Monday, July 20, 2009

Goff lost the fiscal plot


Phil Goff. The man who brought student fees to universities, arguing for a massive expansion of the welfare state? Labour has lost the plot.

To call for the partners of those who are employed to be eligible for welfare benefits is impractical, unaffordable, immoral and destructive. Consider quite simply how many hundreds of thousands of people would then be welfare beneficiaries, consider what disincentive it creates for work, consider how much more tax on the employed partner would be needed to pay for this.
John Key says there are no pixies printing cash (he's not quite right there), but this harks back to when the Labour Party regarded fiscal prudence as some plot by the bourgeoisie.

Consider how parasitical this would make so much of the population. Husbands shouldn’t pay for their wives, or vice versa, no. The state should, and hubby can run off with ALL of his earnings (more highly taxed) and wife can just bugger off and enjoy her benefit. If the notion of the welfare state as a safety net is widely accepted by the majority of the population (doesn’t make it right), what does the Labour view of the welfare state tell you? That half of the population should be supported by the other half – with a leviathan state to enforce, violently if necessary, the leech like demands on the productive, to pay for everyone else.

Think more how many people would be grateful for this kindness, how many would vote Labour to keep it, and what a travesty of modern liberal capitalist society such state enforced dependency would represent. Not a society of free individuals pursuing their interests, desires and being what they want to be, but a society where half work hard to sustain themselves and their families, and another family at the same time, and the other half take their “entitlement” from the loving state – knowing they don’t ever have to really be accountable for it.

It’s what the Greens have always really believed in, and what Labour now espouses. So imagine a teacher asking a classroom of kids. How many want be paid for working, and pay half of what they earn to the government? How many want to be paid for not working, getting all of it from the government?

1 comment:

Heisenbug said...

We're probably at that point now, even without Goff's insanity. As Bernard Hickey points out here, we're nearly at a one-to-one ratio of workers to beneficiaries now. Those numbers don't include Government "employees", either, who are beneficiaries by definition IMHO.