Tag Archives: Minimum wage

As we seek options

There is a clear delight in looking a little longer at the Greek comedy that is about to become a tragedy, but I reckon that their loss is now a certainty to so many that the blogs and the news as it is released is no longer truly in the interest of many to watch.

Instead of that, it might be more interesting to take another look at what should be regarded as the shifting trend of danger as it hits on a global scale. It is an opinion piece by George Monbiot, which was published 3 days ago. The article called “‘Wealth creators’ are robbing our most productive people” (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/31/wealth-creators-klepto-rewards-bosses). George is touching on several issues I have written about and many have known for a long time. The following quotes are at the centre of the issue “A report by the Resolution Foundation reveals that two-thirds of frontline care workers receive less than the living wage. Ten percent, like Carole, are illegally paid less than the minimum wage. This abuse is not confined to the UK: in the US, 27% of care workers who make home visits are paid less than the legal minimum“. So here is number one. Mr President, your claims on healthcare for everyone, in this view, did you intentionally set it up to be affordable through the use of what might be regarded as slave labour? There are heaps of jokes involving slave labour and African Americans, but then, I am not sure how many of your involved advisers fit that bill. Yet, it is not about health care, it is only a factor in a larger scheme of things, so up to the next part. “As the pay gap widens – chief executives in the UK took 60 times as much as the average worker in the 1990s and 180 times as much today – the uselessness ratio is going through the roof I propose a name for this phenomenon: klepto-remuneration“, this is an interesting view. You see, ‘klepto’ implies what is ‘not theirs’, yet the system had been destabilised to maximise exploitation by those in charge. What George sees as ‘klepto-remuneration’, I see as unbalanced unaccountability. Because the board of directors has a clear responsibility, to ensure the future of the corporation that they are heading. It seems to me that these board members are doing whatever they can to fill their need for comfort. When people doubt that approach then take a look at the mediocre collection of bundled fiascos. Tesco, RBS, Northern Rock, Polly Peck and the list goes on for a decent time. The US is not innocent their either, it is a global problem.

The interesting part is that these events have been known for a long time and in some cases there was a change to the UK Corporate Governance Code and other laws, but overall the massive need for change to ensure (read: force) fairness to the corporations and the bleeding of revenue (read solvency) towards their own board of directors is nowhere near the changes that are required, which is shown on a near global scale. The issue will only increase over the next two years as we see mergers and therefor non-taxable solutions for certain moguls TEVA, Horizon Pharma and linked to this there is Deerfield. Yet, Deerfield has other options, so what will they do, will they drown their board into a group of massive commissions, or will they exploit their centre position and grow larger into the need to corner the pharma and generic patent market. Deerfield could grow its market from 4 to well over 11 billion if the right patents are acquired. So the question becomes, where is the cut-off point? When will we see the appropriate response of those boards, not for profit, but for opening markets and allow taxability to become a true value of restoring its government’s coffers, whether it be US or Commonwealth? Yet the proper laws to truly state the changes are not in place. The draconian shift would not just be unacceptable, it will result in a change that could choke a commerce, but the current unchecked options are equally non-working and equally devastating, all due to the lack of accountability, so how to change the setting?

I do not pretend to have the answer. I am not sure what the best course is to properly adjust the law, but as we saw in the article written by George, he had one final part I did not mention yet “There is no end to this theft except robust government intervention: a redistribution of wages through maximum ratios and enhanced taxation. But this won’t happen until we challenge the infrastructure of justification, built so carefully by politicians and the press. Our lives are damaged not by the undeserving poor but by the undeserving rich“, you see, here I slightly disagree, not with his statement, which is fair enough, but in this view ‘a redistribution of wages through maximum ratios and enhanced taxation‘, will never be a proper long term solution, it is a flim flam approach to a non-working premise. It is like the additional taxation of the rich, now consider that this money comes from less than 10,000 people, how can we see a redistribution on fairness, whilst only a small part of these rich are undeservingly so? If we cannot bolster their move, or tax their efforts, the only part remaining is to limit their actions. I had seen several moves in the past, which are still ignored by nations (and their taxation offices at large). I reckon that corporations are unwilling to receive taxation, in addition, several tax sheltering governments (Ireland & Netherlands) are unwilling to let go of the little advantage they have, but it is that unwilling part that is hurting all.

Laws to ‘maximise’ industrialisation have become anchors, minimising wellbeing, none of these elements are dealt with by ‘enhanced taxation’. It can be achieved by removing tax write offs. What if there is no longer a benefit for merging? What if Teva Pharma (TEVA) was not allowed to Acquire Auspex Pharma unless there is full taxability? So no tax write-off, no benefit for either. Why give tax breaks to companies making millions/billions? In addition, some of these mergers are done to allow for some patents to be prolonged. I believe in patents, I truly do, but I also believe in an end date of that exclusivity, so that the innovators of generic solutions can make a product that is affordable for all, solving more than one issue in one go.

Was that so hard to begin with? The solution providers only had to let go of a little greed!

 

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The second exploitation

It is always nice to see business to take a look at others and see how they can profit. As The US had to increase its Intelligence spending from 2004 onwards, many of us saw the outrageous amounts that the taxpayer had to dish out for intelligence resources. The biggest drain was not the need for more men, but the simple fact that much of the Intelligence community went private and those intelligence officers who were making on average $72333 year, suddenly in the private sector were asking for $172333. It was a simple ask and demand issue. This has gone on for some time and now we see how others are picking up the idea.

It is Sky News who informed us (at http://news.sky.com/story/1310468/nhs-hospital-paid-1800-a-day-for-nurse) on something so outrageous, that for a moment I thought they had just copied and pasted news from the Telegraph (the truth is far more shocking).

The first quote should be a massive wakeup call “On May Day Bank Holiday this year a locum agency was paid more than £1,800 to supply a nurse for a 12-hour shift, new figures show“, so a group that does not get anywhere near such an income supplies more funds for one day then most nurses will ever make in a week. Can anyone please explain that to me?

I know that I had given the answer in the beginning of this blog, yet in my blog of June 19th ‘Concerning the Commonwealth‘ I wrote “if we look at the NHS, then staffing and expertise are also a worry, which is by the way a worry in many Commonwealth Nations. Most of these nations have well over 5% unemployed; can some not be re-schooled in the healthcare sector?” Of course, that was after the event and long before Sky News wrote their article, yet overall, just as we saw on the mismanaged 111 helpline; it seems that hospital resources are not budgeted correctly either. You see, when we look at budgets, we think of coin and cost. It seems that most people think in that same way. Yet, hours and staffing is also a budget we must keep. The fact that we for some reason suddenly need to pay 1800 pound for a 12 hour shift comes down to the cost of a full day plumber (or the equivalent of two QC’s).

Yet the article is also lacking, WHY was this action taken? Perhaps there were valid (or better stated a host of) actions that resulted towards this choice. So, not unlike the Telegraph, we should ask the questions in regards to these events as they are told to us. This is why I decided to hold on to this, as it was clear that there was more to this than meets the eye. My initial response: ‘Bad Sky News, bad!‘ (Especially as the health strikes were already going on).

It is now, today August 10th that I see an article of the Guardian that does more than just put the Sky News article to shame. I am not debating whether the article was true, but it seems that there are sides that certain people are never happy to inform the others about.

This part is now seen (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/09/former-nhs-carers-intensify-strike-over-pay). If I read this correctly then these people are making just above minimum wage, yet these people are doing intense work, needing to keep a mind of everything (especially physicians at times), whilst making no more than the brain dead fast food counter staff tends to make. How is this even close to acceptable?

Perhaps Sky News did stumble upon something, but they ignored the other side. So at 7 pounds, a nurse makes 280 pounds pre taxation. If that person was staying at a homeless hostel, she would lose out on 105, which gives her 175 to live on for a week, which is 25 pounds a day, take in consideration underground, busses and such, which makes for another fiver down the sewage (as they would rightfully see it). So how can ANYONE live on less than 20 pounds a day? Remember, this still needs to account for food, clothing and a few other items.

There is no denying that leaving the NHS in private hands is worse than just a bad idea. It could be the first onset of death for healthcare in the UK. As politicians have wasted in excess of 15 billion pounds on failed approaches to healthcare, why think that the private sector (a greed and profit driven entity) would do better to the cost and even more disgraceful, better to the people it is supposed to take care of?

The article has a clear quote that shows the danger people face: “Once they have squeezed out the state sector, and the third sector, we will then see prices rise; then we will see profits; then we will see these tax-efficient structures working.” This is a clear ‘divide and conquer’ approach, a method, might I remind the reader of that has been around Julius Caesar, so long before Nicola Machiavelli decided to become devious. Attached to this is that as more and more cost cutting solutions are born, ‘surviving’ on tax shelter operations, then the treasury coffers will miss out on a lot more, which will just force a system of checks and balances which is no longer depending on any balance, it makes for a massively unbalanced future for both the people and the state.

The part that gets me is the people behind the strike “Fifty carers for the disabled are staging one of the longest strikes in the history of the health service to secure a living wage for staff working in privatised services formerly run by the NHS“. Have these people on minimum wage figured out what politicians, who make a lot more than that are ignoring?

The danger is that when (not if) the healthcare sector collapses, the fallout will be unimaginable. Those deciding on cutting costs (which by itself is not a bad idea), should also consider the dangers that follows. Government has health and medical options because (for now) it is not driven from a profit point of view, which is at the heart of this situation, this is not about cutting cost or making profit, this is about breaking even or losing an essential part of support for the living. When we are left to the devices of that what brings profit, we see the first steps into culling a population. It will not happen because they are killed, it will happen because services are no longer available. Then what will the government do, and who will they have to pay, or more interestingly, how much will it cost the government then?

Is that in any way a lesser form of murder?

The question becomes: ‘If a Service Level Agreement is set between government and the private sector, can any of these parties be prosecuted for murder?

You the reader will laugh now, which is fine, but when we see the first casualty because of these changes consider my words and consider how that person would still be alive if certain steps had not been taken.

 

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