September 22nd, 2014


The cynicism, it burns

Today we have a severe weather warning that includes gale force southerlies. Yesterday it was warm and sunny enough to guilt me into mowing the lawn.

Ah, spring.

So I've come to the realisation that it's unrealistic to hope that anyone will consider anything outside their own self-interest when voting. I realise that a considerable number of my friends and colleagues actually did do this, but the reality tends to be that most people will vote based on how their life is going, and not put a lot of consideration into how the lives of others might be affected by their vote. You could even say that I do this, because I want to pay more tax to bring about greater social equality, but that means that those earning more than me would also have to pay more tax, which some people consider to be an oppressive infliction of my values on their entrepreneurial spirit, or their deserved wealth.

I don't see how to change the view of someone who thinks greater social equality isn't as important as their freedom to keep all their earnings, or believes that more tax won't bring about greater social equality. The evidence says it does, but people don't tend to be interested in evidence when it comes to matters of politics. How to overcome this is IMO the key to the parties on NZ's left getting their shit together and changing some minds.

Anyway, on this business of people being self-serving, I watched the first-tier tickets for Kiwiburn sell out in three days flat last week.

Yay? Yes, yay. But the first-tier tickets are $30 cheaper than the next tier, and then there's a third tier another $30 more expensive. The first tier are limited, and they exist to allow people who otherwise couldn't afford it to attend Kiwiburn. Even the most expensive tickets are only $155, and in the grand scheme of festival things, that's the cheapest 5-day festival ticket you'll get in this country.

So when the first tier sold out in 3 days, I couldn't help but think that a lot of those tickets probably went to people who could have afforded to pay a higher price, at the expense of
someone who really needed them. This is purely conjecture by the way - it's entirely possible that all of the tickets were sold to people who are on benefits, or are students, or who earn the minimum wage. But I doubt it.

Three tickets were sold from the next tier up before the first-tier tickets sold out. And I think that's probably an accurate representation of how many people in our altruistic, inclusive Kiwiburn community actually do consider things outside their own self-interest when making purchases. That's 3/200.

This doesn't give me a lot of hope for altruism as a driver for the left vote in this country.

And yeah, it made me lose a bit of respect for the burner ethos, alongside really hoping that at least some of the tickets got to those who have a genuine need to save $30. I know at least one person who got one, who falls into this category. I really hope it was more.