Trevor Loudon's New Zeal blog has moved to

redirecting you there now

Friday, June 30, 2006

CCQ 8 Is There a Place For Unions?

Broadstairs asks

What is the place for Unions in a free (and capitalist )society?

I'd better make sure it is clear that I am not speaking for ACT here. We had at least one full-time union official on our candidate list in 2005 and I know several other ACT members with union sympathies. Many ACT members are from "working class" backgrounds and some of the old worker/boss or "so called "social justice" mentality still lingers with some.

So you may guess my leanings. Unions do have a place-in history books.

So what is a union? A union is a group of workers who band together to use their collective strength to gain certain advantages that they might not otherwise be able to enjoy.

Now replace the word worker with diamond miners, oil producers or businessmen and what do you have? A cartel.

Now aren't cartels meant to be bad, VERY BAD things. Don't we have a Commerce Commission to bust cartels?

Now tack another few words onto the definition "at the expense of those who are not members."

This gets to the heart of the evil of unions.

In a free market, the price of tomatoes, electricity, "erotic massage", dental work and all other commodities or types of human labour is determined by the law of supply and demand.

I notice that I have to pay staff considerably more than I did two years ago (way above inflation) because labour (especially skilled)is in short supply.

If the economy keeps softening and labour supply increases, wage pressures will drop.

Now that is the natural fow of the market. Prices (wages are the price of labour) are signals to be heeded when making decisions.

Right now, some smart teens are forgoing university and learning trades. Why, because chippies can get double the wages of schoolteachers. The demand is high, wages go up, people are attracted to that sector and the shortages are eased. It all works beautifully to everyone's advantage.

Under a market system you very quickly learn your real value to others. If you don't like it, you look for ways to increase your value. You become more diligent, you improve your skills, you improve your education, you get another job that uses your talents more productively, you get a heavy traffic licence, or a welders ticket, or a Phd or do a modelling course.

You and everyone else in the market are always on your toes, always on the lookout for ways to make yourself more valuable to your fellow man.

Now some people don't like the idea of being paid what others deem they are worth. They tend to be the lazy, the malcontents and those suffering from an delusions of grandeur. They are boys who want a man's wage without developing a man's skills, or being willing to take on a man's responsibilities.

Unionism is tailor made for these losers. Now they can band together, pay a little money to the union boss and wield their collective muscle against vulnerable employers and the public.

In a union, all you need is numbers and muscle. If your employer is weak, or you are in a strategic industry (port worker, air traffic controller, Cook Strait steward) you can extort wages well above market levels.

What's wrong with that? Won't you then spend those wages in your community to the benefit of all?

Yes you will, but your boss, or his shareholders will have less money to spend in their communities. Those people outside your union will also have less money to spend and some may have no job at all.

In short, although unions can extort higher wages from the community, for a certain group, it means that everyone else must share what's left of the wealth "pie".

But don't unions protect the vulnerable, the simple, the easily "exploited"?

A friend of mine had a leather factory. They employed a young retarded man to do sweeping. He was essentially of "sheltered workshop" capability. He loved his job and he worked at the factory for several years. He was paid a good wage, but lower than the factory "standard' for a labourer.

Along came the union and said, pay this guy the standard wage. The factory owner refused as it would be both uneconomic and unfair to the more able labourers. The union said that you will have to fire him then. The owner argued and argued but the union wouldn't budge. The young guy was eventually fired and went to a sheltered workshop and an even lower wage.

Some bosses are pricks. Some bosses are stupid. But the vast majority are bosses, because the are smart, enterprising and know how to value people.

The few bosses that abuse their workers, end up back on the factory floor very quickly in a free market. Labour is any employers greatest asset and those who look after their staff the best, in the long term, make the greatest profits.

Marginal workers, the poorly skilled, the unintelligent, the illiterate, the retarded still don't need unions. They have employment contracts, they have sympathetic workmates, they have family, they have teachers, friends, church members and employment lawyers to advocate for them. They even have the courts if their contract is breached.

Their ultimate safeguard, one that socialists will scoff at, is tha free people are benevolent and will always try to "see their mates right".

Unions can do nothing for you that you cannot do for yourself. Who needs them?

Libz Leader Lashes Labour, Legally

Libertarianz leader Bernard Darnton, filed a lawsuit yesterday against Helen Clark and the other 48 Labour MPs (as at August 2005) in relations to their use of taxpayer funding for their 2005 election pledge cards.

The lawsuit claims the expenditure on the production and distribution of the pledge card and related brochure was a breach of Article 4 of the Bill of Rights 1688, section 22(c) of the Constitution Act 1986 s.22(c) and multiple sections of the Public Finance Act 1989.

Hat Tip David Farrar

Bernard has started a Blog, Darnton vs Clark to explain the reasoning behind the case and keep people updated on progress.

You can go here for details on how to financially support Bernard's case. I urge you to do so, it could be the best money you spend all year. Look at it as an investment in your children's future. Show that the citizenry care more about upholding the law in this country than the gutless police "top brass" do.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Falloon on Dancing and the Need For Apartheid

Andrew Falloon has put up two good posts.

Firstly he has polled his readers on Rodney's recent dancing exposure.

Has Rodney Hide's appearance on Dancing with the Stars made you more or less likely to vote for ACT??

More likely 43%
Less likely 35%
The same 22%

Secondly he has proposed that "Falloons" be recognised as an official ethnic group. I have to admit, his arguement is as logical as that put forward by the Maori Apartheid brigade.

Backroom Socialist Pushes Backdoor Socialism

Some time ago I profiled one of NZ's most influential socialists, Peter Harris .

This man was a long time associate of NZ's most influential Marxist-Leninist organisation, the pro-Soviet, Socialist Unity Party.

Peter Harris has played key roles in the union movement and the Labour Party. He has served as an economic advisor, to Minister of Finance, Michael Cullen, he sits on the Electricity Commission (with two other socialist leaning individuals), is an associate of the Department of Labour's, Partnership Resource Centre (riddled with former SUP types). He has chaired Michael Cullen's Savings Product Working Group.

Now he's at it again.

ACT MP Heather Roy recently questioned why Treasury officials were forced to take a back seat to a union economist when Cabinet considered allowing State Owned Enterprises to invest outside their core areas of business.

"Today in Parliament I asked why Peter Harris' word was trusted over that of Treasury officials", Mrs Roy said.

"Mr Harris - a well known PSA and CTU economist - was behind recommendations that SOEs should be able to invest outside their core areas of business.

"SOEs are companies owned by government, and funded with taxpayer money.

"Treasury was clearly concerned that SOEs had weak accountability disciplines, that Ministers with multiple objectives had difficulty selecting projects, and that money diverted by SOEs could provide a better return elsewhere.*

"Treasury are our experts on fiscal policy. Mr Harris' background reportedly includes the Labour Party's Policy Council, the Socialist Unity Party and Massey University.

"Yet Trevor Mallard accepted the word of his comrade over the advice of officials.

"If Government isn't going to listen to Treasury's advice, why do they even seek it?

New Zeal So Mr Harris is the driving force behind the proposal to allow SOE's to compete even more vigourously with the private sector?

Such a proposal, if fully implemented, will have huge implications for NZ's economy. Coupled with local government's rapid expansion since being granted "power of general competence", we are being Put well and truly back on the socialist road.

So here we have a man who used to write for Marxist-Leninist theoretical journals, who was an economic advisor to Mugabe's Zimbabwe, steering this country down the path of increased state control. This man has never been elected to any government post, yet has far more influence than most MPs.

No cause for concern is it? I can see why the mainstream media don't bother much examining Mr Harris' agenda. Silly of me to raise it really.

Rodney on ACT Caucus

From Rodney's Blog

One of these people is a trained killer—the other is a dancer. Which one’s which?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Curly Capitalist Question 8, ACT and Tax

Anonymous has a question on ACT's tax policy

Act has a 25% (near) flat tax policy. If Act came to power:
-in which areas would they cut spending?
-would they have budget deficits?

At the last election, ACT had a policy of a top rate of all forms of taxation of 25%
It was not a flat tax as all those paying less than 25% would continue on the lower rate.

At a 25% rate, ACT would cut no spending. In 2002, the McLeod Report stated that NZ could drop to a 25% flat rate tax with no loss of revenue whatsoever. Huge budget surpluses also give any responsible government plenty of room to cut taxes while maintaining all current services.

ACT now advocates a "Taxpayer's Bill of Rights". Essentially ACT commits to freezing government spending at current levels. No increases without a 75% parliamentary majority, (to allow for emergencies such as war or a major public health crisis).

No budget deficits would be run.

The effect of this would be to gradually and painlessly reduce the proportion of government expenditure, proportionate to private spending, as the economy expands.

The well known "Laffer Curve" would also come into play here. According to Laffer, high tax levels produce certain revenues for the state, but lower tax levels can produce even more.

Imagine if we were all taxed at 80%. The government would get lots of tax, (for a while) but economic growth would be slow and may even go backwards.

If we were all taxed at 20%, economic activity would rise dramatically, more businesses would start and expand, wages would be bid up and more tax would be paid. The government would get the same, or more revenue at 20% as at 80%.

Also people would be far wealthier and more able to afford private education, health etc and so would depend less on the state.

I'm quoting from memory here but I believe the famous Caragata Report stateded that if NZ had adopted a 28% flat tax after WW2, that by the mid '90s, this country would have been a staggering 250% richer.

Imagine that. Paying off your mortgage in six years, rather than 15.

Low flat taxes sound pretty damn good to me.

Graying Globalist Graham, Goes Green

The Green Party is courting an interesting potential candidate for the Ilam seat in 2008.

He is Dr Kennedy Graham, since 2005, a researcher at Canterbury University's law faculty.

Kennedy Graham is the younger brother of former National Cabinet Minister Doug Graham.

No Tory, the junior Graham was recently described (Press 10.6.06) by his older brother as "a bit pinkish. He is certainly very environmentalist. he did his Phd on nuclear free zones".

Kennedy Graham joined the Green Party in 2005 "because this is the philosophy and the message that is relevant to the 21st century"

This man is a serious foreign policy bureacrat and globalist. According to his Canterbury Uni web page;

Dr. Graham holds a B. Com (Auckland), MA in International Relations (Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Boston), and a Ph.D. (Victoria University, Wellington). He has received Fulbright and Fletcher scholarships, a McCarthy Fellowship (1986), and was Quartercentenary Fellow at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, England (1995).

Dr. Graham served in the NZ foreign service for 16 years, specializing in global security and the UN, his last diplomatic assignment being counsellor in the NZ Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. He has lived and worked in nine countries in Asia, the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.

From 1999 to 2004 he worked for the United Nations University, first as Director of its Leadership Academy (Amman, Jordan; 1999-2002); then as director of its Regional Security & Global Governance Project (Bruges, Belgium; 2002-4). In 2004 he was commissioned to provide a paper for the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Paper on Threats, Challenges and Change. In July 2005 he was Senior Consultant to the UN’s Dept. of Political Affairs in New York, assisting in the preparation and convening of the 6th High-Level Meeting between the UN and Regional Organizations.

Dr. Graham serves on a number of advisory boards including the:

Public Advisory Group on Disarmament and Arms Control (Wellington)
NZ Institute of International Affairs (Christchurch)
Conflict Prevention Project of the International Crisis Group (Brussels)
EU & Global Governance Programme of the European Policy Centre (Brussels)
Khan Foundation of Bangladesh (Dhaka)
Dr Graham is visiting professor at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. He has also been commissioned to prepare a feasibility study for the establishment of the Ana Lindh Chair in Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management, to be located in Europe.

From 1989 to 1995 Graham was also Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action, a New York-based worldwide network of legislators committed to transnational cooperation on global problems.

According to Wikipedia Parliamentarians for Global Action is an organization of more than 1,300 legislators from more than 114 countries. It was established circa 1978 as Parliamentarians for World Order. The group has world federalist leanings and promoted ratification of the International Criminal Court treaty.

PGA is one of the many leftist NGO's that hang around the UN promoting globalism, peace, international cooperation, banquets, business class travel and huge expense accounts.

It will be interesting to see how some of the Green's anti globalisation zealots take to this urbane global bureaucrat.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Curly Capitalist Questions 6 & 7

Aonymous asks

1. Is it true that the freer a market is, the faster it will grow?

Firstly, all other things being equal, the less fettered a market is, the faster it will expand. What is a free market? To me it is an arena, whether in cyberspace, the stock exchange, or a school fair, where individuals may make trading decisions with no outside interference.

Logically if there are only two parties per trade (buyer and seller) the transaction may proceed more quickly, wealth may be built at a faster rate.

If a third entity, (or forth, fifth, sixth.....) should join the party it gets more confused, More variables have to factored in, the trade becomes less "pure" and less likely to be beneficial to both original parties.

Tax for example, really slows things down. Imagine two rugby teams, playing at full pace in a nailbiting game.

Imagine they all have to give up 39% of their energy and divert it as a form of tax to the soccer players down the road.

The game will slow, tension will ease and vitality will be sapped.

Anything will grow faster if it is fed properly and not artifially hampered.

2. Is maximising growth, utilitarian?

I understand "utilitarian" to mean, to do something because it is practical, with little reference to the underlying principle. Right now, China is using capitalist methods, with no reference to the principles of human liberty that underly capitalism, to grow their economy. That, to me, is classic utilitarianism .

What did Deng Xiaoping say? "Who cares whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice?

That's fine, but there is a bit of an underlying trap. Labour's "reforms of the '80s" were sold in a utilitarian way. There was little talk of the principles of liberty, the rights of people to make their own decisions or liberal social values. It was all about efficiency, economic rationalism and re-vitalising the econonomy.

That was OK as far as it went, but with little public understanding of the principles behind the actions, people were very unwilling to put up with the associated pain. They were also happy to allow the current Labour regime to roll back many of the gains of that era.

It should not be a government's aim to maximise economic growth. It should aim instead to create the freest possible society so that people, if they so wish, may grow the economy at whatever rate they desire.

Freedom must come before prosperity. Prosperity without freedom is a very temporary phenomonon.

Blueprint for the New "New World Order"

While the West hunts Islamic terrorists, a new anti Western power bloc is building in Asia. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a huge and growing economic and defence bloc linking Russia and China plus several "former" communist and Islamic Asian states.

The communist movement quite rightly sees this as a very positive development that could help tip the balance of power in their favour.

Below are excerpts from an article on the SCO in the latest issue of the Communisy Party of Australia's Guardian newspaper.

Blueprint for a new world order

The annual summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held in Shanghai in the middle of June adopted a declaration that sets out the principles that should govern the relations between countries in the future. Once implemented by all major countries they would set the world on a new path and would guarantee peace and economic and social development such as the world has never seen before.

The heads of state of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan and Afghanistan attended the meeting. India was represented by its minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Taken together they represent almost half the world’s population and have at their disposal enormous riches in mineral and energy resources, agriculture, technology, manufacturing, heavy industry and military hardware.

Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Mongolia and India at present hold observer status but several of these countries have applied to become full members of the SCO.

The media in Australia has almost totally ignored this important summit meeting hoping to keep the Australian people in the dark about it and even the existence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and its important influence on world affairs.

China’s President Hu Jintao expressed the hope that the international community could respect the social system and road of development independently chosen by SCO member countries and observer countries, respect their internal and external policies of peace, friendship and cooperation based on their own domestic situation, and create a harmonious and easy environment for their development.

He said the establishment of the SCO was an "historic decision" and that its successful experience can be condensed to one point, that is, to unswervingly advocate and practice mutual trust and benefit, equality, respect for cultural diversity and a desire for common development.

The SCO took a positive attitude to the United Nations as the universal and the most representative and authoritative international organisation, which is entrusted with primary responsibility in international affairs and is at the core of formulating and implementing the basic norms of international law.

In carrying out Security Council reform, the principles of equitable geographical distribution and seeking the broadest consensus should be observed. No time limit should be set for the reform, nor should a vote be forced on any proposal over which there are major differences. The SCO holds that the next Secretary-General of the United Nations should come from Asia.

How Will the Greens Handle This One?

From the Communist Party of Australia's Guardian 28.6.06

The Chinese Minister for Science and Technology announced that China would build a nuclear fusion device by the end of the year. This will help scientists to develop a new source of energy.

The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak, or EAST will be the first of its kind in the world. It is a much smaller version of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), which is not expected to be operational for another decade.

"Over the next 10 years, while ITER is being built, we can conduct preliminary research on EAST to facilitate the operation and exploitation of ITER in the future", the Minister said.

ITER is the largest multinational co-operation project involving the European Union, the United States, Russia, Japan, India, South Korea and China to build a reactor to address the world’s energy crisis and global warming.

The reactor will emulate the fusion power of the sun, harnessing the tremendous amount of energy that is released when atoms fuse.

Inside the reactor, deuterium and tritium atoms will be forced together at a temperature of 100 million Centigrade, fuse and emit blasts of energy.

It will have fusion power of about 500 megawatts.

The Chinese scientists are involved in 12 of ITER’s programs and are training experts in this new field for the development of their own projects.

As an equal member with the other six parties, several managers and researchers will be deputed to ITER. China will have access to all intellectual property rights of generated technologies.

It is believed that fusion power may hold the key to solving projected energy shortages. One kilogram of fusion fuel is capable of creating as much power as 10 million kilograms of fossil fuel.

Monday, June 26, 2006

New Blog From the Mainland

Patrick Dunford is a Centre/Right Christian from Christchurch. Check out his new Blog This is Christchurch.

He is a brave man. One of his first posts defends Child Youth and Family!

Welcome to the Blogosphere Patrick.

More Marxist Timor Conspiracy Theory

The latest Green Left Weekly carries an interesting article on the roots of the crisis in East Timor.

It pushes the same line as the Communist Party of Australia-Howard wants to oust Marxist Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri and replace him with someone more compliant. Timor's oil reserves are the real reason for Australian intervention.

"While claiming to be “neutral” on the dispute between the economic nationalist Alkatiri and Xanana and other elite politicians, the Australian government has been quick to condemn Alkatiri’s leadership, declaring East Timor a “failed state”.

PM John Howard claims East Timor has been “badly governed”. Foreign minister Alexander Downer — responsible for depriving East Timor of $1 million per day in oil and gas revenue — declared “the East Timorese themselves are responsible for what has happened ... no-one else is”. And defence minister Brendan Nelson chimed in with: “If East Timor is allowed to be a failed state in our region, we know that it will be a target for trans-national crime, also for terrorism.”

After the arrival of 2200 troops from Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia in late May, a concerted campaign began in the Australian corporate media to demonise Alkatiri, while presenting his rivals — Gusmao and recently promoted defence minister Jose Ramos Horta — as “responsible leaders”.

On June 1, the Australian’s Greg Sheridan asserted that “Alkatiri has been the author of every calamitous decision the East Timorese Government has made”. Sheridan called for Alkatiri’s resignation on June 3, claiming, “If [the Australian government] cannot translate the leverage of 1300 troops, 50 policemen, hundreds of support personnel, buckets of aid and a critical international rescue mission into enough influence to get rid of a disastrous Marxist Prime Minister, then [it is] just not very skilled in the arts of influence, tutelage, sponsorship and, ultimately, promoting the national interest”.

Sheridan’s defence of Australia’s “national interest” was not a call for peaceful relations with the people of East Timor, but a blatant bid to strengthen an Australian corporate monopoly over US$30 billion worth of oil and gas in the Timor Sea."

New Zeal With the Australian Communist Party and their equally Marxist mates, the Democratic Socialist Perspective both pushing the "invasion for oil", let's see how long it is until the MSM join the chorus?

The Watermelon Strategy

All over the world, Marxists are adopting the "watermelon strategy", that is infiltrating their local Green Party in order to advance a "red" agenda.

Australian Marxist-Leninist paper, Green Left Weekly, which has close ties to some our leading Greens, approvingly documents a recent US example.

Sarah Knopp, a member of the Green Party and the International Socialist Organization, won 17.2% of the vote in the June 6 election for California’s superintendent for public instruction. The result is believed to be a Green Party record for a statewide election. Knopp won more than 662,000 votes, coming second behind the Democratic Party incumbent Jack O’Connell, who had US$1 million to spend on his campaign. O’Connell came within 2% of having to face Knopp in a runoff ballot. Knopp told the US Socialist Worker, ''For people who want to see a political alternative in this country, I’d say that the lesson [of the election] is that the stronger and more confidently we attack the two corporate parties, the more people will respond.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Rodney and Krystal's Samba Swansong

Rodney "dropping" Krystal in the final throes of their Samba on Dancing With the Stars has become the stuff of legend.

Were Krystal's knickers really heading south as she claims? Was her bid to preserve her modesty the real reason for the fall? Was Krystal really trying to cover Rodney's derriere or her own?

Well Rodney and Krystal will join all the other contestants on the floor for a final dance on tonight's final.

I've heard a rumour that TVNZ wanted Rodney and Krystal to stick to a nice safe waltz. Fat chance. Apparently rebellious Rodney is determined to re-run the Samba.

I would expect nothing less.

Doggie Style

Heard about the new "Doggie Style" for married couples?

Hubby kneels and begs. Wife rolls over and plays dead.

Curly Capitalist Question 5 Patenting Life Forms

My old mate Cameron has an interesting question.

Trev I would like to ask you about where you and/or ACT sits in the debate about patenting life forms.

Over the last few years there have been attempts by multinational corporations to try and secure patents on actual life forms (ie things made by Mother nature or hundreds of years of developing farming. For example the American chemical company WR Grace patented the Neem tree, which has been used by Indians for centuries for its medicinal properties.

Another company Ricetec patented Basmati Rice, which has been cultivated by people in South Asia for centuries. Thankfully both these idiotic patents have been overturned.

Should corporations be able to patent what they haven't actually invented, Either processes that are natural or have been practiced by people for centuries?

At the moment it seems corporations, backed by WTO rules like TRIPS (Trade related international property rights) seem to be able to go around the world see a nice plant like the Neem tree and say "wow that's a nice plant, I know we haven't invented it but no one else has patented it so why don't we?"

Is this right?

Thanks Cameron. I can't speak for ACT on this one, only for myself.

The answer is no. Patenting is a way to establish property rights over something you have actually created. It must be new concept, technology or combination of ingredients.

Ethically speaking, you can no more patent a neem tree than you can patent a new species of moth you have discovered in the Southern Alps.

You didn't create the tree, therefore you can't patent it. Patents should be hard to get and extremely specific.

However there is another side to the coin. It isn't just corporations who try this rubbish on.

I note that some indigenous tribes, including Maori are trying to establish property rights over their culture, traditional medicines, native plants etc. The recent case where some Maori, embarrassed a tobacco company into dropping its "Maori" brand of cigarettes in Israel is a case in point. Maori (or anyone else) have every right to object about the use of words they find offensive. However they should have absolutely no legal recourse, if the tobacco company should choose to ignore their concerns.

Culture is a collective thing. No-one has a right to claim property rights over the haka, the koru, waiata, Te Reo, or even the word Maori.

Likewise, the French should have claim on the word Champagne for example. Champagne is a generic term, applying to a certain style of wine originally made in the Champagne region. It should be no more "protectable" than "Danish" pastries, "Welsh" rarebit or "Belgian" biscuits.

The English have no exclusive rights over Morris Dancing, fish and chips, nursery rhymes, cockney rhyming slang etc.

Neither should Maori or other races attempt to "own" aspects of their culture, native plants or widely known "traditional' remedies or recipes.

Patents should be a very specific and temporary protection for something new. If you don't then use it, you should lose it.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

"National Question" Part 4, Noel Hilliard, Propagandist for Maori "Communalism"

The Communist Party of NZ didn't rely solely on its few Maori comrades to agitate for what it regarded as the Maori "cause".

During the 1940s and '50s, several non Maori Communist Party supporters began assisting the Maori self determination movement in more subtle ways.

I'll profile three of these men, all active in the Wellington communist scene and two of them members of the Communist Party affiliated Victoria University Socialist Club. All became propagandists for various aspects of the communist movement's Maori "line".

Noel Hilliard was born in Napier in 1929 to a working class family.

In his teens Hilliard became a journalist for the Labour Party's "Southern Cross" newspaper and studied part time at Victoria University from 1946 to 1950. At the time, the Communist Party affiliated "Socialist Club" was at its peak on campus.

Hilliard joined the Socialist Club as did his flatmate, Alexander Fry (later deputy editor of the Listener). Like most Socialist Club members, Hilliard also joined the Communist Party, but resigned after the Hungarian Uprising of 1956.

To quote from his Dictionary of NZ Book Council Biography

After a variety of jobs he trained as a teacher, married Kiriwai Mete (to whom he was introduced by Hone Tuwhare) and taught in a Wellington school. He remained active in left-wing politics, and this strongly coloured his first published novel, the ‘social-realist’ *Maori Girl (1960).

Maori Girl was followed by A Piece of Land: Stories and Sketches (1963), dealing mainly with the impact of capitalism and urbanisation on New Zealand. The title story gives a vivid account of Maori attitudes to land and how they are damaged by the different, personal-ownership culture of the Pakeha

During the '60s and '70s, Hilliard went on to turn "Maori Girl into a tetralogy with the sequels Power of Joy (1965), Maori Woman (1974) and The Glory and the Dream (1978).

Meanwhile Hilliard wrote another novel and another volume of short stories. A Night at Green River (1969) tells of a farmer, Clyde Hastings, who offers to pay his Maori neighbours to help harvest his hay, not realising that such payment breaches the custom of mutual help in the community.

The Maori fail to come but celebrate the end of Tiwha’s harvest, leaving Clyde’s hay to be ruined by rain. In the course of a tense night Clyde and his wife discover that there are other ways to think of money and of human labour. The values of capitalism encounter those of Maori communalism. Both Maori and Pakeha learn that cultural differences require non-judgmental tolerance from all participants in social transactions.

The themes were clear. Maori are natural socialists, dispossessed by capitalism. They need to return to communalism and tribalism. Pakeha New Zealanders need to understand Maori oppression and assist in their "liberation".

Maori Girl was a very controversial work in 1960s New Zealand. Most Kiwi's then thought that racism was an American or South African problem, which had nothing to do with us.

Hilliard was a propagandist and his work helped make "racism" an issue. Understandably, the left promoted Hilliard's book as heavily as possible.

Communist Party member and schoolteacher Pat Sunde reviewed it for "Fernfire". Canterbury University academic and Party sympathizer, H Wiston Rhodes reviewed it for Monthly Review. Alexander Fry promoted it in the Listener. In November 1974, Hilliard, billed as the author of "Maori Girl" spoke at a Socialist Action League organised, Socialist Forum, on "Realism Versus Socialist Realism"

Communists work like that. Take a small problem and by using multiple and apparently "disconnected" sources, fan it into a big one.

Hilliard worked at the Listener, New Zealand's Heritage, New Zealand Today and later as a sub-editor at the Evening Post. Fairly humble jobs, but he did enjoy recognition abroad.

Maori Girl and much of the rest of Hilliards work was published in the Soviet Union. In 1983 Hilliard travelled to the Soviet Union and to a Writers for Peace Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Hilliard's last book, published in 1989s was a personal view of travelling through the Soviet Union shortly before its dissolution: "Mahitahi: Work Together: Impressions of the USSR". Hilliard and his wife had been appointed ‘cultural ambassadors’ by the New Zealand Labour government in 1988.

In the early 90's Hilliard began openly writing again in the NZ communist press, with several articles appearing in Tribune, journal of the Socialist Unity Party.

He died in 1997.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Greedy Capitalist Bast.........?

From Maxim Institutes "Real Issues"

Philanthropy is alive and well in the United States according to the latest Giving USA report released on Monday. Charitable giving rose by 6.1 percent to US$260.28 billion in 2005, the highest figure since 2000. The report is published by the Giving USA Foundation and is researched by the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University. Some interesting points to note on 2005 giving include:

Giving to disaster relief made up around half of the $15 billion increase on the previous year.

Individual giving accounted for 76.5 percent of all estimated giving.
Donations from corporations grew by 22.5 percent (18.5 percent adjusted for inflation) totalling an estimated $13.7 billion.

New Zeal I wonder how Cuba does on the private charity tables?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Are You a Redneck?

A friend sent me this highly scientific test.

Are you a Democrat, Republican or Redneck?

The answer can be found by posing the following situation and question:

You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you. You are carrying a Glock cal 40, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?

Democrat's Answer:

Well, that's not enough information to answer the question. Does the man look poor? Oppressed? Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack? Could we run away? Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand? What does the law say about this situation?

Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it?
Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children? What does my wife think? What about the kids? Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me? Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me? If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me? Should I call 9-1-1? Why is this street so deserted? I need to discuss with some friends over a latte and try to come to a consensus. We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day and make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior. This is all so confusing!

Republican's Answer:


Redneck's Answer:

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Click..... (sounds of reloading). BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Click ...

Daughter: "Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?"

Son: "You got him, Pop! Can I shoot the next one?"

Wife: "You are not taking that to the Taxidermist!"

CCQ 4 Where Does Profit Come From?

Steve asks an oldie but a goodie.

Where Does Profit Come From?

Here's the Marxist view from Socialist Worker member and UNITE organiser,Joe Carolan, posted on his Blog Anticapitaliste.

"Decades before Marx developed the labour theory of value in Das Kapital, Adam Smith conceded the fact that capitalists, rather than creating wealth, actually took their profits from wealth created by labour. Profits were derived from what Marx would later call the unpaid surplus value that the working class created."

Whether Adam Smith ever did say that, I don't know, but if he did, he was wrong.

The arguement turns on your definition of labour.

A miner works 10 hours at the coalface with a pick and knocks out three tons of coal. He's paid $200. That's labour. No arguement about that.

A retired schoolteacher phones her stockbroker and asks him to buy her 1000 shares in the same coal mine. Two months later she again phones the stockbroker and asks him to sell the shares. She makes $750 profit and buys 1,000 shares in a bread bakery.

Is the retiree a "labourer"? Has she actually produced anything for her profit?

A Marxist would probably say no to both questions.

As a capitalist I would say yes to both.

To me, any mental or physical activity directed towards the goal of production is labour.The coalminer has applied his "capital"-muscle and knowledge of his trade, to produce some coal. His wages are his profit.

The retiree has applied her "capital"-knowledge of the market, money, a little time, to move resources from one location to another, where they can be better employed to produce more wealth. Her profit is part of the exta net wealth she has helped to produce by applying her "capital".

What is profit? My definition is the surplus value you derive from producing wealth after deducting expenses.

It is comparitively easy to see how the miner makes his profit.

He works one hour in a coal mine. He expends X amount of mental energy and burns X amount of calories which have to be replaced by a certain value of food. He gets paid $20, he deducts the calorie replacement value, mental energy, travel costs, clothing replacement etc. His profit is maybe $15 per hour worked.

The retiree's profit is less tangible. She directly expends a small amount of mental energy and a little time and a miniscule number of calories to produce several hunded dollars.

What is less tangible is the time, effort and research she has put in to be able to produce wealth so efficiently.

Efficiency is the key point here. As mankind progresses from caves to condos, he is able to use less brute force and more intelligence to manage material and human resources more efficiently. In other words, material abundance becomes a management rather than a strictly manpower issue.

Compare a knuckledragger who takes all day to plant an acre of wheat, to an executive who can manage the production of 300,000 loaves of bread in the same time.

If profit is your reward for serving or producing for others, who deserves the higher profit?

Which is more value to one's fellow humans, the ability to sow an acre of wheat, or the ability to organise the production of 300,000 loaves?

Who would you value more?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Curly Capitalist Question Number 3

Anonymous has a good question that cuts to the heart of welfarism and parent's rights

I consider myself pro-market, but often wonder about harm from large private companies. The giants (McDonalds, etc) sell shitty food so I don't eat it. But millions do, they get fat/unhealthy and die. I don't like "solutions" like Green's proposal to regulate food advertising, but at the same time I don't like that companies can do so well selling harmful products. The mental reconciliation I've come to is that people who are too lazy or stupid to eat properly bring it upon themselves, with (maybe) some blame accorded to a lack of rules/enforcement about what is actually in food. I'm not sure I'm satisfied with my answer, so what do you think?

Also, how does the situation of a child who has one of the aforementioned lazy/stupid people as a parent fit into this? Should a parent have the freedom to raise the fat little porkers I see in the supermarket? (They seem to at the moment!)

Why do people think they can eat crap food, smoke and drink to excess and treat their kids like walking waste disposal units.?

Because three generations of welfarism and state health care have lowered the general level of personal responsibility for family health.

Combine that with very low educational standards, in English, maths and the sciences and you have an underclass that has easy access to high carbohydrate food, little knowledge of nutritional science and no economic pressure to try and improve their health.

Obesity was once largely confined to the rich, now it is the disease of the poor. Why, because the poor also tend to be less educated and responsible and more state dependent for income, health services and education.

You work as a railway labourer, your wife cleans dunnies at the local RSA. You want to have nine kids.

Right now you do that and all the low child, higher income, gay and single people pay for it. You feed the kids on cheap carbohydrates to fill them up and shut them up and you buy lots of takeaways because you are too lazy or ignorant to cook properly. There is no penalty for this stupidity, in fact you are rewarded with free medical and dental care.

Imagine a truly free society. Have as many kids as you like, educate and feed them to your liking, but be prepared to bear the consequences.

You want nine kids. You're on low incomes. You either have to pay to feed and educate your kids, or rely on private charities with the power to set conditions.

You pull finger, educate yourself, improve your skills or start a business to raise your income levels sufficiently. Alternatively you settle for three kids.

In a free society, all but the ultra rich would want to insure their own and their kids health. All insurance comes at a price and to reduce those premiums there will be conditions.

Will you attend a course on nutrition? Healthy cooking? If there are obvious health problems, will you enrol your kids in one of the cheap private health monitoring schemes run by the local church, service group, friendly society or entrepeneur?

Will you get your kids involved in sport? Will you sign a pledge to stay away from McDonalds except on birthdays and tax freedom day?

Ironically, welfare statism is a boon to certain industries. Tobacco, alcohol and crap food companies all do well where welfare levels are high.

My contention is simple. The crap food industry is not a symbol of capitalism. It is in fact a symptom of welfarism.

Reduce welfarism, increase personal responsibility, replace state health and education with private and civil society provision and I believe that within a generation, the general level of children's health will improve dramatically.

Anybody care to argue?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Was Italy's PM a KGB Agent?

Italian PM, Romano Prodi heads a ruling coalition dominated by the formerly communist Democratic Party of the Left, The Refoundation Communist Party and the Party of Italian Communists.

While never a communist party member himself, he has been accused of worse.

Check out this report from October 1999

Romano Prodi, and president of the European Commission, was at the centre of political storm in Italy after it emerged he had been told three years ago of western intelligence reports that a big KGB spy ring existed inside the country. Mr Prodi, who was Italian Prime Minister from 1996 to 1998, said this week he had never been told about allegations that 261 Italians had been operating as spies for the Soviet Union for decades.

However, the defence minister in Mr Prodi's government admitted he had informed him in general terms about allegations when they were passed to Rome by British intelligence in October 1996. Opposition politicians claim that Mr Prodi was reluctant to Act on the intelligence Information for Fear It Could Destabilise the Centre Left Coalition. Italian newspapers have recently suggested that the list of spies may include senior figures in the current government apparatus.

Very recently, United Kingdom Indepence Party MEP, Gerald Batten accused Mr Prodi of having been an agent of the KGB.

Batten elaborates on the UKIP website

One of my constituents, Alexander Litvinenko, was formerly a Lieutenant Colonel in the Russian Federation's FSB, the successor to the KGB.

Mr Litvinenko's exposure of illegal FSB activities forced him to seek political asylum abroad.

Before deciding on a place of refuge he consulted his friend, General Anatoly Trofimov, a former Deputy Chief of the FSB.

General Trofimov reportedly said to Mr Litvinenko, "Don't go to Italy, there are many KGB agents among the politicians: Romano Prodi is our man there."

In February 2006 Mr Litvinenko reported this information to Mario Scaramella of the Guzzanti Commission investigating KGB penetration of Italian politics.

This allegation against a former head of the European Commission is one of the utmost seriousness. It should be thoroughly investigated. The European Parliament should conduct its own investigation.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Australian Communists on East Timor "Conspiracy"

The Communist Party of Australia wants to save the Marxist-Leninist Prime Minister of East Timor, Mari Alkatiri. It also wants to make sure that its friends, Cuba and China maintain a foothold in the region.

The CPA believes that the rebel army forces in East Timor are Australian backed. They believe that PM Alkatiri is the real target and that Australia wants to replace him with someone friendlier to Canberra.

Excerts from a statement by the CPA Central Committee and published in The Guardian 14.6.06

The Communist Party of Australia fully supports the sovereignty and independence of East Timor (Timor Leste) and the right of its people and government to develop their economy and political system in accordance with their circumstances and wishes. We regard these to be the right of all nations and are non-negotiable. They are in accord with the principles and Charter of the United Nations.

It is in disregard of these rights that the Australian Government has for some time been interfering in the internal affairs of East Timor, has attempted to destabilise its democratically elected government, encouraged dissident military and political forces within East Timor to stage a military coup to overthrow the elected government headed by Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.

Alkatiri’s Government adopted a policy for the debt-free development of East Timor and resisted pressure to accept World Bank loans. His Government opposed the privatisation of electricity and started to rebuild public institutions such as health and education systems. Mari Alkatiri fought hard to win a justified share of oil revenues in opposition to the stand taken by the Australian Government. His Government sought to build a state-owned petroleum industry. It adopted a poverty reduction program and accepted medical aid from Cuba.

When the coup attempt by some dissident military and police forces failed the Australian Government sent in a powerful contingent of military forces to help create a situation in which regime change could be brought about.

Before Australian military forces landed in East Timor the Australian and East Timor Governments adopted an agreement called the rules of engagement. It provided that Australian military and police forces would act to stem the violence, burning and looting, would cooperate with the East Timorese Government and would disarm the rebel military forces which had staged an armed revolt in Dili. This agreement has not been carried out by the Australian Government while an underhand campaign of propaganda has been carried on to discredit the Timor Government in an attempt to remove Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

W.A.Y.N.C.R.? Number 9, Luke Coxon

Like his comrade, Helen Te Hira, Luke Coxon is a well traveled and well connected young Marxist.

From an academic family, Luke Coxon grew up in various Pacific countries, including Tonga.

The Tongan Pro Democracy Movement is heavily Marxist influenced. In May 1996, Coxon spoke on behalf of the Neo Maoist, Radical Society at Auckland University, on the Tongan "Democracy" movement. He later spent the 96/97 Christmas holidays in the Philippines at an anti APEC conference.

In 1997/99 Luke Coxon was one the leading lights in Radical Society at Auckland Uni and in 1999 was active in the APEC Monitoring Group.

By 2000, Coxon was in Tauranga, organising for the Service and Food Workers Union.

By 2001, Coxon was active in Asia Pacific Workers Solidarity Links, a pan Asian organisation networking radical and Maoist trade unionists. APWSL is in turn affiliated to the Peoples Plan for the 21st Century (PP21), a Japanese based, Asian, African and Latin American network of radical and Maoist oriented NGOs, Church groups and "people's organisations".

In 2002, Coxon was on APWSL's secretariat and was editing its newsletter. He was also back in Auckland working for the Financial Sector union, Finsec.

In 2003, Luke Coxon helped organise the NZ tour of Emilia Dapulang, national vice chair of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU-May First Movement), the Communist Party of the Philippines' trade union wing.

The same year Coxon was involved in distributing union literature opposing the US invasion of Iraq.

In 2004, Coxon represented APWSL and the Christchurch based ARENA, organisation at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India. This huge event was primarily organised by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the even more radical, Maoist leaning, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)

ARENA activists include ex Maoists like Robert Reid, radical academics like Jane Kelsey, Radha D'Sousa and David Small and ex Radsocers, Helen Te Hira and Desigin Thulkanan. ARENA Advisory Board members, David Small, Helen Te Hira and Luke Coxon have all been involved in the campaign to have Ahmed Zaoui released from prison, cleared of being a 'security risk' and granted refuge in NZ.

In August 2005 a march was held in Queen Street, Auckland to support striking public servants in Tonga.

The March was supported by Tongan Ma'ae Fonua (Niulala Helu), Asia Pacific Workers Solidarity Links (Luke Coxon) Global Peace and Justice Auckland (Mike Treen, John Minto) the Council of Trade Unions (Ross Wilson) and the Green Party (Keith Locke).

Coxon is also a leading activist in the Socialist Worker/Matt McCarten led, Workers Charter Movement and is on their 20 strong steering committee. On August the 5th 2005, Coxon reported to the Workers Charter executive on a recent APWSL meeting he had attended in Malaysia.

In February this year, Like Coxon joined fellow ex Radical Society members David Fleming and Helen Te Hira on the staff of the National Disribution Union. Coxon is working in the NDU's "growth unit".

The NDU is controlled by NZ's leading Marxist-Leninist party, the Socialist Party of Aotearoa. It will interesting to see how Coxon and his fellow ex Radsocers fit in, with the "old guard" communists.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Curly Capitalism Questions 1&2

Here are two curly questions from two anonomi(?)

Under pure capitalism, would there be legal aid?

In my libertarian/capitalist utopia there would indeed be many forms of "legal aid", but they would not come from the state.

Let me go back a step or two. In a free society, the state would be confined to protecting individuals from force and/or fraud. That is from the bad things people do to each other, not the stupid things people sometimes do to themselves.

This justice system would cover the basics-laws against theft, assault, rape, murder, fraud, extortion etc. Much of what the justice system now busies itself with eg "vice" laws, RMA laws, most tax legislation, anti trust law, labour law etc etc etc would no longer apply.

Consequently law would be much less intrusive and the legal sector would be significantly smaller.

Add to the mix, that no cartels would have any legal power to enforce membership. Bang goes the Law Society's monopoly. Lawyers would be subject to competition like everyone else. There would be fewer of them and I would expect that their service would improve.

Theoretically anybody would be able to practice as a lawyer. However, as in all other professions, the insurance industry would become the chief standards regulator.

How would that work? You go to a lawyer with a civil or criminal case. You have a right to sue, if they stuff up your case. Therefore, lawyers would carry public liability insurance. Insurance companies would either charge ruinous premiums to incompetent lawyers or would refuse to insure them. Very few, if any poor lawyers would last long, raising the overall standard of the profession.

So there would be fewer prosecutions for fewer offences. Lawyers would be cheaper and more competitive. The really good ones would also tend to be richer and less corrupt. (How soul destroying must it be, legally ripping people off for a living , as many lawyers do today, under the current system?)

As I believe the state/taxpayer has no obligation to pay to defend those who it prosecutes, who will defend those innocents wrongly charged?

For a start, I believe the David Bain/Rex Haig/David Dougherty type cases will be even rarer than today, because the legal system will be far more speedy, efficient and honest. This improved legal integrity will also reduce the incentive for lazy cops to "fit people up" as some of them do now.

Those few genuine cases of injustice that may arise will attract public support as they do now. Taxes will be minimal, living standards higher and the general level of benevolence greater.

There is no doubt in my mind that deserving cases will garner plenty of public support. I'm sure there will many offers of pro bono legal services from public spirited lawyers or the odd self schooled "amateur". Civil liberties organisations, idealistic law students, tribal authorities, protest groups, motorcycle clubs, churches, friendly societies etc etc etc, will also be there to help any of their brothers who are wrongly before the courts.

People will probably even be able to buy legal liability insurance. This will almost certainly become available if state legal aid, or as I call it "social welfare for lawyers", ceases to exist.

Ultimately, I have faith that free people are more likely to "do the right thing" than those who surrender their responsibilities (and consequently their freedom) to the state.

The system won't be perfect, but it will be a damn sight better than it is now.

In a libertarian utopia, will people still be forced to do jury duty?

No. Trials will be fewer, cheaper and more speedy as lawyers will no longer have the legal aid "taxi meter" ticking in the background.

That will make more people willing to come forward.

As there will be no dole, lower taxes and more employment choices, "no hopers" will not be so prominent on juries as they are today. Juries will tend to attract the older, the wiser and more public spirited of our citizens. Therefore verdicts will tend to be faster and more likely to be correct.

Private Roy on Military Training

ACT MP, Heather Roy, gives us an interesting report of her recent Territorial Force training here.

One of the things the defence force does best is train leaders. Showing recruits that they have responsibilities to others as well as themselves is woven amongst the skills the army teaches, and the development of leadership is evident, especially in team based activities. When I'm asked what I learned in the army the answer is discipline, teamwork and leadership.

The territorials perform many functions and one of the most significant is to weave the army thread throughout the fabric of society. It is important that the defence forces are seen as an extension of the people - the army is our army. It also provides an outlet for those who wish to make a concrete expression of their patriotism, something that has become unfashionable in this day and age.

Kiwi Communists Inspire British Comrades

From the Website of the British Trotskyite group, Workers Power

This summer, Revolution the socialist youth group is launching a campaign of stunts and unionisation on the high street to fight against the harsh working conditions dealt to young workers.

Globalisation has many faces - the summits of world leaders, the war on Iraq, the hysterical stockbrokers sweating over the latest change in oil prices. One of the most immediate faces of globalisation is on the high street.

We've all heard the stories of McDonald's environmental destruction, Nike's sweatshop factory conditions and the slave labour that goes into harvesting the coffee for cafe chains.

These are all big problems, which have implications the world over, but the harsh effects of globalisation aren't confined to overseas. Every high street in Britain is staffed by young low paid workers, whose hard work fills the pockets of their bosses.

The minimum wage is just £5.05 for workers 22 and over. Younger workers get an even rawer deal - just £4.25 an hour for under-21s, £3.00 an hour for 16 and 17 year old, and no protection at all for under-16 year olds!

These wages are well below what even the European Union says is needed to live decently - £9 an hour - and the fight for a £9 living wage for all workers is the key target the campaign is fighting for.

But the campaign is about more than just winning enough money to live decently on - although it's an indictment of the system we live in when a fight needs to be mounted for enough money for proper food, housing and transport. What the Supersize My Pay campaign can offer is a way for young workers - who are often unorganised because of the type of work they do and because by and large they aren't touched by the unions - to collectively fighting back for better conditions.

The name of the campaign is taken from an organisation drive initiated by unions in New Zealand who made a push to recruit young workers in Pizza Hut, Starbucks and KFC amongst others and has already won increases in pay in several workplaces.

Whilst we don't have the membership numbers to have the same clout as a trade union campaign, we will be trying to get young workers to join a union and asking for support and information from local union branches. A victory for young workers in a branch of a well-known high street chain could be a significant step forward and inspire further action and organisation.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Curly Capitalism Questions

I've gone through the "Curly Questions" thread and culled out the questions. Please let me know if your question is not duplicated correctly or is missing. There are more than 10, but I will answer them all to the best of my ability. On reflection, I will answer them out of the order written and may group one or two similar questions together. I will start working my way through them in the next day or two. Thanks for the great response.

I must also emphasise, that while I am an ACT Party official, my answers are not ACT policy, unless actually stated. Philosophically and economically I'm a libertarian, but ACT is not a libertarian party. There are many libertarians in ACT, but there are also conservatives, Classic liberals and social democrats. We are united around some common planks, such as low tax, school choice, more private health and welfare provision, protection of property rights and the reduction of red tape. There are also many areas where ACT members diagree.

My answers will express my ideals. I'm sure many will be shared by some ACT members, but that's all I can guarantee.


Why you cannot rely on the market to deliver health care, emergency services, defence, social security....

Berend de Boer said...

Auckland has many volcano's which give the city a lot of charm. And there are no buildings on it so you can actually see them.

What alternatives are there to government controls?

We have of course the common law, but would that be sufficient?

Related to that are high rise buildings. I like to be able to see far and wide, and Auckland offers a lot of that. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind a few more high rise buildings in Manukau City center, there are already some and it doesn't seem to spoil the view.

I wonder how and if these things would survive if there were no government controls on these things whatsoever.


Trevor, do you think that there is a place for publicly owned land ie. parks and roads, or do you think it is possible for society to work well with only private ownership of these things?

I have an open mind on these things and would be interested in your perspective.


Where does Profit come from?


How would a free market model deal with human caused environmental problems, specifically those which the individual is unlikely to care about eg a farmer who is degrading his land over the long term. Or an individual who's lifestyle is contributing to long tetm environmental change


I consider myself pro-market, but often wonder about harm from large private companies. The giants (McDonalds, etc) sell shitty food so I don't eat it. But millions do, they get fat/unhealthy and die. I don't like "solutions" like Green's proposal to regulate food advertising, but at the same time I don't like that companies can do so well selling harmful products. The mental reconciliation I've come to is that people who are too lazy or stupid to eat properly bring it upon themselves, with (maybe) some blame accorded to a lack of rules/enforcement about what is actually in food. I'm not sure I'm satisfied with my answer, so what do you think?

Also, how does the situation of a child who has one of the aforementioned lazy/stupid people as a parent fit into this? Should a parent have the freedom to raise the fat little porkers I see in the supermarket? (They seem to at the moment!)


Trevor,you would accept that competition between firms and corporations is a fact of free market national capitalisms. Many of these have states to protect their interests. But what happens when different nation states compete over resources. Is war not just an extension of this economic competition?


I could probably think of a few if I thought long enough; I'll start with just one:
Network neutrality; this is something causing a stir about the online community, for-profit content providers (movie studios, record companies, software companies etc) want to pay Internet Service Providers to prioritise their content on the net (meaning it will be delivered to users faster than other content) this disadvantages non-profit content providers such as free/open-source software sites, the Internet Archive, and Wikipedia Not to mention things like small independant blogs (New Zeal for example)

Is this fair? if so, why? and if not, how do we stop it happening?

Also something related, the Internet is regulated mostly by non-profit organisations (with no connection to private business or the state) is this the right way to run it, or would it run better if those organisations were run for profit?

liberty through profit

why is the salary cap in the new Air NZ NPC Rugby comp a bad idea?


I love market economics. It works as predictably as physics.

I have studied both economics and physics (economics to a much greater extent) and I disagree with the above statement.

I don't think Trev can tell the difference between economics and right wing rhetoric.

Theoretical microeconomics tends to be objective in that firms try to maximise profit and consumers try to maximise utility (constrained optimisation). Macroeconomics tends to be more like a social science with multiple conflicting but valid arguments.

When some economic event occurs, it can sometimes be easy to predict which direction variables will change but it is usually difficult to quantify the change. Sometimes peoples' expectations are too hard to second guess, making the direction in which things change unpredictable.

Econometrics (statistical modelling for economics) may estimate functions for economic variables but even if the structure of a model results in a good fit, the estimated parameters become less accurate over time and the model will need to be refit using more recent data. Some models are good at making predictions but can't make them far into the future. Physics on the other hand, might use similar techniques initially for fitting formulas to data but the estimated parameters tend to remain the same. Once the formulae have been derived, the practice becomes more like maths than statistics (with some exceptions especially in nuclear/quantum physics).


1. Is it true that the freer a market is, the faster it will grow?

2. Is maximising growth, utilitarian?

Trev I would like to ask you about where you and/or ACT sits in the debate about patenting life forms.

Over the last few years there have been attempts by multinational corporations to try and secure patents on actual life forms (ie things made by Mother nature or hundreds of years of developing farming. For example the American chemical company WR Grace patented the Neem tree, which has been used by Indians for centuries for its medicinal properties.

Another company Ricetec patented Basmati Rice, which has been cultivated by people in South Asia for centuries. Thankfully both these idiotic patents have been overturned.

Should corporations be able to patent what they haven't actually invented, Either processes that are natural or have been practiced by people for centuries?

At the moment it seems corporations, backed by WTO rules like TRIPS (Trade related international property rights) seem to be able to go around the world see a nice plant like the Neem tree and say "wow that's a nice plant, I know we haven't invented it but no one else has patented it so why don't we?"

Is this right?


I'm very much left leaning yet i dislike the school system, i also have no philosophical problems with the private sector taking over many services that the government now provides, as long as its fair. I also realise that people willingly help each other and that a government is not always needed to get things done.

I just want to hear how a libertarian society would work in practice for example how would act work to protect the environment if it got in. And how would act provide health care to those who earn to little to be able to afford private health care (even if tax was abolished)


What is the place for Unions in a free (and capitalist )society?

Is there a need for bodies such as the Commerce Commission?


Act has a 25% (near) flat tax policy. If Act came to power:
-in which areas would they cut spending?
-would they have budget deficits?


Given that a private sector fire service has been tried in the past:
- is there evidence to suggest that it was more effective than a state funded system?
- why did its funding change from private to public?
- are there any countries still using a privately funded fire fighting system? If so, are they using a similar level of technology to do the job?


Would you aprove of fully privatising roading(as would seem the liberal thiing to do)? and If so how would you prevent a person buying al the land around someone elses property and stopping them from leaving. Bernard Danton suggested that a court would decide that the owner would have to let the person though, but that would be a serious breech of property rights.

So what is your solution?: have public owned roads like now or let courts tell people who they can or can not have on their property, or have "regulation"(a nasty word for right wing liberals I know"


If all roads are owned privately, surely the person who owns the road outside the courthouse can never be sued ("Good morning, Judge Smith! Sorry. Road's closed for judges and lawyers today!").

In a libertarian utopia, will people still be forced to do jury duty?

If carbon dioxide does in fact warm the atmosphere and this is, for me, a bad thing, I should be able to sue everyone who emits it and get a court injunction to stop anyone doing this - thereby banning breathing out into the atmosphere, and the burning of anything. Good thing? How can a non-centrally-planned economy decide how much carbon dioxide is the right amount to put in the atmosphere?

If whales and other sea creatures are privatised, to what lengths do I have to go to determine that no-one owns one before I can claim it as my own? Doesn't this require government regulating branding, or setting up a central registry, as with land?

If money is issued privately, how will the government decide which currencies to accept for court fees and fines?


If copyrights, patents and trademarks are "intellectual property", shouldn't protection last forever?

Under pure capitalism, could I sell nuclear weapons to third world dictatorships?

Could I sell them to anyone?

If we allow that governments own all the land they control (as they claim), doesn't that make almost everything they do legitimate?

Under pure capitalism, would there be legal aid?

World Peace Council's Revolutionary Agenda

Founded in 1949, the World Peace Council was the Soviet Union's largest and most influential front organisation. Most pro Soviet Communist parties had an affiliated "Peace Group" which would be that country's representative on the World Peace Council.

New Zealand WPC affiliates were the old Communist Party aligned New Zealand Peace Council. Later it was the Socialist Unity Party aligned, New Zealand Council for World Peace (later the Peace Council Aotearoa/NZ).

The World Peace Council still survives as a leading co-ordinator of Peace/Communist activity and propaganda world wide. It recently moved its HQ to Athens from Helsinki.

The Executive Committee of the World Peace Council concluded its latest meeting on 19th and 20th May 2006 in Brasilia.

Below are excerpts from the WPC's statement issued after the conference. It gives a good overview of the issues of importance to the world communist movement. It is effectively a blueprint for communist/peace activity, worldwide.

The meeting of the WPC Executive Committee in Brazil, in Latin America, truly constitutes a special moment in the history of our organization, taking place as it is during a period when great contradictions are intersecting in this region in the most telling way.

The WPC is welcoming today the developments taking place on this continent, we could thus say that the heart of progressive mankind, and therefore the heart of the peace
movement, the WPC, beats in Latin America- in Cuba, in Venezuela, in Bolivia, where their peoples, defying imperialist intimidation, are finding and blazing new paths to the peoples' benefit. Likewise in Brazil where the government is defending world peace and the Latin American integration. The WPC reiterates its demands for the lifting of the US blockade against Cuba and for the release of the five Cuban political prisoners from the US prisons.

The attention of the world humanity is these days focused on Iran, which we cannot examine in isolation from general developments. To a great degree it is linked to the overall imperialist policy, first and foremost by the USA, which is trying in many ways to impose global domination, to control the wealth - producing resources of the planet and to subjugate any country or people that put up resistance.

The immediate and essential task of the peace movements, the peoples' movements and naturally the WPC, is to mobilize the peoples to denounce pre-emptive war policy and thus to stop a new war, deeply linked with the demand for immediate withdrawal of all occupation forces from Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

WPC will promote a campaign to rally broader forces around the struggle against war-for a world order of peace and justice based on the founding charter of the UN.

WPC will strengthen the cooperation with other social and peoples' movements against the neoliberal policies. Over the past year widespread privatizations and the deregulation of services have been promoted with growing urgency and pressure in order that conditions might be created for the multinational corporations to engage in yet greater plundering of social wealth. Common actions and initiatives for the cuts in military budgets are becoming more and more important as a common ground for peace and other social movements.

The WPC denounces the imperialist imposition of economic sanctions on countries which do not comply with the wish of the powerful, with the pretext of lack of democracy, violation "human rights" and underlines the sovereign rights of each people for self-determination. In this context we demand the lifting of the economic
sanctions by the USA and the EU against the Zimbabwean people and for its right to determine its own future.

The WPC supports the peaceful and independent reunification of the Korean peninsula and expresses its solidarity with the Korean people in their fight against the military presence of US troops on their soil. The WPC firmly opposes the acceleration of the integration of Japan in the military plans of the US strategy and the reinforcement of the US bases in Japan.

The Executive Committee expresses its profound solidarity with the Palestinian people, in its ongoing suffering from the western backed and tolerated Israeli occupation. We reaffirm our support to the only possible solution of the conflict with the establishment of an independent State of Palestine in the borders of June 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The WPC is committing itself to strengthen even more the coordinated efforts for the removal of all Foreign military bases, which constitute a violation of the sovereignty of the countries where located and a daily threat to the respective region and peoples. We denounce furthermore the common military exercises of the USA in various parts of the world.

Despite the negative tendencies and contradictions, the WPC is expressing its strong will and optimism that the situation described above, is not a one-way street.... The peoples' struggles in each and every country with the coordination on regional and International level can and will open new roads, for peace and the benefit of the vast majority of humanity. The WPC will contribute to its best level to this.

Capitalist Despoiler, Degrades Mountain Landscape for Private Profit

From TV1 News

The Queenstown Lakes District Council says a property developer has breached the Resource Management Act after he mowed a sign into the grass.

Property developer Dave Henderson applied for resource consent for more conventional signage six months ago, but a debate between the local regulatory authority and Transit New Zealand over the size the sign meant that he was still without signage once the development began.

In frustration, he took matters into his own hands and mowed a website address on the site.

The letters in the sign are a whopping 34 metres long but one of the only places they are visible from is The Remarkables ski field road.

According to the council, as the sign visible from a public place, and since it is in a rural general zone, it requires resource consent.

"I'm horrified by the reaction, the very notion that we need resource consent is just bizarre and I'm sure every New Zealander who gets up on a Saturday to mow the law would feel the same," says Henderson.

New Zeal How can Dave Henderson sleep at night.

Hat Tip Rodney Hide

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Idealism and the Freedom Movement

Berend de Boer has emailed me an excellent speech by US Organic Food entrepreneur, John Mackey.

At the time I started my business, the Left had taught me that business and capitalism were based on exploitation: exploitation of consumers, workers, society, and the environment. I believed that "profit" was a necessary evil at best, and certainly not a desirable goal for society as a whole. However, becoming an entrepreneur completely changed my life. Everything I believed about business was proven to be wrong.

The most important thing I learned about business in my first year was that business wasn't based on exploitation or coercion at all. Instead I realized that business is based on voluntary cooperation. No one is forced to trade with a business; customers have competitive alternatives in the market place; employees have competitive alternatives for their labor; investors have different alternatives and places to invest their capital. Investors, labor, management, suppliers, they all need to cooperate to create value for their customers. If they do, then any realized profit can be divided amongst the creators of the value through competitive market dynamics.

In other words, business is not a zero-sum game with a winner and loser. It is a win, win, win, win game 'and I really like that'.

Read the full speech here.

This speech articulates far more eloquently than I could, a better way forward for the freedom movement.

The left has the idealism to attract youth, but has few real practical solutions. The freedom movement has heaps of solutions, but we often under values the idealistic potential of our ideas and allow ourselves to be painted as motivated only by personal material success.

I am going to be answering some pretty tough questions in the next few days. I took on the challenge because I am idealistic about freedom and wanted to show that freedom is not only immensely practical, but also incredibly inspiring.

I urge all my readers, left, right and centre, to read the above article because it effectively demonstrates a better way to advance the cause of human liberty.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Which Will Fall First? The Sky, Or the Price of Oil?

The Greens would have us believe that the price of oil is destined to climb indefinitely.

Maksimovich at Outsidethecube posts and interesting article that claims the opposite is far more likely.

Lord Browne, the chief executive of energy giant BP, has predicted that the price of oil could drop as low as US$25 a barrel, in direct contrast to a market that sees prices remaining sky-high.

The long-standing leader of BP, the world's second largest oil company, said that while prices will not moderate in the near term, within five years, Lord Browne of Madingley saw oil coming down to US$40. In about a decade, he predicted the price could be as low as US$25.

Cuba to "Re-vitalise" Non-Aligned Movement

From the Communist party of Australia's Guardian 7.6.06

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Bin Haji Ahmad Badawi has reiterated his full confidence that Cuba will successfully assume the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and will continue the task of revitalising it.

The Prime Minister made these statements during his meeting with Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque shortly after the official inauguration here of the Ministerial Meeting of the NAM Coordination Bureau.

Badawi had words of affection and praise for President Fidel Castro and expressed his satisfaction at his being able to once again lead the Movement during a complex international situation.

The Cuban Minister had previously held a fraternal meeting with Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar, and together they reviewed preparations for the upcoming NAM Summit, as well the progress of the current Ministerial Meeting.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Throw Trev Your Curly Ones

If there's one thing I enjoy more than spotlighting socialists, its exploring the practicalities of the free market/free society ideal.

I love market economics. It works as predictably as physics. If you understand the principles of free market economics, you can predict the likely outcome of virtually any government policy or scheme.

I find that virtually all socialists and indeed many capitalists, do not fully understand how market economies or free societies actually work in practice.

Here's my challenge.

Throw me all your curly questions.

If you're a socialist, throw me a question on capitalism that you just know I won't be able to answer. Expose me for the heartless capitalist bastard that I am.

If you're pro market, throw me a question that somebody has stumped you on, or you just can't seem to figure out. Find out if the free market is really worth fighting for.

If you're undecided or just curious, throw me a question about capitalism/free markets or the functioning of a free society that puzzles you. Find out if the Capitalists really do have the answers.

The Rules

A Simply post your question in the comments box. Keep it simple. Examples might be.

What is the role for unions in a free society?

How can free markets improve animal welfare?

Capitalism inevitably leads to monopoly. Why do you then support capitalism while promoting freedom and de-centralisation?

Are competition regulating bodies such as the Commerce Commission necessary?

How would private universities work?

You don't believe that state welfare is a good idea. Why do you want poor people to stay in poverty?

B I will answer the first ten fair and civil questions in seperate posts on this Blog. I will answer them to the best of my ability. If I don't know the answer, I will say so. Others may wish to comment with their solutions.

C When I have answered the first ten, I will open up another thread for ten more.

Waiting for your curly ones.

Gently Fisking Byron

I get the odd socialist making comments on this Blog. Some are quite sincere, some are simply cretinous. Virtually all seem to have little understanding of what I mean by terms such as capitalism, or how a truly free society would work. Most have at best a very superficial understanding of how socialism would work in practice.

A few posts back I made the statement

If this country had a libertarian government no legislation or force would impact on any non "mainstream" lifestyle, family arrangement, personal habit or proclivity.

I then asked.

Would the same apply under a Workers Party/Socialist Workers/Socialist Party/Communist Party/Communist League etc government?

Byron of the Workers Party, one of the more lucid and sincere of my socialist commentators posted some replies.

Here are my questions, followed by Byron's replies then my counter arguments. If Byron wants to challenge my counter arguments, he can email them to me and I will post them.

Could I maintain my business and lifestyle as I do now?

Byron I'll answer those two things separately: Business, depends on what your business is, are you self employed or do you have employees? If you have employees then at the least they would have the unrestricted right to strike (this has been a Workers Party policy in the last election) But that would be the same under a libertarian government wouldn't it? No big state interfering with peoples freedom of movement and association.

Lifestyle: I'll have to guess at your lifestyle, I'd say its something along the lines of home in suburban crosshatch, possibly a family, three good meals a day, access to entertainment? Of course you can maintain that lifestyle, socialism is about material abundance, everyone could have that lifestyle.

Yours Truly I would certainly expect my staff to have the right to strike. Conversely I would also expect to be able to fire them for breach of contract and immediately employ new staff. I would also expect the right to hire or fire whomsoever I chose, for any reason I chose, free from state interference. The state's role would be confined to enforcing, if necessary, any contract my staff and I freely negotiate. Glad you're on board with this Byron.

Re lifestyle. What if my lifestyle is that of a jetsetting industrialist or a multiple McDonald's franchise owner? What if I believe that I have the right to consume as much as I have the ability to produce? What if I'm simply brighter and more hardworking than my lazy, pig ignorant neighbour and wish to enjoy a hugely affluent lifestyle? Can the world support everybody's wishes to match my lifestyle, even if many of them have neither the wit nor the work ethic to match my productive ability? How can everybody match my multi-millionaire's lifestyle Byron?

What will the Workers Party do when I produce and consume hugely more than my slack neighbours. If socialism is about equality, Byron how will your government bring about equality without taking my wealth or reducing my level of affluence? If it won't do that, how does it differ from a capitalist government?

Could I educate my children as I wish?

Byron Of course, why not? Difference is education will be free, right up through university, and will be available to everyone. I do think that the change in the material conditions of society is going to change the way we think about education, learning and teaching, but we won't see how until it happens.

Yours Truly How would you pay for this universal free education, without taxing me heavily and thereby lowering my ability to enjoy my chosen lifestyle? A major feature of socialist governments is total control over the education curriculum. Why in the world would a Marxist-Leninist, Workers Party government, risk all their good work by allowing Capitalist nutters like me, to educate my kids to oppose everything you and your comrades stand for?

If education is "free" that simply means someone else is paying for it. In this case the Workers Party controlled state. He who pays the piper pays the tune. You can educate your kids any way you want. Yeah right! The freedom and abundance of Capitalism will change education completely. Socialism, if allowed to continue, will reduce education to a rigid system of formalised indoctrination.

Could I advocate for free enterprise and against socialism?

Byron Of course. (see next question)

Yours Truly See next answer.

Could I join with others to get rid of the Socialist government?

Byron Again, of course. The thing is, socialism comes about through popular revolution, meaning that the vast majority of people will want socialism, so a group of people going against it isn't going to make a lot of difference.

Yours Truly The entire history of human existence tells us that man's primary motivation is betterment of self, family, social group and mankind, usually in that order. The beauty of Capitalism is that by allowing man free rein to improve self, he can acquire the wisdom and wealth to also help family, friends and his fellow man.

Socialism seeks to reverse this natural order by making man's efforts first conform to society's needs. As this conflicts with man's nature, force is soon required to get results. Where is your evidence Byron, of a single sustained revolutionary socialist movement that did not rely primarily on force? Left alone Byron, people get on with the "pursuit of happiness". By bettering themselves intellectually, financially, emotionally, spiritually or artistically, they all make the world a better place whether they intend to or not.

Nobody, beyond a very small minority is going to voluntarily move from freedom, towards socialism. So at some point Byron, the socialists are going to have to either abandon their dream or resort to force. Sorry Byron, but faced with the same choice, I think your Workers party, will, if able, choose force. Certainly several of the groups your publications support, such as the Maoist guerrillas of Nepal and the Philippines seem to have no qualms about killing their opposition.

Could I criticise the government, or other individuals or groups I disagree with?

Byron Again, of course, spread the word to anyone who will listen.

Yours Truly Pure fantasy Byron, for the reasons stated above. For Communism to succeed, all serious socialists acknowledge that man's conciousness needs to be purged of the capitalist "brainwashing" that saturates it. This is a vital task and no revolutionary worthy of the name is going to allow filthy capitalists to pollute the minds of the peasants with their poisonous ideas. No Marxist-Leninist government has ever tolerated a capitalist opposition for any longer than it absolutely had to. I guarantee that a Workers Party government would be no different.