DOWN TO THE DOCTOR'S: Debts, deficits, and self-defence
- NZ HERALD: “Govt faces 12.6b debt hole” - "Ballooning cash deficits grow faster than the government's borrowing programme…"
THE DOCTOR SAYS: There is a major assumption one must make in order to accept what this article suggests, i.e., that the government should be allowed to borrow unlimited quantities of money to spend on whatever it wants, with the responsibility for paying this debt falling squarely into the lap of future taxpayers, some of whom are currently children or even unborn as yet.
Bill English readily concedes that part of this deficit blowout is attributable to his government, in its wisdom, deciding to shift responsibility for the leaky homes fiasco from builders, architects, materials manufacturers, local councils and BRANZ onto taxpayers—who had nothing to do with the construction of these houses.
Taxpayers have also been landed with responsibility for undertaking to provide partial earthquake insurance cover for homeowners, a function that the private sector could have assumed quite easily.
Part of the blame for the rising fiscal deficit is a "dwindling tax take." But a responsible government would have realised that bad economic times would have generated less revenue, and cut their spending accordingly—not raised it by around one billion extra per year!
As for Bill English's comments that "We're still on track to reach budget surplus in 2015/16," what a load of abject, unspeakable bullshit. What a complete and utter crock.
If a week is a long time in politics, then five years is never-never land.
All he's really saying is "Please re-elect us. We might do better next time." Well, why on earth should we, Bill? Why on earth would you?
Are New Zealanders any better off than they were three years ago?
What radical steps have you and your party taken to tear down the walls of Clarkistan?
What state-owned millstones have you sold off to repay the national debt?
How many state servants have you released into the private sector to get a proper job?
Why do you feel you deserve three more years, when you’ve done nothing at all with the last two?
(National Party supporters: please feel free to respond on Bill's behalf. I understand he's busy spending money that productive people have earned.)
- DOM POST: “Attack on officer no reason to arm police” - "Before we rush headlng into a Wyatt Earp response to perceived violent crime in NZ, we should pause and ask some questions…"
THE DOCTOR SAYS: Labour Party candidate for Wairarapa Michael Bott argues against police being able to defend themselves with an appropriate level of weaponry when a firearm or other lethal instrument is wielded by an assailant.
First, he says, arming the police force "puts a distance between the police and the public" and is a "state-sanctioned threat of force to effect control." Well, Michael, that threat is there with every law the government makes. Do this, it says, or we will prosecute you using physical force to compel you to comply.
Second, he makes the statement, unsupported by any evidence, that "the more guns there are in society, the greater the likelihood that they will be used." Evidence please, Michael, and how do you define "used"?
Third, argues Bott, a stray bullet could kill an innocent party. True, and tragic when it happens. But so could a stray car, as per the child killed by a boy racer in Christchurch not that long ago. No reason to outlaw cars, is it?
Fourth, Bott uses the case of Constable Bruce Mellor to argue that a gun could have been taken off him and used against him. This ignores the possibility, as Police Association president Greg O'Connor pointed out, that the assailants may not have been quite as aggressive had Constable Mellor been packing heat.
Bott also dredges up the case of Steven Wallace who was smashing windows with a golf club in Taranaki one morning and ended up shot dead. He forgets that the police officer who shot him, Keith Abbott, did not have recourse to a Taser, which would likely have resulted in a stunning and not a shooting.
Michael Bott would do well to remember that these days criminals are armed. Our police should not be sent into battle against scum with inadequate firepower. Just because they have access to firearms does not mean they need to use it. After all, a revolver in a police holster could be a fake, but there to provide a strong disincentive to those who might otherwise entertain fantasies of beating up or killing a cop.
But if police are armed for their own defence, then so too should all law-abiding citizens have the right to arm themselves, and only one New Zealand political party regards self-defence as such a fundamental right that it would enshrine this right in a constitution. And as John Lott has pointed out, increasing gun ownership in a community makes people safer from violent crime.
So, in opposition to Michael Bott, I believe the police should have the option of using firearms, and some or all of them should have our permission to carry a sidearm.
But at the same time, the right of free New Zealanders to keep and bear arms should not be infringed by the state.
"Let's face it, politics is largely the art of deception, and
political rhetoric is largely the art of misstating issues."
- Thomas Sowell
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