How National have snookered Greens & Labour into a neoliberal economic straightjacket

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We promise not to challenge anything.

 

If you put 10 NZers into a room and ask them, ‘who is the best steward of the economy’, 9 out of 10 of those rugby distracted, property speculating, booze drenched, anti-intellectual, emotionally stunted sleepy hobbits will all shout back, “The National Party’.

30 years of neoliberalism has created a culture where NZers worship the cultural mythologies of neoliberalism with the same passion as Islamist extremists cling to a literal interpretation of the Koran.

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In NZ, we have been ideologically blinkered into believing that there are no hegemonic structures of power in society, just individuals who succeed by their own talents and those who fail because they deserve to fail.

This means we worship rich people as evidence of the system working and because National are the Political Party for the rich, we transfer all these warped values of free market individualism to National.

National are the political representation of Bankers, Federated Farmers, Fonteera, Corporates and property speculators, they run the economy for those elites, they don’t give two shits about anyone else, but because 30 years of neoliberalism have installed warped societal values, we blindly worship wealth and all its associates.

Despite evidence that National look after their electorate of elites and themselves first, the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind believe that National are the best at running the economy.

So how do Labour and the Greens counter that deeply held political contradiction by the voters? Why they out neoliberal the neoliberals.

The economic bullshit the Greens and Labour have brainfarted out last week promising to slavishly worship the free market just as much as National do, is a way to calm the sleepy hobbits into believing that Labour and the Greens have no scary new ideas whatsoever and will manage the current economic settings rather than challenge them.

There’s another really good reason why Labour and the Greens are capitulating to neoliberalism, and it’s the true legacy of National.

When Key came into power, Government debt was $10billion, after 9 years, it’s now $91billion – and yet the bloody stupid sleepy hobbits still believe National are the better stewards of the economy!

National have borrowed billions in tax cuts for the rich, stripped state assets and privatised its social obligations. The long term goal of the National Party is to mutilate the States capacity to raise revenue so that it simply can’t fund  the social infrastructure the Left call out for.

Rather than trying to challenge that, Labour and the Greens are promising to not do anything. With $91billion in debt, Labour and the Greens are being handed a poisoned chalice, if they spook the markets the consequences could be disastrous with credit downgrades, a leap in mortgage rates, a mass explosion in the property market.

All we can hope for in September is a change of Government, it won’t be a changed Government.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Grant Robertson left me cold and in no small way makes me think this turkey wants Labour to fail as much as Little seems to want them to win. The more I hear from this guy the more I think he has all the nous, strategic vision and passion for an inclusive economy as that of a National Party MP, or a cockroach.

    Grant, if I were to vote Labour can you explain how running pretty much the same economic model as National is will entice me to vote Labour? Why would I bother getting out of bed Grant??

    You know our economy you praised yesterday on RNZ by telling us the economy is doing well but we should spend more on social services.

    At what point did you think your overt support of Nationals so-called achievements was a good thing? Do you not question how sustainable selling real estate to each other is on credit and where it will predictably end? Or flooding NZ with cheap labour. Or the highly misleading termed “Free Trade” deals both you and National covert so much? The super low quality Fruit industy that pays seasonaly people part time minimum wage or even less celebrate English’s Free Trade aspirations this week but we watch 400 people lose their better paying full time jobs in Cadbury, all in the name of stinking so called Free Trade.

    I mean you haven’t even said it will be the same but done ethically and honestly which would at least be a distinct point of difference to vote for. But you haven’t.

    You’ve clearly been spooked by a Neo Lib credit rating agency who rewarded National for being good corporate servants and it was clearly obvious they want us to stick to the same failed agenda. The one that apparently gives some alleged growth but equally as fantastic, it is not shared by plenty of those at the growing lower end.

    This week Grant all you made me think is voting Labour is like voting National. I am straining to find a difference! At least under National I know what to expect.

    If all I can expect from Labour is the term, “The corporations for which my government works” then stick your party. I may as well piss into the wind!

  2. ‘Rather than trying to challenge that, Labour and the Greens are promising to not do anything. With $91billion in debt, Labour and the Greens are being handed a poisoned chalice, if they spook the markets the consequences could be disastrous with credit downgrades, a leap in mortgage rates, a mass explosion in the property market.”

    You forgot capital flight ….and as ever it will be those without capital to fly that will suffer the most…..if that is really what you desire then the those purporting to champion the dispossessed deserve to be accused of self harm.

    ‘All we can hope for in September is a change of Government, it won’t be a changed Government.”

    If you truly believe that then you may as well prepare the molotov cocktails now…. I suggest a little reading between the broadly spaced lines.

  3. Jeremy Corbett understands it and so did Bernie Sanders and a huge number of their supporters and economic refugees…. “Its Neo Liberalism” stupid !

    It so frustrating to hear that Andrew Grant and most of the Labour party still don’t have that worked out yet.

    We are still waiting and its still away off yet.

    They have forty two months (2020) to get the message and lead the counter revolution.

  4. Jeremy Corbett understands it and so did Bernie Sanders and a huge number of their supporters and economic refugees…. “Its Neo Liberalism” stupid !

    It so frustrating to hear that Andrew Grant and most of the Labour party still don’t have that worked out yet.

    We are still waiting and its still away off yet.

    They have forty two months (2020) to get the message and lead the counter revolution.

  5. Indeed, this is stuff that needs drumming into people’s brains:

    ‘Nation of Debt: How does NZ compare?’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11651662

    “New Zealand’s household debt level is one of the highest in the developed world compared to the size of our economy, but one economist says it’s not the amount we should be worried about, rather, who is carrying that debt and whether they will be able to pay for it in the future.

    As a percentage of GDP, New Zealand’s household debt level was 91.3 per cent in the three months to September 30, 2015 – ranking us seventh highest out of 42 economies in data collected by the Bank for International Settlements.”

    Given the privatisation agendas of past decades, the introduction of “user pays” charges, the introduction of student loans, and the continued obsession with property investment and consumerism, New Zealanders have accrued a massive mountain of HOUSEHOLD DEBT, which is private debt.

    Add other debt by business, and that of the government, and then we have the total debt there is.

    Here is a graph showing “government debt” for comparison:
    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/government-debt-to-gdp

    ‘National debt explained’
    http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/#debtexplained

    As so much is owed to Australian banks for housing and property investment, the government continues to be rather relaxed about immigration and property investment, having only taken moderate steps to slow the “growth”. Without the continued ‘growth’ coming from this, we would probably have a bubble burst and much debt having to be written off, which would then be a rather painful adjustment, disastrous for the economy.

    The Nats in government are now addicted to keeping the debt fueled and serviced by future generations, as it simply is an economy and society built like a house of cards now, that can easily be blown over.

    • It’s all part of the Fire Economy, similar thing happened in Ireland with the Celtic Tiger, until the bubble burst then the vultures move in and pick up the pieces.

  6. And if you asked the same people “who best looks after the interest of children, the sick, the poor and the disadvantaged?” – probably 5 out of the nine would abuse the crap out of you for being so negative and the other 4 would beat you up in the street outside.
    You understand that when you ask questions like that, you are a burden on society that only operates on “Good News Week”.
    Such as the society that New Zealand has become.

  7. I wouldn’t overdo the gloom and doom Martyn. This economic “virtue signalling” is really all about racking up another notch in the electoral beauty parade for middle NZ.

    Electoral cycles under MMP seem to be stabilising around 2/3 terms, there will be plenty of room for splurging in the 2nd term and if an economic calamity comes along, there is plenty of wiggle room to share the love more than what has been said.

    Ending neoliberalism isn’t electorally achievable any more short of global calamity. In my opinion the left inadvertently baked it in when they voted in MMP which makes systemic change very difficult.

  8. Glad we are on the same page at last, Martyn. Been say thing same for years.

    Just one thing though: those at the top of the financial-economic pyramid are not ‘elites’; they are scumbags, aresholes, liars, and manipulators.

  9. As to greens in a neo liberal straitjacket: it is confirmed to me they are with the notion of being ok with exporting water from south island.
    So long as the cut is big enough….
    Cue face palm.

  10. Right on the money Martyn. Restrict spending to 30% of GDP. Labour/Green can’t really spend any money without cuting spending elsewhere. There is going to be a credibility problem every time they want to increase spending. They can’t increase overall taxes with their pledge.

    Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone really believes them. They can break it the pledge anytime.

    Ironically the Labour/Green parties will have to pray for ongoing golden economic weather before the election. Any downtown internationally, like Trump-led stockmarket crash will shine a spot-light on their economic credentials.

  11. The country is so far in the hole now, there is little strength left in the country’s Balance Sheet to borrow anymore money. The National/ACT/United Future Coalition have maxed out the Balance Sheet and we haven’t got many State Assets left to sell?

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