Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Friday 22 February, 02008

Minima

by Matthew Bartlett @ 7:25 am

NRT suggests a Bunnings boycott
interesting (and very alpha) non-modal operating system (idea)
really neat demo of SeaDragon and Photosynth [vid]

8 Responses to “Minima”

  1. Ben Hoyt says:

    I agree it’s a bit nasty to pay people minimum wage. But nasty is different from wrong, is it not? I’ve heard of plenty of unkind bosses, but it doesn’t mean they’re crooks.

    Why isn’t it as simple as “if you’re going to be unhappy with $12/h, don’t work at Bunnings”?

    Also, the staff I’ve talked to at Bunnings Chch are usually very happy and helpful, I think more so than at supermarkets and other places. Though I’m sure that has more to do with ethos than pay.

  2. Matthew says:

    God wants employers to pay a living wage. I’m told that when the minimum wage was introduced in New Zealand, it was enough for a small family to live on. At the current rate ($11.25 before tax, going up to $12 next month), you get $18,837 a year in the hand for a full-time job.

    A Treasury paper I found quotes the papal encyclical Revum Norarum thusly:

    … there is a dictate of Nature more imperious and ancient than any bargain between man and man, that the remuneration must be enough to support the wage-earner in reasonable and frugal comfort. If through necessity or fear of a worse evil, the workman accepts harder conditions because an employer or contractor will give him no better, he is the victim of force and injustice.

  3. Andrew says:

    Just looked up some figures for your example, Matt.

    If the small family had one child and paid $350/week in rent, then on top of the $18,837 in the hand they’d receive about approx. another $14,976 through Working for Families and the Accomodation Supplement. So they would have a total, in the hand, of $33,813.

    That’s $650 a week in the hand, which I would say ought to be relatively easy to support such a small family on. Certainly well and truly enough to leave in reasonable comfort.

  4. Matthew says:

    Ah! — good point, I hadn’t thought about W4F etc.

    Still, $650 – $350 rent = $300. $300 a week for two adults and a child to live on is pretty tight. Reasonable expenses that would need to come out of that might be: groceries, clothes, power, gas, phone, internet, petrol/bus tickets, the odd bit of medicine/doctor’s visit for the wee baby or school supplies later on. And after that it’d be good to be able to save something, and give something away to e.g. a church.

  5. Andrew says:

    Yes, reasonable expenses do add up. But if you exclude savings from the things you are adding up, I suspect our family (with _five_ young children) live quite comfortably for no more than $300 a week.

  6. Matthew says:

    I must be profligate — after savings and that sort of thing I spend about the same all by myself.

  7. Andrew says:

    “I must be profligate” – Lydia says, that’s why you’re getting married!

  8. bryan says:

    Sorry to derail…Matt, I was wondering If I could borrow back that little delay/comp/chorus pedal. We have a gig next sat at bodega, and I think I’m gonna need it (supporting one of my musical heroes, chris matthews! eeek.)

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