socialism

Guest Post – Douglas wrong about National

A guest post from Lindsay Mitchell.


Making some otherwise sound recommendations to his old party, Labour, Sir Roger Douglas made this statement:

 “National’s do-nothing, status-quo approach to economic and social policy provides Labour with a real opportunity to get back up on its feet.”

In the last six years National has done more to address working-age welfare dependence than Labour did in the prior nine.

A Labour supporter would reject my claim on the basis that numbers on the unemployment benefit took a nosedive over their incumbency. That’s true. Work and Income put enormous effort into those on an unemployment benefit, and Labour luckily oversaw an economic boom (giving them full credit for which is as questionable as blaming National for the GFC.)

But chronic welfare dependence, a crippling social and economic issue for New Zealand, lies in the other main benefits:  pre-reform they were the DPB  and Sickness/Invalid benefits combined.

In 2009, National set up the Welfare Working Group, and from there, commissioned the Taylor Fry actuarial work which exposed where long-term reliance is concentrated. The revelation that teen parents and other young beneficiaries entering the system at 16 or 17 would stay there the longest was no surprise.

Through the early 2000s, while only 2-3 percent of the DPB total at any given time was teenagers, between a third and a half of all recipients had begun on welfare aged under twenty. Throughout Labour’s administration I argued that average stays on welfare were much longer than government issued figures. Point-in-time data produces much longer averages than data collected over a period of time, but it suited Labour politically to use the latter data to minimise average stays and downplay dependence.

To understand this statistical phenomena imagine a hospital ward with 10 beds. Nine are occupied year around by chronically ill patients; one is occupied on a weekly basis. At any point-in-time 9 patients have an average stay of 12 months and one, an average stay of one week. But calculated over the year, 85 percent of total patients had an average stay of just 1 week. Equate this to spells on welfare and you can see how long-term dependence can be disguised.

Here is the huge difference between National and Labour.

National looked for what Labour had denied.   Read more »

Socialist paradise has highest poverty rates

Everywhere around the world where socialists are in control there is increasing not decreasing poverty.

The basic tenet of socialism is that everyone gets to be miserable equally.

Even in wealthy countries the lure of socialism soon turns to disaster.

The State of California, formerly the most powerful economic force in the United States outperforming the economies of all but a very few countries in the world, is now the nation’s leader in a category that the formerly conservative, but now overwhelmingly progressively liberal and Democrat Party-controlled state, has to find embarrassing.

According to a new U.S. Census Bureau report, California, which has been losing jobs to lower taxed, less state regulated states, now sports the nation’s highest rate of poverty, with almost one quarter (23.4%) of its residents living in poverty.

A depressing 8.9 million of the progressive controlled Golden State’s 38 million population are living in poverty in the once prosperous formerly conservative-run state.

Democrat-controlled Washington, D.C. came in at 22.4%

A similar study by the Public Policy Institute of California affirmed the state’s poverty rate at 22%, with some of the highest rates being in the “progressive” San Francisco area.

Los Angeles, which has been hijacked by the far left, had the highest poverty rate in the state at 26.9%.

Read more »

Campaigners to raise the minimum wage busted advertising minimum wage jobs

Socialists are hypocrites the world over.

In New Zealand we have seen political parties on the left advocating for a living wage dreamed up by an Anglican vicar  from Lower Hutt. The Wellington City Council adopted this arbitrary wage and one of the councillors voting for it was busted paying his own staff minimum wage and refused to pay them the same wage he voted the council to pay their workers.

We saw Laila Harre advocating and pushing the living wage as well while in the employ of a fat German man who exploited his workers paying them far below the minimum wage,  for which there will be some fall out in due course via the Employment Court.

Now in Seattle a similar campaign has been busted for being sanctimonious hypocrites themselves.

The website of Seattle’s Freedom Socialist Party lists its most recent presidential candidate Stephen Durham’s political positions, which include the party’s effort to “raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour.” The group also avidly supported a successful push for a $15-per-hour minimum wage in Seattle, which passed this year. However, as Zenon Evans at Reason pointed out, that same political party just got caught posting a $13-per-hour job listing seeking a web content manager with web development skills.  Read more »

Deception and Demoralisation

Karl du Fresne talks of deception and demoralisation amongst the left in the wake of Dirty Politics and the so-called Moment of Truth.

I WONDER, was this the most demoralising election result ever for the New Zealand left?

There was an excited buzz in the left-wing blogosphere and in social media in the weeks leading up to the election. There seemed to be a sense that victory was in their grasp, even when the polls suggested otherwise. But they were cruelly deceived.

Their optimism is easily explained. In the early stages of the campaign, they saw the fallout from Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics dominating the news bulletins night after night.

After that firestorm had abated, the media turned its attention to Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth, with its dazzling line-up of high-profile journalists and leakers from overseas, all eager to tell us how morally bankrupt our government was.

Those on the left observed the adulation heaped on Hager, who was lionised at speaking engagements. They thrilled at the big turnouts attracted by Dotcom and his incongruous handmaiden, Laila Harré. And they deduced from all this that an unstoppable momentum was building, the inevitable result of which would be the unceremonious dispatch of the Key government.

They were wrong. It was a massive indulgence in wishful thinking, and it must have made the left’s defeat even more crushing psychologically.

Read more »

Good governance and the Labour Party – an oxymoron or a chance for their future

A guest post by Frances Denz.


 

Good Governance practice was initially developed in 1844 by Erskine May for the British Parliament and a bit later  in 1874 was adapted by Roberts in the US for their Government structures.  Since then “Roberts Rules” have become the model for governance both of parliamentary systems and for businesses.  These rules have been adapted over time by the Foundation formed by Roberts supporters.

A key rule of governance is who do the directors represent?  They represent the business or organisation.  Their job, as stewards, is to ensure that the organisation is governed for its own good.  Not for the shareholders, other stakeholders or the community as a whole.

Now this is really interesting in the governance of political parties and of Parliament themselves.

The Prime Minister and his Cabinet have stewardship over the whole country.  Not the Party: not sector interests: not their mates.  A political party has stewardship over the Party as a whole, not the country.  So where does that leave the Opposition? I submit that they are responsible to the country, as is the Governing party.  But the problem with the Labour Party is that their method of nominating their leader is by the sector interests having a vote – for their own interests.  And the Leader has been, by default, the Leader of the Party as well as the Leader  of the Political wing.  Two different roles. (and then you have the Leader of the House, just to complicate matters!)    Read more »

Guest Post – Thoughts on Labour

A reader and new commenter emails:

Dear Team,

I posted my first comment recently after a long time reading and enjoying the blog (as ‘Reasoned and Rational’). Slowly getting drawn into the vortex ;-)

Some time ago I seem to recall an article which indicated that submissions from readers might be considered if of a suitable standard. I wonder if you’d read through my thoughts below and consider if it meets that standard? If so, please feel free to use it at some time when you have space. If you choose not to, no worries, it’s been fun getting it down in writing.

Best regards,

Reasoned and Rational


I grew up in home with a photo of Michael Joseph Savage on the mantel above the fireplace. My Dad was a working man, and the party ‘we’ supported looked after the interests of the workers, ensured a fair deal from ‘the bosses’, was interested monitoring the terms and conditions of employment, and made sure that there was a safety net in the form of social welfare if something went wrong. Social welfare was to catch you if you fell, and support you until you were back on your feet again. You took personal responsibility for finding work and getting back into it as quickly as possible if circumstances changed.

In the house I grew up in there was a pride in working. My Dad was very unhappy when once I mentioned University as an idea. “That’s just for those that can’t work, boffins and the sons of the bosses” I recall him saying. That certainly didn’t mean that education wasn’t valued, and teachers were respected as providing the route to a better job for me than he’d managed.

Times were different. Unemployment was low. Rob Muldoon once half joked he knew all 70 odd registered unemployed by name. Yes, there were only 70! When I got my first job upon leaving school I was employed not because I was the best man for the job, but for the simple reason I was the only one to reply to the ad.

It was easy to change jobs. Give the boss the two fingered salute on a Friday night, read the ‘Sits Vac’ in Saturday’s Herald and there was a good chance by Tuesday or Wednesday you were starting a new gig. Management trainee jobs were good to get all round experience and were plentiful at the time and amongst many other things I got experience at the Otahuhu freezing works with Hellabys and a timber yard with Henderson and Pollard.

My first five elections were all votes cast for Labour, as much out of habit and conditioning as anything else. I was more interested in what was happening on Saturday night than the long term future of the country.

By the end of that fifth election though, I was out the other end of an apprenticeship, married and watching the sense of disbelief and betrayal that the Lange/Douglas Labour government wrought on my father. He never cast another vote for Labour as long as he lived. He could never vote National so he became one of Winston’s supporters.     Read more »

Realists and Dreamers, why Labour is screwed

The Labour party is in dreadful trouble.

The problem they have is a large amount of their supporters think they have nothing to be ashamed of, that they should keep on keeping on doing what voters have rejected for 3 elections now.

Looks at the attitudes of Len Richard’s, the man who famously attacked a protestor with a megaphone.

More than a decade of dirty politics aimed at demonising and destabilising the Labour Party by well-organised and well-funded opponents have taken their toll. The opinion polls reflect the public mood deliberately created by the spin doctors of the right, and the very poor election results for Labour over the last three elections reflect the polls.

They can’t have it both ways.For years the left wing said the blogosphere was irrelevant, especially me…now we are responsible for the demise of the Labour party.

Deluded is a kind word for people like Len Richards. Dinosaurs is appropriate.

Suggesting Labour lurch further to the left when more than 60% of the voters voted centre right is serious delusion.   Read more »

Some more reader questions about Capital Gains Tax

I doubt Labour can answer these, after 4 years they still have no idea what he shape of the CGT will look like.

Hi Cam & All

I have a few questions regarding CGT that I don’t think I’ve seen raised, and which certainly don’t seem to have been put to Cunliffe:

What adjustment will be made to the selling value of a property due to inflation? In other words, this tax fails to take into account inflationary pressures, and is, in effect, a tax on inflationary gains (which, as we all know, is NOT a capital gain in the real sense of the term).

Another thing that is not taken into account is the real cost of purchase. Most people buy a house using a mortgage. The real cost of the house (purchase price + interest) is much higher than the actual value of the house when purchased. Will this be taken into account when determining any capital gain?     Read more »

Pimping the poor but not telling the truth

I see that the Fairfax newspaper North Shore Times is pimping the poor again.

Father of two ‘Ofa Ta’ufo’ou can’t spend more than $100 a week to feed his family.

That’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks – the works. Any more and the Birkdale resident breaks the household budget.

The 43-year-old works “like an animal” for at least 40 hours a week and still struggles to make ends meet.

“At the moment I can’t afford to take my girls to the movies. So I have to ask: Who has failed my family? The system has.

“And I’m not the only one struggling. A lot of people in the community can’t function as a family because of their finances.”

The community worker says the problem is nationwide and something must be done.

“We need to push people in power to do something about the poverty in this country. People are working like animals just so they can pay the basics.”

Ta’ufo’ou said savings is not a word in his vocabulary.

“I work so hard and can’t save any of it. My wife and I budget every single cent.”

Their combined fortnightly income is $2000, nearly half of which is spent on rent.

Humans should live in dignity, he said.

“This is a human rights issue. Everyone deserves to live like a human instead of spending all their time worrying about money.”

Read more »

Want robots at McDonald’s? Hike the minimum wage

A reader in the US writes:

It’s been an interesting debate here with the usual rough and tumble of different layers of government, it’s a struggle to get the minimum wage to $10.25 an hour which is outraging groups on both sides.

Unlike back home the media provide both sides and then leave it to the viewer to decide. They will have the hard working fast food worker putting across their reasoned position then the small business owner who will have to let a staff member go if the wages are hiked. There is no screaming from a Helen Kelly and neither would the business community have someone as hopeless as the guy from BuisinessNZ either backing their argument.

It’s a compelling argument that if the minimum wage is too high someone won’t get the opportunity of that entry level job which allows them to gain skills and experience that allows them to move ahead. You get a real life view of what would happen if you pass that tipping point of pricing young people out of the labour market and it’s called 50% unemployment and a lost generation in Europe, compare that to the USA where young people in service industry jobs are generally happy to help and happy in life.

If you find yourself at 40 still on the same wage as your 25 year old boss it shouldn’t be up to the government to give you that pay rise…in fact that very same caring leftie government is a threat to you as they will price you out of a job which could end up being a terminal situation.

Read more »