How Absolutely Fucked Young Kiwis Are

Everyone knows that the housing situation is bad, but few realise exactly how bad it is. Politicians only propose tinkering around the edges; no-one is willing to propose fundamental change. However, as this article will show, the situation is bad enough that only fundamental change can fix it.

Statistics nerds were overjoyed by the release of the updated Parliamentary profiles last month. These profiles contained information from the 2018 Census, allowing us to update our knowledge of each electorate.

One important thing the Parliamentary profiles tell us is how wealthy each electorate is. We know that 648,537 people out of 3,776,355 aged over 15 in the General Electorates and 66,126 people out of 597,498 aged over 15 in the Maori Electorates make over $70,000 a year. This equals 714,663 people out of 4,373,853, or slightly more than 16%.

Being in the top 16% means that anyone making $70,000 a year is creaming it in comparison to the average Kiwi worker. They’re getting paid much better, and will likely have a commensurately harder job. Either they’re working much longer hours than average, or they have a job with a greater than average level of responsibility, or they are applying much greater than average human or industrial levels of capital.

However, even on this top 16% income, it’s all but impossible to own a house.

If you earn $70,000 a year in New Zealand, you will pay about $15,000 in taxes. That will leave you with $55,000 a year – assuming you opt out of KiwiSaver, otherwise you’d be down to $52,000 a year. That isn’t a lot of money once the high cost of living is factored in.

The cost of living in New Zealand can be estimated by the New Zealand Government’s own cost of living calculator. New Zealand isn’t a cheap country to live in. It can be seen from using the calculator that the average Auckland family of two adults and two dependent children has living expenses of around $2,000 a week.

This means that one working adult in the top 16% of Kiwi wage-earners only makes half of what they need to keep the average family running. If that sounds paradoxical, that’s an indicator of how fucked young people in New Zealand are now.

If we change the calculations to two working adults, each earning a wage in the top 16%, things become a bit easier. But even with two working adults both earning such a wage, it’s extremely difficult for a family with two children to save any money. According to the cost of living calculator, a family of two parents and two children can expect that their living expenses will be in the neighbourhood of $2,000 a week.

This means that a family with two parents and two children, where both parents are in the top 16% of wage-earners, saves no money on a weekly basis. All that work is just to stand still. The family will never own its own home, not even with two adults working and only two children. And that is even if both adults are earning in the top 16% of wages.

Now let’s consider a family with a special talent for living frugally. Let’s say both adults have unusually high levels of determination, willpower and resourcefulness, and they are capable of making do with considerably less than the average family of two children.

In this case, we can take the cost of living calculator and reduce the expenses to the lowest 25% or so of all families of four. This involves taking the sliders and setting them halfway between the average expenditure and the absolute minimum required to survive.

This gives us expenses of $200 per week for food and alcohol, $30 for clothing and footwear, $360 for housing and household utilities, $38 for household contents and services, $13 for health, $121 on transport, $22 on communication, $62 for recreation and culture, $25 for education, $81 for miscellaneous spending and $124 for other expenditure.

This gives us a total of $1,080 per week in expenses for a family of four. So our husband and wife duo of professional workers, both in the top 16% of Kiwi wage earners, if they cut their family expenses down to the bottom 25%, can expect to save around $950 a week, or close to $50,000 a year.

The average house price in New Zealand as of July this year was $739,000. So if a family can manage to have two breadwinners both earning in the top 16% of all wages, and if they can manage to cut their expenses down to the lowest 25% of all families of four, they can expect to own the average house after 14.8 years.

Let’s say, more realistically, that the partner of the main breadwinner works part-time in order to look after the two children, and so makes $30,000 a year. This would leave them $400 a week after expenses, or around $20,000 a year. At such a rate of saving they could expect to own their own home after 37 years.

Let’s say, even more realistically, that their expenses are at the average level for a family of four in Auckland. In such an instance, they will be unable to save money even if both parents are working and earning in the top 16% of wage earners. According to the cost of living calculator, a family of four in such circumstances will have to borrow $50 a week to be able to live. Saving will be impossible.

And that’s for people in the top 16% of earners.

Even if a person and their partner are in the top 16% of earners, they will have to cut their expenses down to less than average merely to save any money at all. They will have to cut those expenses to far less than average to save enough to own a home. Anyone earning less than this, or anyone whose expenses are higher than this, will never own a home, not even if they worked to age 100.

Simply put, you have to earn far, far more than average if you want to own your own home in New Zealand. The dream of home ownership is now only a reality for a fraction of the population. The rest of us are effectively serfs, doomed to labour our whole lives without ever owning land.

To compare this with how the previous generations had it, in 1992 the average New Zealand house price was $105,000. Also in 1992, the average wage was $15. So in 1992, the average house could be purchased for the equivalent of 7,000 hours of labour. Today, with an average house price of $739,000 and an average wage of $34, buying the average house requires the equivalent of over 21,000 hours of labour.

There simply aren’t enough years in one lifetime for the average Kiwi to save enough money to own their own house. Either you inherit, or, failing that, become a professional worker with an income of $150,000+ per year.

Another way of looking at it is that if house prices had only increased in proportion to the increase in the average wage between 1992 and 2020, i.e. 2.25 times instead of 7 times, the average house price today would be around $236,000.

The grim reality is that we are some two-thirds poorer than our parents were. This conclusion is inescapable unless one denies the maths.

In summary, the Millennials and the younger generations have been effectively enslaved by the Boomer generation. The Boomers own everything, and they pay such pitiful wages that we have no chance of bettering our positions. Only two outcomes can give the young of New Zealand basic dignity: wait 30 years for the Boomers to die, or revolution.


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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Clown World Chronicles: What Is A ‘Struggle Session’?

Sometimes it feels as if Clown World takes the worst aspects of other political systems and combines them all into one infernal whole. From capitalism we have taken soulless, materialistic overconsumption and from Communism we have taken resentment-fuelled narratives of hate. It is from Communism that Clown World has adopted struggle sessions.

During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Communist revolutionaries formalised their systems of humiliation and abuse into what were known as ‘struggle sessions’. The target of a struggle session would be subjected to ritualised public degradation for an extended time, with the intent of breaking them down and making them submissive towards the Communist Party.

The idea was that certain wrongthinkers harboured opinions that threatened the viability of the Revolution. These counter-revolutionary ideas put everyone at risk, and therefore they had to be driven out. This was considered to be as much for their sake as anyone else’s, because a struggle session might prevent someone from being sent to a labour camp.

In reality, struggle sessions were used to destroy any and all enemies of the Communist Party.

Struggle sessions were banned in China after Deng Xiaoping came to power. But the demand for them didn’t go away. In Clown World they have been reintroduced, under various guises, to workplace training and education. As with Revolutionary China, they achieve the same objective: to eliminate wrongthinkers.

Today’s wrongthinkers are, as then, anyone who disagrees with Communist Party dogma. If you disagree with the dogma that human nature is a blank slate upon which anything can be written, or that evolution stops at the neck, or that past discrimination justifies and necessitates present discrimination, then you are a racist.

‘Racist’ has replaced ‘bourgeoisie’ as the label describing the chief enemy. All rightthinkers know that if we abolished borders, the world’s working classes would come together in an international brotherhood of man, ending suffering forever. People who believe in borders are wrongthinkers motivated by an irrational hatred for their black and brown fellows.

The desire to purge people of wrongthink prompted the Maoist struggle sessions. Since that desire still exists in Clown World, struggle sessions have made a comeback.

In Clown World, struggle sessions are repackaged as “anti-racism seminars”. Today’s leftists don’t give two shits about poor people anymore – they just want to persecute people they hate. Because they don’t care about the poor, their enemies are no longer the rich people in the landlord class. The enemy is any wrongthinker, even (or especially) working-class ones.

These seminars achieve precisely the same goals of the Maoist struggle sessions.

The most obvious way is by humiliating the enemies of the Communist Party. In today’s era of Brown Communism, the enemy is white people. In struggle sessions, white people are told that their moral values cause suffering, and are made to feel shame in an effort to get them to repudiate those values.

White people are told that their racism is the reason for all of the evils of the world. Without it, all of the world’s peoples would live in harmony. As such, anyone harbouring “lingering racist sentiments” has to have them ripped out – again, for their own sake as much as anyone else’s.

Possibly the most insane example of a Clown World struggle session was that inflicted on the staff of Sandia National Laboratories, a contractor involved in constructing America’s arsenal of nuclear weapons.

These workers were subjected to a struggle session in the guise of diversity training, during which the white males on the staff were made to apologise for their white privilege. They were also made to acknowledge a connection between white male culture and mass killings. This closely mirrors how educated people were made to apologise for all the ills of the world during the Maoist struggle sessions.

According to those running the struggle session, White Men as Full Diversity Partners, a willingness to work hard is white supremacist oppression that causes suffering to people of colour. Resourcefulness, self-confidence and a will to take the initiative are also signs of white supremacy.

Employees in the Seattle City Council have had to go through similar struggle sessions – but only if they were white. Non-white employees, not being the enemy, were exempt. The white ones were taught how they need to make themselves accountable to people of colour, a transparent attempt to humiliate.

Public sector workers in Australia and New Zealand are subjected to struggle sessions in the form of indigenous values training. Although these are presented as dispassionate sociological lessons, their real purpose is to sow doubt and confusion. In this sense, diversity training is the workplace equivalent of Drag Queen Story Hour.

A struggle session in England saw students at Glenthorn High School first segregated by race, following which white children were taught that their heritage was shameful, while black and brown children were taught the opposite. Struggle sessions are now just as common in education as in the workplace.

Ultimately, these struggle sessions are conducted against master morality. Maoism (like all forms of Marxism) is a slave morality, primarily motivated by resentment. Struggle sessions are intended to humiliate the targets of that resentment, so that the slaves feel less ashamed about themselves. In Clown World, the slaves call the tune.


This article is an excerpt from Clown World Chronicles, a book about the insanity of life in the post-Industrial West. This is being compiled by Vince McLeod for an expected release in the middle of 2020.


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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Why Inequality Destroys Nations

One often hears the argument that inequality destroys societies, but it isn’t easy to understand why. The mainstream media tells us that a rising tide lifts all boats, and so people ought to enjoy the bounty of the modern day without worrying about how other people have more. But the economic psychology of inequality is complicated. This essay explains.

Casting an eye over a list of countries ordered by their degree of income inequality, one trend leaps out: unequal countries tend to be shitholes, and egalitarian countries tend to be decent.

Among the most unequal countries are places like Brazil, Mexico and the majority of African countries. Among the most equal countries are the European ones, Canada, Australia, Japan and South Korea. The pattern is obvious: a strong correlation exists between economic equality and overall quality of life.

The reasons for this can be understood if we compare the motivations of individuals in equal societies to individuals in unequal ones. The simple rule is that once inequality gets to the point where you no longer have a stake in society, then you no longer have a stake in society. This has behavioural consequences.

In an equal society, the members closer to the bottom of it still have enough of a stake to feel engaged. They are not so far from the decision-making level that their desires are ignored. Having a meaningful chunk of power, they are incentivised to work towards society’s betterment (or at least its upkeep).

In equal societies, all members feel a sense of ownership. A sense of pride at the quality of life offered by the society follows naturally. With ownership and pride, a person will take action to uphold that society. This is why people in countries like Sweden, Canada and Australia tend to perform prosocial behaviours like putting their shopping trolleys away and disposing of their litter in bins.

In an unequal society, the members closer to the bottom are without influence. Decisions are made so far above their heads that they aren’t consulted. As such, the people at the bottom are not incentivised towards prosocial behaviour. They perform antisocial behaviours, like aggressive panhandling, theft, robbery, sex crimes and murder.

In a society like this, not everyone feels a sense of ownership. Those who don’t tend to not contribute to society’s upkeep. In exactly the same way that rented cars and houses are treated much worse than personally owned cars and houses, a society in which people can only rent a stake (at best) will be treated much worse than a society in which people can own one.

The inevitable result of increasing inequality is a decline in prosocial behaviour and an increase in antisocial behaviour. You might as well throw that Coke can in the gutter, because it isn’t you that will have to pay to clean it up. In fact, the more damage you can do to society the better, because it will take the bastards who locked you out down a peg or two.

New Zealand might be in the middle of the inequality pack, but it’s still practically impossible to own a home here without inheritance. The average wage today has less than 40% of the housebuying power that it had 26 years ago. Our society is now so unequal that what used to be the elementary sign of having a stake in it – owning a home – is practically a dream unless you’re born rich.

This inequality has all but destroyed our society. It’s easy to see why if one imagines how it has affected people’s motivations.

As a non-landowner who will never own land while the average wage cannot buy the average house, I don’t care what happens to society. I have no stake in it and will never have one as long as the prevailing economic circumstances continue. New Zealand is someone else’s property, and as such I don’t feel motivated to defend it or to do any work to maintain it.

It’s said that if too many people drop out of society, then our economy would collapse, leading to New Zealand becoming ungovernable, perhaps even to civil war. I say: “Good!” If civil war means that I can afford a house in five years, then bring on civil war!

Many people will be appalled to hear such reasoning. But such reasoning is inescapable once a person has no stake in society. If the order of society as being maintained at my expense, then bring on the chaos! It’s irrational to reason otherwise unless one is content to be the slave of the rich, effectively a serf whose labour will never allow them to own land.

Given this psychological calculus, it’s apparent that increasing inequality will inevitably lead to society collapsing as fewer and fewer people feel like they have an interest in keeping it going. Prosocial behaviour will decline, and antisocial behaviour will rise, to the point where the fabric of society no longer exists, and we are back in Hobbes’s state of all against all.

Eventually, inequality will get so bad that intelligent people born poor will realise from early childhood that they never had a chance. These people will be hardened revoutionaries by the time they become adults, and will know nothing other than hate. They will be exceptionally dangerous and capable of ushering in a new order of the world.


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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National Cannot Win While They Oppose Cannabis Law Reform

The latest Reid Research poll was a disaster for the National Party. They hit their lowest polling numbers since the 2017 General Election, a dismal 25.1 percent. This result raised fears of an electoral humiliation like 2002. In order to avoid this, National will have to convince the electorate that they have learned the lessons of the past.

The Labour Party scored over 60% in the Reid Research poll, an incredible result less than two months out from a General Election. Unless there are major changes in sentiment between now and then, a second term for the Sixth Labour Government is all but assured. The same poll also suggested that Jacinda Ardern is seen as a much more competent leader than Judith Collins.

The reason why Labour and Ardern are doing so well is primarily because of their leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. It might sound simple, but when faced with a medical crisis, Ardern’s Labour listened to the scientists. The spread of an infectious virus is too complicated a subject to be understood by someone with a public relations degree, so they listened to people with medical degrees.

It does sound simple, but it’s not always that case that politicians follow the advice of relevant experts. Often they put political considerations ahead of reality.

It’s impossible to know whether a Judith Collins-led National Party would have listened to the scientists on the matter of COVID-19. What we do know is that she is currently completely ignoring the scientists on the matter of cannabis law reform. This attitude does not inspire confidence.

The scientists have been saying, for many years now, that the medicinal properties of cannabis are sufficiently well understood to know that the plant is not dangerous if used correctly. Even when used irresponsibly, it’s not worth locking people in cages over. The danger comes from prohibition, which creates a black market with no quality control.

The National Party has resolutely ignored these experts, opting instead for the politics of hate that served the Fourth and Fifth National Governments so well. National has always known that a large proportion of crusty old Boomers hate cannabis users and are happy to see the law destroy them. It is to them that Collins is signalling when she supports prohibition.

The problem for National is that many of those people are now dead.

It’s not the 1990s anymore. Opposing cannabis law reform has always been wrong, but in the 1990s it looked prudent. Back then, there was so little available science that it made some sense to err on the side of caution. Cannabis was always medicinal, but in the absence of a body of empirical evidence precisely detailing its effects, it seemed wise not to open the floodgates.

By 2020, opposing cannabis law reform seems pointlessly antagonistic and vindictive. Today there’s ample evidence that, not only is cannabis not really harmful, it’s a beneficial medicine to a great many people. It’s clear now that cannabis prohibition achieved nothing but cause misery to the many people who needed it to alleviate suffering.

If the National Party would change their approach on cannabis, from a “punishment and pain” model to one that put business interests first, they could win back a lot of the centrist voters that they have lost since the previous election. Abandoning their commitment to cannabis prohibition would signal that National is letting go of old prejudices and is ready to move forwards.

Already, some 67% of Americans want legal cannabis, and more Australians want it than don’t want it. Cannabis law reform in New Zealand is inevitable – National will not win another General Election while they oppose it. If they were smart, they’d steal a bunch of centrist voters off Labour by coming out in support of it today.


Vince McLeod is the author of The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, the comprehensive collection of arguments for ending cannabis prohibition.


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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