Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How to lose friends and alienate people…

Puppy with a bow is cuter than a political related photo
I tend to stay away from discussing politics in a public forum as I believe it to be a contentious subject. Political views are a personal thing and it is highly unlikely that people’s comments (or rants) on news articles/social media will influence the way that I will vote.

I am not going to fight with people that have different opinions to mine as I cannot imagine that I will change their opinions, nor have people change mine. On the odd occasion people that make intelligent or well thought out comments/arguments have made me think about things differently. But ultimately I will make my final choice based on my own opinions.

I grew up in a ‘left-wing’ household and I have only voted Labour once. Does that make me ‘stupid’ or ‘unable’ to make my own decisions? No it does not. I think that I am a rational person, and I can usually hold my own in debates where I know my argument. However, I am not the type of person that just argues for the sake of it and certainly do not try and argue a point that I know little or nothing about and hope for the best.

ALL political parties have made promises (at some time or another) that they have not kept for whatever reasons. Left and right wing led governments have made mistakes and then other governments have tried their best to fix those mistakes. It is almost like a national sport to play the “blame game”.  I think that sometimes people forget that politicians are still human at the end of the day and we ALL make mistakes.

I have never studied finance or economics but even I can tell that New Zealand is struggling financially. Will a change of government fix that? Possibly not. Should individual people also look at starting to change their own behaviour? Definitely!!

So I am going to think of NZ in terms of my own personal financial experience as I know what it is like to struggle under enormous personal debt as I did it for years. I could never see the light and just got further and further into debt.

How did I clear my personal debt?
- Took ownership of my debt, consolidated it into one loan and stopped borrowing
- Reduced my cost of living and lived within my means
- Stopped buying unnecessary stuff and sold the things I no longer used or needed
- Got an additional part time job

Now to ‘simplistically’ apply this to NZ
- Stop borrowing and getting further into debt
- Reduce costs i.e. politicians spending, benefits, student loans etc. Essentially "trim the fat"
- Put things in perspective and stop wasting money on unnecessary things i.e. $36 Million to Team NZ (yes I know the current government were “contractually” obliged to give it, but seriously?!)
- Before you spend the ‘big bucks’ do your research first!
- Things this country could learn from this town

By the way I am morally against selling assets, but even I can see the benefit of selling off 49% of some assets to try and ensure that they are more profitable and run in a more businesslike manner. If you don’t understand what the implications of selling state owned assets are then ask someone that does before you cast your vote. I know I had to.

Lastly, I did a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Education as I considered being a teacher. I worked throughout my degree and I am bloody proud of it even if it is not a science or business degree. I have an amazing job that I love and do not regret the choices I made for my tertiary education as it has shaped who I am both personally and professionally. It is ironic that I nearly studied politics at University, but ended up choosing different subjects at the eleventh hour.

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