Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Salary hike talks misguided

Published:Saturday | June 6, 2015 | 6:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Progress in the current contentious wage negotiations between the Government and public-sector workers represents yet another opportunity for us to acknowledge the negative link between perennial, automatic salary increases and perennial poverty-producing inflation, especially where pay hikes are not matched by improved workplace productivity.

Now is a great opportunity to recognise the authenticity of the philosophy that says: "He is NOT most prosperous who has the most, BUT who NEEDS THE LEAST."

If, as a society, we accept this philosophy, we will continue working towards keeping the cost of living (inflation) generally low - including general interest rates.

Progress, in this regard, will be facilitated when a majority of workers and their unions understand the self-defeating futility of ritualistically demanding higher and higher wage increases, unrelated to any productivity improvement, only to see the so-called benefits of those increases eroded in less than a year, as prices are increased, or unproductive loans acquired, to finance the wage increases.

Why not break the cycle now instead of doing the same things again this time, or next year? That, I suppose, depends on how serious we are about eliminating poverty and increasing prosperity.

CARLTON A. GORDON

carltongor@gmail.com

Kingston 10