miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
They've apparently "proved" that tax credits are not a subsidy to employers to pay crap wages in this piece here, but I think I've spotted a tiny flawette in the entire premise of their argument. The premise of their argument is that "employers generally pay people according to the productivity of their work". Errr no. Really, really, no.

Employers pay people as little as they can get away with on the basis of how easy the person would be to replace if they walked out tomorrow, how much training and hassle it would take to get a replacement, and so on. People who get paid £100,000 a year for signing a few forms are not more productive than people who actually make things for minimum wage, that's utter bullshit. People who get paid £100,000 a year for signing a few forms are just harder to replace, because they have to have the right lines on their CV and to know which forms are worth signing and which are not etc.

Now, I'm not saying the £100,000 a year person isn't worth it to the employer. Society has decided that knowing which forms to sign is more difficult and important than actually making things, and so that person gets paid more. I accept that is the way of the world. But to pretend it's because that person is more productive?

No, absolutely not. The productive people are always, always at the bottom rung of the ladder, and the further up the ladder you go the more actually productive people it's needed to sustain the leeches - and I say this as someone who has recently joined the leech class.

Now whether tax credits are a subsidy to the employer for paying crap wages to the actually productive people, or a subsidy to a stupid economic system that doesn't value actually productive people is a different argument. But the idea that employers use productivity to decide how much they are going to pay someone is utter bollocks. Sorry, IEA.

Date: Monday, June 22nd, 2015 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thamesynne
This. A thousand times this.

About the best that can be said for the leech class is that at its best, it enables the productive class to become even more productive by spotting avenues for optimisation and keeping the tedious administrative work away from them. But I suspect that becomes less true the further up that tree one climbs.

There's just no way around the fact that the employer/employee relationship is necessarily and inherently exploitative. The employer wants to make more out of the employee than they are paying them, and to maximise that disparity; by and large, the employee just wants to not starve. And it's ironic, but entirely logical, that becoming "more valuable" to that employer requires the employee to shed more and more of their transferable skills in favour of knowing which forms (from a completely arbitrary, illogical form system) need filling in.

Date: Monday, June 22nd, 2015 07:06 pm (UTC)
andrewducker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
Yeah. I'm expensive because I'm hard to replace. If I could make the company a million a day, and they could replace me instantly with someone else who did likewise, then they'd pay me a pittance, because that's all they'd need to.

How those writers forgot about supply and bloody demand, I really don't know...

Date: Monday, June 22nd, 2015 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thamesynne
They work in a thinktank.

From Andrew (DW's openID still borked)

Date: Monday, June 22nd, 2015 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yeah, they are among the lucky few for whose work there is no demand whatsoever and yet still get paid.

Date: Monday, June 22nd, 2015 08:18 pm (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
Hang on.

You're writing blog posts explaining basic (right wing) market economics and the (supposedly right wing) IEA are subscribing to the labour value theory of pay (ie the one proposed by Locke and expanded on by Marx)?

I know you're not explaining the way the world works approvingly, but "you're paid only so much as they need to pay you to keep you" is basic markets 101.

Date: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thamesynne
Reminds me of the difference between what meritocracy is supposed to mean ("the best people rise highest") and how it gets used ("we're at the top, so we must be the best").

And I've just realised why - it's backwards reasoning; start with the conclusion you want, find whatever theory gets you there from the facts you have to explain. Which also reminds me of Objectivism, which is full of it.

Date: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 07:05 am (UTC)
nickbarlow: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nickbarlow
""you're paid only so much as they need to pay you to keep you" is basic markets 101"

and part of the job of wanktanks like the IEA is to try and keep that knowledge from the public in favour of a 'Woo! Capitalism is great for everyone, and it'd be even better if the people who pay for us to do this had to pay less taxes!'

Date: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 07:44 am (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
I keep forgetting that the IEA is where Adrian's punchbag sorry, Murk Littlebrain went after Liberal lack-of-Vision (found that "report" he wrote on "The Cameron Effect" and how many seats we'd lose in 2010 while tidying a drawer last week, it's hilarious looking back in hindsight...)

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