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A class massacre

Written By: - Date published: 11:16 am, April 3rd, 2011 - 61 comments
Categories: class war, Economy - Tags:

Today’s Herald carries a story by David Fisher about the poverty that is rapidly reappearing in New Zealand. Because it’s the HoS the lead hook is a story of children living in such poverty and neglect they ate cockroaches but this is only the sharp tip of a very large iceberg:

Mangere Budgeting Services Trust chief executive Daryl Evans said the service was under greater pressure than ever. There had been recent cases of impoverished pensioners eating cat food.

“People are getting desperate for food.”

Evans said two staff members had resigned because of the pressure they were under.

Staff had gone from dealing with about 40 families each to dealing with about 260 in just a few months, he said.

Evans said food and petrol costs had increased but wages had failed to match needs. Government changes had also forced those applying for emergency grants to attend budgeting courses before getting any money, he said. “Working families are doing it really hard.”

So what’s the government’s plan for dealing with this massive increase in poverty. Well we don’t know because Paula Bennett has once again refused to front to the media.

But we do know is that last Friday the government took another chunk of bargaining power off Kiwi workers by extending the fire at will law. And we do know is they cut the company tax rate another two percent at the same time. And we do know is they’re planning to cut into the incomes of working families and graduate students to pay for the Christchurch earthquake at a time when tax for the rich is lower than it has been since the second world war. And we do know is Bill English and John Key are talking about cuts to welfare and education at the same time as they’re pocketing tens of thousands of dollars in personal tax cuts.

It’s not a class war. It’s a class massacre.

61 comments on “A class massacre ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Someone said to me last week that this environment should be one that Labour and the Left in general should be romping ahead in, and crucifying National and Act on. But its not happening.

    Poverty in what should be a rich country like NZ is appalling. We desperately need a circuit breaker.

    • Jim Nald 1.1

      John Key’s National Govt:
      Dying to be in New Zealand

    • Jum 1.2

      Colonial Viper

      Whatever Labour decides on it had better be the opposite of the crippling (only for the beneficiaries, workers and the families of both of course) decisions this government have made.

      New Party President – looks sound – new ideas, new thinking. Less head butting now Andrew Little has gone off to campaign. I’m feeling even more positive.

    • Bill 1.3

      Maybe the parliamentary left is just crap?

      Heard Goff on the radio yesterday (week in politics) claiming (I’m paraphrasing) ‘there is an old saying that opposition parties don’t win elections; ruling parties lose them’. And then he bleated on about Labour not getting its message across. (Implied the media was to blame.)

      He had a few other ‘old sayings’…wee chestnuts they were (no they weren’t)….that he brought to bear on matters under discussion.

      The guy’s useless. Out of touch. Irrelevent. ( I was really trying to listen, but dozed off half way through one of his ‘chewing gum for the brain’ rambles.) He’s not articulating the simple concerns of the working class and so is no champion of the working class. Is it really the Labour Party’s latest cunning strategy to spout the grinning wisdom of old sayings in lieu of policies? ‘Cause it sounded that way to me.

      I wish he’d live up to his name and just Ph Goff.

      .

      • vto 1.3.1

        I heard that and thought similar. He was completely uninspiring. And he kept talking and talking about Darren bloody Hughes. Answered all the question like a good boy rather than try talking about important things. At one stage he managed to get to talk about what he wants to talk about, though failed to talk about those things completely (good grief!), and just as I was beginning to expire with exasperation, he referred the entire ramble back to the Darren bloody Hughes saga again, entirely of his own accord no less!

        The entire interview was empty and it certainly felt like he has been glued to the wellington super-duper-beltway thing and has no idea. Lost in the woods. It was absolutely terrible.

        • ChrisH 1.3.1.1

          Phil always sounds reasonable in the electronic media, which is a virtue in a leader in many ways. After all it doesn’t seem to have done National any harm to have nice old John Key in charge. But of course there has to be more than that when you are in opposition and I wonder whether the problem is not so much Goff, as the Goffice. US political activist James Carville once said that the opposition leader has to have a certain dignity but at the same time, the leader has to keep a sort of mutt handy, someone who gets up every morning and thinks, what info can I slip the leader today that is really going to do over the Govt? Maybe if Goff had a mutt at his right hand side he might be more effective, nothwithstanding his niceness? I nominate Matt McCarten, who’s said much the same sort of thing as Carville lately.
          As for the bit about govts losing elections, OMG, I think that was something political scientist Bob Chapman came up with back in the Holyoake years, and years and years. Which puts Goff roughly where Arnold Nordmeyer was in 1963. Our only hope is that the Greens and NZF do the mutt job and pick up enough votes under our MMP system to establish a winning popular front.

          • ChrisH 1.3.1.1.1

            To continue – the completely passive, wait for the Govt to lose approach worked for John Key, but that was because Labour was going for a fourth term. Goff cannot expect the same approach to work for him after only one term. He has to unleash the dogs even if he’s not actually the one chewing on Key’s trousers.

  2. Rob 2

    It truly is appalling that we have so many people in poverty now. We are a better country than this, we need to do better.

  3. Tanz 3

    and now cockroaches are on the menu. Could NZ sink any lower? Something is terribly wrong.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Something is terribly wrong.

      Yep, NACT are in power and giving all the wealth to the already rich.

  4. Morgy 4

    Tanz, you can not be blaming that on the government! God you lot a desperate. We have a welfare system here in NZ. NO ONE will go with out if they need the help. What do you think of firstly the parents of said cockroach eater and what about the media……did the family sit in filth and capture as many bugs as they could find for tea?! I don’t think so. The welfare system is there for those who can’t fend for themselves or who need a hand up. I’m sick of hearing about the ‘rich pricks’. I am one of those….and it isn’t my fault.

    • Rob 4.1

      The benefit levels are set at a level where many cannot afford to live. If you read the article you will notice these are people receiving government help already.

      • Morgy 4.1.1

        Then they go back to WINZ and ask for more help. Hardship allowances etc….It\’s not perfect but it is how it is. Bottom line though, they will not let children go without food. I would love to know more about the parents of this kid and their circumstance. Do they smoke? What budgeting process do they have? Do they have SKY TV? Do they drink? Did they choose to use their money on the wrong things? Do they have a vege garden in the back yard? But what we get is a sensational headline that drums up the typical rant.

        • RedLogix 4.1.1.1

          Oh … are these parents the deserving poor in other words? Without actually knowing anything much about their circumstances I’d guess they’re as dysfunctional as hell… and that just throwing more money at them is unlikely to help much. These folk are likely totally broken from years of having the rug pulled out from under them, from being shit-magnets since the day they were born. Fixing this ain’t a middle-class picnic of any kind you and I would recognise.

          But we do know that this dysfunction is precisely the consequence of long-term, multi-generational poverty and inequality.

          Dismissing the fact that the poverty which is cause of their problems is only getting worse… as a sensational headline that drums up the typical rant… is going to help exactly how?

        • Jum 4.1.1.2

          Morgy,

          Liar – Winz do say no if the food grant is over the allotted no. Then those people have to rely on some other social outfit with a box of food to tide them over. Yes the kids are in danger of starving. I would love to hand you over to a budgeter I know who tells horrific stories of the way this government is treating its people. That budgeter would slice and dice your nonsense in seconds flat.

          Everything you mention is provided by those who have wrought havoc on New Zealanders, well globally really:

          smoking – Phillips suing Australia for wanting to have plain packaging on their people killers. rich lobbyists like Hooten and Glenn and the tobacco companies that added cyanide to the cigarettes to tempt and hook people. Killers.
          drinking – we have as Auckland CEO Doug Mackay who took over the reigns of the death by plane teenage life-sucker who introduced lolly water with alcohol in pretty bottles, in an industry run by the wealthy beer barons. Killers
          SkyTV – they have Mainland tv which free to air people can’t get but the NZ taxpayer is paying for, so I discovered from a friend.
          Do they have a vege garden in the back garden; 3 years before NAct gained government vege garden projects were being celebrated in schools. We always had a vege garden, whether we needed one or not, plus fruit trees. Now they’re needed because of the high prices in supermarkets, that other global life-sucker on people’s wallets.

          All of this can be tracked back to one simple selfish act. ‘You’ told every person that unless they were a moneytrader or did unpaid work they were nothing. They were foolish enough to believe you.

        • Deborah Kean 4.1.1.3

          “Then they go back to WINZ and ask for more help. ….Bottom line though, they will not let children go without food. ”
          Er, no, that’s not how it works. I learned just when I went off the DPB, that I could have asked for food grants – 3 a year, I think – but they purposely don’t tell beneficiaries about that, and because I hadn’t known that, sometimes we lived on  Weetbix 3 meals a day! (No, no SKY, no booze etc.)
          As for asking for more help – don’t be absurd! When my brother was temporarily unemployed in the late 90s, and asked for help paying his rent, he was told “move somewhere cheaper”. Luckily, he could – but most people can’t. I’ve had landlords over the years announce a rent rise and then say “you can just ask WINZ for more mon ey, right?” Do all RWNJs believe that’s how it really works?
          Captcha – raised. I raised one and a half kids on the DPB, and heaven only knows how!

          • felix 4.1.1.3.1

            Yeah there are a lot of landlords out there who are essentially subsidised by WINZ.
             
            They’d never admit to being beneficiaries though.

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.3.1.1

              Very true.
               
              The Nat/Lab govt between 1995 and 2008 did more or less use the tax system to subsidise low private sector rents… rather than put the cash into expanding public sector social housing.
               
              The LAQC system that the Nat govt of the 90’s introduced was not so much a tax advantage, as a cash flow smoothing mechanism, made the private provision of low cost rentals far more attractive for ordinary people with relatively small shareholder capital. Thus the private rental sector expanded, while the public sector stagnated.
               
              And of course the banks were happy to go along for the ride, after all they were the ones making the vast majority of money.
               
              Labour saw little reason, nor had much incentive to fiddle with this system. For all the fact that it’s not very pure socialism… it did more or less work. Rents in this country have been very cheap for long time… until of course recently.
               
              Of course anyone who argues for the unwinding of this system, on whatever grounds, still has to face up to the fact that about 30-35% of the population at any one time,  quite legitimately needs rental accomodation. These people have a right to decent, affordable housing.  If you wind back the private provision of this need, then concommitally you are also arguing for an increase in public provision of social housing.
               
              The need for decent housing does not go away.

      • Tanz 4.1.2

        The smile and wave crowd just don’t want to know. Do you have a vegie patch? Many of the poor don’t even have a proper house, let alone a garden…but oh, that’s right, ‘bugger all would starve…’ . Rich ***** really don’t give a monkeys. Smile and Wave has proven that much with his cold-hearted words of late.

        • Morgy 4.1.2.1

          Right on Tanz. What a load shit! So what’s the solution in your world?

          • Tanz 4.1.2.1.1

            No tax cuts for the rich, more tax cuts for the poor, of course! More spending on social services. The money where it is most needed. This makes sense. What is the sense of the wealthy becoming even more monied? Bigger houses and cars while the poor become hungrier? That’s really fair! Nice for the few…

            • penwah 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Tax cuts for the poor?  They pay very little tax so cuts wont be large.  If a large percent of your money is taken off you as a wealthy person to top up wages for the poor and pay for the country’s services – where is the incentive to work your arse off and take the big risks necessary to earn big dollars/invest in business?????     

              The wealthy know they need to pay beyond their share as they have more, but if they are taxed too much they soon work out ways to make it fairer for them (tax avoidance).  They are rich because they are clever after all.

              • Margaret

                No penwah high earners are not cleverer  than the poor they just have no morals and don’t mind ripping off the rest of the taxpayers with tax avoidance.

                Then because the taxpayers with no morals are ripping off the PAYE worker they cannot see any reason to work their hearts out just so the high earner can take more for themselves with tax avoidance, so they go to work and do just what they are paid to do and no more, because there is no incentive to work for the betterment of New Zealand, there is nothing in it for them. – Which is why a National Government in the end will never be successful.

    • Jum 4.2

      Morgy
      What did you do to earn your wealth?

      • Morgy 4.2.1

        worked hard. Come from a home where my solo mum worked 4 jobs to make do. Showed us the way. Didn’t get one qualification from school ’cause I was an idiot and had to work harder than most to where I am today. No hand outs….no easy street…..no silver spoon….just plain hard yakka.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1

          Sounds like bullshit.

          [OK … smells like a pointless flamewar. Jum’s original question was wrong in the first place as there is no realistic way for morgy to give a credible answer here and now without revealing real identities. And that’s definitely against site policy. This would be a good place to gracefully stop…RL]

        • Jasper 4.2.1.2

          By your comment, I’m guessing you must be at least within the 46 – 59 age bracket. The archetypal story of the solo mum working 4 jobs certainly seems to fit.

          Lets see how your situation then, is so vastly different to the situation today. So essentially, we’re comparing the 1960s with the situation as it was in the 1990s and how it is fast becoming the same in 2011.

          1960s / 1990s and 2011

          – free education / only for the rich and those who want a loan denying them the ability to enjoy their discretionary income and buy a house to raise a family

          – wages were relative to the actual cost of living / low wages, high food costs and cost of living, exacerbated by wage increases that are 16% less than inflation in real terms.

          – food was in abundance, relatively cheap and most mothers knew how to cook thanks to the war years in which (your) grandmother would have taught her daughter, your mother, how to cook nutritious meals out of not very much / now… home economics no longer taught in schools, two working parents to make ends meet means noone has the time to cook anymore, hence the proliferation of takeaways, obesity, oh, and a lack of funds because the work fulltime, buy takeaways, reducing discretionary income is a vicious cycle.

          – no qualification from school didn’t matter as jobs were plentiful in your day. You had the option of working in a meat plant, freezing works, manufacturing now / no meat processing plants as they’re all getting outsourced, rural towns are dying, apprenticeships no longer exist, and if you leave school with no qualifications, you’re essentially doomed to work in a low paid retail/hospo job with no real career progression as those industries are deemed to be “useless” to a “productive society”. If you want to escape that cycle.. you need a student loan and so begins that vicious cycle.

          – No hand outs etc / you think anyones getting a handout these days? Benefits no longer cover the cost of the essentials to feed and house a family. With HNZ rents slowly creeping back to market rates, beneficiaries won’t be able to afford paying for the roof over their head.

          – You say you were an idiot at school back then / so today, nothings changed. 🙂

          [I’ve tacked in some para spaces to improve readability. You were doing really, really well until that last sentence…RL]

          • Jasper 4.2.1.2.1

            Thanks RL. I just couldn’t help myself from doing a full deconstruction of the Morgys comment.

          • Jum 4.2.1.2.2

            Jasper,
            I’m glad I asked my ‘wrong’ question; I got a quality answer from you.

          • Morgy 4.2.1.2.3

            Sorry…been away eating a full meal and sipping a lovely pinot…..Nice read Jasper but wrong. I am in my early 40’s and in the middle of all that was a solo father of three after kicking my drugged up ex out. So I too took the hard road in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Again…not one hand up asked for. Re trained myself and paid for it. Sure some do it tough but I know mates who were in the same school as me who have had all the chances I had but chose never to face up to how long life really is and they are still unemployable, disinterested and live in the blame game. Always have the problem sorted but never the solution. Tragic. Sorry mate but in the real world we are out there…..the ones many on the left deny exist….those who have done it tough but have fought like dogs to make sure their kids have something to look up to in terms of a work ethic and value structure……and to add to that, I’m pretty well off thanks. I’ll never be filthy rich but my long term goals are looking solid. There are lots of us out here…..

            • felix 4.2.1.2.3.1

              What’s your story supposed to mean, Morgy?

              Are you saying that people who don’t attain your degree of financial security (presumably some of the people you “fought like dogs” on the way up for example) have only themselves to blame?

              That they’re lazy and you’re not?

              That you’re a better person than them?

              That you work hard and they don’t?

              Tell us the moral, Morgy, I can’t wait.

            • Macro 4.2.1.2.3.2

              No man is an island Morgy. We all depend on others, and in turn others depend upon us. Your future is looking good so you tell us – but just stop for a moment and consider the business couple in Chch that Jasper describes below – maybe not an earthquake – but we never really know what’s around the next corner. I do hope that things continue well for you. I’m just saying that sometimes things do not always go as we plan.
              I’m reasonably well off too. But it doesn’t stop me seeing the injustices of the current income distribution by way of tax breaks for the wealthy, and the dangers of the increasing inequality being perpetuated in this country by an uncaring govt.

    • Paul 4.3

      It’s not your fault you’re rich or it’s not your fault you’re a prick? it’s ambiguous

      • Morgy 4.3.1

        Paul if you are talking to me….it is entirely my fault that I’m ‘rich’…that’s what many don’t get. Whether I am a prick?….probably….just ask my teenage kids !

        • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1

          Paul if you are talking to me….it is entirely my fault that I’m ‘rich’…that’s what many don’t get. Whether I am a prick?….probably….just ask my teenage kids !

          No it’s not entirely your fault.

          That is a false right wing meme.

          An education system taught your workers how to read and write. You use roads and health services paid for by others. A system of law and order means that your business contracts are enforceable. A publicly built power grid powers your offices.

          This whole Masters of the Universe meme “I did it all myself” is just rubbish.

          • Carol 4.3.1.1.1

            Plus the whole idea that getting filthy rich is somehow a measure of success… many of us work hard to achieve other aims, while ensuring we earn enough to survive. What’s the big deal about being rich?

          • Morgy 4.3.1.1.2

            You need to get out more. None of what you talked about got me out of bed and motivated me to rise above the mediocre. That post is crap CV.

            • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1.2.1

              Face it mate you ain’t no Master of the Universe, Morgy. You ain’t no self-made man. For starters, it takes a woman to give birth to a man. And it takes a community to take him from being a boy to a man.
               
              “motivated me to rise above the mediocre”
               
              What’s your middle name again? Gecko?
               
               

              • morgy

                You are a funny CV. Fucked in the head but funny. Enjoy your alternate world. How do people like you cope in this world…….funny….truly odd.

                • felix

                  Same way people like you do Morgy – by enjoying the advantages and privileges that our civil society offers.
                   
                  The difference is that we’re not too arrogant to see it.

  5. Bill 5

    Wonder if something is in the offing with the thousands in Christchurch (20 000?) who are about to be introduced to the wonders of being on a benefit?

    I’d like to think it will kick start a discussion on the derisory levels of benefits. The prospect of a means tested benefit worth about $300 per week ‘for the foreseeable’ being visited upon people…a fair number of who may well be generally articulate, confident when confronting buraucracy, used to fighting it on it’s own terms and able to gain traction/sympathy in the public eye has to have potential.

    Maybe then the culture that marks the beneficiary as a ne’er dae weel bludger who is rightfully shat upon by all and sundry will finally be put to rest?

    • Paul 5.1

      The welfare state arose in response to the vast proportion of society experiencing poverty and the undeniable reality of its structural causes. Sure, some people are lazy and terrible parents, but that’s no reason to deny them of the necessities of life.

      It would make much more sense the ensure benefits were enough to sustain life and then to deal with people’s negative behaviour, rather than making it hard for them to make ends meet in the best of times.

      • felix 5.1.1

        Well said Paul.

        How many here realise that when Ruth Richardson became finance minister, she researched how much per week a person needed to feed, clothe, and house themselves and then set benefits at 20% less than that?

        And that benefits today are still at this level in real terms?

        Think about that. You’re always 20% short of a basic balanced diet, warm clothes and shelter. You can push that around a bit but you can never have all three at the same time. If you’re lucky enough to find a bit of work to make those ends meet, you’re taxed at nearly 3 times the top rate that rich people pay.

        How many of the serial bleaters of the right can even imagine living with that type of pressure just to survive, to chose whether to feed your kids properly or clothe them properly because you can’t do both at the same time, and then to be labelled a bludger at every turn?

        And they wonder why people fuck up and make bad decisions.

        • RedLogix 5.1.1.1

          and then to be labelled a bludger at every turn?

          And if we know nothing about human psychology it is that we are exquisitely sensitive to two things; the expectations of others and the steepness of the social gradient we live in.

          We also know that chronically stressed people almost invariably develop dysfunctions like addictions, paranoias, personality disorders …fuck up behaviours that we then blame the victim for.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            And if they get bad enough we can always throw them into a double bunked private prison and wait for their mental condition to deteriorate further before we release them into the community again.

            Whoever thought all this up was brilliant.

      • Jum 5.1.2

        I guess, Paul, when you have a government led by a moneytrader who produced nothing more than paper for those who didn’t need it, and with a finance minister who cheats the public in his private life and gives favours to others, such as $4m to a pacific company with no financial case, and with so many people in this country with a job lording it over others without one or surviving in difficult circumstances what can we expect?

        When solo parents looking after children are forced to survive on Richardson’s punishment money what can we expect, but social fallout.

        When so many people put value on paid work and none on unpaid work what can we expect. And in New Zealand too – this country is really starting to become America and we know what America worships and it aint people.

    • Jasper 5.2

      People in Christchurch will realise that they won’t get very far at all

      I have friends who no longer have their jobs as their employers have decided to shut the doors.They have a mortgage of $400,000 where the house and land are now virtually worthless, so they won’t be able to sell up.

      Insurance will eventually cover it, but in the meantime they have to continue paying their mortgage which is around $1600 p/f. With only the Unemployment B at $335 for a couple, and the derisory “Individual Support Payment” of $160 between the two of them, there’s no way they’re able to pay the mortgage, pay the bills, buy food, get petrol, cover medical fees, pay for telephone access or any of the other “luxuries” as they are now viewing them as.

      How many others will be in this situation? EQC and the private insurers are still battling it out over how to view the 22/02 quake, notwithstanding it’s on a separate fault. Private insurers want it as an “aftershock” which will mean they won’t have to pay out on insurance if people who claimed after September 4 for minimal damage, laid a claim for total loss after Feb 22.

      So, I do hope you’re right Bill. Will this be the wakeup of the masses that this country has been missing since 1981?

    • Deadly_NZ 5.3

      And then wait for the ‘real’ benefits cut in , not the padded benefits they are getting now, then the real shock cuts in.  And they like anyone else facing the complete collapse of their lifestyle not because of the earthquake, but because of the complete incompetence of the clowns in charge.

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.1

        Talking to my mates in Oz, it’s clear that NZ has been going down the wrong track for 30 years now. Yes, the NATs are shit, but the fact of the matter is that they are only the latest in a long line.
        Fortunately there is time to turn things around, but it can’t be a half hearted effort now. Fundamental change has got to occur, and I’m not talking about raising the minimum wage by a dollar or moving Government banking to KiwiBank. Serious bloody change please so that every NZ’er young and old can live a more positive, more opportunity filled, less distressed life.

        • JD 5.3.1.1

          So does mean you you support the mining of the Coromandal because that is where a lot of Australia’s wealth comes from?

          • felix 5.3.1.1.1

            And letting the Aussie mining companies have Coromandel too, that’s your plan to “catch up”.
             
            Brilliand JD, just brilliant.

  6. Well we are self employed and the phone stopped ringing way last year when the credit crisis started, I guess Morgay and John Key would say that was our fault for choosing that lifestyle.

    I do not beleive these people who bloat about doing everything themselves, I know someone who chucked their partner out as soon as Helen Clarke agreed to pay full university costs for solo parents to become teachers – guess what that same person bleats on about how famously they have done “all by themselves”, not one mention of welfare paying the rent, feeding the kids, giving them the university degree to say “look what I did all by myself” but it sounds good. Incidentally today they are one of John Keys favoured few and looks down on welfare beneficiaries with the air of someone who  is just so much better than any of them.

  7. Marjorie Dawe 7

    I think I’ve heard of that person too Margaret.  How quickly some forget their roots and where they came from eh.
    Why do we measure success by how rich we are?  Shouldnt health and happiness fit in there somewhere as well.  My job doesnt pay a lot but it is extremely satisfying and I feel privileged to help those who cant help themselves. 
    Ultimately, it should be enough to get a decent living wage and to have respectful bosses.  Instead we are forced to subsidise employers by topping up incomes for those who cannot afford to feed their kids or find a home with reasonable rent.  
    I call this corporate welfare and this particular group of beneficiaries think its ok to pay peanuts and forget who is making the money for them. They also dont mind beating up on the poor who they say make bad choices.

  8. penwah 8


    My reply Felix

    He is saying he is self accountable 

    To answer your questions, people who dont attain Morgys level of financial security only have themselves to blame – who else can they blame????????  Everyone has set backs but overall the fruits of your labour will show.

    From my point of view, looking at those who work for us compared to us as business owners (who like Morgy did it off our own backs, lots of disadvantages: kicked out of school, parents died when teenager, mainly financial tough times etc):

    They are not lazy, but they definately have an easier life than us.  They are not stressed out on a monthly basis by banks, by financial liabilities, IRD, Department of labour, customers and employee demands, eternal meetings, never being able to switch off….They are not on call 24/7, they are not responsible for everyones wages.  They dont have as much on the line – if work fails for us we lose our house – they walk away.

    Being a better person has nothing to do with financial security unless you compare the extremes, ie blugger on society with nothing to contribute versus a wealthy philanthropist.

    They work really hard, but by no stretch of the imagination as hard as we do – and they would be first to admit it because we led from the shop floor.

    The moral is, those that have, have to contribute a higher amount of tax to the pool to look after the country.  But it has to be fair, it is their money after all, not the Country’s.   There has to be incentives out there.  High top tax rates are disincentives and dont stimulate the economy.


     

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