“Jacinda Ardern is doing what she can to correct the disparities between our wealthiest citizens and the rest of us.” Photo / Peter de Graaf, File
Revive a community
I met a woman from East Germany who had immigrated to New Zealand. A Kiwi asked him about his experience. The question was: “What is it like to live
free after all these years trapped in a communist regime? âThe answer was interesting.
âUntil I came here, I had never paid for medical care, dental care, education fees, or public transportation. I think you drank Kool-Aid on it. is to live under socialism. “
Jacinda Ardern is doing what she can to correct the disparities between our wealthiest citizens and the rest of us. We have become an appallingly selfish and egotistical crowd, and the government is trying to turn us back into a community in which we all care about each other. It is no exaggeration to say that unless we restore a sense of community, we will disappear. Until recently, this kind of idea was unthinkable.
But now in our day we face adverse climate changes that we alone have caused and mutating diseases that could wipe us off the face of the earth.
What’s the old saying? Natural bats last.
Bruce Rogan, Chief of Mangawhai
It would be helpful if those who believe that market capitalism (and competition) creates inequality and excessive wealth for some suggest an alternative rather than the vague claim that capitalism needs to be âreworkedâ.
It seems necessarily implicit in such appeals that the rich must repay the capital (ie have a “haircut”) and limit the earnings to a specified amount. Where does the wealth and the gains go? To those below the line or to the government for equity recovery plans? And how would that be done?
Any quick examination of the benefits of competition, incentive and reward for individuals shows that it is by far the best way to bring dynamism, innovation and success to countries. Overall, it makes people better off. It is the greatest engine of human progress.
There have been thugs within capitalism and some wealth may have been accumulated through dubious means or tax evasion, but preventing and mitigating this is the responsibility of governance (which involves effort and global cooperation). Neither woolly idealism nor the lust for wealth helps solve this problem.
John Collinge, Baie Sainte-Marie.
Dr. Dennis Wesselbaum’s comments on the government’s proposed “unemployment insurance” (Herald December 13) are slim to the facts. There is a lot of theoretical economic jargon on all kinds of scenarios, without any facts about what the government is proposing.
Indeed, Dr Wesselbaum says: “We do not have details of its precise design.”
There are quotes about how unemployment statistics have played out in Germany and Spain without any details on their schemes. It also assumes that New Zealand’s scheme will be funded by an income tax increase, although this has not been stated anywhere.
It would have been nice if he had looked at other overseas unemployment schemes managed successfully in several European countries, such as the one operating in Switzerland, a country which certainly cannot be described as a “welfare state”. socialist â, and where their unemployment insurance scheme is funded in much the same way as the success of ACC in New Zealand. The workers and their families who benefit from the support of this program welcome this model very positively.
Neil Anderson, Bay of Algiers.
Beyond the economy
I suspect that Dr Wesselbaum (NZ Herald, December 13) places too much emphasis on higher personal incomes, lower taxes, and not on the happiness of society.
The harsher capitalist society he apparently identifies with has proven to be a failed / failing system, which is not wanted here or elsewhere by the majority.
All of these countries have laws, especially tax laws, designed to improve and correct inequalities in the future.
Kudos to Labor for understanding the goals of a happier society in the future.
This is the country in which I want to live.
Dennis Pahl, Tauranga.
Stuck in the lights
Isn’t it nice that cabinet ministers can walk around their vacation homes until January 17th and not have to worry about, oh … running the country?
In the meantime, they will leave the country at “amber” on their bartender traffic light system until they can be disturbed to return to work.
I wonder what the hospitality industry thinks about this? They will work hard to try to stay afloat while Cabinet ministers lie in the sun and enjoy life.
You have to wonder what planet they are on. Do these clearly self-proclaimed people still not understand what we are going through? Are they so separate from reality?
Is it beyond their capacity to meet quickly, say around January 3, to review the “parameters” and thus give a boost to businesses?
David Morris, Hillsborough.
Left in a fix
Most business income comes from the months of December, balancing out lower income the rest of the year.
Prime Minister, what have you done? You have effectively killed the income of many hard-working restaurateurs. The reason is that “we don’t want to risk yo-yoing between the lights.”
Why? Surely this is the reason to have the traffic light system in the first place, to be flexible and accommodate changing circumstances?
Once again, we are ruled by idealism rather than practicality.
Andrew McAlpine, Herne Bay.
Without a doubt, the deployment of the vaccine could have been done better.
However, given supply constraints and vaccine transport and storage logistics, the system achieved its primary goal of preventing as many hospitalizations and deaths as possible.
This should be remembered in any discussion of the immunization program.
Jean Ross, Hamilton.
Dr Jarrod Gilbert (NZ Herald, December 13) makes the point that if you look at the history of gangs of yesteryear, then the violence that is happening now is similar to what happened about 30 years ; nothing has changed and things are not really any more violent.
He also says, because it mainly affects gang members who clash, that this too is okay and “it’s not a picnic for them either.” Oh good?
I would say that in the real world, gang violence is driven by the need to control and dominate. Control of the lucrative drug trade in general, and the rewards it brings. They don’t care about drug-torn families or the wider society that is caught up in this crossfire.
Overall, people want innovative and achievable change rather than continued historical acceptance, which changes nothing as he so aptly pointed out.
Paul Schon, Browns Bay.
The conspiracy stampede
OH MY GOD! Omicron Delta is not only an anagram of Media Control but also Clot Radiomen.
Relax – the letters can also spell the mood of the clarinet and the movement of the cradle.
But wait – we can also find carotid lemon and erotic almond in the mix.
The plot is complex.
Michael Smythe, Northcote Pt.
Those who tagged the walls of sound on the southern approach to the harbor bridge at the start of the lockdown must be happy that their signatures have remained visible for so long.
The vandalism will give those who visit Auckland when the border opens up a sense of what happened and did not happen in our city during the lockdown.
Matt Elliott, Birkdale.
Short and sweet
On the lights
What was the point of Monday’s traffic light announcement? Nothing has changed for another 16 days. It’s an announcement of nothing if I’ve heard one before. John Ford, Taradale.
It is inconceivable that the December 13 restriction changes will be the last prospect for more freedoms until mid-January while Cabinet is resting. David Jones, Parnell.
Well done to our Prime Minister for helping Tui with a new slogan. Normal summer: Yeah, that’s it. Hugh Chapman, Hingaia.
Every day in these unusual times, I have been and continue to be grateful to a government that listens to the experts and proceeds with caution. Janet von Randow, Gray Lynn.
Dennis Wesselbaum laments that the government is trying to transform New Zealand into a socialist welfare state (NZ Herald, December 13). He doesn’t need to worry. Unfortunately, there is no way they will be successful. Martin Ball, Kelston.
My vote for TV Personality of the Year is the Lady of the Turners Car Auctions TV Commercials. She’s natural, just shiny. Phil Chitty, Albany.
The premium debate
Rents up 9.4%
Gone are the days when landlords / investors could expect all or most of their costs to be covered by rent. It is unsustainable for tenants, with incomes that have not kept pace with the cost of housing, to have the basic right to have a roof over their heads. In New Zealand we were proud of our standard of living. Now it is common for a family of four or five to live in a 53mÂ² apartment with no parking space, as a basic brick and tile house in the suburbs is impossible to obtain, or impossible to afford. Family apartments and rent control will have to become a reality at some point. Kylie T.
The government has been told of the folly of meddling in the market and removing interest deductibility from rental properties. Now, surprise, surprise, that rents are skyrocketing, making it even more difficult for tenants to save a deposit for their own home. Another bad policy from a totally incompetent government. Richard T.
There should be a law that prevents rent increases from exceeding the CPI. Brendon H.
No surprise here. The costs of providing rental accommodation have increased much more than the rate of inflation, and so have rents. The loss of tax deductions is only just beginning and therefore has not yet had an impact, so tenants can expect more rent increases soon. Antoine W.
I received my notice of rent increase today, a 21% increase. Kirsty D.
It is cancer for the society that literally takes food from children’s mouths and takes the shoes off their feet. It is a growing divide that will always increase crime and death rates in lower socio-economic communities. David B.
What did anyone expect to happen? The more the Labor government gets involved in the market, the worse things get. After nine years of careful and cautious government under National – that’s what Ardern and co have done to New Zealand. Justin l.