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Member since 29 Jun 2006
Member from Shirley
"which indeed worked quite well until too many of us began to prefer qualifying for benefits "
Just to correct that for you Jens:
which indeed worked quite well UNTIL we had a recession,meaning jobs began to disappear & people found themselves with no alternative but to go on a benefit.
Or perhaps you'd prefer that they starve quietly Jens?
"And those mothers abandoning their children are not too dissimilar to those doing it here or anywhere else, half the time for selfish reasons?"
I despair of you Jens - it appears you have not the slightest idea of what's happening in Greece. People are abandoning their children not,as you say,for selfish reason but because they've lost their J_O_B_S & thanks to the RECESSION (which you may have heard about) can't get another,meaning that they're UNABLE to support their children.
Which last time I looked,was very far from being 'selfish.'
"If the Greek penioner's only grief was his 50% pension reduction - and I am sure there would have been soup kitchens in Athens - I have not too much sympathy for him, as coming close to the bully threatening suicide if not getting his/her will."
YES,Jens they do indeed have soup kitchens in Athens. But again thanks to the recession (fgs,look it up) even soup kitchens are struggling to feed those in need. But perhaps you feel it was 'selfish' of him,having worked 40 odd years,to then expect to be able to eat during retirement.
For pity's sake Jens - have a look at what's happening in Europe. I find it difficult to believe that you can be so naive & lacking in information about the situation there - & HOW you can possibly put it down to 'selfishness' is mind boggling!
Member since 03 May 2006
Member from Point Chevalier
Belladonna - most people have family and relations to help them in deep trouble, and in cases of govt.induced hunger, the "under the counter " or "black market" barter economy helps you to survive, especially if you are not a total "have not", and still healthy enogh to assist others.And as I remember now, the Greek pensioner's income was not cut by 50%, but by 30%And yes, if no one saves anything, no one can offer a job for anyone else - which would be the first step towards expanding job opportunities.Your sympathy for those in need is humane and commendable, Belladonna, but if it is confined to just criticising everyone else for our govt. having to borrow over $300 million a week just to keep our current consumption rate going without any(?) (I hope not) concern at all about practical propositions on the 'belt tightening" needed to reverse the situation at present , and for better security in the future, I think the chances are you will remain disapppointed beyond the next election.Don't forget our own guilt in voting for governments to allow the development of our trouble at present, especially in asking for govt. for more than what it can sustainably deliver, and then not wanting to pay the taxes and savings for it. I am somewhat disappointed and sad.
Member since 22 Oct 2006
Member from Christchurch CBD
Jens, You need better excuses on Billion Dollar Tax Cut borrowing as your Government tries to spin us into accepting another zero budget.It is your Governments irrational policy decisions that have got us deeper in the mire.The first is the billion dollar a year plus spend on the low to negative value Roads of National Significance.The second is the billion dollar a year plus cost of your Governments 2010 tax changes.Thats over $2 billion a year that could have been spent elsewhere avoiding spending cuts without more borrowing.Instead of blinding us with the humungus words why aren't you addressing your Governments robbing the poor to pay the rich.?
Member since 23 Nov 2009
Member from Stratford
#3 $1.7Billion spent bailing out the investors who'd 'saved' with SCF.
I agree with Jens in so far as those of us who can save, should. It would have been nice if we could have trusted this government not to dick about with our savings - reducing their and the employers' contributions, taxing the employers' so we get even less. But that's National for you. Labour creates savings, National destroys. This is the third time in 30 years they've done it; you'd think people would remember, but no.
The government should never have canned the contributions to NZSF but found another way or source of income, perhaps GST as Jens believes - why not? I still don't see the benefit of individual savings accounts but don't have any particular reason to dislike them either; I am a fan of KiwiSaver so why would I not think individual savings accounts might be A Good Thing.
What I can't accept, can't stand, actually, is Jens's belief that soup kitchens, charity, the black market, (IOW, lawbreaking) and dependence on family who might be impoverished in turn by their support (in fact, we know that does happen very regularly) are the only acceptable ways for people, families, communities, and our society to respond to GOVERNMENT POLICY which put people in this vulnerable position in the first place.
Governments, Jens, can sustainably deliver ANYTHING THEY CHOOSE to deliver - we simply have to provide them with sufficient tax! There was a time when our top tax rate was 70c in the dollar, or something like it. It's 33c now so I think we have little to complain about don't you?
After all, I bet you'll be wanting your hips and heart and meds and a clean safe bed in a dementia unit or whatever else you may require of the taxpayers as you age and become more frail and vulnerable. Or will you go under the counter, perhaps there's a local plumber who'd like to make a bit of extra cash, Jens? Or are planning to rely on your family to do your hip ops? House and care for you when your brain packs it in? Or have you managed to stash enough away to go private? With taxpayer trained and educated surgeons and anesthetists and nurses caring for you?
Governments don't have to borrow, and they don't have to spend on any of the things listed above that they chose to; RONS, business bailouts, school bailouts, tax cuts. If they cut all welfare to the wealthy, to business, to international corporations they'd be better able to balance their books. They could print money; there's nothing at all behind the money they've borrowed anyway. In fact, the US and others from whom we borrow are doing just that - printing more 'money'. They print it, we borrow it, we pay it back with interest, and none of it is real, none of it makes any sense at all.
And yes, I'll agree with one more part of what Jens wrote. We should pay far closer attention to what political parties are saying and not saying, before we vote for them. "Giving the other team a go" is the worst reason for voting I've ever heard except for '...but John Key's got a lovely smile".
Arandar, as usual, most of your observations and comments are reasonable, I have benefitted well from the health system and have no complaints whatever, but then, I don't think I would expect or demand excessively expensive treatment to "save" my life from a naturally destined end of it. I certainly would not take my life if all of a sudden my lifestyle became unsustainable through a drastically reduced (not even totally eliminated) income, because as a "tramper" in my time with prolonged needs of strictly rationed consumption I know how long one can survive on very little - and still enjoy the beauty of Earth.But I have to reprimand Dr. Livingstone for ignoring or bending the truth, when I repeatedly have criticised National for its tax cuts, and he still insists implying as if I voted for it, when referring to it as OUR govt. (fact!) and mention that the majority of us voted for the tax cuts (fact!).It is also fact, that National promised to get the budget into surplus quicker than what Labour dared to promise, and I suspect (I might be wrong), that th budget deficit will still be a leading election issue by 2014.To get us and the world out of the excessive borrowing disease which threatens our prosperity, it is discouraging to witness the vocal opposition to a basic permanent savings and investment rate as through the NZSF, in view of our still much better economic situation as compared to that of Greece.All governments are bound by the same laws of savings, investments and supply and demand oll over the world, and cannot make anything sustainably out of nothing - or work alone, without capital, as the Soviet Union was preaching for ideological reasons and eventually collapsed on this phantasy.Even the reconstruction of CH-CH is slower than it could be with more application of domestic capital, as there recently was an article in the press about it.Not 100% sound investments will always be made - or circumstances change to turn a sound investment into a liability - which only underlines the need for a systematically higher savings/invesment rate not dependent on speculative profit expectatons alone.
Jens, My apologies I missed you criticising National for its 2010 Tax Cuts for their elite 1%
I'm thinking this is the right thread on which to continue our discussion of Austerity Cuts, taxation, financial management of the country's budget?
So this - copied from www.JohnKey.co.nz dated 28 March, I think.
"Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key is welcoming participants in the inaugural NZPGA Pro-Am Championship tournament in Queenstown this week.
The event, which is now being run by a partnership between the NZPGA, Sir Michael Hill and The Hills Golf Course, has received $500,000 from the Government’s Major Events Development Fund."
Another $half a million taxpayer dollars spent on ... what? Prizes for international and celebrity golfers. A wealthy businessman? Private business? Sport? Photo ops for our PM?
The article goes on to say this is an investment in tourism to New Zealand. How will we measure the outcomes, I wonder? How will we know what the return to the taxpayer is of this investment? How many of us taxpayers will ever get to The Hills Golf Course or could afford to play a round there?
Arandar, Big changes need to be made in New Zealand now according to The Economist, not in 10 or 20 years time. to avoid being crippled with debt NZ Institute of Economic Research principal economist Shamubeel Eaqub said. To be sustainable we need to change something and those changes need to be around reducing debt and operating balance.
Member since 02 Nov 2006
Member from Linwood
Let's see members of parliament actually earning their salary by dealing with their portfolios themselves instead of running a harem of advisors and ants at large cost to the rest of us. To see cost cutting starting at the coalface might just give us a bit of confidence in the Members of all parties, not just the one in the box seat. They all suffer from big headed psyches and have the gift of the gab.
"Don't forget our own guilt in voting for governments to allow the development of our trouble at present, especially in asking for govt. for more than what it can sustainably deliver, and then not wanting to pay the taxes and savings for it. I am somewhat disappointed and sad."
Jens - I have NO guilt whatsoever because I didn't vote for this lot & I'm not disappointed,since I expected no better from those interested only in lining their pockets.
"Let's see members of parliament actually earning their salary by dealing with their portfolios themselves instead of running a harem of advisors and ants at large cost to the rest of us. To see cost cutting starting at the coalface might just give us a bit of confidence in the Members of all parties,"
Not a bad idea Joybel - a good few less advisers & minions might be no bad thing.
Those advisers and minions are public servants, people, a-political in theory and paid not-very-much to give the Ministers the facts and an idea of the probable consequences, usually expensive, of their doing what they think/feel is the next Good Thing if they cock it up. Ministers can choose to take notice or not - that's democracy. But they ought never to be able to excuse their mistakes by saying 'Oh, I didn't know that might happen'.
Remember our politicians are just like us - mostly well intentioned, possibly specialists in one area or another, (law, farming, money speculation, teaching, science, transport management e.g.) more likely to have only basic, general knowledge of most other areas, just like us.
They, like any other manager or leader, have to have workers to produce the actual goods, do the quality control, the purchasing, keep the books, pay the bills, train new staff, answer the phone, organize the diary, and keep an eye on the opposition 'companies' and the media in case they get away on you. Not to mention keeping the customers satisfied and serviced...
Yes, Belladonna, there is no "crime" involved in voting for this or that policy, but although you personally did not vote for our currently ruling policies, collectively we are responsible (guilty?) for our current state of affairs, and for the absence of an effective majority alternative so far.What we need is some serious discusssion about effective alternatives, and bickering about marginal issues only achieves neglecting or not even becoming aware the real issues.While smaller scale bankruptcies are quick solutions to insolvency, I am not certain at all that the shock of it it is the best for all on a national scale as long as it is not inevitable - and I don't think it is inevitable for New Zealand yet. Perhaps it might have been inevitable in much smaller Iceland, where (perhaps?) people (like in Japan?) own more private assets, which cushions any huge lossses through national bankrupcty and subsequent inflation.(Remember - NZ Super Fund assets are not like "cash in the bank" subject to losses through inflation, but actual ownership of real assets, not just the tokens of it, which is money.)
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