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Tags Jacinda Ardern , New Zealand elections , New Zealand issues , New Zealand politics

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Old 14th October 2020, 07:25 PM   #1
The Atheist
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Jacinda Ardern - International Hero, Domestic Failure

Just to balance the scales a little - and since no NZ newspaper dare print anything negative about St Jacinda - I see several international news outlets have decided to put the spotlight on her failings.

She is feted worldwide for NZ's Covid response, which is a bit silly since all she did was follow the guidelines set by scientists, but in terms of action on NZ's other problems, she has been abysmal, failing on every metric.

Views from:

Australia

UK

I will note in her defence that several things she did try to do have been stymied by her coalition partners, so it's not entirely her fault.

She is about to cruise to an immense victory in our election, being held this Saturday, while her handbrake coalition partner is about to be unceremoniously dumped from Parliament, so there's some hope she will look to implement some genuine reform during this coming term.
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Old 14th October 2020, 07:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
She is feted worldwide for NZ's Covid response, which is a bit silly since all she did was follow the guidelines set by scientists,
If only the leaders of certain other countries had done the same, we might have had a better opinion of them too.

But was it just 'following the guidelines set by scientists'? The WHO are saying that lockdowns should not be the primary method of dealing to the virus, and leading scientists in some other countries advised disastrous policies such as putting the economy first or aiming for 'herd immunity'. Do you think she would have followed that advice?

Scientists can advise, but they don't have to make the political decisions - or take the flak for them. As Prime minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern had a heavy weight on her shoulders, and a tough choice to make. Few were brave enough to make the right choice, as she did.

Quote:
but in terms of action on NZ's other problems, she has been abysmal, failing on every metric.
Please enlighten a foreigner on what these other metrics are that 'she' has been abysmal and failing on.
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Old 14th October 2020, 08:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
But was it just 'following the guidelines set by scientists'? The WHO are saying that lockdowns should not be the primary method of dealing to the virus, and leading scientists in some other countries advised disastrous policies such as putting the economy first or aiming for 'herd immunity'. Do you think she would have followed that advice?
If that had been the consensus view of the scientists in her group, I'm sure she would have.

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Scientists can advise, but they don't have to make the political decisions - or take the flak for them. As Prime minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern had a heavy weight on her shoulders, and a tough choice to make. Few were brave enough to make the right choice, as she did.
I do give her credit for that, because if the other team had been in power, we'd be a mini-USA right now.

Hey, I voted for her, but not because she's a saint, but because she deserves a crack without the handbrake of the failed coalition partner.

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Please enlighten a foreigner on what these other metrics are that 'she' has been abysmal and failing on.
Poverty & housing are the two big ones, and well explained in the BBC article, particularly.
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Old 14th October 2020, 11:07 PM   #4
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Following scientists' consensus seems a very difficult thing to do, or at least rare, at least by politicians (and actual scientists too for that matter, look at that Tegnell guy).

I'm not very, read at all, informed about NZ politics, but I loved what she did with the terrorism thing, and now the Covid thing. Plus she's easy on the eyes. I'm a fan. (Yeah, I see what you mean about the international, read more or less superficially informed, support.)
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Old 14th October 2020, 11:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Just to balance the scales a little - and since no NZ newspaper dare print anything negative about St Jacinda - I see several international news outlets have decided to put the spotlight on her failings.

She is feted worldwide for NZ's Covid response, which is a bit silly since all she did was follow the guidelines set by scientists, but in terms of action on NZ's other problems, she has been abysmal, failing on every metric.

Views from:

Australia

UK

I will note in her defence that several things she did try to do have been stymied by her coalition partners, so it's not entirely her fault.

She is about to cruise to an immense victory in our election, being held this Saturday, while her handbrake coalition partner is about to be unceremoniously dumped from Parliament, so there's some hope she will look to implement some genuine reform during this coming term.
You cite the Australian. Thereís a paywall, but I wouldnít read it even if there wasnít. To call it a rag is an insult to pieces of cloth all around the world. If you are going to post an Aussie critique of Ardern, do better than the Australian.

Iím pretty much a news junkie (non Murdoch) but havenít seen any criticism of her at all.
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Old 14th October 2020, 11:58 PM   #6
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Yeah. I don't hate The Australian to quite the same degree lionking does as it's pretty much the only right-wing publication that isn't pure comedy value. It has higher editorial standards than the various tabloids also owned by News Corp for example.

However, it remains particularly biased in its presentation of facts a lot of the time and I wouldn't take its criticism of a politician from the 'wrong' party very seriously. I certainly wouldn't consider it a metric for Australian opinion.
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Old 15th October 2020, 12:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sceptic-PK View Post
Yeah. I don't hate The Australian to quite the same degree lionking does as it's pretty much the only right-wing publication that isn't pure comedy value. It has higher editorial standards than the various tabloids also owned by News Corp for example.

However, it remains particularly biased in its presentation of facts a lot of the time and I wouldn't take its criticism of a politician from the 'wrong' party very seriously. I certainly wouldn't consider it a metric for Australian opinion.
Yeah, well said. Certainly the Australian is miles away from the Herald Sun, and there was hyperbole in my post. But it still isnít a periodical of note.
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Old 15th October 2020, 01:12 AM   #8
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Without derailing this too much, the Australian quotes biased sources, draws outlandish inferences from those quotes and makes ridiculous conclusions. The Herald Sun skips most of that and simply makes **** up.
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Old 15th October 2020, 02:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
You cite the Australian.
That's why I included the BBC as well.
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Old 15th October 2020, 02:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Following scientists' consensus seems a very difficult thing to do, or at least rare, at least by politicians (and actual scientists too for that matter, look at that Tegnell guy).
We were very lucky in having world-class scientists who had actually thought about pandemics before February this year.

We were even luckier that several of them called for border restrictions early, and that they were listened to, against the advice of WHO.
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Old 15th October 2020, 02:17 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
That's why I included the BBC as well.
Iím still not greatly impressed by the superficial BBC report.

The plight of Maori and Pacifica people in NZ mirrors those of Australian aborigines. Billions have been thrown at the problem with some effect, but disadvantage remains. Money alone is not the solution and I donít know what is.

Interestingly many aboriginal activists are demanding a treaty to lead to better outcomes for their people. NZ shows that this is not the path to Nirvana.

In any case, itís a bit rich to hold Ardern responsible for a problem which has been around for, what? 150 years? More?
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Old 15th October 2020, 02:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
If that had been the consensus view of the scientists in her group, I'm sure she would have.
I wish the politicians in my country had been courageous enough to follow the scientific advice. I suspect we wouldn't be facing the possibility of a second lockdown.

Quote:
I do give her credit for that, because if the other team had been in power, we'd be a mini-USA right now.
I doubt that. New Zealand has the advantage of having few people in a large area. New York City has nearly twice the population of New Zealand all crammed into an area about one thirtieth of the size. Furthermore, New Zealand is not an international travel hub.

It's difficult to say how bad it would have been if Arden had not followed scientific advice, but it would have been nothing on the scale of the USA (in my opinion).
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Old 15th October 2020, 02:22 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jeremyp View Post


I doubt that. New Zealand has the advantage of having few people in a large area. New York City has nearly twice the population of New Zealand all crammed into an area about one thirtieth of the size. Furthermore, New Zealand is not an international travel hub.

It's difficult to say how bad it would have been if Arden had not followed scientific advice, but it would have been nothing on the scale of the USA (in my opinion).
I believe you are correct in general, but parts of the large cities are densely populated. There could have large per capita infection rates.
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Old 15th October 2020, 04:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Without derailing this too much, the Australian quotes biased sources, draws outlandish inferences from those quotes and makes ridiculous conclusions. The Herald Sun skips most of that and simply makes **** up.
So, Faux News then?
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Old 15th October 2020, 04:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
So, Faux News then?
Worse. They have Andrew Bolt.
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Old 15th October 2020, 04:39 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Without derailing this too much, the Australian quotes biased sources, draws outlandish inferences from those quotes and makes ridiculous conclusions. The Herald Sun skips most of that and simply makes **** up.
For sure. I haven't paid any attention to Arden or NZ politics generally, but the fact The Australian has gone after her tells me all I need to know about which party she leads.

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Old 15th October 2020, 11:56 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Worse. They have Andrew Bolt.
Oh, THAT Guy - the Bolt Report? The climate change denier? The guy who claims people in Europe are no longer dying from Covid 19?
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Old 15th October 2020, 12:20 PM   #18
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Behind paywall

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politi...CUC7EANLLO6XA/

OPINION

I never thought I'd hear a Labour Prime Minister promise no tax on wealth while she's in charge, but hold the line of banning cotton buds. In my normal universe, the Green party would be demanding a bottom line on those cotton buds, and Labour would be making no such promise.

They've entered the final week of campaigning implicitly promising to choose more inequality, not less.

Previously Jacinda Ardern ruled out taxing income gained from increases in the value of owning stuff like rental houses, shares or gold and diamonds....
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Old 15th October 2020, 12:23 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
In any case, itís a bit rich to hold Ardern responsible for a problem which has been around for, what? 150 years? More?
Nice cherry-picking of the irrelevant.

The important matters are the ones Jacinda promised to fix.

Housing: promised 100,000 new affordable homes in three years. Delivered 600.

Inequality: promised to fix it. Abject failure, with property prices up 11% in the past 12 months alone. Rents have increased at more than double the increase in wages.

Poverty: promised to fix it. Abject failure, with a greater number of children in poverty in 2020 than 2017.

Originally Posted by jeremyp View Post
It's difficult to say how bad it would have been if Arden had not followed scientific advice, but it would have been nothing on the scale of the USA (in my opinion).
New York, definitely not, but the rest of the country, I think we'd be right there.

We have an enormous population of vulnerable people and massive overcrowding among poor brown citizens. That's exactly why Jacinda listened to the experts - they're her voters and even she could work out that if 5% of them died they wouldn't be quite so keen.

(I'm being a bit facetious on the voters, I think she does personally care more for human lives than money. The fact that a massive clean-out of the poor and old would have solved all of NZ's economic and social problems is a minor distraction.)
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Old 15th October 2020, 01:47 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
Behind paywall

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politi...CUC7EANLLO6XA/

OPINION

I never thought I'd hear a Labour Prime Minister promise no tax on wealth while she's in charge, but hold the line of banning cotton buds. In my normal universe, the Green party would be demanding a bottom line on those cotton buds, and Labour would be making no such promise.

They've entered the final week of campaigning implicitly promising to choose more inequality, not less.

Previously Jacinda Ardern ruled out taxing income gained from increases in the value of owning stuff like rental houses, shares or gold and diamonds....
I am totally opposed to broad application of CGT, but I still voted for her because, well, I'm a lifelong Labour supporter, and partially because we don't need a female version of Trump running this country down.
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Old 15th October 2020, 02:01 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I am totally opposed to broad application of CGT, but I still voted for her because we don't need a female version of Trump running this country down.
It seems a bad name for a tax, but it is designed to have no impact on lifestyles, only a minor dent in the inheritance of those following. But the insatiable greed rampant in this country rules. Ardern complies. After all, she gets the family farm.
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Old 15th October 2020, 03:35 PM   #22
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What I hope is that Labour only gets <49% of the countable votes so they're forced to go to James Shaw.

Much as I despise the Greens, he would be crazy not to insist on a wealth tax as their price for going along. If he did that and Labour decline, we'd be up for a new election and I think all hell would break loose. National would be led by Luxon and Labour would be in danger of getting kicked out.

I reckon Collins is costing the Nats 5-10% of the vote right now.
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Old 15th October 2020, 03:45 PM   #23
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Nice piece here from a solidly left-leaning young woman writing in a solidly left-leaning NZ newspaper: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/pol...lmed-by-labour

She encapsulates the problems fairly well, without going too deeply into them.

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Well, we’d already been nursing a sense of quiet disappointment, quite distinct from the corona-coaster, about how some of the youth-friendly policy promises from last election have quietly shrivelled up. Namely light rail and KiwiBuild, which were once youth-vote superstars promising greener, more accessible cities, filled with affordable houses we could really buy.
I failed to mention the light rail debacle.

If there hadn't been Covid, those things would have seen Jacinda on the Opposition benches next week, I'm quite sure.
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Old 15th October 2020, 04:50 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
It seems a bad name for a tax, but it is designed to have no impact on lifestyles, only a minor dent in the inheritance of those following. But the insatiable greed rampant in this country rules. Ardern complies. After all, she gets the family farm.

Minor impact? That's rubbish?

There are cases where a farm might not be able to be passed from father to sons because the CGT would be so onerous, the sons would not be able to afford to pay the tax, and the farm would have to be sold. The impact of this is huge on the families involved.

This happened back in the day with death duties, and it would happen again with CGT. I am totally against the idea of taxes on unrealised gains, in other words, tax on capital gains should only be payable at the time the farm or house is sold (not when it changes hands within) a family, and not because its estimated value has increased.

But this is a discussion for another thread.
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Old 15th October 2020, 05:04 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Minor impact? That's rubbish?

There are cases where a farm might not be able to be passed from father to sons because the CGT would be so onerous, the sons would not be able to afford to pay the tax, and the farm would have to be sold. The impact of this is huge on the families involved.

This happened back in the day with death duties, and it would happen again with CGT. I am totally against the idea of taxes on unrealised gains, in other words, tax on capital gains should only be payable at the time the farm or house is sold (not when it changes hands within) a family, and not because its estimated value has increased.

But this is a discussion for another thread.
I don't thing CGT is off topic. Anyway, we have had CGT in Australia for a long time (homes excluded) and the sky hasn't fallen. People who earn an income digging ditches pay tax on their earnings. I think it's totally fair that people who earn income from selling shares and other assets should also pay tax.
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Old 15th October 2020, 05:13 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I don't thing CGT is off topic. Anyway, we have had CGT in Australia for a long time (homes excluded) and the sky hasn't fallen. People who earn an income digging ditches pay tax on their earnings. I think it's totally fair that people who earn income from selling shares and other assets should also pay tax.
That's how it is in the US. The terminology varies depending on whether you're earning income from your labor, or realizing gains from investment of capital, but the basic principle is the same: No matter where your money comes in from, the taxman gets a cut.
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Old 15th October 2020, 05:14 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Minor impact? That's rubbish?

There are cases where a farm might not be able to be passed from father to sons because the CGT would be so onerous, the sons would not be able to afford to pay the tax, and the farm would have to be sold. The impact of this is huge on the families involved.
Maybe it's time to rethink the entire concept of inheritance. Maybe one's possessions should revert to the state, or to the highest bidder, when one dies. Don't you think it's kind of weird that someone can make a decision about wealth they no longer possess, that's binding after they die and no longer possess it?
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Old 15th October 2020, 05:39 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Maybe it's time to rethink the entire concept of inheritance. Maybe one's possessions should revert to the state, or to the highest bidder, when one dies. Don't you think it's kind of weird that someone can make a decision about wealth they no longer possess, that's binding after they die and no longer possess it?
Nope, not at all. For mine, that is normal.

I would find it weird (and unacceptable) if I were NOT to be allowed to determine who I give my material possessions to.
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Old 15th October 2020, 05:48 PM   #29
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Yeah, but they're not really yours, are they? After you die? A dead person's estate isn't a person.
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Old 15th October 2020, 05:52 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I don't thing CGT is off topic. Anyway, we have had CGT in Australia for a long time (homes excluded) and the sky hasn't fallen. People who earn an income digging ditches pay tax on their earnings. I think it's totally fair that people who earn income from selling shares and other assets should also pay tax.
That's why I said I object to the broad application of CGT.

I have no problem with people who sell shares or material things such as rental properties, paying tax on their gains. What I object to tax on unrealized gains, in other words, the government being allowed to speculate on what your property is worth, and then taxing you on that when you actually haven't actually received that money.
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Old 15th October 2020, 05:56 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Yeah, but they're not really yours, are they? After you die? A dead person's estate isn't a person.




Its a legal entity. Your instructions to your executor have legal weight, and they survive your death.
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Old 15th October 2020, 06:11 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
[/b]


Its a legal entity. Your instructions to your executor have legal weight, and they survive your death.
And that doesn't seem even a little bit weird to you? The dead having binding opinions on the affairs of the living?

Do you object to the concept of corporate personhood? But corporations are at least composed of living human beings.

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Old 15th October 2020, 06:37 PM   #33
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I still can't help wondering what the reaction would have been if Trump had postponed the election for a few months due to a spike in the coronavirus cases.
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Old 15th October 2020, 06:54 PM   #34
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That's an interesting side discussion. I realize this is subjective, nor am I well informed about inheritance law globally, but I think what some of the super super rich have done is good: keep aside a portion large enough that you and your dependents can live on in comfort not ostentatious jetsetting luxury, and hand over the rest to charity.

I think it's obscene to inherit unearned palaces and harems and eunuchs and coffers full of gold coins, and also inequitous to earn all of that and still have your sons and daughters have to go sweating their backside off simply to eat. The golden mean, is my view.

I realize this is subjective, both the very principle, as well as the measure of that mean. I suggest the greater of an averagely comfortable living and a small percentage say 5% of one's estate.

No offense to people posting on this, but this is a discussion I find interesting, even if I don't have much by way of well informed content to contribute myself, and rather than have these OT posts consigned to AAH I'd like to have them branched into a separate live thread. So I'm reporting my own post, the Mods can cut it off, if they so choose, at whichever point they think is apt.
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Old 15th October 2020, 07:14 PM   #35
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Consider the flip side, though. The palaces were earned.

You don't begrudge the birthday boy his cake because he didn't go out and earn it himself. If inheritances has value for you, then "earning" cannot.
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Old 15th October 2020, 07:18 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
I still can't help wondering what the reaction would have been if Trump had postponed the election for a few months due to a spike in the coronavirus cases.
First off, it was a couple of weeks, not a couple of months.

Secondly, she's allowed to do it and Trump isn't, so there's no comparison at all.

Third, it was a sensible option. As it happened, the election needn't have been delayed, but the country is overwhelmingly in favour of keeping Covid out of the community and there was some danger at the time.
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Old 15th October 2020, 07:34 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
The important matters are the ones Jacinda promised to fix.

Housing: promised 100,000 new affordable homes in three years. Delivered
600.
Funny how time flies, I could have sworn we were still in 2020!

KiwiBuild
Quote:
KiwiBuild is a real estate development scheme pursued by the Sixth Labour Government of New Zealand. It began in 2018, with the aim of building 100,000 homes by 2028 to increase housing affordability in New Zealand...

The KiwiBuild scheme was first announced as Labour Party policy in 2012 by then leader David Shearer. The policy survived as party policy under all his successors and was a prominent feature of Labour's 2014 election campaign.


Originally Posted by The Atheist
Inequality: promised to fix it. Abject failure, with property prices up 11% in the past 12 months alone. Rents have increased at more than double the increase in wages.
Inequality = rent prices, got it.

New Zealand Average Hourly Wages
6/2019 32.42
6/2020 33.37
change +2.93%

Infoshare: CPI Monthly Rents
9/2019 1475
9/2020 1523
change +3.25%

Hardly 'double'. In fact there is less than 1% difference between rent and wage increases.

Quote:
Poverty: promised to fix it. Abject failure, with a greater number of children in poverty in 2020 than 2017.
The Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018 passed on Dec 20 2018, setting 3 year and 10 year goals. Expecting a 'fix' for such an intractable problem less than 2 years in (including a worldwide pandemic) is a bit too much to ask for IMO.

But let's take a look at those child poverty statistics:- are they really getting worse as you imply?

Quote:
Key facts
For the 2018/19 financial year:

- rates of low-income have generally declined from 2017/18, but most of these decreases are not statistically significant

- material hardship rates show no significant change from 2017/18 to 2018/19
"But" you say, "she promised to 'fix' it!". If New Zealand has a long-standing poverty problem, is that the fault of the current government (which has been in power for less than 4 years) or the previous one which spent 9 years selling off state housing, bribing wealthier voters with tax cuts and hoping that 'trickle down' would do the trick? Would you choose the party with a proven record of abject failure rather than the one that might be starting to make a difference?

Quote:
We have an enormous population of vulnerable people and massive overcrowding among poor brown citizens. That's exactly why Jacinda listened to the experts - they're her voters and even she could work out that if 5% of them died they wouldn't be quite so keen.
Deplorable. Anything to win an argument, eh?

Quote:
I think she does personally care more for human lives than money. The fact that a massive clean-out of the poor and old would have solved all of NZ's economic and social problems is a minor distraction.
Jacinda Ardern is an abject failure for not pursuing a policy of Social cleansing, got it. That idea is quite obnoxious, especially to someone who has been poor and will soon be old. But hey, I guess it would be an economic paradise for the well-to-do - until they wanted a job done cheaply or were looking to retire.

So I hope you are joking. But when the choice is between a leader and party that genuinely cares more for human lives than money, and one that does the opposite, I would not joke about it lightly. Don't make the same mistake we did. Too many democrats whined about Hillary being a 'terrible candidate', then acted surprised when she lost to Trump.

Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. And don't call out 'abject failure' on policies that haven't had time to be effective. Poverty isn't something you can fix overnight - even by killing people. Expecting a quick fix is one of the worst political attitudes. It replaces effective action with wildly oscillating policies that never get anywhere because people are too impatient. No policy is perfect, and adjustments must be made to improve it as flaws become apparent. But one thing is for sure, genuinely caring more for human lives than money generally leads to a better result for people - which is what really matters.
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Old 15th October 2020, 07:44 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Consider the flip side, though. The palaces were earned.

You don't begrudge the birthday boy his cake because he didn't go out and earn it himself. If inheritances has value for you, then "earning" cannot.

That was my thinking. That daddy's sweat does go to give birthday boy his cake; but not a super luxury jetsetting lifestyle funded by the profits (or sale proceeds) of a cake factory or a whole multi-unit cake empire.

And as for bequeathing the running of the factory or the factory chain, that, if we separate out that aspect of it, then this should be a purely business decision. Let the son be the next CEO if he's the best man to run it, as well he may be having received daddy's tutelage and genes; and not if not. Family and blood ties should not matter in influencing the business aspect of the decision.
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Old 15th October 2020, 08:53 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
First off, it was a couple of weeks, not a couple of months.

Secondly, she's allowed to do it and Trump isn't, so there's no comparison at all.

Third, it was a sensible option. As it happened, the election needn't have been delayed, but the country is overwhelmingly in favour of keeping Covid out of the community and there was some danger at the time.
Fourth, all five parties and the Independent MP in Parliament agreed the election needed to be postponed
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Old 15th October 2020, 09:00 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
That was my thinking. That daddy's sweat does go to give birthday boy his cake; but not a super luxury jetsetting lifestyle funded by the profits (or sale proceeds) of a cake factory or a whole multi-unit cake empire.

And as for bequeathing the running of the factory or the factory chain, that, if we separate out that aspect of it, then this should be a purely business decision. Let the son be the next CEO if he's the best man to run it, as well he may be having received daddy's tutelage and genes; and not if not. Family and blood ties should not matter in influencing the business aspect of the decision.
In almost all the cases I am talking about here, NZ Farmers, the farm has been run by the family. The wife, the sons and the daughters have worked the farm since they were old enough to drive a tractor (in NZ, that is 12 years old). It is manifestly obscene that on the death of their father, these young folk who have been working the farm for 20, 30, perhaps even 40 years, have the government come along and steal 1/3 of the capital gain on that farm.
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