Delivering her pre-Budget speech to a Business New Zealand audience, Labour prime minister Ardern said business confidence was “the elephant in the room”.
Business confidence has apparently been low since the new government took office. A business confidence survey conducted by NZIER found businesses had become pessimistic about economic outlook for the first time in two years after Labour assumed office.
There is no need to worry.
Over the last hundred and two years, Labour has demonstrated a loyalty to capitalism that can’t really be faulted. During the 1951 waterfront workers lockout, possibly the most tense class standoff after the land wars in New Zealand history, Labour delivered for the class they have always answered to. “Labour is neither for nor against the watersiders,” party leader Walter (later Sir Walter) Nash declared.
The pattern of behaviour continued in later years, all down the line.
Following the stock market crash of October, 1987 capitalism was in trouble. State-owned enterprises started shedding thousands of workers. Factories closed – over one hundred and forty in Auckland in less than two years – along with hundreds of shops and offices.
Bankruptcies were up by fifty percent, eighty-six thousand jobs disappeared and unemployment in New Zealand was up to over 180,000 by early 1989.
That near poverty statistic is perhaps more startling than the 50 million Americans below the poverty line, because it translates to a full 80% of the population struggling with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on government assistance to help make ends meet.
In September, the Associated Press pointed to survey data that told of an increasingly widening gap between rich and poor, as well as the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs that used to provide opportunities for the “Working Class” to explain an increasing trend towards poverty in the U.S.
But the numbers of those below the poverty line does not merely reflect the number of jobless Americans. Instead, according to a revised census measure released Wednesday, the number – 3 million higher than what the official government numbers imagine – are also due to out-of-pocket medical costs and work-related expenses.
“According to a Yale University report, New Zealand has the highest proportion of homeless people in the 34-member OECD, with nearly 1 per cent of the country’s population living on the streets or in emergency housing or shelters.
Auckland Council estimates there are nearly 23,000 homeless in the Super City alone.”
Neither Labour nor National are addressing this. Labour says it will build 100,000 more houses – instead of stopping the immigration influx which is contributing to the problem – all because they don’t want to be seen as xenophobic. National just says “Bring them all in ! Money, money, money.”
How can New Zealand manage an annual non-NZ citizen migration influx of 73,500 people per annum ( 2017 ) ?
In 2016 there was a gain of 72,000 non-NZ citizen migrants.
In 2015 it was 60,000.
That is like adding a city bigger than Nelson – EVERY YEAR !
“New Zealand’s population reached an estimated 4,727,000 in October 2016.
The population reached four million for the first time in 2003, assisted by growth in immigration.”
The latest spin from the powers that be, all about seeking work & not being addicted to welfare. Indeed welfare benefits carry a serious health warning reports the NZ Herald!
Doctors have been told that putting patients on welfare is akin to putting them on “an addictive debilitating drug … not dissimilar to smoking” (NZ Herald 16/7/2016)
What planet are these guys are living on!? A corporation parading as a government that fails to concede we have a homelessness crisis also wants to blame unemployed for not working when basically there are no jobs (with nary a mention of course of the tax dodging multi national corporations)! They will cite figures about unemployment being down but the figures proffered are dodgy at the very least.
Classic case of smoke and mirrors basically where the victim is blamed for the crime. Shifting the focus off the facts … high unemployment (remember pre neo-liberal policies we had FULL employment & guess who borrowed us into debt?) their own mismanagement of the public funds ($200 mill Kiwisaver funds lost to a Portuguese bank plus $6+ mill spent on an unnecessary Hawaiian mansion) and a preference for pleasing the corporates … and onto blaming folks for having neither work nor in many cases a home.
As we hear more frequently about suicides and/or attempted suicides (highest since records kept) as we see increasing numbers of people living in cars and garages and on the street, with 33,000 ghost houses sitting empty in Auckland, thanks in part to Key’s delectable tax haven, the rich enjoy a pitiful 2.8% tax on their obscenely large salaries while the minimum wage cleaner gets taxed an equally obscene 28%, almost ONE THIRD of their income! Consider also, if the latter work two jobs to survive they are secondarily taxed as well.
Consider also, this is a govt/corporation that is forcing people with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy even, to look for work. Most will know chemo seldom works and makes us feel extremely unwell while it’s being administered. These are the depths to which this government/corporation has sunk.
Now they’ve flogged off those P contaminated state homes (and the state housing corporation was making money) many of which just happened to sit on prime real estate, they want to rip out the net completely & vilify the jobless for not working. They are quietly dismantling the welfare state, capitalism’s essential safety net, the kindly (?) human face, and replacing it with a tax haven for the super rich … and us? We can go eat cake.
Serious times folks. Check out Agenda 21/2030.Corporations owe their first legal allegiance to their shareholders. The illusion of a democracy is all we have now. Time for change!
A corporation has been defined as “… a business structure whose sole reason for existence is the earning of profits by manufacturing products for as little as possible and selling them for as much as possible. It does not matter whether the product does good or evil; what counts is that it be consumed – in ever-increasing quantities”.
(Note: therein lies the root of our whole recycling problem … think of all the packaging that goes with those products … plastic wrapping, meat trays, polystyrene and plastic bottles just for starters).
Giant multinational corporations have become society’s most dominant institution. As a student of social policy in the early 1980s I well recall being told there would come a day when corporations would control governments … difficult at the time to conceive of … nevertheless this is exactly what has happened. It was difficult to conceive because it was an era when unemployment was low, benefits for the few who required them were at a livable level and education was relatively free. We were a welfare state. That has changed for we were sharply reminded we were a capitalist welfare state.
This article from filmsforaction echoes the entire philosophy of this website. Yes … it is very do-able. Very. This is life without the middle men in the form of profiteering banksters who not only create money out of thin air (as in type your loan onto their computer screen) and then charge you interest for it. The Spanish town of Marinaleda has a local Mayor of 35+ years who has been known to seize food from the local supermarket & give it to the poor…. and people get a cheaply priced, comfortable house to live in, so long as it’s never sold for a profit (as in speculation)…
“With virtually no police, crime or unemployment, meet the Spanish town described as a democratic, socialist utopia. Unemployment is non-existent in Marinaleda, an Andalusian village in southern Spain that is prosperous thanks to its farming cooperative…..
Since the financial crisis began in 2008, Marinaleda has shot to fame — and so has its maverick mayor Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, who earned the nickname,”The Spanish Robin Hood,” after organizing and carrying out a series of supermarket raids in a direct action protest last August. Basic groceries such as oil, rice and beans were loaded into carts, wheeled from the store and taken to a local food bank to help the poor, as helpless cashiers looked on, some crying….”