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Here is some enlightening weekend viewing. Learn why our respective nations have undergone such radical changes in recent decades. The oldies among us will tell you this. Things are not as they were.
New Zealand has changed dramatically since the late ’80s when the new neo liberal economic policies called Rogernomics set in. We are now the reapers of that earlier Government’s folly, and paying a price. Where once we had full employment and no debt, we are now in debt … big time (climbing $27 million per day) and subject to the control of big business. Borrowing millions per week to stay afloat? Our grandparents must be turning in their graves. That was the unfortunate ‘NZ Experiment’ that sold us down the river, and with our assets now going … going … gone, we no longer enjoy the sovereignty we once had. They sold off our family silver as it were under the fancy name of ‘privatization’. (A new term, note, that gives a professional air and shifts the focus off what is really happening). We were told it was to pay our national debt but we are now more in debt than ever … it clearly hasn’t worked. Our country is now a corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and our government departments likewise. There is your clue. Corporations have one bottom line: PROFITS.
As an early NZ settler of colonial times stated:
The whole and entire object of everyone here is making money, the big fishes eating the little ones (‘The Rich List’, G Hunt p 29)
So ‘filthy lucre’ if you like was uppermost back then as well … the driving motive for expansion to other shores was not as we’ve been led to believe … to bring civilization and Christianity … these were merely by-products.
With this corporatisation everything began to operate on a business model, and instead of people with related background experience matching the kind of government department they served, we saw people appointed with purely business skills. Their focus became figures and profitability, not people, so social service and health departments were required to predict their costs in advance based on historical data. Quite a feat when dealing for instance with child abuse. Government departments were subjected to restructuring (the new catch word given to the changes … known also in other countries by other names like ‘structural adjustment’) and told it was so they could all work smarter. In fact, where I worked at the time, I likened it to musical chairs. When the music stopped there were less bums on seats in the office. And the music kept playing, and the seats kept disappearing. The folks on the ground inherited more work from their now absent colleagues, and the CEOs inherited fatter salaries to ensure (I suspect) the new status quo remained. It was a classic case of smoke and mirrors and happened across the board. Friends of mine in other professions complained of being buried in mountains of new paper requirements, the face of their jobs completely changing, and leaving less time for people.
So now we see evidence of this business model everywhere, with their whole raison d’etre being profits, while the memory of a caring welfare state is becoming more and more elusive by the year. In rural communities it still sticks out like a sore toe because it clashes with their longtime ethic of community and caring.
On that note, as you ponder on the origins of our (and many other countries’) demise into the debt abyss … grasp an overview of the root cause of these problems in ‘The Biggest Bank Heist Ever’. It is all about making money, the big fishes eating the little fishes. Remember, it is a mythical illusion that all can succeed under capitalism. Wakefield himself of the NZ Company openly stated that they would keep the price of land high enough so that not all could own any (1).
(1) Miller J (Early Victorian New Zealand) p 4
Video info: “The award winning documentary ‘Inside Job’ [2011 | US] by the veteran crusader, Charles Ferguson is the most insightful and illuminating amongst a number of such attempts that deal with the global financial crisis, which is wrecking lives and economies across the world to this day.
The reason is that it successfully challenges the myths and lies surrounding the root causes of the crisis and tells us exactly how and why it happened, in a simple and straightforward way that anyone can understand.
IsuruFoundation® highly recommends this great film to anyone who wants to know why we the public are paying with our lives for the treacherous shenanigans of the filthy rich and the powerful.”