Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Myths about welfare.


We all hear the recurrent myths about welfare. Like thousands of young girls breeding for the DPB. In fact most DPB recipients are divorced older women whose ex partners are not giving the support they should. Hardly The women's  fault.

Or the many DPB fraudsters supposedly ripping off the system. The fraud unit of WINZ found 16 million worth of fraud in 2008 or .01% of benefit [payments. And! most of the fraud was by staff.

The banks defrauded us of 2 billion dollars last tax year. A large proportion of the SCF payout was to insider traders who knew they would make a profit from the bailout.
National are costing us 300 million a week for election bribes. They are proposing to defraud us of even more with asset sales to increase the profits of asset strippers and incompetent managers.

Who are the real bludgers???


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why in a decent society we should support social welfare.


Frank Ritchie has a good piece here on why we should support a social welfare system.

On why social welfare is something we should do..

"It is becoming increasingly apparent that there are growing prejudices in our country targeted at those who receive a government benefit. Note, we’re not talking about subsidies in the agricultural industry, bail-outs for investors who took risks in finance companies that have failed or high income earners who shift their capital around in order to access government benefits – somehow they are exempted from the seething anger aimed at beneficiaries. The targets for the prejudices are those who access the unemployment, invalids and domestic purposes benefits. In many people’s eyes these are a different breed of receiver of government money than the others.".

At the end of the day most beneficiaries are us, given a bit of bad luck, an accident or prolonged illness away.

A different take on Capitalism.


For a new take on economics and for those who have yet to hear Ha-Joon.

Ha-Joon Chang on capitalism.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cactus Kate: Repeat After Me - Farmers Are Not Special

Cactus Kate: Repeat After Me - Farmers Are Not Special


For once I agree with CK.

The Neo-Liberal Promise??


 All of the mantras from the Neo-Liberals that have been proved false.

Kicking away the Ladder

"Decreasing tax rates will increase overall tax take".
Only if taxes on middle incomes were excessive and the tax payments were being wasted. Like under Muldoon with social welfare for farmers and business. As we have seen recently decreasing taxes to the wealthy drops the overall tax take.

"Decreasing wages will free up business capital to invest in making business more productive".
In fact investment in productive business in NZ dropped to 1/3. Savvy business people know that low wage earners cannot buy much. SME's have been feeling the pinch every time NZ incomes have dropped.

"Letting the very wealthy keep more of the money will result in wealth trickling down and all of us being better off". Like feeding the cow more grass and hoping for better fertilizer.

"Privatising public services will result in cheaper and better services".
Yeah right. Like the US health system. Our rapidly dropping power prices.

"Running State owned enterprises like corporates will make them more efficient".
See above also refer to ports and railways. Managers are multiplying like fleas as they cut services and staff.

"Labour productivity needs to be increased before wages can increase".
Rob and CV have just covered that one. 82% increase in productivity. Skilled wages have dropped. Average up 18% only. The-productivity-lie

Globalisation and free trade will make everyone better off because of comparative advantage".
Wall street and some multi-national corporates get better off. The world pays through the nose to keep them in riches.

"Pay huge salaries to managers and you get the best".
UK research shows the higher management salaries are in relation to the rest of the staff, the worst performing the company. Germany and Japan get good managers while only paying about 4 times a workers salary.

"Taxes are a drag on the productive economy".
Well actually the USA economy was at its most productive when top tax rates were 91%. The best performing economies at present are the most taxed. Comparative tax rates.

"The State sector is non-productive while the private sector is productive".
So Doctors, Teachers, Universities, public research, Regulators don't contribute to the economy while finance houses, beer advertisers and gamblers in financial derivatives do. Yeah right!

"We will all have to accept austerity and a lower standard of living now for gain later.".
The majority of the population must accept less so the top 0.5% can continue to steal the results of our work from us. Waited 35 years so far.

"Selling income earning assets we already own will make us richer".
New Zealand's rich have spent the money they made from stealing our assets in the 80's and asset stripping. After burgling the share market as well they have proven so inept at adding value they need more public assets to play with.

"Tax cuts to the richest stimulate the economy."
No. extra income to the low paid and beneficiaries does because they spend it locally.

"Beneficiaries are a drag on the rest of us".
Beneficiaries are us. They are us one prolonged illness or some bad luck away. Cheap income insurance. Beneficiary income comes straight back as business income , taxes and wages.
Unlike 1.7 billion payments to insider traders in finance companies. Unlike tax cuts to the already wealthy which goes into US derivatives gambling.

Lunacy is expecting doing the same thing again and again to have a different result.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Is a low carbon future possible.
Yes. Both economically and technically.

The political will is lacking. Not from the majority of people, but from the minority that rule us.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Smarter way forward.



"Instead of inheriting public assets, the next generation will inherit $84 billion in National Party debt," Dr Norman said, noting that much of the debt came from tax cuts for the wealthy.

New Zealand's economic shift required two immediate steps, the Green Party Co-leader told an audience in Auckland, the first was an overhaul of the tax system:"

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How banking destroys the economy.



"Bankers may be good at making money for themselves - and sometimes for their banks - but they are a drain on society, a study has found.

It says they effectively take £7 from the rest of us for every £1 they create".