Sacked on day 85, no reason given

Florence Cohen was sacked from her first job on her 85th day of her 90 day trial period.  Her employer had expressed no dissatisfaction with her performance, she was given no reason for her dismissal, and she still doesn’t know today what, if anything, she did wrong.

You could end up being treated like Florence if you take on a new job, because the Government intends extending its Fire at Will law to all employees in their first 90 days of a new job.

Please join the Fairness at Work rallies this Saturday and Sunday:

  • Auckland: 1pm, Saturday 21st August, QE2 Square (bottom of Queen St, opposite Britomart)
  • Wellington:1pm, Saturday 21st August, Civic Square
  • Christchurch:1pm, Saturday 21st August, Cathedral Square
  • Dunedin: 11am, Sunday 22nd August, Assemble at Dental School, Great King Street, March to rally at the Octagon

[Disclaimer: For the information of those who are running silly distractions because they have no evidence to back their support for the Fire at Will law, Florence Cohen is not a member of the Green Party – even though she is young, clever, and articulate.]

Update: Another similar story is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3yTjbkxEdw

189 Comments Posted

  1. Missed this one: Photonz

    So you want a website to penalise businesses that take a chance on employing people on the fringes if they don’t work out.

    “penalize” is far too strong a word. However, if an employer is regularly during the trial period letting go prospective employees, taking into account the number of concurrently employed candidates, in relation to the size of the company, then a prospective employee could possibly infer that the company has really high standards, and they are finding it hard to find the right person.

    There can’t be a reciprocal arrangement of employees let go, as the employee has no part in the decision making process.

  2. “Did you name yourself after James Taggart? If so, well, you have an insight into your own character I would not have expected from you.”

    If you had really read Rand you would know that YOU are the one who most ressembles JT in attitude and blaming others for your woes and how its all so “Unfair”!blub….:-(

    Gee frog…it was hardly a death threat.I think debs and I are having fun here actually… 😉

    😉

  3. Come on Debs….look I’ll help get you started.I’ll give you $50 bucks to strip off to your G-string and pole dance while I leer and drool and say things like “Thats it Debs….daddy likes that yeah!

    😉

    ps….do a million sit ups first….i don’t “roll” like that….;-)

    [frog: Too far, James. Vicky32, the “annoying little tosser” comment that provoked it wasn’t helpful either. More debate, less ad hom please]

  4. James, you are an insulting little tosser… have you ever considered leaving Uni and getting a job? No, of course not, why should you when you have Big Daddy to support you? 😀
    You’d probably prove to be as good a worker as you are a debater. Did you name yourself after James Taggart? If so, well, you have an insight into your own character I would not have expected from you.
    Deb

  5. Deds…have you considered prostitution? Its a valid option these days and a real earner if you do it right.

    I can see you specialising in the ‘henpecked men who get off on being castigated for not being able to do anything right by their wives” section of the john market.

    😉

  6. happy now to have provoked me into violating my own privacy with your childish insults?

    Its always someones elses fault huh Debs? Thats your problem and until you take stock of yourself it will continue to be so.

    Best of luck…you will need it.

  7. “.You don’t seem helpless,far from it, so why can’t you get a decent job? Is it your attitude? I suspect so…”
    Well, James, you suspect wrong… I spent the first half of my adult life raising kids on a DPB, and feeding them took priority over the luxury of a car.
    I worked for years, for a company that crashed. I’ve spent 18 months looking for a permanent job, but in the meantime doing casual work – and no finance company will lend money for a car without a regular income which I don’t have – happy now to have provoked me into violating my own privacy with your childish insults?
    “And they are called typos babe”
    I am not your babe, or anyone else’s for that matter. You’re either an elderly American or a teenage New Zealander aping the Americans, as so many New Zealand teens sadly do…
    “The booses are richer than you because they are obviously smarter than you”
    Yeah, so “smart” (sic) that my last boss ran her company into the ground, and put 11 people (including me) out of work. So “smart” that she didn’t even manage to keep the clients she had, let alone get the ones she wanted.
    YOu are truly a toxic little git Jsmes, regardless of whether you’re a 60-something American or a 20-something Kiwi. I am not crying “woe is me”… but I predict that if you’re the latter, you’ll be the one crying “woe is me” in a few years, when you leave your safe wee cocoon, and discover what it’s like to have a boss! (Unless of course, you come from a seriously rich Daddy – in which case I wonder if you’ll disappoint him by running *his* company into the ground?
    Deb

  8. Debs:James, sigh… What goes on in South Auckland is irrelevant to me… you seem to assume I live there, well I don’t.

    Never said you did.I was making the point that even in the poorest areas of NZ people seem able to find money for cars and other things.You don’t seem helpless,far from it, so why can’t you get a decent job? Is it your attitude? I suspect so…

    The rich are rich because they, according to you “and its usual due to working harder but mainly smarter.They educate themselves and display more self drive and discipline.” well, sorry that’s utter tripe! When I can get work, I work as hard or harder than any boss, and I am educated, to judge by your spelling, more so than you are!

    Yet you are the one with no job crying woe is me….mmmm.

    And they are called typos babe….get over it.I only slum it here for a laugh so Im not really bothered to clean up errors.The booses are richer than you because they are obviously smarter than you and have a far more positive outlook on life…instead of whinging and holding a septic gruge against “the rich” they get on and prosper.Try it sometime.

    I have never been able to afford a car, and why is not really any of your business – but it amounts to the subject under discussion – low wages, and the fact that I was raising children, not just doing *my own* thing.

    You are the one moaning about not having money etc….You can geta basic runabout from $500 up….can’t you even save that?And raising your children IS doing your own thing…its a selfish action you want to do based on your personal values,…..if you had actually read Rand you would know this is what she was advocating…..self-interested pursuit of ones own happiness as a moral absolute .Good for you if thats what you want from life.

    The Mad Butcher is also irrelevant – Gerrit was talking about buying vegetables at the farm gate, not going into one of Peter Leitch’s ice-cold red barns!

    My point was there are alternatives to the two big chains….so you have choices if you are prepared to get off of your bum and explore them.You have a negative attitude and Im not suprised you can’t get a job that suits you.I suspect your toxic mindset seeps out of you and is picked up by people who find it repulsive and sadly harms your chances of employment.

    I think if you had a good look at yourself you may find things to change that will help you into a better situation…but you will need to want to change.

  9. Phil,

    Generalist as opposed to specialist.

    As a specialist progresses they know more about less. As a generalist progresses they know more about more. The advantage of being a specialist being that you know that less in great detail while as a generalist you know more but in less detail. Cognitive neuroscience, being a frontier field, is rather limited in the degree to which one is able to specialize and thus it is common, and very beneficial, to co-opt other fields of en-devour. One of my mentors, for example, works with pilots and cognitive algorithms. Another of my mentors works extensively with neurology and psycho-physics, and has much skill in statistics and some in programming. I co-opt chemistry, evolutionary biology, neuro-physiology, statistics, computer science, and most of the social sciences. These help vastly with my endeavors and I will continue to explore them in greater depth as this generalist knowledge is of great benefit. With the natural sciences there is still much theory for me to learn. With the social sciences I have most of the useful theory, what I am lacking is the case-studies; the history. I consider that of minimal use.

  10. “99% of houses are bought, lived in and paid for by Kiwis”.

    99% by NZ residents. Many at the top end by recent arrivals from Europe.
    Whangarei Heads for example seem to be nearly all from Holland.

  11. “It’s madness to pay more and more of our income into a house that is no different to what it was 30 years ago”,

    Agreed.

    60% of our combined income to buy a modest house in Auckland in the 80’s when interest rates hovered over 20% did not stop people buying houses.
    We were on well over the average income, so I do not know how others managed especially as there were no 100% mortgages.

  12. Kerry says “To some one from Holland or Germany our house’s are still cheap.”

    Which is irrelevant when 99% of houses are bought, lived in and paid for by Kiwis.

    To use your terminology – To someone from Auckland, house’s are still cheap in Bluff, OR to someone from Remuera, house’s are still cheap in Otara. Irrelevant

    40% of mean income is considered the maximum affordable mortgage and still have money for food, electricity etc.

    Paying an 80% mortgage on the mean NZ house went to 83% of the mean incomein 2008 – it’s still in the 70s

    That’s not only unsustainable – it’s very bad for NZ.

    House prices need to come back to their historic average, which is 30% less than their peak.

    It’s madness to pay more and more of our income into a house that is no different to what it was 30 years ago, does not produce more, does not house more people, and is in fact 30 years closer to the end of it’s useful life than it was.

  13. “That’s billions MORE in interest flowing out of the country to overseas banks, for EXACTLY the same houses we had previously”.
    I do not disagree with you. It is just that what else were people going to invest in.

    A lot of that extra interest, though was windfall profits to banks and investors overseas from our artificially high interest rates.

    To some one from Holland or Germany our house’s are still cheap.

  14. Kerry – of course the house price increases were unsustainable.

    Take the affordability index (median income, paying a mortgage on 80% of a median house price).

    In 2002 it took 40% of a median wage to pay this mortgage. In 2008 that had risen to 83%.

    If houses were to keep rising at that rate, then in two years time it would take 126% of a mean wage to pay the mortgage, and in just six years it would take 169%.

    Currently house prices are around 30% higher than the historical average compared to wages.

    Houses are the same as what they were. It’s just we’ve stupidly artificially inflated their value, with the net result that households who buy houses now are paying on average 40% MORE of the median wage to service a mortgage.

    That’s billions MORE in interest flowing out of the country to overseas banks, for EXACTLY the same houses we had previously.

  15. solka says “In New Zealand the housing bubble was created mainly by Kiwi stupidity but in other countries such as the USA there were other reasons.”

    American stupidity. You had lots of people taking out sub prime mortgages that they were never ever going to be able to pay back.

    They could pay the first year or two because they were only paying 0% or 2% interest, but as soon as the mortgages reverted to market rates (or slightly higher to make up for the first years of low interest) the obvious happens.

    It was blatently obvious with anyone who wanted top spend hald a minute on a calculator that house price rises were completely unsustainable.

  16. Sap. Most of the money went in servicing loans pushed up by the reserve bank act and to speculation driving the dollar up.

    “The highest cost of capital in the west”.

  17. “Kiwi stupidity in their belief that house prices can keep increasing at a rate that is completely unsustainable and unmatched by income”.

    The thing is it was not stupid.

    The 70’s where tax rebated super schemes only made money for the financial managers.
    The company super schemes that went into the hands of asset strippers in the 80’s and 90’s.
    The unregulated sharemarket collapsing in 1987.
    Finance company shenanigans in the 90’s until recently.

    If you wanted to invest in your retirement or leave something for your kids. The choices left are land, a business or bank deposits.
    Banks are very reluctant to let people leverage on a startup business without mortgage security.

    Many of us used the higher house values to gain business finance.

    Historically housing goes up fairly consistently. It is hard to lose the lot like people have with finance companies.

    I am not sure about the bubble idea either. It has been repeated until people think it is correct.

    With the expected influx of cashed up boomers from Western Europe looking for a retirement bolt hole, I do not see prices decreasing much medium term. There is still a shortage of housing in Auckland.
    More immigration will keep pushing prices up. Europeans think a 700k house within walking distance of a beach is cheap.

    At present we have a dairy bubble, which like the Kiwi fruit bubble and the 80’s sharemarket bubble will collapse eventually.

  18. is this it/you..?..sapient…?

    “..Generalist’s job ..

    .. the employee is required to talk and hear.

    The employee is often required to sit and use their hands and fingers …

    .. to handle or feel and to manipulate keys on a keyboard.

    The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, reach with arms and hands, climb or balance …

    … and to stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl.

    Vision abilities required by this job include close vision…”

    is that you..?..if so..well done there..!

    ..eh..?

    (he’s a ‘generalist’..didn’tyaknow…!..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  19. In New Zealand the housing bubble was created mainly by Kiwi stupidity but in other countries such as the USA there were other reasons. Quack.

  20. Kerry says “Food and housing has increased many times faster than median wages”

    Hence the unsustainable housing bubble – houses priced far higher than their real worth.

    Caused by a number of factors including cheap money, immigration, shortage of land, but mainly by Kiwi stupidity in their belief that house prices can keep increasing at a rate that is completely unsustainable and unmatched by income.

  21. Kerry,

    Sap I think your last is best answered by Sam.

    Spending Power === Purchasing Power.

    Between 1980 to 2008 the real time wage increased 18% while labour productivity rose 82%. Where did the money go and how can you say higher wages are not justified. In fact there is room for increasing wages while holding prices.

    A lot of it went to profits, a great deal also went to the increasing price of raw goods, land, etc.. I specialize in cognitive neuroscience and generalist knowledge, not so much in history.

  22. Sorry Kerry, that’s true! It’s just that having been unfairly sacked and being unable to get *permanent* work in the last 18 months has really soured me on employers…
    Deb

  23. Vicky. Some diddums do try and keep going to keep faith with their employees. Many bosses are good employers. We get peeved when the law allows bad employers to get away with it to undercut us, pushing us all downwards.

    Of course they only get away with it when there is a lot of unemployment as no one would work for them otherwise.

  24. “Vicky – are we supposed to feel sympathy for you?”
    Certainly not! I neither want nor expect that, and I certainly wasn’t asking for it.

    “Because your reaction to people not getting paid for holidays and unpaid work was “Oh diddums!”
    My point which you seem to have missed is that it’s not just the boss class who do unpaid work! And as I and others have pointed out, a boss with any sort of a brain, delegates his GST and tax work to an office assistant anyway!
    Deb

  25. Gerrit.
    Yes I do want one. Never have enough drills and screwdrivers when laminating parts.

    Food and housing has increased many times faster than median wages.
    Gadgets have dropped, but that is a worldwide thing.
    What has been more notable is how much the wages of highly skilled people dropped against the CPI from 1980 to 2008. Except for those who still have strong Unions such as Lawyers and Accountants.

    I think new cars are irrelevant to most of us. (Who buys a new car) Even though the initial price of a car is cheaper the cost of ownership (Depreciation) has increased.

  26. Sap I think your last is best answered by Sam.
    “Actually, no. It’s an increase in the real value of wages that gives people the spending power to create new jobs. A drop in prices is only useful if wages don’t fall. In recent decades, lower prices for consumer goods has simply meant lower inflation, and consequent lower wage increases”.

    Between 1980 to 2008 the real time wage increased 18% while labour productivity rose 82%. Where did the money go and how can you say higher wages are not justified. In fact there is room for increasing wages while holding prices.
    Apparently a lot went in the cost of capital. The highest in the Western world. http://teu.ac.nz/2009/10/fair-deal-the-cost-of-living-productivity-and-wages/

  27. Vicky – are we supposed to feel sympathy for you?

    Because your reaction to people not getting paid for holidays and unpaid work was “Oh diddums!”

  28. Photo. Where do you get months doing tax and GST returns.
    Used to take a few moments a week.
    Quoting, however takes the whole weekend and a few evenings.

    As does class prep for high school teaching.

  29. Vicky says”You’re saying these poor bosses kept going through all the pain just so they wouldn’t cause pain to their workers by sacking them? Oh diddums! Frankly, I find that a wee bit hard to believe.”

    You must have a pretty stuffed up view of humanity if you think every employer is bad.

    Most small business owners I know go to great lengths to keep staff when times are tough, including taking little or no pay themselves and going deep into personal debt to provide funds for their company and for their own living costs.

    Mind you if I had staff with the sort of attitude you have I’d probably let them go pretty quickly.

  30. “However if you’re running a small business there’s a lot of extra stuff to do – i.e. months of unpaid work every year just for tax accounts, gst, compliances etc.”

    Being self-employed (until recently) I am aware of the “unpaid” work required, but if your business is unsustainable without a whole lot of unpaid work it’s not really viable is it? I pay myself a considerably lower hourly rate than I bill my clients, and the difference pays for overheads and for the time I spend administrating and taxificating – this creates the illusion that I actually get paid for such work.

    Other businesses employ accountants and office managers and such to adminify – often this works out better than tying up the productive time of a CEO on low-grade administrative tasks.

  31. I made a typing error, you made a grammar error, and a pretty elementary one at that!
    In every office where I have ever worked, bosses get their admin people to do the GST and tax returns you’re wailing about.
    Did you miss my mentioning language teacher and PTE? I teach ESOL at mostly PTEs, and the only school that pays holiday pay and for prep time, is a government one. Also, I wasn’t talking about holidys, but about *unpaid work*! In case you don’t understand, ESOL teachers are a separate breed – we don’t get paid holidays, and certainly not to the extent that teachers in the school system get. Nevertheless, teachers in the school system don’t spend the break between terms sunning themselves – they spend it on preparation, helping out with kids’ sports, school camps etc. You went to school, so you assume you know all about what teachers do. But you don’t necessarily!
    Deb

  32. Vicky “Er…that ought to “fewer” of course”

    If you are going to be pedantic and correct me you should at least make sense yourself.

    Workers don’t have to do tax returns, nor gst returns, let alone spending months doing them, so what are you talking about?

    And I would have thought teachers are probably the worst example you could have used in a discussion on not getting any paid holidays.

  33. Photo, you said : “I’d much rather work less hours.” Er, that ought to “fewer” of course… Just saying!
    You’re saying these poor bosses kept going through all the pain just so they wouldn’t cause pain to their workers by sacking them? Oh diddums! Frankly, I find that a wee bit hard to believe. As for hours of unpaid work on tax returns etc – what, you think workers get paid to do their tax? Ma dai! “Months every year” – oh very onerous! There is one, count ’em one, language school that pays its teachers for non-contact time (I am lucky to have recently got casual work there – and a big clue is it’s not a PTE but government. Otherwise, it’s usually hours of unpaid work every day or week, not “months every year” whatever that means.
    Deb

  34. nommopilot – who said it was good?

    I’d much rather work less hours. However if you’re running a small business there’s a lot of extra stuff to do – i.e. months of unpaid work every year just for tax accounts, gst, compliances etc.

    If you take a break you don’t get paid for it, or if you get sick – tough, you don’t get paid.

    Although it would probably would be much easier to shut up shop, lay off staff, and get a normal job with normal hours.

    I know a few people who have done that recently, cause they’d had enough of working thenselves to a standstill for little return. Unfortunately it’s not good for all the people who end up unemployed, which is the main reason they’d kept going for so long.

  35. “Though for myself and all the employers I know, 45 hours per week would be considered a VERY short week – not a long one.”

    Working longer hours does not necessarily mean working harder. but it does mean spending less time with your family. not sure why people think that working more than a normal full time week is a good thing.

    balance.

  36. Kerry,

    Maybe we can agree on that one. So how about some positive ideas?

    This discussion has been around positive ideas. By not increasing the minimum wage where it does not need to be increased we do not destroy jobs. By not increasing the benefit above what is both affordable and fair we allow money to be spent in other areas such as education and technology which ultimately provide a far more substantial return on investment. By decreasing imports and increasing exports we increase the purchasing power, and thus the effective income, of the society as a whole; when combined with effective wealth redistribution (i.e. low enough so as to encourage investment and stop people fleeing, but high enough so that people can survive and, ideally, thrive) this leads to everyone being better off. My personal preference is to see full employment, partially due to state provided work able to displace imports (this being economic because only slightly less money would need to be spent on benefits if not done). I want to see education encouraged, both in the trades and in academia and, especially, engineering; I don’t want people stuck at McDonald’s, or equivalent, their whole lives. I want to see people thrive, the reason I debate with you is because I see your means as accomplishing exactly the opposite of what you declare to be your goal.

    The rich are usually rich because Daddy was rich.

    Traditionally this has been true. I see less evidence of it these days. That said, I would very much like to cut inheritance entirely, its just not feasible.

  37. Stats NZ did a survey of working hours. 25% of employees worked what was considered long hours (over 45hrs/week). For managers and employers that figure was 60%.

    Though for myself and all the employers I know, 45 hours per week would be considered a VERY short week – not a long one.

  38. Higher wage earners and some SME owners have more, maybe, because of hard work, risk and effort.

    The rich are usually rich because Daddy was rich.
    Unless they are merchant bankers!

  39. Sapient, man, you are a very spiteful person aren’t you? I will take the chance to point out that not everything you put in your very long post as coming from me, was actually said by me – so no, I didn’t contradict myself!
    I didn’t know what ROI meant because I am not an economist, and have never claimed to be! What I am is a person who has family members with Apsergers, and also, I have qualifications and experince in the area of special education. Therefore I venture to suggest that I know considerably more about autism/Aspergers than you do. (There, I hope, goes your assumption that beneficiary/solo mother = uneducated idiot…) Oh and while I am here *I* don’t live in South Auckland!!!! (Not that there’s anything wrong with doing so, but I don’t.)
    (This by the way was what was *not* said by me! :”What goes around comes around but, having gone from here, there is no reason to believe it will ever return. Money spent locally is equal to money spent locally by locals plus money spent locally by foreigners. Money spent by locals is equal to money spent by locals locally plus money spent by locals on foreign goods. It is not good enough to simply increase wages, the money will just flow out of the country if we don’t have a sufficient balance of payments; and we do not. If you want to increase the wages here first you need to decrease our purchases of foreign goods and increase foreign purchases of our goods; then we can talk about money going out and coming back in. “

  40. James, sigh… What goes on in South Auckland is irrelevant to me… you seem to assume I live there, well I don’t.
    The rich are rich because they, according to you “and its usual due to working harder but mainly smarter.They educate themselves and display more self drive and discipline.” well, sorry that’s utter tripe! When I can get work, I work as hard or harder than any boss, and I am educated, to judge by your spelling, more so than you are!
    I have never been able to afford a car, and why is not really any of your business – but it amounts to the subject under discussion – low wages, and the fact that I was raising children, not just doing *my own* thing…
    The Mad Butcher is also irrelevant – Gerrit was talking about buying vegetables at the farm gate, not going into one of Peter Leitch’s ice-cold red barns!
    Deb

  41. Anyway I said I would be positive.

    Admit this is one of my pet projects.
    I have not managed to find the website again. But a UK firm was looking at designing and manufacturing electric city commuter cars for lease.
    Something NZ could be a leader in.

    The sort of investment it is worth borrowing for.

    Composite construction with the renewable composites Waikato is researching.
    Intellectual property for export.
    Power from renewable s on the grid is more energy efficient than petrol.
    Petrol cars can be kept for long distance travel.
    Carbon offsets.
    Foreign exchange savings from offsetting hydrocarbon imports.
    May help develop renewable energy industry also.
    Manufacturer leases so incentive to make the cars long lasting. No planned obsolescence.
    Simple design as restricted to 50k/hr.

    Leased so drivers do not have to buy another car.

    This sort of thing will not happen however without Government leadership.

    As NACT have shown with biofuels they would rather we stayed followers.

  42. “electic drill was a weeks wages”. A quality one still is, but they only last about a year. I still use a 20 year old Hitachi drill and a makita router that is getting on to 30. I killed a Chinese one in a day.. Not to mention the tanner bandsaw which was geriatric when I got it. .

    Mine were worked 13 hours a day on building sites and boat yards for 12 years. I do not know how much harder you have to work them

  43. Kerry,

    We can no longer get quality power tools that last 20 years from Japan and white wear that lasted 25 from NZ.

    If you have powertools that last 20 years then you are not working them hard enough!!

    Even my german powertools are made in China. They last and last however it is not where they are built it is the design and quality control that gives lasting performance.

    Mind you have a cordless drill bought from Farmers on special for $20. Covered in resin, carbon fibre, paint, been wet more often then is good for it and after 8 years it still goes strong though the batteries are taking longer to charge and not lasting as long.

    Having said that a good Dewalt or Milwaukee cordless drill is still a weeks wages (retail around $900). We bring ours in direct from the USA for a fraction of the cost.

    Do you want one?

  44. “I think an economy should serve people not the other way round, and that is why you and I will never agree.

    I think the economy should serve society as a whole”.

    Maybe we can agree on that one. So how about some positive ideas?

  45. Kerry says “Prices are still high considering the quality and the cost of manufacture.”

    Wrong – relatively speaking. In the early 80s an
    – electic drill was a weeks wages
    – microwave, washing machine or tv was two months wages.
    – a new car cost the same in dollars as it does now i.e. with inflation now less than half of early 80s prices, and you’ll get a five year guarantee – something you could never get on a 1980s car.

  46. Kerry,

    if you read some of the economists papers from the US lately the are starting to question the extreme more market Fraedmanite view.

    Indeed, and for good reason. But that does not change the fact of the teaching. In Psychology Freudian methods are still taught and used despite being, for the most part, cr@p.

    Economics is rarely as simple as (a+b)2 = x. People get in the way.

    Not really, statistics is the art of generalisation; it deals well with people. I am a psychologist and make massive use of statistics (even linear models); it works well if you understand them.

    I think an economy should serve people not the other way round, and that is why you and I will never agree.

    I think the economy should serve society as a whole.

  47. Economics is rarely as simple as (a+b)2 = x. People get in the way.
    You had the great neo-lib experiment. “Get Government out the way and the market will provide”. Well it did not and it won’t.
    I think an economy should serve people not the other way round, and that is why you and I will never agree.

    Anyway I am leaving this thread and concentrating on suggesting answers rather than negatives.

  48. “the Chicago school is pretty much the inspiring theory behind most economics education”
    No wonder why the current crop of economists are so one eyed and ignorant.

    if you read some of the economists papers from the US lately the are starting to question the extreme more market Fraedmanite view.

    A bit more study of Keynes and the 30’s depression may have better informed our current treasury policy makers.

  49. * I should note that I am not saying that the equation is quadratic. In actuality it is simultaneous and many of the equations of which it consists are probably non-linear. If they were linear or log-linear though, they would make for an excellent multiple-regression analysis.

  50. Kerry,

    I was asking if you had got to that level?
    Your ideas of how things work do not correlate very well to actuality.
    Like the Chicago school of economics.

    I got well past that level.

    As to my school of thought, I make a rule not to adhere to any. My views, though, are most close to the Austrian school. Regarding the Chicago school, about the only thing I take from there is the negative income tax and the quantity theory of money; the latter being so obvious that one hardly needs Milton’s insights to derive it and, indeed, was around long before.

    As an aside, the Chicago school is pretty much the inspiring theory behind most economics education; the only exception I observed being a single 200-level paper with a mix of Keynesian in it (that is, excluding papers dealing specifically with the varying theories).

    Photo why is it absurd extremes.
    You have already said things will improve with lower wages and deregulation. We were told that in 1984. Less wages business will invest more and we would be better off. So “it follows that” No wages = very well off.

    No it does not follow. The comment, though, is interesting in that it demonstrates that you never progressed far enough in school so as to cover non-linear equations. Do you even know what a quadratic equation is?

  51. “Be careful with 100-level papers, they tend to be high on the generality, light on the understanding, and terribly inaccurate”.

    I was asking if you had got to that level?
    Your ideas of how things work do not correlate very well to actuality.
    Like the Chicago school of economics.

  52. ‘Problem is the politicians, not the wages payer’.
    I thought that is what I said. Politicians removing protection for Japanese Industry dropping wages and allowing imported competition. Japanese did well when they only allowed the importation of raw materials as did the UK and US.
    Remember food from the colonies. Crappy engineering from UK.
    Now raw materials from the colonies. Crappy goods from China.
    We can no longer get quality power tools that last 20 years from Japan and white wear that lasted 25 from NZ.. Now it is whitewear engineered to crap out in 5 years from Mexico and power tools which last a week from China. Prices are still high considering the quality and the cost of manufacture.
    Beggining to agree with Hone about “colonisation”.

  53. Kerry asks “Photo why is it absurd extremes.”

    You have to ask why the idea of no wages at all is an absurd extreme?????

    “You have already said things will improve with lower wages and deregulation.”

    No I haven’t

  54. Kerry

    The politicians stuffed up the Japanese economy, not Toyota.

    The current Toyota workers (in Mexico, China, USA, etc, etc.) are receiving minimum wages? NO. Are they happy to have a job? YES.

    Problem is the politicians, not the wages payer.

    Reinforces my point to Deborah precisely, Place wage conditions on employers that are not sustainable and guess what. They do a Toyota.

    How much better would the Japanese economy (and the workers wages) be now if the politicians had allowed Toyota to remain competitive in the local manufacturing market place and world sales market?

    We will never know but it is worth a thought.

  55. “access to goods at lower prices allows people to then spend those saved dollars on other things that they want meaning new jobs are created in those industries”

    Actually, no. It’s an increase in the real value of wages that gives people the spending power to create new jobs. A drop in prices is only useful if wages don’t fall. In recent decades, lower prices for consumer goods has simply meant lower inflation, and consequent lower wage increases.

    Lots of the cheap consumer goods are lower quality too, or are just part of a technological race with dubious benefits (more powerful computers to suit software few people need, or changing formats for little advantage).

  56. James. I do not think Chinese workers are very happy with their Government repressing Unions at the request of Western business. Who threaten to go elsewhere if they ask for reasonable working conditions.

  57. Photo why is it absurd extremes.
    You have already said things will improve with lower wages and deregulation. We were told that in 1984. Less wages business will invest more and we would be better off. So “it follows that” No wages = very well off. In fact business investment in NZ dropped by over a 2/3 From an average of 16% to 6% in UK, NZ and USA (The Neo-lib dupes). along with Labour productivity (57% of Australia) http://www.mediafire.com/?z3fzkuzxyat despite us working longer hours for less money.
    Overseas shareholders, dodgy financiers and banks took the money and ran before we woke up.

  58. “Remind me again who started of low wage car industry and now sells more cars then anyone. Toyota ring a bell?”

    Yep remind me of which country has now had a decade of problems after they removed protection for their manufacturing. After being captured by the neo-lib globalisation philosophy. Clue. They used to make Toyota’s there.

  59. “Remind me again who started of low wage car industry and now sells more cars then anyone. Toyota ring a bell?”

    Yep remind me of which country has now had a decade of problems after they “opened up their markets”. After being captured by the neo-lib globalisation philosophy. Clue. They used to make Toyota’s there.

  60. Kerry says “So photo if we had no wages we would all be better off.”

    What is it about people on this site always taking simple statements then stretching them to absurd extremes.

    Kerry says “Photo. The Chinese may have got above the poverty line a lot quicker by producing for themselves.”

    Like the North Koreans?

  61. James,

    Leaving aside the vast problems involved with your charity suggestion, the ‘idiot’ whom said that was, myself; someone with vastly more understanding of humans, the economy, and the world in general than you will ever have (you being the retard whom just tried to refute the need for a balance by saying that there is a balance).

    The balance of payments is needed for all entities. If a business spends more than it gains then it eventually looses its ability to spend and thus goes bankrupt. If a human does the same (in the absence of a benefit) they starve to death. If a country does it then they share a similar fate. If we are spending more money on the goods of others than they are spending on our goods then eventually the deficit will result in us no longer being able to spend on their goods unless our rate of spending decreases or theirs increases. Yes, we spend and they spend, but there is no logical reason that they must be the same, and given the evidence it would seem they are not.

    Comparative advantage has little to do with this issue.

  62. Kerry,

    I just looked at the thread in which we were having the discussed debate and you have not responded to the, days old, posts by both myself and photonz. If you have done what you have said then please provide a link.

    As to your points:

    1. Most of the business is owned offshore.
    2.Raising wages keeps more money and taxes paid in NZ.
    3. More wages means more consumers buying locally.
    4. More sales by local business.
    5. More money in NZ for wages and taxes.
    6. More investment in local business.

    1) I do not know to what degree this is true. I would like to see far more owned locally, but raising the minimum wage in isolation will do exactly the opposite.

    As to the others, I did type a reply but photonz has done a better job than I can be bothered to and we have already discussed these points.

    The funny thing is that by addressing the first problem, we can fix many of the others. That is, assuming that an in-shore business will spend less money externally than an off-shore business.

    If lower wages means lower prices. Prices should have been dropping with wages.

    We covered this one too. This is only true if the drop applied globally and supply and demand were not altered; supply and demand have been altered substantially. Food may be more expensive relative to the wage, but a pair of jandels costs $5; surely elasticity of supply, increases in demand, and increases in efficiency have nothing to do with that.

    Not my mantra. I thought you and Sap would recognize it? Comes from free market economics 101. Uneconomic businesses should be left to fail to free up resources for more efficient businesses.
    Uneconomic people should be left to starve or at least only have a subsistence level existence as they do not contribute to the economy.

    You are happy to apply this to the low paid and beneficiaries, but not your business.

    1) We have addressed this already, what you are calling uneconomic would only be uneconomic with the addition of massive legislated price increases; the problem is the legislation, not the uneconomic nature of the business. Given that the minimum wage is paid, and is paid to many, the minimum wage is obviously above the asking price and thus the businesses are economic.
    2) Be careful with 100-level papers, they tend to be high on the generality, light on the understanding, and terribly inaccurate.
    3) If you want to point out my inconsistency, you would be better to point to my not supporting subsidies to failing businesses; I do support benefits, and strongly, just not at levels higher than both what is needed and what can be afforded.

    Deb. Wasting your time. Sap believes beneficiaries should be euthanased as they do not conribute.

    I do not believe any sapient entity should experience euthanasia against their will unless doing so is necessary to protect society (as may be the case with war). While I am not theoretically opposed to the option, I think that the costs of doing so to would likely outweigh the potential benefits to an insane degree.

    Relocate overseas (Vietnam currently is the go to place)”

    And they will sell their products to………….?

    Businesses who relocate to low wage countries rely on someone somewhere still being paid high enough wages to buy their products.
    Workers in the low wage countries can’t.
    So the whole thing becomes a downward spiral. The results are obvious right now.

    You say “products”, so I am going to say “exactly the same people”, and if the move lets them sell cheaper then “the same people plus some”.

    If you were to say “services” then that would be a different story; “different people in a place with a higher margin of profit”.

    So photo if we had no wages we would all be better off.

    If we had no wages at all then anything would be profitable. Of course, if we had no wages at all we would have volunteers, fully subsidised workers, or robots; only the last would really benefit the country as a whole. If it was all robots it would be very good, that is except for all of the useless meat that would be hanging around smoking.

  63. Deb,

    The post to which I was replying was this:

    Gerrit, man I am wee bit cross that you mis-represented me! I wasn’t (necessarily) advocating wage rises – I simply pointed out that money is made round to go round… If bosses pay their workers only just enough to survive, they (the workers) can’t buy goods other businesses produce (or hire tradesmen!) They certainly can’t afford to save or invest!
    It’s simple logic. Wages that are higher than simple subsistence help everyone, not just workers.

    I wasn’t (necessarily) attributing that position to you, even if that is what my, very light, mention of wages may have implied to you. My reply was:

    What goes around comes around but, having gone from here, there is no reason to believe it will ever return. Money spent locally is equal to money spent locally by locals plus money spent locally by foreigners. Money spent by locals is equal to money spent by locals locally plus money spent by locals on foreign goods. It is not good enough to simply increase wages, the money will just flow out of the country if we don’t have a sufficient balance of payments; and we do not. If you want to increase the wages here first you need to decrease our purchases of foreign goods and increase foreign purchases of our goods; then we can talk about money going out and coming back in.

    At the least, the quotes below clearly show both:
    A) that you perceive the present minimum wage to be sub-subsistence.
    B) that you perceive paying people more than subsistence to be desirable even if it destroys jobs.

    The logical conclusion of these points is that you desire the minimum wage or benefits to be increased.

    It’s obvious that there are insufficient business owners who realise that the workers are their customers! Because if they did, they’d pay the workers enough to survive and then some! Such a rich dimwit as Paul Holmes only realised there was a recession when it dawned on him that people aren’t buying the olive oil he shills for – they can’t afford it!

    Yes, and don’t they bang on about it – my heart bleeds! I was not talking about pay rises. I was simply referring to the logic of the situation. If bosses pay workers only enough to survive, then workers can’t afford to buy the products other businesses want to sell. It’s thunderingly obvious really. Remember the 90s when the Poison Dwarf Ruth Richardson slashed benefits? She took a billion out of the pockets of people who would have spent all that lolly and donated it to the BNZ (a private business), who did God only knows with it. Meanwhile corner shops lost customers, and landlords had further cause to whinge as no one could afford to usurious rents they wanted to charge.

    It’s all relative, Gerrit! I’ve yet to meet an employer who is too poor to have a car, or who can’t afford insurance, who buys Homebrand rubbish instead of Watties, who makes a pair of shoes last years by stuffing the soles with cardboard…

    If your business is teetering on the brink, so that paying your employees a living wage would break you, then sell up, and retire, you’re obviously a rubbish mananger. (Generic you, by the way, lest you accuse me of attacking you specifically).

    * * * * * * * * * *

    As to your latest:

    OK Sapient (and at least one other) I am getting seriously peeved here! Did I ever talking about pay rises? No, I did not. (However, if staff are being paid minimum wage, then there may well be a reason/need for a rise.)I can only conclude that you guys don’t *want* to understand my point.

    Businesses have three choices: Lower prices (and when since 1982 has that ever happened?), raise wages (or at the least pay above subsistence) or #3 – go bust!
    Your choice, boys…

    1) We have addressed these points directly; learn to read.

    2) If you do not even know what return on investment is then we would be wise to disregard your understanding of economics; even if you are correct about Rand.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    As an aside, a diagnosis of Aspergers is damned hard to make unless the individual is at, or usually above, normal functioning, you can not claim she may have had it. It would be more appropriate to call her autistic; profoundly even.

    As another aside, the empathy issues in Aspergers are totally different (even the exact opposite in many cases) to a sociopath.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    As to this potential employer. It seems to me that they made the correct choice; in this discussion you have shown no ability to level a coherent argument, you have used straw men, you have mischaracterised the arguments of others in a deliberate attempt to mislead, and you have shown a level of irrationality/emotive response/self-righteousness similar to a Randian themselves.

    Further, is is perfectly reasonable to not hire someone for a job where the job requires some degree of intelligence or reliability if the individuals political views show them as the opposite ( i.e. As you accuse of Randians). Also, it is rational, and legally justifiable, to not hire someone likely to cause sh!t.

    They used to have a specific diagnosis for people like you. Unfortunately, it is more generalised now; but they are looking at bringing a similar one back (though time limited).

  64. Kerry

    So the whole thing becomes a downward spiral. The results are obvious right now.

    People in Korea, Taiwan, China, now Vietnam and not forgetting India, havent done to bad by starting of with a low wage economy and growing their domestic market.

    Not to many Koreans are moaning (those in North Korea might but if they did an one ounce injection of lead between the eyes balls solves their problem)

    Remind me again who started of low wage car industry and now sells more cars then anyone. Toyota ring a bell?

    Deborah,

    I live in South Auckland (deepest dark Manurewa) and there are fruit and vege shops within walking distance where I live. I guess if you live at an out of the way rural place it may be a problem but then buying seeds and having a vege garden would not be unreasonable to keep fresh produce on the table.

    If you cant afford a computer system for kids to do homework on there are plenty of places like The Ark that sell at very low cost computer systems. Office software (non microsoft) is for free and available readily.

    Heck people like me (and I’m sure there are plenty more) have enough old software lying around for just about every kid to have a decent software package to get started with.

    I have been fixing up computers and giving them away to people in need for a long time. Most come from business who are upgrading and are more then happy to get rid of their old systems.

    As long as you dont expect a flat screen monitor or a computer that needs to play the latest video games, there are plenty of people like me who can provide a system for little if any cost.

    You need to ask around, there are many people who will help, heck we ask our friends, neighbours and old folks if we can get them anyting if they dont have a car to get to the shops, post office, etc.

    I guess the sense of community is stronger in some lower socio economic locations then others.

  65. Photo. The Chinese may have got above the poverty line a lot quicker by producing for themselves.

    Once they have built up their industry I expect they will not need our exports.

  66. Deborah says “you may have a point about businesses going to the 3rd World to exploit people – but is that right and good? Hell no!”

    300 million Chinese who used to be below the poverty line but aren’t now, might disagree with you.

  67. Kerry asks “Are you saying that nearly all NZ businesses are so close to the edge that they would fail instantly if the had to raise wages a bit.”

    No

    “Or are you saying that most NZ businesses are uneconomic.”

    No

    “Is that the reason NZ is doing poorly?”

    No

    “Went through this one before, but both you and Sap ran off.
    1. Most of the business is owned offshore.”

    Rubbish

    “2.Raising wages keeps more money and taxes paid in NZ.”

    And forces prices up, therefore reduces exports, therefore the country gets less income, and less taxes

    “3. More wages means more consumers buying locally.”

    Wrong. Higher wages means the price of NZ goods goes UP relative to foreing goods, so the opposite is true.

    “4. More sales by local business.”

    Wrong – higher prices means LESS sales by local businesses,

    “5. More money in NZ for wages and taxes.

    Wrong. Higher wages = higher costs for goods and services = less exports, less competitive prices, less money earned, more spent on cheaper overseas good.

    “6. More investment in local business.”

    If a business is less profitable, there won’t be the same investment – there will be less.

  68. Well, Gerrit, you may have a point about businesses going to the 3rd World to exploit people – but is that right and good? Hell no!

    Hell yes!…according to people in the 3rd world.They get richer by western companies setting up there and bringing wages and condictions they could only dream off before.Sure they aren’t what we westerners would call great but compared to the local employers…? Heaven!

    (does anyone still buy meat and vegetables in the supermarket?).”
    Yes, urban people without cars do! (Such as my son and daughter in law, and me).

    Why don’t you have a car? Nearly everyone in South Auckland can afford one somehow…many households have two or more.And Sky digital as well it seems going by the rooftops in Otara,Mangare,Manurewa etc etc..and are you saying there are no Mad butchers and small fruit and veg shops near where you live? I find that hard to believe.

    At the other end of the scale, cars and TV’s are much cheaper now then in 1982. Not to mention computers. What used to be a $3000 box can now be bought (with much higher specs) for around $800. Same with laptops.”
    I have never had the money to buy a car, ever. As for TVs and computers, fuggedaboudit! You don’t seem to get that there are people who can’t even afford to “save” on stuff! If you’ve got no transport, you can’t buy direct from growers. If you have not got $800.00 discretionary dollars, the computer may as well cost $8000.00!&

    And your solution is what..?The same old lefty steal and redistribute via the taxman ruse? Its a cold hard fact that some people are better off than others and its usual due to working harder but mainly smarter.They educate themselves and display more self drive and discipline.

  69. Deb. Wasting your time. Sap believes beneficiaries should be euthanased as they do not conribute. James is another RWNJ who thinks our economy will improve if we have no workers/wages at all.

    Righttttttttt! and I said that where exactly? I have said the point of economic activity is the creation of NEW wealth….NOT the creation of jobs simply for the sake of creating jobs…that would/and is be very stupid and counterproductive.Any idiot can create jobs…if the workers are prepared to work for a wage low enough to make that viable.They however seem to choose not to and indeed seek the highest wage they can get…golly…who wooda thunk it?

    The idea is to eliminate unproductive jobs and get people into new jobs that are productive….do you really want a return to the days of importing cars and tvs disassembled in Japan and bought here for Kiwis to reassemble to create the illusion of productive work? Socialists always forget about consumers in their thinking….access to goods at lower prices allows people to then spend those saved dollars on other things that they want meaning new jobs are created in those industries…it ain’t rocket science.

  70. “So the whole thing becomes a downward spiral.”

    Yeah it’s great to see countries competing to have the lowest wages and the laxest worker protections. That’s what globo-capitalism is all about!

  71. Well, Gerrit, you may have a point about businesses going to the 3rd World to exploit people – but is that right and good? Hell no!
    “(does anyone still buy meat and vegetables in the supermarket?).”
    Yes, urban people without cars do! (Such as my son and daughter in law, and me).

    “At the other end of the scale, cars and TV’s are much cheaper now then in 1982. Not to mention computers. What used to be a $3000 box can now be bought (with much higher specs) for around $800. Same with laptops.”
    I have never had the money to buy a car, ever. As for TVs and computers, fuggedaboudit! You don’t seem to get that there are people who can’t even afford to “save” on stuff! If you’ve got no transport, you can’t buy direct from growers. If you have not got $800.00 discretionary dollars, the computer may as well cost $8000.00!

  72. Businesses who relocate to low wage countries rely on someone somewhere still being paid high enough wages to buy their products.
    Workers in the low wage countries can’t.
    So the whole thing becomes a downward spiral. The results are obvious right now.

  73. Deborah,

    Businesses have fourth choice,

    Relocate overseas (Vietnam currently is the go to place)

    Lower prices (and when since 1982 has that ever happened?),

    Depends on what you are pricing and allowing for inflation.

    Not scientific but by my judgement fruit and vweges are a lot cheaperr then in 1982. Simply becaseu we can now buy direct from the grower instead of the supermarket (does anyone still buy meat and vegetables in the supermarket?).

    Stopped of in Huapai lat weekend and literally got a trolley load of fruit and veges for $24.00. On top of that I bought a big banana box full of windfall apples for 69c per kilo. Ideal for sauce and stewing and freezing (looking for a dehydrator system but that is next year).

    Here is South Auckland there are more fuit and vege shops then liquor outlets with prices to match those from the growers up north.

    At the other end of the scale, cars and TV’s are much cheaper now then in 1982. Not to mention computers. What used to be a $3000 box can now be bought (with much higher specs) for around $800. Same with laptops.

    Meat is an issue but we shop in bulk at the butcher.

  74. Deb. Wasting your time. Sap believes beneficiaries should be euthanased as they do not conribute. James is another RWNJ who thinks our economy will improve if we have no workers/wages at all.

  75. OK Sapient (and at least one other) I am getting seriously peeved here! Did I ever talking about pay rises? No, I did not. (However, if staff are being paid minimum wage, then there may well be a reason/need for a rise.)I can only conclude that you guys don’t *want* to understand my point. If your business makes widgets that it sells for $200.00 and other businesses pay their staff a wage that gives them a discretionary income (above basic costs such as food, shelter, power and phone) of $10.00 a week, these staff would need to save for 20 weeks to buy a Widget. Yet you need to sell 2 Widgets a month to every citizen, in order to make your profit. (We’re assuming that exports are negligible).
    You are going down the toilet. Multiply that by all the other Widgets and services ill-paid workers can’t afford. I heard some bloke whinging on Nar Rad last week, that sales of houses or cars were down because buyers were saving instead, because of fear of unemployment. What did he want? “Hey Joe and Joanne Bloggs, buy a car from me! I know you can’t afford it, but hey, I need you to, pretty please!”
    Businesses have three choices: Lower prices (and when since 1982 has that ever happened?), raise wages (or at the least pay above subsistence) or #3 – go bust!
    Your choice, boys…

  76. first you need to decrease our purchases of foreign goods and increase foreign purchases of our goods

    Whos the idiot who said that? Its the old irrelavent “balance of payments” bullshit spouted by numptys.The reason we produce is to consume…period.We buy stuff from overseas (just nonexistent lines on a map) because that makes us better off..or we wouldn’t do it.If we could make the same item cheaper here we would but if we can’t we trade with those who can,even if its subsidised by their goverments (suckers)…win/win.And every nz dollar going offshore is spent right back here buying our stuff making the xenephobic socialist scaremongering about offshore profits (just a small return compared with the wealth that must have been generated here to create it) retarded and redundant.

  77. Not my mantra. I thought you and Sap would recognize it? Comes from free market economics 101. Uneconomic businesses should be left to fail to free up resources for more efficient businesses.
    Uneconomic people should be left to starve or at least only have a subsistence level existence as they do not contribute to the economy.

    Nice evasion of the little matter of private charitible donation which the free market does very well….indeed far before State welfare people actually helped their fellows by choice….imagine!…and they still do inspite of the state making it HARDER to do so.

    Of course businesses should be allowed to fail and their resources reinvested in more productive enterprises….the market was doing real recycling and sustainibility long before it became Gree mantra.

  78. ‘Kerry – the same applies to your tired mantra that businesses should shut up shop if they can’t afford high wages. If that happened NZ would crash to third world status overnight. Unemployment would be massive, and there’d be no tax to pay benefits.’

    Are you telling me all NZ businesses are a net drag on the economy. Like beneficiaries?

    Not my mantra. I thought you and Sap would recognize it? Comes from free market economics 101. Uneconomic businesses should be left to fail to free up resources for more efficient businesses.
    Uneconomic people should be left to starve or at least only have a subsistence level existence as they do not contribute to the economy.

    You are happy to apply this to the low paid and beneficiaries, but not your business.

  79. Photo. Are you saying that nearly all NZ businesses are so close to the edge that they would fail instantly if the had to raise wages a bit. Or are you saying that most NZ businesses are uneconomic. Is that the reason NZ is doing poorly?
    Went through this one before, but both you and Sap ran off.
    1. Most of the business is owned offshore.
    2.Raising wages keeps more money and taxes paid in NZ.
    3. More wages means more consumers buying locally.
    4. More sales by local business.
    5. More money in NZ for wages and taxes.
    6. More investment in local business.

    If lower wages means lower prices. Prices should have been dropping with wages.

  80. Kerry,

    It is not about getting the last word, but about refuting the argument of the other or supporting your own. You contested that the minimum wage is not enough to live off. You argued on your own terms and yet you were refuted by myself and by others. You ran away without providing any better argument than that a car can cost a fair bit.

    Your starting to sound like a Christian; not a good thing by the way.

  81. Deborah says “If your business is teetering on the brink, so that paying your employees a living wage would break you, then sell up, and retire, you’re obviously a rubbish mananger.”

    80% of new businesses go under in the first 8 years. Do you want that to be 100%.

    If you want all businesses on small margins who can’t afford big wage increases to shut up shop, then it sounds like you’re in favour of mass unemployment, or massive price increases, or both.

    A 5%-10% profit margin is pretty normal. Average for ALL listed companies in NZ over the last few decades is between 7 and 8%.

    Kerry – the same applies to your tired mantra that businesses should shut up shop if they can’t afford high wages. If that happened NZ would crash to third world status overnight. Unemployment would be massive, and there’d be no tax to pay benefits.

  82. “abandoning the thread is generally considered a concession.”

    Really, I did not know that. I always thought striving always to have the last word is a sign of egotism and leaving the argument when people are clearly fixated on a belief is the right thing to do.

    Other people can judge for themselves who has the better evidence without my repeating myself.

  83. Kerry,

    Breath in, breath out.

    First post, we have discussed this on two threads and in each case you provided numbers which were vastly over what was needed. I accepted your numbers except for those which I could easily verify and displayed that it can easily be done even accepting those high values you attribute. In both cases you stopped posting soon after. Quickly abandoning the thread is generally considered a concession.

    Second post, because the government is only interested in staying in power. “Be frugal” is not a very good campaign slogan.

    Third post, again, I and other commentators have shown that one can easily survive on minimum wage without state housing. As to children, you should not have what you can not, on the balance of probabilities, support; it is simply irresponsible. We have too many children already, and too many unemployed; raising the minimum wage so a single individual can support a family on it will only make both worse.

  84. “fair to assume that the real price is thus lower than the present minimum wage”.

    No it is not when it has to be subsidised by Government topups such as State housing, child support etc.

  85. “first you need to decrease our purchases of foreign goods and increase foreign purchases of our goods;”.

    Why has Government policy for a long time now been directed towards the opposite?

  86. Kerry,

    Ah, but the real price is the unsubsidized asking price, not the minimum wage or what you desire the minimum wage to be. We have already established that the minimum wage is more than enough for a single individual, it is fair to assume that the real price is thus lower than the present minimum wage.
    If you want to go into basic economics, then increasing the minimum wage above the real price, as we have discussed previously, in an economy unable to hack it, and where there are many people very willing to work for that rate, is merely pointless destruction of jobs.

    ******************

    Deb,

    What goes around comes around but, having gone from here, there is no reason to believe it will ever return. Money spent locally is equal to money spent locally by locals plus money spent locally by foreigners. Money spent by locals is equal to money spent by locals locally plus money spent by locals on foreign goods. It is not good enough to simply increase wages, the money will just flow out of the country if we don’t have a sufficient balance of payments; and we do not. If you want to increase the wages here first you need to decrease our purchases of foreign goods and increase foreign purchases of our goods; then we can talk about money going out and coming back in.

  87. “If the businesses pay workers more then the business can afford they will close the doors”.

    Basic economics. If a business cannot pay the real price for all the resources it uses then it is essentially a drag on the economy and should not exist”.

  88. It’s all relative, Gerrit! I’ve yet to meet an employer who is too poor to have a car, or who can’t afford insurance, who buys Homebrand rubbish instead of Watties, who makes a pair of shoes last years by stuffing the soles with cardboard…
    Beneficiaries and the low-paid do all these things.
    My how the boss class whinges! There was a business cult around in the 90s, I knew some lunatic members, who drove a massive people-carrier festooned with stickers saying ‘BUSINESS IS GOOD!” (It was all about the affirmation, apparently). They conspicuously wore National Party rosettes (they even put one on the 10 month old baby!) to church the day after the election, and had the neck to complain bitterly when my son and I wore Labour rosettes the following week. As I said, loonies.
    But they didn’t whinge. It made a nice change.
    If your business is teetering on the brink, so that paying your employees a living wage would break you, then sell up, and retire, you’re obviously a rubbish mananger. (Generic you, by the way, lest you accuse me of attacking you specifically).

  89. Deborah,

    Money is made round to go round, my point exactly. However you cant have just have higher wages without the higher prices the businesses require to pay them.

    As in all other transactions there has to be balance.

    If bosses pay their workers only just enough to survive, they (the workers) can’t buy goods other businesses produce (or hire tradesmen!)

    If the businesses pay workers more then the business can afford they will close the doors.

    My apologies if I mis represented you, but I find people saying most employers are living it rich are living in lala land to say the least.

    They certainly can’t afford to save or invest!

    Again a myth, sure some people on very low incomes cant save but most have some ability. If we judge the amount of money being spent by “workers” and “employers” on smoking , betting, alcoholic consumption, fast foods, etc and just have the individuals cutting that back by 25%, the saving possible would be very considerable.

    But people have choise, put a few dollars away for investment or spend it on consumables and pleasures.

  90. Gerrit, man I am wee bit cross that you mis-represented me! I wasn’t (necessarily) advocating wage rises – I simply pointed out that money is made round to go round… If bosses pay their workers only just enough to survive, they (the workers) can’t buy goods other businesses produce (or hire tradesmen!) They certainly can’t afford to save or invest!
    It’s simple logic. Wages that are higher than simple subsistence help everyone, not just workers.

  91. Surely dbuckley you would not want to see a reciprical website listing ALL the people let go from 90 day trials?

    Not conducive to better dialog between the two parties.

  92. dbuckley – so you want a website to penalise businesses that take a chance on employing people on the fringes if they don’t work out.

  93. I’m not terribly interested in Florence Cohen, or any other individual under-90-day-sackees; I’m interested in the companies that are failing to keep employees past their trial period.

    I’d like to see a web site set up that enables these events to be recorded, and then the populace can see which employers are pre-90-day sackers. Then prospective employees know better than to get their hopes up.

    Such a website could not be associated with a political party, as that would be seen to be a sham.

  94. sprout says “Supporting the basic rights of workers is now a radical activity…”

    It just seems a bit disingenuous when the same trial law has been working well for the last year, and all of a sudden it’s made out to be the end of civilisation.

    And in a Russelesque protest, we have unionists on TV violently forcing their way into a building to protest something that’s been around since last year (and embarrassingly they didn’t even break into the right building).

    And it’s not very pragmatic to rule out those 40% of employers who would not have taken on new workers without the trial law as all being liars.

    If trail law is creating new jobs that would not have been created without it, tehn that is a good thing. A pragmatic approach would be to support it with conditions that ensure bad employers do not abuse trial periods.

    When immigrant groups are strongly in favour of trail periods, you have to wonder who the Greens are fighting for.

  95. “… I think more pragmatism would help the Greens…..By appearing LESS radical, you will likely achieve far more goals.”

    Photonz1- We greens do provide pragmatic solutions but the difficulty is the current climate the Government has created has shifted what is understood as radical. Supporting the basic rights of workers is now a radical activity and anything that involves tightening necessary regulation is questioned as well. Many professional groups have also provided practical solutions to problems, but this National Government practices selective listening.

  96. politics..

    and i am not asking anyone to ‘cry’ for me.

    i made my decisions/calls..

    i am just asking that me..and others in that position..

    ..not be subjected to the current marginalisation/stigmatising..

    (not that you wd ever be..eh gerritt…?..’in that position’

    you’d park them in all day day-care wd ya..?

    and during the holidays..

    send them off to those holiday-holding camps..

    ..eh..?)

    i am just fighting against the current benificiary-bashing meme…

    you have bennett saying on the nation..that ‘the minimum wage is hard to live on…’

    how does she imagine those she is targetting ‘get by’…

    that bennett is from ‘here’…

    and has pulled up the ladders she used..

    ..and is now preaching against/targeting the worst-off..

    kinda makes my skin crawl…

    and you may well ‘ignore’ me..gerritt..

    but if you come here peddling yr reactionary crap..

    i won’t ‘ignore’ you..

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  97. PhilU has vented his spleen.

    Cry me a river. You are not the only one who has had bad times. Some recover to do well, others rest in the hammock.

    That is all the pesonal abuse you are getting from me philu, you are on ignore from me.

  98. yes gerrit…and the contract i feel i had with the state..

    was to raise my son to the best of my abilities..

    ..to produce a well-rounded/educated ‘citizen’/adult..

    i have fufilled that…

    ..and the measuring-outcomes prove that…

    his academic/health records confirms that..

    so..

    you can just go get f*cked..eh..?

    ..with yr reactionary/rightwing/benificiary-bashing ignorances…

    (and..um..!..your record in that area..?

    ..and um..!..your marriage/family will ‘never break up’..eh..?

    ..you ignorant fool..!..)

    i have almost completed this job/task/contract…

    but i know as long as i have breath in my body..

    i will fight the marginalising-hatreds you preach…

    ..against the weakest/poorest/most-stigmatised..

    people like you just suck up this benificiary-bashing-meme being run by key/bennett…don’t you..?

    ‘cos it feeds straight into/inflames the prejudices you are riven with..

    you prefer ‘dialogue’ with shit like this..eh kevin..?

    i prefer to call them as they are…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  99. Kevin asks “…Photonz, why are you here?”

    I sometimes ask that myself, as there seems to bee a huge tide of negativity and pessimism here.

    I think it’s important to try to come up with good ideas and solutions to the issues that face us. I don’t care if those ideas come from Act or Greens or anyone else – what might work (regardless of ideology) is what’s important.

    In fact more than that – I detest blind ideology over-riding sensible ideas because it comes from the natties or whatever childish name is popular that day.

    Kevin – you ask how to appeal to more voters. In my opinion you need to find pragmatic solutions to problems. Gareths idea to better insulate all rental properties is a good example of this. There didn’t seem to be any attack on landlords – just a good idea with a reasonable run in period (2018).

    It’s the sort of thing that most of NZ could easily support. And it would have great benefits.

    Russels Tibet protest, which probably didn’t go as planned, is probably in the basket of what not to do. It made the Greens seem radical, and prepared to damage NZ’s economy to get an idealogical point across.

    It probably bolstered support amongst those who already strongly support Greens – but alienated many others. I’m not saying don’t protest, but it didn’t get the same respect from the public as Rod’s dignified approach.

    So I think more pragmatism would help the Greens. For example, instead of continually attacking dairy, why not shock everyone and put the spotlight on diary farms that have done a fantastic job at cleaning up effluent problems.

    If you show it’s possible to be clean, your attacks on problem farms will carry far more weight with the general public, and the Greens will seem far more reasonable.

    By appearing LESS radical, you will likely achieve far more goals.

  100. Kerry,

    While I dont want a Phillipines situation here, nor do i want a North Korea.

    Somewhere we have to find the fairness and balance that Kevin Hague is seeking. Hence some input from this tax payer.

    I dont think your position regarding the stock exchange or capital investment through a properly regulated stock exchange is that from mine or most reasonable people.

    PhilU, I know your histroy from long ago. Once your son is working will you be getting a job to put your masters (did you finally finish it?) degree into a tax paying productive job (ie not state but private)?

    That will be a red letter day worthy of a toast far and wide.

  101. yes gerritt….why don’t you expound a bit more on yr ‘welfare’-option-opinions..?

    tell us what you would do to those skiving sole-parents/sickness-benificiaries..?

    ..eh..?

    c’mon..!..take off the caring/reasonable mask…

    and show us your true rightwing/reactionary ‘face’…

    eh..?

    and..um..!..i don’t have a ‘hammock’…

    i have been raising my son since his birth…

    and during that time got a masters degree..

    and i run a news/aggregation/political-opinion website called whoar.co.nz)

    thirty + stories so far today/most days…

    so..y’know..!

    you are a rightwing troll…here to dissemble..

    meh..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  102. “If we had a more robust stock exchange you could have more easily got the capital by issuing a prospective on the barge shipping proposal and got the funding by becoming a listed company”.

    Gerrit. I actually totally agree with this.
    Unfortunately the lack of regulation has made the stock exchange a dangerous place for investors.

    If the track had been treated like roading with anyone able to put train sets on it we would probably have had a more robust rail system.

  103. Kerry,

    If we had a more robust stock exchange you could have more easily got the capital by issuing a prospective on the barge shipping proposal and got the funding by becoming a listed company.

    By doing that, the New Zelaand Kiwisaver fund will have more local companies to invest in and grow the economy (and jobs)

    Currently most of the Kiwisaver cash goes overseas for investment rather than in new Zealand companies like your potential coastal shipping company.

    Lets take another scenario.

    Lets say the rail track north was placed in a listed company on the stock exchange. How much Kiwisaver cash would it generate for funding track upgrades?

    Especially if the upgraded steel road was placed open to ALL trainset users. Kaitaia timber companies (or local iwi) could buy their own rolling stock and motive power to ship logs to Marsden Point.

    Even the train companies could list on the NSX to raise funds.

  104. Kerry

    Gerrit. Do you really think we are going to get a Green sustainable country with the neo-lib type emphasis on profit as the only goal, that we have at present.

    ALL the poeople that run EVERY business I know (that might be a small representation of the total but) is into sustainability of their business. Profit is but the measurement of that sustainability.

    There is a myth being spun around the neo-lib pidgeon hole.

    Liberals are called that because they are liberal with other peoples money.

    I would not call them “neo” as they have been around sinse the cloth cap wearers were promiment.

    Kevin,

    Fairness is a two way street. Is it fair that I go to work each day to pay the taxes so that PhilU can sit at home and do nothing productive?

    Sure we support a saferty net under a fair society but as someone once said the safety net has become a hammock.

    Lets be fair to ALL tax payers as well please.

    Ask yourself, is philU with a history of not working and swinging in a hammock add infinitum, susainable?

    So sure lets have the safety net, but be fair, dont turn it into a hammock.

    Finding the balance is the fairest. Why should there be 1.7 tax payers for every 1 tax recipient? It is neither fair nor sustainable.

  105. A barge service from Whangarei to Auckland was one thing we looked at, but even with costings, signed up freight customers and a good business plan no bank would finance us.
    Finance company rates would have taken all the money we made.

  106. Appreciate your response Gerrit. I guess from my perspective, focusing on “can do” is exactly what we have been doing this term. For example our major announcements around the Green New Deal economic stimulus measures, the GND forestry and pest control packages, our package of measures to enable NZ to get to 40% emissions reductions, our recent ‘Mind the Gap’ package etc – all costed, practical and statements of what we could and would do if we were the Government right now. I always try to incorporate in any criticism of Government moves a statement of how we would approach that problem differently. My Mokihinui campaign is strongly against Meridian’s plan but is always supportive of the Stockton Hydro alternative, and always talks about an alternative approach to making electricity generation decisions.

    Several of the Green MPs (myself included) have had our own businesses (in fact we probably have the most balanced caucus of any party in terms of experience in business, state sector and community)and I’d be interested in your view on our policies for small business. Did you manage to get to one of Dave’s business breakfasts. Lots of good feedback from businesses.

    I’m keen on coastal shipping too (and rail). Not a chance with this Government though! (Well, until it’s too late to plan properly for it, anyway).

    Thanks again. In the meantime we will work on convincing you of the importance of fairness!

  107. Kerry,

    And you use immigration to avoid training anyone.

    You give me far greater powers than I have. I have zero, zip, nada, nothing,nil to do with immigration.

    I mentioned elsewhere that I see unions becoming 21st century hard hat focussed (not 19th century cloth cap) and increasing their sphere of influence by taking on the trade training so sadly lacking in our society.

    All I hear is moans, no innitiatives.

    Kevin Hague – the Greens need to refocus on “can do” not “wish I had”.

  108. I guess that some people who are interested in others peoples point of view at least take the time to spell their name correctly.

    Those we can take seriously, the who cant be bothered are worth ????

  109. (sniff..!)..i sneer at the faux-credibility of the/your tick-system…

    (btw..farrar ended his experiment in ticks…at around about the same time as i started getting as many pro as anti-marks…funny that..

    i guess those people could ‘read’..eh gerritt..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  110. Kevin,

    I’m here because I want to see more Green initiatives come to be law.

    Just becasue I’m self employed and come from a blue perspective does not preclude me from knowing that many Green initiatives would be of considerable help for New Zealand society (especially the poor).

    The same question should also be asked from many from the red side of the Greens. Why are they here?

    My biggest problem with many commentators here is that nothing is costed.

    Typically like Deborah, increase wages solves all problems. It actually solves none, UNLESS you do many other things first.

    So I guess I’m here to try and balance the red with the blue!!

    The Greens need to realise that many Greens are self employed (go to any farmers market and you will find a whole bunch of them) and are employers, but we are real keen to improve society through a blue tinged perspective.

    Best discussion I had was with the deity formaly known as Greenfly was regarding coastal shipping. Discussion started with coastal scows and went onto how a enterpising individual (Kerry Thomas this is your moment) could start a local coastal shipping service that has huge Green connectation.

    While the deity formely know as Greenfly comes from one end of the green perspective and me from the other, we had much common ground, both being green but one khaki hued and one teal.

    So carry on the tax reform stance require to make SME businesses more sustainable and able to employ more people.

    ———————————————————————

    CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. Machines that are computer programmed to carry out functions. In my case turning and miling (machining) metal),plastics, carbon fibre composites, etc.

    Google my name and CNC and you will find my web site real easy.

    —————————————————————–

    If all you wanted was confirmation that we are here not as “trolls” read philU (if you can) comments and ask, who makes more sense?

    That should get a negative vote from philU at least I would say!!!!

  111. NZ is short of qualified tradesmen because people like you, Gerrit, do not want to pay a proper return for their skills.
    And you use immigration to avoid training anyone.

    Ask why we are all over 50.

  112. May be different in Auckland, (At one stage we were getting double the usual rate, travel and accommodation in Auckland (For the whole gang, plumbers, roofers and sparky included) because there was no one available there the customer wanted to use) but any plumber or sparky that charged more than $65/hour here would soon be out of work.

    It easily takes 2 years to gain a reputation and build up a steady customer base, no matter how good you are, as word of mouth is the best advertising.

  113. kevin…they are called trolls…

    (internet 101..)

    their role is to dissemble..not answer/debate..

    (c.f their associate john-ston…comes here spouting anti-pot drivel…

    ..and when presented with hard evidence of that ‘drivel’…

    ..just runs away…dosen’t answer…)

    they are not…as you may imagine..’on a journey’..

    they are here…playing a riff…

    and playing on the general civility/good manners ( me excepted) of green voters/supporters…

    ‘trolls’…it’s as simple/obvious as that…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  114. This thread has veered away from the 90 day Act (though could I just point out to Leaf that the previous law already provided for trial periods – the new law is not about trial periods at all, only about removing the need to give a reason for dismissal, effectively legitimising unreasonable dismissal), so here’s another diversion.

    I’m always intrigued to learn more about the backgrounds of Frogblog commentators (what does CNC stand for Gerrit?)Some of the trolls have gone away (some interesting psychologies there!) while some (like Randian accolyte James) remain. Their motivations are kind of obvious. But Gerrit and Photonz, why are you here? You guys don’t seem like Green voters, so what are you doing spending so much time on the Green Party website? Don’t get me wrong: I’m genuinely pleased to see you here, because your arguments are usually interesting and your posts non-abusive. But I’m intrigued as to what your interest is in the Green Party. Of course I’d like to think that you are interested in voting Green and that you may represent some larger groups of voters, so that if we can figure out how to persuade you, it might give us some clues about appealing to more voters. Or do you just enjoy the debate?

  115. Obviously not or has never been a tradesman.

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, seems you know more about me then I do, ah well.

    Run my own trade business so have just a tiny little insight on overheads. But then I run CNC equipment that produces money while I do the admin work (the greatest cloud software ever is dropbox, instant computer file sync so I can plan work at home, in the car, or at work – Brilliant)- bonus I can be on frogblog.

    If you can get a plumber or sparky for $60 bucks good for you.

    Tradesman? Maybe.

    Now try getting a electronic fridge or alarm repairman for under $140.

    Same with a sparky that will do three phase properly.

    Still if you want $60 sparkies or plumbers be my guest. Wonder if your house insurance is covered if using “cheap tradesman”?

    And not a single person will fund themselves through Technical Institutes and apprenticeships to be trade certified?

    Gees, no wonder kids today have no ambition and New Zealand society is so short of qualified (certified) tradesman. You have to make sacrifices to get to the money!!!

    Oh dear.

    2 years until you get enough of a reputation to get enough work.

    If you sit on your backside and wait for work.

    The more I read your post the more I feel that the current generation has no future if your attitude is the prevailing one.

    Thank goodness it is not. Or is it? Is everyones glass half full?

  116. “If I had my time again I would be an electrician or a plumber as the start up capital required is low ($10K approx) the hourly charge out rate high ($120) and the overheads low (petrol mainly)”

    Obviously not or has never been a tradesman.

    For starters I can get a plumber for $60 an hour.
    At that chargout they would be lucky to get $30 per hour actual income before tax.

    Start up. Apprenticeship. 3 years on no wage or a training wage.
    Course fees.
    Van.
    Tools. (Thousands).
    Advertising.
    2 years until you get enough of a reputation to get enough work.

    Overheads.

    Student loan.
    Quoting time for customers who just want the cheapest. Can take up to 1/4 of your week.
    Advertising.
    Office expenses.
    Phone. (Cellphones from a site $100’s a week).
    Time on the phone.
    Time between jobs. Very bad in Auckland as travel times so long.
    Travel.
    Tool and vehicle replacement and maintainence.
    Customers who can’t or won’t pay.
    Guarantee work because something you have supplied is broken.

    I once compared my overheads and costs to a lawyer who charged out at $100/15 min compared to my at that time $45 an hour. He kept most of his charges. I was getting about $20 an hour before tax.

  117. …so your not a wageslave like all the other plebs!

    Self employed, scary but oh so much more free.

    Takes self responsibilty to a level where moaning about lack of pay or dumb bosses is non existant.

    You wan to earn more, put in the effort.

    Want to go fishing, go fishing.

    Now if we could just have business go onto a PAYE tax system the world would be all self employed.

    IRD keeps the plebs as employees through their master servant relationship tax regime.

  118. “How much should they get in return of their investment? Remember it has to be higher then the bank interest rate otherwise why bother.”

    …so your not a wageslave like all the other plebs!

  119. Deborah

    ROI

    means Return On Investment (you can only get a return on income if you invest rather then spend the money)

    When you have income you have two choices. Spend or save.

    If you save and stick it in the bank you are expected to receive today around 6% interest on the saving deposit. The 6% is your rate of return on investment.

    Instead of putting the money in an unproductive bank account, business owners put that money into creating a business such as a language school.

    An enerprise that generate jobs, taxes, etc.

    How much should they get in return of their investment? Remember it has to be higher then the bank interest rate otherwise why bother.

    Now 4% over the bank rate is small margins to play with especially as the funding required to start the business is usually a bank overdraft.

    No bank will lend unless it is getting at least 8% return on the money they lent to the business (so that it can return 6% to the savers who dont borrow, plus keep 2% for their profit).

    If I had my time again I would be an electrician or a plumber as the start up capital required is low ($10K approx) the hourly charge out rate high ($120) and the overheads low (petrol mainly)

    But most importantly the freedom from taking on enough jobs to keep the wolf from the door but not enough to stop me going fishing on a nice sunny mid week day, provided the wife stays home to answer the phone 🙂 .

  120. “What makes you think businesses can afford to give everyone a big pay rise? Most business run on very small margins”…
    Yes, and don’t they bang on about it – my heart bleeds! I was not talking about pay rises. I was simply referring to the logic of the situation. If bosses pay workers only enough to survive, then workers can’t afford to buy the products other businesses want to sell. It’s thunderingly obvious really. Remember the 90s when the Poison Dwarf Ruth Richardson slashed benefits? She took a billion out of the pockets of people who would have spent all that lolly and donated it to the BNZ (a private business), who did God only knows with it. Meanwhile corner shops lost customers, and landlords had further cause to whinge as no one could afford to usurious rents they wanted to charge.

  121. Deborah says “Because if they did, they’d pay the workers enough to survive and then some! ”

    Deborah – What makes you think businesses can afford to give everyone a big pay rise? Most business run on very small margins.

    If you give big pay increases, you need to charge much higher prices for your goods and services.

    In such a competitive environment you’d probably go bust pretty quickly cause no one would buy your products, just like the example you described above.

  122. I have to ask Gerrit, what’s an ROI? Ah, got it, ‘return of income?’ (I’m a teacher not a business person). I used business man I admit, to show my familiarity with the mad Rand woman (even though she was a woman, she hated them).
    It’s obvious that there are insufficient business owners who realise that the workers are their customers! Because if they did, they’d pay the workers enough to survive and then some! Such a rich dimwit as Paul Holmes only realised there was a recession when it dawned on him that people aren’t buying the olive oil he shills for – they can’t afford it! Business men and women need workers as customers, yes, but also as workers. (In my field of expertise, business owners can try to manage without people who do what I do… but they make a stupendous mess of it, and can’t be in three places at once. Good luck trying Mr (or Ms) Business Owner… Putting my other hat on, the same thing applies. But good luck to anyone trying to run a language school and compete with other schools that have sufficient qualified teachers!
    The only business owner I can think of who can manage without staff is the local plumber who uses his wife to answer the phone – and even she gets as annoyed as the customers who want a response to the messages they leave.

  123. Debrah Kean

    But who has the power? The business man, not the worker. Tell the bosses that we’re inter-dependent. Most workers already know that.

    Business persons (there are a lot of women business owners as well) holds the power because they put up the funds (and most often their homes as collateral).

    And ALL the business people I know are more then fully aware that the workers are their customers. It is ever so slighty (no hugely actually) naive if you believe that business owners are only their to rip off workers. They are there to maximise their AFTER tax return so that they get a ROI of about 10 to 15% per year.
    —————————————————————–

    Have said in another post that the workers should be banding together and present 21st century labour solutions to the business owner.

    Based on the American model where unions run the apprenticeships, provide HR resources to businesses, quote on work on behalf of their members )actually becoming businesses in their own right), ensure on site safety while at work, runs health and retirement provisions ,etc., etc.

    Problem with unions in New Zealand is that they are still wearing their 1930 era cloth caps.

    Sorry but them dark mills and mines have closed long ago (and rightly so) and 21st century unions wear hard hats and high visibility suits.

    Time for unions to move on.

    With the millions in fees collected by the unions they surely could be investing in better and more modern programmes for the workers.

  124. James, sigh… What idiotic nickname should I give you? James-self-and-family-hating-business-worshipper, maybe?
    My point is that I would have been a good and loyal worker, an asset to Mr Fear and Loathing. I could have lied and said “Yessir, Massa, I’s a good right winger” and he’d never have known any difference.
    Gerrit, you have a point. But who has the power? The business man, not the worker. Tell the bosses that we’re inter-dependent. Most workers already know that..
    Phil U, thanks for the link. Rand absolutely was a sociopath. (Possibly she had Aspergers, but that’s by the by, she had a massive sense of entitlement and self-pity that she projected on to the rest of the world.
    Deb

  125. “Entitled to force herself upon unconsenting others Deborah” writes

    James, what a loyal son you seem to be! (I am sure your father is very proud of you – if somewhat puzzled by your callousness.)

    Nope! He agrees entirely…Dad,like me,understands and respects the principle of individal rights…even when they may seem to harm us when exercised by others.

    Your example about Shawn Tan is a very bad one, inasmuch as his political allegiance was a pre-requisite, what the British called a BFOQ, a ‘bona-fide occupational qualification’. However, the retard who turned me down for a job years ago, because I was not an Ayn-Rand-loving ACT supporter and who shouted somewhat testerically that he feared I would sabotage his business, had no right whatsoever.

    He most certainly did…and I can begin to understand why going by you attitude of entitlement to force yourself upon others.He must have found you a liability to him based on HIS reasons and wanted you gone…thats his right and choice to make.Suck it up and deal with it like an adult.We all face disappointment….live with it and move on.

    I would have been one of several data entry people, and it was no business of his whether I was a Labourite or Greenie, Methodist or Muslim, vegan or carnivore, nudist or fashionista, because I was in no position to sabotage his precious business. Therefore my political leanings had as little to do with him, as did the brand of washing up liquid I use…

    Still his right to choose not to employ you regardless.We all discriminate for reasons of our own and thats right and good for us as human beings to do…our nature as such requires we do for our own wellbeing and prosperity..We judge others based on all sorts of criteria we each hold as values…and must expect to be judged in return.I wouldn’t employ a socialist,a green party member,a fervent Christian,a fundy Muslim or a host of others with personal traits and opinions I disagree with.And they all have the exact same right to not employ me in their businesses for their own reasons….wheather they be that they don’t like my face,think Im not a personality they want around or even just hate the tie I wore to the interview with them.Who knows? Its called freedom and the exercise of ones individual rights Deborah…look it up sometime.It may not always seem logical or fair but thats life.

    How can you not see that?
    My point was that business men (and women) need workers, no matter what Ms Rand preached. The bad ones (and sadly that’s most of them) need to realise that. Or they may find out the hard way, that you can push people only so far.

    You obviously have no real idea what Rand actually said JUDGING by you comments.She was a champion of the free market and knew that that free choice and the right to liberty is what judges and rewards or punishers the participants within it.If your boss was truly a bad one then the feed back loops of the market (your opinion of him being one) will result in his suffering accordingly.My soon to be ex-employer is just such an example.The company is poorly managed in my opinion and has no idea of incentives and motivating its staff to excel.Rather its over bearing and punative….and as result the staff turn over is very high and its finding it hard to recruit.As a result Its now lossing customers and there is much negative comment about it throughout the industy its in.Thats the market delivering justice for poor,wrongly thought out actions on its part.I tried to offer solutions and nothing has changed so as result I am doing the right thing and removing myself from the situation and going elsewhere that better suits my requirements.

    Businesses only need workers when the work to be done is off less value than the time of the person who was doing it up to that point.If that persons time is better spent doing something of more value in the business then a job is created and someone else is employed to do it.Thats why,even though Microsoft’s Bill Gates may be the best toilet cleaner Microsoft could have,someone else maybe not as good is employed to do so leaving Gates free to do what he does best,that is creating the software etc that he does which makes all of US as users of his products better off in our lives…including the toilet cleaner.

  126. ‘the scribblings of a sociopath’…(heh…!..)

    Yes…the same one whos selling more copies of her work now than when she was alive and is credited with inspiring a secound American revelution in peoples minds towards a free and just society.

    Hows your blog going Phil…? still an echo chamber of one nasty,frustrated little man?

  127. Are there any more CTU videos available or is the sum total of two all there is?

    I was expecting at least two per day seeing the legislation was SOOOOO bad.

    Or is the 90 day legislation not THAT bad?

  128. Deborah,

    My point was that business men (and women) need workers, no matter what Ms Rand preached. The bad ones (and sadly that’s most of them) need to realise that. Or they may find out the hard way, that you can push people only so far.

    The opposite is equally true

    My point is that workers (and women) need businesses, no matter what Ms Rand preached. The bad ones (and sadly that’s most of them) need to realise that. Or they may find out the hard way, that you can push people only so far.

    The worker is mutual dependent upon the business as the business is dependent upon the worker.

    The argument is totally circular.

    if you want greater employment (and a higher tax take – government cashflow) you need an expanded tradeable sector.

    Who provides those jobs? Business

    Who provides the customers to make the business viable? The workers

    Labelling most businesses as bad employers is as helpful and bigotted as frog calling people “clowns” and “racists” in a post not too long ago.

  129. @James:

    The greens and the unions had no hesitation in giving fellow traveller Shawn Tan the flick when he went across to ACT before the last election…

    The Greens didn’t give Shawn Tan “the flick” – he was never a Green employee. The EPMU dismissed him for using work resources for political activity without permission, not because he went across to ACT.

  130. James, what a loyal son you seem to be! (I am sure your father is very proud of you – if somewhat puzzled by your callousness.) Your example about Shawn Tan is a very bad one, inasmuch as his political allegiance was a pre-requisite, what the British called a BFOQ, a ‘bona-fide occupational qualification’. However, the retard who turned me down for a job years ago, because I was not an Ayn-Rand-loving ACT supporter and who shouted somewhat testerically that he feared I would sabotage his business, had no right whatsoever. I would have been one of several data entry people, and it was no business of his whether I was a Labourite or Greenie, Methodist or Muslim, vegan or carnivore, nudist or fashionista, because I was in no position to sabotage his precious business. Therefore my political leanings had as little to do with him, as did the brand of washing up liquid I use…
    How can you not see that?
    My point was that business men (and women) need workers, no matter what Ms Rand preached. The bad ones (and sadly that’s most of them) need to realise that. Or they may find out the hard way, that you can push people only so far.

  131. Deborah: James ; I just cannot believe you are serious, that it’s okay to sack someone for their political views! Ayn Rand Libertarians believe that a job is a “gift” from an employer. (Well, I would like to see a businessman who can function without any staff, yet hires people because he’s a generous guy).

    I wouldn’t as that would be stupid and disasterous for his chances of prosperity.The point of economic activity is to create new wealth…NOT create jobs…thats a benefical consequence of Capitalist action for those in the jobs but is not,nor ever should be, its main focus.It certainly IS ok to sack someone for their political views…or another reason you care to name.Its called the right to liberty and contained within is the right to discriminate.It was quite common,if done under the table, in NZ for a long time….my father lost his job when it became known he supported Labour…and while it seems unfair the employer was totally within his REAL rights to do so…the job was HIS after all.My Father had no “right” to a job against the will of that employer…all he had his right to liberty…to seek alternative employemnt that suited him better.The greens and the unions had no hesitation in giving fellow traveller Shawn Tan the flick when he went across to ACT before the last election and they were in the right when they did so…if not appearing rather hypocriticle in the process…

    No one should have other people forced upon them in ANY instance….regardless of wheather its the monstorous crime of rape or in any other context…its the same principle of individual rights that is violated.

    No, it’s not okay to sack someone for their political views. The only criterion should be their performance. That means, also, that employers should not be able to sack someone because they have mis-managed their business, but don’t want anyone to know they’re close to crashing – so they lie and say it’s for poor performance. Aside from anything else, the truth comes out when your piece of **** company crashes!

    Thats what a free market does and its a good thing….its a profit AND loss system.When the state stays out the winners and lossers are soon revealed and we are all better off as aresult as resources are no longer wasted on terminal enterprises.

    Its neither your,nor anyones elses business what a private employer decides to do about THEIR employment requirements…butt out and mind your OWN business…..and people will respect your right to do so.

  132. @ James ; I just cannot believe you are serious, that it’s okay to sack someone for their political views! Ayn Rand Libertarians believe that a job is a “gift” from an employer. (Well, I would like to see a businessman who can function without any staff, yet hires people because he’s a generous guy).
    No, it’s not okay to sack someone for their political views. The only criterion should be their performance. That means, also, that employers should not be able to sack someone because they have mis-managed their business, but don’t want anyone to know they’re close to crashing – so they lie and say it’s for poor performance. Aside from anything else, the truth comes out when your piece of **** company crashes!

  133. An interesting feature of the D of L survey and the employers stating they would not have employed anyone is it is an after-the-fact response, thus it is not guaranteed the employer themselves even really know for sure. There is quite a bit of reserach into job CREATION from the welfare reforms of the 1990s-US (and some from the Work4Dole scheme of Peter McCardle, NZF 1997-2000) which separates out those newly employed into displacement and deadweight positions and genuine job creation places. Displacement I think means replacing one employee with another (with perhaps a time-lapse) whereas deadwieght being new jobs that would have created irresepctive of the reform package/policy. The differentiation is needed in assesing the merits of any such policy, especially if the said policy is to be expanded as the 90-day trial one is…. The D of L reesrach is weak from an academic/methodological viewpoint and can be used to prove whatever political points one wants to score.
    The only way to be sure the jobs were created were if the employers were surveyed beforehand and said they were NOT considering employing x,y,z MORE employees, then the scheme was created and x,y,z were employed. The D of L survey is deificient in this regard; post-fact statements are dubious at best in any research if we are attributing cause-effect.
    As for the law being “good” – if it casn be abused it fails my measure of good law.
    Not lies, just in doubt.

  134. @James 11:07 AM

    “If she were sacked because of her political views, that makes it even worse, doesn’t it?”

    No….the employer has the right to sack her for any reason they wish.Its THEIR job after all.Maybe this girl just rubbed them the wrong way.Tough luck but too bad…deal with it and move on.

    And employees “sack” their bosses all the time,I have just done so myself.When one party to an employment arrangement no longer wants to maintain it then it ends.

  135. Photonz1 – I have advised employers how to performance manage under-performing employees. In some cases the performance management has got the employee up to speed, and in some cases it has not, and a dismissal has ultimately resulted.

    You are assuming that underperformance by an employee is always the employee’s fault. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it is because of lack of training or unclear policies or instructions from the employer. Why should an employee lose his or her job, and have no redress, when the employer hasn’t got their shit together?

    As for bogus redundancies, redundancy is not more expensive if there is no obligation for the employer to pay redundancy pay. In that case, some employers will think a bogus redundancy is easier and cheaper than performance managing an under-performing employee.

  136. toad – and why would any employer go down the much more expensive route of making a useless worker redundant?

    Perhaps because under current law it is so difficult to dismiss someone for not doing their job properly.

  137. I employ 15 people in my company. We often employ people and they are incompetent or they have a bad attitude. And there’s been nothing you could do until recently.

    People misrepresent their skills and experience all the time but you know pretty quickly if someone is going to work out or not.

    The new law is a god send. We’re actively looking for new staff and now don’t have the additional stress of wondering how we can ask people to leave if they aren’t capable.

    The cost of a bad hire is tens of thousands of dollars in recruitment fees, training, managing, fixing up poor work for ages after…

    Starting and running a business is hard work and very stressful. Try it and see. Not all employers are out to screw people.

    Since this law came in we’ve employed 5 people and asked 1 to leave.

  138. Gerrit, I have been an employer (although I’m not now). I have also been a union official, and I have also given employment law advice to employers.

    Redundancies must be negotiated in good faith. If an employer just picks who they want to go and implements forced redundancies without any consultation with their workforce about the financial position of the company and options for reduced hours or voluntary redundancies, that employer becomes vulnerable to claims for unjustifiable dismissal.

    In my former union capacity I witnessed a number of bogus redundancies, where the employer was trying to take a short cut to getting rid of a worker whose performance they considered unsatisfactory. As an advisor to employers on emplloyment law I always counselled they don’t go down that path.

  139. toad,

    If you have to make redundancies, performance cannot be the first criterion for deciding who will be made redundant.

    Have you ever been an employer?

    Judging by the number of thumbs down for alternative reasoning, not many commentators from the Green party have been either.

    When a business is no longer viable and the only recourse is to lay off staff, the only criteria is performance.

    An employer only wants to keep high performing staff to make the business viable again.

    Trading while insolvent is illegal so dont be suprised that many businesses simply shut up shop rather then try and be employers.

    Thanks goodness redundancies are no longer part and parcel of a modern employment contract.

    And thanks goodness we dont have to show redundancy liabilities on the company books for old employee contracts. Would send many a business either bankrupt or unable to grow (and create more employment) due to lack of capital.

  140. toad – you obviously have no clue about the real world.

    If you want to keep a company going when there are already financial problems and there have to be cuts, you’d have to be insane to get rid of your top workers and keep all your poor performers.

    The law may say you are not allowed to make people redundant based on performance. The reality is companies will almost always keep the best people for the jobs.

    If you keep the worst performers and get rid of the best, you may as well just lock the doors and tell everybody to go to the winz office.

  141. photonz1 – you obviously have no clue about employment law.

    If you have to make redundancies, performance cannot be the first criterion for deciding who will be made redundant.

    If, through a consultative process, you don’t get sufficient redundancies to ensure business viability, then you can use performance as a criterion for who goes – unless, of course, they have employment agreements with provisions such as “last on – first off”, in which case the provisions of the agreement have to take precedence.

  142. toad – keeping your worst performers while letting the better ones go would be a case of appalling mismanagement and would quite likely be the cause of further redundancies in the very near future.

  143. @photonz1 9:06 PM

    A family menmber has just been given the unenviable job of sacking seven colleagues because of the financial downturn. Obviously she’ll pick those with the poorest performance…

    Those circumstances amount to redundancy, photonz1, and if that is the sole criterion she applies she is on very dodgy ground indeed legally.

    The first steps she should take are to talk to the employees about the financial circumstances of the business, identify possibly employer responses, including redundancies or reduced hours of work, and get feedback from the employees about how they might be able to assist the viability of the business. Some may choose to go voluntarily. Some may choose to reduce their hours, maybe because that was what they already personally wanted to do, but didn’t want to let the business down.

    But to just line up the ones whom, in her subjective opinion, are the worst performers is a very poor look that could land her in deep shit before the Employment Tribunal.

    It never ceases to amaze me how many employers think it is vitally important to have expertise in marketing, sales, production, and administration – but see no need to have any expertise in human resources at all.

  144. sprout – if you had to sack someone because they were useless at their job, but aside from that they were a really nice person, what would you tell them?

    A family menmber has just been given the unenviable job of sacking seven colleagues because of the financial downturn. Obviously she’ll pick those with the poorest performance, but it’s doubtful she’ll rub it in by telling them that.

  145. “….some don’t really want to hurt workers by telling them they are useless.”

    Photonz1, Now I’ve heard it all, it’s thoughtful of employers to sack workers without telling them why?!

  146. creating unfair outcomes *for workers*, just like *people* predicted before it was passed.
    …..
    note the use of language

  147. Sam – even more reason why some people need the chance of a trial.

    Personally, I think it’s probably a good idea that employers tell people on trials why they weren’t given a permanent job, and it’s argued (I think even by the PM) that the current law that requires good communication DOES require an employer telling an employee why they weren’t taken on permanently.

    There are probably a number of reasons employers don’t tell – one being some don’t really want to hurt workers by telling them they are useless.

  148. Blatantly unfair treatment happens every day under good law so there is no point in ensuring laws are good. Quack.

  149. Agreed, Sam, If employers aren’t obliged to provide reasons for dismissal we are not just opening doors to many but closing them to others through an unfair process. Nothing is wrong with trial periods if terminating employment is fairly managed.

  150. “Wrong “Because of bad attitude and poor work performance” would spoil chances more.”

    The point is, if you say “I got fired”, followed by “Why?” “Oh, they didn’t give me a reason” employers are likely to assume the reason was bad attitude and poor work performance, or something worse. Even if an employer is very fair minded, they are likely to see a previous sacking as a potential problem and given the job market, pick one of the other applicants on the list.

    If employers aren’t required to give you a reason why you were sacked, everyone is in the dark – you can’t prove why you were sacked and a new employer will have to consider the possibility that there was serious misconduct or who knows what?

  151. photonz1 at 1:20 PM

    rimu says “If you only survey employers and not employees, then you’re only getting half the story.”

    You mean like the video above?

    Florence’s employer is quite entitled to make their own video to tell their side of the story. If they do, and send it to me, I’ll even publish it here – in the interests of “balance”.

    But given they won’t even tell Florence herself why she was sacked, I somehow suspect nothing will be forthcoming.

  152. “Because of bad attitude and poor work performance”

    And yet the employee did not need to be given any warning that their performance or attitude was not adequate and did not need to be told that was the reason for thier termination. this is the problem.

    no one is saying employers should have to employ unsatisfactory workers but there is a good reason for legislating a fair termination process and the existing one is not particularly onerous if followed correctly.

    shouldn’t poor performing workers be allowed the opportunity to address their shortcomings and improve rather than being summarily fired without being told why?

  153. rimu says “If you only survey employers and not employees, then you’re only getting half the story.”

    You mean like the video above?

    Sam says “Nothing spoils your chances of getting a job like replying to “Why did you leave your last job?” with “I got fired”, followed by “Why?” “Oh, they didn’t give me a reason”.”

    Wrong “Because of bad attitude and poor work performance” would spoil chances more.

    (they were the reasons for around 90% of trial dismissals in the DOL survey).

  154. “Nothing in life is fair, apply for another job, the percentages improve your chances.”

    Nothing spoils your chances of getting a job like replying to “Why did you leave your last job?” with “I got fired”, followed by “Why?” “Oh, they didn’t give me a reason”.

  155. toad – trying to mislead again?

    Your initial figure of 3352 includes 700 who were unattainable, 1100 who didn’t have time for a survey, and over 300 who refused to do the survey.

    What other survey has EVER given percentages based on all the people who DIDN’T DO THE SURVEY.

    We don’t hear Colmar Brunton say, in our survey 50% of New Zealanders are female, and 50% male, however if we compare the number who said they were female and male to the total number of people we approached (but wouldn’t answer our survey – 10 x more than did), we find only 5% of New Zealanders are female and 5% male.

    Out of the 1300 or so who did the initial survey, 400 had over 20 employees so could no have trials under current law.

    That leaves 900 applicable companies who did the survey, with 770 doing the follow up.

    You seem very desperate to discredit any results that are positive.

  156. @James 11:07 AM

    If she were sacked because of her political views, that makes it even worse, doesn’t it?

    @ photonz1 11:14 AM
    Try looking a bit more closely at the methodology of that DoL survey.

    The quantitative research using the Department of Labour’s employer database involved an initial short phone call, with a request to complete a follow-up on-line or postal survey. But only 23% of the 3352 employers the DoL attempted to contact actually completed the follow-up survey, and those who did were self-selected. The sampling bias introduced by that selection method makes the quantitative research almost worthless – employers with strong views supportive of trial periods are obviously going to be more likely to respond.

  157. This ’90 day trial’ period is in reality a legitimising of a short term (busy period) employment arrangement. Surely if an employee isn’t performing, the employer would know within the first few weeks.. not months. When are people going to wake-up to this N-ACT govt.s ‘master/servant’ mentality.. its the 21st century, not the 19th !!
    Kia-ora

  158. toad – there was a lot of info in the Department of Labour survey.

    40% of employers who used the trial said they wouldn’t have employed people without it.

    So you beleive every single one of those 40% were lying? and every single one of the other 60% were telling the truth? Earth calling toad – come in toad.

    Almost all employers said those on trials did not get permanent jobs because of either poor work performance or bad attitude or both. A small number did not get permanent jobs because economic conditions changed.

    Around 80% of those given a trial moved onto a permanent job.

    So you’d rather kill off lots of jobs because a minority of trials don’t work out?

  159. The poor little petal has been outed as grass roots Labour,being a member BEFORE the 90 day trial came in in 09….shoot down for the dopey leftys yet again.

  160. is it okay that one in five workers on trial periods are fired before the period finishes,

    Yes, 80 percent of the workers taken on the 90 day period have no complaints.

    No, if you are one of the 20%

    Nothing in life is fair, apply for another job, the percentages improve your chances.

    But it depends if your glass is 4/5’s full or 1/5’s empty.

  161. @photonz1 10:41 AM

    And a lot of people now have permanent jobs under the 90 day trial law, that would otherwise never have got them.

    Where is the evidence of that? The Department of Labour research indicates there is no evidence – just employers’ spin to that effect.

    And even if it did create some jobs, is it okay that one in five workers on trial periods are fired before the period finishes, and the employer doesn’t even have to tell them why?

  162. A1kmm says “It only takes a few examples of blatant unfair treatment of employees to show that a law which allows employers to blatantly treat employees unfairly is a bad law.”

    Blatantly unfair treatment happens every day under good law.

    And a lot of people now have permanent jobs under the 90 day trial law, that would otherwise never have got them.

    Would it be better if that far greater number of people never got a trial leading to a permanent job?

  163. Gerrit: It only takes a few examples of blatant unfair treatment of employees to show that a law which allows employers to blatantly treat employees unfairly is a bad law.

    I’m sure there are many cases where someone survives a 90 day trial, or where someone is dismissed for a legitimate reason in the 90 days – those are both things that would have happened without the law anyway.

    I’m sure the CTU is ‘cherry picking’ the cases where there has been blatant unfairness – and I’m also sure they have plenty of examples of blatant unfairness to choose from. However, there is nothing wrong with cherry picking in this case – they are proving that the 90 day bill is, in practice, creating unfair outcomes for workers, just like people predicted before it was passed.

  164. Gerrit, they are hardly going to do a video featuring an employee caught with her fingers in the till, where the employer applied good process and offered her the opprtunity to explain her actions even the the law doesn’t require the employer to do that in the first 90 days, and where she couldn’t do so, are they?

    Of course the CTU are going to cite the examples where this law has allowed employers to behave badly, not examples where employers have behaved well despite the law not requiring them to do so.

  165. The interesting thing I picked up is that the only thing Florence could identify as a possible reason for her sacking was that she questioned her employer playing a Christian radio station.

    There could be discrimination on the basis of religious or ethical belief going on here. Despite the Fire at Will law, dismissals based on discrimination are still technically possible. But the problem the employee faces is that if the employer is not obliged to give a reason for the dismissal, and as in Florence’s case doesn’t, then it is impossible to prove discrimination.

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