Friday, May 30, 2014

Why Internet/Mana should be taken seriously

Internet/Mana's first big policy is free tertiary education.

The government already spends annually around $4 billion on tertiary education. But student loans to pay fees total just over a further $1 billion. It would be possible to fund 'free' tertiary education by pushing out the Super qualifying age.

What the Internet/Mana Party are going to do is set up an inter-generational fight. They will harness the feeling amongst the young that the baby-boomers had it good thanks to the state (plenty of truth in that) whereas they have to take on debt and then work to pay it off, as well as working to support the growing demands of the Super bill.

It's a clever but extremely divisive strategy. It isn't inspiration that will get young people out voting. It's anger.

And as much as I loathe the idea of Dotcom buying influence and manipulating politics the candidates can mount a strong case and campaign for the youth vote.


Just heard it direct from Harre. She was asked what their policy on raising the Super age is and she said that they would be looking very closely at the "trade off" between generational spending. Radio Live, just before 2pm.


Brendan McNeill said...


The proposition may still be difficult to sell to youth 18 years and over. Those nasty greedy selfish older folks that Internet/Mana are talking about, are their parents.

If the ‘youth’ have a reasonable relationship with their parents, and don’t view them as negatively as Mana / Internet Party do then it could easily backfire.

Being young doesn't necessary equate to being stupid and easily manipulated.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

I was speculating about what their strategy could be. I didn't use the words "nasty,greedy,selfish" and it doesn't have to get personal (though it isn't unusual for political parties of any hue to get personal).

My relationship with my parents and my children is better than "reasonable", but it doesn't preclude thinking about what is fair in generational terms (given the redistributive society we exist in). That is why I favour lifting the Super age and some of the future burden off younger taxpayers.

It's possible Internet/Mana plan to fund free tertiary education from higher taxes.


Why is it that the "free" tertiary education myth get propagated relating to the baby boomer generation. It was not free!!!! Hence lots of youngsters did not go to University. Yes there were burseries to help fund the "brighter" kids. Just look at the % of kids who went to Uni then as opposed to teh % who go now and expect to go as some sort of right!

Lindsay Mitchell said...

I went in the late seventies and there were textbooks to buy and maybe some minor course fees (from memory). Living away from home with a part-time job it was manageable without a large loan. Most people didn't go to Uni because jobs didn't require degrees and a lot of girls were still pretty much waiting to get married and start families.

Anonymous said...

I didn't use the words "nasty,greedy,selfish" and it doesn't have to get personal

But it is personal Lindsay, and anyone, left of right, claiming it isn't is simply delusional.

10% of Kiwis pay for everything for the other 90%.
in fact, 1% of Kiwis pay for everything for about 80%.

If that's not nasty, greedy, and selfish I don't know what is.

Of course, any real reform will throw most of the 90% into penury in the short term, and greatly reduce circumstances in the long term. Since these bludgers don't carry their own weight, that's only to be expected.

The idea that a large fraction of Kiwis in 2015 (whole families including children) might e.g. need to enter domestic service just to ensure they have a bed for the night and food to eat is something a majority of Kiwis find intolerable. It is the basic economic truth of the matter.

Anonymous said...

The basic point - and the one good result from ACT's campaigns and policies so far - is that no-one in generation X, generation Y, or the Millenials believes that Super will be there for them. Except the hard leftists, I guess, but there's no changing their minds.

So: given that, an argument "you won't get the super in the future, vote for us and you won't have student loans now" will be pretty attractive. And, again, any rational 18-25 year old would frankly vote for it.

But you're right, Lindsay, the real target of Helen's free student loan bribe wasn't to the students, it was to their parents.

Anonymous said...

I went to Uni in the 1970s. I couldn't afford to go straight from school so worked form 4 years then headed off. The work experience I gained is enduringly valuable and I had a decent fund of monies to pay for uni. It wasn't by any means free to go to uni. The fees were stiff as were books, living costs etc. Having worked for a national company before going there I was able to return to them during holidays to relieve staff and cover illnesses. Getting to uni at 22 wasn't a bad thing at all especially so in that I had no residual debt on graduation.