Of course there are people not worth the minimum wage

At a fringe meeting at Conservative Party conference, Lord Freud was recorded telling a Tory councillor: “You make a really good point about the disabled.

“Now I had not thought through, and we have not got a system for, you know, kind of going below the Minimum Wage.

“There is a group, and I know exactly who you mean, where actually as you say they’re not worth the full wage.

“I’m going to go and think about that particular issue, whether there is something we can do nationally, and without distorting the whole thing, which actually if someone wants to work for £2 an hour.”

Try everyone in involuntary unemployment at the current minimum wage.

And what the cock does everyone think Remploy was all about if it wasn’t an admission that some people just wouldn’t be able to get jobs, without subsidy, at prevailing wage rates?

Some people just really are prissy over this subject. Some people’s labour is worth vast amounts of money in the marketplace (Wayne Rooney say). Others not so much (there are people out there with barely functional IQs of 60 or so but who cannot play football). In a market the labour of that second group isn’t going to be worth all that much. And for at least some of them their labour will be worth less than the minimum wage we currently insist upon. They will, thus, either be unemployed or will require a subsidy to gain employment at that current minimum wage.

Come on people, this isn’t hard to understand: it’s only those who don’t wish to understand it who do not.

62 comments on “Of course there are people not worth the minimum wage

  1. Another shining example where speaking the true and blindingly obvious will guarantee you are swept from public view.

  2. He is economically correct but politically stupid, and politics does matter.

    He could have said all that and finished with, ‘However, in any civilised society the genuinely disabled must be cared for by the rest of us, and in some cases that might mean paying them more than they are ‘worth’ to do a ‘job’ is still a good thing.’

  3. @Interested,

    You are right but for the purposes of Labour’s political ambush your addition would have been omitted and then drowned out in the ensuing row.

    I suspect that for all but the 35% this will backfire because it is seen as the sort of politics most claim to despise and the average voter does think about these things more than the average party hack gives them credit for.

  4. most politicians aren’t worth the minimum wage, and they probably have relatively high IQ’s.

  5. We had to endure this talentless epsilon semi-moron spouting drivel propaganda and utter fuckwittery on “economics” for the Yes side panel in one of the televised debates on Scottish independence, along with numerous other talking heads who happen not to live here and not be entitled to a vote. Why?

    She got some loud cheers from yes supporters of course.

  6. @bwab

    True, but if you worried about them lying about what you’d said you’d never say anything. Better to say things better and be in a position to point it out later (or even to sue if egregiously traduced).

    @bf

    Wrong thread?

  7. Some people just don’t want the words to mean what they mean. Disabled quite clearly states the meaning, not functioning properly, something is missing, be it limbs or marbles. No blame is apportioned or intended in this description. Some people just cannot use the fireman’s pole, through no fault of their own. Life is shit, deal with it.

  8. “Come on people, this isn’t hard to understand: it’s only those who don’t wish to understand it who do not”

    Or those who wish to score cheap political points.

  9. There are those who accept that some people’s work is not worth the minimum wage but still insist that they should be paid it. The assumption is that all employers can afford to pay workers more than they earn.

  10. Interested,

    > He could have said all that and finished with …

    According to Sam Bowman:

    He also said we should use something like the Universal Credit financial-support scheme to make up the difference – although this has been much less widely reported. That would allow firms to hire severely disabled people without making a loss while guaranteeing they would still take home a decent wage.

  11. @S2 thanks I missed that. I’m still not sure it’s great politics how he phrased it, but the truth is there. (As Bowman points out, he’s not a politician, either, really, so perhaps I’m being unfair.)

  12. Well, to be true, Freud and the Tory Councillor are both wrong and nasty pus-ridden dicks.

    What they are saying is that there are businesses that have work that they are willing to pay £2 ph for people to do – not because that is what they can get away with paying (a fair enough POV) but because that is what the work is worth.

    I call bullshit on that. In this economy where are the jobs that are valued at £2 ph?

    What the two dicks are really saying is that the people are only worth £2 ph specifically because they are ‘disabled’. Nasty shite.

    An employer first defines the job, then finds staff who can fulfil the requirements. Allowance has to made for people with disabilities, but, AFAIK, allowance does NOT have to be made for those people who can not reasonably fulfil the requirements.

    Already included in the cost of the work to the company is all the extras, from NI to H&E to disability compliance. If they aren’t, it’s a craply run company.

    They both seem to me business-illiterate and nastily prejudiced. Could always be wrong though.

  13. “I know exactly who you mean”

    I don’t, who does he mean?

    I think there’s a lot to be said for having a citizen’s income and no minimum wage. But if we’re going to have a minimum wage, making exceptions for particular groups is a bad idea.

  14. @Doug

    Fucking hell you twerp. Oooh ‘nasty’! Quick, burn them!

    Look, doofus.

    Let’s say you have a job on a packing line where you’re sticking widgets into boxes.

    Let’s further say it’s worth paying someone who can pack a thousand widgets an hour £8 per hour.

    If someone can only pack two hundred and fifty widgets an hour… well, I’ll leave the maths to you.

    Assuming you can do it. If not, just ask.

    Cock.

    @Paul B.oring

    Fucking hell, I sort of agree with you about something (the basic income). I must be wrong.

  15. What gets me most about this is the usual “evil Tories” name-calling is completely inaccurate here.

    Despite Doug’s nonsense above, the Tory councillor who asked the question is clearly a good guy who is trying to improve things for some severely disabled people. And yet he’s being denounced as some kind of eugenecist.

    People just aren’t allowed to “think out loud” anymore, in public life at least. Real life is messy. At work it’s accepted that ideas will come out half-formed, poorly expressed or just not thought through. The process of debate, challenge and you know, actual proper thinking time, should hopefully mean a workable end-result.

    Far easier to denounce and close down debate if someone uses an “unacceptable” word. Anyone with any knowledge of economics knew *exactly* what Freud meant by “worth”, and it wasn’t any kind of moral judgment.

    I actually feel sorry for the guy.

  16. @interested

    “If someone can only pack two hundred and fifty widgets an hour… well, I’ll leave the maths to you”

    Eh, no…

    The packer will hold up the whole production line, creating a massive bottleneck and causing expensive knock on and knock back effects all over the place. Operations Management 101.

    What you have now, is ‘can someone be reasonably helped to pack 1000 widgets an hour’. That would already be costed in. You wouldn’t give work to someone who could never reliably pack 1000 ph. under any reasonable circumstances. There’s no chance they could do the job.

    I am doing the maths. Why don’t you try?

  17. Doug,

    > Already included in the cost of the work to the company is all the extras, from NI to H&E to disability compliance. If they aren’t, it’s a craply run company.

    Surely it would be a craply run company if it kept hiring people it couldn’t afford to hire — which, from the employing-disabled-people point of view, wouldn’t be a problem. The problem is precisely that companies are well enough run that, after taking into account all the costs of the extras you mention, they don’t hire people they can’t afford to. That is, in fact, the root cause of this entire conversation.

  18. > The packer will hold up the whole production line, creating a massive bottleneck

    Depends how it’s arranged at what point in the chain they’re working. There certainly are factories where some workers work faster than others; there are factories with financial incentive schemes in place to encourage workers to speed up. If the speed of every worker were simply dictated by the speed of the line, that wouldn’t be the case.

    Anyway, it was only an example. There are plenty of jobs that disabled people can do other than working factory production lines, believe it or not.

  19. @Doug
    Your last comment just shows how little you understand business. It’s usually possible to find a job for someone to do at any level of productivity*. Sweeping floors, scaring birds away from crops, writing for the Guardian . All that is required is them to create some modicum of added value.

    *Bounded at the bottom by the fixed costs of employing any individual. Mostly costs imposed by the State. Providing tax info, NI etc. Biggest deterrent to providing employment at the bottom end.

  20. S2

    “Surely it would be a craply run company if it kept hiring people it couldn’t afford to hire — which, from the employing-disabled-people point of view, wouldn’t be a problem. The problem is precisely that companies are well enough run that, after taking into account all the costs of the extras you mention, they don’t hire people they can’t afford to. ”

    Yes, that’s part of my point probably better put – though I was looking at it from the point of the view of the job, not the person

    “That is, in fact, the root cause of this entire conversation.”

    No, I don’t think it was in the exchange recorded (though allowing for ‘half formed ideas’ as GlenDorran says).

    Freud talked about people not being ‘worth’ the minimum wage and being ‘worth’ £2 ph.

    Businesses don’t employ people who don’t have that capacity to do the work they need done. It’s not about the ‘worth’ of the person, and to make it so referring specifically to disabled people…

    Those who can’t do the work don’t get the work. Whether there should be something like Remploy or not is another question.

  21. S2

    “There are plenty of jobs that disabled people can do other than working factory production lines, believe it or not.”

    Of course there are, and they do them.

  22. @BNIS

    “It’s usually possible to find a job for someone to do at any level of productivity*. Sweeping floors, scaring birds away from crops, writing for the Guardian .”

    In theory of course, but in the real world…?

    What business does find a job for someone to do at any level of productivity? Seriously? I’d venture very few, if any…. That’s what charities do (cf The Guardian).

    Sweeping the floor? Automated much more economic. Scaring birds? Again, automated (on modern farms – Spain might be different) especially considering both that birds don’t stick to human working hours and the acreage involved.

    Businesses don’t look to create jobs for people at different levels of productivity. Machines are much more efficient when possible.

  23. Henry Crun – “Or those who wish to score cheap political points.”

    There are the evil but they are exploiting the stupid – the dumbed down feminised voters of modern Britain who cannot stand truth, logic or commonsense. They need to be spoon fed and kept in padded cotton balls in case they hurt themselves.

    john77 – “There are those who accept that some people’s work is not worth the minimum wage but still insist that they should be paid it. The assumption is that all employers can afford to pay workers more than they earn.”

    I accept that some people’s work is not worth the minimum wage and I suppose I might agree they should be paid something like that. But I don’t think employers should pay it. If we as a community want to be stupid but nice, we as a community ought to pay. The employee ought to get tax credits or some other subsidy to raise their wages to an acceptable level.

  24. @Doug

    I didn’t expect to actually have to explain this to anyone, but you seem particularly stupid.

    There are some jobs that pretty much anyone can do, but where the rate at which they perform them varies.

    It’s entirely possible that disabled chap X works a quarter as quick as able bodied man Y.

    Thus, assuming that able bodied man Y is only himself worth the minimum wage (or, in my example) £8 ph then disabled man X is only worth a quarter of that.

    It’s also possible that a company might run a packing line comprising disabled employees who all work at a slower rate than able bodied. I know this, because I started out working in just such a factory, on the able bodied line, as a summer job from school.

    The chap who owned the business actually lost money on the disabled line, because 1) he paid them more than the able bodied when set against the work they did (they did about 40% of the work but earned 70% of the base wage) and 2) they took up twice the space of the able bodied line, with wheelchairs.

    However, he was a nice Christian sort of chap (or a nasty pus ridden dick, according to you) so he was glad to do so.

    The disablies were happy to work for 70% of the base wage – they knew they were being ‘overpaid’, though this was never officially said, and they enjoyed getting out of the house and working.

    Then along came the minimum wage and he couldn’t afford to keep them on.

    (Blair had visited his factory the year before he was elected and absolutely knew the score, so if anyone was evil here it wasn’t the capitalist.)

  25. The rules allowed people to be employed to do piecework, with the minimum allowable piece rate being that which enables the average worker to earn 1.2 times minimum wage. So you can pay a slow worker less than minimum wage, provided that you are genuinely employing them by the piece not by the hour.

  26. > Freud talked about people not being ‘worth’ the minimum wage and being ‘worth’ £2 ph.
    > It’s not about the ‘worth’ of the person, and to make it so referring specifically to disabled people…

    Seriously, are you reading that quote and genuinely thinking “He’s talking about the personal worth of a person’s soul”? He very very obviously was not using that meaning of the word “worth”. In that context, it’s impossible to see how he could.

    I don’t get this one, anyway. If he’d said disabled people were worth a tenner an hour, that would have been OK? “Oo, he says I’m worth ten pounds. He must think very highly of me. I feel great about myself now.”

    Personally, I’m sick of Cameron forcing members of a supposedly right-wing party to bow to the stupid Pavlovian key-word-triggered manufactured outrage of the Left. Freud shouldn’t have apologised. He should have explained what he actually said, namely that the implication of his words is a state benefit to disabled people. Were they not all up in arms about losing benefits recently?

  27. “Businesses don’t look to create jobs for people at different levels of productivity. Machines are much more efficient when possible.”

    Of course they do, or would, if the price of the labour was allowed to find its own level for differently productive employees. Because the minimum wage puts a floor on wages, the calculation becomes ‘Is this job worth paying £7/hr for, or do I get a machine to it instead?’ In the absence of the MW there would be a point at which the labour cost per hour falls below that of the machine, and someone gets employed rather than the machine.

    Let me give you an example. I’m a farmer, and I have arable fields that have lots of stones in them. Every time the field is cultivated more stones are brought to the surface and these can damage the combine harvester. I can use a tractor and heavy roller to roll them into the surface or I could employ someone to potter up and down the field to pick them up. Now at £7/hr minimum for labour, which do you think I do? And a person who is only capable of wandering around picking up stones and making little heaps of them for collection, but not capable of driving a tractor and other more complicated tasks, doesn’t get employed.

    And actually employing a person to wander round scaring birds would be very useful as while there are automated bird scarers, they don’t work very well, and constantly need servicing, moving and adjusting or the birds get used to them. A person wandering from field to field banging two dustbin lids together would be far more efficient, if they could be employed cheaply enough.

  28. S2

    Well it was a well crafted of politicking by Labour, and if you’re in politics that’s what happens

    “He should have explained what he actually said, namely that the implication of his words is a state benefit to disabled people.”

    He might of should have. He didn’t. He got screwed. Politics.

    Much more interesting if he had explained that Disability Compliance on businesses is a much cheaper (probably) way of giving a form of care to a segment of the disabled. It’s not like businesses pay the costs, is it? The incidence falls on wages, consumers and investors presumably, but avoids the corruption and cronyism that NGOs funded by taxes are prone to.

  29. @Paul B.oring

    Not if you have to clock in and out. Piece work of that sort usually refers to working at home.

  30. Doug on employing people of low productivity:
    “In theory of course, but in the real world…?”

    In this very real world I’m doing this now. Employing an English hippy to sit on a piece of land so no-one else does. He earns the value of sitting on the land, which given the siting costs of motor-homes round there is around 30 cents /hour plus all the water he can drink & anything grows he can eat.
    And it is very real employment. If he wanders off I’ll have to find another one & it’ll cost me the market rate.

  31. @doug

    “He might of should have. He didn’t. He got screwed. Politics.”

    er… So he’s not a nasty pus ridden dick, then, but a victim of liars?

  32. Jim

    Your example – bet you wouldn’t.

    Whatever disability your potential employee has, it’s going to be reasonably severe for this level of capability. Presumably, and taking a guess here, the work would not be suitable for anybody with a severe physical disability.

    So, you have a potentially severely mentally disabled person wandering around your farm. First time he/she disappears…? Second time…?

    F*** it, let’s get the tractor and automatic bird scarer out.

    Lovely idea, I just don’t see it working in general – but why not try it? As PaulB said, make it into piecework.

  33. “So he’s not a nasty pus ridden dick, then, but a victim of liars?”

    Eh… he is a politician, along with the Tory councillor…. A professional liar a victim of liars? Surely not sympathy for a politician.

  34. > He might of should have. He didn’t. He got screwed. Politics.

    Yes, but my point was that he got screwed by his party leader, not by the opposition.

    You also need to reread Jim’s example, as it did not at any point mention disabled people.

  35. “You also need to reread Jim’s example, as it did not at any point mention disabled people.”

    No, it didn’t – but I thought that that what was what we were talking about? Otherwise we are talking about the rights or wrongs of the Minimum Wage, are we not?

    Either way, he seems to have been pointed to a way that he can legally and ethically get the work done for below minimum wage, so I would be very interested in seeing if he does, and what the results are.

  36. Mind you, if he does he said the work is only worth him paying a small amount for – so he’d have to employ people disabled enough to do the work slowly.

    Awwwwkwaaard!!!! :-))

  37. BNIS

    “In this very real world I’m doing this now…”

    For a wage? Sounds you have a deal going that doesn’t involve an employment contract…? I’m guessing it’s not in the UK – but you could do that kind of deal in the UK too. I just don’t think it’s classified as employment and come under the minimum wage regulations.

    Having said that, I’m sure there are some anecdotes where I can be counter-exampled, but in general I’d stand by my claim – employees don’t create jobs that they can fit workers to.

  38. “I’m sure there are some anecdotes where I can be counter-exampled, but in general I’d stand by my claim – employees don’t create jobs that they can fit workers to.”

    Which is what the councillor in question appears to have done. He created a job to help a particular disabled individual. Like Interested’s old employer, it sounds like he is a charitable kind-hearted person.

    So in summary we have a discussion about a very specific situation which has arisen (as predicted) because of minimum wage laws. Yet Miliband and his merry band have spun it as “Tories want to pay disabled people pennies”. Miliband is despicable. And my opinion of Angela Eagle has got even lower, something I didn’t think was possible after her spell at the treasury.

  39. @Doug
    it’s certainly employment as far as I’m concerned. He adds value to the land. In the sense he reduces the likely cost of having to evict squatters.
    And having considered it for a bit, I’ve thought up a business venture to utilise low value employees. Low turnover value retailing. eg put a load of guys in wheelchairs in booths at the entrance to (non-smoking) parks, selling cheap sunglasses. They’d provide a useful service to the public, sell product, but never enough to justify adding minimum wage to the overheads. There’s a wealth of useful things like that can be done using low cost labour as a resource. Things give otherwise ignored & marginalised people a purpose.

    Nothing new, of course. Corner matchsellers etc. But mostly those sort of things are self employed where the entrepreneur carries the capital investment & risk. Not easy if you’re starting from disadvantaged.

  40. @ Doug
    Yes, he is a victim of liars, of which you are one.
    Lord Freud is not a politician – after a carteer in financial journalism and stockbroking from which he took very easly retirement because he was uncomfortable with the way his job was regarded he was asked by Tony Blair to draw up a plan to reform the welfare/benefits system. His plan was approved by the Cabinet Minister for DWP but blocked by Gordon Brown. In 2010 Cameron and IDS asked him to update and implement it. In order to become a Tory peer he had to join the Conservative Party – until he was 60 he had never joined a political party!
    Your definition of a politician is WHAT?
    Try doing 5 minutes homework before slagging off a guy who is trying to help the disabled at a significant personal next time (unless you work for the Grauniad).,

  41. Sheesh… I can hear the word EXPLOITATION forming in Doug’s mind from here. Just to clarify. Of course it’s exploitation. It’s meant to be. And the market looks after wage levels. If it’s successful you need a lot of guys in wheelchairs. So you have to pay a rate gets you them. Wages rise until the market clears. Unless the f****g govenment taxes them.

  42. @bnis

    All labour involves exploitation (on both sides of the deal) as I’m sure you would agree. The kind of exploitation Miliband is involved in is the exploitation of simpletons for political ends. Simpletons like Doug.

  43. I remember going to visit friends at university the year after I graduated. Some of them were having very stupid conversations about the (then brand new) Spice Girls and whether they were being exploited. Having a job by then, I tried pointing out to them that I was being exploited too but for a hell of a lot less money. Still being students, they didn’t understand the point.

  44. @Interested
    It occurred to me, a low turnover value retailing enterprise would be a good start-up opportunity for someone in a wheelchair. If do-gooders like Doug’d get out of the way.
    But that’d be exploitation by the exploited, wouldn’t it? Double-plus-ungood.

  45. We had a similar discussion some while back and the upshot of it was that employing disabled people in regular jobs wherever possible rather than ghettoising them in company’s like Remploy (it was after Remploy was shut down IIRC) and that as it was a social good then the State should make up the difference in wages or to get them up to minimum wage.

    @doug

    Its not just factories in the usual sense. I work occasionally in an office where they have a number of people reading and answering written questions. Some of those people are obviously very close to being blind and they are very at slow at reading the letter and then typing the answers. I’m sure the brain power element is just the same as their fully sighted colleagues, but they are obviously much slower.

    In this and similar cases it is for the State, ie us the tax payer, to make up for the short fall in productivity because, as was pointed out ad nauseum last night, there are many benefits to the disabled from being employed.

  46. Doug, you’re twat, and a slippery one at that.

    Freud has suggested subsidising the disabled so that can compete in the labour market. No different to subsidising wind farms for example.

    Btw, this isn’t new. My company employed a couple of mentally disabled people for many years, and the pay was subsidised by whatever branch of government it was (I forget exactly). This carried on throughout Ed’s time in office.

    So, Ed M comes out of this as an oppurtunistic, hypocritical tosser. Cameron as a knee-jerking PR twunt.

    Freud comes out quite well. Politics doesn’t have to conducted at the lowest possible level …. it can also be about ideas.

    You twat.

  47. GlenDorran

    You are right about Eagle – someone promoted way above her station purely on the grounds of gender and sexual orientation (so about as privileged as it’s possible to be in contemporary Britain) and she still can barely peel an orange without recourse to the user manual. Still smarting from that manufactured furore over Cameron’s ‘Calm down dear’ to her a few years back. Surely there has to be some legislation to ensure that Parliamentary candidates have to have worked in the Private sector to be eligible to stand for office?

  48. Let’s not get into exploitation where “Belle de Jour” was clearly exploiting her clients and the lefties cannot accept that anyone still working after 65 is not being exploited by a Gradgrind employer [Ken Clarke does not exist and Nils Taube was not working at 91 when he died and Winston Churchill retired in November 1939 and Augustus abdicated in 2 AD and …]
    David Freud correctly stated that some people cannot earn (as distinct from being paid) the minimum wage: so he thought aloud ways in which they might be allowed the dignity of earning a living.
    Shock! Horror!
    Scargillites insist that they must be prevented from acquiring such dignity einc that would shrink the lumpenproleteriat that Scargill requires to provide the shock troops of his revolution.
    I have given Doug over 4 hours to reply – he has not yet done so but since I myself have sometimes to work I shall assume that he might be working. One more hour and I shall deal with the rest of his offensive/repellent remarks

  49. Yep, without going into too much detail I had to deal with her when she was at the Treasury. Completely ignorant of any financial matters yet completely arrogant towards anyone from the financial industry. She clearly regarded us as scum.

  50. @Doug: actually my Father used to employ a ‘simple’ farm worker many years ago, so yes I do have some practical experience of such things. The chap in question was a guy who lived in the nearby village, and had suffered a motorbike accident as a young man, and had injuries that left him mentally subnormal, and physically disabled as well. He wouldn’t have been able to do a proper farm workers job, operating machinery and understanding complex instructions were beyond him, but was able to do simple tasks such as stone clearance, post hole digging, etc. He didn’t work a full regular working week, just came and did a few jobs when he needed a bit of extra money, or if we had something of his type of work available we’d ask if he was free.

    So yes, if it were possible to employ the physically and mentally disabled as part of some sort of national scheme to help them, I would consider getting involved, though one suspects that today it would be so PC and bureaucratic as to be a nightmare to be part of.

  51. I hope Jim will tolerate my mentioning yet again my not-quite-next-door neighbour who, like his friend, suffered a mo’bike accident. His brain still works but he cannot walk half as fast as I do, so he can’t get a paid job and works unpaid for a charity shop in the High Street.
    When some people categorise all those on benefits as”skivers” I get irate

  52. The only real problem with Freud’s statement is that worth CAN be used to describe something other than economic contribution – things like moral character, value as a human being etc.
    We all know what is meant (economic contribution) but his choice of words allowed Labour to capitalise.
    Had he said “There are people whose hourly economic activity is less than the minimum wage” Labour would have struggled to argue.

  53. @ Fred
    Well. of course – but when asked an honest question do *you* talk like that?
    David Freud is not a politician: he is an extraordinary guy (he went to the most intellectual college in Oxford) trying to help those at the other end of the intellectual spectrum.
    Guys like him are not trained to use weasel words – they tell the truth because sometimes those only moderately bright cannot see the truth until David Freud and his like point it out. Ed Miliband (who went a significantly inferior college) is denouncing him for telling the truth.What can I say – well nothing until I hire a libel lawyer.

  54. Fred:

    “We all know what is meant (economic contribution) …”

    Clearly not everyone. Ed is banking on being able to fool sufficient numbers of people to vote for him as a result.

    That’s pretty low down for a “public servant”, and he may well find it backfires.

    Worse, the suggested policy, or anything like it, will not be available to the next Labour government. As this is common sense and enjoys support amongst disabled charities (or did), this could be rather restricting. So, foolish as well as loathsome.

  55. Doug seems to think that we are all morons.
    “Much more interesting if he had explained that Disability Compliance on businesses is a much cheaper (probably) way of giving a form of care to a segment of the disabled. It’s not like businesses pay the costs, is it? The incidence falls on wages, consumers and investors presumably, but avoids the corruption and cronyism that NGOs funded by taxes are prone to.”
    Well who does pay the costs? Vladimir Putin? The Martian Corporation out of its notorious trade surplus with earth?
    “Well, to be true, Freud and the Tory Councillor are both wrong and nasty pus-ridden dicks.” If anybody is a “nasty pus-ridden dick” it is Doug! Two guys trying to help those with disabilities slagged off by Doug. Is it any wonder that Cameron was on the verge of losing his temper with Ed Millionaireband? Ed yammering on about pay rates for the disabled when Dave was interested in them staying alive.
    Doug, like Ed Millionaireband, stinks.

  56. john77 – “When some people categorise all those on benefits as”skivers” I get irate”

    It is, I guess, a spectrum. With your mate at one end. And this guy at the other:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2796108/electromagnetic-hypersensitivity-means-peter-lloyd-42-t-use-electric-gadgets-t-outside-house-case-walks-near-wifi-network.html

    Nice to know I am paying for that lunacy. However I don’t see why walking slowly is an impediment to real work. But let that pass. The real problem is that this is not what benefits were for. There should be some other way to deal with accidents. What most people would like to see, imo, is a way of sorting the deserving from the undeserving. Until that happens, everyone on benefits is going to get tarred with the same brush.

  57. @SMFS

    “What most people would like to see, imo, is a way of sorting the deserving from the undeserving. Until that happens, everyone on benefits is going to get tarred with the same brush.”

    I agree re a method of sorting, but not with your brush tarring. I think john77 is being hypersensitive though; if I used the word ‘skivers’ it would be with an implicit, too-obvious-to-need-stating acknowledgment that plenty of people on bennies deserve and need them. Equally, some are skiving.

  58. Fred,

    > The only real problem with Freud’s statement is that worth CAN be used to describe something other than economic contribution – things like moral character, value as a human being etc.

    No. There simply is no reading of standard English where one could infer that meaning of “worth” from “they’re not worth the full wage”. No-one measures moral character or value as a human using wages as a metric. The only way to get outraged by this is to manufacture your outrage for cheap political points. It’s shameful but typical that Milliband did this, it’s shameful but typical that Cameron caved to it, it’s a terrible shame that Freud bowed to Cameron’s stupidity, and it’s shameful that journalists — people who are supposedly experts at using words, for fuck’s sake — gave Milliband’s absurd claims the time of day.

    > Had he said “There are people whose hourly economic activity is less than the minimum wage” Labour would have struggled to argue.

    His answer contained the phrase “an hour”. It was perfectly clear.

  59. Out of interest, I looked up the derivation of “worth” & it seems pretty clear it comes from Old English & German roots which refer to transactional value.
    So, in hi-jacking a perfectly acceptable economic term for a moral quality, the bleeding heart faction cause their own problem.

  60. @ SMFS
    In current conditions nobody is going to employ my nearly-neighbour because he cannot do physical work at the same rate as the 99+% who have not been injured and the Minimum Wage means that they cannot pay him a pro-rata wage. If you are Stephen Hawkinge (or Glen Dorran) then the NMW is irrelevant but if you want a manual job, working at half the rate of uninjured people makes it uneconomic for the employer.

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