So Who are the Real Greedies?



Frank Macskasy - letters to the editor - Frankly Speaking


It is amazing how many blame the victims of neo-liberal ideology, rather than looking at the causes of why things happen.  Are some people really so simple-minded that they can’t see beyond their immediate prejudices…?


letter to the editor - dominion post - sylvia moore


So yet again, I point out some ‘home truths’ to people like Ms Moore, who seems to have selective amnesia when it comes to recent history…

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from: Frank Macskasy <>
to: Dominion Post <>
date: Sat, May 21, 2016
subject: Letter to the editor


The editor
Dominion Post


In attacking so-called “loan defaulters”, Sylvia Moore has targetted the wrong group. (letters, 20 May)

She is indeed correct that increased student fees and student loans were introduced in 1992. Before that, tertiary education was near-free.

Beneficiaries of free tertiary education were people like John Key, Bill English, Steven Joyce, et al. Even Paula Bennett was recipient of free tertiary education, through the Training Incentive Allowance – which she scrapped in 2009 after becoming Minister for Social Welfare.

When Moore states that “perhaps if they [student loan defaulters] repaid their loans, the government, might be able to allocate a grant to parents in need of help” misses the point that since 1986 there have been seven tax cuts. The last two in 2009 and 2010 cost over $2 billion per annum

That is why schools and hospitals are being under-funded and children are in need in equipment such as lap-tops, as Ms Moore pointed out.

It is a double standard that we now saddle our youth with massive student debts and threats of prosecution.

Perhaps she should cast her ire at National Ministers who have gained personal benefit from free education and are now abusing their power to force others to pay for what they got for free.


-Frank Macskasy

[address and phone number supplied]





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Roads, grandma, and John Key

John Key’s track record on raising wages – 4. Rest Home Workers

Aged Care: The Price of Compassion

Tax cuts & school children

Nick Hanauer – a devastating demolition of the Neo-liberal dogma of tax cuts!

Tax cuts and jobs – how are they working out so far, my fellow New Zealanders?

Letter to the Editor – tax cuts bribes? Are we smarter than that?

The consequences of tax-cuts – worker exploitation?

The Mendacities of Mr Key #3: tax cuts

A Message to Radio NZ – English continues fiscal irresponsibility with tax-cut hints







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  1. True frank,

    My Son studied his trade in Germany and all student fees are free and Germany is far ahead of this country.

    I did my apprenticeship in the 1960’s and we got all our tools and other costs paid for under our training but today under Planet Key apprentices get nothing paid as they are saddled with every cost an d are weighed down by debt before they complete their training.

    No wonder why their are so few who want to study for a “Brighter Future” saddled with heavy debt until they middle aged.

  2. @ Frank. You ask; ” Are some people really so simple-minded that they can’t see beyond their immediate prejudices…?”

    Yes, yes they are. And there are more of them than we dare imagine.

    Down what was once my way, there are people, many people, who still believe that strangers in town is a bad thing and God help those strangers if they have an open mind that might challenge local opinion.

    But of course there’s an easy fix.
    People who display disturbingly high levels of seeming stupidity are really just ignorant. And ignorant people, by definition. just don’t know.
    That’s why the jonky is using sociopathic pit bull henchmen like waldon to destroy the media. To keep people from the facts lest they make an educated decision about stuff and things.
    The corner stone of The Great New Zealand Institutionalised Lie or The Agrarian Swindle is manufactured and well maintained ignorance.

    Student loans are an abomination. It’s also a clever way of maintaining control and making money. By creating Debt Zombies who ‘earn’ $-billions for foreign owned Banks over their working lives to live behind paranoid palisades and drive Big Black SUV’s with Big Black Wheels.

  3. My university education was practically free and I was expected to pay it forward to the next generation with my taxes, if I got a high paying job. Not any more. The burden has been shifted to the younger generation and the Baby Boomers like me given a free ride with tax cut after tax cut.

    No wonder Key is always smiling, the prick has rorted the system and made sure Baby Boomers became part of the broken social contract. And people like Sylvia Moore are part of this.

    No wonder young people head off overseas and can’t be bothered paying back their debts. Did Key or English pay back theirs???

    • Don’t think Key or English had student debt. They studied free at all education levels, primary, secondary and tertiary. So they were home and hosed from the beginning, completely debt free.

      • Sorry, Mary, I meant would Key or English pay for the tertiary education they got free, courtesy of the taxpayer.

  4. That 60% group in Australia have been earning big bucks over there whilst defaulting on their loans.

    How is it fair that the average taxpayer in NZ has to support these ratbags whilst in college, then they run across the ditch, default on their loans and pay tax in Aussie.

    • The thing is, it’s the dumbest idea to charge people for getting educated.
      It is totally counter productive to developing a highly educated , highly productive , high yielding and therefore high earning society.
      It’s a race to the bottom mentality.
      Look at Scandinavia and Germany.
      Free education right through.
      Consequently they all speak 3 languages and a very high portion have degrees and beyond.
      Most Kiwis now can barely speak or write or spell English properly and end up in a low paying service industry job.
      We import engineers because the degrees are just too expensive.

    • If defaulting was your issue you would hardly be whinging about student debt. Or is that the only kind of debt your feeble mind knows?

      • ANONN: Try and follow my logic.

        The article says 60% are in Aussie. Thanks to Helen Clark, Kiwis can no longer claim welfare in Aussie. So they must be working in Aussie. At Aussie rates. And paying Aussie income tax.


        • “Thanks to Helen Clark, Kiwis can no longer claim welfare in Aussie. ”

          Really, Andrew?? Since when was Helen Clark Prime Minister of Australia. You twat, she had no power to stop whatever policies the Aussie government wanted to implement.

          Honestly, you righties are a thick lot.

    • A more pertinent question would be, how is it fair that young people are expected to pay for something those who came before them got for free? Being lectured about “user pays” by the smug beneficiaries of free tertiary education would make anyone angry. Frankly, I wouldn’t blame folk saddled with student debt for simply defaulting on principle. If they all default at once, what is the government going to do? Cry into their Weetbix?

  5. People have been brainwashed that Neoliberal Economics has been good for the world, the problem is people have become lazy and do not critically think for themselves.

    Unfortunately MSM brainwash the general public with propaganda and influence outcomes in Elections etc

    Political parties spend great sums of money on media personnel focused on brainwashing the masses.

    • Bingo, Jack. You got it in one there. NatzKEY in particular has msm in its pocket, jumping at every command, ready to deceitfully discredit any challenge. Disgraceful!

  6. As a recipient of a student loan that was 11% compounding daily in the 1990’s – I have to say not only has the student loan scheme been completely destructive and divisive for Kiwis, it has been one of the biggest factors to inequality in this country and the rise of neoliberalism. Once you are told that there is no social contract, you have to pay, it becomes like some sort of brainwashing that the government has inflicted on the populous.

    Student fees were also bought in under Phil Goff in 1989 and National bought in the loans 1992 ! So when Labour can’t imagine why middle NZ are not turning to them in elections it might be because educated people are not living in this country anymore to escape their student loan repayments and those that do living in this country are middle NZ who can remember the sins of Labour as well as National.

    National are disgusting, but Labour also needs to apologise!

    And commentators need to stop blaming middle NZ – the people who have been screwed by successive governments for 20 years and now told work longer for your retirement last election – our governments are now doing a new experiment in free market trade agreements where we sell off our country to foreigners and let everyone come into NZ to work and use the social welfare system and buy up property as investments (but this is middle NZ fault of course). Where do you turn?

  7. Doesn’t it strike you as suspicious that not only are the same ones who were not saddled with student debt among the neo liberal fanatics … are the same ones that seem to relish causing indebtedness among students and future students … or those that are homeless are put up in motels to further increase their servitude?

    And that the debt is outrageously out of proportion to the actual wages that scores of people can earn in this country? We are known as a low wage economy… and famously a particular neo liberal fanatic was quoted as saying… ” for an economy to function correctly we need 5% unemployment”… Ruth Richardson I think it was…

    And that now we have Key talking tax cuts – at a time of focus on poverty and homelessness in this country – whether he is at odds with his finance minister or if it was indeed intended as a genuine political stunt…

    It appears that the same far right wing neo liberal fanatics who’s mantra was a ‘ level playing field ‘ during the 1980’s and 1990’s …. are the same far right wing fanatics that are feverishly busy today constructing a tiered ‘ pyramidal ‘ class based society. And this has been true since the 4th Labour govt onward’s til the present day.

    It is no real wonder that those saddled with such debt , often elected to leave these shores to at least have a chance at earning a realistic wage or salary in keeping with their qualifications.

    All too often those such qualified could only find work that was not only out of their field – but that which was way below what they had trained for – areas such as health, science , and education for example have all had their turn of being victims of neo liberal interference and funding cuts with successive far right govts in NZ. With the predictable decline in service.

    Cynically , we look back at the underpinning dogma of the far right fanatics and see discrepancies… we look back recently to Keys ‘ being on the cusp of a brighter future’ of last election …further back, – we look at Bill English’s proud justification of increasing poverty in NZ when he stated ” we should be glad we have a low wage economy as this encourages foreign investment”…

    Keys ” brighter future” and English’s ” foreign investment benefits” are at total odds with the reality of creating a poverty class which finds many homeless having nowhere to go except on the streets – as is the creation of a ‘working poor’ class…

    The obscenity of tax cuts at this time – and the cumulative underfunding of our social services – designed to pave the way for privatization – is epitomized by the hypocritical massive debt incurred by thousands of students.

    The overriding goal of the far right is obvious for all to see… the concentration of wealth and power into the top tiers of the pyramid … yet the reality is this :

    Pre 1984 ,… before the neo liberal hijacking it was readily accepted that education – along with many other areas of social import – was seen by the majority of taxpayers as a worthwhile endeavor and that we would reap the benefits returned by retaining those so educated within these shores.

    Two decades ago we constantly heard about the ‘ brain drain’… and the neo liberals answer was to soften us up for mass immigration policy’s, policy’s to which the NZ public was never consulted on… this not only gave justification for that policy for overseas ‘ expertise’ , – but also provided cheap labour with the threat of visa / residency cancellation . Thus adding more downwards pressure to wages.

    We are now reaching / have reached the culmination of the destructiveness of this far right wing ideology. The concept of small ‘hands off ‘govt and its end result is evident. It could just as well be called the ‘ do nothing’ style of govt.

    In fact it is exactly that : its concept of governance is that of the ‘ market force’. And the market is not a government… it is what it is… merely the market.

    And it is the duty of a govt to curb the excesses of that market to forge policy’s that are in the best interests of its citizens – and not just for a small sector at the top who benefit from the ‘ market’.

    At a time where foreign trusts , tax havens , mass poverty , unrealistically low wages and homelessness are in hot debate … these only highlight the error of exchanging the ‘ free market ‘ for a governance of state intervention where necessary … such things as :

    A progressive income tax scale , the cessation and halt of any state owned assets being sold along with the privatization of social services – including education , health etc and being funded by a fair taxation regime , dismantling of legislation such as the Employment Relations Act – and instead having collective bargaining backed up by the courts to prevent the creation of an exploitative ‘ working poor poverty class’ – as well as scrutiny of those parasitic industry’s that have made their way into this country by buying SOE’s for a song then price gouging the NZ public.

    And if people truly wished for fairness and a ‘ level playing field ‘ – that would include such things as debt forgiveness of student loans for NZ citizens coupled with a genuine nation wide inquiry into the validity of encouraging and enabling debt incurring minimum wages in the so called ‘ rockstar economy ‘ and ‘ brighter future’ of the current Key led govt.

    • I also fully agree.
      The neo-libs have just about completed their task of destroying the concept of an inclusive society. Thatcher’s “society is dead”…divide and conquer, has worked all too well for these evil, societal, sociopathic bacteria.
      New Zealand seems further down the rocky track than Australia – from abroad, NZ seems beaten, the bulk of the people generally, in a state of blissful ignorance, believing most of what they’re told and shrugging their collective shoulders at the rest!
      At least in Aus. people are putting up some sort of fight – not much, but at least something!
      The US and Britain are almost totally beaten down. The only thing that will “save” the US, is armed revolution – it is now virtually impossible to change from within,….we don’t want it to get to that stage in NZ!

  8. its not just students debt NZ is saturated in debt and we have forgot that debt has to be paid back. 30 years of neoliberalism will sooner latter cause a collapse.

  9. ‘Are some people really so simple-minded that they can’t see beyond their immediate prejudices…?’

    Sadly, yes.

    And, just as sadly, a large portion of the rest are doing what they have been carefully trained to do -accept bullshit as truth.

    Awaiting the inevitable implosion, which is clearly getting closer by the day.

  10. It makes me laugh when aging ex-students who got most of their fees paid for by taxpayers now bellyache about how students should be paying back the tens of thousands of dollars they now have to borrow to do similar courses of study.
    They used to protest about how study was a right, not a privilege.
    They have certainly changed their tune over the last 40 years ago.
    Another example of how neo-liberal government changes the champions of fair play into the right-wing greedy hypocrites.

  11. Great work Wild Katipo’

    You emulated the whole picture of declining common wealth to almost where we are now, “Tenants in our own Country” or another lie Key said he didn’t want to see us as!!!! The grubby little liar.

  12. Interesting we have a PM who was brought up in a State House, just wants to smash the under privileged into oblivion along with his side kick
    Paula Benefit.

    I think they get a buzz out of seeing people living in cars and struggling with major health issues, narcisstic personalities I think, neither could lie straight in bed.

    • And the sarcasm and bile spewed out in such biased manner could hardly be more exemplified by Clare Trevett’s article in today’s (Sunday’s ) opinion piece entitled ‘Mixed messages in Little’s pre budget speech’ … it is almost gorgeous in its unabashed bias towards the Key led govt :


      Much of it focused on the “few at the top” or the homeless living in cars.

      “Middle New Zealand” might pity the homeless and either begrudge or aspire to be one of the few at the top. But the issues of those groups are not those of middle New Zealand.

      The series of promises Little did set out were so grandiose as to be unbelievable. It amounted to promising to solve poverty, build “affordable” houses for everyone, feed every hungry child, banishing cold damp homes forever, building masses of infrastructure and pumping funding into the health and education systems.

      The only one he missed was turning water into wine. That would at least have given the “middle New Zealand” hotel worker who finds Hipkins’ oysters something to wash them down with.

      This is the sort of bought and paid for media that fits well with amalgamation of the media to provide a united front and silencing opposition to fanatical right wing neo liberal politics.

      Particularly the second paragraph. It demonstrates precisely the sort of nimbyism, greed and deceit characteristic of the fanatical right wing and its perpetuation and saturation of the media in this country.

      And the even more shameful act of using the middle class as a tool and weapon against bringing to heel the fallacy’s of the far right neo liberal dogma.

      It also demonstrates just why MSM finds itself in such turmoil with a waning patronage from the general public except for those die hard’s who will use any tool available to perpetuate the myth of far right wing fanaticism.

      Meanwhile… family’s are to be found living in cars, tents , caravans, shipping containers and paying corrupt landlords up to $ 400.00 per week for the privileged of living in a garage – as well as living under bridges.

      Well done Clare Trevett.

      You can always knock that pang of conscience back with alcohol and Panadol when it hits – and enjoy those oysters at the National party function.

      • “The only one he missed was turning water into wine.”

        Was Claire talking of the moguls who have free range to bottling water whilst those of us missing out on $50 a week are charged water rates?

        We know Claire to be just another right wing media shrill.

      • Claire just need to confront the fact that she’s hopelessly in love with John Key. Almost every column she writes takes the line that the sun shines out of the PM’s arse, and anyone believing otherwise is either an economic vandal, woefully ignorant or barking mad. I suspect she’s contructed a shrine to him in her bedroom where she dutifully pays homage every evening.

  13. Ever thought there never wasnt any money to loan in the first place and when everyone said Muldoon was the cause of the need for Roger gnomomics that it was a pack of lies caused by the debt created by the Vietnam War and shifting from the gold standard to oil for a default value and shits like Key were beneficiaries of the police state created by the money controllers who robbed millions in property through death duties and destroyed families who couldn’t pay
    Get real they who make laws like Key Douglas do fuck the lives of millions

  14. Before 1984 – not that many people went to university.

    The polytechs picked up ‘the practical people’, or apprenticeships did.

    Then someone decided that ‘you’ve GOT to have a degree to even be considered for employment’ and the big scramble was on. The mash-up between polytech studies and academic studies. The inclusion of ‘business studies’ (which don’t seem to have improved management in this country by much except, possibly, in the farming sectors).

    When the ‘student loans’ were brought in everyone thought, hoped, believed that the spike in unemployment (4%!!!) was just a fluke and we’d soon be back to normal full employment.

    It was still possible to get part time work, holiday work, and paying back a loan didn’t seem so outrageous.

    There were still functioning government departments who could and did provide seasonal work. There were still outfits such as DSIR (science and industrial research) offering a career path for science grads. Or MWD for engineering. Or MAF and NZFS/FRI.

    And successive governments, starting with Labour, gutted those training places.

    That’s where some of the evil lies: the great dearth of employment opportunities for either living without a loan, or pay as you go.

    Our governments have totally failed to maintain or improve the economic climate of this country for the good of all – leading to savage debt that need not have been.

    And, worst of all, they have skittled the hopes of people who may have failed their first attempts at gaining useful skills but are now mature enough to dig in. The old doors and paths have been bricked over. No night classes or affordable retraining. Needless hoops, loops and struggle.

    Collective stupidity. Banal evil.

    • Stupidity by both the Labour and National Governments have dragged NZ from No 1 in the OECD to No 27 in the OECD in 40 years, I don’t think this is a very good economic performance despite what MSM and current politicans will tell you.

      However we have JK the most popular PM in NZ’s History here to Save NZ?

    • Stupidity by both the Labour and National Governments have dragged NZ from No 1 in the OECD to No 27 in the OECD in 40 years, I don’t think this is a very good economic performance despite what MSM and current politicans will tell you.

      However we have JK the most popular PM in NZ’s History here to Save NZ?

      • ‘However we have JK the most popular PM in NZ’s History here to Save NZ? ‘….

        Well according to National party cheerleaders like Clare Trevett he is… the rest of us know the real truth… particularly those sleeping under bridges tonight… wondering just what Key meant when he said ” We are on the cusp of a brighter future ”.

        Does that mean Paula Bennett is about to issue 3000 slightly used tents .. one up from living under a bridge, perhaps?

        We wait with bated breath…

  15. The problem is, once you go down that way and turn services like tertiary education into a commodity, and charge fees and force people to take out loans to pay for it, it becomes very, very difficult to turn the tide back and restore free education again.

    It applies to everything that we have turned into user pays services, that we have sold, privatised and outsourced, and hence we are now in this terrible situation, where it is one for each one him- and herself, with no unity and a very divided society.

    Also jobs are now a commodity, kind of, where every person is forced to fight and compete for one, as it pays the money people need to pay for basics and more, for survival. That has somehow always been so, but with the Employment Contracts Act and the only slightly modified later version Labour brought in, employers can pick and choose and play off each worker against the other, holding much power and dominance.

    So we have the society we have now, as people did not see it coming when the changes were made, first in the late 1980s, then in the 1990s, and again further ones in welfare very recently, where the neoliberal types of governments have sold the fabric of society.

    A colleagues in now a competitor, a fellow student is also a potential competitor, in later life, and so people can no longer see beyond self interest and do not trust each other anymore.

    Your neighbour is not a friend anymore, unless on your side, and is a competitor in many ways also. Think about chasing accommodation in over priced Auckland for a moment.

    People and their minds are a peculiar species, and looking at the great cultural diversity we have in humans and societies on the planet, and also at how history shows us how humans can change, that tells me one thing. Minds are like sponges, they absorb new thoughts and create new behaviours to quite wide degrees. Once upon a time same sex marriage was unthinkable, that was deemed “normal” thinking then, now it is widely accepted.

    You can say the same about other human thinking and behaviour, that is in most western, developed nations, but in other places they stone you for stuff, for certain conduct, on the same planet.

    We like to think we are masters of our independent thinking, but it seems we are prone to fall for changes brought about by trends, by policy changes of governments also, and so we have turned from being a rather socially minded, more egalitarian kind of society into the nasty version we have now. Both is looked upon as “normal”, and that is, because we are able to change, also to be manipulated and brain washed.

    This shows threats, dangers, risks but also opportunities for us as humans, we have choices, the claim that neoliberal, competitive and selfish thinking is better as it achieves more productivity and innovation and higher business output are just that, claims, they succeeded in brainwashing us, and peer pressure does the rest, plus economic pressures put on us through the system, starting with employment and so.

    If only people would sit down and think about it all, we can change back to being a better society, the choice is ours, and we need to tell more people this, who do not seem to get it.

  16. Good reposte, Frank. It’s amazing how many righties blame the victims of neo-liberalism when it’s the failed policies that are the cause of our current social problems.

    The chooks are coming home to roost on 30 years of failed New Right policies and the right-wing acolytes are flailing about looking for scapegoats to point the finger at.

    Thing thing is, if the policies don’t fit peoples’ needs, they just won’t work. Blaming people for that is futile.

    Keep up the writing, mate!

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