“Five radical ideas to make New Zealand…”?

Glenn McConnell at Stuff suggests: Five radical ideas to make New Zealand fairer, better and less annoying

1. More days off

We get today off simply because it is “the day after New Year’s Day”. At least they could make up a name for “the day after Christmas Day”, aka Boxing Day. Don’t stop there. Why not the day before, as well?

Of course, some businesses will complain because money. Cry me a river. Public holidays are universally loved and drive spending in hospitality, tourism and in the regions. More importantly, they’re a day free (or well paid) of work. Only sycophantic corporate slaves would argue against days off.

New Zealand has a measly 11 public holidays a year.

Full time workers also have 20 days annual leave, five days sick leave if needed (which if unused can accumulate up to 20 days). Plus 2 out of seven days off each week.

Many of us could take more days off – if we were happy to be paid less.

2. Dramatically lower the voting age

With the general election planned for this year, why not lower the voting age to 16, or 14? Actually, why can’t it be 10 or lower? Last year, a 9-year-old boy in Amsterdam became the youngest person to graduate university. Surely, the arbitrary age limit of 18 should not prohibit smart kids from voting.

You might say “you need some life experience”. I say: Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you’re necessarily more worldly than a 17-and-a-half-year-old. And regardless, the experiences of a 10-year-old are no less real or worthy. They may even be quite insightful.

Is he really serious about this? Perhaps McConnell could do with more life experience himself.

Having 16 year olds, 14 year olds and 10 year olds voting in the euthanasia and cannabis referendums and perhaps deciding the outcomes seems a ridiculous idea to me.

I suspect that McConnell doesn’t have children of his own in the 10-16 year old range.

3. Encourage people to work in professions that matter

There are a few deeply selfless professions renowned for very poor working conditions. These tend to be the positions which matter most.

Teaching, nursing, clinical psychology, social work and other careers are generally accepted as valiant but poorly paid and exhausting. We literally can’t live without people taking jobs in these fields, and staffing shortages are common.

Before we promote study for the sake of it, we need to focus on attracting more skilled and compassionate workers to these fields. That will mean special subsidies for those university courses and higher wages for those workers. We’ll need to pay for that, and we should. I suggest a special tax for all who call themselves “consultants”, “executives” or “partners”.

It’s hard to take this seriously.

4. Give everyone a home

Sometimes I think landlords really consider themselves to be the Lord.

Instead of focusing on building thousands of homes to be sold to private owners – who will eventually reap profit from a government service – why not build thousands of state homes? State homes cost about 25 per cent of a tenant’s income, up to the market rental of that house. You need to be in difficult circumstances to qualify for a state house.

But we could decide that a house is a right, and everyone has access to a state house.

So the state could buy all privately owned houses and rent them back to us at subsidised rates? After doing them up, everyone has a right to a flash house like everyone else, surely.

We could cut the banks out of the family home, and rent to buy.

You’ll still pay 25 per cent of your income, that’s a lot of money. Anything is better than giving 40 or 60 per cent of your money to a guy who happens to own some land.

So half price rentals. I wonder who McConnell thinks should be taxed to finance this. Everyone else?

5. Stop sharing corporate memes

Air New Zealand is not your friend, it is an airline. You don’t need to comment on and share every witty photo and caption it posts, those are ads. We used to hate ads, now we share them for free and consider them some sort of fine art. Wake up, sheeple!

That’s a radical idea that would make New Zealand fairer?

I actually choose not to share advertisements. I don’t buy clothes at premium prices that advertise the seller. But I don’t tell others how they should spend their money and their time on social media.

McConnell sounds like a socialist sheep pulling the wool over his own eyes. I don’t think his ‘radical’ suggestions will start much of a revolution.

I wouldn’t rule out his article being a piss take. It’s hard to see it as serious.

Alan suggested “Hard to beat for millennial journalistic drivel…makes you wonder why journalists are allowed to vote”.

Like the rest of us (aged 18 or more) McConnell can vote, I don’t have a problem with that, but should he be influencing other voters?

Leave a comment

35 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  2nd January 2020

    -4- is sensible.
    When you realise around $2.5 billion of Govt money per an is ‘given’ to landlords through the accom supplement….that is a good chunk for state housing.

    -3-has merit…we know there is no correlation between exec pay and performance.We also can see the trough that consultants feed from is excessive…look at MBIE under Joyce=a disgrace.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  2nd January 2020

      Re – No 4:

      You can’t have it both ways. Either you want the government in your life, or you don’t.
      Besides the government has legislated what landlords can/cannot do with their private property, so a little payback is welcome.

      Of course if the government would f-off out of the rental property market, the exodus of rental property owners would slow, and a way more people would housed.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  2nd January 2020

        Take away the Govt accommodation supplement and rents and RE prices would plummet,and landlords would take a…bath.

        Reply
      • Duker

         /  2nd January 2020

        ” the exodus of rental property owners would slow, and a way more people would housed.”

        A fallacy …the houses still exist , so if its not ‘rented’ someone would still live in the house as an owner.
        Remember NZ once had a much smaller portion of housing stock as rentals, as the home ownership rate were higher .
        However as the rental share of housing stock has increased ( driving up prices as they do) so has the rents gone up as a portion of average income.

        Reply
  2. Conspiratoor

     /  2nd January 2020

    More days off? Heres a trend that could catch on.

    How about take as much PTO as you like. Its not unheard of for employers to give their staff unlimited time off.

    Generous offer or cynical ploy?

    Reply
  3. Conspiratoor

     /  2nd January 2020

    The voting age should be increased not decreased. For one compelling reason…

    The ability to think rationally is the last brain function to develop, and isnt fully developed until the mid 20s

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  2nd January 2020

      Fascinating Con!
      Btw what is second brain function to develop and at what age?cheers.

      Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  2nd January 2020

        B, at a guess id say something fairly primitive like the one that stimulates the sex organs

        Would you expect a decision on how to vote to be the outcome of a brain activity that involves some rational thought or a …brain fart?

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  2nd January 2020

          Just wanted to make sure that you’re guessing.
          The 9 y.o university graduate ……is he capable of rational…thought?

          Reply
          • Conspiratoor

             /  2nd January 2020

            No, but he could answer this one. Can you?

            You are in a boat and throw out a suitcase. Does the water level increase?

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  2nd January 2020

              NO.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  2nd January 2020

              Blazer you are wasted on this blog. A career at microsoft awaits. Give my regards to uncle bill. Cheers,c

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  2nd January 2020

              If the boat isn’t in the water, then the water level can’t increase because there isn’t one.

              If it is, and the suitcase sinks, the water level will increase by the volume of the suitcase.

              If the case floats. the water level won’t increase.

            • Gerrit

               /  2nd January 2020

              Kitty,
              You are forgetting that when the suitcase is in the boat, its displacement is carried through the boat into the water thus the water level has risen whether the suitcase is in the boat or in the water. The only time the water level drops is when the suitcase is in mid flight from the boat into the water.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  2nd January 2020

            Bugger….

            Reply
  4. David

     /  2nd January 2020

    He is in good company at Stuff, probably considered the smartest guy in the room

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  2nd January 2020

      The Silly season is well named – by those in the media -to cover exactly for this sort of stuff

      Reply
  5. duperez

     /  2nd January 2020

    It’s all just someone saying something to stir people up.

    That’s shown by the voting age bit. “… why not lower the voting age to 16, or 14? Actually, why can’t it be 10 or lower? Last year, a 9-year-old boy in Amsterdam became the youngest person to graduate university. Surely, the arbitrary age limit of 18 should not prohibit smart kids from voting.”

    A 9-year-old in Amsterdam graduates university so 10 year olds in New Zealand should be given the vote? How about ‘smart’ limits for everyone?

    I’m surprised he didn’t suggest a trial to see how things would go with kids voting. “Darling daughter, you are now 11 which means you will be capable of making, and will make, the important decisions which will affect you into the future. Choose where you want to go, with whom, what you eat, when you go to bed, who should be the government ….”

    https://nz.linkedin.com/in/theglennmcconnell

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  2nd January 2020

      Need those clicks!

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  2nd January 2020

      “I’m surprised he didn’t suggest a trial to see how things would go with kids voting.”

      This has actually been done. They voted for exactly what they were intended for vote for.

      https://www.wwf.org.nz/?2980/NZ

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  2nd January 2020

        A long inglorious history: Soviet Komsomol, Hitler Youth, Mao’s Red Brigades, African child soldiers,

        As the Jesuits knew, a young brain is ripe for plucking and, as innumerable old political villains exploited, perfect for dispatching to fight wars they don’t understand. Hence their current enlistment in climate alarmism.

        Reply
  6. lurcher1948

     /  2nd January 2020

    National party lovers, i returned my beautiful granddaughter home up north today and coming through Ohau, there was a trailer parked on the side of the road with a suited white MALE(as usual)NATIONAL LOGO with the slogan on the whiteboard saying”Two LANES two LEVIN”, and i thought JOHN KEY did fuck all on that road in 9 years, SO WHAT WILL CHANGE under simon bridges, FUCK ALL..Levin to Otaki,dodge the potholes STARTED UNDER JOHN KEY….national did stuff all, and WHAT WILL CHANGE…except task force bridges a major failure

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  2nd January 2020

      I didn’t know John was still in power. I can see we are going to have a problem with you when Labour gets the boot this coming election. Raptor squad may have to designate you: ‘subversive.’

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  2nd January 2020

      So much for your clueless lot making roads safer, Lurch. The segment of motorway they cancelled from Warkworth to Whangarei is the most dangerous in the country with 162 deaths in the last two decades according to figures dug out by the Herald.

      About as good at building roads as they are at building houses.

      Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  2nd January 2020

        PS you two usual righties,Corky and Alan,the roads will still be shit because National has a ratio of 3 spin doctors to one policy maker and thats why they have 2 idiots like you two promoting them the roads are fucked,and I’m speaking the truth.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  3rd January 2020

          No, you have no clue, Lurch. I’ve driven that road literally thousands of times. It needs to be four lanes and should have been done decades ago. Finally getting it to Warkworth thanks to National but your Lefty idiots stopped planning for the extension.

          And now they are mouthing about moving the Auckland port to Whangarei – with no rail connection and a goat track road. Half-wits flatters them. They’ve no wits at all.

          Reply
        • Corky

           /  3rd January 2020

          Alan has schooled you, Lurchy. Put your strides on; choppers in, and walk off your defeat like a man. Don’t forget the sunscreen. And maybe a little zinc gloss for the lips would help.

          Reply
      • duperez

         /  3rd January 2020

        Alan, I’m interested in ‘the segment of motorway they cancelled from Warkworth to Whangarei.’ Where can I find details about that?
        I don’t mean pre-election ‘we will do this’ talk, but actual plans for a Warkworth to Whangarei motorway.
        Towards the end of the year I heard reference in Parliament to ‘ghost roads.’ I thought that was about roads which were said to be going to happen on re-election but for which budgeting and a couple of other essential things had not happened.

        Reply
          • duperez

             /  4th January 2020

            Thank you. That indicates that there were no definite plans but ‘background work.’

            “August 20, 2017 – National government Transport Minister Simon Bridges announces plans for $10.5 billion to be invested into 10 RoNS projects, including an addition to the Warkworth to Wellsford motorway from Te Hana and Whangarei.”

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/95962416/national-announce-105-billion-roading-plan

            John Bain, as usual, terms it the ‘Government shelving National’s plans’ instead of ‘National’s election promises.’ Using the emotive, easily visualised ‘four-lane motorway to Whangarei’ is the catcher as well as the disguiser of what the reality of the status of the project was.

            I too have driven that road thousands of times. Four lanes are needed and that project should have been done or at least started decades ago. If we’d had close electoral results in the region over decades along with close results nationally maybe there would have been more action. Backwaters become vital when the fish think they’re going to be out of water.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th January 2020

              Initially, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) was engaged in purchasing programme to acquire properties along the indicative route of the RoNS.

              But property owners who indicated they wished to sell early say negotiations with the NZTA have stalled since the Labour-led government indicated its priorities had shifted away from RoNS toward light rail, urban cycleways and safety improvements on existing roads.

              Purchasing properties was obviously a committal to the project much greater than mere speculation as you claim. And Labour stopped it for foolish ideological reasons.

  7. davelenny

     /  2nd January 2020

    McConnell reminds me of my late teenage self when I knew everything and my parents knew nothing. Eventually reality – full time work, a family, paying a mortgage – cured my delusions.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  3rd January 2020

      Yep, I remember my first pay packet. I was rich beyond my wildest dreams. Until tax, board, vehicle up keep, food and a gold digging sheila shattered my wealth illusion.

      Reply

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