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Images of our time: ‘shock’ capitalism

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, May 30th, 2013 - 87 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, child welfare, class war, democracy under attack, hone harawira, housing, human rights, john key, mana-party, Metiria Turei, privatisation, same old national, slippery, welfare, workers' rights - Tags:

In the documentary based on Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, Klein stated:

We are witnessing a transfer of wealth of unfathomable size.  It is a transfer of wealth from the public hands, from the hands of government collected from regular people in the form of taxes, into the hands of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the world.  Needless to say the very individuals and corporations that created this crisis.

Yesterday, in my post, Shocking the people into submission, I explained how the powerful elites opportunistically use the disorienting impact of disasters and economic shocks to further their “neoliberal” agenda.  This contributes to the massive shifting of wealth to the already rich and powerful, continually increasing the gap between rich and poor.  The poor become marginalised, increasingly powerless and demonised by John Key’s NAct government.

The following are some images of what this means in NZ in the second decade of the 21st century:

A jet like the one Peter Jackson owns

A jet like the one Peter Jackson owns

 

Image from NZ child poverty documentary 2011

Image from NZ child poverty documentary 2011

 

Jackson's older jet

Jackson’s older jet

 

Jackson's jet 2011

Jackson’s jet 2011

Peter Jackson's New York penthouse for sale

Peter Jackson’s New York penthouse for sale

 

Glen Innes housing protest

Glen Innes housing protest

Jackson's new York penthouses for sale May 2013

Jackson’s New York penthouses for sale May 2013

State Houses demolished in Hastings, as reported October 2012

State Houses demolished in Hastings, as reported October 2012

child poverty a national disgrace

Some recent links on poverty and inequalities in NZ, and National’s disgrace:

Press release yesterday from Green co-leader MetIria Turei:

The National Government has trivialised child poverty, and the needs of a quarter of kiwi kids, by ignoring most recommendations from the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty, the Green Party said today.

“The National Government is in denial, both about the extent of child poverty in New Zealand and about the power it has to do something about it,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“The Government’s official response to the Commissioner’s report yesterday is an insult to children and to the team of experts who delivered a comprehensive and doable plan to tackle child poverty

Opinion piece from a couple of days ago by Nikki Turner, associate professor at Auckland University’s faculty of medical and health sciences, and the health spokeswoman for the Child Poverty Action Group, BEGINS:

New Zealand continues to grapple with a poor track record for child poverty and particularly the rising inequality affecting our poorest children.

Press release yesterday from UN Human Rights Commissioner:

“Participation is a fundamental human right, not a simple policy option that policymakers can choose not to implement,” United Nations Special Rapporteur Magdalena Sepúlveda said today, presenting her annual report* to the Human Rights Council.

The independent expert on extreme poverty and human rights urged world governments to enable persons living in poverty to participate in decisions that affect their lives. “States must make sustained and proactive efforts to ensure that the voices of people living in poverty can be heard in public debate and policy making,” she stressed.

Tuesday’s press release from Hone Harawira:

Government had the opportunity to do something today about seriously reducing poverty” said Hone Harawira, Leader of MANA and MP for Te Tai Tokerau “and they choked.”

In 2012 the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty released a report showing that 270,000 children in New Zealand were living below the poverty line and recommended a comprehensive government-funded food in schools programme for low-decile schools.

“And the Prime Minister’s solution?” asked Harawira “A 5 year commitment of less than $2 million a year.”

Knowledge, the sharing of it, and collective action is power.

87 comments on “Images of our time: ‘shock’ capitalism”

  1. Ennui 1

    Karol, how dare you single out the Sainted Sir Peter for opprobrium? Don’t you realise just how much he has done for you and me? Where is your gratitude, your respect, your fawning adoration of the schlockmeister of special effects and second hand story lines? We owe him!!!!!!! Don’t you get it?

    I will have you know His Holiness Peter has always fed his children, and not just because we gave him a pile of tax funding. He would have done it anyway because it fits in with his value set. Children must be fed, well his anyway. When he reads this no doubt his hands will dip into his pockets and dollars will spew forth from Weta to subsidise the feeding of tomorrows cut price special effects techos, whose wages will reflect their gratitude. Dont hold your breath.

    PS I did call to pose the question, I was told he had gone out to get a packet of Weetbix from his favourite store in Acapulco. Brings a whole new meaning to “fast food” and “air mail”.

  2. vto 2

    It’s a tricky one isn’t it, poking the borax at somebody who has done nothing except work by the rules that have been foisted upon us.

    One can hardly expect Jackson to not do what he did because the rules are unbalanced and unfair. Most would be fools not to operate within the parameters set. Like John Key – money-trader, ticket-clipper, creator of nothing, yet earns a fortune.

    I think the issue comes in what people such as this think and do about the rules and settings… do they think they are just and what do they do about them? That is the question. So, what do people like Jackson think and do about the rules and settings we are all operating under?

    20c

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Problem here is you have accepted a frame where people can do anything they like within the realm of written down or formalised rules. But a sense of duty to your fellow citizens is not written down or enforced anywhere.

      Nevertheless you are correct in the context – a fucked up environment encourages fucked up behaviour. Happens to any caged animal, and it happens to humans.

      • Tim 2.1.1

        Especially those that opt out of society in favour of living in gated communities, or castles, and even those whose philanthropic endeavours only ever seem to extend to their immediate (self) interests.
        Sure Sir PJ can probably be commended for restoring a Bat or two and ensuring they have a future. In doing so however, there’ll be quite a number who won’t be allowed the luxury to participate. Similarly there’s an entire penninsula where long term residents witness the gauche behaviour of Jackson’s elite feifdom when going about their daily business. The guy is areal *star* of Wellywood.
        I’m happy to acknowledge Sir PJ’s contributions – that doesn’t mean they’re in ANY way superior to those that run soup kitchens, or house the indigent, or assist refugees, or provide budgetary advice, or man CAB’s, or provide care for children and the elderly on minimum wage, or staff our hospitals, or teach our children for slave wages.
        All things considered, the guy is actually a bit of a pillock.

        I can hear his suppotas now: Awe! but he donates to Amnesty International! Whatchoo gotta gens the guy?
        His attitude for one thing.

        • Tim 2.1.1.1

          Actually, now I think about it – those that have chosen to live in these gated communities and castles:
          What say we get them to provide their own Police Force, their own Ambulance Service, their own Fire Brigade, their own Schools, their own systems of welfare and community support, their own airports, their own water supply, their own gas and sewage supply, their own dairies and supermarkets (their own abbatoirs staffed by people happy to work for a pittance, their own crop farms and the road or rail infrastructure between them – I’m sure they could strike a deal with Fulton Hogan).
          Cast them adrift – let them pay no taxes and bend the rules to their hearts desire, but the minute they emerge from their various jurisdictions, let them pay the necessary taxes including all those historical contributions that enabled the infrastructure to get where it is today.

    • karol 2.2

      Jackson and Key work within the “neoliberal” values that currently dominate. However, with the Hobbit issue and law, they bent the rules in their favour, using diversions and misinformation.

      Jackson has become an over-inflated myth, that aids the whole “neoliberal” discourse – needs deflating.

      • woodpecker 2.2.1

        I agree Karol. The rules didn’t exactly suit, so he got his mate to tweek them a little more in his favor.

    • Tim 2.3

      It seems however that we’re still not allowed to critique our Hallowed Ones in any way without tall poppy tall poppy you’re just jealous taunts whether they be Sir PJ or opera singers that are past it.

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.1

        It’s interested to be hated in your own homeland. I hope his couches of gold and platinum are warm and comfortable.

        • Murray Olsen 2.3.1.1

          I’d put money on more Kiwis admiring and/or worshipping him than hating him. That’s how far we’ve fallen, to a rotten state where unionists fighting for their fast disappearing rights are condemned, while a smelly self-indulgent film director is seen as some sort of hero. The sad thing is that he could have made his films without cuddling up to Key or shitting on the workers, but he chose not to.

          Unless you meant Key, of course. He’s hated by an ever increasing number.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1.1.1

            The sad thing is that he could have made his films without cuddling up to Key or shitting on the workers, but he chose not to.

            QFT

            And that decision to go to government to get the laws changed to benefit himself and WB shows the sociopathy that lies within him.

          • muzza 2.3.1.1.2

            PJ, is owned, and answerable to the studio, and the studio owners, so the requested changes may/may not have been his, and I would suggest that its more likely, that it was not!

            While not a supporter of PJ, in any way, people need to start understanding, that you are not *allowed* to become as big as PJ, without giving something up, and the bigger you get, the more you have to give up, its how the game operates!

            Peter Jackon is not, in any meaningful way, in control of his own decisions, or his life, most likely, the machine ensures that!

            Jackson is property of the machine, and it comes with strings attached!

    • Ennui 2.4

      VTO, you might recall that Saint Peter and his messiah Time Warner looked at the scriptures of the NZ legislature with regard to servants, and were not pleased with what they beheld….after a great gnashing of teeth, renting of hair and lamentations the tomes of law were rewritten, and happiness fell upon the face of St Peter.

      Meanwhile there was much lamentation from those who had to pay unto St Peter Caesar for graven moving images of little hairy footed blasphemies. Even his servants received lesser dues from St Peter. But all is not well, association with Judas who took the form of a prime minister bodes badly, debts to Lucifer must be paid in full.

  3. woodpecker 3

    I have a question. Why in the doco, did Maggot Thatcher thank Pinochet and say “we owe you so much”?

  4. Winston Smith 4

    Wow you can almost feel the vitriol dripping like a malignant slime from these posts…

    Don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel…

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1

      That’s you projecting.

      Karol even summons the patience to respond politely to idiot trolls.

    • karol 4.2

      Poverty is not something to be complacent about.

      • Tigger 4.2.1

        There is no vitriol there, not in the ‘envy’ way you mean, Winston. Only anger and we should be angry. The world doesn’t need another private jet. It does need more people refusing to allow children to go hungry because of a system.

        • karol 4.2.1.1

          I have anger about the way John Key & Jackson undermined workers’ rights and unions, in order to secure tax payer funding for Jackson’s films. This is part of the way workers rights and wages have been diminished, while Jackson and his US corporate overlords have benefited.

          • kiwicommie 4.2.1.1.1

            Forcing beneficiaries to work is nothing more than wage slavery*, and the jobs available are not a living wage, in most cases you earn less than you do on a benefit, and they are only contract or part time. In order to live you would have to have three or four part time jobs, and that is barely enough to live on, let alone feed children.

            *Meaning the working conditions and wages are so poor that you are on the point of malnutrition, can’t afford to see the doctor or dentist, and can barely pay the bills, let alone save any money for the future.

            • dumrse 4.2.1.1.1.1

              It would be interesting to see your copy of the Weta Workshops salary schedule. If its as accurate as you state it is them get it published and you may just garner support for your cause.

              • karol

                The impact of Jackson and Key’s manipulations over the Hobbit funding & filming, go beyond what ever is happening at Weta workshops.

                Team Jackson manipulatively spread misinformation smearing unions, at a time when Key was happy to play into that smearing – many of us had just been on a day of union action that seemed like a resurgence of union activity, opposing some of the devastating law changes and policies of Key’s government. That helped to undermine our actions.

                Jackson also used such manipulations to get a law change, that ultimately adds to the weakening of workers’ power to get decent wages and working conditions.

    • Murray Olsen 4.3

      Aw Winnie, if you can almost feel anything, you’re making progress. Keep it up.

  5. How many jobs have you created karol, compared to peter jackson?

    • fatty 5.1

      lol…’job creators’

      Your comment has done nothing but add more weight to Karol’s point. From what I can see, Karol’s use of imagery shows the hegemony of neoliberalism within NZ, and your response has only strengthened this.
      Neoliberal buzzwords/memes resonate with the simpletons.
      What next? – ‘Jackson is a self-made person’?

    • felix 5.2

      No no no Brett, you’re mistaken.

      Sir Peter Jackson went to great lengths and even fought in the courts to ensure that no-one is allowed to call him an “employer” or refer to his contracts as “jobs”.

  6. Peter Jackson is successful because he had the vision to create something people love, he’s not a grotesque spitter, like Hone, who relies on communists hate of capitalism.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Actually, from what I’ve seen he’s simply gamed the system.

    • Paul 6.2

      One senses from your regular comments that there are lots of things you hate….
      Hardly a poster who spreads the love….
      Those in glasshouses should not throw stones.

  7. I have to go as far as to say this is the most pathetic, Jealous, hateful post anyone on this site has done.

    Keep posting like this, everytime you do, someone who might think of voting Labour, gets turned away.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      Brett,

      You may want to contemplate this:

      An explosion in extreme wealth and income is exacerbating inequality and hindering the world’s ability to tackle poverty, Oxfam warned today in a briefing published ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos next week.

      The $240 billion net income in 2012 of the richest 100 billionaires would be enough to make extreme poverty history four times over, according Oxfam’s report ‘The cost of inequality: how wealth and income extremes hurt us all.’ It is calling on world leaders to curb today’s income extremes and commit to reducing inequality to at least 1990 levels.

      The richest one per cent has increased its income by 60 per cent in the last 20 years with the financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process.

      Oxfam warned that extreme wealth and income is not only unethical it is also economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive.

      http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2013-01-19/annual-income-richest-100-people-enough-end-global-poverty-four-times

      We are now seeing Dickensian levels of inequality developing across many societies, with the process remorselessly showing no signs whatsoever of slowing. It is a process with one logical outcome. The left is going to speak against this, and it has nothing to do with envy. Whenever you trot out that tired, vacuous argument it is nothing more than a projection of your own inner motivations.

      • weka 7.1.1

        Thanks RL, that’s a great example of a thoughtful, non-inflammatory response to a loaded commenter.

        • karol 7.1.1.1

          to a loaded commenter.

          LOL. I think you are referring to the comment… no?

          And also my thanks, RL, for some very helpful comments.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.2

      No, Brett: you are projecting.

      No-one is begrudging Sir Peter Jackson’s wealth. Some begrudge his behaviour. The post is making a point about inequality.

      Oh, and what does Karol’s opinion have to do with the Labour Party? She’s an avowed Greenie.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      I’ve told you before Brett, it’s not envy – it’s disgust.

    • karol 7.4

      And yet, you are not disgusted by the Marlborough cartoon, demonising people in poverty.

      • Brett Dale 7.4.1

        Karol:

        Your right Im not disgusted by a cartoon, Im disgusted by politicians who spit and say vile racist comments, Im disgusted by leaders of parties who would have people in their party who when hearing three thousand people died, they come out and say “I broke open the Champagne.” Im disgusted by politicians who shut up and say nothing when they see people committing violence against children, but Im not disgusted by a cartoon.

        • karol 7.4.1.1

          And you are not worried about the impact of a cartoon, that reinforces the way low income people are repeatedly demonised, and smeared? It’s not just a cartoon – it has real life impacts.

          • Brett Dale 7.4.1.1.1

            No its just a cartoon, Im more worried about the behavior of real life people.

            • karol 7.4.1.1.1.1

              Real people like John Key and those in team Jackson? Although, both are at least partly a media construction, a myth. I have no idea what they are like as individuals, but the ways they are mythologised have quite a bit in common with cartoons.

            • felix 7.4.1.1.1.2

              What’s the difference between a politician saying offensive racist things and a cartoon saying offensive racist things?

              Surely it’s the offensive racist things that bother you, not the person saying them.

              Or is it?

              • A cartoon is normally satire, a person being racist is a person being racist.

                • felix

                  In this case the cartoon wasn’t satire at all. It was just a cartoonist being racist.

                  A cartoonist is a person. How come it’s ok for this person to be racist and it doesn’t bother you?

                  • karol

                    Excellent response, felix. I had difficulty finding some logic in Brett’s above comment.

                  • There were people of diofferent races in the cartoon , when Hone the spitter said “white mother fucker” he only mentioned one race. Which no one here had a problem with , I might add.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Did you have a problem with it, Brett?

                    • felix

                      Ah, so your argument is that the cartoon isn’t racist.

                      You know it’d be a lot quicker if you ever just said what you mean instead of making people prise your head open.

                • karol

                  That’s your argument? Racism is an individual thing. No understanding of institutional racism, or they way individuals get to have racist attitudes?

        • felix 7.4.1.2

          Im disgusted by politicians who shut up and say nothing when they see people committing violence against children

          Very curious to know who you’re referring to here Brett.

          • Brett Dale 7.4.1.2.1

            Your a sharp fella, figure it out.

            • felix 7.4.1.2.1.1

              Or you could just tell me.

              I haven’t heard of a politician seeing people committing violence against children and doing nothing about it.

              Who is it?

              • Not personally seeing someone hit someone, but knowing that it happens and
                saying nothing or blaming the wrong people.

                • felix

                  Well you clearly know something. So who is it?

                  • Every extreme left wing political, who blames society and not personal responsibility.

                    Understand now?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      They both have a strong role Brett.

                    • felix

                      No Brett, I don’t understand that at all.

                      But thanks for sharing a little more of your disease.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      You should try other sources than WhaleSpew for your information. He loves carrying on about Maori marching for land etc, but doing nothing about violence to children. It seems you’re just repeating that lazy thinking, or lack of it.

                      If I’d ever come across a left winger saying that violence against children was acceptable because of society, you might have some point. In real life, the guys who screamed when they were told they couldn’t bash their kids any more were, to my knowledge, right wingers and Christians.

                      What left wingers do realise is that domestic problems will be accentuated by the stress caused by poor social conditions, and put some effort into changing those conditions. This has nothing to do with abrogation of personal responsibility. In fact, I see it as part of the personal responsibility we have towards building a more just society.

                      I know it’s easier to just complain about “inverse racism” though, and perpetuate myths. That’s why so many of you do it.

                    • Clockie

                      Brett: Not that you’re ideological of course…

                      Ever going to reply to my query?

                      http://thestandard.org.nz/the-meaning-of-utu/#comment-633138

                    • Paul

                      The new meme put forward by Farrar, Slater and the paid puppets.Anyone with a moderately progressive argument is ‘extreme left.’
                      How much are they paying you to embed that, Brett?

  8. Private Baldric 8

    He’s rich and some people aren’t so we should take all his money and give it to those who aren’t.

    [RL: Putting words into the mouth of the author is a fast way to earn a ban.]

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1

      Is that what you think, because no-one else said any such thing.

      I note that New Zealand’s per capita GDP under Labour is greater than under National. Perhaps getting your “facts” from a turnip is a mistake.

    • Clockie 8.2

      Hey Baldric your persona is slipping. You do know that the original Baldric is more or less a good humoured, wide eyed babe in the woods? You’re sounding a bit more like an embittered old cynic. Trouble in the turnip patch?

  9. No one is begrudging his wealth?? This post has a picture of hungry kids and a pic of
    Jackson’s jet.

    What inequality? hetook a path, and become very successful with it, if he didnt become famous, those hungry kids will still be hungry.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      What inequality?

      What … Jackson goes to bed hungry?

      No-one begrudges the fact that Jackson took a specific path, or has worked hard at it and was fortunate to be successful at it … but there is no rational economic or ethical reason why this particular choice of career should be so vastly better rewarded than dozens of others I could name.

      Ask yourself; why does directing movies pay so very, very well? Why does making a successful movie pay hundreds of millions of dollars? What is the reason for this do you imagine?

      I repeat: The $240 billion net income in 2012 of the richest 100 billionaires would be enough to make extreme poverty history four times over, according Oxfam’s report. The income concentrated into the hands of these mere 100 people could fix the extreme poverty 1,000,000,000 live in (that 22,000 children die of every day) over, and over, and over … and over again.

      • Wayne 9.1.1

        Because the films are seen by billions of people, and a proportion of the revenue goes to the director.

        Interestingly this was (and I guess still is) the complaint of commercial lawyers. They are stuck on an hourly rate (well, a pretty high one), but the merchant bankers they were advisng got a percentage of the transaction. So a billion dollar aquisition might yield $20 million (2%) for the bankers, but $2 million for the lawyers (2,000 hours @ $1000 per hour).

        So long as there is a capitalit system, this is how it is.

        Govts can’t stop it, but they can tax it. In France as high as 75%, and in many western nation around 40 to 45%.

        But I don’t think we will ever see Matt McCartens proposal of people owning no more than two houses, unless he intends that NZ should become the new Cuba – impossible in a democratic country. People just won’t vote for it.

        For instance a tax rate of 75% would still mean the most wealthy NZers would still have multi million dollar incomes (assuming they did not all decamp to Australia!). If people have money, they will spend it somewhere. And are you going to police everything people spend?

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          Because the films are seen by billions of people, and a proportion of the revenue goes to the director.

          Yep, and that’s the problem with capitalism. A few people are over rewarded for their minuscule role.

          Govts can’t stop it,

          Actually, they can – if they have the courage to do so.

          People just won’t vote for it.

          I think you’d be amazed at what people will vote for once they know the truth. As Ford said:
          If the people knew how the banking system worked there’d be a revolution before morning.
          Not an exact quote but close enough.

          For instance a tax rate of 75% would still mean the most wealthy NZers would still have multi million dollar incomes (assuming they did not all decamp to Australia!).

          Yep, so they can afford it though, personally, I’d prefer it if they did decamp to Australia.

          If people have money, they will spend it somewhere. And are you going to police everything people spend?

          Nope, how they get the money in the first place.

        • RedLogix 9.1.1.2

          Because the films are seen by billions of people, and a proportion of the revenue goes to the director.

          But so are many other things consumed by billions of people. By that logic alone because billions of people eat food, then farmers should be billionaires.

          There has to be more to it.

          • farmboy 9.1.1.2.1

            get a big enough farm or farms and you can,jesus is that not obvious

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2.1.1

              break em all up into small farms 250 ha and smaller. Apart from ones on low productivity land.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.2.1.2

              Ah, so I should just become a monopoly farmer? 7 billion people who must come to me for food. Yeah, I can see the sense in that.

              /sarc

              BTW, you failed to see the problem with people being paid excessively for doing SFA.

      • Paul 9.1.2

        Brett does not care about kids in poverty…that’s why he spends so much time arguing against anything that might just help them out.
        Wonder if someone pays him to come out with this stuff?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.2

      That’s a comparison, Brett.

      The inequality the OECD and The Lancet have noticed, Brett.

  10. karol 10

    And more law changes made to order for the corporates, while the democratic rights of less powerful citizens are eroded further.

    Newly released documents show Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce made a “backroom deal” with oil company Shell over the ban on protesting in the exclusive economic zone, the Labour Party says.

  11. Wayne 11

    I appreciate this is a late post on this thread, but Sir Peter does raise an important aspect of capitalism.

    The reason he does so well is because his films have worldwide appeal, and he gets a percentage return. That is capitalism in the global space in action. Not many of us can do anything that has worldwide appeal. Now I don’t think any govt can do anything about that, and indeed why would it it. In fact successive govts have encouraged him – more jobs, more skills in NZ etc.

    And his G650 is really a business tool to get him and his team to LA on a regular basis, but a very exclusive one!

    But arguably it does require some response from govt, and I think that is best in the tax area. For instance NZ has one of the lower top tax rates in the OECD. For instance in the US the top rate is 39.6% for incomes over $400,000, in the UK 45% for incomes over 150,000 pounds and in Aus 45% for income over $180,000. In all cases their top rate cuts in at a reasonably high level. One of the problems with the Clark govt was that fact the top rate cut in $60,000, say $100,000 at todays value. And she did not adjust it.

    Now I happen to think that Hollandes rate of 75% is ridiculous, and if applied in NZ would see many high income earners decamp for Aus. Basically not a good thing.

    So what would a credible top tax rate for a left govt look like in my opinion. Well, a progressive tax rate structure might have 39% for incomes above $150,000 and 45% for incomes above $300,000. Arguably the top rate is more important than the mid rate in this kind of discussion, and there may be no need for a 39% rate.

    • karol 11.1

      I think progressive taxation is part of the solution.

      However, int he case of the Warners’ movies made in NZ, there is also the profiteering of Hollywood corporates. They make huge profits, so why should they get tax/subsidies from the NZ tax payers? And why should that get NZ employment laws changed at their request?

      I would rather tax payer money went to funding local NZ stories. And I would rather we didn’t open the door to profiteering Hollywood corporates – they make millions off such movies. I rarely go to the cinema these days. They cost too much.

      Something’s wrong when that US industry is making millions, but hard working Kiwis doing jobs that contribute to NZ’s common good, barely earn a living wage.

    • Mike S 11.2

      The tax rates you’ve mentioned don’t do anything to address those who declare low or no income yet are extremely wealthy.

      Closing all loopholes and making the tax system fairer would do more to address inequality.

  12. Wayne 12

    Karol, I was not really trying to get into this particular debate as such, which we have kind of done to death before. But successive NZ Govts do try to foster high skill business here, especially if there is a risk that it could go elsewhere.

    I appreciate that there are debatable aspects of what has actually been done, but the motivation of keeping this kind of industry in NZ seems unarguable to me. I know Sir Peter benefits, but so does the NZ tax base and the 1000 + high paying jobs in Wellington. I suspect the taxpayer might spend a dollar, but get six back.

  13. The article was making a point about inequality, which is an escalating problem in New Zealand. There is pretty good evidence that just about every social and environmental ill in the social scientists’ sights, including teen pregnancy, abortion, prison population, violent crime, obesity, mental illness, environmental destruction etc. is linked to inequality. My own research has also shown a tenuous link between better equality and better animal welfare. More equal countries of the same average income eat fewer animal products and have better protection for farmed animals.

    Though I do take the point that it may have been better not to have picked on one particular person to emphasise the nature of inequality in New Zealand. There are plenty of generic pictures of posh real estate and private jets, and I am sure Jackson is nowhere near the richest person in New Zealand.

    • xtasy 13.1

      I ended up on welfare due to a social and associated disaster, and I tell you, WINZ and health authorities, have delivered FUCK ALL, to get me recover and well enough to perhaps even consider part time work. Yet ALL their focus is on detecting failure, on blaming, and penalising, on tightening up benefit component payments (reviews every 3 motnhs) and to suspect me and others to “fake” my illness and incapacity.

      They now are planning to harden up on work capacity testing, to even outsource this, and to also tell their own doctors and advisors, that people must be “assisted” into work, where there are NO jobs, where there is NO actual support of substance, and where people are so afraid, they are rather thinking of migration or suicide, to end their shit lot in a lost country, that still dares to count itself to the first world and developed countries.

      Shame is all over NZ now, and this government is the most disgusting government in this country one could think of. Sad, really

    • Colonial Viper 13.2

      Jackson is top 10 by NBR. That’s top 0.001% material

  14. xtasy 14

    Fiscal, finance and the details, see the last crowd that ran our place:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=fQTNDr7A_N8

    Clark and Cullen cornered and asked!!!

    So how innocent, how right or wrong was it all, and what is right now, then?

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