I was ‘prompted by a FB friend to watch the TV3 programme last night on the ‘Growing gap between rich and poor in NZ.’ I must thank her for reminding us about this very moving and quite frankly, ‘brave’ programme.
The programme summed up a great deal of what I have believed for a long time and then went even further, adding to my feelings of frustration at the continuing erosion of economic power, not just of the poor but of the ‘struggling class.’ It blew away any claims that a ‘trickle down’ effect is best for those of us in the bottom 70%. I would go even further and say that on Auckland and some other bigger cities the struggling class and poor are an even bigger proportion of the population.
The concept of ‘trickle up’ is a powerful concept. Simply put, it is another way of returning increasing amounts of money and wealth to those at the top; friends of the government!
It was enlightening to see that many countries are now turning their back on the policies loosely labelled as ‘Neoliberalism.’ That New Zealand had its advocates (Douglas, Shipley and now Key) just shows us how tightly we are linked to those forces overseas. Indeed NL is a global phenomenon and it continues to hurt those at the bottom and far more than realized in the past.
The concept of a ‘consumerism’ driven society and business models that have as their central position that which is only profit driven cannot deliver what it has so proudly claimed throughput recent history. Indeed even so-called right wing politicians are pondering the efficacy of the ‘free market.’
Of course, those who have the most to gain by keeping to the present way we operate have the most to lose by any ground shift towards a more equal society, or at least one that does not have such glaring gaps. The same people control the media and the means by which we all ‘share in the cake.’ That a company like TV3 or its owners can put up a programme as seen on TV last night, does give me some hope that there are influential people out there, who do have a conscience. Now what we need are politicians who share that alternate view. Which of the three contenders for the Labour Party leadership would fit into this category? The answer to that will provide me with the knowledge I need to cast my vote in the current leadership journey.