No hat tip?

12 days ago I posted a video and wished out loud that someone in Labour would speak plain like  Elizabeth Warren. Last night Rajen Prasad made a feeble attempt and today John Pagani re-posted the speech.

It is a great speech that would have most sensible people at least considering her argument rather than switching off like they do to Goff.

That’s the problem with modern MMP era poll and focus group driven politics, it is so bland that it is easy to ignore. It is a rare politician who is willing to put forward an argument based on principles, and who also manages to make sense of the principles in a way that appeals to voters.

Elizabeth Warren is going to be attacked for being a harvard elite in her race against Scott Brown – if she wins the nomination. This should not stop her putting forward her arguments. Politics needs good people who want to contest important ideas on both sides of the political spectrum, and Elizabeth Warren appears to be a lot better than the average politician. She may be on the opposite side of the spectrum to this blog but she still can be respected and admired.

I expect Labour’s best thinker on language, Clare Curran, will be paying careful attention to Warren’s campaign, and we will see some of Warren’s messages in Labour’s next election campaign. For the good of New Zealand it is important that Labour promote Clare and get rid of Trevor Mallard from any strategic capacity after his total failure to achieve anything in the past three years.


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  • Anonymous

    What I find interesting is that she says things like

    You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for

    As if the business owner paid nothing for the roads, and that the “rest of us” pay for but get no benefit from those roads.

    The reality is that the roads were also partly funded by business owners and “the rest of us” also gain benefit from them whenever we use them.

    The Police are also partly funded by business owners, and the majority of the Police work is not in and about the factories, but in the homes, and on those streets.

    The business owner also partly funds the public health system (thinking more NZ now) but the business owners’ access to that health system is generally more difficult and expensive than it is for some others.

    So it isn’t as black and white as she is presenting

  • middleagedwhiteguy

    What Warren says is worth listening to, however, what has happenend is that the Taxation that is taken to fund the things Warren refers to as part of the social contract, such as education, roading, police etc, has been diverted to social engineering.

  • JC

    Starting with the most obvious riposte..

    In the US (and not too different here) 50% of people dont pay a net tax.. that responsibility lies with the 10% who pay 50% of the tax and the other 40% who pay lessor amounts. Same thing happens with local taxes.

    Second.. which came first.. the business or the highway? By that I mean that historically you usually have to have a productive business or community before either the local authorities or Govt will be persuaded to put in money to improve a road.. in fact, in some cases the road will only be improved when a large number of less productive “voters” move in or build up. Who uses the super highways the most.. the most productive or the average Joe Voter?

    Third.. your article on Bob Jones and the Chch CBD comes into place. As societies become more complex they develop less productive and more cultural and sentimental activities that are paid for by the productive sectors and it takes a big recession and an earthquake to expose the illusory value of these non productive activities.

    Fourth, Victor Davis Hansen says it well as he shows the historic context of societies that place a premium of wealth redistribution over wealth *creation*.

    “Redistribution of wealth rather than emphasis on its creation is surely a symptom of aging societies. Whether at Byzantium during the Nika Riots or in bread and circuses Rome, when the public expects government to provide security rather than the individual to become autonomous through a growing economy, then there grows a collective lethargy. I think that is the message of Juvenal’s savage satires about both mobs and the idle rich. Fourth-century Athenian literature is characterized by forensic law suits, as citizens sought to sue each other, or to sue the state for sustenance, or to fight over inheritances.

    The subtext of Petronius’s Satyricon is an affluent, childless, often underemployed citizenry seeking inheritances and lampooning the productive classes that produce enough excess for the wily to get by just fine without working.”