Why poor people support tax cuts for rich people

via Boing Boing

This article is really going to rip Labour’s undies since their only answer seems to be to tax the rich. Based on this research I can now see why Labour isn’t getting any cut through with the electorate.

Never mind the top, avoid the bottom

Instead of opposing redistribution because people expect to make it to the top of the economic ladder, the authors of the new paper argue that people don?t like to be at the bottom. One paradoxical consequence of this ?last-place aversion? is that some poor people may be vociferously opposed to the kinds of policies that would actually raise their own income a bit but that might also push those who are poorer than them into comparable or higher positions. The authors ran a series of experiments where students were randomly allotted sums of money, separated by $1, and informed about the ?income distribution? that resulted. They were then given another $2, which they could give either to the person directly above or below them in the distribution.

In keeping with the notion of ?last-place aversion?, the people who were a spot away from the bottom were the most likely to give the money to the person above them: rewarding the ?rich? but ensuring that someone remained poorer than themselves. Those not at risk of becoming the poorest did not seem to mind falling a notch in the distribution of income nearly as much. This idea is backed up by survey data from America collected by Pew, a polling company: those who earned just a bit more than the minimum wage were the most resistant to increasing it.

Poverty may be miserable. But being able to feel a bit better-off than someone else makes it a bit more bearable.


Yes indeed, very inconsistent

NZ Herald Blogs Labour’s stance on Air NZ pay gap seems inconsistent

When we look at the wage gap between Australia and New Zealand, Labour explains if Australia?s wages were higher than ours when National was last in power, it?s an imbalance that must be redressed while we catch up?

But if China?s wages are lower than ours, it?s Market Forces?

What is it Miss Clark, it surely can’t be both?

Audrey Young also has a couple of examples of government expediency.

It seems the Government is happy to be the owner of Air New Zealand for some purposes but not for others .

It is happy to be the owner with “please explain” rights when it comes to calling the airline to account for carrying Aussie troops off to the Middle East for duty in Iraq.

But when it is exposed as paying less than the minimum wage for its Shanghai -based cabin crew, well that’s the market operating, says Helen Clark. It might be what Sir Roger Douglas would say were he back in the cabinet. But Labour?

It seems a long way from 1996 when ex- Labour MP, ex union official Graham Kelly made his mark for the low-paid on a related matter, well before he shuffled off to become High commissioner to Canada (a thank-you post for giving up chairmanship of the foreign affairs select committee to Peter Dunne.)

Through tactical pressure Kelly got National’s Doug Kidd in 1996 to include in a fisheries amendment bill a clause requiring crew on foreign vessels operating in New Zealand waters it was to be paid the minimum wage.

Partly it was aimed at saving jobs on New Zealand coastal routes – and partly it was to get the slave wages of people doing the same work as New Zealanders in the same stretch of water the same dosh.

So what is the difference? The China-based air crew fly to New Zealand, over New Zealand waters, doing the same work the same airline pays others to do in the same air space. It doesn’t seem right, at least not for Labour, and at the very least it does not seem consistent.


Air New Zealand – The Communist solution

Nationalise Air New Zealand at

After 6 long days and 14 posts assiduously avoiding the issue, EPMU and Labour Party sponsored client-blogger T?ne finally breaks his silence over the Air New Zealand issue.

His solution is straight out of the Maoist Little Red book or Communism 101 classes he has clearly been attending.

Helen Clark shouldn?t be excusing Air New Zealand?s behaviour – she should be nationalising it.

Whilst I agree with him that Helen Clark shouldn’t be excusing it, we most definitely shouldn’t be even contemplating, much worse, contemplating out loud the nationalisation of anything. Nothing scares off investors like the “N” word.

If anything Air New Zealand should be sold off to the highest bidder with the right as National Carrier vested in the government and leased to the highest bidder on 10+10 right of renewal basis.

Nationalisation of anything is bad, of an airline is just asking for trouble.


Slave Labour scandal deepens

Minister seeks report on China Air NZ workers – 17 Mar 2008 – Politics: New Zealand Political News, Analysis and Comment including 2008 election coverage – NZ Herald

Labour Minister Trevor Mallard has asked the Department of Labour to look into pay disparities between Air New Zealand staff based in China and here.

He shouldn’t have to look too far, just stick his head into the shareholding ministers office and ask for their briefing notes from Air New Zealand back before the flights even started, or better still give Labour party office holder and future leader, EPMU General Secretary Andrew Little a call as he has known for five long months that our state owned airline is running a slave labour racket.

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Union sits on Slave Labour story since October

Air NZ pay disparity Govt issue – union – 17 Mar 2008 – NZ Herald: New Zealand National news

Labour Party lickspittle union has shown what it really thinks of workers for State Owned airline Air New Zealand.

Andrew Little in trying to give a slap to the government unwittingly admitted that he has known about this issue since October last year. So much for caring about the workers huh!

Mr Little said the union did not represent international flight stewards but was tipped off about the issue with China-based flight attendants in October last year.

This is appalling considering the huge song and dance the EPMU made over the outsourcing of the engineers jobs at Air New Zealand. Now when the government needs weapons of mass distraction really rather badly the EPMU is front and centre helping the government run interference just as the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board report comes out.

And what about the strange and frankly hypocritical stance of The Stranded. For weeks they have railed on about a non-issue of John key supposedly saying that he wanted wages to drop in new Zealand, all the while their pay-masters at Labour and the EPMU has sat on a issue of essentially Slave Labour wages in one of this country’s largest employers and not a peep, not a word of condemnation. The hypocrisy is astounding. Since the story broke we have had six posts on their blog and not one about the slave workers that Air new Zealand employs out of China.

This of course is all a great big smoke screen conveniently orchestrated by Labour and its major Union backer to attempt to hide the HBDHB scandal.

State Owned Airline screwing the workers

Revealed: Air New Zealand’s mile-high pay gap – 15 Mar 2008 – NZ Herald: New Zealand National news

I wonder what The Stranded, EPMU flunkies and labour client-blog will make of the news this morning that Air New Zealand and major employer of EPMU staff has been rorting Shanghai based cabin crew and paying them well below the minimum wage.

Air New Zealand’s Shanghai-based flight attendants are paid a quarter the salary of their NZ colleagues – less than the legal minimum wage here.

The Chinese attendants – who work side-by-side with New Zealanders on flights between Auckland and Shanghai – are also paid only a third of the allowances given to their Kiwi counterparts while they are working away from home.

Six Chinese Air NZ flight attendants told the Weekend Herald there had been “growing unhappiness about money issues” among staff.

One described the situation as “staff being disgusted at being treated like monkeys and being paid peanuts”.

Now we know how the airline retains its profitability on this route, it essentially uses cheap foreign labour.

Air NZ, which is 76 per cent-owned by the Government, said last night that the Chinese crew were employed by a company in China, and it was unfair to compare the salaries.

With respect Air New Zealand that is obfuscation and blatant rorting of the system. essentially that argument ends up with the cabin crew not working for Air New Zealand even though they wear Air new Zealand uniforms.

I’d like to see what the shareholding ministers think about this and look forward to Labour mouthpiece blogs condemning this practice.

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The Hypocrisy over Iraq flights

Fran O’Sullivan: Murdoch fall guy in spat over Air NZ troop flights – 13 Oct 2007 – Opinion, Editorial and reader comments from New Zealand and around the World – nzherald

“Right Wing Blogger” Fran O’Sullivan explores the rather brazen hypocrisy the Government and Winston in particular have shown over the Iraq flights. There is now little doubt that Winston deliberately misled parliament over the revelations and little doubt that the government is trying to cover up as much of the information as possible by suppressing key elements like the CTAG report and the report by our High Commissioner to Canderra’s dressing down from Downer.
[quote]Either the bureaucrats are incompetent, in which case the tumbrils should roll. Or there is no clear Government policy on Iraq, as the Australians believe. Or the Government (which was angered that the Investigate story undercut its attacks on National leader John Key’s vacillating stance on Iraq) shifts policy according to how much domestic capital it believes it can extract.[/quote]

The government can’t have it both ways and has seriously painted itself into a corner and the delicious thing is that they used their own brush and their own paint.

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Peters' official got Air NZ report, but never read it

Peters' official got Air NZ report, but never read itAn official in Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters' office failed to even read a security report that detailed Air New Zealand's plans to fly Iraq-bound Australian troops to Kuwait, it was revealed today.
NZPA reported in August…
[NZ Politics]

Winston lied and people died…..well not quite and certainly you couldn't say that someone with the taudry reputation that Winston has had killed their credibility when they had none in the first place, but this certainly appears as though Winston has misled parliament which is a polite term for telling lies.

We'll see if Speaker Patsy Lickspittle will do anything.

Liar, Liar pants on fire

Fran O’Sullivan: PM’s comments don’t fly – 05 Sep 2007 – NZ Herald: New Zealand Business and Personal Finance News

Fran O’Sullivan has again ripped into Clark for her less than honest comments over Air New Zealand.
[quote]The question Air New Zealand has yet to address is whether it can seek recompense from the Government for the commercial damage it has suffered from becoming a political plaything.

It’s worth studying an earlier confidentiality deed between the Clark Government and Air New Zealand so the airline could open its books to the Crown negotiators in the run-up to the bailout. Clause 2.2 of the 2001 deed says the Crown acknowledges that information is communicated to it under terms of strict confidentiality and that Air New Zealand may suffer damage, loss or liability as a result of any part of the information to any unauthorised person.

Under this deed, the Crown agreed it would preserve the confidentiality of any information provided to it and take proper and adequate precautions at all times.

The deed also provides for Air New Zealand to seek equitable relief including an injunction and order for specific performance in the event of any breach of the deed’s provisions.

It is unclear if the 2002 deed, which has yet to be publicly released, contains the same provision.

But the NZX should be seeking explanations from Air New Zealand and the Government over just how much protection the 2002 deed gives the company’s shareholders from damage incurred to the business as a result of verbal incontinence by Clark and other Cabinet Ministers.[/quote]

Fran then recalls Clarks previous indiscretions with regard to Air New Zealand back in 2001.
[quote] Clark has been down this track before. On September 24, 2001, when the airline was negotiating with the Government leading towards the $885 million recapitalisation, the PM advised shareholders to hang on to their shares “because I am absolutely convinced Air New Zealand has a viable future”.

A subsequent Securities Commission investigation concluded that the Prime Minister’s statements were not intended to “encourage” but that encouragement was taken from her comments, as reported.

The Prime Minister was at the time an insider of the company. She is an influential figure whose statements are accorded significant weight by the public. Air New Zealand was a publicly listed company, and one in which there were a large number of retail investors.[/quote]

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Has the government broken the law over Air New Zealand?

Fran O’Sullivan: Risky intrusion into Air NZ – 22 Aug 2007 – NZ Herald: New Zealand Business and Personal Finance News

Fran O’Sullivan seems to think they have in her article in today’s Herald.
[quote]Air NZ – in which the Government holds a 76 per cent stake – is not a state-owned enterprise.

But Cabinet ministers – embarrassed by the political fallout over two Air NZ “ferry” charter operations carrying Australian troops to the Middle East – now seem to believe they can order the publicly listed company to uphold non-specified “national interest” considerations.

This is extraordinarily rich from a majority shareholder which has already intervened to force Air New Zealand to give up highly profitable business leading to a loss of future revenue for the company.

Under the Companies Act it is clear that majority shareholders do not and cannot direct the company. Air NZ directors have fiduciary duties to run the company in the best interests of all shareholders – not to suck to the majority shareholder who appoints them.[/quote]
This government shows almost daily that it is commercially inept and this is the second time Clark has had a go at destrying shareholder value in Air New Zealand. I agree with Fran, the NZX should be issuing “please explains” all round, given the huge number of uncertainties now on the table.

Now we hear that Air New Zealand’s contracts to the ADF for engineering may be in jeopardy all for Labour’s cheap political points scoring.

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