Guaranteed minimum income + capital tax, the way forward?

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, December 2nd, 2009 - 44 comments
Categories: capitalism, tax, welfare - Tags:

Occasionally something in politics really surprises you. Like when I turned over to Campbell Live last night (I’d seen the Family Guy episode too often) and there was Gareth Morgan proposing a guaranteed minimum income funded by a comprehensive capital tax. Guaranteed minimum income/negative income tax is hardly a new idea (I’ve been meaning to write about it myself) but a commentator of Morgan’s calibre suggesting it opens up the possibility of a real national debate on it as an option.

Morgan suggests every taxpayer gets $10,000 from the government. Every additional dollar you earn gets taxed at 25%, and so does corporate and trust income. The guaranteed minimum income is paid for by a tax on capital (note, not just capital gains, all the value of capital). Morgan wouldn’t limit that to land, it would include buildings and plant (and, presumably, financial capital too).

Personally, I think it’s better not to tax at least commercial buildings and plant because they’re productive. You would probably want the capital tax to cover financial capital too, otherwise your dairy farmers get hammered and your Rob Fyfes just get an income tax cut. Maybe there’s problems with taxing financial capital I haven’t thought of.

There’s no reason the income tax couldn’t still be progressive too, although the case for it is weakened. And you would want to make Kiwisaver compulsory at a reasonably high rate (eg 9% like in Aussie) so that people on lower incomes don’t just spend their increased disposable incomes on Chinese imports and you increase the capital pool in the country.

250px-Perfectly_inelastic_supply_svgThe scheme has some nice points. Firstly, taxing land doesn’t result in any deadweight loss (lost wealth to the country) in theory because the supply is fixed and the price isn’t affected by the tax.

Secondly, there are very high marginal tax rates for some people that discourage work. No, I’m not talking the 38% rate or the family with a parent earning over $70,000 who get Working for Families, meaning the parent has a marginal tax rate of 58%. I mean people coming off benefits. If you’re coming off a benefit you face a marginal tax rate of at least 82.5% – that makes getting a low-paid, part-time job not worth the effort. With guaranteed minimum income as suggested by Morgan (which largely replaces benefits and WFF) everyone faces a marginal tax rate of 25%. The welfare trap is eliminated.

Thirdly, because everyone gets $10,000 minimum, the worst poverty is eliminated. No-one falls through the cracks. A person working full time on the minimum wage would see their net income go from $20,500 a year to $28,400.

You don’t need an unemployment benefit under this scheme and the sickness, invalids, DPB, and superannuation benefits could be reduced by $10,000 because everyone gets $10,000 already. In fact, you get $10,000 whether or not you try to get work, which actually raises a far more real ‘moral hazard’ (ie. bludging) issue than the unemployment benefit does.

There’s a strong moral argument in favour of a payment to every adult funded principally by a levy on land ownership. There’s only so much land. Thomas Paine argued that those owning land had effectively expropriated it from everyone else and a universal payment was compensation for “loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property”. A similar argument is advanced by the Georgists. Henry George saw that landowners are rentiers, getting wealth gain merely for owning land when it is actually human labour that generates wealth not the land in itself. As the value of land is increased by other activities, human labour constructing and utilising capital, the owner of land does not have any right to that added wealth just because they own the land – it has not being earned by the act of landownership itself.

These arguments can be extended to any natural resource of which there is a set amount or a limited amount that can sustainably be used (eg greenhouse gas emissions).

Leftwingers like the fairness aspect, the elimination of poverty, and taxing wealth, not work (although Marx thought it was an attempt to save capitalism dressed as socialism). Righties (including Milton Friedman) like the efficiency, no deadweight loss, and low marginal tax rates. So politically palpable for all, except vested interests who hold the bulk of the country’s wealth.

Using the income data IRD has just made available, I estimate that Morgan’s guaranteed income and 25% tax would cost $5 billion more than the $25 billion raised now in income tax. The corporate and trust rate cuts would cost another billion. Most government welfare spending would be eliminated and would save about $10 billion. That would leave about $20 billion a year for a capital tax to cover. The non-government land in New Zealand is worth about $460 billion, the built capital another $550 billion, bank and non-bank deposits total $345 billion, and stockmarket capitalisation is $59 billion. A tax of less than 1.5% would be enough. (update: Morgan’s numbers are a 1.25% tax on $1,500 billion of capital to cover a $19 billion hole created by the guaranteed minimum wage and 25% income tax)

Of course, there’s no free lunch here. It’s about changing how we’re taxed as much as who is taxed. If you own a home, you would find your income tax goes way down but you’re paying out money on the value of your property.

wealth by decileBut there would be a major redistribution of wealth from those few who own most of the country’s wealth to the majority who have next to nothing. And it would discourage people from owning land merely for the capital gain, encouraging investment in productive capital instead.

There are obviously devils in the detail that would have to be worked out but in general a guaranteed minimum income/wealth tax is an excellent idea. Now, which party will be courageous enough to promote it?

44 comments on “Guaranteed minimum income + capital tax, the way forward?”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Finally some traction. Long time Standardistas will recall that I’ve argued for this system for ages.. as have others most notably Keith Rankin.

    Now, which party will be courageous enough to promote it?

    Actually it is already Green Party policy. But arguably they haven’t promoted it over much.

  2. gitmo 2

    word to the wise….spellcheck !!

    Also suggest you change “Morgan suggests every taxpayer gets $10,000 from the government”

    to $10,000 taxfree otherwise there’ll be howling and wailing.

    Fee free to delete the comment

    • Daveo 2.1

      Um, gitmo, have you read what Morgan’s actually saying? He’s explicitly arguing for $10,000 free upfront.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      It’s not tax free – it’s an actual payment from the government that everyone gets.

    • Bright Red 2.3

      the difference ‘$10,000 tax-free’ (or, rather a $40,000 tax-free bracket) and a $10,000 payment is that everyone gets the $10,000 whereas you only get the full $10,000 in a tax-free bracket if you earn over $40,000.

      Another way to concieve of it is that there is negative tax on the first $40,000 of income. So tax = 0/25*(income-40,000) – at zero income you get $10,000.

      • gitmo 2.3.1

        My mistake I see what Gareth’s on about now……..interesting concept…. the catholics will love it !

  3. factchecker 3

    isn’t this basically exactly what douglas proposed back in 1987?

    • Daveo 3.1

      Negative income tax with $10,000 free to every taxpayer? Doubt it.

    • snoozer 3.2

      he did but as part of a bunch of unpalatable stuff. It was all put on hold by Lange’s ‘cup of tea’

      In fact, Douglas is still pro having a tax-free bracket. The catch is he would pay for it by scrapping public healthcare and public education, not with a tax on wealth.

  4. snoozer 4

    “If you’re coming off a benefit you face a marginal tax rate of at least 82.5% that makes getting a low-paid, part-time job not worth the effort. ”

    I’ve been in that situation. It’s just not worth getting a crapy part-time job when you’re on the dole. Work 30 hours at a minimum wage job while on the dole and you end up with $130 more than if you had stayed home. The first $80 doesn’t decrease your benefit but after that you’re only getting paid $2.20 an hour net.

    Of course, you can see why they have to have a high abatement rate on the benefit and only a low threshold before it kicks in. But guaranteed minimum inomce gets around that.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    It’s a system that I like but I think it should be paid out to everyone including newborn children. Paying out to newborns would, of course, be paid out to the parents but it does help prevent the children being in poverty. No, it doesn’t bring in breeding as a business as raising a child costs more than this will pay.

    I also think it should be set at $15k as well and inflation adjusted every quarter. Sure, the benefits average ~$10k but then you get accommodation benefits, extra for sickness etc, etc all of which requires an inefficient bureaucracy. This would boost the pay out to ~$42b/year.

    Land tax based upon market value is interesting as it would make some small towns viable again. Taxing financial capital is needed as the capitalist system inherently pools it to the few which reduces economic activity over time and so it needs a means of getting it back out where it can do the most good.

    which actually raises a far more real ‘moral hazard’ (ie. bludging) issue than the unemployment benefit does.

    There will be some, there’s always going to be some but I think you’ll find that it’s less than 1% of the population. 99%+ actually want to work. Basically, the bludgers aren’t really an issue as the amount that they would cost would be fairly minimal.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      The ‘bludging issue’ is mostly a nonsense. We actually got total unemployed down to about 17,500 a few years ago, and the long term unemployed (over a year or so) a small fraction of that. There will always be a small number of people who are more or less unemployable and frankly I’m happy to see a tiny fraction of my taxes to support them.

      The real problem with benefits is of course the massive marginal tax rate. At 80% plus, it really makes little sense to go out and find some crappy no-future minimum wage job. By the time you take into account clothing, transport, childcare and other lost opportunity costs (like the time to grow your own food, cut firewood, fix things etc)…you are probably actually worse off that you were on the benefit.

      Given that it is such an economically irrational choice, the wonder is that so many people actually do choose to work in that circumstance.

  6. felix 6

    A person working full time on the minimum wage would see their net income go from $20,500 a year to $28,400.

    Assuming the minimum wage is retained at more or less the current level and the whole exercise isn’t just used as an excuse for employers to pay everyone $10,000 less.

    • matthew 6.1

      A person working full time on the minimum wage would see their net income go from $20,500 a year to $28,400.

      @felix That’s what I would worry about to. You’d need some sort of employee protection / guarantee along the lines of the Kiwisaver legislation as it currently stands where the benefits to the employee are not subtracted from their income.

    • Bright Red 6.2

      As long as you kept the minimum wage at its current level and didn’t allow bosses to unilaterally break employment contracts, that wouldn’t be a problem.

  7. it was great to hear gareth morgan suggest something other than the usual nonsense of ‘cut taxes and government spending and walla, everything fixed’ hopefully some pressure builds for some real consideration of ‘fundamental change’ to the tax system that ISNT more regressive than the current state of affairs, ie, tax cuts funded by GST increases.

  8. Quoth the Raven 8

    A great man Thomas Paine and Henry George too – both often cited by libertarians and anarchists. Here’s a quote from Paine appropriate at this time.

    “Almost everything, appertaining to the circumstances of a nation, is absorbed and confounded under the general and mysterious word government. Though it avoids taking to its account the errors it commits and the mischiefs it occasions, it fails not to arrogate to itself whatever has the appearance of prosperity. It robs industry of its honors by pedantically making itself the cause of its effects; and purloins from the general character of man the merits that appertain to him as a social being.’
    “There is a natural aptness in man, and more so in society, because it embraces a greater variety of abilities and resource, to accommodate itself to whatever situation it is in. The instant formal government is abolished, society begins to act; a general association takes place, and common interest produces common security.
    “So far is it from being true, as has been pretended, that the abolition of any formal government is the dissolution of society, that it acts as a contrary impulse, and brings the latter the closer together. . . . Formal government makes but a small part of civilized life; and when even the best that human wisdom can devise is established, it is a thing more in name and idea than in fact. It is to the great and fundamental principles of society and civilization—to the common usage universally consented to, and mutually and reciprocally maintained—to the unceasing circulation of interest, which, passing through its million channels, invigorates the whole mass of civilized man—it is to these things, infinitely more than to anything which even the best instituted government can perform, that the safety and prosperity of the individual and of the whole depends.’

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Couple of points:
      1.) WTF does this have to do with the thread?
      2.) He managed to use quite a few words to say SFA (Governments are bad but he didn’t get around to pointing out the costs involved with not having one)

      Have you ever considered just how much a many to many administration as a social function would cost? There’s no way any society could actually support it. Hell, it cost $9 million just to ask people if they were stupid (of which 87% said they were). So we have an administration that’s a minor subset of society that does what’s needed for society to function at our direction. We call it representative democracy. We have it that way for a number of reasons:

      1.) It tends to remove mob rule
      2.) It costs less
      3.) Is actually manageable

      • Quoth the Raven 8.1.1

        1. Because the article mentions George and Paine as proponents of a land tax and I think it is useful to know what such men thought.
        2. What does it matter how he wishes to use language to express his ideas?
        The rest is strawman nonsense and bald assertion. I don’t want mob rule. It’s about governing less so it would cost less – you know government which governs least. What has the cost of a referenda got to do with anything? This is not about rule by referenda. There’s no point arguing with you because you really haven’t looked into any alternatives enough and I don’t have time to explicate whole schools of thought. You’ve got the internet use it. I’ll start you off – Proudhon Criticizes Representative Democracy

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1

          What has the cost of a referenda got to do with anything?

          How else are you going to determine what others in the society want if you’re not doing it any other way? Don’t tell me that you’re going to leave it to the market because that doesn’t work as it needs everybody to have perfect knowledge. Without perfect knowledge the market fails.

          you really haven’t looked into any alternatives

          Yes, I have and, more importantly I’ve thought critically about them, and, quite simply, most of them don’t work.

          Proudhon Criticizes Representative Democracy

          Yeah, I’ve criticised it as well. Tell you something, just because someone wrote something 200 years ago doesn’t make it the be all, end all of wisdom. Usually it makes it wrong.

          • Quoth the Raven 8.1.1.1.1

            How else are you going to determine what others in the society want if you’re not doing it any other way?
            This is not about the market. Referenda are used to get the electorates view within a centralised government in a nation state. It’s an absurdity to have rule by referenda within such a system. I’m talking (and you know this) decentralization and participatory democracy. It’s not just about voting it’s about participating in the decision making process and preferably coming to a concensus. I don’t say it’s perfect or appropriate in all circumstances just that it’s better. You know fairness and equality…
            This perfect knowledge argument is just another strawman – free market economists don’t assume this and it simply doesn’t follow that without perfect knowledge the market fails – you could equally say that because the state doesn’t have perfect knowledge all state interferences in the market are doomed to failure. The market is constantly in a state of disequilibrium and people come to discover new information through the market. You should look at the economic calculation problem.
            It was written a long time ago so it must be wrong what a knock-down argument 🙄

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s an absurdity to have rule by referenda within such a system. I’m talking (and you know this) decentralization and participatory democracy. It’s not just about voting it’s about participating in the decision making process and preferably coming to a concensus.

              referenda are an example of how this can be achieved which leads back to:
              Have you ever considered just how much a many to many administration as a social function would cost?

              Then, to participate in a participatory government you’d have to have an understanding of everything (perfect knowledge) else any input you have into the system is going to break the system. I’m not adverse to it, I would like such a democracy but I just can’t see how society can actually afford it. The educational system alone would take up most of the societies GDP.

              So, we’re back to representative democracy where the representatives make the decisions and we give them some general idea as to what we want as it’s the only form of democracy that can be afforded.

              This perfect knowledge argument is just another strawman free market economists don’t assume this and it simply doesn’t follow that without perfect knowledge the market fails

              No, they assume that there are specialists that people listen to such as scientists and I can really see how well that’s worked out over the last few decades. Contrary to popular opinion, the government probably does make better decisions than us on quite a large range of things. Unless they’re National, ACT, Peter Dunne parties and any other political right animal as they happen to think that having infinite choice without knowledge is what everyone needs (repeal of lightbulb standards, emission standards for cars etc, etc).

              economic calculation problem.

              There’s a major problem with that – it assumes that price signals only occur in monetary terms. In other words, it actually was, and is, wrong.

              This doesn’t mean that I’m after a planned economy either. I tend to lean toward a heavily regulated market rather than a “free” market. The regulations are there so that people are working with the knowledge that the specialists provide without having to go to the extra cost of talking to the specialists themselves. I also think there are some things such as telecommunications that are better off being done by the state.

            • Herodotus 8.1.1.1.1.2

              “This doesn’t mean that I’m after a planned economy either. I tend to lean toward a heavily regulated market rather than a “free’ market”. What worries me about your statement who decides what form the regulation takes, what the macro goals are. As I am sure to ask this to some contributors here and another view from Act/Nats we would get wildly differing views. In summary I do not trust the right or the left, both sides are the same it is all about control. One wants to control the populist the other to control money, but both want power. So how do we have enough tension within the system to balance this out similar to the senate,tribunes and societial conventons were in roman society. The only society that I know did not have these problems were Sparta, but I donot think they are the template to follow. UnlessDTB you can advise of such to follow up on?

            • Quoth the Raven 8.1.1.1.1.3

              DTB – You seem to forget that there is so much less administering and you don’t involve yourself in decisions that don’t affect you. We’re talking about a free society. Remeber this is about less and less control, less governence, less authority.
              Politicians don’t have perfect knowledge, their advisers don’t have perfect knowledge, the technocrats and beauracrats don’t have perfect knowledge. Do you think the cream rises to the top and all these people are hyper-intelligent ubermenschen?
              So, we’re back to representative democracy where the representatives make the decisions and we give them some general idea as to what we want as it’s the only form of democracy that can be afforded.
              Who’s got a better idea of want you want than you? You have the best knowledge of yourself of your desires, your plans, what you value (this applies to the knowledge argument in the market as well).
              Contrary to popular opinion, the government probably does make better decisions than us on quite a large range of things. Unless they’re National, ACT, Peter Dunne parties and any other political right animal as they happen to think that having infinite choice without knowledge is what everyone needs (repeal of lightbulb standards, emission standards for cars etc, etc). Classic 🙂 What is this the system only works if the ‘right people’ are in power?
              There’s a major problem with that it assumes that price signals only occur in monetary terms. In other words, it actually was, and is, wrong.
              It’s not a take down argument, but you need to be arguing how a planned economy (you don’t really because you don’t support a planned economy) can work out price signals monetary or not. I don’t think they can. The argument on this thread is interesting.
              You seem to have a real hang-up about a medium of exchagne i.e., money do you have any alternatives?

            • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.1.4

              The need to moderate and direct individual choice is an innate aspects of all human society. The most cursory glance at the world, or any part of history reveals that those unfortunate enough to be ungoverned are invariably subject to the tyranny of pillage, rape and ruin. They are slaves, helpless to the whim of every warlord and passing adventurer; they have no freedom.

              The absence of effective government is such a curse that people have fought, struggled and wrestled with the problem of perfecting it’s aims and methods for millenia.

              Of course there is no such thing a perfect knowledge, or rational behaviour. We never know the future or the full consequences of our actions, but that is scarcely a useful excuse for abdicating the urge to progress, to improve and aim for better. The correct response to inadequate government, is better government… not it’s elimination.

            • Quoth the Raven 8.1.1.1.1.5

              The need to moderate and direct individual choice is an innate aspects of all human society.
              Do I need to direct and moderate your choices or is it just that everybody apart from you is bad and untrustworthy?

              The most cursory glance at the world, or any part of history reveals that those unfortunate enough to be ungoverned are invariably subject to the tyranny of pillage, rape and ruin. They are slaves, helpless to the whim of every warlord and passing adventurer; they have no freedom.
              Çayönü? Slaves to whom? Anarchy means no rulers. What I think you’re tyring to argue is that a free society would be vulnerable to the power hungry and devolve into a state. That old argument is covered in lots of places – try here (its from an ansoc perspective).

              Of course there is no such thing a perfect knowledge, or rational behaviour. We never know the future or the full consequences of our actions, but that is scarcely a useful excuse for abdicating the urge to progress, to improve and aim for better.
              Didn’t say it was – strawman. It’s a poor, but sadly oft heard argument either way – that was my point.

              The correct response to inadequate government, is better government not it’s elimination.
              Thoreau –

              I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.

              I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.1.6

              What worries me about your statement who decides what form the regulation takes, what the macro goals are.

              The regulation should take the form of standards so that there’s compatibility and a minimum quality and everyone drives on the same side of the road. Macro goals should be set by the people via some sort of voting

              You seem to forget that there is so much less administering and you don’t involve yourself in decisions that don’t affect you.

              No, you think there is less administering than there is. When you live in a society all decisions by all people affect everyone. AGW is a classic example of this. Living in a society is a compromise and you can’t live outside of one.

              Who’s got a better idea of want you want than you?

              But who’s got the better idea of how to do it, You or the specialist?

              …but you need to be arguing how a planned economy… can work out price signals monetary or not.

              They could do it the old fashioned way by measuring how much real resources it’s going to take compared to how much they have available with a demographic break down (How many have one, How many needs one, what level of repairs and replacement).

              What is this the system only works if the ‘right people’ are in power?

              No, the system only works if the right knowledge is used. Anybody can have that knowledge but some theories, such as the neo-liberal economic theories, should be ignored because they’re obviously wrong.

              “That government is best which governs least’

              Tell me something, what, in your opinion, does this mean? Because it’s what I’ve been describing.

            • Quoth the Raven 8.1.1.1.1.7

              No, you think there is less administering than there is. When you live in a society all decisions by all people affect everyone. AGW is a classic example of this. Living in a society is a compromise and you can’t live outside of one.
              Have you heard of the concept of harm? Maybe the harm principle? Principle of non-aggression? Law of equal liberty?

              But who’s got the better idea of how to do it, You or the specialist?
              To do what? What do you want a technocracy? Lets have more and more technocrats we’ll ask Soviet Russia how that worked out.

              They could do it the old fashioned way by measuring how much real resources it’s going to take compared to how much they have available with a demographic break down (How many have one, How many needs one, what level of repairs and replacement).
              You seem to completely ignore value – you know that subjective thing. You should read that thread I linked to above and follow the arguments.

              No, the system only works if the right knowledge is used. Anybody can have that knowledge but some theories, such as the neo-liberal economic theories, should be ignored because they’re obviously wrong.
              Have you ever heard of bias, interpretation, ideology?

              Tell me something, what, in your opinion, does this mean? Because it’s what I’ve been describing.
              I should think it pretty obvious. Govern: To make and administer the public policy and affairs of; to exercise sovereign authority in. To control the actions or behavior of; to keep under control; to restrain etc, etc Less: to smaller extent In lower degree
              It’s certainly not what you’ve been describing. You want more control, more regulation, less liberty, less freedom.

  9. The Government savings I suspect would be larger due to the abolition of the administrations for welfare, super, dole and DPB. All citizens should get it (younger people a fraction based on their age). $10,000 is $200 a week which is more than the current single super, dole or student allowance.
    Wonder how it would affect employees, as mentioned the danger of employers simply cutting $10k off the salary bill. It may spur people to become contractors – with that $10k cushion and the attendant tax breaks on providing the contracting work.
    No mention of GST rises? CGT? Tobin tax?

    • Bright Red 9.1

      the post is already pretty long uro. you can’t expect them to cover everything in a single post.

      You would save a few tens of millions, hundred million at best, on MSD administration.

  10. roger nome 10

    Too right uro. We could get rid of all those Margaret Thacher lookalike WINZ case managers. Oh happy day 🙂

  11. Nick C 11

    Good economic analysis Marty. And I thought leftists didnt understand the concept of a dead weight loss!

    My only critisism would be that theres no reason that the two proposals need to be considered togeather (you can have a capital tax without a GMI and vise versa). By argueing them as a package you confuse the debate and perhaps put off people who would support one but not the other. E.G. i would support a capital gains tax but am yet to be convinced on a GMI.

  12. Ryan 12

    Would moving the tax on companies from profit to capital cause changes in which industries are more profitable?

    For example, would industries with lower machinary and land requirements (like software development) become more profitable relative to manufacturing, farming, etc?

    If so, would that be a good thing or a bad thing for the economy?

  13. Herodotus 13

    This ideas ounds to me a cross between The Doomsday Book & Revelations. First a stocktake on all our possessions, then a way of controlling our money. Big brother really does want to know all about us and with this suggestion all for $10k p.a. which we pay for.
    Who is there no discussion that I can see what Govt is for what should they control and how should the countrys’ social conscience in assist those less unfortunate and need assistance.

    • Marty G 13.1

      they already have all that information, this isn’t big brother stuff.

      I can’t understand the secod sentence.

      It’s interesting that this is the only comment that objects to the idea, from left and right.

  14. I remember an MP floating this idea many years ago, he went overseas and got stabbed in the back, leading to the end of the 4th Labour Government. 🙂

    • felix 14.1

      Yeah, except Morgan’s idea is to pay for it by taxing the rich on their assets, whereas your hero’s idea was to pay for it by eliminating virtually every social service in the country.

      Spot the difference Clint you ignorant prick? 🙂

    • lprent 14.2

      Sounds like a PM….

      Nah – that was National party and from someone not known for many ideas

  15. Angela 15

    very good point, I hope they reach a decision soon. In the mean time, I think that everyone should exert effort to own money. I started a small business couple of years ago and I had Small Capital to help me with the management and funding issues. it is a great service and every small business should give it a try.

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    1 day ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    1 day ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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