Thursday, September 4, 2014

Not helping

New Zealand is a low-wage economy, yes.  Increases in productivity haven't been reflected in wage increases for a couple of decades now, yes.  The minimum wage in this already-low-wage economy is hard to live on, yes.  The government can influence wage levels, yes.  But... doesn't help any when the media do stories to illustrate 'low-wage poverty' in NZ that have nothing to do with low wages.  Here's a classic:  "Woes of minimum wage felt by family."

So, you read the story, and you get to this bit:

Their combined fortnightly income is $2000, nearly half of which is spent on rent.

Now, I don't know how things are in your town, but you can live pretty well in Palmerston North on $2000 a fortnight, because the rental on a good-quality 3-bedroom house won't come to much more than a quarter of that.  So, what we're looking at here isn't a story about low wages, it's a story about expensive housing. Worse, the fact that it's a story about expensive housing, not low wages, is obvious.  It sticks out like dogs' bollocks even to a casual reader - which prompts the question, are the journos involved idiots, or is it some kind of propaganda thing?

1 comment:

Chris said...

I think you just answered your 2 questions yourself!!