Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Why do I not want Labour to be re-elected?

Labour presents a vision of more government, more government subsidies, more middle class welfare and an uncomfortable level of statism across many aspects of everyday life and business. The failure of state health and education to deliver the expectations of the public is not something Labour has an answer to, beyond spending more money, which suits the interest groups that it gets succour from, such as the teaching and nurses unions. However, most disconcerting of all is Labour’s underlying message of class warfare.

You can be successful and quite wealthy under Labour, but you should be fitting in with its “visions” and “strategies” and you better be giving a lot back, because you owe it. Labour has an underlying suspicion of those “too” financially successful, as if they got there off the back of the workers, whereas it has a generous view of those who have failed. Labour sees those closer to the bottom as always deserving of more money, more assistance and that their circumstances are “no fault of their own”. It is the leftover legacy of socialism. The belief that, deep down, people shouldn’t be allowed to fail, and the successful shouldn’t be allowed to “get away with it”. Most of all it is the belief that the state is a force of good and it can intervene and do more good, most of the time.

I see the state as necessary to protect rights, not to grant privileges and take money from some and give to others (redistribution). I find the notion that the successful owe everyone else to be rather vile, but most of all I find the culture that says that everyone else owes you something, and you owe everyone else something to be most insidious.

Now the reasons to remove Labour from power are quite overwhelming. For me it is:

- The arrogant belief of the Labour Party that it knows best how to spend a significant proportion of people’s money, and its lack of accountability for wasting it. Taxpayers’ money is the government’s money and there is little appreciation of where it came from;

- The chilling view of Helen Clark that “the state is sovereign” showing scant regard for individual freedom;

- The culture of envy and sneering hatred for “the rich” and successful, particularly in business, that comes through in the general Labour attitude to “rich pricks” and the like;

- The almost complete lack of business experience or economic expertise in the Labour caucus, which is dominated by ex. teachers, union officials and public servants. That ISN’T representative of New Zealand (despite what Idiot Savant thinks);

- The sclerotic paucity of accountability and consumer driven reform of the education system under Labour, which is designed to serve what bureaucrats and the teaching unions think it best for education, not parents. Perhaps the greatest scope to open up innovation and cultural change in New Zealand would be in opening up education to be driven by users and providers in a virtuous circle seeking better performance from children;

- The insidious willingness of Labour to consider blunt Orwellian processes to monitor the lives of all children, regardless of their parents’ performance, as a response to the chronic child neglect and abuse by an underclass of barely functional adults;

- The lack of regard for private property rights whether it be homeowners on the one hand or large businesses on the other, or indeed the lack of willingness to use private property rights to deal with issues such as the foreshore and seabed;

- Complete emptiness of courage and ideas to manage the unmanageable burden of the public health system whereby demand, supply and incentives are highly perverse and will continue to deliver below expectations;

- Its cheerful willingness to increase the scope and size of the welfare state to incorporate middle class families, to put them in a cycle of dependency of government for a portion of their income, rather than deliver tax cuts;

- Labour’s almost religious willingness to sign up New Zealand to an Emissions Trading System and commitments to address CO2 emissions without there being any substantive evidence that the benefits will outweigh the costs;

- The ongoing willingness to pour hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money bailing out businesses that are failing in part because of its own unwillingness to accept foreign investment (Air NZ), or because of a quasi-religious obsession with a particular industry (Kiwirail);

- A similar willingness to decimate the private property rights of a major company (Telecom) whilst complaining about that company’s level of investment in new infrastructure;

- Cheeringly developing endless visions, strategies and statements about various sectors of business and communities, as if nothing should be left to people’s own choice, spontaneous decisions and dynamism. Labour does not perceive that it doesn’t have a role in just about everything – whether it be aging, what you eat, what you watch on TV, how you travel, what entertainment you consume, how to dispose of waste.

Is that enough?

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