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Tory charity

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, March 19th, 2009 - 137 comments
Categories: tax - Tags:

America's culture of giving

America's culture of giving

According to the Herald John Key has declared people should spend their tax-cuts on charities and wants an American “culture of giving” to the needy.

I’m just stunned. His plan is to take money out of the pockets of low income New Zealanders to create tax cuts for the rich and then encourage those low-income Kiwis to beg for Tory charity?

Here’s a hint John. In a decent social democracy nobody needs to beg to survive. Stop dismantling ours.

137 comments on “Tory charity”

  1. Mike 1

    Mr Key said about 60 per cent of the population donated in some way each year without knowing they could claim some of the amount back as a rebate.

    “Imagine someone who used to give $10,000 to an organisation.

    “Now with the tax deductions, they get a third of that back. So they can give $15,000 and with the rebate, their net giving is the same. So there’s tremendous capacity for New Zealanders to increase their giving.”

    John Key, yesterday.

    “Even major tax policy changes would not impact their giving. Wealthy donors report that tax considerations are far less important to them than is commonly assumed. For example, more than half the respondents (56.1%) said their giving would stay the same even if the estate tax were repealed. Similarly, 51.7% said their giving would stay the same even if there were zero income tax deductions for gifts to charity. In another demonstration of resiliency unrelated to taxes, households with “dramatic decreases” in wealth still gave an average of $121,216 in 2005 to charity, while those with “dramatic increases” were only slightly higher in donations at $141,298.

    Bank Of America Landmark Philanthropy Study 2006

    • lprent 1.1

      Yeah right. What he didn’t say was that few people give away 10k per year. When you can show me that the amount in charity giving even remotely comes close to anything substantial (ie the welfare budgets) during a recession then I maybe could get interested.

      In the US giving to charities goes down in recessions – not up. You notice that John Key conveniently forgot to mention that.

      People then start dying. The guy is a fuckwit.

  2. lprent 2

    John Key is a dipshit. That is one of the main reasons that I pay taxes – to ensure that no-one has to beg and our elderly and young don’t starve. This is the rights message about welfare. If more is given to charity, then less taxes need to be paid for a welfare system.

    Anyone who has been to the states and looked at their welfare systems knows how appalling it is. Anyone who has looked at how the economy in the US has no bottom knows what happens in a deep recession – people starve or die of preventable causes. The inability of kids with ability to achieve the potential because their parents don’t have enough college money and the limited availabity of scholarships if you are a sports nut, that is simply an appalling waste of human resources.

    To put it simply. I’d far rather dispose of John Key than I would want to move to the “culture of giving”. In practice it doesn’t work. Just look at the US in recession or depression. They have a very limited welfare system and therefore a limited countercyclical economic balance.

    • MacDoctor 2.1

      That is one of the main reasons that I pay taxes – to ensure that no-one has to beg and our elderly and young don’t starve

      No, Lynn, the only reason we pay taxes is that the IRD will kick the stuffing out of us if we don’t… :-)

      • Redbaiter 2.1.1

        Yes. Put opt out tick boxes on taxation forms relating to welfare payments and see how many tick them.

      • lprent 2.1.2

        It’d be easy enough to figure out how to reduce the amount of tax I pay. I haven’t because generally the taxes in NZ are pretty well spent.

        However I plan not to use the tax cuts to give to any charity apart from causes that look for real change – like getting rid of NACT. I think that would be my most productive use of them.

        Maybe I should make the standard a charity… But it is rather pointless for the amount of money I spend on it.

      • Ag 2.1.3

        No, Lynn, the only reason we pay taxes is that the IRD will kick the stuffing out of us if we don’t

        The correct answer is both. We are compelled to pay for some things that we want, otherwise they wouldn’t get funded. Market Failure is in Economics 101. Charity is inefficient.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Almost all of the tax cuts will land in the pockets of the highest income brackets, who because asset values and cash flows are threatened, will use them to reduce debt.

    Reducing debt is anti-stimulatory. The Taxcuttasaurous Party is going to find that at this point in time, it’s single, and only, real policy… will have exactly the opposite effect than what they vainly imagined.

  4. keith 4

    phil goff quote from the article:

    “It smacks of the old aristocracy to say ‘we will make things worse for the low-income people and then, out of the generosity of my heart, I will call on other well-heeled people to donate theirs to charity’.”

    fuckin’eh

  5. r0b 5

    Tory charity has never worked, and never will work. There is no society (current or historical) where the benevolent actions of individuals adequately take care of those in need.

    Furthermore, proportionately, the poor are more generous than the rich. Those that have the least give the most:

    The poor are more generous than the rich when it comes to giving to good causes, according to research which challenges the “Robin Hood” myth of charity as an agent of redistribution.

    A study published today finds that the least well-off give a higher proportion of their income to charity than the wealthy, no matter what their age, class or beliefs.

    • higherstandard 5.1

      Please r0b don’t quote little surveys and extrapolate wildly you’re far more intelligent than that.

      Also in response to IBs faux outrage at Key’s comments do you really think it’s odd that key would make that king of statement at the Philanthropy NZ conference or is the outrage merely more ill considered spin out of the EPMU/Labour party.

      IrishBill: My outrage is based on seeing this type of policy leave tens of thousands of people in dire poverty in the 1990s. Stick your mealy-mouthed ” Labour/EPMU” bullshit up your arse and don’t come back here for a month you smarmy fucker.

      • keith 5.1.1

        “do you really think it’s odd that key would make that king of statement at the Philanthropy NZ conference”

        that’s exactly it, he’ll blow smoke up anyone’s arse (see what he said at the CTU meeting) but his actions are all rehashed, failed right wing policies.

      • Mike Collins 5.1.2

        IB – I can understand if you are upset about a policy. But to fly off the handle by banning someone is grossly over the top here. It’s not like he called you a fuckwit or a dipshit.

        • Matthew Pilott 5.1.2.1

          Mike, someone making some fairly crude and obnoxious observations would strike me as far worse that using childish vulgar insults. I’m amused you find that worse, to be honest, it strikes me as an immature attitude to have.

        • IrishBill 5.1.2.2

          I’ve dedicate most of my life to left causes and left principles and I get really angry when people try to claim I’m engaging in tribalist “spin”. Rather than attack my politics HS attacked my integrity and so he got banned.

          • Mike Collins 5.1.2.2.1

            Thanks IB (and Matt) for pointing out your rationale. I do find it strange though that you appear to think, and correct me if I am wrong, that attacks on integrity don’t go both ways. I have never seen someone banned here who is left leaning for attacking the character or integrity of someone from the right. Mind you I don’t expect to see them banned – I think people should be able to confront assertions about their integrity. Without looking at the merits of HS’s statement, it is valid in politics to question the motives and integrity of opponents. Getting upset about that in my view is childish. If you’ve been around a while, and I am sure you have, then you would have encountered this before and will do again in the future. Laugh it off – or better still point out exactly why someone is a dunce for questioning your integrity

          • Felix 5.1.2.2.2

            One aspect you may not be aware of, Mike, is that HS has also been around a while and it’s not the first time he’s been warned about making these exact (or very similar) character attacks.

          • Inventory2 5.1.2.2.3

            In hindsight IB, if you’re trying to enforce standards, might a less emotive send-off to higherstandard have been appropriate? To ban someone using a string of expletives does seem a touch – ummm – hypocritical ;-)

            IrishBill: You’re not getting all prissy are you IV2?

          • Ag 5.1.2.2.4

            Good for you IB. These trolls have nothing to contribute.

      • Sorry HS, wasn’t it you who was the other day extrapolating a survey of the last 6 weeks of the election campaign out too the entire election year?

      • r0b 5.1.4

        Please r0b don’t quote little surveys and extrapolate wildly

        Fair call, I only quoted one little survey, because I wasn’t writing an epic. But I was aware of several more with the same message. Proportionately the poor give more:

        http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/national-news/portfolio/2008/02/19/Poor-Give-More-to-Charity

        http://www.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=4&page=161#50

        http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-welfarecharity.htm

        http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Story?id=2682730&page=2

        and so on and so on, lots of little studies with the same message.

        Sorry about your ban, but you should have sussed by now that IB doesn’t do “faux” anything – his outrage is real, and justifiably so. The burden of hard times always falls hardest on those that have the least. That combined with a government whose priorities, shall we say, lie elsewhere, mean that the less well off in our country are in for a bumpy ride. And it sucks.

      • Inventory2 5.1.5

        Not getting prissy at all Bill – just making an observation that you were responding in a way that many others have been banned for – while banning someone!

        As for your comments re “dire poverty”. My wife and I visited Ethiopia last year – we saw and experienced dire poverty there, and it bore no relationship to anything we’ve ever seen in New Zealand or any other first-world country. I guess it depends on whether your definition of poverty is whether you can afford to pay your SkyTV bill, or whether your children will eat this week, or even survive the week.

        And while we’re talking about “tory charity”, meeting one of the children we sponsor while we were in Ethipia is something that we will never, ever forget.

      • jtuckey 5.1.6

        Eh …… charity leads to tens of thousands of people in dire poverty ?

  6. This post would make a lot more sense to me if Key had cut welfare benefits to fund his tax cuts. He doesn’t appear to have, so I have to admit I’m not exactly sure how you sustain your argument about him dismantling the fabric of society.

    Americans do give over 2% of GDP to charity. It’s hard to see that in itself as bad.

    • Tane 6.1

      Tom, Key has repealed Labour’s tax cuts for low-middle income families. Anyone on $44,000 a year or less with a family receives a tax increase. At the same time he’s using that money to cut the top tax rate. Seems pretty clear-cut to me.

      • cocamc 6.1.1

        Tane – Was Labour going to keep their tax cut program if returned to power? All I hear is that they would have cancelled them – which wouldn’t be the first time.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.2

      does that 2% include the tithings to mega churches, and the televangalists? Genuine question, as I don’t know.

      • Macro 6.2.1

        Of course it does they are all set up as charities.

        • Tom Mathews 6.2.1.1

          Pascal: About a third of it goes to religious organisations. Many of these are quite worthy charities, running soup kitchens etc, although they obviously aren’t just in it for the sake of it – they want conversions to their church.

          I couldn’t actually say if a televangelist counts as a charity or not. I suspect it might. So it is probably fair to say that less than 2% of GDP actually goes to worthy charities. I doubt there is such thing as a perfect charity however, although I guess there are some clear cases of bad ones.

          The figures are from here
          http://www.nptimes.com/08July/7-1%20Special%20Report.pdf

          Tane: You may be right, I am not familiar enough with the intricacies of both the plans. Our tax system is already pretty highly progressive though. My impression is that National’s alterations don’t change the underlying structure of that.

  7. Tigger 7

    Hey, I’ve heard the Sensible Sentencing Trust is a charity – maybe I should give my tax cut to them? :-)

    I don’t want an American culture of anything in New Zealand, I don’t want their gun culture or their fast food culture or their reality TV culture or their race relations culture or their treatment of their indigenous people culture or the political advertising culture…Mr Key, you may be desperate to appease your US big brothers (father issues much?) but leave the rest of us out of it.

    I’m really glad to see this government finally being questioned on what they’re doing – maybe they’ll pull back on their shock and awe tactics for a while…

    • keith 7.1

      “..(father issues much?) ….”

      hehe dead on, nice one tig

      • That’s a bit of a low blow guys…

        • Tigger 7.1.1.1

          Actually from a psychological perspective Key has a classic case of trying to please powerful men/companies/nations. That’s bleeding into how he runs the country (into the ground).

          Key himself has put his upbringing on the table – I’m just making a meal of it.

  8. justthefacts 8

    What on earth is wrong with letting me keep a bit more of my money Irish?

    You claim that the lowest paid are about to have money taken from their own pockets, that is of course false, the money they have in their pockets comes from those who you falsely label as the “rich”.

    The reality is that most of those who are going to receive a tax cut are the very ones who have been pillaged by Labour for the last nine years.

    Let the so called “rich pricks” donate to who they wish, those of us in the middle class are sick of seeing our money wasted on dole bludgers and DPB beneficences.

  9. Kevin Welsh 9

    The words of this fuckwit get more bizarre by the week. The more I think about it, the more Michael Cullen was correct in referring to them as a bunch or rich pricks.

  10. Monty 10

    Those on the higher income brackets such as myself work bloody hard for our money and we are already paying way way more than a reasonable share of the tax take. Of course those in higher income brackets do give more to charity simply because we can afford to. John key himself is reputed to donate nearly all of his Prime Ministerial salary – I note you would never mention that – he is at least putting his money where his mouth is.

    And of course the good thing is that organisations such as Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Catholic Social Services, Presbertarian Support, Red Cross, Fred Hollows Foundation to name but a few do so much more with so much less money than any Government organisation ever could. An example is the 400 eye operations directly as a consequence of the money donated for John Key’s plaster cast.

    But all we see from this blog is criticism. Maybe you need to realise that you obsession with our very popular Prime Minister is simply a wasted and furtile effort.

    • r0b 10.1

      Those on the higher income brackets such as myself work bloody hard for our money

      The work may be different, but it isn’t necessarily “harder” than the work done by lower income earners. And in many cases high income earners are lazy sods doing three fifths of bugger all for their massive pay cheques.

      and we are already paying way way more than a reasonable share of the tax take.

      Not by international standards.

      Of course those in higher income brackets do give more to charity simply because we can afford to.

      More in absolute terms, less as a percentage of income than those in lower brackets.

      • Monty 10.1.1

        Of course those who earn more money have a skill set for which other businesses or groups are prepared to pay – probably because the economic contribution or skill set is worth it. I have skills that two different organistions are prepared to pay top dollar for. As a result I will also pay a hell of a lot of tax – around $120k this year – proportionally that is much much more that most if not all the socialists who write here would even earn in a year – so don’t talk to me about absolute or %. I also give to charities and help out family members because they simply don’t have money. I know you hate tory Charity – but my labour voting (and ignorant) in-laws are very happy to receive such charity.

        I also work much harder than any damn socialist I know – but one thing socialists I do know all seem to have in common – they are very happpy to receive the benfits of Tory Charity.

        Goof made a fool of himself this morning – please send a note to him to continue his good work.

        • r0b 10.1.1.1

          Why Monty you are practically a saint. I bet you would never say something like: “Personaly i do not give too much of a shit about the lower clasess – I am not one of them but i never planned to be. Yes – the poor people can go screw themselves.” I can never imagine you ranting: “Yes – the poor people can go screw themselves. When I see the parasite brother-in-law living off my hard earned taxes … I no longer give a shit about the parasites”. And so on. And so on. Tory charity indeed.

          so don’t talk to me about absolute or %

          Why not? Your personal image of yourself as a superhuman and god’s gift to the deserving poor is irrelevant to the fact that the low income earners, whom you despise so much, are more generous than the rich.

      • Phil 10.1.2

        And in many cases high income earners are lazy sods doing three fifths of bugger all for their massive pay cheques.

        I’m guessing that it hasn’t occured to you that a lot of those ‘lazy sods’ were the guys buring the candle from both ends, working 16 hour days, during their 20′s and 30′s?

    • Ag 10.2

      Yeah right. When I was a student I was employed in a particularly hot summer as a drain digger for a local plumber.

      People doing things like that do hard work, as do people in things like the SAS. Desk jockeys do not.

  11. Redbaiter 11

    ” In a decent social democracy nobody needs to beg to survive. ”

    Well of course all depends upon your definition of decency doesn’t it?

    There’s actually a lot that is immoral about the society the so called social democrats have built. You cannot have decency when you have immorality.

    Here’s whats immoral.

    - Working families that need money to survive and to plan for their children’s education and their retirement having that money compulsory confiscated by the state and used to buy the votes of bludgers and no hopers.

    - Power obsessed politicians who seek election by promising to legislatively rob the productive and share the proceeds of that robbery with those who will vote for them.

    - it is immoral because of its socially destructive long term outcomes. As Margaret Thatcher once said, “Socialism works OK until you run out of other people’s money”. She was right of course, for having the fruits of your labour stolen from you by unprincipled politicians provides a serious disincentive to produce. Eventually there’s nothing to steal and only widespread poverty remains.

    The political system that you refer today as “social democracy” is a ruinous and amoral system that can only eventually end in disaster. Its major flaws are compulsion, waste and inefficiency and the dis-incentivisation of production, and it will never work in the long term because of these flaws.

    A prosperous society is what we should aim for. Social Democracy takes us away from this goal.

    “Decency” is much more akin to charity than it is to compulsion.

    • grumpy 11.1

      Very intelligent and insightful reply.

      Careful though, you’ll get banned.

      • Margaret Thatcher did more damage than any socialist has ever done.

        • Lew 11.1.1.1

          KITNO,

          Margaret Thatcher did more damage than any socialist has ever done.

          Any socialist except Lenin, Stalin, Mao, CeauÅŸescu, Pol Pot, Kim, and plenty of others.

          Say what you like about Maggie, and I’m no defender of hers, but she never lined innocent citizens up before a firing squad or sentenced them to starvation by their thousands in the name of ideology.

          L

          • Redbaiter 11.1.1.1.1

            True, but why bother with this pissant and his infantile one line crap? Utterly worthless.

          • Killinginthenameof 11.1.1.1.2

            I would class them more as communists than socialists?

            I’m thinking more modern day Scandinavian socialism.

          • Lew 11.1.1.1.3

            KITNO,

            I would class them more as communists than socialists?

            You would be wrong, then. As I frequently get told when I bag the commies, Communism was never achieved, only various forms of proto-socialism. It’s largely irrelevant in any case – it’s a difference of degree, not of kind.

            I’m thinking more modern day Scandinavian socialism.

            Contrary to what Redbaiter might say, that’s not socialism – it’s social democracy. Not socialist democracy either.

            L

          • ak 11.1.1.1.4

            C’mon Lew – you’re far too good for a cheap Godwin. Killy’s quite right: Maggie et al’s ideology gave us the nasty nineties and is currently brewing another ocean of tears and misery. Saying “Pol Pot was worse” doesn’t help a lot down at our foodbank……

          • Snail 11.1.1.1.5

            Care to put me wise, Lew, to the meaning of “ideology”.

      • Redbaiter 11.1.2

        “Careful though, you’ll get banned.”

        Maybe, maybe not. The guys who run this site give me a pretty fair go.

        I have the feeling they’re more down to earth working class than some of the insufferable ivory tower elitists out there who run blogs. Those cut off from the real world academics who only ever think of working people in patronizing terms.

        Like me, the Standard guys have probably poured placed vibrated and screeded their fare share of ready mixed.

        I’ve been banned from the so called Libertarians though.

        Just goes to show you don’t it?

  12. vto 12

    Red rags to bulls IB.

    The left and the right often completely fail to understand each others position. This thread is a classic. Hardcore lefties consider the right to have an underlying greed and as such never be charitable. Your headline “Tory charity” is a brazen red rag clearly designed to infuriate those on the left who in their eyes never see those two words used together legitimately.

    Your words censoring HS straight back at you.

  13. justthefacts 13

    “leave tens of thousands of people in dire poverty in the 1990s.”

    What utter rubbish, even if it were true you remained strangely silent during the last nine years Irish or has “dire poverty” just occurred overnight?

    The 90′s were a great time for most Kiwi’s, those who worked hard bettered themselves, those who put the effort in did well, those who were happy to sit on their bums and do nothing got bugger all….which is just how it should always be.

    • Yeah irish! where are your blog posts from the 1990′s!! and what about rogernomics, didn’t see you posting anything negative here back in the 80′s when is was labour that stood for it, you party line running lickspittle!

      • Redbaiter 13.1.1

        Wow, your name is linked to a blog that hasn’t had a post made since August 2008. Because nobody is interested in your wittering half witted rubbish. If I was Bill I’d ban you on the grounds that almost every one of your posts is just cluttering infantile nonsense. Like dog shit on the pavement.

        • Felix 13.1.1.1

          If those were grounds for a banning there wouldn’t be anyone here but you though, baiter.

          • Redbaiter 13.1.1.1.1

            Just read the last dozen posts from this loon. Almost every one is one or two lines of doctrinal nonsense. Nothing to challenge. Nothing interesting. Nothing new. Nothing fresh. Just mealy mouthed same old same old robotic spite and intolerance.

        • Blogging seemed like a good idea when I wasn’t so busy, but as things picked up, It was very early to go by the way side, sorry about that.

          I wonder thought if some of your dislike from me stems from my occasional persistence for getting a straight answer out of you?

        • roger nome 13.1.1.3

          As opposed to your last comment RB – which was only illuminating to people to people to haven’t come across you before – i.e. it shows how much of a hypocritical fuckwit you are.

  14. IrishBill 14

    vto, it’s got nothing to do with what I think of those on the right but with what happened the last time these sentiments were expressed (mostly by then Minister for Social Development Jenny Shipley). And what happened was we had widespread poverty, third world diseases spread through poor areas and foodbanks couldn’t keep up.

    Private charity has never replaced the welfare state on a dollar for dollar basis and never will. Private charity also frequently has an element of moral compulsion added to it that amounts to social engineering by those that can afford it (such as fundamentalist churches). I’d much rather a system where people were provided with a safety net and thus allowed the freedom to live as self-determining individuals.

  15. Stephen 15

    Private charity has never replaced the welfare state on a dollar for dollar basis and never will.

    That’s because with a welfare state taking a large proportion of taxes, these taxes cannot be put to use in the hands of private charity. Your statement could only be proved accurate (in future – re: your “never will”) if someone experimented with getting rid of the welfare state for a decade or so.

    • Tane 15.1

      Here’s a question Stephen. As taxes have been slashed around the world since the great neoliberal project kicked off thirty years ago, have the cuts in social welfare and public services been made up on a dollar for dollar basis by private charity?

      Did the Britain of Charles Dickens have a comparable level of social welfare and public services made up by private charity?

      The answer to both of those questions is no, and you know it. Feel free to demonstrate otherwise with some facts and figures.

    • Snail 15.2

      hi Stephen,

      would you be so kind as to explain to me how getting rid of the welfare would be an experiment..

  16. Julie 16

    Isn’t relying on charity a huge inefficient way of looking after those in need? Wouldn’t it be much more efficient, and take advantage of economies of scale, to do it through a progressive taxation system and state-provision of services?

    • Redbaiter 16.1

      For God’s sake? More efficient?? Are you completely nuts?? Read my post at 9:13

      • Julie 16.1.1

        The problem with your approach RedBaiter is that you seem to think that tax is only paid by one group, and that those who benefit from state provisions are another group entirely. Ie those who pay tax don’t benefit, and those who benefit don’t pay tax.

        I pay tax, a reasonable amount actually, and I also benefit. Everytime I drive somewhere I’m doing so on roads paid for by your tax, my tax, everyone’s tax. Even those on benefits pay tax. And there’s GST that everyone pays everytime they buy milk at the dairy.

        Beneficiaries (in the broad sense, not just those on benefits) are taxpayers. They are not mutually exclusive groups.

  17. justthefacts 18

    Why can’t I have the choice where the money stolen from me via tax goes?

    Work out how much of that tax goes to pay those on the dole and DPB and let me decide myself what charities get the money, as long as the amount is no less than what the government would take I see no problem with this.

    It would sure make me feel a lot better about where that money goes, I could even hold the charities to account for what they do with that money, wastage would be eliminated overnight.

    • Felix 18.1

      Think it through. Is there a valid reason for applying your idea to the dole and DPB but not to any other areas of public spending?

      • Redbaiter 18.1.1

        Apply it to all. Whats the prob?

        • Felix 18.1.1.1

          The problem is that it’s a completely different argument.

          If he wants to make that argument he should just make it and not piss around with these silly distractions and pretend it’s about the dole and the DPB.

    • Ag 18.2

      Because of market failure.

      Why is it that the political right is completely ignorant of the central economic feature of our societies?

      I mean you guys appear to have no clue of why we actually pay tax.

      Even if everyone had the same income, we would still be better off paying tax.

      Jesus, you folks are ig’nant.

  18. Maybe key has a modest proposal for us to be presented at a slightly later date?

  19. Bill 20

    I understand that in the US there is a culture among the socialites to attend charity fund raising dinners where they compete somewhat on the amount they donate to designated worthy causes.

    Which (apart from the observations already made about private charity being a poor second cousin to state provisioning) is problematic on two fronts. Many are posturing. Their motivation is to score points in the socialite scheme of things rather than exercise any genuine philanthropy. The second is that the worthy causes are selected and therefore probably have to get over a bar of sexy fashionibility to be considered.

    In the eyes of the rich, the poor are neither sexy nor fashionable. They are lesser scum who made bad life choices. They are the threat countering the promised pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They elicit fear, loathing and disgust…not empathy.

    Ever been homeless and hungry? Ever been an integral part of that community for a sustained period of time? If you have been you will know that it is the poor who give to the poor while the wealthy (with very, very few exceptions) hurry by, look the other way. They seem to focus their disgust on the person rather than on the situation and so tend towards favouring the removal of the people rather than removal of the circumstances.

  20. TightyRighty 21

    it was pretty reasonable for the Prime Minister to ask that those who could afford it to donate the extra money in their pocket to charity. I really, really, really fail to see the reason for villification on this issue, party lines or otherwise. If the National party are trusting people to spend their money as they see fit to do so, whats wrong with the Leader of the National party to ask those benefting to show a little generosity of spirit?

    • Tane 21.1

      Because it’s part of an ongoing theme of Key’s – gradually dismantle the remaining elements of social democracy that we have, and hope that private charity will fill the gap. It’s been tried and it’s been failed, and it leads to misery for a whole lot of people. That’s why we brought in the welfare state to start with.

      • jtuckey 21.1.1

        What drivel – private charity has always and will always fill the gap.

        Key is not advocating removal of social welfare nor is anyone apart from the far right lunatics he’s merely saying that if people can afford to give the time or money to charitable causes they should do so – I’d have been appalled if he hadn’t said something like this at a conference on philanthropy.

  21. randal 22

    this “IS” the civil society
    I have more money than you so shut the f*ck up
    or I’ll call the hired goons to fix it so I dont have to listen to your whining about being hungry

  22. justthefacts 23

    Felix

    Fair question; the answer is that the dole and the DPB are the two area’s that I detest funding, they are also areas where we waste so much money.

    • Felix 23.1

      I detest funding lots of things too.

      That in itself doesn’t make a very sound argument for anything in particular though.

  23. Tim Ellis 24

    I think you’re barking up the wrong tree here IB. John Key hasn’t said anything about charity replacing the welfare state and I don’t think you can reasonably come up with that analysis.

    Private charity has always existed in New Zealand. It does a lot of good in New Zealand particularly in areas where the state just hasn’t delivered. The Wellington and Auckland City Missions, and the Sallys do amazing work for example. Pretty much all of the voluntary sector wouldn’t exist without private charity.

    All John Key is doing is encouraging people who can afford to donate to charity to do so. I think Phil Goff has to be pretty mean-spirited to object to that.

    • Matthew Pilott 24.1

      I think Phil Goff has to be pretty mean-spirited to object to that.

      Not when the money for the tax cuts came at the expense of people who ewarn far less in the first place.

      You’re right about the voluntary sector, of course, but it does pay to remember it only picks up where state welfare left off. I’d put it somewhere around the last 5%, maximum.

      It is also horrendously biased. All the sexy causes do really well, whereas the state allocates according to a level of reasoning, for the most part (although Key and Herceptin clearly shows where politics can get in the way of reason).

  24. r0b 25

    John Key hasn’t said anything about charity replacing the welfare state

    No, but he has begun the process of undermining it. And he has replaced Labour’s tax cuts, favouring low income earners, with National’s favouring the rich.

    Leaving Labour’s tax cut structure in place would have done far more for the needy in this country than largely symbolic calls for more charity.

    • Tim Ellis 25.1

      You can hardly say, r0b, that John Key “replaced” Labour’s tax cuts, which weren’t even implemented, and which Phil Goff has basically subsequently said would have been cancelled anyway. So assuming that Labour’s tax cuts would have remained in place is nonsense.

      • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1

        r0b can say that Tim, because that is what Key’s government has done . Replaced labour’s legislated tax cuts with some of their own. It is perfectly fair to say so.

        If Labour had won, Goff wouldn’t be leader. Assuming any counterfactual to be true leads to nonsense. In any case we know that Labour wouldn’t have replaced the tax cuts they had legislated for with some that fovoured the more wealthy. Which was the point.

        • Tim Ellis 25.1.1.1

          I think it’s fair to assume, r0b, that Labour’s tax policy wouldn’t have changed just by virtue of a change of leadership. Labour has advocated cancelling future rounds of tax cuts. It is a reasonable guess therefore that Labour would have cancelled the future tax cuts that it legislated for. National retained Labour’s first round of tax cuts. So it is a nonsense to say that National’s tax cuts were at the expense of low-income New Zealanders when those taxpayers would not have got the future rounds of Labour’s tax cuts anyway.

          • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1.1.1

            Well, it’s me not r0b, but nevermind.

            The problem is you are assuming things that are pointless. What National does should be judged on what National does, not by some comparison with what you assume Labour would have done.

            What is true though, and needs no assumptions, fair, mean, or sophistic, is that National’s tax changes favour the rich compared to what would be the case had National not done anything.

            That is all r0b said really. You need to get over the fact that National is in government Tim.

          • Tim Ellis 25.1.1.1.2

            Apologies for the confusion PB.

            It can only be said that National is taking money off the poor to give to the rich, through their tax cut programme, if the poor already had their tax cuts. They didn’t. The likelihood is that if Labour were still in Government, they wouldn’t have got them. You say the comparison is pointless. Yet the whole argument from IB that tax cuts are paid for by “taking money out of the pockets of low income workers” relies on a comparison that is nonsense. The money was never in low income workers’ pockets.

          • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1.1.3

            No apology needed Tim

            You seem to think that the National party are automatons that lack the power of agency. But perhaps I’m wrong.

            They can do whatever they want, or refrain from doing so, limited only by their imaginations, will and physical and intellectual boundaries. When they do things, those things have effects.

            What you imagine a hypothetical Labour government might have done, is simply irrelevant to the question of the effects of the things an actual National led government does.

            National, when it does things as a government, changes things from what we call the ‘status quo ante’.

            That is the thing you compare National’s actions with, both to determine what they have done, and to compare it with what things might have been like if they had not done it (which was in their power to do).

            What you are doing is comparing it with a ‘status quo some other universe where labour won the election and did what I imagine they would do in such a universe.’

            Which is pointless in this universe, where we are discussing the effects of the things National has done here, in this non hypothetical universe where National won the election and Labour lost it.

          • Tim Ellis 25.1.1.1.4

            Pointless argument. The “parallel universe” you refer to is whether Labour would or would not have cancelled the tax cuts. We know the answer to that because Phil Goff has announced it.

            Future tax cuts are not the status quo, because they haven’t been delivered.

            I’m afraid I don’t have the time to split pointless hairs with you PB.

          • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1.1.5

            You seem to have found the time so far Tim, but I’m glad that you agree that it is pointless to argue about what some hypothetical Labour government might have done.

            Future tax cuts are not the status quo, because they haven’t been delivered.

            This again, is either dishonest or stupid. Sorry to be so blunt, but you seem to want to cut to the chase.

            The labour tax cuts were very much the status quo. That is why you keep asserting that Labour would have cancelled them.

            If they were not the status quo, then doing nothing would be enough to stop them. But that is not the case at all is it Tim? If it were, Labour wouldn’t need to cancel them in your made up universe where they won the election.

            If National had not cancelled them and replaced them with their own package then they would have happened. You can’t deny that (because it is true), and you know what the effects of those changes are in terms of who gets what. You don’t like the optics of it, so you are pretending that the only options are National’s new package, and Labour’s make believe hypothetical canceling of them in that other universe.

            You do this because what National did looks better in comparison with your made up world, than it does in comparison with what the world would be like if National had not changed the tax law’s status quo ante.

            With regard to your ‘knowledge’ about what Labour would have done based on what Phil Goff said, are you saying that the Key led National Party is the same as the Brash led one? Clearly not.

            So on this one too again, I’ll accuse you of sophistry.

            But I’m happy to drop it.

  25. Gustavo Trellis 26

    Oh yes, the rich. Tell me, do you know how much tax the rich pay? I’ll give you a hint. 12% of the population pay 51% of income tax. But by all means, continue your insistence that them getting tax relief is morally outrageous.

    • Tane 26.1

      All that shows is how incredibly unequal the distribution of wealth in our society is. And your answer is to make it even more unequal?

  26. Felix 27

    So how do you hard-working mainstream first-time National voters feel about this?

    You booted Labour cos you wanted a change and that nice Mr Key said he’d give you a bit more of a tax cut so you could keep a bit more of your own money.

    Now it turns out it only amounts to 10 or 15 bucks a week and that nice Mr Key reckons you should think about giving it away!

    Dunno about you, but if it were me I’d be starting to feel like I’d been had.

    • TightyRighty 27.1

      I don’t feel “had”. i like it. i like being given back the right to be discretionary with more of my income. it also allows to distribute my “wealth” to charities that i think are more deserving of it. like the salvation army, like cancer foundation, like books in schools.

  27. justthefacts 28

    Felix

    I imagine they feel good about it, I also imagine they are counting their lucky stars that Dr Cullen did not get the chance to implement his “mini budget” where he would have rolled back the recent tax cuts.

    • Kaplan 28.1

      Seriously… offering you opinion what what may or may not have happened given different circumstances are hardly ‘just the facts’.
      I think you should consider a new pseudonym.

  28. The National-led government is taking the first steps in preparing for the dismantling of the welfare state.
    John Minto responded to Key’s Burnside speech in 2007 in his Herald column thus:
    [Key] sees the solution as donations from businesses and more government funding for community groups working with families. It’s a charity model based on the philanthropy of Victorian England, whereby the undertaxed rich patronise the deserving poor.

    Minto was spot on. Indeed the National Party should be straight up about its real intentions regarding charity. I’ve seen no evidence to persuade me that the thinking on National’s front bench is much different from the Libertarianz policy on social welfare, which says:
    “Libertarianz will leave you free to practise voluntary charity. All state benefits including unemployment, sickness, and DPB – would be phased out to permit the growth of voluntary charities and private insurance.

    This is not far off what was happening in the late 1990s, when administration of the the dole and the unemployed was going to be divested from WINZ and handed to charities. Don’t believe me? That’s exactly what the Howard government did in Australia. their equivalent of Work and Income, Centrelink, doesn’t find people jobs; private employment agencies are contracted to do it. These are called Job Network members and include charities such as The Salvation Army and St Vinnie’s as well as private and not-for-profit agencies.

    This all rings a bell.

    In his Philanthropy NZ speech, Key is saying to his rich mates, “we’re cutting your taxes, so you’re duty bound to stump up some of that to charities. Then we’ll be able to hand over social welfare to charities, slash the public service more, and then chop more off your taxes.”

    Few rightwing bloggers will put their hands on their shrivelled hearts and declare on their great grannie’s grave that they don’t want that.

    • Rex Widerstrom 29.1

      “…their equivalent of Work and Income, Centrelink, doesn’t find people jobs; private employment agencies are contracted to do it. These are called Job Network members and include charities…”

      In the mid-80s I worked for two charitable organisations who ran various government-funded training and job placement programmes. “Workskills Training” was one I recall… VOTP (which I think stood for “voluntary organisation training programme) was another. And I met regularly with other, larger providers in the sector, including the Salvation Army.

      Most of the training providers managed to achieve good results with their trainees and even used some of the meagre money they were given to support other programmes such as food banks or emergency housing.

      I’d put our success in training people and finding jobs up against any period when the same thing was run by DSW, WINZ or whatever acronym they called themselves at the time.

      Again – just like the private prisons argument – there’s nothing wrong with letting outside providers run a service. It’s all about how you choose them, how you fund them, how you contract them and how you monitor them.

      Having said that, National’s record in this respect ain’t grand.

      The change of government saw all our programmes cancelled. As a result one of the charitable organisations I’d worked for shrivelled to insignificance and the other went bankrupt. Supposedly the DoL were going to run their own training, They never really got round to it though. Thanks, Jenny.

  29. justthefacts 30

    “The National-led government is taking the first steps in preparing for the dismantling of the welfare state”

    God I hope so.

  30. Ianmac 31

    As a sometimes collector for charities I am sure of a distinction in giving. When covering a wealthy looking suburb, the door would not be opened or if it did you get a very abrupt “No!” Close door.
    In a poor neighbourhood with kids barefoot, no garden, derelect car, they almost always scratched around for something to give. Just my perception? Ask other collectors.

    • ak 31.1

      Not just your perception macca – seen it over and over again for many decades (and statistically proven upthread from memory). Crux of the matter is that righties need perceived inferiors. So will hold down what they’ve got and conjour others out of anything. Bureaucrats this year.

    • The geek speaks 31.2

      Ianmac
      I’d agree with that.
      I spent several months, a couple years ago canvassing the streets to sign up members for amnesty international.
      I would have signed up over a hundred people to making monthly contributions in the time i was there… lots of students, lots of benificiaries, lots of tradies and low level office scum like myself… not once was i able to sign up a suit. it was sad to see that those most capable of giving were those least willing to….

  31. SteveR 32

    Don’t those who support fewer taxes and more choice in who they give their newly-won income to see that it puts the social dimension of our society on a very uncertain, uneven foundation.

    It all depends on how much how many people give. If they give less, then more people will face poverty, illness, death etc. At least with funding such things via taxation we are all certain that we are all contributing, and the organisations so funded have far more certainty as to their income, which allows things like planning for the future, innovation etc.

    Surely all these things are the marks of a civilised society? Don’t we look back at, for example, Victorian England, workhouses, death and squalor all around, and think: “How could people live like that?”; “How could people treat each other like that?”

    In short, don’t we feel superior to that society? Do we want to return to it, really?

    • RedLogix 32.1

      Do we want to return to it, really?

      As is plainly evident from some of our rightwing commenters here… the answer is yes. They need the ‘workhouses, death and squalor all around’ in order to feel good about themselves.

      It really is that simple.

      • Redbaiter 32.1.1

        “They need the ‘workhouses, death and squalor all around’ in order to feel good about themselves.”

        Utterly insane.

        • It certainly fits in with the pies in school carry on. No point in them being sucessful if there is not others around them to fail. Far too much of their policy so far has been fiddling around with things to make sure that there are more chances for people to fail.

          • Rex Widerstrom 32.1.1.1.1

            Oh bloody hell. The righties seem to want to give people the “choice” to starve to death while the lefties want to give them the “choice” of a school menu featuring nothing but tofu and mung beans :-D

            How about we resist the bloody urge to keep tinkering with everything just because we’re a government and thus we’re quite certain we must far smarter than the last lot who were in power?

            All things in moderation, as they say – meat pies and welfare policy included.

  32. lampie 33

    This John guy is a bit COCK-KEY

  33. Stephen 34

    Here’s a question Stephen. As taxes have been slashed around the world since the great neoliberal project kicked off thirty years ago, have the cuts in social welfare and public services been made up on a dollar for dollar basis by private charity?

    Fair point. I have no idea how you, or I for that matter, would prove that definitively. I had a look around at some old stuff from the 80s and before, and it seems that giving/expenditures were increasing very quickly in the 80s (doubling over about 8 years from 1980, but it continued a trend.

  34. Ianmac 35

    And think of the charity delivered by this Govt to Plunket, and in a sense an emotional rather than logical handout to Hercepton.

    When my brother-in-law was a plumber decades ago, he found that the hardest part was going to the door to get the rich folk to pay their bill. Months would sometimes go by and plenty of excuses why the couldn’t pay just yet.

  35. Stephen 36

    As Steve R alludes, the thing about the idea that ‘charity’ will come through takes a bit of a hit if people say, choose to save the whales instead of feeding the homeless with their super-low taxes, a lot of people will suffer…

  36. Get the chip off your shoulder about the states. I have spent time in the states and have found they are the most generous people I have meant.

    This site gets worse and worse and is really turning into gutter journalism, lose the hate Irishbill and mainstream kiwis may take this site more seriously.

  37. Snail 38

    Allow me add my own immediate response to the news: taxcuts for charity. That is to say these post-April taxcuts. Wonderment is a kinder expression than bewilderment—surely Tories have a penchant for efficiency and where is the administrative efficiency in this. In practise: mishmash!

    I dunno, end of the day for me.. and I roll up to find a long thread getting longer.. it’s only a problem insofar as finding a place to respond or comment for oneself.. a point made to explain why I wanted to add something to Monty’s earlier mucho — yeah professing himself rich by hard work is mucho

    So also — at least putting his money where his mouth is

    More to the point, Monty, as first peoples’ wisdom relates, putting his money into his mouth is the lesson to behold.

    Aid to understanding (from tee shirt culture) : You Can’t Eat Money.

  38. roger nome 39

    Brett – charity only takes you so far – without adequate social safety nets you get crime, swollen prisons, rampant prostitution, increased demand for drugs … and the list goes on and on. It’s the sadistic puritanical mentality – that people deserve to suffer, which exacerbates all these social ills. It creates a society divided – at war with itself – but that’s the brand of Christianity in the States – the focus is on punishment rather than harmony. That’s why it’s a society with such appalling social statistics (i.e. 12 times the proportion of its population in prison when compared to Scandinavian countries).

  39. gingercrush 40

    This is one of the most disappointing posts I’ve read here. But what is most disappointing, is the numerous replies in this thread with many merely using it to attack others.

    Here’s an actual excerpts from the Herald article:

    Mr Key said though many people needed the tax cuts to pay debt or bills, “I am just as sure there are many who are in a position to donate some.

    There Key clearly states that if one isn’t using the tax cut for expenditure purposes or to pay off debt then they may consider donating some of their tax cuts to charities. Key never states that they have to. He states that they consider giving to charity.

    Underlying the obvious ideological flaws evident here. John Key is not dismantling New Zealand’s social democracy. Indeed, no where does he speak of raiding benefits or turning the health care sector into private hands. There is really no dismantling whatsoever. So why insist on saying he is dismantling it when he isn’t.

    John Key is not encouraging low income earners to go out and beg. Why you assert that is belatedly beyond me. Indeed Key isn’t even taking money away from low income earners and giving it to upper income earners. And lastly Key doesn’t even state anything about the needy.

    What John Key is actually saying, is that he would like New Zealanders overall to give more generously to charities. And that the tax cuts coming into effect could go a long way to helping charity. And indeed if we as collective individuals did give more money to charity it would undoubtedly help many charities out. You know some of those charities. Some of them with long links to left organisations. The charities that go a long way to helping out those intellectually handicapped, those with cancer. Those tacking drug and alcohol problems and indeed those with Green measures. He points to how United States are generous with giving money to charity and how he would like to see some of that here. I think that is an admirable goal. Particularly, because if we gave as much money to charities as the US on top of our support in public housing, social welfare, healthcare, education and many other things. Our nation itself would be greater for it.

    I’m not even sure most of you read the damn article. Because if you had, you would realise that the points Irishbill make aren’t actually true. But no instead of reading the Herald article. You all act like little kids in some supreme shouting match and use generalisations that all people that are rich are somehow pricks and are indeed selfish with their money. Of course there are many that identity with left politics that are themselves rich. Likewise, the Green voter base tends to be inner-city with very high incomes. Are these people pricks? I am disappointing with Irishbill’s interpretation of the article. And I’m flabbergasted at some of the replies I’ve seen in this thread.

  40. Rachelr 41

    This is a classic argument which is entirely futile.

    While we sit here and debate the role of government or the non-profit sector, services are lost and people suffer. Now more than ever is the time to give generously as a private citizen, regardless of your political view.

    Tax is forced philanthropy. Wouldnt it be better if we were all sufficiently plugged into our communities enough to recognise and assist when needed?

    • Strathen 41.1

      Could the tax breaks to the upper class be an effort to ensure they don’t take their money overseas to countries that provide better tax benefits?

      Someone mentioned that 12% of the population pays 51% of the tax. If this is true, don’t we want that 12% keeping their money in NZ? Or is there a law I don’t know about that prevents the upper incomes from taking their money to Monaco? How hard would it get for our welfare system if the 12% left and the remaining 88% had to make up the loss of 51% of the tax generation?

      To put my devil’s advocated spin on it, this tax break will help the poor by keeping the big tax payers money in NZ?

      EDIT— Sorry Rachelr, I was meant to reply to the whole thread and not just your post.

      • Snail 41.1.1

        one import of what you appear to be saying is that lower-incomed folk not give to charity and rely on upper-incomed folk to do so..

        are you serious?

  41. Simon-5 42

    Ordinary New Zealanders have been expected to pay for the lifestyle choices of the criminals and the beneficiaries for far too long.

    Taking from the overburdened in order to give to the undeserving is inequitable. No amount of Labour spin is going to convince the electorate otherwise.

  42. jimbo 43

    Amazing that Key has received any criticism at all over this.

    When Australia was burning up a few weeks back, I am sure that plenty of contributors to this blog went to the Red Cross website and gave some money to the relief effort. No one waited around for legislative changes before feeling the time was right to make a contribution.

    Key is just reminding people that you can do the same thing right now and help those people caught out by the current economic crisis.

    Society’s response to trouble DOES NOT have to be state-imposed, centrally planned or uniformly collective.

  43. Simon-5 44

    When Australia was burning up a few weeks back, I am sure that plenty of contributors to this blog went to the Red Cross website and gave some money to the relief effort.

    Friend, you’re in the wrong place. This is a Labour Party blog, the absolute last thing* that any of the contributors here would do is make a contribution to charity.

    They’re the takers, not the givers.

    (*) with the exception of getting a job.

  44. mike 45

    “John Key is a dipshit”
    Gee the tone of this site his lowered since Pierson left.

    Also banning HS and calling him a”smarmy fucker” for dearing to link the EPMU to labour was a joke right?

    Anyone would think you lefties are stressed out or something….

  45. Snail 46

    Simon-5 and whomsoever et als talk of takers..

    Well, just in from Huffingpost is a remarkable story of a once-was-taker giving back. Yes, this cites some very significant (devil-in-the-detail) data and insofar as the rule of law (read sanctity of contract law) those IN-laws are definitely IN.

    Dah-dah — Douglas Poling, who received the richest payment of more than $6.4 million, is the 48-year-old son of a former chief executive of Ford Motor Co. At AIG he is an executive vice president with responsibility for energy and infrastructure investments. He is one of the roughly 418 current and former employees from AIG’s financial-products unit who received bonus payments.

    note please do, employees of the financial-products unit. WE can leave off this ledger the fate of FMC, suffice to recognise its imperilled position along with other tranport sector folks. But get that where the money is.. and maybe wonder a little at how much you were paying for gasoline/diesel last year. Connected—you bet!

    And worth looking out for huh..

  46. TightyRighty 47

    Tax cuts for donating to charities now being pushed. gee that kind of throws a spanner in the works of “who will donate $10k a year to charities”.

  47. Taken from the web:

    There is altogether too much talk about the United States being ungenerous with foreign aid. We show up as 21st in the rankings, in per capita terms, according to one estimate. These figures neglect remittances, where the U.S. is a very clear first with $28.4 billion a year sent to other countries. The bottom line: when it comes to other nations, the United States is the most generous country in the world.

    Are you interested in the rest of the top ten, for remittances? Saudi Arabia, with $15.1 billion a year, is a clear number two. Then you have Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Israel, Italy, and Japan. The Scandinavian nations receive so much kudos for their high foreign aid per capita, but when it comes to remittances, even tiny Luxembourg, population 437,389, beats them out.

    • ak 48.1

      Ever heard of the widow’s mite Bretty? Or “tied aid”? Or buying influence?

    • Snail 48.2

      BD,

      you continue to amaze me.. For someone who has spent “time in the states” (you recently said this, I believe) the following strikes out — The bottom line: when it comes to other nations, the United States is the most generous country in the world.

      There being no concept whatsoever in this statement or in the mindset that wrote of what it means to be a recipient of USAid.. or indeed a US aider.

      as the saying goes: aint no free lunches!

  48. Dr Steevens 49

    Once again, James at Editing The Herald offers an interesting perspective – do we really want to be like the US with charity plugging gaps in social services?

    http://editingtheherald.blogspot.com/2009/03/thursday-march-2009-charity.html

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