Mark Wadsworth has a guestposter, Lola, who has up a vid:
It goes into exploitation of workers and what the NMW means for the lower rungs, i.e. the sack. Not in dispute in a full time sense but it also means that those already on the minimum wage would have to add cleaning to their job specs, maybe on a roster basis, which then comes into conflict with Elfansafetee and the unions’ demarcation.
Or else the boss employs someone on, say, 10 hours a week [formerly 35 hours] and insists the cleaning is done within that time, in some sort of superhuman way. Eventually, some places will be cleaned some of the time, some all of the time.
Not many see the problem for the boss. If he’s medium or small, he has a different outlook to the GSs and JPMs. He wants to be fair because a happy worker will give good service but he also demands they show some of the application to the task which he shows, being the boss and wanting his business to prosper.
The worker doesn’t understand that the cost of fabric maintenance, ongoing utilities, compliance, the tax regime, the greedy local council, the uncertain economic times – all of it – mean he has to factor in labour in some way. If he makes the slightest error in choosing someone, he has litigation on his hands as well as the daily load and for the small businessman, this doesn’t involve sitting in clubs smoking cigars – it means hands-on. Then there are things like maternity leave.
So, whilst I can see the dire situation for the lower rungs [now including me] and those just above them, the employees, I can also see the direness for the small businesses and even the medium – they’re going out of business the whole time now.
Nor is the solution to socialize industry because then you get the dire social consequences as in the USSR. This is why socialists are so fanatical – they see no solution to the conundrum, nor do they have any sense of history, therefore they see some national pie to be equally carved up and every person has a job – fair, isn’t it?
Except there’s no national pie. It’s more likely to be a foreign national pie now anyway. There was a time when it worked in fits and starts, e.g. the 60s in Australia, when 4% unemployment was the achievable aim, when the wage did cover the domestic costs and homes were still affordable for most. It did work until government began interfering, tinkering with this, tinkering with that.
I believe that it was meant to become unwieldy, that the global push was on and it needed to bring down wicked “capitalism”, to show that Marx had been right all along and that there was a new, socialized way some time around the turn of the next century, now delayed till about 2015-20.
The best solution is and always has been the freeing up of the markets and the workplace because it then creates incentives to set up businesses and that creates jobs without government interference. There’s a place for unions in this, within limits. It’s always going to be a compromise and arbitration hearings onsite are a solution here, dismantling the costly judicial bureaucracy – sort of like having travelling judges.
If there is no ultimate solution, then perhaps this is the best compromise – it at least allows the thing to work.