People Over Profits: What It Means To Be An Inclusive Society

Congratulations to Jacinda Ardern and the Government for being prepared to put people over profits and quickly go for a level 4 lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Without this, many more lives would have been lost. But can they hold their nerve as investors panic about the shrinking value of their share portfolios and business owners/ managers worry that profits will not increase this year?

Continue reading

Working For The Common Good

Time is something many of us have on our hands at the moment if we are self isolating. For once, there is time to think, and there is a lot worth thinking about.

The first thing to think about is that, for perhaps the first time, essential services have been defined and essential workers have been identified. Sadly, the pay rates of many of our essential workers do not reflect the importance of their work. We can’t manage without them. They can’t self isolate, no matter how much they would like to. Our cleaners, rubbish collectors, supermarket workers, courier drivers, and care workers are among the lowest paid workers in the country. Clearly that needs to change, immediately.

Continue reading

To Fight Climate Change NZ Needs Legislation Fit For Purpose

2020 is the start of the new decade and it’s crunch time for climate change. Emissions will need to be substantially reduced by the end of this decade, whether we like it or not.

Jacinda Ardern started her 2017 election campaign by saying “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. I am determined that we will tackle it head on.”

Excellent. But fast forward to 2020. Why do we still have OMV embarking on oil explorations off the coast of New Zealand? How have they managed to avoid a head on confrontation?

Continue reading

There Will Be No Return From The Climate Crisis

The Alliance can’t believe the blinkered attitude of the boards of the Government Superannuation Fund Authority and the National Provident Fund who decided to continue their $150 million dollar investment in fossil fuels.

Apparently, for these ostriches, the existential risk to humanity and the destruction of the ecosystem must be balanced against ‘financial risk and reward’ and the possibility of ‘an attractive return at the right price’.

Continue reading

Climate Change: There is No Need for Doom and Gloom – Yet!

The huge turnouts last week for the climate marches throughout the country indicate that finally people are worried. It is dawning on people that we can longer ignore global warming and all its implications for our country and our planet.

It would be easy to descend into doom and gloom because the situation does appear hopeless. But it does not need to be hopeless – yet. The situation is only hopeless if those in positions of economic and political power insist in carrying on the way they have done for the past half century.

Continue reading

Capitalism is Rubbish

The first rule of capitalism is that everything must make a profit. The second rule is that the profit must increase each year. The economy must keep growing. This means more and more raw materials are used up and more and more energy is used up, much of it from non-renewable sources. It means more emissions and more pollution of the environment. And more and more old stuff to get rid of so the newly produced stuff can be sold. Because that’s the only way profits can keep growing. Continue reading

No Wonder The Kids Are Angry – It’s Their Future We Are Stuffing Up

The day has finally come. The kids have worked out that today’s so called ‘adults’ are literally stuffing up their future. They are taking to the streets to let us know how they feel about this. They are angry. They are upset. They want to put a stop to it. And if the adults know what’s good for them, they’d better start listening. Business as usual is not going to cut it with the younger generation. Continue reading

Capital Gains Tax – Not Our Problem

Despite the hype, a capital gains tax is nothing to do with most of us. For those of us who earn our income by working for a wage or salary, it is irrelevant. A capital gains tax only affects people trying to make money out of money, for example by buying and selling property or shares. Most of those people are to be found in New Zealand’s top 10% of earners.

And fair enough. Why should wealthy investors not pay their fair share of taxes on the money they earn, like the rest of us? Continue reading

Globalization 4.0 – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Our Chance To Shine?

The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum starts in Davos this week. It is to be officially attended by world political and business leaders – and unofficially, hopefully, by lots of not-for-profit and protest groups whose goals for people and the planet do not include how to make the most money for themselves. Continue reading