Libz PR: Unprecedented State Control of New Zealand Youth

Phil Howison's picture
Submitted by Phil Howison on Thu, 2008-01-31 04:53



Libertarianz education spokesman Phil Howison today slammed Helen Clark and John Key's mirror-image plans to nationalise New Zealand teenagers.

"Forcing students to stay at school until they are 18 will cause unruly classrooms, bored students, stressed teachers and an increased burden for taxpayers" says Libertarianz education spokesman Phil Howison. "It is essentially an admission of defeat for state education. If eleven years in state schools leaves most students unemployable, what difference can adding two years make?" Howison asks.

"Clark and Key have come up with plans combining the worst excesses of Nanny State. Add to it the plans to screen toddlers for 'anti-social behaviour', schools such as Westlake Boys High School which hold back even academically gifted students for a year if they have a 'bad attitude', and the threat of boot camp for students who refuse to comply, and you have the blueprints for unprecedented state control of New Zealand youth."

In her attempt to cram reluctant learners back in the classroom, Clark also condemns those who actually want to be there to disruptive and unruly classrooms. "Students who are hostile towards their compulsory schooling usually end up being disruptive and lowering the quality of the learning environment," Howison says, pointing to Hutt Valley High School as a particularly grim example. He also laments the unnecessary stress that will burden teachers as they struggle with classroom discipline, becoming babysitters rather than educators. "Forget about Key's boot camps - schools these days seem to be just as rife with violence, bullying and substance abuse as the prisons. But all teenagers, not just youth offenders, are forced to attend!"

The extra $150 million of taxpayer loot that Clark is prepared to spend on turning schools into prisons will hit the taxpayer where it hurts again. "Clark's scheme will take many young people out of the workforce where they are learning to be self-sufficient and productive, leaving them with no choice but to accept government handouts" says Howison. "And Key's plan is no better. By supplying government funding to even more tertiary courses, he would extend government control of higher education, leaving a mere facade of private ownership while leaving the door open for waste and abuse."

"The first step of the Libertarianz transitional education policy will be to lower the compulsory school leaving age to zero. In a free society, all interactions including the decision to stay at school must be voluntary. To help young people gain meaningful employment and encourage private apprenticeships, Libertarianz will remove minimum wage laws and make the first $10,000 of income tax free," Howison says. "Libertarianz believe in the separation of school and state, allowing new methods, subjects and ideas to evolve in a free market system."

"It's enough to make you vote Libertarianz!"


For more information, please contact:

Phil Howison
Libertarianz Spokesman for the Deregulation of Education
Phone: 027 437 0308

Libertarianz: More Freedom - Less Government

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Moving to NZ

Phil Howison's picture

I'd love to see more libertarians here, but you should be warned that incomes are low, gun laws are relatively restrictive, property rights are not well-protected and immigration laws can be pretty tough. I have a certain amount of optimism about NZ's future but the signs are not all encouraging, and while it is a fine place to live, isolated from many of the world's problems, it has some disadvantages.

Good points, Ben

mvardoulis's picture

I never made it down to the South Island during my visit in the 1990's - I'll be sure to rectify that on my next visit!

With likely right-wing socialist (as opposed to left wing socialist Obama and left wing fascist Clinton) John McCain saying today while campaigning in a New Jersey fire station "I can lead this nation and motivate all Americans to serve cause greater than their own self interest," I think its clear the beginnings of a slow but steady exodus of American libertarians to the shores of New Zealand is inevitable. I likewise hope you and Callum are correct about the emerging "angry" middle class in NZ and the potentially strong implications for the emerging New Freeland.

Callum, I have read your PR about the murder increase in New Zealand and loved what you had to say. And I had the privilege of being able to read the constitution of New Freeland during my 1990's visit (still have a copy of it in the corresponding Free Radical magazine from the same time period)... and no offense taken about President Jefferson, Ben - your point is well taken in that whatever 'revolution' can take place in NZ needs to be an improvement on the Jeffersonian revolution. The accompanying departure of statue and/or decaying body would have only been a metaphorical protest anyway.

No sorry

Big Ben's picture

"Perhaps your population is more attentive and better educated than mine and thus immune from this cycle of decline." Sorry no were currently having the same political debate here particularly with regard to health.

"If you are right, I'll be asking you to recommend a place for year-round residence." I suggest marlbourgh or nelson (top of the south island). Marlbourgh's got more vineyards and the highest amount of sunshine hours in NZ. Nelsons a bit more metrapolitan though has more hippie's (the joke is there comby vans make it over the hill and then thay can't get there van back out). Both are in the middle of electrorites that the left wing party never win. Avoid moving to the north Island (the mad lands).

Tax should be simple, low and temporary

Big Ben's picture

There we go again. Income tax for the successful (How dare you be rich) and no income tax for the poor.No income tax for under 25.

That wasn't what I was suggesting. Libz policy is more freedom with no new coercion. Thus as phil said "While there are advantages to flat tax rates, what's more important to me is not raising taxes on anyone."

Unfortunately no tax on the first $10,000 would raise income tax for those receiving a working for families benefit as the payments revised means any couple earning less than $38,000 between them pay no income tax at all. Not many people are gonna swallow the idea that they have to pay more incometax and pay there own health/education ect even if they aren't paying gst ect.

I think if there is to be tax there should be one simple tax. NZ currently has a sales tax of 12.5% and its calculation is just another burden on business, small business in particular.

I think callum right when he says there a lot of room in NZ for libertarian views particularly this year. Thus we all need to leave the comfort of our key boards and do same thing to help our cause. You know actully talk to some one, press the fless cantact libz ect ect. 

Is anyone in America interested in setting up a campaign to get US libs to immigration to NZ. Oh and you can leave jeffersons body behind after all though the country he created was the greatest achivement in human history it has now failed (and wasn't as good as it could have been to start with). So no disrespect intended but I think new freeland should be a new venture altogether. Have you read the new freeland constitution?

I sincerely hope you are right.

personallydisinterested's picture

However, a politician who claims to be able to fix everything with more government is very seductive.  In order to defeat this type of politician, people must be well educated enough to know that he can't fix things with more government.  The other seductive argument is that the current government mismanages and a new set of politicians can manage much better.  In the U.S., this has created a cycle of new programs, followed by a time of new management, followed by a cycle of new programs, followed by a time of new management, etc.  People are fed up with the new program during the first cycle, then they get convinced that the other party can fix it, then they forget why the program failed in the first place, and are convinced that a new bigger program will fix it.  Perhaps your population is more attentive and better educated than mine and thus immune from this cycle of decline.   

If you are right, I'll be asking you to recommend a place for year-round residence.

New Zealand Libertarianism

Callum McPetrie's picture

I think that NZ may be more riper for Libertarian thought than the US. The reason for this is that, unlike in the US, our middle class is thoroughly disgruntled at the current government and at the current situation of things. MVardoulis and personallydisinterested, did you hear about the recent murder of a 15 year old in south Auckland for tagging the fence of his murderer? I think this is a classic example of the all-too-concealed frustration of the middle class, both on a personal level and a societal level. Whereas in America, the typical "who cares about political so long as there is food on the table and gas in the car" mentality is very common. Unfortunately, our government (and also the National Party) pull that out every election time, with regards to welfare (even though prices for food and power are way up, crime is way up - violent crime has risen about 35% since 1999 - and our school and healthcare are terrible).

"Socialism may be dead, but its corpse is still rotting up the place." -Ayn Rand

Sales tax

personallydisinterested's picture

I'm not sure the fact that it may be hard to enforce is an argument against it.  In Texas, we have a sales tax that doesn't really apply to sales between individuals.  We buy and sell things all the time from each-other without having to worry about breaking the law.  Things that the state registers are still taxed, like cars and houses.  People who go into business and wish to buy things from other businesses tax free, apply for a tax id number and are required to pass on the tax that their customers pay.  The tax only applies to the end sale.  It is incredibly efficient.  As cash businesses are disappearing, it is increasingly difficult for businesses to avoid the tax.  If a tax is less that 10%, there probably won't be much avoidance.  Any tax affects low-income earners disproportionately.  Even a tax on the rich hurts the poor far worse that it could ever hurt the rich.  As a person with a meager income, I wouldn't mind paying a disproportionate amount of my money in a fair system.  I recognize that wealthy people are much more capable of making me wealthy from their own self interest, than are the poor. 

If you are going to take power in NZ, and end taxation 5 years afterwards, you need to do alot of education beforehand.  The idea that a government can function without coerced money is so seemingly irrational that you can't be taken seriously by most people.  Their reasoning minds dismiss you as insane and possibly dangerous. 

Since you are the education guy, what are yall doing to spread Libertarianzizm? 

lol, I would be honored to be the 100,000th

personallydisinterested's picture

Well, don't tell the NZ govt.  an invasion by hardworking reasonable people would seriously threaten their hold on power. 

Actually, I'm starting to believe that Libertarians should spend all their money on charitable education.  We have lost this country because everybody is educated by a socialist system that does a very poor job, while convincing a vast majority that socialism works.  The irony is that if government education worked it would effectively teach people that it doesn't work.  So, the more defective it is, the more recruits the socialists have. 


The libertarian exodus from the US...

mvardoulis's picture inevitable as we drift further and further into a police state. The Libertarian Party here in the United Police States has eroded into being completely useless especially after the last four years, and it would take more than 110,000 libertarians to 'take over' the state of New 'Live Free or Die' Hampshire, so I see emigration to New Zealand en masse as the only viable alternative (though Costa Rica looked promising at one time also). I've always supported the Libz since I 'discovered' them in the 1990's for this reason - at some point I see myself and my family quite seriously living there along with the 110,000 of our closest liberty-loving friends previously mentioned. Smiling

The 100,000th libertarian to leave the US for NZ shall have the task of exhuming the body of Thomas Jefferson and/or stealing the Jefferson memorial statue from the District of Criminals and taking it along with them.

Sales taxes have some disadvantages

Phil Howison's picture

A sales tax is easier to evade, because many goods are sold for cash or second-hand. Not that that's a bad thing. Also, in general they are hard to administrate and disproportionately affect low-income earners.

I agree though, taxation is theft and should be abolished. Our policy is for taxation to continue no longer than 5 years, by which time government will have paid off its debts and shrunk to a manageable size so that voluntary contributions, court fees etc can cover all necessary spending.

Is there a particular reason to tax income?

personallydisinterested's picture

Why not a sales tax?  An income tax taxes productivity before one benefits at all from their production.  Also, it is practically voluntary in that you only pay it when you choose to purchase something. 

I would be thrilled with a 10% tax of any sort, but I really do think it is possible for a government to be supported by pledge drives.

Tax-free threshold

Phil Howison's picture

I raised the idea of a $10,000 tax-free threshold with Act on Campus recently. The verdict was that they liked the idea, but preferred a flat tax with no exceptions (also someone said that most people earning $10,000 are pensioners or housewives, so to target the working poor you need to cut taxes on 20-30,000).

I don't agree. Libertarianz would only implement tax as a transitional policy for the first couple of years. While there are advantages to flat tax rates, what's more important to me is not raising taxes on anyone. 20% flat tax is great, apart from the fact that for the very large number of people on 19.5% its actually a tax increase. A tax-free threshold of $10,000 is as good a way of lowering taxes as any other, and it doesn't result in any tax increases.

No funny shit with tax

dinther's picture

There we go again. Income tax for the successfull (How dare you be rich) and no income tax for the poor.No income tax for under 25.

Every exception will invite abuse and tricks and loop-holes.

Even a flat rate defined as a percentage of your income is not fair. Let's say it is 10% then:

$ 50.000  pays $5.000
$100.000 pays $10.000  (Twice as much just in case the math is challenging)

Why should the richer guy pay twice as much tax for the same government "services" ? Just because he can afford it? What is it to the government?

Why does everyone accept that tax ought to be a percentage of income? 


Global warming is a hoax and spread the word.

Evidence of failure

personallydisinterested's picture

The government has failed to provide an educational environment that encourages voluntary attendance.  Instead of attacking the problem (education that is or seems irrelevant to students), they are attacking the students.  As we all know, when you don't actually fix a problem, it persists. 

The real problem is that most people went to government schools, so they believe that school has to be irrelevant, boring and mandatory.  Have you ever tried to force somebody to learn something they didn't want to?  Talk about making you change professions!  I'm sure they will point out that a good teacher can make things relevant and interesting, but try to do that when a broken system provides fewer opportunities for good teachers to practice their craft while providing more disinterested students.  The end result is an increasingly broken system with fewer quality teachers.  Government education is a continually degrading institution.

School should be relevant, interesting and voluntary.  I know that there are those who believe that education is a penance that must be paid, but those people shouldn't be making decisions about education. 

Providing motivation 101: 1. End mandatory eduction.  2.  End the welfare state.

Most people can understand the benefits of education.  The others provide a good example for the rest of us. 


personallydisinterested's picture

I don't think it would actually be that hard to get U.S. libertarians to move to NZ.  They are always talking about getting an island somewhere...why not two?


Nice post phil

Big Ben's picture

One thing that might be worth considering is raising the $10,000 tax free to $19,000 and allow income splitting for couples with familys as working for familys means that familys earning less than $38,000 a year effectivly don't pay income tax (sort of after they've begged for there own money back). Not sure you'd have to raise the 15% rate to cover that, christ a flat tax would be so much easier.

Glad you made this post this has been the last straw for me any illusion I had that national could significantly change things for the better is now very much gone I don't think any one here has any excuss to vote for those pricks I'm just thankfull key has only a tiny fraction of the crisima muldoon had other wise we really would be fucked.

  mvardoulis you couldn't get 105,000 american libertarians to immergrate to NZ and vote libz. We could call it the free nation project Smiling.

Beautiful release, Phil!

mvardoulis's picture

I once proposed a "youth wage" here in the United Police States wherein no one under the age of 25 would be charged income tax while they are trying to get financially established, etc. Which begs the question, why should *anyone* be charged income tax...? A great read, GO LIBZ!

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