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Do poor people and women exist in right wing economics land?

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, August 13th, 2019 - 125 comments
Categories: david seymour, Dr Deborah Russell, economy, housing, spin, taxpayers union, uncategorized, unemployment, workers' rights, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

The Taxpayer’s Union (not a real union) has had some fun recently and bought multiple copies of Henry Hazlitt’s book “Economics in one lesson”.  They then delivered copies to each MP in a brown paper bag.  I am not sure why they chose this particular mode of delivery, but in the past the transportation of literature in a brown paper back was associated with the distribution of pornography.  Perhaps the Taxpayer’s Union thought there was something slightly kinky about the book.

My very talented local MP Deborah Russell wrote this book review.  She tore some of the ideas presented to pieces.  Like this claim that an increase in rent will cause tenants to reduce the size of the area they are renting:

If someone is living in a car, how much ‘less space’ can they consume? And does it even matter if tenants end up occupying no space whatsoever? Hazlitt seems not to care about such niceties.

Or this claim about the effect of excessive union power and minimum employment standards on unemployment:

Hazlitt, on the real cause of unemployment: ‘Excessive union wage-rates, minimum wage laws, excessive and prolonged unemployment insurance, and over generous relief payments.’ Never mind that they might ensure people can at least feed their children, or that much historical evidence contradicts him, such as mass unemployment and deprivation in the Great Depression having been directly caused by the unwinding of a market-driven speculative bubble.

This exclusion of human concerns, like having food to eat and a place to sleep, is the problem that besets this text. 

Or this on the role of women:

But, gentle reader, the biggest fault I found in the book was the near total absence of women. I counted nine uses of the word ‘women’. It appeared six times in the phrase, ‘men and women’ and once in a references to ‘men’s and women’s overcoats’ …

Tellingly, the women in Hazlitt’s book are never economic agents in their own right, unlike men who function as manufacturers, consumers, farmers, exporters, taxpayers, soldiers, public servants: in short, if there’s an active role to be filled, it is performed by men.

Hazlitt has no concept of the work that women do, either in the paid economy or the unpaid economy. Money is the only measure of value, and that means women’s unpaid work is simply not there.

Well, the book was published a long time ago. But by the time Hazlitt published his third edition, in 1979, he’d been able to update the book by incorporating television into his examples. But not women. The exclusion of women and women’s work is perhaps the greatest economic fallacy of all.


This spurred David Seymour into writing a response.  One where he somehow concludes that Deborah wrote in support of Hazlitt’s ideas.

He starts off with a naff attack on Deborah for not selling as many books as Hazlitt.

He then castigates her for her comment about increasing rents and says:

It’s kind to offer low rents, but if it means long-term tenants remain rattling around in Housing New Zealand stock that’s too large for them, and other families miss out, then are people better off over all?

So the housing crisis has been caused by Housing Corp tenants wanting to stay in their homes for too long, and not by the last Government’s malicious indifference?

Hazlitt was talking about rent control in general and not about Housing Corp rent policies in particular so the criticism is not warranted.  And Seymour seems to be willing to tolerate a situation where people with jobs and kids are living in cars because the market says their rental shall be higher and their wages lower.

As to Deborah’s point about the absence of women from the text Seymour agrees and describes this absence as being cringey yet still thinks the book has “powerful simplicity”.  Simple yes, powerful no way.

To read Deborah’s review and then claim that it was somehow supportive of an ultra right economic model is laughable and shows as much comprehension as real world understanding and compassion.

125 comments on “Do poor people and women exist in right wing economics land? ”

  1. Gosman 1

    I think you failed to grasp the idea around rent controls as badly as Deborah Russell did. People are not able to afford houses (rent or mortgage costs) because there is not enough supply. The main causes of that is not enough land being made available to build on, not enough high density houses being built, and not enough rental properties of the right size. Government policy (central and local) is at the heart of each one of these.

    Ultimately your critique of Deavid Seymour’s review us just a rehash of Deborah Russell’s review. You haven’t really addressed any of the points he raised.

    [lprent: There is a reason for that.

    It sounds like Seymour didn’t address the point that Russell made. He talked past her and ignored completely what she actually said. . The only women’s work addressed in his ‘reply’ was that of Deborah Russell and a brief prayer to the ghost of the over-rated Ayn Rand.

    Perhaps you should address the point of this post and try not to reprise the misogyny of the false gods beneath which you cringe. The idea is to argue what you think, not to parrot the ideas of others. ]

    • Molly 1.1

      As you began to point out Gosman, there are multiple causes for the housing crisis, but you failed to continue past your simplistic and neoliberal talking points:

      1. Landsupply is also restricted by landbankers and developers who are sitting on residentially zoned land, or releasing it only in tranches because that is the most profitable, especially when land is in short supply.

      2. Taxation and investment policies have encouraged NZers and overseas investors to use property – particularly residential properties and flipping as a means to accumulate capital. These individual gains have externalities borne by communities both locally and nationally.

      3. Similar policies and failure to address landbanking or houses kept empty intentionally, also restrict supply of housing.

      4. Reduction in Housing NZ stock availability along with a reduction in access to existing stock, has increased the hardship of many.

      5. We have inadequate data on the increase in household income vs the increase in housing costs, having only the small sample of the Housing Economic Survey to report on. Even this has average housing costs rising 43% while average household incomes rising 41%. But this ignores the reality of the uneven distribution that is contributing towards growing inequality. Those households that have incomes that rose higher and faster, are those more likely to be owner/occupiers and they often have lower housing costs than renters. Those whose incomes did not rise as much, will often incur greater increases in housing costs at the same time, putting them at greater financial stress.

      6. National government and local government policy has no coherent strategy towards considered planning, and attempts to do so will result in a pushback that is typical for attempts at regulatory control. This would be a great move, but the Overton window – in this respect – is not currently open.

    • Blazer 1.2

      NZ has a similar land area to Britain which houses over 60 million.So no shortage there.

      Demand has been ramped up in the last decade by foreign buyers,money launderers,those looking for a bolt hole,investors with nowhere else to go…all predicated by neo-liberalism that culminated in the GFC.

      NZ'ers have become tenants in their own country, because Govts are too scared to upset the property owning, voting faction.

      Levies on empty housing,land tax on un utilised land,more state housing ,some R.MA reform can help address the issue.

      Foreign buyer ban(only 3% of buyers were foreigners!)is affecting prices.

      Low interest rates punish those saving and accommodation supplement of around 2.5 billion goes into landlords pockets.

      Govt needs to take control of a programme of affordable housing,even rent to own options and partnerships with tenants.

      • Dukeofurl 1.2.1

        "Foreign buyer ban(only 3% of buyers were foreigners!)is affecting prices."

        Thats rubbish. Fisrt you have to take out of the mix 1/3 of 'sales' that are really related party transactions – divorces, estates, family trust transactions etc.

        The other point is foreign sales were highly concentrated in Auckland and Queenstown.

        And also consider how the market moves, 5% more buyers than sellers a rising market, 5% less a falling market.

      • Gosman 1.2.2

        No matter how much assistance the Government provides people to buy property they won't make a dent in the housing market towards affordability unless they sort out the supply side of the equation. Your solutions are all on the demand side.

        • woodart

          well, your favourite sons sold out many cheap houses to bulk owners, so dont look anywhere but behind you for fault. supply side, kiwibuild isnt fantastic, but bloody sight better than anything your mob has come up with. you should either(a) shut the phuck up because you dont have any solutions, or (b) get out with a hammer, and build some cheap houses. so whats it to be?

          • Gosman

            Ummm… yes I have a solution. Make it easier to build houses.

            • woodart

              get off your arse and get out into real world. very easy to build houses. unfortunatley land wankers, sorry bankers, have made land unaffordable. friend has had a tiny house built for 40,000 thou, not a prob, unfortunatley ,your mates have made the cost of land outrageous. got nothing to do with rma, its all to do with land wanking, er banking.

            • Tricledrown

              But your side want speculation so are deliberately creating the ponzi airplane scheme.

              [New e-mail address?]

              • Gosman

                If it is easy to build houses there will be less reason to speculate in the housing market.

      • Gabby 1.2.3

        What is the point of tipping money into rent to own? Ensuring that when the work dries up, you're stuck in a house you owe money on.

        • Blazer

          Lower income people on rent to own,could be a better use of the 2.5 billion accommodation supplement currently going to landlords.

          When work dries up,you still need to live somewhere!

    • Sacha 1.3

      People are not able to afford houses (rent or mortgage costs) because there is not enough supply. The main causes of that is not enough land being made available to build on, not enough high density houses being built, and not enough rental properties of the right size.

      NZ has created a market in housing as a financial investment. Supply of investment units is the problem, not supply of homes to live in.

      The main cause is financialisation of a key resource and economic settings that encourage flows of money from all around the world into a limited pool of assets, and fixation on housing types related to the economic value (eg: McMansions) rather than what dwellers actually need.

      But sure, encouraging sprawling suburbs will fix all that.

    • Gosman 1.4

      He did address Deborah Russell’s critique. He stated that she missed the point if she focused on some guy born in the 19th Century not mentioning women enough in relation to work and the fact that people are sleeping in cars is not as a result of Rents rising as much as Government inaction leading to people occupying houses that are too big for their needs.

      • lprent 1.4.1

        It wasn't her critique of the position on the dimwit economist. It appears to have been in my view that sending the views of a person born in the 19th century and written in a book in the year I was born to MPs really just shows how much relevance the 'taxpayers union' (a lobby group for elitists) has.

        It is a group lost in the wilderness of the 20th century. Misogynist, unable to focus beyond their self-selected elite group, and full of economics that has only worked to increase the disparity between the excessively rich and the excessively poor.

        It appears to have been a critique that neither you, nor the puppet from Act seem to have been able to see. Instead both of you have selected to not address the argument that Deborah raised, but instead chose to look past her (and the whole of womankind like some bitter over-aged incel) and parrot the 19th century views of Hazlitt without dealing with any of her specific criticisms.

        Such men of traditional faith – with your heads firmly lodged up your own arseholes..

    • Nic the NZer 1.5

      This notion that economics (and markets) is based on supply and demand analysis is complete fiction. Even in theory a legally unconstrained market does not reach a stable equilibrium state where the prices deliver pareto efficient tradeoffs. In practice targeting an unconstrained market state typically leads to market failure (instead of good outcomes).

      The upshot of this is that there doesn't exist a primaface ideal set of market regulations. Markets should be regulated more (or less) depending on the quality of resulting outcomes and this is the only criteria for which regulations should be enacted and modified by the legal aparatus. That goes for subsidies and price controls too.

      As Russell highlights this book presents a completely unfit model of the economy (as if it contains reasonable descriptive meaning) and asking representatives to apply it asks them to act as law makers based on an incoherent set of beliefs.

      • Phil 1.5.1

        a legally unconstrained market does not reach a stable equilibrium state where the prices deliver pareto efficient tradeoffs. In practice targeting an unconstrained market state typically leads to market failure

        The global currency market represents probably the closest thing we have to a theoretically 'perfect' free market (high numbers of willing buyers and sellers, limited market power to any one individual, instantaneous information distribution etc) and does a pretty good job of clearing without failure.

        • Poission

          So when the willing buyers,become determined sellers following the signalling of a centre left government,the currency crashes 30% ,the sharemarket by a similar rate ,is that market messaging to the electorate?


        • Nic the NZer

          So by clearing you mean all sellers and all buyers can always make a trade in currency markets? I dont think even your ideal example meets your own definition of success.

          Also, even if you have one (you dont) example its clearly not an example which generalises. Also (as shown by theory) when your markets start interacting to cause some actors incomes to overlap other actors prices then 'anything goes' so this theory cant actually be applied to macro economics.

    • jeremyB 1.6

      People are not able to afford houses (rent or mortgage costs) because there is not enough supply of affordable housing.

      Fixed it for you.

    • A 1.7

      No, we have an over supply of housing. BUT people cannot afford the housing. Greed is the issue here and it isn't being helped with 2 billion a year in subsidies.

    • Ngungukai 1.8

      Gossie the main problem is the lenders are not lending to fund building activity unless you have a large deposit and good cash flows.

      Key, the Natzi's, Asian Buying and the Aussie Banks have cooked the Auckland Market IMHO ?

  2. John Clover 2

    A sensible man waits until he has the income to support a family before starting one,

    • Hi, John. The fifties called, they'd like their pipe and slippers back.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        I was about to make a much more caustic comment. But that is an excellent expression of what I thought.

        Plus I did notice his trailing comma, and was steeling myself to a less exuberant response. One should always be kind to the technophobes who can’t paste properly.

      • Macro 2.1.2

        laugh and where is my dinner!

      • greywarshark 2.1.3

        John C

        That's a good idea. And as so few will ever be able to get that income, it will solve our population issue, and also cut our natural drives into little pieces that will fly around and settle in uncomfortable places – already happening I think.

        Perhaps we are going through a giant psychological and physiological experiment influenced by the tension and stress of constant change and a crumbling culture that operates in dysfunctional ways behind the semblance of continuity of the recent past.

        Sort of like building a railway to port large items over new territory – the tracks are laid ahead of the loco and railway wagons, pulled up behind it and speedily transported to the front and laid again again. I think I have arrived at my answer in a circular way, to your idea – loco.

        • cleangreen


          its either that, or get the 'money printing machijnes' out again like all our trade partners have done already.

      • greywarshark 2.1.4

        Hi trp The cold winter got you inside with your pipe, slippers and computer and us! Cheers.

    • Blazer 2.2

      Good thinking John.Only the rich should be able to reproduce.

      • AB 2.2.1

        Quite so – it will result in a better class of slipper fetchers.

        • alwyn

          Everyone is entitled to a top class slipper fetcher.

          Mine is a truly admirable bitch who absolutely adores carrying out this task for me.

          Meet Nana, our families' truly wonderful Newfoundland.

          • woodart

            I have a female cat called brian, about as useless as the original brian, not a messiah, and not even a boy. .like wealth trickling down, a complete hoax.

            • greywarshark

              That sounds like unconditional love woodart. It's rare to come across, and I think animals tend to bring it out in us.

      • William 2.2.2

        It's useful to think of that idea as financial eugenics.

      • John Clover 2.2.3

        Blazer —-Better would be " only the responsible should be able to reproduce "

        • Blazer

          Yes and only the 'responsible' should have ICBM's….and so ..on.

          • John Clover


          • lprent

            only the ‘responsible’ should have ICBM’s

            Pity that is clearly false.

            Currently the insanity pair, Trump and Johnson have nominal control of a high proportion.

            (I bet that the Reagan protocols are in force on both – there is the dummy code for testing that they know…)

            • Nic the NZer

              I learned quite recently that missile command considered implementing centralised launch authority to be highly problematic for fighting a nuclear war. As a result until the late seventies the actual launch ability was completely decentralised to many launch sites. Apparently 3 people in a launch site could have cooperated to kick off ww3 at the time. It wouldn't be that surprising if the central launch controls are really just attached to a go light or go lights at all times anyway.

            • Blazer

              Clearly my post was tongue in cheek..hence the '.

            • greywarshark

              Did anyone see the comment I put up about the doco Werner Herzog made called 'Meeting Gorbachev'? He had some interesting things to say about the nuclear imperative etc

    • Hard Times 2.3

      I'm closing on 64, never married. Never had much money and did not want the stress of family with so much uncertanty. Now recovering from prostate cancer and wishing I had family.

      There is more to life than money. We need an economic balance that reflects this. Our economy and politicians simply wants to shovel more money and more money into the hands of the rich – no future in that

      • cleangreen 2.3.1

        Agreed with you there HT,

        I am like you as I am 10yrs older but was doing well until 47 and I got chemically poisoned on a job in Canada and still with a wife and family back home in NZ but have been treading water going backwards since the accident, so we are together in the same boat now. at 75 this month.

    • Craig H 2.4

      Maybe, but society has a vested interest in people having children, so should assist in paying for it whether via direct support or in providing a macroeconomic system that makes it viable.

    • infused 2.5

      that's gone.

      • I want it and I want it now
      • the govt should pay
      • another child? no worries, more govt money
      • I need a house, come on govt

      meanwhile, people with pretty moderate salaries get fucked over.

      when the next recession hits, fuck it's going to hit this country hard.

  3. Seymour is a fucking idiot if he thinks the private property market is efficient at matching supply to demand.

    • Gosman 3.1

      He didn't state it was efficient. He just stated it was better at doing that than the State. The current mess with Kiwibuild was used to illustrate his point. Do you disagree that Kiwibuild is a mess?

      • lprent 3.1.1

        Not particularly. Anyone with any sense or history (something you appear to lack) knows that moving the construction industry takes quite a lot of time. For instance the true increase in housing in the 1930s and 40s didn't happen immediately after 1935. It was still pretty nascent by 1939. Stalled by the war labour shortages it didn't hit its full production until after the war.

        National should know this better than anyone. After all they came into power in 2008 with some pretty specific promises to increase housing supply to reduce prices which they asserted were crucial to reduce the rate of increase and were harming the economy.

        They spent the following 7 years not helping to increase the supply to match population growth. A few bits of helpless hand-waving along with a vastly increased nett immigration rate didn't seem to inspire the 'free market' to do anything worth mentioning. About their only real attempt was when Act and they fucked up the changes to the Auckland super-shitty – the main housing population – and therefore drastically slowed construction there. The same brilliant minds that enriched lawyers with construction deregulation in the 1990s to produce a generation of shoddily built leaky buildings.

        However when their focus group polling started to tell them that they were losing support as house prices rose beyond Auckland, they finally started to say (just as they had in 2008) that there might be a problem with housing prices…

        Personally I'd say that history has clearly shown the market has shown it hasn't been capable of providing affordable housing, but the state has. I'd also say that it has shown many times that deregulation of the construction industry produces shoddy inadequate housing and high total housing prices once you factor in the subsequent legal costs like I had to.

        And finally that you are full of ignorant bullshit that is far more based on blind faith than reality…

        • Gosman

          The State has never provided affordable houses for sale in NZ as far as I am aware. It has attempted to do so in the rental market.

          • Poission

            The large expansion of the full housing program of the 1950's is a historical fact.It was implemented under a national gvt and continued under labour.

            The target of 206000 houses (over 10 years) was readily accomplished under a period of full employment.

            The number of new houses and flats constructed each year has approximately doubled since the pre-war period, and reached a peak of 19,200 for each of the years ended 31 March 1956 and 31 March 1957. This rate of house building in relation to population is higher than in most countries. Over 80 per cent of the houses built at present are for private home ownership.

            There was a fairly rapid expansion in house building from 1945 to 1951, when there was a noticeable levelling-off at just over 16,000 houses each year. In August 1953 the Government convened a National Housing Conference for the purpose of surveying the general housing situation in New Zealand and investigating ways and means of implementing the Government's housing policy of promoting the building of more houses at a reasonable cost. The conference was attended by builders and others directly associated with the building industry, and also by employers, workers, welfare organizations, local bodies, organizations interested in housing finance, and other sections of the public. Every aspect of housing was discussed, and action taken on the resolutions adopted by the conference helped to effect a further expansion in house building to the present level. The conference assessed the extent of the housing shortage and set a number of 206,000 houses in ten years as a target to overcome the shortage and provide for the increase in population expected from both natural increase and immigration. This target represented an increase of 25 per cent in the building rate. A National Housing Council was also set up.

            The most noteworthy development in house building which has resulted has been the group building scheme. This scheme has been designed to give builders continuity of work, to reduce non-productive time between the finishing of one house and the starting of the next, and to assist builders in administration and supervision by enabling them to build houses for sale in groups. Plans and specifications are checked by the State Advances Corporation, which also inspects the work and, on behalf of the Government, gives an undertaking to take over at approved prices a specified number of any unsold houses. At 31 March 1958 there were 473 builders participating in the scheme, and 11,412 houses were programmed; of these 8,136 had been completed and sold, and 868 were under construction.


            • infused

              those days are long gone.

            • lprent

              It was implemented under a national gvt and continued under labour.

              Oh I agree it was National that implemented a large chunk of it. The timing says that.

              But I’d have to say that you also appear to be criminally unaware of the history.

              But our Liberals and Conservatives (now electorally almost entirely supporting National) were basically too stupid or too lazy or too politically gutless to do it without someone else starting it first. It is set of traits that their successors still follow religiously today.

              Prior to 1935 there were essentially very little state planned or state housing apart from a few bits for special projects – dam and rail/road construction gangs mostly. The housing stock was pretty damn terrible by the 1890s depression and the increase in housing barely kept pace after that. In a large part it was responsible for the increase in socialist thinking in NZ that caused the formation of Labour as neither the liberals nor the conservatives did anything more than their successor National party did after 2008. Hand-wringing and bugger all else.

              Labour was in from 1935-1949 and 1957-1960. They kickstarted the state housing to provide affordable housing. It barely got started at any scale before the labour shortages of the war years. Troops started arriving back in 1946, and a significiant very popular part of National's policy was that they'd continue and expand on Labour's work. Both running a state planned housing development system (including the required infrastructure) and providing state housing for rental.

              That pretty much persisted through the 1960s gradually reducing as the demand was satisfied and the quality of housing was improved.

          • lprent

            It has attempted to do so in the rental market.

            Ummm. You don't count rents as being affordable as affording affordable housing? Fascinating just how naive you are economically. With sky-high housing prices due to scarcity of building, there aren't that many affordable rents. Because there isn’t a large affordable housing sector to the market, landlords are free to raise rents as high as they want under conditions of scarcity – which is what they do. But because of the sky-high house prices, the margins only the favour the already affluent landlords and banks. In other words we get a situation where levels of home ownership decrease rapidly and markedly.

            But because there is no forward planning for housing over decades, the free-market for the construction industry runs far too much risk to produce affordable housing at any level and only build housing that maximises returns that what type of housing that the market needs

            Perhaps you’d like to point to the actual real-world markets in the business world rather than fantasy ones constructed by theoretical economists? Housing is the classic place that free-market economists fail to assess risk. Businesses are pretty good at dealing with risk in the very short term – typically 3-4 years max. They are complete useless at directing over decades for things like the gradual shifts in requirements infrastructure and housing over the decades that it needs to be built over or producing vaguely coherent legal structures or running police or military or any number of other essential tasks a society needs.

            The State has never provided affordable houses for sale in NZ as far as I am aware

            That just shows you don’t know much of our history – as I pointed out earlier..

            The reality is that the state houses kept be placed into the market as affordable housing. My set of my grandparents brought theirs in the late 50s or early 60s under one of the many schemes to pass ownership to state tenants. The slow offloading, while the state housing kept building, was the reason why there was a supply of affordable housing for so long.

            Builders always had the option of taking a lower potential rate of return with building state houses and regularly did so in a counter-cyclical fashion. So it allowed the construction industry and their suppliers to discount higher degrees of risk. Which even with your abysmal knowledge of actual economics, you must realise that allowed profit margins to be diminished throughout the industries, while providing a continuity of industry employment end investment.

            It was only after successive National governments stopped building state houses whenever they were in power that the housing prices started to escalate. It caused the stop-go that caused under capitalisation throughout the construction industries and their suppliers and the underinvestment that is now endemic. Even then it was only after National's sales of state housing stock in choice locations diminished that high prices, high risk, and a lack of supply the the lower end of the housing market really started to escalate.

            In essence – to me your argument shows a lot of faithful theory and fuckall knowledge of our actual history.

          • Tricledrown

            Your not aware of history state advances even the National Party provided cheap state houses for longterm tenants.

            [New e-mail address?]

      • John Clover 3.1.2

        I do not think the government is to blame rather the politicians who comprise it.

        [hit the right key there LPrent 🙂 ]

    • greywarshark 3.2

      Then Seymour is only one of billions. A lot of them are not profiting from the profits of the wealthy, but they haven't had a better idea yet than the highly paid fellow traveller economists appealing to the rich. They are more akin to Hollywood than academic persons should be. unless they are studying cinematography.

  4. Sabine 4

    you ask

    Do poor people and women exist in right wing economics land?

    no, they don't. Poor people and or women and or children are property of men and or the state. Every now and then we throw them a few crumbs and call that progress. But more often then not we ( society at large) pay a bit of lip service and then blame the poor, the women, the children for being 'damn near hopeless' 'for having children they can't afford' 'for not trying hard enough'.

    And this is the reason why we are still discussing and are still protesting the same old shit.

    • Gosman 4.1

      I do find your characterisation of right wing economics hilariously funny. It is as if you base your World view on a cartoonish view of people as if right wingers are somehow the equivalent of a villain from a 1920's melodrama.


      • Stuart Munro. 4.1.1

        The villains are much cleverer and more interesting – the Right offer no social value – not even entertainment.

        • Gosman

          Except we are in the ascendency even when the hard left wins power. Look what happened to Syriza in Greece.

          • Stuart Munro.

            Yes, corruption is everywhere. Have these rightwingers improved the prospects of the Greek people though? Not even slightly. You are a plague.

            • Gosman

              Greece is probably in a better shape now than it was 10 years ago.

              • Stuart Munro.

                You might have considered, were you not fundamentally dishonest, how it got in trouble in the first place. Not as the corrupt right wing allege, by excessive social support, but by buying a couple of German submarines.

              • woodart

                yeah, your mates have finally realised they have to pay tax

        • SHG

          I laugh at people who think the dichotomy of Left and Right still applies.

          • Stuart Munro.

            It's a curiosity that previous political systems seem to survive within current polities – one needn't look very far to find feudalism, oligarchy, and even monarchy, nor has the suffering of the oppressed working classes and the sociopathy of those who exploit them magically disappeared.

      • weka 4.1.2

        funny from the right wing man who derailed the start of the thread by trying to say it was about the inadequacies of the left analysing right wing politics instead of what it really was about: the economic and sociopolitical failure of the right in regards to women.

        • Gosman

          Ummm… no. A book written by some guy born in the later years of the 19th Century was never going to be a feminist polemic. If that is the biggest criticism of the ideas in the book then that is like arguing there isn't enough romance in On the origin of species.

          • weka

            which begs the question of why a NZ rw lobby group was promoting it. We have women in NZ and in NZ politics.

            • Gosman

              They were promoting the economics behind it not the sociology.

              • weka

                economics based on theory that pretends women don't exist. How can you have an economics that ignores women? Micky explained the problem with this in the post.

                • weka

                  For that matter how can you have economics dissociated from sociology? People are stock units?

                • Gosman

                  It doesn't pretend women don't exist it just doesn't make a distinction between men and women's role in the economy. Do you think they have a different role in the economy?

                  Should economic policy make allowances for the different gender behaviour in deciding what the impact of a policy will be?

                  • weka

                    "Do you think they have a different role in the economy?"

                    Yes. Women have babies for instance. They do a very large proportion of the unpaid work. They get paid at different rates from men. They're more likely to be in part time work and less likely to be in positions of power. Lots of reasons.

                    "Should economic policy make allowances for the different gender behaviour in deciding what the impact of a policy will be?"

                    Of course.

                    • Gosman

                      Don't you think men have as much right to parental leave as women?

                    • weka

                      I think PPL is different for men than women, for what I hope are obvious reasons*. But yes, men should have access to PPL. What's the relevance of the question?

                      *hmm, maybe it's not obvious. Women do the work of pregnancy, childbirth and lactation that men cannot do.

                    • SHG

                      They get paid at different rates from men

                      that’s illegal

                  • weka

                    "It doesn't pretend women don't exist it just doesn't make a distinction between men and women's role in the economy."

                    I haven't read the book, but I think what is happening there is all people are treated as if they are men i.e. women are made invisible.

                  • infused

                    Goz, the argument is basically:

                    "we don't have an argument. Let's jump on the WoKe train"

  5. Stuart Munro. 5

    I wonder what would happen if we got a few on the right smart were enough to read Picketty instead of recycling failed far right crap out of America. The tax evaders union is just spin, and not very good spin at that. They are never worthy of publication.

  6. AB 6

    "Do poor people and women exist in right wing economics land?"

    If not, the former are easily created. The latter not so much.

    • Gosman 6.1

      The far left are far more adept at creating really, really poor people. They have had decades of experience of it across the planet.

      • Stuart Munro. 6.1.1

        Fatuous lie. The rents that presently cripple and dehome Aucklanders will impoverish our people for generations if regulation is not brought in – all courtesy of the excesses of an unregulated market boosted by worthless parasites like yourself.

        • Gosman

          Weirdly that very point was made in the review by David Seymour. You obviously never read what he had to state on the topic.

          • Stuart Munro.

            On the vanishingly rare occasions Righties use a little truth, it is merely in preparation for another and bigger lie.

  7. Barfly 7

    "David Seymour has written a critique of Deborah Russel’s review of the hard right economic tomb "

    Isn't that supposed to be" tome" ?

    [Oops both work! Will change – MS]

  8. bwaghorn 8

    "" Like this claim that an increase in rent will cause tenants to reduce the size of the area they are renting""

    If that's the case they won't mind private property being heavily taxed once a house goes past 15sqmtrs per occupant plus a large Bach tax.

    • Gosman 8.1

      If you want to advocate that policy go ahead. I wonder why the current government hasn't picked it up though…

      • bwaghorn 8.1.1

        Oh God know I know there's always on rule for the rich and another for the poor . But just thought Seymour as a champion of the people might pick it up and run .

        • Gosman

          Seymour doesn't tend to think increasing taxes solves problems. Parties like Labour and The Greens do. You need to direct your efforts on this front to them.

          • McFlock

            Seymour doesn't tend to think.


            There is a tendency amongst right wing economists to believe that the 2D diagrams they like to draw are accurate representations of people in the real world. If they forgot to draw a wiggly line according to gender, those differences can't exist.

            The complementary failure amongst left wing economists is to assume that enough people care about the problems of the world to make an end to poverty just a matter of time, the destiny of humanity.

          • bwaghorn

            I would call raising the rent to force a certain behavior a tax . No different to smoking taxs or the ets.

    • greywarshark 8.2

      Back in the day of a past century there was a tax on windows in Brit. And their welfare people in their wisdom,in recent years, did have a higher rate for each extra bedroom in a Council flat, so that was a sort of tax too.

      It's getting as strange as Black Books where Tasmin? goes to sleep in her bedroom one night, and the next morning notices that its size has narrowed, and next to her No.18 door, there is now a small No.18A.

  9. tc 9

    How easy is this for the msm echo chamber. Let pollies go at it rather than inject some intellect and independent thought.

    The TPU must be very happy.

  10. SHG 10

    John Clover 2

    A sensible man waits until he has the income to support a family before starting one,

    +1, Insightful

  11. vto 11

    Our system is designed to retain 3.5% unemployed. They therefore need to be appropriately recompensed.

  12. Tricledrown 12

    But your side want speculation so are deliberately creating the ponzi airplane scheme.

  13. millsy 13

    Seymour confirms what we all suspect. High rents and homelessness are a feature, not a bug of the capitalist system, and are indeed nessesary for the whole thing to work.

  14. Seymour do not see IMHO ?

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