Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > The more things change…

The more things change…

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From 1999, the final year of  the Shipley-led National government…

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Source: Otago Daily Times

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To 2012 – some thirteen years later – and now led by a smiling, waving shark from  the commercial sector that kindly gave us the Global Financial Crisis and fifteen million unemployed, worldwide,

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Full story

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Some things that we can always rely on, when National is elected into power; poverty will worsen; unemployment remains high;  taxes will be cut for the rich, and welfare beneficiaries – the victims of National’s policies – will cop the blame.

Eventually,  the realities of National’s mis-management filters through to the television-distracted middle classes and a mixture of guilt and fear prompts them to switch their votes from the Tories to Labour/Greens/NZ First.

Thus it was in the 1990s – and thus it will be in 2014 (if not earlier).

In the meantime, while it takes umpteen bad news-stories to awaken the TV-addled brains of  baby-boomers, we continue to waste lives and the locked-in potential of people trapped in poverty, unemployment, and a stagnant economy. Child poverty remains New Zealand’s dirty little secret, to the rest of the world.

For National and their rabid ACT supporters, the fault lies elsewhere,

See: Poor better off than before: Kerr

See: Where is welfare policy heading : Muriel Newman

The Right is very ‘big’ on personal responsibility. Except when it comes to failed Right Wing policies. Then it’s someone elses’ fault.

Meanwhile, the real bludgers in our society continue to live their lives, enjoying the fruits of a developed nation, but not paying their fair share of taxes,

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Full story

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One of the constant refrains of the neo-liberal establishment and sycophants for the rich & powerful is that New Zealand society cannot afford things like decent housing and school meals for our children.

Of course not.

When the rich are not paying their fair share, they are denying society of the means to address poverty-related issues.  At the same time, they enjoy living in a society built up with the taxes paid by others.

That’s bludging.

See previous blogpost:  Greed is good?

In the meantime, our society income/wealth gap widens and we move further and further away from any notion of egalitariansism we once had.

If  that’s the sort of society New Zealanders want, then let’s be 100% up-front and honest about it. Let’s prepare ourselves for outbreaks of disease; increased crime; drugs; beggars in the streets; and eventual outbreaks of mass violence.

See: England riots: was poverty a factor?

I doubt, though, that Middle New Zealand could stomach an overtly class/wealth-stratified society – especially if poverty becomes so entrenched that it becomes more visible and inescapable. We prefer our poor to be out-of-sight and out-of-mind, so we can focus on who is going to win “The Block” or “The Voice” or “The Whateverthefucktelevisionisdishinguptoustotakeourmindsofreality“.

As long as Middle New Zealand is prepared to accept such a bleak future, then the rest of us can plan and prepare accordingly.

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Or, we can turn our backs on that vision, and instead look elsewhere for inspiration.

The Scandinavians and French may be a good start.

Or are we, as a nation, so gullible and thick that we keep going around in circles, decade after decade?

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Additional

Baby boomers clogging the job market

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= fs =

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  1. Wai
    27 August 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Nice Frank..

  2. JOHN (the good one)
    27 August 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Break the circles that form the chain. It starts with only one…

  3. Wai
    27 August 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Ok Frank that means you haha.., you could write in the papers the Poor Getting Richer

  4. 19 November 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Just read the Herald article on baby boomers clogging the job market. It was pointed out the first baby boomers to retire only happened in 2011. Once again assumptions are made that the baby boomers are retiring later. This isn’t true. The pre baby boomers are the ones clogging the system. I know of several 70+ people still holding onto their jobs, plus receiving the pension. This where the discrepancy of the employment problem lays, and to a certain degree the problem with the economy. A lot of these over 65’s who are still working are milking the system, at the same time holding on to jobs that someone else could have. The rule should be either retire or work. If you retire you get the pension, if you decide to work, you don’t get the pension. The solution is easy.

    Also as per your article, Frank. The tax dodger’s in the higher income brackets are part of the problem. I went to a seminar a little while ago where the speaker outlined all the tax breaks a person with a few bob could get. He laughed about the fact that while he was getting the tax breaks, other poor suckers (lower income workers) were helping to support his lavish lifestyle.

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