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Tax cuts no help for those worse off

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 pm, February 24th, 2009 - 73 comments
Categories: families, tax - Tags:

According to RNZ:

Official papers confirm low income families will be worse off under the National Government’s tax cut package, compared with Labour’s.

Radio New Zealand‘s political editor says papers obtained under the Official Information Act, also show higher earners will be better off. From April 2011 a person with children earning $40,000 per year will pay $250 more per year in tax than if Labour had stayed in power. The less money earned, the bigger the loss.

However, someone earning $100,000 will be $750 per year better off than under Labour.  Low income single workers, who don’t get the Working for Families tax credits, will also be much better off. A single person earning $40,000 will get an extra $530 per year by 2011 under the Government’s package.

You can listen here to the item regarding it (which was on Morning Report).

73 comments on “Tax cuts no help for those worse off ”

  1. northpaw 1


    excellent! Morning Report — the programme where Geoff Robinson does a promo including the statement “We ask the questions so you can hear the answers.”

    Value being how those answers are from the horse’s mouth as it were. Which, IMO, puts radio right up there in the permanent firmament. cf msm print media and reliance on correct reporting, questioning, answering and all..

    On taxcuts I get the msge to go for $100K p/a and gain another $14 + a week. Assuming I’m still up to it post 2011.

    BTW: was this taxplan dreamt up pre-Recession or post..?

  2. Pk 2


    I could have started the Labour instant increase of the top tax rate as soon as they got in power with the headline – Cullen hit’s those on $100K with a $3,700 tax bill.

    It’s all in the presentation

  3. northpaw 3

    dunno why but I ask a simple question like in the prior comment and get a claimed related tipoff to Bloomberg news service, which has the Ben Bernanke report to Congress.. Here’s the clip:—

    The Federal Reserve chairman, delivering semiannual testimony required in legislation written by the late lawmakers, will describe a U.S. economy returning to growth next year without generating many new jobs. Even with credit markets thawing, Fed officials see unemployment persisting at 8 percent or higher through the final three months of 2010.

    Can’t say whether powers-that-be here will attempt emulate this kind of thing. Can say there’s some track record to suggest they might try for it.. then the matter of public confidence.. and pitching a plan on presupposed conditions.. and being seen to savvy future jobs prospects etc

  4. mike 4

    Shock horror – are you suggesting that people earning up to 40K are going to actually pay some tax under National – those filthy rich pricks…

  5. BLiP 5

    Just like every thing the National goverment has done in its first 100 days, this is yet another example of the myriad ways the rich will get richer and the poor poorer.

    John Key – he so loves the underclass he wants more !

  6. Monty 6

    well the poor might then want to make an effort to become rich then eh!

    This is about giving ambition to the low socio-economic classes – work hard – save, set your goals and go and acheive tem – and then one day you will be richer (and a national voter / supporter like 60% of the voting population (as opposed to the 27% left still supporting Labour

    • mybuddyonly 6.1

      You idiot some people need to do low wage jobs to keep this country running. You wouldn’t be able to get alot of things if everyone took high paying jobs. Think about it

  7. jimbo 7

    So you’re still comparing what’s actually being implemented by this Government against tax cuts that the previous Labour government, in its final death throes, waved in front of the electorate’s nose like chocolate cake to try and win their votes back…?

    We’re making this comparison EVEN THOUGH, on the previous occasion that same Labour government promised a tax-cut pre-election, it cancelled it once returned to power.

    We’re making this comparison even though the previous Labour government, and the current labour opposition, are basically idealogically opposed tax cuts in any shape or form.

    In an election about trust, no one who voted National actually trusted Labour to deliver any tax cuts at all. If Labour were in power right now, Cullen would be cancelling the tax cuts on the grounds of “fiscal prudence” and simultaneously p1ssing government money left, right and centre under the guise of “stimulus”.

    Comparing what National promised and delivered with the fictional “Labour’s tax cuts” is like asking whether Carl Lewis can run faster than the Easter Bunny. Worth remembering this sort of nonsense reporting next time you want to allege National is getting an “easy ride” from the mainstream media.

  8. Pat 8

    Of course Jimbo is right. I can’t help but think that when Helen said “jobs, jobs, jobs” were the main priority, the flip side was going to be “taxes, more taxes, tax cuts cancelled and tax increases”.

    One of the spin-offs of Key delivering on election promises, is that it helps to maintain that magical intangible thing called “confidence”.

    If Key can maintain some level of consumer and business confidence by his actions, and also confidence in his leadership, then that may be the one thing that keeps the economy from slipping into freefall.

  9. Bevanj 9

    Thank you jimbo.

    I do also wish that occassionally the msm would remind the masses just how many actual dollars someone earning $100k and $40k will contribute to running our country.

  10. Janet 10

    What about those on lower incomes who are working part time and giving the rest of their time to voluntary work? Their earnings are likely to be in the bracket that will have the biggest percentage tax increase – those earning about $14,000 to $20,000. They are going to be penalised for their low earnings by paying more tax under National, and they are also going to be attacked by those ignorant people like Monty who think that human worth is equal to monetary worth.
    I just hope he never expects help from those lowly voluntary workers.

  11. Redbaiter 11

    Sounds like a good argument for flat rate taxes, or alternatively, a poll tax.

  12. Tigger 12

    Hehehehe. I’m in the top tax tier and will be donating my tax cut to the Labour Party – thanks National!

  13. Find a way to measure taxes to make those who earn more = evil so that National = bad.

    That way hopefully no one will notice that those in the higher tiers’ tax bills total more than those on the lower and the state claims a bigger stake out of their pay packets than those on lower incomes.

    What is so wrong with being successful and earning money?

    Flat tax is the only fair tax.

  14. lprent 14

    Pat: The issue with taxcuts in a recession is that giving taxcuts to the higher incomes (like mine) doesn’t help the economy much. The usual theory advanced about why it would help is that the money gets used in productive ventures. However all of the evidence says (including anecdotale) that it immediately goes into the reducing debt and savings.

    The problem is that delivering on some of his election promises is extremely expensive. The FTTH one for instance. The more I look at the economics, the more I realized that this was announced with zero analysis. For instance I’ve been looking at the NZIER report on potential benefits. It is wishful thinking (what I have come to expect from and shows a complete lack of knowledge about the takeup of broadband services and what they are used for. The Castalia report has a much more realistic assessment

  15. vto 15

    Look, the sooner everyone realises that a persons working life belongs to the state and not them the easier it will be. Eh Cullen. After all, give people tax cuts and they just spend it on plasma tvs and overseas holidays and ciggies and piss. Eh Cullen. Better you just take the lot and give us a weekly allowance at a level you deem appropriate. Eh Cullen. What you doing now you can no longer rip off those Hawkes Bay farmers for your schooling eh Cullen. Not to mention those f’..ken rich pricks.

    The old labour lot eh? No wonder they got steamrolled. Blood temperature just returned to pre-08 election boiling levels. Cullen was flawed in so many ways.

  16. @ work 16

    “Eh Cullen. What you doing now you can no longer rip off those Hawkes Bay farmers for your schooling eh Cullen. Not to mention those f..ken rich pricks.”

    Source for that quote please, put up or shut up.

    • vto 16.1

      cullen’s inaugural parliamentary speech. cullen’s infamous rage in parliament last year. did you not know?

  17. George Darroch 17

    Low income single workers, who don’t get the Working for Families tax credits, will also be much better off. A single person earning $40,000…

    $40,000 is not low income. There are a hell of a lot of people in NZ earning much less than this. Including all those who cannot work, but still pay tax on their meagre income flows. Just shows how sheltered from the real world even RNZ journalists are.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      I’d say it is. It certainly doesn’t give you a lot of freedom to actually do anything.

      • George Darroch 17.1.1

        It might feel low to you, but the median salaried income last year was $37,900. Meaning half of all people earning wages have less than this. If you’re doing it tough at $40k spare a thought for those in part time or minimum wage jobs whose incomes are closer to $20k (and for part timers, often below this).

        Choosing a figure that is above average, and then calling this “low income” is either perverse or ignorant.

        The median of all incomes last year was $26,500. Which is exactly where middle NZ is. Not some fantasy land created by those who have quite comfortably been insulated from NZ’s everyday lives for years.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    Flat tax is the only fair tax.

    Simplistic reasoning is false. People with a decent income can afford things like tax accountants who point out all the tax dodges available to them. This allows them to bring down the amount of tax they pay. Don’t forget GST – people on the lowest brackets pay more GST as a percentage of their income. The result of all this is that people on the highest personal tax bracket actually pay less tax as a percentage of income than people on the lowest tax bracket.

    I’ll agree to a flat tax when you agree that all tax dodges are an imprisonable offense. To effectively bring in a flat tax you have to remove all tax deductions.

    If you don’t like and are unwilling to support the society you live in then leave. Nobody is forcing you to stay.

    • killinginthenameof 18.1

      Your last paragraph is exactly right. For all the carry on at kiwiblog about how taxation is forced upon them \ stolen from them, at pain of death blah blah, they still choose to stay here, their continued residence in New Zealand is their consent to be taxed.

      • vto 18.1.1

        “their continued residence in New Zealand is their consent to be taxed”. are you serious? that is one of the most think-headed things I have ever read

    • vto 18.2

      wtf you on about draco? you make no sense

      • Draco T Bastard 18.2.1

        What are you having so much difficulty with? If you say I may be able to help you with your misunderstanding.

  19. Bevanj 19

    Flat tax, whatever the rate to pay the bills is the only fair way, and it treats all NZers as equals.

    It removes the ability to trot out this negative line of the rich paying for poor.

    If we could also get equal access to the services these taxes pay for the social divide would reduce further.

    February 25, 2009 at 9:28 am…
    FTTH could well revolutionise the way a small but reasonable proportion of the workforce operates and where they operate from, anyone who gets dressed up to drive to work to sit in front of a computer all day then drive home again. There’ll need to be a shift in management thinking to support this.

    FTTH can provide the level of performance for seamless internet phone and video allowing some services/small businesses to operate in the provinces with much lower overheads for example. This could mean access to more affordable existing housing a revitalising of provincial NZ, easing on city infrastructure/expenditure

    … The current industry “heavyweights” might be able to give me half of what I need in 5 yrs time, whoopee!

  20. Quoth the Raven 20

    For a flat tax to be fair you’d have to find the lowest amount of tax someone pays in this country and tax at that rate. You couldn’t just set a rate that would raise the amount of tax the bulk of people pay and drastically lowers the amount the rich pay a la Thatcher’s poll tax. That’s why it was so unpopular most people ended up paying more tax. To have a fair flat tax in New Zealand, one that doesn’t raise the amount of tax anyone pays, would entail such a reduction in government revenue that they wouldn’t be able to carry out the bulk of the functions that are currently carried out. That could be good or bad depending on your stance.

    killinginthenameof – Don’t spout social contract bullshit. You could argue people consented to anything the government does using that reasoning. Social contract is a fiction.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      Taxes must cover the cost of administering the society. There’s nothing to dictate that they must equal the lowest presently paid.

      For them to be fair everyone must have equal access to tax accountants and all the tax dodges available. As this would be a nightmare to administer the only real alternative is to remove said tax dodges and deductions. There would be one other change – there would be no concept of business as everyone would, technically, be a business unto themselves and once a term becomes universal it no longer has any meaning.

      • George Darroch 20.1.1

        We already have a partial flat tax system, due to the deeply regressive GST. You pay your taxes and then pay a second flat tax rate on everything you spend. GST is a flat tax, plain and simple, and no-one wants to acknowledge it.

        We also have a graduated tax system where everyone gets the benefit of the bottom brackets. And

        As a result, we have one of the flattest tax systems in the world, where according to The Economist in 2005, “In New Zealand, for example, only the richest tenth of households pay much more under the country’s progressive income tax than they would under a 25% flat tax”.

        The workers also pay the great majority of tax in NZ – corporate taxes only raise 17% of tax revenue.

        A left-wing Government would have introduced a tax free bracket, a higher top bracket of $100k +, and abolished GST. These would all be popular. But we had a bunch of neo-liberals in power for the last 25 years. Will we ever get one? Not at this rate….

      • Quoth the Raven 20.1.2

        Draco – That’s only if you believe that society needs administering. Fairness would dictate that a tax should equal that lowest paid. I don’t support a flat tax anyway as I argue below. I agree with you on the tax dodges. Those tax dodges are merely there in the first place to advantage the rich. I can’t for the life of me see how you get to everyone being a business unto themselves, though.

  21. vto 21

    Draco, what you said bore no relationship to what I said. There is no link between the two. That is why you made no sense..

    • Draco T Bastard 21.1

      Yes there is. Taxes are needed to support the society. From what you said it’s apparent that you don’t want to pay taxes, ergo, you don’t want to support the society and therefore must not actually like it.

      • Quoth the Raven 21.1.1

        Not supporting the state does not mean you don’t support society. Your argument doesn’t follow. There are many things I might not want to support through my taxes – our military, perhaps, our secret police, corporate welfare, rapists police officer’s golden handshakes, a gigantic prison system, the state kidnapping of harmless people or innocent people, large sums of money to pay for the security at John Key’s palacial fortress, Peter Dunne’s hairspray, &c, &c.

  22. The Voice of Reason 22

    C’mon, Draco, Baiter, et al. We need fresh ideas, not recycled mistakes from the past.

    Flat tax like they had in the Soviet Union? Poll tax like they had in the middle ages? Tried ’em, rejected ’em, moved on. The western world is now almost uniformly social democratic in outlook and Act’s philosophy (and indeed ACT itself) is very much the spare appendage at the wedding.

    New Zealand voted for the centre ground, not the right. A party of the right won, but on a platform of centrist policies. If they put up the kind of tainted tax proposals you advocate, they will end up like Thatcher; discredited, derided and dumped.

  23. Redbaiter 23

    “If you don’t like and are unwilling to support the society you live in then leave.”

    As much as it pisses you off, this is still a democratic society, and if we don’t agree with something the government does we have the right to vote against it. Take you Stal*nist declarations to C*ba, China or Nth Kor*a, where your intolerance of ideological and political diversity would be right at home.

    • Draco T Bastard 23.1

      If you like the society and are willing to support it then you are more than welcome to stay. The support comes in the form of taxes that are needed for the administration of this society.

  24. vto 24

    No Draco. I did not say that, you read your own interpretation into it which is shown when you say “apparent”.

    It was clear I was having a pretty heavy go at Cullen’s philosophy and approach to taxation, NOT a go at the general idea behind taxation and society. Quite a difference.

    Cullen fans may not realise it but there are many many ways to approach taxation and its status in society.

    You noodle.

    • Draco T Bastard 24.1

      Then produce an actual argument against that philosophy rather than randomly attacking someone in a sarcastic remark that can be so easily misinterpreted.

      • vto 24.1.1

        Fair point, but sometimes a caustic rant can expose the flaws in arguments just as well though. And recall caustic diatribes were Cullen’s screensaver position. What goes around comes around and all that.

  25. Tom Semmens 25

    Anyone claiming a flat tax is “fair” can only live in the la la land of remote economic isolation. In any society with pretensions to being an inclusive, progressive liberal democracy taxation provides an important re-distributive tool to the government.

    Graduated income tax ensures everyone contributes in equal measure.

    Inheritance tax prevents the building up of massive, unearned inter-generational wealth of the sort that is poisonous to democracy.

    All in all, taxation isn’t only an economic tool – it is also an important social policy tool to ensure the sort of society we want can be attained and sustained.

    And despite megaphone presence on the internet of the ACT voting RWNJ’s, there is little evidence New Zealanders wish it any other way.

    • Quoth the Raven 25.1

      I’m not arguing that a flat tax would be better at this time, far from it. Just saying that if it were to be implented that’s how it ought to be implemented without raising anyone’s tax. If we were to enact a flat tax now it would be deeply unfair. The rich are already the main beneficiaries of state privilege in the plutocratic system we have, to cut their tax now and cut the services that go to the poor would entrench that privilege. Taxes should always be cut from the bottom and welfare from the top.

  26. The Voice of Reason 26


    ‘Take you Stal*nist declarations to C*ba, China or Nth Kor*a, where your intolerance of ideological and political diversity would be right at home.’

    And you can take your libertarian declarations to, ah, um, …

    No wait, there must be somewhere in the world where there’s a flat tax. Or no tax at all? Saudi Arabia? Dubai? Inside Ayn Rand’s head? Where exactly has it ever been tried, Redbaiter? Where are the happy folk living under this joyously free and enlightened regime?

    At least with socialism, it has been tried, in many varients and with both successes and failures. There is an imperical element to the socialist debate.

    Sadly, you’re out there with UFOligists and Christians; genuine belief, but zero evidence.

  27. jimbo 27

    Tom – how to you get to “graduated income tax ensures everyone contributes in equal measure”. Surely you’re just begging the question (that it’s “equal” for one person to pay a different price than another)?

    I am pretty sure I can show you mathematically that MY tax contribution and that of Theresa Gattung (or whoever) is not “equal”, as most people would understand it.

    Now let’s be clear on something else – even with a flat tax system, my contribution would STILL NOT be equal to Theresa Gatting’s. A flat tax system would STILL redistribute wealth. You’re getting too worked up when you argue that flat taxes could never be “fair”. Why not?

    I think you’d be right if all we ever had was a poll tax (i.e – each person pays an EQUAL lump sum). That would be la la land. A flatter tax system is perfectly justifiable and had lots of benefits if the govt can still raise enough revenue to perform its functions.

    (FAOD, I have no problem with sensible graduated system, however I get annoyed when people argue AGAINST tax cuts “for the rich” on the grounds that the “rich” are “saving” more tax, when the supposed rich person pays 2, 3 4 or 10 times what the “average joe” is paying for exactly the same services.)

    Building capital up and passing it on to future generations so they can have a better life than you had is not “poisonous to democracy”. Being able to look after and provide for your kids is one of the most powerful motivators there is in life. Take that away and you will certainly take away much of the entrepreneurial drive that is essential for any healthy society. All of us wish we were lucky enough to be born wealthy – if we weren’t it’s no big deal and certainly not reason to tax the cr@p out of those who were to get some sort of revenge.

  28. jimbo 28

    Voice of reason – New Zealand should aim to be like Hong Kong. Generally low levels of tax (graduated but capped at a maximum of 16%), governnent taking tax on property transactions as well (would dampen speculation in property), and generally extremely simple tax system (why bother looking for loopholes when the system is very simple and the rates are low?).

    That’s the counterfactual to consider. It certainly is possible to have low tax and incredibly high levels of public infrastructure and services.

    • northpaw 28.1


      I have seen and noted the term “counterfactual” several times recently. Could you kindly explain what it means please

  29. northpaw 29

    flat-taxers are underminers.. taking their lead from Friedman the Great Underminer of democracy… who has since taken his leave of the rest of us.. blessed fellow.. so.. being underminers remain we conclude them to be low seam and getting lower..

  30. jimbo 30

    Northpaw – that’s the first time I’ve used it here. Intended meaning: that’s what you should be making the comparison with, not with some sort of flat-tax straw man. Typically when you have a hypothesis (e.g. we need a more progressive tax system), you also have a counterfactual to compare the hypothesis with.

    Do you not understand it that way?

    • Pascal's bookie 30.1

      I’ve always understood it to mean something along the lines of, ‘ what would be the case, if fact x was not true ‘, where it is accepted that x is indeed true.

      So for example, when someone argues that ‘if Labour had won the 08 election, then event x would have come to pass’ it’s a counterfactual, because Labour lost.

      I think John Key said the other day, that when judging his govt’s efforts re the great economic unravelling, we should use the latest treasury predictions as a counterfactual baseline. This is because those estimates don’t include his govt’s plan, hence the difference between those estimates and the actual results can be used as a metric of the effects of his policies. ie, If his govt had of done nothing, then those predictions would have become true, so the difference between what happens and what was predicted is down to his policies.

      The validity of that approach depends on your confidence in treasury predictions I guess.

    • northpaw 30.2


      thanks for that.. not what I’d have thought its use was.. saving the possibility of the ‘counter’ part being like over-the-counter.. as in trading for example when the counter is the basis for trade.. your description appears to fit this reasonably well..

      my own first training in science however, would conclude a use of counter-the-fact and logic might suggest this somewhat difficult since fact is subject to probability and counterfact(stet) aint so far as I know…added to which proving the negative(to establish parity) would be nigh impossible.. thus such a use in that context would constitute sophistry..

      If I’m to accept it at all in that way – counterfactual (all one word) – then a trading or tradeable context would need be adopted.. I think.. and one needs to be pretty careful about glazing out consciousness with a barrage of new found words.. as the lawyers for a Citigroup victim recently declared to the US court trying them for fraud.

  31. The Voice of Reason 31

    Whoops! Empirical not imperical, evidently.

  32. Draco T Bastard 32

    Not supporting the state does not mean you don’t support society.

    They are one and the same unless by state you mean some sort of dictatorship rather than a democracy.

    There are many things I might not want to support through my taxes…

    Then vote for or create a party that gets rid of those things but you will still be supporting the state if you did so.

    That’s only if you believe that society needs administering.

    There are things that can only be done at a societal level and to get them done is going to require some sort of administration.

    I can’t for the life of me see how you get to everyone being a business unto themselves, though.

    Because they are. They need food or else they won’t be able to work. Same with housing, education and even sport and recreation. You have an income and that needs to cover your expenses – same as any business and, as with every other business, what you do can’t be supplied at less than cost price. If you are doing without food, having to live in substandard housing, or not going out with your SO once a week for a romantic evening (very definitely a valid expense – helps keep you from going batty) because your income doesn’t cover it then you are running your business very badly because you are trying to run it at less than cost price.

    You can’t see how everyone is a business unto themselves while I find it hard to believe that people don’t realize that they are in business. Why do you think I keep saying that the unions should have all their members as contractors? If they did that though the tax system would collapse within six months – not enough accountants to administer it and government revenue would drop significantly due to all the deductions.

    We have a tax system that was designed by a very small minority to benefit that minority. The tax system needs an overhaul – but there wouldn’t be a capitalist anywhere that would like it done because they wouldn’t have any more deductions to boost their income.

    • vto 32.1

      Draco, society and the state are not the same thing, as you contend.

      This is precisely the point at which those of ‘left’ persuasion and those of ‘right’ persuasion most commonly part ways.

      The fundamental underpinning, shown by this statement of yours, is v a s t l y different from that which I, for example, believe. This is the reason for most all the conflict between left and right imo. The role of state in society.

    • Quoth the Raven 32.2

      They are one and the same unless by state you mean some sort of dictatorship rather than a democracy.

      Franz Oppenheimer said a state “I mean by it that summation of privileges and dominating positions which are brought into being by extra-economic power….I mean by Society, the totality of concepts of all purely natural relations and institutions between man and man…” Now you may disagree with the first, but if you agree with the second you still can’t come to the bizarre conclusion that the state is society.
      I’m guessing you believe fervently in the fiction that is representative democracy and the other lie that is the social contract. This time I’ll quote Proudhon:

      “The illusion of democracy springs from that of constitutional Monarchy’s example–claiming to organize Government by representative means. Neither the Revolution of July (1830), nor that of February (1848) has sufficed to illuminate this. What they always want is inequality of fortunes, delegation of sovereignty, and government by influential people. Instead of saying, as did M. Thiers, the King reigns and does not govern, democracy says, the People reigns and does not govern, which is to deny the Revolution…”

      “Since, according to the ideology of the democrats, the People cannot govern itself and is forced to give itself to representatives who govern by delegation, while it retains the right of review, it is supposed that the People is quite capable of at least having itself represented, that it can be represented faithfully…This hypothesis is utterly false; there is not and never can be legitimate representation of the People. All electoral systems are mechanisms for deceit: to know one is sufficient to pronounce the condemnation of all.”

      It’s pretty sad that you think everyone’s a business unto themselves and we should all do a cost analysis on everything we do. I don’t know how on earth to argue that that’s just too absurd an idea for an individualist and far lefty like myself to argue.

      You do realise that people can cooperate without state coercion don’t you?

      I recommend you read Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience – it is the work that inspired Gandhi (he’s probably a bit of an extremist for you seeming as he didn’t believe in the state and was an anarchist, a real lefty none of this social democrat bullshit).
      A couple quotes from Gandhi:
      “If India copies England, it is my firm conviction that she will be ruined. Parliaments are merely emblems of slavery.’
      “The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence.’

      • Draco T Bastard 32.2.1

        State: Specifically definition #7

        I don’t believe in the fiction that the state is separate from ourselves.

        You do realise that people can cooperate without state coercion don’t you?

        The rules are there to protect the majority from the depredations of a minority – those who think that they can do as they wish no matter who it harms. The rules are, hopefully, come to by some cooperation amongst the people. Enforcing them would be part of that administration I was talking about earlier.

        It’s pretty sad that you think everyone’s a business unto themselves and we should all do a cost analysis on everything we do.

        It’s sad that I realise that we live in a limited world with limited resources available to us and that we need to take care not to over use those resources while ensuring that everyone has a quality life?

        Gandhi (he’s probably a bit of an extremist for you


        • Quoth the Raven

          Draco – It would be more illuminating to understand your definition of society. Even with that definition it doesn’t entail that society is the state. The state can come under the term society under a broad definition albeit unneccesary for a society. I would specifically use Oppenheimer’s definition of a society. Maybe you use some other definition. I understand that some like Ayn Rand have separate definitions of state and government – maybe you also. I would add that I don’t think we need nations to separate peoples. I’m guessing you didn’t answer the questions on the political compass on patriotism in the affirmative…

          Definitional madness – nevertheless I believe that society can exist without the state or government.

          It’s sad that I realise that we live in a limited world with limited resources available to us and that we need to take care not to over use those resources while ensuring that everyone has a quality life?

          And this entails that everyone is a business unto themselves how?

          I don’t know about that political compass. I used to think it fairly accurate, but now my definition of left and right is different it’s one firmly rooted in history and so the defintions contain within them the libertarian/authoritarian divide – left being trenchantly anti-authoritarian. Further, I wouldn’t have such a divide between economically authoritarian and socially. As Gandhi specifically described himslef as a philosophical anarchist and didn’t believe in the state or representative democracy, whereas you say people should just leave if they don’t believe in the state ( to where?) a la John Locke or form a politcal party if they don’t like the government (I don’t like government fullstop) I would say that a political compass that puts you two on a similar footing isn’t very accurate. Furthermore, someone would have had to answer those questions for Gandhi.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And this entails that everyone is a business unto themselves how?

            As an individual you need an income to cover your expenses and, if you’re doing well, have some left over. That really is all a successful business is. They have income, expenses and, if they’re doing well, profit exactly the same as any individual. It should come as no surprise, given the similarities, that businesses are legal persons. It should also come as no surprise that you can’t provide your labour at less than cost price and so you actually do need to know what the cost is, ergo, you need to account for everything you do.

            The difference in todays society is that we define business as something other, something that people aren’t and this, IMO, is a fallacy and it needs to be changed. You aren’t a worker; you are a business and what you’re supplying is labour.

            To say that you shouldn’t do this or have to cost everything you do because you’re a person and not a business is wrong because we don’t have unlimited resources. We do need to know, as a society, what resources we have available to us and how they’re being used so that we can ensure that what we’re doing is sustainable.

            I dislike the term government because it denotes an authority that I believe that no one should have (note: This is why I also dislike capitalists and capitalism because they seem to go to great pains to tell us that we need an authoritative hierarchy (usually with them at the top)).

            I prefer to call our parliament an administration. They’re hired, by us, to do a job and that job is to ensure that we have the infrastructure and laws so that our society can function. What they do should be at our behest and not at their own or the behest of others. With this in mind state and society become one and the same. I suppose that it could be argued that in this definition the the authoritative state is gone and only society remains.

            I do find that our present representative democracy doesn’t come close to this ideal though but I think we have a long way to go to get to full anarchism (yes, I do think we’ll get there against the wishes of the capitalists).

            Political Compass
            I use it not because I think it’s entirely accurate but because it’s constant. It hasn’t changed in the 5 years since I first found it. For it to be accurate it would need hundreds, if not thousands, of questions. I certainly think some of the questions are leading and that some are just wrong 🙂

  33. Redbaiter 33

    I count about 25 false assertions in Tom Semmen’s post, (2:31pm) and about a dozen false assumptions. Just worthless doctrinal rubbish. If a Christian came here and preached such irrational nonsense, you guys would laugh him out of town. Why let commun*sts off the hook? Or are you all of the same blind faith, and therefore as unable to distinguish reality from fantasy as the odious Mr. Semmens is?

  34. Redbaiter 34

    “And you can take your libertarian declarations to, ah, um, ”

    You’re missing the point. The dominant characteristic found in all tyrants is their intolerance for the political ideas of others. My remark is not about tax or libertarians or whatever rubbish you might dream up to avoid facing the reality of what you are.

    The issue is your totalitarian and anti democratic command to the effect that anyone not agreeing with current socialist ideas should be exiled. I think it demonstrates that your mind is in a seriously crippled state, and by pointing that out in blunt and direct manner, I’m hoping that I can shock you from that state into a return to normality.

    You need to learn some history, and educate yourself on what damage and destruction and death has been wrought by persons who thought like you during the times when they managed to claw their way to supreme power.

  35. RedLogix 35

    The dominant characteristic found in all tyrants is their intolerance for the political ideas of others.

    Quite the same behaviour as we have consistently observed from you for many years.

    You talk about civility, but are one of the most consistently uncivil commenters around.

    You lay claim to a certitude of belief, but never, ever produce any evidence or a line reasoning to support it.

    You talk about tolerance, but exhibit an extreme intolerance for anything other than your own ideas.

    You aggressively mock, denigrate and attack others opinions and ideas, but when called on it you whine about how you’re being persecuted and ridiculed.

    You hold forth as a lone, brave voice, a caped libertarian hero crusading against pitiless foes, but when personally confronted you either flee the debate, or deny that it has anything to do with you with Gollum-ish hand-wringing, cringing and grovelling that we are “obsessing about Redbaiter”.

    Or fall back on feeble, formulaic insults we have seen and laughed at a hundred times.

    You ask us to have faith your ideas RB, but judging by your behaviour here, you are the least trustworthy person I know. You might want to consider just how much damage you personally have inflicted on the cause you so passionately espouse.

    You talk about liberty RB, but act like a petty, psychopathic tyrant yourself. Go figure.

  36. Redbaiter 36

    “You ask us to have faith (sic) your ideas RB”

    Completely wrong Redillogix. I ask nothing from you. Least of all that you write so many words of idiotic opinion and assertion on Redbaiter in the apparent delusion that they represent some kind of objective verdict or contribution to the discussion.

    ..and why is it that you collectivists always always always insanely express yourself using the plural pronoun in apparent ignorance of the ill manners and mental weakness such pretense betrays?

    Go away you shallow unintelligent infantile bore. Only an utterly brainless idiot would put such time and effort into something so petty, petulant and worthless.

  37. The Voice of Reason 37

    “The dominant characteristic found in all tyrants is their intolerance for the political ideas of others” – Redbaiter.

    And there was I thinking it was their love of uniforms and big parades.

    The realpolitik of the world today is the rejection of all you stand for, ‘baiter. Take comfort that the NZ election was a result against the tide, but no more. That sound you hear is your own private Berlin Wall coming down around your ears, the death rattles of the free market, echoing down the empty concrete canyons of Wall St..

  38. RedLogix 38


    and why is it that you collectivists always always always insanely express yourself using the plural pronoun

    This is an open forum RB, and your comments can be read by anyone who can be bothered. In this context the use of the plural form is perfectly legitimate.

    Completely wrong Redillogix. I ask nothing from you.

    Yes you do. In just the post above you stated:

    I’m hoping that I can shock you from that state into a return to normality.

    So in one post you explicitly state an expectation from those reading this thread, and in the next you say you ask nothing of me. It does not add up buddy. (Again you address these comments in a general fashion in an open thread, on which anyone is free to read and reply…so the ‘I wasn’t talking to you’ line won’t cut mustard.)

    Only an utterly brainless idiot would put such time and effort into something so petty, petulant and worthless.

    Denial mode RB. I’m not an utterly brainless idiot and neither are you, so what exactly was the point of this sentence. It wouldn’t be petty, petulant and worthless by any chance?

  39. Redbaiter 39

    “In this context the use of the plural form is perfectly legitimate.”

    It is ill mannered, ignorant, and insane.

    “Yes you do. In just the post above you stated:”

    Piffling coward. A remark directed at The Voice of Bigotry, and not any kind of request, and certainly not a request of you.

    “It wouldn’t be petty, petulant and worthless by any chance?”

    No it wouldn’t be. Its an attempt to puncture your self importance, pomposity, arrogance and condescension. All completely misplaced. You are not at all the clever person you so obviously believe yourself to be.

    Now, if you want to talk tax, go for it, but your partisan expressions of dislike for Redbaiter are just boring infantile shit.

  40. Redbaiter 40

    “The realpolitik of the world today is the rejection of all you stand for, ‘baiter.’

    Yeah, the commun*st apparach*ks was saying just that kind of thing immediately prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    The same old same old collectivist drones who throughout histroy have failed to grasp the simple idea that there has to be prosperity before there can be tax.

  41. Redbaiter 41

    “The realpolitik of the world today is the rejection of all you stand for, ‘baiter.’

    Yeah, the commun*st apparach*ks were saying just that kind of thing immediately prior to the collapse of the Sov*et Un*on.

    The same old same old collectivist drones who throughout history have failed to grasp the simple idea that there has to be prosperity before there can be tax.

  42. RedLogix 42

    It is ill mannered, ignorant, and insane.

    If you are on some form of ideological crusade to expunge the use of the personal plural pronoun from the English language, why not come out an just say so, instead of being ill mannered, ignorant and insane about it?

    A remark directed at The Voice of Bigotry, and not any kind of request, and certainly not a request of you.

    If you want your remarks to remain private use a private medium like email. If you make general remarks in a public forum, others such as myself will read them and reply if we wish. In trying to stop me from doing so, you again act like a petty tyrant.

    Its an attempt to puncture your self importance, pomposity, arrogance and condescension.

    So now you DO want something from me. If your words remained unread by me and unreflected upon by me, then they could have no effect could they? You require me to not only read what you say, but for them to have ANY effect (such as puncturing my self importance), it is essential that I believe them to have some truth or import. At that point you ask something of me RB.

    And how I choose to spend my time and energy responding is entirely a matter for me to choose. Again, trying to shut me down, by telling me what I can or cannot reply to is the act of a petty tyrant.

    You are not at all the clever person you so obviously believe yourself to be.

    I am secure about where my ‘cleverness’ fits in to the general scheme of things RB. But your clearly pointless attempt to shut me down by judging me to be an utterly brainless idiot is the act of a petty tyrant. It’s the kind of scathing humiliation that incompetent, bullying school teachers indulge in when they have lost control.

    As with much of your language.

  43. Matthew Pilott 43

    I wonder if “Ill mannered, ignorant, and insane” only implies to ‘collectivists’ using the plural pronoun. Apparently when Redbaiter talks about the Mythical Right rising up (the Mythical Right of which he is clearly the collectiivst spokesperson for, as evidenced by him talking about what ‘we’ are doing, usually rising up etc etc) it’s alright. And yet Redbaiter never answers when Redbaiter is asked who or what this Mythical Right is. They’re not the Right that everyone I’ve ever seen who professes to be Right is, so I wonder who they are. Maybe they pretend to be Leftists for some odd reason.

  44. Redbaiter 44

    zzzzzz ….snore.. zzzzzzzzz

    • lprent 44.1

      Sleeping on duty? I’m not sure that is quite the look that an ardent defender of demo.. (umm of what?). It sure isn’t democracy. An ardent defender of “my right to be a arsehole” aka a Heinlenist perhaps?

      I think I’m one of those as well – but more of a redbaiter-baiter

  45. RedLogix 45

    zzzzzz .snore.. zzzzzzzzz

    The old ‘fleeing the debate with tail between legs’ gambit, while maintaining a transparent pretense of not doing so.

    I have seen all your repertoire of tricks RB, and you are rapidly using them up.

    • Matthew Pilott 45.1

      I’m yet to get a decent answer. I do wonder who Redbaiter collectively speaks for, and why he’s allowed to collectively speak for them, yet collectivists are selectively ill mannered, ignorant, and insane for doing much the same.

      I have a sneaking suspicion that Redbaiter does, in fact, speak for all three of ‘We’, whereas there is quite a collection of collectivists; thus I can’t speak for them all – he’s just gormed there are so few of Redbaiter’s ‘We’ and so many of the ‘collectivists’ ‘Us’…

  46. Murray 46

    Instead of you lot ganging up on Redbaiter, why don’t we get back to the topic. Incidentally the gang mentality is generally associated with people who are individually weak. In my opinion the lower paid would not be so low paid if they weren’t so fucking useless. I’ve been banned for life so I doubt this will get posted.

    [lprent: Well your comments are pure crap, classically moronic right wing, they are largely devoid of any significant content. However they seldom come up for moderation – mainly because you actually write your own opinions rather than spouting someone else’s lines. I think that IB probably went a bit overboard on my defense (which wasn’t required), so I will rescind the ban.

    Anyway to answer your question – why should we deprive RB of his pleasure. I get the distinct impression the main reason that he is here is because all of the left-wingers have left the sewer. How can you be a red-baiter if all of the other commentators are sycophantic John Key brown-noses mindlessly following the ideology of PR. I seem to remember a philosophy of that kind of personality cult. Jamestown? Stalin, Mao, ….. etc ]

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