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Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, October 12th, 2008 - 10 comments
Categories: assets, bill english, economy, election 2008, families, kiwisaver, Media, national, public services, slippery, spin, tax, workers' rights - Tags:

A few thoughts from today’s Agenda:

Questioned about why National would introduce another tax rebate, having endlessly criticised Working for Families because of its complexity, English says ‘we do, in the long term, want a simpler tax system’. So, be on notice, Working for Families is under threat from National – they would ‘eventualy, but not yet’ replace these targeted tax rebates with tax cuts (for the wealthy, naturally)

English deseperately trying to defend trickle-down economics without naming it was a little sad. He must miss the 1990s, when he could just say what he believes.

He says National would stand behind the vulnerable. The most vulnerable workers (people on incomes from $14K to $24K, working families where the parents each earn less than $44K, and anyone on Kiwisaver) would be worse off under National. Meanwhile, the most wealthy New Zealanders would get higher tax cuts the higher their income. National would stand behind the vulnerable alright, as they pushed them over the cliff.

Rawdon, ‘the top 20 countries getting together and coming up with a unilateral solution’. Saying unilateral rather than universial or multilateral once sounds like a slip up. Doing it twice in a row suggests you don’t know what you are talking about.

I’ve read everything David Skilling’s New Zealand Institute has published. Universally, the work is poorly researched and provides threadbare arguments, usually lacking any empirical evidence, that lead to a radical, neo-liberal pro-rich ‘solution’. Look at his ‘solutions’ to the credit crisis – tax cuts for business, selling off public assets, tax cuts for rich expats coming back. Basically, tax cuts for the rich masked as an economic package. No evidence that these would do anything for growth and nothing for most Kiwis. But ‘radical economic package’ sounds impressive, eh?

10 comments on “Trickle-down”

  1. RedLogix 1

    I’ve read everything David Skilling’s New Zealand Institute has published. Universally, the work is poorly researched and provides threadbare arguments,


    So why does he keep getting media oxygen?

    And where are the left wing counterparts to NZI?

    Why is the social democrat ideal almost totally gagged by our media?

    Now that the unfortunate neo-liberal experiment is over, something will arise to take it’s place; what will that be?

  2. Quoth the Raven 2

    Off topic, but Hooton’s been embarrasing himself, again.

  3. randal 3

    red…yes there is something definitely wrong with the kayonedoubleyewone meedia when they think that articles like skilling are intellectuals or have something to offer the debate when clearly to anyone with a modicum of the power of ratiociantion they do not. It is also worth noting that the phrase ‘trickle’ down was invented or at least came into popular currency after being used by secretary of the u.s. treasury mellon during the great depression. Mellon also thought the depression was morally good for people so they could learn a good lesson about saving and spending. cited in William Grieders book “the Secrets of the Temple” which seems to haVE BEEN REMOVED FROM EVERY PUBLIC LIBRARY IN nEW zEALAND.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4


    So why does he keep getting media oxygen?

    The same reason Roger Douglas does? He keeps promising wealth from no work.

    And where are the left wing counterparts to NZI?

    The Left, particularly in NZ, don’t seem to have as much faith in Think Tanks as the right. I know ACT was pushing the need for Think Tanks in NZ a few years ago but I’ve never seen a party from the left do so.

  5. think tanks take a lot of money too. here are the NZ Institute’s members http://www.nzinstitute.org/index.php/about/institute_members/ heads of big companies, members of wealthy families.

    The left doens’t have think tanks because left wing think tanks wouldn’t be producing papers that make those people richer.

  6. RedLogix 6

    In one sense most of our ‘thinking’ has already been done for us; to my mind Galbraith, Kondratiev and Keynes were the great economic geniuses of the last century. Their work cast much light on how we could be.

    Yet much remains. Even Adams recognised in his later works that the notion of ‘rational economic self-interest’ was pointless if that self-interest was driven solely by short-term, narrow self-centred concerns. In the long-term true, self-interest is measured by an inclusive altruism that is expansive; extended to family, community, nation… and in it’s most developed form… to the whole of humanity.

    That is of course a high ideal. Translating that into the concerns of the day, devising and promoting the methods that will move us closer to it, remains a huge work largely untackled.

    It is not a lack of money that hinders us. There are far more of us, than there is of ‘them’. What holds us back is a lack of unity and focus.

  7. the sprout 7

    ah yes, Skilling’s New Zealand Institute. Not so much leaders in research as fast followers of neo-liberal populist vacuity.

    i’d always thought that Think Tanks meant ‘tank’ as in ‘respository or reservoir’, but now i realise that they’re actually the spearheading armoured vehicles of a PR war.

  8. Felix 8

    Or “tank” as a verb, perhaps?

  9. the sprout 9

    heh, could be 😉

    and then of course there’s “Trickle Down” as in being pissed on from above.

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    Re trickle down:

    “As part of a plan to reinvigorate his flagging campaign, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is considering additional economic measures aimed directly at the middle class that are likely to be rolled out this week, campaign officials said.
    Among the measures being considered are tax cuts — perhaps temporary — for capital gains and dividends, the officials said.”

    from politico, no link ’cause it’s boring.

    Old man McCain has identified the problem. The economy’s a-sinkin ’cause no one can find the cash to pay the tax due on the enormous capital gains they’ve been clockin up over the last year.

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