Hidebound Socialists Moving Left
Plates are shifting in the NZ political landscape. Or, a better image would be to make reference to deck chairs on the Titanic. The Labour Party is moving radically to the left.
We abhor socialism in all its facets. It always represents “legalised” theft on a grand scale. It’s end is death, economic death–long term poverty and degradation for the most vulnerable. But modern politicians are not the sharpest pins in the cushion. Give them half a sniff at political power and the control of billions of tax revenue and their spending plans swarm forth like new-born blowflies from a maggot infested carcass. Many such politicians know they are causing problems for future generations. But who cares? Some other rubes will inherit the problem. The negative and destructive consequences of socialism are often slow in the maturation. The consequences will always be inherited by someone else. It’s known as “kicking the can down the road”.
In New Zealand we have a peculiar rort called tertiary education.
Successive governments have promised public loans to students to fund their expensive tertiary educations. At its worst, the bribe took the form of interest free public loans. Naturally, the number of tertiary students soared.
You have graduated from high school. You have been pandered to by a failing education system which, although it failed to teach you how to read and write and spell, could at least manage to fill your head with prospects of all sorts of exciting careers such as performing arts, fashion design, community service, and (did we mention) performing arts. Overnight there was a veritable explosion in educational institutions teaching sophisticated and advanced courses in tiddly winks and performing arts, although with the inevitable big price tags to pay for the expertise now parading around brand new campuses.
You duly signed up for an expensive tertiary “education” in the flavour-of-the-month careers, eventually graduated after a few gap years, and lo-and-behold, could not find any work–at least no employment that delivered the oh-so-spectacular salaries you were promised in the first place. But one thing had changed. Now you had thousands of dollars of student loan debt to repay, with no job.
No problem. At least there have been some good outcomes. Firstly, the vast increase in tertiary students in New Zealand, studying riveting subjects like forecourt management at gas stations. Politicians cravenly get to pat themselves on the back for the increase in student numbers. “We are educating NZ for the twenty-first century,” they crow. A few more votes have been hoovered up at elections. Best of all, the price was to be paid by the next generations of citizens, so, while fiscally disastrous for the country, politically there would have been no immediate costs–only “socialised” costs to taxpayers.
One thing socialists are oblivious to is the law of unintended consequences. Actually, it’s not a “law” it’s more the general outcome of utility maximising human beings taking personal advantage. Socialists are congenitally unable to take account of individuals maximizing their personal utility because they have very little understanding of how actual human beings think and act. Socialists always prefer to deal in abstract human generalities like social classes, not individuals. It’s an inextricable part of socialism, which views human beings through the prism of social constructs, such as capitalists, proletariats, “haves”, and “have-nots”. Poke every socialist and you will find that collective nouns and social abstractions belch forth incessantly. You will also find woeful ignorance of how human beings act in concrete reality.
Marxism is a deterministic world-view. People are determined and controlled in their thoughts, words, and deeds by the particular socio-economic class they belong to. Employers (capitalists) are exploiters. Employees (the proletariat) are the exploited–victims, deserving our guilt and pity.
Now comes the latest iteration of socialism in the matter of tertiary education: the Labour Party has announced that when it has been returned to the Treasury benches it will enact “free” (that is, taxpayer funded) tertiary education. It’s a fiscally responsible policy–it will only cost an extra $1.2bn from taxpayers per year. What’s a billion amongst friends, eh?
But, as expected, the rabid socialists who control the Labour Party are hidebound, conditioned to think in terms of socio-economic classes. Free tertiary education will mean a vast explosion in tertiary courses and graduates, and heaps and heaps of young people moving into higher paying jobs. The working class will move upwards into the middle class and that’s how it works. Naturally, such policies take no account of how human beings actually operate and think. Being utility maximisers, there will be a vast explosion of tertiary students studiously engaged in busy-work courses. All free. These days, they will say, are the best days of our lives. All cruisin’, no bruisin. Take that costing of $1.2bn and double it in ten years time.
If any doubt that rough estimate of the inevitable cost and spending explosion, let us jog your memory with the vast expansion of taxpayer money now spent upon early childcare (eeeer, pre-school education) in New Zealand. It commenced in 2002 at a cost of a mere $0.6bn to the taxpayer; it rose to $1.6bn by 2012. New Zealand is now spending more public money per child on their early “education” than any other country in the world, with the exception of Luxembourg, almost double the OECD average. And there is no end to the increasing costs in sight.
What a negative, bitter attitude towards human beings you have, the Socialist would cavil. On the contrary, we have a deep respect for creatures who can maximise their own personal utility in a heartbeat. That means we regard them as clever and inventive–not as the dumb brute hidebound class-conscious socialist would regard them. It means that we think they are so inventive and clever when maximising their own advantage, paternalistic politicians will always be caught out with the inevitable unintended consequences. The only dumbo in the room is the oh-so-precious, paternalistic, antediluvian socialist.
But this time it will be different. Yeah, right. If you are really convinced that is the case, let us whisper something nobody else knows–we have a beautiful bridge over Auckland harbour we know is up for sale.
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