WHY should bus drivers be forced to strike? How can any of us believe that it is okay for bus drivers to earn only $17-to-$20 per hour?
They are a vital service — even more so now that road congestion is a major, costly problem and we want people to use public transport.
The hours of work, especially in big cities, are challenging, and often they are dealing with difficult passengers.
They carry responsibility for the lives of hundreds of people a day, manoeuvring through tricky streets and dodging cars that pull out in front of them. Do they even have regular toilet breaks?
Why is it that bus drivers, teachers, nurses and police, doing essential work that keeps our society running, are overall so poorly paid? It shows a lack of respect for the services they perform.
The huge disparity in wages creates justified discontent and problems of inadequate incomes lead to so many of our social problems.
We've had years of neglect in social issues, and the coalition Government must rectify this now.
Anyone paying below the living wage should be blacklisted or heavily penalised.
Those in lower, mid-income brackets spend within their local communities, so the society benefits.
Health board debt
The Chronicle's October 16 editorial on health board debt hit the nail squarely on the head.
"If it costs more than some person in a suit thought it would, it doesn't mean we're overspending; it means your stupid guess was wrong."
What it didn't address, however, is where the extra money could come from.
It would have to come from the Government — taxpayers, actually.
So that means more tax (no thanks, we're taxed enough) or be taken from some other area of government expenditure.
Education? Roading? Pensions?
No. The first port of call should be the interest on Government borrowing, which already consumes $4,700,000,000 ($4.7 billion) every year.
That taxpayers' money — supposedly going to pay for public services — is going to pay interest to overseas-owned financial institutions the Government borrows from.
When the Government owns a bank, it could borrow from it without paying interest.
The Reserve Bank (the country's central bank) funded government expenditure in Michael Joseph Savage's time.
Forty thousand houses were built with money from that source.
It's a solution Social Credit has long promoted, and it's now being backed by establishment heavyweights such as Professor Richard Werner, director of the Centre for Banking at the University of Southampton; Adair Turner, former chairman of Britain's Financial Services Authority; and Max Kumhof, research adviser in the Research Hub of the Bank of England.
Even New Zealand's own Bernard Hickey wrote: "Isn't it better for our Government to be borrowing from its own central bank than from foreign banks and pension funds?"
We can have more funding for health without the need to take more money out of taxpayers' pockets. It just needs politicians with the will to make it happen.
The dark clouds of climate change are gathering, but people fail to take much notice.
Yet, once started, global warming proceeds step by step, each step triggered by the previous one.
When the ice around the poles has melted, the oceans will warm even faster — so will the air.
And when the glaciers have vanished, many farmers will run out of water in the dry summers and millions of hunger refugees will be like locusts on the land.
When sea levels rise many cities will be flooded and so our marvellous plants will go to rack and ruin, step by step, until people find the culprit who started it all.
No, we can't find him in the wind or the oceans; we can only find him/her by looking in the mirror.
Yes, it is us — we are the addicts, slurping the fossil fuels, creating those vapour trails, having too many children and building those huge, overcrowded cities. It is we who are using the resources of two or three planets when we only have one.
We can only rectify the climate by simplifying our lives, step by step.
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