Posts by BenWilson

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  • Hard News: The sole party of government, in reply to David Hood,

    Ta. Does turnout only count registered electors. Is any account taken in the figure of people who don't even bother to register?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Five further thoughts, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    That is to announce the end of the Labour Party as it has existed since 1931, when it first got over 30% and 1935 when it first went into government with 46% of the vote.

    That actual Labour party ended long ago, when I was a kid. What we've had since is a different thing, a slightly more socially progressive and slightly less economically hard-line neoliberal party. And maybe there is actually only room for one party like that in government, and it's called the National Party.

    I'm not surprised that you have been suggesting for years that Labour should become more like them, just as I would be happy if some miraculous turn of events caused National to abandon it's long term plan of turning NZ into a mirror of the US-in-decline.

    It might even be wise for them, so long as you predicate "them" as being a bunch of self-serving politicians, rather than the people that they represent. Definitely we could get something that looks like a democracy because it changes hands back and forth between two wealthy cliques.

    But that is most certainly NOT the Labour party you were talking about in your quote above, and it is absolutely not a Labour party I would support.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government, in reply to Michael Homer,

    , because they only take it when you realise the gain, not when you die, which mark seems to think happens

    Well he probably thinks that because you are forced to realize the gain when you die. But calling that a death tax only makes sense in a context where you believe there should be no tax on the capital gain.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government, in reply to mark taslov,

    I'm not suggesting any party make it their policy. It would be political suicide, so far has our economic understanding shifted to the right. All I'm saying is that it's far from inconceivable. In fact, it was the policy in NZ for half of my life.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government, in reply to Michael Homer,

    There is no sense in which it is a “death tax”.

    Well, except in the purely trivial sense, that all taxes are death taxes. You either pay them while you're alive, or they'll take the difference off you when you die.

    But on Mark's statement

    Labour wanted to slip in there and skim some off the top when they sell it. I can’t for the life of me understand the ethical position. It’s a death tax.

    I don't find that hard to answer even if it is a non-trivial death tax. We used to have them in NZ and they were quite significant. The idea is that it reduces the currently tremendous power of inheritance to set up and maintain a class structure in society. Many of the world's greatest fortunes are things that spanned generations. The aristocratic stockpile of land, for instance. Inheritance tax was at least a partial leveler, although, like all other taxes, if you inherit a vast fortune and the state takes 30%, you're still inheriting a vast fortune.

    I quite like the idea of it, even though I would personally probably pay quite a significant figure one day. We've become accustomed to it not being there and find the idea outrageous now. It's like we feel entitled to this gigantic gift we didn't actually do anything to deserve, for the most part. Somehow that's become axiomatic, when in fact it's about as unfair as any possible way to organize the distribution of wealth.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Can I suggest this would be way, way more informative as a side-by-side bar chart? Humans are awful at visually guessing angles and areas, but very good at relative heights, and you wouldn’t need 2 charts.

    ETA: Oh, and pretty please! This is good stuff...but pie charts are really quite poor at conveying the desired information. Their usefulness probably ends in primary school when teaching simple fractions.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Except that Betham never got to do half the damage that Muldoon did.

    What damage did Beetham do? He was never even in Government. Do you mean he split the National vote and that was somehow a bad thing?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government, in reply to Farmer Green,

    You were his next door neighbor?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I’m also keen to see all of these stats, Lucy. David Hood already gave this link on the Time To Vote thread which has some figures that might help you. It’s got the eligible voter stats. You’re actually a little under on the estimated eligible population, which is 3,391,100. I’d expect that when linearly extrapolating an exponential model.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government, in reply to Farmer Green,

    I’m in the Rangitikei electorate

    I'm curious if you voted Beetham back in the day?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

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