Written By: - Date published: 9:17 am, May 13th, 2018 - 40 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, class war, cost of living, Economy, employment, labour, unemployment, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags:
This is as good a year as it is going to get to squeeze your employer.
We in New Zealand have grown to expect that the only remaining squeeze against capital resides with the state. And sure, left and right always expect a Labour-led state to always do more.
But it’s also time to recognize our own agency.
How? The state is shifting substantial levers to address poverty, but it’s never going to be enough. This 2018 budget is going to be the biggest we have seen in several decades.
The state is proposing to ‘future-proof‘ the economy. But they define that term to mean ensure they retain enough cash to keep the country out of trouble.
Yet ‘Future-proofing’ for actual worker-citizens really means: we have terrific wages and salaries to get our own selves out. That won’t be achieved with increased Working For Families subsidies.
The scale of Budget 2018’s spending ambition means even greater capacity constraints than there already are. Some worry about whether this scale of public funding will ‘crowd out’ the private sector.
But this government is clearly targeting this expenditure at services that are already public in great majority (education and health), or almost completely (transport). So it is hard to see private sector investment directly displaced.
Wage and salary increases do not appear to be effectively achieved with income tax cuts. Under the previous government, there were income tax cuts in 2010. But 70% of people surveyed said they had made no difference.
So tax cuts don’t do the trick. The harder thing to shift is greed. We know the historical patterns about wealth redistribution over the last 30 years.
We remain a low-wage and commodity based economy, and we know that drags us all down.
Still within that economy, still too many industries fail to plan, then fail, then complain about it and still try to pay nothing much more than the minimum wage.
Both the public and private sectors need us, and as labour resources continue to shrink, they need us more and more.
We have not yet seen the government’s changes to workplace negotiation really lift wages.
But all the pressures are all here. This is an excellent confluence to act against Generation Wealth.
To carry out their businesses, and to carry out such enormous budgeted public programmes, both the state and business need us more than ever. There just aren’t enough of us to do it all.
The 2018 budgetary surge, the persistently low headline unemployment with seasonal capacity crises, and a persistently low wage economy, point to a really exploitable moment.
So my simple urge to you today is this: if you are working, this month either join a union, or bargain really hard this Performance Review season. This is your moment.
Don’t bemoan the loss of egalitarianism.
This year you deserve a higher wage or salary, so go get it.
Both the state and the businesses know the only alternative to paying handsomely for your loyalty is to import lower-skilled people at a higher cost from overseas.
Make them show you the money.
Workers of New Zealand, squeeze.