30 October 2008

Beware of Maxim bearing gifts

Maxim Institute, that high-minded "think tank" that claims to stand for democracy and justice, showed last night in Tauranga (and obviously other meetings around the country) that they are a narrow-focused, arrogant group of stupid white men who carefully do not claim to be Christians. Yeah, right, just as well, because they give real Christians a bad name. Their website is full of weasel words and patronising articles, but just wade through the schlock and you get nothing more than a power base aimed at advancing the cause of intolerance, bigotry and the economic status quo.

So last night at Baycourt, the Maxim moderator banged on about democracy, gave the audience a patronising lecture about MMP
and then proceeded to run a "debate" that was a sham. There were eight of the eleven or twelve parties represented on the top table, seven of them already in Parliament. The eighth was Maxim darling Larry Baldock. Two other candidates present (I was one, representing Democrats for social credit) were graciously allowed to speak at the beginning for two minutes, but were not included in the "debate".

When I challenged this ruling and asked for their reasoning, I was told: "This is a meeting about the party vote." Well, I was certainly seeking the party vote, but that was too bad for me. I just had to try and satisfy myself with interjections.
I sat through the meeting, managing a heckle or two, and was appalled. The questions were loaded, the candidates had no more than a minute each to answer, and what was worse, we were treated to a little "entertainment". Questions like "McCain or Obama?" "Sarah Palin - hot or not?"

Excuse me? Am I the only one who thought that was a pathetic waste of time? Questions like that were sexist, irrelevant and distracting the audience away from some really serious issues facing this country and the world. I know the women candidates were not impressed.

In the audience were groups of people who had come to support their candidates, which is fair enough. However, many of them were rude and noisy to other candidates, booing and catcalling throughout an answer - and the moderator made no attempt to control them in order for candidates to be heard. I was close to walking out at several points, and I could have made it a distracting one, as I was seated down in front and would have had to walk up the aisle in view of the entire audience. I wouldn't have left quietly, either.

However, I didn't walk out, I stayed to the bitter end. When it was over, I went up on stage and spoke directly to the Maxim muppet. I asked him to explain again why I, and indeed other bona fide candidates from registered parties, were not included in this debate. He said, "With respect, your party is not likely to get into Parliament."

Is your jaw dropping? Mine did. I said, "That's not your call. You don't know for sure that Larry Baldock will get in either." He gave me the most disdainful grin, but I carried on.

"You have done a disservice to all the people who came tonight," I said, shaking my finger in his face and waving my arm towards the auditorium. "Don't they have a right hear from all the candidates?"

"But then," he whined, "we would have twelve people on the stage."

"So?" I snapped. "Isn't that the democracy you went on about tonight? Maybe you couldn't be bothered. Maybe you're too busy trying to get through the eye of a needle."

He murmured that we would have to agree to disagree (same thing the Nats guy said - funny how they retire into cliches when they don't have a reasonable answer).

But I was stomping off by then - smiling!

All the way up the aisle and out through the foyer, I was stopped by people who wanted to congratulate me and say "Good on ya!" I wasn't the only one who thought the whole thing was a jack-up, believe me.
And if it was meant to push Larry Baldock, it didn't do him any favours.

If it was me, I would have been embarrassed.

19 September 2008

I'll show you the money!

Candidates had no answers for the Priority One audience at Bay Court in Tauranga this week. Colour me surprised to find that all five just kept to the usual platitudes.

They promise growth and infrastructure for Tauranga of course, but without a whisper of how to pay for it. Well, why would they campaign for more debt? Unless they are standing for National...

Huge global financial companies are toppling one after another, the world economy is going down the gurgler, and none of the parties in or out of Parliament will face up to what is really wrong. None but Democrats for social credit (DSC), that is. And what is wrong? Debt, greed and more leveraged debt.

DSC has the mechanism to free New Zealand from the world's financial turmoil. And more specifically, we can provide cities like Tauranga with sustainable growth, fully funded public transport, education, health and a clean green environment. But not under the present, very dodgy economic system.

Currently, for Tauranga to have the infrastructure to cope with a huge projected growth in the next few decades, the usury attached to commercial finance will mean paying for each project two and three times over, a debt burden that will enslave generations to come. Rates will go up, prices will go up, businesses will go under and everyone loses.

DSC has an alternative - create the credit needed for public works, at cost (less than 1%), by using our own Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Unlike the privately-owned Federal Reserve (USA), The RBNZ is owned by you and me. Why pay billions of dollars a year in interest to overseas banks when we could be running our own money supply?

No currency exchange costs, no interest, no ties to rocky overseas banking interests - just the good old Kiwi dollar created and spent the way we want it! Rates will go down, prices will go down, business will thrive because people will have more money to spend, and everyone wins.

What's that whine in the corner? "We won't attract foreign investment" you say? We need foreign investors buying our houses, our farms and our companies like we need a hole in the head. Since when did those greed merchants ever put any money into actual production?

If I am elected to Parliament as the member for Tauranga, I'll show you the money: Community credit from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Choose real domocracy. Choose real freedom. Choose Democrats for social credit.

BTW, this was authorised by Mark Atkin, 5 Tarras Grove, Lower Hutt.

07 September 2008

New Zealand is a colony

As most of us know, New Zealand was once a colony.

A powerful force from the other side of the world claimed ownership of these islands, and sent soldiers, settlers and fortune hunters to take possession. The indigenous people were robbed of their lands and livelihoods by overwhelming numbers of foreigners. They became impoverished second-class citizens in their own country. Their populations were decimated by war and disease, and at one time it was assumed that they would die out - conveniently for some.

You might think this is just history. But it has happened all over again. New Zealand has been colonised by powerful forces - big overseas banks and their cohorts, the multinational corporations.

Think about it. Kiwis work harder, longer and smarter than just about anyone, but we are only running to stay in place - if we're lucky. Too many of us are slipping further into poverty, along with a quarter of our nation's children.

Land ownership has passed more and more into foreign hands. Mortgages on family homes are mostly held by overseas banks. Every day, small business are forced into bankruptcy by larger, overseas-owned chains, and more successful Kiwi companies get sold off to become merely branch offices of huge multinationals. Those companies not sold are forced off shore, looking for cheaper labour and cheaper finance. Even our largest daily newspaper is the flagship of a media fleet owned and controlled by overseas interests. 

And what do these overseas interests care about? They care about milking the cash cow that is New Zealand.

We, the multi-coloured peoples of New Zealand, are being milked of everything we have. We  are slipping into debt slavery. We are being conquered, robbed and enslaved - without a shot being fired.

It doesn't have to be this way. 

We, the electors of New Zealand, still have the power to decide who will run our government. We can turn away from Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber, the two major parties who are the political lackeys of the economic powers that be. Neither one has any intention of changing our economic system and releasing the people from slavery.

In fact, no party in Parliament has such an intention. The smaller parties campaign on narrow agendas, refusing to accept that what they want to achieve is impossible without a major change to the monetary system.

ACT's call for individual responsibility would leave most individuals even more vulnerable to the rapacious economic colonists, allowing only a few to strike it rich through speculation. The Greens will never save Hector's Dolphin or the native snail while we have to borrow from commercial banks at compounding interest to fund those projects.

United Future bangs on about families, with no financial policy to help more than the middle class. The worthy Maori Party will continue to see it's constituency struggling in the current economic system. Too many Maori still endure the double whammy of colonisation - then and now.

Most reprehensible are NZ First and Progressive. Both leaders understand the need for monetary reform, and both have skirted close to advocating aspects of that reform. However, neither have found it politically expedient to adopt the needful measures that will not only pull this country out of the world recession (as was done in the 1930s) but will benefit Kiwis for generations to come. Both leaders take the specious attitude that staying in power (with weak, timid policies) is better than campaigning for what is right. Shame.

Outside of Parliament, again the focus is so narrow as to ignore the glaringly obvious. Certainly Direct Democracy's BCIR policy is a good one - Democrats for social credit had it first! But without public control of the nation's money supply, we can vote on any number of binding referenda and it will make very little difference. 

The Libertarianz and their ilk advocate a dog-eat-dog principle, but the big dogs are already feasting. "You own your own life!" they cry. Sorry guys, right now the banks own your life. And so it goes on.

Only one political party, Democrats for social credit, has the intention, the policies and the financial mechanism to establish a new economic paradigm in this country. To secure our independence from colonising powers, we will take public control of the money supply. 

DSC says: stop borrowing from commercial banks - step away from the evil that is usury. Instead make use of a cheap, efficient source of money from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Only then will this country return to a free and just society, an equitable distribution of wealth that all work for, and a land that is really clean and green.

New Zealand has a history of leading the world. Here's another chance: to show other countries a viable way out of that debt trap that grips us all. 

Vote Democrats for social credit this election.

BTW, this was authorised by Mark Atkin, 5 Tarras Grove, Lower Hutt.

Our Big Fat Debt

I have a question. As consumers, business owners and ratepayers, why do we borrow from foreign-owned commercial banks - at high rates of interest - when we could be creating our own money supply and lending it into the economy at nil interest? We have the publicly owned Reserve Bank all ready to do the job.

And we have done it before - decades of state housing were funded with Reserve Bank credit. Farmers enjoyed great prosperity (and passed it on to consumers) through interest-free overdrafts from the Rural Bank (a branch of the Reserve Bank.) Ditto for the various Marketing Boards.

Right now, as I write this, New Zealand has a total debt of more than four hundred billion dollars. Both major parties have made a big deal about how the government's overseas debt has been wiped out. The reality is, debt has been transfered to the private sector - household and mortgage debt, business and corporate debt - which is growing more quickly than any of the parties in Parliament know what to do about.

This frightening total means an average of almost $100,000 of debt for every man, woman and child in New Zealand.

You might be thinking, "I'm all right, Jack, I haven't got any debt." Well, congratulations, but you are still paying for it. We all pay, with every litre of milk and loaf of bread we buy. We pay with our taxes, our rates and our insurance premiums. The price of every good and every service is loaded with that debt burden.

Dang. And you thought you were sweet. And it gets worse.

The compounding interest on that humongous debt, billions every year, is siphoned out of our hard-earned wages and mostly sent off overseas, into the pockets of the already obscenely rich.

And the Leader of the Opposition wants to borrow more money to build toll roads. Excuse me? If he and his Money Market Mates get into power this election, we will all be going down the toll road of borrowing ourselves to death.

If you are like me, and you don't like the road we're going down, have the courage to change direction. Turn off, get out of the car and get into public transport. Vote Democrats for social credit  this election, and get out of debt.

BTW, this was authorised by Mark Atkin, 5 Tarras Grove, Lower Hutt.

Community credit

Voting for parties currently in Parliament hasn't seemed to make any real improvement in our lives. None of those parties has answers to rising debt, rising prices, rising unemployment and crashing money markets.

The publicly owned Reserve Bank of New Zealand could create and spend or lend money into the economy - interest-free. Interest on debt - the billions of dollars that go off overseas to line the pockets of the already rich - will then stay in New Zealand for the benefit of all.

This is true Community Credit. Public assets such as schools and hospitals can be built and funded, and paid for only once. We could afford important projects such as public transport or repair of the damaged environment. We could fully fund education and health, with plenty left over.

Please don't listen to that old chestnut "Inflation!" as an argument against Community Credit. Compounding interest is one of the major causes of inflation.

Compounding interest is also called usury, and for centuries was against the law. Interest is an absolute evil which robs and enslaves people, destroys economies and poisons our planet host - to pay profits to the shareholders of overseas banks.

The people of New Zealand are being robbed, our economy destroyed and our beautiful country poisoned right now.

Here's an idea: let's stop borrowing ourselves to death. Let's have the courage to change. Vote Democrats for social credit this election. I know I will.

BTW, this was authorised by Mark Atkin, 5 Tarras Grove, Lower Hutt.

A Better Future

I am standing for the Democrats for social credit  this election, because I want a better future for my children and grandchildren.

Most of us want that, but most of us don't know where to start.

Let me make a suggestion: check out Democrats for social credit (DSC). We have been around for over half a century. We were the first party to advocate environmental policies. We were first to push for a nuclear-free NZ. We were first to call for and work for reform of the political system.

Now, when financial markets are crashing all over the world, and people are hurting but don't know where to turn, DSC has a plan.

The plan is simple: the public creation, ownership and control of our money supply through the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

This one vital act of democracy will have complex and far-reaching benefits for the people, the economy and the environment of New Zealand.

It's a very good place to start.

BTW, this was authorised by Mark Atkin, 5 Tarras Grove, Lower Hutt.

23 April 2008

"Coca Cola Libraries"

Further to there not being enough money (see previous post), I see the BOP Times had a front page story (Tuesday 22 April) about the council considering corporate sponsorship as a way of meeting running costs of the city's libraries . Think for a minute of the implications...

'User pays' - the war-cry of the neo-liberal economic paradigm - has already normalized charging the public for checking out new fiction from a library system that is supposed to be (and once was) entirely free. Although to some the charges are not very high, if it is the choice between a book and a loaf of bread for your kids, you'd have to choose the bread, negating the whole ethos of having a public library. Okay, that may be an extreme example, but as prices rise, more and more families are faced with these small choices every day.

Yet the library system must be paid for - buildings, books and staff all cost money. Councilors, to avoid being voted out of office next time round (and in the meantime, to stop people from abusing them in the streets), want to keep rates from rising too high, hence the bright idea of a corporate sponsor. Coca Cola, for instance.

It is important to remember that a corporate sponsor doesn't give something for nothing. Tax advantage is only the beginning. Once a public service like a library begins to depend on corporate sponsorship, the sponsor can demand all sorts of changes to the way the service is run.
Ads polluting the walls, and studious library staff wearing the sponsor's logo, naturally. The former quiet of the reading areas now filled with piped advertising jingles, subliminally soft, of course. And a Coke machine in the children's section, now there's an idea.

It could be worse. A sponsor could object to certain sorts of books, and cause them to be removed from circulation. Alternatively, ads and publications might be included with every book checked out, or the library users' reading preferences used for purposes other than library statistics. Hours might be curtailed, branches closed, buildings reassigned, staff laid off, all at a sponsor's whim.

But the worst thing would be for a sponsor to bring the 'user pays' whip to bear, charging for every withdrawal and effectively curbing the free flow of public information to those who cannot afford to subscribe to any other meaningful or relevant source. (I can't think of television news as meaningful or relevant, and radio isn't much better.)

The Council's other options are to close branches, open cafes in other branches
, charge more for more books... hang on, except for the advertising they sound like corporate sponsors. Stuck with an economic system that keeps this country and every other country on the debt treadmill, what is a poor beleaguered council to do?

One of the things they could do is call for a fully-funded, integrated national library system to be reinstated. This is just one of the many areas of public education that should be funded by debt-free public money created by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Let's step away from the neo-liberal economic paradigm that turns our public services into salable commodities, before we lose our precious libraries altogether. Do nothing, and the next generation will only know a public library as a quaint, archaic idea from the olden days.

17 April 2008

There's never enough money.

Up until recently you could get a loan for any amount to buy anything. So why isn't there enough money? Schools have to have 'donations' and money-raising events just to make ends meet. Hospices spend years fund-raising just to get a building, volunteer groups are always scrabbling for the pitiful few dollars available from the huge gambling pool. And now some really basic things are going up in price, while good old wages are still stuck somewhere last century.

So where did the all that dosh come from to buy bigger and more opulent houses, larger and more risky share portfolios? Gather round, my chicks, and I will tell you.

There is no room full of gold anywhere. Cash is created out of thin air (and a computer chip or two) and lent into the economy as new money. There is no limit to the amount that can be created this way, and the real killer is the interest charged on it. We pay through the nose for the right to use thin air dressed up as money. Back in the old days, all the major religions banned charging of interest - called usury - because it caused such misery to so many.

So here we are, working longer and smarter for less, while the profit of our labour - interest - gets sucked off into the pockets of the obscenely rich. You might be feeling that a monumental fraud is being perpetrated world wide by a very few, to grab the hard-earned wealth of the rest of us, and you'd be right. Commercial banks and financial institutions are co-conspirators of this fraud, and governments - knowingly or unknowingly - perpetuate the system to stay in power.

Does it all sound too big to think about? Taking on the world is a bit much, so I suggest we start small, right here in New Zealand. The first and most important step is to take public control of the money supply. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand, instead of clobbering us with high interest rates, could create the money needed for the country's economy, and lend it into the system interest free.

Can you imagine getting an interest free loan for a house? You could pay it off before you die!

Sadly, none of the political parties with a presence in Parliament have any intention of allowing the Reserve Bank to resume this function. Some of them, because if they did their larger contributors would take a hike, but mostly because they still believe "loans come from other people's savings", a myth that is part of the fraud. Even the Greens, bless their little hemp socks, want ever so much done for the environment (who doesn't?), but have no idea how to pay for it.

Democrats for social credit (DSC) is the only political party with the core economic policy to pull New Zealand off the debt treadmill. Check it out at www.democrats.org.nz or go to Deputy Leader John Pemberton's site: www.johnpemberton.co.nz and see for yourself.

16 April 2008

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