"Capitalism a Blatant Failure" - NZ Prime Minister Tells the Inconvenient Truth Censored in America

New Zealand's new prime minister called capitalism a "blatant failure", before citing levels of homelessness and low wages as evidence that "the market has failed" her country's poor.

Jacinda Ardern, who is to become the nation's youngest leader since 1856, said measures used to gauge economic success "have to change" to take into account "people's ability to actually have a meaningful life".

[Source]

Hard to argue with facts. And just for the record, New Zealand has affordable universal healthcare, something that the richest country in the world (USA! USA!) still lacks. Lower infant mortality than in the US as well as a higher life expectancy.

Yet, their new Prime Minister doesn't pull any punches when criticizing the dominant economic system in the world for failing her country:

Ms Ardern has pledged her government will increase the minimum wage, write child poverty reduction targets into law, and build thousands of affordable homes.

In her first full interview since becoming prime minister-elect, she told current affairs programme The Nation that capitalism had "failed our people".

"If you have hundreds of thousands of children living in homes without enough to survive, that's a blatant failure," she said. "What else could you describe it as?"

Of course, in New Zealand there is no closed two party system, so a person like Jacinda Ardern can become her nation's leader because they have a multi-party democracy, instead of one dominated by two corporately owned political parties. Still, it wasn't easy. The National party, a conservative one that followed neoliberal policies including joining the TPP, claimed they had grown the economy three percent, and thus were a success. But a success for the most well off, as we know, leaves millions behind struggling to feed, house and obtain good healthcare for themselves, while the rich grow fatter.

When will our country wake up and smell the stench of a capitalist system that prevents upward mobility, and makes life more difficult by the day for the vast majority of Americans? We've seen an increase in violence by the state over the last two decades in efforts to damp down economic protests such as the Occupy movement. And Trump received much of his support from a segment of society that feels left out of the economic gains handed to the rich by our system, a segment of society among which their are many who are increasing sympathetic to right wing nationalist, nativist and fascist organizations. This is the results of greater wealth and income inequality.

... We found that the greater the poverty and inequality in a country, the lower the rates of economic democracy.

These findings suggest, for example, that the Anglo-American-led attack on trade unions and flexible labour policies may actually drive up poverty and inequality by cutting welfare benefits and driving up individual employment insecurity. While the OECD itself advocated these policies until recently, countries with high levels of economic democracy such as Norway, Denmark and Iceland have much lower levels of poverty than countries such as the U.S. and U.K.

Far-right populism is on the march everywhere, including the Nordic countries. But Brexit, Trump and the more serious shift to the far right in Eastern Europe have been accompanied by diminishing economic security and rights at work, disenfranchised trade unions and cooperatives, and economic decision-making concentrated among financial, political and corporate elites.

You won't find a critique of the internationalist and corrupt system that globalized and weaponized capitalism has become in our mainstream media outlets, however. They have a vested interest in censoring and suppressing opinions that offer progressive alternatives. We saw what the media did to marginalize and demonize Bernie Sanders and his supporters last year, a campaign they continue despite the fact that he is consistently the most popular politician in America. And he is simply a mainstream New Deal Democrat in terms of his policy proposals. So don't expect to see any major politician (other than Sanders) offering a legitimate alternative to Disaster Capitalism absent a miracle.

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Comments

earthling1's picture

becomes the fracture in the wall of corrupt capitalist powerbrokers that have a firm grip on our global economy.
May she be the beginning of the end of the Globalist New World Order regime of international banksters and the filthy rich.

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25 users have voted.
Steven D's picture

@earthling1 Corbyn as well.

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22 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

@Steven D @Steven D

I think a lot of people around the World would look to Corbyn to help replace the negative, self-destructive, divisive smearing and hate that is the basis of our current universe and that sustains Trump, with the positive, inclusive, constructive, problem-solving narrative that can save us.

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17 users have voted.

Has anyone else noticed a new line of attack against Bernie from neoliberal-approved political and economic commentators? Along the lines of "Sanders and his supporters are chasing rainbows, because the world saw how well centrally-planned economies worked and rejected that notion."

My reaction the first time I heard it was
A) that's not what democratic socialism is at all, or what Bernie has advocated, and
B) tell it to China, the world's second-largest (with a bullet!) economy.

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21 users have voted.

You keep using that word...

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Turbonerd

"Sanders and his supporters are chasing rainbows, because the world saw how well centrally-planned economies worked and rejected that notion."

@Turbonerd A tiny subset of the population controls all of the levers of political and economic power. Central monetary authorities mandate specific price levels of everything from interest rates to stock market values to inflation increases. The diktats of these democratically unaccountable entities are enforced by militarized policing, mass surveillance and government propaganda.

What free market utopia do these people think we live in?

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21 users have voted.

I am waiting for you, Vizzini.

lotlizard's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger  
the unauditable market-manipulating $ trillions being channeled to favored cronies and industries by the Federal Reserve Bank!

The U.S. elites and media would have a sad if people ceased to believe in their phony “free market” economy.

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9 users have voted.
GreyWolf's picture

"Of course, in New Zealand there is no closed two party system, so a person like Jacinda Ardern can become her nation's leader because they have a multi-party democracy, instead of one dominated by two corporately owned political parties."

I recall graduating with a PoliSci degree 20 years ago thinking, 'Well if every time first-past-the-post voting has been tried, over thousands of years, it has devolved into two-party systems, we need to change the Constitution to Proportional Representation (PR) or Instant Runoff (IRV) or Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) ... and so I listened to proposals by FairVote and such, but Americans aren't interested at all in FairVote and I got depressed and gave up.

Then I realized that the corporations would be against that, and what we really needed was to concentrate on grass roots level economics and on the exploitive and undemocratic corporations, and build democratic co-ops (to teach democracy and to level initial income distribution, rather than pleading with an unresponsive government for re-distribution) ... and so I listened to proposals by Richard Wolff and Gar Alperovitz but Americans aren't interested at all in Workplace Democracy and I got depressed and gave up.

Americans don't want, or seek, democracy, within a country or in a workplace. They are the most subservient people, embracing the master servant relationship from day one. (Sharecroppers, who couldn't vote, died in a revolution for wealthy landowners based on BS propaganda.)

What experience and history teach is this — that nations and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it.
- Hegel

Sometimes I live in the country,
Sometimes I live in the town,
Sometimes I take a great notion
To jump in the river and drown.
- LeadBelly

Wink

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20 users have voted.
The Aspie Corner's picture

@GreyWolf Americans, given the choice between a decent job with a living wage and union representation and sucking dick for packing peanuts, would choose the latter. And they will PAY to do so. And they think that this will somehow make them rich. Temporarily embarrassed millionaires indeed.

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17 users have voted.
SparkyGump's picture

Complete with oligarchs pretending to be elected.

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12 users have voted.

The real SparkyGump has passed. It was an honor being your human.

Bollox Ref's picture

@SparkyGump

Unfortunately, in this day and age, it's hard to tell.

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16 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!

SparkyGump's picture

@Bollox Ref
smh

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3 users have voted.

The real SparkyGump has passed. It was an honor being your human.

Meteor Man's picture

I was hopeful when Air America started out. Anti-capitalist left wing media cannot survive without a billionaire sponsor to insulate it from advertising pressure.

For starters, if "liberal" Tom Steyer would pony up $5-10 mllion it could be spread around to give left wing websites some relief. Without a left wing counter to Fox News we just can't compete in "the market place of ideas".

I know. Not gonna happen. It's just the only solution I see to begin a rational discourse aimed at survival of the planet and the human species.

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10 users have voted.

Cali Kush: a bowl a day keeps the doctor away.

lotlizard's picture

to protect themselves against the Deep State, or it is pretty certain they will end up like Gough Whitlam in Australia.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/23/gough-whitlam-1975...

The British-American coup that ended Australian independence

In 1975 prime minister Gough Whitlam dared to try to assert his country’s autonomy. The CIA and MI6 made sure he paid the price

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17 users have voted.

@lotlizard That was a true learning experience.
Hopefully, Ms. Arden will tell the rich people who intend to flee war or climate calamity by living in NZ compounds to move along.

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15 users have voted.

@on the cusp Here...

In August 2017, Ardern advocated a lower rate of immigration to New Zealand, suggesting a drop of around 20,000–30,000. Calling it an "infrastructure issue", she has argued, "there hasn't been enough planning about population growth, we haven't necessarily targeted our skill shortages properly...".[69] However, she wants to increase the intake of refugees.[70]

I had previously only seen an article that portrayed her as anti-immigrant, so I was glad to see that her reality is probably a bit more nuanced.

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10 users have voted.
mhagle's picture

Thanks Steven, for bringing this to our attention.

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8 users have voted.

Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.