Friday, October 12, 2012

This is what trickle down really looks like

Capitalism is frequently tarred as “trickle down” economics.

Wrongly.

Because if you really want to see trickle down in action, consider government. They take money from you, by force, and give it to … who?

To people like the heads of government departments who, in the depths of recession while all around them are tightening their belts (not the least reason being to pay their frigging tax bills), have enjoyed this:

  • the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade John Allen was given a $40,000 pay rise despite drastic cutbacks at the Ministry, given $620-630,000 this year, up from $580-590,000 last year
  • Head of Treasury Gabriel Makhlouf was given $540-549,999 this year
  • Secretary for Education Lesley Longstone was given $320-329,00
  • the highest paid individual in the public sector is chief executive of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation Adrian Orr, who was handed $730-739,000
  • shamed former head of the Department of Building and Housing (DBH) Katrina Bach was paid out $81,105 in entitlements when she left the job earlier this year
  • Corrections Department chief executive Barry Matthews was paid $41,529 in entitlements when he left the job at the end of 2010. Matthews' replacement, Ray Smith, is given $420 to 429,999
  • Housing New Zealand chief executive Lesley McTurk went from $460-469,999 last year up to $480-489,999 this year
  • Ministry for Culture and Heritage boss Lewis Holden climbed from $330-339,999 last year up to $350-359,999
  • the head of chronic failure  ACC was given $570-580,000 from July to September last year, and for good measure another $390,000 to $400,000 from then to June this year
  • The head of the Alcohol Advisory Council, who pays for all those dodgy “studies,” pulled down $370-380,000.

The amounts doled out to the head of KiwiRail, now worth one dollar, and to the chairman of NZ Post Michael Cullen, who bought the dog for the taxpayer, are not reported. But we can be sure they haven’t personally lost money this year.

Thank goodness then for those few among them taking an involuntary cut, among them the poor Education Review Office chief executive Graham Stoop, who went from $330,000 to $339,999 last year down to just $320,000 to $329,999.

"We want to attract, retain, and motivate suitable, highly competent chief executives,” said State Services Commissioner Ian Rennie,  whose salary was also not included in the report.

This of course is bullshit.  The only place these folk can pull down these kind of numbers is in the bureaucracy. If you paid the whole bloody bureaucracy less, as you should anyway in a recession, they’d have nowhere else to go.

Indeed, if you paid them based on the value they produce, how much do you think any of them would get?

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