Simon Collins reports:
The government should stop giving contracts – and knighthoods – to companies that pay their bosses more than three times their lowest-paid workers, an economist has suggested.
Dr Geoff Bertram, a retired Victoria University economist who inspired a Labour Party plan to force down electricity prices, made the proposal at a conference on inequality in Wellington yesterday.
It is useful that Dr Bertram has said what he really thinks. His vision for new zealand is essentially that of the Soviet Union. They spent 40 years where no one was allowed to earn too much more than anyone else. Doctors would be paid only slightly more than rubbish collectors. Everyone was equal – equal in their misery.
However Dr Bertram's views would be even more devastating for NZ, than they were for the USSR. Citizens are far more mobile than several decades ago. Imagine how many people would be left in NZ if no one could earn more than $75,000 a year?
Of course a company could pay their CEO more than $75,000 a year, but then they would be ineligible for any Government contracts at all.
What is scary isn't that Dr Bertram has such views. NZ has a range of extreme views from the far right to the far left. People are at liberty to propose communist economic policies. What is scary is that Labour is basing its electricity policy on Dr Bertram's work. Their policy is based on the work of someone who thinks no-one should be able to earn more than $75,000 a year.
Now we know this, it explains a lot. It also explains why Labour should not be allowed anywhere near office at the moment.