Welcome to the site

Hi, and welcome to The Good Society. I’m Max Rashbrooke, and this is the new home for my writing and blogging. Some of it will be based around my long-standing interest in income and wealth inequality, and much of it will derive from my new research project, a book about the role of government in the 21st century.

I’ll also be using the site to encourage discussion on key public issues – since that kind of discussion is exactly what should take place in a good society, regardless of what other characteristics it has.

My contact details are on the site if you want to get in touch. I look forward to discussions about inequality, government and many other things over the coming year and beyond.

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4 comments on “Welcome to the site
  1. You new direction will hopefully add quality to the needed debate around the competency of our political parties and the integrity of our ‘elected’ members.
    Hopefully your ‘inequality’ efforts will still continue to flow.
    The ‘common good’ has long been neglected in our modern society as individualism and self centredness have evolved. Who pays taxes? What is a ‘charity’? How can profitable, large, trading entities be ‘charities’?

    With hope

    Philip Walley.

    • Philip, belatedly – thanks, and yes, I’ll be keeping up my commenting and writing on inequality, albeit I won’t have time to do as much original research. I think you’re absolutely right that the common good needs to be revitalised. Mind you, it’s no simple thing to articulate a common good when people have such potentially varied needs, and life is so diverse. But articulating a new vision for it is definitely one of my objectives.

  2. Kia ora Max
    If we can avoid narrowing the discussion of the UBI to a question of affordability I will mightily relieved. I believe we have to be explicit about the justice issues around income inequality and affordability. We have to determine our attitude in practice to the issue of poverty in NZ particularly where children are involved. The UBI has the potential to unlock lives in communities enabling a focus on the collective without the worry about getting ahead or competing in areas where we are better off cooperating.
    Gareth Morgan makes the argument for a different tax system to support the operation of the tax system and it seems it me perfectly acceptable to pay more tax as long as we are all in.
    It would give me great pleasure to see the whole community engaged in community life rather than Just those who can afford it. We need a vision for UBI and then we have to fund it.
    It might may be a wise idea to trial the development and implementation of the UBI before rolling it out throughout the country.

  3. Thanks, Tony. I completely agree that the UBI raises issues of justice and and equality. But it is also unavoidably a policy that is all about money – giving it to people – and so I don’t think you can step aside from those problems. Where the money will come from is a real issue given the scale of the payments proposed. Even if you had a wealth tax, there are so many priorities for that money (climate change, protecting the environment, health, education, house building, etc) that it’s not clear that a UBI would have the first call.

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