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Showing posts from November, 2014

A Critique of Crisis Theory- a Socialist day school with Mike Treen

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The following is based on talks given by Mike Treen, national director of the New Zealand Unite Union, at the annual conference of the socialist organisation Fightback, held in Wellington, May 31 - June 1, 2014, and a seminar hosted by Socialist Aotearoa in Auckland on October 12. 

The National Business Review reported a comment by our Minister of Finance Bill English on August 15 that he had occasionally pointed out in speeches to business audiences that New Zealand has had post World War Two recessions roughly every 10 years: in 1957-58; 1967-68; the mid 1970s; the mid 1980s; 1997-98 and 2007-8. He would observe laconically: “You'd think we would see them coming”
But of course bourgeois economists, commentators and journalists don't generally see them coming. One problem, however, is that sometimes the Marxist alternative sees them coming a little too often. But it is a simple fact of life that capitalism has had economic crises on a periodic basis at least since 1825. Every 1…

TPPA, bad for your health?

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Is the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) the biggest threat to our democracy in a generation, or is it really going to be everything the government says it will be? As a nurse working in the New Zealand health care system, this is an issue that will impact on the way healthcare will be delivered for New Zealanders. It's important to look at the issues the TPPA raises with a critical eye so we can confront the corporate agenda with an informed argument.
The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a regional trade agreement currently being negotiated by 11 Pacific Rim countries, excluding China. To put it in context, the countries involved include 10% of the worlds population and their economies account for 30% of global gross domestic product (GDP). The negotiations are now in their 10th year and while the negotiations are being conducted under a veil of secrecy, substantive leaks over the past 4 years have revealed a broad view of the proposed content. Citizens of th…

Privatisation of HNZ housing

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I'm not opposed to house owners wanting to sell their homes, but I do oppose any sale of state owned houses, being sold against the support of the majority. These are assets that have been built up over generations and belong to us, the people of NZ. When the Government decides that they no longer wish to hold the responsibility of housing its constituents that are in need of this very necessity, then we have a problem that can very quickly turn into a major disaster, for many of the most vulnerable in our society who have been the tenant/s and in some cases the tenant for many years in these houses, which they have come to consider as their home. Along with this decision to sell comes the stress, strain, and unbearable pressure put on the most needy. Their families to have to cope with this upheaval and with no thought given to the consequences of such a decision. Eviction notices, moving away from your community, children changing schools, sports clubs, churches are…