Lovely piece by Glen Newey in the London Review of Books. Sample:
In accordance with the new five-year plan, the people’s economy will sustain yearly 2.5 per cent growth and a permanent budget surplus. Public sector deficit will be outlawed and consigned to pulped editions of the encyclopedia. In his address to the congress of people’s deputies the chancellor was able to announce that from next spring the old bourgeois-reformist ‘minimum’ wage will fade into the background. There will be a compulsory ‘living wage’ of £7.20 an hour for all workers (over the age of 25), to which the work and pensions secretary reacted with a spontaneous, rhapsodic outburst to convey the gratitude of the people. Younger workers will continue to enjoy the fruits of social solidarity by earning a minimum but not a living wage. They will receive £5.30 (if aged between 18 and 20) or £6.70 (if 21 to 25) per hour under the minimum wage from 1 October; apprentices will get a very generous 19 per cent increase to no less than £3.30. The rate for 16 and 17-year-olds will soar by a full 8 pence to £3.87 per hour. This is truly a pioneering moment in the life of the working masses.