A sensible Letter

There is a lot of smoke and not much heat in the ongoing opposition to asset sales. The sensible folk of Southland seem to have worked out the finer details though:


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  • Johnbronkhorst

    Wrapped up in a nut shell!!Brilliantly simple, easy to understand and unlike the neighsayers, factually correct!

  • In Vino Veritas

    Superb. Absolutely right on the nail.

    • Troy

      and Labour Party members/supporters wouldn’t even be able to comprehend the letter – it’s not in them to think beyond the next election.

  • Andrew Carrot

    Actually Vince lives in Morrinsville, Waikato, rather than in Southland. He’s been a strong ACT supporter for ever.

    • Well it was in the Southland Times

      • Andrew Carrot

        That just means he’s well-read.

      • Sarrs

        They randomly publish letters from all over the place, I guess through their Fairfax connections. 

    • Johnbronkhorst


      • DavidW

        So ………… it is unlikely that you will ever see this letter in the Herald for reasons that I’m certain even you can comprehend

    • Neil

      So its my lunchbreak and you beat me to this by a mere three hours……I was going to ask what the hell someone from Morrinsville was doing sending letters to the Southland Times…..but then maybe it’s his old hometown….he’s gone up in the world.

  • Gravedodger

    Criky  chaps don’t mention “nationalisation” enough of the ignorant, bereft of how business works, numpty fucking socialists think that is the ultimate goal.

  • Ben

    Yeah, as long as the product is not a necessity of life, I agree that the government has no place running businesses.

    • In Vino Veritas

      And what do you consider a necessity of life Ben? Maslow’s hierarchy would say air, water and food were a necessity, do you propose that it’s the governments job to provide air, water and food?

      • Polishpride

        Infrastructure of significant importance might be a better way to put it, Electricity, Roads, Water (supply cleanliness of), Rail(but only because its already been bought back)  Air (Cleanliness of), Environmental protection. Judicial System (although must be independant), Police, Fire, Health Services.
        In fact all should be owned by the state and run (somehow) independantly with business acumen and drivers whilst retaining ethics of a very high standard.     

      • BJ

        Maslow  is talking about the individual.  

        The National Grid for transmission of power is an example of a countries necessity – where there is a natural monopoly and therefore it should be government owned/controlled. 

    • Richard McGrath

      Agreed, Ben. But as Polishpride suggests, the police and judicial system (along with armed forces) should be government-run. There’s no reason why water supply, electricity, roads and rail couldn’t be run through the private sector as long as there was common law protection of individual rights.

  • Polishpride

    On privatisation of primary Assets, Services or resources…….  It depends if you truely want to be free along with everyone else in this country or just the perception of freedom. If you are happy with the latter then privatise away…

    • In Vino Veritas

      So privatisation limits freedom. Yep, that’s the sort of thing socialists propound, if havent got property rights, you are free.

      If you are happy with equal misery, vote LabourGreensMana.

      • Neil

        Just not happy that the misery is keep in the hands of the poor and disadvantaged – more than happy if the misery is spread around more.

        Disposable income is talked of often mainly by those that have some, you don’t hear the lowly paid talking about that very much – they/ we have none.

      • Polishpride

        It depends on how limited your thinking is VV. Before you attack what I am about to tell you….. first do yourself a favour and imagine yourself living in such a world.   
        If you cannot think outside the paradigms of Capitalism, Socialism, Facism or Communism then the reply you gave is nothing short of expected.
        Question further and you can see that a move to a better or more free (bothin cost and liberty)  solution would be made more difficult the greater the number of primary services etc. that are privatised.
        Privatisation means obviously you as a consumer pay for it, and you keep on paying so long as you continue to use the service.
        This means that to survive and be able to pay for services you have to work and get paid.
        (Now Under options Soc, Fac and Com you definitely pay also through increased taxation with loss of personal freedom under facism) 
        In short this is the system.
        Now stop and ask why?
        Ask what is the most important things common to everyone?
        Obviously the necessities – Food, shelter, clothing, health 
        But everyone wants to be happy. So what is it that makes people happy? You need to answer this for yourself, everyone does. The common thing for most if not all will be good times spent with good friends and family. These are the things most likely to stick out in peoples minds.
        Yet we live in a system so technologically advanced that we can (should we choose to) make almost any job we want to automated and redundant. Jobs are automated around the world every single day but because of the way the system works it is something to fear. The person whose job is automated must find another one quick smart so they can continue to pay for the services etc. so they can continue to consume.
        With the level of advancement we have we could and should free people.
        With technologies such as robotics, hydroponics, 3D printing we can should we choose to work towards a world where one day no one has to actually work.
        For many this will sound stupid. But if you think about it, where are you physically right now? At work? If you could be anywhere doing anything would you still be here or is it more a means to an end so that you can provide for yourself and your family in the system…..
        If you didn’t have to work what would you do? fish? hunt? play golf? study greek history? astronomy? spend time with friends and family? Become an inventor? the list is endless. 
        The best lesson that capitalism has given us is that through planned obselecence we know that if things were designed to last we actually have n abundance of resources.
        This is a much longer discussion than for on here 
        Do not think such a shift is one toward big government. It is not in fact it would be significantly smaller than now.     
        Don’t think that it is utopian either with no one at all working as many jobs would still be needed, although in 50 to 100 years this may not be the case.
        It can however be achieved in about 10 – 20 years if people wanted it
        It is a Quantum leap from where we are today.
        But this is what freedom is. It is not what you have today.

      • Polishpride

        IVV – Such a solution requires careful planning and a long transition but under such a system Even Bob Jones (so can everyone else) can have far more than he does now, poverty is no more, and neither are about 80% of crimes commited   

      • Richard McGrath

        @Polishpride: [This means that to survive and be able to pay for services you have to work and get paid.] Or by charitable assistance. The alternative is obtaining the means to purchase by force.


      • Polishpride

        Richard – not once you come to the realization that money is essentially a barrier (or extra step in the process) to being able to get goods or services. I don’t mean to oversimplify this example but as it has just happened to me it is in some ways a good one. I have twenty pumpkins from a very productive patch of garden which is great. The problem is we will only use 2 or 3 at most leaving 17-18 pumpkins that will end up rotting. You may not have grown any but would welcome them. Under the current system because I need to pay for goods and services the system sort of says we should agree a price and I should then sell them to you. To pay for them you have to work and earn money.
        There is an alternative in that I can just give them too you. After all you need (or want) them,  I don’t.
        This can be applied to everything and if one can obtain anything (within reason.. nukes are still a no go) one needs,  simply because they have a need for it and the system (through things like automation and 3D printing) can provide it then no one needs to take anything from anyone by force. After all they can simply get what they need from the system. This frees people from the bonds of labour to earn money as required under the current system. The key is in understanding what is important to everyone and ensuring that society is structured in a way that enables this. As I said earlier it is a quantum shift from where we are now but one that is possible. very possible in fact. And such a shift would mean that people are freed from the system. It would be up to society through true democracy to determine what is important as far as the use of resources. It would also need to have as you eluded to earlier common law as the underlying basis where one is free to do as one pleases so long as they do not impact on anyone else. But this would be real freedom. If you think you are free now, do something as simple as stop paying your rates  and see what the system does….                 

      • Johnbronkhorst

        and yet polish, nothing Marx ever said, ever worked in reality!!!

      • Karlos

        Polishpride, the problem with your Utopia is that once everything is automated, how does society further progress? People would still need to come up with new innovative ideas, but why would they bother? What is the advantage to them? Knowledge would quickly be lost as there is no incentive to stay in education, so who would maintain the equipment?

        I don’t have the answers, but I can tell you that, from 2min of thinking about it, your idea is even more flawed than the system we currently have.

        More thoughts, if we didn’t have to work, would everyone move to the beaches? Wouldn’t that cause discontent umongst those that live in their nice quiet piece of the world? Where does new power come from as the population continues to grow? How do you automate agriculture?

      • Polishpride

        JohnBK its not Marx although I have informed you of this before As I have also informed you before it is a new school of thought and has not been tried.  Open your mind John you never know you might learn something. Try imagining the world instead.
        It is a lot closer to RBE than anything else. I don’t think people are ready to give over decision making to computers. Not everything fits into an already existing box that you can put a nice safe label on. I know its hard for you when this happens but don’t give up you’ll get there.   

      • Polishpride

        Karlos – good question and a very valid one to ask. I need to be clear on this though, Its not Utopia  Things will still require human hands so to speak.  The problem is that it is hard to explain every facet of this on a blog. 
        As far as how we continue to progress. There will still be problems to solve. So some will choose to work on those. Throughout history the greatest advances have been made not because of profit but because of the passion of the individual. examples of this are 
        Leonardo Davincii
        The Wright Brothers 
        Nikolai Tesla
        Viktor Schauberger
        Madame Curie
        Benjamin Franklin
        Henry Ford
        Alexander Graham Bell (although his was accidental)
        Thomas Edison
        Now imagine a world where everyone that is so inclined has the time to study and work on things they have a real passion for….
        The advances in all reality would come very quickly. 
        If you no longer had to work you wouldn’t sit on your but all day and do nothing… add to that  you have available any resources you need and the most valuable resource of all – time.
        Knowledge would not be lost either especially not with he technology available today. Some might no longer be as important for society but it would never be lost. In fact people would be free to study that which interests them. They don’t have to study something they have little interest in in order to get a paying job as they do now. The information would also be freely available to anyone that wants it. Again imagine yourself in such a world, Is there nothing you are interested in and would like to learn more about and would do so if you had access to the information and the time to do it. People with the knowledge would also have more time and can pass it on to those interested. This world would still have Universities and Tech Institutes although they might operate differently.
        On everyone moving to beaches  not everyone wants to move to or live near a beach but yes if there is over demand in an area this is something that society will have to work through. This is where ideas come from the people and are voted on through true democracy.
        Society may decide those already living at a beach can remain  and because of demand a lot more will be built that people not living there can have access to as holiday accommodation.  Just an idea the point is society i.e. rhe people can work out the best solution. 
        Where does New power come from – renewable sources solar, wind, hydro, geothermal (hopefully free energy tech as many are interested in this but require money and time and resources to develop it. In the new system resources would be freely available and people will have time. 
        On how to automate agriculture -this can be done to some extent through hydroponics – Imagine a sustainably ( I hate that word) purpose built highrise or multiple buildings designed to maximise natural light and control temperatures then add robotics seeds, soil etc. That sakd with what I know about permaculture my personal view i you don’t automate it. But that is just my personal view and I imagine society may choose to. 
        If it seems flawed remember I am trying to communicate an idea on a new world vi a blog. Chances are the answers have been thought of. The hardest one to solve was air travel that took six months and ws the final piece in the puzzle. But keep thinking about what you could do and how it would be to live in such a world and if you have any questions I’ll do my best to answer them. 


      • Karlos

        Polishpride, thank you for that, it seems like you have spent a lot of time thinking this through.

        Other issues I have thought of, who would clean the streets? Who would distribute the food/technology to from farm/production line to households? How would people transport themselves to where they want to go/who would maintain this? How do you look after the environment (don’t care too much on this one myself, but at least 14% of the population vote Greens and that seems to be about their only policy)? Where do the required resources come from? (most people that mine only do so because it pays so well).

        You have got a better basis to an idea than I first thought, but I feel you may over estimate the average persons willingness to help others without incentive.

      • Polishpride

        Until someone invents and automated street cleaner someone will probably still have to do this. But with robotics and self drive vehicle technology that has already been developed the technology is probably there to build an automated street cleaner. 
        Who would distribute the food/technology to from farm/production line to households? I’m speculating but design comes into play such as building food production centres next to or near supermarkets. People still go to the Supermarket but there could be far greater use of self checkout which is used to automatically order items that need to be restocked. As for things that can’t be grown in a hydroponic highrise such as beef, lamb chicken etc. you still have to transport it and process it. Can some of this be automated? Probably.
        On transportation much the same way they do now initially. But then money is not a barrier to widening roads, building tunnels, even adding bullet trains Unless or until jobs can be automated someone still has to do them. I imagine if the focus was on getting the job done well but quickly rther than standing around because you are paid by the hour then roadaing would be built a lot faster :) but thats where things such as time banking can come into play.    The environment is a pretty easy one to deal with – many environmental problems especially around waste are as a result of companies trying to save money. I’d need more specifics as to which green problems though – 1080, climate change, cleaning up water ways, coal mining all very easy to fix.  –    
        As for mining of minerals that is one for society to decide on. We are lucky in that we are a primary product exporter so even if the rest of the world didn’t change we would still be able to trade for goods and raw materials.    

    • Richard McGrath

      In a free market with no monopolies (i.e. no government interference in commerce), privatisation compels people to exercise their judgment and make choices, which to many is uncomfortable. State ownership relieves people of the requirement to think, as all decisions are made by politicians and funding is made compulsory, removing the element of choice, and many people prefer that.

      • Polishpride

        In the example I am giving nothing is owned by the state. It is owned instead by the people. I get your example but it only applies in the world of commerce. In a world where commerce is no longer needed and a world based on true democracy people MUST use judgement and make choices also.    

    • SteveOves

      Polish pride your argument about automation shows that you know nothing about engineering or technology as machinery does not have the ability to repair or reproduce itself. Everything breaks down due to heat, stress and the environment not because of planned obsolescence.Nature takes everything back to it’s original state i.e atoms over time.
      Automation is good as it frees mankind up form doing menial task but you still have to have someone to diagnose, fix or replace the automation system should it become faulty or fail. All that happens with increase in technology is that the worker has to up skill. Look at a farmer 200 years ago when they would cut a field with a scythe, that would require huge amount of labour i.e peasants in the field, black smiths to repair the tools. Now it is done with a combine harvester but you still need an operator for the harvester and engineers for the machinery.Trouble with people like you is that you have a nirvana complex, you live in cloud cuckoo land where food will magically appear on the table. Everything has a cost, why because their is the factor of human labour to goods and services which money is used to purchase. Money is a ledger it accounts for the time and effort man will put into the production of a good or service or intellectual property and because some things involve more effort  man will prize some things more than others which is why we pay different amounts.

      • Polishpride

        Steve actually I work with technology. In fact I have spent 17 years working on systems many of which make people redundant. As I have said about 3 times now please make no mistake this is not a Utopian society, it is not Nirvana. There will still be jobs to do Jobs that require skills and human hands. This does not take away from the society having a driver to eliminate these where possible. Under such a system many roles would become obsolete. This could very well free up many in society to become skilled in other areas such as technology and automation or perhaps robotics. Many of the limitations that exist will also get more attention and may very well be resolved. A number of scenarios are possible people may initially only need to work 20 hours instead of 40. People required to fix things when they break may be sent an IM  notification to there phone notifying them there is a problem that they need to go in and tend to.      Your example with the combine harvester is a good example of technology reducing the number of people required to do a particular task. Add to this that in such a system there is no longer a need for planned obselecence and machinery, equipment gadgets can be designed to last. Yes things will still break and still need to be repaired, its a fact of life. This is not the jetsons nor is it everyone lying around on sun loungers all day while everything is automated. No food won’t magically appear on the table, just like now you will still have to cook it. 
        Everything does not have to have a cost it does under the current system but it certainly does not have to be that way at least not in a monetary sense. Intellectually property is an example of something that is required because of a world that is driven on money and the need to make a profit. It is no longer required in a society where the goal is ensuring people can have easy access to the things they want and need based on the resources available. 
        You mention that some things require more effort than others hence the reason we pay different amounts. This is not strictly true My job for example requires very little effort and I am paid stupid mount of money for what I do. A construction worker or almost any trade requires more effort than what I do on a day to day basis yet they are paid less. Is that fair? perhaps, perhaps not. Take a step back though what is the one thing that all tasks require apart from effort…… Time. This is where you need to give people an incentive and there are methods for that such as time banking that can be used to recognize peoples  effort. This can be used to give priority access to things or access to air travel or whatever. The key is that the recognition is there because these people have taken time out from what society deems as important – being free and spending time with friends and family- to keep society working and they are rewarded  for this and rightly so. 
        What you will have in such a society is more free time, more access to goods and services. What you won’t have is people working 8-10 hour days because they are paid for the hours they work. The focus shifts to getting the job done but still done well. You also won’t have many of the crimes that exist today as their is no longer a financial driver for people to commit them. You even eliminate the most insidious ones such as human trafficking, the sex slave trade and child pornography, things which are unfortunately products of a for profit monetary system.
        Steve what stops all menial tasks being automated now today – is it money???? – if so that is no longer a problem for a new system.
        Hell if an entire Hydro dam can be automated (and yes they still require maintenance) Many other operations could also be automated. Benmore Dam before automation had about 450 workers. Post automation how many guys are required to maintain it when things fail……?               

  • Oldfella

    But wait …… dont the special people own the water and the air?

  • Bunswalla

    @5061c941e2ee9df68b6c54ec9e58ffaf:disqus TLDR

    • Polishpride

      Yes sorry hard to put in a few lines but here goes. Imagine a world where you no longer had to work, money was no longer required, you were free to do what you wanted, you could spend far more time with family and friends and could work on or study anything of interest to you simply because you had the time to do so. You are not bound to the current system You are essentially truly free, What do you do?   

  • Ronnie Chow

     To Polishpride , you are confusing freedom with spare time . True freedom is inside your mind , the freedom to formulate your thoughts and actions without outside influence or interference .
      You can be free at work just as you can be trapped at home  . In your science fiction utopia , nobody is free . Everything is pre-arranged . But dream on . One day you might wake up .

    • Polishpride

      Ronnie I’m not confusing freedom with spare time – spare time is what most have left over at the end of the day working in the system. Under your example a prisoner is free after all he can be free inside his mind…..
      In the world I am speaking of your mind is free and you can pretty much do as you please you have far more freedom than afforded to you  under the current system. You have the time to focus on what is most important to you, spending time with friends and family.   Make no mistake it is not a utopian society. There are jobs that need to be done but society as a collective has a driver to automate and eliminate the need for human intervention. That said if someone gets off on scrubbing toilets there will be toilets they can scrub. I assume you are the Ronnie Chow? you in someways are possibly more free than most but you are still locked into the system. As I said earlier if you think you are free of the system stop paying your rates and see what the system does.  Under the system I am talking about even someone as successful as yourself can have access to things which you perhaps don’t now –  example If society deems that we should have a fleet of 20 superyachts that people can have access to then it can be done – after all we already build superyachts.  The outlandishness of the example is gret because you are only limited by what society as a whole through true democracy deems to be acceptable. I would actually be intrigued at what you would want to do if you found yourself in this new world tomorrow.  

    • Polishpride

      Also Ronnie nothing is anymore pre-arranged than the world of today. There are still choices to be made it is a true democracy after all. 
      The reason I have come to the ability to think this freely is simply because I am fully awake and can see the current system for what it really is. I realize thinking like this can be scary for someone successful such as yourself but you have nothing to fear (sorry to be cliche) but fear itself.     Ask yourself if you truly understand freedom of the mind why do you struggle with the concept before you? If you continue to do so….then is your mind really free?  
      google the parable of ‘Demon Cratius’ it will help put things in perspective.

      • In Vino Veritas

        Polish. Interesting theory. Unfortunately, you take no account of human nature.

      • Polishpride

        IVV – Yes this keeps coming up. I do perhaps have more faith in human nature than I should. Personally I feel that once people have access to the things they want and need and can finally have a system that enables them then I think they will be more open to helping and giving to others in need as they know they woun’t go without. There is a school of thought that says the information should all be put into computers (resources, population, etc etc etc) and computer programs are used to determine what needs to be done. This school of thought is because of the human nature factor. I believe given the right environment people are inherently good. This is just my personal view and it is very easy to make arguements both for and against this. I do believe that many of the problems with human nature come from living in an environment based around the concept of scarcity. Do away with that and a more positive world may emerge.  who knows…  

  • Hamilton Lad

    Incidentally Vince’s letter did make the Herald today. He writes often and is usually well worth reading.

  • BR

    The core belief of the socialist is that unless there is a legally enforceable minimum wage coupled with numerous meddlesome laws that interfere in the natural ebb and flow of commerce, successful business owners will get progressively richer, and everyone else will get progressively poorer, until eventually, there will be but a handful of extremely rich moguls, with the vast majority of the population poor, destitute, and close to deaths door.

    There is one thing wrong with this idea.


    No business can sell high priced goods and services to a poverty stricken population that has little in the way of money to spend. Prices would be forced down to a level where goods are affordable, and a sustainable equilibrium is reached. Legislation is not necessary. The relationship between prices and wages depends on many things, advances in technology, availability of resources, natural disasters, that sort of thing. Legislation, however, is not one of them. Widespread poverty is the result of shortages of goods and services. These shortages do not occur in a free market economy; they are exclusively the result of socialist/communist fiscal policy, characterized by the suppression of market forces by legislation.


  • Greg M

    I want a new Holden V8 ute.
    How many fucking pumpkins will I need to grow?
    Get real.

    • Polishpride

      Greg M you don’t need to grow any and you still get to have a Holden V8 – We are not talking about Barter with this system. 
      As far as getting real. Open your mind A. just enough to see other possibilities and B. to see the current system for what it really is.
      If all you want is a Holden V8 Ute then I suggest you start thinking a little bigger. Or is that all you’d want to do with your new found abundance of free time…. drive your holden ute….