Archive for January, 2012

Prime Minister John Key has proposed removing a treaty clause in the State Owned Enterprises Act 1986 that stipulates “the Crown cannot act in a manner that is inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.” This was foolish window-dressing added by a Labour Government eager to kiss up to the Ratana church and keep Maori as a natural constituency when Government departments were being reformed as state owned businesses. The Maori party is using this as an opportunity to show their voting base that they are committed to Maori interests while still being able to enjoy the baubles of power. I highly doubt they will go far enough to bring about a cut in their own salaries.

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says that her party is prepared to split with National to ensure the Treaty clause still exists. No doubt National will enter into some compromise negotiations to keep the Maori party on side for reasons I don’t understand. National has a working majority. National isn’t going to lose any votes from a break with the Maori party. Act and United Future aren’t going to go into opposition. When the Maori party leadership changes I doubt they will be as supportive of National as they are now, whatever the outcome of this current debacle.

I support National’s proposal to remove the Treaty clause from the State Owned Enterprises legislation. While it has been largely a collection of balloons and streamers for Maori up until now, there is no doubt that the clause could be cause for concern for a potential buyer of the assets and would have a serious impact on what sort of price the Government could attract from privatisation.

However, in my opinion, the simple removal of a Treaty clause from one piece of legislation is not enough. I think the entire Treaty of Waitangi should be removed from all areas of law and from its current pedestal as a ‘constitutional’ document of New Zealand. New Zealand has never had a true constitution; I think it is time that changed.

A constitution of New Zealand should be based on the principles of freedom, like the US constitution, instead of the pirnciples of racial division like we currently have. It should restrain the power of the Government, instead of turning it into a gravy train. A consititutionally limited Government should restrict itself to the protection of individual liberty, instead of granting privledges to racial interest groups.

Unfortunately, the National party doesn’t even have the mettle to abolish the disgustingly racist Maori seats, and therefore solve te problem of the Maori party, so there is no chance they will take this radically necessary step. Act New Zealand is more interested in tagging along behind “Brand Key” like a stray dog than properly standing on the principles they claim to espouse. Currently there is no credible political force willing to trash the 170 year old aparthied rag and fight for a founding document based on individual rights and liberty.

Hopefully someone reading this post agrees that it is time for our current perilous condition to change…

 

Here is a fantastic example of what I think could be a consititution of New Zealand: http://freeradical.co.nz/content/constitution/preamble.php

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Key Dampens Surplus Expectations

Posted: January 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

Here is something that not only does not surprise me, but I actually said would happen before the election. The Government’s ridiculously optimistic plans to return the books to surplus by 2014/15 have received a dampening by the Prime Minister in his latest ‘state of the nation’ speech. While at this stage National still expects us to return to surplus by 2014/15, their projections have been slashed by $1 billion. The surplus is now expected to be around $500 million and the European crisis is to blame.

On November 4, I issued a press release on the deficit ( http://www.solopassion.com/node/8709 ) saying that we will most certainly not return to surplus by the time of the Government’s target. I said, “The Labour and National parties both lack rely on notoriously optimistic Treasury figures to justify maintaining their unsustainable levels of spending while claiming we will be back to surplus in three years. By the time three years is up, whoever is in power, the Government will have another excuse for failing to rein in the deficit and voters will allow themselves to be duped again.” This is exactly what is now happenning. The Government, instead of making the radical reforms necessary to get the book back in shape, it continuing with business as usual and using foreign excuses to justify their failure to manage their books properly. I confidently predict again, that as we get closer to the target date, surplus projections will become more pessimistic, to the point of an expectation of further deficits.

The problem is that our Government still believes that the state can sustain its current functions and that with a bit of careful management we can continue to do what we have always done. I completely disagree. Government as we have always dfone it is completely unsustainable and we need to totally reform the way it works. The role of the state must change from one of taxer, regulator and welfarist to a state that protects the liberty of the individual and nothing more. In November I proposed that the only way to return to budget surplus and kickstart the economy would be through cuts in taxation,much bigger cuts in spending and a total reassessment of what it is the Government does. It would seem that the National government is determined to prove me right.

Told you so doesn’t feel so great when the future of the country is at stake.

The sale of 16 Crafar farms has been a long, drawn out controversial issue for some time now. China’s Shanghai Pengxin has made the highest bid for the purchase of the farms but for some reason, this isn’t enough. A consortium lead by Michael Fay has made a bid $30 million less than what the Chinese offered and may end up being successful because of the xenophobic restrictions on land sales currently in place.

Because the owner of the farms wishes to sell them to a foreigner, he must first get permission from a couple of National Government leeches to engage in a willing exchange between two parties. Why? Well, I really can’t tell you why because it makes no sense to me. One party wants to sell the land. Another party wants to buy the land. What is the problem? Why is it the Government’s business? Why is a phobia of foreign ownership so common in this country?

Those who are anti-foreign ownership should go an experience the prosperity of countries which have none, like North Korea. I think that, far more dangerous than the idea ofmillions of dollars of capital being invested, is the idea of crawling to the Government for permission to sell your land. What is dangerous is having to accept a $30 million lower bid because the Government won’t permit you to enter into a consenting trade with another party.

I say that the restrictions on foreign ownership should be eliminated. The rewards of new investment will rain down upon us, especially if enticed by a slashing of goverbnment spending and taxation.

The Labour party has today issued a press release demanding that housing be more affordable. That’s it though. No ideas. No proposals. Just an attack on Hugh Pavletich, co-author of a survey on housing affordability, with no alternatives suggested. What else can we expect from the dying party of socialism? Their methods have artificially inflated housing prices and the only options left run counter to their intellectually bankrupt philosophy.

The very simple proposal made by Pavletich, and attacked by Labour, is that the Auckland urban/rural boundary be eliminated. Instead of using the force of the state to restrict the building of homes within an artificial boundary, private property owners be left to regain their sovereignty over their own land and build what they wish. It is clear that the house pricing bubble is caused by Government regulation and the solution is the free market. Labour has no solutions to offer because they cannot stomach the ideas of freedom.

Labour’s Auckland Issues “Spokesperson” however is right on the money when he suggests interest rates have something to do with the speculation in housing that drives up the price. However he doesn’t suggest any options for addressing this problem. If he had a couple of brass balls the solution would be obvious. We should take away the power of the Reserve Bank to determine interest rates. It is a rare politician these days who would suggest price controls, but what the Reserve Bank does with interest rates is exactly that! The Reserve Bank uses its powers to set a floor for the level of interest charged by lenders and this in turn distorts the economy. When interest rates are artificially low, borrowing to invest in housing becomes more affordable and drives up the price of houses. If Twyford is economically literate to realise this then he is typically dishonest for not saying it.

When I stood for Parliament in Tamaki in 2011, I put forward four simple proposals to fix the problem of unaffordable housing.

1) Abolish the Resource Management Act and Council regulatory practices. Having to jump through hurdles, crawl for permission and fight heritage activists through court to make simple alterations or subdivide your own land can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Developers take this into account when they calculate housing investments. They pass the costs on to purchasers. Politicians and blood sucking bereaucrats get a power induced jolly; you get screwed in the wallet. An artificial limit on development enforced by a council reduces the amount of land available for development. Demand vs. forcibly reduced supply is a simple equation for high school economics students: the price goes up!

2) Make all forms of investment tax neutral. Labour sought to do this with their 2011 capital gains tax policy. Unfortunately, in usual big government fashion, they did it the wrong way. They claimed, probably correctly, that one of the reasons investment was attracted to housing and driving up the price, is because most forms of investment are taxed while housing isn’t. So their proposal was to tax income made from housing sales too. Of course adding a new tax wouldn’t work because it would increase the price a seller would need to get to make a sale worthwhile. Adding a capital gains tax would actually drive housing prices up further! I proposed the opposite concept – abolish taxation on all other forms of investment. There is absolutely no doubt what sort of effect this would have on housing prices and the economy in general. Not only would investment  move away from the housing sector, causing prices to drop, but as investing in any area became more profitibale it would be done more often. We would be the prosperous exception to the economic stagnation that affects countries all around the world.

3) Slash the functions of local government. The crippling rates Auckland City Council charges its ‘tenants’ don’t even cover the activities of the council, which recently voted itself another increase in its debt ceiling for the second time in twelve months. The council debates declaring itself a city of peace, funds public libraries, public parks, unpopular forms of music such as the Auckland Philharmonic, unprofitable transport and a myriad of other activities that the spinning of the world doesn’t really depend upon. Council should get back to the basics. Make sure the rubbish gets taken away; ensure our sewerage is treated and any other essentials the functioning of the city really depends upon. Thats it! Council debt would come down, rates would come down and the cost of owning your home would drop in turn.

4) Sell the Housing New Zealand state house system. Figures I obtained from Housing NZ show that the total value of all homes owned by the government department is $15.1 billion. That is huge! That amount would cover the government’s deficit for one year without any spending cuts at all (though I’m not suggesting for a second that we don’t cut spending). Basic economics tells us what would happen if the housing market suddenly had a supply of $15.1 billion worth of houses on the market. The sudden increase in supply would dramatically drop housing prices across the board, allowing young couples and families the opportunity to truly afford their own home instead of being tenants of the state. This final proposal however, would only have temporary benefit without following the other three as well.

Following the general election, I came to realise the voters of Tamaki aren’t ready for this message, but that doesn’t make it any less right. The basic fundamentals are clear. More freedom and less government means a drop in housing prices. More of the same means nothing will change.

Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer has launched a blistering attack on property rights with his demand that Auckland City Council adopt “urgent” regulations on small owner operated brothels. Brewer says, “If we can put the squeeze on outdoor smoking, surely we can gett tougher on suburban brothels?” Clearly Mr. Brewer you have already thrown in the towel against George Wood’s oppression of smokers and are using that as a justification for your attack on property rights.

Brewer states in his press release, “Currently small brothels just need to prove there’s no brothel keeper and that they’re independent operators retaining full control of their earnings. So basically four prostitutes under one roof can do what they want day and night and there’s no real regulation or need for a licence. It’s quite outrageous, given SOOBs are the ones causing the greatest problems for many communities.” What I think is outrageous is that Cameron Brewer thinks it is actually his business what people do under their own roof. Whether it be four prostitutes earning a living or one couple having sex for free is none of his business whatsoever! This desire to regulate small owner operated brothels out of existence is just the tip of the iceberg. It reveals a sinister desire on the part of the councillor to make the government the supreme decider on what you do in your home, not the owner of the property themselves.

We should count ourselves fortunate that the actions of this council are currently restricted by central government legislation as Councillor Brewer makes quite clear that he would like to force brothels out of residential areas were he able to. Instead he has to satisfy himself with attempts to restrict the locations of brothels away from such places a churches. I cannot understand why he feels that those with irrational beliefs deserve protection from property rights and liberty. Why can’t I have an exclusion zone that keeps churches away from my house? Like brothels, churches make noise at annoying times of the day (i.e. Sunday morning) and the activities that go on inside them are most certainly offensive.

Other restrictions that Brewer would like to introduce would ensure that brothels cannot be “incompatible with an area’s character.” This is the same sort of tynrannical collectivist reasoning that results in dictatorial heritage restrictions and allow interfering community minded busy bodies to ramp up thousands of dollars in legal bills so people can make alterations to their own home.

One of the fundamental concepts that guarantee the rights of the individual are property rights. The right to do what you wish with your own body without violating the rights of others is inextricably linked with the right to do what you wish on your own property with the same proviso. Such concepts are completely foreign to Brewer who chooses to keep his advocacy to ideas such as corporate welfare and general populist wowserism.

In 2013 the Auckland City Council needs candidates standing for election who do understand what liberty really is and will advance policies which minimise the Council’s relentless writing of regulations. Cameron Brewer is not that person. I wonder who will be?

 

Brewer’s press release: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1201/S00080/residential-brothels-need-urgent-regulation.htm

Vice Under Attack!

Posted: January 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

The insidious intrusion into our personal habits at the behest of the Auckland City Council is being joined by the evil Catholic church and freedom hating health experts. All have one thing in common; a desire to use the state to regulate our lives and a genuine hatred of individual liberty. I say it is time for free individuals to stand up and fight back while you can. The suffocating blob of ignorance is demanding more chains and more fascism.

Following calls by failed Mayor George Wood, a NZ Herald poll shows a majority of internet participants support a ban on smoking outdoors in the central city. It isn’t enough for the sheeple that totalitarians prohibit the right of property owners to set their own policies in their bars and work vehicles; now the willingly enslaved want government to stop what we do outside on the street.  The march of Government over our rights is insatiable! No regulation is ever enough! Once one law against cigarettes gets passed the victims of state dependency demand more and more. They will not stop until tobacco becomes a banned substance with the crime and bloodshed that inevitably follows.

I started smoking at 14 and accept it is addictive. Even though I quit 6 months ago I fail the resist the lure of a social puff over a drink. During my day to day activities however, I would even go as far as to say that I find the smell of other people smoking *offensive*. What I will never do however, is demand restrictions by the Government. My position is quite the opposite. I think smoking in bars is a decision for the property owner. I think smoking in the workplace is a decision for the employer. I advocate the complete eradication of excise tax on cigarettes in conjunction with the privatisation of the health system. I support personal freedom and responsibility. Trough feeding pigs like George Wood should be banned; not public smoking.

How ironic it is to see the Catholic Man Boy Love Association speaking out against the building of a high rise brothel where consenting adults can choose to exchange cash for sex while for decades their organisation covered up the rape of unconsenting children by its members. Bishop Pat Dunn considers the application for the building of a 15 story brothel as “the development of a decidedly tacky culture and the encouragement of activities which will harm the lives of large numbers of people.” I don’t think the prostitute making a good income or the customer purchasing pleasure feel like their lives have been particuarly harmed. I think when one compares the ‘harm’ of prostitution to the harm of intellectual poison, centuries of primitive oppression and widespread child molestation perpetuated by the Catholic Church, prostitution is positively tame.

It is a sign of the oppressive nature of our Government that legitimate businessmen like the Chow brothers have to go crawling to a Council that forcibly demolished their previous building to gain permission to build a new one. Unfortunately, the average voting slave doesn’t see an issue with this. The average voter actually supports politicians using the power of force to control their neighbours. A politician who doesn’t use this power is viewed as being weak and ineffectual by the public. As a result they are punished at the polls in favour of power hungry leeches. Worse than the average, and otherwise disinterested voter, are those that take part in the political process and believe themselves virtuous for doing so. These are the low lives who make submissions on draft plans to demand height restrictions and heritage protections over other people’s property. It is people such as they who represent the greatest danger to our liberty.

Equally worthy of disdain are the mob of self-appointed experts on social issues using their bullshit qualifications and a scandal hungry media to spread their message of control to a gullible public. Public health researcher and Associate Professor Nick Wilson has attacked the National government as being “pathetically weak” on alcohol. What would one expect from a personal who has dedicated their life to making an earning from a publicly funded university studying publicly funded health systems? The government has chosen to adopt over 120 new regulations recommended by the Law Commission but has not yet put them into law. If this ‘academic’ thinks 120 new regulations is pathetically weak then I’d be disgusted to see what he thinks is an appropriate government action to take over alcohol.

Individuals are the rightful owners of their bodies and their lives. They should be free to exercise total sovereignty over their bodies and lives as long as their actions do not violate the liberty of others. Alcohol should be tax free, deregulated and not a part of the government’s sphere of control. With a privatised health system, professional whingers such as the associate professor would be, quite rightly, out of a job.

In the twenty first century, it is easy to think that as ‘society’ becomes more permissive, it becomes more free. However this is only an illusion. The near universal trend for governments is for them to become larger and freedom to reduce. Government’s put all their efforts into writing more laws but rarely repeal existing ones. First they will come for vice – then they’ll come for you…

Control freaks of the Auckland City Council have plans to force business owners into Business Improvement Districts. This exercise in forced collectivistaion will see businesses charged a levy by the council in exchange for being provided with marketing, cleaning and security services. Insanely the council also plans to extend this concept to shopping malls. Last time I looked, malls such as Sylvia Park and Westfield Shoppping Centres are already doing a bloody good job of marketing, cleaning their malls and maintaining security. So why does the council have to get involved?

I think the Council is attempting to simply squeeze big business further in order to fund its illegitimate activities. Council will get extra revenue from malls through the targeted levy and then spend nothing on the malls who will continue to take care of these activities themselves. I cannot imagine even this control freak leftist council would advocate paying the marketing costs for Westfield Malls, levied or not. Essentially it is a double dipping rip off and it must be resisted.

What’s more, malls included in the Business Improvement Districts will have only as much say as a corner dairy in the management of thiose districts despite paying far higher levies than any other members. It’s the usual problem with unfettered democracy – those who fund it have only as much say as those who bludge from it.

Councillor Arthur Anae claims that it is necessary to include malls within the Business Improvement Districts because he feels everyone should be treated equally. I say that this isn’t the carving up of a bloody birthday cake at a five year olds birthday party. It is the further theft of businesses money to fund services for them that they already provide for themselves. Anae claims if malls are excluded it will make the BID scheme an “administrative nightmare.” Here’s a newsflash for you councillor; any Council bereaucracy is a nightmare. Just try being a property owner who wishes to exercise sovereignty over their own property and make an alteration to their house!

Unsurprisingly, cheif commie Mayor Len Brown is a big supporter of the BID scheme. He says, “This signals we’re serious about building our local townships and getting funding behind them.” No it doesn’t Len. It signals you want to further rip off those who have been most successful in business to subsidise the commercial operations of others.

I accept that it makes sense for the council to ensure the streets and footpathsare cleaned on a regular basis, paid for from general rates. That is all I accept. Marketing and security costs for businesses are most definitely not a function of the council. They should be paid for the buesinesses that choose to use them.

Auckland City Council should not be further increasing its debt ceiling for corporate welfare!