Monday, December 31, 2007

The usual seasonal whine

It's summer, and so Central Otago orchadists are enging in the usual seasonal whine about not being able to get enough workers. Which naturally invites the usual seasonal response: this is not well-paid work (witness this orchard which, when its not trying to screw people with piecework rates, offers the princely sum of $12.50 / hour), and if you offer rates which are barely above minimum wage for work with no security and which is described as hard and hot, it is no surprise if people choose better alternatives. The solution in a market economy (and all these businesses are committed to a market economy, at least insofar as they demand to keep their profits) is to pay your workers more, not whine for a policy change to allow you to continue the same lazy and exploitative business practices as before. And if you can't afford or are unwilling to pay enough to attract workers, then the blunt fact is that your business is no longer profitable, and you should try doing something else with your time.