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Wayne Mapp’s forgetfulness

The Editor,  The Dom Post,  Wellington

03/08/2020

Former Minister of Defence Wayne Mapp’s answer when asked how he could forget mention of something as important as civilian casualties in an SAS Afghanistan report is bewildering. Read the rest of this entry »


Dave Armstrong satirically on WCC Library discussion

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

29/07/2020

Dave Armstrong’s satirical depiction of the Library conversation (28/07) at WCC as an argument over bikkies hits the mark.  Read the rest of this entry »


Virus ignorance has led to a major shakeup in NZ politics

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

17/07/2020

 

There was a similarity between the demise of the Nats’ Hamish Walker and that of Labour’s David Clark.  In both cases, they have been downed by a serious flaw in the approach to the virus by their respective party leaderships. Read the rest of this entry »


Labour needs a wealth tax

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

10/07/2020

The work of French economist Thomas Piketty, author of “Capital in the 21st Century”, has shown that to reduce inequality requires taxing high wealth (assets).  This is now mainstream thinking.  The Greens proposed tax on wealth in excess of 1M$ is a modest attempt to take advantage of this new realization.  There is still work to be done to determine what $$ thresholds should apply.

The description of this modest tax as a ‘far-left’ policy is laughable, but also provides a chance to look at an important indicator of “who we are” here in Aotearoa New Zealand.  A wealth tax is so main stream today that not to adopt this kind of tax indicates intent to increase inequality.  Is Labour still intending to characterize its government as ‘well-being’?  The adoption or not of some form of a wealth tax will be the main indicator of ‘who they are’ this election.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller

published Mon, 13/07


Email to Grant Robertson recommending David Slack’s recent article.

Grant Robertson

Minister of Finance

Hello Grant,

Did you see David Slack’s article this week?  I would recommend it to you as he speaks metaphorically about you and your long (to be, retrospectively as it was) career as finance minister.  It may seem unrealistic to extrapolate a continuous 25 year rein as Finance Minister in the context of New Zealand politics.  But the metaphor is applicable in the sense that the surrealistic denial which is characteristic of our present time, within your Labour government’s time, is bringing us to a time of critical decision making now.   Now!   Now will determine whether there can be much of a future, much of a real (non-surreal) future politics in New Zealand and the world.

Slack’s reference to the $30B (yes, ‘B’) which your government has yet to commit shows you have at least a chance to make decisions which can put us in the right direction.  Rod Oram has today mentioned three positive recent developments, not least of which is the closure of the Tiwai Aluminium smelter in the South.  Other opportunities exist and are necessary, such as….

.Funding transport options which trash the total domination of the personal motor car.

.funding a local recycling capability (which, because everyone has to put out the trash and recycling every week -every week!- would bring home the importance of personal national responsibility).

.developing restorative agriculture which would eliminate dairy farming based on feed lots, and encourage plant based diets as well.

There will be others.

Thanks,

Richard Keller

Wellington


Clark and Walker done in by ignored political party shortcomings

The Editor,  The Herald,  Auckland

09/07/2020

It seems there is one similarity between the demise of the Nats’ Hamish Walker and that of Labour’s David Clark.  In both cases, they have been downed by a serious flaw in the approach to the virus by their respective party leaderships. Read the rest of this entry »


Dave Armstrong on the Green’s wealth tax proposal hits the mark

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

02/07/2020

Another on the mark observation from Dave Armstrong Tuesday, highlighted and not distracted, by his usual satirical brilliance.  The reduction of inequality as an economic consequence of taxing high wealth (assets) has become mainstream knowledge today, especially from the work of French economist Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the 21st Century.

The description of the Greens modest tax on wealth in excess of 1M$ as a ‘far-left’ policy is laughable.  A wealth tax is so main stream today that to not adopt this tax indicates an intent to increase inequality.  The adoption of that policy or not by Labour will be the main indicator of ‘who they are’ this election.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller

 


Opposition (+) reveals impatience and shallowness, but government must take some responsibility for that

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

25/06/2020

It should be no surprize there are teething problems with the virus border control processes.  Read the rest of this entry »


“Military intelligence is an oxymoron”, especially in the virus world.

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

22/06/2020

“Military intelligence” is an oxymoron.  Read the rest of this entry »


Need to look at history dominated by ideology of exploitation

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington
06/06/2020

In America, blacks don’t dominate baseball the way they do gridiron or basketball; it seems strongly Latin at the top today. Read the rest of this entry »