Thursday, 1 March 2012

you're angry at the wrong people

just wanted to respond to a comment that i've seen a couple of times over the last few days. with the recent government policy to push women on the DPB into ghost jobs, forcing them to put their 1-year olds into childcare (cos it's wrong to pay a woman to look after her own children but ok to pay another person to look after children who are unrelated to them), the government is cleverly pitting working people against beneficiaries. and it's working.

there are working people who say "well i'm forced to put my kids into daycare and work just to survive, so why should any woman be allowed to stay home on benefit to raise her own children". what the working people are missing is the fact that wages are no so low that it's almost impossible for the majority of families to live in any kind of comfort unless both parents work. the reason the any working person would be forced into putting children into day care is because their partner's wages are too low.

but these people are not prepared to push for higher wages overall so that both parents aren't forced into the paid workforce. they aren't ready to challenge an economic system that values their time and effort so poorly; one in which employers are trying to push wages down even further with casualisation and contracting out of jobs. if their anger should go anywhere, it should be going there, but it isn't.

is this because it doesn't occur to these people that they should be expecting better from their employers and their government? is it because they aren't able to envision any alternative way of doing things? they clearly don't understand that all these additional jobseekers, for whom their are no jobs, are going to put more pressure on wages and conditions driving them even further downwards. if there were jobs, then that wouldn't be the case, but this government is reducing the number of jobs, not creating them. even though that's in the public sector, it has a flow-on effect to the wider economy.

i wonder what it would take to make these people of the misdirection they're being subjected to. that it's not those who are poorer than them who are the problem, but the ones like talleys who own a vast fortune and are already profiting very well from it, who need to be controlled. if these working people are angry because they're so exhausted from making ends meet, and rightly so, then the solution isn't to punish those who are worse off, but to demand those who are better off stop being so exploitative.

and on a related note, there is a lot of talk about tax cuts for the rich which has resulted in the majority of nz'ers being worse off. but very few people are talking about the tax cuts for business. the company tax rate has dropped considerably, and is going down again to 28%. most of the benefit from the drop in rate will be going outside nz. there is no political party at the moment calling for an increase to the company tax rate, which is frankly pretty appalling. companies should be paying their fair share of tax, there was absolutely no need to cut the company rate, and previous cuts have very obviously not generated any economic benefit.

small businesses in nz will not suffer from any rise in the company rate, mostly because they don't benefit from it. they need to get money out of the company to live on, and whichever way they do that, they will be caught by various tax rules so that they pay a higher rate if they take out too much. no, it's the big companies, mostly foreign owned, who will benefit the most. those same companies which resist paying a fair wage to employees.

No comments: