Signs of a society under stress

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 am, August 21st, 2015 - 77 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war - Tags: , , ,

All around us are the signs of a society under stress:

‘Middle-class poor’ struggling with financial stresses: report

Increasing living costs are giving rise to the “middle-class poor”, an expert says, as a new report shows a large chunk of Canterbury families are under financial stress.

Grandparents were increasingly living with whanau to help out due to the rise of the “middle-class poor” … Families could have two “decent salaries” but still struggle due to living costs and child care costs. …

Desperate Kiwis crack open KiwiSaver

A budget and advocacy service says more people are finding themselves in financial hardship and turning to their KiwiSaver accounts for emergency help.

It has been revealed that $41 million was withdrawn from the scheme last year, with more than 8000 people making financial hardship withdrawals. Geoff Curson, the co-ordinator of the Newtown Budgeting and Advocacy Service in Wellington, said he had seen a big rise in the number of people coming in with serious money problems. …

Rise in number of homeless pregnant women

Social workers and volunteers in Auckland say more and more homeless pregnant women are asking for help – some with nowhere to live just weeks before they are due to give birth.

Rhys Abraham, who helps run a group distributing food and essentials to people living on the streets, said volunteers had helped some women who are eight months pregnant. Though there are no official figures, he believed the number of pregnant women sleeping rough in Auckland had trebled in the past 18 months.

Poverty and poor housing underlying causes of disease

A new report funded by The Asthma foundation, The impact of respiratory disease in New Zealand: 2014, released on Tuesday 5th May, shows New Zealand is failing to improve high levels of respiratory diseases like bronchiolitis, asthma, and bronchiectasis (chronic long term lung damage) , and in some cases levels are rising, despite a significant drop in smoking. Respiratory diseases are strongly linked with poverty and deprivation and have a disproportionate impact on Maori and Pacific people. …

Suicide toll reaches highest rate since records kept

The provisional suicide toll has risen to its highest figure since the coroner’s office started releasing the statistics. From the year June 2014- May 2015, 569 people died by suicide or suspected suicide.

But it’s not all doom and gloom citizens, there’s an upside:

The rich are getting richer – latest NBR Rich List released

The rich are getting richer according to the latest National Business Review Rich List for 2015.

So that’s OK then. Brighter Future! Cusp of Something Special!

77 comments on “Signs of a society under stress”

  1. sabine 1

    the signs have been there for a while
    we now have “facts” living in the street.

  2. adam 2

    It’s not so much living in the streets or the outward signs that worry me. It’s the feeling of despair and worthlessness.

    We should not be shocked by the rich getting richer either. This is what the dominate ideology is all about. The sick part is, so many fall for the idea they can be part of the rich as well. If you think the oligarchy is going to let you become one of them, to quote a little Australian – “You’re dreaming mate, you’re dreaming”.

    • Bill 2.1

      Only 1% of any population can be in 1% of that population 😉

      • adam 2.1.1

        What cracks me up is a the fawning by media who think the 1% like them, or they are will become part of the club. It’s so funny. I remember back in the day watching them suck up to some of the elites in Aussie, is was sad, and really quit a hoot. The Oligarch’s held them in contempt, the sneers were obvious, but the journalists and other hangers on – were oblivious. These same people then come on our TV screens, and radios everyday to tell us the Oligarch are the best thing since sliced bread.

        To all the journalist in this country, you are a joke. Not to us working stiffs, you’re just sad and out of touch to us. But to the elites, you’re a sad pathetic joke, and they hold you in utter contempt.

  3. Ffloyd 3

    ‘A fish rots from the head down’. Precisely what is happening to NZ. We all know who the head is and he is deeply rotten.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    50.5% National, 38% LAB/GR.

    There is a massive disconnect that the Left is not sealing.

    • Blue Horsehoe 4.1

      ‘The Left’ do not want to seal anything other than play the role allowing ‘The Right’ to remain on present course

      Its pantomime politics at its finest

      NZ is rooted

    • adam 4.2

      What does that even mean Colonial Viper?

      Don’t know about you, but more people are agree with me these days than not. Polls are a scientific sample of a sample, that they want sampled. Polls now are just another tool, in the tool box of hate.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        Well there was a big poll called the General Election, which was held less than 12 months ago. IIRC correctly LAB/GR was UNDER 38%.

        Is the General Election now just another tool in the tool box of hate?

        • adam 4.2.1.1

          Indeed, general elections have been stripped of any meaning. It’s all about who has the most money, and who can manipulate the most people.

          Did you not read dirty politics? The nasty boy’s tool box, to manipulate an election. Then they get to beat up working people, by telling them that they voted for this ideology.

          Our electoral system is broken, not as starkly as the USA. But really, not much difference.

          • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1.1

            There are problems yes, but some of the major issues are structural and philosophical ones to do with the parties of the “Left”.

            • Mike the Savage One 4.2.1.1.1.1

              CV, I constantly observe one major issue on TS forums, same as other “progressive” blogs. There is much passion, discussion, debate, opinion and commenting, but few actually do the damned hard work of researching issues. This involves doing the footwork, like OIA requests and more, to get info, to dissect it, to get stuff detected that exposes the whole shit we are up against.

              But even those that do, when they post it, or make it available, only very, very few bother reading the stuff.

              And with Labour MPs and possibly even Green MPs, they do also not do that necessary bit of hard work, not enough of it, the research, and the digging and dissecting. It was even presented to them on a silver platter by some I know of, even myself, and what do they do? NADA!

              When you have such damned incompetence, indifference and what else you may call it, what should the public and voters bother doing then? It also raises the question, are some opposition MPs just all about language, accusations and words, or are they actually at least considering ACTION. I see and hear damned little real work and action, and if this continues, we may as well bring in an Enabling Act and leave it all to the present government to do, as they please. We are nearly there.

              Elections AND polls are just a sick joke now, they are merely an instrument to continue to conditioning to bring about “foregone conclusions” and “self fulfilling prophecies”, full stop.

              If people want change, do the work, do take action, do study and research, and KNOW what you are on about, all else is a waste of time by too many vain people.

              Apart from the last TPPA protests, when was there a significant protest?

              • Colonial Viper

                and not just inaction in researching and analysing (and lets not forget the latest copy and paste scandal). There is also a massive lack of synthesis of new ideas and new objectives. By the way have you read the latest Archdruid report? Its a must read for any lefty as Greer clearly elucidates where the left has been falling over for years.

          • amy 4.2.1.1.2

            If it was all about money then the internet-mana party would have romped in in the last general election.
            When I read drivel like this I totally despair that we can get a better society.

            • tinfoilhat 4.2.1.1.2.1

              +1

            • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1.2.2

              91% of the time the better-financed candidate wins. Don’t act surprised.

              So, no, it’s not all about money but it certainly has a huge bearing on the outcome. Would National really have been able to throw off Dirty Politics if it didn’t have access to money to hire very expensive PR gurus?

            • adam 4.2.1.1.2.3

              What a rubbish argument amy. Internet-mana party was a stupid project, I’ll agree.

              But, lets’ put aside the fact internet-mana party, had peanuts compared to how much was funnelled through the political machine that is the national party. Or the fact if you look how they spent the money, which had stupid written all over it again – to many vanity projects for the Kim Dot Com and his hangers on. It makes awful reading. Internet-mana party = epic fail.

              You know that was not what I was talking about? Because rehashing trivialities and theatrics is politically, a waste of time.

              A couple of questions: do you understand how the system has been corrupted? Or how money/manipulation/propaganda works in a oligarchy?

    • Fustercluck 4.3

      Not sure what ‘sealing’ means.

      The last time we had (1) reasonable levels of union membership and (2) a progressive taxation system, we had just emerged from an existential crisis in the form of WW2.

      WW2 was managed largely by allowing labor to organize itself within a total war context and a concomitant demand that the rich pay their way or face annihilation.

      The destruction of this intersection of organized labor and progressive taxation has been the primary goal of reaction in the decades since, emerging as a force under the Reagan/Thatcher boondoggle (ironically shepherded by labor turncoats here in NZ) and reaching its crescendo in the Bush/Obama era of “War Against Abstract Nouns” and the emergence of the neo-technological security state. The ascendency of speculative finance capital is the necessary outcome of this experiment.

      The next phase of this agenda is evidenced by the final throes of privatization of state assets in NZ and the emergence of the amazingly sophisticated neo-fascist agenda epitomized by the TPP.

      None of this will stop until the electorate, and perhaps the mob, take back the power to regulate society within a context perhaps as terrifying and urgent as the last paradigm shift, that of WW2.

      So ‘sealing’ or perhaps, selling, will not do it. At some point the lumpen will have to rise up or face a fate worse that the feudal serfdom that preceded their modern state at the feet of neo-capitalism.

      Good luck with that!

  5. Rodel 5

    Used to seeing beggars in Auckland. A recent visit to the main street of Christchurch shows the same trend and If the suicide numbers are real that’s more than 1.5 everyday in New Zealand. Not exactly a bright here and now, never mind a brighter future.
    But I’m alright Jack (I mean John).

  6. plumington 6

    When the PM speaks he talks about NZers?
    1% he refers to ,not all NZers, it’s purely subjective
    When does he say all NZERS ?
    Maybe when he tells us we are screwed

  7. Steve Reeves 7

    Is it a human right to continue to amass wealth no matter what the consequences are?

    Should it be?

    Things which are seen as rights (e.g. free speech) have conditions put on them, so why should the accumulation of wealth not have conditions too?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Actually, nobody should be allowed to accumulate wealth as it’s bad for society.

    • Phil 7.2

      There are literally millions of pages of legislation written all around the world that stop people accumulating wealth indiscriminately and apply consequences to that accumulation. There are conditions on both how you can accumulate wealth (e.g. you can’t steal) and what you must do with it (e.g. pay taxes).

      You question is fundamentally broken.

      • stever 7.2.1

        Yes, that’s all true. But I meant , in fact, *legal* accumulation of wealth (i.e. you don’t steal and you pay your taxes—but I agree that was not explicitly stated).

        So, should people be allowed to accumulate wealth (in a legal fashion) without limit or regard to the consequences?

        If so: why?

        If not: why not?

  8. greywarshark 8

    I think the heading is too mild-mannered . Signs of a society unravelling – degraded – in tatters. One of those would be more descriptive. The desperation, the mental pain, is so hard for so many, it is beyond serious.

    To look outside NZ at China, and think all that they have been through to try and get a better society. There have been such sacrifices with the seizing of power and bending rules to drive in a different direction and the people who were the wrong fit for that direction and suffered, and still do. How much better is China after that turmoil? Apparently corrupt, as this morning’s radio says that only powerful interests can get rights to amass so much dangerous chemical in such a position and condition leading to that dreadful explosion now raining cyanide. The drive for super-industrialisation led to the point of the Edwardian peasoup fogs I have just been reading about. The Chinese have education, experience, knowledge – it seems there was no hand on heart for pressing forward for the good of the people. China has changed, ostensibly for the people but in the end it is as dangerous for the elite to get too much power whether they are your nationality and grouping or someone from some other culture. The same madness and inflated egos and untramelled grandiose decisions ensue.

    How can we help ourselves? Obviously the deeper the rejection of past methods, the more destructive to the people and the country’s politics and infrastructure. Then while things are at their lowest and most confused the predators and madmen get a hold. No Good Samaritan comes to rescue and nurture the vulnerable from their new despots.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Chris Trotter had something to say about changing unviable pollies.
      He quotes Jefferson.
      http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2015_02_01_archive.html
      Thomas Jefferson. Author of the American Declaration of Independence (1776) Jefferson set forth in the rolling cadences of the Eighteenth Century exactly why governments are created, and exactly when they may, justifiably, be destroyed:

      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

      Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

      [lprent: Restrict your use of bold. I have reduced its font-size. ]

  9. rhinocrates 9

    From Radio NZ:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/282017/'mould-family-not-the-only-one-suffering

    “Earlier today, Radio New Zealand revealed that doctors and health workers have said the mould in Te Ao Marama Wensor’s Housing New Zealand home in Glen Innes has contributed to her seven-year old son’s life-threatening lung and heart problems.”

    Remember when Hooton in the comfort of a studio was saying that the poor enjoy luxurious lifestyles that would be the envy of Henry VIII? Let him look at the picture of a seven year old boy with a respirator and come out and justify that face-to-face with the families suffering – after all, he’s not a coward, is he?

    (Actually, you don’t notice the cold so much when you’re pickled.)

  10. Smilin 10

    The bottom line for the rich, “all we have we will not give up to support a fairer society”
    Frontal lobotomy welfare policies
    Face it we have a FASCIST govt, lies deceit, and contempt for the majority thats why they spent 2 years preparing for the last election
    Instead of governing the country and now the house of cards has collapsed

  11. Gosman 11

    The comments on this thread pretty much highlight how left wing debate goes with little to no input from someone from the right. You all whip yourself up in a frenzy of anger and disgust and ultimately blame a giant conspiracy for the reason why the situation is like it is. It is quite amusing to read.

    • adam 11.1

      Are you calling the ideology of capitalism a conspiracy now Gosman?

    • McFlock 11.2

      Just to summarise: Gosman reads a discussion about homeless pregnant women, poverty-caused disease, and the highest suicide rate in NZ records, and finds it quite amusing.

      • Gosman 11.2.1

        No. I read the comments from hard left wing keyboard warriors on a thread on an article and find the direction the comments take highly amusing. The way you whip yourselves up in to a frothing and seething ball of righteous anger is very funny indeed.

        It is quite easy to puncture the balloon of indignation though. No statistics that I am aware of suggests the society is worse off than we were 20 odd years ago and in fact many suggest we are much better off. Crime statistics for example are much lower now and are continuing to trend downwards. Also, if we were such a basket case of a society it is unlikely that people would be choosing to move here in droves from other nations.

        But these ‘inconvenient truths’ won’t stop you guys engaging in your circle jerk of doom and gloom mongering.

        • adam 11.2.1.1

          So why are we building more prisons?

          Or why have we had a militarisation of the police force?

          If crime is so good?

          • Gosman 11.2.1.1.1

            A number of reasons I suspect including rising population, replacing older prisons and longer sentences. What we are not doing is building them due to the crime rate rising.

        • McFlock 11.2.1.2

          The comments and the article are about about homeless pregnant women, poverty-caused disease, and the highest suicide rate in NZ records, and how they reflect on our society. And you find them amusing.

          So you’re not aware of any stats that suggest we’re worse off as a society than when national was last in government?

          well, except the suicide rate. And P80/20 and GINI measures of income inequality. And housing affordability. Power prices. What’s our incarceration rate? How’s our death in custody rate? Our police shooting rate?

          It’s lovely on planet key, I’m sure. Just be careful on the golf course – if minigolf is dangerous, I hate to think how unsafe the big-boy courses are.

          • Gosman 11.2.1.2.1

            All you have done there is provide a list of potential areas where the statistics may be higher now than 20 years ago. You haven’t provided the actual statistics. BTW for your information I looked up the suicide rate and it has been trending consistently down over the past few decades which is at odds with your viewpoint.

            • McFlock 11.2.1.2.1.1

              lol

              Complains no actual statistics supplied, then makes claim without supplying actual statistics. Business as usual.

              Suicide: link from the post that you obviously failed to read.

              Housing affordability: rental. I’m suprised you’re not aware of any house price stats, theyve been in the news for a while now.

              Incarceration rate: seems to be 1.55/10000, up from 1.2 in 1995.

              Power prices: only from 2003 but still increasing.

              Police shootings came up here a week or two back.

              Inequality/poverty: you’ve seen this before, dickhead.

              So yeah, nah, you were aware of none of that, and had me google it for you in an effort to stay on planet key. Well reality’s a bitch with a known liberal bias. But you keep polishing key’s arsehole with your tongue, like a good little liar.

              • Gosman

                Ummm…. the suicide rate is different to the number of suicides. Countries that have higher populations than us like Australia have much higher numbers of suicides but their rate (which is comparable) may well be much lower. The reason the numbers are at an all time high is because the numbers of people in NZ is at an all time high coupled with an uptick that bucked the long term trend. The rate though has been trending down.

                That link to police shootings dies not suggest that the rate is higher than previously as well.

                • McFlock

                  You said:
                  No statistics that I am aware of suggests the society is worse off than we were 20 odd years ago.
                  Rather than quibbling over individual measures, do you still stand by that comment?

                  • Gosman

                    Yes. Even the only one of the Stats that I believe may well be at historical highs (Housing affordability) is not necessarily a sign that society is worse off. The rest of the statistics seem to be lower or about the same.

                    • McFlock

                      you forgot power prices.

                      of course, if we go back just another ten years on your arbitrary count to pre-rogernomics, an awful lot of those indicators start looking like shit. The ones looking at inequality and poverty, in particular.

                      Of course, a normal person would think that failing to improve those indicators that your blinkers convince you are “about the same” even after 20 years of hindsight makes us worse off because we don’t even have the excuse that we didn’t know it wouldn’t work.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Really dickhead?

                  The important measure is the rate not the number.

              • Gosman

                As for the prison population this articles suggests it is now falling not increasing as you think

                http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/5752139/Countrys-prison-roll-tumbling

                • McFlock

                  In the past decade the prison population grew by 45.6 per cent – but the latest annual Justice Sector Forecast predicts that in the next 10 years it will fall by 6.2 per cent.

                  That was in 2011.

                  2014:8,641
                  2011: 8433

                  Looks like corrections forecasts are as good as treasury forecasts and every other damned forecast by this government.

                • weka

                  In the past decade the prison population grew by 45.6 per cent – but the latest annual Justice Sector Forecast predicts that in the next 10 years it will fall by 6.2 per cent.

                  Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Bush said part of the drop in cases could be attributed to a more pro-active approach to stopping crime before it happened and the introduction of the “alternative resolution initiative”.

                  Alternative resolution allows police to use their discretion and give people warnings or diversion when they face low-level charges, such as breaches of liquor bans or disorderly behaviour, if deemed appropriate.

                  “We’re actually making more arrests but we’re putting less people in front of the courts. It’s the opposite of us going soft – we’re just dealing with people in different and more effective ways.”

                • John Shears

                  Of course it is falling just like the ankle bracelets are dropping on the floor as the scroats that should still be behind bars are doing what ever they like when they like.

    • Dave 11.3

      I’ll give you rage, you miserable little cretin. [deleted] but I couldn’t afford to make it there. Not that it would matter, you’re a cowardly little piece of shit, like Hooton and Slater, except worse, at least they’re public about their repugnant views.[deleted] you chump.

      [lprent: No you can’t afford to make it here. Any repetition of verbal violence will result in you getting a hefty ban. It is unacceptable. This is your warning. ]

      • amy 11.3.1

        Well Dave, looks like you just answered Adam question of why we are building more prisons. Violent and intolerabt reactions to opposing points of view is one reason, just as you have demonstrated!

      • Dave 11.3.2

        Yeah, sorry bout that, saw red at his ignorance, should have refrained.

    • Weepus beard 11.4

      And the same is true of right wing “debate”, Gosman. I’m sure even you would acknowledge that right wing platforms descend quickly into petty sniping at the poor and disadvantaged together with a large dose of Maori-bashing and bene-bashing. It is predictable and a laughable default setting for smug right-wing trolls.

      • Gosman 11.4.1

        That has an element if truth to it and is generally why I don’t post on many right wing blogs.

        • freedom 11.4.1.1

          “… is generally why I don’t post on many right wing blogs.”

          Oh, so it’s not because your discussion points are little more than fetid flotsam when cast amongst others of your ilk?
          It must be difficult to swim strong in the seas of certitude when your screaming need to be confrontational lies simpering in the tidal wash.

          So good The Standard is here then, a raft of opportunity for your neglected gusto. 😉

    • Stuart Munro 11.5

      Yes indeed – a conspiracy of the unusually stupid – you being blatant evidence of it.

    • Mike the Savage One 11.6

      I know the leafy suburbs offer more “balanced” spirits, given a “good start” to life by those who inherited, or managed to make gains from the ones they employed or ripped off, that does wonders to a soul. Money may not make everyone happy, and has its limits, but it is surely “useful”, Mr Gosman.

      So leafy suburbs may have less anger and cannot relate to angry people, right?

  12. Mike the Savage One 12

    This is just the beginning, I fear, wait until the Chinese no longer need our milk powder, and coal from Solid Energy is not needed at all, and when the Aluminium Smelter closes in Invercargill, and when the US and Europe head back into a recession.

    It is a desperate act by any government, to simply rely on economic “growth” based largely on immigration, catering for tourists and foreign students, and selling homes, farms and business shares to off-shore buyers, some nothing but speculators.

    The future will show how bad it will really get, welcome “third world”, we are moving there fast.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      we’re locked into a destructive economic system heading down the wrong track at speed, and our politicians seem able to only keep stoking the fire.

      • Mike the Savage One 12.1.1

        It is beyond control given the international inter-connectivity, the systems in place, that we are tied into, so no surprise, unless we get the global system changed, there is only limited chance to change things locally or regionally, that is for NZ or Australasia, as we now call our region.

    • greywarshark 12.2

      The problem is that there is no longer any effort at competence in managing to supply our own basic eeds with our own resources. This BS of each country specialising in what it does well shouldn’t mean that we have to import soap from Oz etc.

  13. maui 13

    Just a theory, and not a particularly cheery one. But as more people are made poor and unemployed and the state refuses to support them. I would assume a lot of these people turn into non-voters as they’re primarily concerned with survival not politics. Then power in the leading party strengthens until there’s a critical mass of destitute people ready for something radically different.

  14. Coffee Connoisseur 14

    Capitalism is failing as a system.

    Commuinism failed because it failed to consistently deliver basic needs on a consistent basis.
    My partner is Polish, Her fmily escaped communist poland in the middle of the night essentially. They obtained false passports and had to go within 24 hours.
    It is interesting listening to my motherinlaw talk about what it was like to live under that system. She says money wasn’t the problem. People had money, their just wasn’t the goods available in the shops to spend it on. (please don’t latch onto the reasons for this , thats not why I have posted it and the clock can’t be turned back).

    Now consider where we are with Capitalism. People have money. Sure some people don’t have much but they have money. The problem is that the prices of basic needs under Capitalism have now reached the point where they have been priced out of the reach of an ever increasing number of people in society.

    So once again the same thing has essentially happened. The reasons are different but the outcome is the same. People can’t obtain basic needs on a regular basis and it under Capitalism it is because of price.

    The market is of course meant to adjust at least thats the response that you get from die hard supporters of the system. The problem is that it hasn’t, nor is it going to.

    The problem with Capitalism is that it isn’t as easy to spot the failure because you can point to millions of transactions every day where the market still works. One of the most important concepts for people to get their head around (and I learnt this here on the Standard) is that the reality is that for the market to work you simply need a single willing buyer and a single willing seller to agree on a price and then complete a transaction. So keep this in mind and consider the following examples.
    The Rolls Royce Company gets an order for a Rolls Royce from an oil baron in the UAE. They make the Rolls Royce and are paid whatever the cost of a Rolls Royce is buy the buyer. Hey presto the market works. How many people can’t afford to buy a Rolls Royce?
    Now bring that down to something that is much more in the reach of the average person and is a real world example that will be the case today. Lets take a Kebab shop. You can have a Kebab shop that has enough customers that buy its kebabs and keep it profitable at the very same time as 500,000 people can’t afford to buy a kebab. Thats the problem with Capitalism.

    When you apply that to basic needs and when people have to pick and choose which basic needs they can afford as is happening now you have a genuine and systemic problem. This is what is happening right now in society with things such as housing, food, heating, electricity and so on.

    Now consider that over the next 10 years 45% of the roles in society are going to be automated.
    There are solutions but the only ones most are prepared to look at won’t find favour with many of those that can still afford to buy a kebab and until people are prepared to accept that and look at alternatives than unfortunately things will get a lot worse before they start to get better.

    I would recommend taking a look at
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1507/S00153/post-capitalism-why-its-time-to-think-utopian.htm

    I asked for this to be posted on here a wee while back but the problem is that this is a site (paraphrasing) to help brainstorm ideas for Labour and as a result it wasn’t.
    Its unfortunate. I tend to follow the principle from Aristotle that the mark of an educated mind is the ability to entertain an idea without having to accept it. If we can’t even do that then we are in serious trouble.

    As a side note, as a Systems Analyst I have learned over the years that when dealing with systems and fixing the problems they have, it doesn’t matter what the size of the system is or what it is for, the same principles apply.

    There is a system that could fix all of this too if we were bold enough to discuss it but unfortuntely we aren’t. I have done some experiments on here and Whaleoil with this system and when you mention the system in question on here. pretty much noone will engage or discuss it. If you don’t mention its name but mention its charachteristics and what it is designed to do, people think its a great idea.
    On whaleoil the opposite holds true.
    I found this to be both frustrating and a little amusing at the same time.
    The other thing is that the system in question in many ways delivers exactly what the Greens want, what Labour wants, what National wants and what Act wants. Well the voters of those parties at least.
    Yes I get that you already thing that this is a completely ridiculous notion, proposterous even. The thing is the reason it does this is that the system is designed around the requirements of something that is common to all of those voters.
    First and foremost we are all human beings.

    But until things get a lot worse I guess we’ll just continue to base everything on whose redistribution of wealth policy is the best; the Lefts or the Rights. But we won’t lay that out for people. No we’ll just continue going on a mix of policy (if where lucky) or personality which seems to be happening more and more with each election.

    All of these problems yet we have reached a level of technological advancement where the entire system could be largely automated and designed to work for mankind instead of Mankind working for it.

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  • Swiss tax agreement tightens net
    Opportunities to dodge tax are shrinking with the completion of a new tax agreement with Switzerland, Revenue Minister Stuart Nash announced today. Mr Nash and the Swiss Ambassador David Vogelsanger have today signed documents to update the double tax agreement (DTA). The previous DTA was signed in 1980. “Double tax ...
    3 weeks ago