So Why Have Hungarians Making Sandwiches In Northampton Then?
There’s a certain joy in watching someone manage to get ahold of entirely the wrong end of the stick. And so it is with this story about the sandwich making factory in Northampton. The one that can’t find enough people locally to make the sandwiches and has thus gone off to Hungary to look for people who would be prepared to come and do it. There are those insisting that this shows that the UK is a low wage economy, making low productivity things like sandwiches. And this is, of course, all the fault of the Tories if not of Thatcher the Milk Snatcher.
So, as The Guardian tells us:
The UK, I fear, persists in the delusion that it is a high-skilled high-productivity, high-pay economy when for at least a decade or more it has been nothing of the kind.
Umm, really, just quite remarkable how the wrong end of that shitty stick is being firmly grasped there.
so, think it through for a moment. If there’s only low pay jobs around (and by definition, low pay jobs are going to be low skill and low productivity) then when a company offers some low pay jobs then there’ll be plenty of people who want them. Because they’ve not got anything else to do so why the hell not? £6.50 an hour is better than starving, right?
And what’s happening here? People are not turning up in droves to do those low pay jobs. Which must mean that they’ve got something else, something better to do. Like, a job elsewhere for higher pay. And that’s why they’ve got to go to Hungary, to find someone, some people, willing to do this low pay work.
It’s exactly because wages are higher in the UK than Hungary that people are willing to move. That shows, obviously, that the UK must be a high wage economy. And the only way you get high wages is by having high productivity.
So, exactly the thing The Guardian is using as evidence that we’ve a low wage economy is exactly the evidence that we’re actually a high wage one.
Just perfect, isn’t it?