Minimum Wage up 10%

December 19th, 2006 at 10:30 am by David Farrar

The Government has put the minimum wage up 9.8% from $10.25 to $11.25.

Some people paint increases in the minimum wage as universally good or universally bad. To me it depends on a number of conditions.

First of all it is beyond dispute that the more one increases the minimum wage, the more likely it is to increase unemployment. For example if the minimum wage was doubled to $20.50 per hour, you would have many businesses closing or at least laying off staff. And if all one had to do to increase wages was increase the minimum wage you’d make it $50 an hour so everyone earns over $100,000 a year.

Now small increases in the minimum wage may not affect unemployment negatively. It depends how much it increases the wages bill for how many businesses, and how small or large those businesses are, and what industries they are in.

There can be significant inflationary effects also. The way to raise wages without raising inflation is to have productivity gains. And inflation steals from everyone. My concern with the desire to raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2008, is that it may have a significant flow on effect to other wages. Let’s say you were paying $13 an hour to your staff for basic retail work and the minimum wage is $9. Now if the minimum wage is now $12, you as an employer may also have to increase wages to say $16 an hour, and that will mean you have to put your prices up to compensate. And inflation is already running above the target band.

It will be interesting to see what happens with unemployment and inflation after 1 April.

No tag for this post.

56 Responses to “Minimum Wage up 10%”

  1. Andy () says:

    But tax cuts are not inflationary???

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  2. Sonic () says:

    David, economics 101, when things are scarce the price goes up. Talk to any employer and ask about how easy it is to get labour at the moment.

    Secondly, do you grudge anyone $12 and hour? how is someone meant to work their way out of poverty if they are paid poverty pay?

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  3. Seamonkey Madness () says:

    Oh man, I am going to love Cactus and Prick’s contribution to this thread.

    Aren’t they going to raise it even more in 2008? Hmmmm, another bribe. How very….Clarkish.

    So you are saying someone who flips burgers for 40 hours a week is worth $480/week before tax? I’m glad you think so. The manager of your local McDonalds/Burger King may not. So please remember not to whine if your burger wil be (a)late or (b)more expensive.

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  4. spam () says:

    Who really wins here?

    From the treasury report on incomes here:
    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget2006/taxpayers/

    Let us consider ONLY the 992,000 people earning between $10k & $20k. If we make some assumptions that anyone on $20,000 or less is a ‘minimum wage worker’, and that their income therefore rises by this 9.8%, then total income earnt by these people increases by 1.451 Billion. The interesting thing is the marginal taxation – income tax, plus drop-off in WFF. For a single person, full time, with two children aged 0-12, I calculated this to be 65%. But to be conservative, we’ll say its only 50%. That means that the government takes 50% of this extra 1.451 Billion – or just short of 750 Million.

    If you consider the other people in other pay brackets, and the re-adjustments as other wages increase relative to the minimum one, would it be cynical to suggest that the real winner here is the government, with probably an extra 1 or 2 billion in increased tax / reduced WFF payments?

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  5. James () says:

    “David, economics 101, when things are scarce the price goes up. Talk to any employer and ask about how easy it is to get labour at the moment.

    Secondly, do you grudge anyone $12 and hour? how is someone meant to work their way out of poverty if they are paid poverty pay?”

    There speaks an economic dunce….Sonic,are you so stupid that you can’t see that forcing pay rises that are not linked to productivity increases are doomed to cause job losses and stagnation in other areas and raise prices for those newly rewarded making their gain nil?

    I doubt David begrudges anyone $12 an hour…but its minimum wage laws that keep poverty bound people trapped there in the first place…along with other regulations that pervert the ebb and flow of the free market.

    The more the State intervenes to ‘help” the poor the worst off they become…but thats socialism for you.

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  6. Sonic () says:

    I wonder then James why such evil socialist states as the USA have a minumum wage.

    One other quick point James. If you abolished the MW and employers could pay $4 an hour who do you think would pick up the tab for the low paid worker’s family?

    You would, through the benefits system.

    So there we have James’ “I am not an economic dunce” plan. Use taxpayers money to subsidise greedy employers.

    Thats a vote winner, get it on a billboard now!

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  7. insider () says:

    Speaking of burgers as I mentioned on NRT, I bet those workers at McDonalds will be well cheeseburgered off at this. They fought for more than a year, gave up all those wages and union dues to Matt and his mates and then the Govt comes along and trumps it less than a month later.

    Brilliant work by the union to negotiate a deal less than the minimum wage adjustment (which we have all known was coming for some time). Doesn’t look so supersized now.

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  8. David Farrar () says:

    Tax cuts are less inflationary than govt spending and wage increases not matched by productivity.

    Sonic – you assume people stay doing exactly the same job at exactly the same competence level all their life. How many people spend their entire life working at say McDonalds as a junior employee?

    Also Sonic if labour is very scarce, then wages would rise anyway without the need to increase the minimum wage.

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  9. Sonic () says:

    Insider, the Macdonald’s workers got $12 and hour and an end to youth rates, hardly a failure.

    David, just to be clear, are you arguing for the removal of the MW as it distorts the labour market or just debating the correct level?

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  10. tim barclay () says:

    Yes that is the point. Tax cuts are inflationary but NOT this – get real Cullen. The problem is we have this government putting on inflationary pressure everywhere including high wage settlements, rapid increases in spending especially very low quality spending. But we cannot have tax cuts because THEY are inflationary. The Governor has already given a warning on wage increases. Now we have this. Interest rates are going up and it has NOTHING to do with tax cuts. Would it not occur to the Government that because of bracket creep in the tax system that we are getting upwards pressure on wages. Cullen needs to cut taxes now to take some of these pressures off the economy.

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  11. Andy () says:

    David

    Could you please explain: ‘Tax cuts are less inflationary than govt spending and wage increases not matched by productivity’

    this is a complete admission of ignorance. What if I get a long service pay rise, this is more inflationary than a productivity increase? Same dollar spent to me.

    Cheers

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  12. insider () says:

    Sonic

    that is just not true. Youth rates did not disappear – I’m quoting Unite’s press release –
    they got entrenched but did go up to 9.50 after six months working. If you were over 18 you got 10.25 and then 10.75 after six months – so less than the minimum wage…

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  13. James () says:

    “I wonder then James why such evil socialist states as the USA have a minumum wage.”

    Because they are socialist…or at least the Governments they elect are…

    “One other quick point James. If you abolished the MW and employers could pay $4 an hour who do you think would pick up the tab for the low paid worker’s family?”

    Davids already noted that people don’t stay on low wages for long in a free economy…but we don’t have a free economy…or very free anyway.

    “You would, through the benefits system.”

    No because there would be no State welfare system..which is also a main cause of low wages as the tax taken to fund it cripples the economy…a vivious circle that needs breaking…

    “So there we have James’ “I am not an economic dunce” plan. Use taxpayers money to subsidise greedy employers.”

    Just as bad as using taxpayers money to subsisdise greedy workers who aren’t worth paying more due to poor productivity…and it is the taxpayer who will subsidise them…if not through the welfare system when they end up unemployed due to their emploters going under then through having to pay higher prices in the shops hich will make everyone worse off

    You are still a dunce Sonic….and an enemy of the poorest and most desperate kiwis too…

    Thats a vote winner, get it on a billboard now!

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  14. Sonic () says:

    Wow James, that is going to be a vote winner, abolish the minimum wage and the benefits system, and the goal, to help the poor (as long as they are never made unemployed or get sick)

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  15. Razork () says:

    2 issues facing employers on 1 April.
    An extra weeks leave for the majority of employees and then the double whammy of increased wages for most middle skilled staff as a result of the minimum pay increase.

    If you are currently earning $2 an hour more than the people who report to you and they get an additional $1 then you will want to retain that $2 an hour advantage. And so it goes on.

    Add in the pressures of Kiwi saver 3 months later and suddenly your business looks a lot different than it did only a few months before.

    The only way to appease the business community must be corporate tax cuts or things could easily turn to custard very quickly if a slow down was to occur.

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  16. Che (evil twin) () says:

    Interesting stuff

    http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/issueguides_minwage_minwagefacts

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  17. David Farrar () says:

    Andy – don’t think of it just for you, but for the economy as a whole. If every worker gets a 10% pay rise, then this will push prices up to cover increased costs.

    But if the 10% payrise is matched by a an increase in production and sales, then prices less likely to rise.

    Sonic – I said “Some people paint increases in the minimum wage as universally good or universally bad. To me it depends on a number of conditions.” which doesn’t look like a call to abolish the minimum wage to me.

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  18. Caskman () says:

    ” If every worker gets a 10% pay rise, then this will push prices up to cover increased costs.”
    That is not a foregone conclusion as the ability to increase price varies. I’m not saying that min wage is good, but rather that it should not be assumed that all businesses can simply pass on the increase. Low margin businesses will be particularly affected, often those businesses which employ large numbers of workers at or near the minimum wage.

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  19. baxter () says:

    I wonder if many of our decreasing number of local companies companies will be outsourcing production to China to lower production costs. Never mind our displaced workers can always go on welfare.

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  20. Psycho Milt () says:

    They were outsourcing production to China back when the min wage was $7, baxter. How low do you think we should go to try and outbid the Chinese on cheap labour?

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  21. Insolent Prick () says:

    Sonic:

    I fail to see the link between a tight labour market and a need to raise the minimum wage. If it is so difficult to attract staff at $11.25 an hour, and McDonalds starts losing money because it doesn’t have enough staff to flip burgers, why do you think McDonalds will continue to pay at a rate that is lower than the market?

    The purpose of a minimum wage is quite laudable. Where it gets really messy is when you have a welfare system that is sufficiently generous as to make the minimum wage only slightly more than a benefit. It is also messy when welfare entitlements make remove the incentives for low-income people to earn more money. If they are paying 65 cents marginal tax, as working for families beneficiaries are, what’s the point of upskilling yourself and earning more?

    Pretty much everybody receiving the minimum wage is performing unskilled work. Employers don’t get a lot of benefit from employing them. They do so with the promise of more potential as the workers become better skilled. If you raise the cost too much, employers simply won’t bother. The most vulnerable workers–low income, low-skilled–simply won’t get the opportunity to acquire any skills at all, and will be confined to permanent unemployment.

    Raising the minimum wage is a very blunt instrument. It doesn’t raise productivity and hurts the opportunities for low-income workers to get a job in the first place. It’s also the easiest step for a Labour Government to take, because it doesn’t cost the Government any more money. “Woo-hoo! Look at what a great government we are! We’ve legislated for higher incomes for everybody! And it doesn’t cost us a bloody cent!”

    Oh, and Sonic, fuck you.

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  22. Sonic () says:

    IP, isn’t it odd that when tax cuts are proposed for the wealthy, therefore handing them vast amount of cash, none of you guys worry about inflation.

    When the tax regime is geared to giving those who own property huge capital gains from doing absolutely no work at all, we do not hear any whining about productivity.

    But move to give a worker, someone out there trying to feed their family, a slight wage rise, $40 a week, people like your good self get on your high horse about how, and this is the funny bit, giving people a few extra bucks is going to hurt them!

    Oh, and IP,

    xxx

    S

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  23. Porcupine () says:

    I think the best compromise would be a tax cut in the bottom rate or going back to the first $xxx is not taxed. This way low income workers could have more in their hands without so much of this humiliating having to go cap in hand to government to get some of it back.

    S/He’s a bit insolent but s/he does have a good point – quite a large number of employers are nice people prepared to take vulnerable unskilled workers under their wing. But they often get little praise or reward for it and often run the risk of theft or drug taking in the workplace, both of which happened to me.

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  24. Pita () says:

    Porcupine is right on the money…the benefits go where they are need most…it isn’t inflationary…Oh but wait…it takes it out of the governments pocket…shit back to the pencil and paper

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  25. Spam () says:

    Sonic,

    They’re not getting an extra $40 a week. They’re getting an extra $14 a week, and Cullen is getting an extra $26.

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  26. Porcupine () says:

    The government has got so much money it would be like petty cash to them. This money could be used to stimulate the economy as well as mentoring the people at risking of dropping off the bottom of the scale. With a flow one effect of investment in the future of the economy and the people in it. IP and sonic thought it up together – its not rocket science.

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  27. uk_kiwi () says:

    In Australia, minimum wages vary according to what industry you are in. However they are all well above NZ.

    This has forced employers to gain higher productivity through capital investment- after 15 years of this it has meant their economy has boomed relative to ours.

    You cannot get to the top half of the OECD with a low-wage economy.

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  28. Andrew Bannister () says:

    Spam, how can someone on minimum wage have a top tax rate of 65%?

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  29. Pita () says:

    UK-Kiwi you are right with regard to Australia “This has forced employers to gain higher productivity through capital investment”
    However, Narrow economic based economies such as New Zealand are not so flexible in this regard. Many of Australia’s primary industries have been lost to low cost countries…wool to China for example

    “after 15 years of this it has meant their economy has boomed relative to ours.” This may be correct if we exclude the primary sector from the equation (and that is New Zealand

    It would be interesting to compare Aust/nz depreciation schedules for capital investment and R&D…something that needs attention in New Zealand.

    This government does not seem to understand that you can’t get to the top half of the OECD by decree.

    It’s a bit like Muldoon trying to defeat inflation by regulation.

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  30. Spam () says:

    Andrew:

    They don’t. But for families, they lose WFF entitlements of around $17 a week (based on two children under 12; working full-time on min. wage).

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  31. Maximmole () says:

    James said “Davids already noted that people don’t stay on low wages for long in a free economy…but we don’t have a free economy…or very free anyway.”

    According to the Index of Economic Freedom New Zealand ranks 9th in the world for free market economy. This puts us bang in the middle of their “free economy” catagory.

    http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/countries.cfm

    Not as disappointed as some about raising the minimum wage myself but would have thought it could be raised in line with inflation for life necessities i.e. basic food items, electricity, rents, water, basic clothing.

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  32. Duncan Bayne () says:

    David – I posted a reply a while back, is it still in the moderation or has this damn blog software eaten it?

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  33. Porcupine () says:

    Yes we are a narrower economy that Aussie, but uk_kiwi is right – we deperately need capital investment. The problem is the government has no interest in that because of the possible consequences to empolyment, so we end up being a peasant econmy for the rest of the world to prey on.

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  34. David Farrar () says:

    Must have got eaten sorry Duncan – nothing is being held.

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  35. Policy Parrot () says:

    There are two ways in which to go about raising low paid workers wages in this country:

    1/. Reduce the tax burden upon employers, which would free up greater capital to enable employers to choose whether to pay their employees a greater wage.

    2/. Legislate an increase by government directive.

    I think it is without doubt that most people’s preferred option would be option no. 1, but
    the current Labour government has gone for option 2, because prior examples demonstrated that employers did not keep faith with previous two governments’ objective of achieving a high-wage economy.

    It is a fact that many employers in low-skill occupation industries set artificial objectives apparently demonstrating productivity increase, when this is in fact hardly possible as the employees individually make little or no impact on productivity, and actual (productivity increase) achievements of objectives offer no long term career enhancement prospects beyond the extra pittance offered. The fact is, these jobs need to done, and they will pay as little as they possibly can to do so.

    While it may make short-term economic sense to pursue this option, it prevents a large number of those thrifty and hard-working from within the low-wage sector ever breaking out, and becoming entrepreneurs in their own right, which damages economic prospects in the long-term as the self-made class is the source for much of the world’s innovation, as they are not content to sit on their laurels, and have to work hard, and put alot at risk to make it work. Why should we be making it more difficult for these people, when the Keynesian policies adopted globally after WW2 have led the way for the most expanded period of growth in the West ever, in msot part due to entrepreneurship?

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  36. Policy Parrot () says:

    There are two ways in which to go about raising low paid workers wages in this country:

    1/. Reduce the tax burden upon employers, which would free up greater capital to enable employers to choose whether to pay their employees a greater wage.

    2/. Legislate an increase by government directive.

    I think it is without doubt that most people’s preferred option would be option no. 1, but
    the current Labour government has gone for option 2, because prior examples demonstrated that employers did not keep faith with previous two governments’ objective of achieving a high-wage economy.

    It is a fact that many employers in low-skill occupation industries set artificial objectives apparently demonstrating productivity increase, when this is in fact hardly possible as the employees individually make little or no impact on productivity, and actual (productivity increase) achievements of objectives offer no long term career enhancement prospects beyond the extra pittance offered. The fact is, these jobs need to done, and they will pay as little as they possibly can to do so.

    While it may make short-term economic sense to pursue this option, it prevents a large number of those thrifty and hard-working from within the low-wage sector ever breaking out, and becoming entrepreneurs in their own right, which damages economic prospects in the long-term as the self-made class is the source for much of the world’s innovation, as they are not content to sit on their laurels, and have to work hard, and put alot at risk to make it work. Why should we be making it more difficult for these people, when the Keynesian policies adopted globally after WW2 have led the way for the most expanded period of growth in the West ever, in msot part due to entrepreneurship?

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  37. Sonic () says:

    “Reduce the tax burden upon employers, which would free up greater capital to enable employers to choose whether to pay their employees a greater wage.”

    And if they “choose” not to?

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  38. Kent Parker () says:

    The right wing view is that a group of people with lots of resources and who have often inherited their position through family ascendancy, namely employers, have a better idea of what is good for workers than a group of people with lots of resources who have limited tenure and are voted into their positions of power through very transparent democratic processes, namely the government, have a better idea of what is good for workers.

    Name your vice, guys.

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  39. Porcupine () says:

    Kent a jaudiced view of the government would be that they are people who have failed to make it in real jobs and businesses.

    A lot of the people saying what is good for workers are offering the benefit of their experience after succeeding themselves.

    So the third “vice” is that workers know what is good for workers.

    Given that we dont make the rules but we sure have to play by them, thats the best advice on offer at present, IMHO.

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  40. Lance () says:

    James et all..
    Don’t bother engaging Sonic in rational discussion, he/she is like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, like reasoning with a brick wall.
    You see Sonic feels compelled to tow the Labour party line no matter what the facts or logic presented.
    But if you feel the need to ‘bash your head against said brick wall’, go ahead.

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  41. James () says:

    “James said “Davids already noted that people don’t stay on low wages for long in a free economy…but we don’t have a free economy…or very free anyway.”

    According to the Index of Economic Freedom New Zealand ranks 9th in the world for free market economy. This puts us bang in the middle of their “free economy” catagory.”

    But we are still not free as I define the term…ie free from State interferance in the lives of peaceful consenting people trading between themselves to mutral gain.Just because we are way freer than say Sudan doesn’t mean that we are “free” fullstop.And if we are not fuklly free then there is something more to do….saying “Oh well we are 9th in the world and thats the best we’ll be so lets live with it” is a cop out and not an option.

    “”Reduce the tax burden upon employers, which would free up greater capital to enable employers to choose whether to pay their employees a greater wage.”

    And if they “choose” not to?”

    Then they “choose” to recive the consequences of their decision which will be loss of profits due to strikes,poor retention of staff,etc…

    You see Sonic the market has its own regulating feed back loops which deal out justice far fairer and swifter than any State action can manage…if you weren’t such a dunce I wouldn’t have to give you these 101 lessons..;-)

    Lance…point taken but sometimes its fun to rub it in…;-)

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  42. DavidW () says:

    Nice hand grenade in the pond Kent. Unfortunately there are bugger all fish left.

    Trying to paint employers as a group posessed of inherited wealth intent on ripping off the oppressed minority and depriving the masses of the fruits of their hard work and diligence is not only pathetic but totally ingenuous.

    SMEs are recorded as being the largest employers in NZ, many of them being single site retail establishments. Many small business owners (the employers) get less financial reward from their business than the people they employ and their ability to stay in business depends on them being competitive with similar businesses nearby. They can’t put up their prices but their costs of doing business continue to rise.

    To achieve your utopian situation where staff can be paid what they think they are worth would require limiting competition, price control on business inputs and an army of inspectors to ensure that no underage or illegal workers were involved. Even then you couldn’t stop families working all the hours god (or allah) gave them for shared incomes as so many of our new immigrants do.

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  43. ghbwazzer () says:

    Some people are stupid with no skills, and deserve to be poor.

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  44. Sonic () says:

    Yes James lets leave it all up to the magic of the market, lets get rid of the police and the fire service while we are about it.

    You do know Milton Friedman is dead don’t you?

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  45. Andrew Bannister () says:

    You see Sonic the market has its own regulating feed back loops which deal out justice far fairer and swifter than any State action can manage

    In a truly free market I believe that may be correct. Of course, in a truly free market the workers can go where the work and pay is. That means if I want to work in an Indonesian sweatshop I am free to do so (oh, and the other way round, naturally).

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  46. James () says:

    “Yes James lets leave it all up to the magic of the market, lets get rid of the police and the fire service while we are about it.

    You do know Milton Friedman is dead don’t you?”

    What do you care Sonic…you obviously never read what the man wrote.Men may die but ideas are eternal..To further enlighten you on economics and the working of the free market will take some time I see.

    Police,law and defence are legitimate functions of the State and no Libertarian (which Friedman was) would disagree.That is after all what the state was created to do in the first place consistent with its role of protecting individual rights,its ONLY just and moral reason for being.

    The States role is to administer these functions evenly and without favour to any race,religion,creed,political view or any other irrelevant aspect.

    But what it is you are really attacking is not the abstraction of the “market” but that which it represents…free people!…and you hate the thought of free people pursuing their own interests without heed to what you want and demand don’t you Sonic? Sad pathetic socialists like you with no sense of self worth or character live to destroy that which you envy because it scares you…well too bad fucker cos we are here to stay in spite of you and the legions of creepy crawlies that think like you…

    Laissez faire!

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  47. James () says:

    In a truly free market I believe that may be correct. Of course, in a truly free market the workers can go where the work and pay is. That means if I want to work in an Indonesian sweatshop I am free to do so (oh, and the other way round, naturally).”

    So what you are saying is that the LACK of a free market is a problem Andrew…? I quite agree! ;-)

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  48. maximmole () says:

    “saying “Oh well we are 9th in the world and thats the best we’ll be so lets live with it” is a cop out and not an option.”

    I had no frame of reference for how free NZ is so I looked for a context. Personally I agree with the less regulation philosophy but I still question statements of those I agree with as well as those I disagree with.

    In my opinion, in light of international comparison, your point “we don’t have a free economy…or very free anyway” would more acccurately be “we have a relatively free economy now but we have room to improve” – no cop out.

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  49. Kent Parker () says:

    Davidw,
    “Trying to paint employers as a group posessed of inherited wealth intent on ripping off the oppressed minority and depriving the masses of the fruits of their hard work and diligence is not only pathetic but totally ingenuous.”

    Very few people do not pass on their equity to their own offspring. When Bill Gates jnr takes over Microsoft he does not do so necessarily because of hard work and diligence. You are excessively colouring my point. I am just illustrating the tension between employer interests (which are essentially non-democratic) and government interests in supporting workers’ rights (which involves democratic processes). A completely free market with no govt control, or govt supplied social services would soon turn into a feudal one with a few rich families controlling poor multitudes by restricting education, promotion and other opportunities. A completely socialist country with only the govt as employer would similarly turn into something unworkable like the former USSR.

    Somewhere in the middle is a balance between the two forces of free market and govt control. Our political system exists to maintain that balance. It will never be reached: each new generation will have to argue over the same points again and again.

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  50. James () says:

    “In my opinion, in light of international comparison, your point “we don’t have a free economy…or very free anyway” would more accurately be “we have a relatively free economy now but we have room to improve” – no cop out.”

    Hmmmmm….fair enough.

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  51. James () says:

    “A completely free market with no govt control, or govt supplied social services would soon turn into a feudal one with a few rich families controlling poor multitudes by restricting education, promotion and other opportunities.”

    Bullshit Kent.What you described is what happens under socialism, not true free market capitalism.Socialists claim that under capitalism there are two classes, the capitalists and the workers.But under socialism there are also two classes…the planners and the planned.As we have seen in the former USSR,Cuba etc a small, powerful rich(with money stolen from the people)elite rules while the vast majority scrape by in poverty.The biggest gaps between rich and poor occur in Socialist countries….not (semi) capitalist ones which spread the wealth much further amongst the people.

    A completely free market makes the concentration of wealth and power you describe impossible.What you forget is that wealth is not a fixed and static thing…it can be grown constantly even just by trading an already existing item for something you value more that someone else has.Both parties are now wealthier than before even though nothing new has come into existence.As long as all people are free to trade as they see fit the free market looks after itself just fine…

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  52. toby1845 () says:

    I was most interested in an article on last night’s TV One News regarding the Auckland City Mission’s annual Christmas appeal.

    The spokesman commented that the demand for food parcels, etc, has never been greater, and again appealed for donations (presumably of food and money). He also claimed that there were increasing numbers of NZers living in poverty.

    Can one of our resident Labour apologists please explain how this could be. Given our (supposedly) record low unemployment, increases in benefits and accommodation supplements, and the non-working families package, how can anyone seriously claim that poverty could be inctreasing.

    There would seem to be two possibilities. Either the ACM spokesman is a liar, or increasing state dependency only makes people worse of.

    So, Sonic, Kent, philu, etc – what is it?

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  53. James () says:

    Nice one toby…lets see the ” Champions of the working class ” answer that…;-)

    Yes …why is it that in spite of ever expanding welfare and state intervention things are getting worse for thoses at the bottom…? If State dependency makes people worse off why don’t theses hand wringers for “social justice” call for an end to it to relive the suffering of the poor?

    ….or could it be they never really gave a shit about the poor at all but were really seeking power? mmmmmmm!

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  54. Andrew Bannister () says:

    So what you are saying is that the LACK of a free market is a problem Andrew…? I quite agree! ;-)

    James, you might have thought you were taking the piss, but yes I do. As an ideology I believe a truly free market is an acceptable and even good system. But it has to be truly free. However, like socialism, anarchism and any other number of isms, a nice idea in theory, but how do you keep the state (read people) from interfering.

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  55. James () says:

    “So what you are saying is that the LACK of a free market is a problem Andrew…? I quite agree! ;-)

    James, you might have thought you were taking the piss, but yes I do. As an ideology I believe a truly free market is an acceptable and even good system. But it has to be truly free. However, like socialism, anarchism and any other number of isms, a nice idea in theory, but how do you keep the state (read people) from interfering.”

    No argument from me Andrew.I want a strong constitution that binds the State to specific actions and legitimate functions is vital to bringing about change.The bludger mindset that so many Kiwis have must be challenged and overthrown before real understanding and change can take place…

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  56. toby1845 () says:

    Well, stupid me! He I am, still waiting for a response from Sonic or Kent to my earlier question, and then I remembered…..

    Wellington has closed down for the holidays.

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