Gareth Morgan is an interesting man, he does unconventional things, and I enjoy subscribing to his newletter. Maybe he is planning to enter politics, as is everybody's right, I wish him luck.
This week his newsletter reviewed his latest book, The Great Kahungs, and his ideas about what sort of monetary system we should have.
He appears to be advocating scrapping all benefits, unemployment, widows, national superannuation, working for families etc and in their place paying a universal dividend to everybody.This universal income would be as well as whatever an individual earned from wages, salary or speculation.
It sounds great and he obviously has put a lot of thought in to it. Look up his web page if you want to read further, or better still buy his book. (I can't afford it at the moment.}
In 1922 a Canadian bicycle engineer had thoughts along the same line. The state of Alberta adopted his idea and the Social Credit Party ruled there for quite a time. The important thing about Major Douglas's Universal Dividend was that it was paid from money created by the reserve bank, and did not come into existence as an interest bearing debt. In 1933 George Forbes' government set up the Reserve Bank, but somehow the idea of paying money directly to the pwople was lost.
If saome brave parliament adopted Gareth Morgan's sceme of paying everyone a living wage it should be issued from the Reserve Bank debt free and circulated.
New Zealand nearly had a Social Credit Government in 1957 and Keith Holyoake destroyed it with two words, 'Funny Money.'A smart slogan will beat serious research any time.
The average Kiwiis too intellectually lazy to think issues out, or to research new ideas. Most of them would rather grizzle about politics while they watch football or synchronised gymnastics over a beer.
The few who do think a little say, "But printing money would increase inflation." Probably it would because a lot of lazy people would live on the universal dividend without bothering to put something into the economy, like work. But there are a lot of people like that now drawing a dole or a benefit.
When Douglas Credit ideas came to New Zealand people tried to keep it apolitical. They wanted it to be part of the country's political infrastructure, so they tried to interest all political parties. Labout was interested until it took power. National and Labour are too entrenched to be ousted by a new party, but perhaps enough people in both parties could explore Gareth Morgan's idea. and stop wittering along party lines.