If only he knew some economics

The TUC has published a map showing the loss in average earnings by UK employees since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.

Britain needs a pay rise and that’s not on every party’s agenda at the forthcoming election. It should be. But some prefer exploiting labour to rewarding it. That’s an unacceptable choice that has gone on for too long.

So, what is a recession? It’s when people start firing people as they realise the cost of employing them is higher than the revenue from employing them.

So, what ‘s the solution to a recession? To lower real wages.

Sigh.

Look, it’s even in Keynes for God’s Sake.

27 comments on “If only he knew some economics

  1. An article I covered yesterday contained this gem:

    This generation will be the first priced out of the housing market, our penalty rates are being cut, underemployment is rife and we’ve seen drastically low wage growth for decades.

    Penalty rates are the legally-mandated minimum wages in Australia. Their NUS president is complaning they’re being cut *and* that unemployment is rife.

  2. Gotta love these entitled twats as in the subject of Mr Newman’s blog. Get a degree in useless studies and then get all upset that plumbers and other city of guilds people get paid more. Brilliant. Love it when reality comes smashing down in these twats faces.

    I did a year of a materials science degree, got bored, got a job instead and am doing better than most people I know with a degree (although admittedly not compared to most of those with a useful one). It’s not hard to do alright if you can display some level of competence and work hard. It’s a huge problem that so many people with a degree, any degree, think they’re entitled to the good life just because they have a certificate… but we had 10 years of Blair etc telling them so.

  3. Case in point re degrees. One guy who works under me has a degree in chemistry, I didn’t even do A-level chem. He’s been in the company longer than me, is older than me and is better qualified then me, but the company put me in charge of him, because he’s a we’ll know Fuckwit. He can’t even get his head around water of crystallization. I learned it of Wikipedia and am constantly having to explain it to him. The calculation is allow for it is just fucking GCSE maths afterall.

    How can our education system produce graduates in chemistry who can’t do that?

  4. “So, what is a recession? It’s when people start firing people as they realise the cost of employing them is higher than the revenue from employing them.”

    Not necessarily. People get fired when management realise that there is an alternative that produces a higher return on capital either by lowering costs (outsourcing overseas, deskilling) or higher output (automation – less relevant in a recession). It can happen at any time, but a recession focuses management’s attention. Point is, if people can justify a pay rise, good management will give it to them. If the pay rise isn’t forthcoming at any time, it probably isn’;t justified.

  5. ‘Britain needs a pay rise and that’s not on every party’s agenda at the forthcoming election.’

    It IS on some parties’ agendas? What are said parties going to mandate?

    ‘But some prefer exploiting labour to rewarding it. That’s an unacceptable choice that has gone on for too long.’

    I’d comment, but his statement is gibberish.

  6. DJ, I had same situation 45 years ago. Chemist told me, a biologist, to put water samples in freezer over night. I told him, with his masters in chemistry, that water expands when it freezes and will break the containers. He told me nonsense, and directed me to do it.

    He was really, really surprised the next morning. But not particularly humbled.

  7. @Dongguan John
    “Gotta love these entitled twats as in the subject of Mr Newman’s blog. Get a degree in useless studies and then get all upset that plumbers and other city of guilds people get paid more. Brilliant. Love it when reality comes smashing down in these twats faces…..
    It’s a huge problem that so many people with a degree, any degree, think they’re entitled to the good life just because they have a certificate… but we had 10 years of Blair etc telling them so.”
    Actually it is bad for us if people spend their time doing that makes us poor. Why Major,Blair, Brown and Cameron wanted people to do this, is a mystery to me.

  8. Gamecock, a colleague of mine went to India to assess some chemists there and they weren’t allowing for the mass of the crucible when calculating % water content of a leather sample. The crucible weighing about 50 times the mass of the leather.

    That story is about 25 years old and I used to put it down to Indian degrees. Recently another non-graduate colleague had a row with a Phd in Brazil who thought his calculation of acceleration due to gravity of > 10 m/s2 was a reasonable result! ( I promise I’m not kidding!!) I suggested my colleague should tell the Brazilian idiot to apply for a Nobel prize. My later experience unfortunately appears to suggest this sort of fuckwittery is not rare in the U.K. either.

    Obviously you’re not going to get this with Russell group grads but what Blair did with his desire to have practically everyone have a degree makes it much more difficult to find the non-fuckwits

    Personally I wasn’t suited to doing a degree, it bored me and I spent most of my year at university fucking around before dropping out. In hindsight I should have done something I found more interesting. Doesn’t make me stupid or any more capable in doing my job, which really doesn’t require a uni graduate level of education, than someone who bothered to stick it out.

    What does amaze me is that some graduates I deal with are absolute fucking idiots and I wonder what sort of university would allow them to graduate. Seriously, how do these people pass? Sadly they think they’re better than me because they have a certificate.

  9. Anon, I think Blair, Cameron etc prescribe to the ‘blank slate’ theory, even for 18 year olds. They believe anyone, even at 18, can achieve anything given the right direction.

    It’s obviously bollocks.

  10. @Dongguan John
    “They believe anyone, even at 18, can achieve anything given the right direction.

    It’s obviously bollocks.”
    Even if it were true, why would it be good to have more people study e.g. English than there are jobs needing an English degree?

  11. @anon, maybe it’s a London bubble thing? City states like HK or Singapore can have a high % of their citizens doing high value work while all the shitty work is done by immigrants. Unfortunately this only works by fucking off the immigrants and any family they might have (or god forbid actually allow them to join) once their use is over.

  12. Actually I remember from time I’ve spent in Singapore where my cousin is from. The locals can get decent salaries working cushty jobs in bars while immigrants work for fuck all in construction. I used to go jogging around MacRitchy reservoir, through the nature reserve, and my cousin would tell me stories about how there were tent brothels just off the path to service the Bangladeshi or whatever migrant laborers.

    Couldn’t get away with that in England.

  13. And I’ve gone completely off topic after only 6 beers….apologies

    While the wife’s away John will play.

  14. I am in Singapore in a couple of weeks time. Haven’t seen a tent brothel but now I know where to look, or actually avoid more likely! You find out amazing stuff…

  15. When only 15% of people went to university a degree was a valuable indication that you could study, reasearch, and write up a topic. It was irrelevant what degree you did. My Mum’s sociology and anthropology degree got her a job as a radiographer (xray technician/operator). When everybody has a degree the only way to differentiate people is by examining what degree they have, so naturally a degree per se is worthless, only a degree in the subject area of the job you are applying to do has any value. Where are the sociology and anthopology job vacancies?

  16. “bloke in france

    Of course he understands nothin of economics. He’s an accountant”

    He also understands next to nothing of accountancy, tax, business, history or of human nature.

  17. People get a degree by doing the assigned work to a particular standard.
    Whether writing essays, producing reports, taking samples etc.

    Degrees are not and haven’t been anything to do with being intelligent or stupid.

    They are what quite a lot of employers want though.

    Friend of mine got a history degree, a mature student she’s worked for 20 plus years.
    To get management roles she had to get a degree so she got one. Most of her jobs since uni have been management ones, she may well end up a senior manager at the company she now works for or even at board level.
    She’s pretty good as a manager from what her staff say – but without that piece of paper that she spent 3 years getting she wouldn’t even be offered the opportunity, her application binned.

    I still get the job emails from a mailing list I am on in my old profession – jobs that always these days require a degree. Doesn’t matter how good a track record, doesn’t matter how multi skilled, must have a degree.
    And the UK doesn’t have anything relevant to that profession as a degree last I looked. Probably a good thing – we do have a burnout rate. Imagine spending 3 years getting a degree in a specific job centric subject then being unable to use it anywhere….

  18. BiG, nah I just wanted to get a job and have some money. Young and stupid. I regret it now although I’ve done alright.

  19. “Degrees are not and haven’t been anything to do with being intelligent or stupid.

    They are what quite a lot of employers want though.”

    Not necessarily what the employer or operational manager wants but big companies’ recruiting has been hijacked by HR bureaucrats:

    1. HR departments have taken on the role of recruitment from operational managers, at least at the first stage, and it makes their life easy as they don’t have to understand the role being filled.

    2. As Parkinson warned – it allows managers to inflate their own importance because they now manage graduates and therefore their own job must be more important. This is particularly true of the civil service.

  20. @ Tim Newman

    Penalty rates are not a minimum wage per se, they are a mandated rate multiple for working weekends and holidays.

    The main change being proposed is, quite reasonably (in my view) equalising Saturday and Sunday rates.. on account of most people not really needing an extra boost to make up for missing church.

    Also, the quote says ‘underemployment’ not ‘undmployement’, though penalty rates are likely a bigger factor in the former than the latter, as some businesses simply can’t open as often as they’d like due to said rates… therefore less shifts… therefore employed people not getting as much work as they’d like.

  21. @DJ – I am not likely to be going there, even in the daytime!

    $20. I assume you get a ‘free gift’ of something not necessarily treatable with that as well.

    ON topic – I saw comments on a Gruaniad article complaining it was always thick public school types who do well and this person with a degree in history and art couldn’t get on. I commented… and get told said person is doing ok as they are now a teacher and a restatement of the ‘thick public school types’ comment.

    They are so unaware of how competition really works and how a supposed meritocracy operates in the real world. I have got ahead due to being smart but have only recently realised how the game is played and it is working out much better for me know because of that. It isn’t always what you know but how you show what you know and how you make it appear useful. This means even useful degrees can be wasted on people who have no application, as the examples above show.

  22. @ Andrew Again
    Public schools, as distinct from state schools, are selective and wish to attract the attention of potential fee-paying parents by being able to publicise good exam results and lots of boys and girls winning places at Oxbridge and (more recently) other Russell group universities.

    So they give scholarships to bright kids whose parents couldn’t afford full fees (in some cases any fees – the mother of the boy from whom I bought for a week’s wages his Physics ‘A’ level notes was alleged to paying £4 per term because she was surviving on a War Widow’s pension; he got a State Scholarship to Cambridge; I got an ‘A’ in physics without ever being taught the course, so it was a super-bargain).

    Of the guys in my year from my school who went to Oxford, not one of us paid full fees (I *expect* that the same is true of Cambridge, but I left as soon as I got into Oxford so I don’t know who got into Cambridge – apart from the super-brain and the best sportsman, who got in on his intellectual ability being one of the top half-dozen in our year).

    Thick public school types – that describes *three* of my friends, out 600-odd who were there at the same time as I. Admittedly, my wife noticed a number of public-schoolboys at Cambridge who were visibly less intelligent than she but that does not necessarily mean that they were thick – most (but far from all) state school pupils at Oxford were visibly less intelligent than I.

    “Thick public school types” is a favourite LIE by lefties; the thick kids don’t get into public schools. I can remember a few boys failing Common Entrance (rare – my prep school had some excellent teachers and in my year a scholarship rate of about 20% of pupils*) with those failing Common Entrance going to private schools that lacked the status of “Public Schools”, but the least intelligent generally ended up in state schools because it wasn’t worth impoverishing the family to send a boy (or, very rarely, a girl) to a public school where tyhey would learn very little.

    So, next time – ask why anyone who can pass the modern equivalent of Common Entrance is “thick”

    *OK – we were not an “average” group: our Oxbridge entrance %age would also have been around 20% if we had included the Scots girl who chose to go St Andrew’s instead, but my point is about the bottom 10% who failed Common Entrance not the top 20% who didn’t need to take it.

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