Thursday, May 09, 2013

Upwards redistribution

I've talked previously about privatisation as "upwards redistribution". What does that mean? To give a topical example, yesterday Mighty River Power belonged to all New Zealanders. Now 113,000 people - 2.5% of the population - own 49% of it. What belonged to all of us has been stolen by the government and given to a narrow elite of their cronies and supporters - who will in turn reward them with donations and political support. So its an inherently corrupt process as well as being unjust.

If the price goes up on Friday, there will have been more corruption: the price will have been set too low, and that narrow elite will have been handed a first-day bonus at the expense of the taxpayer.

The dividends from Mighty River Power currently go to the government, where they are used to pay for things like schools, hospitals, and roads. Now 49% of them will be flowing to the pockets of that narrow elite, where they will be used on superyachts, overseas holidays, jewellery, and the other conspicuous consumption of the rich.

This upwards redistribution is the purpose of the process, and the purpose of the National Party. And we shouldn't let them get away with it. Those buying Mighty River Power shares are buying stolen goods. And when the government changes, those goods should be seized and returned to their rightful owners, the New Zealand people.