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UBI (1). Memes and Paradigms.

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 pm, January 12th, 2014 - 226 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, economy, Economy, equality, human rights, poverty, sustainability, welfare - Tags:

 

This post is a follow up from.  http://thestandard.org.nz/ubi/

(Thanks for all the comments to date.  Still digesting them).

The way human beings process information means that  memes and slogans  are powerful ways of influencing people.
We are all aware of the persistence of memes like “we cannot afford super”, “bludging beneficiaries”,  “poverty is unsolvable”, people will only work if forced” etc……….

Propagandists know that if you repeat a meme or slogan often enough it becomes truth, even in the minds of those who should know better. The extreme right wing know this. Which is why they often just endlessly parrot the same mindless slogans.
More thoughtful people try and counter memes with facts and figures. Trying to persuade with reality.

In fact we  need to counter memes with our own.

“We cannot afford super/welfare”.
With;  We did in the 30’s to the 70’s when New Zealand was supposedly much poorer. Or, “We do very well out of the unpaid contributions of the elderly,  (and mothers,  carers, and all the other unpaid community workers). ”.

“Bludging beneficiaries”.
With;  “Those on welfare are you and me,  given a bit of bad luck or ill health”.

“People  are inherently lazy and need to be forced to work”. (I consider this a piece of projection from the greedy section of the right, who cannot conceive of anyone doing anything without reward).
With;  Most people contribute to society if they can.

“Poverty is unsolvable”.
With;  We solved it for the elderly in New Zealand.  (less than 3% in poverty).

A paradigm shift happens when someone challenges the accepted way of doing things.
When, for example, they ask.  “Why should electric vehicles be the same as fossil fuelled ones?”.

Those growing up after the 80’s will find it hard to imagine the paradigm shift, that was the rise of Neo-liberalism, in the 80’s, in New Zealand. The colossal untested experiment, it really was,  and the huge shift of wealth from the lower and middle classes to the richest of us.
Fairness, inclusiveness, equality, and the right of everyone to a decent life, was basically accepted by the left and right wing in New Zealand.  It wasn’t perfect, of course, but the existence of the ladder to a decent life, for everyone, was a large part of our national goals. Something we were, rightly, proud of.
The great neo-liberal experiment has succeeded in changing our social paradigm to a much more “dog eat dog”,  unequal and mean spirited society. The promised economic gains have only eventuated for a very few.

I don’t want to paint us into a corner and say that a UBI is the only answer.  (Thanks McFlock)  It is not,  it may not even be the right one.  (More on pros and cons next post).  Big changes  without deep thought,  examination, research, discussion and consensus,  is something we should leave to the other side.
But. In exploring ideas like this (Thanks Weka) we are, hopefully, starting a paradigm shift away from Neo-liberal acceptance of meanness and inequity  towards inclusiveness, equity, fairness and the right of all of us to a decent and hopeful life.

Why should we accept poverty in a country which has more than enough resources for everyone?

New Zealand once led the world in social policy. New Zealanders, of all political colours, are proud of our world leading human rights and social welfare initiatives.

Dauphin was the “town without poverty” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mincome
New Zealand could be, “The country without poverty” .

226 comments on “UBI (1). Memes and Paradigms.”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    New Zealand could be, “The country without poverty” .

    This would be a competitive and sovereign differentiator which would put us ahead by leaps and bounds. Talent and capital would seek to move here from all over the world, and made in NZ products/services would refresh what has been a recently flagging premium image.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    “We cannot afford super/welfare”.
    With; We did in the 30’s to the 70’s when New Zealand was supposedly much poorer. Or, “We do very well out of the unpaid contributions of the elderly, (and mothers, carers, and all the other unpaid community workers). ”.

    In the case of super:
    1. People are living longer now than ever before
    2. We have a bulge of population called “the baby boomers” that didn’t exist in the 30’s to 70’s.
    3. Day to day living is more expensive now than in the past. A basic example being electrical appliances: modern households, including the elderly, have many more electrical appliances now than in even the 70’s. Power prices have risen stupendously since then, as well. In order for the elderly to not live in poverty, superannuation today needs to be a greater quantum compared to the past.

    These three points multiplied together is why we cannot continue to afford superannuation for everyone when they turn 65 (and IMO, nor should we).

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.1

      There is high youth unemployment, Lanthanide, it is extremely important that there are jobs for those just starting out in life – demanding that older people keep their jobs ignores youth unemployment and will exacerbate it – creating 100% employment and higher rates of pay rates would go a long way toward being able to ‘afford’ superannuation – we can already afford it now – it simply means we need to agree to spend a higher percentage of taxes on super.

      This issue of superannuation ‘affordability’ is about ‘not wanting’ to pay it – not ‘not being able’ to afford it.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Sure, if you believe in the lump of labour fallacy.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          The lump of labour fallacy is a fallacy. Get over it.

          Meanwhile, youth unemployment over 25% is real in this country. Despite various forms of lip service, it is actually considered acceptable by the elite and the political class in this country to use these young people as an economic buffer stock bearing the brunt of multiple economic misconceptions (like the labour lump BS you spouted).

          Get off your privileged high household income horse and take a look at the real world for a few minutes.

          • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1

            You’re saying there’s a fixed amount of labour available in the economy.

            Cite.

            Here’s mine: http://www.economist.com/node/21547263

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              How many of the world’s economics problem has the economist solved in the last 5 years? Any?

              Yet you still put your faith there? Perhaps the cargo planes will one day return with gifts anew?

              And I repeat my call for you to step down from your privileged viewpoint, put down the false theories, and take a walk in the real world for a bit.

              • Lanthanide

                So you don’t have a citation for your statement that the economy does indeed have a fixed number of jobs.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  There is clearly a problem in the world with a decreasing amount of people prepared to invest their money into the type of business that creates jobs. I believe that the idea is to have ‘as few workers as possible’ – this is commonly referred to euphemistically as ‘efficiency’ and leads to ‘greater profits’. Never mind about distractions re ‘a fixed number of jobs’.

                  Or, what? Did you really believe it is because people are lazy and don’t want a livelihood that there is unemployment?? LOL

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well, smart, well qualified people are the people who are leading this world to disaster BL.

                      It pays to remember that some times.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      No CV I simply don’t buy that.

                      A certain group of people are leading the world to disaster – some are well qualified and many are not – That is, we all are involved in that group.

                      The quality I would place as causative of the problem amongst the leaders of that group is aggressive self interest- not education. Social circles and wealth are strong contributing factors.

                      There are more followers than leaders. The problem with the followers is a willingness to follow blindly, anyone with social standing and who ‘sounds’ like they know what they are talking about.

                      People gaining social standing at present have to be in the ‘right circles’ and have the ‘right attitudes’. Eduacation does factor into the equation here.

                      There is increasingly less social mobility due to the above requirements and obstructing those who can and want to gain an education is one tidy way to decrease social mobility – therefore there is an increasingly small pool of people whom are ‘the leaders’ on suggesting what way the status quo ‘thinks’.

                      Those many people with an education who know we are headed in the wrong direction have a problem with gaining a platform as do those without an education who also know such things.

                      You cannot tell me that education is the causative aspect of the problems we face and expect me to agree with you. I know it is not. If anything, it is quite the opposite.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      In fact, CV, I put forward a proposal that it is due to greater amounts of people gaining higher education that false economic assumptions and the uselessness of government policies based on them are being exposed for what they are.

                      “The authors point out that people are becoming more educated – among 25 to 59-year-olds the proportion with university degrees has gone up from 4% in 1981 to about 25% in 2011.”

                      http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/nov/26/working-people-in-poverty-report

                      (The article is about education not being such a guarantee for finding work as it used to be – yet I link to it for the statistics it provides)

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.2

              If the lump-of-labour argument were correct, you would expect to see that a high employment rate among the wrinklies would be offset by a low employment rate among the youngsters, and vice versa. Not a bit of it. High elderly employment rates are associated with high youth employment.

              They show an amazing ability to lie. I’m looking at the same graph as them and see low youth employment rates and high elderly employment rates.

              You’re saying there’s a fixed amount of labour available in the economy.

              No, we’re saying that there’s a limited amount of work to be done and as productivity increases the amount of work available decreases. This is why every politician in every developed country pushes for more and more exports – to increase work availability. They fail to realise that the developing countries are doing the same thing and that the total amount of produced goods and services must surpass what is actually demanded.

              International trade must bring about increasing poverty – just as we’ve seen in NZ over the last 30 years.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.1.1.2

          I don’t know what the ‘lump of labour fallacy’ is.

          I believe that the ‘we can’t afford superannuation’ is a fallacy.

        • greywarbler 2.1.1.3

          I believe in the lumpenproletariat. – google –
          (especially in Marxist terminology) the unorganized and unpolitical lower orders of society who are not interested in revolutionary advancement.

          free dictionary
          1. The lowest, most degraded stratum of the proletariat. Used originally in Marxist theory to describe those members of the proletariat, especially criminals, vagrants, and the unemployed, who lacked class consciousness.
          2. The underclass of a human population.
          1. (Sociology) (esp in Marxist theory) the amorphous urban social group below the proletariat, consisting of criminals, tramps, etc
          [German, literally: ragged proletariat]
          (esp. in Marxist theory) the lowest level of the proletariat comprising unskilled workers, vagrants, and criminals and characterized by a lack of class consciousness.
          [1920–25; < German (Marx, 1850) =Lumpen rag or Lumpen-, comb. form of Lump ragamuffin + Proletariat proletariat]

          And people in this group may come from old groups as from young, depending on the lack of interest in providing reasonable living options for them. Holding off paying any super till later in life is a TINA. And that is lazy policy from lazy minds with no interest in the subjects of that policy and no will to find a better way.

    • felix 2.2

      Lanth:

      Yes, we waste way too much resource on endlessly replacing our crappy appliances. Think about why. We didn’t always do this. We didn’t always need to.

      And yes, energy is far too expensive. Again, think about why.

      • Lanthanide 2.2.1

        1. I didn’t bring up the lifetimes of appliances, but yes, it’s a pity that things are disposable these days.

        2. Because we don’t live in an authoritarian country where people are prevented from doing whatever they like with their money. If we did, I’m sure we could seriously restrict what people used electricity for, there’d be considerably less demand and it would be cheaper (since we’d only need the hydro and little more).

        Rising energy prices will cause demand destruction, but that doesn’t really solve the problem of high energy prices, merely the frivolous use to which energy is currently put.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          you somehow forgot to mention the hundreds of millions in private profits (ie excess customer charges) being extracted out of the energy industry.

          • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1.1

            That doesn’t change the underlying fundamentals that we must now rely on more expensive energy generation mechanisms than we did in the 30’s to 70’s.

            • felix 2.2.1.1.1.1

              That’s not a fundamental. It’s not a given. It’s simply an assumption you’re accepting without question.

              • Colonial Viper

                hydropower from dams built 50 years ago and long since fully depreciated, suddenly got more expensive in the last 10 years. Weird…

                • Lanthanide

                  Yes, it sucks the way that the electricity market works, and I think it should be reformed and that NZPower (or whatever it was) is a great idea.

                  But it doesn’t change the facts that:
                  1. Marginal electricity production these days is more expensive than it was in the past
                  2. If you take that marginal electricity production away, there will be power shortages

                  So, by #2 we rely on electricity that by #1 is more expensive than it was in the past, regardless of whether the hydro power is being charged at an appropriate price or not.

                • jcuknz

                  I assume the money is being stockpiled to build more dams to replace those whose back areas are filling up with sediment but apart from one up in Hawkes Bay somewhere I’m not aware of any happening, or any good areas suitable for future dams. The centralising of activity in Auckland, so far away from generation, makes hydro hardly a growth industry I think.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yep. More like a sunset industry to extract maximum rent from. All the best sites to build hydrodams on in this country are already gone. Some sites suitable for smaller dams (<100MW) still exist, but with significant environmental or conservation costs.

                    • jcuknz

                      With so much water around us and two tides a day I wonder why tidal generation is not being promoted.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Because tidal generation is not very efficient and very difficult and costly to do well. Turns out that seawater is actually quite corrosive, and something that is literally designed to stay 24/7 in the roughest sea conditions isn’t cheap to build.

                    • jcuknz

                      When people talk about efficiency I wonder if they are not missing the point and that there should be a whole raft of powersupplies being used and it doesn’t matter if one is efficent or more expensive than others … each has their place and the less harmful to the planet should only be used as the last resort when others fail to meet demand,

                      Maybe if every building had solar panels there would be no need for the more expensive generators but the problem with the competative market is that each is supposed to pay for itself.

              • Lanthanide

                It may not be “a fundamental” or “a given”, but it is actually a fact.

                Funnily enough, coal power plants are more expensive to run than hydro dams, because in one case you have to go and dig up the fuel stock and in the other it just falls out of the sky into your conveniently placed lake.

            • KJT 2.2.1.1.1.2

              But, But, Bradford promised us competition and privatisation of the electricity supply would make power cheaper.

          • felix 2.2.1.1.2

            I think Lanth might be young enough that he believes that’s natural.

        • felix 2.2.1.2

          Lanth, there is no reason the price of electricity needs to be determined by supply and demand.

          None whatsoever.

          • Lanthanide 2.2.1.2.1

            That is true, I suppose.

            In general market economies have been found to be the most efficient, however.

            • felix 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Nonsense. It’s a monopoly.

              • Colonial Viper

                What is this “efficient” weasel word BS which has been doing the rounds over the last few years?

                • felix

                  It usually means “fastest way to funnel the cash upwards”

                • Lanthanide

                  Capital is a scarce resource and so we should strive to use it in the best way possible.

                  For example, we shouldn’t be building Roads of Notional Significance that have cost:benefit ratios of under 1 because it isn’t an efficient use of money, and we should be insulating houses because it has a cost:benefit ratio of over 6 in terms of reducing costs on the health system.

                  Market economies are a simple system that generally encourage capital to be invested efficiently.

                  • felix

                    “Capital is a scarce resource”

                    Financial capital is just credit. It’s not scarce at all.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Well there are rules in place that artificially limit it, as much as CV would like to overthrow them and print as much as he liked (although even in his case, capital is still limited, ie the government is supposed to tax enough back out of the system so it doesn’t go into hyperinflation).

                    • felix

                      Not really. Credit is just credit regardless of who creates it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Lanthanide doesn’t appear to understand the difference between “credit” and “capital”, nor the economic transformation process to turn the former into the latter, a transformation process which is utterly broken at this stage.

                      And of course, “financial capital” is not a resource, it’s an artificial control fraud to prevent labour and needed work/resources from coming together for the good of society.

              • Lanthanide

                Whether it’s a monopoly or not, it is still a market economy: producer sells something to a buyer, and sets a price in the process.

                The price is a signal to the buyer as to how much they should buy, and a signal to the producer as to how in demand the good is. Price goes up, producer should try and supply more of the good to maximize their returns.

                So by tying electricity prices to supply and demand, we ensure that we are pricing electricity at a level appropriate so that new generation can be built. If we charged too little, we may find ourselves in a position where there was more demand for electricity than could be supplied, and insufficient funds to build more generation. If we charged too much, already-built capacity would be idle, which by definition is inefficient.

                Not sure why I have to explain basic economics here.

                • felix

                  You don’t.

                  Why do I feel like I have to explain basic owning-a-power-station-and-distribution-network to you?

                  There simply isn’t a market for electricity in the simplistic way you describe, and pretending so is a large part of the reason your bills are so high.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Ok, please explain owning-a-power-station-and-distribution-network to me, and the way in which we don’t have a market in electricity of the type I’ve described.

                    I would genuinely like to know how I am wrong – this is not sarcastic or snide at all.

                    • felix

                      A market of the sort you describe requires more than one seller.

                      The electricity “market” does not. It is a monopoly.

                      None of your simple market theory applies.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Lanth is a computer engineer who has been learning economics 101 as if it is a real discipline. God help us all.

                    • Pasupial

                      La

                      Have you considered changing your nom de clave to ACTinide? I think it would be more in synch with your expressed worldview. Plus the chemical properties of the two elements are similar, although Ac is radioactive; which also seems appropriate.

                    • Lantahnide

                      Pasupial – I support NZ Power and raising the retirement age to 67. Both of which are Labour policies.

                • tracey

                  “we ensure that we are pricing electricity at a level appropriate so that new generation can be built”

                  but we don’t just price for that, we price for shareholder profit/dividends and very high salaries.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.2.1.2

              In general market economies have been found to be the most efficient, however.

              No they haven’t. In fact, the high prices we’re paying for electricity would indicate that it’s less efficient.

              • Lantahnide

                Efficient at *what*, Draco?

                Note: I haven’t had a powercut in literally decades (earthquakes excluded).

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Efficient at *what*, Draco?

                  Providing society with what it needs.

                  Note: I haven’t had a powercut in literally decades (earthquakes excluded).

                  Really? Aren’t you lucky – I had three in one night not too long ago. Then there was the fuse that blew in a substation in West Auckland.

                  The best example of the “electricity market” failing though was when around 50m+ people lost power across the USA and parts of Canada as the private system went down due to too much demand.

                  Under normal conditions a society needs an over supply of most things so that under abnormal conditions it still has enough. The market won’t supply that which results in unnecessary pain and suffering.

                  • jcuknz

                    I wonder if the American powercuts were not from over demand but rather that the private companies do not have a distribution system which stands up to the adverse weather conditions …. as occured in South Canterbury a year or so ago, nothing to do with earthquakes which is a reasonable reason for power failure.

                    But to the theme of this thread I believe that pensions and healthcare can be afforded with what we have … it is simply a question of allocating the money appropriately and standing up to pressure groups wanting their pet baby ahead of all others ….

                    If anything with the rise of efficiency in the workplace and fewer people required to run the country we should be starting superannuation earlier as Mr Muldoon organised …. four days a week employment perhaps with longer hours though not for manual workers busting their guts and health.

            • tracey 2.2.1.2.1.3

              lanth is a she I believe

              • Lantahnide

                Nope.

                • tracey

                  oops. dunno where I got that from.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  How come you are spelling your name wrong Lanthanide?

                  By the way, for someone who appears sold on economic theory, are you aware that there is a big problem with the fundamentals of that theory?

                  “The main scientific underpinning of the laissez-faire doctrine is the theory that free and competitive markets bring supply and demand into equilibrium and thereby ensure the best allocation of resources. This is widely accepted as an eternal verity, and in a sense it is one. … But when we examine the relevant assumptions closely, we find that they do not apply to the real world. …

                  …As I have shown elsewhere, the condition that supply and demand are independently given cannot be reconciled with reality, at least as far as the financial markets are concerned–and financial markets play a crucial role in the allocation of resources. Buyers and sellers in financial markets seek to discount a future that depends on their own decisions.

                  …If the supply and demand curves are not independently given, how are market prices determined? If we look at the behavior of financial markets, we find that instead of tending toward equilibrium, prices continue to fluctuate relative to the expectations of buyers and sellers. There are prolonged periods when prices are moving away from any theoretical equilibrium. Even if they eventually show a tendency to return, the equilibrium is not the same as it would have been without the intervening period. Yet the concept of equilibrium endures. It is easy to see why: without it, economics could not say how prices are determined. ” – Soros

                  http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/the-capitalist-threat

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      Oh give me a break Lanth; if the Reserve bank were to credit the Cullen Fund with $25M per week, we’d be able to afford Super as is to the 22nd century easy.

      • Lanthanide 2.3.1

        Yes, and what would our currency be worth? How would our trade partners react?

        • Colonial Viper 2.3.1.1

          It’d be fine. Currency will be worth lots. We add to our money supply all the time. This is no different. Our trade partners Australia, China, US, UK, EU they’re all printing their own currencies. Nothing unusual. Money isn’t holy scripture you know. You can make more.

          • Lanthanide 2.3.1.1.1

            “Currency will be worth lots”. Totes convinced, thanks.

            • Colonial Viper 2.3.1.1.1.1

              I understand the current and future basis of the value of the NZD. Not sure that you do.

              • Lanthanide

                Look CV, I’ll fully agree with you that printing money is the way to go, *when* I see a convincing argument that this is true.

                So far it all boils down to “trust me” or “trust the government”.

                • Colonial Viper

                  But printing money is the way that all the big economies ***have*** been going.

                  FFS man have a look at the RNBZ’s M1 and M2 measures for the last 20 years.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    More specifically, where do you think all those additional billions of NZD now in circulation and in deposits came from, if they weren’t *created out of thin air* (via account input keystrokes)???

                    • Lantahnide

                      Banks don’t actually go to their computers and type in $1,000,000,000 you know.

                      Which is what you’re suggesting the government do.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Banks don’t actually go to their computers and type in $1,000,000,000 you know.

                      They do it piecemeal, loan by loan: A little bit here, a little bit there and pretty soon you’re talking serious money.

                      It’s how the rich have been stealing from the rest of us for recorded history.

                      Which is what you’re suggesting the government do.

                      Against real value creation and not charging interest. It is the interest the channels the majority of wealth into the hands of the few.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Banks don’t actually go to their computers and type in $1,000,000,000 you know.

                      Yes they do.

                      When the bank agrees to give you a $800,000 mortgage to buy a new place in Davenport, what they do is credit your bank account via keystrokes. No money has to move to your account from their account. It is purely an arithmetic operation. They don’t have to go to the vault to move $800K in cash from one drawer to another drawer. On their electronic books they balance out the credit transaction into your bank account with the $800,000 debt that you now owe them.

                      You can then draw the deposited credit out to spend as if it were real money.

                      A bank completing 10,000-20,000 mortgages over the course of a couple of years will credit into the mortgage market that total $1,000,000,000 you quoted. (Of course they will also start receiving repayments over that time).

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Creation of money happens all the time. It’s just done by the private banks. So you’re position is trust the profiteers. Considering the amount of corruption that the private banking system has been proved to engage in over the last few years I’m truly amazed that anyone still has that attitude.

                • tracey

                  Don’t the US and UK have it as a cornerstone policy to get out of the recession?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    That’s what they tell the public. But the actions of the power elite completely stymie progress for the people. Austerity destroys jobs and destroys public services just as they are most needed.

                    Meanwhile, the banks and the elite 0.1% are richer than ever, acquiring public assets at every turn. Coincidence?

                    • tracey

                      “Meanwhile, the banks and the elite 0.1% are richer than ever, acquiring public assets at every turn. Coincidence?”

                      Funny how little outrage at that particular group of criminals. Far from just forgiving them, they are back getting huge bonuses!

                • KJT

                  Printing money for employment and infrastructure is exactly how New Zealand, and the USA got themselves out of the 30’s depression.
                  We are, even now benefiting as a country from the results. You mentioned hydro dams. There was also, forests, schools, rail, roads and other real investment.

                  We are, ironically, getting out of the GFC due to US printed money, spent in China, which the Chinese are, in turn, using to buy our milk powder.

                  Muldoon’s mistake was that he borrowed the money.

                  Key’s borrowing for unaffordable tax cuts will equally end in tears.

                  • Ennui

                    As Galbraith noted, “Keynes was for a time, not for all times”. Galbraith fully understood that creation of credit was fine when supply of goods and services was not the issue: money in circulation was. During the Depression there was plenty of oil and coal in the ground, there was plenty of raw resources, plenty of industrial capacity to utilise. There was just no money or anybody with money who was prepared to invest (aka take a risk). And why would you risk capital if it was appreciating in value (deflation). By creating credit / printing cash the Depression was short circuited, on the basis of matching the new money against future production (effectively cancelling the debt).

                    Today that option is a thing of the past. We may “grow” a few areas, we will be lucky to create “solid state sustainable sectors” and we will have a lot of delining sectors. For the future aggregate decline is what all economies are facing. We look down the slope of resource diminution, the end of the fossil fuel era.

                    In short, Lanth is on the right track, even if he does not share this analysis.

                    • KJT

                      You don’t think it is worth investing printed money in employing people in developing sustainable infrastructure, transport, industries and renewable energy, Then?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Today that option is a thing of the past.

                      Sorry, but that’s absolute nonsense, and a total misconception of the nature of energy/resource depletion.

                      We have plenty of under utilised labour, we have plenty of work in our society which needs to be done, we have plenty of factories and workshops operating under capacity, we have far too many schools and care homes who are desperately short staffed, YET you say that we cannot create (via a few keyboard strokes) the money needed to solve those problems?

                      Seriously, get a grip man.

    • KJT 2.4

      Linked to it because I do not feel like explaining it all over again.and again.

      http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/on-new-zealands-retirement-income.html
      “The finance industry have been creaming their pants, for a return to the halcyon days, before the tax rebates were removed from superannuation savings. When they got to play with our money for free, and the negative returns and high charges were ignored, because of tax payer subsidies.

      Egged on by the neo-liberals who prefer the elderly, the unemployed and the sick to starve in the streets, as an incentive to scare working people into accepting starvation wages, while they continue to get 17% increases in wealth, the finance industry is dreaming of getting more of their sticky hands on our wealth, with private super funds.

      Since the 70’s they have been constant in the meme that we cannot afford super. A meme that has been driven entirely by the self interest of those, who are too wealthy to need super and too mean to pay taxes, and a greedy finance industry.

      Unfortunately, it is true, that if you repeat bullshit often enough, even those who should know better come to believe it.

      We cannot afford super is code for, “we should leave our elderly to beg on the streets”. So that wealthy people can pay less tax and the finance industry can again lose our savings for us”.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.4.1

        +1 KJT

        I have a dim and distant memory of there being an loud objection in the early ’80s re a super-scheme being canned – or not started at all. I have a strange feeling that Winston Peters may have been one of the objectors – I have memories that the stats re aging population being cited now were part of the objection: ‘that we have to think ahead and save’ for this time.

        I was only a child at the time. Can anyone recall and confirm whether these memories are correct or not?

        • KJT 2.4.1.1

          The national super scheme was canned by Muldoon when he started a PAYG scheme with retirement at 60. Basically as an election bribe.

          Muldoon had rather a lot of support as many people at the time had recent memories of being ripped off by the finance industry in employer schemes. Mine would have lost 4% over 3 years without taxpayer, and employer, subsidies.

          If we had continued with the super scheme it at the time, like the Aussie one, it may have made a lot of money up until recently.

          However, like all Ponzi schemes it will eventually collapse. Most similar schemes, albeit mostly private or local State, in the US are running out of money to pay out the promised pensions.

          In my opinion starting a similar scheme now, such as Kiwisaver, is too late. Contracting resources and economies preclude the “hockey stick” growth in money supply necessary for the “magic of compound interest” to pay for retirement..

          And. Don’t forget that the current generation always pays for the current retirees by foregoing some resources, so that retirees can use them. No matter how it is financed.

          Cheaper long term to pay more taxes now to build up New Zealands capability in future, than to donate even more money to a finance industry which will most likely waste it in financial games, requiring even more taxes to bail them out.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.4.1.1.1

            Thanks KJT

          • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1.1.2

            Don’t forget that the current generation always pays for the current retirees by foregoing some resources, so that retirees can use them.

            QFT

            That is something that most don’t understand. The payment for retirees is coming out of the people presently employed – it isn’t coming out of a bank account.

    • aerobubble 2.5

      I disagree. The wealthier a nation the more expensive to live it is. So the argument that we cant afford super isn’t about the cost, because a wealthier society finds it easier not harder to provide its citizens with the basics. What, we-can’t-afford-super actually means is distraction from the way wealth is used within society. The more olds with money, the more they buy, the more economic activity, the more jobs. Take the US, its inefficient use of its citizens, breeding inequality, ill-health, disengagement, means a smaller economy with more costs, gangs, crime, jails, etc. American politicians hate America, its implicit in their politics, and why, because they personally get richer by creating greater inequality.

  3. felix 3

    Excellent post KJT. The comments are demonstrating just how ingrained the neoliberal myths have become in the generations who don’t remember anything else.

    • aerobubble 3.1

      Thirty years and massive printing of money, that’s the result of Thatcherism. Yet some Moro guest still thinks the greater the division, the greater the dominance, the great therefore the leader. Yet history, world politics, is replete with divisive dominant leaders of nations who held their countries back for decades, nah, centuries if they were unlucky.

  4. Will@Welly 4

    Lanthanide – the actual cost of hydro production – existing – has not gone up. The cost of new electricity production has risen, but the “market” determines that we must pay as if as all electricity is produced from new plant. Absolutely outrageous and fraudulent..
    Both major parties have toyed with National Super, the one thing that is universally accepted, had Roger Douglas’s scheme in 1974 not been scraped by Muldoon in 1976, this country would have been wealthy. National proves time and again it cannot manage the economy.
    Many baby boomers don’t want to retire at 65, infact many baby boomers see 65 as the new 50, so maybe there should be an abatement for those receiving National Super over 65, while still working/earning. We also need a thorough investigation/discussion regarding “family trusts” and their usage – too many hide money in them for “genuine” tax avoidance. My feeling is any abatement would need to be set quite high so that it wasn’t seen as purely punitive.
    Might I also suggest we need to raise those same thresholds on beneficiaries who also work part-time. Earning $80.00 a week before entitlements start to cut out are still the same as it was in the 1980’s. Ridiculous.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      I never actually said that hydroelectricity price has increased. See my comment at 11:14pm above.

      • Will@Welly 4.1.1

        Yes, but was has happened under the “market reforms” is that existing plant is revalued each year/every 2 or 3 years, and then appraised as if it were new. It is not. The “book value” of the company then inflates, and so to get a proper return on their “investment”, they hike up prices.
        In 10 years our electricity prices have more than doubled, in some cases upto around 150%.

        • felix 4.1.1.1

          Lanth is a child of the revolution. He thinks this is a natural state of affairs.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2

          And yet the proper thing to do would be to ignore the supposed value of the plant. The charge then would only be to supply the electricity workers with a reasonable living standard. The most efficient way to do this is through a state monopoly.

  5. Sacha 5

    On the right track, but we need memes and associated stories that *positively* convey another New Zealand. Reacting to the right’s memes is still letting them set the agenda and the framing.

    Superannuation is an investment in security for our elders after a life of contribution. Or it’s a ‘burden’ on taxpayers. Saying it’s affordable doesn’t shift the conversation away from costs to benefits.

    The Greens have been really good at this over the last few elections, in images as well as words. Is “a richer New Zealand” another way of saying “the country without poverty”?

  6. RedBaronCV 6

    Super also protects the asset base of all but more so in the case of those with modest assets. No super then assets get eaten up in retirement so no more of those modest inheritances. Poorer families then have no assets so trickle up it is. Look at solid death duties on estates over a certain amount. Deal to trusts. BTW the current trust review is looking at extending the maximum life of a trust. Go figure that.

  7. SPC 7

    Simplify the concept.

    Bring it to the realm of the conceivable.

    There are only four groups without income now – identify them

    1. students without the allowance.
    2. those with working partners and so are not currently eligible for the dole (savings in WFF reducing this cost)
    3. those doing voluntary/caring work.
    4. those able to work not working or seeking work.

    1A – make a student allowance universal for post graduate study.
    2A – pay the dole to those with children under 5 who have working partners (later look at extending this 2B – to those who have children under 12 as per the DPB).
    3A – pay a dole rate to those doing this who have working partners.
    4C – leave to later, and introduce with universal student allowances for undergraduates.

    • karol 7.1

      I agreee those groups should get an income.

      But there are some on benefits struggling as much or more than those with no income and a working partner – especially single parents (most of whom are single mothers). They need an urgent increase in support, and removal of all Bennett’s shonkey “responsibilities”.

      • SPC 7.1.1

        karol, it would be easier to get society acceptance of helping that group of women (largely women) if there was a sense that other women (largely the non working partners are women) were also supported while with their children.

        At the moment the most supported moves are a WOF for rental housing (to reduce the power bill and make homes more healthy) and food in schools, not an increase in cash benefit to the parents.

  8. just saying 8

    Death duty, CGT on all properties above the first $200,00 on one family home, financial transaction tax… these are amongst a blitzkeig of changes that a Labour-led government, if it was genuninely labout-led , would make in the first few months of tenure. Just for a start.
    But it won’t. Genuine change is still not desired by the Labour Party, and maybe even the majority of people. Still, such was the case when Douglas and co did their radical overhaul of almost everything.

    Courage is required. Maybe, much as it chokes me to say it, we need another dose of National from this year’s polls. One term of a weak Labour Party maintaining a weak holding pattern whilst pretending to be ‘doing something’ about the myriad of problems that got them elected, and pretending to stand for something, in the face of doing nothing real and having neither the courage nor the convictions? Well I don’t know, but I fear it could make things much worse it the medium term, for those most adversely affected by the current regime. It could lead to a further embedding of the memes and paradigms of the status quo, and not too far along, maybe more lives lost and blood shed

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      The need is one of building strong grass roots understanding of the changes required, the real alternatives available, and the ways to apply pressure to political parties and Parliamentarians (of whatever stripe) to ‘do the right thing’.

      Courage is indeed required, and it is the courage to realise that political parties will only do what is needed, if they are made to do it.

      • just saying 8.1.1

        Do you think a term of Labour-led government in Labour’s current incarnation will foster or damage that grass-roots movement for change?

        Right now it seems to me that nothing could reinforce ‘there is no alternative’ than the populace voting in an alternative government which provides no actual alternative.

        Any movement towards significant change will only be harmed by another betrayal from those with actual power who are supposed to be on our side – surely?

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          Where betrayal at this stage needs only be a meek left wing pushing on a piece of string.

          I mean, you’ve correctly identified that there is a real danger of a weak one term Left govt with only a 2-3 seat majority, one which is nervous and hesitant about it’s mandate and it’s vision, and is quickly replaced by a confident talking National aided by clever PR and press.

          • tracey 8.1.1.1.1

            are you considering challenging curran for labour party selection TL?

            • Bill 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Isn’t she already challenged enough?

            • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Hi tracey, I’ve made my views on related matters crystal clear and in writing, to the local party structures in Dunedin. Nominations for selection close Feb 28 (the date has been brought forward from Mar 31 as there is a possibility of an early election) and I can likely provide you with an update before then.

              Bill :P

  9. Ennui 9

    There are some real basics missing above: one of the key factors driving the disparate wealth scenarios is that capital has been allowed to seek a safe return aka a “rent”. This has been made more extreme by the sale of assets that are supposed to underpin an economy to the wealthy.

    For example each time you and I use electricity with the sale of state assets we end up paying a share of the bill to the shareholders who are no longer completely the state.

    If we want to turn around the imbalance in wealth we really need to get serious about stopping it at source: we should be ensuring monopolies are heavily regulated, we should be ensuring that corporates pay tax and don’t socialise their risks. We should be regulating the finance rackets that gave rise to the likes of John Key. I regard all of these as necessary to get rid of the “parasite” layer that sits over and devours the wealth generated by the productive parts of the economy.

    I want to see smaller business risk takers rewarded, not some government employed fat cat with no income responsibility. Any fool can run a monopoly, or spend the states funds, they are not worth a cent of their privileged pays. Until we create an environment where risk is rewarded and “rents” are discouraged we wont create either jobs nor a tax base to redistribute wealth with.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Monopolies need to be state owned, transparent and the amount paid to the workers there set by referendum. Of course, the pay of all public servants jobs should be set by referendum.

      Any fool can run a monopoly, or spend the states funds, they are not worth a cent of their privileged pays.

      I figure that they’re worth about $100k/year but, then, I think that of the mega dollar CEOs in the private sector as well.

      Until we create an environment where risk is rewarded

      What risk?

      we wont create either jobs nor a tax base to redistribute wealth with.

      You’re still looking at things backwards. The government creates the money, the size of the economy is defined by the size of the governments spending* (multiplier effect will apply to some extent) and any deficit in the governments budget is caused by there not being enough taxes.

      * This is true even now with the private banks creating so much money.

      • Ennui 9.1.1

        Draco, risk is really simple: it is in most cases the money put at risk when a business is started. It is what the business owes you personally.

        When I start or invest in a business it is my own cash (money I have saved, borrowed etc but for which I have ownership or maybe a loan of someone else’s money) that is at risk. I cannot think of any person who started a business and risked their money for the sake of being a social nice guy and providing Joe Blow with an income. So when you risk losing your own shirt you are not there to put buttons on some other buggers shirt. You take the risk with the expectation of reward.

        Of course, we could go down the line of getting rid of free enterprise altogether, we have seen exactly what results that achieved when tried.

        “Looking at things backwards”….with regard to the government creating money I think you have a very different view to my own. Money is debt, it gives you a call against goods and services as the purchasing party in a transaction. Your view seems to be to create more debt out of thin air, and give it a claim against existing and future goods and services. If future obligations and debts are ever going to be paid there will have to be an expansion of the goods and services available to pay that obligation / debt.

        What you are proposing in the printing of future debt (money supply increase) is going to debase existing money via inflation as there will in a declining economy less goods and services. You propose making everybody poorer in effect.

        • tracey 9.1.1.1

          maybe if everyone were poorer it might snap some out of their drone-like belief that if they just work harder the wealth of the top 1% WILL SOON BE THEIRS.

        • Crunchtime 9.1.1.2

          Money is being debased already and everyone is already getting poorer. The median wage in NZ in real terms has been declining for decades.

          So what would be different?

          • Ennui 9.1.1.2.1

            It would get worse, faster.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2.1.1

              BULLSHIT you have absolutely no basis for making those assertions, and absolutely no basis for determining that private banks should continue to have 99% control over the money supply of the world.

              • Ennui

                Settle down CV, where did I ever support private banks? All I am proposing is that anybody printing more money will just perpetuate the current mess, and probably make it worse.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Nah I’m over it.

                  If you can’t see the difference between QE for Wall St, and sovereign money issuance for Main St, there’s no point discussing the issue further.

                  An additional point being, instead of increasing the money supply to ordinary people, consider how well shrinking the money supply to communities is working across the world. That strategy is known as AUSTERITY.

                  • greywarbler

                    CV
                    That Wall Street / Main Street comparison works as an explanatory tool well, very succinct.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  All I am proposing is that anybody printing more money will just perpetuate the current mess, and probably make it worse.

                  No, actually, it won’t. It has to be done properly of course:

                  1.) Private banks need to be banned from creating money
                  2.) Taxes need to be properly set so as to get present excess money out (i.e, 90% on incomes over $500k etc)
                  3.) Public servants pay scale set
                  4.) Government creation of money set against either funding new infrastructure (mines, drilling, roads etc), their maintenance or other government services.
                  5.) Taxes set so as to balance money created

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.2.2

            What would be different is that the private banks would no longer be able to create money and charge interest on it meaning that the inflation (debasement) that we see at the moment would cease and we’d be able to go to a sustainable economy rather than the pursuit of growth at all costs that we have.

            • greywarbler 9.1.1.2.2.1

              DTB
              What you say would be that without interest to pay, we would get more efficiency from each dollar spent, more bang for our bucks. If that is how it works let’s go, with a limited regime.

              We used to lend money at 3% and 5% to first home buyers on a 25 year principal and interest mortgage. Now that would be something that if turned on now would keep the economy turning, reduce stress, eventually cut down extra welfare payments for accommodation. There could be a policy of duplex or two-storey housing and these would be designed with good features, windows double insulated, etc. so well built so we have attractive but more efficient housing. People who qualified, on some basis of reliability of finance handling, would be able to choose from three or four designs, and choose internal colours. (And outside wouldn’t be painted grey, dark grey, black, brown, mud brown, as seems popular with trendy colour advisors these days).

              I’ll vote for that.

        • KJT 9.1.1.3

          “What you are proposing in the printing of future debt (money supply increase) is going to debase existing money via inflation as there will in a declining economy less goods and services. You propose making everybody poorer in effect”.

          Aren’t the banks doing that now? And charging us for it.

          Unfortunately they mostly invest in existing speculative assets they see as sure bets..

          Resulting in the sort of unbalanced inflation we see in the Auckland housing markets.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.3.1

            +1

          • Ennui 9.1.1.3.2

            Yes KJT, you are 100% right on what the banks are doing and what happens as a result. It is fueling a bubble that is propped up by existing price expectations and actual housing demand (fueled by immigration justified by growth economics : thats another story). It will pop and leave an unpayable debt.

            Interestingly people like Nicole Foss reckon that the printing of cash (QE) wont halt deflation. Money printing merely enables the exisitng interest on debt to be payed for another day, whilst actual money in circulation is declining faster than goods and services decline in availability.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.3.2.1

              whilst actual money in circulation is declining faster than goods and services decline in availability.

              And the reason why it’s declining is because?

            • Ennui 9.1.1.3.2.2

              It is because the vast bulk of the money “created” by the banks gets paid into supporting existing debt interest, it gets put into accounts rather than spending, and it goes to non productive speculation (e.g Wall St financial vehicles). The amount actually circulating against goods and services is declining. (Got that from an interview on RT).

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.4

          So when you risk losing your own shirt you are not there to put buttons on some other buggers shirt.

          Except you’re not going to lose your shirt are you? And if you borrowed the money then it’s the person who loaned you the money that will lose.

          If you borrowed that money from the government (0% interest) then the governments taxes will, eventually, pull the money out of circulation if your business failed. If your business is successful then the government gets the loan paid back as per normal and it gets the taxes that you pay which will allow it to support someone else to be entrepreneurial. Effectively, the entirety of society would be taking the risk and not you personally.

          Your view seems to be to create more debt out of thin air, and give it a claim against existing and future goods and services.

          Nope, the government creating money doesn’t create debt.

          What you are proposing in the printing of future debt (money supply increase) is going to debase existing money via inflation as there will in a declining economy less goods and services. You propose making everybody poorer in effect.

          Nope, that’s entirely your own construction.

          What I propose is that the government creates money to spend into the economy on infrastructure, the extraction of the countries resources and other government services including the UBI. That money would then be removed from the economy via taxes and direct charges. There should not be a deficit so the result would be no increase in the amount of currency in circulation.

          • Ennui 9.1.1.4.1

            Draco In short:

            Except you’re not going to lose your shirt are you? And if you borrowed the money then it’s the person who loaned you the money that will lose.

            You may be surprised to learn most people who start businesses dont use bank money (mainly because banks wont loan it to them). And even when they do borrow bank funds the bank deposit holders are at risk. Somebody has to pay debt.

            If you borrowed that money from the government (0% interest) then the governments taxes will, eventually, pull the money out of circulation if your business failed. If your business is successful then the government gets the loan paid back as per normal and it gets the taxes that you pay which will allow it to support someone else to be entrepreneurial. Effectively, the entirety of society would be taking the risk and not you personally.

            The whole concept of borrowing from the government is splendid in principle, the mechanics make sense. Now hark back to the track record of countries that tried that noble experiment. That is a debate we need to have because the balance between incentive and freedom of the individual, and societal control and obligation is fraught with issues.

            Nope, the government creating money doesn’t create debt.
            Money is debt. Debt is money. I subscribe to this school of thought.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_theory_of_money

            (Ennui said)What you are proposing in the printing of future debt (money supply increase) is going to debase existing money via inflation as there will in a declining economy less goods and services. You propose making everybody poorer in effect.
            (DTB said)Nope, that’s entirely your own construction.

            Disagree entirely. Whether this is a good or bad thing however needs to be debated.

            What I propose is that the government creates money to spend into the economy on infrastructure, the extraction of the countries resources and other government services including the UBI. That money would then be removed from the economy via taxes and direct charges. There should not be a deficit so the result would be no increase in the amount of currency in circulation.

            My version is “What I propose is that the government is the only creator ofmoney to spend into the economy. All monopolies, utilities and essential services will be owned by, and provided by the government at cost . There should not be a deficit, money supply should match the supply of goods and services .

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.4.1.1

              You may be surprised to learn most people who start businesses dont use bank money (mainly because banks wont loan it to them). And even when they do borrow bank funds the bank deposit holders are at risk. Somebody has to pay debt.

              And I did point out both ways that the money would be taken out of the economy if the money was borrowed from the government. I’ve also said previously that the UBI needs to be high enough to support someone into business.

              Now hark back to the track record of countries that tried that noble experiment.

              Which countries were those?

              That is a debate we need to have because the balance between incentive and freedom of the individual, and societal control and obligation is fraught with issues.

              Hypothetically the individual should have the same incentive and freedom as they do now. loaning money from the government should not give the government any more control than loaning from the bank gives the bank control now.

              • Ennui

                Draco, I think you know darned well which countries I am referring to. The are the former Communist block whose despite current protestations to the opposite did actually try and build a Marxist economy. Not only did this collapse (Orlov provide a great summary of why plus why the USA will follow suit) BUT the human right abuses inherent in their model were as bad as anything market based systems generate. To propose a repeat of that seems to me to be out of the frying pan and into the fire.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  To propose a repeat of that seems to me to be out of the frying pan and into the fire.

                  Good job I’m not then.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.4.1.2

              My version is “What I propose is that the government is the only creator of money to spend into the economy. All monopolies, utilities and essential services will be owned by, and provided by the government at cost . There should not be a deficit, money supply should match the supply of goods and services .

              We’re using slightly different language and you’re being more specific about what government should do but, generally, we seem to be in agreement.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.5

          What you are proposing in the printing of future debt (money supply increase) is going to debase existing money via inflation as there will in a declining economy less goods and services. You propose making everybody poorer in effect.

          Apologies kind sir, but this is fucking BULLSHIT

          You do not need to create a dollar of debt just to produce a dollar of credit, which is the way that the private banks do it. The way that a currency sovereign does it is not to issue debt based CREDIT, but to issue debt-free MONEY.

          Otherwise it’s as stupid and obtuse a mindset as saying that to print a hundred dollar note, the Reserve bank needs to go one hundred dollars into debt.

          I mean WTF.

          Re: debt – anyhows who cares if the US owes $17T of debt. It’s just spreadsheet entries, and most of that debt it owes to itself anyhows.

          Write off all debt every 49 years as the Ancients did, they understood that you could not morally enslave whole countries on the basis of book keeping.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.5.1

            I’m over this bankster led monetary stupidity.

            For those interested in Modern Monetary Theory please get on youtube and watch some of the presentations by the likes of L Randall Wray, Warren Mosler and Stephanie Kelton.

            Or google some of their papers.

          • Ennui 9.1.1.5.2

            CV, a few years ago I would have agreed with you. So to talk “bull shit”….”debt free” money comes under this heading. Money is a claim against some goods or services, which need to exist to be claimed against. We are probably describing the same thing i.e a balance between money and good / service supply equals zero balance aka no debt no credit….a “solid currency”.

            Where we diverge I suspect is that “growth” (the phenomenon that has allowed supply to catch up with credit created) is world wide now an aggregate impossibility. Your model requires growth OR a quitting of all debt (the wise Solon’s solution). Solon recognised that debt enslaved free citizens for the benefit of the few, in the same way as has happened today.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.5.2.1

              Where we diverge I suspect is that “growth” (the phenomenon that has allowed supply to catch up with credit created) is world wide now an aggregate impossibility.

              I feel like throwing something at you mate. In the nicest way possible.

              A) This nation is letting tens of millions of unused labour hours going to waste annually.

              B) It also has schools, hospitals, social service providers, who are woefuly understaffed, who are leaving necessary work undone.

              What’s your problem with the issuance of debt free, interest free money (money which does not require GROWTH to successfully meet the pay back of exponentially growing interest accruing debt) in order to bring A and B together?

              Money is a claim against some goods or services, which need to exist to be claimed against.

              Yes SOOOOOOO?

              Are you saying that we’ve run out of goods and services to claim against?

              The 250,000 children in poverty can’t have any more goods and services to claim against than they are receiving now?

              If you like, we can confiscate, or tax, existing money hoards in order to replenish the govt money supply, if that makes you feel better. Instead of creating more money out of thin air.

              • Ennui

                Throw something at me please. The goods and services you refer to are available but nobodies buying, nor will buy unless they are paid for with other outputs of goods and services elsewhere in the economy. What we are arguing here is resource allocation and the structure of the economy. .

                I don’t contend that the things you want delivered are unaffordable, they are exactly what a balanced society should be using its economy to deliver. I do contend that the money is currently there, it is just going to the wrong places. And I also contend that the money is going to decline in the future so we will have to curtail or find new ways to deliver our wish lists.

                • Colonial Viper

                  So what practical solution do you have? If government is going to provision itself and society with adequate resources and services, then in this current economy, it must do so with money.

                  Following on from that, there are only 3 sources of money for the Treasury; that of issuance, that of taxation and that of borrowing. I propose that the modality of “issuance” now also be used more as it creates less political cost to the Government in power than that of heightening taxation. What should not be considered is the mode of borrowing which does nothing but enrich the bankers and add to exponentially increasing debt (to which you have correctly made the point that such debt is, in this modern time of struggle, become plainly unrepayable).

                  So the source of sufficient money for the Government coffers is the crux. I do not read you making any argument that there are unsufficient services and resources available for everyone in NZ to have a decent life despite the end of exponential growth; indeed your statement is that this is largely a question of resource allocation and priorities. However, with your insistence that issuing new money will somehow make things worse (an assertion that I still bitterly dispute) I can see no alternative proposal from you.

                  And I also contend that the money is going to decline in the future

                  Do you mean to clain that the ‘purchasing power’ of the NZD is going to decline in the near future? If so, then what you should more properly refer to is our nation’s real terms of trade.

                  so we will have to curtail or find new ways to deliver our wish lists.

                  I think the implication by Generation Zero and others that we are going to be able to have our non-fossil fuel cake and eat it, will indeed be proven wrong.

                  But a reduction of material standard of living, as you know, does not necessarily mean a reduction in actual quality of life. In fact, for most people, their day to day quality of home, family and emotional life could conceivably increase, even as access to consumerist trivialities declines.

                  • Ennui

                    CV, Nothing much I disagree with there, so a few points on what I would do:
                    * I have always disagreed with allowing finance to be the tail that wags the dog: if I was in government the first act I would do is repeal the Reserve Bank Act, dismiss the current crop of Treasury economists and make sure that the economy was not left to the “market”. The “market” should be the servant of government policy and not vice versa. Money creation would be entirely in the hands of the Minister of Finance to approve.
                    *If I were Minister of Finance I would fund all necessary social spending out of current infrastructural returns (the profits SOEs make etc) and heavily regulate utility prices to make them more affordable. At the same time I would completely rejig the tax system to ensure avoidance was minimised and corporates were made to pay their fair share (the avoidance of tax by multinationals etc is at the heart of our current funding shortfall).
                    * My other response would be to create a Transition Authority charged with “environment and economic continuity planning”, their role being to recognise the coming changes to resource and energy supply availability. This would be the prinmary mechanism for addressing environmental issues and creating employment. This would create the conditions where we could continue to enjoy a “good” life.

        • Bill 9.1.1.6

          The money debate aside….I actually have some sympathy for people who try to set up a business. All that stress and the huge number of hours and upskilling in so many areas they may not previously had experience of….all in the hope that it all pays off and they get to ‘relax’ to some degree at some point in the future. And, of course, it can all go belly up.

          Where I begin to lose sympathy, is where those self same people have, at the outset, had alternative collective business models pointed out to them, but have chosen to reject such scenarios because, essentially, they refuse to shift their perspective from one that insists one must ‘get ahead’, distrust others and reap ‘all’ – the lions share of – potential benefits to/for themselves.

          • Molly 9.1.1.6.1

            Agree. It is hard to find examples in NZ of collectives such as Mondragon, or alternative business models such as B-corporations which have a quadruple bottom line.

            And yet, there are people and communities supporting each other and providing services – who – with a bit of support and guidance could make these projects self-supporting – or businesses – albeit not ones with huge profit margins.

            I don’t know whether we have many mentors or resources for this kind of programme, but it would be of use in helping change the current one-size-fits-all model, and would provide local services and goods to local communities.

            Also, need to set up the ability to directly invest in small to medium size businesses – using mechanisms other than shares. Watching Transition 2.0 (documentary on Transition Towns) recently – one example had a bakery taking loans and the interest was paid back in the form of one free loaf a week. The loan would be repaid in full in a couple of years. There are other ideas out there and they need to be shared – and not legislated out of existence.

      • Tim 9.1.2

        “Monopolies need to be state owned” ……
        That’s the truest, most fundamental principle I’ve yet seen since the neo-libs came to power and saw an opportunity for wealth transfer upwards, then implemented the programme to do just that.

        ….except that I wouldn’t characterise it necessarily as ‘STATE ownership’ – or indeed even ownership as such. But if we must, then PUBLIC ownership – whether that’s by way of the ‘state apparatus’, OR community/local body institutions.

        In the meantime, and until that inevitability, heavy regulation (given the record of stolen/privatised assets to date) is the natural progression.
        It’s an important distinction because there’s one thing neo-libs have been successful at – and that’s denigrating the concept of the democratic state, (taking care to NOT use the word ‘democratic’ in their narrative), and being allowed to define it on their own terms.

        ‘Nanny State’ for example. The neo-libs believe the state should merely be the enabler of market forces (the natural leveler supposedly). The more you look at it – the more it becomes fascist (of course we’re not allowed to use those dirty words!)

        As for the monopolies themselves …. What fucking PEAbrain ever considered (other than an opportunist with an agenda) EVER considered that various grids – electricity, water, gas, copper (characterised by those with that same agenda as a ‘local loop’), roading, railroading, could ever be left to ‘the almighty market’ without adverse effect, without winners and losers, and WITH democratic principles as their priority?
        This thread is about memes and paradigms (erk to the terminology – it’s actually part of that neo-lib BS-speak used to corrupt and disguise).
        And I’m not commenting as some romanticist pining for the way things used to be. Considering the record of those monoplies and their performance over the past 3 decades – speaks for itself really. Wake the fuck up Labour!
        When you do, and when you get over yourselves, I MIGHT …. might just flick you a vote, but sure as hell not in the meantime till you’ve a proven record. (Thrice bitten, etc)

  10. One Anonymous Knucklehead 10

    I think a more combative, emotive approach will work better. Logic and reason are inaccessible to most of the target audience.

    “We cannot afford welfare!” “We could afford it perfectly well when it was your free education.”

    “Bludgers!” “Do you mean people like you who got free education?”

    “People are inherently lazy” “Yes, you slack prick, try exercising your mind for a change!”

    • KJT 10.1

      A possible approach, but you are buying into the Neo-liberal meme which sets the generations against each other.

      Education was not free. It was paid for by a 60% top tax rate, paid, mostly by those who did not have tertiary education. The numbers were also much more restricted, which meant in effect it was even more for the children of the well off than it is now.

      Student loans have allowed a big increase in the number of University entrants, for one.

      A plus for a UBI, for high PAYE payers, is that parents on higher tax rates will no longer have their children’s living allowance cut because of their income. It particularly grates when you see the children of much wealthier tax dodgers getting the allowance.

      Many who complain about the cost of student loans are also against the higher progressive tax rates which used to pay for “free” education.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1.1

        It was free to those who received it, and your response misses the point. If I were to be looking for a reasonable, logical argument, either of your responses would be perfectly adequate.

        The response is intentionally emotive, pushing the wingnut’s buttons by implying that they are both a bene and a hypocrite, while providing further ammunition to counter the belligerent: they benefit from the roads and the rule of law we built too. If you want to go all eloquent on their ass quote Elizabeth Warren, but I expect most wingnut minds would start to wander after the first couple of sentences.

  11. lonelyavenger 11

    Roger Douglas announced a minimum family income scheme in 1987 before it was quashed and he was sacked by Lange. A UBI should not necessarily be a complete anathema to right wingers.

    • tracey 11.1

      agreed

    • Crunchtime 11.2

      interesting that.

      The thing about a UBI is that it should be seen as a sensible thing to anyone who wants to improve the economy. Giving the poor unconditional money means you remove disincentive to work, removes incentive to work “under the table”, adds more money into circulation because poor people are more likely to spend it, and more likely to spend it locally. The list of benefits goes on and on.

      It speaks to how the National party aren’t just ideological right wingers, they are corporate toyboys.

      Corporate toyboys. There’s a meme for you.

  12. red blooded 12

    Getting back to the topic of memes/slogans: I still remember the saying promoted by Hilary Clinton (supposedly based on an African proverb) – “It takes a village to raise a child”. This may seem a bit cloying but it encapsulates many ideas about collectivism, about the nature of society and its impact on us as individuals, about social responsibility… It enables discussion of tax policy, support for parents (including solo parents), education policy, housing, benefit levels and living wage requirements, the effects on our wider society if we ignore the needs of the young (& especially the underprivileged young). I’m not suggesting that this motto is reused (it’s somewhat tarnished by its association with the Clintons), but something aspirational and far reaching like this that strikes a human note can be a game changer because it resets the lens through which we view any policy discussion. Plus, positives are essential. It’s not enough to say what we are against; people want some kind of vision (even if it is the tarnished “brighter future”).

    “Being brighter about the future?” “Creating real opportunities for real people”?… I don’t necessarily have the slogan sitting at the ready, but I hope Cunliffe et al are on the case, because they need to shape the discussion, not just to react.

  13. Bill 13

    “We cannot afford super/welfare”

    Those who are retiring were all young and in need of economic support before they reached working age. And families were generally bigger back then and only half of the adult population (males) were fully engaged in the workforce. So, how does the ‘we can’t afford…’ argument run again?

    “Poverty is unsolvable”

    Well, that’s true enough. Poverty is an inevitable product of the market economy – I mean, what other result can be expected from an economy that has a central feature of making some richer at the direct expense of making others poorer?

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      And yet things like Super eliminated the large majority of elderly poverty as it occurred pre 1930.

      Re: “the market economy” human civilisation has always had markets; what is new is the obscene triumph of corporate led ‘free market economics’ trumping at every turn the processes of citizen led politics.

      • Bill 13.1.1

        Can we get our heads around the difference of markets (ie, (usually) discrete places where things are traded after some fashion) and a market economy that sets down the rules by which things will be produced and distributed?

        The two phenomena are immensely different and, really, shouldn’t have the same word attached to them. Even in a democratic economy there would be trading…ie, markets or market places. But the rules determining production and distribution would be a world away from those of a market economy.

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          Yep…it is why I used the term “free market economics” in order to be a bit more specific.

        • Ennui 13.1.1.2

          Well said Bill. As per my comment prior I concur, it is the rules by which things are traded which are paramount. My vision of an economy has a strong bias toward severe regulation of monopolies / infrastructure and necessities, with a high level of municipal / state ownership. I contend that if this were to happen the cost of merely living would fall significantly as power bills etc would reduce.Enterprise would be as free from these restrictions as possible and encouraged to be creative and productive without having to support the parasitic sector.

          I would also encourage collective bargaining and set pay scales…suppose what I am saying is unionism is desirable in order to prevent the executive of organisations assigning remuneration to themselves and not the workers. On that note I would also see the state sector return to a realistic non commercial model, government departments would have Heads of Department as opposed to CEOs..and they would be on a set pay scale, not a contract with bonuses etc.

          • Bill 13.1.1.2.1

            Maybe some day there will a thread where we can debate the various pros and cons of a centrally controlled or command economy as against a democratic one ;-)

            Anyway…is there anyone left anywhere who still seriously believes that market economies will some day deliver us anything other than the bad shit it delivers?

            • Ennui 13.1.1.2.1.1

              We should be debating this Bill, because it is at the heart of our current ills. For the record I think Adam Smith was very prescient with regard to centrally controlled command economies: he saw this phenomena as monopolies and cartels which in effect are “command” structures.

              I would contend that by allowing one group of individuals to capture natural monopolies by way of a variety of means we have created command economies that benefit only the owners at the expense of everybody else. We have allowed banks to create enough cash for them to subvert everything. We have allowed corporates to abuse copyright to create monopoly positions (think Microsoft). This has created the 1%.

              Having said that I think of the Nomenklatur of the Communist era as being their equivalent of our 1%. For the same reason.

              • Bill

                So, it seems we agree that both market and command economies promote elites.

                And it just follows that any mixed economy (heavily regulated market economy) would also promote an elite or a potential path to privilege, yes? I mean, whoever is doing the regulating (occupying a particular point in the regulatory system) would either promote their own interests or the interests of external actors who manage to ‘capture’ the regulatory process.

                And so when you say My vision of an economy has a strong bias toward severe regulation of monopolies / infrastructure and necessities, with a high level of municipal / state ownership I’m just seeing potential for capture and the emergence of an elite or forms of privilege….again.

                Same when I read I would also see the state sector return to a realistic non commercial model, government departments would have Heads of Department as opposed to CEOs..and they would be on a set pay scale, not a contract with bonuses etc.

                The only way I can see to avoid patronage or graft or privilege etc, is if we organise the economy by democratic means. So workers and communities develop mechanisms to communicate directly with one another and decide what is to be produced and where production ought to be distributed to.

                Obviously, if any organising authority is then vested in an external or separate structure, we wind up back at square one with all the usual potential for capture – and everything that flows from that.

                • Ennui

                  You are right, the only solution I can envisage is “democratic”. This might include judicial checks and balances, fixed / single terms, etc to avoid “capture”. The trouble with democracy as we know is that it is inherently corruptible, but it is the best system we have.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The trouble with democracy as we know is that it is inherently corruptible,

                    I disagree with that. Democracy is only corruptible if decisions are made behind closed doors. The TPPA comes to mind.

                  • Bill

                    Well, how about we dispense with ‘democratic’ and concentrate on democratic?

                    Any ‘judicial checks and balances’ imply that there be a judicial system sitting separate to that which is subject to checks and balances. So, there’s one potential area of capture right there.

                    But then it gets worse with the idea of ‘fixed/ single terms’ which kinda locks in the idea of ceded authority and almost ensures or guarantees capture.

                    Anyway. The problem with the system we have (and that your comment sign-posts reforms of) is that it’s inherently corruptible and, more importantly, that it simply isn’t democratic.

                    • Ennui

                      Bill, I think we need to come up with an answer: it is down to ethics in my book, but that has its won issues like what are ethics, and how do we inculcate….

                    • KJT

                      How we can actually have and retain, democracy is a whole nother conversation.

                      Note that not many in Government, even on the extreme right, dare to publicly question that we should have welfare, including super.
                      They are restricted to sneakily chipping around the edges because they lost that debate long ago.

              • Naturesong

                We have allowed corporates to abuse copyright to create monopoly positions (think Microsoft)

                Are you sure you are not talking about patents rather than copyright?
                We have only seen the extreme abuse of copyright in the last decade (my assertion).
                The law changes and FBI going after Kim Dotcom to my mind is both the thin end of the wedge, and the tip of the spear (potential civil lability becoming criminalised – law suit via police with guns)

                • Draco T Bastard

                  There’s many abuses from MS and other IP. Patenets and copyrights are part of it but the other big part comes from the EULA which forbids reverse engineering and the fact that an OS should, IMO, be an open standard and not a closed proprietary one.

          • tracey 13.1.1.2.2

            “suppose what I am saying is unionism is desirable in order to prevent the executive of organisations assigning remuneration to themselves and not the workers”

            which is precisely what has happened in NZ and hence despite the decimation of union members in the workforce the demonising of unions cannot stop til
            it’s 0% of workers.

          • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.2.3

            I would also encourage collective bargaining and set pay scales…suppose what I am saying is unionism is desirable in order to prevent the executive of organisations assigning remuneration to themselves and not the workers.

            Make all private businesses cooperatives and disallow shareholding.

            On that note I would also see the state sector return to a realistic non commercial model, government departments would have Heads of Department as opposed to CEOs..and they would be on a set pay scale, not a contract with bonuses etc.

            QFT

            I like a $20k minimum and $100k maximum for public servants plus the UBI of $20k.

      • Bill 13.1.2

        My point about Super stands regardless of when it was introduced. Through the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, the people now claiming, or about to claim Super were children requiring 100% economic support – in a New Zealand that had about half the working population that it has today (in terms of ratio of total adult population)

        Also…since a huge amount of pension investments sit in oil (so they’ll be worth zero soon enough) and since we don’t get to have a market economy and a reasonably viable future – is the discussion about the future affordability of Super much beyond merely academic? Kinda ignores big trunked animals filling small and confined spaces, no?

  14. captain hook 14

    It is not entirely co-incidental that neo-liberalism arose on the back of the widespread adoption of post modernistic theory (only your own truths count) and the computer revolution where the spreadsheet ruled everything.
    Now we have the internet but the people who should be using it to revolutioneise the polity are dumbed down, resentful and just as greedy as the neo-liberal protagonists.
    Political parties in New zealand operate on the basis of “TURNS” and excluding outsiders so the spoils are restricted when the the opportunity for patronage arises.
    Till there is a major paradigm shift then no change can or will occur.

    • just saying 14.1

      I understood that post-modernism was mainly about ‘beware of the big story’ – the unquestioned meta-narrative that underlies beliefs and understandings etc. Not about “only your own truths count”.

      • Bill 14.1.1

        heh – according to post-modernism, fairly recent studies done on an Egyptian mummy that determined the death was due to (was it TB? I can’t remember at the moment)…anyway, post modernist arguments hold that death could not possibly have been due to TB because TB wasn’t a recognised condition in ancient Egypt.

        Seriously.

        Another respected piece of nonsense from one of these post modernists (and sorry, can’t remember the name of the guy – some-one else might be aware of the details)…he held that the Gulf War hadn’t actually happened – that it was just ‘a story’ unfolding on TV screens.

        And so it goes on…intellectually bankrupt nonsense that insists it’s all just stories and since it’s all just stories, then the stories, of course, take presidence over any (to some of us) obvious reality.

        • karol 14.1.1.1

          And it’s easy to cherry pick some of the most out-there research.

          But other stuff, eg, this from Paul Gilroy (one of my London lecturers, who was into a poltical postmodernism – does a lot of anlaysis of media productions, but also connects them to people’s real experiences) – his analysis of a movie on slavery and how it connects to contemporary experiences in Obama’s US.

          • Bill 14.1.1.1.1

            Yup. So he contests that the basic underpinning of plantation slavery persists today, though it expresses itself somewhat differently. – The particular experience of the slaves is not posed against a universal meaning but infused with it. McQueen’s bold challenge to the continuing enslavement of people for profit allows no happy ending because slavery and unfree labour are still far from over.

            Not quite sure I understand what the penultimate sentence is actually getting at…the ‘not posed against’ but ‘infused with’ bit. (I can’t understand why or how the two things could ever be separate given the subject matter)

            Anyway, didn’t I say essentially same thing, but just more plainly, the other day on Open Mike – that plantation slavery and wage slavery are basically the same thing?

            http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-11012014/#comment-755853

            So again…what’s the point in developing a discipline that encourages people to use language and terminology that obfuscates understanding and that creates an ‘in crowd’ who elevate themselves and exclude those without ‘proper’ understanding of and training in the language used?

            • karol 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Gilroy is brilliant in many ways,but…. yes, some of his students, my fellow students, criticised Gilroy (and some of the set texts) for use of obscure language. Gilroy’s response was to refer to a Public Enemy song/music, that began with an ear-jarring sound – it challenges people to attend, take notice, and reconsider past assumptions – jolts them out of their complacency. Gilroy said, difficult language focuses your your mind so you have to think about what you are reading, rather than digest it uncritically.

              I don’t actually agree, but can understand his point.

              • Bill

                I can understand too, but….well, my ‘rule of thumb’ is that if a political idea can’t be conveyed in a way, such that an illiterate person can grasp what is being said (and not via ‘dumbing down’ either), then it’s time to go away and think again.

                • karol

                  I agree with that on anything – basedon my teaching experience, when I have to try to explain things so others can understand, I really start to understand the ideas/arguments much better.

                  It’s easier to explain things in straightforward laguage when I really understand them well – although, sometimes in a rush, I don’t always get to that point.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  That is a good point Bill.

                  Tend to view it as a sign I understand something well if I can explain a subject I know something about to someone who doesn’t have that knowledge.

                  Of course it helps if that person has an interest from the outset – that might be an obstacle with subjects such as politics – people have been right put off!

            • Puddleglum 14.1.1.1.1.2

              Hi Bill,

              Yes, I was about to quote the same two sentences when I read it.

              I think the ‘penultimate sentence’ means that the film is not trying to say, ‘Ooohh, look how terrible slavery was compared to the fact [i.e., universal understanding] that slavery is behind us now’. Rather, it is posing it’s own universalism of continuing slavery through people’s enslavement to the profit motive.

              And it is that universalising – which I think is correct – which led me to think that Gilroy was not being a postmodernist in this piece but, quite the opposite, was criticising so-called ‘postmodern culture’ (i.e., the media, discourse, Hollywood, etc.). There’s a difference between theorists who believe that today’s culture has more and more aspects of what has been called the ‘postmodern’, on the one hand, and scholars who are postmodernist in their work and theory, on the other. The first studies the postmodern in culture (potentially even from a realist or materialist perspective). The second adopts a postmodern ‘theory’ of knowledge, truth, reality, etc.

              I’d put Gilroy with the former on the (slim) basis of that one column (he, or karol, may see it differently).

              The column sounded more marxist than postmodernist, to be honest.

              Relativism, btw, is another version of scepticism, which has a long history. In fact, postmodern theory (whether of today’s culture or of knowledge, reality, etc.) seems to me to be another circuit of the age-old, pre-Socratic debate over ‘the one and the many‘ (very much on the side of the ‘many’, the particular, the individual).

              The word ‘physis’ meant the one thing that was the essence of all things (fire, water, atomic forces or whatever). Hence ‘physics’.

              Personally, I think many postmodernists confuse the notion of the ‘universal’ with the notion of the ‘absolute’. The two are different. ‘Absolutism’ is to be avoided. Universalism not so much.

              Universalism actually unites by drawing on the notion that there is a commonality amongst the experienced diversity. E.g., the idea that because we are all human, we deserve to be treated with human dignity – the notion of being human is, in this usage, a universal which incorporates, supports and allows for diversity rather than suppressing it. Typically, in this usage there isn’t too much focus on what it is to be human. The ‘point’ is simply that we should all be seen as human – i.e., the same sorts of things so that what applies to one applies to all.

              Of course, the answer to the question of what it is to ‘be human’ will always be largely socially constructed and that construction can be used as an absolute set of criteria with which to oppress or exclude people (e.g., the idea that some people are ‘sub-human’ or ‘non-human’). Same word (‘human’) but, in the first ‘language game’, used as a uniting universal notion; in the second language game it is used as an oppressive absolute.

              The essence of a concept is its grammar (its uses) – not the superficial word in itself.

              The tricky thing, of course, is that in the flux of debate and argument it can be hard to see the grammar in use – as opposed to the words being used.

              That’s why politicians try to hit ‘buzz words’ that resonate positively even though the way they are using them betrays a quite different set of likely outcomes.

              Edit: And, back to the topic, the first word of the acronym ‘UBI’ is, of course, ‘universal’.

              • Bill

                pfft so, assuming your understanding is close to what he meant or means – (seems like a reasonable punt) – could he not have said (quite simply) something along the lines of – ‘the film challenges assumptions that slavery belongs to the past’? Apparently not. Far better to bamboozle readers with….’stuff’.

                I’m mischievously amused that you point to his column sounding more Marxist than post modernist. In the link I provided below, (14.1.2.1.2) Chomsky traces the emergence of post modernism to Stalinists and Maoists within French academia who, finding they had to disown their dearly held beliefs in the 70’s, set their energies to inventing a new bandwagon they could all jump aboard. Possibly just co-incidental, but the only time I was exposed to post-modern thoughts in Uni (politics and anth) was when an avowed marxist lecturer showed some film of someone – name escapes me – that she was apparently quite taken by. My initial and lasting impression was of modulated white noise.

              • karol

                Very good explanation, pg.

                Rather, it is posing it’s own universalism of continuing slavery through people’s enslavement to the profit motive.

                I don’t know that I would call that universalism – rather that has some continuity from past to the present – more trans-temporal, and maybe trans-national.

                Gilroy was very critical of both Marx/ism and Freud/pyschoanalysis.

                He tended to see the enlightment, rise of the age of reason etc, as being an integral part of European imperialism, colonisation etc. Cartesian analysis, etc all arose in the context of European travels to other parts of the world, the civiling mission, etc, and frequently incorporated imagery and concepts from those experiences. Including the master-slave dynamic.

                He tended to see Marxism and Freud as continuing the kinds of universalising concepts of the enlightenment project – and that subordinated the “racial other”.

                That’s if I remember correctly – going back a few years now.

                • karol

                  PS: pg,

                  I agree with your explanation of the difference between different kinds of postmodern theories – critiques of postmodern culture etc. and postmodern theory of knowledge.

                  However, in the popular understanding they all are part of an academic trend they call “postmodernism”.

                  Actually, Gilroy is as much within tthe postmodern theory of knowledge. His ideas are “post-modern” in that they are a critique of “modernity” – the culture and approach to knowledge that resulted from the European enlightenment. Of course, such crtiques do tend to be universalising – a common criticism of postmodern theories.

                  The master-slave dialectic is very central to Gilroy’s theories – like Marx he began with a Hegelian dialectic – but they diverge from there. (Although, as I recall, Gilroy was very much agauinst the “neoliberal war on the poor”).

                  My understanding: Gilroy is critical of the European post – enlightenment approach to knowledge. It’s proponents are the “master” in the master-slave dynamic. The master is never fully conscious of “himself” ie his role in the dynamic- partly because he thinks he is providing an objective account of universal truths.

                  The slave, as a result of the “terror” of hir subjugation, is more fully aware of themselves, and their position in the master-slave relationship – its a specific position and understanding.

                  It’s pretty much like the idea that the people in the dominant groups in society, have less understanding of the subjugated people than the subjugated have of the dominant groups.

                  Gilroy also seemed to like Judith Butler’s “Gender Trouble”, seeing a similar dynamic in gender and sexual politics: gays/women (subjugated) and heterosexuals/men (dominant groups).

                  PS: Bill. I think Chomsky may have a particularly slanted view on that.

                  My understanding was that “postmodernism” first became prominent in US unis, and that they drew on some of the European intellectual writings (Foucault, Baudrillard, etc). But European academics and politics, had a much stronger previous socialist tradition.

                  Foucault did start off as a Marxist. My understanding is that European (including Brits) left wing intellectuals turned to focus more on culture around the late 60s/70s, as a way to explain why the working classes hadn’t followed Marx’s prediction in staging a revolution – a kind of focus on “false conciousness”.

                  I think it’s fairer to say the Europeans began with a socialist tradition, and not necessarily a Stalinist or Leninist one. Socialism, Marxism were very much conidered unacceptable in the 1970s US unis – met a few refugees from those US institutions in London in the late 70s and 80s.

                  • Ennui

                    PG / Bil / Karol, would love to join in this thread, somebody please write an article. I dont have time but have long been suspicious that modern rationalism has become a tyranny of the mind, of the body politic, the economy, etc etc. Would love to see it explored further.

                    PS I think it’s fairer to say the Europeans began with a socialist tradition, and not necessarily a Stalinist or Leninist one. True, western socialists grew out of the Fabian tradition, from a “Christian” ethos. If you read some quotes from Pope Francis you might see some of the tradition of “Christian socialism” that his namesake practiced a millenium ago…..heres a few:
                    Money has to serve, not to rule.
                    There is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. This would nevertheless require a courageous change of attitude on the part of political leaders
                    These days there is a lot of poverty in the world, and that’s a scandal when we have so many riches and resources to give to everyone. We all have to think about how we can become a little poorer.

                • Hi karol,

                  Thanks for all the extra explanation. Completely accept your account of Gilroy’s approach – I was working from a quick read of one popular column on the internet by him.

                  I think the ‘master-slave’ relationship (dominant-subordinate) is pretty basic – just in terms of its prevalence in history rather than its ‘naturalness’. I also agree that there’s nothing like being on the sharp end of that relationship to make you aware of it.

                  One of the things that irritates me the most about those who take their privileged position as relatively easily available (today) to all, is that it just demonstrates a complete lack of appreciation of the incredibly complex set of factors that produce that privilege for them and, correspondingly, produces an utterly simplistic understanding of people who are not supported by that complex set of factors.

                  Where I may differ from you – and others – is that I see both modern and postmodern cultural forms and approaches to knowledge as variations on – and repetitions of – the same theme.

                  Both began as attempts to liberate people from oppressive systems: The Enlightenment Project, it’s easy to forget, was a progressive project that took aim at the rulers of the day. In retrospect we can criticise what it produced as being absolutist, domineering and serving the interests of elites and power (e.g., through justifying colonisation and appropriation of land as ‘efficiency’ of resource use to improve the overall lot of humanity) but it was premised on the (perhaps mistaken) assumption that rationality was a way to be free of arbitrary power and oppression.

                  Sadly, I think postmodernism (as a ‘project’) is following much the same trajectory. Beginning as an attempt to liberate; evolving into an, at best, neutral deconstructor of both oppressive and liberatory movements and, at worst, an obfuscator of oppression and suffering (this is where the criticisms that it is fascistic in potential arise).

                  I think the reason many realists (and Marxists) in the social sciences criticise it is because they think it obscures and diffuses our understanding of the operation of power – rather than shining a spotlight on it.

                  @Bill, the person you were thinking of in relation to the 1991 Gulf War was Jean Baudrillard. It is a bit unfair, though, to claim that he actually believed that it did not take place – despite the titles of his three essays written before, during and after the war it seems he was criticising the presentation of the events and saw them as an atrocity, not as a war.

                  • karol

                    pg, I tend to see both Marxim and post modern theories/research as having something to offer – that they can be at times complementary.

                    I also quite like Marxist/post-Marxists such as Manuel Castells nd David Harvey.

                    I also think there’s something to both Marxist and Foucauldian (more post structuralist than postmodernist) theories of power – particularly in today’s complex and globalised world. There is something of a ruling and subject class. However, it’s not totally clear cut, and power can operate a little differently in specific circumstances – thus I’d go with the post structuralist notion of looking at local instances to see exactly how things occur (while keeping in mind the overall powerfulness of the elites etc.)

                    There’s something to Foucault’s notion of power being actively produced in various circumstances, within a world of interwoven networks, and with specific people having power in some circumstances and not others.

                    • Yes, the idea of networks of power has some value but networks are also nested and, in our world, tend to resolve into hierarchies.

                      For example, a working class man (or upper class man, for that matter) can exert power over women and children within the context of a nuclear family. Yet, the exertion of that power in that circumstance, I would argue, is only possible (systemically tolerable) if its outcomes are consistent with the operation of power at another level – the level that actually supports the very existence of nuclear families as ways to arrange people.

                      An exception to male (or parental) exertion of power within the family, for example, is the case of compulsory education, most of which is done in institutions beyond the family. While the history is complicated, compulsory education has arisen largely because of the needs of the economy rather than to liberate or develop individuals. The nuclear family (and extended family for that matter) had to have its power over the education/socialising of children taken away, or at least reduced, if the economy was to thrive.

                      In general, the ‘upper’ level might be some hybrid of economic, cultural, social or religious hierarchy but however it is composed it has the ability to exert downward power onto the actors within the nuclear family – or any other lower levels – to influence and even determine how power gets exerted there.

                      So long as the outcomes of the exertion of power at a nested, lower level of a network are not too inconsistent with the exertion of power at a higher level then that exercise of power will be tolerated or even encouraged. If, however, it starts to threaten the exercise of power at the higher-nested level then power from that higher level will be brought to bear down into the lower level as a ‘corrective’.

                      Put simply, I don’t think there is the kind of arbitrary flexibility in where power resides – or can be actively constructed as residing – as is sometimes implied in the kinds of analysis of power you mention. There are constraints that arise out of that networked complexity that produce quite general and predictable patterns of power distribution and exertion.

                      But I may be wrong, of course :-)

                    • karol

                      Somewhat nested power, pg – but not neatly so – a man may have some power and status in his family, and in his community, but not so much at work or politically. If he’s Maori he may be disadavantaged by the judicial system, perhaps via his activities on the streets, or at entertainment venues. I woman may have considerable political power, but may be physically abused within the home.

                      Corporates have a considerable amount of power, but the personnel within each corporate is not static – some individuals may be quite powerful when part of it, but once they leave, have little power.

                      The Marxist model tends to be a bit rigid and inflexible. My main criticism to it prior to encountering the likes of Gilroy, was that it failed to account for women, colonisation, sexuality, etc. Marxism can be bent a little to accommodate such diversity, but that remains inadequate. Ultimately, it is a model from a European male perspective, where industrial capitalism and it’s role in production is central. The home, community, social activities are peripheral.

                      That of course, still has a significant explanatory value. But I find some more recent theorists, like Manuel Castells, Sheila Rowbotham, take into account more recent developments in society and the understanding of it’s diverse populations and activities – they reach places that Marxism alone can’t.

      • karol 14.1.2

        Yes, and related post structuralism – is more about looking a specific instances of experience and reality, rather than the over-arching, universalised objectification of “reality”. Post structrualism is more about social practices, processes and experiences – social research.

        Postmodernism has more to do with arts, humanities, architecture and the media saturated world.

        These cover a range of theories, studies and ideas – they can’t easily be reduced to a set of slogans or memes.

        Postmodernism is also all about image over substance – I am wary of trying to find simplified slogans for the left – so much of that is part of the neoliberal, PR, marketing, managerialist approach to politics.

        • just saying 14.1.2.1

          Just trying to understand where CH is coming from.
          I’m no expert, but I had thought that PM challenged the status quo – ie unquestioned assumptions. Which might lead to the ridiculous at times.
          I’ve heard the ‘there is no truth’ line a lot, but that seems to be taken out of context.
          Anyway, happy to learn more.

          • karol 14.1.2.1.1

            Yes. The relativism of which ch writes, is a characterisation from the sceptics.

            There are diverse problems with many “postmodern” theories (especially those coming from the US), but it also provided some excellent critiques of past theories and approaches.

            It’s more about the way “truth” is socially constructed – ie through human reasoning, language etc. All our understandings of the world are filtered through representations of the world, via language, numbers, graphs, images, etc. But this does not mean it involves a denial of material reality, the evidence from hard science, and people’s daily experiences. It also does not mean people ignore, or do not try to understand other people’s experiences – it just indicates that we need to be wary of how we make sense of other people’s experiences.

            Some like David Harvey – treat the postmodern as more of a characterisation of late capitalism – and takes a fairly marxian perspective on it. – more about postmodernity, than being an scholar of/via postmodernism.

            And Harvey has been producing books on the topic throughout the whole “neoliberal” period.

            • just saying 14.1.2.1.1.1

              sigh

              Thanks for the link.

              Back to all that again.

              …it just indicates that we need to be wary of how we make sense of other people’s experiences. And our own

            • Bill 14.1.2.1.1.2

              It’s more about the way “truth” is socially constructed…

              So, (something like) there is propaganda and spin. And the dynamics of and source of both can be traced and explained. And we are bound by our ‘times’…our cultural or historical perspectives….which in turn shapes or limits the scope of our ‘possible’ outlooks/understandings.

              Nothing unique or post modernist about any of that. Don’t know why then, it has to be dressed up in jargon (as post modernists do) that ‘no-one’ understands.

          • Bill 14.1.2.1.2

            Okay, this is a, some might say, cynical dismissal of post-modernism. Ten minute vid. I reckon it kinda gets to the heart of the matter though. http://www.zcommunications.org/on-science-and-postmodernism-by-noam-chomsky.html

  15. captain hook 15

    if you combine the two then you get the ‘real’ big story.
    it is no tonly just one thing but a cocatenation.
    think big dude.

    • just saying 15.1

      Didn’t mean one “big story”. There are several.
      I don’t understand the above

      edit – btw I shoudn’t have called the ‘big story’ a meta-narrative

  16. captain hook 16

    meta narrative schmeta narative.
    post modernism is all about confusing people and not telling the truth about anything.
    red herrings and bullshit.
    The big story is telling people lies and taking their money while promising something that is never given.
    Is that meta enough for you?

  17. greywarbler 17

    Funny I put a comment – then I refreshed using Home. Found it in the Comment list. Then I click on it and I go to the page but not the place. Then I go back to the Comment list but can’t find it. Then I refresh using Home, then I find it on the Comment List then…..

  18. Crunchtime 18

    None of the responses to the memes in the article are catchy enough. Maybe we need a think-tank to come up with more catchy ones ;)

    “We can’t afford super/welfare”

    Response:

    A Universal Basic Income is better for the government AND the economy.

    “Bludging beneficiaries”

    Response

    We need to help people out of the benefit trap.

    “People are inherently lazy and need to be forced to work”

    Response:

    This is utterly insulting… People inherently feel the need to work to feel they are a valued member of society.

    AND/OR

    Replace benefits with a UBI, remove disincentive to work.

    “Poverty is unsolvable”

    – yep, “We solved poverty for the elderly” works

    • KJT 18.1

      Agree totally. I hope someone with more ability with words comes up with better ones.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1.1

        Same – and in the meantime….

        “Bludging beneficiaries – People are inherently lazy and need to be forced to work”

        >> Lets create 100% employment
        >> People want a livelihood
        >>Efficiency = no jobs for many and more profits for a few

        or: – Policy-makers are inherently lazy and need to be forced to create jobs
        or extended version: Policy- makers are inherently lazy and prefer to take perks from big money and blame the victims of their self interest and poor policy making – rather than improve their performance.
        (Last two perhaps a tad humorous)

        “Poverty is unsolvable”

        >> We can’t afford poverty

        • Crunchtime 18.1.1.1

          Yeap, the briefer the better. Politicians are too lazy to create jobs – I like that one :)

          Full employment is something that has been pushed successfully by Labour parties of times past, definitely needs to be up front and centre this time too

          “Stop victim-blaming” is good – covers a lot of bases

          How about “Cut corporate benefits”

          “Spend taxpayer money where it will make the most difference”…

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.1.2

        I like “we solved poverty for the elderly”. Hits the right emotional buttons.

  19. tricledrown 20

    Most people only use the benefit for short periods to tide themselves over till they find a new job.
    Now with more and mor partimework and casual work the benefit system should be way more flexible those earning over $80 pw should not have their benefit cut by 70 cents in the dollar that’s a massive disinsetive.
    Then if you have more than one partime or casual job you pay secondary tax this is another huge disincentive.
    If Labour and the greens can come up with a simpler system they will get lots of votes.
    Likewise small businesses are being crippled by paperwork and govt formfilling.
    Most small businesses make a barely liveable wage.
    When they need to access welfare working for families etc the mountains they have to climb are ridiculous.
    Labour and the greens could easily have gone stop pay as you earn system for small businesses to make it easier to survive for small businesses.
    Small businesses are way more common than ever.
    The left are failing to attract these voters even though they are in the lefts income
    demographic.
    By changing a few rules having a simpler taxation system around low incomes this would make it much easier for beneficieries low income casual partimers small businesses to employ a lot more people.
    The only thing National have done is cut taxes for businesses
    That has attracted thes voters that normally would vote Left.
    A simple policy change that would allow small businesses owners to access WFF much easier.
    Time for the left to think outside the square.
    After the last election Chris Trotter identified this area where Labour failed to attract voters.
    Labour Greens are you listening.

    • greywarbler 20.1

      Benefit cut by 20c for every $1 earned. I think that stupidity crushes poor people’s attempt to improve their living, and is made worse by taking it off the gross value of the earnings, then taking tax off the earnings. $10 earned, – $2 of benefit so then $8, then tax off the $10 at what? 15% – $1.50 off earnings and $2 off benefit, net in the hand $6.50. Then there is GST of 15% on just about every $ spent. (Does that $2 come off accommodation benefit first?)

      It can be seen that a UBI that accepts a person’s need for an income in a cash society, and then encourages earnings in intelligent ways would be better.

  20. Philj 21

    Xox
    Hi Lanth,
    Check out Dr Geoff Bertram (Economics) , of Victoria University, on the Internet, for a NZ history of the rip off electricity prices. He explains how this has evolved over the years.

  21. Michael Gibson 22

    The people of NZ can afford to see to it that everyone who lives here gets enough to eat, somewhere warm and dry to live, and enough basic medical care to life their natural lifespan. In 2014, NZ will be richer than it has ever been. The only impediment to this outcome is lack of political will, as the political class calculate that it is against their interests to do whatever it takes to achieve basic social justice. Sadly, far too many of the middle classes (and the poor, too) swallow the vile propaganda chundered out on behalf of the rich that social justice is: (a) unaffordable; (b) inefficient; (c) morally corrupt, …. . Will things change this year?

  22. ecossemaid 23

    I see the photograph that starts this thread: Memes and Paradigms.
    I just wonder what he would think of Memes and Paradigms?
    I cant make assumptions yet educated guesses.
    To me it looks as he has had the living daylights sucked from him, could be alcohol, drugs misuse, bereavement, family break up, loss of employment, welfare withdrawn. Well the speculation could go on for ever. Yet lets face it he’s not in the best of shape, is he?
    How do we help the voiceless victims like him/her or/them?
    I tell you what, we will gather round our wifi hot spots by the pool, pour a glass of white, put the soothing music on low and lets pat each other on the backs and discuss Memes and Paradigms and write on our internet blogs….that’s really going to help him!
    I wonder if he knew he was the pictorial centre of a frenzied, high brow, left wing glitterati , more time on hands than is useful.
    What he would say?
    “What!…Stuff Your Memes and Paradigms..Please Help Me”
    Can we afford to ignore him and not try and help him or argue between ourselves about the nuances of memes and paradigms as to why we cant?

    • KJT 23.1

      What makes you think we are not?

      Helping people like him directly and practically, I mean.

      Some on here have the time because they are disabled, ill or out of work also.

    • just saying 23.2

      Not everyone talking here has the facility to drink wine at the hifi hot-spot by the pool, some of us are the man in the picture (which I can’t see but can imagine) past, present, future, or all three.

      What are your suggestions?

    • Bill 23.3

      Yeah, ecossemaid. I get your point – at least up to a point. But seeing as how I’ve been the guy on the bench/ in the ditch/ begging on the street/homeless and am also part of this discussion, well…I lose your point.

      Frameworks of reference are useful – even essential – firstly to understand why this stuff is going on, and secondly, to reject what’s going on and maybe develop effective countervailing strategies to it. Without the frame of reference to aid understanding, we can too easily become ‘kept in line’ by being kept in the dark ….everything’s in its right place/ it’s the natural order of things/things have always been this way/it’s down to the individual/ there are no systemic reasons behind this/ the meek will inherit the earth/ there’ll be pie in the sky when you die….and so on.

      Oh. And when I was ‘that guy in the picture’, I never needed ‘help’ so much as for people to stop contributing to the shit. See, ‘help’, as I understand it, though utterly necessary and appreciated in the immediate short term (who the fuck doesn’t want a meal after not eating for two or three or four days!?) does 5/8ths of sweet fuck all in the medium to long term.

      Take *that guy* off the park benches and another will take his place and the ‘assembly line’ delivering people to shit situations will go on and on and on. Until, as I said, we stop contributing to the shit. And that brings us back to recognising the shit…(in part) through understanding the memes and paradigms and then (hopefully) intelligently using our understanding to be done with the shit.

      Granted, most people…or too many people anyway…stop at the point of intellectual understanding and never take the next, necessary steps that their understanding demands of them. That, to my mind, is the state of hypocrisy that much of the left, particularly the liberal or social democratic left falls into.

  23. vto 24

    Talking of memes, shove one back in the faces of those who oppose…. this one…. time after time after time after time….

    New Zealand is more than rich enough to provide every single person in our lands with a good roof over their head, decent provisions and a quality living standard. The problem is the current income and wealth distribution system. It is fucked. It pushes excess to some and insufficient to others. The existing wealth and income distribution system needs changing to a new system. Simple.

    Now repeat.

    over
    and
    over
    and
    over
    and
    don’t stop

  24. tricledrown 25

    Apathy and dissolusionment of our electoral system hasn’t helped.
    Geoffrey Palmer kept on harping Monday morning Noelle mcathys show thar the 800,000 who didn’t vote .
    Are those who are most affected
    By lack of wealth distribution.
    Those 800’000 are mainly young poor and polynesian.
    We need to get them to vote.
    Networking door knocking etc
    This demographic are smart phone savvy twittering facebooking viral videos etc.

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    The Jackal | 16-09
  • Attack! Attack!! Attack!!!!
    We’ve had several weeks now since the release of Dirty Politics and just as we thought it might be dying down as our lords and masters in the mainstream media decided followed National’s argument and moved on to reporting about...
    My Thinks | 16-09
  • TPPA a Sellout to American Corporate Greed
    Press Release – Internet MANA New Zealand will become a permanent prisoner to the United States greed and global arrogance if the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) isnt stopped, warns Internet MANA.MEDIA RELEASESeptember 17, 2014 TPPA a Sellout to American Corporate...
    Its our future | 16-09
  • 2014 Party Gender Balance
    Out of interest I have looked at each party's list rankings and worked the ratio and percentage of women who would be elected if they got the best possible vote. I compared the parties on the so called 'left' and...
    Local Bodies | 16-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 3rd Degree uses Whaleoil for story ideas as if Dirty Politics never happene...
    TV3s 3rd Degrees smear job on Kim Dotcom last night doesn’t bear much repeating. It was pretty pathetic journalism from a team who have brought us some great journalism in the past. It is sad to see 3rd Degree stooping...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Live blog: Bainimarama takes early lead in Fiji’s election
    Pacific Scoop’s Alistar Kata reports from yesterday’s voting. By Alistar Kata of Pacific Scoop in Suva Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama took an early lead in provisional results in the Fiji general election last night. With provisional results from 170 out...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Has The NSA Constructed The Perfect PPP?
    Former intelligence analyst and whistleblower, Edward Snowden – speaking live to those gathered at the Auckland Town Hall on Monday September 17, 2014. Investigation by Selwyn Manning. THE PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY’s admission on Wednesday that whistleblower Edward Snowden “may...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • No way – Key admits Snowden is right
    After claiming there was no middle ground. After claiming there was no mass surveillance. After calling Glenn Greenwald a henchman and a loser. After all the mainstream media pundits screamed at Kim’s decision to take his evidence to Parliamentary Privileges...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Bad luck National
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • The incredible changing John Key story on mass spying – why the Moment of...
    While the mainstream media continue to try and make the Moment of Truth about Kim’s last minute decision to prolong his battle against John Key past the election into the Privileges Committee, the reality is that the Moment of Truth...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Themes of the Campaign
    There’s one area of a political campaign that just about everyone, at some point, falls afoul of. The campaign song. I’m not sure quite why it is, but it seems to be almost impossible for political parties to come up...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Denis Tegg – The NSA slides that prove mass surveillance
    The evidence presented by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden on The Intercept of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB is undeniable, and can stand on its own. But when you place this fresh evidence in the context of...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland
    The Ukrainian civil war discomforts me. It seems to me the most dangerous political crisis since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. And it’s because of our unwillingness to examine the issues in a holistic way. We innately prefer to...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man – the relationship intensifies
    John Key’s love affair with the straw man is now a fully-committed relationship. It’s now the first love of his life. Sorry Bronagh. Yesterday I pointed to Key’s constant assurances that there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • A brief word on why Wendyl Nissen is a hero
    Wendyl Nissen is a hero. The sleazy black ops attack on her by Slater and Odgers on behalf of Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich is sick. All Nissen is doing in her column is point out the filth and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Eminem sues National Party for unlawful use of ‘Lose yourself’ bhahahah...
    …ahahahahahahahaha. Oh Christ this is hilarious… National Party sued over Eminem copyright infringment US rapper Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using his song Lose Yourself in its campaign advertisements. The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Fonterra join 2Degrees and boycott Whaleoil
    In the wake of Dirty Politics, advertisers are pulling their advertising out of Whaleoil. PaknSave, Evo Cycles Pukekohe, Localist, 2 Degrees, Fertility Associates, iSentia, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Maori TV, Bookme.co.nz, Dobetter.co.nz and the Sound are now joined by Fonterra...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • PM Key accused of allowing secret ‘spook’ cable sensors to spy on citiz...
    Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (left) and Kim Dotcom at the “moment of truth” political surveillance meeting in Auckland last night. Image: PMW By ANNA MAJAVU of Pacific Media Watch NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key has been accused of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Fiji pre-election ‘politics’ blackout stirs media protests, frustration
    BLACKOUT DAY – Monday, day one of the “silence window” in Fiji leading up to the close of polling in the general election at 6pm on Wednesday. And this is under the draconian threat of a $10,000 fine or five...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • “Now the work of movements begins”: government corruption, media bias, ...
    I am so tired of the dirty politics of the National government, aren’t you? I am tired of John Key and his pathetic attacks on award-winning journalists who have spent their careers fighting and digging for truth and good. The...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Moment of Truth review, smoking guns and the awful coverage by the NZ msm
      There were queues unlike any the Town Hall has seen, 1000 were turned away once it became full…     …full to the rafters. The energy and atmosphere within the room was extraordinary, and it begun…   …Glenn Greenwald...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Why Maori TV’s Te Tai Tokeraou Poll will be proved wrong
    If Hone Harawira had a dollar every time the media wrote off his chance of winning Te Tai Tokeraou, he would have more money than Kim Dotcom. Remember the by-election? Hone was 1 point ahead of Kelvin in an exact...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • September 15 RNZ interviews – and then the Moment of Truth
    . Acknowledgement: Emmerson . 15 September – Leading up to the Moment of Truth public meeting this evening, these Radio NZ interviews are worth listening to; . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Live Stream: Moment of Truth Tonight 7pm
    Live Video Stream by eCast: The Daily Blog will Live Stream the Moment of Trust public meeting from 7pm. The meeting will feature Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, Robert Amsterdam, and a very special guest…...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The proof Key lied about GCSB mass surveillance
    And we start getting to the evidence that proves Key has lied about mass surveillance. The article by Glenn Greenwald is out and it is beyond damning… Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the government worked in...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • A brief word on the Ede-Slater emails
    Every day I have rushed to read the paper to see if a breaking story on the Ede-Slater emails had broken yet. They haven’t. Day after day, where are these emails? We know Rawshark sent the emails to David Fisher...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The email that proves Key is a liar
    This is the Email proving Key knew about Kim Dotcom before he claims he did… “We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Henchmen
    Henchmen...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why it simply isn’t credible that Key stepped in and shut down the mass s...
    Key’s staggering admission that yes there was a year long business model by the GCSB to mass spy on all of NZ but  that he stepped in and shut it down after Cabinet had signed it off just sounds like make...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man
    Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over. Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Armstrong turns on Glenn Greenwald
    Where does a mediocre journalist like John Armstrong get off attacking a journalist with the credibility of Glenn Greenwald as he has in his ridiculous column today? Armstrong has the audacity to try and play the terrorism card to justify why...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – Which of John Key’s many statements on the GC...
    We already have Glenn Greenwald’s assertion on The Nation that John Key has misled New Zealanders as to whether the GCSB has engaged in mass surveillance of Kiwis. But Key has made many other statements about the GCSB’s powers and...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Election 2014: Numbers and Faces
    Democratic politics is a game of numbers and faces. How can we translate the numbers into the 120 or more faces that will be in the next Parliament? Below is my prediction of a likely result: 120 people, divided by...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Scotland the brave
    The possibility that Scotland will vote for independence this Thursday has panicked the British establishment. An unholy alliance of Tory, Labour, Liberal and corporate leaders has resorted to fear-mongering and bullying on grand scale in a last ditch effort to...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why Key’s denials sound so off and why Dotcom’s fight is all our fight
    The shrillness of Key is the issue. His denials just too forced and rehearsed. Key has gone from Hollow Man to Shallow Man with his lashing out at Pulitzer Price winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald by calling him a ‘henchman’. This...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Su...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • As TDB predicted, Labour to use universal super fund to buy back assets and...
    Greens about to be snookered again?   As The Daily Blog has pointed out several times now, Labour will use a universal super fund to buy back NZs assets in a bid to offer Winston a legacy project… Labour plans...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • A lesson in caring for our most vulnerable
    Some of the comments on this article make me sick. Because I am so very much over people who think they are better than others because things have gone their way in life and think those who aren’t as functional...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Please vote positive
    One of the features of campaigning is the meet-the-candidates event.  As an opportunity to present policies to the voter, they aren’t the best vehicle but still serve a useful purpose.  The problem is that there are too many candidates and...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • For this who don’t vote this election
    For this who don’t vote this election...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Women’s Suffrage Movement – Get Out and Vote!
    Tomorrow, Friday 19th September, MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will cast her vote at 12 noon at the Zen’s Building, Rotorua. This will follow a march through Rotorua that will assemble at 10am at City Focus, Rotorua. The...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • iPredict Daily Update
    David Cunliffe and Labour have made gains over the last 24 hours, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict, but John Key’s National is still strongly expected to lead the next...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Conservative’s Proposal to Abolish Parole Fatally Flawed
    The Conservative Party’s proposal to abolish parole doesn't stack up, however which way you look at it, concludes Kim Workman in Rethinking Crime and Punishment latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and Other Crazy Stuff’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Special Edition : The letter 18 September 2014
    Dr Jamie Whyte has been giving thoughtful speeches largely unreported. So we thought we would put out an edited version on the speech he gave yesterday. The full speech is on the website....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Differences in educational level reflected in voter choice
    Differences in educational level reflected in voter preferences The Green party has the highest proportion of tertiary educated supporters and NZ First has the least according to an analysis by the Election Data Consortium. The Consortium is made...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Renters need assistance to improve poor housing conditions
    Thursday 18 September 2014 Renters are living in poorer conditions than homeowners and are less empowered to improve their housing situation according to a study by medical students at the University of Otago, Wellington. The fourth year medical...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Pacific Island Affairs & NZ Police to work more closely
    The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs Chief Executive, Pauline Winter, and The Commissioner of Police, Mike Bush, are this afternoon signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry and the New Zealand Police....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Te Hira Paenga sets the record straight
    In recent days there has been much speculation about my campaign in Te Tai Tokerau. Some commentators have suggested that I should step down or endorse the Labour candidate in an attempt to stop the Internet Party riding on the...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Last Chance to Enrol to Vote – Don’t Miss Out
    Last Chance to Enrol to Vote – Don’t Miss Out If you’re not enrolled now, you need to hurry or you won’t be able to vote in this Saturday’s general election. “Election day is almost here, and it’s your last...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Stuart Nash voted against wishes of Napier Electorate
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar says the recent decision by the Advertising Standards Authority in reply to a complaint laid by Stuart Nash’s campaign manager confirms that Nash voted against the wishes of the Napier electorate. Robert...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • What price life asks Conservative Party
    The Conservative Party are asking what is the price of life if the killer of a defenceless homeless man who was viciously beaten and left to die was jailed for just 11 and a half years....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • National Stands To Lose Votes If Animal Welfare Is Ignored
    SAFE has presented Prime Minister John key with a 40,000 signature-strong petition calling for a farrowing crate ban....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Statement From Kim Dotcom
    Tonight Third Degree broadcast issues raised by three former staff members who are in dispute with us....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Three Internet-Mana Policies Blow the Bribe-O-Meter to Bits
    The Taxpayers’ Union has received advice that the cost of just three Internet-Mana policies is $17.6 billion - higher than the entire policy packages of the three main political parties combined. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Pregnancy Help Welcomes Green Party Packs for Newborn Babies
    Pregnancy Help applauds Metiria Turei acknowledging that “for many parents the birth of a new child is a highly stressful and financially straining time” and the desire for every child to thrive....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • McVicar Welcomes ASA Decision
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar welcomes the Advertising Standards Authority’s decision to not uphold the pamphlet complaint of Robert Johnson, Campaign Manager for Napier Labour candidate Stuart Nash. The ASA acknowledged that one complaint...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Whyte: In 12 months’ time, here is what will matter
    In three days’ time I will be elected along with a number of ACT MPs. I think the media will be surprised and ask how it happened?...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Internet MANA Will Grant Special Residency to Edward Snowden
    Internet MANA will put the case to the new government to welcome global surveillance whistle blower Edward Snowden, granting him safe passage and residency in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Ten millionth traveller uses SmartGate
    The 10 millionth traveller to pass through SmartGate, Customs’ automated passenger processing system, was greeted by Customs Manager Passenger Operations, Peter Lewis today at Auckland International Airport....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Key vs. Cunliffe: Final Live NZ Election Reactor 7pm Tonight
    John Key and David Cunliffe go head to head for the last time tonight and you can decide who wins by driving the worm. This is the last live Election Reactor covering the debate tonight at 7pm on TV One....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Offenders Get Road Safety Message
    Wellington Community Corrections partnered with emergency services, government agencies, organisations and Kapiti Coast District Council to deliver an innovative road safety programme to 70 community-based offenders at Southwards Car Museum on Tuesday 16...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Proposed law to decriminalise Abortion
    http://images.tvnz.co.nz/tvnz_images/news2011/politics_news/12/q_a_interview__list_mp_jan_logie_n2.jpgRight to Life is disappointed that the Green Party is refusing to provide a response to the seven very important questions that have been addressed to Jan Logie, spokesperson...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Election 2014 Will Be Costly
    The Taxpayers’ Union has today released the final update for its ' Bribe-O-Meter ' election costing website in the lead-up to Saturday’s general election. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Roy Morgan Poll September 17
    John Key set to win narrow election victory on Saturday as Labour/Greens slump puts Winston Peters in powerful position as NZ First surge to 8% Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows National (46.5%, up 1.5%) set to win a...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Wahakura Package would provide warm welcome for babies
    The Greens Wahakura Welcome package announced yesterday is a wonderful example of child-centred policy which would help all children get a fair and equal start in life, says Child Poverty Action Group. CPAG health spokesperson Innes Asher says,...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • TPPA a Sellout to American Corporate Greed
    New Zealand will become a permanent prisoner to the United States’ greed and global arrogance if the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) isn’t stopped, warns Internet MANA....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Wintry showers and blustery winds for Election Day
    As we head towards the weekend, it is time to look at what the weather will be for New Zealand's "Have Your Say" Day....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • New national secretary announced
    The PSA is pleased to announce the appointment of Erin Polaczuk to the role of national secretary....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Public Secotr & TISA: On the cusp of something very special?
    Is the National Party keeping some things out of sight in case they frighten the electorate? Here is some worrying evidence that this may be the case....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • MPI ups yacht biosecurity ante
    Yachts arriving in Northland from overseas this season will face greater biosecurity scrutiny, says the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • iPredict Election Update
    John Key’s National Party now has an 88% probability of leading the next government , most probably with the support of NZ First, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. There...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Crowdfunding to Save Native Fish
    NZ Landcare Trust is offering an exciting project designed to assist native fish, as part of the launch of a new global crowdfunding category called 'The Landcare & Environment Collection.' This exciting step, aims to help raise funds and support,...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • New methods needed to reach non-voters
    Non-voters are much heavier users of the internet than those who do vote, while 43 per cent of non-voters say they never read a newspaper according to research released today by the Election Data Consortium....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parties sent home with report cards
    More than 2000 New Zealanders came together to run a full page ad in the Herald today asking all Parties what they will commit to do to clean up politics. The answers are in, and ActionStation has graded Parties on...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • One in 10 Kiwis want Winston Peters to Run the Country -Poll
    New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters has seen his personal popularity reach a three-year high in the final 3News/Reid Research poll ahead of Election Day....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Shut Down This Govt Not Kaiti WINZ
    "I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can" is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • New methods needed to reach non-voters
    Non-voters are much heavier users of the internet than those who do vote, while 43 per cent of non-voters say they never read a newspaper according to research released today by the Election Data Consortium....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Conservatives Break Through 5% Threshold
    Reports in today’s Dominion Post that the Conservative Party is polling at 6% in Nationals internal polling are not surprising says the Conservative Napier candidate Garth McVicar....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • IGIS: No Indiscriminate Interception of NZers’ Data Found
    “As part of my role as Inspector-General, I review whether the GCSB complies with the restrictions upon interception of New Zealanders’ communications and with the requirement to intercept communications only for authorised purposes. That review...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Conservatives Break through 5% Threshold
    Reports in today’s Dominion Post that the Conservative Party is polling at 6% in Nationals internal polling are not surprising says the Conservative Napier candidate Garth McVicar....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Hundreds of Students Turn Out for Political Debate
    With only a few days left before the general election, over 500 Victoria students packed the central Hub space on campus today to listen to a political debate on student issues organised by the Students’ Association. Victoria University of Wellington...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Ex-prisoners make most of mentoring to make most of life
    It’s not every day that an organisation triples a programme in size, but PARS Inc (formerly known as the Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society of the Auckland District Inc) has managed to do just that with their Community Mentoring Scheme,...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Unscrupulous worker highlights why 90-days works
    Federated Farmers believes the experience of a husband and wife farming team in Taranaki underscores why the 90-days provision is so important to small businesses. “Yesterday a member called 0800 FARMING to alert us to a guy doing the rounds...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eye to Eye Uploaded
    Leading Maori broadcaster and political commentator Willie Jackson previews Eye to Eye Uploaded, a multi-platform series of interviews that he’s aiming to put in front of media radars next year....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Party Rankings against Inequality
    Revealed: which party will do the most to reduce New Zealand’s growing inequality crisis...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Maritime Union backs change of Government
    The Maritime Union says a change of Government is required to deliver secure jobs and decent wages for New Zealand workers....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Green Party package for newborns welcomed
    16 September 2014 Media Release The New Zealand College of Midwives has welcomed a policy announced today by the Green Party which would provide a package of essential items for every newborn baby. The College is a non partisan organisation...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • ALCP Release Election Manifesto
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has released its manifesto in the lead up to the election on Saturday....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Election Daily Update #9
    John Key’s National Party appears to have received a major boost from last night’s “Moment of Truth” event, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Despite no major changes...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
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