Supporting the foreigners
Supporting the foreigners
by Don Franks
"What we need is an outright ban on foreigners owning land or houses in New Zealand, a tough capital gains tax to drive local speculators and investors out of the housing market and a massive state house building programme to meet the housing quality and affordability crisis where it’s having its most devastating impact – on low income New Zealand tenants and families"
The author of the above is long serving left activist John Minto, writing in The Daily Blog on July 13th "National playing the reverse card on housing"
I think John is wrong here and his main
proposition, actioned, can cause workers nothing but
I don't have a problem with John's second and third points - although, frankly, this side of a socialist revolution they're just rhetoric.
"Driving local speculators and investors out of the housing market" has a nice Jesus cleansing the temple ring, but so long as private property is lawful, capitalists will be capitalists.
A massive state house building programe for low income families sounds worthy and decent, but which builder will sign up for it while better returns are to be made housing the super rich?
Still, John's two points are valid visions for a progressive future, his first one is not.
"What we need is an outright ban on foreigners owning land or houses in New Zealand"
Well, presumably, because if a foreigner gets to own a piece of land or a house in New Zealand, then New Zealanders are deprived of those items.
People who were born here, or have become New Zealand citizens become disadvantaged. Surely that's unfair?
Not in my book. The notion that you have some claim on particular bits of the earth because you were born near them has some popularity, but no logic.
Our times and places of birth are accidents, no more worthy on entitlement than the feudal divine right of kings.
The achievement of New Zealand citizenship merely means a person has managed to get their card stamped by the capitalist state, not very difficult if you
have enough means to grease the wheels.
Which is what the debate really should be about.
The only people, foreigners or kiwi able to own land or houses anywhere are those with enough money. There are bona fide New Zealand citizens
owning more land than they can ever work and more houses than they can ever occupy. There are hard working illegal immigrants who will never own
more than a change of clothes. What really divides people is riches and poverty.
That division is easier to see when poor people are standing up for themselves in big numbers.
In New Zealand today, successive governments have whittled the union movement down and gross inequality has become widely socially acceptable.
In such crazy political climate, shadows can sometimes look real.
Money aside, we're all foreigners, briefly squatting on a spinning speck of dust.