Why are we working so hard?

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, January 10th, 2016 - 46 comments
Categories: australian politics, business, capitalism, class war, debt / deficit, economy, Economy, employment, Globalisation, journalism - Tags:

Andrew little the future of work

I recently read this fascinating article in New Matilda which asked why are we still working?  With the advent of technological advances our need to work had been predicted to reduce.  Yet the reality for most of us is that it has increased.  And even though it concentrates on Australian conditions the article neatly dovetails in part with my post from yesterday and how the local real estate market has caused much of the problem.

From the article:

As long ago as 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by now, people in technologically advanced societies wouldn’t need to work much at all. When Keynes said this, advances in technology were yielding extraordinary increases in productivity. The implications seemed obvious. If it took less time to produce what we needed, surely we’d work less.

It turns out that for much of the 20th Century average working hours in developed countries steadily fell. Then, around the 1970s, the trend plateaued. In some countries, it reversed and working hours began to climb again. This occurred at the same time women were entering the workforce in great numbers so total workforce participation also increased.

In Australia, by the new millennium, many full time employees were working more than their grandparents had.

The same result clearly applies to New Zealand.  And even though technology increases were greater than had been anticipated why did the need for most people to work increase?

One theory was that as our desire for more and more material goods increased so did our need for money.

Gary Becker observed that our appetite for material goods has expanded along with our ability to produce them. Instead of working less hours, we opted for bigger houses with more gadgets, which we replace more often.

This process has been fuelled by a deluge of marketing, which persuades us to consume things we previously didn’t recognise a need for.

Another theory was that as productivity and automation increased in the well paying jobs the benefits were not distributed.  Instead there was a vast proliferation of service industry jobs that only seemed to exist to provide work.

Consider this. Productivity growth has stalled in Australia. How can this be? Technology hasn’t stopped advancing. The time we should be winning back through productivity gains must be getting reabsorbed.

Productivity returns are highest in capital-intensive industries like mining and manufacturing. As those jobs disappear, either replaced by technology, or lost altogether, the workforce moves into labour-intensive industries like hospitality and professional services. This dilutes the gains in the other industries.

At the same time, unemployment has been trending up since 2008. Young people especially, are out of work. The number of underemployed people, who would work more if they could, is also high. More jobs are casual.

Increasing longevity has also played its part.

There’s another factor. Our lives are now longer relative to our working lives. We tend to start full-time work later, after years of study, and more of life is spent in retirement. Many jobless older people are struggling with the cost of living. Many would work more if they could.

Instead of everyone working less, what seems to be happening is that experienced workers, in professions which are still in demand, are working more, while the young, the old, and those with skills which no longer attract investment have difficulty finding work.

MIT academics Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson refer to this as the great decoupling. For many years, real GDP per capita and median income rose in tandem. Since the 1970s, wages as a percentage of GDP have fallen dramatically, while corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are now at their highest level, despite recurring economic shocks.

To put it simply, labour isn’t as important to growth as it used to be.

And things are not going to get better.  Both the Australian Government and the New Zealand government are not even talking about the issue.  Jobs will continue to be replaced by technology.  Of course the state could be doing something but that would involve it adopting a larger role that would have to be paid for by increased taxes.

The terrible irony in this situation is that there is so much that needs to be done.

Among the underemployed graduates I personally know of, there is a psychologist, a soil chemist and a biodiversity specialist. Have we run out of things to do in the areas of mental health, agriculture and the environment?

Mental illness is widespread. Our food bowl is under threat from climate change. We have a mass extinction on our hands.

What we don’t have, apparently, is sufficient money to invest in making full use of the talent that is available to face these challenges.

Why? What failure of collective enterprise could result in this absurd incongruity?

Capital, like technology, is largely blind to human need. Capital goes where the profit is. If there was profit in healing minds and saving species, some of it would go there. While there is more profit in alcohol, gambling and deforestation, more of it will go there.

The article then contains a call to collective action.

If a healthy society is something we want, we have to act collectively. Since few people are active major shareholders, for the time being that task tends to fall to governments.

Whether enacted via direct spending, or by creating incentives for private investment, government initiatives are funded from collective surplus – in other words, tax revenue or borrowing against future earnings increases. Despite political spin to the contrary, our tax is low compared to the OECD as a proportion of GDP.

The great decoupling has coincided with rising inequality. Those with money to invest get rich. Those with only labour to sell miss out. Capital doesn’t like to pay for labour, and it doesn’t like to pay tax either.

The article then comments on real estate investment.

Nevertheless, one group of people enriched themselves through property investment, pushing up the value of real estate around the country in the process. Another group of people became affluent with nothing more than a job that paid super and a home in a good location.

With commodity revenue pouring in from overseas, it was easy to believe we had discovered some kind of magic prosperity formula. But the surplus generated from commodities mostly wasn’t invested back into productive activity. Instead it was turned into tax cuts and other benefits. These had broad electoral appeal but favoured the wealthy, and encouraged further speculation.

The real estate boom didn’t make the country richer. Nor did it make housing more accessible. It simply transferred wealth from one group of people to another. In the process, it put a basic need out of reach of many, including young people, and diverted investment from the productive economy. It also lured a huge number of Australians into precarious debt.

The next passage deals with the future for the young and applies just as strongly to New Zealand as it does to Australia.

The current trend points to a time when a young graduate might start adult life with a HECS debt, go into credit card debt on a part-time job and a free internship, and eventually get into massive debt to own a flat her grandparents could have bought with ease.

She might even find a job in financial services, if they haven’t all been automated. It’s the sector that helps wealthy people turn their money into more money. It’s also where ordinary people go to borrow money for a house.

The basic problem is clearly identified as debt.  Not government debt which in New Zealand even now is manageable despite 7 prolifigate years of National rule but private debt where each week many ordinary people pay the banks interest for the benefit of created loans.

Debt is profitable. Even during the great decoupling, as productive jobs disappear, and real wages fall, it’s proven possible to harness the aspirations of ordinary people for profit, without any of the effort or intelligence required for developing new productive capacity, by simply enticing a greater proportion of personal income into servicing debt.

And the solution?  Essentially things have to change.
Change has come, whether we like it or not. If we respond intelligently, taking advantage of the potential we have developed through our education system, we may very well end up working less, but not in a divided society, with many of us struggling to survive.

Labour through its Future of Work Commission is leading a discussion of these issues.  This Matilda article provides a neat snapshot of the problems and the potential solutions to this most difficult of issues.

46 comments on “Why are we working so hard?”

  1. Ad 1

    Good gravy Mr Savage why are you making us think so hard on a Sunday?
    Go out and get 18 holes under your belt.

    I’m no longer confident “labour” is a useful lens for policy formation, since we are now so de-unionised and deregulated it’s really hard to see how big change is possible. Even inside 2 terms from 2017.

    I’m as pessimistic that we will pull away from our addiction to real estate capitalism. Other than through the state essentially printing houses and grossly subsidizing them in one form or other.

    We have to look to where policy is still possible. Otherwise tracking all these changes to automation etc is somewhat academic.

    And after you’ve done 18 holes, crack open something cold and shut the freaking computer.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Im over in Oz and I tend to be an early riser. Best way to start the day is to browse the interweb and try and say something about what I found …

  2. Bill 2

    Only poor people need to work in jobs. Jobs produce profit for shareholders etc. If there are not enough poor people, then there’s a danger the whole profitable market shebang and the culture that underpins it, falls over or fades away.

    So find ways to keep enough people poor and engaged.

    Fashion…inbuilt obsolescence…speculation to put necessary stuff (like houses for us or food for many in other countries), financially, just out of reach.

    Maybe unnecessarily privatise health and other stuff like education – just so that people need to earn a crust to avoid potentially unpleasant consequences (and cream the profit).

    Invent nonsense jobs like human resources management positions and cake layer in a pile of lower/middle management positions anywhere and everywhere you can (and cream the profit).

    Keep the culture of ‘job as source of dignity’ ticking along nicely and keep creaming that profit.

    I’ve thrown this example often, but it bears repeating. 15 people with secure material well-being, successfully paying off 18 mortgages, putting substantial savings aside and all from working on average 8 hours per week each in remunerative activity. That was an actual existing reality and there is absolutely no reason why that can’t be a reality for everyone (assuming we’re stupid enough to want to preserve the nonsense that’s the market economy).

    • greywarshark 2.1

      Why 18 mortgages? Are three of the 15 aspirational for a weekend bach? That could be afforded under the old system too and how we enjoyed those baches in the hols.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        Sorry greywarshark, that should have read 18 houses – not 18 mortgages. Collective ownership model (housing collective) tied to a worker’s collective that operated from the same location.

    • Olwyn 2.2

      Invent nonsense jobs like human resources management positions and cake layer in a pile of lower/middle management positions anywhere and everywhere you can (and cream the profit). I’ve thought about that before. Just as middle class people in third world countries often have vague roles within the military, our lot have similarly vague roles within the corporate structure. In both cases the roles are often as much social positions as jobs, and help to maintain a sufficient number whose interests are tied to those of the regime.

    • Chris 2.3

      And make getting a benefit dependent on employment that doesn’t exist. I guess that’s what our current Labour party means when they say they’re the party for the workers. Dickheads.

  3. Of course we could go back to a more ‘socialist’ times. I recall working for a govt department (infrastructure) in the 70s and always said the place could easily run on half the staff. The pay was modest, not much above minimum wages at the time, but work conditions great, good training, safe, secure, good friends, holidays, sick time etc. We wouldn’t become rich, but it was good times and well run, be it somewhat overstaffed, but better perhaps than having more on the dole. Then came rogernomics and ruth richardson eras. Efficiency and cost cutting the name of the game.

    I see the numbers working in my old infrastructure job now only a tiny fraction what it was. Everything is run down, much outsourced to lowest tender, less safe, zero training, minimal security, every hour accountable. Most are now hating their jobs but with few real options to improve. They’re told they are lucky to have a job.

    Now we’re older, I see that perhaps that slightly ‘less efficient’ 70s govt run workplace really had merits. At least people were employed, safe, well trained and had a purpose. Today, those same people are working longer for similar wages, little security. Disposable. There only for the rich offshore shareholders to extract that last ounce of profit. Not the bold promises new technology was supposed to provide.

    I suspect the efficiencies means more for the company owners and shareholders, less for the rest of us. Soon, we’ll follow the US and Russia into more an oligarchy state where we, the workers, are but like serfs as in England of old. At least they knew who their real ‘masters’ were. Still poor working conditions and wages, but the expectations were at least clear.

    Let’s hope my grandchildren or their children, do better but suspect it may mean the pitchforks coming out first, as it has before.

    • ropata 3.1

      NZ is worse off now that we have sold off Telecom (formerly Post Office), Electricorp (formerly Ministry of Energy), BNZ, and the Ministry of Works.

      The sales were a pointless exercise in neoliberal ideology. Having artificially fragmented our tiny markets for these essential services hasn’t caused efficiencies, it has allowed private interests to siphon vast profits from taxpayers. What a f*cking rort.

      • Richard Christie 3.1.1

        The sales were a pointless exercise in neoliberal ideology.

        And more than that, they were theft from the commons. Transfer of wealth from the public to a tiny percentage of the private.

        (And Labour still won’t commit to a programme of recovery, or re-nationisation. Unfortunately once the TPP is enacted it will all be academic as the TPP will render any nationalisation impossible due to threat of legal action.)

      • Magisterium 3.1.2

        I remember what it was like dealing with the NZ Post Office for telecommunications services and I’d rather shoot myself than go back.

        • weka 3.1.2.1

          Pretty sure that Telecom, before the govt sold it, had changed a lot and was pushing forward with major upgrades in services and how it ran the various businesses (that also was before the govt fucked up the infrastructure ownership). Can’t really compare pre-80s telcos with current ones, the technology and culture means the industries are completely different from each other.

          Now, if you’d compared NZPost back then and NZPost now, I’d have to say NZPost now is a company on a mission to be sold off. It operates as if it really doesn’t want customers, they’re an annoyance that have to be fitted into the business model. Which takes us back to the original comment. We could run core services as actual services, rather than as profit-generating businesses that see service as an expendable variable.

    • gsays 3.2

      hi detrie,
      well said.
      i hear what you are saying, i would add that one of the many intangibles from the 70s organization you described is; the off spring of those ‘underemployed’ workers seeing their parent(s) going off to work.

      quietly i want to add, bring on the pitchforks.

  4. thechangeling 4

    A very thought provoking read.

  5. savenz 5

    I filled out Labour’s Future of Work Commission survey. It was a very odd survey and like many of the kind they had a lot of bias in areas and sadly I do not feel that it will produce any meaningful incites for Labour.

    Good post though and I really think that is a very important question – why are people working harder than before and making it difficult to make ends meet?

    Personally I think it is neoliberalism and globalism.

    The ‘trickle down’ has not happened. Instead the obsene profits are used to reward the executives at the top and shareholders. Workers are told they are lucky to have a job, let alone being given a rise to keep place with the cost of living.

    Immigration is used to keep a steady supply of competition and low wage work force. Social welfare is cut so that that option is not viable for most. Jobs are now not able to cover peoples expenses. It is happening all over the world. Here is a good article from the USA>

    “Welcome to the “1099 economy”: The only things being shared are the scraps our corporations leave behind
    Companies can hire and fire perma-lancers at will. Is it any wonder the middle class is vanishing before our eyes?”

    http://www.salon.com/2015/12/29/the_sharing_economy_partner/

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      the capitalist class need people to work harder than before, for less than before, in order to maximise the economic surplus that they can skim off.

      Old fashioned Marxian economic analysis makes the answer obvious and simple to understand.

  6. Productivity has increased hugely in the last 30 years but real wages have remained static. That is due to a) regressive taxation favouring capital over labour b) unfair labour laws c) a culture of corporate excess at the executive level d) the growth of easy credit and consequent debt burdens e) transnational corps leading to a race to the bottom of the labour market

    It’s called class war, but that’s not acceptable in polite company.

  7. Hey Mickey looks like your namesake has just written an excellent book on this topic 😀

    Mike Savage: Social Class in the 21st Century

    The old class war may be over: the new politics of class is just beginning. The widening fracture between the wealthy elite and the rest is a huge threat to our social fabric…

    Given the widening distance (economically, socially and geographically) between the super-rich and the rest of us, the solidifying barriers to entry into the upper echelons of professional and business employment, and the growing acceptability of demonising members of the “precariat” with the very least resources, the 21st century is likely to be marked by increasingly disruptive challenges to the social fabric. The old class war may be over: the new politics of class is only just beginning.

  8. Wainwright 8

    “we opted for bigger houses with more gadgets, which we replace more often”

    This line of thinking blames the working class for problems created by the marketing idustry and companies obsessed with shortterm profit which can only be ensured by making crap which breaks down/artificial demand for the latest newest “upgrade”.

  9. Macro 9

    With house prices escalating as they have over recent decades – those who can scrape up enough cash for a deposit would be “foolish” not to buy. The mathematics of the investment seem speak for themselves. Either they continue to pay rent (and in doing so help pay off some one elses mortgage, or they bite the bullet and pay off their own with the expectation that should they sell in the future the price of the house will have increased sufficiently to cover the outstanding mortgage and their equity will have increased.
    Of course this plays into the trading banks hands very well. They have been given the license to create almost as much money as they want and to reap rewards accordingly. With the acquisition of a huge sum of credit and the so-called “security’, in the form of a house, the price of which, one hopes, continues to appreciate, one is now able to extend that credit to purchase more goods – cars, the latest TV, throw away the old gizmo and buy a new one, (why not two!) and so on. The first problem with all this is one has to somehow or other pay for it – eventually. So “I owe I owe – so off to work I go!
    The second problem is that with a growing world population and working population the competition for paying employment is increasing – And that has a direct effect on just how much one can demand in the way of renumeration – along with the apparent ever increasing price of housing largely forced up by the banks making money so readily available.
    We need to rethink our whole economy and finance system and that is a world wide problem. The only other result will be a world wide crash of immense proportions similar to the great depression.
    As the investment banker interviewed here says “If there is one rule in the city – you can’t make money out of nothing – except just this once we think we might!”

  10. katipo 10

    Have to agree with you Macro we need to rethink the finance system. First agasint the wall should be the the out of control derivatives market. The following graphic is a good illustration as to how f’d up things have become…

    http://money.visualcapitalist.com/all-of-the-worlds-money-and-markets-in-one-visualization/

  11. greywarshark 11

    Re Richard Christie 3.1.1
    This stealing/transfer from the commons comes to my mind so often when i hear the latest exploits from the Nasties and sometimes from Labour. The removal of crofters from Sutherland in Scotland because sheep and wool were the new gold rush saw small uneconomic units in crofts emptied of people and amalgamated. That drove many Scots to emigrate. The conditions and attitudes they fled from are being exhibited here.

    The conditions that workers came here to avoid are creeping into our lives, and will continue all the way to great tragedy unless NZ people rise and get a Charter as they did in Britain with a statement of what they need for life to be livable. There was a swell of opinion in Britain when the Tolpuddle Martyrs who started a southern agricultural labourers union were sent as convicts to Australia, such that great sums of money and pressure was raised to have them returned. And more was available to buy the tenancy of a farm to give them the living the Chartists and wellwishers felt they deserved. The landed class continued to distrust and isolate them though.

    How many wellwishers do we have in NZ towards our fellows? They are in their thousands, but what number thousand? They will have to declare their care, come forward and work together for betterment. Labour supporters have lost power over their leaders, who are stuck with superglue. But those supporting Labour themselves need support, as they have the vital numbers to do something.

    I’m thinking that political thinkers of the left variety have to prop up Labour, and at the same time get alternatives going. Get behind a group of left thinking parties that will coalesce and work together for the good of the country and not just for their own particular sector of progressive policy, dissing all others. I think we have to accept that Labour will never live up to its name again, and will be at the margins of needed activity and policy. But if that is accepted, then if my premise is right, we need to not criticise much. Criticising when you want and expect improvement as a result is reasonable, but when that can’t be gained, then just helping them through their hoops would be the best move. Creating controversy for the Nasties to inflate is self-defeating.

    If the Greens don’t fire you, adopt another NZ-thinking party, don’t waste time on single issue stuff. If we can get a left coalition in then we can get some things done which the people want, including medical marijuana and working conditions and hours, and trains that run, and some kindness and understanding to one another while we budget wisely where we can get the most bang for our buck, which will cut down on some of the authoritarian memes that are madly continued, like more people in prison etc. And always remembering that we have the USA, UK, and other life-denying cultures ready to use us for their scientific experiments, thinking Monsanto, Chinese eugenic plans.

    • ropata 11.1

      100% grey, go to the top of the class.

      Review of Linebaugh’s “Stop, Thief! The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance”

      Commoning is fundamental to the working class, even if capitalism has convinced many of us otherwise. “[V]arious forms of commoning, some traditional and some not, provided the proletariat with the means of survival in the struggle against capitalism. Commoning is the basis of proletarian class solidarity, and we can find this before, during, and after both the semantic and the political birth of communism.”

      The removal of peasants from the land and their transformation into proletarians dispossessed of ownership of the means of production required a centuries-long battle of outlawing these traditions while building fences and jails. As the old rhyme notes,

      The law locks up the man or woman
      Who steals the goose from off the common
      But lets the greater villain loose
      Who steals the common from the goose.

      The privatization of the commons saw the rise of prisons, the police, and the creation of criminal codes defining crime as anything that offended propertied interest. One of Stop, Thief!’s most interesting chapters details Karl Marx’s transformation from liberal lawyer to revolutionary in his writings and research on the illegality of collecting firewood in German forests.

  12. Observer (Tokoroa) 12

    To; MickySavage

    You have put together a fine Article.

    As can be expected, the clods of the Right will do whatever they can to write your piece off as mere junk mail.

    However, the smug Greens that run this Standard Org Blog (by sheltering under the long history and very creditable success of Labour, including Clarke and Cullen) will continue to slag off the Labour Party as less than excrement.

    One of your commentators refers to Labour as dickheads. It is not just a case of Why are We Working so Hard? Why are we saddled with the Greens so filthy and so depressive? No wonder they gather so few harmless followers.

    They are the great depressives in politics . Nothing to offer anyone but abuse.

    I hope your Article is widely read Micky Savage. A pity your fellow Greens won’t disseminate it widely.

    • mickysavage 12.1

      Observer I am a proud member of the labour party! This is why I pushed the future of employment stuff because the party are on the right track in relation to this. But some of my best friends are green and the left has always had a loud passionate and somewhat tortured reltationshib between the different groupings.

      • Observer (Tokoroa) 12.1.1

        To: MickySavage

        For mine Micky, you are an excellent writer. Your content is superb too. How on earth you contribute so much amazes me.

        I apologise for not knowing you are a member of the Labour Party. Your constructive approach to important issues should have alerted me.

        You are doing a powerful task !

    • greywarshark 12.2

      Further to my thoughts on Labour. Present Labour is like a wealthy old aunt who has an uncertain temper and a sarcastic tongue but when she needs you you help her out.
      She is family and in the end there might be some good come out of it, she mighn’t leave all her money to the Cats Home.

      And read Observer (Tokoroa) for an example of the stultified thinking about politics among many. It’s like reading something from the 1900s.

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    The NZ Labour Party is somewhat incoherant on this topic.

    For instance: certain Senior Labour MPs still think that the retirement age needs to be raised, and that workers need to be made to work longer and harder into their greying, worn out years.

    Even as there are far too few decent paying, secure jobs for young Kiwis.

    It’s illogical. Labour’s incoherence, in my opinion, comes from a combination of a lack of future vision, and a lack of willingness to break new ground.

    IMO what needs to happen: the 4 day 32 hour working week at $20/hr minimum wage needs to be made standard, and penalty rates reintroduced for anything over that.

    • BM 13.1

      A PM these days can’t just stand up and decree this is how it shall be.
      How does a society transform to that scenario.?

      What’s your road map?

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        The magnitude of the challenges being faced is growing by the day. As is the gap between what is needed and what is currently being thought about in the Thorndon Bubble. And yep you are quite right, there needs to be a deliberate and planned transition. A transition which is given political impetus by Kiwis who can imagine something other than National and Labour’s minor ineffectual tinkering with the status quo.

      • dave 13.1.2

        john key decreed a brighter future BM are you saying he wasn’t being truthfully

    • mickysavage 13.2

      It is the trouble with globalisation, the multinationals will then scuttle off to the country that does not have a minimum wage so the production of their stuff is cheaper.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        yes their plan is to have wages and standards throughout the western world converge on the lowest common denominator.

        This strategy of theirs has been obvious for 20 or more years. Just look at NAFTA.

        The ruling class, left and right, Republican and Democrat, National and Labour, are all supporters of globalisation and neoliberalism as an unchangeable fact of life.

        • millsy 13.2.1.1

          That is why we hear so much about apparently, those in the BRICS countries are ‘so happy’ about their lot in life, and they are ‘greatful for what they have’, and that ‘we should learn a few things from them’.

          The powers that be more or less want to drag living standards in the west down to the level of the BRICS countries – no labour standards, unions, welfare net, or even decent housing.

  14. gsays 14

    fwiw, i have just resigned from my job, cooking in a wonderful rural cafe.
    i am nearly 50 and have known my employer since she was 6 (she is now 27), and am a close friend of her dad.
    i am fortunate to have had a lovely 21 yr old Chef, and it has been satisfying to have been involved in her development in the last year.

    i have struggled with the lack of unity within a very young, small workforce.
    most of the empolyees look up to the boss, are a cousin or just don’t wanna rock a boat. btw the boss spent the last 6 months working in the outback of oz and hasn’t worked any shifts.

    for the last 3 months we have been understaffed on the busy shifts (sat and sun) generally by one or two people.

    i dont view the skipper as evil, money hungry or ‘corporate’ minded.
    it just seems to be the way of the world.
    the staff rise to the occasion, the public tolerate the wait time and the shift ends and the next one will start the next day.

    anyhow, i’ve had enough, worked too hard, too often. i plan (after helping a friend to develop his cafe’s outdoor area- cob pizza oven, bbq etc) to go into early childhood education/childcare.
    back to the bottom in terms of wages, but i’d rather be in the sandpit than do another gluten free french toast.

    • ropata 14.1

      Probably a fairly typical NZ small business except for the absentee boss.
      S/he seems to be losing interest. It happens. Might be an opportunity to go into a partnership if the cafe is still making $$$

  15. gsays 15

    hi ropata,
    i think you are spot on in the losing interest.

    it is doing good $.

    funny you mention the partnership thing.
    it has not ocurred to me before.
    i have started, run and sold a hospo business in the past.
    that has made me gunshy of doing it again, however…

    i am dead keen on the idea of a worker run business.

    just when i was comfortable with the idea of some relaxed wage slavery in childcare, you plant the seed of a potentially beautiful future.

    thanks.

  16. Daphna 16

    The trend to longer working hours – and also working harder and faster – is now well-entrenched in capitalism. Since the end of the long postwar boom (late 1940s to early 1970s), there has been no new, sustained boom and theer is no sign of one emerging. So the prospect of us working less hours, particularly over our lifetime, is not anywhere in sight.

    Moreover, the trend now is also to raise the retirement age.

    Here are a few things on both these subjects, which folk might be interested in:
    Whatever happened to the leisure society?: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/whatever-happened-to-the-leisure-society/
    Pensions and the retirement age – the problem is capitalism, not an aging population: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/pensions-and-the-retirement-age-the-problem-is-capitalism-not-an-aging-population/

  17. Grim 17

    wow, great discussion, and Op.

    Additionally, being productive is a negative in our current system, it becomes a cost, wait that’s crazy.

    selling a house to an overseas buyer should expand the currency supply, as currency is only representative of value and not of value itself.

    So new money into the system, expansion of supply introduced as debt at OCR, you could look at this as a tax, but a tax above the supply : expansion =100% with interest/tax of OCR above expansion, placed on top, crazy. Our debt grows inline with growth, the harder we work, the more we produce the worse the overall debt becomes, flawed system or by design?

    The above is exactly the same for all school leavers entering the workforce, all new created value in the system, the government, even before the banks play their fractional reserve games have consigned the country to debt slavery.

    The regulation of currency supply is based on GDP, but using a debt mechanism and banks to introduce the currency is as a debt is wrong,

    I used to think the universal income crowd was crazy, (the money for nothing ideology, but change that slightly to invest and profit and here we are)

    You could increase money supply via the tax system, and direct payment of government services, it’s all in place, credit citizens inline with GDP increases, instead of an ever increasing debt, you have an ever increasing wealth creation, you know, like an investment.

    Economy increases, currency expanded as a dividend( not debt) citizens share in economic growth directly, then spend that money in the local economy creating a feedback loop, things only get better.

    Maybe constraints on exports/imports, pretty much opposite of Globalization,

    Treasury does not adjust OCR as a tool to control inflation as it was designed, seem to do the opposite, they need watching.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Confirmation bias
    Something slightly deeper. Facebook is an out of control dangerous institution that neatly divides us up into our own tribes and lets us reinforce our beliefs with each other while at the same time throw rocks ...
    Confirmation bias
    7 hours ago
  • Andrew Little leads NZ delegation on global anti-terrorism taskforce
    Justice Minister Andrew Little leaves for the United States today to take part in a global task force that’s tackling terrorism and anti-money laundering. “I’m looking forward to leading the New Zealand delegation to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Third reading: Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Bill
    Mr Speaker We have travelled a long way in eight days, since the bill was read a first time. It has been a punishing schedule for MPs and submitters and public servants who have played a role in this process. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal framework for gun buyback scheme announced
    Police Minister Stuart Nash has announced a legal framework for the gun buyback will be established as a first step towards determining the level of compensation. It will include compensation for high capacity magazines and parts. Mr Nash has outlined ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Second reading: Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines and Parts) Amendment Bill
    Mr Speaker, it is Day 25 of the largest criminal investigation in New Zealand history. Not a day, or a moment, has been wasted as we respond to the atrocity that is testing us all. That is true also of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • First reading: Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines and Parts) Amendment Bill
    Mr Speaker, as we meet today New Zealand is under a terror threat level of HIGH. As we meet today, Police are routinely carrying firearms, Bushmaster rifles and Glock pistols, in a significant departure from normal practice. As we meet ...
    3 weeks ago
  • NZ-China economic ties strengthened
    Economic ties between New Zealand and China are being strengthened with the successful negotiation of a new taxation treaty. The double tax agreement was signed by New Zealand’s Ambassador to China and by the Commissioner of the State Taxation Administration ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Tighter gun laws to enhance public safety
    Police Minister Stuart Nash has introduced legislation changing firearms laws to improve public safety following the Christchurch terror attacks. “Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack will be banned,” Mr Nash says. “Owning a gun is a privilege not ...
    3 weeks ago