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The trans-Tasman wage gap

Written By: - Date published: 2:01 pm, April 1st, 2008 - 107 comments
Categories: national, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Now this is rich. National, the party that gave New Zealand its low wage economy, is running the line that the trans-Tasman wage gap is “Labour’s legacy”. You’d think such a shameless rewriting of history would be laughed off in a second, but it seems in the age of the memory hole even senior political journalists can be fooled.

So let’s get a few things straight. When National entered government in 1990 the wage gap was 18.9%. By the time they were kicked out in 1999, the wage gap had increased to 28.4% – a whopping 50% increase over nine years. Under Labour the wage gap has not moved, despite the minerals boom in Australia.

gap 450

The reason for this is simple. National’s policy on wages was deliberately designed to remove minimum employment conditions, restrict the ability of workers to bargain for higher wages, let the minimum wage fall behind inflation and use high unemployment as a lever to put a lid on wage increases. The catchcry then, as now, was ‘flexibility’, a term that gave bosses the power to ‘reduce labour costs’ by cutting your pay and gave you the right to go to bed at night not knowing if you’d have a job in the morning.

As a result, most Kiwis’ average weekly earnings dropped or stagnated under National – by 1999 incomes had risen by just 0.3% after inflation. By comparison, eight years after Labour became government average weekly earnings have increased by 9.3% – more than thirty times National’s increase.

earnings 450

The real reason for the wage gap is clear – National’s attack on New Zealand wages.

So when National says Labour caused the wage gap, they’re lying. When they say it can be solved by tax cuts, they’re lying. And when they say they’ll close the wage gap if given a chance, just remember they’re hoping to do so with the very same policies that caused the wage gap to expand in the first place.

107 comments on “The trans-Tasman wage gap ”

  1. Higherstandard 1

    Tane is this before or after tax ?

  2. Tane 2

    Before tax. This story is about the wage gap, not about the tax gap. Trying to compare after-tax incomes is fraught with difficulties, and not just on which taxes to count and which not to count (capital gains, state taxes, GST etc).

    When taxes are cut, social services are cut, and that hits the incomes of working people. If National had been in in 2005 I might have had a higher after-tax income based on massive tax cuts, but I’d be paying interest on my rather hefty student loan and no longer able to get cheaper doctor’s visits, WFF or Kiwisaver tax credits.

  3. Thanks for fishing this info out, Tane. I’d just like to add to this bit:

    So when National says Labour caused the wage gap, they’re lying. When they say it can be solved by tax cuts, they’re lying.

    Let’s add to that “When right-wing bloggers and their yapping commenters say “Liarbore” caused the wage gap, they’re lying. When they say it can be solved by tax cuts, they’re lying. Generally, when their mouths are open, they’re lying.”

  4. Higherstandard 4

    Thanks Tane can you point to any data on the gap in take home wages which may be of more relevance to income earners.

  5. Tane 5

    I’ve linked to National’s figures on after-tax wages in the post. As I said, they’re incredibly misleading because apart from being selective in the taxes they count, they also ignore the social wage.

    There’s also the fact that if you’re going to close the wage gap it has to be done through higher wages. No amount of tax cuts will close a 30% wage gap.

  6. Steve Pierson 6

    How will JK’s $6 a week tax cut close the wage gap? especially while wages are stagnating?

  7. Higherstandard 7

    Sorry social wage .. not a term I’m familiar with

  8. Daveo 8

    I can’t help you there Steve but labour costs will be coming down for Key’s rich mates, and the tax cuts will help reduce wage demands from staff. It’s a win-win situation.

  9. Tane 9

    HS, it’s a reference to the benefits citizens get from public services paid for by taxation. Things like cheaper doctor’s visits and interest free student loans.

    It’s a response to many on the right who think cutting taxes will make everyone richer, ignoring the impact a reduction in public services would have on working people.

  10. Higherstandard 10

    Attached link for those interested in after tax differences .. scroll to bottom of article and download word document.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0803/S00489.htm

  11. mike 11

    “Before tax. This story is about the wage gap, not about the tax gap”

    Its one in the same for your the battlers on struggle St. Tane.
    Gross income comparisons are irrelevant when we are getting severely gauged by Dr Cullen.

  12. Steve Pierson 12

    social wage: the goods and services that a person receives without charge from the state, public services.

    Getting these goods and services free means you don’t need to have money to pay for them. Since an income is really an entitlement to consume goods and services to the value of that income (moeny is just a medium of exchange), receiving goods and services free of charge is the same in effect as an income. When more goods and services are being provided free of charge the person’s wealth increases, just as it would if the person’s income increased and they were able to purchase more.

  13. Higherstandard 13

    Mike

    He’s not guageing as well as gouging is he ?

  14. Matthew Pilott 14

    mike, without any tax in New Zealand, there would still be a wage gap with Australia (i.e. us gross vs them net) – that make it simple enough for you?

  15. Steve Pierson 15

    Well put MP.

    Tax cuts cannot solve the wage gap.

    And, as Tane says, tax cuts are not free, they come at the cost of a reduction in the social wage.

  16. dave 16

    Tane, if you have time can you do a graph for after tax income ( ie take home pay) or are you too busy working today?

  17. Tane 17

    Its one in the same for your the battlers on struggle St. Tane.

    As is the social wage. That’s the point – if you’re going to count tax coming out of a workers’ weekly earnings you have to include the public services going in as well. National’s figures are only telling half the story.

    There’s also the point of the post – National says the wage gap is “Labour’s legacy”. The facts show it’s not. It wasn’t lack of tax cuts that led to the 50% increase in the wage gap under National.

  18. Tane 18

    Hi dave, I’m actually pretty busy – I wrote this post up last night. Anyway, I wouldn’t bother making a misleading graph on after-tax income for the reasons I’ve already explained.

  19. Can you email me the spreadsheet for the second graph? I have some very illuminating data I’d like to superimpose on it.

  20. Tane 20

    I/S – No worries.

  21. higherstandard 21

    social wage: the goods and services that a person receives without charge from the state, public services.

    Bit misleading most of us pay for these via taxes either corporate or private.

  22. Tane 22

    most of us pay for these via taxes either corporate or private.

    Yes, HS, which is my point.

  23. Attached link for those interested in after tax differences…

    Through some oversight, Bill has neglected to define “after-tax” in his statement. This is the variation of lying called “lies of omission.”

  24. higherstandard 24

    I agree personal Tax cuts alone will not solve the wage gap vs Australia they will go a small way however what really needs to be addressed by this governement and the next is our poor performance in labour productivity and it’s effect on GDP per capita where we have performed poorly vs Australia for a number of years unless this addressed little will change whether there is a Labour of National led government.

  25. higherstandard 25

    Tane

    Not wanting to be pendantic but the Nat’s have been fairly explicit that they won’t be cutting front line social services to fund tax cuts.

  26. Steve Pierson 26

    But they won’t be increasing them either. There will be a trade-off – higher social wage or tax cuts.

  27. Tane 27

    You’ve got to remember as well National is basically saying that if Labour had cut taxes at the same level as Howard in the last eight years working families would better off.

    Of course, that would mean no Kiwisaver, no WFF, no cheaper doctors’ visits and no interest free student loans, all for a couple of bucks a week for us and a big fat tax cut for National’s rich mates.

  28. higherstandard 28

    SP

    Not necessarily – guess we’ll just have to wait to see their election platform.

  29. infused 29

    “Of course, that would mean no Kiwisaver, no WFF, no cheaper doctors’ visits and no interest free student loans, all for a couple of bucks a week for us and a big fat tax cut for National’s rich mates.”

    Where did you get that info from? Oh right… More bs lefty talk. I think you guys are right sometimes, but when you go posting shit like this you really show your true colours.

  30. Murray 30

    It’s all very well to harp on about tax cuts resulting in a reduction in social spending. In my experience it seems to be the ones not contributing that consume the bulk of the resources.

  31. Tane 31

    Where did you get that info from?

    National opposed Kiwisaver, WFF, cheaper doctors’ visits and interest free student loans. If they’d be government this term these schemes would have been scrapped to pay for the 2005 tax cuts, which overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy.

    This is the trade-off between tax cuts and the social wage that National thinks Labour should have made over the last eight years.

  32. Steve Pierson 32

    infused. National voted against working for families, it opposed interest-free loans, kiwisaver, cheaper doctors’ visits and dozens of other increases in the provision of social wage/ public services. If National had been in power the last nine years instead of Labour, those policies would not be in place.

  33. dave 33

    Tane, are you saying that the extra income through not cutting taxes paid for labour s policies? If so you`d also agree, then that not adjusting tax bands for inflation was the real reason Labour could afford its policies, not failure to cut tax.

    Cullen’s failure to make that adjustment means that he has increased income tax, in real terms, by about $1.37 billion per annum simply through inaction on tax. Inhstead he gave those people a tax refund if they had kids – but you had to apply for it. It’s called Working for Families.

  34. insider 34

    Yes they may have opposed certain schemes but that’s their job and I doubt even the most bias supporter could say there are NO policy alternatives ever. It does not mean they don’t have equally valid alternatives. eg They were concerned about distortions/contradictions of WFF so why support that if you think there is a less distortionary way?

    It seems a slightly childish meme – “they voted against it”. I’d be more worried if they kept voting for govt initiatives as that could be a sign of a one party state.

  35. dave 35

    Tane are you saying that Labours policies were paid for by its failure to cut tax – ie: theres a trade of between cutting taxes and paying for services. If so, you`ll agree that Labours failure to increase tax bands for inflation also paid for Labour’s policies ( and its surplus)

    Cullen’s failure to adjust tax bands means that in real terms $1.37billion extra has been paid in tax each year – and some high income people can get relief only if they have at least three kids.

  36. Tane 36

    Yes they may have opposed certain schemes

    National wanted to abolish these schemes and hey, they had to pay for their tax cuts somehow. If they’d kept WFF (unlikely) it would have been something else that got the chop – health spending for example. They certainly wouldn’t have had the money to pay for Kiwisaver Mark II or a variety of other programmes, even if they changed their minds about them.

    See, the actual schemes they end up cutting aren’t the point, I was just using examples. The point is that tax cuts mean a cut in social spending, they’re not free money like National paints them. Therefore issuing figures of ‘after tax incomes’ and pretending everyone is richer is only telling half the story.

  37. randal 37

    CUT THE CRAP—– wages will go up when employers pay higher wages…q.e.d.

  38. Tane 38

    Dave, certainly there’s been extra tax revenue as rising incomes have pushed more people into the top tax bracket, and I’m not against the idea of an adjustment for fiscal drag. I’m not sure what your point is though – what’s any of this got to do with the trans-Tasman wage gap?

  39. dave 39

    The point is Tane, that people dont spend their tax money. It goes to the Government. The money people spend is based on their take home pay – which is why I asked if you could do a graph on take home pay showingthe gap between the take home pay that aussies get and what we get.
    For someone who is rather busy, and hasnt got time to do a graph, youre doing a lot of comments today. Are you on sick leave or something?

  40. Tane 40

    Dave, you don’t seem to understand what the social wage is. Have a read through the thread and get back to me.

    And how I schedule my workload is my own business. Keep making personal attacks and I’ll ban you for a month.

  41. insider 41

    I think National’s concern is that diverting income to recycle it as a social wage is far less efficient in delivering improvements than just allowing people to keep more of their own money and decide how best to prioritise it in teh same way as you are best placed to schedule your workload.

    is there any evidence the social wage is more effective than private wages in delivering outcomes for individuals?

  42. dave 42

    Tane,

    Im well aware on what the social wage is, it has got higher and higher with no economic benefit. had it had more econmic benefit it could have increased wages – which of course would have increased the tax take.

    Given that I am not making personal attacks, why the threats?

  43. Im well aware on what the social wage is, it has got higher and higher with no economic benefit.

    ie, you in fact have no idea what the social wage is.

  44. dave 44

    The social wage is usually taken to mean the social expenditure of government and underpins economic policy. The social dividend is a central component.

    So social expenditure has gone down?

  45. Ari 45

    Insider- National certainly claims it’s less efficient. Have they got any good research to back up that claim? They haven’t been able to point out any good policies to make the public sector more efficient without cutting services or dictating what people can research or what films get public funding. They haven’t made any convincing announcements on how the private sector would be more efficient, especially after previous sell-offs of social enterprises failed spectacularly, and after their gutting of the public sector tanked our economy in the 1990s.

    In America, they don’t base their healthcare system off a social wage. This is one of the biggest demands that American people actively push on their politicians- they call it “universal healthcare.” Are they wrong to want it? Surely by your reasoning it ought to be less efficient, even despite the fact that health insurers base their businesses on trying not to pay their clients what they owe them.

  46. randal 46

    When Ronald Reagan was U.S. president he never tried to privatise the C.A.B. because even he wouldnt trust private enterprise on that one. Private capital only goes where it can make a profit and the only way it can make a profit is to cut costs, raise prices and lower quality and standards. It is very EFFICIENT at doing that.

  47. Draco TB 48

    is there any evidence the social wage is more effective than private wages in delivering outcomes for individuals?

    Yes – the USA’s healthcare system. Costs 3x more than ours, isn’t as good and only reaches 5/6 of the population.

  48. naturalpartyofgovt 49

    Would I be correct in guessing you are using median wage figures and not average wage figures?

    I wonder if you have the figures for the lower and upper quartiles as well?
    Combining your data with DPF’s data would suggest a pretty clear picture of low and middle income workers stagnating under national and increasing under labour. While high income earners increasing fasting under national.

  49. Razorlight 50

    Everyone have a read of DPF’s rebuttal.

    At least he is explaining how he reached his conclusion and where he got his figures from.

  50. Occasional Observer 51

    It looks like the Standard’s attempt to regurgitate EPMU and Beehive spin on wage comparisons just doesn’t ring true. The Standard hasn’t come up with any evidence to back their claims: instead they have two pretty graphs, unsourced, without any referential data.

    DPF just nailed you guys. Reporting before-tax incomes, without taking inflation into account, is just plain dishonest.

  51. What I like about Davey’s so-called rebuttal is his offer to review the Standard’s data for them. It’s like he thinks people want the DPF big-tick of approval! After the statistical sophism he’s displayed in the past he really is kidding? Surely? Or maybe he really thinks he is that important…

  52. Come to think of it there is considerable doubt about the facts behind many of Davey’s posts. Perhaps he can email me his evidence for issues such as where he runs curia from – I’ll be happy to try and work out why there is a disconnect for him.

  53. Razorlight 54

    no figures or sources yet….nailed by farrar

  54. Robinsod… stop faffing about and give us the sources. Nobody is falling for your stalling tactics.

  55. James Kearney 56

    Razorlight- the post says these are after-inflation figures.

  56. Robinsod stop faffing about and give us the sources. Nobody is falling for your stalling tactics.

    Clint – I don’t have the source data because I’m not part of the standard. What are you going to do next demand answers from Russel Brown over a NRT post? Nice one fool.

  57. Tane 58

    Hi Clint, I’ve provided the figures to DPF. They originate from Treasury and have been in use for more than a month – see http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1182

    By the way, you still photoshopping Helen Clark’s head onto transexuals, or have you decided to grow up?

  58. Occasional Observer 59

    The Standard doesn’t like to admit that the only source they’ve got is the ninth floor of the beehive: the graph was prepared by them, and the spin-doctor authors of the Standard don’t have the statistical analysis to back it up, because they’ve had other people in government do it for them

    [Tane: The source data was provided by Trevor Mallard’s office to unions and a range of journalists, that’s how we got hold of it. The actual data was prepared by Treasury. I’ve actually been looking for this ever since it was first brought up in Parliament more than a month ago, it’s actually quite old. But that’s beside the point – continue making baseless allegations and I’ll ban you, as per our policy]

  59. Kimble 60

    Okay then.

    How long does it take for a new government to affect the economy? Unemployment, wages, prices, interest rates, currency. How long does it take before the impact of the policies of the previous guys gets swamped by the impact of the new guys?

    18 months? 3 years?

    Perhaps we should base it on how long the new guys blame the old guys for everything bad. For Labour would that be 5 or 6 years? In fact, you Unionists are doing it right now, blaming what National did 15 years ago for the wage gap now.

    Anyone that seriously tries to argue that Labour had an impact from the start of their first term is retarded. If you are going to make that argument, gtfor.

    So what do we see from the middle of Nationals time in power? Around 1996. We see an upturn right? And if we do the fair thing and attribute to National the stats in the first year or two (or three) of Labours “Reign of Error”©, we can see a definite trend.

    Labour have continued to reap the rewards of the tough decisions National had to make in their previous term in power.

    Labour have done “feel-good” things like increase the minimum wage [which may simply cause a small increase in welfare today for a large increase in umemployment in the future] but the hard yards were done way back before they took power.

    Labour have had every opportunity to make the changes you think are necessary to close the gap with Australia. Even if they cannot do it today, they can set it up for the future. But there is nothing coming out of the Labour camp to indicate that they even consider this a real priority.

    If they dont know how to do it, they are incompetent and not worthy to lead. If they do know and aren’t doing it because it is too hard, then they are too weak to lead.

    You can glossy it up as much as you like, but the standard at The Standard is still Everything Bad is because of National, Everything Good is because of Labour. (EBNEGL)

    PS. Doesnt kiwiblogblog have a complete emotional breakdown whenever DPF presents a chart without the Y-axis starting at zero?

  60. Kimble 61

    God forbid you release the information in an excel file so that everyone other than Labours poodles in the unions and the media can use it and scrutinise it.

  61. AndrewE 62

    I thought we were supposed to be looking at median incomes?

    The graph is a bit misleading – in that it is designed to exaggerate the differences. Show the zero on the y axis!

  62. God forbid you release the information in an excel file so that everyone other than Labours poodles in the unions and the media can use it and scrutinise it.

    God forbid you ever just shut the fuck up instead of being contrarian trolls. Tell you what fools, how about you go over to Davey’s and dog him for his stats and then your whining might be taken a bit more seriously here. In fact you should ask DPF why he’s not releasing the data ‘cos he’s got it.

    I notice none of you have taken the chance to ask Jeanette Fitzsimons a question on the interview the leaders thread and I know why: it’s ‘cos you’re moronic trolls who couldn’t pony up with a real argument if your pathetic little lives depend on it (unless of course it was provided to you by the National Party research unit via Farrar’s excuse for a blog). Here’s a tip boys: fuck off until you’ve got a clue.

  63. higherstandard 64

    RS – point of order – no need for this kind of post.

  64. Kimble 65

    “God forbid you ever just shut the fuck up instead of being contrarian trolls.”

    Thanks for taking Trevor Mallards balls out of your mouth long enough to contribute Robinsod.

    Your opinion has been noted and laughed at.

    “(unless of course it was provided to you by the National Party research unit via Farrar’s excuse for a blog)”

    What was it Tane said about baseless accusations and banning? Oh, I get it, you only enforce the rules against people you disagree with.

    Some more Standard “policy”,

    “What we’re not prepared to accept are personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others.”

    Pull your fucking head in guys, if you dont ban Robinsod for THAT worthless post, then why the fuck should anyone else follow your bullshit rules?

    As for the data, pardon me if I dont give you a free pass. Shady “inside” information provided by a Labour politician to his attack dogs doesn’t automatically pass the sniff test for some reason.

    What is the data exactly? Treasury may have put it together, but how did they do that? Are there any potential biases in the data? What did Mallard ask for? Shit! We dont even know what he got!

  65. Kimble 66

    The first post got stuck in moderation, I assume it is a language thing, so I have ****ed the ***king ***t out of this post to see if it makes it through.

    Feel free to delete the other one if you like.

    “God forbid you ever just shut the f**k up instead of being contrarian trolls.”

    Thanks for taking Trevor Mallards balls out of your mouth long enough to contribute, Robinsod.

    Your opinion has been noted and laughed at.

    “(unless of course it was provided to you by the National Party research unit via Farrar’s excuse for a blog)”

    What was it Tane said about baseless accusations and banning? Oh, I get it, you only enforce the rules against people you disagree with.

    Some more Standard “policy”,

    “What we’re not prepared to accept are personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others.”

    Pull your f**king head in guys, if you dont ban Robinsod for THAT worthless post, then why the f**k should anyone else follow your bulls**t rules?

    As for the data, pardon me if I dont give you a free pass. Shady “inside” information provided by a Labour politician to his attack dogs doesn’t automatically pass the sniff test for some reason.

    What is the data exactly? Treasury may have put it together, but how did they do that? Are there any potential biases in the data? What did Mallard ask for? S**t! We dont even know what he got!

  66. So Kimble all you’ve got is a lame attempt to come back at me and a dull repetition of your last snide and meaningless argument?

    You’ve got nothing but knee-jerk opposition mate, but thanks for proving my last point. I’ve read your stuff on KB, Kimble and you don’t seem to be able to offer anything of value over there either. In fact it strikes me you are a total waste of space.

    Tell me, do you actually have any ideas of your own or is your entire life dedicated to malignantly deriding the ideas of others like some kind of ideological cancer?

    Oh and while I’m asking questions, is your off-line life as meaningless as your commenting and if so how do you justify your breath to yourself? Parasite.

  67. Tony 68

    Tane, point of order again. Do we need the ilk of Robinsod here? He brings the tone of the blog down to the gutter. Can you tell him to piss off and go somewhere else.

  68. Steve Pierson 69

    How about all you jokers stopping putting each other down and debate substantively?

    It would be good to have some decent questions from rightwingers for Fitzsimmons. Keep them pithy and as one-piece questions, and remember that questions aren’t an opportunity to tirade but it is possible to still ask tricky ones.

  69. All I’m doing is using robust language to express my displeasure and contempt for rightwing fools who come here only to snipe and whinge without offering sound argument or useful information. Here’s a tip Tones – I offer both regularly. If even those of my “ilk” can do it why can’t these fools? Come to think of it “Tony” I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you post before – are you a sockpuppet?

    IrishBill says: last chance ‘Sod and then it’s a week.

  70. Tane 71

    The first post got stuck in moderation, I assume it is a language thing, so I have ****ed the ***king ***t out of this post to see if it makes it through.

    We’ve had to tighten up the moderation on language after some quite offensive porn spam started showing up. It sucks, but I don’t want to have our site blocked by workplaces.

    And ‘sod, tone it down eh? You’re getting out of line.

  71. Tony 72

    rishBill says: ‘Sod, behave yourself. You’ve been good lately but one more attack like this and you’re banned for a week.

    This was what was written about Robinsod the other day underthe post ” scum” . We`ve had one more attack ( at least) from Robinsod You banned someone for calling someone else a wanker. Cant you guys at least stick to your word even if you are not consistant?

    This guy is an utter disgrace. And you are condoning it by keeping him on to abuse people with purile comments.

  72. Hey Irish – I might use stronger language but at least I make a point!

    IrishBill says: ‘Sod I’ve just had a look at your previous efforts and you’ve been unnecessarily aggressive over the last few days, despite repeated warnings. Take a week to cool off.

  73. Tony 74

    … naughty little boy.

    IrishBill says: Don’t think for a moment I banned ‘Sod at your request Tony and after that smug statement you’re on my watchlist. I’d expect a decent contribution from you now or you’ll be joining ‘Sod.

  74. Occasional Observer 75

    Good on you, IrishBill, for enforcing standards. I hope you continue to enforce those standards among commenters from both sides.

  75. Kimble 76

    Truth hurts doesnt it, Robinsod?

    I point out, based on the (still shady and suspect) evidence supplied on this site, that National started the rising median income trend, Labour inherited it as well as other nice economic trends, crowed about their economic management ever since, and all you have to counter it is vitriol and verbal gym-spastics.

    IrishBill says: I wouldn’t be so smug if I were you Kimble. ‘Sod got banned for his style not the substance of his attacks and I happen to agree with him that you are trolling. “Gym-spastics” only confirms that point. You’re now on your last warning: stop trolling or face a week’s ban.

  76. r0b 77

    Truth hurts doesnt it, Robinsod?

    Let’s not be kicking the man while he’s down eh.

  77. Matthew Pilott 78

    Kimble, a few points as to why ‘sod might have got annoyed with your post – you’re not alright with “free passes” and then make such statements as “Labour have continued to reap the rewards of the tough decisions National had to make in their previous term in power.” and “How long does it take for a new government to affect the economy? Unemployment, wages, prices, interest rates, currency. How long does it take before the impact of the policies of the previous guys gets swamped by the impact of the new guys?

    18 months? 3 years?

    Perhaps we should base it on how long the new guys blame the old guys for everything bad.

    Both of these statements, the foundation upon which your whole diatribe rests, are utter rubbish and thoroughly contradictory.

    Scenario one: your first statement is correct. Your second one is therefore a lie, otherwise Labour’s policies would have swamped those of National, there would be no ‘free ride’ on National’s policies.

    Scenario two: your second statement is correct, there is a limited time before the new party’s economic policies take effect. Your first statement is therefore a lie, and the flourishing economy is due to Labour, and not National’s hard work.

    Scenario three: both statements are bollocks. You can’t draw a line somewhere and say “this is where the influence stops”. Tell me where the influence of the First Labour Government, in setting up the Welfare State, stopped. Was it three years afterwards, in 1952?

    The Standard have shown the wage gap opening under National, and detailed the policies that brought it about. That’s a whole lot more than your jumbled rhetoric has done.

  78. Kimble 79

    Standard definition of trolling?

    “Disagreeing with anything on The Standard.”

    Seriously, where is the trolling? I am not talking OT, I am not simply gloat-posting (which is what a lot of The Standard regulars do/did at Kiwiblog, as in only post to say, “So what about Nationals secret funding?” etc), I am not inventing conspiracy theories.

    What I DID do was respond to Robinsod in the way he deserves. Your banning shows that even you think he deserved it, and Robinsod is your #1 fan!

    What I DID do was point out that based on the evidence provided, Labour inherited an increasing median wage. Look at the chart!

    Nobody even bothers to point out that the National chart has the same demarcation, which is the simplest counter-argument. (But that is a weak argument because I haven’t refered to National’s chart at all, and quite frankly I dont care about it.)

    This reminds me of the last time I was here. I simply asked people what Labour DID to cause some happy looking stat that was being crowed about other than being in power at the time. And all I got for what seemed like 100 posts was insults, equivocation, accusations of trolling, and the like.

    Its the same here and now. Way to grow.

  79. Kimble 80

    First of all, the free pass I was talking about was on the quality of the data Tane used.

    National made some tough and unpopular decisions in the 1990’s, and no Labour supporter will ever admit that they were necessary, or could possibly have led to a better long term outcome. That is not a debate worth getting into. They will not change their minds. Ever.

    The second statement was philosophical, and was meant to get you thinking (try it sometime) about whether the chart can really be split into a clearly marked blue and red sections.

    Surely Labour did not influence the labour market the very instant they took power? They hadnt passed any laws. Even when they DID pass laws, the laws would have taken some time to come into effect. And then there is even more time after that before behaviours and expectations changed.

    Obviously there is a big lag. So most of what occurs in the early part of Labours reign, is going to be attributable to the previous governments policies (as much as they can be attributed to anyones policies).

    Tane is trying, on Labours behalf, to claim the entire increase in the real median wage from 1999 onwards, which is, quite frankly, either idiotic or disingenuous.

    So if the first few years of the median wage increase is Nationals instead of Labours, then you can clearly see that trend in real median wage growth was established by National and was simply carried on by Labour.

    At most, all Labour can claim is that they did not disrupt this trend, and may have helped accelerate it. (Though it may not appear so on a log scale.)

    Wages STARTED increasing under National, and continued to increase during the first part of Labours reign with no credit to the Labour party. National set the trend, Labour was riding that trend. And the trend continues.

    I just dont know how you guys can seriously argue that either, National got lucky and wages started to increase without any influence from them, and then Labour came in and caused them to continue to increase, or that Labour somehow managed to influence wage growth while in OPPOSITION!

    PS. I just had a proper look at it and realised that the first chart isnt Nationals. It is supposed to show the wage gap opening up under National and staying flat under Labour!

    But what else does it show? It shows the wage gap coming down in the first part of Labours reign! This is the part where National’s policies would still have had a significant impact.

    What changed? Obviously nothing National did, they werent in power. This change in the trend is therefore attributable to Labour. So what did they do?

    Tane also tries to say that the gap between Australia and New Zealand hasnt increased “despite the minerals boom”, but fails to acknowledge that NZ has had its own commodity boom.

    Oh and lets all ignore inflation and what it does to restrain investment and increase uncertainty.

  80. Matthew Pilott 81

    The second statement was philosophical, and was meant to get you thinking (try it sometime) This is why you get bad reactions from people. Being a wanker doesn’t really encourage people to respond to your comments (especially given their content or lack thereof, despit your high and mighty insistence that people MUST respond. Get off your high horse mate, you might realise that intelligent post get intelligent responses).

    You’ve tried a lacklustre cover for both of your statements, but even so, I’ll give you a free pass and accept what you’ve said in pretending you can explain thm away, it’s not even worth debunking them. I’ll just point out that you said them both and if you can’t maintain a locigal flow throughout one comment you’ve no right to deride the reponses you get.

    Quite frankly, your next effort is a whole lot of drivel as well. Can’t really be bothered with much of it as there’s a few vague insinuations, but it’s interesting you mention that Labour has merely carried on trends under National and so on, yet mention inflation, investment & uncertainty. So is it only Labour’s policies that operate in a vaccuum, or perhaps thy are affected by the same? Kinda makes it hard to ‘ride a trend’ in the real world.

    I suggest you have a go at explaining how National’s policies could be so disasterous for wages and the wage gap at the time, yet set some platform for such great perforance – surely this will be pretty simple if the trends you elucidate are so clear?

  81. Kimble 82

    Fuck off Matt, that was pathetic.

    Look at the chart Tane provided. Tell me it doesnt support my story better than his. LOOK AT THE CHART. It is as plan as anything! The upward trend started with National!

    You havent said a single thing to counter this. You demand that I explain why it is, when I dont have to, the data is what the data is.

    I dont DEMAND that people respond, I just point out that they HAVENT.

    Basically all you have done is misunderstand plain English then get prissy when your feelings were hurt. You never counter with anything worthwhile so just stop wasting my time with worthless semantic quibbles.

    “I suggest you have a go at explaining how National’s policies could be so disasterous for wages and the wage gap at the time…”

    I could point out that the period of low inflation allowed greater investor certainty leading to greater capital investment and increased worker productivity. Or that the ECA gave employers a sense of parity in the labour market. Or that National didn’t pass on to Labour a huge budget deficit and a country sliding headlong into bankruptcy. I could point out that the 2.5% decline in the median wage (yes only 2.5% decline) coincided with a reduction in the unemployment rate from almost 11% to 6%. Or that the removal of subsidies, tarrifs and quotas on import lead to a period of economic flux as inherently inefficient businesses closed, but after which resources could be better directed to more efficient and productive enterprise.

    But why do I need to bother doing any of that?

    I dont have to explain why the data is the way that it is. Tane has to support HIS assertion that Labour has done more to increase the median wage.

    You guys are such suckers. All Tane has to do is put up a few pretty pictures, insinuate that National is evil and you lose any ability to think rationally.

    The chart Tane is using SHOWS that the upward trend began with National. That is a FACT.

    Look at his wage gap chart. LOOK AT IT. See how it is heading down at the end of Nationals reign? LOOK AT IT. See how it continues down over a period in which Labours policies couldnt possibly have had an impact?

    Look at the median wage chart. LOOK AT IT! It starts going up in 1996, and continues to do so until the economic double whammy. LOOK AT IT.

    You havent even looked at it have you? You are just going to go on about semantics again, arent you?

    Tane only wanted to talk about the start of the period and the end of the period for each party. Which is dishonest, because he knows the story isnt that simple. But he knows his readers are.

    They are reading from the same National Bad, Labour Good hymn sheet. National decimated wages. They attacked poor people. Their policies were mean. George Bush doesnt care about black people!

    Really pathetic, even by these Standards.

  82. I note Tane you never ever came to my blog to say anything about my little photoshopped effort. Say what you like but I’m not the one in denial about the fact Labour are toast after the election.

    Robinsod…hello? Hello? All that anger and nothing to show for it.

  83. Tane 84

    I try not to visit your blog Clint.

  84. r0b 85

    LOOK AT THE CHART. It is as plan as anything! The upward trend started with National!

    Calm down Kimble, you’ll do yourself an injury.

    Yes, it’s true to say that the upward trend started under National. Also true to say that at they were just recovering from their earlier downward trend, and that at the end of their 9 years in government they left real average weekly earnings exactly where they found them (about $463).

    Labour have continued the upward trend, improved on it, and after 9 years of their government have the wage substantially higher (about $519). Thanks Labour!

  85. r0b 86

    Ahh Kimble, Idiot/Savant has just gone in to this in more depth (as usual an excellent contribution):

    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2008/04/its-about-distribution.html

  86. Kimble 87

    As usual there is zero discussion on whether the previous distribution of economic gain was correct / equitable / sustainable.

    The assumption continues to be that the way things were before 1991 was fair, and that just isn’t a given. There is ZERO consideration from the Left on whether it was redressing an imbalance. In fact, even posing the question is offensive to these non-thinkers.

    “Yes, it’s true to say that the upward trend started under National.”

    The first to acknowledge this obvious fact, but notice how you do it? The trend “started under National”, but somehow was not because of National. Whereas later you say that Labour has extended and improved the trend, and therefore can claim full credit.

    Do you even notice that you are doing this? Do you think I am just being mean when I call you all unthinking National Bad, Labour Good drones?

    Something good happens under Nationals reign, it is luck, happenstance. Something good happens under Labours reign, they are fully responsible for it.

    This is even more stupid when you are trying to say it about a trend National started and Labour carried on.

    “Also true to say that at they were just recovering from their earlier downward trend,”

    So the policies they put in place, which started the enduring trend, are completely disregarded. And no consideration that perhaps the restructuring of the economy, of which the wage blip could just be a symptom, was necessary for the long-term success of the country.

    “Labour have continued the upward trend,”

    So at best Labour hasnt done anything to disrupt the trend. And because of this you swoon over them?

    “improved on it”

    Their marginal impact on the trend has actually been very small. Place a ruler on the screen and you will see that quite clearly.

    “and after 9 years of their government have the wage substantially higher (about $519).”

    I think I already covered this, but no one seems to want to acknowledge the logic. Labour may have been in power for 9-years, but the increase in the median wage is attributable to National’s policies and management for, at least, the start of that period.

    It is a simple concept to grasp and I dont know why everyone here refuses to do so.

    Labour rode the trend, didnt stuff up too badly, and had the good fortune to be in power for the 9-years, so uncritical thinkers like Tane and you credit them for the entire increase.

    “Thanks Labour!”

    But no thanks National for turning around a struggling economy, no thanks National for starting this trend, no thanks National for doing the hard yards.

    National didnt “attack” wages, they didnt deliberately set out to make things worse for “the workers” just for the sake of it. But that is what Tane is saying, and that is what his followers are saying. And resorting to this sort of ridiculous argument just shows how bereft of ideas the Left is in NZ.

  87. Kimble 88

    BTW the first part, before I quote rob, was in reference to the NRT post. Just in case that wasnt obvious.

  88. r0b 89

    The first to acknowledge this obvious fact, but notice how you do it? The trend “started under National’, but somehow was not because of National.

    Actually Kimble, what I wrote was pretty simple, and you are projecting you r own interpretation into it.

    Do you even notice that you are doing this? Do you think I am just being mean when I call you all unthinking National Bad, Labour Good drones?

    Actually Kimble, it is you who are doing this, exactly as above.

    We are all “guilty” of seeing the world according to our prejudices and expectations Kimble. It’s the way the brain works at a pretty basic level (not just politics). You are as guilty as anyone else. Sorry.

  89. Matthew Pilott 90

    Just to illustrate how mediocre kimble’s rantings are, let’s look at the second graph. A rise at the end of National’s term, continuing for a couple of years, and then a dip in 2001.

    An equally vaalid interpretation of the graph, therefore, based upon National’s history of having the wages drop under them (the start of the graph), is that this is National’s policies starting to take effect, and lower wages. Suddently, BAM! Labour’s policies halt the seemingly precipitous slide instigated by National, and from 2002 onwards they save the day, giving us the huge rise.

  90. Kimble 91

    Your language betrays you, r0b.

    “the upward trend started under National.” implies no causal relationship

    “Labour have continued the upward trend, improved on it” states a direct causal relationship

    Matthew, are you really trying to equate a single year event with a multi-year trend? What happened in 2000 and 2001? Anything? Idiot.

    Did I try to say that the dip was the fault of Labour? No. I am not stupid.

    You guys have nothing. You have been pwned so hard, just give up and stop embarassing yourselves.

  91. r0b 92

    Don’t play semantics with me Kimble, because you’re no Montague. If you want to split hairs on implied causality between:

    “Yes, it’s true to say that the upward trend started under National. Also true to say that at they were just recovering” (fuller quote than yours please), and

    “Labour have continued the upward trend, improved on it’

    then once again, this tells us more about your prejudices than mine.

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