Thursday, December 12, 2013

How to: Pick an Excuse for Not doing Anything About Poverty


Right wing, excuses reasons, for not doing anything about children in poverty.

1. "It costs too much".
2. "Taxation is theft".
3. "They are not as poor as they are in (Insert a third world Nation with less than half our GDP, and a 10th of our resources per capita)".
4. "The statistics are wrong".
5. "It is not as many as they claim".
6. "You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money".
7. "I was in a poor persons house and they had "Chocolate biscuits, a colour TV, or, horrors, a bottle of beer"!!
8. "It's all those solo mothers on the DPB breeding for a living".
9. "I know a person who.............."
10. "It is a choice they make".
11. "It is people who make poor choices".
12. "They shouldn't have had kids they couldn't afford".
13. "Why should "I" pay for other peoples kids".
14. "The centre will never vote for it".
15. "We will do something if finances allow".
16. "Giving them money made them poor".
17. "Those socialists made them poor by giving them benefits".
18. "I pay enough taxes".
19. "There are no poor in New Zealand".
20. "Not now, later!"

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Universal Basic Income. UBI.


The concept of UBI has a long history in New Zealand.

Of course, we already have a UBI for those over 65.  Which has been extremely successful at eliminating poverty amongst the elderly, at a very moderate cost by international standards.

“In fact super has been so effective in removing poverty amongst the elderly it should be extended to everyone in the form of a guaranteed minimum income. There is no excuse for having people with inadequate food and housing in a country which is capable of supplying an excess of both internally”.

It has been a policy plank of various minor political parties, such as Social Credit.

Currently, the Greens have discussed a UBI as part of welfare and economic policy development.
Many organisations, and individuals both left and right wing, have discussed  the idea. Including the darling of the extreme right, Roger Douglas.

Recently Gareth Morgan has been an advocate. He puts the case rather well.
Paying universal transfers acknowledges that every individual has the same unconditional right – to a basic income sufficient for them to live in dignity. The Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) provides this.
With this basic protection in place people are then free to add to that income through paid work if they choose. Equally, they can live on the UBI and pursue other activities – doing the unpaid work of caring for children or others in their community for example, or studying full time, or pursuing new business ventures. The UBI offers the prospect of ensuring everyone has the means to live while giving them the freedom to live their lives as they choose.”  

However David Preston from the MSD exemplifies what seems to be the main concern and almost the only real objection to a UBI.  People may chose to go surfing instead of working. Horrors!
The vision, of 80 year old pensioners surfing, this engenders,  caused me a great deal of mirth.

In fact the only real experiment with a universal basic income. ,showed that the overwhelming majority, even with guaranteed income, chose to do something constructive.  Work, study or raising children. In the 70′s in New Zealand, with a much more generous unemployment benefit than we have now, almost everyone still chose to work.

The biggest advantage of a UBI, of course, is the almost total elimination of poverty, with all the savings in the accompanying economic and social costs. There is also the not inconsiderable savings in administration of welfare, simplified tax systems and the hit or miss nature of targeted welfare. Because it is universal, there is less incentive for the wealthy to try and destroy it, to cut taxes.

The main objection, apart from the horror of some people that recipients may simply go surfing, A horror they do not seem to extend to the inheritors of unearned extreme wealth, is cost!

It is not, however, a given, that the overall cost of a UBI would be more than that of a fair targeted welfare system.
Of course those same people  throw up their hands object to the cost of current welfare. They cannot understand why the poor are not made to live in cardboard boxes and starve quietly as they do in their ideal economies, just so those on high incomes can pay a few dollars less taxes.

Universal superannuation in New Zealand has been considerably cheaper and more effective than targeted schemes elsewhere.
Don’t see why a UBI should not pay for itself in the savings in administration, the decreased costs of poverty and the extra tax take from extra income within the economy. Flat taxes over the UBI rate, are possible, which should cheer up the right wing.
The removal of abatement rates for working and the removal of the penalty of extreme poverty for business failure, for those not already millionaires, can only help more people into work, study and entrepreneurship. For others, it frees them up for socially useful unpaid work, such as sport coaching, teaching and the myriads of other unpaid and unrecognized work which makes for a functional society.

Lastly. In an era where resources are running out, being able to survive without having to find ever more creative ways of using up resources, and ripping off your fellow citizens, is an essential step towards a steady state sustainable society.

Also published in  The Standard

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New Zealand Joins the Roll of Shame.

New Zealand joins the roll of shame.

With recent legislation New Zealand's Government continues it's shameful attacks on human rights.

Bill allowing detention without trial, of refugees.

Joins the roll of shame, of countries which allow detention without trial.

We were already on the roll of countries that convict on secret evidence the accused is not allowed to see. Bill_Sutch  Achmed Zaoui

"First they came for"

Next it will be you and I!

This on top of a year of extensions in police powers, police assaults on legitimate demonstrators, Police forcibly arrest demonstrators despite them being within the law. legalising, formerly illegal spying and search and surveillance, Police and spy agencies broke the law so Government races to make their actions legal. and making recourse to the courts, against Government policy,  illegal  National stymies caregivers recourse to justice.. And continued attacks on workers rights. Jami Lee Ross' scab bill. The scab bill is probably too extreme even for National, but under its cover they are bringing in only slightly less repressive restrictions on workers rights.

New Zealand, the USA and UK were always democracies more in name than reality.
Now  with Governments almost daily restricting individual freedom, legitimate protest and democracy, they are becoming more and more like the totalitarian States we used to criticise, for their lack of consideration for human rights and the wishes, and best interests, of the Governed.

Then of course, we have the USA pursuing a man all around the world simply for telling their citizens how much their privacy was being breached, by their Government!

We are getting the type of repressive dictatorship, we used to fight against.

Our Governments seem determined to return, slowly so we don't fight back, the rule of,  the KGB, the Stasi or the Gestapo.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

An Alternative Budget.


An alternative Budget, From Matt McCarten.
  Matt has posed this as a "left wing" budget.

However many of the ideas would have been considered centrist economic thinking not long ago.
Just shows how much right wing extremists have dominated economic thinking.

"1. Abolish 15 per cent GST. Replace with 1 per cent financial transaction tax as recommended by the New Zealand Bankers Association. Same money."
An idea which is being looked at seriously all around the world. It does need adoption by many countries at once to prevent banks dodging it.
"2. Abolish PAYE on wages and salaries. Replace it with a wealth tax and a capital gains tax when shares, businesses, land and property are sold. People are taxed when they're cashing up, not when they are making it."
Actually an idea of that noted arch socialist, economic thinker, Adam Smith. "Tax the owners of capital and land, not labour and entrepreneurs, because they produce the wealth".
"3. 90 per cent Death Tax. You can't take it with you. Grown-up kids should earn their own money anyway."
True, but I think their should be a threshold, say, a million dollars. No reason why one family should be allowed to accumulate ever increasing wealth over generations., and many sound economic and social justice reasons why they shouldn't. However parents should be able to pass on some to their kids.
"4. Rent-to-buy homes underwritten by the state. Limiting homes to two a family and having a capital gains tax will keep prices affordable."
Exemptions for family homes or restrictions on the number of homes a family has may not work. How do you define family?  Better to again have a threshold. Maybe set at the current median price.
"5. State-created work schemes for all long-term jobless."
Not bad, but I think a Guaranteed income is better, bearing in mind that in a steady state sustainable economy we do not need all those working hours.
"6. A living wage set at $20 an hour minimum. It would be a stimulus package."
Contrary to often expressed opinions from the rabid right, minimum wages increase demand and increase jobs and business profits. A better form of stimulus than gifting money to the banks, who lost it in the first place.
"7. No tax on profits kept in a business."
An incentive to invest in business growth, entrepreneurship and employment, not speculation.
"8. Free public transport in major cities. That would get people out of their cars."
Likely to save on roading, energy, and other costs long term.
"9. Victims get 100 per cent state compensation for loss or injury. Offenders work it off if necessary.
I hope that is extended to those who knowingly sell harmful products and politicians who work against their constituents best interests.
"10. Make KiwiSaver a state-owned fund and buy all the Government's non-core commercial assets."
Still doesn't give the investment in sustainable productivity we need for the future, but better than putting it in the financial lottery that is overseas financial markets. The same ones that lost all the US pension funds.

All in all a much more progressive and sound budget than National's recent mean spirited and dysfunctional, joke. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013



It is notable that ordinary citizens, whatever their political views, do not trust politicians to act in the best interests of New Zealanders.
A distrust that is richly deserved!
And vote by overwhelming majority, for any measures which restrict politicians power and increase democracy.

It is no accident that Switzerland is the most stable, prosperous and peaceful state on earth.

Compare Switzerland to so called "representative democracies". An oxymoron equal to, "intelligence agencies".

The magical world of New Zealand's, Neo-Liberal, right wing.


 The magical world of New Zealand's,  Neo-Liberal right wing.

It has been obvious that some people live in a different world than the rest of us. 

One where Chicago school economics, work!
One where you save the village by blowing it up! 
One where global warming can be stopped, Canute like, by legislation. 
One where dropping wages and giving everything to bloated financiers, makes us better off!
One where removing money from an economy makes it work better.
One where every country is going to get rich by out exporting every other country.
One where enabling greater inequality than the dark ages, works!

 The one with the trickle down fairy. "Give us the money and we will p-- on you".

The market fairy. "Leave it to the market and we will cut your wages,impoverish your children, and tell you it is a brighter future".

The Austerity fairy. "We will become better off by becoming poorer".

The catching up with Australia fairy. "We will catch up with Australia by doing almost the opposite of everything they have done".

The Democracy fairy. "We will let you vote, to change the names in Government, or on a few social issues which do not affect our making money off you, but not to make any meaningful changes to the way the country is run".

The privatisation fairy. "We will ensure that the NZ current account is forever in deficit, by selling all the income earning assets"

The debt fairy. "We will cut debt by borrowing $300mill a week, to pay for unaffordable tax cuts, to pay for our Hawaii holidays".

The Job fairy. " We will increase the number of jobs by putting thousands out of work, and cutting the unemployment benefit".

The "We support business" fairy. While ensuring New Zealanders have no money to buy from local businesses, and increasing small businesses costs.

The better future fairy. "We will give you a better future by paying you less, charging you more and cutting services".

It is pretty obvious which side of the political spectrum is on another planet. Planet Key! 
(New Zealand's,  financial industry shill, Prime Minister).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Reserve Bank, Debt and the Property Market


In New Zealand we have the "Reserve Bank Act".

Which basically requires the reserve bank to kill the rest of the economy, whenever Auckland house prices, or wages, rise.

Originally enacted, as a circuit breaker, to cap excessive inflation in the 80's, politicians have kept it, long past its use by date, because in their limited view, what works once, briefly, will work perpetually.
It could be argued that it was somewhat successful in curbing very high inflation, on that limited occasion, though others would note that the end of very high inflation ended with the slowing of the rise in oil prices.

Now, every time the New Zealand productive economy struggles off its knees, the reserve bank delivers another knockout.

Howdaft.  Puts it so much better than I can.  I have republished his article here.

I have highlighted some in bold.

"The issues of house price rises in Auckland and Christchurch is prompting comment that it may be time for the Governor of the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates.   It is noted in the media that an increase in interest rates will result in foreign money seeking higher returns to enter the domestic market and this will also increase the value of the already overvalued dollar. 
What hasn’t been commented on is that an increase in interest rates will also penalise every business and household in the country including everyone resident in Auckland and Christchurch who already have a mortgage and have no intention of buying or selling a home.  There will be no beneficial behaviour change within that wide group who are not seeking to get further into debt but it will impose hardship and constrain the rest of the economy.  The interest rate rise would be imposed simply as an attempt to limit price rises in response to artificial shortages of housing in two localised parts of the property market. 
The more sensible action would be to address the cause of these shortages rather than attempt to alter the market response by raising interest rates.
The Reserve Bank Act is not only completely ineffectual at slowing property prices it is the root cause of property price inflation.  Because the Reserve Bank Act obliges debtors to pay over the market price for debt, it also guarantees lenders greater than normal market returns on investments.  The result is that foreign cash looking for high and secure returns has flooded into the New Zealand property market.  The banks are incentivised to actively inflate the property market because of the high returns it provides (thanks to the Reserve Bank Act) and because of the flood of money that they have to invest.  As a result the more the Reserve Bank increases interests rates above the natural rate for the marketplace the more money that flows into the property market, the less risk averse lenders need to be because they receive higher margins on loans and this results in banks adopting laxer lending practices, this then leads to property price inflation which results in the rate of increase in capital value of the property (in the overheated parts of the market) to exceed the cost of debt - for a while at least – the negative real rate of interest in this small part of the property market consequently further incentivises borrowing.
The end result is that we are as a nation carrying far more debt than is necessary for the economy to function effectively, we have a ruinously over valued property market, we have a grossly overvalued exchange rate, we are bleeding our scarce foreign earnings on interest payments on all the debt and meanwhile our productive sector is crippled by both the cost of borrowing and by the over-valued and highly unstable exchange rate, Instead of suppressing inflation, the Reserve Bank act causes inflation.
The Reserve Bank Act is singularly the most stupid element of the reforms of the 1980’s.  It is utterly illogical in that it defies the simplest of precepts of economics.  The answer to the problem of inflation is simple.  If a government wishes to increase the cost to the consumer of any element of the economy without increasing the supply of that element it imposes a tax not a compulsory price increase – alcohol and tobacco are excellent examples of this concept in action.   The government also targets only those activities it wants to constrain.  So when it taxes alcohol it does that based on alcohol content – it doesn’t tax all liquids.
A tax also allows for redistribution and targeting by the government to occur so if the tax imposes on lower income households this can be resolved through social payments with the tax on debt as a source of funds.  Similarly the tax can be linked to the asset class or region causing the problem so there may be a lower tax on business debt.  This is not difficult; the banks already set interest rates by the manner in which the debt is secured, the tax could be similarly targeted.   This is only one possible mechanism as there are is a range of possible taxation responses to this problem which these need to be linked into a wider strategic review of the role of taxation in the economy.
At a more fundamental level any market failure or physical circumstances causing the price pressure also needs to be addressed.  Auckland prices are being driven by a range of other policy actions by government that put inflationary pressure into the market.  These include allowing uncontrolled foreign ownership of residential real estate, immigration – from both within New Zealand and from off-shore - and from a failure to fully price the true cost to the national economy of growth of the major cities and the cost of internal migration of business and residents.  Property in the larger cities but particularly in Auckland is being subsidised in a number of ways while the rest of the national market is in one form or another languishing with surplus housing and infrastructure.  In addition to fostering policy that actively inflates the cost of housing nationally and causes our international debt to be excessive and our currency to be over-valued we are not as a nation using our existing investment in infrastructure wisely. 
We need to be asking ourselves collectively why we, who as a nation have the highest natural capital per capita and arguably the best system of society in the world, are one of its debt basket cases.  We are only being prevented from being another Greece or Cyprus by the dairy industry.  We also need to ask why we are not so much better off as a nation when countries like China and Singapore are doing so much with so comparatively little.  The answer is quite simple and that comes down to the vision and courage of their political leadership, could I commend you to read George Monbiot’s recent post as it very accurately describes the malaise that we have inflicted upon ourselves with our reforms and our reliance on “The Market”  to provide."

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Government should be run like a business? Privatisation.


Many business people say that a country should be run like a business.

Maybe they are right. It should be run like a SUCCESSFUL business.

It is appropriate for Government to take lessons from business success, and the reverse.

But when it comes down to details, right wing Neo-Liberal business does not want Government and country they govern to become too successful, or democratic. They are doing too well by taking advantage of slack regulation (regulation which favours them over the rest of society) and politicians foolishness.

In business a manager who fails to plan for the future would be sacked.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business say that Government should keep out of strategic planning. 

Successful business constantly plan advertise and strategise to “beat the market”.

  Right wing Neo-Liberal business insist that Government should muddle along, leaving it to “the market”.

Successful businesses involve as many people in decision making as possible.
Successful businesses involve their staff in decision making,.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business want Government dictatorship, so long as they run the dictators, and oppose democratic moves like MMP and BCIR.
Even New Zealands, non binding, referenda, the only Democratic voice allowed in New Zealand, have such a freshold for a triggering petition that they are guaranteed to be very infrequent. 

Successful businesses ensure they have a competitive advantage. Monopoly is even better.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business insists that we give up any competitive advantage with so called “free trade agreements”  and open licence for foreign corporate to plunder and selling profitable assets.

Successful business gets Government to bend the rules in their favour.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business insists that we remove trade protections and rules which work in our favour.

Management silo’s that only look at small part are known to be dysfunctional.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business says that every part of a countries infrastructure should be stand alone, dependant on individual profit and loss without regard to social and economic costs to the country as a whole. Giving small business and consumers inflated prices for utilities, so utilities make a profit, for example.  North Americans will remember ENRON.

Successful businesses work for the future of the entire company.  They know that if any one part cannot take excessive capital, or resources . 

Right wing Neo-Liberal business oppose any attempt by Government to rein in unjustified excessive profit taking from the rest of the economy. There is a propaganda war in New Zealand from the right wing at the moment to prevent the extraction of  excessive power profits.

Successful companies train, nurture and look after their staff.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business insist on dropping wages, and starving those who cannot work “pour encourager les autres”   regardless of the costs in lost demand, (A cost to business also) welfare and crime.

Successful business has consistent and effective policies, procedures and rules.

 Right wing Neo-Liberal business wants Government to refrain from regulation, except that which protects them,  of course.  (For example  taking away workers rights and protecting  big corporate rights to take as much as they can)  Giving us leaky houses, worker deaths, finance company failures, wage cuts, full jails and  tax payer bailouts.

Lastly, successful business use all their resources as effectively as possible and use the co-operative efforts of many people to meet goals.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business would rather countries do not have goals and that we are all turned into competing worker units.

Right wing propagandists pay lip service to the idea of running a country like a successful business. In reality they oppose Government being too good, because it would limit their ability to steal from the rest of us.  They are happy to continue profiting from a Government that does what they tell them.

One famously wanted to “drown Government in a bathtub”, because it affected his profits. Several famous NZ business men openly gloated about how they profited from  stealing tax payer owned infrastructure companies, and asset stripping them.

Good Government, real democracy, improving decision making by Government,  and  good effective regulation and protection, for the majority of a countries citizens, would destroy their gravy train.

Hence the hysterical overreaction to a minor piece of addition to Government regulation of power companies in New Zealand. 

Because it, if it is allowed to happen,  is the beginning of the end for the idea of “the market” and the mean spirited Neo-liberal,  consensus which has delivered so much wealth and power to a greedy few.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Standard on Pay Rates.


The New Zealand left wing newsletter/blog, "The Standard" has some interesting discussions on wage levels.

It appears only the already rich work harder when they are paid more. The poor have to work for love.

The idea that we are not competitive unless wages are low wears a bit thin when those at the very top can pay themselves 17 to 20% more each year.

 Zetetic in The Standard on pay rates.
"As you know, the Right says more money incentivises harder work. John Key felt he wasn’t working very hard when he first became PM on a net $250,000 a year, so he gave himself tax cuts and pay rises worth $100 a day. Just look at the results!
But I’m confused: why’s he cutting our pay with youth wages, higher Kiwisaver, and higher student loan repayments? Is it that rich people work harder when they get more money and poor people work harder when they get less?
I guess the elite really do see us as a different species – mules, I suppose. And I see them as a different species but for different reasons and as a different species – leeches.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Comparative Advantage?


Even Ricardo never suggested that Britain give up making wine altogether, or Portugal textiles.

In fact no country has ever succeeded on exports alone, without a healthy internal economy.

And no country has ever succeeded in benefiting from an export economy without State support of the export sector.

Of course, our pursuit of pure free markets has worked so well? How much has our number of people in poverty increased by, again?
Ha-Joon on free trade.
""Almost all of today’s rich countries used tariff protection and subsidies to develop their industries. Interestingly, Britain and the USA, the two countries that are supposed to have reached the summit of the world economy through their free-market, free-trade policy, are actually the ones that had most aggressively used protection and subsidies.

Contrary to the popular myth, Britain had been an aggressive user, and in certain areas a pioneer, of activist policies intended to promote its industries. Such policies, although limited in scope, date back from the 14th century (Edward III) and the 15th century (Henry VII) in relation to woollen manufacturing, the leading industry of the time.  England then was an exporter of raw wool to the Low Countries, and Henry VII for example tried to change this by taxing raw wool exports and poaching skilled workers from the Low Countries.

Particularly between the trade policy reform of its first Prime Minister Robert Walpole in 1721 and its adoption of free trade around 1860, Britain used very dirigiste trade and industrial policies, involving measures very similar to what countries like Japan and Korea later used in order to develop their industries. During this period, it protected its industries a lot more heavily than did France, the supposed dirigiste counterpoint to its free-trade, free-market system. Given this history, argued Friedrich List, the leading German economist of the mid-19th century, Britain preaching free trade to less advanced countries like Germany and the USA was like someone trying to “kick away the ladder” with which he had climbed to the top.""

Monday, March 25, 2013

Kean on the "Roving Cavaliers of Credit" or How Bankers got to Rule the World.


For anyone who is still wedded to the idea that banks do not “print money” and push up the price of assets, totally unrestrained by the size of the economy.

Kean on the "Roving Cavaliers of Credit" or How Bankers got to Rule the World.
“”In some ways these conclusions are unremarkable: banks make money by extending debt, and the more they create, the more they are likely to earn. But this is a revolutionary conclusion when compared to standard thinking about banks and debt, because the money multiplier model implies that, whatever banks might want to do, they are constrained from so doing by a money creation process that they do not control.
However, in the real world, they do control the creation of credit. Given their proclivity to lend as much as is possible, the only real constraint on bank lending is the public’s willingness to go into debt. In the model economy shown here, that willingness directly relates to the perceived possibilities for profitable investment—and since these are limited, so also is the uptake of debt.
But in the real world—and in my models of Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis—there is an additional reason why the public will take on debt: 

the perception of possibilities for private gain from leveraged speculation on asset prices.”"

Kean describes exactly the real world effects of current monetary policy.

Both Cyprus and Greece show how  Democracy can be overturned at the wim of bankers trying to protect their income, from pushing up asset prices, with loans they should never have been allowed to make, with money they have produced out of thin air. A power only a democratically controlled Government should have.

Recent moves towards legislation, to take money from us to bail out failing banks, again, by the New Zealand Government , shows who our politicians really work for!

Refuting false arguments against democracy.


"I don't think referenda should be binding".

If a referenda is not binding. THEN WE DO NOT HAVE DEMOCRACY.
All the arguments against BCIR and real democracy are the same ones that were made by those in power at the time against citizens, women, non-aristocracy or non-landowners having a vote, at all.
There is absolutely no moral, or justifiable arguments against democracy.
Just self serving bullshit from those who want their turn in Dictatorship.
As NRT says. ” Even if they are wrong they are still our decisions to make”.
Why should 160 odd marginally competent, power hungry, ill educated twits in Parliament rule the rest of us.
We still let them do it despite constant reminders of how incapable politicians, of all stripes, really are.

"We should not allow mob rule".

In fact management studies tell us that good decision making happens when as many alternatives as possible are considered.

Decisions are made by those who have to implement them.

The more people involved in a decision the better it is likely to be.
Funny that the most successful economies have workers representatives on their boards.

The most successful economy, Switzerland has had BCIR and democratic control of Government for a century.
And the most successful corporations are co-ops. Fonterra!
And the NZ old boys club of self selected directors, overpaid managers and incompetent politicians are heading us for the third world.

Time we had democratic control of the self serving incompetents who are arrogant enough to think they should dictate to the rest of us. Changing our Government to a democracy, Swiss style, instead of a three yearly rotating dictatorship, would be a good start.
"Government by referendum will make decisions that are wrong".

As if Government by politicians doesn't. 
What these people are really saying is the majority may make decisions they do not agree with.
Well. If they genuinely think the majority are wrong then they are as free as anyone else to pursuade them otherwise.

Evidence shows that, where decisions are made by referenda, outcomes are better than when they are made by any minority, including those with political power. Those which turn out to be wrong are more likely to be reversed and there is much more consideration given to legislation when it may be overturned by a vote.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Kicking away the ladder.


Advocates of Neo-Liberal, "free market" idealogy claim that the prescription they want to impose on other countries is the one that made them prosperous.

Not only is this manifestly wrong by any empirical measurement, (Compare poster boy, "free market" New Zealand to largely still socialist and protectionist Norway, or Australia, for example) it also ignores the protectionist history of every successful economy.

Notable in the USA, the more protectionist, socialist and publicly co-operative the State, the more succesful their economy. High tax, more socialist States are propping up the more Neo-Liberal States.Compare North Dakota and Texas for example.

The height of Neo-liberal absurdity is when Chile under Pinochet is held up as an example of successful Neo-Liberal economic.

How Neo-Liberal ignore evidence, and History!
"Almost all of today’s rich countries used tariff protection and subsidies to develop their industries. Interestingly, Britain and the USA, the two countries that are supposed to have reached the summit of the world economy through their free-market, free-trade policy, are actually the ones that had most aggressively used protection and subsidies".

Living wages.


One of the "grass roots" initiatives that has arisen partly out of the occupy movement is The living wage movement. Living Wage

Predictably those who award themselves 100k bonuses and 17% pay rises, while dodging taxes are opposed.

Zetetic on a living wage.

"Don’t you love hearing the rich say the working poor can’t have more pay? The faux concern that higher wages cost jobs from the same people who support huge executive pay packets and tax cuts? If you really believed higher wages meant fewer jobs, you would cut the CEO’s pay in half, not dick around over a few dollars an hour for real workers. (Emphasis mine).

Of course, the truth is more money in working people’s hands means more demand for the basics, meaning more jobs. It’s well-established empirical fact. Anyone who argues otherwise is just using a false justification that masks their real – much less altruistic reasons – for wanting the poor to stay poor.""

 How, if low wages are good for the economy, do the  wealthiest justify awarding themselves higher pay while the rest of us have pay cuts.?
 We have a shortage of skilled technicians and trades in New Zealand. How is it econmically justified that their pay has been cut year by year, while financial finaglers, directors and "managers' where there is no shortage continually award themselves more pay? Japan and Germany seem to find competent managers, with pay differentials much less than ours.
How do managers, bankers or politicians, and other non-producing parasites, sleep at night when they collect 100's of thousands a year and put a miserly $13.50 an hour into their hard workers pay packets.

 At the same time, in New Zealand, half of our wealtheist people pay little or no tax. Wealthy dodge tax
One of the main reasons the PIG's went under is the lack of tax take from the wealthy. In Greece dodging taxes was a national sport. In New Zealand we just make the wealthy avoiding paying for the social and natural capital they use, legal.


Apologies to readers for the lack of postings.
I've been involved in New Zealand Green party policy formation groups among other things.
Including, I admit, enjoying a sunny summer. Stopping and 'smelling the roses' is good for the soul.