What’s $2 worth to you?

Each cow in the European Union is subsidized by $2 a day.Euro

Half the world’s population live on less than $2 a day.

That’s progress?

A complex €55,000,000,000 web of farm subsidies stretches across the European Union stealing the rights of traditional farmers in the poorest countries to sell their produce at a fair price. It comprises over half of the EU’s budget.

The USA is no better, despite their avowal that they’re in favour of fair trade. Yeah, right. Fair to whom?

It’s hypocritical, it’s amoral, and it’s disgusting.

It sucks.

A fine sense of entitlement

This is your money they’re living it up with

Revelations of big spending on the part of government departmental heads come as no great surprise. On the heels of Mr Chris Carter’s squanderlust and his inability to understand why he pissed tax-paying people off with his failure to accept reality, it’s just another reminder of how out of touch with reality many of these people are.

A while back I was a company General Manager. A big part of my job involved working and liaising with government officials and with the representatives of companies we dealt with. Now and again that involved me receiving or providing free meals.

I never, ever claimed expenses for the dinners that I gave. My wife and I regularly hosted people at our house and we put on monthly barbecues at home for my staff. I paid for the food and the beer.

I was paid a salary. I could choose whether or not to entertain. It is not compulsory. It most certainly should not be compulsory for most government departments.

Why the hell does the head of an educational institute need to entertain people at the expense of taxpayers? How can you lay people off and then go and spend several people’s wages on a piss-up?

Many of those tax dollars are paid by hundreds of thousands of Kiwis struggling to get by on New Zealand Super or $14 an hour and by small businesses battling to survive in a world economy wrecked by fellow-travellers of these small-time big spenders.

It’s not on.