The Case For Cannabis: Prohibition Harms the Youth

One of the most common reasons given for cannabis prohibition is thinking of the children. Apparently it follows logically from thinking of the children that the criminal justice system has to imprison cannabis users. As this article will examine, cannabis prohibition actually harms the youth more than it helps them.

To begin with, we can see that the prevalence of youth cannabis use is much greater in New Zealand, where cannabis is illegal, than in the Netherlands, where it is legal. This is true whether prevalence is measured on a lifetime or a past year basis.

This one fact alone blows out of the water the prohibitionist contention that the rate of youth cannabis use would inevitably go up if the substance was legalised. It shows that having legal cannabis doesn’t necessarily mean that young people use it more, despite the lazy assumption that making a substance illegal inevitably means that there is less of it available.

The lawmakers who came up with the cannabis laws are so old and so out of touch that they have forgotten how young people think.

A report in the Scientific American referenced a study showing that teen cannabis use actually fell in Colorado after recreational sale to adults was legalised. The Denver Post ran a similar report, referencing a different study that also concluded that teen cannabis use did not increase after repeal of prohibition.

There are a variety of plausible reasons why this might be the case. The first is that cannabis use is already at saturation point among the young – anyone who really wants it can get it, without too much difficulty. Therefore, making it legal will not make it available to people who could not otherwise get it.

A second reason is that licensed, legal cannabis sellers, being no less reputable and professional than licensed alcohol sellers, will check teenagers for ID before making sales, and will turn away anyone who can’t prove that they’re of legal age to buy cannabis. This does not happen at tinny houses, for obvious reasons. Therefore, if a person is truly interested in preventing cannabis sales being made to teenagers, legal cannabis is better than the black market model.

If cannabis prohibition does not even help to keep cannabis out of the hands of young people, then there is no justification to continue with the policy. After all, getting arrested and tried by the criminal justice system does considerable harm to people, especially when they are guilty of nothing but using a medicine. It is traumatic to be arrested and hauled before a judge like a criminal.

Even if we assume, for argument’s sake, that it’s worthwhile to keep cannabis out of the hands of young people (for mental health reasons or similar), if a criminal deterrent fails to do so then keeping one in place is only maximising harm for no good reason. Protecting the youth would therefore demand some kind of cannabis law reform, in order to protect them from the criminal justice system.

A final argument is that alcohol is the drug of the Baby Boomers, not of young people. Young people should not be limited to alcohol when it comes to recreational drugs, because alcohol does not occupy a central and exclusive part of our culture. For the young people of the West of 2018, cannabis is just as much a legitimate choice of recreational and social drug as alcohol.

The best approach towards the youth would be honesty. Many members of Generation X and many Millennials do not trust the Government on account of previously being lied to about cannabis. This distrust does not help young people – in fact, it harms them, by inducing them to stay away from sources of official help when those might be needed.

Cannabis law reform is a better choice for protecting the youth. This is primarily because it would take the sale of cannabis out of the hands of criminal gangs, and put it under the aegis of licensed professionals who would be aware that they could be fined and lose their license if they sold to anyone under 18 (or whatever the legal age for recreational cannabis consumption would be).

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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.

New Zealand is Corrupt as Shit

If a politician is bribed, but the people are too stupid to realise that a bribe has been made, is it really bribery?

In the midst of the worst homelessness and mental health crises this country has ever known, the Labour-NZ First coalition Government has decided to double the refugee quota, placing incredible strain on already thinly-stretched resources. On the face of it, this seems insane, but there’s a very precise method to this madness. This article explains the truth.

The truth, in short, is that New Zealand is corrupt as shit.

You don’t know it’s corrupt as shit, because they don’t admit that on the television news, and anything not stated as fact on the television news is not considered a fact here. As a consequence, New Zealand does well on measures of perceived corruption. There are two significant effects of this: New Zealanders seldom try to bribe officials, and New Zealanders are almost completely unaware of blatant cases of actual corruption.

We are so naive that the ruling class can pull off ham-fisted scams that 99% of the world would immediately recognise as crooked, and Kiwis will believe them without question.

The MethCon meth house scam, for example, even had ‘Con’ in the name and Kiwis still fell for it. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of chemistry knows that it’s impossible for a house to become contaminated to the point of being unsafe to live in merely from people smoking methamphetamine inside. Nevertheless, a hysteria was created in the media that led to people stampeding to test their houses for methamphetamine contamination.

There was huge money to be made through the meth testing business. Gullible landlords were suckered into paying thousands to cowboy chemists who were purportedly checking to see if their house was fit for human habitation. Equally gullible journalists were induced into stoking the fires of the meth house hysteria, and they did so with glee, encouraged by bribes from the meth conners.

The granting of consents to foreign companies to export bottled water is another such scam. The only real explanation for the granting of these valuable water consents to foreign companies is backhanders to Council officials, but most Kiwis do not perceive anything untoward.

None of this is to even mention the numerous immigration scams, or foreign land sale scams, or the total bullshit story that is cannabis prohibition.

Regarding the illegal foreign land sales, the Radio NZ article states “Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage could not answer many of RNZ’s questions, referring back to Land Information, who subsequently refused an interview.” Every other people in the world, apart from the sheep-like Kiwis, would recognise this as a blatant case of corruption. Obviously someone is getting personal benefit out of selling off New Zealand here.

The increase in the refugee quota, then, can be explained as simply another example of this widespread theme of public officials deriving personal benefit out of making decisions that harm the country as a whole. It’s simple corruption at work.

Jacinda Ardern knows that if she sells New Zealand out to globalist Marxist interests, in particular the United Nations, she will be amply rewarded by the UN after her tenure as New Zealand Prime Minister. If she opens the door to the Third World now while she’s in charge here, she will be at the front of the queue to receive UN patronage in her later career. This is the context in which the raising of the refugee quota has to be viewed.

From Ardern’s perspective, it’s not important that increasing the refugee quota will lead to more homelessness among Kiwis and worse mental health outcomes for them. The important thing is to earn brownie points with the globalists, so that the rewards can be reaped post-office. This is very similar to how Helen Clark focused on homosexual law reform, which was then fashionable among the global left, when the nation was demanding cannabis law reform.

We Kiwis have to accept the truth: our country is corrupt as shit, and our leaders do not represent us. Our leadership class are more like a herd of pigs with their snouts in the trough of our common wealth.

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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 West is Undergoing A Cultural Revolution

The goal of destroying a population’s links with their past is – as it was in Maoist China – to make them more amenable to the imposition of a new ideology

The stated goal of the Chinese Cultural Revolution was to purge all trace of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society, clearing the slate for the imposition of Maoism. This was soon regarded as a catastrophic mistake, for predictable reasons. This essay argues that the West is, right now, undergoing a similar cultural revolution.

The Communists of the West have now completed their Long March through the institutions. Their control of the education system is now so total that Western schools could hardly be more effective brainwashing institutions if they had been designed with that objective in mind. The social pressure to conform to a politically correct worldview is so great that the vast majority succumb, simply becoming repeaters of indoctrination.

These repeaters go on to repeat the politically correct worldview they are programmed with, and they do this with all the fervour of a person raised in a fundamentalist religion. And so, it is now assumed that, in every conflict, the side with the least amount of power is automatically the morally correct side, which is Marxist morality in a nutshell.

This moral value has now driven out most of the others. It is now widely believed that it’s immoral to have a decent life, and that the more decrepit one is the more moral one must be. All winners are now losers, and vice-versa. The Western Cultural Revolution is under way.

Our ancestors, who built this decent life for us to enjoy, are no longer to be seen as heroes who crossed mighty oceans to carve nations out of forests and mountains with sweat and toil. No longer are they to be venerated for passing down a niche for us to survive in. Instead they are to be despised for the damage they did to those forests and mountains, and to the primitives that may have lived there before them.

We are destroying all of our contacts with the old, and signs of this painfully fashionable iconoclasm can be seen everywhere.

In the New World, it’s evident from the tearing down of statues and the reinterpretation of history to cast white settlers and pioneers as oppressors and other ethnicities as victims. The noble savage mythology has seen a resurgence; it has become politically incorrect to point out the horrific rates of homicide and easily preventable deaths in native societies before European contact. The tribal warfare and mass slaughters that occurred before the land was pacified by Europeans are taboo to mention.

In Europe, it’s evident from the shattering of national identities that has transpired in the wake of mass Muslim and African immigration. Propaganda inviting Germans to consider ethnic non-Germans to be “typisch Deutsch” has the effect of shattering the bonds that Germans have with their ethnic ancestors, who have of course been German for thousands of years.

The purpose of this Western Cultural Revolution is the same as it was in China: before Communism can be imposed on a population, all of their traditions must be destroyed, so that they have no solid ground from which to resist. Totalitarianism is total. The citizens must learn nothing from their parents or grandparents – all knowledge, all wisdom comes from the State and only from the State.

Part of this cultural revolution is the rejection of historical narratives that were inherited from the elders. For instance, the narrative that European people and Maoris co-operated for centuries to collectively raising these islands from the Neolithic Age to the highest standard of living in the world, is gone. It has been replaced by a narrative of exploitation and grievance, revenge and resentment.

This new narrative is intended to drive a wedge between white people and Maoris, disorientating, weakening and confusing them both – and making them both optimally conducive to instruction from authorities such as Government and corporate media (who are now working hand in glove to milk the cattle class of everything). Destroying the people’s historical narrative of what it means to belong to their nation makes those people more malleable.

This Cultural Revolution is also Communism – not on the scale of China, but on the scale of the West. The traditional narratives of all Western nations are to be destroyed so that the populations will be maximally amenable to the mass immigration that the corporate class demands for the sake of pushing down wages. As this newspaper has investigated elsewhere, it’s already impossible for the majority of young people to ever own a house on the wages that are being paid nowadays. But the corporate class will go further.

As ecological pressures lead to a shrinking economic pie, the ruling classes of the West need to find some way to convince the masses to accept a lower standard of living, and ideally without having to accept a lower standard of living themselves. They will do this by way of imposing a new ideology on us – likely some kind of globalist envirototalitarianism. To make us accepting of this new doctrine, they will destroy all contact we had with our national past and with our ancestors.

This is the Western Cultural Revolution, and it will be no less destructive and ruthless than the Chinese one.

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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 Five Rejections

It is not easy to say what the alt-centre is, but it is easy to say what it isn’t. The alt-centre is the sixth political position: the one that remains after the explicit rejection of the other five positions. This rejection is necessary because all five positions have evidently failed. This essay seeks to delineate the boundaries of alt-centrism by rejecting the flaws of the other positions.

The alt-centre rejects the position of the old right that the current system is the best system and that the status quo ought to be maintained.

The desire to always keep everything the same is an instinct born of fear of change and greed. Not everything has to stay the same as much as possible and for as long as possible. To fear change is to misorient oneself because everything changes; all of the contents of consciousness are temporary. Therefore, the alt-centre rejects conservatism for conservatism’s sake.

Much the same as all of the non-right-wing positions, the alt-centre is appalled by heavy concentrations of wealth and power in few hands. The alt-centre shares a sense with these other positions that gross inequalities of privilege are obscene, on account of that there is a limit to how much privilege can be earned. Compassion for those who are on the edges of poverty is paramount.

Verticalism is rejected by the alt-centre, for the reason that the majority of people in Western societies are educated to a decent level and can therefore be expected to be reasoned with. Reasoning with people, instead of bullying, mocking, coercing or abusing them, is how bonds of solidarity are formed, and so it ought to be encouraged where practicable.

The alt-centre rejects the position of the old left that the ruling class is inherently illegitimate and that anyone with wealth or power is bad.

Just because someone has wealth and power doesn’t make them evil. Trying to rip people down because of envy is not a behaviour that will lower the prevalence of human suffering on this planet – to the contrary. That sort of resentment-based aggression is precisely the sort of slave morality that the alt-centre rejects.

Horizontalism is therefore also rejected by the alt-centre. Instead, a premium is placed on scientific evidence. This tells us clearly that there are no two things in Nature that are precisely equal, and therefore a desire to equalise everything is a recipe for eternal conflict.

The correct way to get those born into unearned privilege to relinquish it is not by threats and violence and it isn’t by trashing the whole world. It is by reason. The alt-centre seeks to minimise the deleterious effects of unearned privilege by maintaining strong bonds of solidarity across all groups within society, so that none are incentivised to hoard wealth by an indifference to the poverty of others.

The alt-centre rejects the position of the old centre that an insipid compromise between the old left and the old right is the way forward.

You can’t have a compromise between people who seek to cling to power at all costs and people who just want to trash the whole world. This inevitably leads to short-term solutions that fail to meet the genuine long-term challenges of our political and economic climate. These short-term solutions end up causing more damage in the medium to long term.

Neoliberalism is an example of an insipid compromise. In the case of neoliberalism, we get a plastic corporate liberalism that seeks to McDonaldsise the whole planet for the sake of maximum profit and efficiency. Such compromises are considered categorically wrong by the alt-centrist, which abhors reducing things to their lowest common denominator.

In any case, the centre demands the perpetuation of the Establishment, and the alt-centre cannot accept this. The alt-centre cannot accept that the Establishment be allowed to remain on their throne. They have fucked up too badly. In any case, the challenges facing us are too massive, and our culture too sclerotic to adapt to meet them – they can only be overcome with a new paradigm of thought.

The alt-centre rejects the position of the alt-right that segregation and separation are the answers to the failures of the Establishment.

There are many competing ideologies in the world, and most of them have glaringly obvious flaws, it is true. But isolating oneself from these competing ideologies, like a monk hiding in some mountain retreat, is not a philosophy that can sustain an entire nation. Just because the Establishment has failed doesn’t mean we have to throw all of societal advancement and all culture out the window.

Just because the Western World has fallen into chaos, doesn’t mean that we should swing as far as possible in the direction of order. The lessons of the Hemoclysm are still relevant – absolute power still corrupts absolutely. All totalitarian ideas about controlling information or limiting freedom of expression – whether in cyberspace or meatspace – are rejected by the alt-centre.

Related to this, the alt-centre rejects all obsessions with degeneracy, purity and wholesomeness. Altering one’s consciousness for the sake of creativity or social interaction is not “degenerate”. The alt-centre argues that avoiding all drugs is saying no to life, and is therefore an anti-life philosophy. Likewise, the desire for an ethnostate is anti-life, because a diversity of human phenotypes is natural. The alt-centre rejects all anti-life philosophies.

The alt-centre rejects the position of the alt-left that diversity is strength.

It’s obvious that having some things in common is necessary for any group to function as a group. In order for the concept of a group to even be possible, the individuals that institute it have to have something in common. The more they have in common, the stronger the bonds of solidarity will be. These strong bonds of solidarity are necessarily for a society to function.

It’s also obvious that open borders are simply going to lead to a primitive, precarious and paranoid existence where nothing can be certain from one moment to the next. There is no moral imperative to make our societies more diverse just for the sake of it. Indeed, the alt-centre would argue that diversity allows the ruling classes to divide and conquer the masses more effectively. The correct balance between solidarity and diversity has to be struck.

Moreover, the alt-centre completely rejects the new anti-white narrative that is being promoted by the alt-left. The only real privilege is class privilege: a black man with money is more privileged than a poor white man. This remains the core of alt-centre philosophy. The moral imperative is not to God, or to the State, but to alleviate suffering in our fellows.

These five rejections are sufficient for the alt-centre to carve out its own niche in political space. It is one that will grow, and may well eventually come to power. Anyone who repudiates any one of these rejections cannot be an alt-centrist.

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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).

How to Tell if You’re Really A Libertarian

The most famous political chart puts everyone into one of four quadrants: authoritarian left and authoritarian right at the top, and libertarian left and libertarian right at the bottom. It’s fashionable to claim to be libertarian, but not everyone who does so really is. This essay looks at how to tell if you’re really a libertarian.

The political consensus of the Western World is still profoundly affected by the horrors of the authoritarian governments of the 20th century.

Authoritarian governments in the form of Nazism and Communism caused the deaths of some 150 million people, directly or indirectly, through a variety of wars and famines. These acts live on in infamy with names such as the Holocaust and Holodomor, the very mention of which summon images of starvation, misery and death.

Since then, it’s been extremely unfashionable to be authoritarian. But it’s still tempting – as tempting as it ever was. The thought that some ideas are not merely great, but so great that they have to be forced on the populace at gunpoint by a government that will kill its own citizens before it will compromise, is one that reoccurs throughout human history. All that’s necessary for it to actually become a reality is a sufficient degree of arrogance, or self-righteousness, on the part of the rulers.

Once a government has enough hubris – and whether they are left or right doesn’t matter here – they will start thinking that the lessons of history don’t apply to them, or that their actions are so righteous that human nature will change in recognition, or that they are uniquely talented and therefore can achieve things that no previous rulers could.

Once this stage is reached, it’s possible for the government to start doing things to people whether they want it or not, instead of helping them get things done in accordance with their own wills, and at that stage the government meets the definition of authoritarian. We have ideas so good they have to be compulsory! is the rallying-cry of the self-righteous authoritarian.

A person who is really a libertarian will stay committed to liberty no matter how tempting the proposal to abandon it might be. They therefore reject the idea that ideas can be so good that the government has to force them on people. Exceptions to this rule are only made in the gravest circumstances – never to try to make the world better, whether the justification be to “put order to things” or for “the greatest good”.

A person who is really a libertarian will reject proposals from both the left and the right if those proposals are too authoritarian, even if they have minor sympathies towards one of the two poles.

They will not (for example) only reject leftist authoritarian ideas, such as raising taxes or making a minority language compulsory for all school children, while accepting any and all right-wing authoritarian ideas, such as starting wars or drug prohibition.

A person who claims to be a left libertarian will happily criticise the left if it does authoritarian things. Many authoritarian leftists have been agitating to remove speaking rights from various conservatives (or even just people labelled “conservative” by the media), a process they refer to as “deplatforming”. This is blatantly authoritarian, so anyone supporting it on the grounds that it furthers leftist interests cannot also claim to be a libertarian.

Not even if they believe that the left is the side of liberty! Being an authoritarian under the guise that one’s authoritarianism ultimately serves libertarian ends is a fail. All psychopathic dictators claim this.

Likewise, a person who claims to be a right libertarian will genuinely be against crony capitalism and genuinely be against the political influence that large corporate interests exert on the legislation. They will refuse to complain only about taxation, and will also complain about corporate welfare and bailouts of inefficient companies.

Because authoritarianism is so unfashionable, many people will try and sneak authoritarian ideas into the discourse under the guise of them being either left or right. If the person they are speaking with is simple enough to equate either left or right eternally with libertarianism, then getting that person to oppose something is as simple as equating it with whichever of the left or right that person associates with authoritarianism.

The left does this with rhetoric about the need to make up for past injustices and for forced equality of outcome, and the right does this by stirring up fear of government and of minorities. Any person who is really a libertarian will reject all of this reasoning, and will remain steadfast to the belief that ideas should not be forced onto others, because justifying authoritarianism from either the left or the right will justify more of it from the other side as well.

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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).

Should A Right to Animal Companionship Be Added to the Bill of Rights Act?

Animal companionship is neither a luxury nor a vice

The next attack by the do-gooders on the freedom of people to live their lives unmolested by government interference seems like it’s going to involve attempts to make companion animals illegal, usually on the grounds of some environmentalist excuse such as protecting wildlife. This essay argues that the control freaks need to be headed off at the pass on this issue, by enshrining the human right to animal companionship in the Bill of Rights Act.

The do-gooders have learned nothing from their failed attempts to ban alcohol, cannabis, psychedelics, and currently nicotine. Wielding the power of the state as if a waterblaster, they have attempted to blast away evil by getting the Police to smash in the heads of anyone dealing in this contraband. As anyone with an IQ over 90 could have predicted, this clumsy and cack-handed administration of punishment has only led to immense resentment and unfortunate unforeseen consequences.

People will naturally disobey unjust laws. So when the control freaks try and ban people from owning cats, as has been suggested by the mad witch Eugenie Sage with regards to Wellington, we decent people need to be ready to take counteraction. In fact, we ought to take pre-emptive action now, and agitate for the right to animal companionship to be added as a amendment to the Bill of Rights Act.

There are three major reasons why this should happen.

The first reason is that cats and dogs, and the presence of cats and dogs, are part of the natural life of humans. As described at length here, humans have lived with cats for so long on account of needing the cats to control the rodents that attacked their grain supplies, that we have essentially formed a symbiotic relationship with them. We have lived with dogs for even longer.

Cats are effectively a technology that has developed for the sake of pest control. Dogs are effectively a technology that has developed for the sake of hunting and security.

There are tens of thousands of rural dwellers who could tell you about the consequences of not owning a cat when you live in the country, as many Kiwis do. The consequences are to have everything in your house destroyed by rodents. The situation is not much better in the cities, because wherever people live they store food and throw away rubbish, and either action attracts rodents.

Because rodents and disease are constant companions, owning a cat is an essential part of home hygiene. People who are aware of the hygiene benefits of cats would no sooner not own one than they would stop washing their own hair.

The second major reason why a right to animal companionship ought to be enshrined in the Human Rights Act is because of the mental health benefits of animal companionship. These benefits are so great that any attempt to take them away from people ought to be construed as cruelty, the same way that it is illegal to withhold a medicine from people.

Loneliness is one of the biggest killers in our modern societies, and is a main driver of suicide. The natural tribal model has collapsed under the pressures of industrial capitalism and the population explosion brought about by the Green Revolution, and there is ample evidence that a lack of healthy social relationships is what is responsible for the increasing rates of youth suicide.

Science has shown that for people with compromised social support networks, such as the elderly or the unwell, animal companionship has a massive positive effect on their mental health. For people in these situations, quality time with a cat or a dog might be the only quality time they spend with any sentient being, and can easily be the difference between psychological good health and mental illness.

The third major reason to write something about animal companionship into the Bill of Rights Act is to pre-empt Government overreach. We already know that the kind of person who runs for Parliament, and who succeeds in becoming a lawmaker, is usually a power-crazed control freak with little to no respect for the free will of the voting public.

The thought that these overpaid bureaucrat-psychopaths in Wellington are sitting around thinking up new excuses to take rights away from people is enough to stoke outrage. Where does it end? Do we get told how many calories of food we’re allowed to consume per week, or how many hours we’re allowed to spend on the Internet?

The control freaks need to be pre-empted with a clearly defined and explained law that makes it illegal to ban either cats or dogs from a given neighbourhood, or to discriminate against a potential property tenant on the grounds that they own a pet. The Bill of Rights Act should be amended to state that New Zealanders have the right to animal companionship.

New Zealand has, sadly, destroyed our hard-won reputation as a human rights leader with our complete failure to deal with cannabis law reform. We could win that reputation back by taking intelligent and progressive measures to combat mental illness. One of these measures could be the entrenchment of the right of New Zealanders to have animal companionship in their place of dwelling.

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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).

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

“Remember back in 1992, when you used to be able to just… work and buy a house to raise a family in?”

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).

Writing Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Frequently confused with schizophrenia, Schizotypal Personality Disorder (STPD) is a schizophrenia spectrum disorder that manifests as an extremely odd or eccentric personality type, with strong social anxiety and unpopular beliefs. The characteristic feature of it is an unwillingness or inability to engage in close social bonds such as friendships. This article looks at how to write engaging and believable characters with STPD.

The concept of a “schizophrenia spectrum” is relatively new and the precise boundaries between the various stages on this spectrum are not yet perfectly clear. One way of thinking of STPD is as a less debilitating and destructive form of schizophrenia. STPD is a Cluster A personality disorder, which means that people with the condition broadly come across as odd or eccentric, but not particularly dangerous or anxious.

Despite affecting around 3% of the population (and a higher percentage in males), so that almost everyone will have met someone with it, STPD is not a well-known condition. A character with STPD might be conspicuous on account of odd habits when it comes to speech or dress. They might mumble and speak vaguely and imprecisely, and they might wear highly unfashionable clothing or styles of clothing without thinking it amiss.

Some theories consider that there are two different forms of schizotypal personality disorder, one which is passive and one which is active. These are called insipid and timorous schizotypy.

If the protagonist of your story encounters an insipid schizotypal person, they might have difficulty with that person’s strange and absent way of being. Sometimes this sort of schizotypy can come across as vacant, as if the person inside was without emotion. If your protagonist is not a worldly type they might mistake a character with STPD for being on heavy drugs.

The protagonist of your story might want to make friends with a character who has a condition like this, only to be constantly frustrated. The other character might have decided as a general rule that other people don’t like them and so it’s not really worth trying to be friends with them, and so they are not interested in a friendship with your protagonist. Your protagonist might try several ways to overcome this social reticence, and may or may not succeed.

People who are timorous schizotypal are likely to create a different set of problems. This version of schizotypy is more active, which means that it is more likely to present as hostility and paranoia. Although a character with this condition is not likely to become aggressive, they are still likely to exhibit much of the suspicion, wariness and hostility that other people often mistake for aggression.

If the protagonist of your story has schizotypal personality disorder, they might find that other people can’t tell the difference between them and a schizophrenic. It is possible that a person with schizotypal personality disorder is not much different from the characters around them, but that this difference is still enough to cause their ostracisation.

As might be guessed from the above descriptions, people who have STPD often have related conditions, such as Paranoid Personality Disorder, Depression or Avoidant Personality Disorder. People with STPD are often genuinely afraid of other people and what those other people might think of them, and this can lead to them becoming paranoid about what other people are saying about them.

A person with STPD might then choose to just stay away from other people so as to not give them a reason to dislike them. A character developing this condition might find themselves discovering more and more reasons for avoiding social contact until they end up becoming a shut in.

Also very common are what are called delusions of reference. This is when a person encounters an event that they interpret as having special meaning just for them. For instance, a character with STPD might hear some advertisement on television and think it’s referring to them specifically, or they might meet a person twice on the same day by total coincidence, and mistake this for being stalked or similar.

Like many of the conditions in this book, schizotypal personality disorder is heavily correlated with early childhood abuse and neglect. There are some theories that suggest that the schizophrenia spectrum, rather than being simply a form of damage, is an adaptation, in which the person afflicted falls into chaos in the hope of reforming in a healthy way, instead of staying hard and risking becoming vicious.

For this reason, the schizotypal personality, like the schizophrenic, often feels hard done by and misunderstood. They might be aware that the usual course of action for a person who has been damaged as badly as them is to become cruel, perhaps vicious, and that their condition has in some sense prevented this. A profound sense of injustice can arise from the reality that their condition will afford a low social status.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM-V (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.