Posts by BenWilson

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  • Hard News: Every option has costs, every…, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    People who aren’t lifers are more likely to have a positive attitude to the job, precisely because they wont be doing it forever.

    Awesome though that sounds for any employer, it's harder to see it as good in the social balance.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10361 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Every option has costs, every…, in reply to Lynn Yum,

    I don’t buy this argument, especially not as it stands right now.

    It's not an argument for things to stay as they are, just an acknowledgement of where we are.

    Raising wage up to the living wage is simply a necessary cost to pay for a humane society.

    It's an end I agree with. The devil is in the path to get there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10361 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Every option has costs, every…, in reply to Lynn Yum,

    Their argument for more migrant work force is that the Auckland taste buds will be the loser if they don’t get more migrant workers. I thought it was BS.

    The worst part is that it's probably true. I remember my favourite Indian restaurant for ages had stunning quality at insanely cheap prices. Then they got busted for exploiting their staff badly and it brought home that there's no magic trick to making a high quality low cost things - you just have to turn up the exploitation index massively. Is that really how we want our country to work? Perhaps we could go for "high quality fair cost", on the way to "high quality high prices because we're all well paid enough to afford it".

    But it's easy for me to preach about how I wouldn't mind higher prices, considering I also have reasonable income. The worst part about the idea of forcing work standards is that it can certainly enforce a lot of suffering directly onto the poorest people in the short term. WOFs for rentals would almost certainly increase homelessness in the short term. We should, of course, never have let it come to this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10361 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Every option has costs, every…,

    FWIW, Uber drivers are entirely under the radar. Uber is not an official employer in NZ at all. Drivers can, and do, have their income directly deposited into foreign accounts, and the origin is an offshore company. The passenger payments are all directly to Uber BV, so there is literally no way at all that our systems can track how many people are employed as Uber drivers in NZ, nor how much money they are making, unless they entirely voluntarily file tax returns. Since their employment as passenger drivers is illegal in most cases anyway (since Uber don’t concern themselves with the laws of NZ and don’t require drivers to have any of the correct licenses or training or keep any of the required work time records), there is little reason to think they would go out of their way to pay taxes that they can easily avoid. Not even GST is being paid, unless you do it voluntarily.

    These are not good things about Uber.

    ETA: Unless, of course, you think that having an extremely cheap and efficient service is the only consideration here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10361 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Every option has costs, every…, in reply to Ben Smith,

    I'm surprised to see Germany and France so high. People on holidays, working in the meantime? Students? Au pair workers? I confess to being quite shocked at some friends who employ au pair girls, all of whom have been from Germany. There's something not quite Kiwi about that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10361 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Britain: the crisis isn't…, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Effectively, the UK is now over-populated, unable to provide enough work for everyone, ethnically and politically polarised and as broke as it was in the crisis ridden early 1970s.

    I'd say all of that is true, on the proviso that you accept neoliberalism and its model of how they run their country. It's only overpopulated on the assumption that there is only so much work to go around, and that work is the only way that wealth should be redistributed, and that debt/equity ratios and balances of trade are the measure of how broke you are. In that case, yes, all your conclusions are correct.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10361 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Britain: the crisis isn't…, in reply to martinb,

    To get elected you’ve got to win your wing and take them with you toward the centre.

    There are many strategies that might work. That one has been popular, but it might have also had its day as the "wing" concerned is divided into many different directions. Perhaps the wing a personal technically belongs to is not as big a driver of political choice as it was.

    Depends on what is meant by a wing, though. If it is actually based on where the population's main points of political difference align (and thus moves with the population, rather than fixes around a political theory), then winning the wing is by definition the only way to take a majority.

    TBH, I think that this is actually the best way to define the wings. What actually is it that most divides the populace? What questions explain their political choice most? It might be the values of a traditional Labour voter, or it might (these days) not be. I doubt that it is. This does not mean Labour has to change necessarily. It just means they don't sit in the middle of their wing the way they probably think they do. It also means that the question of which direction to move to be closer to more voters is not always axiomatically "the center". It could be that moving around within the Left in orthogonal directions actually works better, hoovering up big clusters of voters.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10361 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Britain: the crisis isn't…, in reply to Sam Bradford,

    you don’t win elections by immediately kneecapping your leader

    You might if you thought they were leading you to disaster. But I'm not defending the party dysfunction. It's totally divided. I think that's because what it represents is, too. Its fragmentation is an image of the society under it. It's astonishing that nearly 50% of the people who voted voted to Remain, but neither of the two parties that have almost all the power stands for them. It's the most important decision their country has faced in 70 years, and their political system is unable to present its population with a choice. Seriously, this election ratifies Brexit, that is exactly what it stands for, exactly what May says it stands for. Who on earth are all the Remain people meant to vote for?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10361 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Britain: the crisis isn't…, in reply to Sam Bradford,

    At that point they’re not even pretending to represent the party anymore. The party IS the members.

    It is, but winning members is a sideshow to winning voters in the whole point of the democratic process, selecting the leadership of the country. You could equally say that the members aren't even pretending to represent a significant constituency. They don't have to, they're not the ones who end up being held accountable for losing elections.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10361 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Britain: the crisis isn't…, in reply to Moz,

    The evidence so far suggests that not only do they have no real ideas, their opponents in the party don't either. My feeling is that the entire reason Corbyn was elected was that no-one had a better idea. Which tells you an awful lot about the calibre of his opponents in the Labour leadership elections.

    I think the problem is that the electorate is not so interested in the Left-Right dichotomy as espoused by the current Labour Party leadership, and making the party all about that plays only into the hands of the Right. Perhaps what's going on had to happen, if only to show that times have changed and a Left/Right that is defined around what theorists think about it, rather than around what the population thinks about it, is becoming less relevant to political choice of the population.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10361 posts Report Reply

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