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Towards a more inequal New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, February 27th, 2013 - 30 comments
Categories: class war, minimum wage - Tags:

The average CEO got a 10% pay rise last year. The average worker got 2.6%. Minimum wage workers will get 1.9% – a 25 cent an hour token gesture. And 30,000 fewer of us have jobs than a year ago and are not earning at all any more. And now we learn the finance sector sucked $440m more out of us last year – a total of $4 billion. No wonder the planes to Aussie are full.


30 comments on “Towards a more inequal New Zealand”

  1. geoff 1

    My guess is the next unemployment figure is going to be over 8%, or that the participation rate is even lower. Maybe both!

    • fatty 1.1

      Moving to OZ at this time of the year is pretty tempting, I’m sure many are going to leave.
      Perhaps its time Labour started campaigning in Australia – how many of their voters are living over there now?..If people continue to jump the ditch, 2014 will become more difficult to win. Getting kiwis in Aussie to vote will be difficult…they have BBQs, beer, pockets full of cash and sun to distract them.

      • Austral.Asian 1.1.1

        Stereotypes, fatty.

        Some remember their heritage .. for a while, but the daily struggle for survival
        in a slowing Australian economy soon takes precedence.

        • fatty

          What do you mean stereotypes?
          I think you missed my point…I have no idea what your point is

  2. johnm 2

    An economy of well paid conceited and arrogant chiefs, but declining numbers of braves and the remaining braves getting shafted by the chiefs. Not a happy tribe with a good future. 🙁

  3. vto 3

    The minimum wage should be raised each year by the larger of politicians annual salary increases or CEO’s annual pay increases.

    Why not?

    What would be unfair about it?

    Gosman? tsmithfield? burt the spurt? anyone?

  4. Weta 4

    Zetetic .. the correct grammar in Aotearoan English should be

    “Towards a More *Unequal* New Zealand”.

    Have you read Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” ?

    It is a great analogy for what is happening at the moment.

  5. Coronial Typer 5

    Anyone got GINI measurements to compare NZ with specific Australian states?

    Is inequality really an emigration driver? Would have thought opportunity would be a more pertinent motivator.

    • fatty 5.1

      yes, my guess is that opportunity is the reason people go to Australia. But, the reason there are no opportunities here is that we have too much inequality.
      So, opportunity is the reason, but inequality is the cause

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        As the wealth accumulates into fewer and fewer hands the opportunities available decline as those with the wealth hang on to it more and more.

  6. So NZ signed a deal with the US with regards to our food safety. What does that mean? Well, for starters the second guy at the FDA is a Monzanto guy and guess what? We are going to cut some red tape with regards to “potential” regulatory burden: What does that mean? Watch Farmageddon and find out!

    • TheContrarian 6.1

      Yeah, don’t think you are on the right page, conspiracy boy.

      • Tom 6.1.1

        To TheContrarian: Has Monsanto, the FDA, the USA, the NZ and/or any other government directly or indirectly instructed or requested that you write supporting any of their actions, policies or positions, or helped to organize or in any way supported you in making any writings?

  7. Polish Pride 7

    Well you have a govt which is right of centre and deals in corporate welfare.
    You like all countries have a monetary system.
    Those on the left want to redistribute wealth away from the wealthy in the form of taxation to various social programmes and benefits (unemployment, sickness and so on)

    Those on the right want to redistribute wealth in the opposite direction.
    The mechanisms that they use to do this are..
    Taxation which is then used to redistribute wealth away from workers to the shareholding class through corporate welfare and tax breaks.
    The other mechanism that they use is the company CEO. His/her role is to have the corporation running as ‘efficiently’ as possible.
    The tools he/she uses to do this are:
    Restructures – designed to take out layers of middle management on mass.
    Automation – designed to replace the jobs that workers do enabling further restructures to eliminate more of the companies workforce whilst retaining or in some cases increasing productivity (machines and computer systems can work 24/7 and don’t require a lunch break.
    Offshoring – designed to send those jobs that are still required, overseas where pay rates are lower and labour laws are more flexible or non existent.
    Govt Grants and tax breaks – free money from the tax payer. But you need to be in the right industry to be able to take advantage of this one.
    In order to ‘incentivise’ CEOs to achieve these goals they are paid higher and higher sums. This is why you have a more and more unequal system. But you always will with the current system.

    The other thing the right does is keep the middle class focussed on
    A: how much money the left wants to take from them in the way of taxes for their social policies
    B: the number of Unemployed receiving a benefit and contributing nothing to society (beneficiaries bad)
    C: That it is businesses and corporates that supply much needed jobs (Jobs good, Corporations good, beneficiaries bad, left wing govt wanting to take more of your money bad).

    Of course you have more than half of the working and middle class that buy the rhetoric and vote right. Then because of the effects of the Rwing policies that lead cuts to things that the workers and middle class need. Things like health education, public service etc. All of this including cuts to benefits leads to less people working, less money being spent in the economy, businesses find it harder, not as much profit, have to lay off staff through restructure, less people spending money, economy shrinks………..Until people again decide to vote left.

    This whole process is then repeated over and over in many countries around the world.
    This is the reason that all we ever do is shift a little to the right, then a little to the left, then right, then left
    But nothing ever really changes
    It is the Left vs Right paradigm and is why the system fails to ever fix the real problems we face. (It can’t) and why the system doesn’t work.
    But you will persist and will continue to cry Left Left Left. And when your party is in power you will think that all is right with the world again.
    The problems won’t get fixed (I don’t mean tinkered with, I mean fixed) they never do.
    Then they will inevitably be voted out and replaced by the R wing govt again.
    You will scratch your heads and ask why?
    You will say we must do this or we must do that, You will say our leader is shit, we must replace him/her.
    All the while not realising that it is just that time within the system, and while the current system remains it will never change. +

    Can the problems we have be fixed. Yes of course! But not by Labour or National. Not by Mana, the Greens or any other political party. And of course not by the current system.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      The hammer of climate change and energy depletion is coming down.

      Pretty soon the accumulated billions of the wealthy ain’t going to be worth what they think its worth.

      • Polish Pride 7.1.1

        Yes there could very well be more and more devastating weather events that will affect and potentially kill millions but we have already seen evidence around the world in many countries of militarisation of the police force, changes to legislation to remove freedoms and increase survelance. The smaller the population becomes, the easier it is to control. For many, what you say might well be the case. For those at the top I don’t think that this will matter. Hell if I was them it would be part of the plan.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Can the problems we have be fixed. Yes of course! But not by Labour or National. Not by Mana, the Greens or any other political party.

      A political party could fix them if they got into government and they were willing to accept tat the current system doesn’t work and thus be willing to replace the current system

      Don’t see that happening with the current political parties though 🙁

      • Polish Pride 7.2.1

        DTC – This I do agree with and for it to even be possible a significant percentage of the population would need to wake up to and understand the failings of the system.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That’s why we have sites like this – to help educate people about the shortcomings of the present system. Once people know that and start questioning even more then enough will, eventually, become knowledgeable enough to demand such a change. The problem is that the people who believe otherwise are trying to prevent that needed change.

  8. Polish Pride 8

    Please don’t be surprised by this. This is the system you continue to vote for each time.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      You don’t get to vote for “the system” in NZ elections. Well, except very occasionally through MMP referenda etc

      • Polish Pride 8.1.1

        You know my thoughts on this – your vote is participation in and therefore tacit approval of the system

        • QoT

          ‘Cause Gods forbid anyone even attempt incremental improvements instead of raeg-quitting when they can’t have earthshattering regime change overnight.

          • Polish Pride

            perhaps you should read my original post again. Perhaps you should inform those living in poverty and those in war torn countries just wait a few more centuries were busy making incremental changes here.
            The changes that need to be made will not be made by any of the existing parties. None of them have the first clue on what the problems are that a good system needs to solve.
            Here’s a clue it’s neither of the problems mentioned above.

          • Polish Pride

            Perhaps you should reread my original post. The system is incapable of solving the problems. Better yet send out a memo to all those living in poverty, living with war, living in substandard housing or not able to afford a house, just hang on a few more centuries, we’re busy making incremental changes over here.

            The current parties will not solve the problems. They do not even know the primary problem that the system needs to solve. At best they tinker around the edges (this will be the incremental changes you refer to) and make changes that will improve something a tad for one group but create another problem elsewhere.

            Sorry but things are getting worse not better and it is time to stop pissing about with incremental changes. What I am doing is hardly rage-quitting I simply have my eyes open to the failings of the system and the parties within it so prefer to spend my time and energy helping people understand why things are getting worse, not better and will only continue to do so. I see no point in supporting (voting) something that will not give us the outcomes we want and will result in making a section of the populations lives worse in doing so by the actions of which ever party is in power.

          • Polish Pride

            apologies for the double post – my screen crashed on submitting the first one so I didn’t think it had registered.

  9. Michael 9

    New Zealand currently leads Australia in the race to the bottom. Low wages and relatively high living costs drive migration from NZ to Oz. The picture may be starting to change with the slowdown in the Australian economy, especially if it extends to the minerals sector. If employment opportunities in Oz contract, look for signs of NZers desperate to return home – and of the Oz government keen to see them go.

  10. The Chairman 10

    Simon Bridges announced a 25-cent increase in the minimum wage, saying he wanted to balance protecting low income earners, employers, and jobs.

    He said there comes a point when you are putting people out of jobs and was clear $15 an hour would put people out of jobs.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/busi ness/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&o bjectid=10867938

    There also comes a point when the question needs to be asked, how long can we continue to sustain poorly performing businesses that can’t afford to pay a living wage?

    These poor investment choices, paying poor returns, are a drag on our overall economy.

    When are we going to address that balance?

    We can’t afford to continue paying low wages to sustain poorly performing businesses.

    A correction is required.

    Lifting the minimum wage will help drive the required change in investment.

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