Raybon Kan is an award-winning stand-up comedian

Raybon Kan: NZ Super - there's got to be a better way

To give readers a sense of how far off 2037 is, Blade Runner is set in 2019. So are replicants eligible for super? Photo / Supplied
To give readers a sense of how far off 2037 is, Blade Runner is set in 2019. So are replicants eligible for super? Photo / Supplied

As the saying goes, 67 is the new 65. We're all becoming less mature, while living longer. Fifty year olds ride scooters, and I don't mean mobility ones.

How old is too old to work? That's like saying how old is too old for Tinder. If 65 is too old to work, why is Trump president at 70?

The retirement age was always an approximation. An attempt to put a precise number on 'past it' or 'thanks, you've done your bit,' or 'let someone else have your office.'

It's like inflation. There's so many more 65s now, 65 doesn't buy what it used to.

But is National Super affordable? As long as you're receiving it, you may not mind that this abstract concept called 'the country' can't afford it. Aren't there other things they could juggle? What are they doing with all my tax money and speeding fines?

A lot of thought's gone into Bill English's plan. From 2037 to 2040, the age of eligibility goes up, in six-month increments, just in case anyone tries to rort the system with a sudden burst of last-minute aging.

If it happens - a big if - there's an actual age-group, 44 or 45 right now, who will watch the finish line retreat as they approach.

There's probably someone whose birthday means they miss out by a day. They will blink and wonder whether it's an optical illusion.

Turns out it's more like a cruel joke. They will bemoan each minute of their mother's labour. Those younger have a few more decades to get through the stages of resentment.
What I love about English's plan, is the optimism.

Our doe-eyed Government, making precise predictions for the year 2037, clearly assume the human race will survive Trump's presidency.

It's like designing specific tactics for a putt, when we haven't teed off yet, we've only ever watched golf on TV, and the hole is on Mars.

To give you a sense of how far away 2037 is, Blade Runner is set in 2019. Are replicants eligible for Super? What if they've had 20 years' residency?

Personally, I give us three months: one month before the nuclear orgy in the northern hemisphere, and two months for the dust and gamma rays to reach us.
Raybon Kan

We're basically counting on Trump and Kim Jong-un to delay their Sanity-Off. We'll be lucky if Trump pivots, from bipolar fruitbat, to merely loopy, and even that won't help if Alex Jones from InfoWars calls him up at 4am about chem-trails.

His bronzer curdling red, his Android smashed in the tweetstorm, the only other device nearby will be the nuclear football. Thinking he's tweeting, and by pure dint of spelling mistakes, he'll input the codes. Game over.

If the nukes don't get us - spoiler alert - we've also run out of antibiotics. Not even to get well: mainly, we used them on perfectly healthy animals, to farm their meat.

Once the germs find out we've used every last antibiotic, Darwin's fittest germ will take off its T-shirt, crack its knuckles, and come a-hunting.

So the good news is, live it up!

Fairness runs deep in the Kiwi DNA though.

Some will live longer and get more weeks of Super; others won't make it. Some people's knees will give out long before 65. How do we make it fair?

Charge more tax from people who look healthy? Calculate tax using actuarial tables? Women live longer - should they pay more tax? Then again, women get paid 12% less, so I suppose it evens out.

I don't mean to betray my own age, but back in the 1970s - when groovy still meant something - there was a sci-fi film called Logan's Run. It's a post-apocalyptic future, and resources are scarce.

How scarce? On their 30th birthday, every person gets executed. The moral is: we'll all get our share, but don't hog your turn.

Literally, they're there for a good time, not a long time. Everyone's young, everyone's hot, everyone's up for it, and really, the only catch is this execution thing at age 30.

Done in a waterfront stadium, streamed on Sky - think of the tourists! - it would be fair, it would be affordable. Anyway, just putting it out there. (If you find this solution unpalatable, don't watch Soylent Green.)

Let's say we make it to 2037. What makes Bill English think our PM in 2037 (Max or Steph or whoever wins The Bachelor this season) will go along with it?


- NZ Herald

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Raybon Kan is an award-winning stand-up comedian

Raybon Kan's books of humour include ‘America on 5 Bullets a Day’ and ‘An Asian at my Table’. Before comedy, he graduated with honours in law and his legal research was published in the New Zealand Law Journal. His TV work includes a documentary in which he trained to be a casino croupier. He once held his breath for 3 minutes and 50 seconds. Visit RaybonKan.com

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