Workers productivity not matched by pay boosts

The benefit of the so called rockstar economy to ordinary working New Zealanders is missing in action.  As labour productivity is surging the benefits are definitely not trickling down to workers.

Statistics New Zealand points out that from 1996 to 2013, labour productivity grew more in Australia than in New Zealand, up by an average of 2.1 percent and 1.6 percent per year, respectively.

For workers the disparity between their labour and their reward is marked when we look at how Australia is doing.

This state of affairs is set to get worse as National pushes through legislation that will leave workers further disadvantaged when it comes to pushing for pay increases.

National’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill attacks collective bargaining making it harder for unions to negotiate pay rises for their members.

One has to wonder why with increased productivity and a supposedly surging rock-star economy that the Key Government feels the need to further attack workers through weakening unions.

All this mean spirited legislation is likely to achieve is a widening of the gap between New Zealand worker’s pay packets and their Australian counterparts and more workers leaving our shores for higher wages in Australia.

 

25 thoughts on “Workers productivity not matched by pay boosts

  1. From the “productivity is surging” link above

    Multifactor productivity measures how efficiently goods and services are produced in the economy. It was up 1.2 per cent last year because goods and services grew faster than the inputs such as hours of labour, and capital, such as land and buildings, used to produce them, Statistics NZ national accounts manager Michele Lloyd said.

    WOW, i.2% is a “surge”

    However, from http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/wages we see that:

    Average hourly wage Jan 2013 $27.31
    Average hourly wage Jan 2014 $28.03
    Difference $0.72
    Percentage increase 2.6%

    So productivity increased by MORE THAN ONE PERCENT LESS THAN WAGES proving that indeed, pay boosts have not matched workers productivity, THEY HAVE EXCEEDED THEM BY 83%

    Here’s hoping the greens are never in charge of anything other than environmental laws.

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  2. dave,

    Are those wages figures adjusted for inflation? I couldn’t determine if that was so. The productivity figure (1.6% overall) is calculated with GDP, which is adjusted for inflation. So your theory may not be correct.

    In any case, average wages is not a particularly useful measure for most people, as it includes all of the highly paid people (as it should), so the average isn’t experienced by many. As that international housing affordability study last year mentioned, the median household income fell last year. So it seems ordinary New Zealanders aren’t seeing any benefit, contrary to what you may think.

    However, I think the word “productivity” is misleading as it includes automation and probably other methods of getting more out of the same number of working hours or less.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 (+6)

  3. Tony, first off he selectively quotes, and then he is only talking only about the multifactor rate. The whole rate is higher. Quoting:

    Labour productivity measures the quantity of goods and services or output produced for each hour of labour. It jumped 2.1 per cent during the period compared to the average increase of 1.6 per cent.

    Secondly, GDP growth rate during this period was 3.5%. It is fair that investors see a 3.5% increase in their income, but it is not fair that workers not also see their fair share in the new wealth. Even if Dave’s figures were correct, a substantial amount of new wealth is not flowing to Kiwis who are working hard every day to increase NZ’s lot in life. So who has their hands in the pockets of Kiwi workers? The usual suspects: That difference is flowing upwards into the pockets of NZ’s 1%.

    Regarding productivity- it is unfortunate that the Greens are not more wary of this rhetoric. There are many ways to increase the ratio between company’s or nations profit versus the amount of work performed by employees. A furniture maker who has been in Christchurch for 50 years can take their designs and jigs to China, fire most of their wood workers and pay workers in China less than one tenth. Now, the business has greater profits with a tiny fraction of Kiwi workers. The company’s productivity has skyrocketed. Is this a good thing?

    Or this: National would love to have big Oil come in and be pumping crude for export. This would massively increase our GDP. Since national GDP goes up with roughly the same work done, our productivity goes up dramatically under National. Would that be a good thing?

    What matters is if national productivity is not coming at the cost of destruction of the purchasing power of NZ consumers. Killing that purchasing power kills the consumer economy. What also matters is if increasing national productivity in the short term is worth the long term destruction of our productivity due to the massive economic costs due to the consequences of climate change. A 5 degree shift in temperature which scientists view as likely in the coming century (if we do nothing) will cause a massive global depression, wars and saddle future generations with devastating costs that we will be cursed for.

    Yet the 1% will be enriched tidily, and they give not a wit for the long term consequences. They have their chardonnay and happily sip it, living for the moment.

    Enjoy.

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  4. My understanding is real wages and productivity data don’t always line up cos:

    (1) the relevant measure of wages is total compensation not just the hourly rate;
    (2) heterogeneity i.e. productivity is easily calculated for the average worker in the economy, so total output divided by total hours worked. But not every type of worker will experience the same productivity change as the average;
    (3) Relationship to capital in the mix is hard to measure but material; and
    (4) a productivity gain can “go” to employers in the form of higher profits, investors in the form of higher returns, workers in the form of higher wages or to consumers in the form of lower prices.

    Start of a discussion.

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  5. During the debate, the Govt. said that the opposition were trying to return Aotearoa/NZ to the 1970s (union dominated).. BUT I see this type of legislation as a return to the 19th century; Master & Servant, with little or no rights for workers & maximum benefit to the ‘Masters’.
    I keep hearing about the ‘Brighter future’ this Govt. is promising.. BUT nearly all the benefits are going to the top 10%, NOT to ‘Joe or Jo Kiwi’

    The Chicago School of economics ‘Trickle down theory’ is a load of B-S designed purely to look after the wealthy & keep the masses fighting over the left-overs !

    kia ora

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  6. Notice how the apologists for the great failed Neo-liberal trickle down experiment love to quote “average” wages.

    Deliberately, or ignorantly, ignoring the fact, that average wages are rising because of 17% plus rises at the very top, and the drop off into unemployment at the bottom.

    The experience of the majority is, longer working hours, less staff expected to do more, little or no pay rises for years, layoffs, and more precarious, casualised employment.

    A 2% rise in average time wages is not an increase when your hours are cut to a minimum 12 a week, waiting by the phone 365 days a year in case there is work. Just one example of the reality.

    Not to mention most peoples wage rises being instantly swallowed up by rises in mortgage rates, or rent, due to the absurd and long past its use by date reserve bank act, which works, as intended, to ensure that most of any wage, and hence, economic growth, is captured by the banks..

    Similarly they love inflation measures which include luxury imported goods, and excludes interest rates, because it masks the real impact of price rises on ordinary people.

    An increasingly lesser percentage of GDP has been going into wages since 1984 and more and more into offshore profit taking, interest and banking.

    My day job pays 40% less, adjusted for headline inflation, than in 1984.

    The experience of most highly skilled workers.

    Skilled workers that employers constantly bleat to the immigration department they are desperately short of.

    The People that make a country successful.

    They are short for the simple reason that semi-skilled administrators (Accountants, “Managers” and Directors) and other rent takers, have been awarding themselves a greater and greater share while refusing to pay or train New Zealand workers.

    Then there is the import of half trained dodgy foreign builders into Christchurch so Fletchers can avoid paying the “market rate for skilled and experienced builders. Which will equal the “leaky buildings” scandal when the result of all the poor workmanship from cheap poorly supervised immigrants comes to light.

    No wonder why we all now work overseas, where our work is valued.

    Median income is a much better measure of the “brighter future”.

    Douglas, and now Key, forgot to tell us that the “brighter future” was only for the very wealthy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 (+2)

  7. When we had Unions, over 60% of GDP went to workers.

    Now 45% and dropping, while our borrowing goes through the roof.

    Contrary to popular belief New Zealanders save as high a proportion of their disposable income as anywhere else. Except that our businesses like to charge first world prices while paying third world wages.
    Unfortunately, if every business does that, there is no money to buy their products and everyone goes down together.

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  8. There is a paper about to be published, “A Minimal Model for Human and Nature Interaction”, details from the Guardian [link].

    Abstract:

    There are widespread concerns that current trends in population and resource-use are unsustainable, but the possibilities of an overshoot and collapse remain unclear and controversial. Collapses have occurred frequently in the past five thousand years, and are often followed by centuries of economic, intellectual, and population decline. Many different natural and social phenomena have been invoked to explain specific c collapses, but a general explanation remains elusive. Two important features seem to appear across societies that have collapsed: (1) Ecological Strain and (2) Economic Strati cation.

    In this paper, the structure of a new model and several simulated scenarios that o er significant implications are explained. The model has just four equations that describe the evolution of the populations of Elites and Commoners, Nature, and accumulated Wealth. Mechanisms leading to collapse are discussed and the measure “Carrying Capacity” is developed and defined. The model suggests that the estimation of Carrying Capacity is a practical means for early detection of a collapse. Collapse can be avoided, and population can reach a steady state at the maximum carrying capacity, if the rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed equitably.

    The PDF of the paper has vanished from its original location on the web, or I would post a link. Browser caches are wonderful things :)

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  9. Well Mr. Messerley, don’t we like to obfuscate!

    Statistics NZ said the 2.1 per cent lift in labour productivity was driven by both an increase of 1.2 per cent in multifactor productivity and a 0.9 per cent growth in the amount of capital available per worker.

    So you are saying that workers incomes should increase if owners add capital (usually tools and premises) to their business? You really are stretching the point aren’t you?

    TONY

    I too couldn’t determine if the figure was inflation adjusted. However I believe StatsNZ figures usually are.

    KERRY

    I didn’t realise Denise was an “apologist for the great failed Neo-liberal trickle down experiment”. Interesting observation.

    and

    could you provide a source for the observation that “When we had Unions, over 60% of GDP went to workers.”

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  10. It’s Messerly.

    Q:”So you are saying that workers incomes should increase if owners add capital (usually tools and premises) to their business?”

    No. I am saying that if GDP goes up, then if we had an equitable distribution of wealth we would see the income of workers go up by the same percentage. By defunding NZ consumers they are defunding the consumer economy. With less sales, companies cut back payroll. With less income, consumers buy less. With less sales… You get the picture.

    I hope. It’s called market failure. The trouble is, every business is doing what they are supposed to be doing. They are supposed to be maximizing profit, and if they can save a few percent here or there by automating and offshoring rather than paying expensive Kiwi workers, they will. Taking the long view is not their job.

    So whose job is it?

    Now, some here may not like my particular approach because it eschews command control approaches and takes a game theoretic approach to markets. That is, if the markets are moving in a direction that is self destructive, regulators do not directly give instructions to sectors of the economy, but instead change market conditions so that the market will instead move towards an equilibrium that is not self destructive.

    For example, government could establish an auxiliary currency that is corresponds to how much purchasing power a company creates in the form of payroll to Kiwi employees. You could consider consumer purchasing power a natural resource- like a river that is a Commons resource. If companies draw too much from the river, it dries up. So you tax usage of that common resource. First, you associate a auxilliary dollar- a “Commons Currency” value on that shared asset so that damage to that asset is now visible as a ledger item. Companies that have large payrolls are contributing in a large way to the NZ economy’s pool of purchasing power, so they earn massive Commons Currency dollars. Other companies possibly by their very nature- like software companies might be high profit (drawing large income from the purchasing power river) but are not labor intensive, so are not returning much cash back into the river. So they generate few such dollars.

    Demand for these dollars is created via a usage tax on the purchasing power river payable only in Commons Currency. Companies such as the Christchurch furniture manufacturer who is deciding whether to outsource labor to china now looks at his projected profits and finds that he will lose more money if he outsources because he will not earn enough Commons currency dollars and have to go to the open market to buy enough to pay his purchasing power tax. The software company possibly could undertake projects with more hand created artwork rather than algorithmically generated illustrations because this would generate more Commons currency cash needed to pay their taxes. Otherwise, they could buy unneeded CC dollars from labour intensive enterprises. This makes such marginally profitable companies more income needed to survive.

    So there was a shift in the decision making at businesses but it did was not due to wage-price controls, or perpetual battles between management and labour over compensation. I am not saying it is a substitute for collective bargaining, just that management would be far more amenable to come to mutually beneficial agreements because higher payroll yields a benefit not just a cost to them. They either increase those wages and have enough to pay their commons currency tax, or they can be skinflints and they will have insufficient CC dollars to pay their usage tax on NZ’s purchasing power.

    It is a way to use profit motive in defense of the Kiwi middle class income.

    If we don’t do anything, private enterprise will do what is in its apparent short term interest- cut payrolls destroy Kiwi disposable income and continue the cannibalization of the Kiwi consumer economy.

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  11. John,

    Intersting idea this common currency. Where would a company in receipt of the common currency spend it? Could the business (being a building company) go to the local mitre 10 and buy 4×2’s (or for Bj 2×4’s) with this “common currency”

    Could the business (being a transport company) buy their new Mack truck with it? And could the local Mack truck dealer pass this common currency back to their supplier in Seatle for payment and have the new truck delivered to NZL?

    What value has this “common currency” versus the existing NZL dollar? How is it’s value set and maintained?

    More importantly if the employers pay their workers in this new “common currency”, where will the workers be able to spend it? Will the local supermarket, pub, TAB, grocery store, green grocer, etc., etc., etc. be able to carry out transactions with it?

    Will the IRD accept the is new “common currency” as payment for the ternminal tax payable by 7th April?

    There is a perfectly good “common currency” in NZL called the dollar. Why introduce another?

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  12. A metaphor for understanding auxilliary currencies like carbon credits or the proposed Commons Currency is not Cash, but the point systems in multi user games that seek to more accurately model the world and influence the players to seek a multiplicity of paths to achieve their goals. In other words, they are a point system in multiple dimensions and are based on different metrics. A player accumulates strength points and spends them, but not in the same way or for the same purposes as Coin.

    Commons Currency is a bankable asset that has value due to its requirement to pay the usage tax. Companies who draw from the NZ purchasing power river must pay this usage tax. Their profits rely on usage of this river, yet they have never had to pay for damage to this river. This hidden cost is what the policy is intended to correct. If you model the effect of using general currency instead of an alternate currency, this effect would not be achieved. You might as well ask why Multiuser games do not make Strength and Wisdom points measured in Coin. It is because point systems in multiple dimensions is a more powerful tools for governments to indirectly influence the behavior of players.

    So, the way NZD currency is flowing, consumers pay for goods and services, and vendors use that currency in part for their payrolls. It behaves according to known rules- policy that encourages the velocity and volume of currency being circulated increases GDP and thereby the wealth of the society. Metaphorically- we want a high volume, high velocity purchasing power river.

    What automation and outsourcing are doing is reducing that volume and velocity. To continue the river metaphor, it is part of the Commons but it is being pumped dry. This policy response is to put a direct value on access to that collective economic asset that is essential to the healthy functioning of our economy.

    These two currencies flow in opposite directions to each other. When purchasing a good or service, the consumer pays our their NZD cash. The policy can be viewed in effect as the vendor paying the Commons currency to the consumer for access to the purchasing power river. At payroll time, the vendor-employer pays out Cash to consumer-workers and collects Commons Currency because they are adding value to the purchasing power river. Now, in terms of implementation, the IRD would do the collection of the Commons currency in proportion to how much wealth was being extracted from the purchasing power river and would also verify that the accounting for the payout was correct for the payroll. But in an advanced form of the system, I suppose you ight well see eftpos transactions that had cash flowing one direction, and CC credits flowing the other. Because companies are charged a usage tax only payable in CC credits, there will be companies who are unable to generate sufficient CC credits due to the nature of their business or due to decisions they have made regarding automation and offshoring. The policy influences their behavior because cost reduction approaches such as reducing domestic payroll now comes at a greater cost than the benefits of these approaches. Unlike the archaic command control approach of centralized planners, this system enjoys the flexibility and decentralized dynamic nature of modern economic systems. Rather than rely on rigid rules, the companies may in some cases decide that it is a sensible cost benefit decision to employ automation or other efficiencies to their enterprise. Others will crunch the numbers for their situation and discover they will be forced to go out to exchanges to buy CC credits in order to pay their taxes, and the cost and uncertainty of this would be greater than the benefits of pushing payroll costs down.

    So I think possibly have an entirely different set of questions. If CC credits were some sort of direct substitute for coin, then it would have none of these effects on behavior of companies and I’d have the exact question as you. Why not just use NZD? But it is not a substitute- it is not an alternate legal tender for the transactions you describe. It is a tender paid by companies for access to the purchasing power river and accumulated by those same companies when they add value to the purchasing power river. To illustrate with a particular implentation, let’s say the mechanism policymakers choose to execute this idea is to have banks execute a bidirectional transaction at payroll time. As cash flows from the business account to the employee account, CC credits flow in the opposite direction. The companies are issued these credits by the bank from a government account in proportion to the dollar value wages paid to salaried workers earning incomes in the lower 9 deciles. At tax time, companies must pay a usage tax for access to consumer-employee purchasing power, the tax is proportionate to their domestic profits, and it is payable solely in CC credits. This tax drives the market value of the credits. Cash and CC credits are transferable on commodities exchanges, with the usual financial instruments for hedging and so on. Notice also that the central bank has a new knob to influence economic behavior. The usual monetary policy strategies and principles apply to CC credits- there can be CC credit inflation, and they can respond by reducing the supply and so on.

    Hope this helps.

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  13. John,

    In your “river” of dreams scenario, cash would once again become the chief form of transaction between people. You will need a far simpler method for the people (heard of the KISS principle?) to indulge in this “river” of tranactional complexity.

    How will this common currency be administrated and how is this cost payed? In real money or points acrued? Has to be real money as the administrating employed workers will want to be payed in the cash they will need to buy a bottle of milk.

    Actually as a scheme to get into a cash only society it is a good one. As a scheme to get employers to stop employing workers on a PAYE system, it is even greater.

    Why employ workers to get “river points” when you are better off investing in mechanisation plus using contracted labour.

    Or better still relocate factory to Bangladesh. Any NZL business would be better off setting its HQ and funding operation in Ireland so that it can minimise NZL “profits” by massive HQ management charges.

    I guess that once the “river” was operational, there would be two ways to kill of any business, lack of profit and lack of “river points”.

    Give you an A for concept but an F for the “river points” scheme in its implementational ability to change society.

    You still need to explain how the “river point” is valued. If the IRD is going to collect how will any business buy up any shortfall it owes when it has huge profits but no staff?

    You are suggesting a tradeable commodity then? And how robust will the “river point” be? Think bitcoin.

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  14. Tradeable commodity? You must have overlooked the following: “Cash and CC credits are transferable on commodities exchanges, with the usual financial instruments for hedging..”

    River of dreams- Charming. Really let’s not start in with the digs though I am perfectly amused to return in kind if you prefer. Nothing personal- I think its fun, but the subject matter is a little dense so let’s just not distract readers with pyrotechnics (BjChip doesn’t like them- I can see it could provided entertainment value to readers, but I can go either way). Anyway, purchasing power is an important issue and policy responses to the problem deserve honest examination minus the ideological spin and histrionics.

    First, the river metaphor applies to purchasing power of Kiwi consumers denominated in NZ dollars. You are using it for something else. The way I employed it has utility in explaining to casual observers the problem of pumping the river dry through the “productivity” improvements of automation and offshoring. Productivity gains have historically driven rising affluence of nations, so we do not want to retard all such schemes- only those negative ones that have the net effect of destroying aggregate disposable income. No one wants to get the NZ economy into the negative feedback cycle I described, but everyone is aggressively looking at reducing payroll as a way of increasing profits. Companies are relocating their operations to Bangladesh and China as I explained in the CHCH furniture firm example. They are using capital as a substitute for labour (mechanisation). That’s what is happening now- not something that would happen more later.

    You are right that companies are smart about playing games with hiding the wealth they are extracting from an economy. The best way to implement the principles to minimize the ability of companies to sidestep them is a matter for experts in tax policy.

    To use a term more precise than “profit”, what we are interested in here is establishing a price signal associated with the value that companies are returning to the river in the form of wages, but are extracting in the form of consumption of goods of services. So if we were to go to the advanced case were eftpos transactions and payroll transactions were bidirectional, then retailers would be unduly burdened by the taxes. But transitioning to this final state would be desirable and could work in a mature system with retailers establishing a network of contracts to pass CC credits up the value chain to the end retailers. Those component suppliers would acquire CC credits for NZ made components but not those made in Bangladesh. So the IRD scheme of taxing “profits” was not just a gloss- I was describing an intermediate step. What we are interested in cash extracted from consumers, so it is up to tax wonks to inform us the best number to measure that is the best proxy in the transitional period. Maybe net NZ revenues, because it wouldn’t matter what bogus charges or where they based their HQ. I fully realize that number has problems too. But this is not an exercise in Tax Wonk minutiae about which number is best to use in service of the policy. It is another matter entirely if you believe the approach is flawed because it is impossible to use tax policy to influence corporate behavior. I did not assume that was your position, but if I am mistaken and that is your position, let me know.

    Naturally, we can have no doubt that players will attempt to game any such tax policy doing what they can to eliminate its power to constrain their activities. That’s the rules of the game. There is reason for optimism though. Honest players will understand that it is in everyone’s mutual interest to increase volume and velocity of flow in the the purchasing power river. It avoids prescriptive intervention in the micromanaging of their enterprises and allows them to come up with innovative ways to maximize profit while not cannibalizing consumer purchasing power.

    So I think I have responded here to the questions of how businesses adjust for shortfall, why offshoring or automation would come at a price and why it is plausible that tax policy can resist being gamed by techniques like establishing foreign HQs, exorbitant charges to hide profit and related strategies to conceal profit.

    I am surprised you said nothing about the WTO.

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  15. Interesting, if the “average wage” is $28.50, per hour, why the hell am I only getting$15.00 per hour?

    Most of yhe people I know seem to be on min wage

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  16. @gmcg

    well said..
    no need to quibble over percentages.. the bottom line is; a ‘living wage’ should be over $20/hr & anyone who disagrees should try $13.75/hr & see how they get on. The Key-party would have us believe they are doing us ALL a favour with their economic model, but the truth is 40% of tax-cuts went to top 10% & most of the GDP increases goes to these ‘fat cats’ too. (farmers & corporate exec.) anyone fooled by the spin ?

    kia ora

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  17. zedd

    what is YOUR definition of at the term “living wage”?

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  18. Possibilities

    1) A wage sufficient to make sure that 25% percent of Kiwi children are not living in poverty.

    2) Equitable living- where the top 1% do not own more than double than what the bottom 50% own.

    Take your pick.

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  19. Zedd notes:

    the bottom line is; a ‘living wage’ should be over $20/hr

    I’ve argued many times that the minimum wage should be raised frequently and aggressively to get it to $20 very quickly. It’s disgusting how low the NZ minimum wage is. Whats worse is that many employers see the minimum wage as a target wage, rather than a level of embarrassment that they should be nowhere near.

    Will this ever be fixed?

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  20. John notes:

    A wage sufficient to make sure that 25% percent of Kiwi children are not living in poverty.

    Is that possible? The Green Party definition of poverty is based on median household income, so surely no matter what you do with income, there will always be a proportion of children living in households that fit the definition of poverty?

    (And I say “surely” as I’m not a mathematician, and indeed I may be wrong)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 (+3)

  21. Sure. Many use the 60% of median income.

    Perhaps this visualization might help: Consider a fictional country where the median salary is 100,000 Pesetas. Picture a bell curve centered over 100K, with the ends of the curve at 60K and 140K. It all averages to 100K, and no one is in poverty.

    Of course, the distribution does not have to be a bell and can be any shape you like with greater steepness, bumpiness or the high edge stretching out into the hundreds of millions- just so that the volumes of both sides to the right and left of 100K are equal, and the minimum does not go below 60K.

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  22. I just had a play in Excel, and, you’re right, it does work.

    I just need to get my head around what this means…..

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  23. Exactly. Children aren’t dying in the streets, therefore it follows that children in NZ cannot possibly go to bed hungry. 66% of children of sole parent families live in poverty, and the vast majority of those sole parents are women. The standard refrain we hear from National is that the solution to poverty is to get a job and lift oneself out. Perhaps to this way of thinking, the gender that doesn’t skip and does the responsible thing and takes care of the children simply has no business sense about what would benefit them the most. Maybe that is why they are paid 61% what men in NZ earn- at least to the conservative’s point of view. Come to think of it, maybe the affluent white guys running National actually do have a point. This situation does have to do with choices. The Feminization of poverty. The Juvenilization of poverty. It this the kind of New Zealand we want?

    I just noted I got a thumbs down on my last note. Of course normally I am an insensitive person and pay no attention to such things, but I ask you, how is it possible to get a thumbs down discussing maths? Under the Key government, I suppose it is not surprising that the disciplines of science and maths are considered an obvious left wing scheme of disinformation. All my post described was an image that might suggest a simple way of getting an intuitive feel for how a distribution could fit this description.

    But I know. There is ample reason to hate maths and suspect it is part of some vast hidden agenda. Is this silly? Of course not- the people who feel this way are very sensitive people. Ask yourself- How would you feel if the numbers had such nasty things to say about you? For example: “The top 1% owned 16.4% of wealth” while “the bottom half of the households only owned 7% of the total wealth.” ( both quotes from this TeAra.govt.nz page ) How cruel of those numbers to even suggest that one one hundredth of the population would deliberately focus into their own hands more than double the amount of wealth than what another half of Kiwis have.

    Visualize that on a graph. It’s a mean picture.

    You know what? I think those numbers are the real haters. Excepting of course those enlightened, friendly numbers from auckland rentals who have escaped their impoverished masters to come live in the upscale online banking accounts of the 1%.

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