John Key's aspirational economic poverty
Politicians in the gun as crisis drags on
Voters will rise up against short-sighted decision-makers, writes Andrew Gawith, a director of Gareth Morgan Investments.
The global financial crisis is proving worryingly difficult to shrug off. That partly reflects the nature of the crisis and partly political dysfunction that continues to dog effective responses.
The crisis was triggered by a monumental build-up of debt, helped along by a fair bit of financial chicanery and the bursting of the housing bubble.
In November 2008, a few months into the crisis, a group of IMF economists (Claessons, Kose and Terrones) concluded from an analysis of previous financial crises that they tend to be long-lasting - much longer than the accompanying recessions which also tend to be relatively long and deep. Moreover, house price collapses lead to more costly recessions and financial crises are often global or synchronised.
As I have been saying since the 2008 collapse, we are suffering a unique crises of Capitalism akin to the 1929 stock market collapse that will herald the same social and political stresses brought about by the Great Depression.
The low tax, deregulation, Milton Friedman free market dogma has failed by collapsing in upon itself through venal corporate greed that has created an event horizon of debt.
The resentment at how the free market pirates of Wall Street destroyed the global economy with their immoral corporate greed has spawned a global occupation movement that will only build as the economy goes into further meltdown.
This Governments response to implement more low tax, deregulation, Milton Friedman free market dogma to counter the crises caused by the very same low tax, deregulation, Milton Friedman free market dogma is nothing short of an ideological fart looking for a match.
How privatizing our assets, borrowing to give rich people a tax cut and corporate bail out after corporate bail out is supposed to make the type of structural changes in the economy required to weather this recession is anyones guess, and seeing as Key never faces much media scrutiny at the best of times, the rest of the electorate sure as hell isn't that much more the wiser either.
Apparently smiling and waving works over hard question answering every time.
We don't want to borrow more, we need to generate more income. A Capital Gains Tax, a Financial Transaction Tax, the need to rebalance the tax burden onto those who have built up so much wealth and power in the last 30 years is what is needed, not more wealth class protection that the current Government seems so hell bent on.
And it is a 'class war' to parrot the Republican Party, John Key is utterly disconnected from the poverty many NZers face. Few of them were speculating on the Wall St stock exchange, yet they are being asked to sacrifice and do with less...
Charities' food handouts at record after Govt cuts
The Government has slashed the number of food grants to needy families by 20 per cent, driving record numbers to seek food parcels from charities instead.
Work and Income NZ data supplied to the Council of Christian Social Services shows that taxpayer-funded food grants almost doubled from 71,189 in the June quarter of 2008 to 133,153 in the same quarter last year as families reeled from the impact of the global financial crisis.
But grants have been cut back to just 106,767 in the June quarter this year after the rules changed in March to make people complete budgeting activities, and show they have taken steps to increase their income or reduce their costs, before they can get more than two food grants a year.
...and what about Key's aspirational promise to lift those in poverty out of poverty, and thuse decreasing the total number in poverty, well, John admits now that hasn't really happened...
Key admits underclass still growing
Prime Minister John Key has acknowledged that the "growing underclass" he promised to tackle in 2008 has probably grown further - rather than decreased - during his first term in government.
...for a Prime Minister who said people who need food handouts are responsible for the position they find themselves in (not his mismanagement of the economy or borrowing for tax cuts) and who told Church leaders that if he stopped the benefit 'bugger all would die', his disconnect from the grim reality of many in the electorate of poverty may well bite him in the bum come November 26th.
With ACT in meltdown in Epsom and Peter Dunne looking likely to be toppled in Ohariu, the Maori Party may well be the only possible coalition partner the Nats can find, that is if they survive the attack by MANA.
The mainstream media punditry and their brainfart landline polls have already written Goff off, so he enters the TV debates as the under dog. The performance of his life and his mastery of policy could surprise the electorate.
The voice of the poor may well be heard this election, much to the blindsided mainstream medias surprise.