The Editor, The Sunday Star-Times, Auckland
14 May, 2018
The hypocrisy of the USA and Israel is staggering in their attitude toward the Iran nuclear deal. To singularly use language like ‘terrorist nation’ covers up fundamental nuclear weapon realities. Read the rest of this entry »
The Editor, The Cook Strait News, Wellington
23 April, 2018
I was pleased to see all of the people interviewed last week approve of the light rail option for Wellington; extraordinary consistency. Any clues why?
Was it because they were all female? Was it because they were all young(ish)? Was it because they were all from the eastern suburbs?
It is useful to note the Wellington Regional Council has majority representation from the northern (near and far) reaches of the region and usually make major decisions for Wellington city transport which go against majority Wellington central and southern constituent choices. For a long while there has been a slow burn up there against Wellington because it lies between them and the airport. Flyovers and tunnels for cars has become their preferred punishment for us.
17 May, 2018
Warden Charles L Lockett, USP Coleman I
PO Box 1023, Coleman, Florida
Hello Warden Lockett:
Prisoner Leonard Peltier deserves timely and quality healthcare as any person would. I understand that at FCI Coleman he is experiencing difficulties in receiving such care for an enlarged prostate and also knee and hip problems, perhaps exacerbated by age and 40 years of imprisonment.
You should insure that Mr. Peltier receives the health care he needs. It would also be appropriate to move Mr. Peltier closer to his home in the Dakotas.
What is the future of Tax?
The world is changing. The Post Truth Era is main stream here in New Zealand and around the civilized world. Forty years ago there was a rising understanding that human cultures were destroying the ‘environment’ (‘ecosystem’ is a new and better word). It became understood that human culture must recognize that it was part of the ecosystem, not separate and superior to it. The changes required to reconnect with the planet also came to be seen as fundamental and terrifying. Those four decades have been dedicated to trying to ignore that. In fact, those who’s ideology was that human’s proper role was domination realized this was their last chance. Those persons or constructs (e.g. corporation) most capable of accumulating vast wealth would be encouraged and inequality would be increased. Neoliberalism became the preferred system to accomplish that and its tax workings need to be examined in that light. Piketty more recently did the analysis of what was actually happening.
We must be careful about comparisons with other countries. There is disconnect widely across the globe about human culture’s place in the planetary ecosystem. Tax systems must be seen in a new light. Money systems must be seen is a new light. It seems incredible to me that such a fundamental thing as money creation is left to large private profit making organizations (banks). Money should be kept as a medium of exchange and not be something that can be owned, traded, and rented (interest).
Tax then needs to focus on controlling impulses to accumulate and dominate and on encouraging health of the ecosphere.
What is the Purpose of Tax?
As wealth has been used to further the ideology of dominance (planetary ecosystem, class in human relationships, etc) and increased inequality, wealth must be a strong focus of tax. (Capital gain could be a part of that, focusing on difference from a norm which is based on balancing negative impacts and enhancing impacts on the planet.)
Tax cannot be separated from other aspects of human relationships, government, etc. Once those fundamental changes are accomplished then the tax environment will look different.
Can housing affordability be increased through tax?
Housing has become a primary means to increase inequality in New Zealand. Progress will come from a change in attitude toward productive soils and land use as that reflects the most primary exploitative attitude. (see previous comments) More modest housing models could result. Fewer people would be desirable. The whole philosophy of exploitation in human relationships must be rejected and resulting changes in attitude toward money would take power from the profiteer approach of banks.
Wealth in the form of land ownership and assets needs to be taxed, especially idle housing properties. Capital gains tax would work in this context.
My most important ?
The phrase “protecting the environment” doesn’t really capture it. Living realistically and healthily within the ecosphere does it better. See my earlier comments to see how this needs to be seen. Many other impacts would flow on to the other priorities you mention here.
The approach to retirement is another crucial factor. Kiwi Saver has primarily been an attempt to discredit National Super while creating winners and losers through the ‘market’, thus increasing inequality.
Wealth in the form of shares is a way to use productive activities to produce wealth which is not productive and should be heavily taxed.
18 April 2018
Taranaki Daily News
PO Box 444
New Plymouth 4340
New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom says not granting off-shore oil exploration licences was ‘a kick in the stomach’. Why is there such surprize evident in those words? Where has he been? Read the rest of this entry »
The Editor, The Dominion Post, Wellington
31 March, 2018
The growth in post office closures is a failure of public policy but a neo-liberal success. Read the rest of this entry »
The Editor, The Cook Strait News, Wellington
26 March, 2018
At the Kilbirnie Festival (11 March) I took the opportunity to test ride in the new battery buses. The ride seemed uncomfortable and I had trouble staying in my seat while cornering. Read the rest of this entry »