we should have tax brackets (and benefits, and the minimum wage...) tied to an inflation index
e.g. tied to ministerial salaries, which would markedly change incentives.
TT had, I think, an entirely valid point in (repeatedly) insisting that the racist framing of the issue came from media reports rather than from the wording or interpretation used in the original analysis. This whole snafu really seems much less a matter of “OMG I can’t believe Labour used a racist dogwhistle, WTF were they thinking!?” and more a matter of “OMG Labour totally stuffed up their media strategy yet again” – as a result of which it got turned into a racist dogwhistle.
Labour really have been tone-deaf and clueless enough in their dealings with the media over the past few years that I’m perfectly willing to believe it’s (another) cock-up rather than a conspiracy.
Given the location under a bridge, I would guess space is not readily available for off-street parking, so access to street parking is a legitimate concern.
So, more specifically, you’re arguing for a more progressive tax regime.
I agree. If the main problem with National’s management is wealth redistribution from the poor to the wealthy, then a progressive tax is the most obvious remedy. It would be hard or impossible to direct the other revenue streams suggested by Ben in the same way: e.g. currency devaluation is effectively just a flat rate tax; and bonds are only guaranteed to work progressively (in effect, as a tax on disposable income of investors) if they actually make a loss (which would rather defeat the purpose).
the amount being paid off is greater than the sum being borrowed
Steve’s point was that that you originally said something quite different, as “maturing debt” is debt that is coming due for payment (or contract renegotiation), not necessarily debt that is being paid off.
social spending in New Zealand increased by 22%…
Let’s put that in context:
(i) Could certain Christchurch events between those two dates have affected total social expenditure, do you think?
(ii) The GFC also struck NZ between those two date ranges.
So an increase in total expenditure does not translate into a per capita increase for those that need it.
(iii) In that OECD summary, your quote appears under the heading Strong increase in the share of population that cannot afford to buy enough food, which seems at odds with the cheerleading tone otherwise adopted, and suggests some serious problems with the economic indicators chosen for comparison.
A product of boulder dash.
Would you say Parliament is doing an effective job of overseeing anything at present?
There’s a trade-off involved, given that we have (i) a small population and (ii) a frighteningly small pool of capable individuals interested in running for public office for the good of the country rather than for their own benefit.
Increasing the size of our Parliament would probably allow increased representativeness, but would almost certainly reduce efficiency of day-to-day running of the country. (C. Northcote Parkinson, in The Law, estimated 23±2 as a committee size limit above which it was impossible to do any productive work.)
For any functionality beyond representativeness, you don’t need hundreds of idiots; you need a smaller number of capable people. One weakness of democracy is that there's no separate, objective quality control on candidates other than the popular party vote (and/or electoral representative vote -- for which nominations are determined also by the party's selection process). It’s pretty damn obvious that popularity of a party with voters does not entail capability of a member in the job. (And as the Greens are perhaps now discovering, there’s no guarantee of capability even in their more direct hiring process where individuals are popular with the party membership.)
the new current affairs show called Story
A title not necessarily prioritising fact over fiction.