Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lucia Waahhh, I can't shop on Easter Sunday!!!

DPF's annual anti-Easter Sunday mandatory day off for shoppers rant occurs early. Or maybe it's just major Christian holidays (it's nearly Christmas!) that sets him and parliamentarians like him, off the deep end.

I'm sad to read that ACT want shopping on Easter Sunday as well. This attempt to force Easter shopping on the country by the Parliament shows just why I will never vote ACT again. While ACT has a good record on opposing the totalitarian tendencies of the Government in general, it as a party, doesn't get what is truly important.

See previous posts: DPF's Annual Easter Trading Rant and Helen Clark

13 comment(s):

ZenTiger said...

The issue is interesting in the way he frames it, wondering why Labour block voted against it:

This time Labour block voted against it..Why would Labour MPs who previously allowed more far reaching bills go to select committee, block vote against such a mild bill?

The answer is simple. Two major groups are against any change to the status quo. The first is the churches and religious right.


That is not the answer.

The churches and religious right are minorities in this country. They have far less influence than attributed to them over public policy. What does have some measure of influence is the cultural traditions and moral compass passed on through generations, which have a natural link to the Christian religion.

Whilst religious organisations may remind us of those values, it's the personal appreciation of those values that interfere with the drive to over-liberalize our society.

I'll come back to that point.

The main point about Labour block voting against National is simply because when they were in power they were for it, and as opposition they are automatically against it.

How often are we seeing National work the same way? What they stood against in opposition they are happy to push through now they are in power: No Smacking Law change, EFA going to remain largely the same, ETS shoved through with wads of cash to the Maori to get it through, etc.

So the reason is simple. There is little difference between Labour and National, and they simply do the job the same way. When in opposition, oppose. When in power, do whatever the UN, the IPCC demand, and follow most of the policy directions the bureaucracy generate.

Hence nine National MPs (almost all of religious conviction) voted not to allow NZers a chance to have their say on the law. Shame.

And there's another interesting twist. What DPF puts down to manipulation from the churches, is simply people holding on to some cultural values that DPF sees less importance than 24/7 shopping.

Freedom to shop 24/7 relies on a worker having freedom to say yes to whatever shift work they are offered. Essentially, a great idea providing there is no force (including indirect pressure to retain ones job if not seen as a "team player") but I question why the rule needs to apply for all 365 days a year.

nyokodo said...

How is allowing shopping on Easter Sunday "forcing" Easter shopping on the country? People can still voluntarily choose not to shop and not to open for business on Easter if they don't want to. What gives the Government the right to prevent commerce on Easter?

Lucia Maria said...

Nyokodo,

In a democracy, the people give the Government the right to restrict commerce on particular days.

People can voluntarily choose whether or not to shop on particular days, but staff typically cannot exercise that choice in the same way.

Since trading has extended to the weekend, it is now acceptable to expect people in many fields to work on weekends - because nothing is sacrosanct, even time with your family is considered secondary to the demands of work.

This is not good.

If you don't have a family, or you don't work, you don't tend to notice the pressures to work all the time by many sectors of society.

For instance, in my husband's job, Sunday is considered to be a great travel day if there is a conference that he needs to travel to that starts on a Monday. The organisers don't even consider starting on a Tuesday to allow family men to travel on work days rather than encroaching on their family time. Sunday shopping has contributed a great deal to this thoughtlessness.

Many people like the status quo, and can live with a few days of the year where traditionally shops are given the day off. Once Easter shopping is allowed, the next 2 and half days will go next. My guess is Good Friday will be next in the firing line.

graham roberts said...

My goodness I agree again

I need a drink

Ozy Mandias said...

If I had my way I would stop all Saturday and Sunday trading. Sounds shocking but we would soon change our lives, spend less, and have more family time. As a teacher having Saturday and Sunday free, as well as holidays starting tomorrow, I have a good job for a person with a family. I wish others could ahve the same.

nyokodo said...

Lucia, if democracy gives the government the right to restrict trade then what gives the majority the right to restrict the freedom of the minority? Might does not make right. And even if democracy does have this right then why not put Easter trading up for a popular vote then? It hasn't been given the service yet to my knowledge.

Just like workers have the right to negotiate their own employment contracts, including how long their annual leave is and when they take it, people should be able to choose whether working on Easter Sunday is right for them or not. Historically it was the free market, not Government force nor Labour Unions which won better conditions for workers, high pay and family time. I say let the free market work not rely on a one size fits all top down approach which never works.

ZenTiger said...

Hey nyokodo, here's some background reading:

Freedom to shop

I'm particularly interested in your opinion on the bit where Chinese Miners have negotiated the right to die in a mining accident at time and a half, and how that example fits in with the workers option of not turning up for work when the boss tells them to.

Andy Moore said...

"ACT want shopping on Easter Sunday as well"

uh uh.

Rather, ACT is saying - the Govt. doesn't have the prerogative to dictate whether or not we are permitted to shop on a given day.

ZenTiger said...

Andy, far point, but no-one has adequately addressed my query on if the government doesn't have the prerogative to enforce safety standards. If you leave safety standards up to the free market, they tend to lag behind government.

nyokodo said...

Zen Tiger: I reject your premise that the free market lags behind Government. In fact the opposite is true. First come safety standards and after that comes government, who then generally ruin it. As our developed economies evolved safety standards evolved with it. Not only that but long before government put it's nose in child labour became rare (and even then it was generally family farm labour), hours improved and pay increased, all without government having anything to do with it. Government tends to lag behind the latest research in terms of safety standards because of it's slothful, inefficient nature.

ZenTiger said...

That's great news Nyokodo.

It may be that the Free Market delivers. However, I'm not sure it delivers standards "first", perhaps just "before" government.

For example, you said: First come safety standards

And yet, Chinese Mine Workers die in their thousands and very few die in developed countries. Is it that unions drive this behaviour? What is the cause exactly? Because the same multi-nationals that go off-shore tend to be found guilty of poor practices (and that includes unethical and illegal practices) in undeveloped countries.

What, in your opinion, brings them around to behaving the same way as they are required to in developed countries?

nyokodo said...

ZenTiger: comparing current day China with western countries is comparing apples and oranges. China is a -developing- nation, and should be compared with western nations 80 years ago where accidents were much higher. Having said that China is advancing very rapidly, although unevenly (the south of China is much more developed than the North or inland for instance), and working conditions are improving exponentially and pay is increasing commensurately.

ZenTiger said...

Ah, so when Nike set up shop in Indonesia and use front companies to own the factories and pay the workers under very tough working conditions, and are able to walk away from payroll obligations, that's only because Indonesia is 80 years behind and Nike have no idea how to operate in such countries? I don't think so.

Well, if Nike aren't the agent for change, and are exploiting the workers, then "the market" is driven by something more than the corporations exploiting them.

Part of the market equation is the laws and regulations that compel a multi-national company like Nike to play ball.

Cheap labour is the reason the multi-nationals move in, and the rate of exploitation is curbed by government's willingness to safeguard workers rights (and those people whose livelihoods are destroyed (displaced) by industrialization).

Taiwan is a good example where cheap labour and industrialization was at least moderated by strong government action:

* Placing restrictions on the establishment of factories, which safeguarded workers' safety and health, promoted industrial growth, avoided the waste of resources through blind investment, and optimized the utilization of precious resources;

* Regulating the local production of goods to minimize the use of foreign exchange reserves, and to encourage the growth of factories which could manufacture needed components;

* Putting up trade restrictions to protect domestic industrial growth and achieve a balance in international revenues and expenditures; and

* Imposing protective tariffs to raise tax revenues and protect the development of newly emerging industries.

All credit to the embracing of business opportunity by Taiwan, but it wasn't without some positive influence of the government.

Personally, as I've said before, I have great distrust of big government. However, to assume the market gets along fine without some form of regulation means you ignore the personal cost to many people during these times.

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