The only way National know to grow the economy

Written By: - Date published: 5:15 pm, September 10th, 2014 - 19 comments
Categories: Economy, election 2014, employment, john key, national, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags: , , , ,

On Firstline this morning, John Key tried to compare National’s and Labour’s policies by saying “You can’t grow the economy when you restrict labour laws.” His meaning is clear: Labour’s policies on work and wages won’t grow the economy, National’s will.

It’s not just a nonsense, it’s scary.

Ignore the fact that raising the minimum wage, as Labour will, doesn’t cost jobs and can actually help companies expand markets. Ignore the fact that inequality is lower and the middle class are better off when unions are stronger in the workplace. Ignore the fact that Labour’s policy for manufacturing is in line with the best thinking worldwide for building a strong economy on a foundation of complex value-added products which support high-paid, skilled jobs.

What John Key is saying is, “Hey, hardworking New Zealanders. You know how you keep getting more productive even though your wages don’t keep up? Under my government, you’ll get more of that, and as long as companies have record profits and their CEOs keep inflating the ‘average wage’ I’ll say it’s good news.”

It’s not just unrealistic, it’s pessimistic – if you assume Key means what he says. Here are some other ways of looking at it:

“We can’t grow the economy if your boss has to pay you enough to live with dignity.”

“We can’t grow the economy if you’re protected from being fired for no reason in your first 3 months on the job.”

“We can’t grow the economy if you’re allowed to have a tea break.”

“We can’t grow the economy if you join unions and bargain for decent pay rises.”

No wonder Bill English couldn’t come up with a single new idea to boost our economy; apparently the only way National knows how to make growth happen is by grinding hardworking New Zealanders further down into the mud.

19 comments on “The only way National know to grow the economy”

  1. dave 1

    his rock star economy has delivered jack shit for a a lot of us in the way of wage rises and his may be some what if when tax cut wouldn’t even buy a stuffed rat key and his government can drop dead.

  2. Tracey 2

    hmmmm didnt the economy grow under labour who had more restrictive labour laws than currently. ..

    it sounds like ruth Richardson is telling us to keep our belts tightened and wait for the trickle… its john key pissing on us this time

  3. Tracey 3

    our minister of tourism likes mining too

    Shock as company gets go-ahead in the Karangahake GorgeTuesday, 9 September 2014, 2:23 pm
    Press Release: Coromandel Watchdog

    Shock as company gets given go-ahead in the Karangahake Gorge

    Extensive mining activity is due to start in the beautiful bush clad hills behind the iconic Karangahake Rail Trail.

    New Talisman Gold Mines received an “Authority to Enter and Operate” from the Department of Conservation in August this year and – combined with their resource consent from Hauraki District Council – means it can begin its bulk sampling and trial mining program; mining around 600 tonnes of ore a month.

    Hauraki District Council issued the resource consent without public notification and Karangahake resident Mark Beach, who has been watching the mining company trucking out material over the weeks past his front door and has found cracks appearing in the road has said he is angry locals were not officially consulted.

    Iwi spokesperson Winn Brownlee of Ngāti Tamaterā said local iwi were strongly opposed to mining in Karangahake.

    “Talisman Gold did come to see me and we objected to the mine, just as our forebears did. “They shouldn’t be touching anything close to our [river] as there is no guarantee that they’re are not going to pollute our waterways,” she said.

    “All our forests [and birdlife] should be coming back – it’s a place where everyone should be able to go to and is very significant to Ngati Tamatera.”

    Coromandel Watchdog spokesperson Ruby Powell said the consents should not have been granted.

    “This area suffered drastic pollution from mining historically and is now recovering and regenerating.

    “Today the area has a sustainable economy developing from people coming to enjoy the natural environment with many DOC walks and the Hauraki Rail Trail winding through the Karangahake Gorge.

    The Rail Trail was listed as one of the 14 wonders of New Zealand on the 100% Pure New Zealand website, she said.

    “Both iwi and locals we have talked to are opposed to mining in the gorge and the Hauraki District Council and the Department of Conservation should never have given the New Talisman project the go-ahead.”

    “We have had pledges of support from all over the globe of people wanting to support us, locals and iwi in our bid to save the gorge and we will use all peaceful means available to do so,” Said Powell.

    A social media and mass emailing campaign has begun to ask the candidates standing for the Coromandel Electorate to take a stance on mining in the Karangahake Gorge, there is a protest planned for this coming Sunday 3pm and a public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 16th September at 6pm in the Paeroa War Memorial Hall.

  4. disturbed 4

    Key is a dirty politician of the early 1900’s ilk.

    Rip shit & Bust. He hasn’t a environmental bone in his body.

    His plan to turn all regional rail corridors into cycle ways is so daft.

    We know from NIWA water shed studies that heavy trucks are causing rain runoff of road pollution, Tyre dust and oil drips are just two of many, with brake dust and exhaust particles are all delivered through the road drains and culverts and into the land and waters of our country.

    Whereas rail has no tyres and uses only brakes less often due to the rail gradient being low. Fuel use is 8 times less and air pollution is only a fraction of road freight.

    National is making our country a dirty environment.

    I fear for the Coromandel when the trucks roll out of the peninsular with the pollution and noise and roads will crumble.

    That cycleway should have been a rail carrying products instead. uuuggg!

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Whereas rail has no tyres and uses only brakes less often due to the rail gradient being low. Fuel use is 8 times less and air pollution is only a fraction of road freight.

      And just imagine what would happen to those stats if we made all trains electric. Braking is regenerative until the train needs to stop. No fuel use at all and no air pollution from use. And they’d be quieter as well.

  5. Ad 5

    +1,000 Stephanie.

    The New Zealand middle class did great when we had a strong union base, strong public service sector, and a strong relationship between big business and state economic direction.

    Check out Joe Biden’s recent speech to the unions. It’s a knockout.

  6. irascible 6

    Last night the National party candidate in Botany declared that National was helping the people of NZ by letting the market run the economy. He had no idea about working, no idea about anything. Totally out of touch with reality.

    • Foreign Waka 6.1

      Jami Lee-Ross is just 28 and has only ever worked for government. I want to see him confront the real world and get a real job in the real economy, run by the market. Because by his standards, we don’t need no government anymore.

  7. Foreign Waka 7

    This is getting more and more bizarre. Is Mr Key really getting just bad advise from someone who lived in a cave for several decades or is he himself coming up with these outdated ideas? NZ will never make it with such an approach, never ever. Or is he wanting to apease Australia’s mining corps so that NZ get their investment? Lets just say, we can do without business practices as explained in an article – webpage by the guardian commentisfree/2014/jul/28/make-no-mistake-labour-laws-do-nothing-to-hurt-productivity
    Is he not aware that places like India and China are having high productivity but a grate many of the population is living in abject poverty and at the same time completely ruin the environment? Does he not know that many of these motions will violate fundamentally universal human rights?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Is Mr Key really getting just bad advise from someone who lived in a cave for several decades or is he himself coming up with these outdated ideas?


      Does he not know that many of these motions will violate fundamentally universal human rights?

      Yes, he knows, he doesn’t care. Or, to be more precise, he seems to think that the only people with any rights are the rich which is why he keeps giving them more while taking them from the many.

  8. Macro 8

    apparently the only way National knows how to make growth happen is by grinding hardworking New Zealanders further down into the mud.

    Actually they don’t “know” this, they may truly believe it – but being by and large slow learners, they have not as yet grasped the fact that by denying the majority a fair share in the economy they stunt not only the well-being of those who are cast aside, but also themselves. Greed may be the fundamental principle of the market economy, but it has never produced anything of any worth in human history.

  9. Wht NEXT 9

    Key is an old world english tory in his thinking he believes in the same colonial rubbish that led NZ to change from being cannon fodder in the 1st WW to a socialist democracy where we had the right to say no to being a serf state in the south pacific .
    He obviously must have been in love when growing up in a state house with ideal of the Canterbury aristocracy that owned peoples lives to the point of death which not many years before people had left Britain to escape the hopelessness of that life, to spew out such arrogant outdated crap that has been put out in the article that this is the source of this reply
    God help us to defend our country from this shite that Key thinks is the answer
    Key is just another money controller with no real sense about true progress in a country like NZ and one day food will be so expensive that we will be and example of a badly mismanaged economy and all Keys bullshit will be on all of us and we will be in extremes like India
    He needs to loose this election to help this country

    • cogito 9.1

      Key is probably more of a kiwi Bernie Madoff than an old English tory… and he deserves the same fate for his lies and deceit.

      • disturbed 9.1.1

        What a crock tonight’s Leaders debate Key looked like a mad dog, while Cunliffe was cool calm and collected.

        I have a new name for Key— “motor mouth”

        He reminds me of a high pressure US car salesman we met in Florida once.

  10. Zolan 10

    So, the only way to grow productivity (“The Economy”) is to disembowel the engine of productivity and sell the survivors as scrap.
    Only a genius could be so counterintuitive, so it must be true.

  11. Nic the NZer 11

    Thanks Stephanie. Yes there is a better way, none of this grinding process needs to happen.

  12. Marie 12

    Why is it that we spend so much time looking at what parties promise us, and the policies they propose, rather than what their records say? (I’m including myself here). I’ve done a bit of research after last nights debate and Stats NZ says that unemployment went up by 27,000 in Labours last year in office, but in the last 12 months has declined by 17,000, and is expected to keep declining. Food prices increased by 18.6% with Labour, but have only increased by 1.3% with National. Power prices went up 22.9% with Labour, to where its now halved with National. Living costs increased by 9.5% while with National it was 3.3%. Even the price of fruit and vegetables increased by 33.2% when Labour wanted to remove GST off produce, and with National the increase has only been 1.4%.
    While it is the policies that affect these changes, these facts (among a few others) say that we haven’t been doing too badly – unemployment decreasing, lower prices and affordable food.. I feel that changing the current policies under new government would see more taxes, a hugely expanded state and an unstable, unhealthy government. With National we could expect a similar 3 years, but with the need for fine tuning for new policies. I’m not sure I feel that Cunliffe is quite as competent as Helen Clark was, not to mention their party would be smaller in government, which would mean they depend more on other parties. Which leads me to believe that the stats would be worse than the ones I’ve just mentioned.

  13. Stuart Munro 13

    There’s a bit of a disconnect here – National have not, and never did plan to grow the economy. A major source of ‘earnings’ for their supporters is capital gains from distressed assets. These are not accessible in healthy growing economies except in the case of ‘fortuitous’ circumstances like Christchurch. This also explains their obdurate opposition to the CGT – they’d certainly never make anything comparable from conventional trade or service provision.

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