Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: "Because we can"

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  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I think this phrase should be subverted for use describing the braying of goats coming from the House of Parliament

    I've heard of "Daddy State" and "Angry Stepfather State", but they haven't yet caught on in a big way.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Danielle,

    That Black Triangle campaign on Facebook has a lot of very useful and interesting stuff about the welfare cuts in the UK, disability activism and political hypocrisy. We are following a couple of years behind but so many similarities.

    There are also some enlightening answers from the Minister to written questions from NZ First's Barbara Stewart. Numbers are 6963-6972 http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QWA/Default.htm?p=34&search=378174212 (seems very slow to load and find right page - so much for efficient e-government)

    I fear the policy theory and practice do not match up.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    The "How taxes Work" joke and it is a joke, fails at the first test. Governments don't run restaurants, they produce piles of paper and gusts of luke warm foul smelling air. The second fail is that the poorest would not be allowed in the same restaurant, let alone the same table as the richest and to top it off they all would have, at some point, have contributed to the wealth of the richest.
    I prefer the Diamond/Water paradox. To me it illustrates the irrationality of economics.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    That Black Triangle campaign on Facebook has a lot of very useful and interesting stuff about the welfare cuts in the UK, disability activism and political hypocrisy.

    I thought of the idea of the black triangle before I even knew about their Web site. Even then, it was only a matter of time before someone would reclaim it from the taint of the 3rd Reich.

    Personally I’d be more a red triangle type.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    some enlightening answers

    thanks. revealing

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    the 12 Cookies joke

    Thanks. Useful point about what's been so lacking from our own political discourse over recent years.

    Stiglitz puts it this way, "We've been shaping our society to create people who are more selfish." Increasingly, policies are created by the richest 1%, and for the richest 1%. Their interests are placed first, through globalization, privatization, deregulation and insanely expensive political campaigns.

    Meanwhile, 99% of us are put at risk. We risk losing our jobs, our economic security, our homes, health care, education for our children, and economic opportunities.

    "As always [the rich] seem to be the winners from the policies that they advocated and that imposed such high costs on others."

    This is bad for democracy, bad for our future as a nation, bad for our ability to solve serious problems on national and international levels, bad for the environment and the planet, and just plain bad.

    We could just as well shape society to restore balance to our social, political and economic life. We start with a rehabilitation of the Social Contract. We need each other to prosper. That is, our neighbors must prosper for us to prosper.

    Someone has to tell that other story, consistently and often.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Sacha,

    The 1% succeed when they privatise profits and socialise risks.

    This article deals with only half the problem.

    Stiglitz puts it this way, "We've been shaping our society to create people who are more selfish." Increasingly, policies are created by the richest 1%, and for the richest 1%. Their interests are placed first, through globalization, privatization, deregulation and insanely expensive political campaigns.

    Stiglitz fails by ignoring the problems of socialism.

    In the past 5 years the world has socialised $trillions upon $trillions of bad losses made by mega rich too-big-to-fail banking conglomerates, because - according to apologists - they "must prosper for us to prosper".

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    In the past 5 years the world has socialised $trillions upon $trillions of bad losses made by mega rich too-big-to-fail banking conglomerates, because – according to apologists – they “must prosper for us to prosper”

    In other words, "what's good for Wall Street is good for America and the rest of the world."

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick,

    this is lifted from the q & a section of the Minister’s press release released on Monday. It may, or may not, assist the discussion.

    As at the end of August this year there were around 319,000 people or 11.6 per cent of working-age New Zealanders on benefits. More than 161,000 people have received a benefit for at least half of the last 10 years and 139,000 have spent more than a decade on benefit since 1993.

    edit – oops, I should have read the complete thread as I see this has already been posted. Apologies.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    n other words, “what’s good for Wall Street is good for America and the rest of the world.”

    Yeah right - worked so well for us all eh?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Rosie,

    We could help people become more independent by giving everyone a universal basic income and allowing them to keep all the money they make if they get some temporary or part time work. Instead of wasting masses of money administering a complicated benefits system and chasing people we could spend the money helping people. ....and we could call it a transfer not a benefit.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Rosie,

    That's sensible - if there was a level playing field to begin with.
    A lot of ANZers start off with the kind of physical security (homes/farms/wealth/assurred educational opportunities/good health provision etc,) that a lot of-actually MOST- other ANZers dont.

    How do we form a just & equal society? Remembering that we are dominance-driven & hierarchically-inclined apes?

    Nah, I dont know how either...but like your thoughts Rosie-

    (will now retire back to myt flu-thick bed - cheers! all anyway-)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rosie,

    We could help people become more independent by giving everyone a universal basic income and allowing them to keep all the money they make if they get some temporary or part time work. Instead of wasting masses of money administering a complicated benefits system and chasing people we could spend the money helping people. ....and we could call it a transfer not a benefit.

    Gareth Morgan floated some of those ideas in Big Kahuna.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Rosie,

    the caring government....

    Instead of wasting masses of money administering a complicated benefits system and chasing people we could spend the money helping people. ….and we could call it a transfer not a benefit.

    Where is the bus stop to this world, I want a ticket?
    What's more I reckon in that world the Gov't is freeing up all these school facilities in Chchch to create community elder care education and activity drop in centres, as they will have realised that they'll cope with the passage of the Baby Boomers better by keeping as many fit, healthy and engaged as possible - thus cutting future hospital and home care costs... win, win...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Rosie, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Yeah, it's Gareth Morgan's idea not mine....I read the Big Kahuna and thought the ideas were quite exciting.I would love to se Keith Ng do an analysis of the numbers. I suspect the numbers are sound, its just the concept lots of people would have trouble getting their head around. It depends on a flat rate of income tax and a tax on assets as well. Over 65s would only get the same universal basic income as everyone else. The most radical bit is that because older people may have paid off more of their house (or own other capital) they will be paying more in asset tax. Kind of turns thing on their head.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rosie,

    and allowing them to keep all the money they make if they get some temporary or part time work

    As you note later, a UBI usually suggests taxing *all* additional income.

    Better tax on wealth and assets would help make up for reduced overall personal take, would encourage investment into productive businesses and away from silly things like inflated housing, and even address some of the inequalities over time if its associated with fair service provision.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rosie,

    It depends on a flat rate of income tax

    Libertarians put it that way, but I know of nothing to stop progressive rates or other arrangements being added alongside a UBI. Other than 'efficiency' or suchlike, perhaps.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rosie,

    Yeah, it’s Gareth Morgan’s idea not mine….

    It's an idea that's been around a very long time. At least since the 1930s. Probably before.

    To me, it's a recognition of the right of every human in a country to benefit from all the capital built by all the generations before us. The work that is done in our lifetimes is but a fraction of what contributes to the overall productivity of the nation.

    That's a moral argument for it. The practical arguments are plenty, too. As you say, the problem is getting enough heads around it. Social welfare has so long been linked to the idea of need, and stigmatized because of that, that most people can't imagine a system in which everyone gets it and no-one is stigmatized. They can't imagine a capitalist system working under those conditions. They certainly can't imagine that capitalism might work better that way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Libertarians put it that way, but I know of nothing to stop progressive rates or other arrangements being added alongside a UBI.

    Nothing whatsoever. We do already have that for Super, after all, which is the semi-UBI.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    Social welfare has so long been linked to the idea of need, and stigmatized because of that, that most people can't imagine a system in which everyone gets it and no-one is stigmatized.

    Egad, who would our unscrupulous pollies pick on instead?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Rosie, in reply to Sacha,

    I think the idea is to keep it simple and cheap to administer by having a flat tax rate. Nobody would pay any tax on the first $25k or so they earned because of the UBI. (Everyone gets it...even the workers). People who earn enough to acquire assets will pay a modest tax on their assets (including houses).
    So it is progressive but in a different way.
    The system Gareth Morgan describes could in theory appeal to both the (old) ACT party and the Greens.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Why is it that a hairdresser in Remuera is worth more than a hairdresser in Mangere?
    Fact is that they are not, it is that their customers are richer. In a society that bases it's success on how much it consumes it is better to have a wealthier end user. This can be achieved by a universal wage. The universal wage is the opposite of the "trickle down theory" of supply side economics, it is demand side, an economy only works when the money is in motion and while in motion it can be taxed so the principal returns to the coffers and everybody wins.
    On a side note I think the same way about "water rights". It is more about the guardianship of the rivers, the movement of water rather than the water itself. The movement of the water is the same energy that is extracted by the power stations and without that energy, the river is a puddle, it has no spirit to exploit.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Romney - Turd Containment Crews - Classic - the Comedy Central thing is the truth of the matter filtered via the humour of stating the bleeding obvious.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

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