Rodney Hide on courts and judges

Rodney Hide has some terse words for the courts and judges:

These past years has been like watching medieval scholastics attempt to grasp quantum field theory through Summa Theologica.

The judges have proved themselves hopelessly ill-equipped to consider policy or anything whatsoever to do with economics.

Their flawed reasoning has caused the government to respond with similarly flawed legislation that is out-of-date by more than a century even before it’s passed. It’s as if Alfred Marshall’s Principles of Economics (1890) was never published.

No regard is paid to supply or demand, no understanding of how markets clear, nor any explanation of how gender discrimination could possibly persist in a free market. There is no grasp of the impossibility of determining economic value absent willingness to pay. The all-important concept of opportunity cost is ignored.  

As a result, pay equity claims will be assessed against “male comparators” whose work involves skills and experience, responsibilities, working conditions or degrees of effort that are the same or similar to those involved in the work to which the claim relates.

The problem with judges, is that the longer they have sat on the bench, the longer they’ve had to forget what private life is all about. They become insulated and cloistered from actuality. That is why you get judges thinking that settlements from 10 years ago are somehow relevant in damages to today, ignoring inflation and other significant factors. Mind you, if lawyers were half decent they’d realise this in advance and make submissions to correct what is likely to be wonky thinking in this regard.

My local pre-school is all women. So will their “male comparators” be road workers, firemen or airline pilots? Only judges and politicians could ever believe such a comparison worthwhile, relevant or remotely rational. Only they would have the hubris to put themselves into a position to decide.

Their ignorance of their ignorance is breathtaking.

Yes, it is. Like judges who think that some people are only guilty of making people laugh…or that convicted rapists and murderers should be able to wear wigs in prison.

No doubt much judicial tussle will follow as the relevant comparators get adjudicated. The back and forth, the up and down, won’t add a dollar to output. The dollars instead will be soaked up making the country poorer, not richer.

The cause of working men and women will be further retarded with an economy unable to pay more than it produces; not that the judges appear aware of any relationship between productivity and pay.

I recently asked the Ministry of Justice for the costs of running the Christchurch High Court for each sitting day. It’s going to take awhile because answering involves, “gathering information from different parts of the ministry.”  No successful business in the country would fail instantly to tell the daily cost of their operation and to slice and dice that cost a hundred ways. But for the justice system, it’s a mystery.

Goodness knows how they would ever assess their value. They simply have no idea. Or care. And yet this is the very institution that takes on itself to determine what businesses employing predominantly women should be paying staff based on some judicially-decided “male comparator.”

The judges assume it’s the predominantly female group that has to be pulled up to the male comparator’s pay. Quite why is unexplained. It could be smarter to pull judges back to the pay of pre-school teachers in an effort to lessen gender discrimination and advance pay equity.

It would be hard to argue that judicial reasoning would suffer.

A nurse can only be compared to a nurse. There is no correlation between a nurse and a police officer. Only a dead set retard would try to make that argument…oh wait.



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