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  Reply # 1124437 8-Sep-2014 15:44
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heylinb4nz: Id be keen to see government run mega hostels is each main centre. Basically if you dont have a job\income and need to be on a benefit you are required to live in one of these hostels.


We do have that, they are called prisons :)

I think your idea would be too disruptive to work.  Imagine the upheaval for someone to move to one of the hostels.

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  Reply # 1124439 8-Sep-2014 15:45
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charsleysa:
Geektastic:
charsleysa:
Geektastic:

1) We have a different definition of luxury then! To me that is Patek Phillipe, Rolls Royce, Luis Vuitton etc etc
2) PWC is merely an example. A partner would earn over $1million a year in a decent year, easily.
3) As an illustration, if you leave university with a First Class Honours in Law and get a job at a top London firm, you will be starting on $100,000 a year straight out of University. That is how far behind we are here in our view of what is 'rich'.
4) In NZ you can earn a lot - I know a number of people who earn well over $250,000 a year who are contracting in areas like Change Management and other specialised business management consultancy areas. 
5) It is odd to me that aspiration in NZ is quite muted. In most places I am familiar with a PM who started as a State House child of a single mother, went on to make himself $50 million and then came back and achieved more or less the highest office in the land would be held up as a shining role model, not denigrated as a 'rich pr**k' etc. If we do not value success and wealth creation it will not assist the country in becoming a richer and better paid place.


I would consider a luxury item to be anything you would not be able to afford on a regular, or even periodic, basis such as a flat screen TV or a new car. What you mention I would consider to be items of extravagance.

There are workers who earn quite a lot but the majority of the workforce earns less than 60k yet it is this workforce that works the hardest since companies would fail without the.

You say we should value success and wealth creation but what about valuing the hard work of your employees that made you wealthy? If you don't even value your employees enough to give them a decent wage/salary that reflects how much value they put towards the company then you are the problem. (not directing it at you, just using you in the general sense).


You assume (wrongly) that many of the companies that would fail with out the apparently heroic efforts of their workforce could not, if so minded

1) Replace more staff with automation
2) Move off shore and use labour that costs less.
3) Remain in NZ and simply train the next willing person to do the job

This assumption that company owners owe their staff a living is just nonsense unless and until the company cannot exist without those exact and specific staff individuals. That is why successful merchant bankers earn so much - if you can make your bank $10 billion a year through your skills, paying you a piffling $20 million bonus is pocket change in return.

The way to make money in employment is to become unique - or as close to it as you can get. More or less anyone with an IQ of 100 can paint a house. The same is not true of being a surgeon. The value of labour is related to the value of the skills you have. Below a certain skill level, staff are merely robots that need to eat and sleep.






A company does owe it's employees a living as that is what the fundamental of a job is, to earn a living.

A company does require it's employees and should pay them as such because if they all suddenly stopped working the company would eventually fail, ever heard of going on strike?


No. Go and study economics. A company will pay the least it can for all inputs. It will not - and should not - pay over what it needs to for anything, be it coal or labour.

Otherwise it becomes a charity not a business.

If staff go on strike, unless they are unique, they can quickly and easily be replaced. If the owners move the company from NZ to Vietnam, their wage bill will fall by 60% or more and the workers there would never go on strike because you would still be paying them far more than they would otherwise get.

A company owes it's employees precisely what they agreed to when they signed their contract. Up to a point a company will look after staff worth retaining. Beyond the threshold of benefit to the company, they will simply replace that staff member with one of a large number of other human beings who can do the same thing.

If your job is "sit here and put these packets in boxes all day for 8 hours" you have precisely zero value to an employer as a person - you are a biological machine. 10 people can be found in less than a week who can do exactly the same thing.

The mistake so often made in NZ is in assuming that the employer actually cares about the employee. 99 times out of 100 he does not. Turn up, do as you are told and get paid. Make waves, get replaced. 

This happens less and less the more unique your skills and experience become. Uniqueness is key to both wages and security of employment and always has been.





 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1124441 8-Sep-2014 15:52
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Geektastic:But why does it need to be 'fair'?


Because otherwise it is unfair. Sorry, really don't have a better answer.




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  Reply # 1124447 8-Sep-2014 15:57
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Geektastic:
charsleysa:
Geektastic:
charsleysa:
Geektastic:

1) We have a different definition of luxury then! To me that is Patek Phillipe, Rolls Royce, Luis Vuitton etc etc
2) PWC is merely an example. A partner would earn over $1million a year in a decent year, easily.
3) As an illustration, if you leave university with a First Class Honours in Law and get a job at a top London firm, you will be starting on $100,000 a year straight out of University. That is how far behind we are here in our view of what is 'rich'.
4) In NZ you can earn a lot - I know a number of people who earn well over $250,000 a year who are contracting in areas like Change Management and other specialised business management consultancy areas. 
5) It is odd to me that aspiration in NZ is quite muted. In most places I am familiar with a PM who started as a State House child of a single mother, went on to make himself $50 million and then came back and achieved more or less the highest office in the land would be held up as a shining role model, not denigrated as a 'rich pr**k' etc. If we do not value success and wealth creation it will not assist the country in becoming a richer and better paid place.


I would consider a luxury item to be anything you would not be able to afford on a regular, or even periodic, basis such as a flat screen TV or a new car. What you mention I would consider to be items of extravagance.

There are workers who earn quite a lot but the majority of the workforce earns less than 60k yet it is this workforce that works the hardest since companies would fail without the.

You say we should value success and wealth creation but what about valuing the hard work of your employees that made you wealthy? If you don't even value your employees enough to give them a decent wage/salary that reflects how much value they put towards the company then you are the problem. (not directing it at you, just using you in the general sense).


You assume (wrongly) that many of the companies that would fail with out the apparently heroic efforts of their workforce could not, if so minded

1) Replace more staff with automation
2) Move off shore and use labour that costs less.
3) Remain in NZ and simply train the next willing person to do the job

This assumption that company owners owe their staff a living is just nonsense unless and until the company cannot exist without those exact and specific staff individuals. That is why successful merchant bankers earn so much - if you can make your bank $10 billion a year through your skills, paying you a piffling $20 million bonus is pocket change in return.

The way to make money in employment is to become unique - or as close to it as you can get. More or less anyone with an IQ of 100 can paint a house. The same is not true of being a surgeon. The value of labour is related to the value of the skills you have. Below a certain skill level, staff are merely robots that need to eat and sleep.






A company does owe it's employees a living as that is what the fundamental of a job is, to earn a living.

A company does require it's employees and should pay them as such because if they all suddenly stopped working the company would eventually fail, ever heard of going on strike?


No. Go and study economics. A company will pay the least it can for all inputs. It will not - and should not - pay over what it needs to for anything, be it coal or labour.

Otherwise it becomes a charity not a business.

If staff go on strike, unless they are unique, they can quickly and easily be replaced. If the owners move the company from NZ to Vietnam, their wage bill will fall by 60% or more and the workers there would never go on strike because you would still be paying them far more than they would otherwise get.

A company owes it's employees precisely what they agreed to when they signed their contract. Up to a point a company will look after staff worth retaining. Beyond the threshold of benefit to the company, they will simply replace that staff member with one of a large number of other human beings who can do the same thing.

If your job is "sit here and put these packets in boxes all day for 8 hours" you have precisely zero value to an employer as a person - you are a biological machine. 10 people can be found in less than a week who can do exactly the same thing.

The mistake so often made in NZ is in assuming that the employer actually cares about the employee. 99 times out of 100 he does not. Turn up, do as you are told and get paid. Make waves, get replaced. 

This happens less and less the more unique your skills and experience become. Uniqueness is key to both wages and security of employment and always has been.


And when businesses gain market power in the labour market (as they are with reduction of union power), they can force people to work the government set minimum wage (currently not enough to live off).

This is known as market failure.

Government need to intervene when this occurs. Argue it with pure economics, or with moral principles, the current minimum wage is too low.

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  Reply # 1124462 8-Sep-2014 16:11
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Geektastic:

No. Go and study economics. A company will pay the least it can for all inputs. It will not - and should not - pay over what it needs to for anything, be it coal or labour.

Otherwise it becomes a charity not a business.


If you think paying someone enough to be alive and productive is overpaying then you are part of the problem.


Geektastic:

If staff go on strike, unless they are unique, they can quickly and easily be replaced.


Please show me examples in NZ where the majority of the staff have gone on strike and then have been easily replaced.


Geektastic:

A company owes it's employees precisely what they agreed to when they signed their contract. Up to a point a company will look after staff worth retaining. Beyond the threshold of benefit to the company, they will simply replace that staff member with one of a large number of other human beings who can do the same thing.


A company will always try to get an employee to sign a contract with the least amount of remuneration as that will be "beneficial to the companies bottomline". If a government does not have in place procedures to stop unfair wages then companies will always take advantage of that system. Other countries may not even have minimum wage laws but instead boards of employment that discuss and negotiate fair wages. 


Geektastic:

If your job is "sit here and put these packets in boxes all day for 8 hours" you have precisely zero value to an employer as a person - you are a biological machine. 10 people can be found in less than a week who can do exactly the same thing.

The mistake so often made in NZ is in assuming that the employer actually cares about the employee. 99 times out of 100 he does not. Turn up, do as you are told and get paid. Make waves, get replaced. 

This happens less and less the more unique your skills and experience become. Uniqueness is key to both wages and security of employment and always has been.


Sometimes you just have to ask yourself "do I give a F*** about these people?" and if you answer no, then you're just a terrible human being.
People aren't just biological machines, saying they are biological machines is akin to saying they are slaves with benefits.




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Stefan Andres Charsley

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  Reply # 1124703 8-Sep-2014 21:21
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Geektastic: 

You assume (wrongly) that many of the companies that would fail with out the apparently heroic efforts of their workforce could not, if so minded

1) Replace more staff with automation
2) Move off shore and use labour that costs less.
3) Remain in NZ and simply train the next willing person to do the job

This assumption that company owners owe their staff a living is just nonsense unless and until the company cannot exist without those exact and specific staff individuals. That is why successful merchant bankers earn so much - if you can make your bank $10 billion a year through your skills, paying you a piffling $20 million bonus is pocket change in return.

The way to make money in employment is to become unique - or as close to it as you can get. More or less anyone with an IQ of 100 can paint a house. The same is not true of being a surgeon. The value of labour is related to the value of the skills you have. Below a certain skill level, staff are merely robots that need to eat and sleep.



You've conveniently left out many important details here:

 

  • Automation costs a lot of money: to design, to build, to keep running. Often it costs orders of magnitude more than paying a bunch of workers (unless you're at mega scale).
  • Even if you do replace your staff with robots, who do you think builds the robots? Designs, builds, monitors, and maintains the energy infrastructure to power them, mining infrastructure etc required to supply raw materials for them? "Automation" simply moves the manual labour of one thing to somewhere else. We are decades, possibly even centuries away from complete automation.
  • Off-shore labour is only "cheap" right now because there are countries willing to turn their workforce into what is effectively slave labour. In addition, you now have to factor in the (rising) costs of transporting materials to your workers, and goods from your workers to your customers.
  • In many cases, it's impossible, or makes no sense, to move labour off shore - especially in highly skilled industries.
  • As you say, anyone with an IQ of 100 can paint a house. But it certainly isn't a simple task for many companies to "train" the next willing person - especially if the industry in question has a skills shortage. Training costs money, but more importantly takes time.
  • There's ongoing research and debate as to whether bankers and investors actually are reliably able to create wealth, or whether they are simply winners at a lottery.
  • In many cases, the people that "bring in" $10b worth of business are only able to do so because there's an entire infrastructure of company able to support that business - you know, the ones that provide the goods and/or services that the money that brings in buys. That person is just a piece of the puzzle. So yes, $20m is chump change on $10b, but the rest of that $20m should be distributed fairly among those who made it possible to fulfil the contract. 
The bottom line is that companies do fail without their workforce. Yes, right now companies, who according to "economics" are accountable solely to their shareholders, can get away with exploiting exchange rates, differences in economies (which really is a complete farce and side effect of the broken world we live in - why is a Chinese labourer's time worth less than a New Zealander's?).

Perhaps if the shareholders of these companies were the same people who built the company up in the first place, this impedence mismatch and conflict of interest wouldn't exist.

Geektastic: 

No. Go and study economics. A company will pay the least it can for all inputs. It will not - and should not - pay over what it needs to for anything, be it coal or labour.

Otherwise it becomes a charity not a business.

If staff go on strike, unless they are unique, they can quickly and easily be replaced. If the owners move the company from NZ to Vietnam, their wage bill will fall by 60% or more and the workers there would never go on strike because you would still be paying them far more than they would otherwise get.

A company owes it's employees precisely what they agreed to when they signed their contract. Up to a point a company will look after staff worth retaining. Beyond the threshold of benefit to the company, they will simply replace that staff member with one of a large number of other human beings who can do the same thing.

If your job is "sit here and put these packets in boxes all day for 8 hours" you have precisely zero value to an employer as a person - you are a biological machine. 10 people can be found in less than a week who can do exactly the same thing.

The mistake so often made in NZ is in assuming that the employer actually cares about the employee. 99 times out of 100 he does not. Turn up, do as you are told and get paid. Make waves, get replaced. 

This happens less and less the more unique your skills and experience become. Uniqueness is key to both wages and security of employment and always has been.


Again I point to the question of why a Vietnamese worker is worth less than a New Zealand worker? Because of some sort of artificial difference in value of the arbitrary line in the sand that demarcates Vietnam from somewhere else in the world? What a crock, in the grand scheme.

But more to the point, part of the issue here is the economic theory around labour. Yes, companies should be looking to reduce their labour force with e.g. automation etc. And yes, companies should be looking to reduce their costs - but ultimately there needs to be responsibility to the community and workforce that's more than just paying them each week.

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  Reply # 1124718 8-Sep-2014 21:35
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charsleysa:

Sometimes you just have to ask yourself "do I give a F*** about these people?" and if you answer no, then you're just a terrible human being.
People aren't just biological machines, saying they are biological machines is akin to saying they are slaves with benefits.


I would also say a lot more than 1% of businesses care about the costs of re-training and staff retention. 99% of businesses might have been a non-thinking simple minded task back in the 60's where you were a labourer or out of work, but I don't think that margin makes up 99% of todays work places.

There are a few petitions online gaining some ground to start forcing people to at least think about the idea of a basic income.

I guess the question is will money be divided up in to fixed and variable classes in order to see how that kind of change would effect the economy during a transition to new policy and way of doing and measuring things.

Reminds me of power and broadband. You have the need to cover the fixed cost of infrastructure but you also have the variable of data usage on top.

Do you think though, that right wingers will ever let you use the words "a right" which implies entitlement to the fixed costs of life? Because you're trying to sell freedom from economics for something they've had to pay for themselves. That won't go down very well with those that already have, this would involve sacrafice, something that's harder to let go off than to fit through the eye of a needle so to speak. As it would instantly devalue the fixed costs of living.

It's not here nore there either. It's neither a bad nore good thing because the pros and cons of each outway the other. Most people though will judge it as only one of those opinions rather than watch and see what happens and trial it. I don't know if mankind is at a social responsible level to do more about this yet when on the other hand it could be yours if you work harder and make more money in the first place. I don't think we're finished with indulgence in capitalism yet - we haven't grasped the consequences of it fully.


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  Reply # 1124726 8-Sep-2014 21:44
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spronkey:
But more to the point, part of the issue here is the economic theory around labour. Yes, companies should be looking to reduce their labour force with e.g. automation etc. And yes, companies should be looking to reduce their costs - but ultimately there needs to be responsibility to the community and workforce that's more than just paying them each week.


Like everything, there will eventually be a boundry or an equalibrium with automation too. If you don't have employee's making money, they in turn aren't going to be spending money and buying any of the products produced by automation.

If we looked at automation differently for the benefit of everyone rather than a few, then it makes heaps of sense. Less hip, knee and back replacements or injuries etc... the true costs of some jobs that should be automated are never felt by the employer. Automation can greatly resolve this.

If you're an evolution darwinian follower, then eventually no matter what we do, we will all pick the path of less resistance. It's what drives the cost of doing business down as a lot of people only buy on price. So evetually, the world's work week will be a few hours on one maybe two days a week. This sounds like living off your own land again, but a different way of doing things with a lot of technology instead. And history repeats....

edit: I think people are just to scared to become really more self reliant again and self sustaining rather than on a company. Ironically, the coporate world is the biggest nanny state that's ever made man suck on its ...  and the milk is money. Money makes you have to be reliant on someone else. It's still going to take a big market bang and financial collapse to present the opportunity to do things different. How many times though before it effects someone who doesn't want to live through another one.

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  Reply # 1124728 8-Sep-2014 21:49
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spronkey:

Again I point to the question of why a Vietnamese worker is worth less than a New Zealand worker? Because of some sort of artificial difference in value of the arbitrary line in the sand that demarcates Vietnam from somewhere else in the world? What a crock, in the grand scheme.



Umm, I think you should have studied harder in economics classes.

Basically, value determined by the equilibrium price that equates supply and demand. You need to understand that markets are made at the margin - and value isn't intrinsic, it's extrinsic.

There are a bunch of reasons why the equilibrium market value of a Vietnamese labourer might differ from that of a New Zealand labourer. They include things like:
- different skill sets
- different ratios of labour to the other factors of production (land, capital, etc), and hence different marginal labour productivities
- immigration controls and language barriers etc imposing a degree of cross-border immobility on labour

There are similar reasons why a hectare of land in Invercargill is worth more than a hectare of land in Central Auckland, and why an emerald is worth more than a glass of water in Saudi Arabia - despite the fact that a glass of water will keep you alive in the desert whereas for all practical purposes an emerald is a useless bauble.

If you understand how markets work then all of this is fairly logical, and I'm not sure why you think it is a "crock"?

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  Reply # 1124742 8-Sep-2014 22:44
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JimmyH:
spronkey:

Again I point to the question of why a Vietnamese worker is worth less than a New Zealand worker? Because of some sort of artificial difference in value of the arbitrary line in the sand that demarcates Vietnam from somewhere else in the world? What a crock, in the grand scheme.



Umm, I think you should have studied harder in economics classes.

Basically, value determined by the equilibrium price that equates supply and demand. You need to understand that markets are made at the margin - and value isn't intrinsic, it's extrinsic.

There are a bunch of reasons why the equilibrium market value of a Vietnamese labourer might differ from that of a New Zealand labourer. They include things like:
- different skill sets
- different ratios of labour to the other factors of production (land, capital, etc), and hence different marginal labour productivities
- immigration controls and language barriers etc imposing a degree of cross-border immobility on labour

There are similar reasons why a hectare of land in Invercargill is worth more than a hectare of land in Central Auckland, and why an emerald is worth more than a glass of water in Saudi Arabia - despite the fact that a glass of water will keep you alive in the desert whereas for all practical purposes an emerald is a useless bauble.

If you understand how markets work then all of this is fairly logical, and I'm not sure why you think it is a "crock"?


I think the point I was making might have been lost - these imbalances are artificial, and caused by the existence of a) countries, and b) markets plural, as opposed to having a single global economy, which in my view would be the ultimate goal.

When you remove such barriers, the only difference between worker A and worker B, where the two might differ in location, gender, ethnicity, whatever - is skill and availability. The fact that we can currently get away with paying Chinese workers less is because of other, rather arbitrary and artificial constructs we as the human race have imposed on ourselves.

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  Reply # 1124743 8-Sep-2014 23:00
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spronkey:
Geektastic: 

You assume (wrongly) that many of the companies that would fail with out the apparently heroic efforts of their workforce could not, if so minded

1) Replace more staff with automation
2) Move off shore and use labour that costs less.
3) Remain in NZ and simply train the next willing person to do the job

This assumption that company owners owe their staff a living is just nonsense unless and until the company cannot exist without those exact and specific staff individuals. That is why successful merchant bankers earn so much - if you can make your bank $10 billion a year through your skills, paying you a piffling $20 million bonus is pocket change in return.

The way to make money in employment is to become unique - or as close to it as you can get. More or less anyone with an IQ of 100 can paint a house. The same is not true of being a surgeon. The value of labour is related to the value of the skills you have. Below a certain skill level, staff are merely robots that need to eat and sleep.



You've conveniently left out many important details here:

 

  • Automation costs a lot of money: to design, to build, to keep running. Often it costs orders of magnitude more than paying a bunch of workers (unless you're at mega scale).
  • Even if you do replace your staff with robots, who do you think builds the robots? Designs, builds, monitors, and maintains the energy infrastructure to power them, mining infrastructure etc required to supply raw materials for them? "Automation" simply moves the manual labour of one thing to somewhere else. We are decades, possibly even centuries away from complete automation.
  • Off-shore labour is only "cheap" right now because there are countries willing to turn their workforce into what is effectively slave labour. In addition, you now have to factor in the (rising) costs of transporting materials to your workers, and goods from your workers to your customers.
  • In many cases, it's impossible, or makes no sense, to move labour off shore - especially in highly skilled industries.
  • As you say, anyone with an IQ of 100 can paint a house. But it certainly isn't a simple task for many companies to "train" the next willing person - especially if the industry in question has a skills shortage. Training costs money, but more importantly takes time.
  • There's ongoing research and debate as to whether bankers and investors actually are reliably able to create wealth, or whether they are simply winners at a lottery.
  • In many cases, the people that "bring in" $10b worth of business are only able to do so because there's an entire infrastructure of company able to support that business - you know, the ones that provide the goods and/or services that the money that brings in buys. That person is just a piece of the puzzle. So yes, $20m is chump change on $10b, but the rest of that $20m should be distributed fairly among those who made it possible to fulfil the contract. 
The bottom line is that companies do fail without their workforce. Yes, right now companies, who according to "economics" are accountable solely to their shareholders, can get away with exploiting exchange rates, differences in economies (which really is a complete farce and side effect of the broken world we live in - why is a Chinese labourer's time worth less than a New Zealander's?).

Perhaps if the shareholders of these companies were the same people who built the company up in the first place, this impedence mismatch and conflict of interest wouldn't exist.

Geektastic: 

No. Go and study economics. A company will pay the least it can for all inputs. It will not - and should not - pay over what it needs to for anything, be it coal or labour.

Otherwise it becomes a charity not a business.

If staff go on strike, unless they are unique, they can quickly and easily be replaced. If the owners move the company from NZ to Vietnam, their wage bill will fall by 60% or more and the workers there would never go on strike because you would still be paying them far more than they would otherwise get.

A company owes it's employees precisely what they agreed to when they signed their contract. Up to a point a company will look after staff worth retaining. Beyond the threshold of benefit to the company, they will simply replace that staff member with one of a large number of other human beings who can do the same thing.

If your job is "sit here and put these packets in boxes all day for 8 hours" you have precisely zero value to an employer as a person - you are a biological machine. 10 people can be found in less than a week who can do exactly the same thing.

The mistake so often made in NZ is in assuming that the employer actually cares about the employee. 99 times out of 100 he does not. Turn up, do as you are told and get paid. Make waves, get replaced. 

This happens less and less the more unique your skills and experience become. Uniqueness is key to both wages and security of employment and always has been.


Again I point to the question of why a Vietnamese worker is worth less than a New Zealand worker? Because of some sort of artificial difference in value of the arbitrary line in the sand that demarcates Vietnam from somewhere else in the world? What a crock, in the grand scheme.

But more to the point, part of the issue here is the economic theory around labour. Yes, companies should be looking to reduce their labour force with e.g. automation etc. And yes, companies should be looking to reduce their costs - but ultimately there needs to be responsibility to the community and workforce that's more than just paying them each week.


It has naff all to do with what people are 'worth'.  To  a business people are worth the smallest amount you can pay them and keep them turning up in the majority of cases.

They are not people - they are simply biological machines. You need to depersonalise them to grasp how this works.

You can rail against the machine all you like, but rest assured that is the way it is and the way it has been since the year dot.

Someone once illustrated it to me thus:

"Imagine the system is a pint glass full of water. You are this finger. I can wiggle it around and make many waves - but when I take it out, no one will ever know it was there."





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  Reply # 1124744 8-Sep-2014 23:02
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spronkey:
JimmyH:
spronkey:

Again I point to the question of why a Vietnamese worker is worth less than a New Zealand worker? Because of some sort of artificial difference in value of the arbitrary line in the sand that demarcates Vietnam from somewhere else in the world? What a crock, in the grand scheme.



Umm, I think you should have studied harder in economics classes.

Basically, value determined by the equilibrium price that equates supply and demand. You need to understand that markets are made at the margin - and value isn't intrinsic, it's extrinsic.

There are a bunch of reasons why the equilibrium market value of a Vietnamese labourer might differ from that of a New Zealand labourer. They include things like:
- different skill sets
- different ratios of labour to the other factors of production (land, capital, etc), and hence different marginal labour productivities
- immigration controls and language barriers etc imposing a degree of cross-border immobility on labour

There are similar reasons why a hectare of land in Invercargill is worth more than a hectare of land in Central Auckland, and why an emerald is worth more than a glass of water in Saudi Arabia - despite the fact that a glass of water will keep you alive in the desert whereas for all practical purposes an emerald is a useless bauble.

If you understand how markets work then all of this is fairly logical, and I'm not sure why you think it is a "crock"?


I think the point I was making might have been lost - these imbalances are artificial, and caused by the existence of a) countries, and b) markets plural, as opposed to having a single global economy, which in my view would be the ultimate goal.

When you remove such barriers, the only difference between worker A and worker B, where the two might differ in location, gender, ethnicity, whatever - is skill and availability. The fact that we can currently get away with paying Chinese workers less is because of other, rather arbitrary and artificial constructs we as the human race have imposed on ourselves.


Yeah. You can get metaphysical... or deal with reality!





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  Reply # 1124745 8-Sep-2014 23:05
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charsleysa:
Geektastic:

No. Go and study economics. A company will pay the least it can for all inputs. It will not - and should not - pay over what it needs to for anything, be it coal or labour.

Otherwise it becomes a charity not a business.


If you think paying someone enough to be alive and productive is overpaying then you are part of the problem.


Geektastic:

If staff go on strike, unless they are unique, they can quickly and easily be replaced.


Please show me examples in NZ where the majority of the staff have gone on strike and then have been easily replaced.


Geektastic:

A company owes it's employees precisely what they agreed to when they signed their contract. Up to a point a company will look after staff worth retaining. Beyond the threshold of benefit to the company, they will simply replace that staff member with one of a large number of other human beings who can do the same thing.


A company will always try to get an employee to sign a contract with the least amount of remuneration as that will be "beneficial to the companies bottomline". If a government does not have in place procedures to stop unfair wages then companies will always take advantage of that system. Other countries may not even have minimum wage laws but instead boards of employment that discuss and negotiate fair wages. 


Geektastic:

If your job is "sit here and put these packets in boxes all day for 8 hours" you have precisely zero value to an employer as a person - you are a biological machine. 10 people can be found in less than a week who can do exactly the same thing.

The mistake so often made in NZ is in assuming that the employer actually cares about the employee. 99 times out of 100 he does not. Turn up, do as you are told and get paid. Make waves, get replaced. 

This happens less and less the more unique your skills and experience become. Uniqueness is key to both wages and security of employment and always has been.


Sometimes you just have to ask yourself "do I give a F*** about these people?" and if you answer no, then you're just a terrible human being.
People aren't just biological machines, saying they are biological machines is akin to saying they are slaves with benefits.


I may be part of the problem - as you see it.

To me, it isn't a problem. Poor people are poor. I am not one of them and never likely to be.





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  Reply # 1124746 8-Sep-2014 23:12
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i drove past a little town called Mataura.

to my horror a factory (or some work plant) that is just under 1km in length is being pulled down.




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


gzt

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  Reply # 1124747 8-Sep-2014 23:13
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blackjack17: Minimum basic income idea. With all the talk of minimum wage and cost of living it reminded me of the minimum basic income idea.

A minimum income was actually trialled in a Canadian province for 5 years in the mid 70's. It seems to have worked surprisingly well - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mincome.

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