An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “absurd” it is a basic human right

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humanneed

How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is on the Forbes Rich List and now writes for the New Zealand Herald. His last op-ed ‘Living Wage is a Reward Not a Right’ was so hilarious it reads almost like a parody, only it isn’t.  According to Jones those left-wingers demanding a living wage are “absurd” – yeah, it is completely insane to demand low-paid employees get a wage that might pull them above the poverty line and put food on their tables without having to forgo another necessity like paying the power bill.

Dear Sir Bob Jones,

It is nice you like to swoon around cafés, asking owners questions like: “I have a million questions. How do you cope with buggers occupying key tables for two hours over a single cup of coffee?” Not exactly journalistic questioning at its best. (How much do they pay you to write this shit?). I have worked hospitality for ten long shitty years and between the million orders you have to fill in a short space of time and the long hours, you are nearly always paid poverty wages to work, as an employee you don’t really care about people who are occupying tables for long periods of time. It is just one less table you have to worry about.

Mostly, when you work hospo, you are just dying for your next cig brake and hoping to god everyone magically just fucks off so you can finally go and take a piss and sit down. Standing for hours and hours on your feet starts to hurt after a while. Getting regular brakes in hospo is a privilege not a [workers] right. I’ve easily worked up to 16 hours without a brake because bars and cafes are nearly always short staffed – your employer saves money but you end working twice as hard.

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If you really want to find out the reality of low-paid work, you might want to start by talking to the staff working at these places – not just the owners. Cafés and bars are notorious for treating their staff appallingly in New Zealand. Being paid minimum wage to work long shifts for such little pay and deal with irate and rude customers who often treat you like something they just stepped in and sexually harass you (working in bars often result in drunk customers harassing you) is not exactly self-affirming. In my experience (and I have a decade of it) owners and managers seem to take pleasure in making sure you know that as an employee you are worthless and expendable – and I have worked in over 9 different bars and 3 different cafés and only once I have been paid a fair wage and treated with dignity and respect.

Not to mention you have zero job security and employers often give you as many or as little shifts as they please, regardless of what your contract stipulates. This is made even easier by the recent popularity in zero-hero contracts, something that has been taken up especially within the hospitality industry

Speaking of job security, I thought I would share something with you Bob: the anxiety of having no job security is crippling. I used to work two bar jobs because I was so terrified of losing one, it was not like I had savings; you can’t save on minimum wage. The logic was: if I had two jobs and I got ‘rostered off’ I would at least have another job to fall back on. (In hospo terms, “rostering off” is a common practice  where an employee turns up to work and for some explicable reason have no shifts on the roster for the following weeks. Effectively you just got fired, but without the annoying hassle of employers actually going through the process of a legal dismissal.)

Yeah, that is the only kind of job security I have ever had: holding two jobs in case I lost the other.

As Linda Tirado, a young mother who has spoken out about the inequalities and realities of trying to live on minimum wage, wrote:

“We all know that a lot of folks think that poor people are lazy and incompetent. They think we get fired from jobs because we don’t know how to behave, or we’re always late, or we just don’t care. But what rich people don’t realise is how unbelievably easy it is to get fired. And a lot of times what gets you fired is that you’re working more than one job.”

And this brings me to the illusion you seem to be labouring under, Bob, that if you train or study and make some ‘sacrifices’ you will finally win the prize of a ‘liveable wage’. You wrote:

“If you want the $18.50 “living wage” or better, choose employment paying it, rather than complain. That requires initial sacrifice, whether by studying for a professional career or accepting temporary low-paid trade or other specialist training.”

Dude, you should quit property investing and become a comedian because damn, this is hilarious. Getting a degree, especially a vocational degree, no longer guarantees you (did it ever?) a job – let alone a career with remuneration that pays back that staggering student debt you acquired while making those “sacrifices”. I know it did back in your day, Bob, but times, oh, how they have changed. Unlike the students of today you did not start off your career in debt: university was free. Baby boomers always forget to mention this or see it as ‘none issue’ – especially when they are telling us underpaid or unemployed people we just need to work harder and stop complaining.

When students revolted two years ago against John Key’s massive cuts to education he told protesting students to: “stop complaining, finish your degrees and go and get a job”. The only problem is there where so few jobs to “go and get”. The job market is saturated with over-qualified and often desperate graduates. I trained as a teacher and in just two years we lurched from a teacher shortage to a major oversupply. Leaving me and thousands of other graduates out of work.

The disenfranchising of the young is a major worldwide crisis: last year the New Statesman reported that “youth unemployment in Britain is 21 percent (958,000), a near record.” Recently on Russell Brand’s YouTube show The Trews the co-founder of the ‘99% Movement’ Dave Degraw said in relation to Americas unemployment crisis, “we only have full-time jobs for 50% of the working age population and of those jobs half of them pay under 35,000 a year.”

What this means is America’s economy only works for 25% of the population. The Huffington Post reported that more than 2 million graduates in America are unemployed and millions more are under-employed. In New Zealand 40% of our youth are unemployed or under-employed, and in 2012 the highest percentage of people graduated from universities in New Zealand only to find that their diplomas and degrees often counted for nothing in the job market.

Well educated or not, it is a struggle to find underpaid work let alone meaningful and well-paid work in a stagnant job market, where job creation has stalled. As Degraw said:

“In a technologically advancing society you need fewer and fewer workers so we have to address the issue of providing necessities to everybody[…] I’ve come to realise that we absolutely need a guaranteed income; a guaranteed living income so people can support themselves and buy basic necessities.”

The only reasoning you offer up for your support of the minimum wage is most small businesses cannot afford to pay any more than poverty wages: “What particularly interested me was the salaries for what’s essentially menial work. In most cases they’re on the minimum wage. Any more and they’re [business oweners] out of business.”

As the foundation ‘Closing the Gap’ said in reaction to your belief that small companies simply cannot afford to pay their workers anything above poverty wages,

“It is interesting that those that oppose a living wage always quote the example of “small businesses going broke” or “pay rises equal job losses”. No mention of the large multi-national corporations that export huge profits while expecting the Government to make the difference for their substandard pay. Nor that history shows that “pay rises equal more jobs” as economies thrive.”

The issue is it is not just small businesses refusing to pay a liveable wage so people don’t go hungry and can pay their rent. Massive lucrative companies such a Walmart in America are refusing to pay their workers above minimum wage also. Walmart workers have been protesting and demanding $15 dollars an hour and more stable work hours for over a year now. The six heirs to the Walmart fortune in America have more wealth than 30 percent of the poorest Americans. But these heirs do not support giving their workers 15 dollars an hour – this is not much to ask for really, is it?

The problem is not a lack of education or motivation, it has nothing to do with people on minimum wage needing to work harder to earn the “reward” of a liveable wage – the issue is greed and a (capitalist) system that values profit over people.

The problem is, Sir Bob Jones, you are part of the fucking problem: you are part of the elite 1% that has hoarded most of this world’s capital and helped to create massive wealth inequality. As Russell Brand wrote in his book Revolution, “Oxfam say a bus with eighty-five of the richest people in the world on it would contain more wealth than the collective assets of half the earth’s population – that’s three and a half billion people.”

A liveable wage is not a “reward”, it is a basic human right. People should be able to buy food without foregoing other basic needs like heating in winter or rent. People deserve to live in dignity and have time to spend with their kids and friends, instead of slaving away at some low paid job with little prospect of moving up or ever getting a pay rise.

Maybe what we need is a maximum wage so we can begin to close the gap between the super wealthy like yourself, Bob, and the poor and working poor. This current economic system is unsustainable, and people are rising up all around the world to demand a fairer and more equal world – from the Occupy Movement to the Walmart workers, who are relentless in their protests and demands for fair pay, people are tired of getting a raw deal.

 

58 COMMENTS

  1. When you argue that taking money off one person (the employer) and pay it to another (the employee) is a human right you lose centrists like me. I support a minimum wage for reasons of eliminating exploitation, but the secret to higher wages is education, not compulsion that ultimately will cost those it seeks to help.

    • Well yes, but people like Bob Jones had the benefit of a free education, whereas the students of today end up with a massive debt burden and no guarantee of employment at the end of it.

      Bob Jone’s tedious “back in my day” anecdotes bore everyone to tears and have no relevance to the lives of students, beneficiaries or the working poor.

      • “Back in the old days ” is a laugh , Bob Jones is one of the rich who has contempt for anyone not up to his standard. Read Wakeup Nz Opal File Aust and NZ agenda ,compelling reading.

    • You’d think that was the case, but that idea quickly gets dispelled when you see people with plenty of education, skills and experience having to work for less than a living wage. Then it becomes pretty obvious that employers not paying their staff properly is the problem.

      • Yes, I read your article. My argument is only with your use of the concept of ‘rights’ to make your point. There is no ‘right’ to a living wage, any more than there is a ‘right’ for businesses to make profits.

        • Wow, Nehemia, your argument is so absurd. You’re saying that a person’s education will get them a higher wage despite a raft of evidence to suggest this is not true. It applies only to certain sectors, which is where we’ve gone wrong in our society.

          In China it can be extremely difficult to get into a university, but once you do you are pretty much guaranteed a job afterwards. In New Zealand our government does not regulate tertiary education the way it does secondary and primary, so universities are operating like money machines churning through students, largely using outdated methods of assessment and completely peddling the hidden curriculum spitting out graduates in every field. Now you can even do a bachelors degree in retail. One of the few lines of work that any monkey used to be able to get will require a degree, but not a degree alone – you also need to have experience, but no employer is ever willing to give you that. They only feel comfortable demanding it as evidence on your CV prior to even meeting you.

          Because they can. Because they can waste as much of your time and treat like you a used car and pass on you or take you at whim. I’ve known people who have worked in recruitment and some of the employers they have worked with have passed on the most suitable candidates because they had a weak handshake.

          I agree with this article, all of us – no matter who we are – have a right to a free, quality education that increases job prospects, but for a bulk of people it would be better if we implemented state run apprenticeship programs to place people into work as apprentices with pay subsidized until they are deemed qualified.

          I also agree that everyone also has a right to expect meaningful, remunerative work. Even Franklin D. Roosevelt believed in this ideal, and his nations government have consistently driven away from that towards capitalist, corrupt, corporate interested slap stick and called it government. As a result their nations statistics yield the disturbing revelations within this article. What I don’t understand about you, Nehemia, is that you cannot see beyond a very tragic, pathetic, selfish viewpoint: you look at this and say “why should it be a “right” to have a living wage?”. We all have evolved to the point where we say “yeah, damn boy…why wasn’t that already an official right?”. This is what a society does. We spread what we have equally, so that everyone in our communities can enjoy a certain quality of life and therefore participate at a higher level.

          It is believed inequality exacerbates a large amount of societies ills. Maybe you should educate yourself and evolve with us.

          • Shane I agree with much of what you say, however I still believe those who achieve a level of education higher than their peers are likely to end up earning more money. The ranks of the poor are not generally filled with university students.

    • Nehemia, you are not “centrist”. You are self-centered. Your parroting of dogma you’ve picked up from others does not in the slightest make you sound remotely “intelligent”. You’re just good at parroting.

      You might stop, pause, and think what a low-wage economy results in. Have a good at places like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc. Funny how thousands of their citizens are desperately trying to escape their own counties.

      Why is that?

      For the same reasons thousands of East Berliners risked their lives to “jump the wall” – in search of something better.

      That is also why thousands of Kiwis “crossed the ditch” (our version of “jumping the wall”) to scape to Australia. In search of something better.

      You acceptance of low wages is a perpetuation of this problem.

      Your parroting of right wing mantras shows you haven’t thought through this problem (I refuse to call it an “issue”) clearly.

      In ignoring this problem, Nehemia, people like you wash their hands of it. In your current mode of thinking, it’s always the fault of the poor/vulnerable/alienated/dispossed – never the fault of those who actually make the rules and have the employment power. Right?

      Easier to blame the victim (“she wore a mini-skirt judge! she deserved it!”) than address the causes and look for real solutions.

      Because once you get over the laziness of parroted dogma, then you’re suddenly faced with doing something about it.

      And that, my right-wing friend, is a whole lot harder.

      You demand Chloe get education?

      I demand the same of you.

      • And yet, with no change in policy, and with higher wages on offer in Australia, the tide has turned and the crowds are now returning to NZ. I wonder how you explain that.

        You seem to portray this as a battle. A battle between capital and labour. That is a 20th century dialogue that has been rightly left behind. The vulnerable need protections, and they have that in a minimum wage, of which NZ’s is one of the highest in the developed world. What they don’t need is the higher costs and less jobs that an enforced living wage would cause.

        • And no-where did I demand Chloe do anything. I actually enjoy her writing, and she is clearly well educated. But lack of education is nevertheless a major problem within those who are long term unemployed. That is the point I was making.

        • One possible explanation for the fewer NZers leaving and more returning could be those who are too poor to leave can no longer afford to leave and those returning are the result of the Australian economic downturn that has penalised NZers living there who don’t qualify for Australian state assistance.

          Surely that reversal is proof that the rubber band has snapped?

          • Possible, although I’m not sure there’s any less people with the wherewithal to move to Aus than there has been in the past.

        • How does NZ’s cost of living compare though?

          The cost of essentials is fairly high here, and continually increasing.

          (no BS about 1% inflation please. Those on low incomes will know the reality)

          • For those on low incomes, I don’t see any difference really. The cost of ‘essentials’ is fairly high in Australia too, and as the mining boom has slowed, they are tightening their belts around welfare support.

            • I am currently in Sydney, and except for rent, everything is cheaper, if not dramatically so here. Rent here is roughly Auckland prices plus 20%, however food, power and transport are significant cheaper and for me personally wages are significantly higher.

              Unlike NZ I can actually save here whereas I had next to no hope of that in NZ.

              • Shane I agree with much of what you say, however I still believe those who achieve a level of education higher than their peers are likely to end up earning more money. The ranks of the poor are not generally filled with university students.

              • Fair comments. I spend a bit of time in Melbourne, but I don’t live there, so your perspective is interesting.

  2. Well put, you have voiced what I was feeling when I read his ridiculous article. I wish he was paid what he was worth. Would serve him right.

  3. I would not really expect anything different from Bob Jones. However disagreeable his views I would not accuse him of hypocrisy.

    However we then have that good Socialist, Mark Peck, who as Wellington councillor voted to pay all council employees a living wage, a decision that cost him nothing since the costs would be borne by Wellington ratepayers. He did not see fit to apply his socialist ideals to the staff he employed in his cafe.

    Perhaps you should turn your ire on Mr Peck whose social conscience stretches only as far as his wallet.

  4. Awesome Chloe. Wow can’t believe a couple of the comments. So many people have absolutely NO idea of what’s really going on in New Zealand, how bad its gotten and getting worse.

    ATTENTION: the idea that education and hard work will pay off is NO LONGER valid!!!

    EXAMPLE: my very hard studying and working 25 year old daughter. Who has always managed to work after school and during her time at University. She got a Science Degree and after a year of working at Z finally got her so called “dream job” working for a bio security company. Starting pay $16 an hour (NOT A LIVING WAGE) and lets not forget she has quite a large student loan to pay off. After a few months of often 50+ hour weeks she gets a promotion? honour? of overseeing the OSH side of her team. More responsibility BUT NO pay rise. A year later she finally gets rewarded with any extra 50c and hour. WOW!!! Her back starts playing up and eventually she gets diagnosed with a slipped disk which ACC refuses to accept as work related due to it not being seen as an actual accident.. Even though she has never had trouble with her back before this job of tramping and climbing in often rough bush with a heavy backpack with weedkiller on her size 8 frame. She ended up having to quit as she can’t do the heavy job anymore. The “system” has SCREWED my “educated”, “hard working” daughter over……BIG TIME. 🙁 The SYSTEM is BROKEN!!! 🙁

    • so sorry Marjon, your daughter deserved better. The myth of hard work rewarding everyone is just that, a Tory myth.

      That’s why there are so many people self employed, many employers exploit their workers, knowing there are plenty more in our capitalist society. Capitalism can only succeed through high unemployment, it drives the wages down. That’s what has happened to your daughter.
      I wish her all the best.

  5. May I suggest you apply for a position at the Warehouse where you would be better paid and you would get breaks as opposed to brakes.

    • dear god. *eye roll* I dont have retail experience therefore the hundeds of applicants to the warehouse will be looked at over my HOSPO cv but thanks for the advice. wanker.

      • Ok, try Fonterra. I have lost numerous staff to Fonterra as they pay $25/hr to labourers to turn cheese.

        In this competitive world, I find it hard to accept that I am paying drivers $22/hr and losing them to a simple labourers job.

        If you are in hospitality, you are a labourer. You are not in wealth creation, you are in value-add. If money is your motivator, don’t change your job, change your industry.

      • Naughty Chloe I think JC meant well and he speaks the truth, the Warehouse is better paid ,but they cant take on everyone who applies.i understand your frustration though.

    • Chloe is correct. I have a lot of retail experience & applied for a floor job at The Warehouse, but did not receive an interview. There seems to be a misconception that anyone can just walk in to a job at The Warehouse. However they were nice enough to let me know that I was not successful in my application. That seems to be a rarity these days.

    • JC – I guess in lieu of affording to buy bread, Chloe can eat cake, right?

      With only 137,000 unemployed, and thousand more under-employed (http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/income-and-work/employment_and_unemployment/HouseholdLabourForceSurvey_HOTPJun14qtr.aspx ) it should be a doddle to walk into a new job, right?

      Oh, wait, she can’t.

      If Chloe chucks in her current job she risks job insecurity for three months under the Employer’s 90 Day Trial Period law. (Courtsy of John Key’s government.)

      She can’t afford that risk.

      Imagine a worker going from a job that pays minimum wage ($14.25/hr – http://www.dol.govt.nz/er/pay/minimumwage/ ) to, say, a job that pays $15/hr.

      Imagine an employer who then decides to sack that worker before the 90 Day Trial is over.

      That worker then has to go on the dole, at $210 a week, net. (effectively $5.25/hr).

      Not just back to Square One, but now in a worse position.

      That’s the 90 Day Trial Period in effect. Plus high unemployment. Plus competition from thousands of under-employed workers.

      Just a few things to consider before you type up a one-sentenced “solution” to structural problems confronting this country.

      Because really, all you’re doing is reaffirming our view of the lack of intellectual rigour from the Right.

  6. Same old same old about ‘Baby Boomers’.

    Out of any cohort of kids, most of them left college at fifteen or sixteen to go out to work. Maybe 30 or fewer kids stayed on to go for bursaries or scholarships (I wonder why they needed those, if ‘varsity was so ‘free’?)

    And many of those kids at ‘varsity worked every ‘holiday’.

    So when those Awful Boomers (with their ‘free’ education) say ‘work harder’ – it’s what many of them actually did.

    What is undeniably different is that those vital ‘student jobs’ started vanishing in the 1980s – when unemployment began to rise and the older people, with young families, started taking those jobs, any jobs, to stay off the shame of ‘the dole’.

    The shabby, aspirational, wannabe ‘middle class’ have always always been mean, stingy, and among the worst of employers. For decades. That’s what Samuel Parnell found when he came here – and he took a stand.

    (This is Labour Weekend. Thanks, Sam. Pity we thought we didn’t need solidarity…)

    In hospitality service (as in many other workplaces) you will defintely find those to whom Bob Jones refers. The ratbags who leave mess for workmates to clean up. The ones all lined up at the door ready to dive out. The sullen ones who’ll ‘stand up for their rights’ and inpinge on yours, too. You must have met them. Their ilk have plagued workplaces forever. And they are not worth minimum wage. (Yes, I’ve worked in pubs and fast food places. I do know.)

    If we could get all the politicians to pass that single grey cell they share, one to the other – could they come up with practical ways to restore full employment, and the entry level work, and the vital bottom set of rungs so people can work themselves OFF the minimum wage?

    And, if they can’t – could we?

    PS: may we never get to be as desperate as this:
    http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2014/08/deceased_woman_holding_multiple_jobs_was_the_face_of_the_recession_advocates_say.html

    And – the colour of Bob Jones’s epidermis is irrelevant. Tell us the ones about the Hawke’s Bay gang-masters. A different shade altogether. You’ll miss the commonalities if you focus on colour.

    • “Same old same old about baby boomers?’ You better believe it- you just don’t want to hear it! Holiday jobs back then were far better paid than now, remembering that the workforce was unionised and you received award wage with triple time on public holidays and double time at weekends etc. I have an older colleague who has made his money from property, and he says they have it easier nowadays, but in the same breath tells of holiday jobs while a student at a freezing works where he got paid more than his father, giving him enough to buy a house when he finished his study!! In other words, baby boomers profited hugely from the post-war social democracy that existed in NZ, but which they now rail against. Bob Jones (and Gibbs, Fay, Brierley etc) and his baby boomer ilk are total hypocrites, and their greed knows no bounds. No doubt there will be more of these despicable creatures in the next New Years honours list!

  7. We all should remember a couple of facts about rich pricks, like Jones. They don’t get rich because of hard work or integrity. They get rich by ripping off other people, not paying their bills, paying their workers s…t and not paying their taxes. Who gives these pricks the moral authority to tell workers how they should be grateful for the crumbs they are allowed to gather from under the table? If I didn’t pay my bills or my taxes I would be in the slammer before I knew it. It won’t happen to rich pricks like Jones because he is safe in the knowledge that his Cayman Islands bank accounts are unreachable.

    • Bob Jones and Brierley got rich through Roger Douglas enabling them to buy premises and asset-strip them. Great money while it lasted, massive unemployment was the result. Jones’s conscience is pricking him, that’s why he’s mindlessly defending his friends.

  8. Hows this for a theory? The reason that wages are crap is because of excessive taxation to pay for the wastage incurred by a bloated and corrupt state. If you get rid of the wealth parasite and leave resource allocation to the private sector then market forces encourage competition and pursuit of quality rather than brain-dead obesiance to the fish-heads of bureaucracy.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there’s no place for a social conscience, but rather that big state is not the answer to the problem of poverty.

  9. Jones is a drunk, has been for years since he was a slum landlord in Porirua where he got his start. Don’t waste your time with him he is the past and very few will remember him.

    • Bob Jones has always advocated investing in commercial property of residential and also started in Lower Hutt (where he was from). I very much doubt he owned a ‘slum’ in Porirua.

      • Shows how poor your knowledge of Jones’ history is, Gosman. Before he invested in commercial property he owned housing rentals. He was a landlord for umpteen years.

        So your “doubt” about Jones owning a “slum” in Porirua is, in itself, doubtful.

  10. Well,…I guess all these workers bleating on about a living wage should have tried harder , eh Bob?
    Far too many of them expecting something for nothing with an outdated sense of entitlement , eh Bob?
    Oh yes,…that went out in the 1980’s along with collectivism and interventionism , eh Bob.
    Yessireee…these people should get with the program and realise that they were superseded by those with a REAL senese of entitlement.
    You know the ones , Bob…yes , thats right ….those clever ones with an education.The ones who consider themselves ‘BORN to RULE’. The ones who had free education under Social Democratic New Zealand with an adhererance to Keynesian economics.

    And all that time when sitting in an economics lecture room at Varsity they were reading Mont Pelerin society literature , and zealously absorbing neo liberalism as expounded by the likes of Milton Freidman , among others.

    Gee..they were so clever , Bob…

    They were ‘BORN to RULE ‘, Bob…

    They were entitled to their sense of entitlement , Bob.

    Wasnt it YOU who set up the New Zealand party , Bob? Didnt you do it with the single aim of getting rid of Rob , Bob?
    Didnt you see Rob as just getting in the way and supporting all those revolting workers who had a sense of entitlement ,Bob?
    Like a realistic living wage , Bob?…so Rob just had to go, didnt he ,Bob. To make way for those with a sense of REAL entitlement,….. Bob.

    Yeah , you know,…the ones who just couldnt wait to privatise, corporatise and downsize , – all those wasteful State Owned Enterprises worked for and paid for by previous taxpayes generations , Bob….. The same ones who needed to get rid of those pesky unions, Bob…..Phsaw!!!!………imagine going on strike for a decent wage and working conditions ….too much entitlement going on there, Bob. And they werent ‘ BORN to RULE ‘ either ,were they Bob.

    They were not part of the club. They were just those ‘orrible workers who were making Latte’s and taking the ‘ BORN to RULE’ crowds smelly rubbish away every week , eh Bob.

    HOW DARE they want something so preposterous as a living wage !!

    Gee , that Employment Contracts Act was brilliant , wasnt it ,Bob?
    …..that taught Rob a lesson didnt it , Bob,……and dont you just love that in- joke about ‘ TRICKLE DOWN ‘ , Bob?
    You can get those peasants working for longer hours for less pay and no overtime rates.
    Like your coffee….you like to see a good flat. Flat rates , that is , Bob.

    And the ‘ BORN to RULE ‘ crowd are soooooo much superior in sooooo many ways…..They are our examples to follow. They are our great and glorious leaders. They are the ones to enlighten us and aspire to be just like them. They are the ones we look up to as shining examples of decorum ,ettiquette and sound moral principles, arent they , Bob .

    Bob ….I have just got one question ……………..Wasnt it you who gave the fingers to some reporters once……and wasnt it you who physically assaulted another by striking him in the head with your fists………?

  11. By the way, before any further Right Wingers decide to parrot their usual tripe, they might consider the latest stats from NZ Statistics;

    Official Unemployment is down from 5.9% to 5.6%.

    But Under-Employment is UP from 17.1% in June 2013 to 18.7% this September quarter.

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/~/media/Statistics/Browse%20for%20stats/HouseholdLabourForceSurvey/HOTPJun14qtr/HouseholdLabourForceSurveyJun14qtrHOTP.pdf

    The official definition of “Employment” is;

    * worked for one hour or more for pay or profit in the context of an employee/employer relationship or self-employment

    * worked without pay for one hour or more in work which contributed directly to the operation of a farm, business, or professional practice owned or operated by a relative

    So. Work for just one hour a week – you are officially “employed”.

    Work that one hour without being paid – you are officially”employed”.

    This would be a comic Monty Pythonesque skit, if it weren’t so tragically real.

    • Given the obvious absurdity of this definition, why haven’t the Opposition been reaming the Tories during Question Time? I mean, anyone with a single functioning brain cell can tell you that one paltry hour of work, paid or unpaid, in no way qualifies as employment. Surely when you’re lying so blatantly about something, you should be ridiculed into oblivion.

      • Key dosnt answer questions he dosnt like and the speaker lets him get away with it , Wensledale watch question time in parliament ,Key just laughs at opposition,the speaker takes his cue from Key.

  12. “In other words, baby boomers profited hugely from the post-war social democracy that existed in NZ ” – and we thought it would last because that is how life was and should be – didn’t we get a shock when that bastard Douglas and his mates sold the farm!

    Oh yes – University wasn’t free – you got 90% of your fees and allowances paid for if you had UE or HLCert., so, it was certainly much more affordable, but, if I couldn’t work at well paying, unskilled jobs in the holidays, I couldn’t have afforded to stay -> see first statement.
    Both my sons have degrees and jobs and massive student debt, with lots of time working as baristas and waiters on crap money just to survive – one took 3 yrs to get a job in the field he was qualified in and we know of others who are worse off – just what has NZ become……..

  13. Seems Mr Jones forgets his age – care workers get paid mimimum wages and have crappy conditions too and if we all get degrees and bugger off to better paid jobs who’s going to be looking after him?

  14. The only reason BobbyJ is making any noise about anything, is because somewhere, somehow, despite his “best efforts”; despite climbing over anyone who stood in his way, just like he was told he should to be a man; he is losing money, status or in his case just finally realising he isn’t relevant, smart enough, immortal or omnipotent enough to cheat death. The final leveller. No lawyer can out argue it, no historian can delay it. His money can’t buy a damn thing to still his fear. And he can’t bear it. Welcome to adult life Bobby. The poors live it before they turn ten years old.

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