Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Another Capital Idea...

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  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Tim Hannah,

    We were all lined up at the leaving gates, we were, weeping and wailing and begging them to stay.

    Yes, I remember I had brought a crate of tomatoes. You know, for comfort.

    They instead seem to think we are going to catch up with Australia by doing the opposite of Australia which seems strange logic to me.

    They think that our key resource is neoliberalism, and not being so attached to the idea of the welfare state. Seriously, read the 2025 taskforce report.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Damian Christie,

    So you think that the key to Australia’s current economic success is it’s progressive tax system? Screw mineral wealth, those top tax rates will sort things out.

    You know, they had mineral wealth and we hadn't twenty years ago as well, and the gap between the two countries has ballooned in that time. So maybe it's not the minerals. (Even Brash says it's not the minerals.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report

  • Stephen Judd,

    One of the things about Australia's economic success is that it's been better distributed through a higher minimum wage and the preservation of employment conditions we lost years ago.

    Anyway, right now, Wikipedia tells me that mining is 5.6% of Australian GDP, and about 35% of exports. cite. It's not clear to me that mining alone explains the relative prosperity gap. Certainly not how they pulled away from us through the 90s.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    They think that our key resource is neoliberalism, and not being so attached to the idea of the welfare state. Seriously, read the 2025 taskforce report.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Danielle, in reply to Damian Christie,

    You can’t just point to a country that has higher tax than us and say ‘see’, any more than you can point to a country with a higher gender wage gap than ours and insist women should stop complaining about that.

    As the Bearer of a Uterus, may I just note how deeply annoying and inaccurate an analogy that is? The gender wage gap is an *injustice* based on *prejudice* (and 'monthly sick problems', natch). Taxes are not, despite the apparently endless whining of people who should know better, some sort of injustice being levied upon us. They (ostensibly) exist so that the society in which we ALL have a stake is better and fairer and filled with less desperation and misery (and, you know, so we have roads and shit). That comparison makes me slightly hurly.

    (Believe me, I'm hanging out to be taxed more so I can assuage my self-hating chardonnay socialist guilt. We are very comfortably off now, but ten years ago in America I had to sell my blood plasma for petrol money, and I don't ever want to forget what that was like, lest I become even more of a Whingeing Privileged Asshole.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Danielle,



    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    @JoeW: Basically reinforces what I’ve suspected all along. Off the top of my head I can think of the following examples of John Frum economics that dominate the current orthodoxy:

    - Broken Hill (mining national parks)
    - Hollywood (the Hobbit Wars and the Copyright Wars, and of course the – Wellywood sign)
    - Monaco/Vegas (the Sky City wheeler dealing, and getting foreigners to say nice things about us)
    - Orange County (Suburbistan-ism and the property speculation bubble)
    - Wall St (Auckland as ‘financial hub’, and asset sales)
    - Wisconsin (welfare reform, and more cows)

    … and that’s just naming a few.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • tussock,

    I'd welcome lower corporate taxes - for exporters

    You know, you can tax exports extra. Works the same as an import tax, promoting local businesses who serve local needs, only without driving up local prices or encouraging inefficiencies, all while ensuring any externalised costs of our export industries are recoverable. Just 5% of sales, or something modest like that.

    Of course, then our dairy industry would actually be contributing to society, rather than ruining so much of it, and the local price of cheese, milk, meat, wool, and so on would drop by some 4-5%, helping out local manufacturers who might improve those raw products. Oh, the horrors.

    Since Nov 2006 • 611 posts Report

  • Amy Gale, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Sometimes its created by having a fucking good idea that lots of people want, hopefully lots of overseas people. And we could use more of these types of people, and we could use more of them staying here too I reckon. And I don’t think any of the ideas I’ve heard further either of these goals.

    Well, for starters, if there's any money left over from repairing education/health/welfare, we could put a bit more into funding research. That would substantially improve the likelihood that this particular CS/software household could relocate.

    (Tax rates? Not in the top ten reasons we're not there now. Not on the list of reasons at all.)

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report

  • stephen walker,

    anyone who thinks people are emmigrating because of tax rates is delusional. and where are all these low-tax countries people are going to? oh yeah, i know, Monaco, HK and... Guernsey.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 646 posts Report

  • bmk,

    I get up this morning and saw the response to what I wrote. And found myself in the pleasant situation of not needing to defend what I'd written as many of you have already done it for me, in far better words than I could have. Thank you all.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Sacha,

    Sacha, a child centred policy framework is about the economy, but it is also a fundamental paradigm shift. If you have a society in which the health, education and welfare of children and raising the next generation is the central and main focus of government and society, economic values would change too. So parenting, child care, teaching, building warm houses, and environmental protection would go up in status and those activities which add no value to children such as investment banking,would be less valued. Investing in children would mean an end to child poverty, emptied prisons and a hugely innovative, prosperous and healthy society before very long. We wouldn't ask how do we pay for it, but how can we afford not to?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    economic values would change too

    I'm not convinced they would. Investment bankers will still be paid way more than teachers unless we magically de-couple NZ from the global economy.

    I believe the CGT and child-centred social policy are both significant initiatives but one does not seem to imply the other - beyond raising the money to pay for the changes and knowing what to spend it on.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    before very long

    Similar political challenge to CGT - the benefits happen a long time after the cost, to different governments.

    Selling broadly the long-term vision is crucial to keep support going (rather than have the next lot dismantle it like the current vandals are doing with KiwiSaver). Thank goodness Phil Goff is such a persuasive communicator.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Amy Gale,

    we could put a bit more into funding research

    And the private sector must be compelled to do their share, given the failure of waiting for voluntary efforts to improve their relative contribution compared with most other developed nations. Time for corporate bludging off the state to stop.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to tussock,

    promoting local businesses who serve local needs

    We already have way too many of those as a proportion of our total economy. What problem are you solving?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Sacha,

    If you made the main policy question: How will this value and enhance the long-term well-being of our children? it would have dramatic immediate effects. For example, you wouldn't have a tax working group made up only of rich white men, nor a welfare working group without representation from young people or disability advocates. The answers would be quite different.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Though I agree about the paucity of perspectives around the table during this government's reign, I don't see the necessary connection between the policy question you propose and the process you describe. One does not automatically bring the other. That requires broader work and I've seen no sign yet that our lacklustre opposition has been grappling with those matters.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Rik, in reply to Sacha,

    Investment bankers will still be paid way more than teachers unless we magically de-couple NZ from the global economy.

    And this is a bad thing that needs to be changed?

    Since Jun 2007 • 130 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Rik,

    And this is a bad thing that needs to be changed?

    For us 98% non-libertarians, yes.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Rik I'm confused. Here's why. I am not ideologically left. Man, I've repped for so many major companies over the years; to know deep down I have no ideology. I just
    need money.

    I like to read this website because

    1) Russell is a rare talent in this country. I guy who delivers stories with intellegence, an understanding of the recent politics and history and some refreshing empathy for the growing poverty in this country .

    2) I like the public address threads , they are good hard talk that generally gets done without too many bruises once you work out whose who, and in context of New Zealand threads has some amazing information delivered by some fine academics and intellects and personable policy wonks.

    This thread has delivered you nearly all the information that you need to understand why the rational mind would support the re-introduction of higher taxes on the very wealthy.

    Rik, you've got to put up an arguement, with figures, and wealth growth stats or anything, or quite frankly be cool and concede.

    This is a debate that goes around in circles every year, one side produces figures, the other goes quiet, moody and then bitterly questions you on how thick the hair really is on that secret business chest of dominace we all should have.

    Literally our political view here seems to have been dominated by media scaremongers for too long, and now I quite honestly am frustrated and a little shocked to be fucking honest with those who are in love/like/agreeance on National / Act right wing economics .

    I want higher tax rates for the rich baecuse it makes fucking sense. Those upper bracket taxes were reduced on a "trickle down concept", that was marketed hard politically by both parties .They were a fantasy of a noble, moral and caring wealthy uber class that only wanted to gain more wealth so in order to trickle it down on the middle and lower salaried workers. Everyone wins. That didn't happen.

    There is a stationary glut of money in a few hands , that money needs to reappear very soon or things will get rough for folks whose disposable income is either O or a negative weekly sum, hello loan sharks ,begging and theft considerations.

    I look at graphs, history, read commentary . I've been doing this for decades and
    right wing economics has a critical reputation that frankly sucks.

    It's not hardcore taking more tax from the top especially after it had been so dramatically reduced from the eighties onwards. It's not a hardcore policy, we may need to do some hardcore realignmeat of the economy but changing tax rates back
    is just sensible economics in 2011.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report

  • Islander, in reply to Jeremy Eade,


    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    Hear, hear.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report

  • BenWilson,

    I'm not convinced investment bankers aren't worth the money they earn. Their advice and work is about extremely big movements of money, so the good advice really is worth a lot to the people paying them. Teachers do important work too, but they aren't holding anywhere near as much responsibility or liability. They just don't have as much at stake. A bad teacher affects some students for a year or two, and if it is noticed, they might get told off, or at worst fired, but would probably get work in another school. A M&A lawyer who gives bad advice could bankrupt their firm or their client's firm, could lay thousands of people off, or lose every cent they own. It's very hard and competitive work, and only the top candidates are taken. It does actually seem fair to me that they get very well paid, at least some of the time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report

  • Rik, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    Dear Jeremy

    Let’s take a look at a comment I posted earlier:

    Let’s think about that. Let’s say the teacher is earning $80k – so for the last $10k of their income they are paying the same tax rate that the CEO of Telecom is paying on the (roughly) $1.7mil he earns above the top tax rate. Without including bonuses. At 33% that comes in at $561,000 in tax for Paul Reynolds and $3,300 for the teacher.

    And let’s look at the comment I was responding to:

    why should *any* teachers be in the same tax bracket as Telecom’s CEO? It’s nutty.

    Now – who used facts and figures to illustrate their argument?

    Let’s also consider that 1) I didn’t bring the teacher vs CEO of Telecom topic up 2) I didn’t write this blog and 3) I have merely posted comments to show there are other viewpoints than those expressed in comments already made on this blog. Which I would have thought would add to the richness of the debate.

    However – it seems you feel that unless I agree with the generally shared outlook here then I am not welcome to post my thoughts. It’s interesting that after reading the blog and all its comments that you point the finger at me as being “the problem”. Not Damian, who wrote the original blog clearly stating his stance (which I agree with). Mind you – I knew the last comment I had made was cheeky and bound to produce some form of response. Luckily I have broad shoulders and can take your criticism.

    There was a very similar discussion to this one about 3 months back on PAS where there was debate on the fairness of a small percentage of the population contributing a high percentage of income tax revenue – once again I was derided for having an opposing viewpoint.

    By the way – I totally agree with your thoughts on PAS and Russell. My only concern is that if you don't agree with the herd - lookout!

    Since Jun 2007 • 130 posts Report

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