Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Home-spun non-truths

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Well it destroys the cherished idea of full employment as an imperative. Indeed we need hardly even keep track of unemployment if unemployment benefits aren't this line item that we're always trying to reduce. We could instead focus on things like wellbeing and poverty. Unemployment has been a bullshit statistic for so long just because it is such a political hot potato, because it's tied to welfare. Untied, we could perhaps actually come to terms with what labour really looks like, and what it ideally could look like, without that distorting influence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac, in reply to BenWilson,

    Unemployment has been a bullshit statistic for so long just because it is such a political hot potato,...

    It has been said that for years industry likes unemployment as it gives them power over prospective employees. That is interesting because UBI would mean that that prospective employee would no longer vulnerable to the boss. Mmmmm?

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Johnson,

    This policy is brilliant. Put money where its going to be spent to create a bigger market and help out living standards at the poorest level. The economy works best with saturated consumer spend ,

    hamilton • Since Mar 2016 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Kathryn Ryan had Guy Standing on her Nine to Noon show yesterday morning, but she did not let him talk in detail about the UBI.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201794344/maintaining-job-security-for-the-next-generation-of-workers

    Another missed opportunity for some more balanced information.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to BenWilson,

    If Labour do actually make this their policy (given that it's not insane as Farrar asserts, and is coupled with other changes to make it affordable), I will actually vote Labour. This is a big enough issue, and a bold enough move, for me to decisively say that.

    I've said it before, but the deal-maker for me would be the digital apprenticeship scheme, which would fix the ICT "skills shortage" a whole lot more than the ICT grad schools.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    A class system could continue forever,

    As in India, where the home spun movement started, the caste system is being addressed with agricultural quota for the lowest casts, the higher cast are up in arms about it, they want it too.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Marc C,

    Kathryn Ryan had Guy Standing on her Nine to Noon

    Which guy and why?
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    As a philosophy I think a UBI is a very good idea, but there are obvious potential issues with it in practice.
    Clearly, there would be negative consequences if it were to be introduced at a level significantly lower than the level of National Super, unless there were years of preparation to ensure that elders had the means to manage via Kiwisaver or other retirement plans.
    For those of working age, having the means to manage between paid jobs without all the crap which has been developed to discourage beneficiaries is an obvious plus.
    But the need to supplement the income of those who cannot work long term would continue. This is the bit I worry about. Seniors have been able to wield political power and lobby to get their needs addressed. Those who cannot work long term have not been able to do this, so their needs are not met unless their incapacity is the result of an accident, in which case they should be adequately catered for by ACC. People who are not able to work for long periods, or for their lifetimes, who are not covered by ACC are on very low incomes. In addition they are seen as bludgers when in fact the welfare state is meant for them.
    If we changed to a UBI, it would be very easy to continue to ignore this group, and there might well be deaths if they were worse off financially than they are at present.
    When any new scheme is mooted we always talk about monetary cost. This one in particular needs to also consider the costs and benefits to New Zealand society, we need a way of looking at these which can stand alongside the merely monetary in the judgement process.
    As for the question of can we afford it, of course we can. We spend far too much punishing and trying to fix people rather than preventing problems in the first place. A sensible UBI could pre-empt many of the problems which result in hospitalisation, crime and imprisonment.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Gareth Morgan, who's been advocating for a UBI for years, adds his 2 cents.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Angela Hart,

    adequately catered for by ACC

    No reason why exactly the same approach could not be extended to non-accident illness and disability support. There was a good opportunity to do this in recent years when the current govt had hiked the levies higher than they needed to be.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Once again John Key's propensity to lie is amazing. Yesterday in the Herald he was quoted as saying...

    Last year I think we collected about $29 billion in taxes anyway, so you would literally have to ramp up taxes enormously ...

    Aktually John, the 2015/16 tax take is $76b. Or if you want to be pendantic and stick with the previous year, the actual figure there is $73.5974b. But why let facts get in the way of a deliberate lie which gives your media sycophants a juicy, albeit invented number to spin.

    UBI seems like an idea worth investigating. The Greens adopted UBI as policy in 2014 and various countries have either experimented with the concept or plan to implement UDI in the near future.

    Back in 1974 the Manitoba government trialed the Mincome project with some success. Mothers of newborns elected to spend more time with their children, hospital visits dropped 8.5%, more teenagers graduated from college and fewer mental illness consultations were reported. The scheme was canned by the incoming (and short-sighted) conservative government five years later.

    Finland will launch their universal basic income experiment next year. There's a good analysis here.

    Twenty cities across the Netherlands also have pilot UBI schemes in the pipeline, while Switzerland will hold a referendum on the subject on 5 June.

    This is definitely a subject which deserves wide public debate.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1437 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Alfie,

    Once again John Key's propensity to lie is amazing.

    He's not lying. He's making stuff true by saying it.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to izogi,

    Yes, like Chuck Norris, who doesn't do pressups, he presses the Earth down. John Key doesn't tell lies. He simply speaks and all truth and knowledge are moved into alignment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to izogi,

    his expression makes reality, oh yeah:
    like a larva spinning yarn out of its rear.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1941 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to linger,

    Truths are his flies,
    fueling webs of lies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • kw,

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.

    Lewis Carroll has a lot to answer for, politically. I’m inclined to think they’re better at this in the blue corner than mine, but I would, wouldn’t I…

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    While we're talking about lies, David Farrar's obviously not the brightest button in the box. To reach his "$38 billion" cost, widely quoted by team Key, he multiplied the 3.49m people aged 18+ by $11k each.

    While that does come to $38.4b, it assumes that once a UBI was introduced, every working person in New Zealand would immediately resign and opt to live on $211 a week for the rest of their lives. So far no-one in the MSM seems to have noticed this pretty obvious discrepancy. Seriously?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1437 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Sacha,

    yup, that was a golden opportunity lost

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Alfie,

    Once again John Key’s propensity to lie is amazing. Yesterday in the Herald he was quoted as saying…

    Last year I think we collected about $29 billion in taxes anyway, so you would literally have to ramp up taxes enormously …

    You see, this is how he gets away with it…..
    “Last year I think we….”
    See, he is not lying, he’s thinking…
    Just not using any evidence or fact to back up his “thinking”, he just pulls stuff out of thin air and assumes he is “in the ball park” because… hey 29 billion… 290 billion… its only numbers after all and he is John Key, father of Max, the musician.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The state is out of date
    Why stop at a UBI - this guy, Gregory Sams, makes a lot of sense.

    The top-down state holds its power because we believe in it. Ultimately it is as simple as that. There is a Native American saying that goes "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount." There is no point in getting another rider, changing the horse’s diet, or buying a stronger whip. The state is out of date, and just how we can do it better is a key element of my book. The first step is to diagnose the disease and stop expecting the state to ever legislate us into peace and happiness.

    Interview below:

    Website here.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Johnson,

    More money at the bottom third of the economy is the only way forward.

    Trickle, the trickle has been delayed but not forgotten. We are supposed to be richer.

    The trickle down now needs to be delivered on. There has been a lot of honey made and no trickle, so it's time to collect the trickle down, that was part of the grand bargain of 84 .

    Fair Kiwi way, trickle down needs to happen with interest or the grand bargain of 84 has only benefited one side.

    hamilton • Since Mar 2016 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Well well... the so-called Taxpayers Union has come up with a "study" showing UBI would require a tax rate of more than 50% and push NZ into recession. Grant Robertson responds.

    We are following the debate on UBI with interest, but we do not regard the Taxpayers' Union as either credible or independent commentators on this matter or many others."

    After this group (was there ever more than one member?) was exposed in Dirty Politics, it's disappointing to see Jordan Williams' poor maths skills being taken seriously by the MSM.

    The more credible Bernard Hickey thinks the concept is worthy of further investigation.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1437 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Herald editorial opposes this socialist plot.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Because people who won't even name themselves are always so credible when speaking on such matters.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Sacha,

    Herald editorial opposes this socialist plot.

    Blithely accepting Farrar's erroneous figures as fact. Is there nobody in the Herald editorial team with the ability to apply some basic common sense to this discussion?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1437 posts Report Reply

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