Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Hosking’s right about jobs

88 Responses

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  • Tom Semmens,

    The media gave up reporting on unemployment a decade ago (the unemployed don’t consume) and it isn’t the issue it once was. The poor and the unemployed are now invisible and nowadays the news leads with sightings of Taylor Swift.

    The only thing that would put jobs front and centre would be a gigantic riot by the unemployed in Queen Street, which would be followed by breathlessly astonished reporters and pundits claiming to have been taken by surprise and how the whole thing came like a bolt of lightning out of the blue

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Well, Labour: one of the main reasons for unemployment is that interest rates are set too high for the real economy, the reason they have to be high is to stop Auckland house prices rising faster that they are already, and the reason house prices are rising is that income from house price speculation is tax free.

    So you just ruled out a capital gains tax. Smart.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    So you just ruled out a capital gains tax. Smart.

    The modern news media is an uncritical member of the ideological state apparatus dominated by and run by the winners of the neoliberal economy, and they hate CGT because a large number of them are property speculators.

    Labour was caned by that media for it’s CGT and has abandoned it as politically impossible. What do you, realistically, suggest they do instead? Stick with a policy that the media uses as a stick to beat them with?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Labour was caned by that media for it’s CGT

    Again, Labour delivered the message poorly....

    ....and the media capitalised, to The Incumbent's benefit.

    As a non voter, with no Party affiliations, I sometimes wonder if Labour is being sabotaged from within.

    Just when they seem to be resonating...boom!

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    "Well, Labour: one of the main reasons for unemployment is that interest rates are set too high for the real economy,"

    4%. In the Neo liberal world do we need negative interest rates to have jobs?

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I actually don't believe that NZ will elect a left-wing government until after the crash.

    What will Labour offer when Auckland house prices drop 60% and the banks are crashing: haircuts and austerity?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    The modern news media is also on the verge of bankruptcy and increasingly kept there by government subsidy (e.g Mediaworks).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm curious, Robert, who it is that Labour sees as the target voter for this kind of push. Is it the unemployed themselves? Do they have some kind of evidence or information about just which voters might think jobs is the number one issue to the point that it changes the way they vote?

    It will be most interesting to see what comes from the Future of Work Commission. I'm sorry to say that I don't have high expectations - think tanks typically come up with the answers that they've been told to. I don't think this is a study that can realistically be conducted without ideological bias. What an ideal future of work is depends very much on your political ideology.

    Some people see a world with less work as a good thing - others see it as hell on earth. Typically that continuum is organized from people in the shittiest work to people in the best. Then of course a capitalist society is predicated on the whole idea that society is divided into 3 main classes anyway - those with capital, who don't even need to work (but probably do anyway because it's extremely rewarding for them), those with skills and employment but little useful capital (who do most of the rewarding work, and quite a lot of pointless work too), and those who are precariously employed or unemployed, doing poorly paid or unpaid work, and serving to keep those in the class above motivated to keep expending what capital they have to maintain their position.

    It's a system in which a lot of work gets done. It could go on forever, because it's a system designed around maintaining a social order, rather than around any actual social need, most of which has long since been transcended in practical terms, and needs to be manufactured by a system that actually creates poverty in a world of plenty. This could be the future of work, certainly if the future resembles the past. Which it usually does, right up until it doesn't.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Again, Labour delivered the message poorly….

    Labour has, on many occasions, delivered many sane and promising policy statements.
    The Media and those who have only their own interests at heart, have stuck their collective fingers in there ears shouting “LA LA LA LA CAN’T HEAR YOU” and then stated, truly, that… “I haven’t heard anything from Labour, they have no policy as far as I can see”. The willfully blind led by the one eyed neo-lib ideologists down a road to debt driven oblivion.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to william blake,

    4%. In the Neo liberal world do we need negative interest rates to have jobs?

    Given that it has worked wonders in Japan, I would say not.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    Rewarding/pointless is a quadrant. A lot of people do pointless work but find it rewarding - much of the tech/design industry for instance.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • llew40,

    Don't think it's totally accurate to say that the media hated the CGT policy idea. Plenty of commentators supported it (e.g. Bernard Hickey). I think more accurate to say that many people, including media and - more importantly - voters, hated it. Plenty of voters have relied on investing in property to save for retirement, the product of decades of policy bias towards property. Unwinding this will take time and brave (possibly foolhardy) political will.

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    So are people in NZ under the delusion that the Nats did well with the GFC? Just look over the Tasman, where the Labor govt did an awesome job, and unemployment barely budged.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Unfortunately the Australian experience suggests that things like CGT need bipartisan support or they'll be quickly undone after a change of government. New broad taxes are rarely popular, so it's an easy win to the incoming government to at least promise to get rid of it. The GST was bipartisan and well supported by the owning class, so it's hard to roll back. But the CGT and mining taxes not so much.

    I suspect you'd need someone like Clark or Lange to bring it in, and possibly someone like them on the right so that the less-right wouldn't immediately roll it back. Although it might work if The Greens stuck to their guns on having it, forcing Labour to suck it up. Once it's bedded into the tax system it would become much hard for the party of "less tax" to borrow the money to repeal it (because increasing taxes isn't an option, duh)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1232 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to TracyMac,

    are people in NZ under the delusion that the Nats did well with the GFC?

    given the failure of political communication to the contrary (despite ample evidence), yes

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    many sane and promising policy statements

    Research has shown that people do not vote based on policy.

    Influencing social discourse is crucial. Some parties have been better at it than others. That has to change before people will vote differently.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Last week on, um, whatever his tv show at 7 is called, he was banging on about the flag vote and how we should change it.

    "Change is good" he said. Presumably, he'll be happy to say we should also change the gov't in 2017, because, like he said, change is good. Then again, pigs might fly.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    yep, about as likely as MH saying changing TV show hosts is good.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’m curious, Robert

    That was a question for Rob Salmond, btw. I just realized I have no idea if Rob's a Robert and definitely shouldn't presume to call him that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Rewarding/pointless is a quadrant.

    For sure, I don't really want to slice and dice it. Just giving the cliches of central tendency so far as work goes. I'm currently doing unpaid work that I love - looking after children mixed in with postgrad stats training, and I'm only an attitude change away from being capitalist class, courtesy of tax-free property gains. I'm definitely not the demographic Labour is looking for.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Salmond, in reply to BenWilson,

    @Ben:

    'm curious, Robert, who it is that Labour sees as the target voter for this kind of push. Is it the unemployed themselves? Do they have some kind of evidence or information about just which voters might think jobs is the number one issue to the point that it changes the way they vote?

    Second point first: Yes, Labour does have evidence about which kinds of people see jobs as their number one issue. For what I hope are obvious reasons, I won't be sharing the specifics of that information publicly.

    However - and this comes to your first point - the group that cares deeply about "jobs" goes well beyond the unemployed themselves. There are, of course, people who aren't unemployed but are underemployed or insecure in their employment. And most people who are unemployed, underemployed, or insecure in their work have a partner, kids, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbours, work mates, team mates, church mates, and so on, some of whom will see "jobs" as an issue that affects "my friend June" or "my mate Hemi" rather than just "the unemployed.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2015 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Jobs are certainly a biggie. Madame Boag got her knickers in a twist only yesterday on Q&A over an opinion poll verifying the public's concerns thusly do not match govt priorities. #fleg

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    What do you, realistically, suggest they do instead? Stick with a policy that the media uses as a stick to beat them with?

    Although I reckon they could have had better messaging around this (e.g. that it's a tax on speculators and will increase investment in productive assets), the reality is that Labour couldn't sell this policy. So the next best thing is to drop it and then when they get into Government be all "The Greens Made Us Do It !".

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Sacha,

    Madame Boag got her knickers in a twist

    Thanks, Sacha, for planting that image in my brain....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Jobs matter to people.

    a lot of things matter to us people.
    How about working together for a common goal, the future we are creating by our present actions for our future generations. Yes money is good too, its why we go to work now. But current and forseeable policies are locked into a mindset which doesnt really reward present effort. A lot of workers are looking over their shoulder for an axe to fall now for trivial reasons. Not a good way for to encourage a positive work force attitude.
    FFS we are staring down the barrel of species self annihilation maybe we should do something about that, instead of business as usual, how cheap can workers be employed for.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

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