Debate on Wage Cuts

The Irish Times features a debate on wage cuts between representatives of IBEC and ICTU: you can find it here.

It is open to question whether framing the policy issue as involving adversarial conflict between employers and workers is especially useful. Rather, it involves primarily a trade-off between lower current average incomes for higher future average incomes.  If the ‘debate’ format is to be followed, a more interesting lineup might be to include a representative of those not currently working (today’s unemployed, emigrants, students and others not participating in the labour force).

3 replies on “Debate on Wage Cuts”

There is a laziness in rounding up the usual suspects for a barney.
Perhaps Philips idea can be taken up.

Students certainly need to start getting involved in this. I think NAMA is so hard to understand and potentially boring to a general audience (though some of the other threads show how it can become interesting pretty quickly) so a lot of debating societies have steered clear of it. There are groups like INOU who represent the unemployed but in general such groups abhor the idea of changing minimum wages or reducing public sector pay (at the mid to low end particularly). Thus, other than employers there isn’t really a strong presence proposing devaluation outside of academia and to be honest it is hard to take a patriotic call to reduce wages fully seriously when it comes from an employers group. At current trajectory, today’s students wont get into the labour market until much later, will pay far higher taxes and will receive far lower wages. We call this in economics an intergenerational transfer. Sounds better than “ripping off the young”.

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