New Zealand - the way you want it?
|Do we need a new flag or a new vision? Both!|
|An excellent read|
|Margaret Thatcher 'There is no such thing as society'.|
|Ruth R's 1991 Budget|
|Roger Douglas - Labour!|
Today widespread and deep poverty is in contrast to a New Zealand the home of ‘cradle to the grave welfare provision’ – that was dismantled with Ruth Richardson’s Mother of all Budgets in 1991. Ironically the first reversal in this policy was passed by the National Government in this year’s budget. A clear sign ‘market forces’ has not solved the problem? Labour’s working for Families programme provided some respite but in reality the poverty has deepened as income has increased at the top. As well, writes Dean,’the bottom 30% of society….experienced either no or very low gains in the thirty year period’.
So much for the ‘trickle down’ theory.
The vice chancellor now suggests ‘there may be some things that cannot be easily captured in standard accounting methods’ and adds, ‘More market does not seem to have freed the worst off among us to participate in New Zealand society’.
|David Lange , ' I want to thank all people whose lives have been wrecked by us'.|
It is becoming clear that the guiding principles of ‘freedom and responsibility of the individual’ has not worked for all or the benefit of the wider society. Not all people are in a situation to be able to make choices without support.
Dean quotes the research of Wilkinson and Pickett (authors of the book The Spirit Level) who write that a large range of social ills (such as crime, drug use, obesity and mental illness and educational attainment) increase with greater inequality as well as a decline in community life and social cohesion. People are left to fend for themselves and are less caring of others.
Young people in particular have been on the receiving end and many are feeling socially isolated, worthless and powerless. In 2014 11% of people aged 15-24 were not in education, employment or training; the youth unemployment was 19%.’ Unemployment in recent years has remained higher than in the thirty years after the Second World War’ and productivity has certainly been no higher since 1884 than it was in the decades after the Second World War’. The rich have gained while ‘for many the changes have been destructive.’
|Michael Joseph Savage|
Apathy about politics after three decades of market forces is rampant it is time, he continues for ‘a more imaginative, visionary, political settlement….at the very least we must discard a political philosophy that ….is a failure …and that Labour ( needs) to broaden the meaning of freedom such that it includes rights of participation…that everyone feels part of.’
|First Labour Government|
The current government is leading to New Zealand
This would require a rebalancing of central and regional/local government. Privatisation based on target setting is a too narrow a way to ‘measure’ quality of life for all citizens. With targets, it is not the ones you hit that always count – sometimes you miss equally important things you weren’t looking for and there are always unintended consequences.