Monthly Archive: January 2020

Sell outs

Labour announced a 12 billion infrastructure package today, and what did we get for it? Roads.

National is up in arms about it as from their point of view, Labour is promising what National was doing in the previous government. They aren’t wrong. Roads are a huge part of what National stands for.

It’s also a huge flip flop from the government, which has spent most of this term (rightly) saying no to roads despite National’s protests.

Labour is in essence copying National, which is a problem since National’s ideas are bad. We need to be decarbonizing the economy, not providing more opportunities for emissions. Which is what roads do. High speed rail connections across NZ is what the future needs to be, but Labour prefers to encourage more and more cars.

To be fair, 200 million has been allocated to decarbonization. Out of a 12 billion dollar budget. Of which, only 10 million is being allocated at this time.

Labour would rather spend 690 million on getting NZ First back into power than tackling climate change.

Labour is National lite.

Creating refugees

A woman was stopped and arrested at Auckland airport last Friday. Why? Unpaid student debt.

That is simply unacceptable. This woman was charged exorbitant amounts of money for getting an education, and thanks to this she owes an exorbitant amount of money that she (shockingly) cannot pay.

Given she cannot pay, you’d imagine that she would be would working a minimum wage job and/or literally cannot pay without sacrificing bills or food.

And as a result of this, she’s been made a refugee. She cannot enter her own country thanks to the crime of being poor.

People should not be punished for getting an education. People should not be under crushing debt for improving society. People should not be made refugees for being unable to pay unpayable debt.

The solution is simple: Forgive all student debt.

Climate change is fact

Anti vaxers are widely (and rightly) discredited as extremists whose anti science and anti facts views have no place in modern society as they quite literally threaten lives.

Climate change, like anti vaxers threaten lives, yet apply that same logic to climate change and what is scientific fact is presented as a debate. Sadly, Act leader David Seymour has made what is fact, debate.

Seymour said while it’s not a bad thing for students to learn facts about climate change so they can understand what they hear in the news, he said the curriculum doesn’t allow room for any debate. 

This being on the new climate change curriculum for schools.

What Seymour is advocating for is essentially to question facts themselves. This isn’t acceptable at all and will only slow any meaningful progress on climate change.

Climate change is not a debate. For the good of the planet, climate change must not be a debate.

Fake news

Staying with Finland, one of the things that inspired the previous post was the news that Finland is planning to move to a four day, six hour work week.

If you follow the news in some way or form, you’ll have probably seen i. This article has been published in major media outlets such as The Guardian and The Independent, not to mention places like Stuff.

The thing is that this story is false. It’s not part of Finnish policy, and the Finnish government has said that there are no plans for such a work week.

How did this story come into existence?

I’ll state the tldr version, but for a full explanation by a proper Finnish outlet, read the article I linked above.

Back in August 2019, would be PM Sanna Marin suggested that a four day six hour work week could raise productivity, but also stated that this was not government policy.

Fast forward to January 2020, and Marin is now PM of Finland. An Austrian and then a Belgian news outlet pick up on the story, and they frame it as if it’s a) government policy, and b) a new initiative that’s only come about since Marin became PM.

Domino effect, and now the whole world thinks that Finland is going to switch to a four day six hour work week.

While there aren’t really any adverse effects from the spread of this story, it’s still scary – if fake news like this can spread so quickly, what would happen if a more sinister story spread like this one?

Finland rocks!

Finland is just the most amazing country, and I felt the need to do a post about why they are so damned cool.

They have the second youngest leader in the world – Sanna Marin, who’s also the world’s youngest female leader.

All five of the parties that make up their government are lead by women – so yay, diversity points!

Well, maybe not exactly diversity points, but you get the idea. Good progress regardless.

Finally, they’re also the only nation in Europe that has their homeless rate going down – all thanks to their new approach to tackling homelessness.

The policy applied in Finland is called “HousingFirst”. It reverses conventional homeless aid. More commonly, those affected are expected to look for a job and free themselves from their psychological problems or addictions. Only then they get help in finding accommodation.

“Housing First”, on the other hand, reverses the path: Homeless people get a flat – without any preconditions. Social workers help them with applications for social benefits and are available for counselling in general. In such a new, secure situation, it is easier for those affected to find a job and take care of their physical and mental health.

When you think about it, it seems obvious. Of course getting a job and freeing yourself from your addictions is going to be easier when you don’t have to worry about where you’ll be sleeping each night.

Four out of five homeless Finns will find themselves on the path to a better life thanks to HousingFirst.

The killer is that long term, it’s cheaper than leaving people on the streets thanks to the costs that come with homelessness existing:

When people are in emergency situations, emergencies are more frequent: Assaults, injuries, breakdowns. The police, health care and justice systems are more often called upon to step in – and this also costs money.

Finland saves 15000 euros a year for every homeless person on the street thanks to HousingFirst.

Finland, you rock. I hope NZ can follow your lead.