Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Speaker: Why you should vote,

    Well put James.

    More crudely If JK is PM he can safely ignore any party that has less than 6-7% of the vote and he will because he doesn't need them at all. If those parties had 12% then he would need them and he would suck up to them and do deals to get their vote for the things he wants.

    Essentially your minority voice will only be heard if JK thinks he needs the vote from the minority party that most represents your voice.

    I've always voted for a slightly different reason.
    In a democracy most people have two times in their life when they can influence the democracy.

    The first is when they vote - yes the influence is small but it's the only influence you have unless you want to enter the murky waters of politics yourself.

    The second is when you are on jury duty - that is the time when you actually apply the laws that the government passes and on a jury you can influence whether those laws are being applied correctly.

    It would seem a pity not take part in the democracy in which we live.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3269 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Steven Joyce: Prick or Treat, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Not sure that aspiring to be at the top of the OECD for tax take is something that would go over well with the focus groups, though.

    I was addressing the rather silly suggestion that because we are merely 4% below the OECD average taxation that we should feel comfortable with that.

    I agree we should be talking about what we want from our tax dollars and then making sure we have a high enough taxation to achieve that. But the difficulty is that there will instantly be endless people arguing ooo no we pay too much tax already and we should be talking about anything that might increase that awful terrifying number.

    When in fact we pay significantly less tax than the countries we aspire to, so no I'm not going to apologise for attacking the fundamental and false assumption that taxation is bad.

    Oh and just a note, while the US is listed as 24% that does not include state and city taxation at all and when you do include those you find that we pay less tax than most Americans!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3269 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Steven Joyce: Prick or Treat, in reply to Farmer Green,

    low taxation results in shitty lives for the population

    A direct causal link? A long bow indeed.

    Go to Cambodia. No really, actually visit the country. You will see the result of near 100% tax avoidance. Schools built from foreign aid, but no teachers because there is no taxation to pay them. Police more interested in selling souvenir police uniforms than protecting women, because nobody pays them enough to live.

    The relationship between taxation and quality of life is far far too strong to dismiss as merely correlation not causation. But by all means continue to smoke.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3269 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Steven Joyce: Prick or Treat, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Starting with the question of “How much should we tax?” seems to be rather putting the equine beast before the towed, wheeled carriage.

    What we have done in NZ for the last three decades is argue that we can and should reduce our tax take. We have pretended that providing the governmental services we all desire can continue and increase while reducing tax take.

    We continue to argue strongly that X should not be done because it might require more taxation, while ignoring the fact that most people want X.

    So no I do not think that attacking the concept that we should reduce taxation is inappropriate.

    To play with your analogy, we can argue all day long about how many people our carriage should carry whether suspension is necessary. But until we address the issue of how many horses are needed such argument is pointless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3269 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Steven Joyce: Prick or Treat, in reply to Farmer Green,

    At 31% of GDP, NZ’s total tax take is not very different from the OECD unweighted average of 35%.

    A 12.9% increase in government revenue, from 31% to 35% would be huge!

    And yet again, do we aspire to the OECD average or to the top of the OECD. All the important tables we compare ourselves to we wish to be at the top of not at the average or even worse to be below average.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3269 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Steven Joyce: Prick or Treat, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    “we cannot and should not increase the overall tax take”

    Yeah that. Despite the fact NZ has a relatively low total tax take in comparison worldwide and very low compared to those countries at the top of all the leaderboards we like to compete on, we continue to believe that we can have all the benefits the higher tax countries have without paying that tax.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3269 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Steven Joyce: Prick or Treat, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Science funding is being cut because National are adamantly opposed to tax increases/new taxes

    Truth be told I blame decreased science funding on the ridiculous proposition that National and Labour both subscribe to - that we cannot and should not raise taxes. This despite all evidence worldwide indicating low taxation results in shitty lives for the population (with the exception of tax haven microstates).

    Within that stupid pool of limited taxation any distinctions are arbitrary, in short the government can and does change the law frequently to move moneys around between the sub-pools.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3269 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Grey Fucking Area, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I don’t find his surly bovver boy shtick endearing either

    Especially since when you talk to people who have actual contact with him he is apparently smart and hard working, he apparently actually reads and comments on some of the grant applications and they are not light reading.

    There are talented hard working people in the National party but we don't get to see much of them and even less of the work they do - disappointing really.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3269 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Grey Fucking Area, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    warp ten rhetoric

    Unlike for example the right honourable Mr Joyce in full "I see nothing mode"

    Do I like politics consisting of a bunch of kids (god I'm old) shouting their dislike of the PM, and lets just for a second do them the courtesy of considering their dislike to be genuine, in rude terms? No I think we could do better with political debate.

    But National has hung it's hat on being John Key's party and make a very very big deal of him being such a nice man him all having "drug 'imself up from 'umble beginnings". Not exactly in the deep end of the intellectual political debate pool either really.

    You're right we should expect more from our representatives. Perhaps National could start by bringing some serious thinking to the hustings. So far though the prize for that race has to go to The Greens whose commitment to evidence-based policy is refreshing, if not complete.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3269 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Steven Joyce: Prick or Treat, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    But NZ doesn’t have grad-level jobs for people with science degrees, either. I know several people with reasonably good degrees in bioscience who have been unable to get any kind of grad-level job (often winding up in IT/teaching/overseas).

    Yup. The brutal fact is that a good MSc is worth almost nothing. We pay our managers, finance and admin staff "market rates" but we pay our technicians the lowest amount we can get away with. We see people all the time make the entirely rational decision to take their talent and intelligence and use it in careers that actually will allow them to pay their mortgage. And yet our senior executives continue to get pay rises.

    Part of the problem is the continued starvation of the science funding but a part of it is a management problem.

    As for teaching - most of our techs can get an instant pay rise by going to teachers training college with a clear defined career path from there - sigh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3269 posts Report Reply

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