How A Coronavirus Pandemic Could Win Jacinda Ardern The Election

This September’s election promises to be very close. Opinion polls suggest that either of a National-ACT or Labour-New Zealand First-Greens coalition could easily take power in the aftermath. The actual winner will be determined by a number of factors. One of those factors, as this essay will discuss, is the effect of COVID-19 on the demographic makeup of the nation.

One striking feature of this particular form of coronavirus is its death rate among old people. The death rate for people aged 80 and over who contract it is believed to be over 14%. For people aged between 70 and 79 it appears to be 8.0%, and 3.6% for people aged between 60 and 69. Corona-Chan is the Scourge of the Aged.

The death rate among young people, by contrast, is extremely low. No-one aged under 10 is known to have died of COVID-19 yet, and the death rate for those under 40 appears to be no more than 0.2%, i.e. barely different to regular bouts of influenza. Corona-Chan is merciful upon the young.

This great differential in danger across age brackets may have electoral consequences.

As Dan McGlashan showed in Understanding New Zealand, there are very strong correlations between being old and voting Conservative or National. In 2017, the correlation between being aged 65+ and voting Conservative was 0.39, and between being aged 65+ and voting National it was 0.62. At the other end of the scale, the correlation between being aged 20-29 and voting Labour in 2017 was 0.34, and with voting Greens it was 0.60.

0.62 is a strong enough correlation to suggest that the vast majority of people over 65 will vote National, and much of the remainder will vote Conservative. Meanwhile, the correlation of -0.35 between being aged 20-29 and voting National in 2017 tells us that few young people will vote for them in September.

Put these two things together, and it becomes apparent that COVID-19 is likely to kill off a significant proportion of National and Conservative voters.

There were over 711,000 people in New Zealand aged 65 or over at the end of 2016. It might be closer to 800,000 by now. If COVID-19 kills off 10% of people over 65 before September 19, that will approach 80,000 deaths, and if 75% of those people were National or Conservative voters, that suggests that they could well lose 60,000 voters – 20,000 more than Labour, Greens or New Zealand First would lose.

At the 2017 General Election, National, ACT and Conservatives got 1,171,403 votes between them out of a total of 2,591,896, a proportion of 45.2%. If they would lose 60,000 voters from coronavirus deaths, as per the scenario outlined in the above paragraph, they would end up with 1,111,403 votes out of a total of 2,511,896 – a proportion of 44.2%.

A loss of one percent might not sound like much, but the effect of COVID-19 in suppressing right-wing voters is not limited to deaths.

If there are 60,000 deaths among National and Conservative voters, there will be at least this many incapacitated by the illness. The overseas experience has shows that COVID-19 often means a few weeks confined to an artificial respirator. If the pandemic is at or near its peak in New Zealand at the time of the election, there could be a large number of old people unable to vote because coronavirus has left them physically incapable of doing so.

A further factor is that some old people might decide to stay away from polling booths on Election Day out of the fear of contracting coronavirus. As COVID-19’s greater threat to the elderly is widely known by now, a significant number of those elderly might be persuaded to stay away from the polling booths altogether. A majority of the population will pass through the nation’s polling booths on September 19, so standing in line at one for half an hour is asking for trouble.

Adding together deaths, incapacitations and discouragements, the right wing appears likely to lose several tens of thousands of voters before September 19.

All of this is moot if Jacinda Ardern suspends the election. There is presently no hard indication that she is prepared to do this, but mayoral elections due for May have already been suspended for 12 months in London, and Ardern must have felt the temptation. New Zealand has already been in chimpout mode for the past year and this coronavirus pandemic has made it three times worse.

Assuming the election goes ahead as planned though, there is a small but realistic chance that what would have been a National-ACT victory is transformed into a loss by the effects of COVID-19. The balance is so fine that a nudge the size of a coronavirus pandemic could tip it over.

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Low Unemployment Is Meaningless If The Jobs Don’t Pay

Politicians like to brag about the low levels of unemployment they claim to have achieved. A low level of unemployment is presented as evidence that the economy is being managed well, and therefore that the stewards don’t need to be changed. But as this essay will demonstrate, low unemployment is meaningless if the jobs don’t lift people out of poverty.

Western politicians have been terrified of unemployment ever since World War II. Adolf Hitler frequently made reference in his rally speeches to the climbing German unemployment rate, citing it as evidence of the failure of the then-existing political Establishment. It’s taken as true by all that an unemployed man is far more likely to cause trouble.

The postwar paradigm has been characterised by a concerted effort to keep unemployment low. This worked out very well in the decades after the war, because back then a job guaranteed a certain standard of living. A full-time worker could expect to own a house and support a wife and three children. This great wealth, fairly distributed, kept revolutionary sentiments to a minimum.

Since the advent of neoliberalism in the early 1980s, the Western worker has solidly lost ground. Wages are no longer coupled with productivity (see graph at top of page), and so the buying power of the average wage has steadily declined. The average wage in New Zealand now has less than 40% of the house-buying power that it had a generation ago.

The problem is that Western politicians have continued with the assumption that so long as they keep unemployment low, all will be swell. This is a fine assumption when the average worker can afford a house and to raise three children in it. When they can’t, this assumption just leads to the face of the average worker getting pushed further and further into the shit.

If a person works full-time, but can’t meet a dignified standard of living with the proceeds from their wage, then that person is effectively a slave. Whether you’re a slave or free is not a question of how big your television is, it’s a question of how much coercion you live under. If your wage is so poor that you can’t live on it, then you’re effectively dependent on other people’s largesse. Less dependent than a beggar, but dependent all the same.

The lesson that Western politicians need to learn is that unemployment itself is not a good thing. Unemployment only has value insofar as it is conducive to ending the people’s suffering. If a working person can’t alleviate any of their suffering because their wage is so poor, then they are just as liable to become discontented as an unemployed person.

After all, the unemployment rate on slave plantations is extremely low. No-one on a slave plantation is sitting idle, or on the dole. So if unemployment alone is a factor important enough to gloat about, then it could be argued that the slave plantation model is a highly effective way to organise an economy. The absurdity of this is obvious.

It’s meaningless, then, for a politician to gloat about the low unemployment levels of their economy, as if that alone were evidence that they were running the country well. What matters is that the people are not suffering – if a large proportion of employed workers are not able to live decent lives, then the country is not run well.

The starkest problem for the Western worker is that they no longer have any negotiating power. This is the result of a combination of factors, the foremost being union-busting laws, ever-increasing technological sophistication (requiring ever-higher educations to understand) and the mass immigration of cheap labour. The capital holders have all the power, and they have used this to drive wages to the floor.

There probably isn’t any way to solve this problem within the current economic paradigm. The decoupling of wages from productivity has granted to capital holders a degree of coercion over their workers that they have not enjoyed since slavery: stories like this are now common. The only solution that seems likely is to institute a universal basic income, because this would allow workers to turn down abusive or exploitative employers.

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Would Andrew Yang’s Universal Basic Income Scheme Work In New Zealand?

Of all the candidates for the Democratic nomination for the American Presidential Election later this year, none have the intellectual pedigree of Andrew Yang. From the demented Joe Biden to the snotty Elizabeth Warren to the weakling Bernie Sanders, the Democratic field seems mediocre in comparison. This article discusses one of Yang’s most popular ideas – the Universal Basic Income – and whether it’s applicable to New Zealand.

The maths is hard to escape.

Let’s assume we directly adopt Yang’s proposal of $1,000 per month, no questions asked, for every qualifying adult, with no adjustment made for the exchange rate. This equals $12,000 per year per person over 18. As there are at least 3,667,000 such adults in New Zealand, a UBI would require an expenditure of around $44,000,000,000 per year. This a hefty sum of money – but it’s a good deal for New Zealand if the costs of not having a UBI would be greater.

Yang suggests that he would pay for a UBI mostly by consolidating welfare programs and by introducing a 10% VAT on all goods and services.

Something that many UBI opponents fail to consider is that the introduction of a UBI would obviate the need for almost all benefits, which could then be scrapped. The unemployment benefit, the sickness benefit, the invalid’s benefit, the student allowance and the pension could all be shitcanned in one go. This means all the bureaucracy and expense associated with them would also go.

The Government spent $34,000,000,000 on welfare last year, a figure that includes the cost of running the welfare bureaucracy. The Ministry of Social Development, in a manner of speaking, is the welfare bureaucracy – it employs public servants in over 200 different locations around New Zealand. It’s a titanic institution.

With a UBI, all of those public servants would be made redundant, the bureaucracies that employ them would be wound down, and the 200 locations that currently house them sold off. As the Ministry of Social Development costs $27,000,000,000 a year to run – and that’s only the core expenses – getting rid of all this would provide 70-75% of the required funding for a UBI.

The Government brought in around $22,000,000,000 last year from the Goods and Services Tax, currently set at 15%. The GST is a tax beloved of modern Governments because it’s hard to avoid – pretty much every legitimate business has to account for it. Also, being a consumption tax, it’s all but unavoidable even for the most miserly person. Even if you only spend $200 a week to keep yourself alive, you will pay $30 in GST that week.

America doesn’t have a federal GST, so the introduction of one at 10% would be the equivalent of New Zealand raising ours from 15% to 25%. Most European countries have GST rates of between 20% and 25%, so this would be nothing extraordinary.

It’s not guaranteed that increasing GST to 25% (i.e. a relative increase of 67% compared to the 15% it is now at) would necessarily increase GST take by a proportionate amount. Higher taxes may lead to increasing rates of tax evasion (although, as mentioned above, GST is difficult to avoid).

If it did, however, then 67% of $22,000,000,000 would mean a further $14,700,000,000.

Add this to the sum of $27-34,000,000,000 for obsoleting the Ministry of Social Development, and we have somewhere around $42-48,000,000,000. This is enough to cover the cost of a UBI mentioned above. Once Yang’s other revenue-gathering measures (such as a transaction tax) are accounted for, there might even be enough to grant slightly more than $1,000 per month (which would otherwise only be about as much as the current unemployment benefit).

All of this is before we try to estimate the economic benefits of what would, in practice, amount to a powerful stimulus. The economic benefits of empowering individuals to turn down shitty working conditions, coupled with the physical and mental health savings accrued from sharply reducing the financial stress among the population, could be worth several billions in their own right.

In the end, Andrew Yang’s proposal to get rid of the American welfare bureaucracy could be applied in New Zealand wholesale. We also have the problem that we spend billions of dollars on office staff merely to determine who’s worthy of being allowed to eat and who isn’t. Scrapping the Ministry of Social Development, along with increasing GST by 10%, would allow us to fund a Universal Basic Income for all adult Kiwis.

New Zealand has already embarrassed itself by having less enlightened cannabis laws than 70 other nations. Hopefully we won’t have to wait for 70 other nations to introduce a UBI before the merits of such are understood in New Zealand.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2019 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 and the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 are also available.

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Young People Voting For Left-Wing Parties Is Not Evidence Of Marxist Brainwashing Camps

A popular meme going around at the moment shows an electoral map of Britain if only 18-24 year olds had voted in the General Election earlier this month. The map is almost completely red, leading many to conclude that these young people have all been brainwashed into voting Labour, but this conclusion does not follow evidentially. Demographer Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, explains.

Most adults are intelligent enough to know that people don’t cast their votes depending on which set of policies best serve the nation, or even depending on which set of politicians appears to be the most competent. The reality is that politics is pure, naked self-interest, and people cast their vote based on that.

One of the basic rules of democratic elections is that the less resources a person controls, the more they will want resources to be redistributed. This isn’t merely a law of politics, or even a law of psychology, but a law of ethology, brought about by evolution.

It can be observed in primate troops that the primates with the weakest capacity for gathering resources from nature are the same ones that are the most strongly in favour of sharing. This is not surprising, because the weaker one’s capacity for gathering resources, the more reliant one becomes on the gathering capacity of others.

When a person is aged between 18 and 24, it’s almost inevitable that they are poor, at least as an individual. At the absolute most they will have earned a postgraduate degree, and even if they managed to avoid a student loan they will not have had enough time to earn any real money. Assuming they haven’t inherited a fortune already, the best of them will be working an entry-level position and renting, with little real savings.

People in this age bracket find that it’s older people who own everything already. In New Zealand, the correlation between living in a freehold house and being aged between 20 and 29 was -0.60. If one considers that many people in this age bracket will be living in a freehold house owned by a family member, it suggests that very few of them will own their own homes.

Not owning your own home means that you will get extorted out of rent money in order to not die of exposure. Because it’s the old who own most of the homes, society is therefore structured in a way that funnels wealth away from the young workers and into the pockets of the old owners. Because society is set up this way, young people are always likely to vote for the party that promises to give workers a bigger share.

This is no more surprising or immoral than the old voting to not redistribute wealth owing to the fact that they already own everything. Voting for a Conservative party is the same as voting to uphold the Police and their enforcement of property claims, and this is almost always done when a person charges rent. In other words, it’s also voting purely in one’s self-interest.

Further evidence for the statement that young people don’t vote for left-wing parties because of Marxist indoctrination comes from observing young university students. Young people who go to university are more likely to vote for a right-wing party than those who did not go to university. If young people voted for left-wing parties because of Marxist brainwashing camps, then those not exposed to the camps would vote for right-wing parties more often.

The opposite is the case. This is because young people who go to university are more likely to come from the middle class than those who do not, and are therefore wealthier than the average of their age cohort, despite that their age cohort is relatively poor. Consequently, they are more likely to vote Conservative out of self-interest.

On the other hand, it is true that our university system has been reduced to a network of Marxist indoctrination camps. Evidence for this doesn’t come from the voting patterns of young people, though – it comes from the movements against free speech, the promulgation of anti-white philosophies and the distorted views of history and of human nature that are promoted for political reasons and not because of a love of truth.

The voting pattern of young people voting for left-wing parties that promise to redistribute wealth is not because these young people have been brainwashed – it’s because they’re poor. The kind of low-IQ person susceptible to Marxist brainwashing would usually vote left anyway on account of that they were poor.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

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How Long Until White People Become A Minority in New Zealand?

The recent release of the final statistics from the 2018 New Zealand Census has kept stats nerds across the country busy. One of the busiest has been VJM Publishing numbers man Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, who is compiling the data for a third edition of his demographic masterpiece. In this analysis he asks: how long until white people become a minority in New Zealand?

The New Zealand Stats website is a treasure trove of demographic data. There are thousands of tables of information on this page, many of which are customisable. This makes it easy to compare data between groups or between time frames. Often, the data is extrapolated into the future.

The white proportion of the New Zealand population has been falling for some time, as is true of all Western countries.

At the time of the 1991 Census (around when the average VJMP reader was born), there were 2,783,028 white people in New Zealand, out of a total population of 3,373,929. This means that New Zealand was 82.5% white at this time. Neo-liberalism had all but completed its stranglehold over the New Zealand mindset by 1991, and it was at that point that the mass importation of cheap labour began in earnest.

The New Zealand ruling class had figured out, by this time, that labour costs were their primary expense. The mass importation of foreign cheap labour not only lowered labour costs directly, by introducing what was effectively scab labour into the workplace, but it also lowered labour costs indirectly by destroying the solidarity of the native working class and thereby making it harder for them to organise to negotiate fair wages.

Although the New Zealand people were never asked for their consent to it, the advent of the mass importation of cheap labour would set in motion a course of events that would lead to the Brazilianisation of New Zealand.

At the time of the 2013 Census, there were 3,312,100 white people in New Zealand, out of a total population of 4,442,100. This means that New Zealand was 74.6% white at that time.

At the time of the 2018 Census, there were 3,357,744 white people in New Zealand, out of a total population of 4,793,358. This means that New Zealand was 71.7% white at the time of the most recent Census, a fall of 10.9% over the 27 years since the 1991 Census.

According to the NZ Stats national ethnic population projections, there should be 3,781,500 white people in New Zealand at the time of the 2038 Census, out of a total population of 5,769,800. This will mean that it will be 65.5% white one generation from now.

Over the 25 years from 2013-38, we are expected to see a decline in the white proportion of the New Zealand population, from 74.6% to 65.5%. This is a total decline of 9.1% over 25 years, or 0.36% per year.

So, over the 47 years from 1991-2038, we are expected to see a decline in the white proportion of the New Zealand population from 81.5% to 65.5%. This would be a total decline of 16%, or 0.34% per year.

Thus, the white proportion of the New Zealand population has fallen by about 0.35% per year since the advent of neoliberalism. So extrapolating forwards from 2038, when the white proportion of the population is expected to be 65.5%, the white population would need to fall a further 15.6% before white people become a minority in New Zealand.

At the current rate of falling 0.35% a year, this suggests a further 45 years from the end of 2038.

In other words, white people ought to become a minority in New Zealand sometime in the early 2080s. That means that the bulk of people reading this article should be dead. This prediction is line with when other Western countries are predicted to end up with white minorities, which exposes the fact that the imposition of neoliberalism was a globalist endeavour.

Of course, all of these projections assume that the current rulers of New Zealand – the international banking and finance class – see fit to keep importing cheap labour at roughly the same rate they are currently doing. This importation of cheap labour will likely continue to be profitable because it drives up house prices and causes demand for mortgages. Therefore, the bankers and financiers will keep pushing it on us until they are stopped.

Although it seems unlikely today, a future nativist movement could come to power in New Zealand and turn the cheap labour taps off. In Sweden we have seen the rise of the Sweden Democrats from 3% 12 years ago to 25% today, where they are now the largest polling party. This is despite the fact that some Sweden Democrats are openly neo-Nazi.

This reasoning also ignores the fact that many Pacific Islanders and Asians, and in principle all of the Maoris, will be at least part white, with some of them being more white than anything else. The average Maori is only 80% as Maori as they were the generation previously, owing to heavy interbreeding with other Kiwis. By the 2080s there may no longer be a distinct Maori race.

At the moment though, with current trends the way they are, the idea of a Great Replacement of white people in New Zealand isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s apparent from the statistics on the New Zealand Government’s own statistics page that white people ought to become a minority in New Zealand some time around 2083.

However, Brenton Tarrant was wrong when he said it was all about the birthrates (at least in New Zealand’s case).

The NZ.Stat website also tells us the projected fertility rates of the various ethnic groups in New Zealand. The Asian fertility rate was 1.61 in 2018, compared to the white fertility rate of 1.82. The Maori fertility rate was 2.36 and the Pacific Island fertility rate 2.4. This Asian fertility rate is well below replacement level, and the Maori and Pacific Islander rates are barely above it.

The Asian fertility rate is expected to fall further, to 1.55, by 2038, whereas the white fertility rate is expected to remain at around 1.8 by this time. By this time the Maori and Pacific Island fertility rates will have fallen to sub-replacement level, at 2.1 and 2.2 respectively. Considering the higher death rate among the Maori and Pacific Island populations, this is hardly a demographic threat.

It’s not about the birthrates – it’s about border control.

There probably isn’t a plan among New Zealand’s ruling elites to commit white genocide, but there doesn’t need to be. White New Zealanders are capable of selling the country out from under their grandchildrens’ feet for the sake of a fat pension. The bankers and finance interests that control the mainstream media, for their part, are more than happy to encourage this short-sighted greed for the sake of the mortgage profits it brings.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

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The Implications Of Having Two Referendums At The Same Time As The General Election

At time of writing, there are two referendums scheduled to take place on the same day as the 2020 General Election. The referendum about cannabis law reform was scheduled long ago, but this week saw the news that there would also be a referendum about euthanasia at the same time. What will this mean for the election? Numbers man Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, looks at the statistics.

What these two referendums mean, in short, is that a number of people who wouldn’t otherwise have gone to the polling booths on Election Day will do so. While there, they are very likely to cast a vote for a party in the General Election. Those parties, therefore, will get boosted by the extra turnout caused by the referendums. This article looks at which parties are likely to be the beneficiaries of the fact there are two referendums at the same time as the Election.

Let’s deal with the cannabis referendum first.

The cannabis referendum will predictably bring out the sort of voter who votes for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. Some people will make the lazy assumption that, because the Green Party has been the one most visibly championing the cannabis law reform issue, many of the people brought to the polls on Election Day will vote for the Greens. This assumption is likely false for at least one major reason.

The foremost reason is that the people who vote Green already vote in large numbers. There are strong correlations between both having a university degree and earning six figures and being a Green voter. There are also strong correlations between all of these things and turnout rate. Therefore, the sort of person who was likely to vote Green probably already did so in the previous election as well, and so a cannabis referendum won’t change much for them.

I refer to this principle as the General Disenfranchisement Rule. This states that the more a person is disenfranchised (by major measures of social status), the less likely they are to vote. Therefore, moves that enfranchise previously disenfranchised people (such as referendums) tend to bring out people from the lower social echelons. They don’t tend to bring out new National, ACT and Greens voters.

These people from lower social echelons are the sort of person who, as mentioned above, tend to support the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. In Understanding New Zealand I showed who these people are. As a general rule, ALCP voters are heavily Maori and are much more likely to be on the invalid’s benefit. They are doing it worse than supporters of any other party.

In other words, they are from categories that are hitherto heavily disenfranchised. For many of these people, deep resentment has built up regarding the cannabis issue, and if the referendum brings them to the polls they will not vote for Establishment movements. It follows, then, that there will be a considerable boost to the sort of party who already champions the underdog.

The ALCP, Labour, New Zealand First, TOP and the Greens will all split this vote (with the foremost named taking the most).

Regarding the euthanasia referendum, overseas research has shown that supporters of euthanasia tend to be young, left-wing and atheist. This means that this referendum will bring fewer otherwise disenfranchised people to the polling booths than the cannabis one.

The euthanasia idea deeply upsets elderly Christians, who, for whatever reason, feel that the terminally ill ought be forced to suffer as long as possible. However, the vast majority of these people would have come out to vote National or Conservative anyway. Therefore, holding a euthanasia referendum will not bring many extra voters to the ballot boxes on the conservative side.

On the other hand, many of the people who support a euthanasia referendum will be the sort of person who is appalled by Christian morality. These people tend to be young and educated, which means that they are on the margins of voting or not voting. They are less likely to vote Labour and ALCP, but will be more likely to vote Greens and for The Opportunities Party.

Many of these young people will be educated and, therefore, not as severely disenfranchised as the less educated voters who will come out for the cannabis referendum. This suggests that the overall electoral effect of the euthanasia referendum ought to be smaller than for the cannabis referendum.

The combined effect of these two referendums will be to bring a number of young, atheistic people in particular to the ballot boxes.

If the cannabis referendum induces young Maoris to vote and the euthanasia referendum induces young white people to vote, we can predict that this combined youth effect will see increased support for the Labour Party and the ALCP, with minor boosts to the Greens, The Opportunities Party and New Zealand First (who are falsely characterised as an old person’s party).

How large will this number be?

The correlation between turnout rate in the 2017 General Election and voting ALCP in 2017 was -0.63, which speaks to heavy disenfranchisement among cannabis users. Many of these people would not vote under ordinary circumstances. Because the cannabis referendum appeals directly to these heavily disenfranchised people, it could have a noticeable effect on turnout.

This suggests that the combined effect of the two referendums on otherwise disenfranchised voters will be enough to shift the electoral balance towards the centre-left by one to two percent, perhaps accounting for a couple of extra seats for the centre-left bloc. It’s not likely to be enough to decide the balance of power, but if the margins were otherwise thin enough it could be.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

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Could The Government Fund Itself With A Georgist Tax?

One of the great political problems is how to fund a government. Governments cannot realistically be funded by donations, so they have to levy taxes. No matter how you slice it, levying taxes on the people will always create discontentment, and not levying them is often no better. This essay discusses whether Georgism might work for New Zealand.

Georgism is a political philosophy named after American theorist Henry George. The essence of it is the belief that, while people should own the value they produce themselves, economic value derived from land (often including natural resources and natural opportunities) should belong equally to all members of society. Income provided by things that are part of the natural world, and which do not depend on human activity to have value, should be the common property of the citizenry.

Georgist ideas were very popular a century ago, before the rentiers used their ownership of the apparatus of propaganda to persuade the population that government should be funded by taxes on labour and consumption. Since then, the mainstream media has normalised the idea of taxing labour and consumption, mostly by not allowing any discussion of Georgism, and by restricting discussion to a narrow range of pro-capitalist models.

Alt-centrism finds much in common with Georgist ideas. Georgism is a very alt-centrist approach to funding a Government, because it rejects the Establishment, and their focus on taxing labour. Georgism stands directly opposed to the Establishment because it is precisely the Establishment who profits the most heavily from charging rent. In taxing the Establishment the most heavily, Georgism accords with alt-centrism the most closely.

An Australian study suggested that heavy taxation of rents could provide up to 87% of the funding necessary to run the Australian Government. The remaining money could be raised according to a similar philosophy – i.e. it could tax other properties whose value did not depend on human labour inputs (such as oil and mineral royalties), or it could charge fees to use common property such as the electromagnetic spectrum and fishery stocks.

Georgism rejects the idea of levying taxes on economic activity that is the result of a direct human labour input. The idea is that tax on ground rents ought to be enough to fund the Government, and therefore that taxes on income would no longer be necessary. For a modern state like New Zealand, the numbers don’t quite add up, but a Georgist tax could be enough to slash income taxes.

According to the New Zealand Household Expenditure Statistics for 2016, rent costs comprised 31.8% of New Zealand’s total weekly housing costs, which were themselves 25.6% of the total weekly household expenditure of $1,300.

31.8% of 25.6% of $1,300 is $105, the average weekly household rent expenditure. Multiplying this by 52 weeks equals $5,460 every year per household on rent. Multiply this by the 1,500,000 households in New Zealand, and we arrive at a figure of $8,190,000,000 charged in rent money every year. This is just from household rents – it does not include commercial rent, rural rent, mineral royalties, banking license fees or fishing licenses.

The Australian study linked above found that the total resource rents of Australia were over two times the size of just the household rents – in fact, household rents are only about 40% of the total resource rents charged in Australia. $8.2 billion divided by 40% gives us a figure in the ballpark of $20 billion dollars every year.

The total operating costs of the New Zealand Government run at about $76 billion per year, so a Georgist tax of 90% on resource rents wouldn’t cover more than a quarter of this.

However, it’s notable that individual income taxes bring in about $37 billion every year to the New Zealand Treasury. A Georgist tax of 90% on all resource rents would therefore provide the leeway to slash individual income taxes by a half.

Another way to look at it is that New Zealanders pay tax of around $7,400 on income up to $48,000. So if there are 2,500,000 taxpayers in New Zealand, this suggests that a Georgist tax on resource rents in New Zealand could replace all income taxes up to $48,000 per annum.

Eco-Georgism is a variant of Georgism that gives special consideration to the environmental challenges facing humanity this century. This involves heavy emphasis on making polluters pay for the externalities that they introduce to the environment. This would combine the heavy tax on resource rents discussed above with e.g. carbon taxes.

21st century Georgism for New Zealand, then, would be the political philosophy of funding government activity through two primary means: heavy taxes on resource rents, and heavy taxes on all activities that cause environmental destruction.

In particular, ground rents on urban locations, such as city-centre shops and rental apartments, would be taxed the hardest. This is because such economic activity amounts to little more than parasitism. Shifting the burden of taxation to this kind of extortionate activity, and shifting it away from labour, will also make the economy not only more fair, but also more efficient.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

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New Zealand First Supporters Preferred National in 2017, But Not in 2014

A study reported in the mainstream media this week suggested that New Zealand First voters would have preferred that Winston Peters had gone with the National Party after the 2017 General Election. There has been much wailing and regret since the 2017 election, and the composition of the Sixth Labour Government is responsible for a great proportion of it. Numbers man Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, has the stats.

At the top level, the statistics do suggest that a slim majority of New Zealand First voters preferred National after the last General Election. The correlation between voting National in 2017 and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was 0.04, whereas the correlation between voting Labour in 2017 and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was -0.15.

These are very weak correlations – neither of them are considered statistically significant. The National one is positive and the Labour one negative, which does indeed tell us that the overlap between New Zealand First voters and National voters was larger in 2017 than the overlap between New Zealand First voters and Labour voters.

This does make Peters’s decision to go with Labour instead of National somewhat surprising. One explanation for it may be that Peters was judging his voters based on what they were in 2014.

In the 2014 election, the demographics of the New Zealand First voters were different. The correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2014 and voting National in 2014 was -0.34, and between voting New Zealand First in 2014 and voting Labour in 2014 it was 0.11. This correlation with National voters is statistically significant, which means the two groups are significantly different to each other.

So although it might be true that a majority of New Zealand First voters in 2017 would have preferred that Peters went with National, a majority of New Zealand First voters in 2014 would have preferred that Peters went with Labour, had he come to hold the balance of power then.

The reason for the change is the considerable number of Maori voters who switched from New Zealand First to Labour between 2014 and 2017. In 2014, the correlation between voting New Zealand First and being Maori was strong, at 0.66. New Zealand First lost the confidence of many of these voters during the next three years, and by 2017 the correlation between voting New Zealand First and being Maori had fallen to 0.38.

Because the correlation with being Maori and voting Labour is also strong (0.42 in 2014 and 0.58 in 2017), it can be seen that the shared Maori connection may have been enough to tilt New Zealand First’s loyalties towards the Labour Party.

A second point is that New Zealand First are nationalists, and concomitantly have a high proportion of people born in New Zealand among their voters. The correlation between being born in New Zealand and voting New Zealand First in 2014 was 0.69, and in 2017 0.54.

This high proportion of New Zealand-born voters makes New Zealand First very different to National. The low-tax, low-solidarity model of the National Party appeals strongly to those born overseas, and this is reflected in their voters.

The correlation between being born in New Zealand and voting National in 2017 was -0.41, which reveals the depth of globalist sentiments among National voters. The correlation between being born in New Zealand and voting Labour was 0.22 in 2017, on the border of statistical significance, but much closer to New Zealand First than to National.

New Zealand First, therefore, shares two very strong qualities with Labour that they do not share with National – a high proportion of Maori support and a high proportion of New Zealand-born support. These qualities may have been instrumental in making Peters’s decision.

So although it may be true that New Zealand First voters in 2017 would have preferred Bill English as Prime Minister, there are solid strategic reasons for Peters to have made the choice he did (whether he came to regret it afterwards must be the subject of a different analysis).

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

The Sixth Labour Government Kicks The Kiwi Working Class In The Guts – Again

Any last hope that the Sixth Labour Government was still operating on behalf of the New Zealand working class was dashed earlier this week by the announcement of new working visa rules. “Up to 30,000 businesses across the country will benefit” from Labour’s latest kick to the guts of the marginal workforce. This essay explains.

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway claims that the new work visa rules will “assist between 25,000-30,000 businesses to fill shortages.” Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media is spinning this as a victory for New Zealand businesses, which it undoubtedly is. What they don’t mention, however, is how it’s a commensurate loss for the New Zealand working class.

As this page has previously pointed out, the wage of working-class people is a function of the supply of cheap labour. Increase the supply of cheap labour, as the “Labour” Party have done here, and you weaken the bargaining position of the working class. The more cheap labour there is, the greater the choice for the employers – and they will choose the cheapest labour they can, this being one of their greatest expenses.

The way the economy is supposed to work is that labour shortages force businesses to increase the wages they pay, which leads to marginal workers becoming attracted to those offers. The way the economy works in Clown World is that labour shortages cause employers to go crying to the Minister of Immigration, who fast-tracks visas for cheap labour to move here and undercut the native working class.

The sad truth is that the Labour Party is just as neoliberal and just as beholden to corporate interests as the National Party is – and neoliberals love mass immigration. The only difference is that the Sixth Labour Government is willing to throw the working class a bone in the form of a Winter Heating Allowance, a referendum about cannabis law reform or a bit of money to our mental health system (or what passes for it).

When it comes to actually running the country, however, they’re still very much in bed with the large New Zealand employers, and they still run the country more or less on instruction from those employers. The sad irony is that there was once a time when the Labour Party did stand for the New Zealand worker, and would have heavily criticised a move like this had it been National who brought it in.

Today’s Labour Party is unrepentantly the heir of Rogernomics. Protecting the negotiating position of the New Zealand worker is of no interest to them. Neoliberalism is still very much the way forwards, and the ever-rising suicide rate just something to be shrugged off, despite that adverse economic conditions contribute greatly to it.

The New Zealand media plays an essential role in manufacturing consent among the public for moves like these. Being entirely owned by foreign finance companies and banking interests, the media is beholden to people who profit handsomely from mass immigration driving up housing prices, increasing demands for mortgages and lowering wages.

This is why the media constantly runs stories with titles like “Growers say fruit will rot unless govt speeds up migrant worker decision,” “Labour shortage as Auckland construction ‘goes off’,” and “Why horticulture industry is facing a labour shortage.” These stories are effectively propaganda pieces, run on behalf of corporate interests, to massage the New Zealand population into accepting the mass importation of cheap labour.

Notably, no trade unionist was asked for their opinion on the Government’s move.

One of the stories linked above quotes ACT Party leader David Seymour as saying there simply aren’t “enough New Zealand workers willing to pick [the fruit].” This is a complete lie, because it leaves out half of the equation. Seymour’s sentence makes no mention of the wages being offered. The full sentence should read “enough New Zealand workers willing to pick at the wages being offered.”

Seymour, the consummate neoliberal, loves nothing more than importing cheap labour for the benefit of capital interests and at the expense of the native working class. As Dan McGlashan showed in Understanding New Zealand, no other party has a higher proportion of foreign-born voters than ACT, with a correlation of -0.74 between being born in New Zealand and voting for ACT in 2014.

Short-term opportunism can be expected of Seymour, who knows no loyalty other than to the dollar. It’s a real shame when this mentality guides the actions of the supposed social democrats. If the Labour Party won’t take measures to strengthen the negotiating position of the New Zealand working class, then who will?

The alliance of politicians, corporations and media make it all but impossible for the New Zealand worker to get a fair deal today. Given that the cost of housing is rising much faster than wages, which are already nowhere near high enough to buy houses on, a fair deal seems like it’s getting even further away. An entirely new socioeconomic arrangement is becoming necessary, perhaps one based around a universal basic income.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

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The Gender Wage Gap Is Bullshit

Periodic outrage arises at something called the “Gender Wage Gap.” We are constantly being told that men are paid a certain percentage more than women because of anti-female discrimination and prejudice within the workplace. The problem is that the idea of a gender wage gap is absolute bullshit. Demographer Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, explains.

There is, indeed, a correlation of 0.23 between net median income and being male (and commensurately a correlation of -0.23 between net median income and being female). This is not a very strong correlation, and in this study is only on the borderline of statistical significance.

This does mean that men control slightly more of the nation’s money supply than women do. Some people, particularly on the left, make the assumption that all human population groups are precisely the same, and therefore any difference must be the consequence of oppression. The existence of a positive correlation between personal income and being male is taken as proof that women are systematically underpaid.

However, a closer look at the data reveals the lie in this lazy assumption.

The correlation between being male and having a personal income above $150,000 was 0.03 – essentially nonexistent. The correlation between being male and having a person income between $100,000 and $150,000 was even less than this, at 0.01. This shows that the distribution of the highest-earning jobs is almost perfectly even between men and women.

Indeed, we can see from Understanding New Zealand that there is essentially no difference between men and women when it comes to higher education. The correlation between being male and having a Bachelor’s degree is not significant, at -0.04, and for the postgraduate degrees the correlation is weaker still. So the equal share of educational achievement leads naturally onto an equal share of the top professional jobs.

The best-paid jobs in New Zealand are appointed on the basis of education and not gender. Further proof for this comes from the fact that the correlations between working as a professional and having any degree are extremely strong – around 0.80 to 0.90. The correlation between being a professional and being a male, by contrast, is not significant, at -0.10.

Nearer the centre of the earnings scale we can see that the correlation with being male rises, to 0.22, for an income between $50,000 and $60,000. This correlation is borderline significant, but it is in the wage brackets between $40,000 and $70,000 where the bulk of the nation’s income is earned. All of these wage brackets have a positive correlation of at least 0.18 with being male.

Lower down the earnings scale, we can see that the correlation with being male is negative for all income brackets below $30,000. It is a borderline significant -0.19 for the prime beneficiary’s income bracket of $10,000 to $15,000. Indeed, we can see that the correlation between being male and being on the unemployment benefit is -0.39, so women are significantly more likely to be bringing in less than average.

So if women and men are paid the same at the top levels, why do men earn more in the middle levels?

As mentioned above, the reason that men make more money than women overall is because of the fact that there are more of them in the $40,000 to $70,000 range and fewer in the $30,000 and below range. But the reason for this is not prejudice.

Most of this difference can be explained by the correlation of 0.48 between being male and being in full-time work. There is also a correlation of -0.48 between being male and being unemployed. Simply put, this means that men work a lot more than women do. Further proof comes from the negative correlations between being male and being on the unemployment benefit (-0.39), being on the invalid’s benefit (-0.26) or being on the student allowance (-0.21).

What this means is that the plum jobs are shared out equally between men and women, but the lower one goes down the socio-economic scale, the more likely it is that women will become unemployed instead. This makes perfect sense, because the less one earns the more marginal working becomes in comparison to spending that time on one’s family, and women are much more likely to make such a calculation than men.

The gap in earnings between men and women can be best explained, therefore, not by sexism or any other form of prejudice, but by life history patterns. Men tend to work hard as young adults and then work hard as older adults. Women, by contrast, tend to work hard as young adults and then transition to part-time work as they get older, shifting the primary focus of their concern from their career to their family.

What the statistics show is a very reasonable pattern of women starting out as professionals if they can, otherwise starting at the bottom and transitioning into family care as they age. Men also start out as professionals if they can and also otherwise start at the bottom, but the difference is that they tend to transition into managerial positions as they age. This is evidenced by the correlation of 0.49 between being male and working as a manager.

The “gender wage gap”, therefore, is best explained as the result of different choices made by the average man compared to the average woman. It has nothing to do with prejudice or sexism, and anyone claiming that it does is either misguided or lying.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

A Universal Basic Income Would Pay For Itself In The Bitching It Would Prevent

The Internet is full of bitching about who is entitled to what and who is ripping who off. Endless back-and-forths that have been running for decades already, and sometimes for centuries before the Internet was invented. This bickering does a tremendous amount of social damage, fostering distrust, suspicion and cynicism at all levels. As this essay will examine, a universal basic income would pay for itself by settling much of this bitching.

One of the eternal debates relates to the pension age.

Our society is currently structured so that 64-year olds are made to work under threat of starvation, but 65-year olds are gifted $370 a week from the state until they die, no questions asked. A person’s life is radically different from the week before they turn 65 compared to the week after. Turning 65 grants you access to so much free money that it’s like winning the lottery.

The problem, from the state’s point of view, is that the pension already costs New Zealand some $16 billion dollars per year – a figure that is rising by about a billion a year. This means that there is a great incentive to cut down on costs by raising the pension age. On top of that, many argue that the current pension arrangement in unsustainable, on account of that people are in good health for longer.

Naturally, proposals to raise the pension age are bitterly resented by those close to it. Howls of outrage are inevitable every time the media raises the subject. Also naturally, those younger still, who have no hope of the luxury pension lifestyle that today’s elderly enjoy, don’t give a shit, and are happy to just laugh. Therefore there is bitter resentment on all sides.

We already have a universal basic income for those over 65. If we would lower the size of the payment to something more reasonable, and then extend the age limit all the way down to 18, would could get rid of the need to argue over the pension age entirely.

Another eternal debate revolves around making a distinction between the mentally ill and the lazy. The logic is that it’s fair to pay mentally ill people welfare because they can’t be expected to hold down a job, but it’s not fair to pay lazy people on welfare because it will just encourage them to not work.

The difficulty is, of course, that it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between the two. It’s not at all routine to find agreement between two psychiatrists as to whether a given patient is mentally ill or a malingerer. It couldn’t possibly be, given how complicated the average mind is and how long it takes to get to understand it.

In practice, there’s essentially no way to tell whether a person’s unwillingness to work stems from mental illness (thereby demanding a feminine solution) or a failure of the will (thereby demanding a masculine solution). There is no scientific test, so the psychiatrist just asks a bunch of questions and then offers a degree of help commensurate with how much they like the patient.

This means that a large part of the welfare apparatus – that devoted to distinguishing the “deserving” from the “undeserving” – is superfluous and could be scrapped at no loss. A universal basic income would remove the need for absurdities such as the requirement to get a doctor’s certificate every year or so to “prove” that one was too mentally infirm to hold down a job.

A mentally healthy person will not choose to avoid work, for the simple reason that employment is the only realistic way to meet one’s social needs today. Some people might need to take a break away from intense social pressure on occasion, and a UBI would help them do this. Then they could return on their own terms when able. This would prevent people from being ground down into destruction through the stress of trying to maintain employment with a mental illness.

Seldom does a person stop and think about how much social damage is caused by arguments about who is worthy to receive a basic level of financial dignity and who isn’t.

A universal basic income would settle all of these disputes in one stroke. It would say: there is no such thing as public welfare anymore, only dividends. Every citizen gets a basic dividend of the nation’s wealth, enough to stave off abject misery, no questions asked. No more squabbling about who’s paid in enough and who has been promised what.

There is a lot of talk about a looming financial crisis, and how we can’t lower interest rates to fight it, and will therefore have to print money. The last time we printed money we gave to the banks, and that didn’t help alleviate the human suffering. This time we should print money and give it to everyone to meet their basic survival needs.

If 3,500,000 people received a dividend of $250 for 52 weeks, the total cost would be $45,500,000,000. According to the New Zealand Treasury, crown income was $81,800,000,000 for the 2016/2017 financial year. That same link also shows us that the current cost of social security and welfare is $30,600,000,000, currently paid for by taxation and not money printing.

This means that we could scrap the entire social security and welfare bureaucracy, shift all of the funding for it to a UBI, and we’d only be $15,000,000,000 short. This shortfall could be made up for by money printing, or from increased economic efficiencies brought about by the structural change of every person having government-backed poverty insurance.

One likely side-effect of a UBI is that is will make many things much cheaper.

For instance, without the life-or-death pressure of needing to get a job before one starves, Kiwis would be much more willing to live in places with fewer job opportunities. This would create a drift to rural areas and release some of the demand pressure on urban land. Introduction of a UBI would, of course, mean the termination of the Accomodation Supplement, as there is simply no justification to live somewhere you can’t afford if this isn’t necessary for work purposes.

The fact is that New Zealand needs entrepreneurial activity if it is to succeed this century, and much of this will necessarily be Internet-based owing to New Zealand’s extreme geographical isolation. A UBI would make it possible for small start-ups to get off the ground in the smaller centres, because these start-ups would have much lower initial costs.

The rest of the value might be made up from the social benefits of putting a definitive and official end to all questions about who was worthy of Government assistance and who was a bludger, malinger, thief etc. Everyone gets $250, and when the rate goes up it goes up for all. Because everyone gets it, and the same amount, there would be no question over who is entitled and who isn’t.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

Should New Zealand Reduce Pensions To The Level of Other Benefits?

When the pension system was introduced in New Zealand in 1898, the average life expectancy was less than 60. Today, it’s closer to 80. Consequently, pension expenses have ballooned. This article discusses whether New Zealand should lower the pension to bring it in line with other main benefits, and what we could afford if we did.

A lot of words are being written lately about universal basic income, but few realise New Zealand already has a universal basic income for the over 65s, known as National Superannuation.

The argument for paying out this universal benefit is that people older than 65 cannot reasonably be expected to earn a living through the workforce, and therefore would starve without a pension. That seems entirely fair. Not many people would argue that a person should be forced to starve, in this age of plenty, just because they were too old to work.

However, the amount of money paid in pensions is taking the piss. $360 per week to every person over 65, when a majority of them own their own house, is an obscenity, when we expect severely mentally ill people to survive on $273 per week, out of which they almost always have to pay rent.

As of June 2019, the New Zealand Government spends over $12,000,000,000 every year on pensions (see table at top of article). This mostly consists of the $20,000 of yearly pension payments per recipient, multiplied by the 600,000+ eligible pensioners in New Zealand. Pension spending is projected to be $20,000,000,000 by 2031.

Although most people can agree that it’s cruel to leave people to starve on account of that they’re too infirm to work, there’s no reason for the Government to be granting pensioners a lifestyle that compares with what people make from working. Indeed, if they’re not working, why should they be paid any more than the unemployment benefit?

A fair compromise between the current luxury pension model on the one hand, and reducing the pension to the level of the unemployment benefit on the other, might be to reduce the benefit to a midway level. This would recognise both that current pension spending is an unsustainable and unfair burden on the under-65s, and that the infirmity of old age demands more expenses than the health of youth.

If the pension was cut by 25%, from its current $360 per week to around $270, this would bring it in line with other main benefits such as the Supported Living Allowance. This 25% reduction would equal a savings of $3,000,000,000 per year in pension expenses.

To give an example of how much money that is, it’s roughly equal to the $3,000,000,000 in tax revenue that the Government gets from the 10.5% tax on the first $14,000 of income. This tax works out to slightly less than $1,500 per person for each of New Zealand’s roughly 2,000,000 wage or salary earners.

So lowering the pension by 25% to bring it in line with other main benefits could be balanced by making all income up to $14,000 tax free. This would be a revenue-neutral move – there are plenty of other ways to spend $3G, but this would be one of the most popular.

Introducing a $14,000 tax-free threshold would make two million New Zealanders much happier about going to work every day. It would revitalise the workforce by giving every worker an extra $1,500 per year. This works out to almost $30 per week. That would make a huge difference to standard of living given the cost of living and cost of housing at the moment.

For two-parent families, such a saving would equal roughly $60 per week. For many Kiwi families on the breadline, this would be enough money to make the difference between survival and disaster some weeks.

There’s no loss to bringing this in, apart from a reduction in luxuries for our current crop of pensioners. None of those pensioners will go hungry because they would still get as much as an invalid’s beneficiary, and considering that these same pensioners had the luxury of being able to buy a house on one income – a luxury that younger generations will never have – there’s no reason for the rest of us to spend empathy on them. We ought to keep it for each other.

At the moment, New Zealand is being sucked dry by a cohort of super-entitled Baby Boomers who feel that they have the right to party it up for 20 years after they reach 65. This was only sustainable when pensioners were a small percentage of the population, but with as much as 20% of the population soon wanting a slice of the pension pie, it no longer is.

We need to bring the pension in line with other main benefits in order to rein in our bloated Superannuation expenses. Reducing it to the same level as the Supported Living Allowance would free up roughly three billion dollars every year. Freeing our economy from this burden would make life a lot easier for the vast majority of Kiwis.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

The Best Way to Raise Wages Is to Strengthen The Negotiating Position of The Working Class

Low wages are blamed by many for the various social ills befalling the nations of the West. If only wages were higher, a lot of problems with housing, education and healthcare would be solved. Although this is true on the face of it, little thought goes into what actually leads to high wages. This essay explains.

A popular belief, particularly among young leftists, is that the wage being paid reflects the employer’s goodwill. This is true to a minor extent (it reflects the degree of solidarity that the employer has with their employees), but in practice the size of a wage reflects little else than the respective negotiating strengths of the employer and the employee.

These people don’t understand that a person’s wage is the result of a negotiation process, and that this process is determined by economic principles. In particular, the wage reflects what the employer and employee each have for a Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) – the alternative that would arise if negotiations failed and both parties walked away from the table.

If the employer’s BATNA is to lose production and fail to fill orders because they are short-staffed, that employer’s negotiating position is weak. Likewise, if the employee’s BATNA is to get a well-paid job somewhere else, that employee’s negotiation position is strong.

Conversely, if the employer’s BATNA is to get the Immigration Minister to import cheap labour from the Third World and to hire them instead of a local, then that employer’s negotiating position is strong. Likewise, if the employee’s BATNA is that his family back in the Third World starves, that employee’s negotiating position is weak.

So it can be seen that a person’s wage is chiefly a function of the demand for that person’s labour and the supply of competing labour. All other factors being equal, the greater the demand for that person’s labour, the higher the wage, and the greater the supply of competing labour, the lower the wage.

If one wishes to raise wages, then, the only thing that will reliably work is to restrict the supply of the labour competing for those wages.

The capital owners of the West have always striven to minimise their labour expenses. The most effective way to do this is through slavery, because then the capital owners get labour (effectively) for free. The American cotton and sugar plantations of the 18th and 19th centuries were profitable because slavery minimised their labour expenses, and the closer a modern company can get to free labour, the better.

In the 21st century, the way to keep wages low is to import cheap labour from overseas. This has the massive benefit of allowing the capital owner to undercut the native working class, and to pay a fraction of their wage to the new imports instead. If the cheap labour is from a poor country, they will often be happy to live 20 to a house so that they can send some of their wages home in remittances.

Many modern enterprises in the West are only profitable because of importing cheap labour, but allowing this is a form of corruption that harms the working class. In a natural capitalist system, companies that can’t pay a living wage to their employees go out of business because they can’t find staff. Under the system we have, those companies import cheap labour and their previous staff go on the dole.

Despairingly, many leftists now think it is “racist” to oppose open borders, on the grounds that it’s mean to tell non-white people they can’t live in the West. These leftists are indifferent to the argument that opening the borders to cheap labour is against the class interests of the working poor. In fact, they often verbally abuse those working-class people for agitating for their own class interests, while the capital owners laugh all the way to the bank.

There is only one reliable way to increase the wages of labour. This way is to improve the negotiating position of the working classes. The negotiating position of the working classes can only be increased in two ways: by increasing the demand for labour, and by decreasing the supply of labour.

Only if the best alternative to a negotiated high wage is another high wage will the employer pay one. If the worker asks for a living wage and cheap labour is available, the employer will go with the cheap labour in almost every case. The employer doesn’t give a shit if this leaves the original worker unemployed – the cheaper the labour, the more profits for them.

The sad truth is that the international capitalist interests who have created this arrangement also own the mainstream media. As a result, this media has convinced us that this state of affairs is natural and that anyone who complains about their wage must be a racist. They don’t care if they’re hated – they still own everything and hate doesn’t stop them. What they do care about is a weakening of their negotiating position.

The New Zealand Labour Party – like neoliberal parties everywhere – has completely betrayed the New Zealand working class by keeping the floodgates of cheap labour wide open. It is by doing this that the Labour Party have kept wages low and contributed to the current social problems. As this magazine has argued previously, this betrayal risks that the New Zealand working class turns to fascism. The only way out is to strengthen the negotiating position of the workers.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

The Black Caps ODI Bowling and Batting in 2019 Compares Well To Great Players of the Past

The 2019 Black Caps are arguably the best ODI side that New Zealand has ever produced. But how good are they in comparison to their historical peers of other nations? Numbers man Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, looks at how our bowling and batting compares to some great lineups of the past.

Some people call Trent Boult the ‘White Akram’ for his relentlessly accurate line and mastery of seam and swing at 140km/h. If you compare Boult’s numbers to Akram’s, Boult comes out looking very well indeed.

Wasim Akram’s ODI career stretched from 1984 to 2003. Over these two decades, he racked up a truly phenomenal 502 wickets at an average of 23.52. Compared to the bowlers of his era, Akram had a bowling average 24% lower that the average of all bowlers from those same years (the overall bowling average between 1984 and 2003 was 29.19).

Compared to the bowlers of his era, however, Boult’s bowling average of 24.80 is 28% lower (the overall bowling average between 2012 and 2019 is 31.92). This is extremely impressive if one considers that it means that Boult is even more of an outlier in comparison to his international ODI fast-bowling peers than Wasim Akram was.

Despite the memories of him as an outstandingly destructive bowler, Akram’s strike rate is not as impressive as his economy rate. Akram’s strike rate of 36.2 is only 6% better than the average strike rate of his era (38.5). His economy rate of 3.89, however, is a full 16% better than the average economy rate between 1984 and 2003.

This is not so much true of Boult. The Kiwi paceman’s strike rate of 29.3 is 23% better than the average strike rate during his career, and his economy rate of 5.06 is 5% better than the global economy rate of 5.31 during this time. He is like Akram in that his accuracy allows for both economy and strikepower, only Boult has more of the latter and Akram more of the former.

If Boult is the White Akram, then Matt Henry is the White Waqar Younis. As Younis was to Akram, Henry is more expensive than Boult but also more destructive with the ball.

Compared to the bowlers of his era, Younis had a bowling average 23% lower than the average of all bowlers from those same years (the overall bowling average between 1989 and 2003 was 29.40). This is roughly similar to Akram, but where Younis was really impressive was his strike rate of a wicket every 30.5 balls. This was 26% better than the 38.4 average global strike rate during Younis’s career.

Compared to the bowlers of his era, Henry has a bowling average 29% lower than his peers (the overall bowling average between 2014 and 2019 is 32.27). Incredibly, his strike rate of 27.2 is 32% better than the global average of 35.9 during his career. This means that, statistically, Henry is an even more destructive bowler than Waqar Younis was – even after you account for the fact that strike rates are lower nowadays.

Some of Henry’s detractors claim that he is hittable, but this is no more true of Henry than it was of Younis. Younis was 1.8% more expensive than the average of his era; Henry is 1.7% more expensive. These are very slim margins compared to the average bowler, and more than compensated for by the vastly superior strike rate.

If you’re surprised that the Black Caps’ ODI opening bowling duo has stats that back up well when compared to arguably the best new-ball pair of all time, get ready for another surprise. Their top-order batting trio of Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor have stats that back up well when compared to those of Mathew Hayden, Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn.

Guptill and Hayden have almost identical batting averages: 43.87 vs. 43.80. For Guptill, this represents being 40% above the average cost of a wicket over the years of his career (31.28). For Hayden, it represents being 48% above the average cost of a wicket over the years of his (29.66).

When it comes to strike rate, Hayden’s 78.96 was right on the average strike rate of his time (79.28), despite his reputation as a massive hitter. Guptill is worth an extra couple of runs per 100 balls, with a strike rate of 87.99 compared to the global average of 86.96 during his career.

For Guptill to have roughly equal stats to those of the Australian opener from their greatest ever batting era is amazing enough, but there are two others in the Black Caps lineup who compare just as favourably to their counterparts in that great Aussie side.

At No. 3, Williamson’s numbers come out looking very good compared to Ponting’s. The Kiwi captain’s average of 45.85 is 45% above the average wicket during his career. The former Australian captain’s average of 42.03 is slightly behind this benchmark, at 40% above the average.

Ponting’s strike rate was relatively better, however: his 80.39 is right on the era strike rate of 80.66. Williamson’s 82.32, by contrast, is 6% slower than the average batsman of his time. In Williamson’s favour, though, he is still only 29, and therefore only just now entering the peak of his career. His numbers might well be even more impressive in six years’ time.

At No. 4, Taylor has fashioned a record that compares well to players in any time and era. His average of 48.55 is 56% higher than the average batting average throughout his career (31.05). Martyn’s average of 40.80, while much higher than the 29.66 global average during his career, was only 38% higher.

That means that, as much as Martyn was a rock at 4 for Australia, Taylor is even more so for New Zealand.

Overall, when one compares the statistics of some of our current crop of Black Caps to their contemporaries, the distance they are ahead of the average compares well to some of the great players of days past. Not only is this a highly underrated Black Caps side, but they have an entirely realistic chance of winning the World Cup this year.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

Matt Henry Is Now The Most Underrated Player In The Black Caps

In 2017, numbers man Dan McGlashan explained how Ross Taylor was the most underrated player in the Black Caps. In 2018, he explained how that mantle had passed to Henry Nicholls. This year, as McGlashan will show in this article, the most underrated player in the Black Caps is Canterbury’s Matt Henry.

Trent Boult is undoubtedly the hero of the Black Caps bowling attack. In ODIs, he has taken 148 wickets at an average of 24.83. Currently ranked No. 2 in the world for ODI bowling, many would go as far as to argue that Boult was the Black Caps’ most influential player. Everyone knows that his opening spell is crucial to the team’s success.

Few such accolades fall on Matt Henry. Far from being considered the spearhead, his place in the side seems far from certain. Many fans appear to prefer Tim Southee or even fringe candidates such as Scott Kuggeleijn or Hamish Bennett. However, much like Henry Nicholls a year ago, Henry has put up some excellent numbers that, if considered in context, mark him as a potentially world-class option.

If one looks simply at the numbers, Henry is not far behind Boult. From 44 games, he has taken 81 wickets at an average of 25.60. He hasn’t had as much gametime as many think he deserved, but this has kept him hungry and injury-free, and I’m predicting we’ll see some New Zealand records broken by him in the future.

He’s been especially good against the Asian teams, with 20 wickets against Pakistan at 20.25, 21 wickets against Sri Lanka at 18.38, and 11 against India at 19.09. Considering that the 2023 Cricket World Cup will be hosted in India, that marks him out as one to watch.

Henry doesn’t just threaten records on the smaller scale. He is also threatening Shane Bond’s record of 54 matches for the fastest Black Caps bowler to 100 ODI wickets. Henry has taken 81 wickets in 44 games, meaning he has to take 19 in nine to break the record and 19 in 10 to equal it.

At his current rate of 1.84 wickets per match, Henry will reach the milestone in 55 games, one more than Bond and one fewer than Boult.

Another Shane Bond-related stat is that Henry has a better strike rate – Bond took 29.2 balls per wicket compared to Henry’s 27.9. Bond took four wickets or more 11 times in 82 matches, while Henry has already done so 8 times in only 44 matches. Bond did it once every 7.5 matches, Henry has done it once every 5.5 matches.

In fact, Henry has one of the ten best strike-rates of all time for a bowler who has taken 50 or more ODI wickets. Measured by strike rate, he’s ahead of Waqar Younis, Brett Lee, Shaoib Ahktar and Allan Donald.

The only criticism that one might level at Henry, in comparison to Bond and Boult, is that he is hittable. When people make this argument, they refer to his economy rate of 5.50, which is expensive in comparison to the 5.07 of his contemporary Boult (let alone Bond’s truly excellent economy rate of 4.28). Henry has yet to earn the respect of opposition batsmen playing him out as Bond, Boult and Vettori had.

In any case, I’m not arguing that Henry is an all-time great just yet. Despite the stats and despite his excellent lines and seam movement, he’s certainly not above criticism when it comes to mastery of length. His predictable hit-the-top-of-off approach, while difficult to play effectively, makes it possible to premeditate slogs down the ground or over midwicket.

However, I’m certainly not arguing that Henry is the finished product just yet either. Being only 27 years old, he still has plenty to learn when it comes to canniness and cunning. Although a weapon with the new ball, his bowling at the death has exposed his lack of variations. I am predicting for him to learn these variations and to become a great.

In the end, the fairest way is to rate Henry is according to the standards of his peers.

Since the last Cricket World Cup, Henry is 15th on the list of bowling averages for players from the major nations (minimum 40 wickets). Weighing more heavily is his current ranking in the top 10 of ODI bowlers, reflecting the large proportion of top-order wickets he has taken. If one considers that he was as high as 4th in 2016, the last time he got a consistent run in the side, then it’s already apparent that he’s underrated.

But there’s more. Henry currently sits 43rd on the list of all-time lowest bowling averages for players who have taken 75 or more ODI wickets. His average of 25.60 puts him ahead of Shane Warne, Dale Steyn and Pat Cummins. This century, his average puts him 25th. That’s an excellent return for a player who some think doesn’t deserve a spot in the Black Caps’ starting XI.

By any meaningful statistical measure, the performances that Matt Henry has delivered in the ODI jersey are almost as good as Trent Boult’s. If one considers that Henry’s role in the team is to take wickets with the new ball, then the danger he represents is roughly equal.

All of this is enough to declare him the most underrated player currently in the Black Caps side.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

Are the Black Caps of 2019 Better Than The 2015 Cricket World Cup Team?

The last Cricket World Cup is considered by many Black Caps fans to be their team’s finest moment, having made it as far as the final for the first time ever. Numbers man Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, thinks that this 2019 team might be an even better side than that one. This article compares the Black Caps side that will contest the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England with the side that played in the 2015 edition of the tournament.

First opener: Martin Guptill vs. Martin Guptill

The 2019 Martin Guptill has averaged a cracking 50.01 since the last CWC, at a strike rate of 94.70. He’s scored nine centuries in those 61 games, more than in the previous 108 games of his career. This is good enough to see him ranked 8th in the world. What’s more, he appears to be getting better and better.

Before the 2015 CWC, Guptill had a career average of 37.11. He was known as a very good player, with five one-day hundreds, but was not considered excellent. Having played 99 matches, this was about one century per 20 innings, compared to one century per seven innings since then. His century in the last pool match of the 2015 CWC was the start of this hot streak.

It’s the same player, only the 2019 version is more professional, making much better decisions, and making them with more authority. Because the pitches are expected to be flat during this World Cup, there is a good chance that Guptill will play another innings of 180+. He remains the most likely Black Cap to win the match with the bat.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

Second opener: Henry Nicholls vs. Brendon McCullum

Henry Nicholls has been outstanding recently in Tests, but opening an ODI is different to batting No. 5 in the white clothing. It’s not easy to tell how well he will do as opener, other than to guess based on well he has gone so far, mostly batting in the middle order: 41 matches since the 2015 CWC, averaging 35.48.

Brendon McCullum was on an outstanding run of form leading up to the 2015 tournament. Across 20 matches in the 2014/15 season, he scored 636 runs at an average of 33.47 and an astonishing strike rate of 140.70. This strike rate was so high it meant he scored his runs in fewer than four overs on average, leaving plenty for the other teammates.

Nicholls might have a better average than McCullum, but his role in the team is different, and he will not get the Black Caps off to the same starts as McCullum. However, he is less likely to put Williamson in early either. Perhaps it could also be said that Nicholls was more likely to score a century, but a strike rate of 140 cannot be fully compensated for.

2019 Black Caps 0, 2015 Black Caps 1

No. 3: Kane Williamson vs. Kane Williamson

Williamson averages 47.01 since the last CWC, which is good enough to see him ranked equal 11th in the world. Although he hasn’t been as spectacular as Guptill and Taylor, he has still been extremely solid, scoring five centuries in that time. One feels that it has only been the bounce of the ball and good bowling that has prevented him from scoring bigger.

The 2015 Williamson did not perform well in the knockout stages of the 2015 tournament, his highest score in the three matches being 33 against the West Indies. Although he averaged 45 at the time of the tournament, and had definitely come of age, he was not able to play many truly dominant innings in 2015.

The 2019 edition of the Black Caps captain is even calmer and more professional than the 2015 one. Also, thanks to his IPL experience, he is much better at hitting, and no longer simply relies on being hard to get out. He is, therefore, a more complete player, despite his numbers not showing a significant difference.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

No. 4: Ross Taylor vs. Ross Taylor

The 2015 Ross Taylor already had a claim to being New Zealand’s finest one-day batsman. At the start of the CWC that year, Taylor had 12 ODI centuries at an average of 41.75. This was a better record than anyone except for Nathan Astle. He had carried the batting for some years before McCullum, Guptill and Williamson came along and was by now the senior pro in the side.

Post eye-surgery Taylor has been something else. Since the 2015 CWC, Taylor has averaged a phenomenal 68.85, with eight centuries. His position as the greatest Kiwi one-day batsman ever is now certain, with Williamson the only possible challenger. His career average is now over 48, and if he continues in anything like the same form it will soon be 50.

One gets the feeling that, with Latham injured for some matches and replaced by the inexperienced Tom Blundell, Taylor might play the last line of real defence before the hitters come in. If that is so, his cool and professional approach will make his efforts at 4 crucial to the success of this campaign.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

Keeper-batsman: Tom Latham vs. Luke Ronchi

At time of writing, it still isn’t clear how many matches Latham will miss on account of his finger fracture, however it’s assumed that he will be back for the later pool games and any eventual knockouts. Although Latham is still a junior player in the side, he has averaged 37.86 since the last CWC and has cemented his spot at 5. He has shown that he can both rebuild and hit from the middle order.

Since hitting 170 against Sri Lanka just before the 2015 CWC, Ronchi was poor, averaging only 15.13 for the remainder of his career. Although this came at a strike rate of just over 100, it wasn’t enough runs to make an impact. His duck in the 2015 CWC final underlined this.

Latham might lack the big hitting ability of Ronchi, but is much more likely to score runs. Latham’s strike rate of 86 since the last World Cup is perfectly fine anyway. This is another clear win for the 2019 side, whose batting is significantly stronger overall.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

All-rounder: Jimmy Neesham vs. Corey Anderson

Jimmy Neesham has been in and out of the team in recent years, but his latest performances suggest that he has found a good vein of form. In the eight matches he has played since his comeback to the side, he has averaged 68 with the bat and 22.90 with the ball. Incredibly clean hitting has been a feature of his presence in the middle order.

Corey Anderson has had rotten luck with injuries, but at the time of the 2015 CWC he was putting up some good numbers with both bat and ball. He played a number of good hands in the 2015 tournament, most notably scoring a half-century and taking three wickets in the semifinal. Although a dynamic player, he was a loose one.

On balance, Anderson wins this because Neesham has not played many games recently. But chances are high that we see at least one spectacular innings from Neesham this World Cup, on account of that his hitting ability will find good use on the flat English decks. Whether Neesham can achieve Anderson’s consistency remains to be seen.

2019 Black Caps 0, 2015 Black Caps 1

Batting all-rounder: Colin de Grandhomme vs. Grant Elliott

Colin de Grandhomme is still a bit of an enigma in this Black Caps side. Although capable of massive hitting and incisive bowling, he remains a distinctly hit and miss player, especially with the ball. He has only spent three seasons in the team, but has scored over 400 runs at an average of 29 and strike rate of 110.

Elliott is known for playing the starring role in the greatest game in Black Caps history, the semifinal of the 2015 CWC. His inclusion in the Black Caps side was patchy up until the season of the tournament, but after the start of 2015 he averaged over 40 with the bat at a strike rate of almost 100. He made a reputation for himself as a batsman who could play any role.

It’s not certain that de Grandhomme has the skills to cope with a truly top-level attack, whereas Elliott scored 80s in both a World Cup semifinal and final. Moreover, de Grandhomme averages 46.33 with the ball and is unlikely to play much of role in that discipline in England. De Grandhomme could play some good innings in England, but he won’t be expected to star.

2019 Black Caps 0, 2015 Black Caps 1

First seamer: Trent Boult vs. Trent Boult

Boult was an unknown in the Black Caps one-day setup until shortly before the 2015 CWC. He had only played 16 ODIs for New Zealand before the tournament began, and was regarded by most as a Test specialist a year beforehand. Many pundits thought that his nagging medium-fast bowling would prove easily hittable.

By 2019, he is solidly established as New Zealand’s premiere new ball bowler. He is rightly ranked 2nd in the world, behind only Jasprit Bumrah. Since the end of the last CWC he has taken 107 wickets at an average of 24.59, which, if one considers the high-scoring nature of this era, is almost as good as the best years of Hadlee and Bond.

The 2019 Boult is getting some of his deliveries up to 145km/h, without losing any of the accuracy that he is known for. This makes him even more dangerous than before. As with Guptill, Williamson and Taylor, Boult is simply a more skilled and more professional version of the player he was at the time of the 2015 CWC.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

Second seamer: Matt Henry vs. Tim Southee

Since the 2015 Cricket World Cup, the conditions of the game environment have changed. Pitches are much flatter, especially in England. Naturally, bowling averages have gone up. This means that it has been much harder than before to take wickets cheaply.

Nevertheless, Henry has taken 55 wickets since the last CWC, at an average of 29.72. Southee has taken 54 wickets, despite playing 12 more matches than Henry, at an average of 41.46. Many will be surprised to hear that Henry has taken more wickets since the final against Australia, on account of that he has played so many fewer games, but that only underlines how effective he has been.

Henry is currently ranked 14th in the world in ODIs, notably ahead of Dale Steyn (16th) and Mitchell Starc (22nd), and was in the top 10 last time he had an extended run in the side. Southee is languishing at 40th. At the start of the 2015 CWC, Southee was ranked 21st, but it’s doubtful that he was as good as Henry is now.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

Third seamer: Lockie Ferguson vs. Adam Milne

Ferguson is the latest addition to the Black Caps seam battery. Over the past two years, he has been impressive, taking 38 wickets at an average of 23.76. Those are good enough numbers to have seen him climb to 21st in the world rankings, higher than even Mitchell Starc. Although he is still raw, some of the deliveries he puts down would have made Shane Bond proud.

Milne has been bedevilled by injuries, since even before the 2015 CWC. Because of this, he has never been able to get a good run of form going, and as such has only taken 41 wickets in 40 matches, at a career average of 38.56. Despite being economical, Milne has struggled to do real damage with the ball, and at the time of the 2015 tournament was not considered a major strike threat.

Although Milne was just as fast, Ferguson is a much more incisive bowler. Without much precision in either line or length, Milne’s raw pace was hittable. Ferguson has both of those qualities as well as a greater ability to swing the ball. He makes an excellent change of pace for the times when Boult and Henry cannot break through.

2019 Black Caps 1, 2015 Black Caps 0

Spinner: Mitchell Santner vs. Dan Vettori

Santner has cemented a place in the Black Caps ODI side thanks to frugal spin bowling and big hitting from the lower order. Early last year he had an ODI bowling ranking of 7th, thanks to a truly miserly economy rate of 4.68 over his last 50 games. He also averages a handy 27.53 with the bat, and a more than handy 32.30 over the past two seasons. At his favoured position of 8 he averages 37.73.

Vettori, however, was rated as one of the world’s best ODI bowlers before his 2015 swansong. Although he was only 14th in the rankings at the time, he had been ranked as high as 1st, on account of his fiendishly tight fingerspin bowling. By 2015, it was accepted worldwide that the way to deal with Vettori was to just play him out. Hitting him out of the attack was all but impossible.

Santner might well be as good as Vettori at the 2023 CWC, but this is probably one tournament too early for the peak of his career. He certainly has potential to play some decisive roles with both bat and ball this season, but Vettori was a proven performer who was once ranked No. 1 at his chosen discipline.

2019 Black Caps 0, 2015 Black Caps 1

Total – 2019 Black Caps 7, 2015 Black Caps 4

For all the hype around the 2015 Black Caps, and for all the hype around England and India in 2019, few appear to realise quite how strong the 2019 Black Caps side is. Not only will it field three batsmen with higher career averages than Ricky Ponting, but it will also have three seamers with averages below 29, which are fine numbers in this era.

This means that the 2019 side has three of the Black Caps’ best ever batsmen, all in career-best form, as well as a guaranteed 40 overs of world-class bowling, compared to 25-30 at the last tournament. In all, they should be at least as strong a contender as at the 2015 CWC, and must be considered one of the favourites for the title.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

What New Zealand Could Afford if We Didn’t Take in Refugees

The tendency of most social democratic governments is to tax and spend. The usual pattern is to spend ever more as extra special interests keep making new demands. This inevitably leads to the downfall of those governments, as they end up spending money on white elephants and neglecting their core voters. This article looks at how the Sixth Labour Government is neglecting its own people by importing 1,500 refugees a year.

According to this New Zealand Herald article, the costs of refugee resettlement to New Zealand is roughly $130,000,000 every year. This suggests that each of the 1,500 refugees costs an average of roughly $90,000 per year, which is similar to the costs of keeping a person in prison.

This $130 million comes out of general taxation and means that we can’t spend $130 million on other things. Despite claims to the contrary, it’s impossible to spend the same dollar twice. So spending this money on refugees who we have decided to import means that we have to tighten our belts on $130 million of spending somewhere else in the economy.

So what have we chosen to forgo? Or, more accurately, what have our rulers elected to take away from us?

According to the Ministry of Social Development, there are 286,000 New Zealanders on a main benefit at the time of March 2019. These beneficiaries are also paid out of general taxation, i.e. the same fund as pays for refugees.

If we would lower the refugee quota to zero, we would have the spare money to give every beneficiary a Christmas bonus on the order of $500 every year in the lead up to the summer holidays. This would be a much better use of the money than importing problems into the neighbourhoods that those beneficiaries live in. A $500 bonus at the time of year when things are the tightest would make a profound difference to the quality of life of New Zealand’s poorest.

It might also make a difference to New Zealand’s suicide rates, as stress over Christmas and New Year’s, particularly financial stress, is known to be a common trigger for suicide attempts.

The ongoing homelessness crisis is another issue that could do with a cool hundred million dollars. A Stuff article reports that it will cost $4.1 million to house 100 homeless people in Christchurch. At that rate, if the $130 million we currently spend yearly on refugees was used on housing our own people, it would cover the housing of close to 3,000 Kiwis.

3,000 is close to the number of people currently believed to be homeless in Auckland. Since the vast majority of those homeless are Kiwis, it seems neglectful, if not callous, to spend $130 million on refugees instead, especially when that money could simply buy the houses to put almost 1,000 homeless in (assuming a house homes four people and costs $600,000).

Many of those Kiwis will have paid into the social system themselves through taxation or through service. It’s cruel to house foreigners at their expense.

Helping our own is more cost effective than importing refugees and helping them instead, because there is no language or cultural barrier to overcome and thus no need for interpreters or cultural guides. It is also much better for social cohesion, because our own usually have families that live here, and a whole family is lifted if their weakest member is helped.

Perhaps most appallingly, the New Zealand Parliament decided in 2015 that providing free breakfasts and lunches to the poorest 20% of schoolchildren, at a cost of $10-14 million, was too expensive. It seems incredible on the face of it, but our rulers are willing to spend ten times more on importing dependent foreigners than on feeding their own hungriest children!

A society that imports dependent foreigners and takes care of them, while leaving its own children to go hungry during the day, is one that cannot long survive. The inherent contradiction means that few of the next generation will have any confidence in the system, and will withdraw or revolt, as there is no point in contributing to a nation that treats its own worse than it does outsiders. It’s better to let it die and start again.

It’s important to underline here that, although spending a nine-figure sum of money on refugees while neglecting your own people is an act of evil, it’s not the refugees themselves who ought to take the blame. At worst, they are merely the receivers of stolen goods, in that they accepted the inheritance that our ruling class had stolen from us. There’s no shame in taking advantage of people as foolish as we have been.

The blame for not being able to house our own people and feed our own kids falls squarely on our own politicians who control the spending of our tax money, and on us for letting those politicians get away with it.

They are the ones who leave the people they’re representing to die while they lavish money on foreigners instead. They are the ones who distract us with emotive rhetoric about “doing the right thing” while ignoring the needs of the people they rule over. They are the ones who promote the idea that anyone complaining about their evil is themselves evil: a racist, white nationalist, Nazi, speaker of hate or similar.

Much of the suffering that Kiwis at the back of the queue are enduring is only happening because our rulers are spending the money on importing refugees instead. Lowering the refugee quota to zero would free up $130 million to spend on amenities for those among us who are doing it hard. It’s a lot of money, and all we lose is virtue signalling opportunity.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

Who Wins From Having The Cannabis Referendum at The Same Time as The 2020 General Election?

The process about the cannabis referendum next year is starting to take more concrete shape. Not only are we starting to get some kind of idea of what question is going to be asked, but we have had confirmation that the referendum will take place at the same time as the 2020 General Election. In this article, Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, explains the likely electoral ramifications.

In the 2004 American Presidential Elections, George W Bush’s adviser Karl Rove had the genius idea of scheduling a number of referendums to take place at the same time. These referendums all related to state constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage. Because this issue aroused strong conservative sentiment in the electorate in 2004, it brought conservatives to the polls, where they also voted for George W Bush.

The scheduling of the cannabis referendum at the same time as the 2020 General Election ought to have a similar effect. The sort of person who turns out to vote in this referendum will be those who would normally vote in a General Election, plus some otherwise disenfranchised demographics who didn’t previously feel an incentive to vote at all.

It’s worth looking at who those otherwise disenfranchised demographics are, because if they turn out vote in the referendum, and if they cast a vote for a party in the General Election at the same time, there might be enough of them to tip the balance of the election towards one or the other side.

The cannabis referendum will not bring out a meaningful number of extra conservatives, for two major reasons.

The first is that conservatives don’t really care about cannabis. Conservatism isn’t about being stupid, or being backwards. The average conservative is intelligent enough to have observed that many places overseas have now legal cannabis, and these places are no longer spending tax payers money on enforcing prohibition. Apart from morons like Bob McCoskrie, there’s no real appetite for continuing cannabis prohibition on the right.

The second is that conservatives already vote. As I showed in Understanding New Zealand, the correlation between voting for the National Party in 2017 and turnout rate was 0.68, which is very strong. Because there are no firm boundaries between party lines, this is unlikely to get any stronger from a referendum unless the conservatives really cared about it. And they don’t.

Who the cannabis referendum will bring out are the currently disenfranchised who have lost faith in the democratic system because of (among other reasons) its inability to deliver anything close to the public will on the issue of cannabis law. These people will come from the demographics that did not vote in the 2017 General Election.

The most obvious will be the remainder of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party’s demographic. The ALCP got 8.075 votes in 2017, and the correlation between voting ALCP in 2017 and turnout rate in 2017 was -0.63. This suggests that at least another 10,000 potential ALCP votes were lost to disenfranchisement.

Whether they would vote for the ALCP is anyone’s guess, although most will realise that, if cannabis is legal, there is no reason for the ALCP to exist, and therefore they might as well vote for someone else.

Many have made the assumption that the largest beneficiaries of a cannabis law reform referendum will be the Green Party. After all, it is the Green Party who has pushed for it, and it seems reasonable that this might lead to some otherwise non-voting cannabis users turning up to the polling booth for the referendum and throwing a vote the Greens’ way.

This simple assumption is likely to be mistaken, also for two reasons.

Simply put, Green voters tend to already vote. The correlation between turnout rate in 2017 and voting Green in 2017 was 0.27 – not very strong on the face of it, but strong if one considers that Green voters come from young demographics, and the turnout rate among those demographics is very low. Green voters and supporters are not disenfranchised.

The other reason is that the demographics that truly support cannabis law reform, the ones who are adversely impacted by the current law, are not the same demographics as Green Party voters.

There is a correlation of 0.73 between being New Zealand-born and voting ALCP in 2017. The reason for this because cannabis law reform is of little interest to those who aren’t either white or Maori. Cannabis is an integral part of true Kiwi culture, and many of those who come out to vote will be nationalists. They will not have much interest in supporting Green Party policies, aside from cannabis, which they can now support without voting Green.

This strong correlation relates to the correlation of 0.91 between being Maori and voting ALCP in 2017. This suggests that a very large number of the people who vote in the General Election because of the referendum will be Maori. Maoris seem to have an aversion to the Green Party, and this probably exists because they distrust globalists – the correlation between being Maori and voting Green in 2017 was -0.14.

Policies like increasing the refugee quota will prove devastating for the cohesion of Maori neighbourhoods and communities, and this is widely understood. The sort of person who is most heavily affected by this kind of thing is precisely the disenfranchised voter who is likely to turn out for the cannabis referendum.

The extra voters will undoubtedly be much younger than average, because the correlation between voting ALCP in 2017 and median age was -0.57. This makes them much younger than both Greens and New Zealand First voters, and only a little older than Labour voters. The young are much more passionate about cannabis law reform because they do not have the generational brainwashing that the older generations endured.

Finally, the extra voters are likely to come from the least educated demographics. The correlation between voting ALCP in 2017 and having no formal education qualifications was 0.68, the highest for any party. New Zealand First was not far behind, on 0.67, but the Green Party were at the other end of the scale, at -0.56. These extra voters are not likely to be impressed by the aloof superiority of the Greens.

Paradoxically, then, it’s most likely that the timing of the cannabis referendum to coincide with the 2020 General Election won’t benefit the party that most strongly pushed for it. Gratitude is not an emotion that can be counted on. It’s much more likely that the young, disenfranchised, Kiwi-born and Maori people who come to the polling booth for the referendum will vote Labour and, perhaps unfairly, New Zealand First.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

Could Labour Win An Absolute Majority in 2020?

A new Reid Research poll has put the Labour Party on 49.6% support, with the National Party languishing well back on 41.3%. Although this no doubt reflects a polling boost from the Christchurch mosque attacks, it raises an interesting question: could Labour govern alone after 2020? Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, examines.

No party has won an absolute majority since the introduction of MMP in 1996. The closest any one party has come was the 59 seats won by John Key’s National in 2011. But yesterday’s Reid Research poll suggests that there’s a very good chance that Labour could win one after the 2020 General Election.

We can see a clear pattern over the last two electoral cycles. The Fifth Labour Government came into power in 1999 on a promise to repeal the cruel welfare reforms of Jim Bolger’s Fourth National Government, winning 38% of the vote. This they increased to 41% by the 2002 General Election, as people still remembered what it was like having Ruth Richardson and Jenny Shipley in charge. From there, it fell away until National defeated them in 2008.

The Fifth National Government, likewise, came into power in 2008 on a promise to repeal the excessive pandering and taxation of the Clark Government. They won 45% of the vote in 2008, which increased to 47% in 2011, as people still remembered the suffocating nanny state culture of Helengrad. From there, it fell away until Labour defeated them in 2017.

So there’s every reason to think that the Sixth Labour Government will get a boost of some kind in 2020, as people still remember the grinning indifference of their National Party predecessors. The swing of the electoral pendulum suggests that Labour should hit its peak support next year or shortly thereafter, before the public inevitably gets sick of them and National wins again in either 2023 or 2026.

All this might mean that they can stay up in the high 40s (in terms of support), but there are other indicators that suggest they could govern alone after the 2020 General Election with as little as 45% of the vote.

Labour’s support parties, New Zealand First and the Greens, have fallen well below the 5% threshold, and there are good reasons to think that both will crash out of Parliament in 2020. The Greens are only polling at 3.9%, and New Zealand First are doing even worse, at 2.3%.

The New Zealand First Party might as well have pissed in the faces of their supporters, such is the contempt they have shown them since taking power after 2017. Every New Zealand First MP voted against Chloe Swarbrick’s medicinal cannabis bill, despite the passionate support for it among their heavily Maori voting base. Then they signed the country up to the TPPA, despite campaigning against it when in opposition.

The Green Party are not doing much better. Far from presenting an educated, intelligent, left-wing alternative, the face of their party is now anti-white racists like Marama Davidson and Golriz Ghahraman. The Greens lost ground in 2017 among people of European descent, and the sharp increase in authoritarian and anti-white rhetoric appears to have driven the centrist Greens back to Labour.

The Greens also have the double problem of defending their educated urban elite votes against The Opportunities Party, which looks set to run again, and Vernon Tava’s potential blue-green movement. Both of these latter vehicles will try to appeal to the same educated, urban 20-39 year old demographic as the Greens, meaning that competition will be extreme.

If both the New Zealand First and Green parties fail to get over 5% of the vote, then the composition of the next Parliament might be simply Labour, National and David Seymour. If this is the case, then 49% of the total electorate vote would likely entitle Labour to 65 seats or so, out of a 120-member Parliament.

Of course, the curious thing here is that if the Greens and New Zealand First do fall under the 5% threshold, and no other new party manages to get over it, one of either Labour or National is all but guaranteed to end up with an absolute majority. The only way it could not happen would be for David Seymour’s ACT, currently languishing at below one percent in the polls, to act as the tiebreaker.

This will be good news to some, and terrible news to others. As we have been reminded in recent years, we Kiwis have no absolute human rights, and Parliament is sovereign. Therefore, a party with an absolute Parliamentary majority can do absolutely whatever it wants to the New Zealand people, with no oversight. The only recourse the New Zealand people will have is the chance to vote them out again in 2023.

Considering that the Labour Government has already been very weak on protecting our rights to own firearms and our rights to free speech, there is good reason to be afraid of an absolute Labour majority. Andrew Little has already used the Christchurch mosque shootings to “fast-track” every piece of legislation he can think of, so who knows how far a Labour Party with an absolute majority in Parliament could go to reshape the world in their image?

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

The Case For Cannabis: One Person Who Smoked Cannabis And Went Crazy Is Not A Pattern

If one talks to many prohibitionists, one argument that comes up over and over again is the argument from personal experience. They will tell a story about how they knew a person who was doing great, until one day they smoked cannabis and just went crazy. This article explain why this is not a legitimate reason to keep cannabis illegal.

It’s a familiar story by now. The straight-A student, the hard-working businessman or the devoted mother, all living amazing lives until they had a smoke of cannabis and then – boom, total mental collapse. It’s a story familiar to anyone who has seen the film Trainspotting, only it doesn’t really happen that way with cannabis.

It’s true that the use of cannabis often occurs at the same time that a person becomes a psychiatric casualty. Inevitably, however, further examination of the lives of these people show that things aren’t as simple as use cannabis, go crazy.

Psychosis isn’t normally something that just breaks out from nowhere. Usually it’s something that develops, quickly or slowly, over a period of time, during which the person becomes more and more agitated. In most cases when psychosis is preceded by cannabis use, there are multiple factors at play, in particular lack of sleep, anxiety, adrenaline and job, health or relationship stresses.

When a person hears about someone they know using cannabis and then having a psychiatric event, what they don’t also hear about is the surrounding life circumstances. Almost always, the supposedly “healthy” person was either starting to feel overwhelmed with the pressure and stress in their lives (which is what turned them to cannabis) or there was a pre-existing psychiatric condition that wasn’t known about and which was exacerbated by cannabis use.

More academically, it is said that the plural of anecdote is not data. Knowing that one person who had a psychotic break happened to have used cannabis at some point leading up to it is one thing. It is not, however, evidence that a wider pattern exists of perfectly healthy people using cannabis and then becoming psychotic.

Even more academically, arguing that cannabis should be illegal because you knew one person who smoked it and went crazy is an example of the fallacy of composition. This is a logical fallacy that states that something that is true of one member of a group (such as one cannabis user) is true of the entire group (all cannabis users).

In other words, even if was true that there was one person who did become psychotic purely on account of cannabis use and no other factor, it wouldn’t make it possible to generalise this experience onto all people who use cannabis. One example is just one example, and it requires many further such examples before one can conclude that using cannabis inevitably leads to psychosis.

However, it’s entirely possible that using cannabis can contribute to psychosis under certain circumstances.

The first common way is that it can bring up traumatic memories. A large number of people, perhaps even a majority, have some kind of suppressed memory. Usually this relates to an early childhood trauma, with violence and sexual assault being the most common. The percolating effect of cannabis on the thoughts can cause such repressed traumas to bubble to the surface, and often in contexts where the user is not prepared for them.

Many people have been forced to suppress these memories in order to have a chance at an ordinary life. So when they suddenly face them again, the stress of this can lead to an episode of mental disturbance. This is particularly true if the memory cannot easily be suppressed again.

The second common way is that it can bring the user into spiritual realms of thought that they may not be prepared for. As discussed at length elsewhere in this book, cannabis is a spiritual sacrament. The dangerous side of this is when people use it expecting a high, and instead find themselves confronted with deep existential or spiritual questions.

It’s normal for people to avoid thinking about the fact that they’re going to die one day. One of the most common ways to break this habit is to have a smoke of cannabis and find one’s mind drifting to unusual places. The deconditioning effect of cannabis can have a greatly beneficial effect on creativity, but push it too far and you can lose touch with the bonds tethering you to collective reality.

Neither of these common ways can be helped by making cannabis illegal. Pushing cannabis underground has only had the effect of making people unaware of the real psychological effects of the substance, and this lack of proper awareness has caused more damage than cannabis itself.

In any case, given the large numbers of people who do use cannabis in New Zealand, and the large numbers of mentally ill people in New Zealand, it’s not surprising for someone to know a person who is in both of these categories. If someone did know a person who used cannabis and later became mentally ill, that’s not indicative of a wider pattern.

Furthermore, this argument ignores all the people who use cannabis and don’t go crazy. If 11% of the population has used cannabis within the past 12 months, that’s a huge number of people. It means that the average person probably knows a couple of dozen cannabis users. If this is the case, then it’s notable that they only knew one person who seemed to have a psychotic episode linked with cannabis use.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Electoral Consequences of the Rise of a New Blue-Green Party in New Zealand

Much recent attention has been given to the possibility that a new blue-green party might arise to contest the 2020 General Election. A man named Vernon Tava has been interviewed outlining his vision for the putative movement, which is said to have some support. In this article, demographer Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, explains the electoral ramifications.

First, we need to determine who might vote for such a blue-green party. Secondly, we will speculate on what might happen if a large number of people do.

Crudely speaking, and this is very crude, we can say that New Zealand divides into four groups: the urban poor, who vote Labour, the urban rich, who vote Green, the rural poor, who vote New Zealand First, and the rural rich, who vote National.

The borderline between the Green and the National parties, therefore, is between the city and the country, and the unifying feature of these two parties is that their constituents are wealthy. So any new blue-green party would primarily target people who were doing better than average, regardless of whether they lived in the city or the country. But to distinguish them from the conservatives, they would need either an environmental or a social justice aspect from the green side.

Green and National voters are also characterised by being better educated than average (indeed, this is the basis of their greater wealth). So a green-blue party might target students, especially those who study at suburban universities. What unifies them, in particular, is that they tend to have globalist sympathies, and they tend to oppose the nationalist sentiments that they observe in Labour and New Zealand First.

This column has previously discussed the fact that the National and Green parties could ally on the basis of both being strong supporters of globalism. A new blue-green party might combine the green commitment to environmental causes with the desire to liberalise free trade and the movement of cheap labour (ignore the contradictions in that for a moment). They would then effectively be a neoliberal party.

The most obvious point is that such a party would compete directly with The Opportunities Party. As I showed shortly after the previous election in 2017, the bulk of TOP voters were disaffected Green voters. They were mostly young and well-educated, of either gender and any ethnicity, and were the ones most easily reached by the heavy investment made by TOP in FaceBook advertising. They have also had the most anti-nationalist conditioning.

Green Party voters would also be tempted towards a new party. The reason for this is many Green voters are well-educated, and so they often find themselves becoming wealthy by the end of their 30s, which means that they start to have an interest in protecting that wealth, and thereby paying less taxes. This pulls them towards the National Party, but they tend to be repelled by National’s indifferent attitude to human suffering.

National voters, for their part, will be hard to tempt to any blue-green party. For one thing, National voters are particularly loyal: the correlation between voting National in 2014 and voting National in 2017 was 0.99, an exceptionally strong correlation and higher than the equivalent figure for any other party. The other reason will be the electoral ramifications, as discussed below.

Second, the other major area of interest is the electoral ramifications of such a party if it would form and seriously contest the 2020 General Election.

One obvious point here is that the rise of a blue-green party would make things exceptionally difficult for The Opportunities Party. Although TOP does not describe itself as a blue-green party, they are competing for almost exactly the same demographic as any such new endeavour would also be competing for. Getting 5% of the electorate vote is hard enough as it is, and having two fledgling parties contesting that vote will make things extremely hard for both.

The obvious major point here relates to the overlap with Green Party voters. The Green Party only just made it over the threshold at the 2017 General Election, winning a mere 6.27% of the total votes. This means that they would only have to lose 30,000 or so votes in 2020 to a new blue-green party to run the risk of falling under the 5% threshold and so dropping out of Parliament entirely.

Ironically, game theory suggests that this is one of the most plausible ways for National to win the election. If a blue-green party did win enough of the Green Party vote that both parties failed to make the 5% threshold, the left bloc would lose all those Green party votes as well as some of the blue-green party ones, whereas the right bloc would only lose some of the blue-green party ones. This would leave National and ACT against Labour, competing for New Zealand First support.

Of course, these options are moot if the proposed party does win 5% of the electorate vote. As explained above, this would almost certainly lead to the obliteration of both the Greens and TOP, who are chasing similar voters. Assuming New Zealand First also won 5%, then there could be another head-to-head fight between Labour and National for the loyalty of the centrist parties, who would then in all probability hold the balance of power.

Because getting 5% of the vote is so difficult, and because the competition for the blue-green niche already so fierce, the future chances of Vernon Tava’s movement look extremely slim. They might have a greater impact as a spoiler that helps to wipe out the Green and Opportunities Parties, for the sake of ensuring that National holds the balance of power after 2020.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

India in New Zealand 2019, First ODI Preview

Having defeated the victorious finalists of the previous World Cup in a 3-match ODI series in Australia earlier this month, the Indian cricket juggernaut now sets its sights on the Black Caps. They will contest a 5-match series beginning tomorrow at 3pm in Napier, which will tell us a lot about how the respective teams match up before the World Cup in England this winter.

The market is expecting a close encounter, with the Black Caps currently paying $2.34 on BetFair to India’s $1.72. India and New Zealand are ranked 2nd and 3rd in the world respectively in ODIs right now, so the series promises to be a heavyweight clash. Both sides will be looking to fine-tune their XIs before the World Cup.

For the Black Caps, there are three major questions to be settled.

The first relates to the form of Colin Munro at the top of the order. The Black Caps have persisted with Munro at the top in the hope that he could replicate his T20 form there. In that format he is one of the world’s best openers, but in ODIs he only averages 26, and 23 from his last 30 matches. In T20Is he averages 33 at a strike rate of 161, and the plan is for him to do what Brendon McCullum did in 2015.

If Munro stays, the Black Caps have a settled top order of Munro, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. This will be a good enough top order to mount a serious challenge at the World Cup. If Munro is not selected, they might bring in another hitter such as Glenn Phillips, or (more likely) move Latham up from 5, which would bring with it its own questions.

The second question relates to the middle order, in particular positions 5, 6 and 7.

To some extent, the answer to this question depends on the first. If it is decreed that Munro is good enough as Guptill’s opening partner, then Tom Latham bats 5 and keeps wicket. The question then becomes whether the Black Caps choose a hitter like Henry Nicholls at 6, or an all-rounder like Jimmy Neesham. Nicholls’s blazing 124* off 80 in the Black Caps’ last outing against Sri Lanka may have secured him this spot, because such innings will be necessary in England.

If they choose Nicholls at 6, then it becomes necessary to play an all-rounder at 7. This will be either Neesham or, more likely, Colin de Grandhomme. If Munro is not favoured at the top of the innings, then Latham will move up to opener, with Nicholls moving up to 5 and then probably Neesham and de Grandhomme at 6 and 7, which would give captain Williamson a range of bowling options.

The third question relates to Trent Boult’s new ball partner. That Boult is the premier bowler in the country is not contested: he has taken 89 wickets at an average of 26 since the 2015 Cricket World Cup. He will lead the attack in England and the only question is who will partner him.

Until recently, Tim Southee had a lock on the position. This was a combination of incumbency and reward for his outstanding performances in the 2015 tournament. But he has averaged 44 with the ball since then, having only taken 48 wickets in 43 matches. He seems to have fallen out of favour with the selectors as well, having seemingly been dropped for recent matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The position of Boult’s partner now appears to be a two-horse race between Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson. Until recently, Henry would have had a solid grasp on the position. He has 71 ODI wickets at just under 27, and was once ranked as high as the 7th best ODI bowler in the world. He only played 6 ODIs in 2017 and 2018 combined, however, and some feel that Lockie Ferguson has already surpassed him.

Ferguson continues to impress as well – he only has 45 ODI wickets but has taken them at an average of 24. Either he or Henry would be hot for the position of Boult’s partner, with Tim Southee’s variations possibly enough to see him take the third seamer’s spot. It might be that Henry is the better new ball choice and Ferguson the better choice in the death overs, so they might both be selected.

Predicted XI for tomorrow:

  1. Guptill
  2. Munro
  3. Williamson
  4. Taylor
  5. Latham
  6. Nicholls
  7. Neesham
  8. Santner
  9. Henry
  10. Ferguson
  11. Boult

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Dan McGlashan is the man with his finger on the pulse of New Zealand culture. His book, Understanding New Zealand, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

The Case For Cannabis: It Doesn’t Matter That People Have to Pay For Cannabis Users’ Healthcare

One argument that is often made by people in response to proposals for cannabis law reform is that they don’t want to pay for cannabis users’ healthcare. The logic goes that cannabis law reform is unfair on the general populace, because they have to fork out for the inevitable increased healthcare burden through general taxation. As this article will examine, such an attitude is mistaken.

Like many of the false arguments against cannabis law reform, this one relies on another bogeyman. In this case, it’s the supposedly heavy burden that the health system would suffer under if cannabis were to be made legal. This burden would have to be borne by everyone, and it isn’t fair to expect them to do so.

As with many examples of false logic, this argument depends on seeing the situation incorrectly.

For one thing, it’s possible that, if cannabis were to become legal, some of the adverse consequences of its use would become more widespread. But it’s foolish to think that, in such a case, cannabis use would go up while the rates of all other recreational drugs would stay the same.

In reality, recreational cannabis is a competing good to alcohol. A lot of people use it because they find the ritual of rolling up and smoking a joint as relaxing and enjoyable as drinking a beer, and at least as social. Everywhere that cannabis is legal, at least some of the population have decided that they prefer to socialise over some weed than over some booze.

So the supposed “extra” healthcare burden that would be caused by increased cannabis use is balanced, perhaps even several times over, by the savings that accrue from health problems that were prevented by the reduced use of other recreational drugs.

Alcohol abuse is believed to cost the country $4.9 billion per year. The total cost of cannabis use on our health system right now is, even if one uses the ultra-conservative Drug Harm Index, $431 million. This latter figure is not merely the cost of cannabis use to the healthcare system but also ancillary costs, so the true figure is much lower (this latter figure also includes $126 million of costs due to premature death caused by cannabis use and is therefore somewhat fantastical).

So even if legal cannabis doubled the total harm that the Drug Harm Index says that cannabis does to society, this would be more than compensated for if it reduced the total harm done by alcohol by 10% or more.

A second factor to consider is that the cost of cannabis damage is small compared to the cost of old people just clinging onto life for a few more years.

New Zealand’s total healthcare expenditure was $16.8 billion last year, and people aged over 65 used over 42% of that – and that percentage is increasing. So people over 65 use roughly $8 billion dollars’ worth of taxpayers’ money on health costs every year, much of which is wasted on futile attempts to delay a terminal illness.

Even if we ignore that cannabis use is not higher in jurisdictions where it is legal, and even if we ignore that legal cannabis would mean users could use much less harmful routes of administration, and even if we assume that the total healthcare damage would be double under legalisation than what it is now, it still wouldn’t be a great amount of money compared to what is already spent.

The third argument is, of course, that it simply doesn’t matter if cannabis users’ healthcare has to be paid for out of general taxation. As mentioned above, alcohol abuse costs the country almost five billion dollars a year, which amounts to close to $1,600 per taxpayer. If such a high bar is acceptable for alcohol, then its acceptable for cannabis as well.

Cannabis users are, or should be, part of our society the same way as anyone else is. So in the same way that we’re happy to pay for the healthcare costs of cigarette smokers, alcohol drinkers, Olanzapine takers (the side-effects of many psychiatric medicines are bad for the physical health), rugby players, horse riders and mountain climbers, so too should we be happy to pay for the healthcare costs of cannabis users.

Legal cannabis would make it easier to minimise healthcare costs anyway, because doctors would be able to encourage cannabis users to avoid joints and dabs in favour of edibles and vapourisers. So if healthcare costs really are a concern, legal cannabis is better for more than one reason.

In summary, it’s not fair to object to cannabis law reform on the basis that the general taxpayer would have to pay for a sudden massive healthcare burden. A repeal of cannabis prohibition would not lead to such a burden – in fact, a sober look at the experience suggests the overall healthcare cost of recreational drug use would fall if cannabis became legal.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Demographer Dan McGlashan Explains This Week’s Horizon Research Cannabis Poll

My name is Dan McGlashan, and I am the author of Understanding New Zealand, a demographic study of the Kiwi people. In this article, I will explain the results of the recent cannabis law reform poll by Horizon Research, which broke down support for the upcoming cannabis referendum by party affiliation and age.

60% of New Zealand adults would vote to legalise the recreational use of cannabis on the upcoming referendum, according to the poll, with only 24% against. 16% had no opinion. Broken down by party support, 84% of Green voters would vote yes, with 63% of Labour, 56% of New Zealand First, 49% of ACT and 33% of National voters doing likewise.

The Green, Labour and National votes don’t need much explaining. The Greens have always been the strongest supporters of cannabis, apart from the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. Likewise, National has always opposed any effort to reform the laws. Many readers were surprised, however, to learn that support among New Zealand First voters is stronger than support among ACT voters.

In Understanding New Zealand, I showed which demographics were the strongest supporters of cannabis law reform, by correlating those demographics with support for the ALCP.

The average cannabis law reform supporter is – on average – young, poor, Maori, uneducated and with an especially high chance of suffering from a debilitating physical or mental illness. These demographics are all disenfranchised ones, which is why there is a strong association between being a cannabis user and having a difficult life. They are also the ones most heavily impacted by cannabis prohibition.

Some were surprised to see that support for cannabis law reform is very high among New Zealand First voters. 56% of New Zealand First voters would vote yes in the referendum, almost as many as Labour voters. New Zealand First voters are often stereotyped as old, bitter, out of touch racists, which makes it hard to explain their heavy support for cannabis law reform.

In reality, there is a moderately strong correlation between being a New Zealand First supporter and being Maori: one of 0.38. This also helps to explain why there was a moderately strong correlation of 0.40 between voting for New Zealand First in 2017 and voting ALCP in 2017. Many will also be surprised to read that there is no significant correlation between median age and voting for New Zealand First.

In other words, the New Zealand First demographic is much younger and browner than the lazy stereotype would have it. This can be established simply from observing the extremely high levels of support gained by New Zealand First in the Maori electorates. These young, brown and poor people are reliably fans of cannabis use, despite the general social conservatism of the New Zealand First movement.

Many others were surprised to see that only 49% of ACT supporters expected to vote yes in the referendum. ACT markets itself as the party of liberty from government overreach, and one might think that this would be reflected in support for cannabis law reform, but they have traditionally been very weak on the issue, perhaps even cowardly.

The simple truth is that ACT voters are not from the demographics that care about cannabis law reform. The correlation between voting ACT in 2017 and being Asian was 0.46, but the correlation between voting ACT in 2017 and being Maori was -0.51, which suggests that very few actual cannabis smokers are ACT supporters.

Moreover, ACT voters are wealthy: the correlation between voting ACT in 2017 and personal wealth was 0.61, making their supporters their wealthiest of all. ACT voters tend to come from two major groups: rich, old, white people with all the money, and young professional Asians who don’t want to pay taxes. Neither group has any major interest in recreational cannabis.

The cannabis referendum is very likely to end up with a yes vote, because most of the opponents of cannabis law reform are old and dying off. Conservative National voters are being replaced by less conservative ACT voters, and young people mostly support it anyway. It’s enough to compare Chloe Swarbrick with the decrepit Bob McCoskrie to guess that the repeal of cannabis prohibition is inevitable.

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Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan and published by VJM Publishing, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

The Case For Cannabis: Prohibition is a Waste of Money

People often talk about cannabis prohibition as if it was just a law and that was that. The reality is that enforcing cannabis prohibition not only costs a large amount of money, but it also prevents a large amount of money from being made. As this article will argue, cannabis prohibition is a colossal waste of money, so much so that it’s worth repealing it on that basis alone.

The cost of cannabis prohibition is close to half a billion dollars a year. This is comprised of two groups of costs: the direct cost of enforcing prohibition, and the opportunity cost of prohibition.

The direct cost of enforcing prohibition chiefly includes prison costs, court costs and Police costs.

According to an estimate made by the New Zealand Treasury, New Zealand spends about $400,000,000 dollars every year on enforcing cannabis prohibition, and is missing out on $150,000,000 of GST on cannabis sales. This means that, according to the New Zealand Government itself, the opportunity cost of enforcing cannabis prohibition is over half a billion dollars a year.

A study by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimated that the American federal government spends USD8,700,000,000 annually on enforcing cannabis prohibition. Adjusted for population size and currency, this suggests that something in the range of $200,000,000 is spent annually in New Zealand to enforce cannabis prohibition (this includes court and prison costs as well as Police costs).

Potentially much greater than this is the opportunity cost of prohibition.

The Miron report linked above suggested that America loses a similar amount from taxation opportunities to what it loses from having to pay to enforce prohibition. Converted to the scale of New Zealand, that suggests that around $200,000,000 in potential tax revenue from legal cannabis sales are instead funnelled into the pockets of criminal gangs.

Other studies suggest similar figures. According to Shamubeel Equab, who wrote a report commissioned by the New Zealand Drug Foundation, up to $240,000,000 could be claimed in tax annually from a regulated drug market.

This is supported by other calculations. The state of Colorado, with a similar population to New Zealand, sells $2,000,000,000 worth of cannabis a year. If a similar amount was sold in New Zealand, that would mean that $300,000,000 of GST would be collected on it.

So, as mentioned earlier, the combined cost of all of the aspects of cannabis prohibition is about half a billion dollars per year.

This is a lot of money for something that arguably has no benefit at all. Even if one charitably conceded that a majority of people wanted cannabis prohibition (they don’t), or that cannabis prohibition prevented a significant amount of cannabis getting into the hands of young people (it doesn’t), $400,000,000 is a great deal of money, especially when considered on an annual basis. It’s about $150 a year for every taxpayer.

Had the Fifth National Government legalised cannabis at the start of their term in 2008, New Zealand would have already saved at least $4,000,000,000. The asset sales campaign run by the National Party raised barely more than this, and that was at the draconian cost of losing ownership of these assets forever.

It sounds incredible, but it’s hard to deny the maths. If the Fifth National Government had legalised cannabis instead of selling state assets, they would have raised almost the same amount of money – without losing ownership of the assets. They sold the country out from under us for effectively nothing.

Worst of all is that New Zealand is borrowing money from overseas sources to pay for the deficits that we’re running in order to finance this prohibition. So not only did we not save $4,000,000,000, but we’re paying interest on those billions – just to imprison our own young people for growing medicinal plants.

Cannabis prohibition should be repealed because it simply isn’t worth the money. The total losses to the New Zealand economy from cannabis prohibition cannot be justified – even if it was charitably conceded that there was some benefit to prohibition. It would be much better to make cannabis legal, which would save hundreds of millions currently wasted on enforcement, as well as gathering hundreds of millions in tax revenue.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Is This New Zealand’s Best Ever Test Cricket Side?

If the Black Caps win the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka 2-0 – and they should – they will go to No. 2 on the ICC team rankings. The rankings go back to 2003 and New Zealand has never been higher than 3rd before. This article asks the obvious question: is this the best Test cricket side that New Zealand has ever produced?

It seems sure that this is the best Black Caps Test side since Sir Richard Hadlee was in his prime. So this article will compare the current first choice Test team (in New Zealand conditions and assuming no injuries) to the team that beat Australia 2-1 in Australia way back in 1985. The way we will do this is by comparing all 11 players as if it was a boxing scorecard.

The prime difficulty with making a comparison is that the careers of the 1985 team are completed, and so their legends are established. Some of the 2018 team are yet to play many games. This means that their total level of greatness has to be extrapolated out from what they have achieved thus far. By the same token, the 1985 players are rated according to how good they were at the time, not according to how good they may have been earlier or later.

First opener: John Wright vs. Tom Latham

The dour John Wright was the first New Zealand batsman to 4,000 runs. At the time of the 1985 Tour of Australia he had played 41 Test matches and averaged 30.91. Wright had 2,000 runs after 39 matches, whereas Latham has already scored 2,503 runs in that time, so it seems like Latham will go past him.

Tom Latham has already scored six centuries in only 39 matches, at an average of 36.27. This is similar to Wright’s career average, despite that Latham has still been learning the game. Wright was 32 years old by the time he scored his sixth Test ton, whereas Latham did so by age 26. This suggests that Latham will have a better career than Wright.

1985 Black Caps 9; 2018 Black Caps 10

Second opener: Bruce Edgar vs. Jeet Raval

Bruce Edgar had a first-class average of 40, but was in and out of the Black Caps over the course of his 39-Test career. He averaged 30.59, with three hundreds, and a highest-ever batting ranking of 8th, achieved in August 1983. He was ranked around 30th at the time of the 1985 Tour to Australia, making him a solid backup to John Wright.

Jeet Raval is new on the scene, having received a chance at opener only after several others had been tried, but has been dependable in his limited opportunities. He is yet to score a century in his 14 Tests, but has six half-centuries already, at an average of 33.86. His first-class average is slightly lower than Edgar’s. A world ranking of 8th seems unlikely, so this one will have to go to Edgar.

1985 Black Caps 10; 2018 Black Caps 9

First drop: John F Reid vs. Kane Williamson

John Fulton Reid was an excellent player whose finest moment was a not out 158 in Auckland in 1985, leading the Black Caps to an innings victory against a Pakistani side containing Wasim Akram and Abdul Qadir. He averaged 46 from 19 Tests, and was ranked 10th at the time of the tour of Australia, having been as high as 3rd earlier that year.

Captain Kane Williamson is currently ranked 2nd in the ICC Test batting rankings, on 913 points, behind only Virat Kohli. It is the first time any Kiwi batsman has passed 900 on that scale, and reflects the fact that Williamson averages 65 over the past five years. At age 28, and with Williamson still refining his game, it seems like the best is still to come.

1985 Black Caps 9; 2018 Black Caps 10

No. 4: Martin Crowe vs. Ross Taylor

Martin Crowe was widely regarded as New Zealand’s greatest ever batsman, until this was challenged in recent years by not only Williamson but also Taylor. Like Reid, Crowe achieved a highest world ranking of 3rd, but Crowe was only ranked 32nd in the world at the time of the 1985 Tour to Australia – although he was good, he was yet to peak for another two years.

Ross Taylor also achieved a highest world ranking of 3rd, at least so far. He is currently ranked 16th and established as the Black Caps’ senior pro, holding several records, one of which is the highest Test score by a visiting batsman to Australia: 290. Much like their careers as a whole, comparing Crowe and Taylor at these particular points in time is too close to call.

1985 Black Caps 10; 2018 Black Caps 10

No. 5: Jeff Crowe vs. Henry Nicholls

Jeff Crowe was ranked 31st with the bat at the time of the 1985 tour, one higher than his younger brother Martin. Unlike Martin, this was as high as Jeff ever got. Henry Nicholls has climbed up to No. 9 in the world Test batting rankings, averaging 50+ over the past two calendar years, which means that he’s currently ranked higher than Ross Taylor.

Jeff Crowe managed three centuries and six half-centuries from his 39 Tests; Nicholls has three centuries and seven half-centuries from 21 Tests. At best it could be said that Crowe was a serviceable No. 5, whereas Nicholls shows every sign of becoming a genuine force there. This one handily goes to Nicholls.

1985 Black Caps 9; 2018 Black Caps 10

All-rounder: Jeremy Coney vs. Colin de Grandhomme

The stylish Jeremy Coney was a redoubtable batsman and a tidy medium pacer. He was ranked 13th in the world with the bat at the time of the 1985 Tour of Australia, which made him the second-highest ranked batsman in the side after Reid. He only scored three hundreds in his 52 Tests but he also scored 16 fifties, averaging 37.57.

Colin de Grandhomme is more of a 21st-century player, with incisive bowling and big hitting. It’s hard to see him averaging 37 with the bat, but he does average 35 at first-class level. Both players took 29 Test wickets, although de Grandhomme got his in a quarter of the matches. In the end, Coney’s batting is better than de Grandhomme’s batting by more than de Grandhome’s bowling is better than Coney’s bowling.

1985 Black Caps 10; 2018 Black Caps 9

Wicketkeeper: Ian Smith vs. BJ Watling

Ian Smith was a solid performer for the Black Caps for a long time. He played some great innings, most notably a 173 off 136 against India, but his Test average was only 25.56. At the time of the 1985 Tour of Australia, Smith was ranked 48th in the world with the bat, playing in a time when wicketkeepers were not expected to bat as much as they are now.

BJ Watling, however, has been world-class with both bat and gloves. He is currently ranked 22nd in the world with the bat, averaging 38.11 from 57 Tests. Although their glovework has been of a similar high standard, Watling is able to play proper innings: he has six hundreds to Smith’s two, and 16 fifties to Smith’s six, which puts him clearly ahead.

1985 Black Caps 9; 2018 Black Caps 10

First seamer: Sir Richard Hadlee vs. Trent Boult

Sir Richard Hadlee is comfortably ensconced as the greatest cricketer New Zealand has ever produced. Not only would he be the first name chosen for an All-Time Black Caps XI for his 431 wickets at 22.29, but he would be the only real chance of a Kiwi getting included in an All-Time World XI. He was ranked 2nd only behind Malcolm Marshall at the time of the Australian Tour, and would be around there for the remainder of his career.

Trent Boult is the current leader of the Black Caps attack, and has taken 222 wickets from 57 matches at an average of 28.14. Hadlee averaged 23.83 after 57 matches, which means that the gap between him and Boult was not tremendous. Boult’s highest Test bowling ranking is No. 2, which suggests that he could yet achieve greater things.

1985 Black Caps 10; 2018 Black Caps 9

Second seamer: Ewen Chatfield vs. Tim Southee

Ewen Chatfield was the dependable foil to Hadlee for about a decade. Ranked 13th in the world at the time of the Australia Tour, he had a career high of 4th in the world a few years later. Tim Southee is currently ranked 15th in the world with the ball, and has been ranked as high as 5th.

Those are similar rankings, and their career numbers are very similar as well. Chatfield took his career wickets at 32.17, Southee has taken his (so far) at 30.70. Curiously, Jimmy Anderson had an almost identical average to Southee after 61 Tests (Anderson was at 30.65), so Southee could become great yet, but if he gets to that level or not is anyone’s guess.

1985 Black Caps 10; 2018 Black Caps 10

Third seamer: Lance Cairns vs. Neil Wagner

Lance Cairns took 130 wickets at an average of 32.92, mostly at first change. He was ranked 10th in the world at the time of the 1985 tour, which was about as high as he ever got. A first-class average of 26.52 makes one suspect that he could have been a little better than his Test average suggests.

Neil Wagner has only played 38 Tests, but he has fashioned a world-class record at third seamer. He has taken 152 wickets at 28.49, which is a fair bit lower than what Cairns was striking at. He also averages 24.79 since the start of 2015, which was when he really nailed down a spot in the side. His highest ranking of 6th was achieved earlier this year, so he might soon do even better.

1985 Black Caps 9; 2018 Black Caps 10

Spinner: John Bracewell vs. Mitchell Santner

John Bracewell was an offspin bowler with the mentality of a fast bowler. He wasn’t greatly effective, taking 102 wickets in his Test career at an average of 35.81, however he did have over 500 first-class wickets at an average of under 27. He was ranked 40th in the world at the time of the Australia tour.

Left-arm orthodox Mitchell Santner is unproven at Test level, but has already shown a lot of promise. He has a slightly better strike rate with the ball than Bracewell, but a slightly higher average at this stage (17 Tests). Although they are similar with the ball, Santner is a step above Bracewell with the bat, and is likely still to improve sharply in all facets.

1985 Black Caps 9; 2018 Black Caps 10

Final verdict: 1985 Black Caps 104; 2018 Black Caps 107

The 2018 Black Caps are easily better when it comes to batting from 1-7. In Williamson, Taylor, Nicholls and Watling they have four players at the peak of their powers; the best batsman on the 1985 team was a Martin Crowe still a couple of years away from his best. Although the 1985 team also had John Wright and Jeremy Coney, they were significantly weaker with the bat overall.

It’s true that the 2018 team doesn’t have a bowler of the same class as the 1985 Sir Richard Hadlee, but their supporting bowlers are better than the team of 1985. Hadlee was a one-man show, as exhibited by the fact that he took 15 of the 20 Australian wickets to fall in the Brisbane Test of the 1985 tour. Boult, Southee and Wagner, by contrast, hunt as a pack, with able support from de Grandhomme.

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Dan McGlashan is the man with his finger on the statistical pulse of New Zealand. His magnum opus, Understanding New Zealand, is the complete demographic analysis of the Kiwi people.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

The Correlation Between Diversity And Poverty

A 2003 article in the Journal of Economic Growth quantified the degree of ethnic and cultural diversity in the various nations of the world, making a range of statistical analyses possible. For this article, we did a study to calculate the correlation between the ethnic fractionalisation index given in the linked article and GDP per capita (the most common measure of wealth), for the sake of investigating the link between diversity and poverty.

For this study we took data for 154 different nations and entered them into a Statistica database for the purposes of calculating a correlation matrix. There were three parts to this data: the first was a measure of the ethnic diversity of the country, the second was a measure of the cultural diversity of the country, and the third was a measure of the average personal wealth of the country.

The first two parts were taken from the 2003 paper linked in the opening paragraph. The third part, the measure of average personal wealth, was taken from International Monetary Fund data regarding the GDP per capita of all countries (measured on a price purchasing parity basis).

If diversity really is a strength, then there will be a positive correlation between ethnic and cultural diversity and wealth. This would happen if diversity led to higher education levels or if it inspired entrepreneurialism.

If, on the other hand, diversity is not a strength but a weakness, then there will be a negative correlation between ethnic and cultural diversity and wealth. This would happen if diversity made it easier to divide and conquer the working class for the sake of driving down their wages.

When a correlation matrix is calculated, a strong link between diversity and poverty is apparent. This can be seen from the fact that there is a significant negative correlation of -0.36 between ethnic diversity and gross domestic product per capita. This means that a country’s score on the ethnic fractionalisation index predicts how wealthy it will be: the more diverse, the less wealthy.

There is also a significant negative correlation between cultural diversity and GDP per capita, although this is weaker at -0.18.

There are several reasons to think that diversity leads to poverty.
Diversity makes it harder for workers to organise, because a plurality of languages and cultures makes it more difficult to find common points around which to rally. Diversity also leads to mistrust, because the social signals that people consider to be signs of trustworthiness are either not present as often, or presented in a form that is not understood as readily. It also leads to corruption, as people are more readily inclined to cheat others if those others lack similarities.

There could, however, be underlying factors at play. If we add the fourth factor of IQ to the correlation matrix, we can see that there is also a correlation of 0.65 between IQ and GDP per capita, and even a correlation of -0.54 between IQ and ethnic diversity. So it might simply be that the reason for the correlation between diversity and poverty is that diverse places tend to be low IQ, and low IQ leads to poverty.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

The Case For Cannabis: A Majority Now Want Reform

One of the strongest arguments for cannabis prohibition was that it was what the majority wanted. For better or for worse, we live in a democratic system, which means that the law ought to reflect the collective wisdom of the majority, and opinion polling in Western countries used to favour cannabis prohibition. As this article will examine, that is no longer the case.

It’s true that opinion polls used to favour prohibition. In 1969 only 13% of Americans believed that cannabis should be legal. Only 44% of Americans believed that cannabis should be legal as recently as 2009. By 2018, however, opinion polls now favour legalisation. 66% of Americans now support legal recreational cannabis along the lines of the Colorado model, and the trend line points sharply upwards.

If one goes back 100 years, most people thought that cannabis should be legal anyway, as its medicinal applications were obvious: cannabis prohibition is the experimental condition, and it has failed. So this sharp decrease in prohibitionist sentiment over recent years is really a return to the baseline condition of liberal cannabis sentiment.

The public did consent to the experiment with prohibition, this is true, but this was the result of a naive people believing the lies of politicians beholden to industries that saw cannabis as a competitor. Foremost among these were the timber, alcohol and pharmaceutical industries. Being the paid whores that they are, Western politicians happily told lies about how cannabis had no medicinal value and was a dangerous drug, because their sponsors profitted from it.

As a result of these decades of lies, the public has not been accurately informed. As a result of that, they could not make correct decisions. Because politicians have been lying to people for decades about cannabis, there has been a common perception about cannabis that has taken a lot of effort to correct. When the public are accurately informed, things are different.

If people are correctly informed about cannabis, with reference to science, evidence and reality, they almost always come down on the side of legalisation. There is simply no scientific evidence supporting any of the common arguments about cannabis causing violent murders, rapes and general madness. The mid-1990s repeal movement in California associated with Proposition 215 was possibly the first time that a proper public attempt to tell the truth about cannabis had ever been made, and in that instance they came down on the side of legalisation.

As mentioned above, a clear majority of Americans are now in favour of legal cannabis, and something similar can be observed in New Zealand. Although opinion polling about the upcoming cannabis referendum is rudimentary on account of that the actual referendum question is yet to be formulated, what little there is suggests that the pro-cannabis side is already ahead. Probably it will pull further ahead as more positive news comes in from American states that have legalised.

Other opinion polls, asking more specific questions, have returned similar results in New Zealand. A Drug Foundations survey conducted in July found that two-thirds of the country wanted some kind of change to the cannabis laws, although they were not given a clear distinction between legalisation and decriminalisation. It also found that the prohibitionist side was no longer winning the recreational cannabis debate.

The next generation of young people is heavily pro cannabis all over the West, as seen in Understanding New Zealand. McGlashan calculated that the correlation between being under 20 and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party was 0.41, whereas the correlation between being aged 65+ and voting for that party was -0.43. This means that the opponents to cannabis law reform are all dying off: after all, society advances one funeral at a time.

What this suggests is that the victory of cannabis law reform is inevitable. The fact is that the majority of anti-cannabis sentiment is held by brainwashed old people who are dying off. There is already a majority in favour of cannabis law reform everywhere, and this will only grow stronger as time progresses and old people who have been conditioned to hate cannabis users die.

Cannabis ought to be legal because a majority of people have now realised that the fears were grossly overblown and they want reform. Cannabis prohibition no longer has the support of the people, and support for it continues to fall. In a short number of years there will only be a remnant of cannabis prohibitionists left, and it might be better to put them out of their misery now.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Black Caps in the United Arab Emirates 2018, Second ODI Preview

The BetFair odds have narrowed since the Black Caps’ emphatic 47-run win in the first ODI, a win that included a Trent Boult hat trick. Surprisingly, though, they are still the underdogs, paying $2.26 on BetFair in the second ODI starting midnight tonight in Abu Dhabi. History suggests that this is an excellent bet – New Zealand have won their last 12 ODIs against Pakistan and won the last one with comfort.

The Black Caps will see little reason to tinker with what was a solid and effective side in the first ODI.

The core batting axis of Munro-Williamson-Taylor-Latham did the job for New Zealand, scoring 204 of the team’s 266 runs. Ross Taylor averages 61 against Pakistan and is a rock at No. 4, while Tom Latham averages 45 from his last 20 ODI matches. He struck at 106 over the course of his 68 in the first ODI, and will look to be positive again because of the expected need for high scoring from the middle order in next year’s Cricket World Cup in England.

However, the junior batsmen were poor. George Worker, Henry Nicholls and Colin de Grandhomme contributed one run between them, which meant that the bowlers had to finish the job of getting them over the line.

Worker is in the side as an injury replacement for Martin Guptill, and so the problem of weakness at opener will solve itself, but Black Caps coach Gary Stead will be concerned about that middle-order weakness as well. The balance of the side might demand that the Black Caps choose a batsman at 6 who is a more accomplished hitter than Nicholls.

Glenn Phillips is a major contender for this role, but his returns in the T20 series and in the A series before that were poor. Corey Anderson is another option, and he was excellent here for the Black Caps in the 2015 Cricket World Cup, but has been unfortunate with injury.

As far as the bowling is concerned, far too much is riding on Trent Boult.

Questions must continue to be asked about Tim Southee’s place as the opening bowler of the ODI side. Since the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Southee has averaged 43.34 with the ball, taking 43 wickets from 38 games. He neither swings nor seams the ball to any real extent, and neither is he fast or accurate. By contrast, Trent Boult has averaged 24.70, taking 79 wickets from 40 games.

Matt Henry has taken 39 wickets from his last 20 games at an average of 23.82. Incredibly, Henry only played 4 ODIs in the whole of 2017, which makes his lack of gametime seem like an appalling waste on the part of the Black Caps coaches. Dropping Southee and replacing him with Henry seems like a slam-dunk decision that would give the Black Caps the most dangerous new ball pair outside of India.

The Black Caps appear extremely vulnerable if Trent Boult doesn’t knock the top off the opposition batting order. Lockie Ferguson is a gun bowler and is improving steadily (16 wickets at 23.56 from his last 10 games), but doesn’t yet have the ability to threaten that even Henry has, much less Boult.

With Southee ineffective and de Grandhomme a true part-timer, this means that the only other attacking option is Ish Sodhi. Sodhi is a good bowler and is improving steadily – he has taken 17 wickets at 30.00 from his last 10 ODI matches. The question is whether he can pose enough of a threat with the ball for the Black Caps to not always lose the middle overs.

The big risk is that Pakistan will easily be able to consolidate once Boult finishes his first spell, because there is little threat from the rest of the bowlers. Pakistan had a century stand for the 7th wicket, and the Black Caps should rightly be worried about their ability to finish a game off.

Black Caps (probable):

1. George Worker
2. Colin Munro
3. Kane Williamson (c)
4. Ross Taylor
5. Tom Latham (wk)
6. Henry Nicholls
7. Colin de Grandhomme
8. Tim Southee
9. Ish Sodhi
10. Lockie Ferguson
11. Trent Boult

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Dan McGlashan is the man with his finger on the statistical pulse of New Zealand. His magnum opus, Understanding New Zealand, is the complete demographic analysis of the Kiwi people.

Black Caps in the United Arab Emirates 2018, First ODI Preview

The Black Caps will be looking to register their first win under the new coaching regime of Gary Stead when they play the first ODI against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi tonight (12am NZT). Returning to a more preferred format, they will be keen to show that they were not deserving of a 3-0 scoreline in the T20s. Having pushed Pakistan very closely in the first two matches of the T20 series, they will back themselves to get a win tonight.

Pakistan are the favourites on BetFair, paying $1.64 to New Zealand’s $2.54. This reflects a large degree of home advantage, because Pakistan have lost the last 11 ODIs in a row to New Zealand, and are ranked 5th on the ODI table compared to New Zealand’s 3rd. It may also reflect some of Pakistan’s red-hot T20 form, although New Zealand would back themselves to win any 50-over contest against a side they have beaten the last 11 times.

The Black Caps will be frustrated that there are some injuries, because they will force some difficult selection decisions. Martin Guptill will not participate in the ODI series on account of still being injured. Neither will Corey Anderson play any further role in the tour on account of a heel injury, which means that Colin de Grandhomme is all but guaranteed a spot in the ODI middle order. Todd Astle will miss this ODI because of knee irritation, which opens a spot at No. 8.

However, the core of the first-choice Black Caps side will be present. Indeed, new Black Caps coach Gary Stead is spoilt for choice in some areas.

For one thing, most of the top order is nailed-on in the form of captain Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham. The first two are arguably New Zealand’s two finest ODI batsmen ever and Latham, although he might be the junior partner here, averages 42 from his last 20 ODI innings. Ross Taylor averages 62 from his last 50 ODI innings and is essentially now Martin Crowe reincarnate.

Colin Munro, who was very good in the T20 series with a 58 and a 44, will probably be continued with as the white-ball opener despite his lack of success there in the ODI setup. The plan is for him to replicate what Brendon McCullum used to offer and his T20 feats show that he is capable of it. Henry Nicholls has probably done enough to hang on to the No. 6 spot, with Colin de Grandhomme at 7.

The difficult choice comes when it comes to replacing Guptill. George Worker is the favourite, having opened the batting in both 4-day and 50-over formats in the recent New Zealand A tour matches in the UAE. A less likely option is a reshuffle that moves Latham back to opener and brings Mark Chapman or BJ Watling into the middle order, and even less likely (but still possible) is going for two hitters, England-style, and partnering Munro with Glenn Phillips at the top.

There is plenty of choice in the fast bowling stocks as well. Trent Boult returns from paternity leave, which means that Williamson can count on ten overs from New Zealand’s premiere bowler. The other opening bowler will be either the incumbent Tim Southee, who has been poor in ODIs in recent years, or Matt Henry, who was excellent over the winter in England country cricket.

The third seamer, if one is chosen, could be the other one of the two mentioned just now, or the ever-improving Lockie Ferguson, or even Adam Milne, who was arguably the first-choice third seamer at the time of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Then again, there might not be a third seamer if the Black Caps decide to go with two spinners and to get 10 overs out of de Grandhomme, Munro and Williamson.

In any case, Stead will be forced to leave at least one excellent seam bowler out of the starting XI.

The Black Caps might play only the one spinner, but will probably play two on account of the slowness of the UAE wickets. The first choice is Ish Sodhi, who has become much more consistent with the white ball recently and who is the incumbent, but we are also likely to see Ajaz Patel feature.

New Zealand (probable):

1. George Worker
2. Colin Munro
3. Kane Williamson (c)
4. Ross Taylor
5. Tom Latham (wk)
6. Henry Nicholls
7. Colin de Grandhomme
8. Matt Henry
9. Ish Sodhi
10. Ajaz Patel
11. Trent Boult

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Dan McGlashan is the man with his finger on the statistical pulse of New Zealand. His magnum opus, Understanding New Zealand, is the complete demographic analysis of the Kiwi people.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Maori Speakers

With the uptick in interest in Maori language recently, there has also been an interest in understanding who speaks the language. A large correlation matrix based on electoral and Census data can tell us a great deal. In this article, Dan McGlashan (author of Understanding New Zealand) tells the statistical story of Maori speakers.

There are two different ways of telling the story of the Maori-speaking demographic. The first is by comparing them to the population as a whole, and the second is to compare to them to the general Maori demographic. This article will do both because it is worthwhile to look at the two separately.

The correlation between being a Maori speaker and being a Maori is 0.99. Essentially this means that virtually everyone who speaks Maori in New Zealand is ethnically Maori. It also means that all of the correlations with being a Maori speaker will be close to the respective correlations with being a Maori, so that any differences between the two groups will be subtle ones (but hopefully instructive).

Curiously, the correlation between median personal income and being Maori (-0.48) was exactly the same as the one between median personal income and speaking Maori, but if we go down a level we can see a wider pattern in this data. For the most part, the voting patterns of Maori speakers mirrored that of Maoris, but there are patterns in the differences.

The average Maori speaker is slightly less likely than the average Maori to have voted Labour in 2017 (0.56 to 0.58). This is a small difference and it remains a fact that the average Maori speaker is strongly inclined to vote for the Labour Party. This is mirrored for National: the average Maori speaker is slightly more likely than the average Maori to have voted National in 2017 (-0.72 to -0.74).

The average Maori speaker was also slightly more likely to vote Green than the average Maori. The correlation between voting Green in 2017 and being a Maori speaker was -0.12, compared to -0.14 for the correlation between voting Green in 2017 and being Maori.

But if being a Maori speaker made one slightly more inclined to vote for the Greens, it made one slightly less likely to vote for New Zealand First. The correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being a Maori speaker was 0.35, compared to 0.38 for being Maori.

Because the Greens and National are the parties that tend to attract the most well-educated people, we can guess from this that the average Maori speaker is slightly better educated than the average Maori. Indeed, this proves to be the case.

The correlation between being a Maori speaker and having a university degree was -0.42 for all of Bachelor’s, Honours and Master’s degrees and -0.38 for a doctorate, whereas the correlation between being Maori and having a university degree was -0.45 for both Bachelor’s and a Master’s degrees, -0.46 for an Honours degree and -0.41 for a doctorate.

This tells us that the average Maori speaker is slightly better educated than the average Maori, despite being more poorly educated than the New Zealand average.

The correlations with age brackets tell us that the average Maori speaker is a bit older than the average Maori. The correlation between being in the 0-4 age bracket and being Maori was 0.82, whereas the correlation between being in that bracket and being a Maori speaker was 0.78. Conversely, the correlation between being in the 65+ age bracket and being Maori was -0.48, compared to a correlation of -0.47 between being aged 65+ and being a Maori speaker.

The correlations with the various industry types tells us in which industries we are more likely to find Maoris who speak Maori.

The correlation between working in the education and training industry and being Maori was 0.43, but the correlation between working in that industry and being a Maori speaker was 0.48. This tells us that a very high proportion of the Maoris working in that industry speak te reo (possibly because they work in whare whananga or similar).

On the other side of the equation, Maoris in some professions were less likely than average to be a Maori speaker. These were usually working-class professions. The correlation between working in the transport, postal and warehousing industry and being Maori was 0.47, whereas the correlation between working in this industry and being a Maori speaker was only 0.41. From this we can conclude that very few of the Maoris working in transport, postal and warehousing are Maori speakers.

In summary, this suggests that the average Maori speaker is a Maori who is a bit older and better educated than the Maori average.

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Dan McGlashan is the man with his finger on the statistical pulse of New Zealand. His magnum opus, Understanding New Zealand, is the complete demographic analysis of the Kiwi people.

Understanding New Zealand: City vs. Country

The division between city people and country people is one of the most telling in all of ethnography, and has been since the start of history. This is as true for New Zealand as it is for anywhere else. In this study, Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, looks at the statistical differences between people who live in the big cities (Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, referred to here as “Living Urban”) and people who live in the provinces.

This study defines “City” electorates as any belonging to the following list: Auckland Central, Christchurch Central, Christchurch East, Dunedin North, Dunedin South, East Coast Bays, Epsom, Hamilton East, Hamilton West, Helensville, Hutt South, Ilam, Kelston, Mana, Mangere, Manukau East, Manurewa, Maungakiekie, Mt Albert, Mt Roskill, New Lynn, North Shore, Northcote, Ohariu, Pakuranga, Port Hills, Rongotai, Tamaki, Tauranga, Upper Harbour, Wellington Central, Wigram and Tamaki Makaurau.

These electorates tell a story that seems paradoxical on the surface. City dwellers are wealthier than provincial New Zealanders (the correlation being Living Urban and Median Personal Income was 0.37), but they are disinclined to vote for the wealthy party, National (the correlation between Living Urban and voting National in 2017 was, at -0.01, almost perfectly uncorrelated).

Urban people like to vote for the ACT and Green parties more than any others. The correlation between Living Urban and voting ACT in 2017 was 0.37; for Living Urban and voting Green in 2017 it was 0.36. The main reason for this is that young and trendy people support these parties, and young and trendy people live in urban areas.

The strongest negative correlations with Living Urban and voting for a particular party in 2017 were for New Zealand First (-0.60), voting Ban 1080 (-0.52) and voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (-0.40). These three could be said to be the truly rural parties.

The two major parties both spanned the rural-urban divide. As mentioned above, urban dwellers do not vote National any more than rural dwellers do, but the grip of the Labour Party on the urban electorates is overstated. The correlation between Living Urban and voting Labour in 2017 was not significant, at only 0.11.

On a racial basis, it’s immediately clear that most rural people are Kiwis of European descent and Maoris, whereas most Pacific Islanders and the vast majority of Asians live in an urban setting. The correlation between being a Kiwi of European descent and Living Urban was -0.28, and between being Maori and Living Urban it was -0.35. This tells us that rural New Zealand is still very much a bicultural affair.

The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and Living Urban was significantly positive, at 0.33, and for Asians the correlation was strong, at 0.60. The reason for this is primarily because these two groups comprise the most recent waves of immigrants, and immigrants tend to establish themselves in major centres first before moving to the provinces. Indeed, the correlation between Living Urban and being foreign-born was 0.61.

Further clues appear when we examine the correlations between living in a big city and age. The correlation between Living Urban and median age was -0.23, on the border of significance, which tells us that the average city dweller is somewhat younger than the average country dweller. However, there were negative correlations between Living Urban and being in either of the youngest two age brackets, between ages 0 and 14 in total.

There were moderately strong correlations between Living Urban and being in either the 20-29 age bracket (0.50) or the 30-49 age bracket (0.51). These are also the age brackets that correlate the most highly with working fulltime and with median personal income. The correlations between Living Urban and being in either of the 50-64 or 65+ age brackets are both significantly negative.

What this tells us is the age-old story of young adults moving to the city for the sake of jobs and wealth, and then moving back out into the provinces again when it’s time to retire or perhaps to raise a family. This pattern of human migration, from country to city and back again, goes all the way back to at least Babylon, so it’s not surprising to find statistical evidence of it in contemporary New Zealand.

Keeping with the theme of employment, we can see that having any of the university degrees is significantly correlated with Living Urban (Bachelor’s at 0.63, Honours at 0.56, Master’s at 0.62, doctorate at 0.48). As described elsewhere, the reason for this is because of the strong correlation between having a university degree and working full-time.

In short, all the capital is in the cities, therefore that’s where the full-time jobs are, therefore anyone wishing to save money (as young, educated people tend to do) must live in an urban area. Indeed, there is a positive correlation (although not a significant one) of 0.18 between Living Urban and working in a full-time job.

This explanation is reinforced if one looks at the correlations between working in capital-intensive professions and living in an urban environment. The correlation between Living Urban and working in a particular profession was 0.58 for professional, scientific and technical services, 0.59 for information media and telecommunications and 0.61 for financial and insurance services. Notably, it was -0.72 for agriculture, forestry and fishing, for obvious reasons.

There was a significant positive correlation between Living Urban and renting one’s house (0.30) and a significant negative one between Living Urban and living in a freehold house (-0.31). This ties in with the observation that people in big cities have a different attitude to wealth generation: they are likely to become educated and earn a large wage with heavy expenses, whereas rural people tend to consolidate and grow wealth by minimising expenses.

Indeed, while there was virtually no correlation (0.01) between Living Urban and being unemployed, there was a significant correlation (0.27) between Living Urban and working for a wage or salary. This also ties in with the aforementioned fact that the jobs on offer tend to be where the major accumulations of capital are.

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Dan McGlashan is the man with his finger on the statistical pulse of New Zealand. His magnum opus, Understanding New Zealand, is the complete demographic analysis of the Kiwi people.

For the House-Buying Power of 26 Years Ago, The Average Kiwi Wage Would Have to Be $79.25/hr Today

Housing is commonly left out of inflation measures, which is why low inflation rates are always reported. Unfortunately for Kiwis, the reality is that housing costs make up a large and ever-growing proportion of our expenses. This study will show that the average house-buying power of the average Kiwi worker is less than 40% of what it was 26 years ago.

The average house price in New Zealand on the 31st of January 1992 was $105,000, according to Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures. This is as far back as figures go – 26 years. The average wage in New Zealand was $14.72 in the first quarter of 1992, according to Trading Economics. Assuming a 40-hour workweek, this works out to an average weekly wage of $588.80.

If a person saved 50% of their average wage in 1992, they would save $294.40 a week, which would be $15,351 per year. This would allow that person to buy the average New Zealand house after 6.84 years. So a person who completed university at the end of 1991, at age 21, and got a job at the average wage with their Bachelor’s degree, could expect to own an average house, mortgage-free, before age 30.

Saving half of one’s income is some feat, however, especially if one also has to pay rent or a mortgage. Saving 25% of the average wage, a more attainable proportion, would see a person in 1992 save $147.20 a week. This would be $7675 per year, which makes the average house attainable after 13.68 years.

Still, that means that in 1992, anyone who was willing and able to work at the average wage could own their own house outright within 13.68 years if they could only save a quarter of their income. This means by age 35 if they graduated from university at age 21 and saved a quarter of their income after then. Easy times.

In 2018, things are very different. The average wage has now gone up to $31.08 by the second quarter of 2018, but the average house price has jumped to $560,000 in those 26 years.

Using the example above, a person who qualified from university at the end of 2017 at age 21, and who immediately got a job at the average wage, would earn $1,243.20 per week. 25% of this is $310.80, which works out to $16,206 per year. Because the average house price is now $560,000 in New Zealand, that means that the average Kiwi worker now has to work for 34.56 years before they can expect to own their own house outright.

This means that the average Kiwi in 2018, even if they graduated at age 21 straight into an average wage and saved 25% of their income perpetually, still couldn’t afford to own the average house freehold until age 55, whereas such a thing was attainable 26 years ago by age 35. The middle-class dream is now dead in New Zealand. Kiwis are now tenants in what used to be our own country, enslaved by capital.

Another way of looking at this grim equation is that the average wage in 2018 has a mere 39.6% of the average-house-buying power that the average wage had in 1992. Even a person who managed to save 50% of the average wage from age 21 – a frankly incredible feat in today’s economy – couldn’t own the average house until age 39.

To correct this imbalance, the average wage would have to rise 155%, from $31.08 to $79.25. This is the cold, hard maths of our situation: the average wage would have to be almost $80 to give the average Kiwi worker the same chance of owning the average home as in 1992.

Note that an average wage of $79.25 an hour would represent no change in wealth from 1992. Even with an average wage that high, we would still have no more average-house-buying power than the average wage did in 1992. All of the benefits of the last 26 years of technological and logistical advances would go to their creators and the capital that financed them.

$79.25 is what the average Kiwi worker would have to make per hour today, in order to have the same average-house-buying power as they would have had in 1992. If the average worker got a share of that, the average wage would be over $100 per hour.

Note also that it’s much harder to get a job paying the average wage at age 21 now, compared to 1992. A Bachelor’s degree is no longer the mark of excellence that it was in the mid 1990s – now one needs a Master’s degree to be at that level, which means two more years of no earnings and borrowed money. Moreover, the open borders of neoliberalism mean that you now have to compete with half of the planet just to get that one job.

Note thirdly that $560,000 is the average New Zealand price and is no way representative of Auckland or even Christchurch or Wellington. If you want to buy an average house in a relatively major centre you will be looking at paying even more than $560,000.

In summary, the Baby Boomers of New Zealand have subjected Generation X and the Millenials to what can only be described as intergenerational rape.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Cricket Is More of a Global Sport Than Soccer Is

Geographical spread of Soccer World Cup winners

Another Soccer World Cup, another champion from Europe. Everyone is waxing lyrical at the moment about how wonderful the Soccer World Cup is, and how it bring all nations together in harmony with a common goal. The truth, as this essay will demonstrate, is that cricket is more of a global sport than soccer by at least three major measures.

Geographic representation

As can be seen by the quarterfinalists of the recently concluded Soccer World Cup, soccer is still very much a European sport. Six of the eight quarterfinalists came from this one continent that contains less than 10% of the world’s population.

Over the last three FIFA World Cups, 23 of the 24 quarterfinalists have come from either Europe or Latin America. The single exception was Ghana, back in 2010. So only two continents are ever really represented by the finalists in Soccer World Cups. Asia, Africa, Anglo America, Australia and Oceania don’t feature – a group of countries that includes the world’s five most populous.

For the most part, only Europeans and South Americans really play soccer, but they are capable of getting an extremely high level of performance out of Africans that have been integrated into European structures. Sufficient evidence for this comes from the fact that France won the 2018 World Cup just now.

Since World War Two, only one team from outside Europe and Latin America has ever made a Soccer World Cup semifinal: South Korea in 2002, and they only advanced that far thanks to some extremely questionable refereeing decisions. Every single other semifinalist has been from one of two continents. This is hardly befitting of “the world sport”.

The Cricket World Cup, by contrast, brings the entire world together. The last Cricket World Cup, in 2015, featured teams from four different continents at the semifinal stage: Asia, Africa, Australia and Oceania. Teams from North America and Europe have previously contested finals, meaning the overall reach of the sport is greater than that of soccer.

Population

Some people object to the statement made in the first section of this essay. Although most are willing to concede that the geographical representation of soccer is not great, many will nevertheless insist that Europe is a great population centre and therefore can’t merely be counted as one continent. This may have been true a century ago, but no longer is.

The population of Europe is 741,000,000. The population of Latin America is 640,000,000. This means that virtually all of the Soccer World Cup quarterfinalists throughout history come from a bloc of 1,381,000,000 people, roughly 20% of the world’s population.

The remaining 80% of the world’s population – comprising China, India, Africa, Indonesia and Pakistan – essentially never get representation among the final eight teams of Soccer World Cups. India and Pakistan have both won Cricket World Cups, by contrast, and are perennial quarterfinalists along with Bangladesh, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

The population of India, where cricket is the only game in town, is 1,325,000,000, essentially the same as the combined populations of Europe and Latin America. This is a fact that needs repeating for those who think that soccer is the global game: the combined populations of the only places capable of competing at the top level of soccer only just equals the population of India alone.

Measuring population properly requires that we add, to the cricket-fanatic side of the ledger, Pakistan (pop. 208,000,000), Bangladesh (pop. 163,000,000), Sri Lanka and Australia (c. 60,000,000), plus several million others in England, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland and the West Indies, where cricket might not be the national sport but is still one of the major ones.

Against this, soccer has much less overall market share in the countries in which it is popular than cricket does. In Europe and Latin America, soccer has to compete with volleyball, basketball, tennis, handball and golf; in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, cricket is completely dominant. Therefore, it must have more total fans in the world than soccer does.

Appeal within nations

Possibly the most crucial of the three difference between the sports is this one. Soccer mostly appeals to a lower socioeconomic demographic, for who the sport is an escape from the drudgery of everyday life, akin to a circus. Cricket, by contrast, appeals to a higher socioeconomic demographic, for who the sport is the complete test of mental and physical strength and skill and more akin to improvisational theatre.

Soccer players are frequently crude, brutal, thuggish. They cheat so shamelessly that many consider it part of the game. Cricket is a sharp contrast. Men like Rahul Dravid, Ross Taylor and AB de Villiers are complete gentlemen: gracious in victory and defeat, magnanimous, charismatic, serene. Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is literally a prince. He is the upper class of the upper class, an aristocrat by any measure.

If any doubt remains that soccer fans are inherently more base than cricket fans, simply examine the writings of former cricketers like Martin Crowe and Kumar Sangakkara on CricInfo. There is no soccer equivalent.

What soccer is – and this is the cornerstone of its apparent popularity – is the McDonald’s of world sports. It’s a corporatised appeal to the dopamine-deprived brains of society’s lowest common denominator, which is all it can really be on account of its simplistic and luck-based nature. Soccer fans like to tout the ease of understanding the sport as one of its drawcards, but it reality this simply makes it boring to anyone with an IQ over 110 or so.

Over a billion people watched the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, according to FIFA themselves. However, more people saw the India vs. Pakistan match during the 2015 Cricket World Cup. The world record for concurrent viewers to a live-streaming platform was set at 10,700,000 earlier this year, not by the final of a European soccer league but by the Indian Premier League of T20 cricket.

What does it mean that more people watch a group match in the Cricket World Cup than the final of the hypefest that is the Soccer World Cup? What does it mean that more people watch the final of an Indian cricket league than the final of any European soccer league? It can only mean that cricket appeals to more human beings than soccer does.

In summary, the delusion that soccer is the “global game”, simply because it’s played in Europe, Latin America and Africa, has to end. Europe is now less than 10% of the world’s population, barely more than half of the population of India alone. If those Indians are to be considered people of equal value to the Europeans, it must be conceded that their passions are of equal value. If so, cricket is a more passionately-followed sport than soccer, measured on a global basis.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

The Northcote By-Election Result is Fraudulent and Illegitimate

Northcote by-election candidate Dan Bidois was crowned the winner, despite only getting the support of 21% of eligible voters

The reason why our ruling class have the right to rule, so they claim, is because they have the consent of the masses. But the winner of yesterday’s Northcote by-election and newly crowned Member of Parliament, Dan Bidois, did not have the consent of the masses. Therefore, the Northcote by-election result is fraudulent and illegitimate.

19,900 people cast a vote in the Northcote by-election. According to the Northcote Electoral Profile on the Parliamentary Profiles page, there are 49,569 eligible voters in that electorate. This tells us that barely more than 40% of eligible voters chose to participate in the democratic process – something like 30,000 people abstained.

The question then has to be asked: how is the election of Bidois to the House of Representatives legitimate, when fewer than half of eligible voters took part in the election process? If so few people believed that the democratic process was worth participating in, isn’t that sufficient evidence that it has failed, that its claims of legitimacy are fraudulent?

Bidois himself won 10,147 votes in the by-election, which amounts to almost 21% of the eligible voters in Northcote. If no-one cares about the election, how can the winner of it legitimately claim to have any power to rule anyone? Any reasonable person can see that this is absurd. We can’t possibly know what the electorate wants unless we canvas the non-voters.

One candidate, Liam Walsh of Not A Party, ran specifically on the non-vote. His platform was that democracy has failed and is inherently corrupt (hard to deny) and that it would be better for us to scrap it entirely and work together instead of using the democratic system to try and fuck each other over.

After all, as a National MP, Dan Bidois will immediately work towards the further enslavement of the young, the Maori and the working class. Walsh notes that Bidois came second to an empty seat.

One wonders what would happen if those 60% of adults in Northcote who do not feel represented by New Zealand’s peculiar imitation of democracy gave their allegiance to Walsh instead of to the central government.

What if, instead of paying taxes to the IRD to piss up the wall on flag referendums, yacht races, imprisoning medicinal cannabis growers and importing Somali rapists, people paid no taxes, and we had neither flag referendums nor a justice system putting people in cages for growing medicinal plants?

Some might respond that having no democratic government will leave the community unable to solve problems that require collective solutions, but Dan Bidois, with his 21% support, sure as fuck isn’t going to be solving them either. He, like the majority of backbenchers, will stick his nose straight up the arsehole of his party’s leader, in this case Simon Bridges, and he will keep it wedged there as long as the National Party hierarchy is responsible for his meal ticket. As a consequence he will vote to enforce National Party policy and dogma – not the will of the Northcote electorate.

A democratic election that gets 40% turnout cannot claim to return a legitimate ruler. The vast majority of the Northcote electorate did not consent to being represented by Bidois; therefore, his being in the House of Representatives is no more legitimate than it would have been if the CIA had helped him raise an army that seized power through force.

After all, a foreign-backed dictatorship might even gain the consent of more than 21% of the population – assuming it put a sufficiently enlightened person on the throne – which would make it no less legitimate than yesterday’s by-election.

If the democratic process is rejected by a majority of the people, then it’s time to get together and to think up a new political philosophy that adequately represents them. It’s apparent from the fact that New Zealand clings to cannabis prohibition, a policy supported by almost no-one, that the will of the people is not represented by the law enacted by their rulers. This failure to represent the people’s will is evidence that democracy has failed and needs to be superceded.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

What Would the Average Hourly Wage Be in New Zealand If Wages Had Kept Up With House Prices?

New Zealand is torn by inter-generational tension right now. The young have no hope of finding houses they can afford and the old simply blame them for being too lazy to work hard enough to afford one. However, the numbers show that workers today get a much worse deal than they did 30 years ago. This article looks at what the average wage in New Zealand would be if it had kept pace with the price of houses since the late 1980s.

This graph from the Trading Economics website tracks the increase in the New Zealand Average Hourly Wage over the past 30 years. We can see that the average hourly wage in New Zealand, as of the beginning of 2018, is $31.03. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand website contains many interesting statistics and graphs, many of which can be downloaded from this link. This article will combine both sources.

In March of 2001, the House Price Index (from the RBNZ link above) stood at 700.2. At this time, the average hourly wage was $17.70. So if a person wished to purchase a $300,000 house, suitable for a growing family, they would have to have capital equal to 16,949 hours of work at the average wage.

According to this article by Human Resources Director, Kiwis work an average of 1,762 hours a year (this figure was for 2014, but for cultural reasons this figure does not change much over time). This means that, in March of 2001, buying a house suitable for raising a family in required capital equal to 9.62 years of full-time work at the average wage.

How does that compare to today?

After seventeen years of red-hot growth, the House Price Index now stands at 2480.8. This represents an increase of 254% over those seventeen years, and it means that a $300,000 house in March 2001 now costs $1,062,000 (all growth factors assumed equal). As mentioned above, the average hourly wage in New Zealand has increased from $17.70 in that time to $31.03, which represents an increase of 75%.

In other words, in January of 2018, buying a $1,062,000 house, suitable for raising a family in, requires capital equal to 34,224 hours of working at the average hourly wage. This is equivalent to 19.42 years of work at the average hourly wage.

We can see, then, that when measured in terms of a person’s ability to purchase a house suitable for raising a family in, the average New Zealander is less than half as wealthy as they were only 17 years ago. To have the same house buying power that it had in 2001, an average wage in New Zealand would now have to be $62.65 per hour.

People working in 1989 – when the majority of Baby Boomers would have been in the workforce – had it even better still. In December of 1989 the House Price Index stood at 453.5; the average hourly wage stood at $13.07 in the first quarter of that year.

So our standard family home that cost $300,000 in 2001 cost a mere 64.8% of that price in 1989, whereas the average wage in 1989 was 73.8% of what it was in 2001. Put another way, the average house suitable for raising a family in cost $194,400 in 1989, which represented capital equal to 14,873 hours of labour at the average wage. This was equivalent to a mere 8.44 years of saved labour.

The average house price has gone up 447% over the past 30 years in New Zealand; the average hourly wage has gone up 137% in that time. So to have the same house-buying power as the average New Zealand worker in 1989, a Kiwi in 2018 would have to get paid $71.50 an hour. This would allow them to buy a decent house after saving around 14,000 hours of the average wage, which is the standard of living that the average worker had in 1989.

In summary, the average New Zealand worker has lost almost 60% of the house-buying power of their wage over the past 30 years.

Buying a decent house in 2018 costs savings equal to 19.42 years of work at the average wage; 30 years ago buying an equivalent quality of housing cost savings equal to 8.44 years of work. So if a Kiwi left home at age 18 in 1970 and saved half of their income on the average wage they could own a house by age 35; a Kiwi who left home at age 18 in the year 2000 and saved half of their income on the average wage can’t expect to own one before they turn 57.

Despite tiny relative savings on consumer electronics, it’s obvious that the standard of living for young people is much lower nowadays than it was 30 years ago. The fact that wages haven’t come close to keeping up with housing costs is the main culprit.

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Dan McGlashan is the man with his finger on the statistical pulse of New Zealand. His magnum opus, Understanding New Zealand, is the complete demographic analysis of the Kiwi people. Available on TradeMe for $35.60.

Who Owns The New Zealand Media?

In more sophisticated countries, informed citizens go to considerable lengths to detect any biases among the people reporting the news. This is necessary to make sure that one develops a balanced, nuanced and independent opinion. Kiwis don’t generally bother with such things, preferring instead to believe everything we’re told like the good little lambs we are – except for this article.

It’s often remarked upon, by foreign visitors, that New Zealanders blindly believe everything they hear in the news. Conditioned into obedience by a brutal state education system that encourages bullying, social and emotional abuse, Kiwis are too afraid to question anything even vaguely resembling an authority, such as a television.

Given that we don’t question what the media is trying to tell us, it’s worthwhile figuring out who owns our media, because these same people effectively own our beliefs and opinions. In other words, let’s find out who own our minds.

We can find a ranked list of the major players in New Zealand cyberspace from Alexa. The two major internet portals in New Zealand are the New Zealand Herald and Stuff. You could confidently argue that the New Zealand online mediascape was an effective duopoly, with NZH and Stuff the only real players.

New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) controls the New Zealand Herald brand, ranked by Alexa as the 9th biggest website in New Zealand. NZME is a large media conglomerate (by NZ standards, anyway), as can be seen from the list of newspapers they own at the bottom of their company page.

Finding out who owns NZME is not straightforward, because they are a publicly traded company on both the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges. Helpfully, their own investor relations page lists their top 20 shareholders, but this doesn’t lead very far. All of the major shareholders are banks or holding companies for banks.

Number one on the list is Citicorp Nominees Pty Ltd, which is based in Sydney. According to Bloomberg, this company is a subsidiary of Citicorp Pty Ltd, which has been incorporated since 1954 and “provides a range of banking and financial products and services to retail, small business, corporate, and institutional clients primarily in Australia.”

One would think that this would surely be the end of the trail, but no. Citicorp Pty Ltd is itself a subsidiary, this time of Citigroup Holding (Singapore) Private Limited. This too, is a subsidiary: of Citigroup Asia Pacific Holding LLC, itself a subsidiary of Citi International Investments Bahamas Limited, itself a subsidiary of Citi Overseas Holdings Bahamas Limited, a child entity of Citigroup Inc.

Citigroup is a gigantic American bank, one large enough to be considered “too big to fail”, with its origins in the City Bank of New York, chartered in 1812. The closest Citigroup has to an owner, at 7.06% of the shareholding, is Vanguard Inc., “One of the world’s largest investment management companies” (as per their company page). In second place, at 4.76% of the shareholding, is State Street Corporation, another investment management bank. Third, with 4.51%, is BlackRock Inc., yet another global investment management corporation.

So that line of investigation doesn’t lead to any specific names, but neither is it any easier trying to figure out who is behind any of the other of New Zealand Media and Entertainment’s major shareholders.

J P Morgan Nominees Australia Ltd is at third place on the NZME shareholder’s list, with 12.69%. Finding out out who owns JP Morgan Nominees Australia Ltd is no easy task, as the article linked here demonstrates. One passage from the linked article reads “Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to track down the identities of those underlying shareholders through the various financial structures that hold shares for each other and on behalf of each other.”

If it’s practically impossible to find out who owns NZME, what about finding out who owns Stuff, the 3rd largest website in New Zealand?

Investigating this is just a shorter path to the same place. The Stuff brand is owned by Fairfax New Zealand Limited, a subsidiary of Fairfax Media Ltd., which is also publicly traded on the ASX. As it turns out, the second-largest shareholder of Fairfax Media Ltd. is none other than Vanguard Inc.

They only own 2.26% of the shares, however, so can only give us a clue as to the ownership of Fairfax Media Ltd. Looking down the list of funds and institutions that own shares in Fairfax, there’s little more than a pile of asset management companies, wealth funds and banks. As with Vanguard, BlackRock also appears on the list of major owners of both Citigroup and Fairfax Media Ltd.

The story with television media is little different to the story just described with print and online media. The New Zealand television market is, like the print and online media markets, an effective duopoly between Television New Zealand (TVNZ) and MediaWorks New Zealand.

TVNZ is Government-owned, but is almost entirely funded by commercials and is therefore little different to any other commercial broadcaster. MediaWorks New Zealand, for its part, is entirely owned by Oaktree Capital Management, which is (you guessed it) another global investment and wealth management fund.

In summary, no-one has any fucking idea who owns the New Zealand media, apart from the small niche carved out by TVNZ and the independents. Trying to pin it down to any one person is like trying to catch shadows in a jar. The best one can say is that the New Zealand media is ultimately controlled by global wealth management funds and corporations and their nominated representatives.

Being owned by such institutions tells us that the New Zealand media is run for profit and probably has little agenda other than commercial. In other words, there is little in the way of direct political propaganda or slanted editorial content, but one can expect the quality of the journalism to degrade to that which appeals to the lowest common denominator in society. Indeed, it has.

The astute reader will have drawn a connection between all of this bank ownership and the never-ending series of “I became a homeowner at age 21”-style stories. The reason for this is the banks benefit directly from a shallow, consumerist, disposable culture in which it’s considered normal for people move away from their parents and get a massive mortgage so that they can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars of interest to a gigantic, parasitic investment corporation.

In other words, the owners of the New Zealand media directly make money from consumerist culture, in particular from people taking out loans to buy shit that they don’t need. This is why all manner of wasteful, extravagant and unnecessary consumer purchases are advertised, and normalised, by the New Zealand media.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

The 2017 New Zealand Political Whores Index

A bar chart of the Political Whores Index, calculated as votes received in the 2017 General Election per $1,000 spent

The New Zealand Electoral Commission has now returned its list of party expenses for the 2017 General Election. This enables us here at VJM Publishing to update 2014’s Political Whores Index. 2017’s Political Whores Index tells us who tried to earn a place in Parliament, and who tried to buy one.

The logic of the Political Whores Index works like this. Political parties spend money at election time to get media exposure, because the more media exposure a party gets, the more votes it gets. This is usually easier and cheaper than actually talking to people and hearing their concerns. Effectively, parties just turn on the media funding tap and votes come out.

The correlation between dollars spent on campaign expenses for the 2017 General Election and votes received is 0.95, which pretty much tells us that our democracy is for sale. The more money you can spend, the more votes, is the hard and fast rule.

So all of our political parties are whores, but it can be said that the more money a party spends and the fewer votes they get, the more of a whore they are. This can be considered whoring because the parties that do it try to buy votes by transmitting a manufactured impression through the media, rather than honestly trying to build goodwill among the people by meeting and talking to them so that they can form their own impression.

This willingness to whore oneself out instead of honestly building a positive reputation among the New Zealand people can be expressed as a ratio of dollars spent on election expenses to votes returned by the populace. As was true of our effort in 2014, which saw the ACT party crowned the whoriest party in New Zealand and the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party the most honest one, we will present those ratios in an ordered list.

In the following table, PWI stands for ‘Political Whores Index’ and is calculated by dividing the number of votes each party received in the 2017 General Election by the declared party expenses for each party contesting the 2017 General Election (in dollars), multiplying the remainder by 1,000, then rounding to the nearest whole number.

In other words, it represents the number of votes won per $1,000 spent.

PARTY $ SPENT VOTES PWI
ALCP 1696 8075 4761
National 2546742 1152075 452
Ban1080 7749 3005 388
Labour 2580523 956184 371
NZ First 679095 186706 275
Internet 2322 499 215
MANA 17921 3642 203
Greens 818525 162443 198
United Future 12963 1782 137
Maori 225552 30580 136
Conservative 71764 6253 87
TOP 1013714 63261 62
Democrats 13761 806 59
NZ Outdoors Party 43508 1620 37
ACT 601487 13075 22
NZ People’s Party 274541 1890 7

For the second election running, the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party was, by far, the least whoriest of all the parties that contested in 2017. They returned a staggering 4,761 votes for every $1,000 spent – unarguable evidence that cannabis law reform is an issue that the New Zealand people are demanding. As shown elsewhere, cannabis law reform is the issue that unites real Kiwis.

No other party achieved so much as 10% of this ratio. Many will be surprised to hear that the National Party was second, with 452 votes for every $1,000 spent. In short, the electorate wasn’t particularly displeased with how National was running things, despite that National lost power. Yes, there was widespread misery among the poor and we have the highest youth suicide rate in the world, but people who vote don’t care much about that.

The Ban 1010 Party was 3rd, just edging out Labour, who won 371 votes for every $1,000 spent. It’s curious, perhaps, that Labour and National are both doing quite well by this measure, as they are both mainstream parties. But this simply speaks further to how there was no real appetite for change among Kiwis. People weren’t particularly interested in upsetting the apple cart.

The New Zealand First Party did moderately well, gathering 271 votes per $1,000 spent. Unlike 2014, this was considerably poorer than the National and Labour parties, probably reflecting Winston Peters’s decline as a public speaker, as many of their votes in 2014 were gained through town hall meetings.

The Green Party were the whoriest of the four major parties. They only got 198 votes per $1,000 spent. So they spent about as third as much as National for about one-seventh of the votes. This tells us that the electorate has partially turned against the Green Party message, despite their strong support of the cannabis law reform issue. It may have been that the Green proposal to raise the refugee quota drove a lot of Maori and working class voters to Labour and New Zealand First.

The Opportunities Party was a poor return on investment, although as it was essentially a vanity project it could not be said to have failed simply on that basis. With wall-to-wall saturation coverage on FaceBook and other Internet portals, they spent over a million dollars for a little over 60,000 votes, thereby achieving a PWI of 62 votes for every $1,000 spent.

It’s illuminating to compare the PWI of The Opportunities Party with that of the ALCP. The Opportunities Party spent almost 600 times as much as the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, and won less than 8 times the number of voters. Considering that most TOP voters were voting for legal cannabis anyway, this figure shows that TOP was really a joke party that tried to buy its way into Parliament.

Speaking of joke parties that try to buy their way into Parliament, the Conservative Party scored a PWI of 87, only slightly better than TOP. This tells us that the 5% threshold is really an outstanding idea, because it prevents wealthy, narcissistic freaks from assembling a coterie of arselickers and simply spending so much money on media exposure that they can brainwash the mentally weakest twenty thousand of the population into casting a vote for them.

Worst of all, however, was the New Zealand People’s Party. Also the vanity project of a rich Baby Boomer, they pissed away over quarter of a million dollars for a paltry 1,890 votes. This left them with a PWI of 7, which means that their message was 660 times less appealing to the New Zealand people (all factors equalised) than that of the ALCP.

MANA (203), United Future (137) and the Maori Party (136) all had reasonably poor PWIs, but were still significantly higher than the “fuckwit” parties.

Ultimately, the Political Whores Index suggests that the New Zealand people are quite happy with our current arrangement of two major parties and two minor ones, because none of the more radical parties were able to gain any particularly high level of traction for their amount of electoral spending. It was mostly dollars in, votes out.

Just give us some real cannabis law reform.

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Should There Be A Ministry of Men’s Affairs?

Life is so much harder for men in New Zealand that they kill themselves at almost three times the rate of women

Many people were shocked, and many were not, by Julie Anne Genter’s comments this week about old white men. Speaking to Cobham Intermediate School pupils, Genter made the point that some of these old white men “need to move on and allow for diversity and new talent.” These statements were made in her capacity as Minister for Women, but if you look at the statistics, it seems like there’s more need for a Minister for Men.

The reason for a Ministry of Women’s Affairs was ostensibly to close the gaps between the well-being of women and men. Since the advent of Abrahamic religion in the West, women have been forced into a subservient role, being forced to take the blame for the fall of man as well as for invoking the horror of Nature. Biblical passages such as Timothy 2:12 instructed Christendom that “I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man; she is to remain quiet.”

Ever since these male supremacist religious cults invaded the West, our women have been forced to endure structural abuse. Divorce was banned, forcing women to endure permanent relationships with violent men. Prostitution was banned, denying women natural opportunity for economic advancement. Abortion was banned, forcing women to carry unwanted children to term or else risk a back-alley abortion from a “doctor” with no licence.

By any objective measurement, women had the worst of it for a very long time, and, when we realised this, we tried to make up for it with things like feminism and Ministries for Women’s Affairs. What we’ve been slow to realise is that, now that advantage is mostly a matter of obedience to the political, educational and commerical authorities, women have it better than men in many regards.

Most obviously, women have a much easier time of things in academic settings. Page 38 of the document linked in this paragraph demonstrates that women get better grades in literacy, and page 42 shows that they also get better grades in numeracy. This disparity is even worse for men at university level, which New Zealand women are 40% more likely to participate in.

When men had higher university participation rates than women, the media couldn’t keep quiet about how sexist and evil this state of affairs was. Indeed, this was one of the stated reasons for bringing in a Ministry of Women’s Affairs in the first place. An inequality of outcome in terms of education and gender was simply impermissible, immoral, outrageous.

In 2015, 527 New Zealanders killed themselves, of who 384 were men (72.8%). That means for every Kiwi woman who feels so rejected by society that she is compelled to take her own life, there are almost three Kiwi men who feel the same way. This is greater than the gap between Maori and non-Maori suicide rates, which is itself considered a large enough gap to be a national tragedy that demands immediate action (indeed, there is a Ministry of Maori Development).

So if society is so bad for Maori people that they need their own Ministry, as evidenced by suicide rates, and if society was so bad for women that they needed their own Ministry, as evidenced by tertiary participation rates, then surely there is sufficient cause to say that New Zealand men need someone looking out for them as well?

It’s absurd to claim that women are disadvantaged compared to men because men earn 20% more, when at the same time men are killing themselves at almost 300% the rate of women. It’s doubly absurd when it’s considered that women are benefitting immensely from the way that the pension system is set up, at the expense of predominantly male workers.

If the experience of being a man in New Zealand is so much less pleasant than the experience of being a woman that it carries triple the risk of suicide, it’s time to take steps to redress the balance by instituting a Ministry of Men’s Affairs to make up for all the privilege that women hold.

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Henry Nicholls is Legitimately Good – Time to Accept It

Hammerin’ Hank Nicholls is inviting comparisons to Andrew Jones with his bulldog tenacity, scoring solid runs despite an ungainly style

Fewer Black Caps players in recent times have come in for more stick than Henry Nicholls. Frequently derided as a passenger, many commentators have been calling for Hesson to get rid of him for good. This article will argue that not only is Nicholls a legitimately good batsman already, but we ought to accept that he’ll be in the Black Caps for a very long time.

Black Caps supporters have been spoiled rotten in recent years. We have Kane Williamson averaging 51, Ross Taylor averaging 47, and a bunch of players like Tom Latham, Jeet Raval and BJ Watling averaging around 40. It’s probably our best ever batting lineup, even surpassing the Wright-Jones-Crowe one of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

It’s so good that we’ve failed to appreciate the quality record that’s slowly being established by our incumbent No. 5, Canterbury’s Henry Nicholls. After 17 Tests, Nicholls has 837 runs at 38.04 – not spectacular on the face of things, but if we look deeper there are some very encouraging trends in those numbers, not least an average of 49.25 over his last ten Tests.

The vast majority of quality international batsmen don’t hit the ground running, as it takes a while to adapt to the top level of the game. Let’s contrast Nicholls’s returns after 17 Tests to the great Kiwi batsmen: Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Martin Crowe et al. After 17 Tests, Williamson averaged a mere 29.80; Crowe 24.88. Taylor did not get thrown in the deep end as young as Williamson and Crowe, but after 17 Tests he was barely ahead of Nicholls, at 39.46.

Tom Latham’s average after 17 Tests was also 39. All this tells us that, even by way of comparison to New Zealand’s best, Nicholls stacks up pretty good. Some might criticise his style, but he’s scoring the runs. Leaving aside the overall numbers, Nicholls has succeeded in playing a number of excellent innings in tough conditions.

His first excellent innings may have been the 116 he scored in the Second Test of South Africa’s 2017 tour to New Zealand. Nicholls came in at 21/3 after the dismissal of Neil Broom and scored a counter-attacking 116. The Black Caps still lost, but Nicholls’s maiden Test century came against incredibly skilled bowling that had already done early damage.

Less heralded is Nicholls’s 76 in this Test against South Africa in South Africa. The Black Caps lost heavily – the reason why Nicholls’s effort is not feted – but it would have been a humiliating loss were it not for the 76 he scored in the Black Caps’ second innings, coming in at 7/4 after Williamson had edged a cut to slip. 76 runs might not be many, but coming in on a tricky wicket against superb bowling when his team’s top order had been obliterated, it was an innings of exquisite skill.

The crowning work was of course this week’s 145* against James Anderson and Stuart Broad, on a pitch where England had been dismissed for 58 and no other batsman had passed 33 aside from Kane Williamson. Anderson came into the match as the world’s No. 1 Test bowler and with conditions expected to suit him, but neither he nor Stuart Broad succeeded in dismissing the Black Caps No. 5.

If one considers these innings in tough conditions alongside Nicholls’s generally excellent shot selection, it seems like he has all the tools, including the most important one – the right mind for the game. His numbers might not be outstanding, and no-one’s claiming that he’s going to be another Williamson, but if he keeps improving at this rate he could fashion an excellent career.

It’s time for Black Caps fans to accept that Henry Nicholls belongs alongside Williamson, Taylor, Latham and BJ Watling as an established batsman in this Black Caps Test side.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Tim Southee, Mike Hesson and the Sunk Cost Fallacy

Matt Henry has a better ODI strike rate with the ball than even Shane Bond, but can’t make the current Black Caps ODI side over players with much worse numbers

A sunk cost is an economic concept that refers to an expense that has been already paid for, so that this expense is irrecoverable. It sounds unremarkable, but sunk costs do funny things to the human brain. The Sunk Cost Fallacy, and a little game theory, may help explain why Mike Hesson refuses to make the hard call and drop Tim Southee for Matt Henry in the Black Caps ODI playing XI.

The Sunk Cost Fallacy is an example of a reasoning error that is commonly made when sunk costs are involved. It refers to when people do something irrational because they have sunk costs (in the form of money, time or energy) into a line of reasoning already.

The common example given is the Concorde project, during which the French and British governments realised that the project would never make economic sense, but which they continued with anyway on the grounds that they didn’t want to waste their sunk cost.

This is a well-known phenomenon in economics because it often leads to horrific waste, particularly when people throw good money after bad in the hope that their initial investment will be recouped (it’s also a well-known phenomenon in poker when players go broke). As far as Mike Hesson is concerned, the same psychological process may be occurring with his obstinate refusal to elevate Matt Henry to the opening bowler’s position alongside Trent Boult.

Southee is only 29 years old, but he has been playing for ages. He debuted as a teenager, and looked incredibly promising with a five-wicket haul and a run-a-ball 77 in a Test against England. Since then, New Zealand Cricket have invested substantial resources in him, giving him every opportunity to take the new ball against all comers. No less an authority than Allen Donald touted Southee as potentially a great swing bowler, but it’s hard to deny the raw numbers.

The numbers argue confidently that Southee is not as good as Henry (in ODIs at least), and probably never has been.

Since the loss to Australia in the final of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Southee has averaged 42.77 with the ball. He has taken 45 wickets in this time frame at an economy rate of 5.72. Henry has taken 44 wickets at an economy rate of 5.81, which is similar, but has an average of 28.13 thanks to a strike rate of 29.

This is, amazingly, a better strike rate than Shane Bond managed over his career (29.2), and means that Henry has been 50% more likely to take a wicket on any given ball than Southee during this time.

Southee is striking at 44.8 since the last Cricket World Cup, and has not taken four wickets in an innings since then, despite playing in 38 games. Henry has only played in 25 matches since the final loss but has already managed three four-wicket bags and one five-wicket bag in that time – only one of each fewer than Southee has managed in a 132-match career.

In fact, Southee has not managed to get four wickets in an innings one time in the last three years, whereas Henry took four wickets in his last match.

Mike Hesson might be thinking here in terms of potential, in that, theoretically, Southee has the potential to be another Jimmy Anderson. Like Southee, Anderson is also tall, bowls with an open stance and relies on swinging the ball to nick batsmen out. Also like Southee, the Englishman didn’t achieve anything particularly special in his first 132 ODIs, returning an average of 30.18 for his 179 wickets.

But in 43 matches since the start of 2012, Anderson has taken 65 wickets at an average of 23.97. Hesson might be expecting a similar transformation to come over Southee, but it’s also very possible that he has invested so much time and energy in Southee that he sees this investment as a sunk cost that he is compelled to recoup.

A solution that would save everyone’s face would be to demote Southee to third seamer. This would be the best of all worlds for everyone except for Lockie Ferguson, who would then struggle for a starting berth.

The positives are that it would allow Boult and Henry, with the best strike rates, to bowl with the new ball when they are the most effective, and it would allow Southee to utilise his skill set of varied deliveries at the death while minimising his weaknesses of being slow and inaccurate. Southee also has 33 wickets as third seamer, averaging an entirely acceptable 28.18 (compared to over 35 while opening). It seems like a solution whose time has come.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Understanding New Zealand: Turnout Rate in 2017

The turnout rate in the 2014 General Election was 77.9%, and at the time of the 2017 General Election this had climbed to 79.3%. This is not a huge change, but care must be taken not to be misled. Just because the overall turnout rate was about the same does not mean that the turnout rates of the various demographics within New Zealand society all remained the same. This article examines the deeper trends.

The most striking thing about the turnout rates in the 2017 General Election is that, despite the alarm about the huge numbers of immigrants New Zealand has absorbed in recent years, the election marked a sharp increase in turnout rate among the New Zealand-born.

The correlation between being New Zealand-born and turnout rate became much more positive from 2014 to 2017, from a significantly negative -0.24 to -0.10. This is arguably the story of the election and explains how we ended up with a nationalist party holding the balance of power.

Among the four major parties, the correlation with turnout rate and voting for a particular party remained very similar from 2014 to 2017 for National (0.76 to 0.75), Labour (-0.70 to -0.72) and the Greens (0.28 to 0.27). These slight falls were balanced by a fairly strong increase for New Zealand First (-0.09 to -0.02).

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there was a swing towards New Zealand First – it just means that the sort of person who is a New Zealand First supporter was more likely to vote this time around. Who they actually voted for requires further analysis.

If we look at the ethnic demographics, we can see that the correlation between being of a certain race and turnout rate between 2014 and 2017 strengthened for Kiwis of European descent (from 0.71 to 0.81) and for Maoris (from -0.75 to -0.68). These are the two ethnic groups most likely to support New Zealand First.

Pacific Islanders and Asians, who were more likely to be born overseas, were less likely to turn out to vote. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and turnout rate was -0.58 in 2017, out from -0.44 in 2014, which makes them now almost as disenfranchised as Maoris. The correlation between being Asian and turnout rate was -0.22 in 2017, out from -0.10.

One reason for this is that even though large numbers of immigrants have turned up in New Zealand recently, many of these newcomers don’t seem to feel much of a connection with the country and so are not motivated to vote.

Where it gets complicated is that the correlation between median age and turnout rate increased from 2014 to 2017, from 0.77 to 0.79. This means that the people who voted this time around were older, and older people tend to vote National – but these voters did not vote National.

The correlation between being aged 20-29 and turnout rate became a lot more negative from 2014 to 2017, from -0.21 to -0.26. The correlation between being aged 30-49 and turnout rate followed a similar pattern, weakening from 0.21 to 0.13. The predictable result of this is older people voting more, and indeed we can see that the correlation between being aged 50-64 and turnout rate increased from 0.70 in 2014 to 0.73 in 2017, while the correlation between being aged 65+ and turnout rate increased from 0.64 in 2014 to 0.67 in 2017.

Unsurprisingly, then, the correlation between being on the pension and turnout rate increased from 2014 to 2017 (from 0.50 to 0.56). In fact, all of the benefit types apart from the student allowance also strengthened. The correlation between being on the invalid’s benefit and turnout rate strengthened from -0.53 in 2014 to -0.43 in 2017, and the correlation between being on the unemployment benefit and turnout rate strengthened from -0.76 in 2014 to -0.72 in 2017.

This is supported by the fact that voters were more likely to be New Zealand-born in 2017, because there is a significant correlation between being New Zealand-born and being on a benefit.

More information comes from noting that several correlations between belonging to privileged demographic categories and turnout rate decreased from 2014 to 2017. This applied to people working in information media and telecommunications (0.06 to -0.01), financial and insurance services (0.08 to 0.01) and professional and scientific services (0.28 to 0.23). Also, the correlation between having never smoked tobacco and turnout rate fell from 0.35 in 2014 to 0.25 in 2017.

On the other hand, the correlations between more working-class occupations and turnout rate increased, most strikingly so in the occupations that involved the most personal contact. The correlation between working in a particular occupation and turnout rate increased from 2014 to 2017 in the case of education and training (-0.10 to -0.03), healthcare and social assistance (-0.04 to 0.05), arts and recreation services (0.04 to 0.09) and hospitality (-0.09 to -0.01).

A poorer cross-section of the population turned out to vote in 2017, which is another clue as to where Labour won. All of the correlations between being in an income band below $70K and turnout rate strengthened from 2014 to 2017, and all of the correlations between being in an income band above $100K and turnout rate weakened from 2014 to 2017. The correlation between being in the $70-100K income bracket and turnout rate remained exactly the same, at 0.38.

Another striking correlation is that between being part-time employed and turnout rate, which rose sharply from 0.45 to 0.58 between 2014 and 2017. This, coupled with what we know about income brackets and turnout rate, suggests that it was the people on the margins between doing well and doing poorly who shifted from National to Labour. It may be that these people saw the promise of the country being lost, or felt that they missed out on all the loot of the last nine years.

Perhaps the clearest sign of where National lost the election comes from the correlations with the flag referendum. The correlation between voting National in 2017 and voting to change the flag in the second flag referendum was an extremely strong 0.93, which tells us that it was pretty much only National voters to wanted to change the flag to the National Party version.

These National Party supporters, being generally well enfranchised, have very high turnout rates. The correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and voting to change the flag was 0.75, exactly the same as the one between turnout rate in 2017 and voting to change the flag. However, the correlation between turnout rate in the second flag referendum and turnout rate in the general election increased from 2014 (0.86) to 2017 (0.92).

This suggests that many of the new people who voted in the 2017 General Election but did not vote in the 2014 one were Labour supporters who came from generally National-supporting demographics (i.e. wealthy but not too wealthy, old but not quite a pensioner, white, employed and part-time employed, male). Had they been National supporters, the correlation between turnout rate and voting to change the flag would have increased from 2014 to 2017, because the vast bulk of people who wanted to change the flag were National supporters.

We can say that it was here that the centre, and thereby the 2017 General Election, was lost by the National Party.

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The second edition of Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, was published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18. It contains all the analysis of Kiwi voting patterns and demographics you could ever want!

The 10 Most Uncorrelated Pairs of Things in New Zealand Society

The third part of Dan McGlashan’s Understanding New Zealand contains an index of all the 11,628 correlations considered in the writing of the first two parts of the book. There are so many of these that the index has to go to three decimal places in order to properly distinguish them from each other. Even then, there are some pairs of variables that are so perfectly uncorrelated that they go down to weaker than 0.000 – as this article examines.

This data was collected from the Electorate Profiles that can be found on the Parliamentary Library website, and then entered into a Statistica database from which a correlation matrix was calculated. These ten pairs of variables represent the least correlated things in New Zealand society.

9=. 0.0007, Voting New Zealand First in 2014 and Being of European descent

New Zealand First gets much more support from Maori electorates than most people realise. Their level of support among Maoris declined in 2017 but in 2014 it was strong enough that there was no correlation between voting New Zealand First and being white.

9=. -0.0007, Voting Internet MANA in 2014 and Having an income between $60-70K

Internet MANA voters were a fair bit poorer than average, and so there is no correlation between voting for them in 2014 and having a slightly higher than average income.

8. -0.0006, Having NZQA Level 2 as a highest academic qualification and Working as a sales worker

Leaving school at the end of Sixth Form is a middling sort of academic achievement, and being a sales worker is an extremely common line of employment.

7. 0.0005, Being a Brethren and Working in public administration and safety

Brethrens are indifferent to working for the Government.

6. -0.0004, Voting Internet Party in 2017 and Being a Spiritualist or New Ager

Internet Party voters are young and mostly live in Auckland; Spiritualists and New Agers are a bit older and are distributed reasonably evenly throughout the country.

3=. 0.0003, Voting to change the flag in the second flag referendum and Being in a couple with children

Couples with children probably have more important things to think about than a flag referendum, which was only ever a vanity project for the elderly elite with leisure time.

3=. -0.0003, Being a Christian (not further defined) and Being a sales worker

Christians, when not further defined, are generally a bit poorer than average, and sales workers are moderately wealthy, hence no correlation.

3=. -0.0003, Being a Pacific Islander and Being on the invalid’s benefit

Pacific Islanders are stereotyped as being on the benefit a lot, but the truth is that the sort of Pacific Islander who wanted to go on the invalid’s benefit probably wouldn’t be motivated to immigrate to New Zealand in the first place.

1=. -0.0001, Voting Internet MANA in 2014 and Taking a bus to work

Internet MANA voters in 2014 tended to live in the Far North, and those who lived in Auckland often took a bus to work, the others not so much.

1=. -0.0001, Being a regular tobacco smoker and Being a sales worker

There are no more middle-of-the-road variables than being a regular tobacco smoker and being a sales worker. Both traits point to a very normal, standard sort of person, hence no correlation.

The Boringest T20I Is Worse Than The Boringest ODI

Scoreboard pressure in often so intense in T20s, especially at international level, that one misstep puts the chasing side in a hopeless position

In much the same way that cricket analysts were slow to catch on to the importance of strike rate in ODIs, so too have they been slow to catch on to the importance of strike rate in T20s. Everyone knows strike rate is important in limited overs; what few understand is how this can lead to extremely boring matches. This article looks at why efforts to contrive a more interesting game of cricket have only somewhat succeeded.

The advent of T20 came about when someone realised that, all other things being equal, fans liked seeing boundaries and wickets, and didn’t much care for dot balls or for contests that were over long before they technically finished because the chasing side lost early wickets. And so a form of the game was contrived to have as few dot balls as possible, and as many boundaries and wickets as possible.

But what this new fashion risks losing sight of is the fact that cricket is only interesting in the first place because it is a contest of skill, and sometimes the nature of the match situation in T20 is not conducive to playing the game skillfully.

For instance, it almost never occurs in ODIs that the chasing team, in the first five overs, falls so far behind the required strike rate that the match is effectively lost without resorting to slogging. The chasing team might lose early wickets, which makes the chase much harder, but as long as they can keep their wickets intact there are still plenty of overs in which to win through playing proper cricket and building an innings.

In T20s it’s common for the chasing team to build up enough scoreboard pressure in the first five overs that they effectively cannot win. In other words, it’s possible to lose the game with the bat in the first five overs because of scoreboard pressure – something that is near to impossible in ODIs.

This can happen if the team setting a total bats well enough that they’re close to the optimal possible run rate over the 20 overs (which is usually somewhere just above 10 an over, a rate that cannot realistically be maintained for an ODI). When the required run rate for the batting team climbs above this, it cannot be achieved without taking risks (i.e. slogging) and when this happens one is no longer playing cricket. It’s no longer a contest of skill but merely hit and hope.

This is an incredibly boring outcome from the spectator’s point of view, because the beauty of cricket is that it is a contest of skill where the batsman must find a balance between aggression and keeping his wicket intact. Removing the “keeping the wicket intact” part of the equation often reduces the game to slogging.

It has happened twice in the two matches of the T20I series between New Zealand and India so far.

In the first T20I in Delhi this week, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma both scored 80 at strike rates of 145+ opening the India innings, which allowed them to finish on 202, more than 10 runs an over. This asking rate was so high that the slightest stumble in the chase would see the match over as a contest.

And it duly was effectively over, 22 balls into the chase after Munro and Guptill had both been dismissed. At this point the equation was 185 runs off 98 balls and Kane Williamson and Tom Latham, for all their undoubted skill as batsmen, couldn’t do much about it because neither could slog at the required rate.

Once a T20 match gets to this stage it gets ugly, because batsmen have no time to get used to the conditions so as to play big innings where they strike the ball skillfully and with timing into gaps in the field. So after Williamson and Latham were dismissed, Colin de Grandhomme had to come in and slog his first ball, which got him out.

In last night’s T20I at Rajkot, the contest was effectively over in the second over of the chase after Trent Boult had taken two wickets. Colin Munro clubbed his way to 109* (58) in the first innings, which meant that the slightest stumble would put the total out of reach.

And it duly was effectively over after Boult’s second, which meant they needed 10.5 an over for the remaining 18, or an individual strike rate of 175, with their two best hitters out. None of their batsman managed this, as few do.

The remaining batsmen were unable to score at the required strike rate without throwing their wickets away, and so limped to a loss, effectively throwing in the towel long before the innings concluded.

In ODIs strike rate is a major factor, but strike rate seldom destroys the chasing team’s hopes as quickly, as ruthlessly and as completely as in T20Is. Scoreboard pressure can destroy a chasing team’s chances so quickly that players can be forced into mindless slogging, and this is much less interesting to watch than a balanced contest between bat and ball.

The Black Caps T20 side already can’t find room for batsmen of the quality of Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, because they can’t (or don’t) slog enough. This means that the viewer is watching batting of a lower level of skill just because the way the T20 format is contrived promotes such. This is also not interesting from a viewer’s perspective.

The real horror scenario is this – what if it is decided that strike rate is so important in T20Is that there’s no room in the side for Kane Williamson? Because if this day ever comes, T20Is might start to be considered a joke format by cricket fans in the same way most rugby union fans consider sevens, or at least one only suited for levels below international.

If the joy of sport comes from watching skill on display then it can be argued that T20Is are objectively more boring than ODIs because they objectively give less opportunity for the batsman to display skill. The overwhelming importance of strike rate means that skillful cricketers are often pushed out of the side by sloggers, which are only fun in small amounts.

New Zealand in India ODI Series 2017, First ODI Preview

Colin Munro’s T20 form has seen him elevated to open for the ODI side in the hope that he can replicate Brendon McCullum

A lot of things are going against the Black Caps before their One Day International series against India in India starts tonight (Sunday) at 9p.m. NZT. Ominously, India sit atop the ICC ODI team rankings table, equal to South Africa with 120 ratings points, while the Black Caps are currently a mid-table side at 5th. Worse, the matches are in India, where India just demolished the world champion Australia side 4-1.

On the other hand, a lot is going in their favour. New Zealand scored 343/9 in their last warm-up match against an Indian Board President’s XI, with centuries to Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, who in all likelihood will comprise the 4-5 axis over the series. Considering that Kane Williamson will bat at three, this suggests that India might have difficulty bowling the Black Caps out.

Colin Munro is expected to open the batting with Martin Guptill, which is an experimental measure intended to fill the gap left by Brendon McCullum at the top of the order. McCullum’s explosive starts made it possible for Williamson and Taylor to build innings without risk, and Munro has a T20 strike rate of close to 150 – close to what McCullum was striking at for the last 2 years of his ODI career.

It looks as though Williamson will try and get 10 overs out of Colin de Grandhomme, who will bat 7, and with Latham at 5 doing the wicketkeeping this leaves a spot for a pure batsman at 6. This spot might get filled by Henry Nicholls, as it was during the final warm-up match, or the Black Caps might start playing hitters from there, which would probably mean Glenn Phillips.

The other question mark is whether or not Tim Southee is still good enough to command a starting spot in this ODI squad. Although he has been a first-choice seamer for a handful of years, his ODI bowling average over the past three years – which includes the great run at the 2015 Cricket World Cup – is 36.47, which is only good enough for 33rd place on the official ODI bowling rankings.

Damningly, there are four players from Afghanistan alone higher than Southee on the official rankings, which is probably not good enough for a Black Caps side that made the final of the last Cricket World Cup and is aiming to go one better in England in 2019.

It’s very possible that the Black Caps play two spinners on the slow Indian decks, which means they take both Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi. Assuming then that they still need de Grandhomme at 7 for the sake of the batting, and that Trent Boult is undroppable, that means Southee will be competing with Adam Milne and Matt Henry for that second seamer’s position.

India, for their part, have two extremely crafty bowlers. With the new ball is Jasprit Bumrah, who isn’t quick but has a Nathan Bracken-style range of subtle variations that make him hard to hit off the square, and with the older ball is Axar Patel, whose wily orthodox is also a difficult proposition on Indian surfaces.

The likely winning of the game, however, will be in India’s power-packed top order. They have four batsmen ranked in the top 14 in the world, with two of them – Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma – ranked higher than Kane Williamson. Kohli averages a monstrous 55.13 from almost 200 matches, and getting rid of him early is simply a necessity if the Black Caps are to win.

Alongside them are the silky skillful Ajinkya Rahane and the brutal Shikhar Dhawan at the top and MS Dhoni with his 50+ average down the order. India have also found a genuine allrounder in Hardik Pandya so have no obvious weaknesses anywhere.

The Black Caps are only playing three ODIs and they are paying $3.80 on BetFair to win the first one, compared to India’s $1.35. This suggests that the market is expecting a 2-1 or 3-0 win to India.

Who Voted for the Ban 1080 Party?

Of all the smaller parties in the 2017 election, the Ban 1080 Party might be the strangest of them. There are other small single-issue parties – the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party being foremost of these – but even these other parties have equivalents overseas. Who are the Ban 1080 Party, and what do we know about their 3,005 voters?

The Ban 1080 Party website argues for the need to stop making aerial poison drops that use sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) in New Zealand’s national parks and forests. The website’s tagline is “Protect our native birds” and they believe that aerial 1080 drops are a risk to the wellbeing of New Zealand’s birdlife.

A strong South Island focus was evident from the correlation matrix – the correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and living on the South Island was 0.37. The reason for this is probably because a greater proportion of South Islanders will live in the vicinity of a national park or a forest than North Islanders, who are much more urban on the whole, and it’s these people who access the outdoors who are most concerned about things like aerial poison drops.

This explain why the Ban 1080 Party also correlates strongly with other demographics that are well-represented on the South Island. The correlations between voting Ban 1080 in 2017 and other demographic categories were 0.34 for being a Kiwi of European descent, and 0.22 with median age. The only age bracket with a significant positive correlation with voting for the Ban 1080 Party was the 50-64 age bracket – the correlation here was 0.38.

If we examine measures of class we can see that Ban 1080 Party voters are poorer and less educated than the national average, which is especially striking if one considers that they otherwise belong to demographics that are positively correlated with wealth.

The correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and median personal income was -0.23, and the correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and having no NZQA qualifications was 0.44. Related to this is a correlation of 0.30 between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and being a regular tobacco smoker. This paints a picture of a section of the community who are relatively simple people and who perhaps have been taken in by the hysteria a bit.

The rural nature of Ban 1080 Party voters is demonstrated starkly when it comes to the correlations between voting for them in 2017 and working in the agriculture, fishing and forestry (0.67) or mining (0.69) industries. There was also a significant positive correlation of 0.35 between voting for Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and working in the hospitality industry.

These three correlations reflect the high proportion of Ban 1080 Party voters who were enrolled in either the West Coast-Tasman or Clutha-Southland electorates.

Underlying that Ban 1080 Party voters are comprised of the outdoorsy kind of person who spends a lot of time in national parks and forests, there are significant positive correlations between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and both being born in New Zealand (0.46) and being male (0.35).

Ironically, given their heavy conservation focus, the Ban 1080 Party does not attract followers who are like the Green followers. The correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party in 2017 and voting Green in 2017 was -0.09.

People who voted Ban 1080 Party tended to overlap with those who voted New Zealand First and, oddly, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. Voting for the Ban 1080 Party in 2017 had a positive correlation with voting for either of these parties: 0.41 for New Zealand First and 0.28 for the ALCP.

Part of the reason for this is the high level of Maori support for the party. This might sound contradictory, given that most Maoris live on the North Island, but a couple of statistics make this association clear. The first is the correlation between voting Ban 1080 Party and being Maori, which was 0.16, and the correlation between living on the South Island and being Maori, which was -0.26.

This tells us that South Island Maori were proportionately big supporters of the Ban 1080 Party, which is fitting considering that this demographic is extremely active in the outdoors with hunting and food gathering.

Who Voted New Zealand First in 2017

New Zealand First voters are generally drawn from the hard-done-by segments of the population

A previous article in this column examined the differences between New Zealand First voters and the voters of both National and Labour. It turns out that New Zealand First is almost equidistant from the two major parties if measured demographically. This article, however, looks more closely at who voted for New Zealand First in particular.

Despite being considerably whiter than it was in 2014, New Zealand First is not a particularly white party. In 2014 there was a correlation of 0.00 between voting New Zealand First and being a Kiwi of European descent. By 2017 this had climbed to 0.21, which was still not significant.

The strongest correlation between being of a particular ethnicity and voting New Zealand First was with being Maori, which was 0.38. The correlations between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being a Pacific Islander (-0.21) or being Asian (-0.52) were much more negative.

Tellingly, for a nationalist party, their strongest support was from Maoris, who have the strongest roots in the country as essentially none of them are immigrants. Their next strongest level of support was from Kiwis of European descent, who have the second-deepest roots in the country, and their weakest level of support was from Asians, who have the shallowest.

As in 2014, New Zealand First voters in 2017 were some of the least educated out of any voting bloc. The correlation between having no NZQA qualifications and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was 0.67, and the correlation between having a doctorate and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was -0.60. This tells us that New Zealand First voters are decidedly working-class.

True to stereotype, there was a strong positive correlation of 0.58 between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being on the pension, but there was also a strong positive correlation of 0.47 between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and being on the invalid’s benefit.

All of this suggests that the easy story of New Zealand First being an old racist’s party is somewhat misguided – it’s true that they do get many votes from poorly educated old white people, but that’s more because New Zealand First gets a lot of votes from hard-done-by people in general and poorly educated old people tend to be limited to their pension and therefore hard-done-by.

Gareth Morgan’s personal antipathy towards Winston Peters was reflected in the correlation of -0.31 between voting The Opportunities Party in 2017 and voting New Zealand First in 2017. This put TOP in a band with United Future (-0.27), ACT (-0.34) and the Greens (-0.48) as parties whose voters did not correlate highly in a general demographic sense with the voters of New Zealand First.

All four of those parties are particularly Pakeha-heavy parties, and ACT, the Greens and TOP appealed heavily both to young and educated people. So there is plenty of reason for these reasonably strong negative correlations.

There were positive correlations between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and voting for any of the Maori-heavy parties in 2017. These were Maori Party (0.11), MANA (0.24) and Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (0.40).

Many will be surprised that there is a moderately strong positive correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2017 and voting Conservative Party in 2017 – this was 0.38. The reason for this is that both parties appeal to the large faction of poorly-educated old white voters mentioned above.

Despite the shared appeal to old white people, however, the correlation between voting National in 2017 and voting New Zealand First in 2017 was only 0.04, far from being significant. The reason for this is the class difference – the National Party appeals to people who are doing well economically (and most of these people are old), whereas New Zealand First appeals to people at the bottom of the ladder (and poor old people with no realistic way of becoming wealthier are definitely near the bottom).

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted Greens in 2017

The Green Party tore itself to pieces during this year’s electoral campaign, but a hard core of voters stayed with the party

The Green Party vote collapsed from 2014, as a previous article has examined, with much of it going to The Opportunities Party. Although the special votes helped them out since the time that linked article was written, they still fell to 6.27% in 2017 from 10.70% in 2014. This article looks at who voted for them.

The major curiosity about the Greens and their movement is that, although they are on the left, they are comprised of people who do not immediately benefit from increased resource distribution (i.e. the wealthy). The correlation between voting Greens in 2017 and median personal income was 0.36, which was up from 0.31 in 2014, and not a whole lot weaker than the correlation of 0.49 between median personal income and voting National in 2017.

All of the correlations between voting Green and being in one of the income bands below $70K were weak no matter if they were positive or negative. But above this point, the correlations were strong. Between voting Green in 2017 and earning $70-100K the correlation was 0.49, with earning $100-150K it was 0.56, and with earning $150K+ it was 0.51.

However, much like 2014, the average Green voter in 2017 was a bit younger than the average Kiwi. The correlation between voting Green in 2017 and median age was -0.18. This is mostly because of a very strong correlation of 0.60 between being aged 20-29 and voting Green in 2017.

The Greens lost ground with Kiwis of European descent. By 2017 the correlation between voting Green and being a Kiwi of European descent was 0.17, down from 0.24 in 2014, which meant that although it was still positive it was no longer significantly so. They also lost ground with Maoris. The correlation between being Maori and voting Green was -0.09 in 2014 but -0.14 by 2017.

By 2014, the Greens were already much better educated than the average Kiwi, and by 2017 this distinction had only strengthened. The correlation between voting Green in 2017 and having a university degree was 0.64 for having a Bachelor’s, 0.81 for having an Honours, 0.71 for having a Master’s and 0.68 for having a doctorate. This higher general education explains why Green voters can be above average in income despite being below average in age.

The Greens maintained their core, urban elite vote despite the losses from 2014, and this is evident from looking at the voting patterns of certain industries. The correlation between voting Green and working in information media and telecommunications was 0.75, with working in professional and scientific services it was 0.70, and with working in arts and recreation services it was 0.69. All three of those correlations were as strong or stronger in 2017 than they were in 2014.

Things were much different for voters in working-class industries. In 2017 the negative correlations between voting Green and working in a particular industry included -0.02 in retail trade (down from 0.09), -0.20 in construction (down from -0.09), -0.29 in agriculture, forestry and fishing (down from -0.24), -0.32 in transport, postal and warehousing (down from -0.29) and -0.56 in manufacturing (down from 0.49).

A couple of correlations that Green Party thinkers won’t be at all happy about, given their pretensions to being a party that represents the poor and downtrodden, are the moderate negative ones between voting Green in 2017 and being a machinery operator and driver (-0.47), labourer (-0.31) or as a technician or trades workers (-0.25). These occupations are dominated by Maoris who tend to have pro-Labour and pro-New Zealand First sentiments.

Green voters had little in common with the voters of any other party except for The Opportunities Party. Lending further evidence to the suggestion that TOP primarily took votes away from the Greens is the fact that the correlation between voting TOP in 2017 and voting Greens in 2017 was 0.77.

None of the correlations between voting Green in 2017 and voting for the parties that did get into Parliament were significant, except for the case of New Zealand First, which was significantly negative. These were 0.17 with ACT, 0.11 with Labour, -0.25 with National and -0.48 with New Zealand First.

It might seem strange that Green Party voters have a stronger correlation with ACT Party voters than with Labour Party ones. That’s not really so strange if one considers that on measures such as age, education, income and ethnicity, the two parties are reasonably similar (i.e. young, well-educated, rich, white and urban).

In a sense, it can be said that the Labour-National dichotomy is the dilemma the average Kiwi voter is faced with, but the ACT-Green dilemma is the one that the average ambitious, professional young Kiwi voter is faced with.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted ACT in 2017

The ACT Party got an extremely high level of media coverage for a party so disliked by the electorate, but it didn’t help them in 2017

The ACT Party cuts a lonely figure on the New Zealand landscape. Although their advertising budget was literally hundreds of times greater than the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, they couldn’t win even twice as many votes. This tells a story of a party whose goals are not well aligned with the will of the New Zealand people; some could argue they were directly antithetical. This article looks at who their voters were.

ACT won 13,075 votes in 2017, down from 16,689 in 2014. This suggests that they were abandoned by some 20% of their voters from 2014. Fortunately, the correlation matrix tells us about several places that their vote became weaker.

ACT voters were the wealthiest of any party’s voters. The correlation between voting ACT in 2017 and median personal income was 0.61, which was a fair bit higher than the correlation of 0.36 between voting ACT in 2014 and median personal income (for reasons that we will investigate).

Not even the correlation between median personal income and voting National in 2017 was as strong – this was 0.49. In 2014 the average ACT voter was poorer than the average National voter, so the fact that they are wealthier in 2017 is a useful clue. It suggests that some ACT voters nearer the middle of the income ladder switched allegiances.

The correlations with voting for ACT and being in the higher income bands strengthened from 2014 to 2017. For those earning $150K+, the correlation with voting ACT in 2017 was 0.79, up from 0.44 in 2014. For those earning $100-150K, it increased to 0.66 in 2017 from 0.43 in 2014, and for those earning $70-100K it increased to 0.53 in 2017 from 0.35 in 2014.

At least part of the reason for these explanations is because the correlations between having a university degree and voting ACT strengthened from 2014 to 2017. By 2017 the correlation between voting ACT and having a university degree was 0.70 for having a Bachelor’s, 0.58 for having an Honours, 0.65 for having a Master’s and 0.51 for having a doctorate.

ACT also became a lot whiter from 2014 to 2017. By 2017 the correlation between voting ACT and being a Kiwi of European descent had become 0.16, much more positive than 2014 when it was -0.28. This reflects a collapse in Asian support – the correlation between being Asian and voting ACT was 0.85 in 2014, but only 0.46 by 2017.

These correlations start to tell a story of a large number of Asians who left the ACT Party for the National Party after 2014 (this is supported by the investigation into who voted for the National Party in 2017).

Despite the initial assumption made by many, the large numbers of Asians voting National could actually speak to an increasing solidarity between Asians and other Kiwis, because although National speaks for low taxes and low welfare they aren’t as aggressive about it as ACT are.

Pacific Islanders don’t like ACT (the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting ACT in 2017 was -0.23) and Maoris really don’t like ACT (the correlation between being Maori and voting ACT in 2017 was -0.51). This is not surprising if one considers how fervently ACT support the wealthy.

One curiosity is that the ACT voting bloc became older this election. The correlation between median age and voting ACT in 2017 was 0.26, compared to 0.02 in 2014. This is hinted at by the strengthening in the correlations between voting ACT and being aged 50-64 (from -0.07 in 2014 to 0.17 in 2017) and between voting ACT and being aged 65+ (from -0.11 in 2014 to 0.11 in 2017).

Considering also that the average ACT voter was much less likely to be born overseas in 2017 (the correlation between voting ACT and being born overseas fell from 0.78 in 2014 to 0.57 in 2017), this paints a picture of a rich, old, white, very highly-educated core of ACT voters who have remained with the party, and a less-committed group of younger, heavily Asian professionals, some of whom still supported ACT in large numbers in 2017, but many of whom were successfully tempted to switch allegiance to the National Party.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.

Who Voted For Labour in 2017

Jacindamania might have won Labour an extra 10%, but these new voters were not representative of Labour voters as a whole

The Labour Party had a rocky ride leading up to the 2017 Election, with the resignation of then-leader Andrew Little forcing a rethink of their entire electoral campaign. Despite that, their vote increased to 36.89% after the special votes were all counted, up from a dismal 25.13% in 2014. A previous article has already covered who those new voters were – this one looks at the overall group of Labour voters as a whole.

Labour voters are much poorer than the average New Zealander. The correlation between voting Labour in 2017 and median personal income was -0.52, about the same as in 2014, and shows the degree to which Labour is in favour of greater resource distribution (or at least the degree to which it gets support from those in favour of such).

There were significant positive correlations between being in any income band below $15K and voting Labour in 2017. This signifies a large change among those in the $10-15K income band – being in this band had a correlation of 0.21 with voting Labour in 2014, and had increased to 0.35 by 2017. Also, being in the $30-35K income band had a correlation of 0.15 with voting Labour in 2014, increasing to 0.27 by 2017.

Being in any of the income bands above $60K was significantly negatively correlated with voting Labour in 2017. This tells us that the idea of redistributing wealth through taxation doesn’t appeal much to the sort of people who have the most wealth.

There are a number of reasons for this connection between voting Labour and relative poverty.

One of the most obvious reasons is that Labour voters are much younger. There is a very strong negative correlation of -0.75 between voting Labour in 2017 and median age. Although part of the reason for this is that children are included in the median age statistics and that parents of young children prefer to vote Labour, most of the reason is simply because young people are poorer.

Because we already know there is a significant correlation between age and wealth we can tell that much of the reason why Labour voters are younger and poorer is simply because they have had less time to build a career or gain job expertise and this lack of seniority results in lower wages and salaries, which results in relatively stronger sentiments in favour of wealth distribution.

Labour voters are also much less educated. The correlation between having no NZQA qualifications and voting Labour was 0.34 in 2014 and 0.38 in 2017. The correlations between having no NZQA qualifications and voting New Zealand First were 0.79 in 2014 and 0.67 in 2017, so this suggests that a large number of the working class shifted from New Zealand First to Labour in the three years before the 2017 Election.

The university educated are mildly unwilling to vote Labour. The correlations with voting Labour in 2017 and having a university degree were -0.24 for a Bachelor’s, -0.22 for an Honours, -0.19 for a Master’s, and -0.17 for a doctorate. These aren’t strong – only the first of them is even statistically significant – but they’re less strongly negative than in 2014.

This mild unwillingness is probably down to two contrasting factors. Most university educated people are young because tertiary education became liberalised in recent decades and available to many more people, but on the other hand university educated people earn a lot more money than their non-educated peers, and this improved social position inclines them away from policies of resource distribution.

A third factor explaining the correlation between poverty and voting Labour is that Labour voters are much more likely to be on a non-pension benefit. The correlations between voting Labour in 2017 and being on a benefit were 0.41 for the student allowance, 0.58 for the invalid’s benefit and 0.73 for the unemployment benefit. Related to this is the fact that being a solo parent had a correlation of 0.79 with voting Labour in 2017.

In 2017, the Labour vote correlated strongly with the votes for other parties who also have a high level of Maori support. Here the correlations with voting Labour were 0.61 for the Maori Party, 0.56 for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and 0.41 for MANA.

Also in 2017, the Labour vote had strong negative correlations with the vote of parties full of old, white men who don’t want to redistribute resources. Most obviously was with National (-0.94) but significant negative correlations also existed with ACT (-0.62), United Future (-0.43) and the Conservatives (-0.31).

The Greens and The Opportunities Party were close to neutral in this regard. The correlation between voting Labour in 2017 and voting Greens that year was 0.11, whereas with voting TOP it was perfectly uncorrelated at 0.00.

The biggest change from 2014 was with the correlation between voting Labour and voting New Zealand First, which was 0.11 in 2014 but had become negative by 2017, at -0.15. The reason for this is mostly because of the large number of Maori voters who left New Zealand First after they said they wanted to abolish the Maori seats, and this can be seen by the change in correlations between being Maori and voting New Zealand First (down to 0.38 in 2017 from 0.66 in 2014) and between being Maori and voting Labour (up to 0.58 in 2017 from 0.42 in 2014).

Woman were significantly more likely to favour the Labour Party in 2017. The correlation between being female and voting Labour in 2017 was 0.33, slightly stronger than in 2014. As mentioned in the section about National, the reasons for this can be surmised from evolutionary psychology.

In summary, the sort of person who would vote Labour is someone in favour of greater resource distribution, which means someone with less resources than average, which means young people, the less educated, Maoris, Pacific Islanders and women.

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This article is an excerpt from the 2nd Edition of Understanding New Zealand, which Dan McGlashan and VJM Publishing will have ready for sale at the end of October 2017. This will contain statistics calculated according to the official final vote counts and will be freshly updated with data from the 2017 General Election.