November 16, 2018 - The History of New Zealand through an anarchist lens. Please enjoy the ideas and let me know what you think.

Accident Compensation Corporation

September 11, 2018

By AHNZ

Be safe, be seen. 1982 sticker from when ACC was just a young socialist programme of more limited scope

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) was established by the outgoing government of National 2.0 in 1972. As has happened countless times in New Zealand History: National makes a slippery slope and Labour rides it! And, expands and extends it. And, rides it some more!

Libertarians love Common Law but this ancient, and brilliant, traditional system is more and more being replaced by Civil Law. The former is dispute resolving, the later is paternalistic policy implementing. The ACC Act abolished the rights of accident victims to litigate for negligence, taking the responsibility away from individuals for their own health and safety and putting them into communal hands. The resulting offsetting behaviour can be expected to expand unsafe behaviour and the associated costs since, after all, someone else has to pay.

Initially the new tax (‘compulsory premiums’) was upon employers, self-employed and motor vehicle owners and paid out to workers. The State had expanded its already considerable power by further nationalising the insurance industry. However, Labour 3.0 expanded the recipient base to include non-earners too; Every citizen.

New Zealand colonists and their descendants faced far more hazards and risks without the ACC and yet it has expanded in scope and expense. To The State ACC has always been a Trojan Horse for expanding its power by socialising existing markets. The very definition of accident has proven to elastic as to include now things like rape. The accident needed befall the employed or even occur in the workplace. But even this does not go far enough, as Labour 4.0 Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer said last night…

Sir Geoffrey said serious inequalities stem from the preferential treatment enjoyed by accident victims in terms of both income support and rehabilitation.

Someone “laid low by cancer, a heart attack or stroke” is treated much less generously than someone suffering an accidental injury that results in the same incapacity, he said.

That’s right, accident victims are getting preferential Accident Compensation treatment over non-accident victims. From a non-Socialist point of view this complaint makes no sense at all. It’s like saying people who don’t commit crimes get preferential treatment from the prison system by not being locked up!

Palmer’s Statist point of view premise makes his statement logical, however. The bracket creep from accident to incapacity being the new qualification for who gets Socialised is apace with the agenda of expanding state power. Why don’t they just call it the Incapacitation Compensation Corporation in the first place and be done with it in one go? One great eugenics r-selected programme to tax the productive and the capable (by definition) and heap resources toward rewarding and subsidising those who are (or can contrive to be) incapable!

Well, this sort of change needs to be quietly slipped in over time unsuspectingly. The ACC Trojan Horse has been wheeled quietly in, inch by inch, for the past 50 years or so. Palmer is acting as a trial balloon to help Labour 6.0 make it all the way. They certainly want to Communise the entire nation and do away with the last scraps of Common Law. Palmer’s words, which are the lead news story this morning, are the most blatant yet toward this particular end.

Image ref. Dean Parker

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