I often complain about a lot of things, I am a fairly pessimistic realist in regards to politics. I haven’t seen a lot of good change in my lifetime since becoming aware of politics. So what does my ideal world look like.
1 Capitalism is no longer the economic praxis. Capitalism is a completely amoral system that thrives on immorality. One only has to look to America to see where late stage capitalism will lead us. The idea of profits, would instead be redistributed to those who made them, the workers, and there would be a cap on how much the highest paid person in each company could earn compared with the lowest. Tax on these incomes would be follow a more logarithmic curve of progression – adjusted into progressive brackets at more frequent intervals for simplicity.
2 Worker Unions are the leadership of companies, not the board, the concept of share markets and dividends would be gone, phased out and instead giving the workers back their own gains. These are broken systems that allow people to exponentially grow in wealth (provided reasonably smart investment which is pretty achievable if based on long term growth), anything that earns a passive income for individuals where they need to expend no effort to profit are the byproduct of an era that should have passed a long time ago.
3 A hard cap on wealth would exist. Basically the concept of a billionaire existing is grotesque to me. No moral person would allow themselves to achieve that level of wealth without divesting heavily and reinvesting in the social good. All billionaires in my mind are sociopaths, or at best narcissists. Yes, that includes Bill Gates – who’s foundation has done a lot of good, but has actually caused more harm. For an interesting review breakdown of the excellent book on this topic you can see it here. The book is called ‘No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy‘, by Linsey McGoey.
4 All of these would be considered essential human rights – freely available to all citizens of the nation, and would be funded through taxation:
- Housing – All provided for by the state, with a transition away from private to public ownership as people pass on in life, with a strong focus on making housing carbon neutral and fit to for accessibility and insulated to passive standards. Rental capital would be controlled entirely by the state, and seek to limit costs.
- Food – A Budget for a high quality standard of eating would be provided with consumers making their own choices. Not through any restrictive card, but trust – people who ask for money for food generally always use it on food.
- Electricity – All renewable sources, microgeneration would be encouraged and provided for, excess user charges would only apply based on average consumption, and making sure to account for electricity used per capita in each dwelling.
- Public Transport – The best way to fix our transportation issues is to vastly increase our accessibility, frequency and quality of our public transportation. NZ has one of the worst car ownerships per capita statistics, due to our massive infrastructure deficits in this area.
- A Guaranteed Job for anyone who wants it or Financial Support for those who cannot work – This would be suited as much as possible to that persons ability, their desire to work in that position, and the needs of society in general. Work wouldn’t just occur for works sake, and giving people a guaranteed minimum income while they are pursuing a new career would allow people to truly do what they would like to in life. Those without the means to work would be provided with a livable salary that allows them a good quality of life. No one should be made to suffer for external factors outside their control.
- Education – at all levels – no private schools would exist, we would tax industries that do not contribute to social good, of which there are many, using these taxes to boost funding in essential social sectors like Education. High quality education and money put in this area would allow us to grow into a knowledge society. Money spent on education is rarely wasted, unless being exploited for capitalistic purposes.
- Healthcare (Physical and Mental) – More education and training would be provided, more public funding through taxes to provide these services. We’d disallow medical patents as they are unethical and usually the public have paid for all the research costs through grants only to have that monopolized by a pharmaceutical company.
- Freedom from as well as Freedom to – so often our discussions around freedom are dictated by a disingenuous interpretation of what Freedom should be. Freedom of speech arguments will always talk of freedom to speak freely, often ignoring the other freedoms that are removed such as freedom from hate speech. Economic freedom would be the freedom from being ruined if you need to change jobs.
- Unrestricted Internet Access – provided for free, available everywhere, with money put into funding those areas which are most deprived at the moment as a priority. No one should be without the means to communicate.
- Access to Nature – tying in with public transport we would widely increase the amount of public parks, national reserves and provide adequate funding to ensure their maintenance, and to make sure they thrive for future generations.
- Everything would be accessible – 1 in 4 New Zealander’s lives with a disability of some sort, and the world we currently live in is utterly unfit for purpose. Worse still is that so called progressive organisations such as Generation Zero often ignore the concerns and the issues surrounding – giving rise to a sort of eco ableism. We need to make sure that we centre our design where everyone can participate.
5 Ti Tiriti o Waitangi would be honored – The Māori text version of the Treaty is the correct and valid one, the indigenous Māori were the rightful rulers of this land, and a gross translation error cannot be accepted if you have any respect for the law. Māori must have tino rangatiratanga. Even if that comes at pākehā personal cost, righting this injustice is paramount to NZ flourishing as a society. The treaty settlements so far can in no way be considered full and final, and to even make this statement shows a lack of depth of understanding of just how bad this injustice remaining in our society causes daily harm. I am not going to extrapolate on what this might look like – I lack a lot of cultural competence in this area, and if you need to find out you are best educating yourself using the resources provided here.
6 The Environment would be restored, and a priority made on all decisions that viewed them through accessible and culturally respectful ways. We would prioritise restoring habitats, especially wetlands throughout NZ. Reforestation is one avenue, but there are other techniques where our farmers could contribute to the social good by capturing carbon in soil, and practicing regenerative farming. Money would be provided to make this practice occur through a just transition, where financially struggling Farmers are not penalised financially for having to change practice based on the bad standards of previous governments.
7 Prisons and Police would be abolished. I am a firm believer in reforming our justice system radically. All police are bad because when you’re trained as a hammer, everything looks like a nail, the systemic nature of policing in NZ is racist. They are being asked to do too much to make up for the failures of our neoliberal society. Instead these organisations need to be abolished and carefully built again from the ground up. There would be no union for police, and the idea of an independent department in the police to investigate police crimes would be removed for the farce it is. To see what a world without police might look like I found these images that give you an idea.
Prison has a higher than fifty percent recidivism rate in NZ. If you don’t want to change it, it means you are happy with a system that continues perpetuating harm for both victims and perpetrators of criminal activities. That seems morally incorrect to me. There are overseas examples of how we could just reform to make these people feel included again in society. People are not fixed in personality, disposition, and their environment is also largely influential on their behaviour. We should do better, and we can do better.
These are just some of what would actually “cure” a lot of my mental health issues. I’m mentally unwell because these things are achievable, but no one really has the courage or political will to try and achieve it, this disconnect between what I know is possible and what we aim to achieve makes me want to die literally. I am highly sensitive, and knowing this harm occurs daily turns off the rational part of my brain, and just makes me suffer.
A few of these plans are already embedded in policy – That of the Greens. There’s a reason I am voting for them this election, and have faith in their abilities. I have personally talked to most of the candidates at the AGM, they are authentic and caring people who only want the best for all New Zealanders. I hope you’ll vote to see this sort of world as possible, because we desperately need radical change, and the Greens are only on the cusp of actually offering it.
Please I’d implore you to take a look at the work that has gone into their policy platform over years, they are really trying to fix these systemic issues in our society – Green’s Complete Policy Platform.
I want you to ask yourself why are you so happy to settle for something that could easily be fixed ? These positions have academic backing, prevention is always better than cure. Fences at the top of cliffs, mean we won’t need to rely on a reactive ambulance based society to fix issues.
Someone once accused me of wanting a Utopia where nothing bad ever happens, and they were right, that should always be the goal. I’d rather aim for that and fall short than not even try and be happy with “progress” while countless members of our society suffer needlessly.