Peter Lyons: I've learned my lesson, life's just not fair

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Self-interest seems to be the way to go in this dog-eat-dog world so I'm changing my voting in this election

"All it takes is hard work, application, thrift and attitude and we can all be winners." Photo / Getty Images
"All it takes is hard work, application, thrift and attitude and we can all be winners." Photo / Getty Images

I just realised there may be a vacancy for a fuller-figured right-wing blogger with limited talent for prose. I may be the man for the job.

I think we are born with an innate sense of fairness. As we age we learn that unfairness is part of the magic of existence. By middle age, we have learned that life is not always fair. Maybe this is the hallmark of middle age. Some people in life are the perpetrators. Others are the prey. This is the law of nature.

I am changing my voting this election. As a partially sighted, middle-aged, XXL bachelor it's time to take self-interest seriously. Much of my modest wealth is tied up in shares. I am an ardent capitalist. It's time I came out after spending a lifetime in socialist staff rooms.

I can't vote for political parties that will undermine the oligopolistic power of the electricity companies whose shares I own. My fat dividend cheques are preferable to the electricity needs of some old pensioner in winter-chilled South Dunedin.

I'm voting the right way this year because I like their education policies. Star principals and teachers will get big bonuses to spread their magic to lesser schools and teachers.

My principal and I can jump into his car several times a week. We can cruise through the leafy suburb of Epsom and on to the motorway and head south to share our wisdom. I could teach the students in these schools about the joys of capitalism. I would teach them that we all start from similar wombs. All it takes is hard work, application, thrift and attitude and we can all be winners. It's about freedom to choose.

I live in the old family home on the slopes of Mt Albert. The last barbecue I went to I heard that a three-bedroom house on a smaller section just down the road sold for more than $1 million. I can't understand why we need a capital gains tax when such easy wealth is readily available. By my calculation those with houses should be able to sell up in five years when prices have doubled again. They can then retire to the Gold Coast. There will be plenty of affordable houses for young folk. The market will move back to equilibrium.

I get tired hearing the younger generations bleat about student debt, housing affordability and low wages. They didn't suffer the disco music, lava lamps and beanbags of the 1970s. They got proper medication for their acne. They need to harden up and accept a life of debt-indentured work to live their parents' dream. Being renters will increase their mobility which is essential in a flexible labour market. They can move at a whim to meet the needs of the market.

Sometimes I can almost see the lights of the Sky Tower from our lounge on the volcanic slope. This is another reason I am voting the right way this time. SkyCity is a major wealth creator that is under threat. They are poised to expand their gaming tables and pokies. They are generously providing a new convention centre for the people of New Zealand. More jobs, more incomes, more gambling, more profits. I can't understand the fuss about problem gambling. Free markets are all about free choice.

My shares in rest home operators are also doing well which is why I intend voting the right way this time. We need to ensure that the costs for this growth industry are kept under control. Raising the minimum wage could severely reduce the profitability of this sector. People choose to work for these wages and should be grateful in this day and age that they have a job. Sometimes they even have two or three jobs. It is because of our rock star economy that these jobs are available. Many people in Australia only have one job.

Sometimes I sit in the staffroom and listen to other teachers bleat on about fairness. Teachers often have an obsession with fairness. Maybe they just need to grow up and realise that life is not fair. They need to appreciate that it's about self-interest. Life is about survival of the fittest.

It's not about fairness, stupid! It's about growing the economy.

Peter Lyons teaches at St Peter's College in Epsom. His students once voted him best teacher south of the Chathams.

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