Monday, August 22, 2011

Climate Change Is Here. Now!


Kassie Siegel: Climate Change Is Here Now

"Climate change is happening now, we are causing it, and the costs of inaction -- to us, to plants and animals, to the physical world that we depend on -- are too steep to ignore and pass to the coming generations".

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It Is NOT! their money.



The wealth was earned by the efforts and contribution of workers and tax payers.

I have already said that the skilled and entrepreneurs earn their wealth. It is their money.
A good Doctor, Teacher, builder, scientist, entrepreneur, (Your decent business with well paid employees) The person who produces and markets a more efficient windmill, deserve all we can pay them.
But as we all know it is State supplied infrastructure, education, stability and rule of law that enables them to prosper, as well as their own efforts.
How many successful businesses does Somalia produce. The locals have to resort to piracy!

For most of the wealthy though IT IS NOT THEIR MONEY! It is basically stolen money.
Do you really believe it is right that 50% of the richest people in NZ pay little or no tax despite being the biggest beneficiaries of the society we have created over decades.
Do you thing financiers should still be getting bonuses when they f–ked up so badly it cost trillions in tax payer funds worldwide to fix it.
What do the Koch brothers do to have such a large share of the worlds wealth? They have used their money to make the USA a failed State.
What actually did Key do that is such benefit to society that he earned 50 million. In fact he cost the NZ economy many times that to make it.
It would be more than fair to tax him 50% of his unearned dollars to mitigate the damage he did.
Fayrich stole millions when they acquired rail at mates rates, knowing they could asset strip all they liked. Some future Government would always have to build it up again as a vital piece of infrastructure for exporters. Should claw a proportion of that back also.
The property developer in Christchurch who went to court to overturn a council decision about building on dodgy land. Who is now sitting on his millions in Australia while we all pay for the damage.
Farmers who are sitting on millions in capital gains when they retire who pay $1700 a year in tax while paying starvation wages, and, still demanding all the benefits paid for by other peoples taxes.

Why should our elderly, sick and young people be living in poverty in one of the richest countries in history, just so the very rich can avoid a few% contribution to the society they benefit from.

We tried letting the wealthy keep more. It has proven to be a disaster.
1/3 decrease in investment, manufacturing almost gone, a relentless slide down the economic rankings, increasing inequality, massive hemorrhage of capital to financial gambling.

The way to get new money in the system and keep what is there is to bring back workers bargaining power (so money they have earned stays here a wages instead of disappearing offshore), tax capital flows, tax speculation, tax the wealthy more and use that money to invest in New Zealand (Including research and development as well as the health and education of New Zealanders), stop paying overseas banks to add zeros to their electronic ledgers and lend capital to ourselves. (Gaddafi’s big crime). As that arch lefty Adam Smith said. Tax the owners of capital and leave the producers alone.

Waiting for the private sector to re-allocate capital to benefit society has not worked, and never will!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pambazuka News.


"Through the voices of the peoples of Africa and the global South, Pambazuka Press and Pambazuka News disseminate analysis and debate on the struggle for freedom and justice."

Pambazuka News.

The wealthy deserve their wealth??


One of the recurring memes is that the rich earned their wealth because of some innate superiority, extra effort or extra talent,  and it is churlish to take some back off them..

Those at the top, got there, mostly, because of A) inherited wealth, B) the old boy network. (The real advantage of private schooling). C)total psychopathic self interest and disregard for others. (Called theft when done by those at the bottom).
They would have us believe that they have some special talent or superiority that justifies their wealth.

Anyone who watches the Kardashians can see that inheriting wealth is no guarantee of superiority.

Ridding them of some of their money makes for a more efficient economy and a fairer and more decent society.

Why do they have more right to the wealth produced by the workers in society than anyone else whether they work or not.

Jobs and livelihoods exist because there is a demand and need for them. Not because of money capital.

Also! Not because of the owners of capital. Recent events have shown, that, given free rein, the owners of capital hoard it and gamble it. AND expect taxpayers to bail them out when they lose.

The owners of capital are sitting on trillions at the moment. Extra 20% more wealth went to them in NZ this year. Where are the jobs??

Do you really think that if the owners of, say, supermarkets, in NZ withdrew their capital some entrepreneurs would not arise to fill the gap.

Democratic Socialists do not say we take all the money back off them.

Though as it is undeserved and unearned the communists may be right.

Taking capital of these people who tend to mispend, and gamble it, to enable more to those who spend and use it wisely, is economically and socially effective.

A very few get to the top because of effort, learning skills, entrepreneurship, producing something that a great many people value or by talent.

This is so rare however that these individuals are celebrated in the news.

Those deserve their money.

It is interesting though, that most of these people recognise that the social benefits from society, such as State education, helped them on their way and they are happy to give back in some way.

Don’t usually see them demanding less taxes.

Many more who could or would be entrepreneurs are constrained because A,B and C above take the wealth earned by us and waste it. Or use wealth to limit competition from below. Opposing all attempts at upward mobility. E.g. Dumbing down public education to the 3 r’s only to avoid the children of the “lower classes” from competing with their pampered darlings.

Don’t forget those who really produce the wealth. The wealthy would not survive without all of the workers. Even entrepreneurs need staff.

On Riots.


Right wing politicians are quick to distance themselves from rioting, and public revolt, in many countries around the world.

"The responsibility lies with criminal elements".

Well! It does, but mostly with the unpunished criminals who have destroyed cohesive society for their own gain.

Is it surprising that after decades of selfishness, meanness, unpunished theft and blatant tax dodging from the top, that those at the bottom follow the example.

You ruin, destroy and steal everything from people, including any hope for a better future. Then you are surprised they turn as mean and self centred as you.

Friday, August 12, 2011

In search of a justification.


Many laughable statements come from the Neo-Liberal right, but the ones that seek a moral or economic justification for greed and meanness are the most comical. (If the effects were not so serious).

Like the one from a bailed out US bank manager. "God thinks I should have a bonus". :-)

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
– John Kenneth Galbraith 

 The Standard.
 Debunks the idea that taxing the rich more cuts total tax take. In fact the opposite has happened. As taxes to the rich have been cut in Western countries, Government revenues have decreased in most cases.
As I have said before. In the time of its greatest prosperity the US top tax rate was 90%.
Recent top rate tax cuts in New Zealand have resulted in decreased revenue each time.

Decreasing taxes on business and high incomes means more capital  is free for more investment.
Did not work. Capital investment by private investors in NZ, the UK and the USA has decreased while they hid the money offshore, to dodge even more of the tax they should pay, or spend it on holidays in Hawaii. AND financial gambling. (Where we will have to bail them out next time they lose).

What's worse.
Cutting tax rates, and therefore revenues, cuts Government investment in the local economy in favour of those who take the money offshore. Never to be seen again.
In New Zealand the Government is borrowing offshore to pay for tax cuts to the rich. A double blow to the national deficit.

Similarly. Cutting wages is supposed to be an incentive for business to invest.
Trouble is cutting the wages of the businesses customers is even more of a disincentive. Low wage workers do not buy much.
Since the 1984 attacks on Unions and steadily dropping wages in New Zealand, direct investment in New Zealand production has dropped to 1/3 of what it was in the 70's.

Make the rich richer and they will give people jobs.
Jobs are not something the rich gives. Jobs are workers supplying their labour.
The rich are awash in money at present. 20% increase in the wealth of the richest in New Zealand. In the USA the rich are sitting on trillions. Where are the jobs??

In recent history job growth has come from State initiatives. It was not the private sector that pulled the USA out of the 30's depression, it was massive State spending, on the new deal, then WW2.

Lastly. The idea that the rich earn their money and we have no right to take it from them.
Who earns millions?
Most have millions because their family had millions. They contribute nothing and consume much more than poorer people.

Some entrepreneurs  have started new business, produced services and ideas of great benefit to many people. It can be said that they earned their money. 

It is notable that most of these people are philanthropists.

The rich benefit so much from our society it is only fair that they give back.

 Better to take some if this money back and reinvest in infrastructure and the necessary green technology to ensure humanities future survival.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Campaign for MMP in New Zealand.


Campaign for MMP

MMP has shown its worth as an electoral system, in keeping some rein on extremist politicians.

Just recently by slowing or stopping the path of a Government bill, to take away some of an individuals rights when before the courts.

MMP saves right to trial by jury

Monday, August 8, 2011

Signs of Hope.


Signs that some of our Government have learnt from their mistakes.

The plan so far. NZ Labour Party.

""Labour will introduce a capital gains tax. It’s predicted the tax will raise $26 billion over 15 years that can be used to pay off
debt, cut taxes for most New Zealanders, save our assets and prepare for the mounting cost of our aging population.
Labour will also put the top tax rate back up to 39 cents for income earned over $150,000.
That’s likely to affect around 2% of the country’s top earners.
A CGT is already in use in nearly all developed countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom and United States"".

I wonder if the money people will allow so big a departure from Neo-Liberal dogma.

They are already trying to smear the leaders of Labour.

"Good' and bad Dictators.


A good Dictator is one who lets the US corporate world burgle his country.
A bad Dictator is one who does not!

Democracy is fine. So long as it meets the objectives of the USA
""Washington and its allies keep to the well-established principle that democracy is acceptable only insofar as it conforms to strategic and economic objectives: fine in enemy territory (up to a point), but not in our backyard, please, unless properly tamed"".

Washington is happy to support radical Islamic Government in Saudi Arabia, repressive dictatorships in Columbia, Indonesia,Tunisia and UAE and governments with scant regard for human rights in other countries.

As Chile, Honduras, Iran, Venezuala, Indonesia and, recently, Libya (and  the citizens of the USA) have found the one thing you cannot do is keep some of the local wealth from exploitation by US corporates.
That is the trigger for the USA to replace the Government by one more pliable.
It does not matter that, in most cases, the new Government is a repressive and cruel dictatorship, so long as US interests are served and the Neo-Liberal gravy train for the worlds rich continues.

Gaddafi is no saint, but he was not as bad as many regimes the USA continues to support.

George Monbiot – How the Billionaires Broke the System


 George Monbiot – How the Billionaires Broke the System

"There are two ways of cutting a deficit: raising taxes or reducing spending. Raising taxes means taking money from the rich. Cutting spending means taking money from the poor. Not in all cases of course: some taxation is regressive; some state spending takes money from ordinary citizens and gives it to banks, arms companies, oil barons and farmers. But in most cases the state transfers wealth from rich to poor, while tax cuts shift it from poor to rich.
So the rich, in a nominal democracy, have a struggle on their hands. Somehow they must persuade the other 99% to vote against their own interests: to shrink the state, supporting spending cuts rather than tax rises. In the US they appear to be succeeding".

Sound like New Zealand.
18% rise in the wealth of the top 0.5 % this year. the rest officially minus 5.4 to 2.4 %. (Depending on if you got the 2% wage rise that some strongly unionised workers had or not).