I have several suggestions - see comments below

I have several suggestions - see comments below

How soon we forget our history. Pakeha history: New Zealand was colonised by Anglo Saxons and Celts - very few Norman gentry showed up on these shores. With little more than the shirts on their back, these migrants left a land where they were tenants and debtors to find a new land where they could be their own free men and women. Owning a piece of land freehold, building one's home on it, and living as free peoples was most important to those founding families and it remains so today. Maori history: In 1840, when staking those claims to land became messy because Maori already were there and tikanga was clashing with British land-law, a treaty was signed in which the Queen guaranteed the full, exclusive and undisturbed possession of local leaders and their extended families to their land, estates and other properties. Subject matter: undisturbed possession of land & estates. How clear can it be? So whether you are of British descent or Maori, or you came here from somewhere else, land and estate (home) is sacrosanct. Back in 2001, Rob McLoud chaired the government's Tax Review where he recommended that people who owned homes without debt should be taxed. The theory was that if they borrow money from the bank, they are not tying up capital that could otherwise be flowing through the economy. Of course another interpretation on could be that this is another subsidy for the banking system. It failed to gain political support. In short, Mr. Morgan, land and estates in NZ are not a plaything for the politicians. Leave them alone. To be clear, I am talking about the family home, family business and family farm, not speculation and land banking. Taxation is a very ineffective tool for social and economic engineering. It is strange that a man like Gareth Morgan does not see that what his son Sam Morgan did in creating a whole new private sector market called TradeMe, was far more effective than tinkering with taxes. For the ordinary person, not the rich, TradeMe created huge cash flow as personal property in people’s sheds and closets became items for sale – one person’s trash was another’s treasure and a lot of new small businesses arose when those amateurs realised that TradeMe gave them a national audience without needing a storefront. Mr. Morgan, if you are worried about the way this country is going, then focus on how to create new employment and small businesses, especially now that broadband is finally vanquishing the tyranny of distance. If you want to create opportunity, then create opportunity instead of tinkering with taxes. If you want to create opportunity in a nation of small businesses, take back NZ Post and drop international shipping rates to lower than what Chinese companies apparently pay to send stuff here. Create simple conditions so that Kiwi businesses can sell domestic products online and ship to the world for competitive prices. Subsidise air and sea freight charges. If you don’t understand this, go to DLH and look what it costs to ship a 31.5 kg package up to 1.2 x .6 x .6 cm from Germany to NZ? (€126). Then look what it costs to send the same box from NZ back to Germany (over $3,000). Why? Because Deutsche Post bought DHL and tilted the playing field so their small businesses (that use the post office) will export more. Ditto Air New Zealand. Drop international airfares for business travel to next to nothing... for business people who hold APEC cards taking business trips, not overseas holidays that add to the negative balance of trade. Make NZ a nation of entrepreneurs who sell to the world because their government does everything it can to help them succeed. We as a people are smart as entrepreneurs, but our government business ethos is not so smart. Want more policies to consider Mr. Morgan? Nationalise the fibre-optic broadband network and ensure that every business gets what in the US is called Google Fiber - 1 TB speeds - and make it free for all NZ businesses with no caps. Encourage 30 printing industries and the internet of things. Boost Kiwibank small business lending and employ talented business advisors so that loans come with real expertise and connections. Then put in place very strong laws to end the duopolies and the wink-wink businesses that think they are smart raising the price of everything in search of the maximum price the market will bear. There are times I despair for the businesses that seem to think it’s smart to charge their domestic customers more than their international ones. We're eating our children. Mr. Morgan, you named your party The Opportunities Party, but your first policy is not about opportunities but rejigging the tax system. You write "All productive assets - and that includes the house that provides you with your accommodation each year - are or can produce income each and every year.” Next you will be saying that if I grow food in my garden I should pay tax before I eat it. If I heat my home with solar panels, I should pay tax for the free energy from the sun. Your view of what it is to be human is distorted. A house is not a productive asset, it is someone’s home. My house does not provide me accommodation, it is my home. I recommend you look up the word “accommodation” before equating it to “home”. On your web site you write “home-owners benefit while those that are renting are punished." So your solution is to punish home-owners. Let me suggest a different approach. Press for 99% home ownership in NZ. Make it easier and cheaper to buy a home than to rent one. Make the government the guarantor of all mortgages, and if someone gets into trouble because they lost their job, bring in WINZ to get them a temporary job so they can make their payments. Make them mortgages that are cleared at age 65, so all pensioners have a nest egg and then offer that any pensioner can swap their home for senior housing plus a liveable pension for life.

Showing 15 reactions

  • James Turnbull
    commented 2016-12-09 19:11:57 +1300
    Morgan L … seems to be a glitch that occurs in the creation of a thread.

    It all looks very breathless and messy in the thread header, but the replies seem to format OK … have raised it webby / admin … another mention might be useful :-)
  • Jamie Brahm
    commented 2016-12-09 13:25:04 +1300
    Well of course automation doesn’t lead to working less, or better wealth – marx explained that ages ago for all his madness. Under capitalism, the machines are owned by the few. Hence automation under capitalism, rather than socio-capitalism, results in job losses, not better pay, or less taxes.
    As for our longer term threats, such as the currently bubbling threat of war, the food crisis, the water crisis, the energy crisis – scientists predicted these sort of speed bumps quite awhile ago. Long before they even knew what form they would take. Unfortunately needs drive change, not wisdom, for human beings. So each one of those will likely screw us, and then if we are lucky, we will figure it out.
    People just aren’t smart enough to plan, as a society, for the future. But enough near misses, and a lot of luck, maybe after its all said and done we will. Or we will be dead, or in the stone age. Either way, nothing we can do about that.
  • Morgan L.
    commented 2016-12-09 11:07:03 +1300

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  • Morgan L.
    commented 2016-12-09 11:04:31 +1300
    Interesting turns to this conversation, for which we should acknowledge Gareth Morgan for providing a forum.

    However, going back to his original posting, he proposes to change taxes to monetise home ownership. In doing so, the state becomes superior to the family – be it a family of one, two or ten.

    There are two concepts of why states exist:

    1) Violent hierarchies: Thugs become kings, they conquer using armies, they establish monarchies to rule in a hierarchy of privilege, in which the game of thrones becomes a perpetual contest for rank, power and control. Over time, violence acquires a veneer of civility, but it never loses its principle of ruling from above (s-over-reign). Eventually a professional ruling class emerges – civil servants who expand their influence over daily life while jealously guarding their petty powers.

    2) Consent of the people: The state exists to enable people to get along with each other. People meet, identify something of importance to them, and they vote to tax themselves to pay for it. Over time, the people elect representatives to specialise in such decision-making, but the representatives are frequently reminded they exist to serve the people not their friends who advance private agendas.

    NZ is a confused state. Our origin in law is in the Norman Conquest, in which a ruling class claimed all rights under the right of conquest and then began to delegate powers to underlings. However, NZ was colonised predominantly by the losers of the Norman Conquest, the Anglo Saxons and Celts, who resented being tenants and servants in their own land. When NZ opened up, they came here seeking freedom, and they sought to shift the basis of their government to consent of the people. They colonised a land in which rule by conquest already existed. Tribes defeated tribes to expand their territory. The Treaty was signed in part because the guns the colonists brought turned those tribal wars into more lethal battles. But that treaty made it clear… local land, estates and possessions were not part of kawanatanga.

    Due to their exploited origins as the underclass of the British system, the colonists had a very strong bias toward ending the privilege of the few over the many. They used the power of the state to equalise. They backed unions to counter the power of the employers. They gave women the vote and sought equality in rights. But they also used the violence of sovereignty and later the destabiliation of the welfare system to marginalise Maori. They also taxed the rich heavily until more recently, the new rich looted the state of its assets (called privatisation) and took their gains overseas to tax havens.

    I believe it is out of this confusion that Gareth Morgan proposes the state tax debt-free homeowners, as if homeowners are a privileged class that must be made to pay. This is a mistake that has its origins in the counterreaction to the hierarchy of privilege. It is populist. But at the core, it tilts the balance between family and state in favour of the state. As I said originally, if the objective is to level the playing field, then make homeownership accessible and affordable by all. This is especially important as global populations rise and competition for land ownership increases.

    If Gareth Morgan wants to be the party of opportunities, then start by creating opportunity. To end poverty in this country, take a page out of 20th century history. At the end of WW-I, the winners made Germany pay by stripping Germany of its industrial capacity, starving the population and creating the fertile ground for Hitler. At the end of WW-II, the winners brought in the Marshall plan, providing the capital to build a national economy. The result was a prosperous society committed to peace.

    What would a Marshall Plan look like if it targeted the lower deciles in NZ? How could the power of government be used to enable all peoples in NZ to provide for their wellbeing?

    These are the questions the Opportunities Party should be asking, not how to devise new taxes that benefit the state bureaucracy, tax accountants and lawyers, and throw a bone to the passive investment class who will own these new rentals as home ownership becomes less affordable.
  • James Turnbull
    commented 2016-12-09 02:01:59 +1300
    Last para typo " 25% of people" should read “25% of children are living in poverty” … no one ever seems to quote a figure that includes their parents and carers.
  • James Turnbull
    commented 2016-12-09 01:59:40 +1300
    Claude … appreciate the feedback

    Computers don’t YET build houses … that takes tradies, builders, joiners, plumbers etc etc etc. It MAY be possible to build factories using robots to built standard houses with custom options ( think car factories ) but NZ doesn’t even have a car factory – the start up costs would be a huge barrier to entry unless ( heaven forbid) you suggest we also import our houses ?

    The electric drive train does indeed have some inherent advantages and for the foreseeable future the vehicle will NOT be being serviced by robots. The high capita cost of a robotic station is only justified by the high volume of units passing through it and the extreme precision of the output that is demanded. Apart from the fact that a robot works within extremely fine tolerances ( which would mean it would probably be defeated when it came across a corroded bolt or a stuck brake pad ) a service garage would have to be equipped with multiple robost to handle the number of service and repair tasks required. IF ( and as) we can’t even afford ONE car factory start up in NZ I’d suggest it;s unlikely that we could afford TWO ( one each N and S Island ) … unless of your course your thinking involves forming a single global motor manufacturer ? Otherwise you need one each for Ford, Toyota, NIssan … I don’t need to list all the competing car makers and each would need to fund at least one such robotically equipped service outlet. Then you have to consider the practicality … car breaks down / needs a service in Wellington … it has to go to AKL … at what cost for downtime, loss of use, transport and what do you imagine the lead time for booking in would be? Roadside breakdowns … you see a self driven AA Roadside truck arrive and a robot steps out and deals with the issues ? And even with much more reliable vehicles how many of these units will e required to service NZ and what would the wait time be?

    Robotic production lines by the way did NOT ‘dumb down jobs’ they led to the wholesale removal of large numbers of skilled and semi skilled manual workers and replaced them with a much lower number of extremely highly skilled robotics systems engineers and analysts. This of course puts the entire factory at risk … if one or two of those people should (say) die from food poisoning after eating the same the canteen food, or in a traffic accident on their way to work, or perhaps one has a grudge against the employer ( or a psychotic episode arising from lack of human social contact at work ) and throws an electronic spanner in the works ( few lines of destructive code in the transponder system perhaps ) In any of those examples and as many more as you might imagine a factory could be offline for days or weeks depending on the effectiveness of their sabotage. And, with JIT ( just in time) deliveries that would have catastrophic effects across an entire industry … can’t just stop a foundry by pressing a button and then restart it at will !

    Let’s go further … WoF stations manned by robots ?
    Robotic plumbers to fix leaks
    Robotic roofers ?
    Robotic electricians ?
    Robotic gardeners?

    I understand the Germanic obsession with efficiency … but I fear that you (and Oliver) are so personally obsessed with technology that you completely lost the plot!

    Repeat after me please …
    People are humans,
    Humans need to feel productive and involved in their own lives otherwise they grow depressed and may become insane.

    In the late 1970 ( perhaps before you were conceived – ( I’m guessing here ) we ( western nations) were promised that the dawn of the IT age would mean a simplification of life, a 4 or even 3 day working week and that increasing automation would lead to a stress free life. It was BS then and continues to be to this day. IF people had a 3 day working week many would work on self education … and properly educated people would very quickly see through the incompetence of politicians, economists, academics all of whom suck at the public purse and put absolutely nothing back into the system. As it is the social financial system is close to breaking down as few young people will have to support the aging population. Of course if previous Govts hadn’t stolen the money paid into super funds that’s a problem that might not have existed ?

    I note you make no mention of automating the political system … those jobs stay safe do they? And no mention or robotic academics, theorists, professors and robotic economists …

    PS … regarding calls to service people … I did in fact acknowledge that the internet can be used to source and contact service people. What I actually said was ‘WE DO NOT NEED stress on the word NEED ) THE INTERNET FOR THAT AS WE STILL HAVE TELEPHONES’ Thanks for that but I don’t actually need to be talked down at because you didn’t bother to read properly

    PPS … We currently ( and yes, here in in NZ) have a large number of people who are highly qualified ( Uni Grads and above ) who are flipping burgers and doing other menial tasks – perhaps the modern day equivalent to shining shoes and cleaning phone kiosks. I suppose that (in AKL especially) some of those people are also homeless and sleeping in cars or sofa surfing. They and those who are less educated, not to mention the physically or mentally impaired are already on the human scrapheap so far as having (or even hoping to have hopes and dreams ) These people as a group typically suffer more sickness and die younger… What’s the solution in your plan for those people … enforced euthanasia / eugenics / pre delivery scanning (by robots) and automated abortions to ensure only the intelligent survive ?

    WE do indeed need to be very smart … and I’d respectfully suggest that WE includes YOU.

    YOU probably are ‘living a very comfortable life’ and I myself do also … but y’know Claude, there’s 25% of the people in this country living poverty already and that might give you just the tiny inkling that we meed INCLUSIVE solutions.
  • Claude Lewenz
    commented 2016-12-08 23:53:15 +1300
    James Turnbull… Apprenticeships and Internships work and I fully agree with you about their importance. However, also realise many of the jobs will change radically as we automate. At one time we trained skilled labour; then we invented the assembly line and dumbed down the jobs. Now we will teach robots to do many complex tasks. <br><br>

    In fact, the Internet can build houses… or to be more precise, the Internet of things that involves a factory that will turn out dozens of houses per day… at $500 m2, and beautiful surfaces because 3D printing can produce unique ornament for each building. We don’t do it in NZ, but they do it in Germany.<br><br> Servicing cars? Have a look at Teslas and the first thing you find is how little their is to service when you eliminate the petrol power train. When they do need attention, the sensors and onboard computers do the diagnosis and soon the repairs may be done by robots. During the transition we need the trades you describe, but they will gradually go the way of people who shine shoes or cleaned telephone booths.

    As for calling service people on the phone, I still do, but it’s not how my daughter does it. She finds them on her laptop, books them on her tablet and pays them on her smart phone using online banking. She is part of a new generation that uses technology completely differently than her parents’ generation.<br><br>

    Jobs will change, and training for those jobs will change. What is important is to teach people how to adapt, how to connect the dots, so when new technology eliminates old jobs, the workers can figure out how to upskill for the new.
    If you want to look into the future, consider this. 25 years ago, there were 5.4 billion people on the planet. Today 7.4 billion, and we will hit 9 billion by 2040. We will need to be extremely smart if we want to live comfortable lives with so many people. Right now we are dealing with the symptoms, but not paying attention to the cause.
  • James Turnbull
    commented 2016-12-08 18:55:54 +1300
    Morgan L … trying very hard I can only wonder that you omitted the need to trade trades people – especially in an EQ nation such as ours I’d argue that it’s one of our most pressing needs and IMHO from looking at post war UK a proper apprenticeship system takes in young people who do not have ( nor need ) academic qualifications from school .. they need basics of numeracy and literacy and they need to be trained ‘on the job’ learning from ‘Standing next to Tommy and doing as Tommy shows him" Provide an on the job ’Log Book’ and record the achievement of specific tasks in the work place – there;s not even the need for college placements in most cases. Again, ref to postwar UK there was full employment and ‘tradesmen’ were created by that route. The brighter, more forward thinking apprentices would attend night classes to gain the theoretical knowledge that backed up the practical skills and it was those people who advanced more rapidly and further in their career becoming foremen, supervisors, managers and then often establishing their own buinesses in trade.

    The internet is but one tool … but it cannot build houses, service cars or mend leaks in pipes ! We don’t even NEED the internet to get most of our ‘local trade’ done … we still have telephones !

    Beer n pretzels have been mentioned a time or two since opening … you should have been invited in before that point … before the Theoretical Theorists from The Dept of Creative and Nominal Fictional Taxation took over !
  • Di Trower
    commented 2016-12-08 18:37:34 +1300
    I totally agree with all that the writer has said – I could not have said it better. Perhaps you should consider bringing him on board.
  • Di Trower
    tagged this with good 2016-12-08 18:37:33 +1300
  • James Turnbull
    commented 2016-12-08 18:21:25 +1300
    Morgan L … if you decide to found a political party I’m sure you’ll have a very loyal following very quickly
  • Jamie Brahm
    commented 2016-12-08 16:35:44 +1300
    We are about 4 years from austerity like greece, borrowing like a problem gambler at a casino, and your suggestion is the government spend more? Nope, nope, nope. You wanna introduce new costs, you’ll have to also come up with a way to actually pay for them.
  • Jamie Brahm
    tagged this with impractical 2016-12-08 16:35:43 +1300
  • Morgan L.
    commented 2016-12-08 00:09:13 +1300
    Hmmm, it seems that in making a posting the paragraph breaks are stripped out. Sorry about that. ML
  • Morgan L.
    published this page in How would you make New Zealand Fair Again? 2016-12-08 00:07:55 +1300