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How much is a worker worth?

In Japan, when the Samauri sword was invented (patented) it was necessary for them to know that in a given weight of pure iron, with 1% carbon necessary to make the correct grade of steel which did not require tempering to hold its edge and prevent it from oxadising (rusting), that a given number of atoms of carbon be added to a given number of atoms of iron.This was so they coud calculate how many times a slab of iron of a given surface area had to folded if carbon atoms soaked into the iron to the depth of one molecule. Soaking (heating) the iron in a bed of charcoal they had prepared over the summer from willow trees for about 20 minutes before doubling the surface area, and folding it in half along its length, it would take one man about two weeks to make one (or two) swords. Because it was skilled and physical work requiring an 8lb hammer which was too heavy for a woman to wield (without destroying her beauty by developing extraordinarily enlarged muscles in one arm), the inventor reasoned that this work was worth four times what an ordinary labourer would earn, and calculated this into the price of the sword. Unfortunately the government was only prepared to pay for labour at teh ordinary rate, and did not offer anything for technical skill. As a result, the government's offer was rejected, and the swords (steel) remained the property of the "inventor'. He then decided he must learn how to use his invention, took lessons from a woman who was prepared to teach him, and learned the basic skils as well as the advanced ones (undoing the laces) and became a Samauri, which was his name.

So it is with nurses. A nurse does not need to have the skills (or intelligence) of a doctor, but there is nothing to prevent her from having them. She can argue that she is worth three times the wages of an ordinary labourer with few skills, on the minimum rate of pay. For example, if the minimum is $15 an hour in New Zealand and $2 (Fijian) in Fiji, she would earn $45 per hour in New Zealand but only $6 Fijian in Fiji. Of course a person in Fiji would expect to be able to buy a lot more in Fiji with $6 (or $2) than a New Zealander could with the same amount of money, but because imported goods (such as oil) cost the same (in American dollars) as they do in New Zealand as in Fiji, this is not always the case. We can examine the case of oil (refined petrol) later.





State Housing 


The Minister of Finance is a senior figure within the government of New Zealand. The position is often considered to be the most important Cabinet role after that of the Prime Minister.

The current Minister of Finance is Bill English. There are also two Associate Minister roles. They are currently held by Simon Power and Steven Joyce.

When a worker on the minimum rate gets a pay increase, especially if they work for a government of state owned entity such as a public hospital or school, the worker on three times the rate should expect to get three times teh increase to maintain relativity in wages.

One could put forward quite a reasoned argument to say no public sector employee shoud expect to earn any more than four times the minimum, and even that some with more skills, such as doctors of Medicine could expect to earn less than, say nurses, or $35 per hour, because they have the option of working less than the required 40 hours for their 'salary' (ot that they are intelligent enough to decide for themselves that if they are goung to get paid ofr 40 hours, and decide to take some time off, that is their choice because their own ethics should tell them when they have done enough, and when they feel teh need or desire to work because of their dedication and love of their profession, they may do so. You could say that a doctor who has passed his or her exams and has a position, may be required to work no more than 20 hours a week for their salary, and therefore has the right to hold two full time positions, even if it means two at teh same practice, and must only work 40 hours a week for them, or up to 80 if he or she thinks that is best. Who can judge the stress or performance demands of any given week better than the doctor who has actually worked teh hours and seen the patients? It may be better when running a practice from the salary of one person to employ someone else at a lower rate to do some of the less important tasks associated with the business side.

 The same could be said of the elected Members of Parliament themselves. They command huge salaries compared to most workers, because they are comparing their responsibilities to those in the private sector but they forget that somebody else can step in and do their work if they happen to be voted out of office and yet can only work sixteen hours per day, and seven days a week the same as a self employed farmer, admitedly without the physical labour of an agricultural worker, but their role is to oversee and organise and take responsibility, deligating if they can. Perhaps four times the minimum is too low, but certainly a factor of the mimimum would let them keep in perspective with the majority of the population and the shrinking income most face on a weekly basis.

Healtth has a big task if it is to return a profit without actually going as far as to sell health services. When the profit motive is added to health it is inevitable that medical staff will try to sell more services, in the same way that a good salesperson working in retail on commission does not care if they sell something the customer does not really need or want.



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