Someone else who understands the problem

Rod Oram
Rod Oram. He gets it.

Rod Oram is a controversial figure to many. Mostly he irritates the revisionist old school ignoramuses who got us into the mess we’re in. Those folk in farming organisations who believe that producing more lamb and milk powder will get us back into First World status aren’t too keen on Rod either. He sums up some of what I’ve been trying to raise awareness of in this article in the Sunday Star Times:

Time for a cultural revolution

My only gripe with Rod is that he doesn’t make enough noise about the issues. He—along with folk like Colin James, Fran O’Sullivan, Gareth Morgan and Leighton Smith—could make a big difference if they screamed louder.

The big kahuna

Dr Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan: thinking outside the box again

The Tax Working Group came up with a lot of sensible policies that government paid for, knew had merit, understood were necessary, and totally ignored .

This, from Dr Gareth Morgan, is one of the ideas that came out of it. I’ve contemplated a similar scenario myself, but Gareth has a greater understanding of the sums involved than I do and can therefore propose something practicable.

Here’s the deal

  • You pay every resident adult $10,000 p.a.
  • You scrap all benefits and New Zealand Superannuation along with the expensive and bloated bureaucracy that runs them.
  • Every dollar earned over and above that $10,000 by individuals or by companies is taxed at a 25c flat rate.
  • There will be a shortfall which would be paid for by a 1.5% tax on capital: land, buildings and plant.

What are the advantages?

Continue reading “The big kahuna”

I hate to say I told you so

But I told you soPoliticians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason. Mark Twain

After the latest financial meltdown the cries were heard around the globe,

“Why didn’t anybody see this coming?”
“Why weren’t we told?”
“What are these economists smoking?”

We were told.

If you were one of those crying out, you were told. You just weren’t listening to the right people. You were told by Nobel Laureate economist Dr Paul Krugman; by Dr Doom, Nouriel Roubini; by people of integrity right here in New Zealand: Gareth Morgan, Colin James and Rod Oram.

Way back, before the New Zealand 2005 general election, the Wanganui Chronicle published a letter from me. I wasn’t prescient. I was just listening to the people who knew what they were talking about:

It was a relief to find that through your editorial column that our biggest problem has been addressed: the balance of payments. Neither the political parties nor the rest of the media are addressing the matters of most concern: what should we do to grow the cake so that we’re all better off 5, 10 or 20 years down the track.

Everyone’s excited by huge government budget surpluses. They’re blind to the fact that the balance of payments is massively in the red. It’s as if Mum has an extra thousand bucks in the housekeeping jar, but Dad’s putting the mortgage payments on VISA and spending the income at the pub and the TAB.

The major parties with their vote buying strategies are hell-bent on creating a big spend-up. They will exacerbate our already frightening deficit. If we’re to gain anything from having some of our money returned to us we must be bludgeoned into increasing savings, retiring debt and reducing spending.

The crunch will come. Don Brash knows it, Michael Cullen knows it. For short term political gain, or maybe because neither of them wants to win this election, they’re prostituting themselves.

A plague on all their houses.

Give me a checkbox on my ballot paper marked: None of the Above.

Those who cared to pay attention could see what was happening very clearly. And now we’re stumbling along at the mercy of the unprincipled and the incompetent. Politicians whose definition of integrity is whatever it takes to win the next election and our enlightened Reserve Bank Governor, Dr Alan Bollard, who declared the current recession over in 2008.

It’s a bit of a worry.