OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Don’t let them eat cake

81 Responses

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  • Ben Chapman,

    I may be wrong but don't the tax cuts affect those lower wages most. In this climate it would seem unfair to increase their tax burden, but not their income.

    Tax cuts (that is, cuts to taxes) reduce the tax burden. A well structured tax system will benefit the low waged.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Barbara,

    I thought that with the changes which come into affect in April those on less than $24,000 will be worse off.

    Of course for those on high incomes their taxation decreases.

    I personally feel this is not equitable.

    Those on low incomes spend all their earnings - those on high incomes have more choice.

    Sandringham • Since Mar 2008 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I'm afraid my inner despot raises it's ugly head re "boy racers". They're not a new phenomenon. Some boys have always liked to drive fast - my father being one of them. However, some members of this latest crop of young men who like to drive fast are particularly destructive. I'm not sure it's a top priority but.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    And is there such a thing as an infrastructure project that would benefit the nation as a whole, rather than just a single region like Auckland or ChCh?

    Fuck Yeah! Te Aho a Maui !

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    wouldn't it just be cheaper to get Maui to throw the thing back?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Some boys have always liked to drive fast - my father being one of them. However, some members of this latest crop of young men who like to drive fast are particularly destructive.

    I blame technology: there was far less damage you could do in the days of walking and the penny farthing. (Although I do know of a small mountain town where half the population died drink tramping).

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Some boys have always liked to drive fast - my father being one of them

    Your dad, eh? Wow! I watched him driving at Levin, a Maserati if I recall correctly, when I were a kid.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    (Although I do know of a small mountain town where half the population died drink tramping).

    That town sounds a lot like Great barrier island, as I remember it. I remember being told by a wizened old bastard, that "the only danger on this island is gravity" But there where also allot of drink drownings. One young blade managed in drown in the mud at low tide.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • sagenz,

    Keith - start the infrastructure spending now. That labour gets spread all over the country. planning, contracted out manufacture as well as on site assembly. And if the infrastructure spending is national then it will the auckland waterview tunnel will be matched by hydro or irrigation schemes in canterbury. That money flows in the economy as readily as WFF distributions. The difference is that you get something of value from it.

    On WFF & min wage increases I agree with your rationalisation of WFF being preferable. Nobody is starving in this country. People who want homes have them, whether rented to owned.

    Stimulus created through WFF is just as likely to be spent on imported tat as anything else. Given the number of people tightening their belts now why is it reasonable that WFF should get MORE money? And I speak as someone whose main source of income ceases in 3 weeks time.

    So justify why building something of value if preferable to buying more tat. I can make a better economic argument for community work schemes for unemployed. At least that adds some value to the community.

    uk • Since Nov 2006 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    my father being one of them

    Carroll Shelby, Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss, Bruce McLaren... Woh, that's quite the "them"

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    The National Government said today that they would crack down on "children" as a priority after news that children threw stones at a train driver.
    "We take assault on our nationalised rail employees very seriously, so we'll be reviewing all laws around in-vitro fertilisation, Plunket funding, maternity care and the voting age within the next 6 months" Prime Minister John Key announced.


    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10555130

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm afraid my inner despot raises it's ugly head re "boy racers". They're not a new phenomenon. Some boys have always liked to drive fast -

    And if you want to come stand at my front gate twice a day, you'll see plenty of "mortgage belt Mummies" who seem to think the speed limit doesn't apply while they're on the school run.

    Which brings out my inner despot too -- then again, I'm one of those weirdos who believes nobody has a fundamental, inalienable human right to operate a car, anymore than they have an equivalent 'right' to unrestricted ownership of firearms, or adjust the attitude of irritating people with the back of their hands.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Keith, I think you take a narrow view. The flexible workforce you talked of earlier is the same workforce that would be absorbed, if not directly, by infrastructure spending. The money for public works is internalised capital and as such, has little detrimental effect on the economy. The upside is that, as opposed to some other suggestions for stimulating the economy, we end up with a tangible asset.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The National Government said today that they would crack down on "children" as a priority after news that children threw stones at a train driver.

    Oh, and Gareth, you might think that's a big fucking joke. You might not be yucking it up if one of those little pricks was having a closed casket tangi, because the only place trains brake on a dime in the movies, and you were the driver having to go through it over and over again for months afterwards.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Oh no Craig I really would be, don't ya think? =|

    I'll run all possible joke comments past you in the future, given your tendency to a complete lack of offence on all matters, huh?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'll run all possible joke comments past you in the future, given your tendency to a complete lack of offence on all matters, huh?

    I've got better things to do with my time, Gareth. But if your partner had worked in the rail industry for over forty years, and one of the worse days of his life was giving evidence at an inquest after a woman walked in front the train he was driving, you might not see the joke either.

    Not really the most tasteful hook for a gratuitous cheap shot, mate, and perhaps I'm not the one who needs to get a sense of humour.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    Steve:

    I think you take a narrow view. The flexible workforce you talked of earlier is the same workforce that would be absorbed, if not directly, by infrastructure spending.

    The workforce isn't an amorphous blob. Not even the flexible workforce. A cleaner is not (necessarily) going to be able to drill concrete, a call centre worker can't suddenly drive a crane, and a receptionist won't turn into a fibre-optics technician overnight.

    Sure, plenty of people *will* find work because of the infrastructure spending, and I'm all for infrastructure spending that takes us in a considered strategic direction (see A Green New Deal?). However, I'm really concerned about this amorphous and purely macro approach, which seems to treat every dollar of injection as good as the next, any job as substitute for another, and everybody as equally deserving of help.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    The workforce isn't an amorphous blob. Not even the flexible workforce. A cleaner is not (necessarily) going to be able to drill concrete, a call centre worker can't suddenly drive a crane, and a receptionist won't turn into a fibre-optics technician overnight.

    My thoughts exactly. Is there an unwritten social class divide that we've pretended never existed? Could it be the financial barriers in the way of upskilling?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Surely we aren't going to survive this recession by having the poor weather the storm for the rest of us.

    Isn't that what we always largely do? Most of the people shifting from employment to unemployment, will already have been below the minimum wage. Those who lose their jobs and are able to find another one will be more likely to have been more well off.

    I fail to see why this recession should be any diferent than the last four or five (or... lots) that we've been through, sad though it is.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Isn't that what we always largely do?

    Oh, for sure, I was just wondering if this time thing might be skewed a tad more towards consultants and financial service operatives. There was some initial noise in that direction in the papers.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I suspect a good number of them will find other jobs. Possibly earning a lot worse, but still not visiting food banks.

    And it's a national government. Consultants will be heavily in demand because the public service is going to be pared down, so the work will all be consulted out. No problem :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    You know what would work? The complete opposite of everything the Nats did when they got into OMGWTFBBQ mode after the election.

    At least they're borrowing when the dollar's low. Shame they promptly send it all overseas again like the last lot. Darn balance of payments, it's the fuel imports you know, if only there was a local alternative, like, oh right, never mind, OMGWTFBBQ.

    Since Nov 2006 • 610 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    OMGWTFBBQ indeed.
    Though for pronunciation purposes, may I suggest: fubarbeque.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • icehawk,

    "Wage levels may rise slower (or not at all), but they're not going to fall. The December figures from the Quarterly Employment Survey shows that the average hourly earning is up 5.5% from the previous year. Wages have not fallen."

    Real wages are what matter. Wages after inflation. You young kids may forget that, not having lived through high inflation rates the way we older codgers did.

    Once you take out inflation of 3.6% out of that 5.5% you quote is actually just a real increase of 1.9%. So wages increased 1.9% faster than inflation did.

    And the minimum wage, if you added in inflation of 3.6%, would go from $12 to $12.42.

    If you weren't inflation-indexing the minimum wage then it would be going down in real terms. And they don't call them "real" terms for nothing. Inflation means that staying still in nominal terms is really a decrease. This is why the people saying that the property market "might be flat for three or four years" are actually talking about a large decrease in the price of houses.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 49 posts Report Reply

  • icehawk,

    "For a salary earner with a steady job, the recession is not going to seep through the window and eat his money."

    Nonsense.

    That is exactly what's going to happen if we get inflation without commensurate wage increases. That's exactly what did happen in the early 80s.

    Inflation is the means by which a recession seeps through your window and eating your money. Inflation means each dollar you own is worth less. It means each dollar you earn is worth less.

    We've both quoted the annual figures to Dec 2008 (CPI and hourly wage). But that's not a year of recession. Let's see where we are with the figures to Dec 2009 - and you may well see that the recession is actually seeping through people's windows and eating their money.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 49 posts Report Reply

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