The Joys of a New Labour Government

So the earlier announcement around ‘plain packaging’ is the final straw for me. The once ‘National Party’ will now be New Labour from now on. They can claim to be free markets, but their decisions and thinking have been fundamentally nanny-statist and bureaucratic (and the word ‘free’ next to markets seems to have taken the same turn as with trade). The constant battle cry seems to be ‘let’s see if we can make the government work’, which doesn’t mean they look at structural changes, but instead that they take the existing apparatus of state and continue to development it (but with a ‘blue bent’). I simply cannot support that. We’ve lampooned NZ First in the past for living in the 1980s, for Labour living in the 1970s, but I am not really seeing where the difference is anymore. The solution is constantly to erode personal choice and to create ‘solutions’ to problems which are well outside of the role of the state (I should note I don’t smoke, nor find it very nice when people smoke around me, but that doesn’t mean we should be banning a company from legally displaying anything but plain sodding text).

This is an extremely dangerous development, as we are now going down the thin end of the wedge. When Coke and cheese can’t have anything but plain packaging, and you’ll need to ask for them out-of-sight, we’ll go, ‘That’s just stupid’. Well, this is just stupid (who actually buys fags on the basis of how pretty the colours are?). So a pox on them, I guess they don’t need my vote anymore (as they’re getting lots of new Labour voters to join them).


6 thoughts on “The Joys of a New Labour Government

  1. RQ

    This article from Farrar [ kiwiblog] a near sympathetic approach to the mad Gareth Morgan ideal of Capital taxes on everything.
    In my view Farrar is now no more than a y propagandist / feeler / wind smeller / for the liberal socialist National party Government.
    Farrar actually implies that new forms of tax will result in reduction of other forms of tax.s


    1. Hi Paul
      Yes, I saw that one. I’m not sure Farrar is particularly endorsing the proposal, but I think he’s mixed up ‘base broadening’ with finding new taxes. If the proposal was that we should remove some particular exemptions with income tax, there may be some merit (although our system is, already, reasonably equitable). Instead, as is so often the case with socialist logic, by adding more taxes we’re ‘broadening the tax base’, when, in practice, we’re finding new things to tax. That, of itself, isn’t a problem, but I have yet to meet a government which permanently reduces (or abolishes) existing taxes to compensate. Equally, the tax proposed is utterly repugnant and very poorly conceived. It will collapse savings (creating a significant disincentive to hold any assets that do not produce above the nominal return) and, conversely, encourage people to be as speculative as possible. Thus, we will end up with a casino scenario, because putting money into ‘safer’ investments will actually be taxed more harshly.

      I know this has been happening for a while, but only socialists tax or hinder you for prudence. Our savings rate is abysmally low already, why do we wish to diminish it yet further?


  2. Yes, as you say RQ
    @Gareth Morgan Seriously. One minute we are quoting Bastiat, the next we are taking this clown seriously?@


  3. Gareth Morgan introduced himself to that blog RQ, in order to enlighten us how stupid we are, and that his proposals are in fact a broadening of the tax base. I see @ broadening of the tax base# as a euphemism for expanding and increasing tax.


  4. Farrar softening us up again for Capital taxes. He approves of long as other taxes are reduced. This is arrant nonsense . Other tax will not be reduced other than some nominal show piece. Farrar is now misusing his audience as a propagandist, but his reputation is good enough to let him get away with it.

    Farrar at his site @ I support a comprehensive capital gains tax (so long as other taxes are reduced to compensate) as the best tax system is broad based, low rate and few exemptions@’


    1. Yeah, he has also given air time to ‘pay equality’ (which is such a violation of liberal and capitalist belief that it seals my view that National has completelu flipped their lids). I don’t disagree that having broader taxes is good, but that must be tempered by the cost and complexity of any new revenue. CGT is inherently complex, oft avoidable, and heavily distortionary. It is one of those ‘good ideas’ which are so good that only politicians and publically funded researchers can dream them up. My prefer, as always, is how we can reduce the size and purpose of the state first.


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