m sure these might seem “arbitrary” to an economic sociopath, but generally they should be arrived at via consensus between involved parties – in this case worker groups, employer groups, and the government. The rough postition of “fairness” for a fulltime wage is usually in the region of 2/3 of the average wage (e.g. the EU Social Charter has a level of 60%).

          That puts a reasonable minimum wage (i.e. somebody can work and live in dignity, afford food and power and reasonable clothing/transport/housing) at $15-16 per hour (gross). I go for $17 because the increased spending will circulate through the entire economy more quickly, and it’ll be at the 2/3 level again soon enough.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.3

          In this case falling wages are completely necessary in a recession, and will lead to less unemployment in the short term.

          In the latest recession prices have sky rocketed. If wages fell as well there’d be even more poverty.

          And, at the end of the day, a business needs to cover all it’s costs and that includes the costs that the workers need to live on. Removing the minimum wage would allow businesses to pay less than it costs to live. IMO, the minimum wage is below that minimum anyway.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      That would explain why, when the minimum wage is raised, employment usually goes up.

      • Rusty Shackleford 5.2.1

        It explains nothing. Incidence of piracy in the news is negatively correlated with news items about climate change. I guess that means we need more pirates.

        • Marty G 5.2.1.1

          1) where’s your evidence of the second? and how do you show the causation?

          2) there’s clearly a causative link between higher wages and more employment – people have more money to spend, creating more jobs. if the wages were lower, that money would go to the wealthy capital owners, who are less likely to spend it. see zandi’s testimony to congress on the multipliers of different spending – more money for the poor helps the economy more than more money for the poor http://www.budget.senate.gov/democratic/testimony/2008/Zandi1119081.pdf

          • Rusty Shackleford 5.2.1.1.1

            1. I’m not sure what you are asking here. I’m asking “How do you know?”. Not “This is the case.” If that is what you are getting at?

            2. Poppycock. If that is the case, my call for $100 min. wage would be doubly true!

            You obviously don’t understand where prosperity comes from. Prosperity occurs when savings are used in capital formation, which leads to production, then to consumption. We don’t become prosperous because we consume, we are prosperous because we produce.

            This being the case, a rich man with cash in the bank is going to lead to growth because it is used in capital formation. Are you asking that we destroy capital formation in the future in order to have a little consumption in the present?

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1.1

              We don’t become prosperous because we consume, we are prosperous because we produce.

              So what exactly did Hotchins produce to become prosperous?

              This being the case, a rich man with cash in the bank is going to lead to growth because it is used in capital formation.

              That rich man is an idiot if he is keeping cash in the bank. With that kind of loser instinct how did he ever become rich in the first place is my question.

              because it is used in capital formation.

              You really are financially illiterate for a right winger.

              Banks do not use reserve deposits to “form capital”.

              They use it to issue interest bearing debt which is a noose around the neck of society.

              Are you asking that we destroy capital formation in the future in order to have a little consumption in the present?

              We don’t need capital, we need debt free non interest bearing money to serve the needs of commerce.

              The debt based fractional reserve issued bank cash you are talking about is shit.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                I have to confess, i don’t know who Hotchins is.

                “That rich man is an idiot if he is keeping cash in the bank. With that kind of loser instinct how did he ever become rich in the first place is my question.”
                Do you understand the term “rich”?

                “Banks do not use reserve deposits to “form capital”.
                They use it to issue interest bearing debt which is a noose around the neck of society.”
                Of course banks don’t. Firms and individuals do.

                “The debt based fractional reserve issued bank cash you are talking about is shit.”
                I’m 100% fully in agreement with you.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I’m 100% fully in agreement with you.

                  If this is really true, why are you backing your so called “capital formation system”?

                  Why are you backing rich people putting money into banks so that the banks can sell even more debt on to consumers?

                  I have to confess, i don’t know who Hotchins is.

                  Feel free to get back to us when you’ve caught up and figured out how serious ‘prosperity’ is made in this country.

                  Do you understand the term “rich”?

                  Yeah. They would be the top 8% of NZ’ers who own as much as the bottom 92% put together.

                  And they do not put more than a tiny fraction of that wealth into bank accounts.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    There is more than one way of saving, yes.

                    Really, I find some folks aversion to wealthy people to be somewhat distasteful. I would even go as far as to label it a form of discrimination. Obviously this depends on the way in which the person gained his wealth. I’m with you on the guys who got rich gaming the system with the help of their govt cronies.

                    However, there are a good few people(I would say most) gained their wealth providing a good or service that enhanced people’s lives. This is where the standard of living we enjoy today came from. It didn’t come from mandating wage levels.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The majority of wealthy people fall into the psychopathic category.

                    • McFlock

                      “I would even go as far as to label it a form of discrimination. ”

                      Nah, to do that you’d need to go to the Right Whingers thread.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Really, I find some folks aversion to wealthy people to be somewhat distasteful. I would even go as far as to label it a form of discrimination.

                      This is priceless!

                      A Right Winger using the arguments honed by the Left through years of battles for rights for the poor and for oppressed minorities…claiming that because they are rich and powerful, *THEY* are now the oppressed ones.

                      Chuckles all round.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Rats, you got me. I promised myself I wasn’t going to do that.

                      I’m sure the rich are bawling into their pillows made from money, at night over perceived discrimination.

                    • Jum

                      Finally, you’ve accepted that John Key is not one of those good few people who gained their wealth providing a good or service. He made his loot advising on speculative runs on the NZ$ from overseas. He played with paper money. That’s all the seriously wealthy people do – play with paper that has no real value. They also seriously damage the lives of the workers who do pay their taxes in full.

                      Very poor that the old crap about knocking over the rich tall poppy is peppering your prose, when most people have made it clear that rich people who earn their riches without damaging other people’s futures are admired.

                      The richos who peddle alcohol but pay nothing to alleviate the costs involved in repairing people are not to be admired even though they ‘produced’ something. Key had/has (no one including him seems to know for certain) a winery. Not that he actually picks the grapes…

                      People like Key are not admired by people who understand the way he made his millions. Even less admirable is when he offers to throw a few thousand at some charity when there’s a photo op. Even less so is when the charity may only exist these days because of what richos like Fay and Richwhite, Hotchin, Brierley, etc. have perpetrated on New Zealanders in widening the haves and havenots gap.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I could care less about John Key. Are you labouring under the assumption that I am “Right Wing”? Having said that I basically agree with what you are saying.

                      Alcohol problems are caused by prohibition. There are far less destructive drugs out there but they are banned substances.

              • SHG

                Hotchins and others in his industry perform a valuable function. They take money from stupid people and return it to circulation.

                The only people who lose out are the stupid people. And they’re stupid, so they probably would have lost it anyway.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1.2

              Prosperity occurs when savings are used in capital formation, which leads to production, then to consumption. We don’t become prosperous because we consume, we are prosperous because we produce.

              Wrong. Current economic theory is that we are prosperous when we can consume more. This is tied, to some degree, with production as we can’t consume what isn’t produced but there’s also the point where there is over production and countries can, and do, produce far more than they consume. This is why an “export led recovery” is complete bollocks and also one of the reasons why wages are being driven down.

              This being the case, a rich man with cash in the bank is going to lead to growth because it is used in capital formation.

              Wrong again, a rich person with cash in the bank leads to more consumption usually in the form of luxury cars, massive mansions and vast amounts of waste. All the “incentives” used to increase savings over the last 30 to 40 years have failed to actually do so (The Predator State by James Galbraith).

              • Rusty Shackleford

                Current economic theory is wrong.

                Whilst we are recommending books, why don’t you try some of the Austrian school. They have this stuff pretty well figured out. Anything by Mises, Rothbard or Hazlitt will set you straight on the follies of the Keynesians.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I’ve tried – they’re almost as bad as the neo-liberal BS that gets passed as viable theory in the universities.

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.2

          I do know something you also know Rusty.

          When workers do the same amount of work, but are paid less, business owners make more money.

          I also know something else that you know.

          When workers do their jobs but also have to take over the work of collegues who leave, but get no extra pay, business owners make more money.

          Makes you tingle doesn’t it mate?

          -Those that are worth less than $12 an hour (mostly the young) simply won’t be employed.

          Yeah, that’s why they leave for countries which value them and which can provide them decent paying opportunities. In Australia, or in Asia.

          As a right winger I’m surprised you’ve forgotten that what people are “worth” in the market place depends a lot on the conditions that the market is set up with.

          So with a National Government, ongoing conditions of wage suppression and deliberately high unemployment, its not surprising is it that 50% of NZ’ers are ‘worth’ less than $27,500 p.a.

          Good of you to back a system which treads on the necks of your fellow citizens buddy. You are such a fraking hero.

          • Rusty Shackleford 5.2.1.2.1

            “When workers do the same amount of work, but are paid less, business owners make more money.”
            All things being equal, yes. But, that never happens. Businesses cut workers because there is less demand for the worker’s output. Therefore, the firm doesn’t always automatically make higher profits by cutting workers.

            “When workers do their jobs but also have to take over the work of collegues who leave, but get no extra pay, business owners make more money.”
            I can’t comment on individual firms. Dealing in anecdotes is always folly. However, by your logic, why not just have one worker do everything?

            If the business owner makes more money, frankly I have no problem with that. Saving labor is one of the things that allows growth, and more employment down the line.

            “Yeah, that’s why they leave for countries which value them and which can provide them decent paying opportunities. In Australia, or in Asia.”
            Yup. Guilty. I was sick of only earning a small premium, after taxes, than just going on the dole. As an 18 year old, I was on about 300 a week. My sister got more than that just by having a baby.

            “As a right winger I’m surprised you’ve forgotten that what people are “worth” in the market place depends a lot on the conditions that the market is set up with.
            So with a National Government, ongoing conditions of wage suppression and deliberately high unemployment, its not surprising is it that 50% of NZ’ers are ‘worth’ less than $27,500 p.a.
            Good of you to back a system which treads on the necks of your fellow citizens buddy. You are such a fraking hero.”
            I’m not sure how to respond to this. I certainly don’t back the current system, that is for sure.

            • Marty G 5.2.1.2.1.1

              When workers do the same amount of work, but are paid less, business owners make more money.”
              All things being equal, yes. But, that never happens.

              Um, genius. That’s exactly what will happen if the minimum wage doesn’t rise to cover inflation. Minimum wage and near-minimum wage workers will be doing the same amount of work but be paid less in real terms, despite the economy expanding in real terms.

              Also, the average real wage is falling – so, it can happen and does.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                Let’s stop having inflation then.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Wow you have really thought your positions through, haven’t you?

                  You wanna control inflation and increase savings at the same time? Set up a compulsory super scheme that everyone has to pay into, and when there is too much liquidity up the required contribution rate temporarily.

                  One good tool to have in the tool box.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    I liked your idea better about abolishing fiat currency. Compulsory anything is a road to unintended consequences.

                    Besides, inflation really only comes from one place. The printing press.

                    • Marty G

                      you can’t abolish inflation just by linking the currency to a precious metal or whathaveyou. All that happens is you get inflation when more of the metal is available and deflation when the economy grows by more than the metal supply.

                      Deflation is worse than moderate inflation.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Besides, inflation really only comes from one place. The printing press.

                      You cannot be serious.

                      Any environment where a highly liquid money supply outstrips productivity will generate inflation.

                      PS I want bank cash abolished (or at least made a minority of the money supply) and I want the rest of it to be in debt free, non interest generating fiat currency.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Care to explain how falling prices are bad for poor people?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Care to explain how falling prices are bad for poor people?

                      Under current economic theory falling prices are a symptom of falling demand which means less jobs.

                      BTW, Nice of you to admit, even obliquely, that you have NFI WTF you’re talking about.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Wow I think Rusty is making a case for deflation. lol thats going to work wonders for economies in the middle of debt based recessions.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Draco, calm down.

                      I just don’t buy into mainstream economic (read: Keynesian) theory. It has so obviously utterly failed us. Trying to control business cycles through central planning has led us down this road. It seems some here are advocating solving the perils of central planning with more central planning.

                      As for demand being the be all and end all? Demand is limitless. How could there ever not be enough demand? Demand in infinite basically by definition. There is obviously more at play than simply too little “aggregate demand”.

                    • Marty G

                      keynesian economic theory hasn’t been mainstream since it was supplanted by the neoliberals in the 1980s. you’re a neoliberal/randriod/libertarian – all the same thing. living in a dream world where you believe you can treat the vast bulk of the population as disposable labour inputs and deny them a decent standard of living – and that this world will be wealthier than what we have, and it won’t be overthrown in revolution.

                    • Marty G

                      “There is obviously more at play than simply too little “aggregate demand””

                      right for once. the economic problems we face are the ecological limits – the limits to growth. there aren’t enough new inputs for our economy to keep growing.

                      the question then becomes how do we share the wealth we have – so far, the wealthy are taking even more of it for themselves.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “the economic problems we face are the ecological limits – the limits to growth. there aren’t enough new inputs for our economy to keep growing.

                      the question then becomes how do we share the wealth we have – ”

                      I think this is basically the fundamental difference between us. I believe the exact opposite to be true. Of course we have a limit to the quantity of resources on the planet, but human ingenuity is infinite. I take what you are saying as the man in the 19th century who claimed everything had already been invented. As for the equality issue? Central planning won’t get us there.

                      “so far, the wealthy are taking even more of it for themselves.”
                      This, however, is 100% true. The only reason they can do this is through manipulating the political system. Specifically the entwinement of the banking and political elites.

                    • Marty G

                      I’m a great believer in human ingenuity too. But I don’t believe in magic and that’s what it will take to avoid being stuck in this age of peak oil – a shrinking energy supply for a shrinking economy – through the foreseeable future.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      As for demand being the be all and end all? Demand is limitless. How could there ever not be enough demand?

                      And now you prove your belief in magic.

                      The Classic Widget has a market of 1m per year. Due to human ingenuity productivity is improved by 10% increasing production to 1.1m. All else has remained the same. What is the market for the Classic Widget?

                      Of course we have a limit to the quantity of resources on the planet, but human ingenuity is infinite.

                      Resources, not being infinite, means that the market is also limited. The “market” is the people and the number of people on the world has a maximum of about 1b. Of course, the capitalists don’t want to believe this and they certainly don’t want anyone else to know it either as that means that their pyramid scheme must come to an end as there will be no more growth (population increase) to pay the interest. This is why they push anti-abortion and say that the use of contraceptives is evil.

  6. fabregas4 6

    Always seems to me that employers are quick with sayings like “well if you pay peanuts you get monkeys” then proceed to pay peanuts.

    Equally they are rapid at saying things like “cant’t find anyone who can do the job” or “all the applicants were useless” and don’t connect this with the low rates of pay and conditions they offer.

    Many also say they have dud staff without realising that they selected them!

    It always about someone else isn’t it.

    PS: many people are also saying “useless Key always in Hawaii, does nothing but smile and wave” who voted for him.

  7. Nick C 7

    “How else is the gap going to start closing if we won’t match their wage rates?”

    Well if thats the solution then perhaps we should try something of a reverse price and wage freeze. Legally mandate that all wages must be go up by at least 15% per year until we catch Australia.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      well business people work to targets and budgets, give them the goal and let them run with it.

      • Rusty Shackleford 7.1.1

        Why not just make it $100, as of tomorrow. What is the difference?

        • Marty G 7.1.1.1

          rusty. repeating stupid lines like that is called trolling. do it again and you’ll be moderated.

        • lprent 7.1.1.2

          As Marty said… Make an argument. Using troll line will just attract me when I’m moderating. Read the policy.

          It is the type of meaningless drivel point that the actoids seem to like. Probably fits their low mental abilities, but to everyone here it looks like just another pimple faced idiot with illusions of having an ego that matters.

          • Rusty Shackleford 7.1.1.2.1

            OK, here is my argument.

            Raising the minimum wage is a good thing. The effect on the economy is good. More jobs. More money in the economy feeds back into business in a virtuous cycle. Therefore, why limit the minimum wage to a measly $17 an hour. Shouldn’t the sky be the limit?

            Obviously my line of reasoning is absurd. I admit that. But can someone answer why my assertion is absurd but yours isn’t. They are only different in orders of magnitude.

            [lprent: Thank you. ]

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Therefore, why limit the minimum wage to a measly $17 an hour. Shouldn’t the sky be the limit?

              $16-17/hr probably constitutes a decent living wage for one person.

              Obviously my line of reasoning is absurd. I admit that. But can someone answer why my assertion is absurd but yours isn’t. They are only different in orders of magnitude.

              The difference in magnitude is not a minor.

              Eating one ice cream cone at lunch might be sensible. Eating ten makes a good idea absurd. See?

              • Rusty Shackleford

                Thanks for the calm and logical response.

                Personally, I think we should be more aspirational than $17 an hour. We probably could have $100 minimum wage, but a wage based on market principles, not on govt mandate. Remember the average person in NZ today lives far better than a monarch of centuries ago (think about this for 5 minutes before you slam me). We didn’t get to where we are now through mandates.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Thanks for the calm and logical response.

                  Why, you are very welcome Rusty. Its always a pleasure.

                  We didn’t get to where we are now through mandates.

                  Uh – yes we did. King George, Queen Victoria, etc. Who was it who ordered James Cook to the southern oceans again? The guy who explored and charted Australia and NZ for the Brits?

                  Remember the average person in NZ today lives far better than a monarch of centuries ago

                  Yeah I agree. Most people on the median income of $27500 p.a. have personal chefs, butlers, driven coaches and designer wardrobes, as well as a personal guard ready to pour direct retribution on any one who offends their sensibilities. Its the good life these days.

                  In fact when you look at the Ming Dynasty of the fifteenth century the Chinese imperial family can’t hold a candle to the DPB family who shops in Pak n Save and queues at The Warehouse. We have PlayStations, after all.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    Ehh, I will take my expected 70+ expected life expectancy, far more comfortable daily life (warmer, less disease, better health care), better entertainment, faster/further travel, car, designer wardrobe, myriad restaurant options, better sanitation, cleaner water, cleaner cities, on and on.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Yes, modern mixed economies certainly kick arse when compared to to those of earlier less civilsed times

    • Marty G 7.2

      it would only take two years at that rate. I might propose a more modest rate of closure. say 2% above real growth? that’s what we need to get there by 2025.

      half of the gap would be closed simply by nz having the same share of gdp going to wages. more expensive labour driving produciivity investment and a wealthier working class would help boost the economy to pay for most of the rest.

  8. Pete 8

    Has any analysis been done on what the likely effect would be rising the minimum wage to $15? Reasons like “to match Australia” or “because workers need it” are very weak arguments.

    The economy can afford it, even businesses can afford it – only profits will be affected
    is another non-argument. Businesses need to be able to make reasonable profits, otherwise why would anyone bother employing anyone else, best just to be a sole operator.

    And why the focus on catching up with Australia. Surely we are better having achievable targets that suit us, that are affordable and will promote growth (if growth is what we should aspire to).

    • ZeeBop 8.1

      If we want to catch OZ we need to consumers to shut their wallets, and go to companies owned by NZ, preferable owned by themselves, this would trap more wealth in NZ and we’d all grow richer as a result. Its simple, draw a line around you home, draw another around your community, your town, your region, now only invest and frequent firms that re-invest and are owned locally within the circle. If everyone in the circle does so then we all get richer. If however some like Key sell access to us – as a currency broker, or sell asses from the circle, then we all lose. Another way they export profit is by growing the pool of money in the circle say at 10% and then give everyone a nice 7% and then thirty years on after all the debt they’ve taken on can’t be rolled over we all find ourselves much worse off!!!! We are heavily in debt because companies took their profits and decided that they could borrow even more off the profit stream, keep the business in debt, and roll the money into a offshore company where the profits and borrowed money can sit out of tax reach. Why else are so many business so heavily in debt?

    • Marty G 8.2

      “because workers need it” isn’t a weak argument. The economy doesn’t exist as an end in itself, it is for people. politics is about how the wealth the economy produces is distributed.

      do you think it’s just that a person can work 40 hours a week and be paid as little as $510 for their troubles? How are they meant to support a family in a decent standard of living?

      “Businesses need to be able to make reasonable profits”

      I agree that there does have to be a return on savings/investment – a reward for delaying consumption so that production can be used to build future productive capacity. The issue is how much. Currently, just 43% of of GDP goes to workers. Other countries have it in the mid-50s, and we used to as well, when we were relatively wealthier.

      “And why the focus on catching up with Australia.”

      That’s your mate Key’s policy. Or do you think we shouldn’t hold PM’s accountable for the promises they make to get the job?

      • Pete 8.2.1

        do you think it’s just that a person can work 40 hours a week and be paid as little as $510 for their troubles?

        Is it just that a small business person just getting by is forced to increase his wages bill by 15%, just because a government says that’s what a worker needs?

        Currently, just 43% of of GDP goes to workers. Other countries have it in the mid-50s

        What is the relative proportion of people in business, including owner operators? Just comparing % to GDP means very little.

        Key isn’t my mate. I back National with some things they are doing, but not others, I’m not an all or nothing supporter. I haven’t seen anything that makes a good case for “catching up with Australia”. Depends on what it’s to catch up with (not race relations, nor Melbourne housing) and what the reasoning is behind it.

        • Marty G 8.2.1.1

          “Is it just that a small business person just getting by is forced to increase his wages bill by 15%, just because a government says that’s what a worker needs?”

          they seem to think it’s just in Australia. It was just here back when the minimum wage was at a similar level in real terms.

          “What is the relative proportion of people in business, including owner operators?”

          the proportion of the working age population that is in the labourforce (ie, not including business owners, students, invalids, stay at home parents etc) is pretty much the same in all developed countries – around 66%. In many of those other countries, they get 10% more of gdp in their wages.

          I’m still going to hold the PM you elected to his promises, even if you don’t want to, even if he isn’t your mate.

          • Pete 8.2.1.1.1

            No point in getting into a discussion over the definition of “promise” – but, does any party manage to comply with all it’s election policies and historic utterances with our MMP coalition democracy?

            It’s certainly fair enough holding politicians to account, but some pragmatism needs to be allowed for things like changing economic conditions – I’d prefer a government adjusted when it’s sensible to do so and not stick dogmatically to unwise policies.

            I’ll criticise any party if I think it’s justified. Because I happened to think that Labour had run out of steam and needed a break, and I was happy enough to give Key a chance, doesn’t make me totally dedicated to everything they do, far from it. BTW, I thought Labour were starting to look iffy enough to consider changing them in 2005, but was less happy with Brash and wouldn’t back him.

        • Marty G 8.2.1.2

          PS. I assume that you support the minimum wage increasing in line with inflation at least. and won’t support Key any more if he makes the poorest workers poorer. I mean, how does that ‘encourage people into work’ as he says he wants to do?

          • Lanthanide 8.2.1.2.1

            He’s encouraging them to work 2 or 3 jobs, 80+ hours a week. More work is more work!

        • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.3

          Do you think it’s just that businesses can decrease a workers wages by the rate of inflation? Because that’s what they can and do now.

          • Pete 8.2.1.3.1

            If they are in the middle of a recession, yes, it can sometimes be sensible. It happened to me in 2009 as the business was operating at a loss, started to move up again as business looked like improving last year.

            Do you think it’s just that government increases effective tax rates each year by not adjusting tax brackets with inflation?

            • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.3.1.1

              If they are in the middle of a recession, yes, it can sometimes be sensible.

              Uh…sensible for whom exactly?

            • Marty G 8.2.1.3.1.2

              “Do you think it’s just that government increases effective tax rates each year by not adjusting tax brackets with inflation?”

              nope.

              So, you support a person doing the same work as last year getting paid less. and they’ve just got to lump it and support their families on less because there aren’t any other jobs going. Nice. I can see why you support John Key.

              • Pete

                It’s better to have a job earning (effectively) a bit less than to have your employer close up shop – and it also helps the business to be in a better financial position to take advantage of an upturn (that appears to be gradually happening now), so they can afford to pay more wages, and employ more people again.

                Actually there wasn’t as much productive work to do so I wasn’t being paid less for doing the same amount of work.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It’s better to have a job earning (effectively) a bit less than to have your employer close up shop

                  meh. Let them shut up shop. If they can’t hack it in business they should leave, and make room for businesses which can.

                  Businesses operating on such razer thin margins have fraked business models anyway and should fail.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    “meh. Let them shut up shop. If they can’t hack it in business they should leave, and make room for businesses which can.”

                    I rest my case.

                    It OK to actively destroy a viable business. I’m sure that will lead to many more jobs and higher wages down the line.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It OK to actively destroy a viable business.

                      Sorry if it was a viable business…why would they be shutting shop?

                      Only non-viable businesses operating on negative margins get destroyed in the market place. And so they should.

                      Are you saying something different? Hey are you a right winger or not?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I believe in the free market in the sense that the govt stays out of it. No free market exists anywhere in NZ.

                      Right and left are reductionist and childish words. As applied to politics, they have no meaning. As both sides of the divide are after the same thing, which is to expand the reach and influence of govt.

                  • Pete

                    Businesses operating on such razer thin margins have fraked business models anyway and should fail.

                    The margins are good enough to pay well usually. Employer and employees co-operated together through the downturn for the good of both in the longer term. They trust each other, and understand how employer and employees can benefit through working together rather than battling each other. I’m sure it’s not the only business in the country that works like this.

                  • Marty G

                    “I’m sure it’s not the only business in the country that works like this.”

                    labour laws aren’t made to protect people from being exploited by good bosses. It’s to protect them from the bad bosses.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Hey rusty, what’s the trend on real wages over the last 40 years and how do you explain it?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I would imagine flat. I read an article the other day that said Norway has had zero job growth in 50 years! Despite Norway being a supposed bastion of enlightened leftism. But take that for what you will.

                      A PhD thesis could cover the reasons, I can only speculate here. Definitely inflation. Perhaps regulation. Taxation. Employment relations legislation. Labour Unions (especially of the public sector variety). The education system. The weather. Fairies. Failing to regain the world cup.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      So you’ve no idea then. That’s ok, but it does amuse in that your answer coincides so nicely with the Austrian’s rumored distaste for empiricism.

                      But leaving that to one side, if average real wages are flat, then where has all the wealth from the growth of the last 40 years gone, and how does this square with your theory that the market will raise wages as the economy grows?

                    • McFlock

                      The fact that Norway currently has an unemployment rate of 3.1% might have something to do with it.

                      Sounds like hell.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I guess I could have looked it up. Usually I would have, but I probably guessed right.

                      Are people not relatively better off now than 40 years ago?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      He did say ‘take that for what you will’.

                      I took it for bullshit myself.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      You would be correct in calling bullshit because I should have said Sweden.
                      http://mises.org/daily/4936
                      The point I’m referring to is about half way down. Don’t hesitate to read the whole thing though.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Relative to what?

                      Forty years ago could you buy a house and raise a family on the average wage easier than now, or would it be harder now?

                      But regardless, what do you think has happened to the extra wealth generated over the last 40 years if you don’t think it has gone towards increased wages, and how do you square that with your belief that wages do rise via simple market mechanisms?

                      Bear in mind that labour markets have become more flexible not less over that time period.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Oh goody, the mises institute. Do they peer review at all? Just wondering.

                      But be a clever chap for me rusty, and point out the obvious and simple error in his paraphrase:

                      Yes, you read that correctly: there was no net increase in the number of jobs in the private sector in Sweden over a period of 55 years. In other words, starting five years after the end of the Second World War, the Swedish economy was at a complete standstill.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      There was a post war boom on 40 years ago. The productive capacity of half the world was blown to smithereens. Is it a surprise a country domestically unaffected by the war profited from that?

                      Before we get into your question, would you be so kind as to furnish me with the figures as to real wage growth over the last 40 years. How do I know that wages haven’t risen and that I’m not tilting at windmills?

                      Also, don’t forget that no free market (at least country) exists in the world.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I fail to see how peer review comes into it. Shouldn’t the validity of the ideas be the the only consideration?

                      Perhaps, he cocked up by saying that the economy was at a stand still. Can you not still have economic growth despite stagnant job growth?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      There was a post war boom on 40 years ago. The productive capacity of half the world was blown to smithereens. Is it a surprise a country domestically unaffected by the war profited from that?

                      I’m not sure I see the relevance of this. 40 years ago was the early 70’s, just for the record. Banking the ‘profit’ from fixing all the broken windows wouldn’t explain why the growth since then hasn’t resulted in real wage growth.

                      Before we get into your question, would you be so kind as to furnish me with the figures as to real wage growth over the last 40 years. How do I know that wages haven’t risen and that I’m not tilting at windmills?

                      The actual figures don’t really matter. I asked what you thought had happened and how you would explain that in terms of your labour market theories.

                      You said you suspected there had been no growth in wages, which prompted me to wonder why you would think that, given that there has been quite a lot of growth over the last 4 decades, and the wealth produced must have gone somewhere. So who do you think has grabbed the wealth created, and why hasn’t the market shared it out to the workers who are, presumably, more productive now than 40 years ago?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There was a post war boom on 40 years ago. The productive capacity of half the world was blown to smithereens. Is it a surprise a country domestically unaffected by the war profited from that?

                      40 years ago…let me count. That was 1970.

                      What half the world was blown to smithereens again? Vietnam?

                      What are you on about?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      I fail to see how peer review comes into it. Shouldn’t the validity of the ideas be the the only consideration?

                      Critical peer review has been found to be a better way of assessing validity than well, just not bothering. Perhaps they have a better method?

                      Perhaps, he cocked up by saying that the economy was at a stand still. Can you not still have economic growth despite stagnant job growth?

                      I’d guess you could well have economic growth without job growth through better productivity and the like, but no, the thing that leaps out from the quote is that he seems to think that ‘the private sector = the economy’.

                      That’s quite obviously not the case.

                      I’m off to bed now, so won’t be replying further tonight.

                      Click to EditDelete (7 minutes and 17 seconds)

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I’m speculating wildly based on blind ideology and guesswork, here.

                      I’m willing to speculate that some portion of the wealth accumulated in the last 40 years was eaten up by inflation. Another portion by govt spending. Another portion on capital equipment (which makes everyone richer).

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “40 years ago…let me count. That was 1970.

                      What half the world was blown to smithereens again? Vietnam?

                      What are you on about?”

                      Sorry, I should have said “Half of the world’s productive capacity HAD BEEN blown to smithereens.” ie in the period from 1939-45 much of the productive capacity of the world had been taken out of action.

                      Obviously the post war boom was well and truly done by 1970.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The postwar boom happened with a US top income tax rate of 91% between 1956 and 1964.

                      Monies were poured into the common wealth and the creation of a large middle class.

                      I’m willing to speculate that some portion of the wealth accumulated in the last 40 years was eaten up by inflation. Another portion by govt spending. Another portion on capital equipment (which makes everyone richer).

                      You would be mistaken. 80% of the new personal income generated in the last 30 years in the US went directly to the top 1% of the population.

                      They skimmed the extra margin they made by offshoring ordinary decent paying American jobs to cheap countries by paying it all to themselves.

                      This is one reason why the US has 400 billionaires and an underemployment rate of 20%.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      I’m willing to speculate that some portion of the wealth accumulated in the last 40 years was eaten up by inflation. Another portion by govt spending. Another portion on capital equipment (which makes everyone richer).

                      1) Inflation can’t be it because we are talking about real wages, ie inflation adjusted numbers. If nominal wages had remained flat then real wages would have dropped by a metric shitload and you would have an even bigger pile of missing wealth to account for.

                      2) Government spending could have gobbled some up, you’d need to look at government revenue as a percentage of gdp I suppose.

                      3) Spending on capital equipment making everyone richer wouldn’t really work as an explanation for why most people are not richer. Don’t you think so?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Hi again rusty.

                  • infused

                    They can hack the business obviously. It’s not razer thin margins that are causing this problem. When you have a recession, all work decreases. I don’t think you quite grasp the mount of money it takes to run a half decent business?

                    You can say businesses should be better prepared, well yes they could. But how many people have encountered what is going on at the moment?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      They can hack the business obviously. It’s not razer thin margins that are causing this problem. When you have a recession, all work decreases.

                      What kind of Right Winger are you?

                      If the business cannot adapt with the new economic environment it folds. Fair and square. Opens up the playing field for someone who can hack the business environment.

                      Not sure why I as a Leftie am telling you this, its straight out of the neocon handbook.

                • Marty G

                  “the business to be in a better financial position to take advantage of an upturn (that appears to be gradually happening now), so they can afford to pay more wages, and employ more people again”

                  um. you’re saying there’s an upturn that can support higher wages and you’re supporting cutting the real incomes of minimum wage workers by 4%. super.

                  • infused

                    What’s the problem if it saves jobs? Is your solution for the business to shut it’s doors?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      hey if the business can demonstrate that the pain of cost cutting is fairly shared between shareholders, bond holders and employees, it might be worthwhile to keep the doors open – I’ll admit that.

                      Is that what you are proposing?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  It’s better to have a job earning (effectively) a bit less than to have your employer close up shop

                  Not if the cost of living has been increasing. It’s not viable to go to work if it costs more to do so than you’re being paid. My nephew got told by WINZ that he should have taken a job that he proved would have cost him money to go to. They then offered to subsidise him going to that job and I really don’t think Fletchers needs the subsidy.

  9. millsy 9

    Im picking the government will freeze the minimum wage this year, under pressure from the retailer and hospitality industry, leading up to the taxpayer funded world up.

    Which would be fine if landlords froze their rents, and supermarket/utilities froze their prices as well, but we are never going to see that happen.

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    Remember when all them righties were all het up and littering the discourse with their claims that John key could never have meant that he would love to see wages drop and it must have been a misquote and what have you and the lefties were calling bullshit he just said the truth by accident?

    Looks like they’re all at it now.

    Fact is the only thing tories hate more than taxes is labour rights.

  11. Liberty 11

    The best way to lower unemployment.
    Scrape the minimum wage.

    • Marty G 11.1

      evidence?

      In reality, the best way to lower unemployment would be for the government (the country’s largest employer) to up its education, health, and sustainable infrastructure investment

    • clandestino 11.2

      Scrape it alright. Scrape it from the bottom of the barrel where it is now, to the middle of the crisp, golden nectar where it ought to be.

    • Colonial Viper 11.3

      yes, if you get statistics NZ to count slaves as being gainfully employed, I think scrapping the minimum wage will definitely lower unemployment.

  12. M 12

    I’m picking that Key won’t do anything about a minimum hourly rate as he has a bad case of deer in the headlights just now.

    An absolute no to youth rates. Some may argue that are less able to do the work but from the range of jobs on offer like cleaning or night filling at a supermarket I’d say the difference in skill between a youngster and an older person would be rather small.

    Raising the minimum wage is the only way to improve the lot of everyone.

    Having read ‘The Spirit Level’ the wealthy countries in terms of money and good social outcomes are those whose workers can afford to live decently because there is not such a huge disparity in wealth and the concomitant snotty attitudes that go with it, i.e. the landed gentry versus the serfs.

    The cartoon near the title page of ‘The Spirit Level’ said it all – it has a guy being driven in a limo that is proceeding through a slum area and the guy is musing to himself “Gee, I really like my 200k tax cut, but how is it I live in a shit hole country” or words to that effect – nuff said IMHO.

  13. Pete 13

    I still haven’t seen a reasoned explanation as to why $15 minimum will be good for business, employment and employees – in particular, what effects would be expected on employment rates, wage inflation and general inflation.

    (I’m aware that raising the minimum wage will be good for those who get a pay rise and keep their jobs, but that’s only one part of the equation).

    • liberty 13.1

      “I still haven’t seen a reasoned explanation as to why $15 minimum will be good for business”
      That’s because there isn’t one. Wages paid should be on the ability of the employer to pay.
      Not because of some socialistic dream.

      • orange whip? 13.1.1

        “some socialistic dream”

        Like people being paid enough to feed house and clothe themselves and raise their children without going begging to the state.

        Silly socialists and their stupid dreams.

        • Pete 13.1.1.1

          Silly socialists and their stupid dreams.

          That’s right, socialism as the prime mode of governance has proven to be a dismal failure – more because of how people use and react to it rather than the principles of it. Not as much silly as idealism smacked by crappy reality.

          There is no better model than regulated capitalism with some socialist policies.

          • orange whip? 13.1.1.1.1

            Err, since when was the idea of paying people enough money to be able to afford to live in the society in which they must work to earn said money – without state subsidies – a “socialistic dream”, Pete?

            • Rusty Shackleford 13.1.1.1.1.1

              You use lovely words, but completely ignore the real world consequences. Sure, some people are made better off by the minimum wage. But how do you account for those who are made worse off? Sure you can look at those people on higher wages and feel all warm and fuzzy for being so progressive, but it takes a certain amount of cognitive dissonance to shut your mind to that other crowd made worse off.

              • Colonial Viper

                Worse off? Are you talking about those who had to downgrade their aspirations from the 8 cylinder turbo version of the X5 down to the lowly 6 cylinder version?

                Trust me, I think they coped with that OK.

                ut it takes a certain amount of cognitive dissonance to shut your mind to that other crowd made worse off.

                I’m always impressed by Righties (ummm obsolete term, sure) who can project their own perceptions on to other people like this so eficiently.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  Try the jobs that are never created because they don’t produce more than $15 an hour.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Which jobs are those? Name a couple so I have a concrete idea of what you are going on about.

              • mcflock

                damn, talk about stealing the arguments of the left.

                You want “cognitive dissonance”? Try believing that eliminating minimum wages would be good news for the currently unemployed and the working poor.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  How does the minimum wage in any way affect unemployed people?

                  • mcflock

                    isn’t your position that a minimum wage keeps people who are prepared to work below that wage unemployed? ie that if the minimum wage was reduced to below $10 an hour then currently unemployed people could the be employed in jobs that are worth $10/hr but not $12?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      In a very broad sense, yes. But the real world is never that linear.

                      Let’s not forget that most people are not on the minimum wage. Further, employers want people who know how to work. Often when you are young you have no skills. Why would a firm hire someone with no skill? They are basically taking a chance. As the employee gains skills, he becomes less of a chance and he can demand higher wages.

                      I’m asking you to see the unseen consequences of such policies as the min. wage. Check the joblessness of young black men in the States vs increases in minimum wage as an example.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Let’s not forget that most people are not on the minimum wage.

                      True. But 50% of full time working NZers earn less than $20/hr. And most of those earn less than $15/hr.

                      As the employee gains skills, he becomes less of a chance and he can demand higher wages.

                      Not with 90 day right to fire clauses.

                      Not with de-unionisation of workplaces.

                      Not with high levels of deliberate structural unemployment.

                      All these factors reduce the bargaining power of labour. 530,000 kiwis have already left for Australia thanks to these conditions.

              • orange whip?

                I think you’ve misread me Rusty. I’m not arguing for the existence of a minimum wage.

                I’m asking why anyone thinks it acceptable for people in a relatively wealthy civilized society to be paid so little for their work that the state must top up their pay just to keep them out of poverty.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  The state doesn’t have to top up wages. There aren’t people starving in the streets in NZ. And there wouldn’t be if we removed the min. wage. Much of the deprivation that does occur in NZ can be traced back to welfarism and other forms of statism.

                  The problems we have are generally knock on effects of attempts to fix other problems.

                  • mcflock

                    so many blanket statements, so little supporting evidence…

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Why are we in a recession? The Reserve Bank trying to manipulate the business cycle(amongst other factors). Housing bubble? Artificially low interest rates. Low savings? See above. Unwed teenage pregnancies. Welfarism.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Why are we in recession? The reasons you give are nonsense and pulled directly off Fox News.

                      Right Wing Nut Jobs decided that they would let the financialised economy collapse the real economy, and they figured out ways of making huge sums of money from it.

                      That’s the crowd you are backing my good Rusty Shacklford.

                      The Reserve Bank trying to manipulate the business cycle(amongst other factors).

                      Yeah privately owned banks doing that more like.

                      Especially the Federal Reserve in the US.

                      Then central banks like ours who are infected with the same Chicago School free market ideology.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    There aren’t people starving in the streets in NZ.

                    What a daft thing to say. 20% of kiwi children are growing up in poverty TODAY. Children are going to school without breakfast and with no lunch TODAY. (Well, not today because its school holidays).

                    What a horrific blindness.

                    Take away the minimum wage, reduce the gap with the dole and you reduce the incentive to get out there and work.

                    Whats your answer then? Oh, would it be to drop the unemployment benefit? How cunning.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Stop straw manning me.

                      Read up on the Austrian business cycle (if you haven’t already). They predicted the crash and much of what you say lines up with them. I was trying to keep the context within NZ. We don’t have a privately owned Fed. Though the outcome is the same here.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh you’re not Chicago School you’re Austrian School! Great!

                      Not as bad, just as faulty though.

                      They predicted the crash and much of what you say lines up with them.

                      Bollocks. Rubini and a handful of others perhaps. The Austrians? They never saw a multi-trillion dollar hole coming.

                      Stop straw manning me

                      Oh I’m sorry I thought you said something about people not going hungry in NZ?

                      Let me check…oh you said not going hungry on the streets.

                      So just because kids are going hungry at home and at school I have to admit that you are technically correct

                      My apologies Rusty.

                  • Jum

                    Rusty,

                    And what would be your solution to people affected by your Mr Key removing all welfare, minimum wages, WFF, privatising all assets to the sharemarket opening up to profit making for those shareholders who can afford to buy the shares?

                    What about the DPB for example? There would be none. So should women have an abortion if their partner/husband leaves or beats them and they leave? Should they hand their existing children over to the husband because men get higher wages than women in New Zealand? Do you think that would be the sensible thing to do?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I don’t think the PM has the power to do all that (please remember, he isn’t MY John Key, I didn’t vote for him, as I don’t vote). Obviously, removing all the hand outs would be horribly painful for the recipients. It’s a difficult proposition, as I wouldn’t have enacted the policies in the first place, why should I be held to account for the consequences of removing them?

                      The cases where women are abused or abandoned are terrible. But shouldn’t the first port of call for these women be their families and community? Failing that, charity organisations.

                      Moving away from that, think about the incentive problem the DPB creates. (I’m not saying all women on the DPB consciously do this)But, if the likely outcome of having a child outside of a relationship is negative, don’t you think the number of unwed pregnancies will drop? Obviously, there will still be mothers who endure hardships through single parenthood, removing these consequences for a small group still places the burden on another group.

                      Making the govt grand protector of all people is not the answer. That includes the banks, businesses, men, unions etc. every special interest group.

                    • Jum

                      You didn’t answer my question Rusty. Would it be the better idea to hand children over to the partner or husband, since they are higher paid than the woman would be?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      But I thought the men had abandoned them? And we already have child support. And the child should be with the best parent in that situation. Not the one who makes the most money. Remember, woman can be abusive and abandon their children, too.

                    • Jum

                      ‘and they leave’? (the women). Read carefully. Child support is just another welfarism; can’t have that.

                      Rusty, you are saying that the DPB is an incentive for women to go on it. Therefore, surely they will give up the child if the DPB disappears because they must be women of really low morals if they are on the DPB. That’s what you’re saying isn’t it? So it’s back to the man who is getting more money. There are all these men’s groups who want their children when they separate from the women. Why not give the children to them.

                      It won’t matter if the man is into incest or hurting the children or whatever, will it. The children will go to him because all women care about is receiving the DPB. If that goes why would they want to keep the children, given their low characters.

                      Having seen what the DPB gives women and the hounding by WINZ as to why they haven’t left the children to go out to part time jobs which usually are cleaning for other people, because there’s little else, why would they keep the children?

                      Yet they seem to. Remove the DPB and they will probably stay in the relationships, no matter what damage is occurring. That means the stronger of the adults will be in control. That is usually the male, Rusty. Is that what you want? I just want to know where you want this to end up.

                    • Jum

                      Rusty
                      You’re forgetting that if the partner without the children decides not to pay the child support, it doesn’t get paid, or there are instances like the $2billion dollar business owner who manages to have a loss on his books and pays only $50 a week for his child. We still pay the difference, so it is still welfarism.

                      Also, the child support is operated through a government agency, so I would assume you would remove that and expect people to organise their own arrangements which brings us back to the partner/spouse with the most money/power who controls the other. Is that what you want for women because women earn less and men are normally stronger, two strikes against them in this violent, greedy society?

                      ‘The DPB isn’t an incentive to go on the DPB. The DPB is an incentive to have a child out of wed lock. ‘
                      Nonsense.
                      The DPB is there as a safeguard for women to retreat from conditions unsafe for them or their child(ren), or as you are quick to point out the miniscule number of men who retreat from unsafe conditions.

                      You are trying to get rid of the DPB to reduce, you think, the pregnancies out of wedlock. Sterilizing men or forcing them to wear condoms would be far more useful, don’t you think? This isn’t some Catholic fantasy we’re living in – pregnancy isn’t an immaculate conception, Rusty. Stop playing the blame the woman game. Start talking to men about having responsibility for keeping themselves zipped.

                      You said you ‘don’t vote’ are you exclusive brethren that would certainly account for your attitude towards women taking all the responsibility for what is essentially a male and female action?

                      You still have not answered my question. Are you hoping that removing the DPB will ensure women stay in unsafe marriages, with women no longer having options?

                      You also know as well as I do that families take sides and no one knows people until they live with them. We also know that charities are generally run by people who have conservative views which blame women, as you are. There must be an agency, non judgmental, which acts as advocate for women (and some men) who are at a vulnerable time in their lives. As a society we are all responsible for the raising of the country’s children.

                      You continue to talk about burdens on other groups if we back social financial welfare; once again you infer that children are a burden on New Zealanders.
                      Also, given that Douglas and Key are so keen to privatise everything and give lots of our money in tax cuts to big business (remember their accountants ensure they don’t pay tax) money is everything in this society. We’re deemed to be failures if we don’t reach a certain standard of living. Earning even less than the minimum wage will ensure that state continues.

                      Mostly women are the ones who earn the minimum wage and if Key has anything to do about that, they will earn even less. So without the support of the DPB, the burden on the mother and the child becomes much higher.

                      You also say young women choose to be pregnant. The DPB is so low, compared to the chances of more highly paid employment in the business world. Why would they? Let’s look at that. They are paid less than men because they are seen as less than men. Society infers they’re only good for one thing – domestic service and having babies. They have no brains for important things (important things in this society are just the things that men like to do, of course). They look around them and see that marriage is all about power, and the power is never with the female in their world. Maybe, just maybe, they see the DPB as giving them some sense of self-empowerment.

                      Those who seek to dismantle that empowerment do so because they do not want women to have any control over their own destiny. It is an indictment on this present society which encourages this thinking by voting in this government that seeks to disempower women.

                  • orange whip?

                    Rusty. For the last time, I’m not talking about minimum wages. Please stop putting words in my mouth.

                    The state doesn’t have to top up wages.

                    But the state does top up wages, Rusty. Why is this? Why are people in our relatively wealthy, civilised society not paid enough for their work to be able to feed, clothe and house themselves and their families?

                    Without the (indirect) subsidies to employers via wff credits and other subsidies via winz many of our low wage workers would be better off on the dole.

                    And without the direct-to-employer subsidies such as Job-Start and other grants paid to businesses for hiring people, many businesses couldn’t operate at all and wouldn’t be there to provide the jobs anyway (at least not within the parameters of the current assumptions but we’ll leave those for now).

                    Again, this is regardless of whether there are minimum wages or not. Obviously without minimum wages our low paid workers would get even less for their work, but this is neither here nor there to the question I’m asking.

                    When you say “there aren’t people starving in the streets in NZ” (which depends entirely on which streets you’re looking at btw) you touch on the central issue, which is:
                    What do you consider to be an acceptable standard of living in our society?

                    Should working people expect to own a home? Or is that a privilege reserved for the wealthy?

                    If ordinary people should not expect to own a home, what sort of accommodation should they expect to be able to afford to rent? A house? A garage flat? A room in a boarding house? Be specific.

                    Should they be able to afford to own a vehicle?

                    What sort of food should ordinary working people be able to afford to eat?

                    I’m not asking these questions lightly. I want you to actually visualise and describe the living situations of the human beings we’re talking about. Where do they go at night after work? Remember, with the subsidies gone they just earned less than the dole – about enough to actually get to work on time and buy your work clothes and make your lunch, but not much more – so anything you visualise has to be accounted for e.g. you can’t picture a nice comfy mattress or sofa or tv if you can’t explain where it came from. What does their neighbourhood look like in the daytime? At night? What does the hallway smell of? Close your eyes and go deep. Describe the decor in detail.

                    I hope you try to give honest answers to these questions, at least to yourself. There is plenty of wealth in our society. We have jetskis and casinos and fine dining and champagne and exotic nightlife and yachts and second homes and third homes and private islands and stunning jewellery and magnificent artworks. All of this wealth has to come from the same place as the low wages our workers are paid.

                    So the question is really in two parts:
                    1) What is an acceptable standard of living for ordinary working people and their families?

                    2) If they are not being paid enough to attain that standard of living for the work they do in a society which clearly produces ample wealth, why not?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      1. This question is couched in fairly unaspirational terms. I don’t see a reason why the entire population can’t live at whatever level they deem fit.

                      2. You know what I’m going to say already, don’t you? Basically a too large public sector, which certain private interests attempt to manipulate for their own means.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Jum,

                      Child support isn’t welfare because no public money changes hands. It is one party supporting his/her child. You can probably find examples of it in common law. And law from other cultures.

                      The DPB isn’t an incentive to go on the DPB. The DPB is an incentive to have a child out of wed lock.

                      Morality doesn’t come into it. My own sister is a DPB mother and I love both her and my niece.

                    • orange whip?

                      1. It’s not an aspirational question, Rusty.
                      “I don’t see a reason why the entire population can’t live at whatever level they deem fit.”
                      Well the main reason would be that most of them don’t get paid very much for the work they do.

                      And before you say “earn more” that’s just a solution for an individual. The current model is organised so that most people don’t get paid very much regardless of what any one individual does.

                      Anyway the question is what do you think is acceptable. Am I to take it that there is no standard of living so depraved that you wouldn’t have a problem with it?

                      If not, please give the question some serious consideration before responding.

                      2. Public sector, Rusty? Come on, you’re not even trying now. The public sector is propping up the wage bills of businesses all over the country. Remove WFF, Job-Start, Winz subsidies and businesses will have to pay their own staff. Where will they get the money?

                      Serious answer this time, please. Where are the missing wages?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The DPB is an incentive to have a child out of wed lock.

                      This is especially true in Right Wing world, where everyone makes decisions based on free market economic rationality.

                      In the Real World however, not so much.

                      By the way Rusty, what are you doing building a society where a young woman thinks that trying to raise a young child or two by herself on $400/week is the best option that she can see for herself?

                      Morality doesn’t come into it. My own sister is a DPB mother and I love both her and my niece.

                      Oh, that’s so sweet.

                      But why would you want to pay money for both her and your niece to live on?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      1. Please try to remember that before you can consume something, you have to produce it. High wages don’t come about by fiat. they come about because labor is productive (which has nothing to do with the morality or character of individual workers).

                      As to the question of what level is acceptable? That is an entirely subjective question. I would love for everyone to live as I do, or better. But the facts show that we can’t just wish that into reality. What you (I believe) are calling for is more central planning. We’ve had plenty of that over the last century, and the fact is that the societies with the least amount of central planning came out the best in the 20th century.

                      2. You have it backwards. Remember, the govt has no money of its own. It produces nothing (although it obviously performs some functions that a free market economy can’t survive without). It can only gain resources through confiscation. I agree, if you take away welfare, the result will be painful, but why is that my fault? I wouldn’t have handed out that welfare in the first place!

                      This being the case, I would allow the market to produce the goods and services people want to consume. Free of restrictions, business and jobs usually flourish. Obviously there will be hardship, I’m not denying that, but don’t we have that already?

                      As for not being paid enough? The average person in NZ lives a life unimaginable a century or so ago.

                    • orange whip?

                      “Please try to remember that before you can consume something, you have to produce it. High wages don’t come about by fiat. they come about because labor is productive (which has nothing to do with the morality or character of individual workers).”

                      This already happens, surely? We have lots of wealth, the richest in our society have more wealth than they can ever spend. Production doesn’t seem to be the problem at all, it’s a question of who gets rewarded for that production.

                      Over the past 50 years productivity has increased dramatically and so so have profits. Wages have gone backwards. The top few percent have become extraordinarily wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

                      “As to the question of what level is acceptable? That is an entirely subjective question. I would love for everyone to live as I do, or better.”

                      Yes it is subjective, and I’m asking for your opinion. What level of deprivation is acceptable to you as a result of your ideology?

                      I want to know exactly what sort of lifestyle you think working people deserve as payment for the work they do.

                      Your platitudes are meaningless. It means nothing when you say “Obviously there will be hardship” I want to know exactly what level of hardship you think a working person should suffer for the privilege of enriching the top few richest percent.

                      I want you to address the question specifically and give examples of the type of lifestyle you think is acceptable for the poorest people in a society with millionaires, yachts, car collections, and ski resorts.

                      No more vague sloganeering please Rusty. Tell me what the minimum standards are in your mind.

                      An example might be something like “40 hours of manual labour per week should at the very least earn a person enough money to sleep on a mattress on the floor of a garage, eat mainly noodles and potatoes, and buy a ten-trip bus ticket.”

                      “What you (I believe) are calling for is more central planning.”

                      Not at all. I’m asking for your own opinion on the level of depravity that you would be comfortable having in our society. I’m not asking you to say how it might happen, just how low you think we can go.

                      “We’ve had plenty of that over the last century, and the fact is that the societies with the least amount of central planning came out the best in the 20th century. “

                      This is the 21st century Rusty. China rising. America falling. Wake up mate.

                      I’ll wait for you to give some substantial responses to the above before I reply to the second part of your comment. Goodnight.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      2. You have it backwards. Remember, the govt has no money of its own. It produces nothing (although it obviously performs some functions that a free market economy can’t survive without). It can only gain resources through confiscation.

                      More bullshit Right Wingism.

                      If you want to live in a civilised society governed by the rule of law and decent social structures you have to be willing to pay for it.

                      The other bit of bullshit you put in here is overturned by this: capitalists don’t produce anything themselves. They get labour to do all the production. Capitalists just move electronic numbers around into different accounts. Its BS.

                      What did Hotchins produce for society again which netter him tens of millions of dollars, while destroying the lifetime value of thusands of NZ’ers?

                      You are so full of it.

                    • McFlock

                      “As to the question of what level is acceptable? That is an entirely subjective question. I would love for everyone to live as I do, or better.”

                      Jesus, that question really doesn’t compute for you, does it? The concept of a minimum standard of living for any individual, where anything below that is unacceptable and other people in that society are collectively or individually obliged to assist them to improve their standard of living?

                      The question is (and correct me if I’m wrong OW): does such a level exist for you, Rusty, and if so what is it?

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.2

        Do these Right Wingers know anything about business? Or do they live in a la la land where businesses can somehow do well despite all their own customers and clients being paid poorly?

        “I still haven’t seen a reasoned explanation as to why $15 minimum will be good for business”

        Here’s a clue…if a million working class people are receiving a good living wage, they can spend more at businesses in their communities to buy goods and services.

        How’s that for a reasoned explanation of why increasing wages are good for business?

        They can eat the occasional cafe meal with their spouse, go out for a pint and a wine, buy that new laptop for their daughter, upgrade their fridge freezer, go to the cinema with the family, also get someone in to fix that pesky leaking faucet.

        Its called providing a basis for increasing aggregate demand in the economy. Its called expanding a middle class able to consume more goods and services in the economy – without having to leverage into more and more debt to do so. And that’s good for business.

        Gosh, Lefties teaching Righties the basics about business. Who would’ve thought.

        • Pete 13.1.2.1

          Business basics is a bit more involved than that – if wages are forced up, prices go up (and custom usually goes down), and/or staff levels go down, or businesses stop trading.

          It’s not just those on minimum wages who cost businesses more, it put’s pressure on other wage rates above that – someone who had been getting $15 per hour won’t be happy if suddenly all the unexperienced employees now earn the same as them.

          And even if everything works sweetly and all that happens is that wages go up, prices go up and the higher waged can afford to pay the higher prices you’re back to square one, no extra spending power. Try $20 per hour. Same thing.

          • Rusty Shackleford 13.1.2.1.1

            The righty vs. leftie rhetoric does nothing for the conversation either

            • mcflock 13.1.2.1.1.1

              “The righty vs. leftie rhetoric does nothing for the conversation either”

              Rusty, that might almost have been a reasonable comment (or at least a reasonable pretense) if you had bothered to add a little something to the conversation yourself.

              Anyhoo, Pete’s slightly less simplified analysis is essentially a primer model of inflation and assumes fixed elasticity and zero effects of time delays in the flow of effects.

              For example, an employer with a narrow (but not critical) profit margin will be able to absorb employment costs until the increased demand caused by general wage increases demand for their product. Similarly, in a period of high unemployment a rise in minimum wage would only immediately effect those employees in the region of the minimum wage, and job scarcity will hold corresponding general wage increases down for a period. In fact, the entire “ooo prices will have to go up” is actually a bit dumb, given that prices are generally set by demand for the product, not the cost of production. That’s why we need a minimum wage in the first place – the cost of production beyond training is simply 1 hour of the worker’s life.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                “Rusty, that might almost have been a reasonable comment (or at least a reasonable pretense) if you had bothered to add a little something to the conversation yourself.”

                What is your definition of adding to the conversation? Agreeing with everything you say? Echoing the same old economic fallacies that fly around here? Confusing.

                • mcflock

                  nah, I just think that adding to a conversation about minimum wages generally involves mentioning minimum wages, rather than just bitching that somebody is name-calling.

                • Colonial Viper

                  What is your definition of adding to the conversation? Agreeing with everything you say? Echoing the same old economic fallacies that fly around here? Confusing.

                  I’ve decided that you are simply trying lines from the Fox News neocon playbook now.

                  Help the poor by keeping them poor, blame big government, pretend to be a moderate but worship the wealthy.

                  After all, any one of us could get to sit at the top of the pyramid scheme too, if we just made the right individual choices to get through the capitalist maze. Maybe.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Yeah, it does seem to be a little more complicated than what some reckon.

                Frisntance. The min wage went up we while back, and yet plenty of shops have had giant ‘Sale’ signs with ‘All items reduced’ in their windows for most of the last year and a bit.

                It’s almost like there is a demand problem out there, weighing on their minds, and as if the idea that increasing the min wage automatically leads to incresed prices and inflation is one of those tired old economic fallacies that fly around here

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  Indeed, this issue is far more complicated than personal anecdotes.

                  While we’re sharing anecdotes, last time I was home (July 09) youth rates were abolished. Within a week the govt announced a $100+million package for youth training. Couldn’t they have been trained, on the job, much cheaper, without dipping into the taxpayers pocket?

                  Then this happened.
                  http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/4515185/Youth-jobless-rate-soars-to-19-4

                  Moving along. Inflation is an increase in the money supply, so I don’t see how mandating wages would cause inflation. Prices will likely rise long term, though.

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.2.1.2

            Business basics is a bit more involved than that – if wages are forced up, prices go up (and custom usually goes down), and/or staff levels go down, or businesses stop trading.

            Nope. You’ve fallen for the idea that the rich can keep paying themselves more and more and its OK (even millionaires get an extra $1K to $2K p.w. now thanks to Bill and John’s tax cuts), but if the poor want an extra $1 an hour on the minimum wage, and its going to lead to collapse? Pull the other one. You are just finding excuses to give workers a smaller and smaller share of the pie while the wealthy reward themselves with a larger and larger share of the pie.

            If you want a vibrant economy *for all* (not just the few) you expand the middle class by giving them a bigger share of the pie. Exactly like what happened in the US between 1950-1970, before big capital conspired to freeze workers wages.

            If a business hasn’t got a business model good enough to pay decent wages – it should go out of business, and be replaced by an entrepreneur who can do better.

            • Pete 13.1.2.1.2.1

              If you want a vibrant economy *for all* (not just the few) you expand the middle class by giving them a bigger share of the pie.

              If the middle (or any) class want a bigger share of the pie they should earn it. No one should be “given” artificial wage levels, no one “deserves” anything, everyone should work for and earn what they are worth. Wage levels are as much a part of the market as prices. Supply and demand.

              If a business hasn’t got a business model good enough to pay decent wages – it should go out of business, and be replaced by an entrepreneur who can do better.

              And if no one can be bothered taking the risks when one part of the equation prices itself out of the market you have no business and no jobs.

              • Jum

                Corporates and big business don’t deserve government help through tax breaks, since their accountants ensure they don’t pay any.

                I’m looking forward to the no businesses. There’s already no jobs.

              • Colonial Viper

                If the middle (or any) class want a bigger share of the pie they should earn it. No one should be “given” artificial wage levels, no one “deserves” anything, everyone should work for and earn what they are worth. Wage levels are as much a part of the market as prices. Supply and demand.

                Meh. The workers more than earn their pay.

                But the economic surplus that they produce is taken by the capitalists, who make sure that workers get the absolute minimum possible in return.

                Then there is the tens of millions that Hotchins paid himself. What did he do for society to “earn” that huh. Oh but I see, its a different rule for the rich, right? The rich don’t have to earn their money, they can just game the system without actually producing anything of value for the community – or in fact, they can destroy value for the community – and make their millions.

                You back that right? Capitalists being clever with capital? A different rule of earning for them, than for the many, isn’t it?

                Wage levels are as much a part of the market as prices. Supply and demand.

                Yeah thats why NAT enacts wage suppression tactics and high unemployment tactics every time they gain power.

                Make sure there is an excess labour pool, reduced employment demand, and the workers who are left have to accept being paid shit.

                And if no one can be bothered taking the risks when one part of the equation prices itself out of the market you have no business and no jobs.

                hey mate what are you talking about 20% youth unemployment is here today right now. There are no jobs here today right now under your system.

                The one you back – was that for the good of the country, or just the good of the few?

  14. jcuknz 14

    LOL …I think you slipped up here Marty. This is what RWNJs have been saying all last year and LWNJ have been saying its not so ……>>> (minus GST increase, which is, just barely, offset by income tax cuts<<<
    But I agree that the minimum wage should increase as a penalty on those who let the CoL rise and there should be a similar but lower amount for untrained youngsters starting out.
    It doesn't matter that recovery is slowed a bit if the lower rungs of society are being properly compensated for the CoL rise.

    • Blighty 14.1

      no. National was claiming that the tax cuts made everyone better off. In reality the income tax cuts (which no-one denies happned) at best compensate for the GDT increases.

      NZIER – hardly leftwing – says 60% of households have seen their tax cuts eaten up in the price rises already. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/4407809/Higher-GST-prices-eat-tax-cut-gains-for-most

      • jcuknz 14.1.1

        The Tax cuts were not supposed to do anything other than that but some left wing twits thought they should be compensated for rises coming from the foolish actions of the previous government. In the usual manner of politicians the current government has continued with a slight variation of them despite rubbishing them when in opposition. Anyone who expects meaningful tax cuts for the multitude in times of recession is a little naive I think..
        In any case that is your claim, my memory tells me they merely said that nobody would be worse off from the re-arrangement of the taxation system.
        But the left has been blathering on about it for so long I’m sure their minds are quite muddled and incapable of appreciating the true state of affairs.
        Most people are worse off today than a year ago, not because of the tax changes, but because of all the things which have gone up.
        The tax changes were supposed to be neutral with a slight bias in favour of the tax-payer and they were, but they were never intended as a bountiful pay out.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          The tax changes were supposed to be neutral with a slight bias in favour of the tax-payer and they were, but they were never intended as a bountiful pay out.

          Unless you were a millionaire earner, in which case you got an extra $1000-$2000 p.w. in the pocket for no extra work.

          Is that not “bountiful” enough for you?

          The tax changes were supposed to be neutral

          Yeah apart from English creating a $300M p.w. deficit, a chunk of which was unfunded. Maybe that $9.1B over 4 years he gifted to the rich through tax cuts might come in handy now?

        • orange whip? 14.1.1.2

          Actually jcuknz, I think you’ll find that before the election the tax cuts were supposed to make ordinary working people “north of $50 a week” better off.

          You’re correct though that after the election this was downgraded to an “aspirational” target and expectations were continually eroded until by the time the tax shift occurred the selling point was “revenue neutrality” with regard to GST (but not accounting for ACC, car rego, fuel levies, drinks & cigs or any of the other tax increases).

          So apparently it was all for nowt cos the govt still has the same tax take overall and everyone breaks even. Although strangely it doesn’t apply to the very wealthy who got thousands of dollars extra a week but we don’t like to talk about that as it’s, you know, envious or something.

          • jcuknz 14.1.1.2.1

            Actually orange whip before the election the depression had not taken effect so what was said then were expression of what could be done in a thriving society and what happened later was pragmatic in view of the recession starting to, or hitting. This is the whole point about the stupid and pointless saying Yeah Yeah you said different back when Noah was a child.

            ‘envious or something’ … I’ve got better things to do than bother about the wealthy .. Instead of bothering about how it worked out for the few and blathering on endlessly one should talk about the many. Because what the few wealthy got when split amongst the multitude would amount to crumbs whereas concentrated it could do some good.

            • orange whip? 14.1.1.2.1.1

              When Noah was a child?

              Na, I’m talking about 2 years ago. Just before the election, the one where half the country voted to give themselves $50 bucks a week.

              I’m not even going to respond to your second paragraph, I think you’ll probably think better of it when you’ve sobered up.

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.2.1.2

              Because what the few wealthy got when split amongst the multitude would amount to crumbs whereas concentrated it could do some good.

              Well this is a nonsense. Although the aristocratic elite love it when they see the serfs voluntarily prostrating at their feet.

              Top 20 wealthiest people in NZ personally control $30B. There is a lot of common wealth for the community which could be built, repaired and upgraded with that capital.

  15. jcuknz 15

    Marty >>>In reality, the best way to lower unemployment would be for the government (the country’s largest employer) to up its education, health, and sustainable infrastructure investment<<<

    Surely this was what we got rid of as a result of Rogernomics … thousands of workers on subsistent wages in make work schemes such as NZR, only today they are on the dole. Perhaps the difference is that they had to go to work five days a week and felt the better for that.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Perhaps the difference is that they had to go to work five days a week and felt the better for that.

      only an idiot would suggest that taking on people to build parks, schools, low cost housing, to look after our elderly and infirm is unproductive ‘make work’.

      You only think its ‘make work’ because it serves the aims of a fairer society, instead of the aims of your capitalist masters.

      If the private sector refuses to provide employment opportunities then it is up to the public sector to step up and fill the gap.

      • jcuknz 15.1.1

        I don’t have any capitalistic masters … LOL … and I agree with you CV as to what should be done … along with youth wages to help youngsters start properly in life. Just because a few were victimised the many are held back.

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    These RWNJs provide a really entertaining game of whack-a-mole. Bit tedious after a while though. Notice how they never focus on what the wealthy are doing? How much they are earning and their share of society’s assets? Instead they try and nickel and dime it around the minimum wage etc.

    Interesting huh.

    Making the serfs fight for drippings off the lord’s table.

  17. Bruce 17

    I feel that National and its supporters always try to make this issue more complicated than it actually is. Right now, peoples’ incomes have stagnated or they are are going backwards. This logically has to hurt New Zealand businesses as people stop spending money other than buying their basic weekly necessities.
    When will people see through the “Catching up with Australian wage rates” charade promised by this government before coming to power?

  18. Jum 18

    The ones with it will never share even though most of what they own they took from others in the first place and don’t want to give it back. Either that, or they created it like JKeyll, which is even worse.

  19. Colonial Viper 19

    I just don’t buy into mainstream economic (read: Keynesian) theory. It has so obviously utterly failed us. Trying to control business cycles through central planning has led us down this road.

    Since you have made completely the wrong diagnosis in assessing the Global Financial Crisis, simultaneously ignoring Greenspan’s surprise that both markets and investors act irrationally (contravening your *beliefs* around the free market) why should be we listen to any of your suggestions?

    The banks and large capital holders did what they needed to in order to game the system. Stop letting them.

    • Rusty Shackleford 19.1

      What is wrong with the quoted comment? I’ve never stated that I believe in the rational market theory. The banks gamed the system by manipulating the planners. Therefore, what I propose will in fact achieve your goal of destroying the bankers!

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        More BS.

        Get it into your head: the capitalists do not want your free market.

        They have tilted the playing field in their favour and that is the way that they will keep it.

        What is wrong with the quoted comment?

        Because we have not had a Keynesian government in NZ FOREVER so how can you say it has failed!

        We have had years of Chicago School free market rubbish however which has suppressed NZ wages and driven 530,000 kiwi born NZ’ers offshore.

        And you think more of the same is the answer.

        The banks gamed the system by manipulating the planners. Therefore, what I propose will in fact achieve your goal of destroying the bankers!

        Explain to me how you think the bankers “manipulated the planners” . Because I think you won’t be able to say.

        From my perspective though its simple: the people who were supposed to be regulating the system…Greenspan et al…bought into the failed free market BS that you support.

        Your head is full of worthless economic ideas.

        • Pete 19.1.1.1

          capitalists don’t produce anything themselves.

          A lot do, small business owners, owner operators. Most farmers.

          • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1.1

            Here’s the rub: these small business owner operators are ones whom Marx would frequently call “Petit-bourgeois”.

            These are people who weren’t of the working or lower class so to speak, but still had to rely on their own labour hours to get a job done to make a living. Many in this class can be professional or semi professional workers, nevertheless they are not truly bourgeois – they do not make money from money and they often do not make money off the labour hours of others.

            In the modern sense however we also have a class of contractor who is so-called “independent” but in reality has to be at the beck and call of a capitalist employer and they have very little power in how to choose to do their own work. In some senses these contractors have it worse off than working class employees and do not necessarily earn any more than if they were an employee.

            BTW Pete most of the people you talk about aren’t capitalists – they don’t simply make money from money. Some do of course, like farmers who farm just to pay the daily bills but are really in the game for property capital gains speculation etc. Now they are capitalists.

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