Posts by despud

  • Polity: Post "post-truth" post,

    One of the things I really liked about having Helen Clark as a PM (at least for the first two terms), was she appeared to tell the truth. It wasn't always shiny, and at times she appeared to get frustrated trying to talk about real-world complexities in short sentences. But she spoke the truth.
    I think in her third term some laziness or arrogance started getting in the way.
    John Key, in my view, started reasonably honestly. But after a couple of years it all turned to spin, and memory holes, and evasions, and barefaced lies.

    I wonder if some of the attraction of Trump is that he's prepared to stand up and say "they lied! they're a big fat liar! Lying Ted! Corrupt Hillary!" We all know this is true, but the american political establishment is all sufficently dirty that no-one on the inside wanted to start that sort of war.

    Why do we not see headlines of the form:
    "John Key lied about X"
    "Andrwe Little said X, but last week he lied about Y so until we check X we're not sure"
    "Gerry Brownlee mislead the country"

    Since Nov 2015 • 6 posts Report

  • Cracker: Breaking the Silence, in reply to andin,

    And Injustice? where did you dig that up from? Injustice to who?

    An articulate person would likely recieve a greater benefit than a stoic or reclusive person. That's injustice in my book.

    Since Nov 2015 • 6 posts Report

  • Cracker: Breaking the Silence, in reply to andin,

    To me that is the only way forward in social policy, deal with each individual person not work everyone into a ‘one size fits all’ legislation and stop fretting about cost.

    That's basically a policy that says there is no policy. Which works great if you have an omnipotent, benevolent state. But if practice it's likely to lead to corruption and injustice. You need to have some balance between rules/entitlements and exceptions.

    I find it interesting to think of MSD and IRD as being two sides of the same coin, and sometimes wonder what IRD would look like if it had the reverse equivalent of special needs grants. "Well, Ms Jones, you made a truckload of money last year running dodgy websites. This is socially irresponsible, and involved relatively little effort on your part, so we're applying a special tax and taking 95% of it"

    Since Nov 2015 • 6 posts Report

  • Polity: The Taxpayers' Union rides again!,

    my favourite bit was the "up to 56%" I have a macro in my head that automaticallly translates "up to" into "and I''m totally making this up"

    I do have a question however, around why UBI might add value. I'm tempted to support it just on the basis of the people who oppose it, and I do accept that our monetary/economic system is fundamentally broken. But....

    Taxation, as a way of paying for the services provided by the state, needs to balance compliance costs with reducing oportunities for evasion. As I understand things, this is one of the reasons we have a combination of company tax, personal tax, GST, import duties etc. So it's pretty complex, as well as disfunctional.

    There's a whole other argument about how much tax some one, or some company should pay.

    But UBI does not seem to benefit either of those two areas. So why?

    Since Nov 2015 • 6 posts Report

  • Up Front: How I Learned to Stop Worrying…,

    Um, I might have been a little provocative, but I was not trolling.

    I don't think you've adequately established why gender should be a basis for quotas. We have a geographic quota, which is dumb, but historically made sense due to the past costs of transportation and communications. One impact of MP was to dilute that quota.

    Personally, I would prefer a job quota to a gender quota. Just think: lawyers are well under 1% of the population.

    If you argue that women should be quota-ed into parliament on the basis of their communication skills and empathy, then you're suggesting a meritocracy, rather than a quota to balance representation of viewpoints.

    But then, if you want good people in parliament, why use gender as a proxy for that? Make MP's pass a communications, networking and empathy test. And while you're at at, an intelligence test. But meritocracies don't seem popular -except maybe as upper houses.

    Since Nov 2015 • 6 posts Report

  • Up Front: How I Learned to Stop Worrying…,

    Two thoughts:

    Firstly, our partitioning for MPs is partially geographic, and partly issues based. If women feel strongly enough that the male-dominated parties don’t represent their views, then start a Women’s Party.
    Ditch the electorate seats entirely, as the intertubes has demolished distance, throw out the threshold, and we might see the rise of a Nurses party, a teachers party, a scarfies party. And a bogan’s party, a beneficiary’s party, a disabled people’s party. It might be single issue’s politics, and it might may consensus a lot of fun, but it sure would be interesting.

    Secondly, I’m always aware that demands for quotas sounds like special pleading. There was a fairly recent time when the top 5 or so positions in NZ politics were all held by women. Would there be a men’s quota as well as a women’s quota?
    I sometimes argue that in one critical metric, men are strongly disadvantaged - our lifespans are several years less than women’s. What could be more important than that? So we should stop funding research and treatment of women’s health issues until the gap is closed.

    Since Nov 2015 • 6 posts Report