Staying Focused: Why Labour Still Won’t Help The Poor.

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SUSAN ST JOHN’S latest cri de cœur laments the dire straits in which New Zealand’s poorest citizens still find themselves. As she has so many times before, Susan attacks the criminal inadequacy of state assistance programmes and reaffirms the sheer impossibility of private charities taking up the slack. But, once again, she fails to explain why this government, like the governments which preceded it, simply will not take the steps necessary to substantially improve the lives of the poor.

There must be a reason why a government with an clear majority of parliamentary seats, facing the worst Opposition in a generation, with the perfect excuse of a global pandemic, will still not take the drastic actions necessary to rescue its most vulnerable citizens. What is it that Jacinda and her advisors know, that Susan and all who think like her don’t know? What are the transcripts of Labour’s focus groups telling the Prime Minister that she remains so immoveable? Why, in spite of her many, many promises, does Jacinda’s government refuse to act?

It must be bad – really bad. Those focus groups must be registering consistent hostility to the sort of policy shift necessary to lift the poor and their children out of poverty. Almost certainly, that hostility is born of the focus group moderators’ honestly setting forth what it would take to make a real difference. The participants are presumably being told that such a massive redistributive effort could not be responsibly undertaken without a comprehensive increase in taxation. They’re talking Income Tax hikes, a Capital Gains Tax, a Wealth Tax, a Land Tax, maybe even a Financial Transactions Tax.

This is not the sort of news that goes down well among the 400,000 former National Party voters who gave Jacinda her absolute majority. Hell, it’s not the sort of news that goes down well among the well-heeled, Labour-voting professionals who inhabit the leafy suburbs of New Zealand’s largest cities.

There will be some in those focus groups, more honest than the other participants, who will flat-out refuse to countenance such a policy-shift as contrary to their self-interest. Others, less honest, will insist that it simply wouldn’t work. “You can’t make a poor man rich by making a rich man poor.” Redistribution of wealth on such a scale would be dismissed as counterproductive. “It would disincentivise the most productive citizens on behalf of the least productive.” Inevitably, someone would mention Venezuela.

How many times have we been here? How often have we rehearsed these arguments? Jacinda will be guided by the reports of her focus group moderators because she knows they summarise the attitudes and intentions of New Zealanders who vote.

If she knew for a fact that the New Zealanders Susan St John so tenaciously goes to bat for would turn out in their hundreds-of-thousands to support a government that supported them, then Jacinda and her Finance Minister might just consider pissing-off a large number of Labour’s most loyal voters. But election after election, the psephologists’ scholarly judgements remain the same: the poor don’t vote. Or, at least, not in numbers to justify Labour going out on a limb for them.

Labour will go out on a limb, however, for the voters once fêted as the heart and soul of the New Zealand working-class. Skilled workers and tradespeople: the people (oh, bugger all this gender neutrality) the men once referred to as “the aristocracy of labour”; the men who used to dominate the trade unions – and the Labour Party. These men were big on “the dignity of labour”, but had no time at all for those who “bludged” off others. Back in the day, when Labour activists could still say such things, they would happily declare: “He who does not work, neither shall he eat.” These menwere all in favour of giving workers down on their luck a hand-up. But, allowing fit and healthy workers to live indefinitely off state hand-outs, that they did not favour.

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In the twenty-first century these mostly Pakeha men are more likely to be found running small businesses than working in a factory. That they still vote for the Labour Party is probably out of nostalgia for the days when their fathers and grandfathers were the heart and soul of the party. It’s their way of doffing a cloth cap no longer worn, to a white working-class that no longer exists. But just let Jacinda threaten to raise their taxes, and that nostalgia vote will disappear in an instant. National and Act are always just a polling-booth away.

And so, triennium after triennium, this tawdry charade goes on. Labour’s leaders speak of rescuing the poor, not because they have any intention of doing so – the poor don’t even register such promises anymore – but because Labour knows that the kind, well-educated women who now constitute its electoral core get a kick out of voting for a party that talks about helping the poor – just so long as it doesn’t help them too much.

 

68 COMMENTS

  1. This poor homeless man lives in a cave next to a famous rich kiwis spare house at the mount.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300394819/man-has-spent-covid-pandemic-living-in-a-cave-surrounded-by-multimilliondollar-homes
    Here is the house in homes.co.nz
    https://homes.co.nz/address/mount-maunganui/mount-maunganui/26-marine-parade/y2kMK?searchLoc=xwzdFm%7Dnr%60@&lat=-37.6345&lng=176.1850&zoom=18
    Bought for 6 million in 2011, now worth 15 million. The owner is never there. 9 million dollars for free just by being already priveliged. While the poor have to live in caves. Neoliberal wonderland that Jacinda freely promotes by doing away with a CGT. Disgraceful.

  2. LINO’s job is to maintain the banksters’ Ponzi scheme for as long as possible, and to protect the privileges and shareholder returns of coroporations (whilst providing opportunities for opportunists …consultants ect.)

    All the talk about ‘freedom and democracy’ and ‘the welfare of the people’ is just a cleverly-constructed cover story with no substance. The givernment-orchestrated descent continues.

    Indeed, the entire populace is in the process of being sacrificed to ‘the machine’, with the poorest being the most visible victims at this stage.

    Give it another year and all the geological, chemical, physical and biological forces the bankers, economists and politicians refuse to acknowledge the existence of, let alone plan for, will have demolished a substantial portion of most western societies, including NZ, of course.

    The chaos that is America today is New Zeaand’s future. Chris Hedges has just written yet another magnificent piece drawing parallels between the decline of the US.aand the collapse of the Roman Empire. All the rules for self-defeat are written into legislation (or legislation is ignored) and self-serving (in the short term) liars drive the entire nation into the ground via squandering of energy and resources on countrr-productive strategies.

    We see it in NZ via the actions of central government and local government -completely detached from reality and staggering from one crisis to the next, wrecking everything that matters in the process.

    Don’t expect anything to improve: the system got to this point via looting, polluting and exploitation. And the system will continue to loot, pollute and exploit until it can’t any longer because it has collapsed everything.

    • Hear hear.
      Chris Hedges is a great person to listen to.
      Yes the politicians KNOW there’s a problem, but they still ‘accelerate towards the brick wall’, not even bothering to slow down or apply the breaks.
      I guess these lock down will condition the public to the new realities. Travelling less, less stuff available in the shops, less stuff you can afford etc etc.
      Chris you ask why Jacinda doesn’t do anything, given the majority, the facts, the promises etc…IMHO it’s because she and LINO NEVER had ANY intention to do what needs to be done.

      ‘The rules have changed’ and we’ve not be told about them, until after we’ve LOST the ‘game’.

      Welcome the the outcome when the uber wealthy control the country/world.

      There’s enough food for X in the world and the rich want to make sure they are in the ‘subset X’

    • “We see it in NZ via the actions of central government and local government – completely detached from reality and staggering from one crisis to the next,….”
      Ain’t that the truth!
      We get what we deserve pretty much.
      Whilst I’ve no doubt Jacinda aspires to be, and to a large extent is a kind and compassionate person, the era she’s grown up in, as well as several of her colleagues means it’s as much a brand where the market the market rules, and is the natural leveller as it is what people (others) have to experience.
      She’s kept us safe, and kudos for that. But there is so much that is not very kind OR compassionate. Indeed it’s cruel and mean, and pretty much NOT what people thought they were voting for – unless their only concern was Covid 19.
      NO gummints, complete with their senoiur officials should be one trick ponies. Unfortunately, this time round they’re proving themselves to be just that.
      I’ve said this before but ….. My suspicions are that JA is actually a bit of a control freak (which is OK if/when you’re dealing with a pndemic); Sepoloni has a bit of a mean streak (check out some of her answers when being challenged over people in this space we call AO/NZ with no income or means of support); and Grant learned his trade in what’s now economic orthodoxy – despite it having gotten us to where we are today.
      Let’s not even mention Far Foy because everything he’s touched ( actually it’s likely he hasn’t touched it, just been in the same room as it), turns to shit.

      Let’s just vote next time round the way MMP was supposed to work and see what happens.
      Vote for who you think is the most competent/experienced or knowledgeable/ non-sociopathic specimen in your electricate.
      And vote for the Party that promises policies you’re most aligned with – and based on their ability to deliver on past record.
      (In my case, it’s going to be a real bugger of a job – having the Grunter in the electricate, and a party that’s had the legitimacy and a mandate to deliver that’s frittered it, and which so far doesn’t seem that concerned.
      At best, we’ll get a centrist or centet left gummint (bearing in mind 30 plus years of neoliberalism has swung the pendulum at least 90 degrees East) . At worst we’ll get a real arsehole of a cobbled together gummint bordering on the fascist. But if that’s what it takes to wake up the likes of Labour and its tribalists ( some of who comment in here ), so be it.

  3. “She’s a pretty communist”. That fella with that sign is all to common in NZ and the politicians are too self serving to take them on. Now you say we have all the “Karens” as well in the same club. No doubt your right Mr Trotter. Bloody big club. Too big. Going forward I would hope our younger generations grow up without this capitalistic attitude that oldies have and I think they are halfway there already. They are much more inclusive of Maori and PI and Asians and all the other cultures and there lifestyles. Old whiteys are the problem and this makes it generational. Generational is a swearword in NZ. Well too bad. I’m old and white but I’m not blind and ignorant. Our generation needs to change it’s ways, have some empathy, look after the sick and struggling with a helping hand. Allow the politicians to do the right thing and not just vote them out to look after your own interests. That’s not gonna happen with the entrenched oldies. Only when todays young people become the “middle” will we be able to change the system. Same with the planet.

    • Old Whiteys have also given a lot to New Zealand as well don’t forget.

      Or would you rather be going without a lot of the stuff you take for granted today?

      My Grandparents were decent people and productive members of society. They did volunteer work, the donated to charities and they treated all people as equals so please stop lumping people togeter on account of their age and skin tone. Life isn’t that black and white

      • Can you get past the being afffrnted by ideas that indicate things need doing differently x? Everything done last century needs change now – be appreciative by all means, but use your nous to think of practical, far-seeing changes for our, and those of the young, difficult future ahead.

  4. Chris, nobody does anything because it doesn’t work. These ‘poor’ as you call them are mostly the professionally feckless; in that the government assistance positively encourages them to make poor decisions.

    Save some money as a buffer? No way! Having even a small amount of money in the bank prevents you from getting assistance.

    Get a job picking crops? No chance! Because the stand down period before returning on the dole makes it financially foolish.

    If welfare was expanded it would simply result in an expansion in the number of those on it.

    • Welfare doesn’t need expansion, it needs reform. A new universal welfare, ubi will become more and more imperative. UBI gets rid of disincentives to work seasonal/part-time/casual/ & full-time work as it acts as a solid foundation to build on top of with paid work …everyone getting it undercuts the Us vs Them mentality. We have ubi for seniors, We used to have a ubi in the universal family benefit, Greens once campaigned for a universal student alliowance. UBI is the future!

  5. As one of those men who worked in factories all my life (from the 1970s night shift to the 2000s multinational boardrooms) I can clear up 3 things:
    – it was not white men. It was pretty equal opportunity & effect for both gender & multi ethnicity, we worked well together & generally treated each other with common respect for the jobs we did. Everyone took an interest in politics & had an opinion.
    – it’s not about tax. We used to pay 50% tax on earnings over $100/wk in the 1970s. As you say, we support a hand up not a hand out.
    – we may not have left the Labour party totally (I’ve voted for them for nearly 50 years with only 2 exceptions) but we well know the Labour party left us a long time ago to become the party of socialist academics who never got their hands dirty in their lives. We hate National in our gut for 80 years now so when pushed our vote went to a party like NZF who stood for our principles. However Winston is too old now to maintain his 1 man band so watch now for ACT/Seymour to pick this vote up.
    – we respected Jacinda originally for taking a hospital pass & apparent integrity, now for Covid control only. She & Labour have failed on every other measure, worst of all like many previous Labour govts she has betrayed our trust in implementing a racist constitutional & social engineering program she had not taken to the voters at election & had no mandate for. He Puapua was the last straw.

    • I’m as disappointed as the next lefty at the shit performance of Labour and the ‘Greens’ – idiot intellectuals (https://medium.com/incerto/the-intellectual-yet-idiot-13211e2d0577) all of them, only not so intellectual and extremely impractical.

      But, lets get some facts here please. He Puapua is a report, nothing has been done with it, and it was commissioned by the previous National government to meet some obligations with the UN. It’s not something that Labour did.

      • We also have to remember that Natz wanted to ‘sell’ our democracy for $100k donations. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/107914931/jamilee-ross-and-simon-bridges-phone-call-transcript

        Unfortunately NZ politicians seem more interested in getting donations to pay spin doctors to market spin to win elections and thus NZ policy is largely for the profits of their donors, businesses and individual donors.

        Eventually doesn’t work though, because if you are homeless or can’t find that rental that used to be plentiful 15 years ago, your wages seem to be alarmingly similar to 20 years ago, and the doctors and nurses in hospitals are replaced by managers and support workers, voters notice that you can’t get that operation or care anymore.

        That’s the point we are at now.

        Are Labeen going to think that focusing on identity politics and prosecuting the middle class for a bad joke, religious beliefs or putting them in jail for not wanting their kids to change gender at 14 years old…. while more focus on rescuing the foreign billionaire Covid refugee around the world, anybody who wants to live in NZ can buy their way in with a student visa or similar, and getting more cheap workers often paid in cash or illegally working, for the braying business, that seem to think that they can keep paying 50% less wages (and dropping) than OZ and get away with it….

        Nobody wants the Natz back, but the emperors new clothes of globalism and neoliberalism, high capitalism and woke third way policy, have been busted as a sham.

        Is there anything more to say than the medieval Taliban managed to bust through the puppet government of Afghanistan in days and defeat the west, while allegedly burning alive woman who didn’t cook well enough.

        Trillions spent on that war, but the marketing spin doesn’t work when the reality hits.

      • https://www.tpk.govt.nz/docs/tpk-RP%20EMRIP-self-determination-study-NZ%20submission-march2021.pdf

        I suggest you read the attached update given to the UN in August 2020 confirming the Govt’s implementation progress to date. Noting also that there is nothing legally binding in the UN resolution binding NZ to implement it nor anything about “partnership” in the ToW (a Crown entity can not enter into a partnership with it’s subjects).

        He Puapua was not “commissioned by National”, it was commissioned by Labour in 2019..

    • 100% Robbie!

      The left is now infested with narcissistic trust fun bunnies who who what’s best for us and the union movement is dominated by the teachers unions – a bunch of ‘Karens’ if there ever was one.

      None of the people in the Labour cabinet have worked a day in their life with their hands. They are know-nothings with soft academic qualifications.

    • I don’t think I would regard the Neoliberal ACT party as an appropriate replacement for NZ 1st. I would rather opt for the Opportunities Party.

  6. As a transparent government they should be upfront and say that most people do not care about the poor, and the downtrodden, and the struggling, and the disadvantaged, and therefore they’re keeping them that way.

    • The only people who care about the poor, the downtrodden, the struggling, and the disadvantaged are the National Party. They hate that people are in emergency housing in motels.

      Well that’s what they tell us. They also showed that care by not having poor, downtrodden, struggling, and disadvantaged over the years they were in government and did everything possible to see that we would not have people like that.

      • Simon Bridges and Judith Collins are the only one’s standing up for the poor and downtrodden these days, we don’t hear a whisper out of Labour or the Greens now they are in Power and are holding all the cards.

        • Hongi if you were a Maori you would have nothing to do with the colonial Tory parties – Natz & Act. They have never supported Maori aspirations. Through the 1970’s and 80’s their Ministers of Maori Affairs amended the Maori Affairs Act and kept up the momentum in alienating Maori land (what was left of it). If you are Maori your tupuna will be turning in their graves with the ravings of Collins & Bridges.

  7. Another thought provoking post by Chris. There are a couple of thoughts I have. There is virtually no difference between labour and National and no difference between the philosophical thinking of those people except what type of lie they tell. Those in this forum say there is, but in my opinion they’re wrong. National have always courted and supported big business and there’s nothing dishonest there , you know who you’re voting for. Labour have always courted the workers and poor but in recent times have been elected on the promise of support for the poor and failed miserably. So which party is more dishonest. Chris is alluding to these issues in his post but in a different way. The trick of who we should tax and how much is the problem. The poor say tax the rich, and the rich say tax us too much and we can’t grow our income enough to give to the poor. Both schools of thought are right and we need both. To me this MMP government is a spectacular failure. How to fix it is the problem. To me a coalition without the red and blue bullshit would be preferable but how that would work I don’t know. Chris also highlighted another problem. Who are these faceless bureaucratic arseholes who advise our governments. How are they educated and what life experience have they had. Not big on social science you’d have to say.

    • Great comments New View . The government changes but the public servants carry on with their same message that is disconnected from the average citizen . Transport Health Education all move in ways that defy logic.

    • The solution is SIMPLE, but FEW wants to know about it.
      ‘The hardest thing for people to accept is the truth’.
      Stop the uber wealthy having the powers to create currency (it is NOT money) out of thin air and charge interest.
      The USA Fed was created in 1913 and the problems invariably ALL stem from there.
      Simple as that, but VERY few accept it, research and double check it’s validity, and thus the rich get richer and the poor get poorer…….Look into the Cantillon effect for that extra reason for the result.

    • Difference s between Natz and Labour.
      Labour acknowledge a housing crisis even now and have built 2000 times more houses than the Natz did in 9 years.
      Natz/Key encouraged property speculation to create his so called rockstar economy. Labour removed tax relief on interest.
      Natz promised tax breaks for the rich. Labour gave dedicated budget to poor.
      Natz want to open border so the grim reaper and his Delta can enter Aotearoa. Labour have halted that.

  8. The answer to the question posed is simple and its the same reason why Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. Why would Labour want to reduce their core constituency?

  9. How long does need for people to understand Modern Monetary reality. TAXES DO NOT FUND GOVERNMENT SPENDING. The reality is Spend then Tax, not the usual garbage of Tax and Spend. You would not be able to pay tax if you had not first obtained the funds to do so.

    Taxation is not required to raise the incomes of the poor, nor for many other purposes. You can also be certain that most of it will be spent on necessities, and considerably returned in tax. If redistribution is part of the requirement, then, yes, taxation changes would be needed – but that is a separate story.

    Given all the Covid new money generation be the Government, it should be clear that they know the truth of their fiscal capacity. So there must be a more fundamental reason for their reluctance to remove poverty. Basically they have bought the neoliberal line completely. They spend to keep businesses on life support and to help furloughed employees. They will not help the ‘undeserving’ (in their eyes) poor.

  10. Just stop printing fresh money and handing it to speculators to bid up pre-existing housing.

    If speculators want to buy existing housing let them borrow money already in existence.

    Bit nutty, the RNBZ – printing up fresh money in the billions to give to property speculators at near zero percent Interest.

    Then no land or capital gains tax is paid. But SURE, increase income tax so the rest of us can pay for the water pipes of the landed gentry.

    In an interview posted on interest.co.nz yesterday, Grant Robertson was again calling for increasing house prices.

    Anyone supporting Labour is really a traitor to NZ IMO.

  11. Over 4 decades NZ has steadily become a “Tale of Two Cities” where 50% own just 2% of the wealth.

    This is the result of a neo liberal state, where monetarism and managerialism and contracting out are built into legislation–and local and international finance capital benefits hugely.

    Expect no significant change until…
    1. Generations rent and student loan start to vote more disruptively from 2023
    2. Communities, NGOs and working class organise and take direct action–i.e. occupy empty residential and commercial property, take militant Climate Actions, and extend “do it yourself” initiatives like Papakāinga housing.

  12. Ok, let’s have that CGT. Good move. Whatever it earns for NZ, it will be way in the future on capital realised. If someone holds on to their property for 20 years, it won’t help anyone in the next 5 or 10 years. Here is how investors will think: eg. Buy a property for say $100K – sell in for $500K sometime in the distant future. $400 profit before CGT. Apply hefty CGT of say 50%. Profit now is only $200K. Ok, back to the $100K start – how much would that investor make by having that $100K in the bank? Almost fuck all. So CGT or not, investors (mum and dad investors) will buy property. Which brings us back to real problem. Govts, especially this one, do not build enough cheap houses for those who need them. Combine that with not creating income and usable wealth for the country, and there you have it.

  13. NZ is now a Mecca to the woke and right wing super individualist! Are they trying to solve poverty? Nope!

    From immigration barrister family refusing to put in a NZ tax return for 16 years.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/tauranga-barrister-and-wife-convicted-for-multiple-tax-evasion-offences/VPEW5WDZQIV36LMH465GUGYRNU/

    To the super rich who don’t believe in democracy.

    The libertarian views of Peter Thiel.

    “In a 2009 essay called The Education of a Libertarian, Thiel declared that capitalism and democracy had become incompatible. Since 1920, he argued, the creation of the welfare state and “the extension of the franchise to women” had made the American political system more responsive to more people – and therefore more hostile to capitalism. Capitalism is not “popular with the crowd”, Thiel observed, and this means that as democracy expands, the masses demand greater concessions from capitalists in the form of redistribution and regulation.

    The solution was obvious: less democracy. But in 2009, Thiel despaired of achieving this goal within the realm of politics. How could you possibly build a successful political movement for less democracy?

    Fast forward two years, when the country was still slowly digging its way out of the financial crisis. In 2011, Thiel told George Packer that the mood of emergency made him “weirdly hopeful”. The “failure of the establishment” had become too obvious to ignore, and this created an opportunity for something radically new, “something outside the establishment”, to take root.

    Now, in 2016, Thiel has finally found a politician capable of seizing that opportunity: a disruptor-in-chief who will destroy a dying system and build a better one in its place. Trump isn’t just a flamethrower for torching a rotten establishment, however – he’s the fulfillment of Thiel’s desire to build a successful political movement for less democracy.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/21/peter-thiel-republican-convention-speech

    Good luck people getting any taxes out of the growing super rich, super capitalist, anti democracy advocates who now call NZ home! It’s their family home so the CGT is not going to help!

    Drugs and cigarette smuggling an essential business growing in NZ, (no need to pay taxes)!

    Lawyers’ fees restrained by police after Auckland drug bust
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/lawyers-fees-restrained-by-police-after-auckland-drug-bust/4SZBUDMSRSBATAEBSSL4BMAGK4/

    It’s now not unusual for millions in cash bag in rubbish sacks to be found around apparently ‘legitimate’ fronted businesses. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/115014183/cigarette-smuggling-case-defendants-keep-names-secret-to-protect-children-employees

    No need to pay workers in real wages. It’s even better when you can get the workers to pay YOU to work. Is there any real fine for this practise, nope. Don’t even prosecute them when the worker dies on the construction site.

    Illegally working overstayer dies on the job – ACC payment made to widow in China
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/illegally-working-overstayer-dies-on-the-job-acc-payment-made-to-widow-in-china/OWADEJMGCUYM36WLF6YNKUA2SE/

    So giving out real penalties for using illegal labour in 2021? NOPE! Even NBR seems surprised at the paltry fine.

    Construction company fined only $2500 for using illegal migrant labour
    Immigration NZ’s scores first win in recent flurry of prosecutions.
    Auckland construction company Dison Homes has been sentenced to pay $2500 after pleading guilty to two illegal migrant labour charges, with similar charges withdrawn against its sole director Dacheng Zhao.
    https://www.nbr.co.nz/story/auckland-construction-company-fined-2000-using-illegal-migrant-labour

    Keep working 3% middle NZ while the woke keep thinking up more taxes targeting them, because the biggest problem facing NZ, is how so few wealthy are expected to pay their worldwide taxes or put in tax return in neoliberal NZ!

  14. First off: most poverty is a direct and totally unexpected result of deliberate government action. The idea that poverty (or any other of our country’s major problems) could be removed if only the government acted is a subtle lie deliberately perpetuated by the media and ruling classes. The first step in relieving poverty would be for the government to stop acting – let alone try to fix stuff.

    I suspect the difference between Labour and National is that the former would probably (possibly?) like to solve the problems but is not allowed to. The latter is a whole hearted partner in making things worse. Either way you get the same result but the former ‘cares’.

    The sort of foundation we would need to get from here to there (problems solved) is huge:

    Ban on corporate money in politics.
    Ban on MPs ever taking another job (with any kind of influence) after leaving parliament and instead a large, lifetime pension. Politically difficult!
    Ban on multiple ownership of media.
    Publicly funded, independent media (which is actually impossible if you read that again).
    Mind reading machines to prevent foreign supported individuals and organisations influencing our internal politics.
    Total self sufficiency in energy and resources to prevent external influence.
    Nuclear deterrent to prevent ‘liberation’ by external powers.
    A well educated, independent thinking voting public.
    And so on.

    Or you implement a draconian society like Russia, China, Iran etc.

  15. That we have this poverty is a moral and social indictment against the current neoliberal ( Rentier’s paradise ) social and political order. Simple Tax, Tax, Tax redistribute. The well orf will still be well orf and we’d be so much a happier country. The out of work are so usually for structural reasons: globalisation, computerisation and exporting our wealth through the banks to Australia.

    • Christmas being a fake festival invented by the early Roman Church, and in modern times the antithesis of anything Christ is said to have advocated.

  16. Step 1. Renounce Capitalism.
    2. Reconfigure the entire economy
    3. Debt Jubilee for individuals private debt
    4. Close the borders

    Then deal with the what-about scenarios

  17. The reason any government won’t address poverty in our wealthy country of 5 million with a larger land area than the UK but with only 5 million people who’s primary industry is food production which, it’s said here and there, can feed 40 million people is because those/our/any governments are not allowed to by the capitalist fascists to whom we must currently acquiesce who have our economy by the throat.
    The hyper riche can’t afford to have us suddenly realise that we’ve been fucked for generations by them for their blood sport of wealth creation for their shits and giggles and if poverty is a bi-product then serve the oiks right! Dirty bastards anyway. ( I still don’t have any real idea what ‘shits and giggles’ actually means btw…? )
    Our rich urban scum will live in fear of AO/NZ prospering as the streets become deserted of the homeless! They’d have no one to look down on through the windscreen of the tax exempt BMW dahlings.
    The urban rich will have literal nightmares about that.
    The single greatest problem AO/NZ faces on that level is that our farmers have yet to realise that fact. The fact that they’ve been segregated, demonised, exploited and parasitically harvested of their money, often aided and abetted by their own kind, for generations
    Farmers and farming is the easiest money anyone can swindle. The last fucking thing the urban riche and their to the land born Confederates traitors would want would be if the rural sector joined forces with the urban working classes ( Who must eat, it must be pointed out.) and went on strike.
    Hear that ? Did you hear that? That, was the sound of the Old Boy’s arse holes snapping shut in fright.
    Aye Boys? How’re you going to afford to maintain the Herne Bay beach side mansion or the Manhattan NYC penthouse without free farmer money to dip in to as you leave a trail of hungry kids and displaced older people in your wake, which you’re sure, makes your little prick look bigger?
    And how, exactly, are ‘they’ doing that you might ask? Why, ‘Quantitative easing’, of course.
    My understanding of ‘quantitative easing’ is it’s a central bankster scam to take money off farmers, in our case, without them realising, then, re-directing that money through the digestive track the politically legitimised money retail market where it’s turned into purified excrement that unsuspecting people, now desperate to get into deep and un payable debts to foreign banksters because ‘house’ dumbass. And all powered up by advertising and brainwashing and all the other clever, psychologically misleading scam, head-fuckeries to deliver you into the dank, slaughter-house chambers of ‘commerce’. The use of logical-fallacy head-fuckery delivered into your exhausted minds covertly where ever you look, certainly within our cities boundaries, is how they get you , and keep you.
    I know, it’s a rough draft but I’ve just described, then explained, why our beautiful AO/NZ’s a hell hole for far too many. Most of you, in fact. The poor old morons who live in multimillion dollar houses are feeling that odd feeling of ‘wealth’ but it isn’t wealth really, is it? It’s a logical fallacy. It’s all bullshit. Sure, you can borrow on the false wealth you have in your hut but that’s all you can do with it. You still need to live in a house so it’s entirely irrelevant as to how much it’s ‘worth’.
    The above is also why labour’s frozen like a cheap computer. Labour’s fucked. Labour can’t move in any direction unless it takes bold action unlike anything seen in AO/NZ previously. It’d ruin Auckland and Wellington. It’d tank our stock market and completely fuck the urban economies reliant on being able to dip into the quantitative easing bullshit story.
    But that’d all be ok… We’d rise, like a porn stars nob, to the challenge! We’d flourish beyond our wildest dreams. The only funny thing you might see is real estate agents, bank managers, loan sharks and sundry lazy money fiddlers tending to dope fields under on a sunny day.

  18. If she knew for a fact that the New Zealanders Susan St John so tenaciously goes to bat for would turn out in their hundreds-of-thousands to support a government that supported them, then Jacinda and her Finance Minister might just consider pissing-off a large number of Labour’s most loyal voters.

    Chris they do of course vote Labour who else is there, they are not Green voters, those three poorest seats in South Auckland that are left to themselves and then comes the election and the PM will be out there drumming up support why she bothers is beyond me.

    We need civics taught in schools.

    • Civics is learned in homes. We hear of the ‘leftist’ teachers ‘brainwashing’ kids.

      Kids from ordinary schools don’t have to be brainwashed at school, the important lessons aren’t taught as such but learned by environment.

      The kids from the big traditional private schools aren’t brainwashed at school, the important lessons aren’t taught as such but learned by environment.

      When those who favour the sort of world of the big traditional private schools and well-heeled state schools see something in society they don’t like it’s the fault of the marxist teachers in the socialist schools.

      When the world is fashioned to have a dramatic housing crisis, widespread mental health issues in the community and poverty, that hasn’t come about by teachers in big traditional private schools and well heeled state ones brainwashing kids perverting their attitudes. Has it?

  19. Is this the same Simon Bridges brought up in very modest surroundings in West Auckland the youngest of six children father part Maori mother Pakeha?

  20. Oh dear.
    The emotionally challenged pick on individual cases and suppositions to promote tears.
    The government should give more they cry.

    Take a step outside your bubble and think for one tiny moment.
    China, the great communist’s experiment caused millions to die of starvation looking after the poor.
    Then came capitalism. China dragged 10s of millions out of poverty. Did they give those people more money. No they created JOBS…..they expanded energy(electric power) to help raise the poor out of poverty.

    Vietnam, another example. Post the American war the country was devastated. Yes some UN help.
    What did they do with that money, did they hand it out to the poor, no they created JOBS!

    What caused the increase in poverty in the USA, richest nation on earth.
    In the 70s they started giving free money to the perceived poor. Starting with those “poor single mothers””.
    The unintended effect was to create welfare dependency as people now had a choice, benefit or work. Not surprisingly many chose welfare.

    Another contributor, one could argue was the minimum wage laws. Which had an impact of destroying jobs for those without qualification.
    Aroound the world Fastfood outlets have addressed the minimum wage constrains by installing “”robots”” to take the orders. A great loss of jobs (and opportunities) for those less qualified.

    So please dont bleat about giving more money to the poor. Give them status and hope. Give them jobs get them off welfare.

    • Nah man, who wants wage-slavery? ..Certainly not the idle rich Investor-Rentier finance parasites for themselves anyway. You’re pissing on a dying tree with your work-to-live/live-to-work mentality. Automation, robotics is going to take more and more jobs as time goes on …the middle class ain’t immune, they’ll feel the crunch eventually then they’ll all be screaming for welfare. ubi is coming!

    • They’re not individual cases but in the tens of thousands. Child poverty is not a supposition but a fact. Both China and Vietnam are straw man arguments not relevant to here: New Zealand.
      Poverty increased in the U$ when the proceeds of the products of work were given to the rentier section and jobs were offshored to Mexico and Asia for the cheap labour increasing the profits of Wall Street. These profits were not taxed to redistribute to robbed of their lives Americans. Under Reagan the trickle down con was applied reducing taxes on the corporate and rich bod sector.
      Welfare paltry and mean was given to stop people living on the streets and creating a headache for the authorities especially the police.
      The minimum wage is to enable the wage slaves to afford shelter and basic food to survive to return to the plantation the next day! Welcome to Slavelandia.

      • There are plenty of jobs out there . The whole western world and increasely Asia needs manual workers . Every job a robot takes away a job for a person is created further down the line . Education is the answer to much of the problem with the divide between the haves and have not . Spend the money on a first class education and enforce attendance by stick (fines ) and carrot (free meals and uniform ) within a few years it would pay dividends in less crime less mental illness less grug use and a more productive economy

  21. Totally agree Chris.

    The need for greater taxation was seen back in the last years of the Clarke government culminating in poor old Cunliffe getting the ides of March over the CGT. Then you have Jacinda, facing a clear victory, voluntarily saying that there will never be a CGT while she is in power. From then on, the writing was on the wall.

    Where ever the tax comes from, its time all New Zealanders wake up and see that we need more taxes, maybe means testing, a thoughtful review of pensions etc or it is all going to fall over. We sit back in our comfortable homes (many of us) and bemoan how much it now costs to re-carpet the house compared to when we did it 20 years ago. But those same people dont stop to think, how much that new hospital wing or road, costs, than it did 20 years ago. There has been at least 30 years of underinvestment in everything (the poor, infrastructure, education etc). Something has to give, its time to put up and shut up if we want a better New Zealand. And its time for some real solution oriented leadership as well.

  22. Ardern’s problem is that she can’t raise welfare above the level of or close to what someone gets for working on the minimum wage. Most working voters would agree that someone in work should get more than someone not working. They would be very angry if that happened.

    So until REAL wages increase, politically welfare can’t increase except for some tinkering at the edge. This explains the very steep increases to the minimum wage and the stark restriction on migration – to lift the wages.
    NZ’s problem is very low productivity growth, hence little ability to pay higher wages over time.

    Why did I put REAL in caps – because growing inflation reduces real incomes. The wages paid right now buy less because the price of most things – groceries, transport and housing – are increasing rapidly. Workers are going backward in terms of real incomes – unless they own a house and so feel so much richer than before Arden became PM.

    • Ada, I agree. Until people who are working are lifted out of poverty how can those needing welfare be made to be better off.

  23. So death cult cupidity wins again.

    Avarice will always win over the middle class. They know in their bones they are but millimeters from never being satisfied. The fate of the poor means little when you throw away God, and embrace all materialism has to offer.

    Morality is a dead end game to most kiwis, what with the always shifting to the next fad, or who ever holds the PC/woke stick this week.

    No longer do we see it as our duty to uplift the poor, promote peace, tend to the unwell and leave the world in good condition for future generations. Don’t get me wrong, I believe many Churches are sick as well, with their heretical belief in wealth theology.

    Prosperity theology, the most vial collection of ideas dressed up to impersonate Christianity.

    But I’m struggling to see a way out, when so many see greed as good, and excess as the new normal. Violence and thuggery are standard fair. It feels like we are going to create hell on earth, or at the very least a replica of Venus.

    And it will happen slowly, one focus group at a time.

  24. I accept the argument that Labour hasn’t provided enough assistance to the poor under Jacinda Ardern’s two terms in power thus far, but only in certain locales like Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch. What about all the towns that now have state houses, the poor people in them very happy, and the economic offshoot from that being productive to the country?

    For example, prior to the covid-19 pandemic, the Labour government was building more state houses. They failed to live up to their own projected estimates, but housing developments were being built and underway nevertheless. Now, during lockdowns, poor New Zealanders are living in affordable warm houses, and builders are able to ride out the lockdowns in their homes with more cash in the bank than they would otherwise have. I doubt National would have done as much to subvert our housing crisis if they were in power. Conversely, they would have reopened the borders earlier, resulting in economic depression.

    To expect labour to intervene directly in housing is asking too much. We already have adequate rent controls. Your landlord or landlady cannot simply put your rent up year after year, there are limits to this.

    Also, in terms of other countries, the USA has avoided going into a depression because of liberal economic policy relating to the amount in benefits that can be claimed during lockdowns. Assistance was provided to businesses, like the New Zealand government organised, so almost eighteen million out of twenty two million US jobs were able to be ultimately retained. Additionally, most US States aim to increase the adult minimum wage to US$15.00 per hour by 2026.

    We’re experiencing a global pandemic but most Western countries aren’t experiencing an economic depression as a result of this because of their respective liberal economic policies, namely the ability to borrow money to pay for any void in economic production. Down the track, this will most probably result in Western governments increasing the age of entitlement to superannuation. This isn’t bad; in fact it is overdue. The age of superannuation eligibility has long been set at 65. Increasing it to 67 ought to be no big issue, especially for New Zealand where tertiary education is becoming more of a priority, and a viable option, again.

    • Rotorua has motels full with people that are unhoused.
      Please kindly point to the several hundred of state houses Labour has ‘built’ new, rather then bought from existing stock.
      Seriously we have 25000 people on a urgent waiting list, 4000 kids in motels.
      Where are the houses that ‘labour’ ( a party full of ‘academia’ and not one actual worker ) has build.

  25. I came across this set of lyrics and needed somewhere to share them – I leave it readers to work out who wrote the song – its called Landlord.

    I don’t want to rent a house from you
    I don’t know how you can expect me to
    I ain’t moving ’cause I know my rights
    Too many homeless on the streets at night

    You own a street and a block of flats
    You earn your living like the other rats
    You’ve no morality, what do you care
    You deal in poverty, you buy despair

    I ain’t moving ’till the baliff comes
    I’ve got no weapons, gonna get me some

    You go and call yourself a business man
    You’re just a parasite on Pyllosan
    You’re just a middle class middle aged shit
    You sold your granny for a three-penny bit

    You own a street and a block of flats
    You earn your living like the other rats
    You’ve no morality, what do you care
    You deal in poverty, you buy despair

    I ain’t moving ’till the baliff comes
    I’ve got no weapons, gonna get me some
    I ain’t moving ’till the baliff comes
    I’ve got no weapons, gonna get me some

    From an obscure B-track of a very successful pop band.

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