Rodney Hide: Bravo the real business class

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Who thanked Mainzeal for the jobs they provided? Photo / Michael Craig
Who thanked Mainzeal for the jobs they provided? Photo / Michael Craig

The left's latest cause is for businesses to cough up a "living wage". They really have no idea. They think running a business is easy.

That's because they have never done it. The left think you just turn up each day and the profits are deposited each week.

But many businesspeople don't make the minimum wage, let alone the "living wage". They work all hours. They sweat about making the wage bill each week. And they must suffer the depredations of petty and contradictory government rules.

We are very lucky to have them. The income they generate pays all our wages, either directly or indirectly. Politicians, teachers, police officers and government officials pay no net tax. Their wages are paid out of taxes. The tax they pay is nominal only. They owe their lifestyle to businesspeople who generate the income on which all tax is paid.

Business would survive without government. But government wouldn't survive without business.

Lefty politicians pay lip service to small business. And then attack big business. But big business is just a small business that succeeds.

It's incoherent to be for small business but against small business succeeding.

Besides, business success is the social success that matters most. It's the success of providing what people actually want at a price they are prepared to pay. The anti-business sentiment that runs through New Zealand schools, universities, politics and media is bizarre.

It's a sentiment borne of a lack of experience and comprehension.

It's behind the left's call for a living wage, the idea that prosperity can somehow be conjured out of the air simply by calling for it.

We also see the left's ignorance when business succeeds and when it fails. They see the money that follows business success as somehow unearned. And they see business failure as something odd, something wrong, and as someone's moral failure.

They view with disdain the loss of jobs, but don't thank Mainzeal for providing the jobs in the first place.

Besides, those who lose jobs are invariably picked up by others in business who can use their skills and time to better effect.

The exceptions to re-employment aren't the fault of the market but of government rules, regulations and handouts that vainly attempt to protect people from the vicissitudes of life.

We need more business people. The continual struggle and challenge to employ people and resources to best effect is what makes an economy dynamic and wages higher.

The businesspeople picking themselves up from failure are to me the boxer pushing himself up from the mat bloodied and bruised, sweaty and wearied, refusing to give up and determined to fight on.

I cheer their courage and doggedness and what they give us all.


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- Herald on Sunday

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