I have an opinion piece in the Herald on Sunday this morning.
In the United States, when politicians want to connect with voters they talk about freedom. It’s a big deal: any politicians who want to be elected need to show they are committed to freedom. Barack Obama used the words, freedom, free and liberty 16 times in his 2012 inauguration speech. The next most common word was people, which appeared 11 times.
In New Zealand, we don’t talk about that so much. Our big shared value is fairness. We think that everyone ought to have a fair go, a fair chance at getting ahead and a fair opportunity to participate in our society. We’ll hear politicians talking about fairness a lot this year in the lead-up to the election.
But what exactly is fairness? When I ask my taxation students about how to tax fairly, they quickly come up with three ideas, all of them “fair” in some way.