The other day I happened to be grocery shopping in a nearby supermarket that markets itself on ‘low, low prices’ that ‘save’ the customer money. In the fruit and veggie section they’d piled a fair quantity of telegraph cucumbers which were ‘extra low’. Apparently. Personally I don’t think $4.99 is ‘extra low’, especially when it … More How supermarkets lie to you
I watched a documentary by Noam Chomsky the other day – Requiem to the American Dream. It was thought-provoking. I remember him being invoked as a world intellectual back when I was studying anthropology – Chomsky was a linguist – and he has to be one of the most thoughtful people around today. Not everybody … More Noam Chomsky and the American dream
New Zealand is amidst a grave housing crisis just now. It was predictable. The National government that came to power in 2008 also initiated one of the largest immigration booms since the 1870s. But they didn’t alter neo-liberal era planning laws relating to land use – meaning new housing districts weren’t developed. And what was … More The way out of New Zealand’s housing crisis
I keep seeing signs, these days, of corporate moral over-reach. Take direct debits, for example. Has anybody noticed lately how power suppliers, insurance companies, city councils – all of the organisations we have to deal with when paying for normal household services – have switched to direct debits? It’s an insidious shift which has happened … More Disturbing signs of the neo-liberal end game
Just now the New Zealand property market has gone into turbo mode. It’s been hot for the past few years. Now it’s gone mad – and this in the middle of the deepest recession the country has seen since the 1930s. The country has long had a tradition of home ownership. Back in the nineteenth … More Why are houses so expensive in New Zealand?
How do you want to be remembered? It’s a pertinent question as our current civilisation apparently enters its end times and the focus turns to the way each of us responds to the growing collapse. But it’s also apt, I think, at any time. Historically, the way famous people are remembered flows from a mix … More How do you want to be remembered?
One of the ironies of the past few months, for me at least, has been the way most western governments have – after two generations of hands-off, market-driven neo-liberal indifference at the plight of the people – suddenly ‘switched on’ old-style Keynesian support systems. The fiscal faucets have opened, and money is pouring into the … More After Covid-19 – humanity at the crossroads
The year 2020 is upon us. It seems incredible that it’s 20 years since the turn of the millennium – a socially-defined key date in western society where the predominant beliefs were always millenarian, although we have to accept that a ‘millennium’ was sometimes figured to be other than a thousand years, hence the social … More Is 2020 the future of the future?