Time for a maximum wage | The Jackal

18 Oct 2012

Time for a maximum wage

Yesterday, the NZ Herald reported:

This is where the maximum wage comes in. If the top salary is legally fixed at, say, $200,000 a year, these economic miracle-workers running companies will have no choice but to start their own businesses where, as shareholders, they can indulge in the dividends they deserve. The creation of new companies will in turn lead to more jobs, thus negating the need for any "starting-out" wage.

A maximum wage also has a trickle-down effect. The millions of dollars that would have been paid to CEOs could instead be paid as bonuses to workers, or used to lift the average wage of employees at the company. These people could then spend their extra income, further supporting the economy.

Then Kiwiblog reported:

A maximum wage is indeed not socialist, but full out communist.

You see it has been tried. In several countries. In the USSR they had maximum salaries. They had the exact view that Ryan had. They though no one should earn over a certain amount as a salary.

Actually, the Russian maximum wage only applied to the salary of a member of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union. Farrar is being deceptive in saying the maximum wage applied to everyone.

It failed. It was a disaster.

Russia's salary cap or Partmaximum as it was known didn't work because it was ignored and not enforced by the Politburo. Introduced in 1920 and then cancelled by a secret resolution in 1932, the Russian example can hardly be held up as an argument against a salary cap in New Zealand.

Russia currently has a low individual and corporate tax rate... However they do have a CGT.

Ryan seems to think we live in isolation from the world. I’d love to see him find a surgeon to operate on him, should he need it, with a $200,000 salary cap. They’d all be in Australia.

Actually, an Australian surgeon on average gets paid under AU$123,000 (NZ$154,930) per year. So a salary cap in New Zealand of $200,000 is entirely appropriate. It would not increase the amount of surgeons moving to Australia.

Back in 2010 it was reported that a surgeon working for Whanganui District Health Board was earning more than $600,000 per year. He might want to leave New Zealand if there was a wage cap introduced, but I doubt he could find employment in another country that paid as much.

Yesterday, Stuff reported:

More than 300 ACC employees are being paid in excess of $100,000 a year, according to its annual report.

The highest paid earner, who the state insurer said was not departing chief executive Ralph Stewart, received up to $760,000. The insurer declined to name who that earner was.

The report shows 330 employees are earning more than $100,000 a year - an 18 per cent increase on the previous period. The average salary of the top earners (between $100,000 and $760,000) was $155,000.

Ten employees are on more than $500,000 per year - four more than last year, and 29 are being paid between $200,000 and $400,000 a year. The average annual wage for New Zealanders is about $50,000.

In the last year ACC also paid $1,314,584 in redundancy - up from the $578,949 paid to 24 staff in 2011.

It's not humanly possible to do $760,000 worth of work per year and these people are being grossly overpaid. This is made all the more despicable considering the cuts the government is making to core services and the implementation of a youth wage of only $10.80 per hour.

Their excuse that they have to balance the budget is clearly disingenuous. If they had any consideration for getting the books back in the black, they wouldn't be giving their mates huge amounts of public money as remuneration for doing sweet fuck all. Talk about a bunch of bludgers.