Saturday, November 19, 2016

The arbitrary nature of state calls

According to MSD, regarding quake affected areas:
The employment subsidy will be available for businesses in Kaikoura, Cheviot, Waiau, Rotherham, Mt Lyford and Ward who face a dramatic drop in their turnover as a direct result of the earthquakes and the closure of State Highway One.
It will be paid to businesses with fewer than 20 employees where closure of the state highway and damage to the coastal environment means they cannot operate and they cannot pay staff wages.
Naturally outsiders sympathize with those economically affected by the quake.

But the collective and compulsory way we organise and protect ourselves means that arbitrary lines will be drawn by bureaucrats who are necessarily disconnected. Kaikoura business Whale Watch, for example, won't qualify. The assumption that they are bigger, stronger and more resilient  ignores that they have greater outgoings.

I don't know if there is a better way.

But  if people had voluntary and enhanced choice about protecting themselves and their businesses, outcomes may be less fickle and  jarring.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

With 'friends' like these...

This is cruel. But it more than amply highlights that perverse phenomenon whereby people politically aligned can be each other's harshest critics.

The World Socialist Website attacks the record of Helen Kelly:

Kelly’s death at the age of 52 was a personal tragedy, but this fact must not be allowed to obscure an objective appraisal of her record. For more than a year, her protracted struggle with lung cancer was exploited in the media, with countless interviews and articles portraying Kelly as a champion for workers’ rights and as a national icon. In fact, Kelly is being glorified because she was a highly-valued servant of the ruling elite. She led the CTU as it collaborated with major attacks on the jobs and living standards of the working class.