Sunday, July 29, 2007

When a dollar was five bob

Less than a century ago the dollar was worth five bob, that translates to 50 cents in today's money. So that would mean that the New Zealand dollar exchanged at two US dollars for one of ours.

I wonder at and why the change. Suspect that the Unions have been too good at getting wage rises in the decades since the dollar was worth five bob. Whatever I don't really begrudge them their success and I'm a firm believe in strong sensible unionism.

But as firms move overseas it makes me wonder why owners and unions don't get together and find a solution.

Surely it is better to retain industry in the country rather than send it off-shore?

One solution would be to try wages in exporting induxtries to the exchange rate. In times of a low exchange rate wages would rise and the reverse in the current situation. One effect of this would be less spent on the 'cheap imports' by those in the export trade becuase their wages would have dropped. Those involved would probably divide their wages into savings for the rainy day as well as keeping up with the Jones' which would help the country.

Naturally intelligent unionists rather than the firebrands are required for this to work ... just as likewise on management's side .... no room for rednecks of either kind. With proper accountancy to make it all fair and above board.

I really cannot see it happening after a lifetime of viewing the extremism of both sides in labour relations .. but it would be a help to the Reserve Bank and probably would keep interest rates down .... so workers wouldn't have to find extra money to pay increasing interest payments on their home loans.

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