Brian Edwards epiphany

Brian Edwards has had an epiphany, he has had his “road to Damascus”, he has converted and his argument is compelling.

Well, I’ve been having a bit of a rethink about this myself and it’s blindingly obvious to me, as it must be to any other reasonable person, that what the PM is saying just has to be right.

It’s just common sense that if an employer has a choice of employing someone on $12.50 an hour and someone else to do the same job for $15 an hour, he’s going to employ the first bloke. And if he can’t afford $12.50 an hour, he’s not going to employ either of them. That’s simple economics. We could call it ‘John’s Law’:The higher the hourly rate, the higher the number of unemployed.

The corollary of John’s Law – let’s call it ‘Bill’s Law’ – must then logically be: The lower the hourly rate, the lower the number of unemployed.

Now, unlike Ms Misa, I can quote several million ‘experts’ to support Bill’s Law. They’re all in highly productive work, none of them are on the bread line, they rarely complain about their lives or working conditions, their economy is knocking the rest of the world for six and almost every New Zealander benefits financially from their labour. They’re the Chinese of course and we could learn a lot from them.

Here are some of the things we could learn:

  • If the minimum wage were set at $2 an hour instead of $12.50 an hour, a manufacturer could  take on six (and a quarter) workers instead of just one.
  • In one fell swoop unemployment would be erased.
  • With his now significantly  increased output the manufacturer  could greatly decrease the cost of his product, thus hugely increasing both his domestic and, more importantly, his export sales.
  • At the same time, the $2 minimum wage would put pressure on all wages, increasing the manufacturer’s  margins and therefore his taxable income.
  • By way of example, the clothing and shoe-making industries, both driven out of New Zealand because of high wages and an inability to compete in the international market, would be revived.
  • Instead of buying clothes and shoes from China, we would be selling our clothes and shoes to the rest of the world, including China.
  • And so it would be with everything, from plastic toys to Kiwi-built personal flying machines.

In summary, if the minimum wage were reduced rather than increased, we would become a mini China. Our $17 billion deficit would be gone by lunchtime.  The Government’s coffers would be full.

While it is certainly true that wages and salaries will fall dramatically under Bill’s Law, several compensatory factors must be borne in mind:

  • Everyone in New Zealand who wants a job will have a job;
  • Huge government surpluses will make it possible for governments to offer substantial across-the-board, flat-rate tax cuts every three years as a sort of Christmas bonus;.
  • Blue jeans, most clothing and flat screen 3-D TVs will be cheap as chips;
  • Charities, including public hospitals and schools,  can expect to receive much larger donations from the new super-rich;
  • The job-market for gardeners, chauffeurs, nannies, maids, butlers, cooks, kitchen hands, cleaners, chimney sweeps and other ‘downstairs’ staff will  hugely increase;
  • New Zealand’s 100% pure, clean/green environment, cheap labour and inexpensive retail goods will make it a tourist paradise and a Mecca for foreign investment;
  • The trickle-down theory will become the trickle down law.

Ms Misa will of course reject Bill’s (and John’s)  Law. She will say that it will  create even greater divisions between the haves and have-nots in society. Of Labour’s policy of increasing rather than reducing the minimum wage, she writes:

‘There’s no doubt about the good it will do: it will put more money in the hands of the struggling low-paid, and lighten the load on Working for Families.’

To that, in the immortal words of Milton Friedman, I reply, ‘Yeah right!’

With that I welcome Brian Edwards to the dark side. He has written a concise, perfectly logical justification for the lowering of the minimum wage. I don’t think any treatise from the Round Table has ever so successfully explained the position.

Well done Brian.



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  • positan

    What??? Brian Edwards is now able to discern actuality???

    It’d seem the scales have fallen at last from at least one pair of dedicated Labour eyes … or
    does it have something to do with credibility only being able to be stretched so far – something yet to be learn by Goof and all the other Labour economic ignorami?

  • BE is a lifelong pseudo socialist & one has to suspect that he has suffered a nasty concussion. That or I have underestimated John Key’s ability as a salesman.

  • titanuranus

    Minimum wage for politicians then ,lead by example .
    In fact any body wanting to be a politician should have to tender for the job and show a profit or pay penalty fees when they fail to perform.

    On Edwards,well the worm has most certainly turned ,going against Labours core goal of getting everyone on a benefit and turning NZ into a Sth Pacific version of Nth Korea.

  • orange

    The last paragraph shouldn’t be included in the quote inset, being commentary about Brian’s article rather than the article itself.

  • cobolt

    I think this is another case of one side trying to be sarcastic and actually spelling out the other sides case perfectly.

    OK he went a bit far on the cheap TVs and massive surpluses but the model BE describes is exactly how it works, right down to the loss of the clothing industry in NZ.

  • crabby

    WOW, good article.

  • paulus12

    Good thinking – pity chief minger Misa cannot see the wood for the trees.

    Thought she would make it on to Labour’s list this time, along with Rod Oram, but she/they probably believe they can make more mischief in the stupid Herald/SST.