Progressive and inclusive are the ‘buzz words’ of the new generation of politicians, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, and now our own prime minister, Jacinda Ardern. Continue reading
Inequality: we know it’s bad for everyone. We know we need to reduce it. We want to reduce it – sort of.
The worship of wealth goes deep. The exorbitantly expensive cars, private jets, yachts, mansions, luxurious holiday homes, clothes, the glamorous lifestyles enjoyed by the very wealthy are beguiling. The prestige, the power, the ability to get anything you want whenever you want it. These are things that most people, if they were brutally honest, would find it very hard to say ‘no’ to. Are we ready to give up the dream that one day, with a bit of luck, our horse will come in and we could find ourselves a multimillionaire? Continue reading
Former National Prime Minister Jim Bolger has admitted Neoliberalism was a mistake. It is music to the ears. May he be the first of many to recant.
It would be churlish (but tempting) to point out that the Alliance Party and others warned at the time that Neoliberalism would be a mistake. Neoliberalism, we said, would lead to poverty, inequality, and unaffordable housing and all the social problems associated with this.
The Left was right. But now is not the time to gloat. Too much damage has been done. Now is the time to talk about how to clean up the mess the Neoliberals have left us. Continue reading
Inequality and crime go hand in hand. There is enough research now to make that abundantly clear. We can have more police to catch people who take what they want but will never be able to afford to buy. We can introduce harsher sentences. We can build more prisons. But we will never have a safe place to live until we address the root cause – some people have far too much and others not near enough. Continue reading
Our government and local bodies are becoming embarrassingly desperate to attract rich people to our country and our cities. Nothing is too much bother; building five star hotels, luxury conference venues, changing our laws so they can cut corners on labour costs for their movies, or just making them New Zealand citizens even though they don’t live here, or even want to live here. Continue reading
A maximum wage – Franklin D Roosevelt first called for it, Bernie Sanders called for it, and now 75 years after Roosevelt, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour Party, has called for it. It’s long overdue.
Corbyn says, “What we cannot accept is a society in which a few earn in two and a bit days what a nurse, a shop worker, a teacher do in a year. That cannot be right.” Continue reading
The British people are struggling. They are hurting. And they have lashed out in the only way open to them right now – voting to leave the European Union.
Like New Zealand, Britain has never recovered since neoliberalism popped up, seemingly out of the blue, and caught us unawares in the Thatcher years (Rogernomics in our case). Under neoliberalism, cunning corporates managed to get the rules changes so that the rich get richer, those in the middle get poorer, and the poor miss out altogether. Continue reading
On 5th June Switzerland will become the first country to vote on a universal basic income. It is a timely referendum. One of the main arguments for a UBI is that technological advances mean we face a future where there will not be paid employment for everyone. And that ‘future’ may be upon us. Continue reading
For years we have been told “there is not enough money” for elective surgery, for social services, for free education, for a decent income for everyone.
This is not true. There is enough money. But it is being spent on other things. Continue reading
Not too long ago houses were for living in and property was for doing something productive with. But these days, property is seen as something to make money out of just by owning for a while then selling.
It is a problem. Every time someone buys a house they don’t intend to live in, land they don’t intend to farm, or a commercial premise they don’t intend to run a business in, they make it that much harder for people who need a home, want to be farmers or to run their own business. Continue reading