Can NZ Greens do what Elizabeth Warren has done and step beyond Identity Politics to challenge neoliberalism?

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The Greens are rethinking their slavish commitment to neoliberalism…

Green Party review of Budget Responsibility Rules suggests party scrap them and spend more

The Green Party’s official review into the Budget Responsibility Rules has suggested the party scrap them and spend much more.

The review, written by a group of prominent party members, has been leaked to Stuff ahead of being sent out for consultation on Thursday evening.

It suggests the Budget Responsibility Rules – a set of targets to keep government debt and spending low signed up to by the Greens and Labour ahead of the last election – “embed neoliberalism”.

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…now the truth is that the Greens are actually very economically neoliberal already. Cut past the mushy language and all Greens really want to do is insert the cost of pollution into the final cost to the consumer and allow the free market to do the rest.

The Green’s middle class identity politics pretensions push all the way into their economics despite all their virtue signalling radicalism. Sure their MPs huff and puff about neoliberalism on Twitter lots, but their economic policy is pro free market and certainly not interventionist or protectionist, which makes for an interesting internal philosophical dichotomy, the Greens scream for state intervention in culture and social norms but whisper sweet nothings to Adam Smith’s invisible hand when it comes to economics.

You can take wee Brock, Bruschetta and Melissa out of the middle class, but you can’t take the middle class out of wee Brock, Bruschetta and Melissa.

Part of this is the love of the free market is the current Blue Green element who see our environmental status as a branding exercise for their ethical entrepreneurial project but with the creation of Sustainability NZ, expect a lot of that Blue Green to walk away from the Greens.

With Labour entrenching neoliberalism with their new State Sector legislation, there is an enormous gap in the political spectrum for a Party to genuinely wage war with the neoliberal economic model.

Pulling out of the financial straightjacket that Grant and James placed upon the Government isn’t enough, to make an impact the Greens have to actually get radical.

Elizabeth Warren has stepped beyond Identity Politics and pushed an economic agenda far outside neoliberalism’s comfort zone…

…the Greens need to make a similar radical step and promote the Aotearoa Green New Deal.

MANAs Financial Transaction Tax which I worked on while I was their strategist would generate the revenue and allow for an enormous State sector driven rebuild of sustainable infrastructure to allow for the type of radical adaptation the climate crisis is bringing.

Solar panels on every roof, massive state housing build using sustainable design and architecture with a huge rent to buy small home policy combined with free public transport and the greening of all state services is the kind of big vision idea the Greens need to pitch to be politically relevant in 2020.

NZers are sick of tinkering and want solutions, the Aotearoa Green New Deal would catch Labour off guard while stealing NZ First’s traditional space as the state interventionist party.

As a class leftist, the delineation line in politics for me is not gender, skin colour or personal identity, it is the 1% and their 9% enablers vs the 90% rest of us. Big ideas cost money and a Financial Transaction Tax hits those 1% and enablers hardest, it hits the large multinationals who pay a pittance in tax, it hits those dirty filthy banks who suck billions out each year and it hits the currency speculators.

Building a new vast state upgrade around a truly reforming tax is visionary and can provide the solutions voters sick of neoliberalism desperately want.

Martin Luther King jnr said it best…

…it is time to restructure the edifice and doing that requires a tax that hits the richest hardest.

27 COMMENTS

  1. And Mr. McConnell’s vote is directly aimed at making life uncomfortable for Democratic presidential contenders like Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris. Those senators have all co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution but in some cases have avoided specifics. Ms. Klobuchar, for example, told CNN she saw the Green New Deal as an “aspiration” and “something that we need to move toward.”

  2. The current constraint is the 30% of GDP government spending cap – so even if revenues increased there is that cap (Labour Green agreed for 2017-2020). The debt target only constrains borrowing to finance the spending.

    For mine there needs to be

    1. a low income earner rebate – more targeted than an income tax free threshold to assist those with limited hours of work and beneficiaries
    2. the usual – WFF and AS adjustments for those in the lower middle
    3. a lift at the top threshold for the upper middle – the top rate should not apply at $70,000. The cost of this managed by higher tax rates at higher income levels – to bring our rates more into line with other nations – Oz UK. 30 cents $50-100,000, funded by 35 cents over $100,000 and 40 cents over $150,000.

    A transaction tax, GSTing money management … don’t hate it.

    Personally I would end payment of super to those still working – about 20% of those receiving it. Woukld free up billions for education, health and housing etc

    • 1) Superannuitants who are still working pay secondary tax.
      2) Many still need to work because rents are so exorbitant.

    • I am 69 and continue to work because I am supporting a type 1 diabetic with extensive health issues because he cant work due to those health issues. I also continue to work because some of his meds are not state funded. Also he isn’t entitled to a winz benefit due to being in a defacto relationship and his g/f income is not enough to support him and his meds costs . Also just because us over 60’s continue to work doesn’t mean we we are living comfortable lives. Also many of us like myself were made redundant multiple times and were not able to save for retirement infact a lot of us became self employed and earned an income below minimum wage due to the bullshit that self employed contractor type employment entails . Also the christchurch earthquakes destroyed my business as did John Key’s destruction of the “entertainment part” of hospitality scene . So criticism of people over 65 still working is a fact of life for many over 65 they have no choice.

      • I am not making any criticism of people over 65 working, just their receiving super while they do.

        Your situation raising lots of issues about the poor support for those with health needs (there are those living on $270 a week for decades because of disability – it should be the same as those on super) and tough income support criteria for those under 65 (there should be income support to the non working partner if they cannot work) – things we could do something about if we were not spending billions each year to those over 65 still working.

  3. As I rave on regularly here; the main Parliamentary related political task of our age is to roll back the neo liberal consensus between the major parties, and break Labour’s miserly fiscal cap–it is time to spend up large.

    Something has to be done to get the Labour/Green vote up given that NZ First is a)an unreliable coalition ally and b)likely to effectively be driven from Parliament in 2020 by the fallout from the current Nat/Media campaign–never mind the filthy Nats own electoral funding investigation, or the millions swished in the Nat blind trusts such as the Waitemata Trust that went largely unscrutinised…

    The Greens putting up an NZ Green New Deal as Martyn suggests, would be perfect–a way to extricate them from the identity politics blind canyon, and put up some practical policies working class people could actively support. Marama Davidson is the only MP since Sue Bradford to truly get the plight of the NZ underclass–homeless, beneficiaries and working poor, and the sadistic punishment maze that is WINZ/MSD.

  4. Do you think the US Dems are not predominantly neo liberal? Is there much from the last administration would suggest otherwise? The TPPA was pushed during the Obama years and people forget that NAFTA was passed when Clinton was the President.

    As for the NZ Greens being neo liberal, well to be fair, they were the only ones who said no to the TPPA although I felt they could have done a lot more. How about dear old Labour? Let’s be frank they are the core neo cons and my view is if they were not a part of this alliance a lot of policy would be different and in my view, probably significantly better.

  5. Arrrh nah! Theyre too Woke! White! Wankas! And fuck’d up with their identity, so much so, they dont know what they are? He/She/Them/They/Maybe?/Maybe-not?

  6. Since when have Labour been … ‘LLabour’? Really. Name a true leftie in the present Labour Government, pplease! Seriously..

  7. If the democrat establishment believe Warren is going to upset the neoliberal apple cart to any meaningful extent she won’t get the nomination. If she does get the nomination it is because they are quite confident she won’t upset the neoliberal apple cart. Until she enacts her radical taxation ideas you can’t say she hasn’t done a thing.
    D J S

  8. Yeah, money is 100% free. Paraphrasing Ben Bernanke:
    “‘The NZ government has a technology, called a printing press (or today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many NZ dollars as it wishes at no cost.'”
    Just give every NZer (actually why stop there? Everyone in the world!) one million freshly printed NZ dollars. Global poverty solved!

    • Well not exactly. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t say on the one hand Labour are superior economic managers to that of National and then on the other hand oh sorry the NZ economy has limited expansion capacity to justify a sustainable retirement system and first world social safety net. It’s just not correct that we make these wonderful statements about the economy while 200,000 kiwi kids slide even further into poverty.

    • Absolutely. Warren is just as hungry for the regime change game as any other previous president whereas Bernie has come out in support of Lula in Brazil when he was let out of jail and was prepared to call the regime change operation in Bolivia a coup saying

      “I oppose the intervention of Bolivia’s security forces in the democratic process and their repression of Indigenous protesters. When the military intervened and asked President Evo Morales to leave, in my view, that’s called a coup. ”

      https://www.mintpressnews.com/elizabeth-warren-coup-bolivia-hawkish-foreign-policy/262897/

      So I guess it will be a tough road for Bernie now but lets hope people stay with him.

  9. I am pretty sure you will find that Warren, if elected will turn out to be a very similar politician to our own Helen Clark, ‘Neoliberal lite’ would be the marketing phrase I would use for her..if I was into marketing.

  10. I am 69 and continue to work because I am supporting a type 1 diabetic with extensive health issues because he cant work due to those health issues. I also continue to work because some of his meds are not state funded. Also he isn’t entitled to a winz benefit due to being in a defacto relationship and his g/f income is not enough to support him and his meds costs . Also just because us over 60’s continue to work doesn’t mean we we are living comfortable lives. Also many of us like myself were made redundant multiple times and were not able to save for retirement infact a lot of us became self employed and earned an income below minimum wage due to the bullshit that self employed contractor type employment entails . Also the christchurch earthquakes destroyed my business as did John Key’s destruction of the “entertainment part” of hospitality scene . So criticism of people over 65 still working is a fact of life for many over 65 they have no choice.

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