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Viewing entries tagged with 'economy'

Tertiary education – expense or investment?

Posted by Philip on 3 February 2016, 8:33 am in , , , , , , ,

Today's NZ Herald editorial lambasts Labour's policy proposal for free tertiary education as an expensive fix with little purpose. Admittedly, I wasn't overly convinced by Andrew Little's stumbling announcement but, all in all, I think scrapping student loans is a move in the right direction, steering us away from the neo-liberal semi-dictatorship John Key's Government has been creating in the last eight years.

The editorial says there are better things to which to add funding and that thousands have repaid their loans but, in the same publication, Raybon Kan glibly disagrees:

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Envy tax, says PM

Posted by Philip on 25 June 2014, 6:27 pm in , , , , , , , , ,

Labour's "alternative budget" today announced, "High earners will pay a tax rate of 36 percent on income over $150,000. Currently the top tax bracket is 33 percent for people earning over $77,000."

The Prime Minister John Key's surly response: "Envy tax." It's a response that epitomises this Government's entitled, ungenerous and irresponsible approach to the economy.

Key's response is typical of the neo-liberalism of conservative politics. It erodes community, rewards greed and treats money, not only like it's an infinite resource, but that it's an entitlement to have more money than others.

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14 things I'd like to see happen in 2014

Posted by Philip on 31 December 2013, 9:07 am in , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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New Zealand's relatively small population, land mass and infrastructure creates so much opportunity to lead the world in recognising some fundamental changes that would improve society in general. Here's my bucket list.

  1. Economies other than financial — eg. resources, time, value — are discussed, considered viable and used in more viable ways.
  2. As the Pope pointed out, poverty and wealth inequality is officially recognised as the cause of most, if not all, social problems.
  3. Government invests in technology — such as breath tested ignition locking and GPS-enabled vehicle intelligence — to lower vehicle-related deaths and injury, rather than more policing.
  4. New conversations about universal needs — such as shelter, food and clothing — begin to create the conditions for nobody to be homeless or hungry.
  5. Government portrays a true representation of society's diversity in social campaigns.
  6. Schools use a wider understanding of diversity as a way of making education more accessible and relevant for students.
  7. Labour wins the election.
  8. Politicians have job descriptions and regular performance appraisals.
  9. The internet is used to enable more democratic, public involvement in local, regional decision-making.
  10. The Zeitgeist Movement and Venus Project's ideas and designs of a resource-based economy become common knowledge and popularised.
  11. I win Lotto. Just kidding — Lotto is abolished and proceeds are used to alleviate poverty.
  12. Everyone realises that alcohol and drug addiction is about dosage, not about substances, and are symptoms of poverty and wealth inequality (see 2 above).
  13. Apple, Microsoft, Android, Google etc stop competing and start collaborating to make some really cool shit.
  14. Lorde doesn't forget where she comes from.

Happy New Year!

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Feel like things are becoming less and less orderly? Here's the science behind it.

Posted by Philip on 13 November 2013, 1:06 pm in , , , , , ,

Man biting fingers and looking woried

I've used the scientific notion of entropy before — it's the measure of the number of ways in which a system may be arranged, often taken to be a measure of "disorder" (the higher the entropy, the higher the disorder) [*] — to justify the need to decay culture and structures in order to better understand and accommodate diversity.

In the TEDxTalk below, Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at Caltech, explains the inherent increase in entropy of the universe. In other words, the universe has and will continue to become more and more disordered over time (in fact, he points out, increasing entropy is how scientists explain the flow of time from past to present).

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A value-based community

Posted by Philip Patston on 22 October 2012, 6:45 pm in , , ,

In my last blog post I critiqued capitalism, which I redefined. I alluded to an alternative. Here it is.

Imagine for a moment, if you will, a value-based community, which is created around the members’ desire to move from a capitalist economy to a value-based economy. The community has one key commonality: the willingness to believe we don't need money to live well. This community understands that there are certain types of intrinsic value that cannot be measured in monetary terms.

It offers an opportunity for all members to receive equal resource in exchange for an equitable expression of value. In this respect, the people and things often forgotten, neglected and left unattended in today’s world – because they cost too much – are remembered, considered important and attended to, simply because they can be.

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Individualised Funding: Systems Not Services; People Not Process

Posted by Philip on 29 June 2012, 6:30 pm in , , , , ,

I presented this workshop: "Individualised Funding:  Systems Not Services; People Not Process", at Imagine Better's Individualised Funding conference this week.

More reflections to come.

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Health minister fudges family figures

Posted by Philip on 13 June 2012, 4:34 pm in , , ,

Hon Tony Ryall, speaking on Radio New Zealand this morning, clearly omitted to tell the other side of the fiscal impact of the government's decision not to appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Ministry of Health v Atkinson & Others Family Carers case.

Ryall said the cost of paying families will rise as more family members opt to be supported by their relatives. However if, as he said, these people were assessed as eligible for funding, the money would need to be allocated anyway. What he didn't say was that the money would either go to a non-family member or a residential home instead.

He also didn't say that, if a person eligible for funded support chose to leave a residential home in favour of family support, the money would go from the residential home to the family. Nor did he mention that it is ministry of health policy to encourage community over residential living and that, over time, the fiscal implications of losing the critical mass of demand for residential homes will save significant amounts spent on the administration of such homes.

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Disability sector needs financial shake-up

Posted by Philip on 19 February 2011, 11:06 am in , , ,

I'm deeply concerned at the Government's seemingly defiant response to the Court of Appeal's upholding an Employment Court decision against an IHC provider which had paid a shift allowance of about $30 and was opposed to an hourly minimum-wage rate.

We might just have to change the law, says Health Minister Tony Ryall. 

This is yet another of several attempts to undermine the quality of life of people experiencing disability, and those who support us, in NZ.

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