Inequalities of capitalism
Sorry, David Bennett (Chronicle, October 28), but capitalism in its current form is failing us badly. We should not be eternally grateful for that same capitalism paying our pensions - thats a baseline.
When 62 mostly white men own half the world's wealth, it shows you how inequitable capitalism has become.
And it will only get worse as the return on capital significantly exceeds that on labour and the difference is only growing - read Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century, which analyses 300 years of economic data over many nations.
The world wars and Depression reduced the gap, but since the 1980s it has been widening dangerously.
As an honours management graduate, I know capitalism is the only system that "works", but the world needs Capitalism 2.0: a fundamental reboot of the system before the peasants revolt and occupy Wall Street again and the influx of economic refugees into Western Europe from Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East grows.
It's all well and good balancing the annual books in little ol' NZ and giving the market free rein, but look at the cost to our society - the worst house-price inflation in the world, worst homelessness rate, which has to be a direct outcome, Auckland taking everything at the expense of the provinces, almost no planning ... flying blind.
This country was a leader in terms of social justice but is now sadly lagging.
I put the blame equally on the shoulders of both main parties - one trying to make a small country a global model of laissez-faire, when economics is a social science not just a monetary one, and the other taking it to excess at the expense of wealth long-term.
MARTIN VISSER, Whanganui
I'm becoming increasingly concerned about the bad rap plastic bags have been getting in the Chronicle.
Plastic bags are very useful and can be be used several times. It would be good to hear from readers what uses they put theirs to.
Plastic bags have big advantages over paper and material bags. The plastic is transparent, flexible, lightweight and waterproof. This makes them very convenient for many purposes.
They make great bags for freezing dog bones/brisket in meal-sized lots. They are pretty much irreplaceable for picking up dog poo, which can be both wet and mucky.
No responsible citizen would dream of dropping plastic bags into the sea or rivers where marine or freshwater animals make their homes. So someone needs to investigate who is doing it and get on to policing the practice.
Seems to me what we need is more responsible disposal of the bags rather than a total ban.
Anyone worried about getting their shopping in plastic bags can go to Pakn'Save, where they can pack their own groceries in cardboard boxes that can be recycled.
JANIS CUSACK, Whanganui
Can I express my sympathies to respected National Party supporters Allan Anderson and David Bennett after their recent letters to the editor?
Gentlemen, you are suffering from PWS - Power Withdrawal Syndrome.
We know it is hard for you to accept the new Government has a majority, but I can offer some reasons not to panic.
First, the last Labour-led coalition reduced government debt while increasing assets like the Cullen Superfund and Kiwibank. Better than National's spiralling debt and asset sales.
Second, we can trust the new Government not to sack elected councils like Keys team did with Canterbury's ECAN, which they then stacked to foster the dairy conversions now polluting South Island rivers.
I am sure the new Government will respect democracy much more than that and I hope Allan and David will, too.
KEITH BEAUTRAIS, Westmere
A little flutter?
It seemed strange that the deputy prime minister was not present at the swearing of all MPs at Parliament on Tuesday.
Then again ... maybe not so strange when it was Melbourne Cup day.
DAVID BENNETT, Whanganui
The Wanganui Chronicle might think it has a duty to publish the counter-argument and good journalism to publish the letter-to-the-editor rant against Jay Kuten's critical editorial of Donald Trump.
But at this time in history I would encourage the Chronicle to steer clear of publishing the views of people like the author of that letter.
From what he wrote I can see that he is reading publications like Breitbart, Daily Caller and Daily Stormer, so he is basing his views on the same pro-Trump entities that spread conspiracy theories like Pizzagate, that Hillary Clinton and John Podesta are part of a paedophile ring etc.That is where his "knowledge" comes from.
So giving him a forum to spread his ideas is like giving a Hitler supporter a chance to publish his ideas based on Nazi propaganda.
Trump is the most dangerous president ever elected. Dont help propagate the idea that he is good by giving them a forum in your newspaper.
TANYA ROBERSON, Whanganui