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Showing posts from 2019

NZ dilemma as US empire disintegrates and China dominates.

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The United States of America is undergoing a a gradual decline as the leading developed nation. It once dominated the world with its culture, global franchises and political and military interventions, however, fewer now wish to emulate the ultimate consumer society and celebration of capitalism. Greed has proved to be an unsustainable vision and the wheels are falling off.

The so called "Champion of the Free World" is finding itself increasingly isolated as the free world moves on without it. The multilateral systems that the US often dominated to support its own interests (Nato, the United Nations and free trade agreements) are being abandoned for the pursuit of simple nationalism. The US no longer provides leadership for two major issues that currently confront the world, climate change and the increasing numbers of displaced people (there are currently around 20 million refugees - the most since World War Two). President Donald Trump's rejection of climate science a…

A Green New Deal for Aotearoa

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has caused much angst amongst many conservative republicans in the US by promoting a Green New Deal (GND). The deal is attractive to progressives and those on the left because it is a package or political manifesto that encapsulates the environmental and social goals that many feel are essential to shift to a sustainable and fair economy. Republicans have labeled it a "Socialist Manifesto" and emotively suggest that it will destroy America.

The key elements of the GND are:
A ten year mobilisation plan.Building resiliency against climate change-related disasters.Meeting energy demands with clean, renewable zero-emission energy sources.Expanding energy efficiency and access to power.working with farmers to cut emissions.Overhaul the transport sector with electric vehicles, public transportation and high-speed rail.Planting forests to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.Fair pay and improved working conditions.Universal, high-quality healthcare.…

Fair pay will not destroy the economy

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One would think the proposal to advance fair pay via industry standards will mean the end of the world when reading some commentators. The angst from many employers is predictable when the normal state of employment affairs for the last thirty years or so has heavily favoured them. The adjustment period will be a fraught one until a new and fairer normal is established.

The main arguments against what is being proposed can be easily rebutted:

1) Many businesses have low profit margins and raising wages will be unaffordable. 

Although New Zealand productivity is low, wages have not kept up with productivity gains. When productivity and profits have increased few businesses have shared gains with their employees and there has been an increase in the percentage of profits that goes to shareholders and management and a decrease in what is passed on to employees.



This has been an international trend that has also happened here. New Zealand has had the fastest growth of income inequality in …

The US is actually unique for not valuing life!

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"...that’s what sets America apart from every other country; we value life. That is what makes us unique.” - Sarah Sanders

There is a high level of delusion operating in the White House. The stream of mistruths that come out of President Trump and Sarah Sanders' mouths are clearly blatant lies but millions of US citizens believe them. With daily diets of Fox News and living in a very insular culture, there is little that challenges these false perceptions of US "greatness". 

When comparing the United States of America with most other developed nations it becomes clear that it probably places less value on life than most and doesn't compare well with many developing countries too:

If the US really valued life then it would abolish the death penalty, it is the only Western Country that executes people under law (23 people were executed in 2018). If the US really valued life then it would have an equitable and universal health care system. The current system is consid…