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22,000 more jobless Kiwis

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, February 4th, 2010 - 108 comments
Categories: unemployment - Tags:

Unemployment hit a startling 7.3% in the December quarter, far higher than the 6.8% expected. There are now 159,000 officially unemployed workers in New Zealand. Add in the those who want to work but have given up looking and there are 276,000 jobless Kiwis who wanting a job. That’s the highest number of jobless since 1992.
 
Cheers “Do nothing” Key. I’m sure all these New Zealanders and their families are happy you had three weeks in Hawaii while they were losing their jobs.

108 comments on “22,000 more jobless Kiwis”

  1. snoozer 1

    to be fair, Key only went on holiday after most of these people had lost their jobs.

    • Mr Magoo 1.1

      I totally agree!
      One richly deserves such a rest after completing such a monumental feat without causing a civil uprising and even doing well in the polls. Most politicians would have been flayed alive.

      The boy is slick, I will give him that.

  2. todd 2

    Great time to increase the minimum wage then,lets get them all back to work

    • snoozer 2.1

      todd you moron. Even arch rightwing economist Paul Walker admits that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t increase the unemployment rate.

      • Ah, he does no such thing. In fact, he says precisely the opposite to what you claim.

        Econ 101 and the minimum wage

        And nor does he call himself “right wing.”

        So perhaps a correction on two counts is called for here.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          And nor does he call himself “right wing.’

          http://antidismal.blogspot.com/2010/01/political-spectrum-quiz.html

          • Peter Cresswell 2.1.1.1.1

            Irony is really beyond you, isn’t it.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Right wing attempts at it?

              Often so yeah.

              So throw me a bone PC. Where’s the irony I’m missing?

              On what economic issue would you say Paul would be left of centre on?

          • Paul Walker 2.1.1.1.2

            I didn’t call me that, the test did. I would would say I’m classical liberal.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Good for you. But in this place and time, that’s a distinction without a difference. “Classical liberals” are pretty far out on the right wing of political opinion.

              • Rightwing meaning what?

              • Pascal's bookie

                Fergawdsake.

                right and left are kind of shorthand. They are relative terms. political positions on various issues are put on a continuum.

                Where a particular position is on that continuum may shift over time. Ideas that are centrist in one century, will be extremist in another (like the divine right of kings, or slavery, or laissez faire economics).

                With economic issues, the type of liberalism you hold to, with little or no room for state intervention, has pretty much been associated with parties placed on the right. The historical reasons for this, are that those parties were protecting the interests of the powerful establishment from ‘leftist’ reformers.

                Sorry if the term offends you, but there are no hard and fast definitions of it, and yet, the overwhelming majority of people seem to cope with the concept. Which is why people use it.

              • “With economic issues, the type of liberalism you hold to, with little or no room for state intervention, has pretty much been associated with parties placed on the right. The historical reasons for this, are that those parties were protecting the interests of the powerful establishment from ‘leftist’ reformers.”

                Not so. Many governments that have been called “right” were hugely interventionist, which makes my point, the term is meaningless.

              • Pascal's bookie

                As I said,

                Where a particular position is on that continuum may shift over time.

                That’s because left and right are relative terms (spatial metaphors are like that), not absolute ones. That doesn’t make them meaningless.

                Anyway, you seem to cope with the meaning here well enough, which just kind of makes me think that maybe you are just being an arse.

        • felix 2.1.1.2

          He admitted it here the other day Peter.

          • Peter Cresswell 2.1.1.2.1

            Then you’ll be able to supply the link then.

            • Mr Magoo 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Awesome…just awesome.

              I guess wolves in sheep’s clothing should not howl at the moon.

              arrooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOoooo……

              I don’t think you get to name what side of the fence you are on and neither do your opponents.

              • Bright Red

                by which I mean, check out the Paul Walker comments

              • Which says, just as he says he says at the link I originally supplied,
                “As I have noted below no economist thinks the minimum wage increases the *overall* unemployment rate. What economists do say is that minimum wages reduce employment of low-skilled workers.”

                Which is what he has always been saying

                So since you can’t comprehend basic English, maybe you’re another one like Marty G who Paul thinks “needs a smack ‘over the head with a textbook.”

              • felix

                Didn’t read the whole thread, did you Peter?

                I linked to the relevant part too. Oh well. As Irish Bill notes:

                And as I pointed out there are a half a million workers on or around minimum wage. That’s a large enough group (about 20% -25% of all workers) that, according to your argument, we could expect changes in employment in that group to show as changes to employment in general if the minimum wage was increased.

                The problem you have is that we didn’t.

                Paul hasn’t really disputed this except to say he didn’t accept the 20-25% estimate. But I’m sure you have an answer. Then.

              • “Paul hasn’t really disputed this except to say he didn’t accept the 20-25% estimate. But I’m sure you have an answer. Then.”

                Actually what I said was

                “But no, you would need very large elasticities in the effected groups and a large increase in the minimum wage to have a large effect overall. Given all the other things that effect labour markets, finding the effects of minimum wage changes in the overall unemployment stats would be very difficult.”

                And this is what you see in the data. Little effect on the overall rate but more of an effect on the groups at the minimum wage.

              • snoozer

                thsi started with me saying “Paul Walker admits that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t increase the unemployment rate.”

                he and Peter have both confirmed that. They argue that there are affects (invisible to the statistics for some reason but not to Paul) for people on the minimum wage but he says it doesn’t increase the unemployment rate.

              • “thsi started with me saying “Paul Walker admits that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t increase the unemployment rate.’

                he and Peter have both confirmed that. They argue that there are affects (invisible to the statistics for some reason but not to Paul) for people on the minimum wage but he says it doesn’t increase the unemployment rate.”

                The effects are not invisible to the statistics, just look at the evidence. To quote from a paper that Marty G referred to in a previous comment on the effects of the minimum wage:

                “We review the burgeoning literature on the employment effects of minimum wages in the United States and in other countries that was spurred by the new minimum wage research beginning in the early 1990s. Our review indicates that there is a wide range of existing estimates and, accordingly, a lack of consensus about the overall effects on low-wage employment of an increase in the minimum wage. However, the oft-stated assertion that recent research fails to support the traditional view that the minimum wage reduces the employment of low-wage workers is clearly incorrect. A sizable majority of the studies surveyed in this monograph give a relatively consistent (although not always statistically significant) indication of negative employment effects of minimum wages. In addition, among the papers we view as providing the most credible evidence, almost all point to negative employment effects, both for the United States as well as for many other countries. Two other important conclusions emerge from our review. First, we see very few if any studies that provide convincing evidence of positive employment effects of minimum wages, especially from those studies that focus on the broader groups (rather than a narrow industry) for which the competitive model predicts disemployment effects. Second, the studies that focus on the least-skilled groups provide relatively overwhelming evidence of stronger disemployment effects for these groups.’

            • snoozer 2.1.1.2.1.3

              haha. Pretty much made a cock of yourself there, Peter.

              “So perhaps a correction on two counts is called for here.” eh?

            • felix 2.1.1.2.1.4

              Thanks BR. Then specifically the comments from about here in the thread, Peter, where he states several times that minimum wage levels have no noticeable impact on overall employment rates then.

              Then it makes for interesting reading, particularly the points raised by Irish Bill which Paul appears to be unable to answer then.

              Then.

      • Paul Walker 2.1.2

        Snoozer, what exactly does “rightwing” mean? Other than things you don’t like.

        • snoozer 2.1.2.1

          You know what rightwing is and it’s nothing to do with what I like or don’t. don’t be a dork.

          if you really don’t know, look at your political spectrum results. Or better yet, read a f#cken book.

          • Paul Walker 2.1.2.1.1

            Actually no I don’t know. If you read political philosophy its not clear what “rightwing” means. So what does it mean?

            • Lew 2.1.2.1.1.1

              But there’s the thing: he doesn’t read political philosophy. He reads blogs and supposes that they tell him all he needs to know because they’re ideologically safe.

              Anti-elitism, of its own sort, is very much alive and well on the left.

              L

              • Puddleglum

                Cheap shot. Given the discussion, I’m tempted to ask you “what is ‘the left’?” After all, I’ve read quite a bit of political philosophy and “it’s not clear”.

                Instead, I’d rather ask Paul W. ‘what IS a ‘classical liberal’? Is it the John Stuart Mill kind who argued in On Liberty that, of course, we shouldn’t provide other races with the liberties discussed herein because, like children, they haven’t developed yet to the point where we can expect them to use such liberties wisely (did you realise that, for ‘classical liberals’, there’s a qualification required in order to be ‘given’ liberty? A point I’m happy to amplify upon if requested.) Or, perhaps you’re the John Locke kind of ‘classical liberal’ who famously (and since the two of you are so well read in political philosophy, I won’t insult you by providing a link) argued that it was acceptable to appropriate the american continent off the native americans for the classically liberal economic reasoning that, since they weren’t ‘improving’ the land (from the French and literally means ‘im-profit’ment’, BTW) then, for the general good, it should be appropriated and put into a market system so that the magic powers of the market could unleash its boundless resources in an efficient way for the human race.

                But, perhaps, Paul, you’re more the modern kind of ‘classical liberal’ – like Don Brash? Remember him? He was the Prime Minister-in-waiting who once told Kim Hill during an ad break in her ‘Face to Face’ interview with him – and then repeated it at her request when they came back live – that “no-one” could argue that the social and economic system imposed upon New Zealand by the British in the 19th Century wasn’t manifestly superior to the system then present and that we should all be grateful that it was indeed imposed (He was probably channelling John Locke as he exercised his own ‘classical liberal’-soaked economic mind – but that’s only speculation).

                Or perhaps Hayek and Popper are your men? Ever read ‘Road to Serfdom’? I’ve just finished it and, to be charitable, all I can say is that he appears to have spent a lot of time sitting alone at home reading books of other academics and government policy papers and getting his dander up. He would have done better to get out and about, make some empirical observations (and I don’t mean playing around with government statistics as seems to be the case with so many ‘empirical’ economists) and find out just what it was like for the majority of British people in the first half of the twentieth century basking, as he seemed to think, in the glorious classical liberal values of ‘tolerance’, self-reliance (dole queues, soup kitchens anyone??), etc. etc. for which the world, apparently, should forever thank Britain.

                Or are you the kind of classical liberal who likes to claim that all the social progress made to date (e.g., closer to equality between the sexes and races, abolition of slavery, public sanitation, the welfare state, etc.) are demonstrations of what benefits liberal democratic societies can incrementally provide? If so, you might want to check the mobilised mass movements, radical political views of those actively pushing for these reforms and even the Christian (rather than ‘Liberal’) motivation of those involved. Oddly, there weren’t a lot of card-carrying ‘classical liberals’ manning the barricades for any of these causes (perhaps they were too busy manning the drawing rooms of their Tory friends and relations?). These were gains largely made by the long and protracted efforts of radicals (sometimes over generations) and, only once progress seemed to be a fait accompli, did any ‘classical liberals’ dare rally to the cause. Till then they were more often than not busy digging their heels in, arguing that such reforms would jeopardise social stability, etc., etc.and so one should proceed ‘softly, softly’, if at all. Have a look at the British ‘classical liberals’ in the 19th Century and get a sense of the true role of liberalism in western societies – reform only if absolutely necessary (i.e., when the people are revolting), otherwise fulfill the de facto role as the oh-so-reasonable handbrake on social progress (moderation in all things, you know) to allow the elite to readjust their strategies for dominance – which, not unnaturally, they then proceed to do.

                So, Paul – what IS a ‘classical liberal’? Please tell me because, when one reads political philosophy, it isn’t clear (or perhaps it’s all too clear – and I don’t mean belief in the ‘economic freedom of the individual’ or, in utilitarian mode, ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’).

              • Bill

                @ puddleglum

                Thankyou for bringing a wee smile to my face. One of the more pertinent comments I’ve read on this blog.

              • Lew

                Puddleglum, thanks. If only it had been snoozer who’d written that up; I do love to be proven wrong when I misunderestimate someone.

                But you really do make Paul’s point for him: it’s not clear. The raw terms are only useful up to a point and then only within a shared frame of philosophical reference. That’s a problem when they’re employed as glib labels to discount someone’s position, in lieu of engaging with their actual argument. Granted, a lot of the time it’s futile, but this is not such a time. The guy’s not a blind partisan ideologue trying to score points; he’s an economics lecturer, attempting to engage on a substantive point of theory which underpins the discussion.

                By ‘the left’, I meant it as it’s often used here: in that glib sense of “us”, opposed to “them”, encompassing various brands of liberal (though rarely the classical kind) and many more brands of socialist, anarchist, social-democrat and environmentalist. I am actually a part of that motley bunch — my use of ‘the left’ is not “them”, but “us”, although for my troubles I think they often they want to cast me out or tag me as one of “them”.

                Decrying the tendency of people to rely on received wisdom from ideologically safe blogs rather than potentially challenging literature, I’m not advocating that people must agree; I’m advocating that people must learn enough to know whether they agree or not, rather than simply disagreeing out of misguided partisan loyalty. You, Puddleglum, appear to have done so, and you’re an example to them — err, us — all.

                L

                Captcha: “thoroughly”

              • Instead, I’d rather ask Paul W. ‘what IS a ‘classical liberal’?

                I would say the short answer to that is someone who believes in negative liberty as in Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts of Liberty.” The term can not be perfectly defined but I would say it is still better defined than “rightwing”.

              • snoozer

                Lew. I don’t know who you think you’re impressing. Maybe Paul. But both of you know what rightwing is and you both know that Paul is rightwing.

                He might claim to adhere to a particular branch of rightwing ideology (the same one that Farrar claims, the ideology of the slave-owning founding fathers of USA) but that only reinforces the fact that he is rightwing.

              • Bill

                So hang on!

                Adequate learning comes from literature and if one persists and struggles through dense enough works of political philosophy one may arrive at a point of wisdom?

                That’s disgusting snobbery Lew…a dangerous position to take and bullshit into the bargain.

                We of the Party …or the learned priesthood…having undertaken the correct study in the ancient flim flam flom are the only ones in a position to correctly understand the true nature of our predicaments and will now devote ourselves to your service.

                From on high.

                And in luxury.

                Behind walls of theoretical certainty that are beyond your intellectual grasp…. ’cause you haven’t read the book properly… or at all maybe…but we have. And so are above and beyond reproach or challenge.

                Oh yeah. And we’ll have an army and a police force protecting you from any reproach or challenge to this correct ordering of human affairs.

                Any questions?

              • Lew

                Adequate learning comes from literature and if one persists and struggles through dense enough works of political philosophy one may arrive at a point of wisdom?

                Bill, no. Anyone’s free to have and express opinions, and to act on them, and there’s plenty of wisdom outside book-learning.

                But this was about a discussion of political-philosophical theory: concepts of “left” and “right” in politics aren’t literal or even very practical, they’re abstract. In discussions of theory, it helps to have a grasp of that theory. If you don’t, then the question is: what is it you’re actually discussing? This is the trouble I think snoozer fails to appreciate: he has some preconceptions about what “right-wing” is, and they don’t quite marry up to what the existing body of theory says. Since he refuses or is unable to articulate them, it renders the discussion somewhat meaningless, and gives the impression he’s just shooting from the rhetorical hip.

                It’s pretty common, and as I say: not very useful. Unless the purpose is just to score rhetorical points, in which case it’s probably not worth bothering with.

                L

              • snoozer

                don’t be a fuckwit lew. I could ramble on for a thousand words about what rightwing is as well as you or anyone here but we all know so what’s the point? I’m not writing for Kiwipolitico so I want people to bother to read my comments.

                Is Paul Walker rightwing? Of course he is. he even describes himself as classical liberal, a rightwing ideology.

                I’m not interested in your post-modern handwringing and your philosophical wanking. All you do is alienate everyone because we’ve got no time for you smug bullshit.

                We know what is leftwing, we know what is rightwing, we don’t need approval from pricks like you.

              • Lew

                snoozer,

                The nerve. There it is.

                We know what is leftwing, we know what is rightwing,

                This is the problem: an excess of certitude, a reflexive tendency to self-congratulate, and a lack of willingness to reflect. The left is weak because it’s largely run by people who think that theory is simple and obvious and anyone who doesn’t get it is either stupid or evil.

                I don’t care if I alienate people who are so secure in their own righteousness that they’re beyond reasoned discussion anyhow. As long as I’m pissing off people like you, who’d rather not examine your own ideological blind spots or debate the questionable assumptions which prop up your worldview, I figure I’m heading in the right direction.

                For the record: I don’t care if he’s right-wing or not. The point is that, to demonstrate that he is, you need to put up something more than “I know he is and so do you”.

                L

              • snoozer

                “The point is that, to demonstrate that he is, you need to put up something more than “I know he is and so do you’.”

                No I don’t.

                It would be a pretty sad state of affairs if you couldn’t call a rightie a rightie without having to submit an evidence sheet. It’s an observable fact to anyone with a political brain. You just have to read what he writes. You should be able to tell from the first comment where a person sits politically, it’s not hard, there are not an infinite variety of ideologies and there are only two primary classes.

                Next you’ll be wanting an essay before I can call Douglas a rightie or a thesis to back it up if I label Turei leftwing.

                It’s dumb, it’s just talking for its own sake given that everyone knows Paul Walker is rightwing and he himself says he ascribes to a rightwing ideology.

                I don’t see why we should bow to your faux academic elitism.

                On a deeper level, Lew, this is why you get everything so consistently wrong.

                Just yesterday you were mocking the idea that the right (oh, shit do I have to define that for you?), led by the Herald (want a definition of that too?), was trying to launch a debate on the flag to distract from the serious issues of the day. A day later and look at the Herald, look at Farrar – there’s no conspiracy, this is just how politics works. The right needs a distraction. The ‘flag debate’ is that distraction, provided by a rightwing actor. And you don’t understand that because you don’t understand political actors. You’re too busy trying to intellectualise everything, reduce them to component parts, and, most of all, show off that you have read a few books.

              • Lew

                snoozer, I don’t think Sir Roger or Metiria would questions that broad assessment of their ideological leanings (as Paul did), and in either case it’s much more clear. All your assertion rests on is that he’s an economist who believes in free markets. There’s more to being a right-winger than that, as you bloody well know.

                The right needs a distraction. The ‘flag debate’ is that distraction, provided by a rightwing actor. And you don’t understand that because you don’t understand political actors.

                What I understand is that politics is bigger than policy. Competent political actors (the Herald included) understand this as well, but it’s another thing that the iconoclast economic left doesn’t really get. The flag debate, while it is a distraction from the economic and policy issues of the day, is a legitimate one which people care about, especially at this time of year.

                I’d have a lot of sympathy for the analysis you make at any other time of year. If the flag issue was brought up at, say, Budget time, then you’d have a fair point — but at this time of year there’s a perfectly good reason to debate these issues. Alleging that the Herald is playing the arse-covering game by picking the topic is a conspiracy theory — there’s a much more reasonable explanation. There is good, solid news and public engagement value in having that debate take centre stage at this time — even if you personally don’t think it’s valuable. At Waitangi, the matter of NZ’s national identity is larger and deeper topic than a tactical economic indicator and the rollout of a bad education policy, as important as that is. They’ll still be there next week, when Parliament sits again. The carriage is not going to turn into a pumpkin.

                But anyway, this distracts from the real issue, which is that you think I’m some sort of ivory tower apologist for the Herald and National and the right-wingers, whoever they are. I’m sorry that you find my writing dry and academic, but the thing is that I actually work in political communication. I’m serious about this sort of stuff; it’s not just about point-scoring and casual offhand condemnation which fits a particular idological brief. Understanding and rationalising this sort of stuff is what I do; I know a thing or two about it, both in theory and in practice. Perhaps you do too, in which case, what’s stopping you from showing it?

                L

              • Bill

                I think you’re at it Lew.

                It’s true that if you read political philosophy, it becomes unclear what right wing and left wing mean …which says more about political philosophy than common understanding and use of the terms right and left as used in discussion and debate here and elsewhere.

                As for Paul Walker being right wing, he basically claimed ownership of right wing credentials when in another thread he spouted on about what economists did and didn’t think in a defensive response to the post which suggested that right wingers thought such and such. ie he tied his economic theory flag firmly to the mast of right wing ideology.

                here’s the link.

                http://www.thestandard.org.nz/minimum-wage-myths-unemployment/#comment-188353

              • Is Paul Walker rightwing? Of course he is. he even describes himself as classical liberal, a rightwing ideology.

                Then why is classical liberalism rightwing?

              • “As for Paul Walker being right wing, he basically claimed ownership of right wing credentials when in another thread he spouted on about what economists did and didn’t think in a defensive response to the post which suggested that right wingers thought such and such. ie he tied his economic theory flag firmly to the mast of right wing ideology.”

                What I wrote was “Don’t lie Marty, no economist says this.” This seems obvious to me, I’m talking about the views of economists. Marty has attacked economists for views they don’t by and large hold.

                May be those views are “rightwing” but we need a definition of rightwing to know this. As far as I can see the term is useless.

              • pollywog

                It’s true that if you read political philosophy, it becomes unclear what right wing and left wing mean which says more about political philosophy than common understanding and use of the terms right and left as used in discussion and debate here and elsewhere.

                sheeit…polynesians dont have a chance eh ? just when we think we know our left from right on a level playing field, you move the goal posts :)

                captcha :isolated

              • Bill

                Moving the goalposts you say?

                Bit optimistic that, old chap.

                We’ve decided it’s cricket for now…at least until you get your pads on.

              • Lew

                Well, Bill, snoozer’s the one with the rulebook which supposedly makes it all plain. He can start reading from it any time he likes. In the interests of getting the historical origin of the terms right, it might be handy to begin at the bit where the liberals in 18th Century France sat on the right of the Legislative Assembly.

                L

              • Wender

                Jesus this lew guy is a tosser.

              • pollywog

                We’ve decided it’s cricket for now at least until you get your pads on.

                hah…yeah and look what happens when you let the polys play cricket without all the old boy school tie shit ?

                errr ross taylor anyone ?..yes please and more like him thanx :)

                captcha : successfully

              • Pascal's bookie

                This is all very silly.

                Paul you claim to be flummoxed by the idea that Classically Liberal views are right wing, and that you find right wing to be meaningless. Yet in this post, you write:

                In other words Soros is trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Or may be he just want economists to be even more left-wing.

                … the context being that by ‘more left wing’, you mean less of a belief in unchecked free markets. So I’m not quite sure why you object to the idea that a belief in less/non regulated markets is rightwing. Perhaps you could explain why the terminology confuses you so much in this conversation, but not in that one?

                And this:

                What I wrote was “Don’t lie Marty, no economist says this.’

                The point being that Marty said “right wingers claim…”.

                He didn’t claim that economists say that. You were equating right wingers with what economists think. So to turn around and say that you don’t know is meant by ‘right wingers’ is dishonest. Or it at least it looks so to me.

                For the last couple of weeks you’ve been accusing people of attacking strawmen with regard to the min wages effects on unemployment. The fact however, is that the claim is made. John Key made it for one when he said that they wouldn’t raise the MW by much because they wanted to protect jobs. Todd made a similar argument by implication, in this thread. But you never seem to feel the need to correct those comments. Again, this looks more like rhetoric than anything else.

                As you have so helpfully pointed out, the evidence for significant overall job losses is small, the effects that do appear are in many cases insignificant, and there is little data for the NZ context.

                So as I’ve said before, the data about job losses from min wages does not appear to be a particularly strong argument against min wages. The small effects that do exist, on job opportunities for a subset of workers, could be mitigated for in other policies like training etc. Perhaps this is what accounts for the cases where the effects are found to be insignificant.

                But I guess all this questioning what is meant by ‘right wing’ is a way not to talk about that. Or at least, that is how it appears.

                But perhaps we could test it?

                Perhaps if we popped out into the street and asked 100 people whether if certain things were left or right wing….

                -raising the minimum wage
                -abolishing the minimum wage
                -compulsory unionism
                - the privatisation of state assets
                -the nationalisation of private assets

                that sort of thing.

                I’m fairly confident that a strong pattern would emerge and it would show that certain things are seen as right wing, and others are left wing. I’d also say that there will be a high level of consensus about which is which.

                Do you honestly disagree that that would happen?

                If not, then the terms clearly have meaning. The meaning you yourself used in the post I link to above.

              • Bill

                ffs Lew.

                So you know what a fruit is, right? And do you know what a vegetable is? And do you know what cereals are?

                We use these terms to denote certain foods and don’t have much difficulty in understanding what each of us is referring to when using the terms. Right?

                But then you might go and study some botany or whatever and prior certainties fall apart. But that doesn’t alter the common understandings nor the utility of these terms for us in communicating information.

                Except that by your reckoning we have to discontinue ‘uneducated’ applications of our language

                So you can talk of left and right because you have studied the books.

                But by the same reckoning, unless you have done the requisite study you are never to employ the terms ‘fruit’, ‘vegetable’ or ‘cereal’ in meaningful conversation again.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable#Fruit_or_vegetable.3F

                In everyday, grocery-store, culinary language, the words “fruit” and “vegetable” are mutually exclusive; plant products that are called fruits are hardly ever classified as vegetables, and vice versa. For scientists, the word “fruit” has a precise botanical meaning (a part that developed from the ovary of a flowering plant), which is considerably different from its common meaning, and includes many poisonous fruits. While peaches, plums, and oranges are “fruits” in both senses, many items commonly called “vegetables” — such as eggplants, bell peppers, and tomatoes — are technically fruits, as are most cereals, as well as some spices like pepper and chillies. Some plant products, such as corn or peas, may be considered vegetables only while still unripe.

              • Deep deep

                Lew: “but the thing is that I actually work in political communication”

                Reminds me of Jake Quinn claiming he has been a press sec.

                Reading some newspapers and listening to some talkback does not make you a political player. You don’t work in political communication.

                Real players don’t do exaggerating their CVs to impress strangers on blogs.

              • Puddleglum

                I would have liked to have responded earlier but I ‘chose’ to work instead.

                Not sure where this comment will be placed but I wanted to reply to Paul Walker’s comment at 10:33am today.

                From your comment, Paul, I’m not sure if you align yourself with Isaiah Berlin’s pluralism or simply with the classical liberal notion of ‘negative liberty’ (i.e., freedom not to have others obstruct your plans for yourself) but, for what it’s worth…

                Berlin, if I remember correctly (it’s been a while), was really making the argument that people value lots of things – justice, equality, compassion, freedom, etc.. It’s pretty hard, according to him, to rank these in any particular hierarchy so it’s best not to make a fetish out of any one (or number) of them. Why? Because there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll end up finding yourself supporting or defending something that offends some other of your values or is just plane inhumane. It’s the ‘ends justify the means’ point. Interestingly, in his list of values people might be tempted to sacrifice others to, he included ‘even liberty’. (On this point, the last politician and political movement to employ an ‘ends justifies the means’ utopian rhetoric on a grand scale was Roger Douglas and supporters of ‘Rogernomics’ – the Promised Land always lay somewhere out there beyond the pain!).

                That, I think, is the danger inherent in liberal philosophy. That is, one person’s ‘liberty’ (area of unobstructed plans) is fetishistically defended in the political sphere even though it may result in injustice, inequality and simple inhumanity (That’s why I mentioned Locke’s support of colonialism and Mill’s unthinking paternalism and racism). It’s also interesting that Berlin approvingly cited Tawney saying something to the effect that the freedom of the physically or economically powerful must be constrained (Because of deeply held human values other than freedom).

                I have a lot of sympathy for Berlin’s analysis. He may have called himself a liberal but, on the strength of that essay, I’d call him a pluralist – which is actually something different, though related. In political terms, it means sometimes supporting legislation that is propelled by some other value than ‘negative freedom’ – though always with awareness that such freedom is, indeed, being sacrificed (as Berlin would say, we can’t have everything simultaneously). There are no guarantees that you’ll be supporting the ‘right’ thing at any one time, of course, but if you only ever support one thing (e.g., ‘negative freedom’) there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be ‘wrong’ quite a bit of the time given the diversity of deeply ‘imprinted’ human values.

                Life is actually just a series of ungrounded ethical acts (which, admittedly, is not a comforting idea). Let’s not pretend, then, that ‘reason’, ‘science’, ‘philosophy’, ‘religion’ or anything else ever justifies what we do to others in some absolute way and provides us a place to hide from the effects of our (free?) choices.

                Perhaps you’re actually a pluralist?

              • Lew

                Wender, see my earlier comments about giving a damn what you lot think.

                Bill, the only reason I raise the objection is that this is supposed to be a discussion by people who know what they’re talking about; folk who I thought could be expected to use terminology properly and knowledgeably. If I were a fruiterer in a conversation with grocers and market gardeners, I’d expect that. Apparently not here, though.

                Deep deep,

                Reading some newspapers and listening to some talkback does not make you a political player. You don’t work in political communication.

                If that was what I was talking about, you’d have a point. But that’s not what I do, and I wouldn’t consider that to qualify, either.

                Real players don’t do exaggerating their CVs to impress strangers on blogs.

                Fair cop. I’m not answerable to The Standard’s commentariat, and I could be making shit up anyhow, so yeah.

                Anyway, as Bookie says, it’s silly. I’m off to the beach. Enjoy your weekend, folks.

                L

              • Bill

                “….the only reason I raise the objection is that this is supposed to be a discussion by people who know what they’re talking about; folk who I thought could be expected to use terminology properly and knowledgeably. If I were a fruiterer in a conversation with grocers and market gardeners, I’d expect that. Apparently not here, though.”

                So now I must study botany before holding forth on a knowledgeable conversation on gardening or horticulture. More than that, I must be a fully accredited academic before contemplating entry into the grocery trade. And I better put away those gardening tools ’cause using words and assuming informal common meanings rather than specialised meanings when I use those words advertises the fact that I don’t know my arse from my elbow when it comes to growing veggies or fruit or whatever.

                Now if only I’d learned Latin I could content myself with flower arranging instead. (sigh)

                Maybe a spot of fishing will do the trick, but then since I haven’t studied marine biology or/and oceanography I wouldn’t know what to do there either. But never mind. I can console myself by buying fish and chips…. ah, but unless somebody posts the scientific name for Blue Cod I will obviously be regarded as an unintelligible moron and refused service by the eminently qualified local chippy owner.

              • “Or are you the kind of classical liberal who likes to claim that all the social progress made to date (e.g., closer to equality between the sexes and races, abolition of slavery, public sanitation, the welfare state, etc.) are demonstrations of what benefits liberal democratic societies can incrementally provide? If so, you might want to check the mobilised mass movements, radical political views of those actively pushing for these reforms and even the Christian (rather than ‘Liberal’) motivation of those involved. Oddly, there weren’t a lot of card-carrying ‘classical liberals’ manning the barricades for any of these causes (perhaps they were too busy manning the drawing rooms of their Tory friends and relations?).”

                Actually no. As an example heck the history of the term “dismal science”. It has to do with slavery and includes JS Mill.

              • From your comment, Paul, I’m not sure if you align yourself with Isaiah Berlin’s pluralism or simply with the classical liberal notion of ‘negative liberty’ (i.e., freedom not to have others obstruct your plans for yourself) but, for what it’s worth

                Just making the point that classical liberals went for negative liberty whereas modern liberals think more in terms of positive liberty.

              • “John Key made it for one when he said that they wouldn’t raise the MW by much because they wanted to protect jobs.”

                And he is right, raising the minimum wage wage will cause unemployment in that area of the wage distribution that is affect by such an increase. What it will not do is have much affect on the overall unemployment rate.

              • Puddleglum

                Thanks Paul. Yes, I was aware of Carlyle’s writing on slavery and Mill’s response. I’m also aware that Mill supported many reforms including formation of unions and the vote for women. People are complex. As Berlin pointed out in ‘two concepts’, Mill had two logically independent intellectual commitments: One to ‘negative freedom’ the other to a range of virtues which are not necessarily entailed in ‘negative freedom’. There’s a pretty good chance, for example, that his support for unions was based on some other value than ‘negative freedom’.

                But, you’re not quite right if you are implying that Mill was somehow a major influence on the ending of slavery. Formally, the slave trade was halted by the 1809 Act. Wilberforce’s first bill was defeated in 1778 prompting a flood of petitions to parliament from working class organisations and a 300,000 petition organised by women’s associations. By 1833 most slaves had been freed over those areas Britain ruled. Mill was born in 1806. He was indeed precocious but mostly in learning Aristotle rather than stopping the slave trade. And, he wrote his response to Carlyle’s 1849 defence of slavery (on economic grounds) sometime after, rather than before, slavery was a political issue in Britain. It was, of course, still an issue in the US, but it is hardly ‘sticking your neck out’ to criticise what’s happening in another country (particularly if it shines a positive light on your own country’s ‘enlightenment’).

                In an interesting aside that bears on my point about liberals, Wilberforce wasn’t pleased that slavery abolition became associated with radical groups such as the levellers and he was also keen that slave owners’ property rights should be protected (hence massive ‘compensation’ was need in the end – ‘bailouts’ are not a recent phenomenon). He also supported the 1795 Combinations Act that outlawed trade union and other radical activities.

                Still, you’re right. Mill’s heart was often in the right place.

              • Pascal's bookie

                And he is right, raising the minimum wage wage will cause unemployment in that area of the wage distribution that is affect by such an increase. What it will not do is have much affect on the overall unemployment rate.

                But he doesn’t make that distinction Paul. It is not at all clear that he intends to. Which leaves the impression that the unemployment rate will be affected. What’s more you have previously told me that we don’t have the data in NZ to be sure about this effect in our conditons. Perhaps we would be one of those groups where the effect is insignificant. So I don’t think the data supports ‘he is right’. At best, he is possibly right, if you squint, and read him in the most charitable way possible.

                And from our previous discussions, doesn’t the research show that there will be a loss of ‘employment opportunities’ in the affected groups? That seems to me to be a different thing from a loss of existing jobs. If they meant to say that there would be increased unemployment, why change the terminology?

                But let’s leave that for the moment, and perhaps you could explain what you meant by Soros maybe wanting “economists to be even more left wing.”

              • “But let’s leave that for the moment, and perhaps you could explain what you meant by Soros maybe wanting “economists to be even more left wing.’”

                From what I remember all that I meant was being more like Soros. Whether or not Soros thinks he is leftwing I don’t know and he could well argue that the term doesn’t apply to him. And given the meaninglessness of the term he would have a point.

              • Pascal's bookie

                From what I remember all that I meant was being more like Soros. Whether or not Soros thinks he is leftwing I don’t know and he could well argue that the term doesn’t apply to him. And given the meaninglessness of the term he would have a point.

                That’s special. Seeing you criticised snoozer for using the term ‘right wing’ and suggested that he meant by it just ‘things that you don’t like’, there is a certain irony there.

                From what you wrote however, the only implication I can see is that is that you thought, that moving from less regulation to more regulation is to move from the right to the left. On this natural understanding of the words you wrote, which I am certainly not criticising you for, Snoozer was using the terminology in exactly the way that you did.

                It seems that no matter which way you cut it, your alleged befuddlement is more about your rhetorical needs than anything substantive.

                But like I said, it’s all very silly and transparent, and it’s a too beautiful day to waste it dismembering right wing sophistry.

              • That’s special. Seeing you criticised snoozer for using the term ‘right wing’ and suggested that he meant by it just ‘things that you don’t like’, there is a certain irony there.

                No, in both cases a reasonable response would be that the term is meaningless. I’m guessing that when snoozer uses the term rightwing he just means “things I don’t like”. Other than that I don’t see what meaning it, or leftwing, really has.

            • Paul Walker 2.1.2.1.1.2

              “But he doesn’t make that distinction Paul. It is not at all clear that he intends to. Which leaves the impression that the unemployment rate will be affected.”

              Whether or not he means to make the distinction doesn’t mean he isn’t right. He may well be right by accident.

              “What’s more you have previously told me that we don’t have the data in NZ to be sure about this effect in our conditons. Perhaps we would be one of those groups where the effect is insignificant. So I don’t think the data supports ‘he is right’. At best, he is possibly right, if you squint, and read him in the most charitable way possible.”

              It isn’t clear why New Zealand would be any different from the rest of the world with regard to labour markets.

              “And from our previous discussions, doesn’t the research show that there will be a loss of ‘employment opportunities’ in the affected groups? That seems to me to be a different thing from a loss of existing jobs. If they meant to say that there would be increased unemployment, why change the terminology?”‘

              As I said be fore you will get both. People may well lose jobs and employers will be less willing to offer new jobs at the higher minimum wage.

              • Pascal's bookie

                “It isn’t clear why New Zealand would be any different from the rest of the world with regard to labour markets.”

                But the study review you have been so diligently quoting noted that in many cases the effect was insignificant, if it existed at all. “the rest of the world” is not uniform.

                But in any case, the argument is not strong. The effects are small, localised, and can be mitigated.

                That’s not to say that there aren’t other, better arguments of course, but just that this one, that gets used most often, in sloppy ways that overstate it’s strength; is not particularly convincing to me given the evidence you have presented.

              • “But the study review you have been so diligently quoting noted that in many cases the effect was insignificant, if it existed at all. “the rest of the world’ is not uniform.”

                To quote again from a paper Marty G quotes from:

                “We review the burgeoning literature on the employment effects of minimum wages in the United States and in other countries that was spurred by the new minimum wage research beginning in the early 1990s. Our review indicates that there is a wide range of existing estimates and, accordingly, a lack of consensus about the overall effects on low-wage employment of an increase in the minimum wage. However, the oft-stated assertion that recent research fails to support the traditional view that the minimum wage reduces the employment of low-wage workers is clearly incorrect. A sizable majority of the studies surveyed in this monograph give a relatively consistent (although not always statistically significant) indication of negative employment effects of minimum wages. In addition, among the papers we view as providing the most credible evidence, almost all point to negative employment effects, both for the United States as well as for many other countries. Two other important conclusions emerge from our review. First, we see very few if any studies that provide convincing evidence of positive employment effects of minimum wages, especially from those studies that focus on the broader groups (rather than a narrow industry) for which the competitive model predicts disemployment effects. Second, the studies that focus on the least-skilled groups provide relatively overwhelming evidence of stronger disemployment effects for these groups.’

                The bits in bold being the point.

      • SHG 2.1.3

        Cool, can we raise the minimum wage to, say, $100K per annum? That would be totally sweet.

        • snoozer 2.1.3.1

          that stupid reductio ad absurdum has been knocked down every time you idiots have put it up. Come up with something new.

          • Paul Walker 2.1.3.1.1

            No it makes a point. The little or no effect you see on the overall unemployment rate is, in part, because the increases in the minimum wage aren’t that big. If you were to make huge increases in the minimum wage you would get effects on the overall level of unemployment. So there are limits to the increases in minimum wage which don’t show up much in the overall unemployment figures.

            • felix 2.1.3.1.1.1

              The “stupid reductio ad absurdum” snoozer refers to is the idea – frequently voiced here – that if huge increases (way huger than anyone sensibly suggests) in the minimum wage are impossible due to impacts on employment then small increases (the kind we actually talk about most of the time) are also impossible for the same reason.

              I realise you’re not making that argument but many here do.

            • snoozer 2.1.3.1.1.2

              of course there are limits to how much you could increase it before it became damaging to employment. Water’s good you for but if you drink too much you’ll die.

              No-one is talking about a $50 minimum wage. Except you stupid buggers who have no evidence that increasing the minimum wage to $15 would damage employment. that’s why, in your intellectual laziness and incapability, you fall back on reductio ad absurdum.

              • BLiP

                No evidence!

                Machin and Manning (ILRR 47/2 1994) “the minimum wage has either no effect or a positive effect on employment’.

                Stewart (JEEA 2/1 2004) “No significant adverse employment effects are found for any of the four demographic groups considered (adult and youth, men and women) or in any of the three data sets used’

                Metcalf (JIR 50/3 2008) Why has the British National Minimum Wage had Little or No Impact on Employment?

              • BLiP

                Ooops – misread you comment. That’s actually evidence that the $15 would have little if any effect.

        • pollywog 2.1.3.2

          Cool, can we raise the minimum wage to, say, $100K per annum? That would be totally sweet.

          sure, but then you’d have to raise everyone elses wages proportionately and adjust the prices of everything…endgame being, the working poor would still be poor, the non working rich would still be rich and a whole bunch of lawyers, accountants and private consultants could join them

          captcha : advance

          how does the puter randomly generate relevent anti-bot words…ghost in the machine ?

    • Clarke 2.2

      Yeah, that 25 cents an hour made all the difference. Idiot.

  3. todd 3

    I just had to let some one go as my turnover /cost ratio is below my banking covenat so it was either increase turnover or reduce costs,so unfortunatly a cleaner on $14.50 lost her job.

    • Clarke 3.1

      That’s a pity, both for your company and the cleaner involved, but the 25 cent/hour change in the minimum wage would only have been a minor factor, I presume

      • Bright Red 3.1.1

        considering
        a) the minimum wage increase hasn’t come into effect yet and
        b) the cleaner was getting above the minimum wage

        I don’t see how it can have had any effect.

        • Bed Rater 3.1.1.1

          I don’t think Todd said his decision to reduce staff was affected by the recent MW increase. You just saw a businessman discussing the realities of business and let your emotions get the better of you.

          for shame.

          • Bright Red 3.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t say anything emotional.

            Todd was the one who bought up the minimum wage.

    • snoozer 3.2

      so, what you’re saying is that increasing the minimum wage to $13.75 or even $14.50 wouldn’t have changed that. In fact, the minimum wage had nothing to do with it – the job disappeared with the minimum wage at $12.50.

      There are always crappy businesses that can’t make a fist of things. There are always jobs disappearing as a result. There are always new jobs being created in other businesses.

      But there is no evidence that increasing the minimum wage in the ranges that we’re talking increases the unemployment rate.

  4. todd 4

    The problem is its mr joe average who comes in here to buy my product knows everybody is strugling to sell, so joe average wont pay me what i ask.He tells me what they will pay and doesnt give a toss about my costs.Thats the real world we live in at the moment

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      That applies to everyone. Wages have gone down over the last year or so and now there are many people not being paid enough to cover their costs. Unfortunately, nobody, especially economists it seems, think that there is a minimum cost to living and that any amount will do.

  5. todd 5

    Let me ask this question to all you on here.How many of you willingly pay what price business wants for its goods?.
    Human nature tells me that if you think the business is struggling to sell their product to customer tries to negotiate,thats fine but it doent make workers jobe any more secure.

    • Bored 5.1

      Todd, you are quite correct if you carry on with the current paradigm of free markets being the only viable model. There are alternatives that might be more appropriate, but not so “desirable”.

      You might want to read the Archdruidreport of a few weeks ago (Google it) on how medieval guilds controlled supply, demand, price, and quality. It pretty much explodes the popular perception that the single model of market dynamics we live under is the only workable of validated model.

  6. Bright Red 6

    I see the number of jobless is now just 11,000 below its all-time peak – in 1991, the last time National was in power.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    A lot of our problem is the value of our dollar caused by the carry-trade in the US. This has having a substantial impact on both exports and tourism through no fault of our own. Thankfully, the Euro is decreasing at the moment, causing the US dollar to strengthen in sympathy, thanks largely to the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) or if you prefer it, the STUPID (Spain, Turkey, UK, Portugal, Italy and Dubai).

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      Yeah. About that consensus on monetary policy….

    • Bored 7.2

      TS, it might help if you used the term “carry-trade” in a language that the readers can understand. Your analysis is valid and looks quite correct to me BUT for the benefit of the rest of us it translates as “the price we can get for our money is down to speculation about, and actual trades of liquid capital loaned at point A , and on-loaned for at point B (at a higher rate)”.

      This speculative activity trumps actual export trade linked to production world wide many times. It is a silly system, although John Key might disagree justifiably by showing us how well his bank account did out of doing it.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      So ban the carry trade – it’s not as if it actually produces any wealth.

  8. Joshua 8

    Also interesting BrightRed is that both of those figures were reached only one year after National took over from a Labour Government – working with a lag time of 18 months before fiscal and monetary policy start to have an effect on the economy you might want to re-think your comment.

    The figures are bad, yes, but why criticise the guy for taking a holiday over Christmas with his family? Should we just imprison him in the beehive and tell him he cannot leave until unemployment is zero and we live in a socialist utopia?

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Once again, the problem is not that he took a holiday, the problem is the frequency at which he does it.

      Also Helen tended to holiday in NZ because she genuinely loved the country, whereas John Key, Minister for Tourism, would rather tour others.

      • lprent 8.1.1

        She did a few trips offshore usually so she could talk to someone or climb a bloody large hill. But most of her holidays were in NZ – out of cell coverage.

    • Bright Red 8.2

      Josh. Source on 18 month lag?

      no. no source. Just pulled out of your arse because it suits you.

      In fact, monetary policy ahs a very quick effect and even a stimulus package (fiscal policy) like Rudd’s only take a few months.

  9. Boris Clarkov 9

    Such a shame that all those good people are now forced to reap what ten years of Labour sowed.

    [lprent: The return of the idiot trolling with factless and inaccurate canned lines. For instance Labour was in power for nine years not ten. That statement alone makes you look like total Jerkov rather than a Clarkov.

    May I suggest that you'd be better off at whatever the name of Whales ego site is these days. I'm a IrishBill level grumpy today and I suspect you might have a short survival with mindless comments like this. ]

  10. torydog 10

    Apparently the unemployment rate has gone up by 22 thousand people because we had 22 thou immigrants……nothing to do with lack of jobs…….!!! Pathetic!

    • Bright Red 10.1

      employment dropped 2,000. It needs to increase by about 5-10,000 a quarter to keep the unemployment rate steady… and then there was higher net immigration.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 10.1.1

        They knew that migration was increasing, but did nothing to plan for it. The next crisis we will be facing will be a housing crisis and they have been passive about that too.
        BTW When is John W. Key heading back to Crawford next? Bill and Paula you’re doing a heck of a job.

  11. BTW When is John W. Key heading back to Crawford next? Bill and Paula you’re doing a heck of a job.

    Don’t you mean “hiueck of a juaarrb, Brownlee”?

    • Mr Magoo 11.1

      haha.

      That was actually quite good. He does have more in common than bush so far. Certainly moreso than Obama

      One has to remember he is missing a war and terrorist attack here. Otherwise he is very similar with the style and delivery of policy!

      Had he his war and attack, I have no doubt the parallels would gag worthy.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.1.1

        I was thinking of the economic magic pudding through tax cuts they both offer. No we have our own ‘No child Left Behind’ policy.

        What the hcek, they’re both good blokes, lets just vote for them.

  12. bobo 12

    Its nice to see the nz dollar drop but not at the expense of more people losing their jobs… The forecast was way out which is concerning that they haven’t got a clue really what the peak unemployment rate will be and blaming it on immigration increase is a pathetic cop out even by nationals standards.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    Bored “TS, it might help if you used the term “carry-trade’ in a language that the readers can understand. Your analysis is valid and looks quite correct to me BUT for the benefit of the rest of us it translates as “the price we can get for our money is down to speculation about, and actual trades of liquid capital loaned at point A , and on-loaned for at point B (at a higher rate)’.

    Thanks for that, Bored.

    I think the carry-trade may not be a problem for too much longer. The 50 day moving average for the Euro/USD is about to cross the 200 day moving average for only the second time in the last five years. The last time that happened, the NZD went down to under 50c US during the crash. At that time the Euro plummeted from 1.55 to 1.20 USD.

    If anyone wants a tip, its a great time to short the Euro at the moment. For a few hundy you can do it through bull put option spreads on the FXE.

  14. Bored 14

    Now off to do a Key!!!!!! Thanks.

    • tsmithfield 14.1

      No problems. I do expect a commission when you make your fortune tho!!

      • bobo 14.1.1

        I don’t know much about currencies but wont the Greek crisis drag the euro down or is that long term?

        • tsmithfield 14.1.1.1

          Yes. That is what I was getting at. The Greek crisis has been damped down at the moment. Now all the attention is switching to Portugal. The big worry is when countries like Spain, which is a major Euro player, starts looking shaky. There doesn’t seem to be any quick solution to these problems which is why the Euro looks like such a good short.

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  • World News Brief, Wednesday July 30
    Top of the AgendaU.S., EU to Toughen Sanctions on Russia...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • Where are Labour’s billboards?
    On Sunday, I drove from Gisborne to Katikati, through Opotiki, Te Puke and Tauranga. Yesterday afternoon/evening, I made the return journey. One thing I noticed is that National Party billboards popped up regularly, mixtures of individual candidates’ billboards (simply stating...
    Occasionally erudite | 30-07
  • “Improving”
    End-of-Year process positive for Novopay, Steven Joyce, 17 January 2014:Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce says a 100 per cent completion rate for schools involved in the End-of-Year process and an accompanying low error rate are tributes to the hard...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • Farmers don’t set out to pollute our rivers
    It can be easy to vilify farmers. But no farmer sets out to create pollution, and the evidence suggests that many farmers are either already acting responsibly or that they are lifting their game. In particular, dairy farmers are acting....
    Gareth’s World | 30-07
  • Guide to economic evaluation part 3: What is agglomeration?
    Debates over major transport investments often get caught up in arguments over benefit-cost ratios, or BCRs. In recent years, projects such as the Transmission Gully and Puhoi to Warkworth motorways and the City Rail Link have been criticised for their...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Where to now for Colin and the Conservatives?
    It’s (almost*) official – there’s no deal for Colin Craig in East Coast Bays. Murray McCully will not be knifed, thrown under a bus or given concrete shoes to go swimming in. Given that Mr Craig had already accepted he...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-07
  • Real men say sorry
    There are a couple of universal truths that all men should be aware of. Firstly, it takes a bigger man to walk away. Of course men can be accused of being weak if they don't confront their problems with violence,...
    The Jackal | 29-07
  • Why my children took part in a playful protest against LEGO’s partner...