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Vision part 2: a more equal NZ

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 pm, April 19th, 2012 - 23 comments
Categories: david shearer, equality, wages - Tags:

David Shearer’s delivered his second “Vision” speech.

As a vision speech it is of course light on concrete ideas, but it certainly paints a different picture to a National New Zealand.

It’s largely “Mom and Apple Pie” to us here on The Standard – but it’s the contrast between believing that all New Zealanders should be able to earn a Living Wage; rather than extra wealth at all costs, even if it only goes to a very few people, leaving the rest in poverty.

The call for a Living Wage movement is welcome – we should have companies signing up to say that they care about their staff enough to pay them a wage that they can live on.  It’s not that much to ask for from responsible employers.

National seem happy to have New Zealanders working longer than almost anyone in the OECD, for lower wages.  As Shearer points out:

If wages had grown as much as productivity in the last two decades, the average wage would be $31.85, not $24.43.

“That’s an extra seven dollars an hour, or $297 a week that the average worker earned but didn’t get paid.” …

“It’s now making a virtue of our low wage rates, calling it ‘New Zealand envy’.”

As James points out – we don’t get fat off the crumbs of other people’s tables.

So we do need a government that wants to tackle inequality, wants proper jobs rather than casualised ones and our kids earning or learning.

And it’s great to hear that Shearer wants to deliver that government.

23 comments on “Vision part 2: a more equal NZ ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    As a vision speech it is of course light on concrete ideas…

    Wrong, it’s got a very concrete idea behind it – Business as Usual which means that it’s a failure.

    • fender 1.1

      But the masses wont buy anything but “business as usual” until the shit from the fan hits them in the face unfortunately.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        That too.

      • I’m honestly not sure that’s the case. People seem to want to change, (of various types, admittedly) BUT they don’t necessarily believe that reformers have the “experience” (which means experience in the status quo, usually) to pull it off. Odd distinction, but quite important, as people aren’t quite so pleased with the same insipid “leadership” as you might think.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1

          Need to reach out to the ~30% that didn’t vote and I’m starting to think that experience in the status quo is what’s putting them off.

        • Uturn 1.1.2.2

          I don’t doubt that a certain group want their reformers to be experienced in the kind of change that maintains the status quo. Labour is courting them now, and running headlong into becoming politically obsolete.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    “Average wage”???

    I’m sure that those on the “average wage” of nearly $50K pa will be really glad to see Labour go to bat for them.

    Meanwhile the trodden on under classes and minimum wage working poor, Labour promises to keep you on the priority list somewhere, maybe as a second thought.

    And DTB is right of course. BAU ‘growth is right around the corner’ bullshit is just more of the same.

  3. bad12 3

    If Dave Shearer wants to ‘move’ the voters He should be talking about giving that ‘living wage’ to every last person on the unemployment benefit,

    While He is talking that,He should also be talking ‘who’ is going to have to pay for that ‘living wage’ via taxation to the business audiences He has been addressing,

    Every last one of those currently unemployed, and those who are soon to be crammed onto the ‘looking for work’ list are simply there as a tool,

    Successive Governments have used unemployment as a tool to (a)keep wages rates low despite those successive Governments making soothing noises to the electorate that ‘they’ want higher wage rates in the New Zealand economy,

    (b)Rake in profits for the business community off of the backs of the workers at a higher rate simply by paying lower wage rates,

    And (c),kept the middle and upper middle classes as well as the boss men happy with low interest rates gained by keeping the economy in artificial depression, needlessly creating unemployment and attempting to build a far far longer queue of those seeking employment, in effect using human beings driven into misery for their personal gain,

    Dave Shearer’s response to this is an ‘aspirational’ ‘living wage’ that He expects the under-taxed,over-coddled,silver spoon Tory A-holes to voluntarily sign up to,

    The comment above that that speech signals ‘business as usual’ from Labour is probably more apt than our ”what the f**k”, but seriously, ”what the f**k. do Labour want to be the Party of 30% representing the middle and upper middle class who still have the shred of a social conscience left among them, to us that is what the latest Shearer speech seems to have as its basis…

  4. And all this from a man who wants to make Kiwi Saver compulsory? Which is just steeling from the masses to give to the BAU boys, in a ponzi scam that doesn’t have a future.

  5. Bill 5

    Join the slightly new sounding dots to get the same old tired picture….

    Today I want to talk to the New Zealanders who are doing the work but not reaping the rewards. Here in New Zealand we have been working harder than almost anyone in the developed world. But it’s not paying off.

    The attraction of the Living Wage is that it’s a voluntary pathway, not enforced by law, to incomes above just the minimum wage.

    We need to imagine an economy where we say: Dammit, we can have a country where everyone has enough to live on. We know the answer to this: Raise our productivity by being smarter.

    (emphasises added)

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Yep, it was a load of bollocks. Labour obviously don’t want to scare the rich pricks and so won’t promise anything to those that need a viable society.

  6. Sam 6

    Did any of you stop for a moment to think that the speech is light on policy content because the party doesn’t actually have any policy yet? What exactly would Shearer achieve by standing up and making policy up on the spot? Fuck all, that’s what.

    He’s standing up and saying what the party believes in – decent wages for decent work and a more equal society, so what exactly is wrong with that?

    • David H 6.1

      It’s taken him 5 months to say nothing. So at his current rate, when do you think something positive is going to come out? 5 Years?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      He’s standing up and saying what the party believes in – decent wages for decent work and a more equal society, so what exactly is wrong with that?

      The problem is that he’s not voicing anything that will change the socio-economic system which means that all that vision that he’s talking about won’t come to be. All he’s suggested for bringing it about is more growth which won’t happen due to lack of resources and even if it did happen we’d still be stuck with capitalism which is what’s caused the problems he wants to eliminate.

      • burt 6.2.1

        All he’s suggested for bringing it about is more growth which won’t happen due to lack of resources and even if it did happen we’d still be stuck with capitalism which is what’s caused the problems he wants to eliminate.

        Yes indeed, but he’s waving a red flag with a big “L” on it so good luck convincing the party faithful that he’s just repackaging a failed model.

  7. burt 7

    It’s ironic that after productivity fell so consistently during the last two terms of Labour, to the point that we slipped into recession quietly before the rest of the world, that Labour are now using productivity as a tool to measure relative wage value.

    People buy this shit though, simple simple simple – look how much more we are doing but we are not being paid x-times the wage because we are doing x-times more.

    Lets pretend that having taken 3 days to do [xyz] and getting paid $300 in 1982 that because of the new computer system we have I can do 20 a day now so I should be paid $18,000 every 3 days…. yeah, cause my productivity set a benchmark 20 years ago and that established the amount I should be paid for doing [xyz]. It was how much I was doing not how much I needed for a living wage – dooooh!

    Tell me again how productivity measured over a 20 year period where entire jobs have been created and disestablished translates to wage growth expectations?

    Having lost the battle for the minds Labour now goes for the hearts. Not a bad strategy, just drop the attack dog politics and you might get some traction here.

    • lprent 7.1

      You can’t read a chart in the other post? For some reason I think that you are mistaken. Matter of unthinking faith

      • burt 7.1.1

        lprent

        With all due respect and acknowledging I may have missed something in this “other post” your refer to… apart from intimating – ‘burt can’t possibly be right’ – what the hell are you actually saying here ?

    • KJT 7.2

      “It’s ironic that after productivity fell so consistently during the last two terms of Labour, to the point that we slipped into recession quietly before the rest of the world, that Labour are now using productivity as a tool to measure relative wage value”.

      Burt’s alternative universe again.

      Even a cursory look at MSD and Stat’s NZ, when NZ went into recession, shows Burt is talking total crap.

      Nationals borrow and hope is getting us out if it so fast, of course.

      Even Labour’s slight lurch leftwards improved things for New Zealanders.

      Imagine what throwing off all the recent neo-liberal religious observance would do!

  8. fatty 8

    Shearer was installed by right wing bloggers…he wouldn’t know equality if it slapped him across the face.
    He’s nothing more than another neolib loving “third way” nutjob, there are only 2 things I like about him.
    1. he is so useless that Labour votes are now going to a party with morals – The Greens.
    2. he will accept Mana as part of a coalition

  9. locus 9

    He’s saying that you make sweeping unsubstantiated comments about Labour based on your politcal prejudices without researching and linking to evidence and without acknowledging the evidence that others have taken the trouble to go and look for

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