The living wage debate

May 20th, 2013 at 8:22 pm by David Farrar

Public Debate POSTER FINISHED 2

 

This debate is tomorrow (Tuesday) night.

from the Campaign for a (and the SWFU) is the guest speaker for the affirmative and from the NZ Initiative is the guest speaker on the negative. Members of the society will also be speaking.

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36 Responses to “The living wage debate”

  1. scrubone (3,105 comments) says:

    Disappointing that the Campaign for a Living Wage isn’t taking this very seriously. It’s their campaign, after all.

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  2. dog_eat_dog (790 comments) says:

    James Sleep being the guy who was involved in an altercation with John Key’s motorcade a couple of years back?

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  3. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    I will sound like a commie for saying this, but in a country that pays some people millions of dollars a year surely everyone should be paid enough to buy the basics and live ?

    There are some strong arguments against what I am suggesting and I believe in a free market. But like anything else, there are limits to even good ideas.

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  4. dishy (248 comments) says:

    Will they have an agreed definition of “living wage”? (I’ve never known a wage to have a life). If not, this exercise will be as futile as 3rd Degree’s nonsense about whether NZ is a racist country. It will be grandstanding by the lefty gimmes.

    If a living wage means one that allows a person to carry on living in NZ, then whether or not it should be, the minimum wage already is a living wage – for those who don’t have ideas above their station.

    The MSM “poster” people for poverty are often shown to have Sky telly and plenty of flash phones and other gadgets (or, in the case of a family whose home was sold by their mortgagee, regrets about their recent family holiday to Fiji – that was paid for on their credit card). So I wonder how realistic it is to suppose that we have people on the minimum wage whose very lives are under threat as a result.

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  5. scrubone (3,105 comments) says:

    dog_eat_dog, yes. He seems to have a nack for finding causes that are beyond ridiculous. He came to fame by outing DPF as a National party activist and later made it his business to remind supernatants that National cut spending in the 90’s (i.e. before he was born).

    My personal favourite was when he was seen in a video as an active part of a group that was trying to shut down a student meeting by various unethical means because it was voting in a way that didn’t suit his politics.

    Hence my comment above, he’s not really a guy you’d put up if you wanted to be taken seriously.

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  6. wiseowl (934 comments) says:

    I vote for a living wage of $30 per hour.
    That would be nice.

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  7. dishy (248 comments) says:

    Kea, what limits are there (or should there be) on good ideas? If I am an artist with a good idea for a piece of art, and the skill to produce it, what limits should there be on what I sell it for? It’s the same for inventors, designers, those who risk capital to establish industries etc. Surely you’re not suggesting a maximum wage?

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  8. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    dishy, you misunderstood my point. I meant the free market is a good idea, but even that may have limits. My point is simply that if you work a 40 hour week you should be paid enough to live on.

    Surely even the most rabid righty can agree on that !

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  9. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    There is an alternative… do not pay a living wage. People will then do the smart thing and spit out kids. Then they get the wage for no work. Remember “think of he children”

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  10. big bruv (14,156 comments) says:

    How fucking stupid is this James Sleep idiot?

    It is impossible for him to speak about a living wage given the odious little shit has never worked one single day in a real job.

    Mind you, don’t forget his name, he will be a Labour MP within ten years.

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  11. dishy (248 comments) says:

    Kea, nobody (well, not me, anyway) is denying that if you work a 40-hour week, you should be paid enough to live on. But that proposition begs the question as to whether we are talking about staying alive and healthy, or staying alive and healthy, living in a suburb that you like, and enjoying the goods that consumerist, materialist NZers love to have so much and – in some cases – seem to consider themselves entitled to.

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  12. kowtow (8,774 comments) says:

    If the Left would stop objecting to everything that would increase wages like exploration,mining,drilling,fracking etc and the spin offs that come from same, this country could move on from being a low wage economy where taxpayers are forced by government to subsidise evryone elses standard of living.

    Simple.

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  13. hamnidaV2 (247 comments) says:

    Luke Malpass – Wasn’t he that ‘Prebbles Rebels’ fella?

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  14. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    kowtow @ 9:29

    I agree. I just saw something in the news. A bunch of idiots all linking hands on a beach to stop oil exploration altogether !

    Clearly they have no idea what life was like before oil. It is noted they are happy to enjoy the benefits of it though.

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  15. gravedodger (1,570 comments) says:

    Pensioners get $1.63 an hour , no days in lieu or penalty rates, and are on call 24/7.
    Gimme $30 an hour and I will job share. Shit that’s $720 a day.
    Wont bring my baby to work either, she is 46 years old and has a good job anyway.

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  16. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    No, but there should be enough in the way of tax breaks, transfer payments and public services to ensure a decent standard of living.

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  17. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    So I wonder how realistic it is to suppose that we have people on the minimum wage whose very lives are under threat as a result.

    Consider the social cost of poverty to yourself. It’s not so much about keeping people alive as it is keeping them from becoming major social problems.

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  18. dishy (248 comments) says:

    Tom, social problems are about much more than income. An assessment of social problems involves looking at family values, senses of entitlement, respect for the law, work ethics, the valuing of education, the availability of healthcare, pride, greed, piss poor parenting etc.

    If only it were simply a case of the more people earn, the fewer social problems we’d have. White collar crime, anybody?

    Is the debate “Should the minimum wage be such as to reduce social problems”? If so, it’s a waste of time.

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  19. MD (62 comments) says:

    Kea, if the job they do isn’t worth a living wage then by legislating for it you destroy the job. The call for a minimum wage is the call to sack the young and low skilled, how does that help them? Look at what has happened to youth and Maori unemployment rates. In the US you see it particularly in African-American unemployment rates. If we need to subsidise living costs for some then that is a much preferable alternative. The people who do a job worth more than the minimum wage are generally able to obtain a job at that level. Employment is competitive, companies pay what it takes to get the people they need, but when the cost gets too much they simply stop doing that anymore. If you compare our minimum wage to most other countries it compares very favourably, even when adjusting for cost of living there is only Australia and about 6 European countries that are higher http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_by_country

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  20. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Tom, social problems are about much more than income. An assessment of social problems involves looking at family values, senses of entitlement, respect for the law, work ethics, the valuing of education, the availability of healthcare, pride, greed, piss poor parenting etc.

    True dat.

    But these other things we can’t really do very much about. Lecturing people does no good, and punitive welfare measures are useless against people who are on welfare primarily because they can’t respond rationally to incentives. Whoever said above that many of these poor people have Sky TV is correct. One of the reasons they are poor is that they suck at budgeting and spend money on ridiculous things. You can’t punish these people financially, because they suck at budgeting. What you can do is remove some purchasing decisions from their power by getting the state to do it. The left will whine about this, but so what?

    The left is going to have to eat the fact that most people are poor because they make poor decisions. The right is going to have to eat the fact that we have to bail them out nevertheless, for our own sakes as much as theirs.

    That’s the reality. Pretending otherwise gets us nowhere.

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  21. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    I think if you do hard work for forty hours a week you should be paid enough to live on. I think every child deserves kittens and puppies and candy and rainbows too. But I know that real life isn’t like that, and some jobs do not create enough value to justify a living wage.

    Life is hard, we’re born naked, and we have to eat and be warm in order to stay alive. To do that, we do what we can, as much as we can.

    I note that none of the parties seem particularly interested in abolishing secondary taxation, which is the main barrier to people supplementing their income if they are struggling. Why get a second job if you are actively punished by the government for doing so?

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  22. EAD (1,321 comments) says:

    Ahhhh, don’t you just love the ideas of the central planning Socialists? A so called “living wage” would be one of the cruelest laws of them all – the most basic economic law is that if the price of a good rises (ceteris paribus, of course), then less of it will be purchased. Labour is no exception. When you raise the price (i.e., a living wage in this case), less labour at the low end of the skill scale will be employed.

    @ MD is right – this price control hurts the most vulnerable in society and those most in need of jobs. Yet the Socialists know they can depend upon the ignorance and stupidity of the voting public. By appearing to be compassionate, they gain favour and votes. This move is not compassionate, it is harmful and destructive. There is nothing more harmful to low-skilled workers than raising the minimum wage. If it benefits the Socialism cause, they don’t care what havoc and destruction they impose so long as enough of the people can be fooled.

    No employer will hire an employee that costs him money. Unless the employee has a reasonable chance of contributing more than he costs, he has no hope of escaping unemployment. Unskilled workers are capable of doing productive work, but not at a beginning wage set too high by the Socialists looking out only for themselves. If a living wage is so good, why not raise it to $20.00 per hour or $50.00? Wouldn’t that erase poverty?

    Of course not – the higher the minimum wage the more poverty and unemployment results. Such “feel-good” ideas raise unemployment and destroy lives. It effectively makes it a crime to hire willing workers with low skills. Entering the workforce at any wage would provide the work habits and skills that would enable them to quickly go beyond their entry levels. These low-skilled workers are no different than Accountant/Lawyers/Engineers etc. who enter at lower wages than they will earn after training and gaining experience.

    These “compassionate” Socialists don’t care how much damage they do so long as you are too ignorant to see through their scheme. They want your vote. So long as people are ignorant enough to believe they are doing compassionate and generous things, they will continue to destroy lives.

    Free and independent people don’t vote for big government, much better to have the populace living a life of ignorance as wards of a “compassionate” welfare state.

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  23. Harriet (5,131 comments) says:

    Luke Malpass will hit them fucken hard with all the facts – and then some – and he’ll back all of them up too – with further facts!

    In a monograph of his, he tore to pieces Sir Geoffry Palmer’s ‘findings’ into issues around alcohol – citing fact after fact as being either [incomplete, false, exagerated, ect. – my words]

    After having read it, I would go so far as to say that Sir Geoffry is an outrageous fool! :cool:

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  24. gravedodger (1,570 comments) says:

    @ Harriet, 7 01, did you mis-spell the last word, maybe Tool. The bastard has enough rat cunning to have milked far too much dosh from my pocket for little tangible reward.

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  25. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    It all depends on your definition of ‘living’ doesn’t it?

    According to the HGTTU its 42.

    For me I’m really living when I am learning and experiencing something I have never known/done before.

    For others, living is merely existing – having just enough food to stay alive, and enough air with insufficient pollution to kill them.

    Then there are those that feel they are suffocating if they don’t wear Gucci and their car is more than a year old.

    As someone else said, first we need to define living, before we can decide the cost of it.

    It will be interesting to know how the debate went.

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  26. flipper (4,205 comments) says:

    SLEEP v MALPASS ?????

    Should be interesting to see a match between a wet behind the ears, Masterton-based student politician, and a professional economist of real standing.

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  27. Manolo (14,065 comments) says:

    James Sleep, the very delicate James Sleep? He’ll wilt like the meadow flower he is.

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  28. dime (10,109 comments) says:

    Kea – I believe their already is a living wage in NZ.

    If a single person works 40 hours a week they get how much in their hand? I think minimum wage is $13.50? Thats $540 a week and they pay next to nothing in tax.

    Say they get 450 a week in the hand. you can live on that. ya probably cant afford to live alone but shit happens.

    im not saying it wouldnt be a hard slog but thats life.

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  29. Matt (227 comments) says:

    The Government should abolish the minimum wage and the unemployment benefit and instead employ anyone who applies for urban beautification/broken windows/etc projects for a wage comparable with what the minimum wage is currently. This would give people the option to take a job offering a lower wage but better prospects and allow employers a way of bringing in new people without it costing the earth.

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  30. Rich Prick (1,726 comments) says:

    Ah, you just have to love the language of the left. “Living wage”, hmmm, is anything else a dying wage? Here’s a bit of advice to anyone moaning about their “minimum” wage, get a better job, or live within your means. Easy really.

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  31. alloytoo (573 comments) says:

    Living wage is a fiction, the minimum wage too but one we have decided to entertain.

    When all those previous in employ get retrenched because they’re too expensive, will we entertain the fiction of “Living Welfare” as well, and who will be left to pay it?

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  32. BR (83 comments) says:

    “I vote for a living wage of $30 per hour. That would be nice.”

    Why stop there?

    Bill.

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  33. teejay (1 comment) says:

    If you all have such strong opinions, why not come along tonight and actually be a part of it.

    There will be a chance to ask questions of the speakers afterwards.

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  34. Maxx (12 comments) says:

    I’m all for this living wage – just so long as all benefits that are currently paid to support those that are working and on a low wage are removed completley and a corresponding drop in the company tax rate is applied.

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  35. dishy (248 comments) says:

    teejay, my strong opinion is that this debate is about such an ill-defined concept that the debate will be pointless. That being the case, you’ll understand my non-attendance.

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  36. Manolo (14,065 comments) says:

    Comments from someone who attended the debate?

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