Time To End The Love Affair With Profit

Profit – what’s left over after all the expenses are paid, that’s all it is. But it has achieved cult status in the last few decades – since gambling on the share market became a favourite sport for those with a few dollars to spare.

Profit, or potential to make a profit, determines the size of the dividend shareholders get each year. CEOs’ reputations, and salaries, are based on their ability to keep growing the profits of the organization they spearhead.

But profit means only one thing, exploitation. Workers are paid too little. Consumers are charged too much. Natural resources are acquired too cheaply and/or shortcuts are taken around health and safety and environmental protection. And it means not sharing ideas and information that could improve the lives of people everywhere. Ever-increasing profit usually means exploitation in all of these areas. Continue reading

When Good Money Goes Bad

Debt is bad. Saving is good. Or so we are told. The government has been squirrelling taxpayers money away to invest via the Superannuation Fund. It has also been squirrelling away money from ACC levies to invest for the future.

To encourage us to save, most New Zealanders have had at least 3% of their weekly wages spirited away into a Kiwisaver fund. Employers have contributed another 3% per week.

It is doubtful whether anyone really knows what happens to all this money when it leaves our pockets / pay packets. The main goal is to accrue interest, use the money to make more money. This used to be called usury and was considered immoral in many religions, including Christianity. Continue reading

Act Against Corporate Welfare, Rescue The Common Good

Corporate welfare exists in secret trusts and corporations that play one country’s tax laws off against another’s to avoid paying taxes whilst heavying governments for handouts. Corporate welfare exists in misnamed ‘trade’ treaties, like the TPP, that allow overseas corporations to dispute the decisions of elected governments and embed corporate money spinners like the extension of copyright and patent law worldwide.

Corporate welfare fuels the “relentless machine of corporate profit.” And corporate welfare subverts the common good. Continue reading

The Corporate Con

Most of our elected officials want to do the right thing. They want everyone to have a reasonable standard of living. But they are being led astray. Corporate heads tell our politicians that they can help with this, and our politicians believe them.

These corporate heads have got national and local politicians of every stripe falling over themselves to assist their corporations to make money in New Zealand, in the mistaken belief that their corporations are going to make money for New Zealanders. Continue reading

Social Bond(age)

Not-for-Profits providing social services are not working hard enough, or smart enough. The people they support are not trying hard enough. Both need a corporate investor, whose profit margin is at stake, wielding a big stick to chivvy them along to lift their game. Hence the need for social bonds. Or so it is implied.

There are so many reasons why social bonds are a bad idea, and downright insulting to both service provider and service users, it is hard to know where to start. Continue reading

Company Tax Rates, Alliance Style

ACT has thrown company tax rates into the election circus. The reaction from other parties has been muted to say the least. No one seems to know how to respond.

The Alliance Party has never been afraid of controversy. Let’s look at company tax rates, and trust tax rates too for that matter. But let’s look at them from the viewpoint of reducing inequality and increasing the common good, as opposed to enabling companies to increase their profits per se. Continue reading