Wednesday, September 12, 2012

We must stop kidding ourselves!

Life in New Zealand is getting harder for more and more people. Even those in the so-called middle classes are struggling. I bet if you asked them if their newish car is owned by them or the bank (or finance company) you would overwhelmingly hear the latter.
I am so sick of hearing, ‘but we make up for all that with our lifestyle.’ Come-on---heaps of NZ families do not get that yearly trip to the beach or bach that we took for granted a few decades ago. It all started with Rogernomics and the sad thing is that if that did not happen we could be in an even worse state re our economy and for exporting our produce.
It is time we acknowledged that life is NZ is becoming harder for many people. Apart from those n the top 30%, life is one where we live from wage packet to wage packet. There is very little discretionary spending. There is little or no money left over after the basics are paid for. A huge amount of the spending that we see at the malls, travel agents and car yards is based on borrowing, be it credit card or financed.
For those nearer the bottom, on minimum wages or benefits, the picture has been dire for many years. They must all but throw up when they hear politicians claiming that life for most in NZ is hunky dory. Just look at those moving to Australia and places further afield and you start to get the picture, Of course things don’t always work out for these people either, so they continue to chase their tails.
How did it all go so horribly wrong? I am sure politicians and economists will argue about that until the cows come home, but we cannot claim that everything is fine and dandy any longer. We have to face facts. If you live in Auckland you need to travel because many of the jobs are not near where most people live. Transport costs, for workers and for producers are high, which erodes our spending and saving power.
Housing is expensive, be it for renting or owing your own home. The dream for young people now to own their own home in Auckland or some other cities is fast receding to the impossible. Don’t say they should move to cheaper suburbs, because the housing stock isn’t there either.
I feel for those who grapple with the emerging crisis we have in NZ. They don’t seem to have the answers. It is going to take a brave Government to come up with what could be unpalatable solutions. Will the electorate let them then put plans into action and expect to win the following election? I doubt it. Maybe we are too selfish and have become—‘me too---I want it now’ and anyone proposing a ‘well we have to settle for less,’ is going to be ‘screamed out of power.’
What say you?