web analytics
The Standard

Asset sales: still bad

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, May 27th, 2012 - 16 comments
Categories: International, Privatisation, treasury - Tags:

Adding to the canon of reasons and commentators on why you don’t sell your assets (particularly to pay for your maintenance) is an excellent article on The Guardian.

It is an article exhorting the countries of the Arab Spring to resist Western countries pressure to implement neo-liberal economics in the name of ‘freedom’.

It cites sociologists from the universities of Cambridge and Harvard (the world’s top 2 universities) who:

claim to have established a “direct link” between the mass privatisation programmes followed by around half the countries of the region – enthusiastically urged upon them by western economists and western financial institutions – and the “economic failure and corruption that followed”. The more closely the countries followed western advice, and the more they privatised, the worse things became.

As those countries suffered an average 30% GDP slump and mass unemployment in the early 90s following western advice, their governments faced bankruptcy as they no longer had the income from their state assets.  State assets that were by then making a handful of oligarchs very rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of the citizens.  Corruption quickly worsened.

While coming from a world away from our position freedom-wise, it shows the fallacy of asset sales being the solution to pretty much anything.

I say our country is much more democratic, but worryingly Treasury had prepared their report on the “Mixed Ownership Model Bill” before the Select Committee had finished hearing submissions.  Apparently those citizens who took time to present their evidence on why asset sales weren’t a good idea weren’t going to affect the pre-ordained result.

Which hardly seems very democratic.

Best we get on with gathering signatures for the asset sales referendum to make sure we get our say.

16 comments on “Asset sales: still bad”

  1. bbfloyd 1

    “Which hardly seems democratic”… i generally agree with the thrust of your posts ben… and i agree with this one, but please, don’t waste time being polite about the national pseudo governments blatant abuse of democratic systems for their own ends….

    This was the failing of the labour party in the last term…. being far too polite in their criticism of what will prove to be the actions of criminals and charlatans….

    It leaves an impression of a lack of certainty… there can be no uncertainty when it comes to exposing nationals fascist tendencies, which form part of their basic political philosophy(if stealing from the poor to give to the rich can be called philosophy)….

  2. Johnm 2

    You can keep on talking and explaining ad infinitum to National why Asset Sales are crazy until you’re blue in the face but it makes no difference to their ideological Business is everything approach. They aren’t democratic and for the people only for their business mates.

    Basically a waste of breath, Apathetic self interested wealthier ,So long as I am alright, NZers voted this shower in! For them poorer kiwis are a nuisance best swept under the carpet

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Which hardly seems very democratic.

    We live in an elected dictatorship where the people who are supposed to work for us tell us to go get fucked instead. We need binding referendums so that shit like this can be stopped.

    • cin77 3.1

      There’s the problem with the referendum, its non-binding. The entire country could sign it and the assets would still be sold because of Keys mandate

      • tc 3.1.1

        Key has been very clear that election wins equals mandate for asset sales.

        He’s got less than 2 years to deliver on this so he can be rewarded by the business connections for the rest of his life….this is what they are driving towards, fuck the rest of nz and the long tern consequences.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        Yes, which is why I specifically said that we need binding referendums.

        • darkhorse 3.1.2.1

          Draco we don’t need referendums we need labour politicians to say no more than “If they are sold we will buy them back”.

          It is easy simple and it would cost less than the borrowing would have done anyway.

          And labour would finally be seen as having some spine and some vision.

          Referendums are just no-hoping wastes of time – everyone knows what the majority of NZer’s want and what all need – good governance and public ownership of public infrastructure

          I am off to my first labour party branch meeting tomorrow, I intend to make it interesting.

          We need to re-energise democracy – people need to start going to political party branch meetings.

  4. Herodotus 4

    Given that there is only 2 years to go until the next election, that IMO selling only one class of assets that it will get progressively more difficult to sell power stations we will face come 2014 the fact that only 2 of the 4 companies will be able to have been sold. So it will reduce the damage caused by such a poor policy.

  5. lefty 5

    The food market won’t deliver food to those with no money.

    The housing market won’t deliver housing to the poor.

    The vote every three years democracy market won’t deliver power to the people.

    Real democracy would be much deeper and broader.

    It would be present be in the decisions made by the workers determing how things were run in our workplaces, it would be reflected in how our communities functioned in facilitating the day to day interactions with each other, in the decisions that allocated resources, in an education system designed by us all to serve us all and deliver a society that valued thinking and ethics, in our health system that was designed by us to create a healthy environment as its starting point, in a justice system that started with equitable distribution of material goods ,equal access to opportunity and the rejection of privilige, in an agricultural system where the land was owned in common and farmed to produce healthy food for feeding us all rather than pay off bank loans for land transfers, in a foreign policy based on valuing the cultures and needs of our trading partner while carrying out mutually beneficial trading, and in our relationships with each other, especially those who have been colonised and ill treated in the past.

    We won’t get there by voting in the elaborate farce we go through every three years.

    • fascist-anti-fascist. 5.1

      Don’t you think that sounds a bit like communism or some other kind of fantasy-based rubbish? You’d probably achieve more if you focussed on one or two points rather than empty rhetoric about all these changes be made at once. That just won’t happen.

      Everyone gets it – times are tough. But focus on particular examples at least. Your whole point just reads like a boring rant from a self-entitled sloganist.

  6. Dr Terry 6

    Keep this going! I am encouraged by these lines of thinking.(At last, I find that some New Zealanders still do think!)

  7. Why doesn’t labour just come and say sell them and we will buy them back at what ever they were sold for or the current market value – which ever is the lesser.

    This will cost nothing as one way or another the government is going to rack up the cost of the buy back in debt if it doesn’t sell the assets.  And debt will be cheaper for the taxpayer to service than the increase in electricity costs caused by the assets sales.

    Promising a buy back will also kill the market for these assets.  It will spike JK’s guns on this issue and make him look (more) stupid. 

    It will also show that Labour has some grit in its guts – and not before time!

    we don’t need referendums or petitions we just need some politicians in the labour party to develop sufficient stamina to state that anything national does labour will undo – simple cheap effective – and a vote winner

    http://howdaft.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/subsidising-capital-markets-though.html 

    • Roy 7.1

      Excellent idea!

    • fascist-anti-fascist. 7.2

      Well, to start with, your link doesn’t work.

      Secondly, Labour can’t guarantee that they will be able to force people to sell land: that is what the Crown used to do back in the days when it confiscated all that land illegally and were forced to apologize and give it back to Maori, but we would become a banana republic if we tried to run a country with stupid destructive policies like that in the 21st Century.

      Better to get out there and go Greek, like Bill English said to. Right after John Key asked a bunch of wealthy business men why they wouldn’t want to purchase his “smart people”.

      [Change your handle or all your comments will drop into moderation. – B.]

  8. fascist-anti-fascist. 8

    Europe is collapsing into debt crisis because of the kind of big government that steps in to intervene and subsidize everything, frequently using borrowed money to fund unprofitable ventures like buying and selling assets to jostle for political power.

    Democracy is in crisis because young people are convinced they can just demand money without being productive themselves. You can’t expect the government to give you a job or a free university education, without you paying more money as tax. The government of a small nation like NZ has limited capital and it is currently going to pensions and benefits in unsustainable numbers.

    A glut created by excess mortgage debt from baby boomers is behind the economic stagnation that explains why you will struggle to find a job with a sufficient salary to pay off your student debt.

    Stimulating the economy will not work the way it used to during the Clark years and that is why Labour can’t front a strong opposition without some new ideas.

    And your idea to generate this money to pay for spending is? Tax the rich? Um, yeah.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    32 mins ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    34 mins ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    37 mins ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    3 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    4 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    4 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    4 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    4 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    5 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    5 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    5 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    6 days ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    7 days ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    7 days ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    1 week ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    2 weeks ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere