Worship the rich as heroes

Somebody dropped off an NBR to me because I refuse to buy the rag anymore after Barry Colman attacked bloggers.

As I was sifting through it working out which page to light the fire with first I happened upon Matthew Hooton’s column, entitled “Worship the Rich”.

I almost didn’t read it after last weeks drivel from the typewriter of his mother-in-law but I paused, then did read it and I am glad I did.

Hooton revists some history about the traitor Jim Bolger and recent history about Labour’s distaste for wealth if it isn’t theirs. The best part is the end;

Labour attacks on “rich pricks” are shrewd political calculations, and the left continues to smear “John Key and his rich mates” in their standard attack lines.

Equally nasty were the attacks this week on Don Brash. As Reserve Bank governor, he was contracted to achieve price stability and delivered overwhelmingly. Now Mr Key has asked him to direct that singlemindness to advising on raising productivity but the left is up in arms lest he suggest anything that might encourage our Rich Listers to grow their businesses.

Changing this culture is probably impossible. Welfare spending is now $20 billion a year, more than half the wealth of everyone on the Rich List, and politicians have an incentive to drag more people into the net.

But imagine if all that money was directed, not at the least successful 10%, but at the 10% with the most potential. Imagine a school system where money was directed to successful kids rather than the failures. Instead of $60 million a year being spent on advertising telling losers not to smoke, drink and drive or eat too much, imagine spending it to encourage more Kiwis to emulate those on the List.

In the 1980s, Labour convinced us that using tax dollars to pick winners was wrong. It was right but it replaced it with the one thing worse: picking losers, and each year we continue to transfer $60-odd billion from those who create wealth to those who just spend it.

With those few paragraphs Hooton may just have resurrected his suspended VRWC. I then screwed up the page and lit the fire.