Category Archives: Poverty

The morality of poverty and the poverty of morality

We are moral animals. But, so far as I can judge, in politics today our moral instincts are operating in a way that generates the worst moral outcomes. Metiria Turei’s recent confession (a moral notion) at the launch of the Green … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics, New Zealand Politics, Political Psychology, Poverty | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Into the dark: Clinton vs Trump – A Black and White decision?

We live in ‘interesting times’ – as the mythical ‘Chinese curse’ understatedly put it. It’s almost unbearably ‘interesting. From environmental catastrophe gathering its inevitable head of steam to global ructions in the political world and outright wars in the geopolitical world there’s more … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economics, Free Market, Human Wellbeing, Poverty | Leave a comment

Selling rope

There’s an anecdote, probably apocryphal, that in the early 1920s Lenin claimed that capitalism would provide the rope to hang itself. When some wag (reputedly Grigori Zinoviev, a close associate) responded by asking ‘Where will we get the rope?’ – at … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Labour, Maori, Media, New Zealand Politics, Political Psychology, Poverty | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Adam Smith on the appeal of the iPhone

“How many people ruin themselves by laying out money on trinkets of frivolous utility? What pleases these lovers of toys is not so much the utility, as the aptness of the machines which are fitted to promote it.” (Part IV, … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Free Market, Freedom, Human Nature, Human Wellbeing, Philosophy, Political Psychology, Poverty, Welfare | 10 Comments

Pennies from heaven – or, a ‘Corpse’ Flower by any other name …

  The education proposals outlined by John Key in his State of the Nation speech have blossomed spectacularly today – like Auckland’s ‘Corpse Flower‘ – attracting a surprising band of over-awed onlookers. The intent of the education initiatives is clear … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Education, New Zealand Politics, Poverty | 18 Comments

Varieties of poverty in New Zealand

The debate over various ‘food in school’ programmes is remarkably lively, especially now that the Government is seemingly covering its flank on the issue – and perhaps even attempting to outflank those on the left. In fact, it’s now gone well beyond being … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Education, New Zealand Politics, Poverty, Welfare | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments