Benefiting the “Vast Majority”

Looking through No Right Turn last night, I came across a lot of the usual nonsense. But this one takes the cake – and I’m not even going to talk about how he quotes John Minto (which in itself is a massive fail).

170 houses between 59 MPs is almost three each – and the last those MPs will want is to see the value of their major assets drop. So the sorts of policies which would solve the housing crisis – a capital gains tax, or a government building program – are off the table,
I’m actually considering setting up an interview with someone I know who is in something of a position to know about affordable housing. I asked him the other day what it cost to build a house (and most people would associate the houses he helps build with the very essence of affordable) and his reply staggered me. When I asked why, he said the big reason was compliance.
I mention that only to point out that Idiot doesn’t seem to think reducing compliance costs to be a problem. Perhaps it would be a better idea to ask why the private sector can’t keep the cost down before we declare the solution to be “more government”.
…replaced by weak measures like enabling the private sector to fail for a while longer. Its a perfect example of how the interests of the vast majority of New Zealanders are overridden by those of a tiny wealthy elite who are massively over-represented in Parliament.
That highlighted bit is why I’m posting this though.
Now, cheaper housing is indeed a worthy goal. I’m not  disputing that. But cheaper housing is mostly a problem if you don’t already own a home.  Idiot seems to be implying that “the vast majority” of New Zealanders are in this group.
But that’s absurd.
The stats are a bit old, and yes, the trend is in the wrong direction. But even taking those things into account, it is perfectly safe to assume that most New Zealanders still own their own home. In fact, our high level of home ownership has long been one of our defining characteristics!
So is parliament acting against the interests of New Zealand? Well, given the majority own their home, parliament taking steps to increase the value of that home is actually benefiting the majority of people in this country.
Worse, what Idiot is calling for actually could seriously harm a portion of the country that can literally least afford it. If house prices plunge, renters aren’t going to see much benefit (only landlords) unless they can purchase. But people who have purchased will see their equity wiped out.
Even if you disagree with that, there is really no way to claim that the “vast majority” is being disadvantaged.
Yes, housing (especially in Auckland) should be cheaper. Yes, keeping it expensive in theory arguably benefits MPs who own houses. But instead of making up silly “99% attacked by the 1%” conspiracies, how about we stick to the facts?
Even better, how about finding some common ground that we can all agree on, so that we might actually get somewhere solving the problem?
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