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Social investment meets the surveillance state

Written By: - Date published: 11:14 pm, March 4th, 2017 - 45 comments

First they came for the budgeting services. Now we know that every social service agency  has to provide clients’ private personal data to the Ministry of Social Development or get no funding. Apparently it’s  essential to Bill English’s much-touted and little understood “social investment” strategy, which is sounding more like something out of Orwell’s 1984. […]

Treat her right

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, February 16th, 2017 - 34 comments

The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1972. It’s now 2017 and it’s never been enforced. It’s time to ‘Treat Her Right’.

“We’re no longer citizens, we’re customers”

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, September 23rd, 2016 - 31 comments

Ann Pettifor, in New Zealand for lectures on the state of the financial world, talks to Nine-to-Noon about the most pressing problems.  Worth a listen.

‘Living Rent’ and other UK stories

Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, September 8th, 2016 - 4 comments

A Tory think tank proposes a massive house-building plan, with a ‘Living Rent’ to make it affordable; and Nick Clegg lifts the lid on the Tories in the last government.

It Feels Kinda Half Baked.

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, May 13th, 2016 - 26 comments

Maybe you didn’t hear that this week is NZ sign language week…

the Global Death Economy

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, February 25th, 2016 - 141 comments

A new edition of “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” has been released. It makes it clear that we are in the grip of a global “Death Economy” and a collective embrace of ‘Thanatos’, the death instinct.

The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED)

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 27th, 2016 - 76 comments

How many more lies will John Key tell today in his so-called State of the Nation address? Virtual chocolate fish to whomever guesses the closest number.

Another attempt to minimise the significance of poverty

Written By: - Date published: 7:06 am, January 21st, 2016 - 164 comments

A piece yesterday foreshadows a report on poverty from right-wing lobby group “The New Zealand Initiative”. It’s (surprise!) another attempt to minimise the significance of poverty in NZ – and it’s another big distraction…

Building a mass movement

Written By: - Date published: 3:13 pm, January 19th, 2016 - 58 comments

Republished by request, and permission from Stephanie Rodgers at Boots Theory

[Content note: mentions of transphobia, sexual violence and violence against people of colour]

Labour, identity, class and winning

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, November 9th, 2015 - 54 comments

The question of identity politics and Labour’s direction just never go away. But maybe we’re just thinking about it all wrong.

Briefing Papers: Refugees and inequality

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, October 13th, 2015 - 9 comments

Briefing Papers have been busy recently, check out some recent articles. How long can wealth keep sucking up before a society breaks down completely?

Making Like Private Frazer

Written By: - Date published: 1:20 pm, September 14th, 2015 - 20 comments

Political awakenings.

MSD household incomes report

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, August 18th, 2015 - 7 comments

While we devote acres of pixels to flag distractions and “celebrity” nonsense, the health of the nation goes largely unremarked. Was there any MSM coverage of the latest Ministry of Social Development report – Household Incomes in New Zealand: trends in indicators of inequality and hardship 1982 to 2014?

The modern precariat and the Unconditional Basic Income

Written By: - Date published: 2:09 pm, August 2nd, 2015 - 127 comments

A UBI would allow ordinary people to shift their daily focus from doing paid jobs making money for others, to doing useful work of their own choice, under their own control.

Youth rates and youth employment

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, June 29th, 2015 - 43 comments

Remember how National’s youth rates were going to raise levels of youth employment? Turns out not so much.

The myth of “Retirement Savings”

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, June 9th, 2015 - 101 comments

Advocates of Kiwisaver and other funded “retirement savings” schemes perpetuate the fundamental misunderstanding that “conventional” in New Zealand’s case “neo-liberal” economists, speculators, finance companies, politicians and those with a lot of share holding wealth in non-productive enterprises like to perpetuate.

ILO – 75% of world jobs insecure

Written By: - Date published: 12:44 pm, May 20th, 2015 - 8 comments

Only a quarter of the world’s workers have permanent jobs. A worldwide trend away from secure jobs risked “perpetuating a vicious circle of weak global demand and slow job creation” that has dogged many countries since the 2008 crisis, the ILO reports. Decoupling of wages from productivity has led to a loss of aggregate demand the report estimates at $3.7trillion.

Welcome to Wealth Gap Tower

Written By: - Date published: 3:52 pm, April 24th, 2015 - 452 comments

A great illustration of the gap between money-rich and money-poor in NZ.

The “Brighter future”.

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, March 21st, 2015 - 34 comments

Labour, in 1984, with Richard Prebble and Roger Douglas, promised that if we adopted their prescription we would have a “Brighter Future”. Ruth Richardson in the 90’s promised a “Brighter Future”. Again in 2014 John Key’s National promises a “Brighter Future”.

A “Brighter Future”. For whom?

 

Helen Clark’s statement on International Women’s Day

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, March 8th, 2015 - 64 comments

“International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.”

The Enduring Legacy of Neo-Liberalism – Sir Edmund Thomas

Written By: - Date published: 4:25 pm, February 10th, 2015 - 6 comments

Sir Edmund Thomas will discuss this topic in Wellington at Connolly Hall, Guildford Terrace,  tomorrow Wednesday 11th at 5:30pm. All welcome – see synopsis – if you would like to come please register here.

The Northland by-election

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, January 30th, 2015 - 162 comments

A by-election is imminent – so how does Labour win in a safe National seat?

Songs for the New Year – summertime!

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, January 1st, 2015 - 35 comments

Happy New Year! Some songs for the times.

‘Ditch the [misleading] rhetoric’

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, December 12th, 2014 - 16 comments

On RNZ this morning PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff criticised Bill English for his misleading rhetoric about rises in “average wages”.  NZ’s income and wealth gaps have increased in recent decades.  The lowest income remain low; the top earners get big salary increases.

Opposition to Nats’ attack grows

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, October 25th, 2014 - 79 comments

Labour’s petition against National’s attack on Kiwi’s rights including the right to a break at work is growing like topsy with over 22,000 people signing up to it in the last day and a half.

Unaffordable housing & the culture of greed

Written By: - Date published: 11:17 am, October 4th, 2014 - 42 comments

Rental housing remains unaffordable for many.  The problem is the greed of investors & speculators,  supported by a culture in which housing investment is seen as a way to individual prosperity.

My morning thoughts on the night before

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, September 21st, 2014 - 34 comments

It will take a flax roots, bottom-up, community-based movement to rebuild democracy and a fair, caring and sustainable society.

The tweets are alive….

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, September 19th, 2014 - 5 comments

… with pre-election day fervour. It’s an election that’s going down to the wire.  The energy is there for the left to keep talking to people, and to encourage as many as possible to get out and vote. It’s Suffrage Day – reporting via the telegraph in 1893 to the internet today. On-going updates

Greens buoyant

Written By: - Date published: 5:53 pm, September 18th, 2014 - 14 comments

John Key & National’s empty facade – its lack of vision for NZ – has been exposed. Opposition parties have continued to campaign positively, focusing on people, fairness, & the environment. [Update] NZ Herald video

For a better way…

Written By: - Date published: 4:53 pm, August 30th, 2014 - 10 comments

The NACT way is Not Our Way. We need a better way of governance and democracy.  One that is for all the people. I joined the hardy souls who went to the Not Our Way rally and march in Auckland.

Roads ‘n’ rules

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, August 12th, 2014 - 20 comments

The Kumeu candidates debate last night covered topics ranging from the very local, to the global: local roads and round-a-bouts, through the internet, poverty, health, jobs and education, to climate change, the TPPA, and the GCSB. Roads and rules were a recurring theme. [updated: stuff video; links to Green Party speeches]

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