Next election fought on the economy, not identity politics – why that will hurt the Left

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Bryce Edwards will have enraged the Wellington Twitteratti with his latest column in the Guardian arguing that identity politics won’t be the lens through which the NZ election will be fought…

Move over culture wars, New Zealand’s post-virus election will be about economics

For the immediate future, politics is going to be all about economics. In that sense it will mark the return of the traditional left-right politics that dominated the 20th century, before social issues gained the ascendancy. Since the 1960s, politics in countries like New Zealand have become less about economics (or what political scientists call “materialist concerns”) and more about post-materialist issues.

These non-economic issues – debates on everything from nuclear weapons, abortion, sexual politics, racism and environmentalism – never fitted easily into the traditional left-right spectrum.

Important debates raised by feminists, Māori nationalists, the peace movement, environmentalists and so forth also brought into play concepts such as culture wars, political correctness, identity politics, woke politics, and social liberalism. Alongside this, other non-materialist concerns around free speech, immigration, and religion have been central to understanding modern politics.

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The importance of these strains of contemporary politics wax and wane, and at various times the culture wars have receded. When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, there was a concentration on more basic economic issues. On the left there was a spike of concern about workers’ rights, economic inequality, the welfare state, and so forth.

Such concerns underpinned much of the debate in New Zealand’s 2008, 2011 and 2014 elections. Then, with economic prosperity returning, post-materialist concerns came to the fore again. Issues like gender and ethnic inequality dominated, especially on the left. And climate change grew to become an overarching concern.

In the wake of Covid-19, post-materialist issues are likely to weaken once again, becoming overshadowed by more basic concerns about putting food on the table.

…I’m half expecting Morgan Godfery TO QUIT THE GUARDIAN IN PROTEST, Alison Mau and Lizzie Marvelly to record a protest song calling on a boycott of everyone named Bryce and The Spinoff Mummy Blogger Temperance Union to host a special On The Rag podcast demanding he be publicly gelded.

Factitious comments about Identity Politics acolytes aside, Bryce’s argument bodes ill for the Left because over the last decade Identity Politics has replaced class as its ascendent movement and it’s left us intellectually ill prepared for this current challenge.

At no point in NZs 35 year neoliberal experiment has a moment arisen that so utterly corrupts the very foundations of free market capitalism than this Pandemic. The next 12-18months until a vaccine is found will be an economic depression unequaled in global dimension and where is the NZ Political think tank Left?

What is the intellectual response from our organs of egalitarian power?

The CTU have set up a phone line to dob in bad bosses…

um.

Great?

I’ve suggested that the NZ Left urgently put together a virtual conference to thrash out a basic policy agenda platform as a response to this unprecedented crisis of free market capitalism and that should be getting planed right now because the Death Cult Capitalists are ramming their agenda through and will throw the working classes who suffer most from this virus under the bus faster than they can say untaxed capital gains.

The Left haven’t had a real public economic academic since the passing of Bruce Jesson and the Labour Party was almost ripped to pieces from the ideological fallout of Rogernomics so the experimental neoliberal hegemonic platform has been unchallenged for the entirety of its 35 years.

Please tell me the Left have an economic response beyond middle class identity politics.

Please.

We’re great at organising petitions on Action Station to free the nipple for PoC vegan cycling mommy bloggers and Trans Allies, not so great at reconstructing the neoliberal hegemonic structures of the economy.

Look, I’ll even draw up an agenda so you can’t screw it up.

Agenda: NZ economy until a vaccine is ready
Mass State Housing Rebuild – The only way to force slumlord landlords to upgrade their slums is remove the desperation of the market. 30 000 new state houses would do that and create mass jobs while upgrading the entire housing stock.

Mass mixed forest replanting – we need this for climate change and mixed tree planting would create huge new jobs.

Ministry of Works – It’s time to stop managing and actually doing, recreate the Ministry of Works and put them to work building state houses and planting trees.

Nationalise Fletchers – This will be the bones of the new Ministry of Works.

Universal Union Membership – There has NEVER been a stronger case for Universal Union Membership, it has been the unions protecting essential workers, the unions arguing for their safety, the unions who have stepped in when bosses have ignored their obligations. Until a vaccine is available ALL workers should be members of Unions to ensure their rights are protected.

UBI – For the self employed a UBI will be the difference between surviving and not. We should have one until a vaccine is available. Labour looked at this during their ‘Future of Work’ conference before they got elected.

Extension of Benefits – Stop the toxic culture in WINZ, immediate reform so that those needing welfare can gain it immediately and lift the benefits minus the draconian punitive stuff until a vaccine is found.

Community Resilience & Whanau Ora – Vast increase of budget to community groups to directly build sustainability into their communities.

Taxation

    • Financial transaction tax
    • Wealth tax
    • Multinational tax
    • Inheritance tax
    • Capital Gains Tax

Bruce Jesson would be rolling in his grave at the lack of imagination and ideas being espoused by the Left right now. There has never been a better time to challenge the fraudulent foundations of neoliberalism, we’ve had 35 years to prepare ideologically for this moment, where is everyone?

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44 COMMENTS

  1. Bryce is absolutely correct. Economic issues – jobs and welfare – will dominate politics for the next few years.

    And where is the Left? Having a conference, with the all usual suspects talking to the other usual suspects! (nice idea, but it’s hardly transformational).

        • The right can’t force change. Besides enough people were well over being forced by the right, as Winston correctly noted Ada .

        • I also note Ada, that you answered your own question. So it was preconceived. If, as you say they were ” having a conference “(which is a ridiculous quote) then that is a democratic process and one I’d rather have than the undemocratic processes of the previous National government .

            • Well it seems Simon’s slogan of “Let’s Make NZ Like Australia Again” isn’t getting much cut through Herman.

              But no panic, Simon has got more to worry about than Jacinda

    • Ada – “The genuine rationalist does not think that he or anyone else is in possession of the truth; nor does he think that mere criticism as such helps us achieve new ideas. But he does think that, in the sphere of ideas, only critical discussion can help us sort the wheat from the chaff.” – Karl Popper

      • The usual conference, with the usual attendees saying the usual statements, doesn’t transform anything, which is What Martyn is calling for.

    • Ho-ho-ho ho ho, ho-ho-ho ho ho
      Oh, that’s the Woody Woodpecker song
      Ho-ho-ho ho ho, ho-ho-ho ho ho
      Yeah, he’s a-peckin’ it all day long

      Poor Ada – Not exactly Hark Hark the Lark this morning are we ?

      PS Just watch those absolutes, OK ?

  2. “Mass State Housing Rebuild – The only way to force slumlord landlords to upgrade their slums is remove the desperation of the market. 30 000 new state houses would do that and create mass jobs while upgrading the entire housing stock”

    Wishful thinking in the extreme. The Government (both Labour and National) has proven it is the worst slum lord in the country by letting state houses run down and most recently by excluding them from the very standards they want to hold “slum landlords” to.
    This last part of course highlights the rank hypocrisy of Labour. Neither National nor Labour give a flying monkeys about states housing, but at least National is a little more transparent about it.

    This election WILL be fought on the economy because so many hard working people will be out of work.
    The world’s reaction to Corona virus is completely out of proportion to the threat and more people will die due to suicide, lack of access to medicine, food etc than the Corona virus would have if we had taken a more measured response such as:

    * Closing schools, and
    * Enforcing work from home where possible.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t particularly blame Adern for this because ALL the world’s leaders seemed to lose their shit over this.
    However, Adern has trumpeted how she was going to ELIMINATE the virus (and has now redefined the meaning of eliminate) and went far more extreme than most of the rest of the world.
    This over reaction combined with the multiple failures prior to Corona virus such as KiwiBUild, KiwiTree, etc makes her VERY vulnerable.

    If the election was held mid 2021, then Labour would lose in a land slide.
    However, if held in September (which it should be), there might be enough Labour supporters still sufficiently unaffected to hand the election to Labour.

    Either way, we are screwed because neither party gives a flying fark about us little people.

    • You are 100 percent right about the knock on effect on the World. Food shortages are starting to happen and it is early days.For NZ Inc this could be good news as we are good at producing food but distribution is going to be a problem. This government has been slow to understand the economy of small businesses and the way they fit in with big business each supporting the other .It is like a tree if you remove the roots the tree looks the same but it will die without the support that is feed into it by the roots.The problem is that few in the Labour Party have had businesses or real work as they come from an academic back round or the unions

    • Jay
      Your throw away line
      “The world’s reaction to Corona virus is completely out of proportion to the threat”
      As the virus has to run a long course yet then assumptions as to what the outcomes will be are at the best empty speculation.
      Watch China closely.

  3. What they need to do for the environment

    – tax on coal starting at 10% now rising to 100% in 5 years

    – no-registration tax as an incentives for electric vehicles

    – increase tax on imported vehicles with low fuel economy (start at 5%, raise 5% per year until it hits 50%)

    – increase R&D spending on methane emission reduction in agriculture

    – new agency tasked with transferring best farming practices (dairy, dry stock) to poorly performing farms, funded by existing meat industry levy

    – increase R&D spending on converting Taranaki economy to hydrogen production from alternative energy sources

    – mandate 100% renewable power production within 5 years

    – massive investment in energy efficiency (this is by almost a factor of 7x the best way to reduce emissions), including: phase out all incandescent bulbs, subsidise insulation (ceiling, underfloor), free energy efficiency audits from EECA (they used to do this until National canned it, and it was extremely successful)

    – massive investment in rail, including: fully electrify all rail, new regional rail networks, new trains & lines in Wellington, tax all trucks travelling more than 100km (start at 5% per additional 50km rising to 100%), fourth line through Wiri, proper rail to West Auckland, Northland, East Coast

    – proper integrated public transport in cities – one ticket covering the whole network

    – new $300m regional funds for cycling & walking initiatives

    – end Public Private Partnerships in transport where they are demonstrably more expensive e.g. the stupid decision by the previous National government for Transmission Gully to be a PPP at 30% extra cost

    – virtual power plant such as this one is OZ to replace the winter power payments https://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-news/nsw-virtual-power-plant-sydney-winner/

    – start all the environmental reforms on the state and council land and large scale operations first (aka fresh water reform) who have the size to implement the rules. Work out what works for them before getting the paper pushers, with huge fees and impractical policy focusing on smaller sized landowners, (easy targets) driving them out of business! Most environmental destruction is from big business and it’s time that was focused on not ignored as being too hard, or might hurt the big businesses economy, or upset foreign business. Hopefully Covid is the wakeup call to look after the environment!

    The poor stewardship of council and state landowners and big business needs to be tackled before they are appointed the overseers of environmental reform! At present smaller landowners are seemingly the only targets for being environmental and being told what to do by councils and state owned land who are laughably providing the worst practices for environmental use while inflicting private practise to write their own cheques (paid for by others of course), to do their job for them!!

    The environment in NZ has becomes a ponzi to make money, not actually about preserving the environment, as those with money seem to be able to pollute as much as they like and get away with it. Hence zero prosecution from EPA.

    Get rid of all the poverty campaigners and neoliberals in the ministry of environment. The ministry of environment need to get staff who give a stuff about the environment and have huge knowledge and experience of it and are proper environmental campaigners and qualified for the environment, not just networked friends of friends getting a job they are unsuited and unqualified for.

    • saveNZ, you really need to watch this

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk11vI-7czE

      because there is no such thing as renewable energy (other than eating organically grown food or burning small quantities of wood.

      Only hydro-electricity offers any long-term durability. And what use is electricity at a hydro-generation point if the national grid -which is maintained using fossil fuels- breaks down?

      All the so-called renewables are simply subsets of the industrial economy; all require vast inputs of fossil fuels to construct and most require substantial inputs of fossil fuel energy to keep them running; very few last more than a decade or two without requiring replacement (involving yet another round of mining, processing and construction using fossil fuels).

      And there is no such thing as ‘the hydrogen economy’: it is a con, promoted by the business-as-usal community to keep the masses belieiving there are technological solutions to our collective predicament. The nearest source of hydrogen is the Sun (and good luck with obtaining hydrogen from there). All the hydrogen found on Earth is manufactured -with considerable energy loss- from hydrocarbons (fossil fuels) or by using electricity (electrolysis of water -again with substantial energy loss).

      The storage and transport of hydrogen is a technological nightmare, since it cannot be liquified (as hydrocarbons can) at practicable temperatures. Even pressurising it is extremely problematical since its molecular mass is just 2, versus 16 for CH4 (methane). in other words you need a pressure vessel 8 times the size to contain the same number of molecules.

      The reasons I have given (as well as very serious safety issues associated with leakages: the tiny molecules escape through valves much, much faster than methane or ethane or propane or butane) explain why there has been much talk about a hydrogen economy since the 1960s but no action, other than novelty exhibits constructed at humungous expense.

      As for electric cars, they sure do generate much less pollution at the local level but the pollution debt incurred in building electric cars is higher than the pollution debt incurred for an internal-combustion-powered car. And NZ would still have to participate in the global fossil fuel economy in order to have roads, which are made of heavy petroleum products and are constructed and maintained by heavy petroleum-powered equipment.

      This ship is going down but most of the passengers still haven’t realised: some think they can keep the engines running using alcohol from the bar, and some think they can patch the holes in the hull with sticking plasters. .

      Sorry to burst your bubble but its better to face reality now than invest time and energy in non-solutions.

      As for central government and local government bureaucrats, they are tasked with rubber-stamping destruction of the visible environment and rubber stamping continuing or increasing emissions of invisible pollutants via orthodox dysfunctional thinking. e.g. arranging for the collection of rubbish using diesel-powered vehicles and having the rubbish buried where it will generate methane; operating sewage systems that require huge input of energy to process human waste by biologically unsound methods. And in many cases using vast amounts of fossil fuels energy to dry out waste so it can be sold to the public as compost (in plastic bags, of course).

      Other officials spend their days thinking up ways to waste energy and resources on trivial pursuits like food festivals or even worse, partnering private individual or companies in funding and promoting blatantly anti-environmental activities like car rallies, corporatized sport etc.

      Some officials spend their time thinking up ways to ‘grow, the economy’, or until very recently ‘grow the tourism sector’). Worship of GDP remains generally unchallenged, despite GDP being a phony measure of progress but a fairly good indicator of how quickly a society is degrading its land-base and pollutes its air.

      The paradigm shift required is just too great

      • Where to begin – so many outright lies in this ridiculous video, promoted by paid professional liars in the pay of scum like the Koch brothers.

        Take this gem: “As for electric cars, they sure do generate much less pollution at the local level but the pollution debt incurred in building electric cars is higher than the pollution debt incurred for an internal-combustion-powered car. ”

        This has been proven wrong sooooo many times but it still pops up because the fossil fuel industry and their lying tools in the media keep shoving it down credulous people’s throats.

        In most places in the world, even allowing for some coal fired power generation, electric cars are enormously less polluting because the total energy pipeline from generation to driving is massively more efficient for electric while gas cars lose a massive amount of total energy from oil extraction, refining, transport, and burning in the car.

        That bullshit video has been savaged repeatedly for outright lying, selective use of out of date facts, and misrepresenting environmentalists. E.g. Moore and his toady quote prices for solar power installations and power conversion factors that are more than a decade out of date – either they were too damn lazy to do actual research, or they just wanted to do a hatchet job.

        https://cleantechnica.com/2020/04/29/climate-activists-call-bs-on-planet-of-the-humans-film/

        This bullshit just plays into the hands of the far right US scum like the Koch brothers and their front organisations like Heartland, and their army of paid professional liars frantically trying to stop any change from happening. Face it, renewables cost less to build, use less materials than fossil or nuclear power plants, last decades, and don’t pollute the environment.

        I suggest you do some actual research in this field using real sources of real information such as https://energypost.eu/ where actual scientists and people who build this stuff for a living give unfiltered opinions not paid for by lying scum with a financial interest in fooling credulous people into preserving the status quo against the inevitable change that they desperately want to stop.

        • NF
          Your support of electric cars is somewhat comparative but flawed.
          Todays production of vehicles is deeply wasteful.Vehicles are not designed to last 50 -100 years but are fashion items with built in obsolescence. Humans can’t and never could afford such waste of energy, Natural Non Renewable Resources and related environmental damage.
          Electric cars similarly consume resources that are rapidly shrinking.
          The batteries alone will defeat attempts to electrify transport by that method.
          Forget Moore and try a Kiwi.

          https://waterqualitynz.info/2019/11/10/limits-to-growth-youtube-talk/

      • AFKTT
        You have touched on where it seems to be, well written.

        Chasing ways to not change is a neurotic quest.
        What we can do is use much less energy and degrowth in population and material resource use.
        Learn how humans live with zero carbon foot print because our ancestors did as do some communities today.

        Live in smaller communities with simpler housing, local food production based on cooperatives and permaculture.

        Forget banks and capitalism and those who want them.

        Do not let material wants interfere with providing education nor the best we can do with healthcare. Many technologies we have today will be left behind as they consume to much energy and resource.

        Support families not corporations.

        If your hungry the snack on the rich who have stolen community assets.

    • You have not mentioned that Kiwis need to use less energy and keep reducing use of Non Renewable Natural Resources.
      Solar panels are short term and not sustainable.
      Electric cars similarly.

  4. I think it’ll be all too hard for labours widdle princess to focus on the big issues like Housing, Poverty, the state of the Health system and the Education system. She’ll draw everyone’s attention, whoever is interested, toward more photo shoots and international flag waving! Telling the world we’ve beaten C19! Which will be another lie.

    Its math baby! It doesnt favour labour going it alone and the Gweens arent gunnah make it.

    Winston knows how to maximise his worth when it comes to elections so he should sneak across the line.

    The only way to win this election is through bribery! When people are unemployed, they become despondent with the government who made them so.
    This time around it looks like it’ll be heaps more people, before the lock-down there was a total of 315,000 unemployed and in receipt of a benefit.
    3 weeks later 44,000 signed-on. Come the end of the year after the impending bloodbath, another 80,000 to 100,000 people will be discarded by businesses and corporates.

    This labour government are ill prepared for a scrap with the right ideologues and dont have the balls for it.

    Being nice dont cut it when its class war. Its the ole ideological right-wing establishment & cartels v the fluffy neoliberal latte centre right.

    My monies on Labour and National forming a coalition government, because theyre both that desperate to have power.

    • National are experts on bribery, think tax cuts, actually that’s all they do.
      Gladly we no longer have Mr Vanity flag Key. Imagine him having to greet Jacinda, his hands would be all over her hair.
      Even through these tough times, people see straight through Bridges and National. People do not forget the trauma National inflicted upon us during their 9 years. Poverty, housing, mental health, infrastructure, health, education,lower wages, all left to deteriorate. Rampant immigration creating a housing crisis. Sweetheart msm deals meant most issues went unreported. People also remember National being responsible for the demise of the Maori party and lastly, more people will remember the PM and her ability to keep, for the most part, the grim reaper away from NZs door.

        • That’s because National are still stuck there!
          Any more proof, they have Gerry and Nick still on their books. Simon’s there for a short while anyway.
          Yipeeyiyo!

  5. Edwards’ article ends by mentioning nationalism and NZ First potentially benefiting from it. Having heard snippets of Peters’ speech in parliament on Tuesday (28th), it does seem that NZ First are going to push the message of domestic/”Kiwi” labour and manufacturing, and also exports over imports.

    I wonder what the National Party has planned. They were at the wheel during the GFC, so will likely claim that they have experience in dealing with economic crises. But the solution seemed to be an ever deeper involvement with China. And Bridges has made much of his trips to China, of course, but also India and the Philippines. Are we going to have a stronger dose of Steven Joyce-style population-driven economic growth? Are we going to need the borders opening up sooner? Start with Australia then extend it to parts of Asia?

    China may have a growing image problem. There is more international noise about trust and whether we can go back to business as normal, and equally, a China that seems very sensitive to criticism. How does this mix with the local nationalism that Edwards’ writes of?

    If the election is to fought over the economy, how much of the battle is to be about us vs them?

  6. “…At no point in NZs 35 year neoliberal experiment …”
    Using the word ‘experiment’ is being kind to the scum, to say the least.
    My preferred, and arguably correct word would be instead ‘swindle’. ” 35 year neoliberal swindle.”
    roger douglas, henchman and money fetishist to dirty old ron brierly and his cronies ripped us off. There was nothing ‘experimental’ about that at all.
    “…free market capitalism…”
    There’s NOTHING free about ‘free market capitalism’. Everything comes at a price in capitalism and at an often eye watering price at the extreme end of the scale, even for watery eyes. Take U$A health care, for example?
    Ponder what the four foreign banksters are allowed to get away with here? The words ‘ Free Market’ are a logical fallacy designed to give the impression of ‘free’ when, in fact, [things] couldn’t be further from the truth/reality. $6 billion dollars of OUR money is grifted from our economy in net profits by foreign banksters yearly and they have us believe that, that’s a normal, day to day event to sell the freedom and yet more freedom myth while you die in debt to the scunthorps after a life time of drudgery while sheltering in your debt tomb you pay them to be imprisoned within until your death, and beyond, if they could figure out a way to do that.
    Mortgage:
    ” Good morning Sir/Madam? Welcome to ‘Death Pledge Pimp Co Ltd. How may we help? ” Was never said by any bank and yet it’s a more correct description of what the fucks sell you out into.
    Dictionary Please…?
    late Middle English: from Old French, literally ‘death pledge’, from mort (from Latin mortuus ‘dead’) + gage ‘pledge’.
    “…There has NEVER been a stronger case for Universal Union Membership…”
    Dead right-on. But don’t you fucking dare forget to include our farmers in that call to unity !?
    If you turn your back on our farmers? Again? All will be lost. I warn you.
    If The Greens pulled their heads out from behind their lavender scented panties and did their fucking jobs by bringing our agriculture up to speed with global warming and a looming financial Armageddon we’d stand a chance. But if we leave our farmers unprotected and at the feet of the banksters and the natzo’s? We, all of us, will be lost. Mark my fucking words!

    • countryboy, I tuned in to the back end of Seven Sharp? who knows what it was but they were discussing an idea that people could be allowed to withdraw their Kiwisaver to pay more off their mortgage in the case of hardship. Or another idea was that everyone gets to withdraw $500 off their kiwsaver…

      However the industry commentator was against it because what would they use for their retirement if they did not have a pension?

      Well we used to have a pension system in NZ!

      But clearly they know that it’s now being raped by the neoliberals who allow any migrant pensioner into NZ to get a free NZ pension without ever paying any taxes here or living here. A benefit so good that demand of aged pensioners with zero income coming to NZ is 10% of all the migrants that have settled here in the last 15 years. It’s going bananas our migrant pensioners…

      But shouldn’t they be asking the new migrant pensioners to bring their own pensions and means to support themselves for the next 30 years, along before they come to NZ???

      But nope, foreign pensioners are fine to take the NZ pension for nothing, while those that pay into Kiwisaver can’t use the money they actually paid in.

      It seems that as our government bankrupts the pension system in NZ with so much demand. (COL are reopening the migrant pensioners into NZ each year to take the free pension on top of the free health, aged care, transport and power allowance….)

      You would think they might offer those terms to those who are poor here, indigenous people first, or the abused children in state care, but instead some pensioner from the other side of the world who could be as wealthy or poor, but who cares, either way, they get free money thrown at them by our government for their entire lives.

      Meanwhile those stupid enough to be working in NZ, and paying into a Kiwisaver are not even allowed to withdraw their own money or may get $500 of their own money. (Seriously what planet are these people on that think $500 can bring a person out of hardship?)

      A big recipient of the Kiwisaver schemes are the banks who not only have the highest profits in the world in NZ but also average 20% of the profits of everyone’s Kiwisaver so of course they don’t want the funds withdrawn!

      In addition whether by gross woke supidity, or neoliberal masterminds, the NZ pensions will be bankrupted by the aged migrant pensioner rort which the Asian pensioner numbers are now higher than both the Maori and Pacific Island pensioners combined. But wait like trickle down, the migrants were supposed to help pay for NZ pensions not take them…. Ah oh… trickle down strikes again to do the opposite of what it was supposed to do!

      Funny enough due to the insatiable demand for NZ pensions, the woke/neoliberals repeated preferred idea is to means test the pension, not based on fairness like actual payments or citizenship. Yippee, those stupid enough to have a Kiwisaver will probably not qualify for a state pension under means testing as they will already have planned for their pensions and thus the woke will deem them too rich to deserve a pension! Nobody mentions stopping those that never paid taxes or did not spend much of their lives in NZ, not having a state pension. Why not?? Chinese propaganda about Xenophobia and racism, because a Kiwi pensioner can’t go to China and get a Chinese state pension for nothing, and can’t even buy a house there. Any business like Sanlu/Fonterra funny enough goes belly up and China takes it over after killing some innocent babies. Collatoral damage.

      I guess the banks who have the ear of government, profit immensely by the privatisation of our social systems through demand, the government borrowing money for more social services for our growth market of importing in the income less and poorly paid, future beneficiaries, while the consumerism of growing a mass population in NZ who all need banking and financial services!

  7. Exactly so Martyn!

    Let’s be honest, the identity thing was getting really old. Most people outside of Wellington and university Social Studies faculties have long since seen through it.

    NZ seems to be a follower in world social trends so what happens in the US & UK often gets here 3 to 5 years later. On that basis we can expect to see a rise of the equivalent of a rout of the far left and the election of a Boris or Donald equivalent. I really don’t see that in Bridges – he’s far too ‘milk toast’ so if he doesn’t win in September you can expect a far more sound leader coming from National. Mark Mitchell?

    • Hopefully we have already been through that phase with John Key deposing Helen Clark. The joke being of course that the bulk of the Clark governments policies wouldn’t have been seen as left wing twenty years earlier. Hope lies in the ever increasing cost of housing and living. At some point a majority of people are going to decide they want to get off that hamster wheel, if they haven’t done so already. People having suddenly found themselves on benefits they proclaimed allowed the idle to live in the lap of luxury are going to be less amenable to Bridge’s benefit bashing. Time to take a leaf out of Key’s book and introduce genuine egalitarian policies in the second term.

    • In your dreams maybe, Andrew. Any way you look at it, the National party is a shambles, lead (mislead?) by an idiot. Our current PM is gonna romp in, and deservedly so.

    • Andrew – I am sure the Nats can do better than someone whose work history could possibly make New Zealand a target of derision, disrespect, or hostility, in the Muslim or Arab world.

  8. I think the politicians might think the economy should be about economics, but in my view the narrow short term focus on the economy has been the problem for the last 12 years!

    Maybe the wake up call with Covid will actually do the opposite and more and more people after taking 1 month break will expect more from life (and politicians) than the NZ work, growth, profits and growing the precariat class in NZ one Thirsty Liquor, Burger bar, at a time. (They have already turned journalism and many other white collar jobs into precariat ones at lower than minimum wages, now they are going after the working class…) and all steam ahead to keep wages declining in NZ further.

    The decline of the working and middle class has been a huge issue not being tackled by government policy. In fact they choose to ignore it and by doing that have created a class of well educated or skilled people who can have less security or be earning less than their peers who are unemployed, don’t have an education or are unskilled.

    I read this article in 2015 and have been sharing it ever since. Welcome to the “1099 economy”: The only things being shared are the scraps our corporations leave behind
    https://www.salon.com/2015/12/29/the_sharing_economy_partner/ I knew instantly that that was going to happen in NZ and thus strip the skilled people from the NZ workforce or render those that stay invisible where there is hundreds of people competing in a tiny nation with poor record of management who don’t innovate, don’t look for the best at anything, they look for the cheapest…

    It is so poor that we don’t even have journalists who seem to write articles about it, or if they do, they spout the same neoliberal jargon… build more houses, build more roads, bring cheaper workers into NZ to help business… well they have done that for 20+ years and more and more people are worse off in NZ, wages are declining for most jobs in real terms. Meanwhile NZ has the largest brain drain in the world, but nobody in government now cares. NZ, New Zealand brain-drain worst in world
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatnews/7973220/New-Zealand-brain-drain-worst-in-world.html
    Statistics New Zealand no longer measuring ‘brain drain’ to Australia
    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/03/statistics-new-zealand-no-longer-measuring-brain-drain-to-australia.html Bring me a latte!

    We are now at the point where many experienced NZ journalists are paid per small piece of work (don’t even think of asking for a pay rise) and actually are probably not paid at all or about to be made redundant (RNZ, Bauer group), while Chorus workers which used to be a solid working class reasonably paid job, finds that 92% of the workers are now paid below minimum wages.

    In NZ where it is harder to get the competition to make the gig economy work like the US and we have a welfare system to turn to, the neoliberal have created a massive immigration machine (300,000 temp visas per year) to keep the wages and conditions falling. In some cases the unions in NZ have made a u turn to support the visa routs….Thus keeping marching on, a very short sighted road to absolute poverty in NZ and as the US article says “The only things being shared are the scraps our corporations leave behind”.

    This is a worldwide issue!

    The fall of the Australian working class
    https://indaily.com.au/opinion/2018/03/20/australias-working-class-grows-as-their-jobs-disappear/

    https://www.salon.com/2014/06/04/9_reasons_the_american_middle_class_is_dying_partner/

    Good Morning, China! Make That $200 Billion
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2018/07/11/trumps-new-tariffs-on-china-200-billions/#513bcdf0179d

  9. Everyone will hurt everywhere until such time as the Hanazi PRC regime is fought, soundly defeated and put down. Endangered species and ethnic minorities shall rejoice…

  10. Political Ecology.

    What about matter…?

    In substance, the coming election will be decided on a variance of concrete climate adaptation based upon tangible socioeconomic and cultural transformation.

    And so will be all elections of the foreseeable future.

    Ecological conditions determine the economic possibilities, as they have always done. Not the other way around, as some apologists of capitalism may tell us.

    Political Ecology. Keeping the differences and relationships between causes and effects always clear.

    Regardless what the parties’ election posters – or some political fortunetellers – may try to make us wish believing.

    This basic matter is fully understood by a class-conscious, emancipatory Left not taking the bait of being split along different individual priorities.

    What the Left in AO/NZ lacks is the organizational platform for critical discourse and joint action.

    Having no other option the final election tally will strongly reflect those workers, farmers, small businesspersons, un-employed, ‘precariates’ having difficulties re-paying their mortgages, loans and rents.

    There will be many.

    Ecological Foorprint.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMn59yNwoZ8

  11. Martyn
    Why that will hurt the left you say…
    Lots of waffling going on in this forum, but it’s just so obviouswhy! They haven’t got a single clue how to make money. None of them in Govt. Most of all Jacinda – totally and utterly clueless on matters economy.
    Lefties, you can spin it anyway you like, but there’s no way around it:
    NZ Inc needs to make money now. Lots of it. And quickly too!
    Me, I’m happy to pay 50% tax so you guys don’t have to. Serious. Just don’t make it hard for me to make a million. How else will you get 500K in tax from me?

    • That’s an amazingly self indulgent statement and very gracious of you to offer up 50% of your annual income. Very generous of you. Makes me think we are from the same pot of social policy so I’m for universal health and education which overnight has become New Zealand’s single largest employer by along, long way. But that’s not going to turn the economy around and neither is taxing our entrepreneurs to death. Tax anyone under $72kp/a there’s no way they’re eating. Just settle down a tad.

      So for every $dollar the government puts in the economy creates at least $1 of new spending and every dollar that is cut from the budget withdraws money from the economy. So what ever the government spends in infrastructure and the James Shaw and Shane Jones fund and what ever else the government wants to borrow and spend, then the government goes ahead and taxes those productivity increases or new wages for example the government payed for Broadband which entrepreneurs said thanks and created IT jobs which can then be taxed rather than laying all the outlays on entrepreneurs and saying fuck you half is mine like a China FTA.

    • What is it you mean when you say “make money”.
      You mean print some more? And then what.
      Give it to you?

      • Well the economic benefits of the Auckland Harbour Bridge are undeniable but we all get to use it for free. No one could have payed for it themselves so we have to lean on the taxpayer and government for a coherent infrastructure plan.

        • And we routinely paid road tolls driving in the USA and Europe; they can also discourage self-indulgent driving – but I don’t recall them being particularly prohibitive either.

          I’m mystified as to why we entice masses of busloads of tourists here, and provide free what they pay for elsewhere – courtesy of the NZ tax payer who pay for our countryside despoilers- defecating around rural churches – photographing and chattering about people at prayer.

          • Would those road tolls be for privatised roads.
            In NZ we have road tax on petrol.
            Also road user charges (RUC) on diesel and heavy trailers paid on a per kilometer basis.

  12. Immigration should have been seen first as an economic issue ie part of the free market system forced on us. That would have seen it being treated in a more ational mannerr instead of everyone making wily jabs at people who expressed distaste for the unnatural growth we have invited with our policies, and the effect on employment and lowering of wages, lessening of available jobs at living wages, and callous forced work of all beneficiaries who can move, except those on the old age pension.

  13. Boys and Girls, I agree it is time for action stations, id suggest that if you wanna hurt the Rich simply organize a rent strike.
    But make no mistake the Global Economic meltdown is here, The CCP plague is simply the pin that burst the balloon or bubble if you prefer, many pundits are expecting more of a Great Depression than a minor hiccup, we should only protect the basics of life, like food and shelter and not “bail out” or more concerning “bail in” Large Corps that are no longer economically viable.
    As far as Whinny goes, will he be able to stay awake long enough to provide stable leadership?, global supply chains are at a standstill, the free market is stuffed for the foreseeable future.
    Its time for a change and we all know it, no more corporation RULE say I, no more spy agency control of the narrative (media), no more dodgy election finance from communist china and no more propaganda about fake climate emergency.
    Drop the U.N. and the W.H.O. ,that will immediately free up funds ear marked for corrupt overseas unelected dictators, dump the WTO while we are at it and kick the Aussie banksters to the curb.
    This is an opportunity to once again have a Free Country with Free education and Viable social security.
    Dont buy into their tracking crap thats just another way to exercise control over you, its the cashless society slipped in the back door, long a focus of the global elites, time to head back to a gold standard currency because fiat money is the new toilet paper.
    Give em the finger but keep the print WWG1WGA

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