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In our land of plenty

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 pm, February 21st, 2011 - 55 comments
Categories: benefits, class war - Tags:

Look past the tattered remains of Brand Key and the Nats have not changed in the past 20 years. They still don’t have a clue how to create a wealthier New Zealand but they know how to hurt people. As in the 1990s, they are falling back on bashing people who are jobless through no fault of their own. This clip from ‘In a Land of Plenty’ deserves to be watched again.

I’m not one to blub but the mother at the end talking about the shame of having to go to a foodbank makes my eyes well up every time. And now the bastard Nats want to hurt people like her and her kids again.

You can watch all of ‘In a Land of Plenty’ here. Other Kiwi documentaries, including the Alister Barry’s companion to ‘In a Land of Plenty’, ‘Someone Else’s Country’, are on the excellent NZ On Screen site – links at the bottom right of the page.

55 comments on “In our land of plenty”

  1. vto 1

    So if the Nats want to extend the gap between welfare and minimum working incomes, then instead of dropping the welfare they should have increased the minimum working incomes. Still the same amount of money moving around the economy. Surely…

    That clip shows them up for what you suggest Eddie, bastards.

    • neoleftie 1.1

      wages go up profits go down…remember the self gene…those in business have it in plenty

      • vto 1.1.1

        Not quite neoleftie,.. wages go up, costs of goods go up. The money balance is readjusted. Profit margins must remain otherwise the capital moves away, especially in this age of financial globalisation.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Who gives a shit if capital moves away, this country has been flooded with excess liquid capital over the last 8-10 years as if no one has noticed, and its not being used in this country to employ people anyways, just to drive the value of our dollar up, push house prices out of reach of 50% of people and erode our export earnings.

          • vto 1.1.1.1.1

            Well fair enough. Little capital, little industry however. Which leads to, in a straight line, less jobs. Which is what this entire post is about.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Not really, if the government printed money to finance business startups rather than relying upon greed we’d have a viable economy and not need external capital.

        • neoleftie 1.1.1.2

          We did a very small study once and compared a few stats for the sector i was working in and the same sector in britain. Wage to total sales was 12% here, britain 16-18%, productivity hugely less in britain, real wages were higher as you could see in britain and had better conditions.

        • neoleftie 1.1.1.3

          wages goes up, more spending, more competition, more jobs, more spending = lower prices due to larger market and increased competition…in the very short term profit might be tighter but after the corrections have flowed through the economy, profit levels are adequate.

  2. Gotham 2

    Oh god. Why did I watch this right before heading off to bed? I should have got off the computer ten minutes ago after happily browsing The Onion. Now I have to go and *think* about things.

    • r0b 2.1

      Yeah – thinking. It’s a pain in the arse all right.

    • Cnr Joe 2.2

      Oh God. Why did I watch this upon waking up this morning. Now I seeth with rage all day at these…these… cretins.
      I’m one to blub EDDIE and I’m one to rage as well. Maryanne Aynsley the treasury hack who took Winsomes data and bottom ended it and then dropped it another 20% – how does she sleep?
      Ian Johnstones voice calms me and makes a happy place tho’.

  3. just saying 3

    How much did Labour increase benefits by, when they returned to power?

    • Marty G 3.1

      not enough.

      fortunately, benefit numbers decreased by 128,000 over the period they were in government and wages rose at a record rate. Which meant fewer people needed benefits.

      Just 2,400 long-term dole-takers in 2008.

      • infused 3.1.1

        They didn’t decrease because of Labour. They haven’t increased because of National.

        • Craig Glen Eden 3.1.1.1

          Labour never gave millions to the already rich and cause the Government to have to borrow to finance it either. People are really struggling now with the tax switch and increase in GST it has really caused huge financial pressure on people already struggling.

          But no worries lets get the new beamers aye?

        • neoleftie 3.1.1.2

          monetary and fiscal policy implemented within the business cycle has a direct proven correlation to employment rates. The tax cuts should have been use, in the short term downturn, to stabilise the job market by simulating or directing job creation or retraining opportunities.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.3

          Infused is of the opinion that although the NZ Government spends $70B a year, and holds many levers of macroeconomic power, it’s activities don’t affect job numbers and work force participation.

          This sentiment is not even neo-liberal stupidity, its just plain stupidity.

  4. ZeeBop 4

    National only means of wealth creation is to hand over the meal ticket to a select few and then claim that the debt created is the taxpayers problem. We don’t need to tighten our belts we need to get Nat-Lab off our backs.

  5. todd 5

    Rents up + food prices up + petrol costs up + benefit cuts = “Clean up on aisle five.”

  6. Uncle Helen 6

    How would you know?

    Seriously R0b, regurgitating verbatim the ignorant philosophies of a Jewish pauper in London 150 years ago ad naseum, how, the fuck, would you know what it is to actually think?

    IrishBill: “uncle helen”? And you dare criticise other people’s thinking? That’s what you call
    “too stupid to realise how stupid you are”, son.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Given that you couldn’t even use the “reply” button to respond to r0b, all I can say about your intellectual ability is *FAIL*

      verbatim the ignorant philosophies of a Jewish pauper in London 150 years ago

      Hmmmmm I think you will find paupers in any century share many sufferings and many insights in common.

    • Marty G 6.2

      nice to see a bit of racism coming through there from the right.

      the ugly face of the right, that’s you, UH.

      and, I’m no expert on his work, but r0b hasn’t quoted Marx as far as I can see.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      You really actually think that a philosopher who identified the theft and exploitation inherent within capitalism would then be able to use said system to become rich?

  7. HC 7

    Having lived in NZ since the early 1980’s and being an immigrant from Europe I must advise every person from that part of the world to NOT bother coming and immigrating to this country. I have withnessed the heartlessness, the harshness, the cruelty and indifference of various governments that have not done anything to improve the living standards of people living here. In real terms we have all lost, albeit there was a bit of a break in the 2002 to 2004 space.

    The video shown is speaking volumes. I am well educated, very frugal, well organised, conscientious most the times and even I had on at least 3 occasions have to go to a food bank to survive in this country of supposed wealth and opportunity.

    Truth is after the privatisation and asset sale madness in late 1980’s and early 1990’s this country was robbed off most of its wealth by ruthless entrepreneurs and speculators that took it to the cleaners. They have made hundreds of millions or billions by buying state assets, supposedly streamlining them and selling them to other investors for huge profits. Those traitors now largely live overseas or in hiding in spots in NZ.

    They support the ACT Party or are even members of it.

    It was them that did not care at all about the future of this country, that followed foreign “expert advice” that we should become a kind of banana republic economy concentrating on selling primary products (which we were good at producing), giving up value added production, that told us to welcome hordes of tourists and serve them low paid services and so forth.

    This is the reason we are where we are. John Key has no answers and resorts to more policies of the late 1990’s to part sell assets and promise nothing. He has luxury cars ordered to replace luxury ones only 3 years old, at the same time he advises cuts in govt services, “savings” and belt tightening.

    He has a multimillion dollar mansion on Hawaii, a prime real estate in Parnell, large investments and even is so rich in income, he does not need his Prime Ministerial income, so he “donates” it for good causes.

    What a laughing stock has this country become.

    I see thousands leave every month for better paid jobs in Australia and elsewhere. We have growing unemployment, poverty, dropping educational standards and worse.

    There is no security for retirement, welfare cuts are proposed in concealed ways (more stringent testing for entitlements), the minimum wage gets increased by an insulting amount. The rich got tax breaks into the hundreds and thousands, GST ensures that low and middle earners gained nothing.

    So this is the supposed land of plenty? The land of plenty for the rip off artists and upper 5 % of income earners perhaps. It is a land of shame and total failure, that is the truth. Where immigrants with degrees have to open $ 2 shops or drive taxis due to no jobs or opportunities available, where graduates prepare their exit before graduating, where tourists wonder where the hell they ended up, and where farmers even ruin the basis for their livelihood by excessive fertiliser use and production, there is something immensely FOWL!

    John Key is responsible, as sadly also previous Labour led governments following the idiotic ideologies of privatisation, the new right economy and so forth.

    So Labour, are you finally getting your act together and stand up for the real poor and middle NZ, or are you just using words to try and convince enough may vote you in again? Better wake up now, the election is nearing, and many of us want REAL answers, a REAL plan, a REAL alternative and ACTION!

    Thanks

    HC

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      FOWL =! FOUL

      But yeah you’re basically bang on target.

    • g says 7.2

      where o where is the alternative? where is the radical plan that dumps this whole free-market, trickle-down, let the market decide bull-dust?
      kiwis are never better than when faced with a challenge, and have the ability to punch above their weight and achieve results previously unthought of…
      how about, (sit down and buckle in) new zealand being totally organic food producer by 2020?
      this by its nature is labour intensive and connects people to the creation (which is one of the biggest problems we face – people disconnected from their communities).
      it puts the power back into the primary producers hands.
      with the state playing a role in setting prices to the local market and being able to command a premium overseas.
      …or not…

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        When exactly was the last time the country definitively punched above its weight in anything? Nuclear free? It seems we have a far more timid and complacent country now. Where are the Fighters!!!

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1

          As people become poorer, as we have done, they start becoming more conservative/timid and take less risks. The fighters have left to go to other lands where opportunity is. Following the free-market ideologues has made it so that there is no opportunity left in NZ.

        • neoleftie 7.2.1.2

          holding there collective breath, waiting for the right time and getting organised one would hope.
          We need real and bold leadership that challenges the community to think, to learn and to stimulate discussion. We still have key ‘actors’ within society and the public sector – just need Labour to lead on policy and not simple react or play to the capture audience.

    • neoleftie 7.3

      That my friend is the question…When will the labour party elite and its diverse factions accept its responsibility and its very heritage and re-engage with a broad and diverse society who desire real and meaningful solutions.

  8. M 8

    Eddie, I first saw this documentary at a community hall organised by the Greens.

    The clip you have highlighted is the one part I remember most vividly, particularly the 20% carve off from the low food allowance figure. It is beyond me how those in charge could be so vicious towards those already suffering but looks set to be repeated if voters remain docile and take the blame for the way things are.

    It’s going to takes the levels of misery and despair of the ’30s before people act. One of my favourite books ever is ‘From the Cradle to the Grave’ and how it showed the MPs were less inflated about themselves. I liked MJS’s election card where he respectfully requested a person’s vote and the 1938 election slide where it said that people knew they were better off under a Labour government.

    It’s like the stock market and housing bubbles – it only seems to take around 20 years before people’s memories are wiped clean and they have to repeat the same misery all over again before getting that an unequal society will ultimately come home to roost on them if they haven’t enough gold.

  9. Eddie 9

    We cut the vid at the emotional climax of Pearl Brigg’s account of trying to survive on the DPB but the part that comes immediately after is really interesting too (as is the whole damn doco). They say how the benefit cuts removed $400,000 a week from the economy of Lower Hutt alone.

    Think about that, every population the size of Lower Hutt (about 90,000 at the time) losing that much income would have forced another hundred or more people out of work, maybe another 3,000 nationwide – just like that. You can see why the benefit cuts actually sent the economy back into the recession it had just been edging out of.

    • M 9.1

      ‘Think about that, every population the size of Lower Hutt (about 90,000 at the time) losing that much income would have forced another hundred or more people out of work, maybe another 3,000 nationwide – just like that. You can see why the benefit cuts actually sent the economy back into the recession it had just been edging out of.’

      Indeed Eddie, but even when you lay bare this logic to the RWNJs they still don’t get it and I think it’s because they’re hell-bent on revenge against those they perceive to be inferior. I got into a lively discussion with a righty friend on Saturday as he’s very much in the camp ‘those layabouts need to get a job’. I tried to point out to him that there are actually some people who are unemployable for whatever reason such as: those who are significantly intellectually impaired, some of the mentally ill and children who come from gang families. I said that it would be well nigh impossible for a child raised in a gang to understand what most people would take for granted as being socially acceptable behaviour and the whole ‘give me the child for the first seven years and I’ll give you the man’ and he conceded the point. Also pointed out was the fact that our manufacturing base has been largely destroyed so where on earth would people work?

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Where on earth would they work? Brisbane of course! Cleaning and rebuilding. Or waiting tables at AU$24/hr (= NZ$33/hr)

        Hmmmm, don’t think I’m going to get tired of saying this any time soon 🙄

        • g says 9.1.1.1

          again in reference to the global market..
          if we are to pay global prices for the basics- food, petrol etc, where is the right when it comes to ensuring we get paid global rates for wages?
          this is either a one sided coin or whoever is tossing it says heads i win tails you lose.

      • Marty G 9.1.2

        “our manufacturing base has been largely destroyed so where on earth would people work?”

        the cycleway?

        or the ‘coming any day now’ financial hub, at half aussie wages?

  10. HC 10

    I was thinking of shooting “Fowl”, but yeah, of course – it is FOUL!!!

    We have never before been at such a cross roads as now. There were situations before where it was almost as critical, but now we are absolutely facing the abyss!

    It is now or never, or we will end up a de facto colony of new economic powers that will only have an interest in raping us more – just by a different “master”!

    NZ wake bloody well up!

    HC

  11. Jum 11

    Good lateral thinking. All we are getting in the news is what will happen and the money saved in beating up on the vulnerable. But in this thread, the real costs of these so-called savings prove they are anything but. It is in line with the tax cut issue where the wealthy spend it overseas or save it and those living in survival mode spend it all within their community.

    Is this going to show up constantly in Labour speeches?

    Reminding business about the actual losses in income for the business community might cause them to rethink their greedy and selfish behaviour, because at no time have I heard business remonstrating with this government about its stupid policies; could it be because business is only heeding the first side of Key’s promises – the tax cuts and the low wages, but not the unemployment, lower income for the vulnerable which reduces their income.

    Short soundbites showing the stark reality of what it means to be the few or the many in New Zealand.

    • neoleftie 11.1

      looking at the situation over the years a lot of voter from all walks of life have misunderstood labour’s message or have misaligned the bundle of personal vote deciders with the wrong party block due to one or two stated policies. Workers in new zealand should by definition support labour on mass but their support has been erroded over the years. Why should a worker who works excessively hard just to have a few extra goods etc increasingly be asked to support those without work. John Key once again has hit resonance with a wide section of the community who actual believe that those who are unemployed don’t utilise the money handed out to them correctly. Quite frankly i cant afford to smoke so how can the with less than me who are getting a share of my hard earned money.

      Of course labour is going to support all people in our society by definition but they cant be percieved as over compensating or pandering to one section of society by the rest of society.

      • just saying 11.1.1

        Of course labour is going to support all people in our society by definition but they cant be percieved as over compensating or pandering to one section of society by the rest of society

        Labour has not represented the interests of the poor for a long, long, time. The “over-compensating or pandering to one section of society” you speak of has been to the middle-class well off (pandering to the rich and powerful can be taken as read imo).

        Does it worry you that this overcompensating or pandering may lessen in the interests of greater social justice? If so, I wouldn’t worry. Labour’s not looking like changing its pandering behaviour anytime soon.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          Labour need to cut all ties with its National Lite history.

        • neoleftie 11.1.1.2

          surely labour by having active and real policies that simulate job creation and lowered unemployment to record low levels benefited the ‘poor’. Anyone who earns under 100k these days is poor, they all have to make decisions base on discrectionary earnings…The simple historical class structure has evolved in a modern sense to one based around security of long tern wealth creation surely. The middle class are just one small negitive outcome or bad choice away from being without as well. We are collectively in the same boat, just those who really steer the ship, have a life vest to keep them afloat when the waves get too rough and the poor leaky old boat take on water.

  12. Ecogirl 12

    Yes Eddie, watching the distressed mum, driven to shame, welled those tears of compassion to my eyes too.

    Why why why has the elctorate done this to ourselves again?

    When will we ever learn, collectively, that the National Party is the ENEMY OF NEW ZEALAND.

  13. Afewknowthetruth 13

    Brent oil has just hit $106, which meansthe nation’s finances will get clobbered a bit more, petrol will rise (along with most other things) and the economic collapse will accelerate.

    National’s strategy to deal with the meltdown of society? Persuade people to spend money they cannot afford on watching men run around a field with an odd-shaped ball. Then go to another place and watch the men run around with an odd-shaped ball. Then go to another place and watch men run around with an odd-shaped ball..

    The people who voted for these psychotic sociopaths are getting what they voted for.
    .

    • Blighty 13.1

      our oil is mostly priced aroun the dubai crude benchmark. It does matter in these more regionalised events.

      I can’t find up to the minute Dubai crude price but it was US$99.13 at the end of last week according to MED.

  14. Afewknowthetruth 14

    Up another dollar since I wrote that: Dated Brent Spot 107.49

    Okay, the people in North Africa/Middle East region could suddenly decide they are perfectly happy with their leaders and are perfectly happy with present economic arrangements, and then all quietly go home. Somehow, I don’t thiink that is going to happen.

    Watch this space.

    Don’t forget that the folk at MED at at the heart of all of NZs problems … actually we should start using the word predicament, since there is no way out of the hole we have been put in by the idiotic economists who are running the show (and they’re still digging!).

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      I’m watching this space – believe me. The revolutions in the ME are about to do some really nasty things to the global economy. Considering just where we are in the world it should hit us worse.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        Better in some ways, worse than others. Communities with strong community spirit and cohesion will do better than those without, obviously.

        Key and English are maniacs to think that an economic spurt later this year is going to happen and that it will help win them the election.

  15. Deadly_NZ 15

    And now for something completely different WINZ (yeah I know) Has any one here had the joy of dealing with these brain washed Zombies that work there. I had that pleasure yesterday, it went something like this

    2 PM appointment time
    2:50 PM Finally called
    Spend 20 minutes repeating my self to yet another person (you don’t seem to get the same one twice). It’s bad enough that I have to ask for help, but to have to repeat everything every time you go is a bit much.
    Wait 10 mins while Zombie reads all the papers I have bought with me proving that I had nicely jumped through all the hoops thay had set for me ie: budgeting service (they said I have 150 per week extra going out to what comes in. Spend 15 mins explaining the principles and use of the Financial tool called robbing Peter to pay paul. Had to wait another 10 mins for his computer to unfreeze ( he ignored the silly OOS warnings that pop up on screen ignore them too much and Bingo Lock OUT).
    Finally get everything done then the zombie has to go and see 2 other zombies then comes back does paperwork and then goes and sees yet another Zombie. He finally comes back after making me wait another 5 mins or so when he finally gives me what I needed. time taken at WINZ 1 hour 57 minutes . Also in this time I am made to explain yet again all my medical problems told that I should cut my Sky and Internet ( then I could not watch TV (crap reception) and use the Net)) but i told him they are on contract (so cancel but still pay) and are also needed for the Teen and pregnant partner i have here as well.
    The other thing i have found out is that they are not hiring people when they leave so the staff levels are low and I would say that Morale is bad as well . When I got out of there i was even more depressed than when I went in as the system that they have now seems to be geared to making you wait, and the more you wait, the more you realise that you are a second class person.
    Now they have this so called help your self website where you can log in and make appointments and apply for some extras. GREAT now even my computer is going to tell me NO. I however refuse to use the website as they are refusing to pay me for doing their work for them.

    • neoleftie 15.1

      Interesting how the culture of winz changes under different govt. After retraining in the late 90’s i utilised the state safety net for a few months and was impressed by both the level of care and programmes that there were to enhance your opportunity to get a job.

    • Vicky32 15.2

      It all sounds depressingly familiar, Deadly_NZ…
      Deb

  16. Deadly_NZ 16

    And now for something completely different WINZ (yeah I know) Has any one here had the joy of dealing with these brain washed Zombies that work there. I had that pleasure yesterday, it went something like this

    2 PM appointment time
    2:50 PM Finally called
    Spend 20 minutes repeating my self to yet another person (you don’t seem to get the same one twice). It’s bad enough that I have to ask for help, but to have to repeat everything every time you go is a bit much.
    Wait 10 mins while Zombie reads all the papers I have bought with me proving that I had nicely jumped through all the hoops thay had set for me ie: budgeting service (they said I have 150 per week extra going out to what comes in. Spend 15 mins explaining the principles and use of the Financial tool called robbing Peter to pay paul. Had to wait another 10 mins for his computer to unfreeze ( he ignored the silly OOS warnings that pop up on screen ignore them too much and Bingo Lock OUT).
    Finally get everything done then the zombie has to go and see 2 other zombies then comes back does paperwork and then goes and sees yet another Zombie. He finally comes back after making me wait another 5 mins or so when he finally gives me what I needed. time taken at WINZ 1 hour 57 minutes . Also in this time I am made to explain yet again all my medical problems told that I should cut my Sky and Internet ( then I could not watch TV (crap reception) and use the Net)) but i told him they are on contract (so cancel but still pay) and are also needed for the Teen and pregnant partner i have here as well.
    The other thing i have found out is that they are not hiring people when they leave so the staff levels are low and I would say that Morale is bad as well . When I got out of there i was even more depressed than when I went in as the system that they have now seems to be geared to making you wait, and the more you wait, the more you realise that you are a second class person.
    Now they have this so called help your self website where you can log in and make appointments and apply for some extras. GREAT now even my computer is going to tell me NO. I however refuse to use the website as they are refusing to pay me for doing their work for them. And now I wait with bated breath the report thats due out. and I wonder how far John key and Paula Bennet wants me to bend over this time.

  17. The Baron 17

    Great NZ made documentary from a great documentarian – but let down by primary school grade rhetoric from the partisan hack that is “Eddie”.

    If preferred prime minister rankings still in the 50s against a primary opponent that can’t manage 7% is the sign of a brand in “tatters”, then you really are too believing of your own bullsh*t. I find it incredible that NZ Labour and its fanbois (girls?) really think that the oh-so-successful “JK’s a demon” strategy of 2008 is going to be a sure fire winner in 2011.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      I find it incredible that NZ Labour and its fanbois (girls?) really think that the oh-so-successful “JK’s a demon” strategy of 2008 is going to be a sure fire winner in 2011.

      Quite right.

      Although “John Key personally signs off on the Ultimate Driving Experience” is resonating well at the mo.

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