Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath takes his irreverent weekly trawl through some of the past week’s headlines.
1. Gary Taylor: Housing initiative covers the bases – Environmentalist Gary Taylor is crowing about two bits of news. Firstly that the taxpayer will be forced to help build “a new community” on the former Hobsonville air base. Expensive services such as solar electricity will be provided to the 3000 homes, and Waitakere ratepayers will be also be made to fund a boat-building company to be placed near the residential area. Houses will be “properly” insulated – I wonder how much that will cost? Of course there will be bus and ferry connections – subsidised for their losses, no doubt, by the good ratepayers of Waitakere.
The other bit of news that tickles Gary are the 18 greenwashed National MPs who met in Taupo. The ‘Bluegreens’ have grown like didymo since they formed in 1998, and now fully a third of the National caucus are paid-up members of National’s Society for the Worship of Mud Puddles, Insects and Weeds. Gary tells us the Bluegreens discussed such burning issues as the latest imaginary hobgloblin from which politicians need to save us (anthropogenic climate change) and figuring out ways to throw more money at Maori while continuing to deny them property rights (“co-governance with iwi”).
Hey, Gary – can I make a suggestion re the Hobsonville Point development? How about using your own money for a change, you bloated bloodsucker! About time the housing industry was left to the for-profit sector. Ratepayers that want to contribute will surely buy one of the houses, if they’re that good – why force them to become property investors?
2. Paul Holmes: Key emerges as nemesis of ‘P’ – It is very disappointing to see Paul Holmes backing an escalation of the War On Pleasure. And disappointing but not surprising to see John Key sticking his oar in as well. The two of them seem to think retaining the prohibition on methamphetamine, while making it more difficult for gangs to procure the necessary substrates, will help solve the “problem” of people using methamphetamine. How naïve.
The reason gangs are in the ‘P’ trade is because most potential competitors are scared off by the prohibited status of the drug, leaving criminals ready to reap the profits. John Key could pull the carpet out from under gangs and stop their drug revenue overnight by legalising the production, possession, use and sale of methamphetamine.
That’s step one: taking the manufacture and sale of the drug away from gangs. A lot of harm arises in having to deal with these often unpleasant people and their less than user-friendly trading habits. There would be no more buildings damaged by the toxic chemicals used in clandestine P labs; instead, production could occur in secure, safe, commercial laboratories. With competition permitted, the price would drop; with legalisation, the illicit thrill obtained by flouting authority would disappear. With legalisation, the virulence of the drugs solid illicitly would diminish (the flip-side of Milton Friedman’s ‘Iron Law of Prohibition.’)
The use of methamphetamine and other recreational substances would become a health issue, not a legal one. Users would be less afraid to seek help for their drug-related health problems. Everybody would win – apart from the gangs.
Prohibition is a knee-jerk response to a perceived problem. It has never worked, never will. Sorry Paul and John, all you’re doing is helping is helping the gangs get richer with your silly posturing and power play. Destroy the gangs by getting drugs out into the open. Note how few gangs turn a dollar by selling alcohol (and how many more people kill themselves using alcohol and tobacco compared to methamphetamine – but that’s another story altogether).
3. NZ, Australia to give Samoa $12.2m – The headline should read: NZ, Aussie taxpayers forced to hand Samoans $12.2m. Gee, that was generous of us. Can I claim this donation on my tax return? I didn’t hear John Key thanking us for our generosity. It’s like the Telethon all over again, isn’t it – John Boy basking in your forced generosity to gazump the genuine article.
I see this money is going straight to Samoan politicians, so you can bet the bureaucrats over there will cream off their share for simply passing the money on to someone else. It’s very easy to put your hand in someone else’s pocket and give their money to someone in need. But that’s not charity. It’s theft. It’s like the Mafia taking a share of the profits of your business at the point of a gun and then building a children’s playground or a hospital with the proceeds.
I have no qualms about people giving freely and generously when others are in need. But it is simply not the business of government to violate the rights of some for the benefit of others. Let’s face it: foreign aid should be unforced and arise from a benevolent sense of community spirit, not because you have a gun in your back and a politician’s hand in your wallet.
And when you know you have a politician’s hand permanently in your wallet, your own donation is going to be so much the less for the extraction of that forced emolument.
4. Taxpayer millions on tap for Maori TV rugby cover – Maori TV only obtains 4% of its revenue from the free exchange of values i.e., selling advertising to willing buyers. The other 96% it obtains by plunder – by filtering taxpayer dollars via organisations such as the Maori broadcasting agency, or by getting paid directly from the trough. So the sky is the limit in terms of how much moolah taxpayers may be told they must stump up to bankroll Maori TV’s bid for rights to broadcast the Rugby World Cup. And Sky TV will probably be what they will need in order to access televised games. Nothing like having to pay twice, is there? People uninterested in rugby will be delighted to know they are paying for others to watch the national game, and helping to boost the coffers of pay-TV operators. A good reason to rip broadcasters of all stripes off the state tit.
See y’all next week!