07 August 2008

The Greens rate the Nats!

Yes well after my scoring of the Nat’s 10 point blueprint, the Greens have done the same and, curiously enough, have taken the opposite tack from me on most issues. The Greens don’t take John Key on his very moderate words, they exaggerate them so that the Nats appear to be better than I think they are. So, just for fun, I thought I’d review the review of the Green Party. Why? Because the review says more about the Greens than they may think.

1. An ongoing programme of tax cuts. I thought that this was positive but vague, but no – the Greens have a different way of looking at it. They see taxes as “being whether the government is spending enough to achieve its democratic mandate and the tax is not too onerous for the people paying it”. Which on the face of it seems ok, doesn’t it? Well, it could be “enough” or “too much”, but the Greens rarely seem concerned about too much spending, unless it is roads. The issue of tax is more curious. What does “too onerous” mean? Clearly “onerous” is ok, and more importantly the idea that the people consuming government provided services pay for it is completely off the radar. It’s pure socialism – government spends money and then it squeezes it from those it can get to pay, whether or not it is “onerous”, whether or not you actually use the services provided by the state.

2. Bring discipline to Government spending, and 3. Rein in excessive growth in the public service

Now why would you ever disagree with the government spending money prudently and why would you not want a value statement like “excessive growth”? Quite simple, you want more government, more state. The Greens are priceless on this though:

Surely these two are very hard to reconcile with a promise not to cut government spending. Bureaucrats are not evil, faceless, money suckers. On the whole they are put there because they achieve good things efficiently.

In the world of the socialist, cutting government spending is “wrong”. However saying bureaucrats are not evil, faceless, money suckers is missing the point. Evil is a strong word, but I believe some are – some like Cindy Kiro who earns a significant salary and is seeking to nationalise children with some Orwellian monitoring system. Money suckers is very true, because after all what are many bureaucrats producing?

This “achieve good things efficiently” cuts to the heart of the difference between socialists and liberals. Why are they good? How is it efficient? If it were good why must people be forced to pay for it? If it is efficient, why has commercialisation and privatisation resulted in enormous cost savings to carry out the same tasks in many sectors? Since when has big government been more efficient than small government, except when it restricts freedom?

4. Launch an attack on gangs and the P trade they support. Now I appreciate the concern of the Greens there that the “war on drugs” is unlikely to be successful, but there needs to be an appreciation that there are genuine concerns about drugs and criminal gangs. Gangs are not just another form of whanau as some make themselves out to be, but similarly the Nats only have tired old failed solutions.

5. Introduce a bill to reform the Resource Management Act The Greens will oppose this naturally, since this is a key plank in their policy to stop development as much as is possible, regardless of private property rights. The Greens will scaremonger about this, even though it will see little useful happen.

6. Invite the private sector back to the table. A welcome move of course, but the Greens want to frighten you by asking whether this is about health, education or conservation. Who cares? Why is the private sector “bad” and the beloved state sector “good”? Again it is socialist ideology, big government is about doing “good things efficiently”, no doubt the private sector is “bad things done inefficiently”??

7. Raise education standards. I thought this was bland and meaningless from the Nats, but the Greens have concocted a bizarre plot “John Key means that he will test primary school kids more often so that the failures can be re-identified and then, umm… well moved aside I guess Yes, there is some grand neo-liberal plot to kick the less bright out of school, it is against the grand socialist plot to reward the less bright with pass marks, guaranteed minimum incomes, guaranteed university places and jobs to do “good things efficiently”.

8. Grow the amount of superannuation paid to senior citizens each week. Well the Greens love this, more state money being spent on people. Never mind that it discourages people for saving for themselves, hell tax them more and we can give more to, their parents and grandparents! No, the Greens ask for MORE money to be found from the money tree to pay to “struggling beneficiaries”.

Socialism = where you get the money you need without having to do anything for it, because we take it off those who did.

9. Repeal the Electoral Finance Act. Bleh, Greens want their “citizen’s assembly” a nice proxy for an event which busy people who own or run businesses wont have the time to participate in because they are earning money to pay the onerous taxes the Greens approve of, but the beneficiaries and others who shouldn’t be expected to work hard for a living can do so, and skew the result. Nice.

10. Hold a binding referendum on MMP. Yes the Greens are bound to oppose this, hardly a surprise for any small party.

So there you have it – the Greens want more government spending, think taxation should be onerous (not “too” onerous though), think that improving education standards is a dastardly plot and that bureaucrats do “good things efficiently”. It would be fair to say Labour is a rather watered down version of that.

Now if only we could have an election based on two opposing views of the role of the state.

1 comment:

Matt Nolan said...

Great post- especially love the discussion on points 2 and 3.