Wee gripes

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, September 1st, 2009 - 16 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

Seeing as Zet’s taken to writing serious posts these days, I thought I’d try my hand at a few wee gripes:

– I see Larry Baldock’s still crying about the stupid, leading question on the smacking referendum being ignored, while Family First continues to run full page ads in the newspaper whining that the Government won’t listen to same stupid, leading referendum question.

Don’t these people have anything better to do with their time? The way they’re carrying on you’d think their Christian fundamentalist backers in the US were demanding a return on their investment.

– Is it just me or does anyone else find it kind of repulsive that in the same week it’s revealed Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds is screwing Kiwis out of $7 million a year, Business Roundtable director Roger Kerr devotes his entire Dom Post column to complaining that the minimum wage is too high?

For some context, it takes Paul Reynolds a day and a half to make what a person on the minimum wage earns in an entire year.

– Do you reckon next time Matt McCarten wants to go on Morning Report as a political commentator attacking Len Brown’s candidacy for Auckland Supermayor he could declare his vested interest as a key backer of prospective rival left candidate Mike Lee? Just sayin’.

16 comments on “Wee gripes”

  1. Peter Martin 1

    ‘”Should Members of Parliament as part of good governing ignore a referendum with 87.4% support of the people?”

    *laff* Ya have to admit he is on a roll…

  2. snoozer 2

    I love that he’s basically unconsciously parodying himself with the ‘good governing’ bit

  3. The Voice of Reason 3

    (Matt McCarten) “could declare his vested interest as a key backer of prospective rival left candidate Mike Lee?”

    Well, that’s Lee fucked then. Anybody care to put up something that Matt has organised that actually led to sustainable success? Other than success in keeping Matt in the media, I mean.

  4. snoozer 4

    VoR. Now, that’s not fair. McCarten and Chris Trotter have successfully created the impression of deep factionalism in the Left where none exists for years. That’s quite an achievement for two guys in Auckland largely detached from the Wellington-based insiders.

    To be fair, though – Unite has done well even if its prepetually on the verge of bankruptcy.

  5. The Voice of Reason 5

    My real gripe with Matt is that if he encourages Mike Lee to stand, the left vote will be split and Banks will get back in. This scenario has been the case so many times in the past that you’d think we would have woken up to it by now. Students of German electoral history will be able to back me up on this one.

    But Matt seems to revel in the role of splitter and I stand by by suggestion that he has never organised a sustained success. Unite, as snoozer notes, is an empty shell, not a vibrant organisation, the Maori Party have quickly degenerated into the toothless poodles of the National Party I always thought they’d become and the Alliance went belly up in two terms.

    I heard him on National Radio and wondered where the fuck he was coming from and now I know. It’s too late for Lee, the left already has a credible candidate for mayor. By all means stand for council, but FFS, don’t do Banks’s work for him in the big race.

  6. Gordon Shumway 6

    I don’t understand the Paul Reynolds one.

    1. Do “Kiwis” pay Raynolds’ salary or do the shareholders of Telecom. Presumably they feel as it they’re getting value for money or else they’d end the relationship.

    2. In this context, what does “screwing” Kiwis mean? Is he sneaking it out the back door in the boot of his car or have you simply chosen over-the-top language so you can avoid supporting your rant with substance?

    3. What does minimum wage have to do with the job of CEO of Telecom? Are you saying he should be paid minimum wage? Can you say “straw man”?

    4. “For some context”, it takes Tiger Woods less than 1/4 of a day walking on manicured fairways to make what I earn in an entire year, but do I bizarrely believe that his unique skills and abilities should determine what someone gets paid in an unrelated role? No.

    If you don’t believe, for example, that ANYONE should be allowed to earn more than $100,000 a year (or whatever), at least come out and say that so we can understand what you’re advocating.

    Then I don’t sit here wondering where your post is on how “repulsive” Tiger Woods’ pay is, or Ritchie McCaw’s, or the Harry Potter author’s, or the guy who invested Tai Bo, etc., etc., yawn.

    • The Voice of Reason 6.1

      Tiger, Tai bo man, Ritchie and JK Rowling have not overseen the sacking of hundreds of people as part of the justification for their earnings. All of them are entertainers (in the broad sense) whose income is generated by people willingly paying to see their skills. Neither have they overseen the running down of the industry they represent and the wilful failure to invest in the future.

      Reynolds is a blow in who will piss of with his loot as soon as some other Telco gives him the nod to root their workers too. What a bludger.

      • Gordon Shumway 6.1.1

        So the issue is that you don’t like some of the decisions he has made on behalf of his shareholders/board, rather than you don’t like how much he gets paid…? That’s different to comparing his salary with someone else doing a totally different job.

        As I said before, the shareholders are the ones who get to direct Reynolds’ actions and presumably they remain pretty happy with his performance.

        There are plenty of CEOs around the world who get paid a lot more than Reynolds and who haven’t made anyone redundant recently. I’m assuming you’re OK with that even though it takes them less than “half a day” to earn what someone else earns in a year…?

        • The Voice of Reason

          There are indeed plenty of CEO’s ’round the world’ who get paid more than Reynolds, but none in NZ. That’s the reason it’s news. I’d be interested in knowing which of them ‘haven’t made anyone redundant lately’. That seems unlikely given the crap the world economy is in and the rush to restructure companies, whether it is needed or not.

          And Gordon, don’t assume anything about my views. Stick to what I actually write, please. But to make it easier for you, yes, I think the culture of obscene overpayment to the likes of Reynolds, and the other wideboys, con artists and spivs around the world is the prime reason for the depth of this recession.

          • Gordon Shumway

            I’m not assuming anything about your views. I’m just trying to draw out some sort of consistent principle (if indeed there is one) that makes you so certain Mr Reynolds is overpaid.

            Reynolds and minimum wage earners to TOTALLY different jobs. The comparison made in the original “gripe” is facile.

            The shareholders of Telecom are clearly very comfortable with what Reynolds is paid. His successor (whoever it will be) will be paid something similar. You – without having in front of you any of the pertinent information that would have been considered by the Telecom board – seem to belive he is overpaid. Other than “5 million is a lot of money”, what’s your reasoning for that?

            Is it really Reynolds the person who it the target of your anger, or is it the fact that, in general, CEOs get paid a hell of a lot more than workers AND those same workers sometimes get laid off by CEOs?

            • The Voice of Reason

              “I’m assuming you’re OK with that even though it takes them less than “half a day’ to earn what someone else earns in a year ?”

              “I’m not assuming anything about your views.”

              One of these things is not like the other, Gordon.

              Mate, I am angry at Telecom’s astonishing ability to waste money like this on a temporary worker while at the same time dealing to a bunch of loyal, permanent workers who deserve much, much better from their employer. Hell, I’m angry that Telecom was sold in the first place, that it refuses to significantly return profits to infrastructure upgrades and that in 2009, I’m sending this via dial up, because the money that would have provided a proper broadband roll out has been wasted on the likes of Reynolds.

              And I stand by the comment about the culture of obscene overpayment. Look at all the banks that have folded around the world, look at the destruction of industry because the cash for development went to a bunch of besuited snake heads.Look at the ridiculous prices of houses here in NZ, too. Greed is not good, it’s just greed.

          • Gordon Shumway

            PS – I believe it is hyperbolic nonsense to suggest that a “culture of obscene overpayment” is the “prime reason for the depth of this recession”.

            That sort of comment shows you’ve no perspective at all on how $5 million executive salary compares to the actual assets, income and borrowings of organisations such as Telecom (which isn’t even remotely big when compared to real large corporates around the world).

            • Pascal's bookie

              Gordan, do you really think it so strange to assert that a bureaucracy would be captured by the bureaucrats to further their own interest over that of those the bureaucracy exists to serve?

              Your rather old fashioned ideas about shareholder approval ignore the fact that most public companies are dominated by institutional investors. Those institutions vote according to how their bureaucrats decide. How hard would it actually be to identify the natural persons that ‘own’ telecom?

              I’d say it’d be a fairly extensive task, and that the individuals concerned (who are in all probability putting 50 dollars a week into a unit trust) would for the most part be completely unaware that they own shares in Telecom, let alone who Reynolds is or how much he gets paid. And you are claiming that they are happy with his paycheck.

              It’s a farce mate, as JK Galbraith put it:

              “The myths of investor authority, of the serving stockholder, the ritual meetings of directors and the annual stockholder meeting persist, but no mentally viable observer of the modern corporation can escape the reality. Corporate power lies with management – a bureaucracy in control of its task and its compensation.”

              That’s from his short book The Economics of Innocent Fraud. You should give it a read. As I said it’s short, and it’s cheap. Penguin does a pocket edition that can be had for under twenty bucks.

  7. Gordon Shumway 7

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

    You guys (TVOR, PB) seem to believe that institutional shareholders would prefer to overpay for a CEO (or in fact actively do so), while at the same time keeping the rest of the organisation lean. There is no inherent evil in corporate governance and supervision.

    If it’s fair for you to patronisingly suggest my ideas are “old fashioned”, then I’ve got to say to my mind your comments (and Eddie’s original post) suggest very little understanding of how big corporates actually operate, and indeed how many checks and balances come into play for listed companies in particular.

    Greed may indeed be the cause of the financial crisis, but the “worker” who spends above his means is equally deserving of blame and more likely to be the “cause” than CEO’s earning more than you and me. Like I said, hyperbolic nonsense.

  8. Swampy 8

    You obviously are bothered that these people have stood up to campaign for their democratic rights that the Labour and National parties completely ignored when they pushed through the anti smacking bill. Why should it bother you, unless somehow your conscience is telling you that their democratic rights are the same as the ones you are invoking in the Supercity debate.

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