MUST READ: 2017 A Labour Odyssey

By   /   March 29, 2016  /   53 Comments

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Last week the Labour party had a future of work conference. …what it did bring however was some politically brave ideas and a voyage into some unknown territory. Labours scrip writer went a little Sci-Fi and presented something seldom seen in politics. Imagination.

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Last week the Labour party had a future of work conference. That got me excited. I started to imagine the political equivalent of Comicon. Politicians all turned up dressed as super heroes. (Look mummy its Fiscal Responsibly Man and the Minster of Wonder Women’s Affairs). Alas, it was disappointing in that respect. No one dressed up. What it did bring however was some politically brave ideas and a voyage into some unknown territory. Labours scrip writer went a little Sci-Fi and presented something seldom seen in politics. Imagination.

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Combining politics and imagination is a big ask. Often it is touted as one of the problems of the left. How can we convincingly present a reimagined future? When it comes to picturing the future of work last week I struggled with the idea of iRobots taking over 46 % of the work in the next two decades. Internet shopping was supposed to kill retail and yet where I live retail shops and malls are sprouting like privet. Last week clear land is now suddenly supporting a well-established, if un-welcome, privet tree. Many stores have increased the self-checkout in stores but that shelf stacking iRobot still hasn’t made an appearance and I am still struggling to see how driverless cars will decrease traffic. The unemployed taxi and Uber drivers can open food and coffee carts roadside as the commute looks to be getting longer not shorter. Call centres have been trying to dehumanise for years but they still can’t upsell me or understand my accent.

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Strangely where I think middle New Zealand really struggled was in envisioning a society where we all get money. The idea of the UBI (Unconditional or Universal Basic Income), a system where every person receives a basic income from the state, to many people sounded insane. The idea is not new, however, it appears it was new to mainstream NZ. The talkback air waves reverberated with people shocked and horrified. “GIVE PEOPLE MONEY? FOR NOTHING? CRAZY!” and that was a talkback host.

When I first heard the idea my initial reaction was probably similar, but I have spent quite a lot of time imagining a world where everyone gets money since then. All week I have been discussing it with friends. I began by imagining a basic weekly budget for one person and then by how it would affect my life.

$150 rent
$ 30 Wi-Fi and phone
$ 30 electricity
$40 petrol
$50 food
$50 insurance, water etc.
$50 clothes

I require a UBI of $400. This is the basics covered. You don’t have to spend it that way. You might choose to be a nudist with no Wi-Fi. This exercise requires imagination. Work with me.

If I was given $400 a week how would it affect my life? Would I throw in my job and kick back doing nothing? Of course not. People that are working and constructive, or yearn to be, will still be working and constructive. What it will give us is choice. I like my job a great deal. I would not give up my job as I would like to have 2-3 years’ experience on my CV. After that I could give up my job as a union organiser and work fulltime at Auckland Action Against Poverty. But it just dawned on me that we probably wouldn’t be needed to the same degree. Is it possible there could be too many agencies working with poverty for the amount of poverty? I could do some kind of part time volunteer work and I could do my MA. I could relocate. Lots of us could. We could move to the regions. Hooray.

Meanwhile I have a girlfriend who would really like my job. Now that she is getting the UBI and so is her partner maybe she would only want my job half time and spend more time with her baby? My job could easily be job shared. I have another friend who is a single parent. She might want the other half of my job. So two women can have half my job each, spend more times with their babies, while I learn more and nobody is worried about paying their bills. Why isn’t the religious right all over this? (Finally, something Bob Mc Coskrie and I can bond over!)

I would then be a student like my son. Students could stop borrowing money to live on and could eat something more than $5 pizza and 2 minute noodles. (I met a student who lived on spicy 2 minute noodles for so long she ended up in hospital!) They could afford shoes. They could focus on studying and living like students. Maybe they would even politicise again…a woman can dream.

They could reduce their debt and save for homes? (Imagine it without student loans as well. Even better)

The tax system will have to change. I’m paying my tax but Google is not. Call me a radical (no really, some people call me a radical) but you don’t need to be an economist to work out that not getting taxed on capital gains and share sales seems ludicrous. I’m just putting this paragraph in for the “how do we pay for it people.” I have already heard a few people in comfortable financial positions say they don’t need a UBI. Simple opt out! Bet they don’t though.

The future of work is changing. Whether or not the iRobot is the future or not what the UBI might address is how we value work. The job that everyone wants to do may no longer pay the same premium. The work that is undervalued like care giving might now demand some parity. The UBI will give people the option to walk away from petty management and poor conditions. Work places that depend on threatening workers with constant performance management to push them to reach more and more unrealistic targets will fail to attract staff. The banks will be screwed.
Imagine this. A workplace where you are not under constant pressure. Where you are working because you enjoy the work and the environment. You are not bullied. You are not working under constant threat of restructure. You are working to fulfil the basic human need to be a political animal, involved, engaged and socialising with others. A world where all work is valued and the pay is only an added incentive. A world where we are working because we want to. Not because we have to. Imagine how this might affect our collective mental health and wellbeing.

The $211 that Labour have proposed is a joke. That amount is not a UBI. It is a UBB. A Universal Basic Benefit. Instead of achieving and changing society in a meaningful way this paltry amount will merely entrench the precariat class in servitude to insecure work demands. It will do the opposite to what a UBI can do. Instead of buying us freedom, it will serve as a welfare backstop that ensures we continue to compete on the race to the bottom of workers’ rights, as conditions continue to deteriorate.

Imagining the future is no easy task. If you look at Orwell’s 1984 or Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey neither imagined the world we now inhabit. But what they did achieve was enabling us to consider alternative futures. The Labour Party production has been floundering. There have been times where it appears the party line has been scripted by Ricky Gervais with all the uncomfortable silences, back peddling and cringe humour of an episode of Extras. However, for having the vision to even raise an issue that requires people to actually consider an alternative to the current precarious paradigm, I applaud them.

Labour has embarked on a journey into the unknown. They are approaching it cautiously with a toe in the water rather than a small step. I encourage you to take the next step.

Imagine your life with a UBI. How would your life be changed? How would our world alter?

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53 Comments

  1. Words says:

    $211 is a proposed starter and doesn’t mean that that’s it. And because it is new and uncharted territory Labour has to tread very carefully and cautiously so as not to scare all the horses, or else the journey would be forced to end before it could gain traction and real momentum. Look at Key’s reaction. The UBI is the kind of idea that would have the likes of key and others like him in a stamped to have it shut down pretty quickly. I don’t care if it begins with a toe in the water, it’s a start. Let the ripples build up, it will be better for us all in the long run.

    • fatty says:

      Has $211 even been proposed by Labour?

      I thought that number comes from Gareth Morgan’s ‘Big Kahuna’ UBI which sets it at $11K per year.

      • Words says:

        I thought it was a quote from Gareth Morgan too, but the author Kate Dickie-Davis said in the above article “The $211 that Labour have proposed” I think she has got that wrong. It will need to be checked.

        • Sam Sam says:

          That number was just a starting point for Grant Robertson to show every one he knows what he is talking about

          • Words says:

            You are right Sam. [Excerpt] “A new study by the Taxpayers’ Union has rubbished a Universal Basic Income (UBI), which the Labour Party is investigating.

            A discussion paper from Labour raised the possibility of a UBI, where every adult New Zealander would receive $11,000 a year ($211 a week) in exchange for scrapping many current welfare payments.

            The paper says a universal income would help to remove the insecurity associated with low wages or insufficient welfare benefits, which bred “personal shame, stress, [and] mental health problems”.

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/78316664/taxpayers-union-rubbishes-universal-basic-income-idea

            • ALH84001 says:

              Isn’t ther Taxpayers’ Union a front for the National Party? Something I read from Frank MacKasy listed the organisers as all National party hacks. So I wouldn’t use them as an authoritative source.

              • Words says:

                Yes, National’s blogger and pollster David Farrar and Jordan Williams are true blue Nats. Further down the page I posted a piece where the Tax Payer union get rebuked.

      • Didn’t Morgan propose a $10k annual UBI?

        I thought $11k was directly from Labour.

        • Words says:

          It appears to be from both. In “Rewriting tax policy would help ensure equal In “opportunity and choice for all, says Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthrie. Your view?” Posted in Opinion August 31, 2011

          I found the following…

          “An unconditional basic income (UBI) for every adult – $11,000 after tax, whether you’re in the paid workforce or not. ”

          http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/55124/rewriting-tax-policy-would-help-ensure-equal-opportunity-and-choice-all-says-gareth

        • fatty says:

          Nah, the Big Kahuna is $11K for adults (slightly less for others such as students and 18-20 year olds)
          http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz/stay-at-home.aspx

          Labour have announced no numbers and no policy. I’ve been telling all my right-wing friends and family that no policy has been announced and no numbers put forward by Labour.

          It’s not like Labour to lose control of their communication eh? Some things never change. One day they’ll manage to not let the reactionary media miss frame them. One day…

          • Words says:

            No one has said it was policy except for the rwnj’s in order to attack both Labour and the UBI. You can’t blame Labour for people talking Fatty. Even Kate, the author of this article put in figures saying it came from Labour. Labour has no control over what people choose to write or say, everyone has their own agenda, right? Even though Labour has made it publicly clear this is a discussion, a raising of ideas on the Future of work.

        • mikesh says:

          Morgan proposed $11,000 pa, for all adults, in conjunction with a flat rate tax of 30% on all income from all sources. He suggested $8,000 pa from age eighteen to the qualifying age. He also suggested that if the the flat rate was 32% instead of 30% we could probably afford to pay a child allowance as well.
          It should be noted that a flat rate rate of tax coupled with a UBI would provide us with the equivalent of a graduated tax system somewhat similar to what we have at present.

    • Words says:

      The right wing horses are in a panic. “Taxpayers’ Union rubbishes Universal Basic Income idea”

      It’s hilarious that National’s pollster David Farrar’s co founder Jordan Williams of the Taxpayers Unions (isn’t it funny how right wingers hate unions, but love to use the word union in their organisations title to make it appear more socially and publicly acceptable), is most “startled” and believes “the most vulnerable in society worse off because higher taxes would reduce incentives for work and economic growth.”

      This is rebuked by….

      “Commentators as diverse as Robert Reich, Dominick Stephens and Bernard Hickey have all said there is merit in investigating the idea.
      “We are following the debate on UBI with interest, but we do not regard the Taxpayers’ Union as either credible or independent commentators on this matter or many others,” he said.
      Claims that taxes would soar to more than 50 per cent were incorrect. “In any event, I can totally rule out Labour having a policy of a tax rate of 50 per cent.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/78316664/taxpayers-union-rubbishes-universal-basic-income-idea

  2. Doubting Thomas says:

    We led the way in fighting against Apartheid (but the PM can’t remember what his view was then?).

    We led the way against Nuclear Testing the in the Pacific (and the National Party have always wanted that “gone by lunchtime”).

    It’s OK for the neoliberals to borrow $40-119 billion to give tax cuts to the rich, but really, the tame, muppet media will tear apart any attempt to redress the balance and make New Zealand a fairer society.

    Let’s lead the way in creating a decent and fairer society to reverse the neoliberal scourge of trickle-down bullshit economics and pillaging of state assets.

    But I doubt whether Labour can silence the the neoliberal murmuring cancer still lurking in its recesses.

    • Words says:

      Its the neoliberal ranting and raving being shouted from National, their cohorts in crime and their supporters that is the main problem. Any murmuring within Labour is dwindling and is being silenced. Labour is the only party that is acknowledging the changing nature of employment and its impact on what it will mean to NZers. Labour should be commended for that, not put down by a flippant remark. That kind of thing negatively politicizes the discussion and derails it.

      • Doubting Thomas says:

        Listen here – I transported people to the polls in 1984 to get rid of Muldoon and cheered like crazy when Lange led Labour to power.

        The ACT Party couldn’t infiltrate National (their natural symbiote party) because of Muldoon. So they slithered and weazled their way into Labour and began the systematic destruction of the once egalitarian country that was New Zealand with their neoliberal, trickle-down bullshit and their asset stripping.

        I sent back my Labour rosette to David Lange personally once I saw what they were doing to the unions, via the SSA, Crown Lynn factory getting rid of penal rates; market rates for state tenants and the endless asset-stripping by Douglas, Prebble and co.
        What did he get? A knighthood for Douglas. Prebble sat down and wrote a book called “I’ve been thinking!”

        This country has gone to the dogs under ACT, neoliberals in National and those neoliberal bastards still skulking the shadows of Labour. Labour recently morphed the fantastic idea of UBI into UBB – FFS. Stop being ashamed of caring for people – neoliberals only care about money. Stop being scared of spending public money to help the public – neoliberals spend money so that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And if we still had assets, we could have afforded UBI 4 times over

        Every last one of the neoliberals should be taken to court for treason and crimes against New Zealand’s humanity and the destruction of the social fabric of this once great country.

        Root every last one of them out and put the robbing, treasonous heartless, mongrels in jail. I don’t care what party they are in. New Zealand deserves better than to have these heartless SOB’s in the Beehive.

        • Words says:

          I think John key and his entire corrupt National government and their partners in crime should be jailed for treason, but that is beside the point.

          Don’t be stupid, what makes you think I would be ashamed of caring for people, or that i am scared of spending public money to help the public? You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried harder. I am all for that.

          I cannot blame the current Labouir party for the Lange government and the trojan horse Rodger Douglas of 30 plus years ago, like I cant blame John key for Muldoon. It serves no useful purpose and doesn’t help with what is going on today and I stand by my point that Labour should be commended for opening up a public discussion on the future of work that will affect all of us, and not be put down by a flippant remark. It’s not constructive, and it negatively politicizes the discussion and derails it. And the rwnj’s just love that.

        • Kate Davis says:

          Yes

  3. Nick J says:

    Years back my company upgraded some modems for higher line speeds at the Courts in Chch where four stenographers typed the proceedings into the national computer system. When I came back a few months later, two had been made redundant because the records could be typed faster. Technologically imposed redundancy…we watched as ATMs replaced tellers, etc etc. The issue is very real but the one thing we miss is NOT what happens to the people displaced BUT where does the resultant profit go?

    What the UBI is in my mind is a redistribution of wealth from the owners of business to a society that provided the framework for their business to exist and succeed. My perception is that whilst we need people to invest and profit the whole of life costs to business must be fully charged. These include allocations against profit for such things as redundant infrastructure provided by the public domain such as roads and rail to factories, worker housing etc. Tax partly does this at present, but insufficiently. All we are saying is “fair go guys, we let you do stuff but there is a cost and it has to be paid”.

  4. Mike in Auckland says:

    I am sorry to say, you have some really evil adware running on this blog site, it kept me from loading and commenting on another computer, so now I use a different one.

    As for Katie’s post, yes I agree with a lot, but we have a society brainwashed into me first thinking, they will not vote for a future of a collective idea, I fear.

    I wish it was different, but all I encounter and witness daily in Auckland is endless selfishness, greed and division. There is NO unity, and thank that to endless immigration of new competitors for jobs., for homes and the rest, it is a grand scheme the right have always played, divide and rule.

    A UBI is what I want, but most do not want, for selfish reasons.

  5. Sam Sam says:

    UBI marks a point where we need to reevaluate what it is we need to be doing. We need to be mind full of the messages we send out to children: quick example; Just as I was about to leave for the movies my aunty took me aside and said she wasn’t made of money, that money doesn’t grow on trees and that I needed to pay her some money for staying the night. Then I realised there are huge classes of people even in government whose real job is to hover over poor and make them feel inadequate and undeserving. That was my revaluation of what government actually does.

    All these neoliberal reforms that put conditions on welfare are framed in moralising terms. What these reforms actually do is create huge classes of people that monitor poor people to make them feel inadequate in life. These bureaucracies operate by creating jobs where essentially people tell poor people that value comes from completing paper work rather than what any middle income person actually does for a living.

    It starts on a level where a guy monitors people to see if you are using all the rooms in your house correctly or taking care of your children correctly. All this kind of broad functionality where people try and find out weather you are actually married to another person. So poor people are constantly monitored by huge classes of people who’s job it is to make you feel bad about yourself and tell you you’re not doing a good enough job.

    Middle classes are one step removed where they spend huge amounts of time auditing culture and spend more time assessing the work that they do than actually doing work. Police officers are a good example because they spend a minimum half there work day filling out paper work. The message is value comes from paper work.

    Finance is the peak of paper power, it’s the idea that a securitised derivative is a really really really fancy form of paper work that is the ultimate source of value in the neoliberal fancy land. So the people with the most elaborate form of paper work are the most valuable and the richest whom are at the top of the pyramid.

    UBI polarises a left wing position that is anti bureaucratic. Understand that the idea is to fire all the bureaucrats, give them a UBI so they can peruse other leisures. The bureaucrats should be happier because there Leaving the enormous mountain of paper work behind so it can collapse in an orderly fashion.

    There are no better people right now ready and willing to assume leadership positions than the ones doing the caring. All the front line aid agencies like kids can and no one can decide Whats best for people than the ones doing the caring.

    Paying for a UBI isn’t a difficult question. Money isn’t a commodity you work for like digging up gold. It’s created electronically by our central bank. The argument has always been that printing money will cause hyper inflation. Well we want hyper inflation in wages, a UBI could be that mechanism.

    • Deliberately inflating the economy is one way to pay for a UBI. If we were to do inflation by basic income, we would probably want to place stricter limits on the ability of banks to inflate the economy via fractional reserve lending.

      It is also possible to pay for a UBI by increasing taxes on the wealthy, such as instituting a capital tax or capital gains tax, and running a tax system with a higher bracket instead of just a flat tax.

      There are likely to be economies from reducing the administration involved from paying benefits that are difficult to calculate without OIAing a bunch of info from WINZ that will contribute.

      You can also mix and match approaches. Saying that it’s potentially paying $38 billion and it’s unaffordable is simply not looking at options to afford it and the consequences there on.

      • Sam Sam says:

        The problem I see is we have excess production and no way to move it like with all the mysterious milk causing a glut in the global dairy price.

        We need a modern day debt jubilee if we are to manage the decline of markets like dairy and Banksters that needs excess stock cleared out which is why I’v always argued that portions of a UBI should be used to pay any existing debts and if you Pari pursue a UBI with the supply of money (ie every private or public sector debt) so every time the supply of money goes up 20% a UBI goes up 20% the next year or vis versa.

        I think turning a UBI into a modern day debt jubilee is the way to go.

  6. tony says:

    3 points –

    The UBI is like Income Tax in one respect – there is a range of levels at which it can be set, and each regime will have its own distinctive character.

    The UBI is per person, and in many versions includes a payment for children, so households will be collectively better off than many now are through benefits or low-paid work.

    The UBI is non-discriminatory (Universal or Unconditional) so it won’t penalise people for cohabiting or for working too much or too little.

  7. slumbergod says:

    Except it is all moot. Labour have no intention of getting off the fence and committing to anything. Until they do, they remain neoliberal enemies of poor people and they won’t get my vote.

    • Words says:

      Disagree Slumberdog. Why is it all moot? The subject is a hugely important one that needs to be discussed. The real neoliberal enemies are those like John key, National and those who support them. Labour is the only party that is acknowledging the changing nature of employment and its impact on what it will mean to NZers, and they have wanted to have this discussion for awhile now. Labour should be commended for being brave enough to bring this relevant and important discussion to public attention. What’s National doing then?

  8. Lara says:

    I’m guessing many TDB readers have heard of the Mincome experiment.

    If you have not here is a summary of the effects, as best as they can be summarised because when the establishment closed it down they didn’t do a final summary.

    Some effects:

    – hours worked dropped 1% for men, 3% for married women and 5% for unmarried women
    – only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less
    – graduation rates from high school increased
    – hospital visits dropped 8.5%
    – fewer incidents of workplace injuries
    – significant reduction in hospitalisation especially for mental health, and accidents and injuries
    – less people visiting doctors for mental health reasons
    – no increase in birth rates
    – no increase in divorce rates
    – no improvement in birth outcomes

    Overall, hugely positive. And people still worked. And they didn’t stay home and pump out more kids to get more money.

    Many of the negative comments about how it might work are directly contradicted by the real life example from Mincome.

    The experiment ran for about 5 years (slightly longer). Which is a reasonable period of time to see peoples behaviour. If it were to be a disaster then it should have shown itself to be so within 5 years.

  9. KJT says:

    As Key, Hooten, NBR, The Herald, and all the rest of the right wing muppets are now lying in unison about the costs, it must have really hit a nerve.

    Robertson and Labour, however, are too scared to admit that New Zealand has now reduced taxes on the well off below the level our society needs to function. And that redistribution of income from wealthy useless parasites to those who work and spend is urgently required.

    UBI may just be the “deal breaker” to reverse the effects of “trickle down” (pissing on us) and set us back on course to be a functioning country again.

    • fatty says:

      “Robertson and Labour, however, are too scared to admit that New Zealand has now reduced taxes on the well off below the level our society needs to function. And that redistribution of income from wealthy useless parasites to those who work and spend is urgently required.”

      Yeah, here’s Robertson on the defensive:

      “In any event, I can totally rule out Labour having a policy of a tax rate of 50 per cent.”

      The question is why? Aust have it at 45% and the UK 45% too. Both tory governments. Can Labour never imagine taxing the top 5% more than the rightwingers in our comparable countries?
      Sad.

      • Doubting Thomas says:

        Doesn’t matter what rate it is, the rich don’t pay it anyway. They have accountants, trusts, tax avoidance strategies and offshore hidey-holes to make sure they pay as little as possible.

        The higher the tax rate for the rich, the more they whinge, because the accounting fees to avoid paying the tax get relatively steeper.

        • fatty says:

          True, but it does signify our values (or in this case Labour’s values). There are ways to tighten our gaping loopholes. Meanwhile we could introduce taxes on land & property, as well as financial transactions.

          When we do this we could drop our tax rates for the first 20K or 30K earned. We could also get rid of GST and replace it with a luxury tax. These policies together can help.

  10. KJT says:

    http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/#uds-search-results

    “Redistributing income to those who spend it locally, instead of on Maseratis, Hawaii holidays and imported electronic junk is good for our balance of payments.

    It reverses the, economically and socially disastrous, re-distribution of income upwards of the last 3 decades.

    Increases the money available for savings and investment locally.

    Libertarians, the principled ones, can see a lot to like in giving people choices in how they spend income, rather than giving it to the Government to spend. Less Government involvement in income redistribution and allocation may well “shrink” some parts of Government. We see from the “mincome” experiment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mincome , that spending on welfare, health care, crime and other effects, of poverty and social dysfunction, will reduce over time.

    A UBI allows time out; to study, get well, bring up children, carry out voluntary community work, teach, start a business, avoid burnout, add to community services/wealth.

    We already have a UBI, for older people. NZ super.
    It has been totally successful in removing poverty amongst the elderly, (less than 3% in poverty).

    We can, at least, extend it to children.

    Time we “made poverty, history!”

  11. saveNZ says:

    UBI has already been trialled!

    The Town Where Everyone Got Free Money

    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-mincome-experiment-dauphin

  12. aWanderer says:

    It’s an impossible dream with globalisation making transition an impossibility. Those with capital and higher incomes simply relocate overseas making it unviable to increase the tax take to the levels required to make it work.

    • her says:

      Look around. That’s what the extremely rich do now. Most of the rest of us just wish we had enough money to live where we wanted.

    • Jane B says:

      SoWanderer, we never try to solve any problem, then??

      the UBI may be the last-ditched attempt to redistribute the on-going upward flow of wealth to the 1%. Otherwise, the rate of poverty will increase, the middle classes will suffer eventually, home will become more unaffordable and owned by the landlord-class, and yes, even businesses will suffer as less money is spent.

      We can’t afford not to implement a UBI!

      • aWanderer says:

        The problem with UBI is it needs to be funded. The money needs to come from some where and really what we’re talking about is taking it away from those that have it to those that don’t. The left does itself no justice by not considering this and failure to consider the economics and dynamic effects results in a king hit from the right every time.

        Generations ago there was little mobility making govt. policy effective within borders. People with ideas, those with high level skills, and capital can and do move. This is a fact and not really worth debating. The real challenge is how to make this affect irrelevant.

        A change of this magnitude requires the left to think more strategically in my opinion. Build a global consensus and move en-masse, mobility ceases to become an escape route as all peer countries move towards this in-step. Not something easy to achieve but not impossible given how the neo liberal agenda took off 30 years ago. Embrace how the right did this and send it back with interest.

    • countryboy says:

      That’s why we should close our borders, kick out the Banks then write off all mortgage debt. Some would win big, some would win small. All would win.

      If you think of money per se as a type of illegal drug? What makes illegal drugs so financially attractive to dealers/pushers, cops and lawyers? Its scarcity of course. If illegal drugs were as easy to procure as legal drugs like sugar, ethanol and nicotine then why bother with dealing?

      People are going to yearn for those things that others are more able to afford but lack the relevant the pay scale. Therefore one borrows $ ers against ones income. Snap, goes the trap.

      So.

      Make the $ dealers irrelevant by encouraging us lot to enjoy what the world will soon not have. Fresh water and air, arable lands and plenty of room to fuck about on. And it’s all fucking free to us!
      Not car porn, boat porn and most other unnecessary ephemera that no one but those 1 %er’s can actually afford to buy with your money.
      We have everything we need in NZ. Everything. So why the fuck is it that we have million dollar and rather av’ houses in a large, steamy and I’m rather reluctant to admit as Southlander, rather gorgeous town like Auckland at the far end of the country to where our economy is manufactured?

      We’re all being royally rogered by the Bankster con-persons you talk about who flit from country to country blood sucking as they go. Iceland figured that out and all they have is fucking ice and seal shit. We, by contrast, have a wondrous country oozing resources for us scant few 4.2 Mil on a land the size of the UK @ 60 Mil. I mean, c’mon? Really ?

      Kick out the Banks and re ignite our traditional trading partners i.e. The UK, The USA, EU, Etc. Fuck the vicious Arabs, the whiny Jews and the deviant Chinese. Fuck them all. They don’t deserve our high end food products. They have no class darlings.

      But most importantly of all. Fuck the Banks!

  13. Kim dandy says:

    @KJT – when they all sing together – Labour should know they are onto something.

  14. her says:

    There are a lot of positive outcomes and I haven’t heard anyone talk about the economy getting an injection of over 30 billion dollars.
    An economy coming from abundance instead of scarcity.

  15. Blake says:

    The banking system does not need reform, it needs to be completely replaced.

    https://www.rt.com/shows/sophieco/329777-us-racial-tensions-inequality/

  16. countryboy says:

    Farming? Did Labour mention Farming? Did Labour use its mighty brain to stop to think where our economy comes from? To, you know? To fund your little wish lists here?
    If so, then did they try and wrest that economy away from National?
    No?
    Have you noticed ? Wool is suddenly becoming sexy? Not because wool is actually sexy ( Though I have no doubt there are some with a wool fetish. Seen yankee doodle psycho jonky-stien near any sheep’s tails? ) . Now that the banks have tanked dairy for the land grab for their off-shore investors they’re re focusing on Wool again.

    Ugh. Yawn.

    You stupid fuckers. Serves you right. You dumb fucking cockies are going to fall for that shit all over again. Shame on you. Only you farmers can save NZ/Aotearoa from another round of greed frenzy. You fuck about on your quad bikes hating city people, unions and greenies while your toxic scum National Party fuck you on every deal imaginable.

    It’s actually fucking embarrassing. Well and truly embarrassing.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      cOUNTRYBOY

      I used to enjoy some of your comments, but I regret that at times you seem to let loose a rant, which seems to be “under the influence”. We all have our problems, and I admit to my challenges.

      It would help and may serve your cause better to not use that much profane language as I have detected recently.

      You are a person I care about, please consider that at least some readers here may feel offended by some words you use.

      You are though right most of the times, just perhaps be a bit more mindful of words you write. Words can be like a sword, but use a clean blade, please, to cut with the effect we all want.

      Take care and keep up your fight, Mike.

      • Sam Sam says:

        I respectfully disagree. We are at an inflection point where we are seeing the limits of what neoliberalism can do. National have shovelled debt in every which way direction for an average of around 1.5% GDP growth over the last 10 years. We could have grown that much with out all the debt.

        New Zealand seems to have hit peak debt, peak climate change, peak war, we have well and truely peaked. Our outputs in all metrics from roads to schools to jobs to debt are all full up.

        The Priminister says all the time that we can not make money selling to ourselves. The question is, does the PMs logic apply to dairy farms as well. Of course it does.

        Is the solutions to our farming and economic problems to double down on neoliberal policies. Of course not.

        We are now at a point where we can not compromise in our beliefs. It is my opinion that only a UBI can reevaluate what is important to us as kiwis while organising an orderly decline in debt.

      • Sam Sam says:

        Think about it. Every farmer and his wife will receive a UBI of $200-$400 that they can wake straight on there loan repayments

        • countryboy says:

          What ??? What the fuck ??? What the fuck are you talking about ?????? I’ve thought about it and I think you have no idea about how to to use a spell checker, much less a grammar checker.

          Having said that; I assume you mean ‘ Every farmer and his wife ? ‘ Do you assume that all farmers are male? And married ? To whom ? A woman? A female human? You do see where I’m going with this right? I’m just pointing that out. You’re not that well informed are you? You should try the ‘ internet’ ? And not just rely on the ‘ MSM’ to distinguish between ‘ male’ and ‘female’ . There is a difference. If you haven’t had your face slapped yet? Then you live alone.

      • countryboy says:

        Profane ! Language ! What the FUCK ? Do you not realise? We’re at war ? Who uses spongy bullets lest they cause fucking injury ? I’d suggest you go and rest against your cushions and get a hug from a soft fucking teddy toy. As for the ‘ under the influence’ inference! Well, go fuck yourself! I don’t want a sober fucking hug ! I want a fucking revolution ! You go and get all snuggly and comfy wumfy if you must but I prefer fucking shit right up thank you very fucking much. Limp wristed hug fests are what lead us into this nasty cluster fuck, dip shit! Listen? If you want snuggles? Find another target.

  17. Ian Orchard says:

    Is anyone going to raise the possibility that this “free” money will increase the Gumming’s tax take considerably? Even if it isn’t taxable, because most of the recipients will fritter it away on food, clothing, electricity, petrol, etc, 15% will be back in the coffers in a month or so. And because the money is going round and round instead of trickling upward to be siphoned off overseas, there’ll be all sorts of sales & income taxes, assorted duties & levies, rates, insurance premiums and so on, with the ticket being punched every time it goes round.

    Anyone who spouts “it’ll cost a gazillion dollars & we can’t afford it!” is a dribbling idiot or possibly an economist.

  18. Sofya Semyonovna says:

    This excellent and informative article about the UBI sheds a lot of light on precisely why Labour raised the idea, and why simultaneously, hell will literally freeze over before Labour actually introduces it.

    Kate explains from a very personal point of view how a UBI would be an all-around excellent thing for NZ workers. It ends precarity and ameliorates the consequences of unemployment. It gives workers choices and options. It causes businesses to have to compete for workers with better wages. It takes pressure off of families, and it creates some breathing space for all of us to get more involved in society and politics, should we wish to.

    Unfortunately for workers, every one of these pleasant effects are diametrically opposed by the Neo-Liberal agenda. Business in NZ would have a collective heart attack over any one of them, and all of them together would sound the Clap of Doom for the NZ Economy, or so they would swear.

    Why on Earth then would Labour introduce the subject? Because *one* of their constituencies (the poor unfortunate and deluded one, the Workers) needs to be persuaded from time to time that Labour is actually a party of the People. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.

    This very interesting Fight Back article from a few years ago explains what really drives Labour, and who its real constituents are

    http://fightback.org.nz/2010/11/03/why-unions-should-not-be-affiliated-to-the-nz-labour-party/

    Just as Hillary Clinton owes her first duty to some of the biggest and worst Corporate “Citizens” in America, the Labour Party owes its first duty to its biggest donors in New Zealand Business.

    This obvious political contradiction, born out of hopelessly conflicted allegiances makes the UBI simultaneously both extremely clever, and Dead On Arrival as a policy.

    Labour has one primary function, and that is to distract and contain the Working Class and cause it to disperse its potent and potentially “dangerous” political energies into the futile hope of change that never comes, freeing Business to carry on.

    A UBI will never be introduced by any “Establishment” government in NZ, least of all by Labour. It can only happen if the People create the technology to make it happen, as I have previously written about. Should that happen, no matter how many people were saved from poverty by it, Labour would ironically feel compelled to move to outlaw this People’s UBI, though such a law would be unenforceable. They would attempt to outlaw it for no other reason than that it undermined the existing order; the People be damned.

    As is being so dramatically revealed by Bernie Sander’s “Political Revolution” in America, our political parties do not serve us, but rather exist to manage us and suffocate our aspirations. Soon those same waves of realisation and discontent will reach our shores, and when they do, there will be a tremendous awakening here as well.

    • Sam Sam says:

      As Marx once said. For revolution to be succesfull it must come from one of the big wig countries. Today that is America and that person leading that revolution is Bernie Sanders. Then we can reverse all our bets and start talking sense about how to get the middle classes going again.

      Sanders will be President

  19. Noah says:

    The only unite they all Lour who spoke,all crying,this is not policy,this is not policy.They are talking about proposed thirty years down the road,of a gauranteed $200.What town city is renting out their property at that in twenty years,possible $2,00O,OO RENT PER WEEK.

    MAD no,as the computers control educating the computers who is going to be left to pay cares income tax,a tax that is our deposit on our humanity.Well what you recon the machine owner Libitarians doubt them paying,so who,has this $200 weekly wage gauranteed.