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Working Kiwis aren’t lazy

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 pm, May 24th, 2010 - 74 comments
Categories: class war, wages - Tags:

Some commentators have excitedly repeated the Nats’ line that, after the October 1 tax swindle, people earning over $50,000 will be paying a lower % of their tax in income tax than counterparts in Australia.

That forgets that in Australia GST is only 10% and doesn’t apply to most food. But, more importantly, why are we celebrating that most Kiwis pay higher taxes than in Australia and the well-off, especially the very rich, pay less?

In Australia, there is a tax-free bracket up to $6,000, a 40% rate kicks in at $80,000, and a 45% rate comes in at $180,000. If we want to catch Australia why are we heading the opposite why in our system?

What are our values? Why is the priority to have lower taxes for the well-off? Why not give working New Zealanders the break or the public services they want and need? Why is the Right’s answer that anyone who isn’t on a high income doesn’t work hard and is undeserving?

In reality, more Kiwis on low and middle incomes do long hours than high income workers. Check out the Department of Labour’s study Working Long Hours.


The study states: “As working hours rise to 60 or more per week, increases in working hours are associated with decreases in income. As such, while 47% of workers working 5054 hours each week have annual incomes over $50,000, only 37% of workers working 7579 hours each week and 31% of workers working 85 or more hours each week have incomes over this amount. A full 54% of those who report working the longest hours (85 or more each week) have incomes of $40,000 or less each year, and 65% have incomes of $50,000 or less each year.”

Add to that all the Kiwi workers who want to work but can’t get work – the 263,000 jobless workers – and those who want more hours but can’t get them – the 100,000 underemployed.

The Right claims that people who aren’t on high incomes are just lazy and need to work harder, and, so, are undeserving of a fair deal. It’s insulting, it’s false, it’s just another excuse for maintaining the wealthy’s privileged position.

74 comments on “Working Kiwis aren’t lazy”

  1. clandestino 1

    So true. I’ve worked many jobs where people worked hard and went for as many hours as were available (even on the min wage) just because they needed the money to live. Not to mention everything they’d give up to work (kids etc.). And what do they get told? Work even more! Harder! And don’t worry that 5% pay rise your manager got this year is so they can hound you to work more..

  2. luva 2

    “The Right claims that people who aren’t on high incomes are just lazy and need to work harder, and, so, are undeserving of a fair deal. It’s insulting, it’s false, it’s just another excuse for maintaining the wealthy’s privileged position.”

    Marty we know you have a partisan agenda but really that is just an absurd statement. To be even remotely close to reality you would have to add the following words to the beginning of you sentence “A very small minority on the extreme right…”

    I am yet to see anyone claim that people who aren’t on high incomes are “lazy”. Please correct me if I am wrong but which individual said low income earners are lazy. And if there is such a person I confidently predict he is in the very small minority as opposed to representing the right in general.

    I would put myself right of centre and I definitely do not think those who aren’t on high incomes are lazy or need to work harder. I mix with people who you would look down your nose at as disgusting Tories, some of them are even members of that most evil organisation the National Party. And shock horror they don’t actually think low income earners are lazy. Most of them were low income earners at some stage so know first hand the falsehood of that statement.

    You can try and make a class war out of this but peace will break out fairly quickly as the majority on the right don’t believe your assertion to be true.

    • Marty G 2.1

      Every discussion with the righties on this blog on inequality has seen their argument boil down to ‘i worked hard to get rich, others should too. if they don’t, stuff them’.

      you might be an honourable exception but then how do you defend taking money off low and middle income new zealand to give hundreds or thousands or dollars a week to the most wealthy people in this country?

      “Most of them were low income earners at some stage so know first hand the falsehood of that statement.”

      most of them believe that it was their will and hard work that got them out of low income work and if others aren’t on high incomes they must lack the necessary moral fibre, and, so, are morally undeserving.

      • jcuknz 2.1.1

        The lie to your argument is that the workers HAVE been given a tax cut [ money] and those with bigger salaries have been given a larger taxcut. The only way you can justify your position is to say that the workers should have been given a bigger share of the handout. Since there are so many more of the workers the amount would be so small as to be lost on trivia. There is a greater chance of meaningful investment by giving the money to the higher paid workers who are more likely to organise employment for the unemployed rather than workers creating start-ups. most of which we know fail within five years..

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          Except that the wealthy are saying the govt needs to sell them kiwibank or something to invest in.

          • jcuknz 2.1.1.1.1

            I am sure that while many workers are struggling to make ends meet these days there are also many who would have a small amount of spare cash to buy shares in Kiwibank. The important point here is to ensure that the shareholding remains in NZ hands by restricting share ownership to long standing NZ residents, with no compensation for forfet if that condition is found lacking. That purchase of Kiwibank shares could be an alternative to Kiwifund contributions so long as they are not on-sold.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Firstly, you seem to be contradicting the point I was replying to. You were saying that giving the wealthy a good chunk of money is good because they will use it to produce jobs, I responded that at the moment investors seem to be implying that they are out of ideas and would like to invest in some of what the stupid government has built.

              Nextly, how exactly are we going to stop shares being traded in the way you describe, and if we could, wouldn’t that rather defeat the alleged benefits of privatising them, ie, market oversight and such?

        • Marty G 2.1.1.2

          jcuknz. that is exactly my point, the money should have been distributed fairly. ideally though a zero tax bracket.

          I love that you think the ‘money would have been lost on trivia’ if given to working Kiwis but the rich would presumably spend it on important things.

          More class prejudice.

          • jcuknz 2.1.1.2.1

            My personal experience as a ‘worker’ is that a small amount of extra money simply dissapears, perhaps another loaf of bread whatever, whereas an appreciable sum gets put to something useful. It is not class prejudise which you of all people seem to know so much about but rather basic logic of decades of carefully managing my own slender income and resources.
            Though slender is a relative term relating to one’s responsibilities.

            It seems obvious that the country cannot afford to do something like putting in a meaningful threshold for income tax, that any tax cut is going to be negligable for most of us, we are too many for it to work. I am pleased that for the moment there is a small balance in my favour of a basically fiscally neutral tax change to help pay for looming increases, set up by the last Labour Government we should remember.

            That the ‘rich pricks’ get get a decent amount in the hope that will help the ecconomy to recover quicker is balanced by the fact that when the repayment of the borrowing starts the ‘ ‘rich pricks’ will be doing most of the repaying …. something which seems to be lost on the class-war merchants with their limited comprehension beyond their foolish struggle.

            Note that c-w m inhabit both The Standard and also Kiwiblog and many other less popular blogs.

        • felix 2.1.1.3

          jcuknz: “Since there are so many more of the workers the amount would be so small as to be lost on trivia.”

          So the tax cuts, when spent by a few rich people, achieve a positive result whereas if larger numbers of poorer people were allowed to spend the very same money it would be a waste of effort.

          If that’s how it works then surely the smart thing to do would be to give all of the tax cut money to the one single richest person in NZ.

          Then we’d all get the maximum return, right?

      • sean14 2.1.2

        “how do you defend taking money off low and middle income new zealand to give hundreds or thousands or dollars a week to the most wealthy people in this country?”

        There’s nothing to defend Marty, your question makes no sense. Low and middle income New Zealanders haven’t had money taken off them to give to the wealthy, the wealthy are having less taken off them in the first place. A small but important distinction, and we’ll never agree on the proportion that should be taken of those on higher incomes in the first place.

        I don’t think that poor people are lazy, I just think that they do work that is less valuable. I pay my dentist more than I do to the kid next door when he mows my lawn – and I’d be worried if I didn’t.

        I did my share of minimum wage jobs when I was younger and worked hard at them. I wasn’t lazy and I don’t think people doing those sorts of jobs now are lazy. What I did realise was that a minimum wage life wasn’t what I wanted for myself so I set about acquiring skills and learning to do things that other people can’t. As I result I now have an interesting, but still demanding, job that doesn’t pay the minimum wage.

        The state should primarily be about providing opportunities to any and all who want them, not simply taking from some people to give to others. I’m all for the state providing educational opportunities (which I took advantage of) and things like basic healthcare which I am happy to pay taxes for, but at some point the individual has to step up as well.

        • Bright Red 2.1.2.1

          it’s a myth that all minimum wage workers are young people working their way up.

          On tax,. you’ve got to consider the staus quo on tax and what the tax changes mean. The net income of a person on a million a year has been increased 8%. That money didn’t come out of thin air. It came by putting up taxes and rents on working New Zealand. It was a redistribution of wealth.

          • sean14 2.1.2.1.1

            No Bright Red. It came through taking less off that person in the first place. Individuals earn the money before the government taxes it (takes it from them) and redistributes it.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Do people take tax into account when making decisions? Why yes, I believe they do.

            • Bright Red 2.1.2.1.1.2

              sean14. if you’re going to insist on that logic (which exists in a fairy world where tax doesn’t exist except as a post hoc event that employers and employees don’t know about when they make their contract) you at least have to admit that more tax has been taken off working people so that less can be taken off the rich.

              • sean14

                Bright Red. No I don’t, working people have had a tax cut as well.

                Will government services be cut to “pay” for the tax cuts given to those at the top end? I would say so, though I’m sure that National will tell us otherwise.

                Government can and should play a role in addressing the problems of society, but it can’t fix them by itself. If the individual isn’t invested in fixing the problem, all the income redistribution in the world won’t accomplish a thing.

              • jcuknz

                The money that the ‘rich pricks’ are getting is what they earn and what the government has decided not to take off them … prefering to borrow and remember, in case you missed my comment above, that they will be the ones who will largely repay the loans, not the workers. What is it? 30/70% or similar.

      • big bruv 2.1.3

        “but then how do you defend taking money off low and middle income new zealand to give hundreds or thousands or dollars a week to the most wealthy people in this country?”

        Don’t bother letting the facts get in the way of your rant Marty, lets get this right…

        1. Nobody had money ‘taken off ‘them. Statement of fact.
        2. Not one cent was given to the wealthy. Statement of fact.

    • Puddleglum 2.2

      luva, I heard an economist (I think from Westpac) claim on the radio that lower taxes at higher incomes provided an incentive for those on lower incomes to “work harder” because they will know that by increasing their incomes not so much will be taken in tax. Now, that doesn’t equate to saying people on low incomes are ‘lazy’ but it does imply that there are currently hours of work available for lower income workers that they are not taking the opportunity to work.

      If you like, the whole talk of ‘incentives’ is based on the idea that people are presently eschewing working harder (even though they would receive extra income – and hence ‘get ahead’ faster – irrespective of tax rates, except for a rate of 100%, of course). In effect, it implies that we are all lazy.

      anti spam word: implied – that’s what I’m saying.

  3. luva 3

    Marty, a bit of gentle advice you need to read a bit wider than the Standard if you think the righties on here represent the right. I also doubt whether they are the rich that you are trying to target in this class war.

    The Whales and Big Bruvs of this world are a very small (albeit loud) minority and as such I reiterate my point and the reason I am slightly offended, the right does not think low income earners are lazy.

    • Marty G 3.1

      you haven’t explained why you oppose giving workers a fair share and support giving the lion’s share to the already wealthy.

      • luva 3.1.1

        Marty

        I do not recall saying that I oppose giving workers a fair share so why would I attempt to explain it.

  4. So why are NZ’s productivity stats so appalling?

    There’s a difference between working smarter and harder. No argument that a cleaner working 50 hours a week works hard if they are cleaning properly, but an entrepreneur cutting a deal working say 100 hours on it for 2 weeks, adds thousands of times the value of the cleaner therefore more reward.

    • Marty G 4.1

      Productivity is driven by capital intensity.

      NZ’s productivity is weak because business owners don’t reinvest in their companies but take large dividends by international standards.

      • Roger 4.1.1

        Exactly, and keeping wages low is a disincentive to invest in capital since you have cheap enough labour. Driving up productivity will start with driving up wages.

        • Bright Red 4.1.1.1

          driving up wages will drive up productivity.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2

          Actually, increasing productivity will drive wages down – unless the market is also expanding at the same rate or faster.

      • jcuknz 4.1.2

        Giving the worker ten bucks isn’t going to buy that new $1M machine to increase his productivity, or even a $100 tax cut ….but giving our Telecom ‘freind’ $290T might do so … fingers crossed he and his freinds continue to get that much and decide to invest in NZ rather than overseas.

    • MikeG 4.2

      “…working smarter and harder” – you seem to forget that the entrepreneur needs the cleaner and many other workers at the low-pay end of the scale to actually implement the deal. To say that entrepreneurs work smarter is open to question. You only need to look at the entrepreneurs that have collapsed, and taken many innocent parties with them because they weren’t working smart enough, except to structure their affairs so that they have very little personal loss.

  5. Jenny 5

    In my own personal experience the jobs where I had to work the hardest were the lowest paid.

    The times I have obtained high paying jobs, conversely I found that my work load was lighter and the conditions were less onerous.

    Has anyone else direct experience of this weird phenomenon?

    • Peter 5.1

      Not at all Jenny.

      As I think back over my working career I recall when I first started working in a call center at 18 y.o I worked hard taking an excess of between 400-500 calls per week on about $18,000. As I gained more skills, experience, confidence I got promoted and became a team leader. My hours stayed about the same, my pay went up, the amount of calls that I took went down however I was then responsible for staff training, customer Q.A.

      Eventually I ended up Managing the entire call centre. At this point I was earning from memory around $45,000 – $50,000, I took virtually zero calls (generally only serious complaints that team leaders couldn’t handle) however instead of working a 40 hour week I was working closer to 75 hours a week. I was now responsible a budget of several million dollars and new that the decisions I made impacted directly on the future of the business and the incomes of my staff.

      • pollywog 5.1.1

        And thats the thing i pointed to in another post.

        Its relatively easy to get to the 48k mark by working your way up the organizations and toeing the company line for a few years. To crack on and get up to the 70k bracket requires putting in longer hours and working harder, but to get past that into the ‘rich prick’ bracket requires something more again and not just working smarter.

        Say, if an above 70 k job came up in the company you’ve worked for for years and you know all the ins and outs but aren’t qualified because you’ve been working hard to get to where you are as possibly a middle manager. I would imagine, not only is your job less secure now, given the advances in technology requiring less papershuffling, mechanization and outsourcing/offshoring but also that exec managers can now do your job and their own for more money and that when the ‘rich prick’ job is advertised it would go to another exec manager leaving one company to take up the position in your one for the same or equal salary with your job possibly getting de evolved.

        captcha : methods (to the madness)

        • Peter 5.1.1.1

          Pollywog this occurred in the late 90’s. I’m still involved in the industry and the same role would be paying about $70-80K.

          As for Job security what I have personally experienced is that my job security has actually improved. During the 90’s most of my family were “restructured” a varying times, myself I was made redundant 5 times. However even with all financial crisis not one of my friends/family members have been made redundant.

          One point I would make with technology is that a lot of people get hung up on it. However it should be remembered that for every job that is lost to technology, one or more sprout up to replace it (supporting it, training users or it etc etc). I accept that the person who lost their job may not be able to fulfill that role the others will be able to.

          • Puddleglum 5.1.1.1.1

            I often hear about the ‘responsibility’ argument for higher salaries. Certainly, the decisions made by those higher up an organisation’s hierarchy do have serious impacts on those below (and on the viability of the organisation). The well-established finding in the psychological and health literature, however, is that the greatest stress is experienced not by the senior executives but, instead, by those who have little control over their workplace environment. That is, putting personal health on the line to support your family or the organisation is, on average, not a function of notional ‘greater responsibility’.

            I think the reality is that the ‘market’ (not that it is ever a pure version of even that) only ever coincidentally rewards the classic virtues of hard work, perseverance, reliability, integrity, honesty, etc. At higher income levels, in particular, the crucial determinant is not any specific virtue but the leverage that a position can exert within current capitalist structures. For example, John Key made the deliberate decision to study accountancy rather than a straight BCom because, as he explained, he had heard that accountants were more likely to be on Boards of Directors. He presumably had no driving passion for accountancy prior to that. Similarly, lawyers can leverage their position in the (highly legalistic) system of big business.

            At higher levels, that is, we shouldn’t be surprised to find that income does not correlate with personal virtue (that, of course, doesn’t mean personal virtue is absent at those levels). It’s far likelier to correlate at lower income levels, where willingness to work hard (e.g., by accepting overtime, etc.), be reliable, honest, etc. can potentially be rewarded rather than strategic position in the system.

            Many on the left resent the fact that capitalism doesn’t reinforce those classic virtues. One reason why I’ve long thought that the left needs to re-take the rhetoric of virtue.

            • pollywog 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Inner virtue is more important than mere compliance to set rules of behaviour. Unfortunately compliance will get you further in life…just ask Jesus 🙂

              …or, no one believes the man of integrity but time will always prove him right.

    • HitchensFan 5.2

      yeah Jenny I think you’re right. I work very hard now in a high income job, but the conditions are much less onerous than when I worked just as hard, if not harder, in low-paying menial jobs putting myself through uni, at school etc.

      I am totally with you, Marty. Good post. I am sick of reading “everyone can be rich, they just need to work hard”. What a load of ignorant, uninformed bollocks.

      And I’ve worked extremely hard the last 2 years in a professional role, averaging 70 hour weeks. No payrise for 2 years while the upper echelon of my organisation all got pay rises.

      Go figure.

  6. Marty this is not fair. You are using detailed analysis and those fancy facty things against an argument based purely on prejudice and self interest.

    How can you expect to have a proper debate with the wingnuts?

    This is just not fair.

  7. moa 7

    My whole family is on the benefit – good one bro. We all vote Labour .Struck up tory bastards only look after rich pricks and Islanders. John Key is a slimy wanker. Bring back Helen and Heather and Judith.

    [lprent: Likely to be an idiot doing a ‘hone’ carter based on some wingnutter articles of faith – which have no particular relationship to reality. I have a good (but not certain) idea who it is returning under another identity. If it goes too far, I’ll simply ban. ]

  8. frustrated 8

    Are you suggesting that NZ should revert to another couple of higher tax brackets – where do you think these should come in and how much ?

    Oh and I tend to agree with Luva – don’t let you party political partisanship blind you, most people who aren’t of the same political leanings as yourself don’t have to be smeared.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      No smear here. The PM, the finance minister and plenty of others have said that the top rates needed to be cut, and that a major reason for doing so was to incentivise people into getting ahead.

      Assumming you can construct a syllogism, the implication is both clear, and false.

      That’s what the post is about.

    • Marty G 8.2

      frustrated. How about we adopt the Aussie rates and thresholds?

      I haven’t modeled but we could make it so it’s basically the same and the change is revenue neutral.

      Pretty sure I’ve seen you make the ‘I work hard, therefore people who aren’t rich are lazy, therefore they don’t deserve a fair deal = tax cuts for me’ argument. If not, how do you justify upping tax on low income workers to give the rich giant tax cuts?

      • frustrated 8.2.1

        “Pretty sure I’ve seen you make the ‘I work hard, therefore people who aren’t rich are lazy, therefore they don’t deserve a fair deal = tax cuts for me’ argument.”

        You may be pretty sure but you are wrong – I’ve never said that and I never will.

        I find it fascinating that both sides from the political spectrum like to choose just those bits of the Australian system that fit their political leaning – would you be also be happy to do without WFF, cheap prescriptions, low health copayments no ACC etc etc as they have in Australia.

        Re the higher levels of taxation in Australia I must admit to be pretty neutral regarding a higher tax rate which would kick in at the equivalent cut off point to australia (around 100k) but this would still mena some very creative accounting or “fringe benefiting” would occur.

  9. vto 9

    I think mr marty that this issue of work and money is highly deceptive. The link between work and money is tenuous.

    Like many I have worked extremely hard for ridiculously low pay. Alternatively I have also worked less hard and made shitloads (well, for us anyway). Money made has only a little to do with hours worked. Making money has more to do with taking calculated risks, thinking hard about your talents, applying yourself in the right direction for your circumstances, investing your time and money appropriately, going into business rather than employment, etc etc etc.

    I once worked at one of NZ’s fastest growing companies and had a great deal to do with the owner / MD. That person worked an average day and an average week yet what was achieved financially was incredible. Similarly, do you imagine Bill Gates actually works harder than everyone else in the world? No, of course not. Work does not equal money as directly as your post portrays. It never has.

    • Marty G 9.1

      vto. I’ve been arguing all along that work does not equal money. My post specifically refutes the argument that the Right puts up that the poor are lazy (and morally degenerate) and the rich deserve to be massively wealthy because they work harder.

      • luva 9.1.1

        Marty

        I have to challenge you on this again. Who the hell on the right is saying “that the poor are lazy (and morally degenerate) and the rich deserve to be massively wealthy because they work harder.”

        Please note Big Bruv and Whaleoil do not represent all those on the right. I doubt even those two have described the poor as morally degenerate.

        You seem to be framing the ‘right’s’ arguments for them. Who has said these things?

    • Pete 9.2

      “Making money has more to do with taking calculated risks, thinking hard about your talents, applying yourself in the right direction for your circumstances, investing your time and money appropriately, going into business rather than employment, etc etc etc”

      …and luck.

      I was always in low-wage roles until I was lucky enought to get a two-month contract, which turned into a 12-month contract, which turned into a permanent role, which propelled me into a higher-paid role when I looked for work elsewhere a couple of years later. The opportunities I had weren’t handed to me – to be fair – but I would never have got them if I hadn’t been at the right place at the right time, and worked just as hard as I had when I was in a low-wage job.

      Therefore I agree with your ststement:
      “Money made has only a little to do with hours worked” and thus the thrust of Marty’s post.

      Thanks vto.

      • vto 9.2.1

        No worries Pete. I think Marty and I were saying slightly different things but could be interpreted as the same in some ways…

        Further on making money and arguing against myself to a certain extent I have always had a theory that there are only 3 ways to get rich – hard work, luck or inheritance. Often a combo of the three – usually luck and hard work.

        Such as farmers – they work hard sure, but most of them make their big money from luck, namely property speculation that farm values will rise. Or a business person may work hard for years and then a chance thingy comes along which they grab with both hands and propels them into bigger times.

        There are no other ways to make money except through hard work, luck or inheritance. Are there?

        • Pete 9.2.1.1

          That probably about sums it up vto – though ‘making money’ would be open to interpretation of course.

  10. Sarge 10

    Whilst I do generally agree with Marty and vto (above), I still think the use of the pie graph is deceptive. So 11.3% of those who work 50+ hours earn between $70-$100K. What if this represents 100% of those in that income bracket?? That graph on it’s own shows little.

    • Marty G 10.1

      It shows that a higher percentage of people working long hours are on low incomes. It’s not relevant to the argument what % of high income people work long hours. And you can find out the answer if you follow the link.

      • Sarge 10.1.1

        I realise what is shows. My point was that if 100% of those on high incomes work long hours, and if a lesser percentage of those on low incomes work long hours, then you can argue that long hours contribute towards high pay. On the other hand, all that graph tell us is that income brackets which contain more people across all hours work, still have more people in when only those working 50+ hours are considered.

        However, I’m glad the answers are in the link. When I get a chance I’ll check it out.

        • Sarge 10.1.1.1

          Marty – I realise this thread is probably dead by now, but your own link proves you wrong. Let me quote a section from the first paragraph:

          “However, long hours workers are more likely to have higher incomes, relative to the total workforce.”

          Why is this important?? It shows that those who work harder, earn more money. Those who don’t work as hard, earn less money.

  11. Santi 11

    No, workers aren’t lazy, but many dole bludgers are.

    • Bright Red 11.1

      that’ll be the quarter of a million Kiwis out of work and looking for it?

  12. Gooner 12

    It’s not hard work that necessarily make people rich, it’s bright ideas.

    Away you go Marty; according to you I just called those who are not on high incomes, thick.

  13. tc 13

    Once you get a critical mass of equity/wealth it snowballs along without much extra effort (ask anyone who owns property over the last 10 years) so the fact that those who have risen to this level are simply handed more (taken from middle/lower groups) is simply not in the spirit of fairness and equality that govt’s are voted in and out on.

    Blinglish and crew don’t five an F about fairness and equality the budget is proof of that.

  14. Rosy 14

    Why is our productivity so low, with long work hours? Because those who have been ‘incentivised’ to invest with larger tax cuts don’t spend it on new plant to make the work more efficient. Those who have been ‘incentivised’ to work harder by being given low tax cuts have to work longer hours because of dodgy, out of date plant and methods.

  15. kriswgtn 15

    10 yrs ago i worked as a cleaner for 5 yrs.It was hard work but hey i was rapt to have a job

    I worked my ass off, was paid $10 a hour-40 a week the company i worked for hired us @ $16ph and then by time i left $26ph-

    We didnt get any of the increase of the $10 per hour per job per cleaner that our boss was charging-and frankly his cleaning products were shit

    The bastard was creaming it.Declared bankrupt had put the company under his son but was still running it and driving round in his flash mercedes-jealous?? nah not at all

    I never seemed to get ahead so………..i quit

    I went to Uni 5 yrs ago and grad and now earn $35k-as a comp geek-still isnt much but its better than what I made and i work my ass off

    I still live like I always have = frugally and was/am/TRYING to save hard to try and buy a house but thanks to Blinglish and donkey I just dont seem to get anywhere

    The tax I pay includes my student loan of $8600 which is all i have left to pay-if they remove the tax free loan now I will just leave and not pay it

    as soon as it is done I am off to OZ

    with national and labour- who only think of themselves,true labour aint as bad but i see the same history repeating itself and frankly am sick of it

    it is always the *peasants* who end up paying in the long run and thanks to govt policies never really manage to get ahead..

    What the answer is I dunno but the solution is to vote NAts and act OUT in 2011

    if they get in ciao Ill be taking myself and my family off to OZ and earn double+ what I am paid here

    • Pat 15.1

      You may have been better to start your own cleaning business charging $26 p.h. – especially as you could have picked up your bosses old clients. You would be earning much more than you are now, would not have had 4 years lost income while you were at Uni, and wouldn’t have a student loan.

      But to do so, you would have had to take a risk.

      You could take a risk now, start your own business (computer repair etc) or contract yourself out. Either way you could be earning a lot more than $35K.

    • Santi 15.2

      Kriswgtn, I think you should buy your tickets to OZ right now! Au revoir, adios, ciao.

      • jcuknz 15.2.1

        I used to believe the grass is greener over the fence, until I visited there and found differently. Tax versus income considered holistically are pretty similar on either side of the ditch.

  16. Bill 16

    The following contains some terminology that the more sensitive may find offensive. If you think you belong to that category, you don’t have to read any further.

    So the right want to incentivise field niggers to become house niggers by being ( on balance) nicer to house niggers than field niggers? Further, the right say that many field niggers are lazy.

    And the left are saying that field niggers aren’t lazy. And that house niggers are already rewarded well enough.

    And whose saying we don’t want to be no niggers no more?

    • Bright Red 16.1

      yeah but we’re a long way from that, bill. It’s not that people don’t share the same aspiration.

      • Bill 16.1.1

        My point is that when the full extent of what is deemed acceptable thought or argument stretches only so far as to call for a better deal on a loaded deck, then the loaded deck becomes accepted as normal and natural, ie something beyond question or challenge.

        The long way away is not so relevant as keeping the doors of possibility ajar.

        I have no problem in arguing for or demanding a better deal given present circumstances In other words, the unacceptable nature of the broader scheme of things should also always be articulated if there is to be any rolling dynamic of incremental changes . But that last bit just isn’t broached in polite conversation these days. And it shows up as the relative stagnation and rightward drift of mainstream left politics.

        I believe this was partly what George Monbiot was alluding to in his piece The Parasites in Labour’s Brain’ when he wrote

        There’s a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which colonises the brains of rats, altering their behaviour to attract them to the scent of their predators. The rats seek out cats and get eaten, allowing the parasite to keep circulating. This is New Labour. It has colonised a movement which fought for social justice, distribution and decency, rewired its brain and delivered it to the fat cats who were once its enemies.

  17. just saying 17

    http://www.zimbio.com/Black+History+Month/articles/265/Malcolm+X+House+Negro+vs+Field+Negro

    Thought this might help explain for anyone not familiar with the terms

  18. kerry 18

    time and time again we have seen right wingers (including their mouthpiece paul henry) say that if you are earning less then this magical 100 grand you are lazy!

    And so much for stopping the mass exodise to OZ……if anything its worse now…….the nats are bloody useless!

  19. …it’s not that i’m lazy, i just lack ambition !

    sure i wouldn’t mind clockin a hundred G a year, but i’m not going to kiss arse or sacrifice my family for it.

  20. Herodotus 20

    If I plot min wage $12.5 * by hours and annualise this date and grapgh it. I come to the result that many people are paid below min wage e.g. $12.5 * 40 *50 =$25k =8% then apply $12.5*80*50 = $50k = 62 There is some rorts occurring of the data is corrupt or do we have a lrge unonunionised work force that are slaves?
    Also should there be a huge no of retirees in the $14-$20k range with little on nil hours worked?
    Something here is not right

    • Bright Red 20.1

      they’re obviously self-employed people or contractors who are reporting the work they do but not the money they earn.

      • Herodotus 20.1.1

        BR I am aware of how and why you min your income, and the further up the income levels this becomes more pronounced + the adnomially of the likes of jnr Drs who work all hours of the day & night of $70+k.
        It would be interesting (for me anyway) if the bands around $15K to $80k had the numbers of individuals, as there would be something like a bell curve in distribution with a long tail as we enter higher brackets and if the 70k (Was 60k) band distributuion as I think this my be skewed
        Also just curious where ther retired group appear or do not appear.

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