Today’s most shameless example of corporate propaganda masquerading as journalism comes, as it often does, from Stuff. The article discusses the subject of whether New Zealand’s welfare system is too generous and whether this is responsible for the difficulty that employers are currently having retaining staff.
What distinguishes the corporate whores like Susan Edmunds – who write pieces like this – from people who used to practice what was known as journalism is that, here, no effort is made to provide any kind of balance to the piece.
The only people quoted in the piece are business owners and right-wing thinkers, such as the Chief Executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association. Nowhere are any worker’s representatives or even any workers given a voice.
The obvious rebuttal to the slant of this piece is to point out that the free market dictates that if you can’t get workers then you have to pay better wages, so that employers are themselves to blame if no-one wants to work for them.
In 2001, I worked at a variety of bars and cafes in Christchurch to save money for a move to Northern Europe. At the time I was generally paid $8 an hour, as that was the minimum wage at the time.
Later that year I was working in Sweden, where they paid me $22 an hour for equally unskilled work and apologised for it being such a low wage.
When I was in Northern Europe, I was surprised to learn that they do not have minimum wage legislation. They were surprised to hear me tell that such an implicit deal is not universal.
My stories about being paid barely enough after tax to buy a Big Mac after an hour’s work were met with surprise – after all, isn’t New Zealand supposed to be a wealthy country?
The reason for this is cultural: it’s not culturally permissible in Northern Europe to employ a person to work full-time for you and then to not pay them enough money to live on.
Kiwis don’t afford each other the same degree of respect. Ultimately, the reason why there has to be minimum wage laws in New Zealand is that in our culture it’s not considered immoral to pay someone less than they can live on for their full-time labour.
This is even though such an arrangement is the norm in societies where the interactions between employer and employee are between free men. New Zealand has been influenced by the master-slave employment relationship that characterises the New World of which we are a part. We have been influenced by America, Australia and Brazil.
The reason why Bill English lies about how all Kiwis are on drugs is so that his owners in the National Party membership can import third world workers on temporary visas to work for wages that Kiwis know too well are unfair.
In terms of profitability, there’s not that much of a difference between a slave who can be beaten at a whim without consequence and a worker on a temporary visa who can also be abused without consequence because if they complain about it they will get sent home. Because the former is illegal in New Zealand our employer class has to settle for the latter.
All of this raises a question.
In Saudi Arabia they have solved this problem by importing a slave class (that now outnumber the native Saudis by over two to one, just like in ancient Rome). It’s easy to get into Saudi Arabia as a worker from Pakistan, Bangladesh or the Philippines – it’s just that you have no rights and can be disposed of at any time.
A similar arrangement would suit the mentality of New Zealand employers down to the ground. After all, if you don’t want to pay your workers enough so that they can eat and send their kids to school with shoes on, why not just import slaves?
Perhaps all Kiwis can agree that, if our economy won’t work without a steady supply of fuel in the form of cheap temporary workers who get disposed of as soon as they get sick or complain, it’s best that we use foreigners for the purpose?
Making slavery legal again in New Zealand would also make it possible for the New Zealand middle class to have domestic servants, which is, after all, the fantasy of every National voter.
With a General Election called for the 23rd of September this year, the political fashion season is now upon us. Kiwis everywhere are asking themselves “What political cause do I have to pretend to support this season in order to virtue signal my advanced and Christ-like moral sophistication?” This article has the inside goss.
The first thing that everyone needs to know is that gays are out, refugees are in. Gays have been fashionable for long enough – homosexual law reform has been fashionable since the 1970s – and have now become an entrenched part of the Establishment, fielding more than twice as many MPs as would be proportionate for their numbers in the population.
Cynics might point out that the sort of refugees that have the tens of thousands of dollars necessary to make it to New Zealand are probably middle class anyway, but the trendy thing to do is to blame it all on American bombing.
Now that America has a white man in the big chair once again, it will now once again be fashionable to talk about the drone strike campaign that killed hundreds of thousands of people during the reign of Barack Obama.
Talking about this was exceptionally fashionable during the last years of George W. Bush, because the indiscriminate nature of the killing naturally upset human rights fans. Drone strikes regularly claim dozens of ancillary fatalities that are written off as ‘collateral damage.’
It was highly unfashionable to speak about this during the reign of Obama because he was just so goddamn ball-achingly cool. But now that it’s trendy to compare Trump to Hitler it will also be trendy to talk about the drone strikes again, as one can have little doubt that drones are something Hitler would have gleefully used had he been able.
Women are also out, and this has made it even more fashionable to be pro-Islam this season.
The fact is that, despite the rhetoric about the gender gap (almost entirely produced by yuppie lesbians trying to smooth the path to a C-suite position), it is really hard to get away with paying a woman less for literally the same work in New Zealand.
The vast majority of the feminists who were fashionable at university are now middle-class and assuming positions of power themselves – and often at greater rates than the males of Generation X because the females tend to have higher educational standards.
And what’s less cool than a competent, educated middle-class person in a position of power?
Throwing women under the bus is probably the only way we political fashionistas can cope with the cognitive dissonance that would be brought about by simultaneously supporting them and an aggressively male supremacist religious tradition that considers women barely better than animals.
Do note that transsexuals are not the hot new thing this political fashion season. It seemed for a long time as if they would be, because of all the noise they had been making.
But New Zealand has long ago had an openly transsexual Member of Parliament – a Georgina Beyer, assigned male at birth, who completed two terms as an MP for the Labour Party from 1999.
On the clearly unfashionable side of things is the economy. Bill English said that the economy was the primary issue this political fashion season, and he’s the epitome of uncool.
So whatever you do this political fashion season, don’t point out the fact that refugees cost the country $100,000 per year each, and so taking even as many as a thousand per year costs more money than the Feed the Kids Bill would have done.
Hungry kids are out, unless they are foreigners. So mentioning the $100,000,000 per year expense of taking in 1,000 refugees might be this season’s biggest faux pas.
Cannabis users will have to continue their forty-year wait to become fashionable, because most of them are poor, mentally ill and Maori and all of those are associated with being grotty and poor and uncool.
Alcohol will still be fashionable, though, because the alcohol industry will continue to dump tens of millions into advertising until the plebs can’t talk or think about anything else.
So get ready to crack some chardonnay with your newly-made Syrian friends on the 23rd September this year.