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Time to take back what’s ours

Written By: - Date published: 6:16 am, October 18th, 2011 - 117 comments
Categories: wages - Tags:

The neoliberal revolution saw a massive transfer of wealth from the people who create it to the owners of capital.

This didn’t ‘have to happen’. There were other options. The dramatic fall in wages as a % of GDP in New Zealand was not matched in Australia. They had stronger unions and more distributed political power than in FPP New Zealand. There neoliberal crazies didn’t get carte blanche as they did here.

It was at this time that the wage gap opened up. In part, because of slice of cake going to workers got relatively smaller in New Zealand. In part, because the economic destruction wrought by the neoliberal’s low wage/low skill/strip it down/sell it off mentality saw New Zealand’s productive capacity stagnate while Australia surged away from us.

The wage gap is about 70% due to the smaller economic output of New Zealand. 30% due to the fact that Australian workers get a larger share of their output in wages than we do.

One of the effects of the decline in workers’ share of GDP was that a few got richer and the rest of us had wages that stayed the same or went backwards. Trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’, many here and in other countries blighted by neoliberalism took advantage of the cheap and easy credit offered by the deregulated finance sector. We know how that worked out.

The last Labour government got some way to reversing that trend (even as workers’ share of GDP in Australia fell under Howard). That progress has already started to reverse under National.

I’m looking forward to seeing policy from Labour today that will help to return workers’ share of the wealth that we generate back to the levels we used to enjoy.  And, in doing so, give young Kiwis more reason to stay here rather than chasing higher pay in Aussie.

117 comments on “Time to take back what’s ours ”

  1. tc 1

    Geez watch this policy disappear into the RWC void…..they need to focus on the nats appalling performance and odious ministers such as Basher, ayatollah, brown coal, smith etc etc

    Watch this sink without trace, who the F is running this campaign !!

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      SOrry mate gotta disagree; Labour can’t win this campaign simply by complaining and being negative.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        Epsom have mortgages too. They are waking up to the reality, that growing the pie
        in order to have a large slice of it, means growing wage packets for the unwashed
        masses. Spin was highly profitable in cheap energy, easy credit, times. Now its
        back to the hard labour of bums on real not fiscal seats. There are still many ‘hangers-on’
        on the right that believe to get ahead all they have to do is peddle the party line,
        like some failed communism of the left, but these people were never leadership
        material, they are political foot soldiers who will gravitate to a new agenda once
        the old one has been truely discredited. Labour will win, even if labour loses
        which I doubt, Labour wins by National being a conservative party in a
        time of massive progressive political times. And man does it show.

      • tc 1.1.2

        Not saying that CV, the swingers and non voters of 08 are far more likely to be swayed by consistent simple messaging around ‘this is what you’re getting, here’s how we’ll address it’.

        Releasing yet another policy is nice but aint gunna do squat unless it’s crafted into slogans they all parott….like ‘for the many not the few’ etc

        I’d also like to see some of sideshows quotes laid out alongside his contradictions of late, especially the one about ‘follow me and we’ll be like Ireland’

    • burt 1.2

      who the F is running this campaig

      I think its the same chap who voted to pass the EFA but didn’t have a clue what he was voting for and breached it himself only a month or two after he passed it saying it was confusing and others were doing it too. (aka: bricks-for-brains Mallard)

      • Afewknowthetruth 1.2.1

        burt.

        I don’t know who is running the campaign either but I do have to agree with your description of Mallard: ‘bricks-for-brains’.

        When he was Minister of Energy we refered to him as Daffy Duck. His capacity to make sensible decisions was on a par with that of the cartoon character, if not lower. …. and Labour supporters wonder why the public does is not keen on another Labour government ????

    • Deadly_NZ 1.3

      Everyone knows that France are going to win and the feel good that Shonky wants will melt faster than chocolate in an oven.

      • Clipbox 1.3.1

        Win or lose, will New Zealanders really link it with Key…?

        • felix 1.3.1.1

          I don’t think anyone believes that, but some think that the general mood of the nation might have an effect, the theory being that if the All Blacks win we feel that all is right with the world and that favours the incumbent govt.

          • Clipbox 1.3.1.1.1

            It’s also been shown that when people are happier they’re more open to different perspectives (i.e. not Key), compared with when they’re sad or angry. We shall see!

            • felix 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Yeah that’s a good point. I don’t put too much stock in the rugby theory myself but it’s an interesting one.

    • ChrisH 1.4

      How come this policy got no airplay on TV3 at 6 pm tonight 18-10-2011? The TV3 news led with the Nats super policy, followed by rugby and Rena, with commentators actually saying how the Nats had got the jump on Labour by not leaving campaigning and policy till after the RWC. Clever Nats. Even so, Labour’s IR policy was on Radio NZ National. Do you think it got stuck in the TV3 fax machine? Maybe they had it on after the ad break next to stories about cats up trees… I didn’t sit around that long, it wasn’t flagged upfront or in the first few stories anyhow.

  2. burt 2

    You can clearly see the reforms in 1984 starting to take effect then the ‘Tea break’ kicks in as we return to the failed ideology of socialism.

    • Oh Burt you are so funny.  You mean the plummet from 55% to 46%, the blip up to 47% after the wage freeze was lifted and then the death spiral as rogernomics and ruthenaisa kicked in?

      So why did Australia do so much better? 

      • big bruv 2.1.1

        Why did Australia do so much better?

        John Howard and a right wing government.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Dont be a fucking moron, its because Howard had the sense not to try and screw the unions.

          That and the fact he let private debt skyrocket plus China giving successive Australian governments a get out of free card.

          Workers must be properly organised and led in collectives and unions.

    • Blighty 2.2

      Are you referring to that tiny upward blip from 1986 to 1987? Which was before the major labour law changes, btw.

      Let’s just ignore the decades of data around it, eh?

      • mik e 2.2.1

        Looking at the blips they seem to be around election years when right wing governments hand out bribes followed by big falls in disparity

        • big bruv 2.2.1.1

          Lol…the selective memory of the left.

          Shall we talk about bribes?

          1. Working for (other peoples) families.

          2. Interest Free student loans

          3. A bloody train set that we paid four times the value of.

          How is that for wasting a few billion dollars in election year bribes?

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1.1

            Hey fuck head, doing things which help people to live and which strengthen the country are not ‘bribes’, and for you to characterise them as such means you’re a fuck head who doesn’t understand the role of Government on acting for the people.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.2.1.1.1.1

              So, to summarise, he is a fuck head.

              Biting.

              • burt

                Look, ah I’ve wrestled with this style before and; well, I can see that he has good intentions and all that. But I’m picking he’s benefiting from at least 2 out of 3 on that list and wants to keep status quo.

                • McFlock

                  Nice. You base that on?
                   
                  Personally I agree with CV, I don’t get WFF credits, and passenger trains don’t operate in my area.
                  I do have a large student loan though. Although I just view it as a way to pay a level of tax approaching what I probably should, i.e. 10% extra over $20-oddk.

                • felix

                  burt has a sudden change of heart and decides that “rational self-interest” is a heinous crime against humanity.

                  • McFlock

                    It’s funny how some tories seem to think it works for markets but makes a mockery of democracy, isn’t it?

          • felix 2.2.1.1.2

            “1. Working for (other peoples) families.”

            Why do you think it’s so awful to work for other people’s families? (Hypothetically of course, in your case)

    • RedLogix 2.3

      You can clearly see the reforms in 1984 starting to take effect

      burt…. you seem to be reading the graph upside down. Unless of course you are trying to tell us that the massive drop in wage share over that period was a good thing.

      Which is it?

      • burt 2.3.1

        Well actually given GDP wasn’t keeping pace with inflation from about 2002/2003 and then we went into recession late 2007 (early 2008 if you can’t face reality) and given wages generally had CPI increases the rise through 2002-2008. The perceived increase 2002-2008 is probably just reflecting our economy slowly stagnating into recession.

        Hard to celebrate a stagnating economy relative to CPI but I guess Labour needs to find some positive somewhere to deflect attention away from the reality that pretty much every time they get more than 1 term they stuff the economy into recession with high taxes and poor quality govt spending to stay popular.

        • mik e 2.3.1.1

          Brainless Burt statistics show national grew the economy by only 8.7% 1990 to99 labour28% from 2000 till2008.National had a small growth spurt 97/98 on the back of unaffordable tax cuts most of 98 & 99 their was negative growth Borrowing Bills English was finance minister.After 2008 wage disparity grows again Under the triple downgrade double dipping dipstick,Spreading wealth is what creates growth tax cuts for the rich slows the economy.Bills English has barely managed 1% growth in five years as finance minister the worst finance minister this country has ever had.

          • burt 2.3.1.1.1

            Yes, the economy in recession prior to the global economic crisis – 10 years of deficit forecast when they took office… what else do you expect ? Of course growth was shabby when National took office – we had just had 9 years of increasing welfare, increasing taxes and increasing govt spending. Actually govt spending was growing faster than GDP – but I know, Labour=good and National=bad…. keep taking the pills.

      • burt 2.3.2

        Oh and before you flip you lid, look at 2008-2010 when we were in hard core recession – the same trend as Labour thinks is great – but sharper…

        Now if you want to say a National govt is bad for wages then you can’t have it both ways…. the ‘positive’ trend under Labour must either be the GDP shrinking or National have better results with wages compared to Labour… Which is it ?

        • RedLogix 2.3.2.1

          burt ….I’ve been bafflled as to what you are noncing on about, but it seems you are reading the graph wrong. The vertical axis is the “Wages Share of GDP” which is a ratio. You’re talking about GDP itself…something the graph is completely silent on.

          • burt 2.3.2.1.1

            Yes, that’s right RedLogix.

            So if wages were static and GDP was falling then the trend would be up. Which apparently is a good thing ????

            So if wages have been falling under National, which seems to be the claim of myopic Labour supporters, and GDP was static then the graph would trend down.

            Do you see it trends up more sharply just after 2008 ? Was that because GDP shrank sharply while wages changed piss all or was it because wages actually grew in real terms ?

            • Roger 2.3.2.1.1.1

              “Do you see it trends up more sharply just after 2008 ? Was that because GDP shrank sharply while wages changed piss all or was it because wages actually grew in real terms?”

              Option one: GDP shrank while wages changed piss all. It’s all here:
              http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/keygraphs/Fig2.html
              http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/prices_indexes/LabourCostIndexSalaryandWageRates_HOTPJun11qtr.aspx
              http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/CPI_inflation/ConsumersPriceIndex_HOTPJun11qtr.aspx

              It is good that you are finally getting a grip on why we are unhappy with this National Government’s economic management and why this neoliberal nonsence is a failed experiment.

              • burt

                Excellent, so the graph going up is good and what we should be aiming for…. we micro analyse a portion and it’s bad that it’s going up…. but otherwise going up is good ????

                As I started out at 6:47, between 2002 and 2008 wages ‘just’ kept pace with inflation yet they grew as a percentage of GDP…. so GDP was slowing shrinking (not keeping up with inflation) till it started shrinking sharply early 2008 (recession) – and “we” are unhappy with National for that – Go figure.

                • RedLogix

                  As I started out at 6:47, between 2002 and 2008 wages ‘just’ kept pace with inflation yet they grew as a percentage of GDP…. so GDP was slowing shrinking

                  Ahh come on burt….that was the period of one of the most extended business booms this county has ever seen. And you are trying to tell us GDP was shrinking in that period?

                  Rather than making shit up like this you might want to go to the source data that Roger has linked for you and get your facts right.

                  • burt

                    Ahh come on burt….that was the period [2002-2008] of one of the most extended business booms this county has ever seen. And you are trying to tell us GDP was shrinking in that period?

                    Well, yes actually it was it fell (overall) about 2% in that period. The only boom NZ had was a tax haul bonanza from fiscal drag creating faux surpluses. Even Cullen said they were not real, you seem to selectively remember that fact.

                  • burt

                    This is a better graph for observing GDP ’02-’07

                    http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/keygraphs/fig2b.html

                    Boom – pfft!

                    • McFlock

                      Um, Burt – your graphs seem to be talking about the annual percent change in real (i.e. inflation adjusted) GDP, not the real GDP level itself.
                      So when you say “GDP fell”, your graphs seem to indicate that only the % change fell – as long as it is above the zero (i.e. GDP was the same one year to the next), then GDP was still increasing. As it seems to have done throughout Labour’s term in office. And the annual % change seems to be largely in line with Australia and the USA – except when National is in government.
                       

                    • burt

                      Right, so falling growth is a boom time when Labour are in charge – I’ll remember that.

                    • burt

                      And the annual % change seems to be largely in line with Australia and the USA

                      In the reference period RedLogix has fantasies about a boom time for (00-07) we started with the pretty red line above all others pretty colours and ended below them all. “largely in line” – why not just go the whole hog making shit up and say we were booming !

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Burt, moron, you are cheerleading for a National Government who thinks that a global recession is a good time to lay off thousands of public sector workers.

            • RedLogix 2.3.2.1.1.2

              Because GDP and wages do not move in lockstep there will be short-term changes in the ratio. You can if you wish get obsessed with these up and down blips, after all GDP is a fairly volatile number, while wages react more slowly to economic conditions …so what you are pointing to is perfectly expected but not very meaningful.

              But what of course matters is the long-term trend, and even more importantly, the fact that compared to most other OECD countries our wages share is miserably low. Given that New Zealanders work some of the longest hours in the OECD the slice of the cake we are paid for that effort … is pretty damned mean.

              • burt

                Sure

                But the graph means shit all when you get down to it.

                You could find an up that is good, an up that is bad and a trend that tells you nothing unless you look at what actually happened with a raft of factors to determine if it was good or bad for us.

                • RedLogix

                  No it means that the Wages Share of GDP is very low. The business owners and bankers get more than HALF of all the productive effort of New Zealand workers.

                  It only means shit to you because you don’t want to admit the bleedingly obvious fact staring you in the face.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  But the graph means shit all when you get down to it.

                  And there you have it – the normal RWNJ denunciation of reality.

                • burt

                  Draco T Bastard

                  Perhaps you could explain then how the graph is meaningful when it is now higher now than it was at any point in Labour’s 9 years of fixing the problem ?

                • burt

                  RedLogix

                  The graphs do show the effect of different policy setting being implemented in NZ and Aussie circa ’84-86. If you look at the graph Aussie generally tracks behind us by a few years, which us being smaller etc makes sense. We react quicker… Nothing to unconventional about that thinking.

                  What is evident though is that post ’86 we went the wrong way… we turned away from our changes and Aussie continued with theirs. Now I don’t argue that the graph shows the proportion of GDP falling into workers hands.

                  I think the graph, if anything, shows that Labour policies in the last govt were a failure. They didn’t cement growth – actually the reverse.

                  We need a bigger change than a return to tax and spend. It didn’t work last time, or the time before that and it won’t work (long term) next time Labour try it.

              • burt

                In all fairness RedLogix, little alarm bells should have been going off for Zetetic when he produced a graph that showed an upward trend when we were in recession…

                I wonder if he contemplated then when putting together this post about how we need to get it trending up…

                • RedLogix

                  n all fairness RedLogix, little alarm bells should have been going off for Zetetic when he produced a graph that showed an upward trend when we were in recession…

                  Your getting obsessed with a tiny 2% rise followed by an even smaller decline.. It’s exactly what you would expect… as GDP declines due to the 2009 GFC the ratio rises a little because wages are somewhat slower to react.. most people only negotiate their pay annually and most people strongly resist falling wages.

                  However the GDP pressure eventually exerts it’s influence and in the last year on the graph the wage share flattens off again, showing how wages do react, just more slowly.

                  All this short-term stuff is exactly what you would expect and confirms for you that the data is real. This isn’t something Zet pulled out of his arse.

                  • burt

                    It’s still higher now than in the last 9 years under Labour… If I were Zetetic I’d be going oops – big time.

                    An upward trend that sharpens in a major recession cannot be a reliable indicator that an upward trend is good.

                    Sure there is a lag etc, but really – this shows we need a Labour govt ? F-Me I’ve seen blinkers before but that’s just stupid.

                    • RedLogix

                      I’ll repeat myself one last time. The short term variations that you are obsessing about are really just noise. They tell you nothing useful and talking about them is just a deflection.

                      The long-term trend is however perfectly, bleedingly obvious.. but that of course is the one you don’t want to see. None so blind eh?

                    • burt

                      Did you see my comment comparing the graph to the Reserve Bank Real Gross GDP chart.

                      The long term trend is bleeding obvious and it’s making Zetetic’s graph look more and more ridiculous.

                  • burt

                    RedLogix

                    One more thing… That tiny 2% rise (over two years) … is just a tiny bit less than the rise 2003-2008 …

                    The rate of climb gets sharper on a graph were going up is good and that’s bad…

                    I think you need a cup of Tea RedLogix, I’ll put the kettle on… drop over and lets have a laugh about this.

                    • RedLogix

                      A slow sustained 2% rise in Wages Share during a major business boom while GDP was rising rapidly is a pretty good result.

                      A sharp 2% rise in Wages Share during a massive global financial crisis when GDP was sharply falling is a total fail.

                      Have a long hard think about it over your gingernuts.

                    • burt

                      GDP never rose rapidly under Labour. Taxes and spending did. Govt spending growth out stripped GDP growth and CPI – the economy tanked – who would have guessed.

                    • burt

                      RedLogix

                      Roger supplied a good graph;

                      http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/keygraphs/Fig2.html

                      It shows GDP basically trending down from about ’00 till about ’08 where it dived. ( ’00 – ’07 what happened then…. apparently we were booming !)

                      Put that graph next to Zet’s, and he seems to be saying falling GDP is good. Your comments that a sharp rise when National came into office is bad because it turns down again seems to be saying that GDP recovering is bad.

                      Please explain.

                    • McFlock

                      lol.
                      It shows the average annual % growth in GDP decreasing, in line with Aus and US real GDP trends.
                      It does not show GDP “trending down”. It shows an internationally comparable trend.

                    • burt

                      McFlock

                      It shows the average annual % growth in GDP decreasing, in line with Aus and US real GDP trends.

                      That pretty red line (that’s NZ) starts above the other lovely colours and ends below them over that period. Yes we won the race to recession – guess we need to celebrate something…

                    • McFlock

                      Burt. Look at it again.

                      Firstly, 1% growth =/= “recession”. If it did, Beemer Blinglish triple-downgrade double dipton would be “Beemer Blinglish triple-downgrade double-dipping double depression”.

                      Secondly, You’re cherry-picking the one dip in 06-07, when really the full term in office counts. Plus the economic context, so that would include the bit under National around ’98 when the NZ economy stagnated but Aus and USA were on around 5% annual growth. It would also include the bit over the last couple of years under national when the economy shrank by almost 3%.

                    • burt

                      The bit around ’98. Yes, appalling GDP results from National, oh look Zetetic’s graph looks better there than under Labour till somewhere 2004-2006.

    • mik e 2.4

      less than 1% economic growth per annum Burt

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Keiser Report – watch from 11:20 mins

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs5wcj0IXnU

    Watch and weep peeps. Between themselves, the multi-millionaires and billionaires know exactly what they are doing.

  4. BLiP 4

    Remind me – how much money has the John Key led National Ltd™ government borrowed on our behalf over the last three years, and from whom?

    • Blighty 4.1

      $38 billion net.

      The amount of government debt held by foreigners has increased by over $22 billion (partially offset by growth in the foreign assets of the Cullen Fund and ACC Fund)

      • BLiP 4.1.1

        Cheers mate.

        So, $38 billion dollars, eh? I’ll bet the money changers were pleased. The interest on that tidy sum (plus the peripheral “set up costs”) will be titanic. And all this make-believe money to fund tax cuts for the rich at the outset of a significant and sustained international economic downturn; long-ago disproved, broken, and dangerous economics from last century trotted out at the behest of CrosbyTextor’s “network partners” and fronted by finance whizz John Key.

        Now, in 2011, I don’t know that there’s really that much to take back. Our Parliament has become the plaything of liars and incompetents, the only export that’s showing sustained growth is in the repatriated profit spreadsheet cell, and things are looking bleaker “going forward”. And it was all so painfully inevitable.

        Nah – never mind taking anything back: its not worth having. Time for something new.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          I’ll bet the money changers were pleased.

          Them and the rich who got a risk free return for doing nothing.

      • mik e 4.1.2

        Blighty the Debt is going to peak at nearly $78billioon 2013 its going up at about a Billion a month barely keeping ahead of the amount that Bills English is borrowing

        • mik e 4.1.2.1

          At $1 and a 1/2 billion + a month actually faster than they are borrowing

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.1.2.1.1

            So you are now advocating no government spending? Finally, we are getting somewhere.

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    GDP is a faux measure of economic activity put in place by economists and elites who are completely detached from reality. GDP = Global Destruction Process, GDP = Global Deceit Paradigm (as explained in TEW).

    The constant references to GDP on The Standard have become utterly tiresome, particularly when the truth is pointed out repeatedly.

    GDP is irrelevant and needs to go. Of course those who have a vested interst in the extraction of wealth by ‘slaves’ and the transfer of that wealth to themselves will continue to promote the use of GDP. That starts to make me wonder just what the agenda of those who post articles is.

    Is The Standard just another outlet for promotion and promulgation of maintream dysfucntion?

    The only good thing we can say about GDP is that, despite all the manipulation to make it look much bigger than it actually is (as explained by Chris Martenson in Crash Course), it is falling as the economy shrinks.

    The other thing I find extraordinarily tedious is the constant comparison between NZ and Australia. The only reason Australia is able to obtain more bits of worthless paper and digits in computer systems than NZ is because Australians are digging up huge amounts of it, hauling it away on trucks and rail systems to the ports and exporting it to China etc. …. effectively fucking the planet we live on and fucking the environment locally.

    The entire economnic systems is fraudulent and is broken. We are currently witnessing the last desperation attempts to sustain the unsustainable via fracking, deep sea drilling, extraction of oil from tar sands etc., all of which severely exacerbate the environmental predicament.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.1

      If you don’t like it, why don’t you stop coming?

      • Afewknowthetruth 5.1.1

        Gormless Fool

        For some of us there is a moral imperitive to challenge lies and tell the truth.

        I see from your well-chosen online name (Gormless = stupid or slow witted, Fool = a person who acts unwisely, jester or clown) you are incapable of comprehending the concept of moral imperitive.

        For you, life seems to be all about making inane, mocking comments. It’s all rather pathetic, of course, but I suppose we should show some pity on you if that is all you are capbale of.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.1.1.1

          Well, at least I wasn’t such a prig as to choose a name which suggests I am one of the only people in the world who knew the truth.

          Which (apparently) is that George Bush blew up the WTC.

          • Ari 5.1.1.1.1

            It is actually possible for 9/11 truthers to have cogent opinions on other subjects, much the same way there are a few right-wingers with decent ideas on social policy.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Ari, you fucking idiot. Can’t you see the truth?

  6. RedLogix 6

    And just to put this in perspective you want to keep in mind that the figures for New Zealand are especially low by international comparison.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_share

    or for an even more interesting read:

    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2007/01/pdf/c5.pdf p.8

    In other words our wages share of GDP in the low 40% range is already miserably low compared to much of the rest of the world … the usual figure is something in the 55-70% range …or more.

  7. Jim 7

    I’m going to take issue with the idea that New Zealanders were ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. 

    One of the most noticeable things about economic comment in NZ is an ambivalence at best, about personal debt. The politics of personal debt is that it replaces wages as part of the trend to concentrate income (and wealth) in the pockets of the most wealthy.

    The political message of the paid banking voice heard on TV and radio pretends exactly that NZers have borrowed to keep up with the Joneses. But finance has swapped wages for credit as the way of diverting working people’s share of economic output to the most wealthy. People are being forced to shop in the company store, are getting their wages as truck, have been forced into debt peonage to put the mechanism into historical context. 

    Personal debt has, with continuing support from all of the political parties, returned as the most important way to extract rent from peoples’ work. We may well have borrowed to ‘buy’ our house, but there are few other choices to house ourselves other than ‘renting from the bank’. We may well have used our credit cards to buy a TV – such luxury. But credit cards are also used day-by-day hour-by-hour to buy food, transport to work, clothing, medicine, dental care, hospital care and everything else we need.

    Credit is how part of our wages get paid. Credit is the other side of forced rent collection pursued by banking. Unemployment and low wages have created the aggregate conditions that have let this happen.

    Political economists will have to start seriously talking about banking and finance. The trend to discard full employment as a central political aim and concentrate political attention on ‘doing the national accounts’, of prudent fiscal behaviour, simply reverses political energy away from the 99% to the collection of rents by the 1%. Occupy Wall Street is merely a political expression in the face of failure to do something about this by democratic politics.

    • aerobubble 7.1

      I don’t disagree. But the extract rents althought real isn’t what motivates the rich,
      rather the rich are like parasites who grow in times of excess to add pressure
      on the host and select better breed organisms. Oil has peaked, excess is over,
      the domiance of the parasite is over, they don’t select the best breed when they
      breed more of the organism – i.e. plague proportions. Debt was a con, yes,
      sure, but it was essential for western governments to soak up the Arabia
      gold flowing into western economies. Neo-liberalism is a product of its times.
      The old adage always applied, even at the height of expoitation by the wealthy,
      never be a debtor be. The rich can sure get rich by borrowing but they did so
      in very managed fashion with breaks to keep their hoard from being harmed.
      That battle is over, until a new form of cheap high energy fuel is found.
      We can feed, cloth, provide healthcare into old age of the whole human
      population and not make lots of excessive luxury yachts, fast cars, pollution,
      but this requires government that interfere in the market and aren’t
      distorted by lobby groups peddling specific interests… …but this won’t
      change until we have a crisis, a massive one that teaches a generation
      to grow the frak up. It never lasts, the youth will always rebel, and
      its certainly note worthly that the generation who did rebel againsts
      the war generation are the ones that have led neo-liberalism to its apex
      and refutation. Boomers.

      • Jim 7.1.1

        I’m a boomer. I’m one of the people born when the birth rate for a while moved upwards out of trend. The birth rate is returning to trend I hear. That’s not got a lot to do with neo-lib politics. Not when for example, many neo-libs were born outside of the years of upward trending birth rate. Being a boomer I guess was caused by my dad’s sperm entering my mum’s egg & her pregnancy being brought successfully to term. I’ve never been a neo-lib. I’m glad. I’m much more shaped by Keynes and welfare thinking, which is quite a paradox for you to explain.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      But finance has swapped wages for credit as the way of diverting working people’s share of economic output to the most wealthy.

      Indeed, this is the scam as described by Marxian economist Richard Wolff.

      rdwolff.com

      Corporates and capitalists divert a larger share of national income to themselves by suppressing wages and employment.

      They then lend that extra money (which they would previously have had to pay in wages) back to workers and the underclass and charge interest on it.

      In addition, the extra financial resources gives the capitalist class even more influence over the media and politics of a country, while the working class and under class have ever less time and resources to participate in political life.

      In other words, wage and employment suppression don’t just fuck ordinary people once or twice, it screws them down over and over and over again.

      Time for democratic ownership of our economy by workers.

  8. queenstfarmer 8

    Instead of “us versus them” sloganeering (e.g. the title of this post) I would like to see a party propose real incentives for employee ownership schemes. At the moment, there are huge barriers in place for such schemes.

    Employee ownership can be a real win-win, because it gives workers a direct stake in the business, provides an investment besides just a wage, promotes financial literacy, etc. They are very common in tech startups overseas. With the right laws in place, they could be really encouraged here.

    The previous and current Govts have made modest improvements but more should be done.

    • mik e 8.1

      So youll be voting UF QSF thats been their policy since 1996 peters to it would be far simpler to adopt the aussie super scheme

      • queenstfarmer 8.1.1

        Did not know it was UF policy. If so, Peter Dunne has been pretty useless in implementing / promoting it – he’s been Revenue Minister for ages, which is the right portfolio to do this kind of thing.

    • insider 8.2

      Yes I’m sure all those employees with ownership of Enron were really glad they had them….

      As an employee I would have to balance the risk of investing and working within the same enterprise with the opportunities I see for it and willingness to contribute more. Eggs in the one basket vs high reward for effort. But maybe I’d prefer cash up front instead so that I can do with what I will.

      • queenstfarmer 8.2.1

        Yes I’m sure all those employees with ownership of Enron were really glad they had them

        And I’m sure those employees who opted for shares in Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc are really unhappy.

        It’s about giving employees the choice to invest in the place they work. Like all investments, there is always some risk (unless you are David Cunliffe, who wants the Govt to borrow millions to invest in shares because he thinks shares are guaranteed to outperform the interest costs).

        The point is that the Govt should make it easy for those firms and employees who want to take a stake. Marx was on to something when he talked of workers to having some ownership of the means of production.

  9. joe90 9

    Seems like record corporate profits are killing small businesses too.

  10. Oligarkey 10

    Gormless – but there are only a few thousand of us who know what’s going on. Want to become one of them? Here’s the picture in a nut shell. Wall stret banks and CIA are hand in glove – most of the CIA’s heirachy over the last 50 years has been hand-picked from one of the main wall street banks. The CIA uses international crime cyndicates to distribute arms for their dirty covert wars, mostly in exchange for drugs (mostly heroine and cocaine) which are sold domestically to protected US-based crime syndicates. The money raised from the sale of the drugs, which is estimated to be about $700 billion per year, is laundered through CIA affiliate Wall St banks, which are exempted from auditing.

    The diplomatic, intelligence and security heirachy of all western countries are international in character, and all belong to the same secret societies as the CIA-wall street cabal.

    Over the last 80 years they have been consolidating their power to the degree that they will soon have the ability to overtly sieze absolute power. All the while, slack jawed lollie gagers such as yourself piss in the wind with your silly litte games. But it won’t be funny when you’re just another slave with no civil liberties.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6ZD4HqxQIY

    That’s enough information to show you what’s happening. Read ’em and weep.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.1

      K.

    • Lanthanide 10.2

      What is their motivation for overtly claiming power when they are apparently the power behind the throne that 99.99% of people have no clue about anyway?

      Where’s the reward for that huge risk?

    • higherstandard 10.3

      Rogernome having a foam ?

  11. johnm 11

    Yes, Workers have taken a permanent pay cut so that the shareholders and business owners do really well. Then there is a gargantuan wealth and cash surplus what to do with it? Well invest in property and other bubbles and lend the money back to the workers as credit so you get richer with interest added on! Meanwhile start dismantling the social wage and quality of life with tax cuts making the sucker workers happier for awhile while they start to pay with reduced services and amenities.

    NOW! When the Ponzi scheme goes bust don’t take the hit reducing your precious wealth get your government mates(Who are in the same rort with you) to bail you out using the taxes paid by those same sucker workers. Brilliant!!! The workers pay 3 ways (Like Porn!) 1. Lower wages 2. reduced social provision 3. reduced investment for them as they have to pay for the rich’s cock ups!

    All the while our lords and masters ponce around as if they have some divine right which many of the sucker masses suck on with relish!

    Maybe the rich do have more brains after all!?

  12. Afewknowthetruth 12

    We need a new tab for ‘Occupy’ updates.

    Today’s Daily News item on the NP awareness group attempted to downplay the size of the group (just two when in fact there are many) and to portray the people involved as misguided no-hopers.

    The editorial by Gordon Brown was nothing short of appalling -essentially a whole load of neuro-linguistic programming, social labeling, marginisation, a version of how dare they challenge the hand that feeds them corporate bullshit, followed up with some promotion of off-shore oil drilling and corporate rugby. No surpirses there, eh Gordon?.

    NPDC attempted to get heavy with the group this morning, threatening eviction on the basis of ill-defined breaches of ill-defined regulations. I went to the council offices with a couple of the group today and deflected the bullying tactics, pointing out the ‘Awareness Group’ are not breaching any regulations, whereas the council had been when it authorised certain RWC activities. Needless to say, no surprises at the hypocrisy of NPDC.

    The focus right now is to move away from the ‘protester’ stereotype label and develop an ‘awareness/provider of information ‘ label and point out that these people are raising awareness of issues that are affecting EVERYONE and will affected everyone much more in the near future.

    Andrew Little was well received by the group.

    Jonathan Young (National sitting MP) on the other hand, proved to be a tosser he always is, and quickly ran for cover, avoiding all inconvenient questions -the coward that he is. No surprises there. In that respect he lis just like all the National MPs; happy to parade around town with their minders but when it comes to anything of substance their gone in a flash. Indeed, I’m yet to see any Natioanl MP or district councillors front up to any proper discussion of the issues of our times.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12.1

      We need a new tab for ‘Occupy’ updates.

      Fuck you are bossy. Is this what paradise will look like once you are in charge?

  13. big bruv 13

    Ah yes, payback time.

    Labour taking NZ back to the [Deleted] days of compulsory unionism.

    Thank goodness we will not see this policy become law.

    [You haven’t earned enough respect around here to use that word…RL]

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      Ah, and here’s BB complaining about the possibility that everyone be treated with respect and be paid adequately for the work that they do.

      • big bruv 13.1.1

        Those who work well are treated with respect.

        NZ does not need union scum stuffing up the workplace and sending us back to the bad old days of the 70’s.

        Need an example?, how about Qantas and they way the … unions are threatening that airline.

        [You simply don’t have enough runs on the board around here to get away with pointless abuse. …RL]

        • big bruv 13.1.1.1

          Still trying to silence those who dare speak out against the corrupt left are you RL?

          BTW, been around to see your mate Philip Field have you?

          [You’ve had any amount of oxygen here to express your ideas. However much of what you deliver is pointless, nasty bullying abuse that derails and shouts down the discussion. But the moment you are called on to moderate your behaviour you start whining about being ‘silenced’. This is not your site, you can express yourself however you wish elsewhere, but here at The Standard I’m offering you a choice. Control yourself or I will impose a long ban. It’s up to you…RL]

  14. Herodotus 14

    So we need a radical change – and what do we get from Labour ? Status quo.
    mondayising holidays- How many workers does this exclude from receiving a holiday as they do not work Mondays. From Labours site the EPMU gives us some examples.. those in hospitality and retail. From searching there is no link to what % of our workforce do not work Mondays,. I can think of more reasons to split the days that a holiday is observed and still achieve a long weekend than just going for the easy solution of Mondayising. For a start splitting allows for a greater variety of occupations to benefit from some of the stat days. Instead of an all or nothing basis. At least Grant Robertson approached the subject.
    Of the 1 stat days there is potential for 8 of these to be on a Monday. Only Good Friday and one of the 2 days Christmas/Boxing and New Years and the Day after cannot be on a Monday. Lets be fair and share the stat days around.
    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/05/29/mondayising-anzac-day-and-waitangi-day/

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      You’re a bit behind the times.

      • Herodotus 14.1.1

        I read that- Just I still cannot see any reason why “Mondayising” these 2 days is any improvement that Fridayising? I am open to being persuaded as to why Monday is any better.
        In anly year 4 days are definetely Mionday (Easter, Auck Anni,Labour and Queens B’day) with the potential of 2-3 others . And like this year there is only 9% of them falling on a Friday.
        Also Lab wanted $15/hr last year should in not now be more than $15 as 2 years will have passde (at least?) before Lab has any influence?
        Also if I was being mischievous nat has kept the % of GDP higher than at any time than the last Lab govt !! This is where stats can be used to misinformation !! 😎 But I do know better !! haha

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1

          Also if I was being mischievous nat has kept the % of GDP higher than at any time than the last Lab govt !!

          WTF are you smoking?

          Red Alert

          Yeah, see that big graph at the top? It shows GDP down by 3.2% per capita.

          As for the Mondayising – well, there’s actually a lot that needs to be done with statuary holidays and they have to start somewhere.

          • Herodotus 14.1.1.1.1

            DTB the graph associated with the post shows that since around 08 the % of wages to GDP has grown, from around 42% in 08 to over 45% currently. So the pie has shrunk, but we the workers are have increased our share !!! We still starve !!!
            And re the redalert graph- Review the breakdown of where this growth occurred and what was of a substainable nature. Approx 5% of GPD is building/construction, after the bubble has (almost) burst with housing starts about 35% of what they once were – due to obscene price increases for a home, what did you expect. that alone accounts for the drop in GDP. At least the houses, schools etc currently being built wont rot as quick as those that were previously built and assisted in the GDP growth.
            We in NZ imported low inflation and imported growth in the building industry with immigration not scene since the early 70’s. We cannot just keep importing short term solutions, it is the same as continual borrowing to pay for today. NZ requires a momential change in our outlook and solutions. Lab still follows ther same neolib as Nat except we keep our power coys ( so a tick for Lab there) using some common sense at least.

  15. John 15

    The whole work contract is stale, employees (the majority) are confused and unhappy. The stats pretty solidly for the last 10 years have around fifty percent of employees (the majority of the participants of our economic struggle ) looking to move to a better workplace. That’s a stat that is worringing on so many levels, the modern workplace is a place of bullying and ego and most want a place to work but not under such thoughtless and dim conditions.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15.1

      Yet it never occurred to the employees to start their own businesses? Too hard I guess.

  16. Anton 16

    Great for workers – that’s good. But where’s Labour’s social security policy? Can we expect more nasty Brashkey-like attacks on the poorest of the poor like we had between 1999 and 2008? Deathly silence yet again from our gutless hypocrites Goff, King, Mallard and Dyson. Off with their heads, lying gutless bastards.

    • Afewknowthetruth 16.1

      Anton.

      ‘gutless hypocrites Goff, King, Mallard and Dyson. Off with their heads, lying gutless bastards.’

      Well said. I’m in total agreement. Labour needs to start from scratch with some people who have knowledge and integrity -both of which are missing from the criminals you have named. Add Parker to that list.

  17. randal 17

    more garbage from the geeks who think being in power is the ability to fix parking tickets.

    the Right has the nasty habit of inflicting legislation on the whole population that takes much effort to roll back and repeal.
    iTS not as easy as it seems. Even boscawen had to give up because it was too hard.

  18. Jum 18

    Can you believe the crap they come out with on TV1?

    Giving workers a minimum wage of $15, cancelling the destructive 90day sacking employment bill and signalling other sensible and fair working conditions for working people is, according to the idiot on TV1 news just now, the ploy for Goff to get the top job!!

    That’s odd – I thought that was just the usual thing for Labour to help working people.

  19. randal 19

    Well the ggeks at TV1 have all got nice jobs with locked in pay and conditions and here they are complaining because others want the same.
    No wonder they shill for John Keys and the national party.
    They just greedy f*ckers.

    • burt 19.1

      They are mad, the crazy mothers don’t agree with such a credible leader that the Labour party can rearrange, regulate, control and well manage the workings of the wage economy for half the population – without stuffing it all up. Fools, idiots of little faith – they are not comrades of ours randal.

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  • New Dunedin Hospital project progresses to next stage
    As the new Dunedin Hospital project progresses, the Government is changing the oversight group to provide more technical input, ensure continued local representation, and to make sure lessons learnt from Dunedin benefit other health infrastructure projects around the country. Concept design approval and the release of a tender for early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Jump in apprentice and trainee numbers
    The number of New Zealanders taking up apprenticeships has increased nearly 50 percent, and the number of female apprentices has more than doubled. This comes as a Government campaign to raise the profile of vocational education and training (VET) begins. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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