Friday, July 08, 2016

"Deepening social inequality" - where?

Venezuela maybe? How's that working out? The 'rich' are ordering food parcels on-line from Miami. The 'middleclass' is cutting out meals and going without basic necessities. The 'poor' are attacking food trucks and warehouses, stealing crops, foraging and storming supermarkets in border cities.The situation is deteriorating quickly. The country is being brought to its knees by socialism.

So it's Alice in Wonderland time reading the following complaints about New Zealand on the World Socialist Web Site:
"...the National Party government’s austerity measures since 2008 have “confiscated” billions of dollars from the poor and transferred this wealth to the rich. It has cut taxes for top income earners and corporations, increased the regressive Goods and Services Tax and pushed thousands of people, including single parents, off welfare payments. Spending on healthcare and education has been effectively cut, and thousands of jobs have been shed in government departments and publicly-owned companies, including Solid Energy, NZ Post and KiwiRail....the political establishment is seeking to wash its hands of any responsibility for the deepening social crisis."
The writers should seek sanctuary from this brutal regime in a country that has embraced and implemented their political ideals. Oh, but they would be out of a job. Nothing to complain about. Nothing to eat. Nothing to wipe their bottoms with.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

The spousing crisis

The spousing crisis is leading to homelessness and child poverty.

Rental spouses are just too expensive.They are insecure and impermanent. You could get kicked out at any time and have to go looking for another. Some spouses have become P-contaminated and put children at risk. But there simply aren't enough solid, life-time spouses available, so more and more people are being forced into the rental spouse market.

The spousing problem in Auckland is worst. Auckland spouses are the most expensive and are driving people to look for spouses in other parts of the country. But it just gets worse. People are having to shack up with other people's spouses and share. Some even turn their backs on spouses to live in cars!

Some spouses wait, empty. Nobody wants them. they have been turned down for more attractive spouses.

Some say state-spousing is the answer but is it? State spousing (sometimes called the DPB) only makes poverty worse.

If Labour has a policy to solve the spousing crisis, I'll vote for them.

But honestly I think the only way to solve the spousing crisis is to stop meddling with the market.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

A rare occasion on which I agree with the Greens

Why, after so long, has a prison volunteer's gang membership become an issue?

Someone is feeding stuff to Sensible Sentencing. SST is threatening to reveal numbers of guards with gang connections as well. This will develop.

Sometimes I can agree with SST. But I probably hold a deeper conviction about rehabilitation and taking whatever effective measures possible to achieve it.

Ngapari Nui should be judged on his work in prisons - gang membership is not illegal.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Disenfranchise the elderly!

It's a somewhat tempting idea. It'd do for Winston Peters.

Writing in the NZ Herald this morning Matt Heath says:

Should old people be allowed to vote?
Unsurprisingly the Brexit vote was carried by older people. Only 19 per cent of those 18-24 wanted to leave. Yet the young will have to live with the result for the longest time. Lumped for life with a decision largely made by pensioners. Older voters specialise in looking back instead of forward. So why should those on their way out decide a future they won't be around to see?
The same thing is happening here. There are clear changes NZ needs to make if we are to thrive in the modern world. Many of these changes are being stalled because politicians must appease baby boomers to survive.

Heath is correct to worry about the top-heavy demographic but wrong to assume they all vote similarly. They are not all grey power socialists looking to further feather their own nests at the cost of the rest of the population.

 If you're under 50, why the hell are you paying for Super you will never get yourself? Why aren't we increasing the age of retirement? Why is there no means testing on pensions? Why is there no movement on our property issues? Simple. There's lots of old people, they love to vote and backing changes they don't like is electoral suicide.
Well, I have a great deal of sympathy for these points and there is probably some truth in his reasoning. But the older generation will eventually be passing on their wealth. To force down property prices would mean carving value off assets and risking deflation. Property prices are what they are (under current legislation) because NZ is a very attractive place to live. That means it's also a country abounding in opportunity and looking at a better future than many others.

You can't blame the elderly for why they vote. We all vote selfishly. But it becomes unfair when the demographics shift so far that young voters are drowned out. At 65 a New Zealander has been voting for 47 years, surely that's enough time to get your point across.

I would challenge the statement that "we all vote selfishly". I vote primarily with a whole country view. And that coincides for what is best for following generations.

Old age is a time to relax. You deserve a rest at 70. Let the young people who live for the future mould that future. When I am old I hope I am brave enough to hand power over without a fight.
The world is a terrifyingly confusing place when you're elderly. You're being left behind. When you're young you jump up stairs two steps at a time. When you're old you stand at the top trembling. Unfortunately fear can lead to judgmentalism and bigotry. Which leads to illogical positions.

Uuumm. Isn't ageism a form of "judgmentalism and bigotry?" Isn't Matt's an "illogical position"?

Oldies say they paid taxes their whole lives and deserve a pay day. If that's the case, where is all that money? If you saved it, where is it? Why does so much of our tax today go to Super? The answer is clear. All the money has gone. Boomers and the Governments they voted in have already spent it on themselves. It was a massive, short-sighted, generational cock-up. Hopefully the current tax-paying population will be more responsible with their futures. Unfortunately much of the money we should be saving for our futures is being spent on covering a generation who voted to put nothing aside.
It's been a very long time since anything was "put aside" for Super. Fifty years at least. There used to be a few state forests owned by the social security fund but since the sixties pensions (and all the other not inconsiderable working-age welfare) has been funded from the current tax-take.

Though we do have KiwiSaver and start-up subsidies. How did that get voted in???

But Super is the real source of his anger I think. And again, I sympathise. So what Matt Heath needs to do is stop complaining, figure out which party is prepared to vote in his interests - start one if need be - and make sure he gets the message out to all of his like-minded generation.

But he should also remember that many of the people he wants to disenfranchise are grandparents and parents who will vote with their children's interests uppermost.