Who is this gloomy business community?

Liam Dann Photo: Economy Hub

Liam Dann has been drinking the government Koolaid. In?a newspaper?he writes?quote:

Who is this gloomy business community? Does it really exist as a distinct cultural entity?

I don’t think so. I’ve been embedded in the business world for 20 years and I am sceptical of the idea that it is a homogeneous group. end quote.

Nobody ever said it was. The general view is that business confidence is low. That does not in any way suggest that certain business owners or business types are forming an incorporated society to promote hate of the government. quote:

An obvious and growing divide in the business world was on display last Tuesday as the Prime Minister delivered her big speech “confidence” to the gathered captains of industry at Westpac’s head office.

It was smart politics for Labour to bring the “big end of town” into the tent ?? as they have with the Christopher Luxon-led Business Advisory Council. end quote.

Matter of opinion, Liam. The top end of big business is full of people with no skin in the game. If things go badly for them, they simply head off overseas for another well paid posting somewhere. quote:

It is a more achievable goal than winning over the small- to medium-sized employers whose worries dominate confidence surveys. end quote.

So, are we saying that it was a great idea to leave out the people who actually influence the confidence surveys and instead talk to the fat cats who don’t give a rat’s ass either way? Yes. I can see how that could work. quote:

As a crowd, Tuesday’s event was very much the “big end of town”.

In other words it was the chief executives, directors and other senior leaders from New Zealand’s major corporate players.

It also included some heavyweight fund managers and financial market players ?? the people who manage our retirement savings. end quote.

As I said… no skin in the game. quote:

It was a crowd which, in the old days, would be have been characterised by the left as “fat cats”. end quote.

They are mostly fat cats. But they are okay now, are they, because they are onside with the government? quote:

Ironically, in context of the conservative backlash dominating the political landscape these days, the corporate world now stands out as bastion of progressive liberal values.

The big banks, insurers, telcos and tech companies remain actively on the march towards a more diverse, inclusive and sustainable world.

A corporate culture some might describe as “politically correct” remains in ascendancy across the Western world.

Corporate culture is also very good at embracing change.

Thanks to the disruptive powers of the internet, the idea of constant transformation and re-invention has become a mantra.

Both these factors make big business leaders more open, to the kind visionary economic goals that Jacinda Ardern talks about, than smaller employers. end quote.

Yes. But larger corporations have the money and the staff to indulge in ‘corporate culture’ and ‘political correctness’. They do this stuff in spades. It may – or may not – be good for staff morale, but in the end, it does nothing for productivity or profits.

Smaller businesses usually have neither the tendency to buy into corporate doublespeak, or the inclination. They have to concentrate on labour costs, margins and profits. They are the ones that don’t bother installing the transgender toilet because they have neither the cash nor the will. It just isn’t important when you have to worry about paying the GST bill next month.

That, Mr Dann, is where you go completely wrong in this article.

Yes, you can say that it is wonderful that big business leaders are onside with the government’s plans, and even if they are not ‘lefties’ by any stretch, they are prepared to give it a go, for the sake of diversity or political correctness.

Whereas the business owner with 7 employees who is worried about the proposed labour reforms, who is watching his costs increase because of a falling dollar and increasing fuel prices and who is struggling to find employees who speak English and can do a decent day’s work were not represented in that room.

They are the ones who have falling confidence in the government’s economic direction. They are also the ones with some actual? skin in the game. They are the ‘gloomy business community’.

And they are right to be gloomy too.