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A Rising Tide Lifts all Boats

A Rising Tide Lifts all Boats

Having a stated goal to, "where possible, strive to deliver change and policy which benefits all, equally." (or similar) would be worthwhile. If everyone benefits from the change, it is hard to argue against that change, or the fairness of that change. It is also easier to unite behind the change as a country. Done properly, the change would benefit those with the greatest need the most. Perhaps also helping to resolve larger structural issues which have created the need / problem in the first place. Of course, there will always been a need for targeted policies to help the few, as these can bring quick results to those in the greatest need (eg: earthquake recovery). I think that most/all targeted policies should have an aspirational expiry date, where, hopefully, by set-date, a long-term "rising tide lifts all boats" solution will be working and in-place, thereby removing the need for the targeted policy.

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    • Nathan Shaw
      commented 2016-11-25 13:56:50 +1300
      True David, it is airy fairy. I’ve found that aspirational goals are often airy-fairy. But I agree with you, that the best ones are not. Perhaps someone better with words than myself could fix that!?

      Let me expand more to help explain what I was trying to convey.

      Gareth Morgan’s “flat tax” concept, perhaps, with a set tax-free income, is a policy which lifts all “boats” equally. It doesn’t matter whether you earn $1m / year or $50k per year, you’d get the same tax-free benefit. But the person on the lower income would benefit to a greater degree. I would argue that this is good policy.

      Some people here have suggested a Universal Basic Income (UBI). That policy would help all equally, again. It would also benefit those with the greatest need the most. A UBI, in my option, has the makings of ‘good’ policy.

      In contrast, Labour’s recent policy announcement to “write off student loan debt for tertiary graduates who fill certain public service jobs, such as teaching in areas outside the main cities” is a targeted policy, one which I suggest above, is not good policy. One could argue that a UBI would greatly reduce the amount students need to borrow on their loans in the first place, thereby eliminating the need for Labour’s targeted “student load write-off” policy, that would help a limited number of people, and only if multiple conditions were met.
    • David Johnston
      commented 2016-11-25 13:14:33 +1300
      This is pretty vague and airy fairy.
    • David Johnston
      tagged this with dislike 2016-11-25 13:14:33 +1300
    • Nathan Shaw
      published this page in Suggestions 2016-11-25 13:13:20 +1300