The result is a surreal sense of denial. Ministers refuse to meaningfully negotiate, and hide behind official pay review bodies. At the same time, they repeatedly interfere in discussions between unions and employers, usually in the worst possible way: last week, for example, saw reports that an offer from rail companies to the RMT of a 10% pay rise over two years had been blocked by ministers, who were dead against any such increase, and insistent that any deal should include drastic changes to working conditions.
1) The whole point of having the pay review bodies is to plan wages. To do that scientific socialism stuff of coming up with an objective value of the labour being employed. What are you, a socialism denier?
2) We prove, again, Baumol’s point about innovation, productivity and planning. It is markets that improve productivity through competition. We don’t get these productivity increases in planned activities because we’ve not got the competition. This is why Twitter can – after a certain convulsion of course – fire 50% of the staff and continue merrily on its way and British Rail still has the manning levels of three decades back for the same output. The entire point of advancing technology is that we can gain the same output with less labour. Therefore working conditions are always changing – that’s the entire damn point of the exercise.