Posts by Rob Stowell

  • Hard News: How the years flew by ..., in reply to llew40,

    we have had a taxation system that has for well over a decade now had a deeply entrenched bias towards property investment

    Yes. It's ridiculous we don't tax capital gains just like other income. And it will take all the remedies we can throw at it - not any one on its own - to turn things around.
    But there's another wheel to the cycle - how in NZ it's both an effect and a major cause of wealth inequality.
    "Investors" are the wealthy. Leveraging other property, or simply looking for a place to park excess money, property offers more security, and higher returns than anything else. And you don't need a dodgy law-firm and a office-full of tax accountants to discover a safe, legal tax haven.
    So money pours in, and big money is made. A massive amount of that is a paper gain to one-house owner-occupiers. But while they are the majority, they mostly don't realise that gain. Investors tend to - either by selling or leveraging it.
    So they become wealthier. And buy more. And wealthier. They can afford to pay more and more for new houses.
    Fewer and fewer people on ordinary wages can afford a house; they are stuck renting; wages are stagnant; they have less and less disposable income. Small business suffers. So does the productive economy - as more people have less disposable income- making it even less attractive as an investment for those with money to invest.
    More and more of the rent goes back into the property market, pushing prices - and ultimately rent - up further.
    No-one in politics seems to be serious about changing the rules and breaking the cycle :(
    (As Russell alluded - some of the same effect is seen in farming, with capital gains having been more significant than production in terms of wealth creation.)
    Picketty would have a field-day looking at NZ.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1843 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Cui bono?,

    Thanks Emma. Still gets me angry - because shame and humiliation and endless pointless cruel hoop-jumping are just what you need when you've lost a job or have a chronic illness.
    We used to get regularly asked for medical corroboration our boy still had Down Syndrome. It was funny but also a bit ... depressing.
    Now we're facing the costs and hurdles getting an enduring power of attorney (he is also ASD). Two lawyers and a court hearing, I believe ...

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1843 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The Panama Papers,

    Call it the Smart Social Democrats versus Silly Labour.

    Mirroring my thoughts exactly. This hits a nerve and it should be in the news for months. It's a natural for social democrats. But it's not about NZ's reputation or JK (if he's damaged thats jus a bonus).
    It's the bleeping basic principle! Those with more should contribute more.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1843 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Banking on a relationship,

    Sounds tough. But not my experience - and we've been with Kiwibank since soon after start-up. I'm sticking with them. They don't just employ Kiwis - they return profits to the govt, reducing our taxes. The Ozzie banks? They avoid paying any tax here however they can ...

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1843 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    former chair of accountancy firm PwC)

    PWC specialise in tax 'minimisation'. They're expensive, but that's what they do: make sure you pay a lot less tax. (It has to be a lot, because they charge a lot, and if you're not saving money, you're losing out.)
    I'm hearing a lot on the news that we have to sort out these foreign trusts for the sake of our 'international reputation'. Or because they might be hiding 'corruption' or money laundering.
    Again I think: they're just not getting it. I'm not pissed off that our reputation is being tarnished, though that's not good.
    I'm angry the wealthiest on the planet are not paying their fair share. They get wealthier. Government struggles for money and cuts services and borrows and we get told 'we can't afford it'!
    And everyone else pays their tax.
    Reputation be damned. It's not our tax system that's missing out, but that's not the point.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1843 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: A wilting rose,

    Listening to Andrew Little this afternoon was interesting. He said almost all the right things. And he seems decent and smart. But there was an audience who, given a little sauce, would have lapped it up; given a little fire, would have exploded. Little was wry and thoughtful but also a bit apologetic and diffident.
    I don’t think I’m a mob-frenzy sort of person, but I found myself yearning wistfully for a bit of rabble-rousing.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1843 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: A wilting rose, in reply to Moz,

    It doesn’t matter how you dress it up, ever-increasing pollution, increasing poverty and falling living standards outside the 1% are not “wins for the left”, but they are core business for the right.

    Yeah. This 'we're winning, really!' just seems daft. "They're flogging off everything they can get away with and moving the money offshore" feels more like it.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1843 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Screen gigs,

    Sad to miss Keuper in Chch. Saw some great gigs in Sydney in the late 80s – both stripped back, and with horns. Should be good shows.
    Wilderpeople is a great romp. Looking forward to Tickled too – there was some talk of backers getting access to a stream?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1843 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: A wilting rose,

    Bold, eh. that would be nice. Because Labour too often come across as - "We don't know what we believe in but if you tell us what you want maybe we'll send out a researcher to write a prelimimnary report ..."
    (Also - lumping Sanders with Trump and Le Pen? I hope you felt a bit queasy doing that. He's strident and radical about universal healthcare, higher taxes on the wealthy, free college, controlling money in politics - the status quo in NZ and/or Labour policy.)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1843 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Data Love or: How I learnt to…,

    Super delegates are unlikely to change the popular vote. But if it's close, it's more likely to be rancourous. It's nothing like the GOP trainwreck. But there's a mirror dynamic going on.
    The 'establishment' - and from everything I've heard from her, that definitely includes Hilary - just don't get it. 'Business as usual' is not working for most people and destroying the planet. Young people get it. Sanders gets it. Win or lose, that's what he's injected into the race.
    Winning the presidency and presiding over slowly unfolding economic, social and environmental disaster isn't such a great prize.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1843 posts Report Reply

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