The politics of greed

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, July 15th, 2011 - 83 comments
Categories: capital gains, class war, Ethics, tax - Tags: , ,

The political Right have many dishonest but effective catch phrases. One of the most common is “the politics of envy”. They trot it out in response to any attempt by the Left to implement a more progressive tax system or close tax loopholes. They’re trotting it out now in response to Labour’s latest proposals. Check out the blogs and comment sections, a mindless chorus of “politics of envy! politics of envy!”.

They get their lines from the top of course. John Key likes to claim that “we’re into the politics of aspiration – my opponents are into the politics of envy”.  It is repeated by other politicians on the Right: “Helen Clark’s 39 cent envy tax”. It is repeated by commentators who should know better: “What Labour is doing is invoking the politics of envy”.  Of course it is repeated by the poodles serving the lower end of the market: “This is the politics of envy, not economic efficiency if they bring back a 39% tax rate”.  And from there on down in to the comments sections and chatter.

It’s all a bunch of dishonest bullshit.  A dog whistle designed to head off rational debate, and replace it with self-righteous rationalisation.  Clever political framing based on emotional manipulation.  In short, the “politics of envy” is a crock.

Even a moment’s thought should make clear that most of the Lefties proposing progressive taxation have nothing at all to be “envious” of.  Labour politicians are proposing a new top tax rate, but they have high incomes.  They are proposing a CGT, but they own assets.  They earn plenty, and they will pay more tax under their own proposals.  How is that envy exactly?  (Given the demographics of commenters at The Standard, plenty of the Lefties here supporting these proposals are likewise high income earners). Far from envy, what Labour and the Greens are proposing is the politics of compassion.

If the Left was inclined to be just as dishonest we should fight fire with fire and get down and dirty on “the politics of greed”.  Key, the Nats, and all their repeaters, are quite happy to shift wealth from the poorest to the rich.  Their tax cuts massively favoured the already well off.  Their GST swindle hit the poor again.  Now they are fighting a capital tax that is almost universal in the OECD.  It isn’t “aspiration” at all, it’s simply petty, naked, insatiable greed. The mindless desire to consume all that they can and to hell with everyone else.  For is not the love of money the root of all evil?  Yeah – those are the lines the Left should be running!

No, I’m not seriously proposing that we follow the Right into the gutter.  We could, but as Lefties we’ve got more intellectual honesty than that. (Too bad that honesty can be a bit of a liability in politics.)  But what we should do is oppose the “politics of envy” meme more forcefully wherever we see it.  Call it what it is.  It’s bullshit.


Handy summary:
If they say “the politics of envy vs. aspiration”
then we say “the politics of compassion vs. greed”

83 comments on “The politics of greed”

  1. Policy Parrot 1

    This is a tax plan for “the needy” instead of “the greedy”.

    • mik e 1.1

      National and act wil use the Murdoch sponsored fox rhetoric of envy and parasitic behavior for sure only the rich deserve a decent quality of existence the rest of bring it on your self and don,t deserve anything besides your all communists, democracy is only for the wealthy and so on.And your not aloud an opinion either

  2. stever 2

    Anyhow, “envy” can’t be the property of a policy, only of a person.

    So, shouting “politics of envy” as an attack on a policy is missing the point, since it’s actually only an attack on the person posing the policy—it says nothing about the policy itself.

    I guess the fact that critics are being reduced to attacking the messenger rather than the message rather makes the point that they have nothing useful to attack the message with.

  3. tc 3

    Combine this with a NACT friendly but hostile to labour MSM and it’s setup for some serious ranting and raving.

    To suggest it’s too complex to implement insults the IRD and experience around the world gives them plenty of robust and workable models.

  4. Key and co have their own version of that famous lefty creed.

    Instead of “from each according to their ability to each according to their need”, they believe in “from each according to their powerlessness, to each according to their greed”. 

  5. Peter 5

    “Clever political framing based on emotional manipulation.”

    Our motivation is based on emotion not rational thought.

    Win over emotions and win the election. NACT fully understand this!

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      +1

      Nat understand this
      So does Crosby Textor

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 5.2

      Its becoming the Economists versus the Politicians and Property Speculators. Who would you trust to tel the truth.

  6. Bored 6

    Taxation rates are where the rubber hits the road because thats where the dues that pay for all of the services we share get paid. Its not the politics of envy, its the politics of equity and social justice.

  7. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7

    Oh puhlease. A special tax rate aimed at anyone who the whistllee suspects is doing better than him or her without deserving it, is the very essence of a dog whistle. Labour are saying to their base, “we’ll get the bastards for ya!”, while saying to everyone else, “look how goddamned compassionate we are. Compassionate, I tells ya!”

    The sanctimony is making me want to spew.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      What’s the opposite of compassion, and the politics of compassion? Cruelty.

      National are playing the politics of cruelty. TGFFKAO is a mouthpiece for this.

    • r0b 7.2

      A special tax rate aimed at anyone who the whistllee suspects is doing better than him or her 

      Labour can’t even talk about progressive taxation without you hearing those voices in your head Gormless.  But that’s what they are – voices in your head.  Compare and contrast with the Nats overt “politics of envy” propaganda from Key right on down to the gutter.

       The sanctimony is making me want to spew.

      Truth hurts huh.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.2.1

        C’mon. It’s a whistle.

        • KJT 7.2.1.1

          Well. I am on the top tax rate.
          Have been most of my life.
          From working very hard.
          But, also because of the education and opportunities I had from our society.
          And! A bit of luck.
          The same as most on a high income.

          I do not see why someone sitting on their arse, collecting rents and capital gains from speculation/shares etc, should be untaxed.

          And! I do not mind paying a little more tax to get good public amenities and services.
          When they are privatised we all suffer. We pay more for a lesser service. Selling income earning assets for short term gain is totally nuts.

          And! I think the cleaner deserves more than $15 an hour.
          They work bloody hard for very little.
          Especially with the price of food, transport and housing.
          They contribute more to the economy than a banker.

          And! I think having a tax free minimum income is a good idea.

          And! I think a decent society looks after their elderly, the sick,their kids and those who are unable to get work.

          Good on Labour for having the guts to start making wealthy bludgers pay their fair share.

          • lprent 7.2.1.1.1

            ditto… In my case I have been in the top few percent of wage and salary earners for at least the last 20 years.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.2.1.1.1.1

              I have noticed that you have gone out of your way to declare this on more than one occasion, Lprent.

              Why do you want everyone to know you earn a lot of money?

              • Colonial Viper

                Sounds like envy mate you shouldn’t begrudge someone else’s success, that’s the problem with you lot, always envious and wanting to pull people down to your level

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  I begrudge no-one success. Not even the Bieber.

                  I just consider it a bit, well, crass, to tell everyone else how rich you are.

                  But maybe I am alone in that.

                  • lprent

                    I’m not rich. I’m reasonably well off. It doesn’t take that much income to get into the top few percent of wage and salary earners.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      In my mind’s eye, you are as rich as Bieber.

                    • lprent

                      Who is Bieber? (looks up google)

                      Oh that kid. The only thing I know about him is that he apparently has a hell of a following amongst teens and for some reason males in their 30’s and 40’s. Someone sent me a link. Classified as a donny osmond.

              • lprent

                Nope. I mention it when it arises in the debate, just as I mention other experiences like Labour party, Army, education, general work experience, industries I have worked in, etc etc.

                These have come up in the conversation of the debate during the thousands of comments I have made over nearly 4 years. Many who have been around for that period of time are aware of them. Are you saying that actual experience should not be part of the debate? Of course many of the RWNJ trolls and astroturfers have a tendency to bullshit – perhaps you’re suspecting I’m like them? I can assure you I don’t bullshit much – it takes too much effort (and is nowhere near as much fun as ripping bullshitters to little shreds).

                In this case KJT said exactly what I would have. Specifically, that people who earn money are not required to be heartless bastards. It appears to be something that some of them choose to be – largely those who support the short-term thinking of the National party. They tend to remind me of scavenging troops in an occupation force looting whatever they can lay their hands on and not caring much about the future of the country they are pillaging.

                What I (and KJT) were saying is to please don’t class me amongst those who choose to be that way.

                • Lanthanide

                  IMO you’ve actually very seldom brought up your financial history when at times you could have.

          • M 7.2.1.1.2

            Well said KJT – education, opportunities and a little luck that does not rain down equally on all and thanks for acknowledging those vital ingedients as so many well-off people try to make it sound like it’s all come to them from the sweat of their brows.

            If I were fortunate enough to have a high income of course I would expect to pay more tax as I deem it part of the social or human contract. I don’t care if people don’t agree with my views on most stuff but I do care that all people live in decency and modest comfort.

        • r0b 7.2.1.2

          C’mon. It’s a whistle.

          How could Labour possibly frame the idea in a way that wouldn’t be “a whistle”.  Can you give us some examples?

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.2.1.2.1

            I am glad you asked that, r0b because it is an issue have have long struggled with when framed (as it usually is) from the left.

            To pick the most often-cited example, say you had a genuine concern about the level of immigration in New Zealand. History suggests that it is absolutely impossible to raise that as an issue without being accused of whistling.

            Sauce. Goose. Gander.

            • r0b 7.2.1.2.1.1

              Sauce. Goose. Gander.

              Well that doesn’t exactly move us forward does it!

            • Puddleglum 7.2.1.2.1.2

              So, the tax switch is a ‘get the rich pricks’ dogwhistle despite the fact that the removal of GST from fruit and vegetables and the $5,000 income tax threshold have been criticised partly because they give tax back to those who don’t need it as well as those who do. Similarly, WFF is routinely criticised by right wingers as helping those too wealthy to need it, as is any universal benefit such as superannuation at age 65.

              Read the last substantive paragraph in this comment I just made in response to a comment from tsmithfield.

              It’s no dogwhistle to the envious, it’s a broad-based attempt to help those who need it. My only complaint is that it doesn’t go far enough. 

              Anthony, thanks for this post. It’s something I’ve been getting hot under the collar about recently. 

        • bbfloyd 7.2.1.3

          you really are full of shit bikkie boy… it’s not even humorous shit, it’s just nasty small minded poison. people like you will be standing on the sideline cheering as we watch yet another attempt by the throwback from the aristocracy of yore to drag us into serfdom and third world living conditions..

          it’s fuckwits like you that have cheered on every tinpot dictator ever to exist. the same group who are quickest to squeal when it all turned to shit, as it always will when thugs like our current crop of wannabe aristocracy are allowed within reach of the power..

          of course, it will be the people who have had the job of trying to clean up the mess your beloved leaders have made of everything who will be getting the blame for the fucked up job national is doing.. that’s about all you tory fuckwits can do.

          lucky that you own the newspapers, otherwise we would never have had to deal with the damage your morally and financially bankrupt party regularly does. a truly independent, and scrupulous fourth column would have easily exposed your rabble for what they really are..

          THE SCUM THAT KEEPS FLOATING TO THE TOP! the dross that has to be skimmed off before achieving purity.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.2.1.3.1

            I’m the nasty one. Righto.

  8. Red Rosa 8

    A few cyclical fiscal deficits are one thing. Eroding the tax base to the point of massive and continuing funding gaps is another.

    This is what has happened in the US. The Bush tax cuts and war spending threaten to wreck even that huge resilient economy. Europe is now almost totally dependent on Germany, where memories of the hyperinflation of the 1920s still linger and keep fiscal policy at least moderately honest.

    Interesting that in the US, as in NZ, governments of the Right have slid into these big deficits after Left governments (Clinton, Clark), left them a legacy of sound finance.

    Pointless relying on growth, if the tax cuts only make things worse. Somehow these gaps have to be filled by taxes, and those taxes need to be fair and equitable. No-one is talking spending increases.

    There is a case for broadening the NZ tax base further, by modest land taxes and a Tobin tax, but the deafening squeals from those affected hardly bear contemplation.

    Just maybe, those highly paid MPs can take a look at themselves. Their salaries (Hone’s $200k +, anyone?) take the ir incomes way beyond 95% of NZ’ers, and surely contribute to the current complacent attitude. The French aristocracy, pre 1789?

  9. davidc 9

    Giving a $525/yr bribe to those on benifits paid for by salary workers on $150K/yr isnt eny taxation I would hate to see what is.

    The $150K tax rate wont touch anyone who is self employed or has property investments, and there is a $4800 a year incentive to reorganise your affairs.

    Accountants will be loving this idea. Not that will ever see light of day.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      only davidc would be crass enough to describe a very basic adjustment to help people make ends meet and alleviate hardship as a ‘bribe’.

      The politics of greed from someone supporting the 5% of wealthiest, someone who doesn’t understand the fiscal crisis the country is in.

      He also speaks about the wealthy who refuse to pay a couple of thousand dollars of extra tax to help NZ move ahead.

      They are the ones who are playing the politics of greed while ignoring all our futures.

    • freedom 9.2

      Davidc, do you purposefully make yourself look stupid or is it just a lifelong habit?

      everyone gets the $5000 tax free start. And not everyone wants to earn 150K. Some people are just wanting to buiild a life where they get more time with their family and are able to feed them.

    • Ianupnorth 9.3

      Davide, what this country needs now is investment. A scenario even you may understand; you have a big house, you don’t look after it, the paint peels because you don’t spend the money painting it; you don’t clean it either and let the garden over grow – does it retain its value? Possibly yes, possibly no. If you invest, do the paintwork, tidy the garden, etc. the likelihood is the asset appreciates. You benefit from an increase in the monetary value of the asset.
       
      Now think of a country with lots of unskilled young people all needing work; if you leave them unemployed, unskilled you risk the depreciation of this asset from ill health, increased crime, loss of earning potential, and of course the fact you need to pay them to do nothing.
       
      If you actually invest in them, you create a better place, healthier bodies and minds, they can rebuild our infrastructure (maybe a few ChCh homes or a few trains), and guess what; they earn more, pay tax and buy things which generates GST.
       
      The CGT will be spent developing our country – key just wants to sell the assets to pay off debt – that is not, to use a buzz word, sustainable.

    • mik e 9.4

      Actually this is a Muldoon style policy where every body gets a tax cut not just the rich I smell the politics of envy here

      • bbfloyd 9.4.1

        mik e.. i smell something else coming from your direction.. smells like shit. horse shit.. it’s obviously taxing you to repeat lines given to you by your hero key the thief. hard to remember all those long words(one of them has THREE syllables) isn’t it.

        stick to abusing beneficiaries when you see them on tv.. it’s what your good at after all.

        • mik e 9.4.1.1

          hey bbf you obviosly haven,t read any of my other entries I was making fun of david c, s complaint about about the $10 dollar a week tax cut every body gets. he obviously envious about.

          • Billy Fish 9.4.1.1.1

            I thought it was the Politics of LUST……. just trying some other deadly sins as they tend to get over looked

            • Colonial Viper 9.4.1.1.1.1

              Yeah not everyone overlooks the politics of LUST, some specialise haha

              http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/5406658/Silvio-Berlusconis-women-the-top-10.html

              My personal fav:

              Noemi Letitzia, 18, schoolgirl who calls Berlusconi ’Papi’ and who has been the subject of media spotlight after it emerged he had visited her coming of age party and gave her a 6000 euro gold and diamond necklace

              • Jim Nald

                The wily old fox knows celebrating the end of illegality marks the beginning of opportunity.

              • rosy

                nah it has to be the Equal Opportunities minister

                Mara Carfagna, 33, former model, Miss Italy contestant and calendar girl but never ”anything erotic” now Equal Opportunities Minister in Berlusconi’s cabinet.

                I wonder what her qualifications the job were.

  10. marsman 10

    It’s not envy it’s ‘ leveling the playing field’ and ‘ making things fairer for everyone’ , isn’t that how the greedy e.g. Key, English, Douglas would describe it if they were reaping the benefits?

  11. Tangled up in blue 11

    ‘Nasty tax won’t get a cent of my property gains’ – Millionaire property speculator

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10738564

    • stever 11.1

      I can’t see what point that article (beyond “hate”) is making.

      So, he won’t ever sell his houses, so will never actually see any cash—so rightly won’t pay CGT.

      He will live off the rent, and will (I presume) pay income tax on that.

      Fine—so where’s the hate coming from????

      • Deadly_NZ 11.1.1

        But he hides all his property in a family trust. Now is that going to be taxed under the CGT so let him squeal he’ll get taxed, and if he don’t like it he can sell up, and piss off after paying his CGT and departure tax.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.2

      What a great article promoting a CGT. If we had a country full of people like this guy we will be broke in no time.

      • mickysavage 11.2.1

        I read it and it brought tears to my eyes.  Poor fellow I do not know how he survivies.  How about we pass the hat around to collect some money for the poor dear?
         

    • mik e 11.3

      You would do very well in a fuedelistic society TUIB

  12. policywonk 12

    Doesn’t matter whether the public are “rich pricks” as Labour labels them, working class, or on welfare.

    One of the ironies in this CGT debate is that Labour rails against asset sales and then introduces a revenue-gathering mechanism that relies on the sale of assets to work…

    Another irony is that gambling a $100 on the turn of a card in a casino will be tax-free but investing $100 in a productive business will be taxable.

    That’s not the politics of envy, or the politics of greed, or of social justice – it’s the politics of confusion

    • Zorr 12.1

      Property speculation is NOT a productive business. That is a huge chunk of the problem and why a CGT needs to be introduced.

      • Property speculation won’t be affected, it is already covered by existing tax law.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.1.1.1

          In that case, why is Key yabbering on about rents going up?

        • Puddleglum 12.1.1.2

          You obviously need a better accountant, SS.

          Having said that, most property ‘investors’ gain from the capital gain by borrowing against it (rather than selling). They get a new valuation, go to the bank, take out a loan and buy another property. There are better minds than mine at this out there so can anyone tell me how a CGT would affect that behaviour? (if at all).

      • policywonk 12.1.2

        property speculation may not be a productive business…

        …and the process of buying shares in an productive business doesn’t make the share-buying a productive business either.

        However investing in a productive business to accelerate its growth, to build competitive advantages, and to create sustainable margins that enhance the job security of New Zealanders? – that builds the productivity of our economy.

        Yet those investments will be taxed under Labour’s CGT while gambling is exempt…. pffft. That’s the politics of confusion.

        Banging on against state-owned asset sales and expecting to raise revenue through the public selling their assets? That’s the politics of confusion.

        • framu 12.1.2.1

          considering you dont seem to know the difference between publicly held and privately held assets, and the different effects selling one or the other has on the national economy im not surprised that your confused

          • Puddleglum 12.1.2.1.1

            Agreed framu. The only ‘confusion’ in policywonk’s ‘politics of confusion’ seems to be around his own ability to construct analogies. Which is ironic given his concern over ironies.

    • r0b 12.2

      Doesn’t matter whether the public are “rich pricks” as Labour labels them

      Where did Labour do that policywonk?  Let’s have the quote please.

      • policywonk 12.2.1

        Despite views to the contrary, John Key is still a member of the public.

        You may not recall these taunts from former Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen so here’s a link to refresh your memory:

        Cullen not apologising for ‘scumbag’ and ‘rich prick’ taunt

        [lprent: The next time I see you use the “rich prick” comment out of context, then you’re out of here for the duration – under any identity. I’m tired of reading it. In the meantime – have a two week holiday for being an idiot.]

        • felix 12.2.1.1

          God you’re desperate. Someone calls John Key a rich prick, therefore they have labelled “the public” rich pricks.

          Hey, if I call you a desperate spinner, have I just called the rest of NZ the same?

          Idiot.

        • lprent 12.2.1.2

          And I’m not apologizing for calling you a “policywank” either. How does that phrase that affect anything? How does Cullen describing what he thinks of John Key affect anything?

          So your point is?

          Maybe is is that right wingers are thin skinned as well as being short-term thinkers. And that they’d prefer to talk about people who are no longer in government to anything current.

          • policywonk 12.2.1.2.1

            sorry, what’s your point?

            That you can be more abusive as the previous blogger?

            That – as James Delingpole so eloquently put it – you resort to crude smear tech­niques whereby your oppo­nents must for­ever be dis­missed as morally compromised?

            • lprent 12.2.1.2.1.1

              The point is that you lied again further up. Cullen said that to John Key – not to “the public”.

              I said much the same to you as an individual with a play on your handle. Is that a reason for you to start lying like you have with the Cullen remark.

              Anyway, you’re out of here for a couple of weeks. So I won’t have to read your lies for a while.

        • r0b 12.2.1.3

          Despite views to the contrary, John Key is still a member of the public.

          Sorry you’ve copped a ban policywonk and so can’t discuss this further.

          But despite you view to the contrary insulting a single individual (however unwisely) does not constitute insulting “the public”.  

          That’s just stupid, and an example of the kind of twisting of the facts that lives up to the term “RWNJ”.

      • mik e 12.2.2

        No labour has never called any one rich pricks it was Hone and besides labour want more people to become rich not less like National who want to protect those who are already rich and increase user pay s and taxes on the other 80% of New Zealnders

    • bbfloyd 12.3

      you need to get some brainpower to work for you lad… that was nonsensical rubbish. there wasn’t even a point to argue with.. lame…

    • Deadly_NZ 12.4

      yes but houses and shit, are personal shit. But power stations and stuff are owned by all, and some ignoramus should not be allowed to sell them, just because he has no other clues.

  13. alex 13

    I was so sad reading Stuff. Thats the major internet news source in NZ, and they really looked like they were doing their utmost to frame Labour in a bad light. I have a terrible feeling that New Zealand won’t wake up before November and we will be left with no ownership over power companies.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 13.1

      On the other hand the contradictory and self-interested arguments of the government and property developers, which instantly get debunked by economists and which go along way to publicising Labour’s move may be doing Goff’s sales job for him.

      Key says the tax is a big grab against aspiration, English says it won’t raise any money (spot the contradiction there). Then Dunne says existing measures are enough- well why aren’te existing Capital Gains measures also a blow to Key’s ‘aspiration’. Why not ask the IRD to stop enforcing thei current CGT on short term property speculation if they don’t want to squash ‘aspiration’?

      Then Dunne says that the depreciation changes are enough to control speculation whereas Key says he is worried about rents going up. Why wasn’t he worried about rents when they removed depreciation schedules last year?

      18 months ago speculation was destructive now its ‘aspirational’ and keeps rents down.

      Pull up the quotes from before last years budget and you will see they are all over the place on this.

      • Craig Glen Eden 13.1.1

        Exactly ZB, this is desperate stuff and I think we need to be clear this is desperate stuff from the greedy. Call it what it is its self seeking greed. This is not some unbearable burden on rich folk.

        How many of us will say a loose a business or loose the ability to provide for our families as a result of these changes I would guess none not one. Contrast how many peoples lives will be better off as a result of this ??? I don’t think it would be overstating to say thousands will be better of including NZ as a whole.

        SO those who are crying politics of envy my response is this, stop blugging. IF you don’t want to see NZ and the majority of its citizens situation improve piss off pack your bags and go, go where ever you like just piss off you useless greedy piece of self serving shit. The left have no reason to be soft with these people this is a serious situation these people are greedy and self serving and I have had enough of their whinging.

        The left have a duty to tell it like it is!

  14. Angry of Ilam 15

    I subscribe to the mantra that “When you rob Peter to pay Paul you will always get the support of Paul” a philosophy Labour has embraced. In all the rhetoric everyone seems to have conveniently forgotten 17% of all taxpayers contribute 97% of N.Z’s tax take. It’s this very minority that funds schools, health, police, roads etc that Labour wants to bleed more! Labour will of course never get a chance to introduce its policy to tax the proverbial out of the rich pricks come November – so it’s all academic to debate the subject.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 15.1

      So why not broaden the base? You make the perfect argument for capturing all that untaxed income a CGT would collect.

    • Bored 15.2

      Angry, you forgot to add that the 17% also own the means of production and make their money from the labour of the 83% who toil for their benefit.

    • Augustus 15.3

      But you will be quite happy to pay higher power prices for the benefit of overseas investors. So your “minority” will finance schools, health policy and roads in Hongkong rather than here. That’s way better for us of course…

    • Lanthanide 15.4

      Please post the source of that stat, Ilam, because I am certain you have seriously seriously gotten it wrong.

      I doubt 17% of tax payers pay 97% of all income tax, let alone 97% of *all* tax.

      GST is a tax. Petrol excise is a tax. Company tax is a tax. Income tax on kiwisaver returns (which over 1M people have signed up for) is a tax.

  15. Lanthanide 16

    Whenever I hear the term “policy of aspiration”, I’m reminded of the term that coroners use to describe deaths sometimes – “aspiration of one’s own vomit into the lungs”.

  16. vto 17

    Taking up the cry “the politics of greed” is not following the right into the gutter, it is clear and honest and the left should take it up.

    Get stuck into them. If you just sit on your arse and talk nicely then you are simply giving away an advantage to the right. Why would you do that?

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      At a time they are trying to sell off our futures and our assets, being ‘polite’ is not the way to go. The heart is the power of the Left, while the Right want to reduce everything down to cold rational financial decisions.

      Rational for the top 5% that is.

  17. Craig Glen Eden 18

    Im with you VTO see above 13.1.1

  18. Adele 19

    Teenaa koutou katoa

    I earn a fairly decent salary, with more to come. I absolutely love my job, and I am very good at it. I think it is awesome that we pay taxes to pay others, whether as doctor, politician, or beneficiary. It’s simply the price we pay for having the freedom to live in peace, and to prosper.

    To reduce this country into a purely capitalist venture is to deny it the potential for something far greater. We should be leading the world in many, many things, including prosperity for all. Instead we are screeching backwards into primordial soup for brains.

    Business wise, greed is a medium term strategy of about 200 years, at which point the luckless masses will revolt against the masters. An ugly cycle bound to repeat until the lesson is learned.

    A Māori saying is that we need to look into the past in order to realise a future, or words to that effect. I think it is also an evolutionary concept.

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