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Bernard Hickey – Ouch!

Written By: - Date published: 6:34 am, April 2nd, 2012 - 273 comments
Categories: economy, john key, national, newspapers - Tags:

Bernard Hickey has a great piece in the Herald on Sunday that you shouldn’t miss.

Starting with:

looking at the charts from Treasury’s Monthly Economic Indicators pack just made me angry.

They show how irresponsible John Key’s Government has become in the pursuit of pleasing its wealthy backers.

It is clear now that the Government has effectively cut the income tax rate and paid for it by borrowing money overseas, in large part from China. It is an act of economic treason and generational selfishness when a government has decided an already-wealthy part of the population deserves higher incomes paid for by loading foreign debt on future generations of taxpayers.

and finishing with:

Voters will have to repay this debt in decades to come. Why are they not revolting at this national act of selfishness?

it’s a powerful indictment of National’s economic record.

It’ll be interesting to see any National supporters’ response to it.

273 comments on “Bernard Hickey – Ouch!”

  1. Jenny 1

    Time for Labour to make some real gains, by promoting policies in direct opposition to National’s pandering to the wealthy.

    Remove GST on Food

    Cut GST back to 10 per cent.

    Make the first $5000 tax free.

    Bring in a comprehensive CGT

    • Jenny 1.1

      ….. and tax the financial speculators, whose economy busting profits are completely tax free.

      • Rosie 1.1.1

        I second all of the above Jenny. What an immense difference it would make to people’s lives if we achieved tax justice.

        • Anthony Bull 1.1.1.1

          What is tax justice? Is it a flat tax?

          Surely you will never get that when everyone in the country pays different amounts of tax?

        • KJT 1.1.1.2

          Why stop at that.

          Really implement policies that will bring us back into the first world.

          GMFI, Public banking, (Works for that communist State, North Dakota) State control of banks, strategic macro economic planning instead of the “leave it to the market” mantra ( A COE of a firm would be sacked if he “left it to the market”), sensible amounts of support for local industry and innovation (Like all successful countries in the past and now), progressive tax rates that prevent dysfunctional accumulation of wealth and makes those who benefit most from our society pay their share, (CGT, FTT and inheritance taxes allowing us to, eventually, reduce GST and income tax) and working towards an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable economy. ( including a true democracy).

          We Greens are generous. Labour can borrow our policies.

  2. tc 2

    Easy to write this now how about 6 months ago where it could’ve made a difference as the numbers were in by then.
    Looks like the party line in Granny has changed pity it doesn’t change to ‘call it as it is’ all the time.

  3. Voters will have to repay this debt in decades to come. Why are they not revolting at this national act of selfishness?

    Voters did revolt – in November, at the thought of even more Labour and Green debt.

    • So Petey

      You may remember that many of us thought the “fiscally neutral” budget was a lie and that debt would increase.  Seems like we were right.

      As the representative of United Follicles care to apologise? 

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Yeah Pete George, is that because you think “Green Debt” is more expensive and heavier than all of Key and English’s better, brand new “Blue Debt”.

    • Te Reo Putake 3.3

      Reduced to lying now, Pete? How sad.

      • Pete George 3.3.1

        It’s not a lie, it’s widely understood basics. National increased their support, Labour lost. Despite asset sales policies and campaigning.

        Are you claiming a Labour/Green government would have managed less debt than a National government? If so you’re effectively accusing many voters of ‘lying”.

        It’s the economy, stupid. Labour’s economic approach appeared to be too stupid. And Green’s economy has never been seen as credible by many.

        • Te Reo Putake 3.3.1.1

          The lie is about the debt, fool. The last Labour led Government (which included UF, remember?) reduced debt. It’s this Government (which includes UF, remember?) that has vastly increased debt so that the rich can have more money.

          • Pete George 3.3.1.1.1

            You’re referring to very different international economic conditions. We were already headed to recession and increased debt when Labour were still in power. Labour’s belated tax cuts took effect after they lost power.

            If Labour/Greens had won the 2011 election do you think the country would have a better debt outlook now? And I don’t mean just moving taxs around more, I mean the overall debt outlook? Even Goff didn’t claim Labour would have been better than National on debt.

            • Te Reo Putake 3.3.1.1.1.1

              “Even Goff didn’t claim Labour would have been better than National on debt.”
               
              Jeez, settle down, Pete. Goff did claim exactly that, for the obvious reason that it’s true. He was part of a 9 year Government that brought debt levels down to bugger all, remember?

            • Ed 3.3.1.1.1.2

              The tax reduction for the wealthy was not offset by the increase in GST. The government promised it would be “revenue neutral” – and Treasury estimates put the annual cost at around 5% of GDP. Did United Future (with an Associate Finance Minister) object to that lie, Pete?

            • mickysavage 3.3.1.1.1.3

              So Petey it is more important to fool people into thinking your side are good financial managers and to then stuff things up than it is to be honest with the electorate but attract less support because the idiots on the other side are promising more lollies?

              • That’s one of your biggest jokes yet savagemicky.

                Anyone remember interest free student loan lollies? Or WFF lollies? Or GST-less food lollies? Or minimum wage lollies?

                • You mean assistance for the poor funded by a properly working tax system?  Yes I remember those policies with pride.

                  The situation was so much better then, more people paid a fair share and the poorer were given help and the state saved money for our retirement.

                  Contrast that to now where the wealthy are benefitting, the poor are facing cuts and the state is running up debt.

                  Can’t you do any better than this Petey? 

                  • So lollies are ok when you choose who to hand them out to?

                    Our tax and benefit system is a mess. Far too complex, and far to many of the wrong sorts of incentives and too many discentives. And yes, that enables and encourages rorts by people from poor to rich.

                    Just yesterday Phil Ure was saying he didn’t work because the benefit was too lucrative in comparison to supporting himeself and his son. Not that he should be doing everything possible to support himself, but comparing “entitlements” with earned wages on a purely monetary basis.

                    • Slap Shot

                      It appears that you understand neither taxation nor welfare. I guess that puts you in the same boat as most New Zealanders.

                    • Dr Terry

                      This is not really a reply, I would not dignify a human like Pete with any reply, ever. My question goes to the Standard, “How is it that you allow such a person to utterly dominate comments in this manner?” I mean, the man is simply not worth taking seriously, I suggest people stop taking the bait.

                      The thing that I ponder is, “Why ever is there NOT a revolution in this country?” We seem to feed on endless punishment.

                  • Gosman

                    How is interest free student loans a policy benefiting the poor?

                    • prism

                      Gosman I think a study of your maths and economic would allow you to answer your own provocative question. What were you doing in class when supposed to be studying? Duh!

                    • Gosman

                      Please tell me Prism how Interest free Student loans benefit the poor?

                    • McFlock

                      Gosman, can you really not understand why lowering the cost of something makes it more accessible to poor people?
                           
                      [cue troll's semantic debate about the precise definitions of "cost", "poor" and/or "stupid sociopathic f***tard"]

                    • Gosman

                      Following that logic McCock funding the Concert Programme is a policy designed to benefit the poor as well. I am sure there a tens of thousands of households in places like South Auckland listening to it.

                    • McFlock

                      Possibly not as important as education, but accessible to all regardless of income nonetheless, yes.  Not everyone gets a tertiary education, either. 
                        
                      But if they need either, they can get it. But a Tin Man like you will never have a heart, so the concept of that being a good thing is incomprehensible to you.

                    • Gosman

                      So very funny McFlop. The idea that the Concert Programme is some sort of social welfare service for the poor benighted masses out there rather than just a representation of middle and upper class cultural snobbery is classic comedy. If pointing this out makes me heartless then I am guilty as charged.

                    • McFlock

                      No. Your assumption (indeed, your reliance on it as an absurdity borders on adamant assertion) that no poor people like classical music makes you guilty as charged. 
                              
                      Next you’ll be saying no brown people like classical music.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Pete can’t do better, Micky, because Peter Dunne was wholeheartedly in favour of Labour’s policies, when they were paying his minsterial salary. Now that the ‘do has opted for a blue rinse, he’s completely opposed to those policies. UF has always been at war with Eurasia.

            • KJT 3.3.1.1.1.4

              It is not the debt you twit, it is what it is spent on.

              Debt is required in a recession to keep things going. Though I would prefer we did what NZ did in the 30’s and borrow the debt against ourselves.

              Spending it on tax cuts for those who hoard it, spend it overseas or on pushing up the prices of existing assets, is inter generational theft. (Hickey is right on that one) From the poor of the next generation, to the wealthy of this one.

              NZ may not have had a better debt outlook, but we would have had a much better future income to pay it.

        • AAMC 3.3.1.2

          You should broaden your reading Pete, given that the economic model you espouse has failed, you could start here I’m regards to Deficit spending and Austerity… Your neoclassical model doesn’t work, when are you believers going to cath onto this?

          http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=18765

          • Gosman 3.3.1.2.1

            Ditto AAMC.

            Have a read of this http://wcoats.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/saving-greece-austerity-andor-growth/

            You might understand the issue slightly better after that.

            • AAMC 3.3.1.2.1.1

              “First, its government spends more than it can pay for without borrowing” – or perhaps resolving it’s history of tax avoidance..

              “Greece’s second major problem is its low productivity and uncompetitive prices.” – a trap of the Euro and the inadequacies of the Maastricht Treaty, various USA states are less productive or competitive than others, the structure of their Republic allows the swaps necessary to deal with this. It has been very convenient to Germany for Greeks to borrow their money with which to buy their products.

              “Only when real wages can be reduced to competitive levels one way or another can Greece hope to grow out of its current problem.” – yes the joy of Globalization, we now all have Chinese sweat shop wages to look forward to..

              “All serious students of the Greek situation agree with this.” – correction, all believers in the neo-liberal status quo believe this..

              “Iceland and Ireland are well on their way to recovery from their debt disasters.” – Iceland through default, Ireland…. bullshit!

              Some slides for you graphing how the private sector relies on Public sector deficits and visa versa..

              http://www.slideshare.net/MitchGreen/mmt-basics-you-cannot-consider-the-deficit-in-isolation

              “The Greek crisis is being used to find out how far finance can drive down
              wages and privatize the public sector.

              Michael Hudson interviewed”

              http://michael-hudson.com/2012/02/greek-strategy/

              • Gosman

                Creating an efficient Tax collection system is standard neo-liberal policy so we are agreement on that point AAMC. Nice to see some common ground.

                As for your views on the evils of Globalisation, the big issue for Greece is not China but the rest of Europe. Again this is their own fault. They wanted to join the EEC and EU. What did they think they were getting in to when signing up for a free trade area?

                The rest of your post just reflects your political bias. I have yet to see you posting a solution to the problems in Greece. CV at least has tied it to a Socialist revolution.

                • AAMC

                  I don’t have a political bias Gosman, I don’t have any faith in any of them. But where the Left is incompetent, the Right is reckless! So for pragmatic reasons, when voting I’ll take the lesser evil.

                  You keep narrowing the broader discussion around debt and deficit down to Greece though.

                  Greece really only has the option of leaving the Euro, defaulting on it’s debt, devaluing and building fresh, but after Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy…. it’s our Global Ponzi that needs addressing!

                  • Gosman

                    Considering Greece isn’t really taking any of those options your are incorrect. Now I know you think they will probably be forced to do something along those lines. I await with anticipation them doing so but equally I’m not holding my breath that it will come about.

                    • AAMC

                      I’m not suggesting they will I’m suggesting they should.

                    • Gosman

                      You stated that Greece really only has those options you mentioned. That is plainly incorrect as it has the option it is currently following. I’m willing to bet that they aren’t going to do anything else in the next 5 years.

                    • AAMC

                      Semantics, there are clearly many things the could or can do, and you are very likely correct that the IMF model will be pursued, at the peril of the real economy and the citizenry, but these aren’t considerations to the Libertarian worldview are they, cause it’s your individual liberty your concerned with isn’t it, never mind all those pawns.

                      As I stated earlier, Market Stalinism.

                    • Gosman

                      I prefer to see myself as a market realist AAMC ;-)

                      I’m sure the Greeks are ruing all the times they voted for Corrupt Government’s who promised them prosperity but in the end delivered what they have now.

                      Perhaps they should have voted for a ‘true’ socialist party like you might prefer. I think they should have lived within their means myself and not borrowed to fund their inefficient State and bloated social welfare system.

                    • lprent []

                      I’m sure the Greeks are ruing all the times they voted for Corrupt Government’s who promised them prosperity but in the end delivered what they have now.

                      Wasn’t most of the greek debt accumulated under various corrupt “conservative” governments over the decades? Something you seem to be carefully ignoring. They are usually the corrupt ones (like the one we have here now).

                      The final bit of debt accumulation was under a socialist government, but that was pure luck in the game of ring-a-rosy about when there would be a global financial meltdown.

                      Greek economy
                      New Democracy party (liberal-conservative) election results.
                      Panhellenic Socialist Movement (social-democrats) election results

                      The ND conservatives were government from 2004-2009 for instance. So look at the key graphs…
                      Public debt
                      Social expenditure expenditures

                      Looks like the problem was the usual conservative spendthrifts, just like it tends to be here as well.

                      (ie you are so full of bullshit)

                    • AAMC

                      Don’t put the phrase “true socialism” in my mouth. “Market realist”, so how then does that reconcile with Greece dealing with it’s debt with 130 billion Euro’s more debt? Doesn’t feel like that new debt in conjunction with a deepening Depression are likely to create and realistic solutions to their debt..

                    • Gosman

                      In case you didn’t notice AAMC, (and seemingly you haven’t for some reason), the recent plan for the bailout of Greece involved private investors taking up to a 70 percent cut in the value of their loans and them being refinanced at a much lower rate of interest. The bailout isn’t simply forcing more money from the Greeks to pay the likes of Goldman Sachs as much as leftists would like to portray it.

                      BTW I call it as I see it AAMC. I stated that you might like something not that you do. I base this on the fact that you seem to be a hard core leftist given your comments on various blogs. You might disagree but a Donkey might think itself a Stallion but it doesn’t make it one.

                    • Gosman

                      You’re assuming I make a distinction between Big Government Conservatives and Big Government Socialists in terms of economic theory – I don’t. Just as George W Bush was worse for the economy than the supposedly more left leaning Bill Clinton because he couldn’t control the deficit.

                    • AAMC

                      That didn’t pass me by Gosman, doesn’t take away from the fact that 130 billion more debt and Austerity worsening their depression won’t solve their debt problem. And remember, that bailout money is going straight into the coffers of private banks, so they took a haircut, and received a bailout..

                      “Even after private sector involvement, Greece’s public debt will be unsustainable at close to 140 per cent of gross domestic product: at best, it will fall to 120 per cent by 2020 and could rise as high as 160 per cent of GDP. Why? A “haircut” of €110bn on privately held bonds is matched by an increase of €130bn in the debt Greece owes to official creditors. A significant part of this increase in Greece’s official debt goes to bail out private creditors: €30bn for upfront cash sweeteners on the new bonds that effectively guarantee much of their face value. Any future further haircuts to make Greek debt sustainable will therefore fall disproportionately on the growing claims of the official sector. Loans of at least €25bn from the European Financial Stability Facility to the Greek government will go towards recapitalising banks in a scheme that will keep those banks in private hands and allow shareholders to buy back any public capital injection with sweetly priced warrants.”

                      http://www.economonitor.com/nouriel/2012/03/07/greeces-private-creditors-are-the-lucky-ones/

          • Gosman 3.3.1.2.2

            By the way, the person writing that blog piece has very little understanding of the situation in Zimbabwe. Which is kind of funny given he was criticising someone else of having little understanding of the situation in Zimbabwe.

            • Frank Macskasy 3.3.1.2.2.1

              But do you have an understanding of Somalia being probably the closest we’ll ever come to a Libertarian state? Haven’t you practically admitted as such, Gosman?

              • Gosman

                Ummmmm…. no. We had a big discussion on this and eventually you agreed that Somalia was missing a key component of a libertarian state (namely the rule of law in the protection of private property rights) and was also structured in such a way where clan connections were more important than individual rights. Remember we discussed how Anarchy does not equal Libertarianism. I have the feeling that you are getting a bit forgetful in your dotage Frank.

                • Ummmm, no. That was you, Gosman. I merely congratulated for for finally recognising the obvious. Part of the obvious being that no libertarian state has ever existed in the modern world.

                  Why do you think that is, Gosman?

                  • Gosman

                    I’ve told you that I’m not a hard core libertarian so I’m not sure why you are even asking me this question. It would also be like asking a leftist like CV or DTB why no true Communist state has ever really existed. A pointless distraction much like most of your blog posts.

                • KJT

                  Libertarianism. And the State intervening to guarantee property rights. Ummm

                  Funny how the advocates of Liberty always want a repressive authoritarian State apparatus to protect their ill gotten gains.

                  • Gosman

                    There is a strain of libertarianism that doesn’t even support the concept of a state to protect property rights. This is more like the Anarchist wing of the hard core left though. Noone really takes them very seriously.

                    • Kleefer

                      You’ll be interested to know that Somalia has actually improved in a number of measures of living standards since the collapse of the state that previously ruled it.

                    • McFlock

                      @ kleefer

                      lol
                       

        • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.3

          National increased their support

          National’s majority in Parliament decreased in Nov 2011, Petey, not increased. Just like the quantity of truth you dole out.

    • RedLogix 3.4

      National’s debt is the result of tax cuts, expenditure cuts and the resulting shrinking of the economy. This is structural. In other words its locked in because the illusory recovery Bill keeps promising us will never happen.

      The left simply said we will raise taxes, get the government spending again, the economy will recover…. and the debt will dissapear.

      Public sector spending is always the most reliable wealth generator.

      • Gosman 3.4.1

        As the Greeks discovered. Oh wait a minute….

        • Pascal's bookie 3.4.1.1

          How’s austerity working as a response? Anywhere.

          • Gosman 3.4.1.1.1

            Different topic entirely. The point is the Greeks had no problem with large amounts of Government spending in the past. How did that work out for them again?

            • Pascal's bookie 3.4.1.1.1.1

              It’s a different topic from the one you’d like to change to the subject to perhaps, I’ll grant you that.

          • Gosman 3.4.1.1.2

            Anybody else not looking at cutbacks? Spain has just proposed a new budget. What are they doing again?

            • Pascal's bookie 3.4.1.1.2.1

              We’ve had several years of austerity being tried in various places. How is it going? Are the deficits getting smaller in greece, for example?

              • Gosman

                It was never going to get smaller in the short term as they had been living in a left wing dream world for far too long. The problem is dealing with the long term structural problems with the economy. You don’t spend your way out of that.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  But in the short term, how do you escape the paradox of thrift? It’s a death spiral.

                  And no, Greece wasn’t living in a left wing dream world. I can’t thinkl of any lefties who say you shouldn’t collect legislated taxes.

                  • Gosman

                    It’s not a death spiral. Economic activity in a country is unlikely to stop especially if it is a location which is the only homeland for a specific culture such as Greece. There will likely be a minimum level of economic activity that they can build up from. Regardless of this, unless they decide to opt out of the world economy, there isn’t much else they could have done without their own currency. Even defaulting on their debt obligations completely would have still left them with the painful choice of having to cut their Government spending massively.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      We’re not greece. Fuck all places are Greece, actually.

                      But you’ve not adressed the paradox of thrift other then to say ‘don’t worry about it’.

                      What drives business investment? Is it demand/ is it confidence about the future? where does such business confidence come from?

                      What happens to demand when you slash wages, and government spending, in the context of a recession?

                      Will investors invest in an economy with shrinking demand? Or will they retrench?

                    • Gosman

                      Given the fact that Greece hasn’t got control of it’s monetary supply PB they have no option apart from Austerity. Even if they defaulted on all Government debts they would be forced to cut spending as noone would lend them any money. Did you bother reading that blog post I linked to. It pointed out the issues with Greece incredibly well.

                    • vto

                      “noone would lend them any money.”

                      You will be referring to fractional reserve money. That money is printed with no substance. I am sure the Greeks would be quite able to build a printing machine just like those churning out useless dollars and pounds and euros all across those privately owned printing machines in the northern hemisphere right now.

                      Problem solved. In the exact same manner.
                      So what’s the problem?

                    • Gosman

                      Essentially you are stating they would have to leave the Eurozone as well. This Economist article makes the argument why this this won’t be the best either. http://www.economist.com/node/21547750/print

                      I love your idea about printing money to resolve the problem of excessive government spending. So Weimar Republic. Have you got shares in a Wheelbarrow making company?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Yeah, I read the piece about Greece, and like I’ve said, we’re not Greece.

                      And you haven’t actually explained why Greece is relevant, or why we should be talking about Greece. My neighbour’s Greek, her family are on the phone all the time, I give a shit about Greece, but this aint about Greece. Greece is apretty much unique set of circumstances with villian all round. Germany aint blameless for starters, their trade surplusses didn’t happen by accident for one thing, and it wasn’t all about hard work. there was some smart work, much of it within their EU negotiators offices.

                      But like I said: Not relevant to NZ.

                    • Gosman

                      Greece is relevant because Redlogix made the following statement

                      “Public sector spending is always the most reliable wealth generator.”

                      Which Greece is a good example of why this is completely bogus.

                      I could have equally highlighted a number of different countries around the world where Public Sector spending has caused economic calamity rather than generated wealth.

                    • vto

                      Gosma, the idea to print money was not suggested to solve what is done with it, it was suggested as a solution to the issue you raised, namely how to get some money.

                      Printing money is the way today. Everybody is doing it – even here in NZ. Everytime somebody takes out a loan the money printing machine rolls out some notes.

                      But you do realise this I know. But not many people do.

                  • Gosman

                    I’m intetrested in seeing what your left wing economic prescription for Greece would be PB. Do you think Greece should have spent it’s way out of it’s problems? If so, where would it get the money from?

                  • Gosman

                    Have a read of this blog piece about Greece PB. Some really good points made.

                    http://wcoats.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/saving-greece-austerity-andor-growth/

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sorry, Max Keiser has a far better handle on Greece, and how Greece is doing since they put an unelected Goldman Sachs man in as Prime Minister.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f12ok9YqluU

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Ireland has done austerity harder and longer than anyone else, appeasing the EU banktocracy.

                      And their economy is collapsing in austerity led shrinkage, at an almost 8% annualised rate.

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/business/global/irish-gdp-shrinks-in-quarter.html

                      So what are thousands of unemployed, dispirited Irish doing?

                      Leaving for Australia, of course. Sound familiar?

                      http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Thousands-of-Irish-workers-wanted-in-Australia-says-Aussie-minister-130933433.html

                    • Gosman

                      Doesn’t matter C.V. Short of a economic revolution there isn’t much Greece can do differently from austerity. Ditto Spain, Portugal, and Ireland. Given the Global Socialist Revolution looks to be stalled at the moment austerity it is.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      But an economic revolution is exactly what will happen Gossie, one way or another.

                      Repeated austerity and more public money bailouts for the bankers can certainly kick the can down the road a bit further – until you run out of road.

                      And let’s not kid ourselves – the one trillion dollar EU bailout facility they are talking about, its not going to work. Less than half of that facility is even funded, and most of that not with cash reserves but with additional debt creation.

                      By Q4, Europe will be talking about a 2T Euro bail out.

                    • Gosman

                      I await the coming revolution then CV. Good luck with that. BTW are you involved in anyway or just taking a hands off approach to this?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Short of a economic revolution there isn’t much Greece can do differently from austerity.

                      Wow, Gooseman got something right – doubt he’s a supporter of the revolution though.

                    • Gosman

                      I’m supportive of you trying DTB as opposed to just chatting about it. It would be quite fun to see the results. Much like visiting the Occupy movement in Wellington and seeing how far their reality was from the rhetoric.

                    • rosy

                      “economic revolution is exactly what will happen”
                      It has already happened, there are 2 countries that have been taken over by technocrats. Just because a shot wasn’t fired doesn’t mean it wasn’t a revolution.

                    • Gosman

                      Hardly a revolution. All they are being forced to do, (as a result of the bad economic decisions they took over the preceding decades), is to rebalance their economy within the existing economic framework. It would take a huge change of that economic framework for them to follow a different solution to their problems. That would require a revolution along the lines of what happened in say the Russian empire post 1917.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      (as a result of the bad economic decisions they took over the preceding decades)

                      The main ones being listening to the credit ratings agencies, subscribing to the neoliberal free market model, belonging to the IMF and World Bank system, and trusting in the investment banking institutions of Europe and the US.

                    • Gosman

                      How is that applicable to Greece? What policies did they implement that was suggested by the Credit rating agencies, IMF, World bank, or investment banking that led to their current predicament?

            • AAMC 3.4.1.1.2.2

              Rioting is what they’re doing in Spain Gosman.

              • Gosman

                So? Ain’t going to change anything. Unless CV’s longed promised revolution occurs. In which case I expect Spain to look like Cuba in about 30 years.

                • “In which case I expect Spain to look like Cuba in about 30 years.”

                  Why? Is America and the West about to implement trade sanctions against Spain?

                  Because you should know that much of Cuba’s economic problems stem from a US-led trade embargo against the Cuban state.

                  But you probably alrready knew that, right?

                  • Gosman

                    Again quite wrong Frank. You should read last week Economist survey on Cuba. It hardly mentioned the US economic embargo on Cuba. It certainly didn’t seem to impact on Cuban economic growth between 1960 and 1990.

                    • You cannot be that stupid as to ignore the consequential effects of a trade embargo that has lasted for around 50 years?!

                    • It hardly mentioned the US economic embargo on Cuba.

                      So, the US economic embargo is completely ineffectual? You should tell Congress that – they’ll be quite upset. Also, it puts the lie to the whole idea of economic sanctions putting pressure on governments.

                      It certainly didn’t seem to impact on Cuban economic growth between 1960 and 1990.

                      You mean, during the time the embargo was being compensated for by support from the Soviet Union? 

                    • Gosman

                      “You mean, during the time the embargo was being compensated for by support from the Soviet Union? ”

                      That is correct. Cuba had the opportunity to redirect trade away from the US to other nations via very generous trading arrangments from the former Soviet Union. The fact that they didn’t manage to handle the inevitable failure of Soviet Communism isn’t the US fault.

                      Cuba can trade with a huge number of countries (and in fact does so) without having to deal with the US. In that sense the US Trade embargo is ineffectual as many people in the US also acknowledge. all it really does is provide leftists like yourself a convenient scapegoat for Cuba’s appalling economic performance post 1990.

                    • Gosman

                      Frank, given you are seemingly anti-freer trade, (as far as I am can tell from reading the bollocks you post about the evils of various free trade agreements), why do you think Cuba should be open to free trade with the US?

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      That’s right Gosman! Everyone knows nations either trade freely or impose sanctions on one another, with no middle ground.

                      Do you even think about the shite you post?

                    • Gosman

                      The US decreed Cuba to be hostile to it’s interests after the Cuban revolution. As such it was treated as such. The UK was treated as a hostile nation by France in the Napoleanic era, which then attempted to divert all continental based trade away from the UK via the Continental System. It happens quite a bit in international politics. You seem to be saying it is wrong? Should Napolean have been forced to trade with the UK?

                    • Gosman

                      The trouble here all those who state the Economic embargo is causing economic hardship on Cuba are merely assuming it must be. You are not really quantifying how it is doing so. It is similar to Zanu-PF politicians arguing that targetted sanctions on top Zanu-PF people caused the Zimbabwe economy to implode after 2001. No detailed explanation is done on how exactly travel sanctions caused the economic collapse, just that it must have done.

                      Please explain exactly how it causes economic hardship. If you state that it can’t export to the US I will counter with the fact that they can, (and do), export to other nations. If you claim that they can’t import from the US then I will counter that they can either make the items themselves, (as people like DTB argue we should do), or import from other places (as they do).

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      What the fuck are you talking about? First you can’t talk about New Zealand without pretending we are Greece, now you can’t discuss trade without making ridiculous comparisons with states at war.

                      I appreciate that without this crap your entire belief system fails to function, but doesn’t the cognitive dissonance give you a headache sometimes?

                    • Gosman

                      I already explained why I brought Greece into this discussion. It was to highlight the fallacy of Redlogix point about Government spending being always beneficial to growth.

                      As for comparing the Continental system and the Cuban Embargo I fail to see what the difference really is. Both Cuba and the Us have been in a state of hostility towards each other for over 50 years. I would agree that this is not a war officially but it is certainly not friendly either.

                      The US does not have to trade with Cuba if it decides it is not in it’s best interest. Just as I am sure you would agree that NZ should not be forced to trade with other nations if they don’t want to. Unless that is what you are saying. So do you think NZ should be forced to trade with other nations if we decide we don’t want to and we haven’t signed any agreements to do so?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I already explained why I brought Greece into this discussion. It was to highlight the fallacy of Redlogix point about Government spending being always beneficial to growth.

                      Except that it’s not a fallacy. Government spending is what drives the economy and printing that money at 0% interest is the best way to get the money just so long as it’s balanced by effective taxes which is what Greece (And pretty much every other capitalist country) didn’t do.

                    • Gosman, you should try emailing the Pope – he’s confused about it too.

                      Oh, and Daniel Griswald of (would you believe it?) the CATO institute seems to be confused too:

                      “Its [the embargo's] economic effect is to make the people of Cuba worse off by depriving them of lower-cost food and other goods that could be bought from the United States. ” 

                      And

                      “Trade and investment sanctions against Burma, Iran, and North Korea have failed to change the behavior of any of those oppressive regimes; sanctions have only deepened the deprivation of the very people we are trying to help.” 

                      Of course, I realise the CATO institute is so ‘free trade’ that their position is not surprising but, if they’re right, then Cuba is having to pay over the odds for its imports than it would if it had the US as an option (otherwise why would the ‘cash-only’ option for farm products have risen so rapidly?).

                      That is, the embargo has made life more expensive, hence harder, for Cuba and Cubans.

                      If embargos don’t matter then, presumably, ‘free trade’ is unnecessary??? 

                    • Gosman

                      It is just so simple DTB. I’m surprised that not one country around the world is seeming to take this easy step to unbridled prosperity. Perhaps you could place a call to the new ruler in Pyongyang and he could follow it up. After all Juche looks almost identical to that comedy gold policy presciption you first posted here in 2010 that you linked to just recently. You know, how everything could be made here in little old New Zealand. I hadn’t laughed so hard in a while and it inspired me to post here again.

                    • Gosman

                      Wow Puddlegum!

                      Those links were almost as impressive as the one you provided that failed to address the question I posed to Ed about what evidence he had that private sector debt led to Government sector debt in Greece. I especially like how you brought that well known economic Theologian the Pope into the discussion. Bravo for that.

                      You also seem to think that I think the Embargo is a good thing which I don’t. I think it is terribly counter-productive, mainly due to the fact that it allows leftists like yourself to blame Cuba’s economic failings on this rather than the failed Scoialist experiment imposed on them by their one party State.

                      However I still haven’t seen how exactly the embargo is meant to have caused such terrible hardship. I mean if it comes down to the Cubans have to pay slightly more for some imports that is really quite pathetic answer. Many nations have to pay more for imports for all sorts of reasons. They aren’t all basket cases like Cuba.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m surprised that not one country around the world is seeming to take this easy step to unbridled prosperity.

                      Really? I’m not. The capitalists do, after all, require wealth transfer from everyone to themselves and so won’t allow such to happen.

                      You know, how everything could be made here in little old New Zealand.

                      Why can’t we make what we need here? It’s obviously the cheapest place to make it (in resource terms) and comes with the added benefit of developing our society.

                    • Gosman

                      “Why can’t we make what we need here? ”

                      All sorts of reasons DTB but the main onmes have to do with the benefits of trading. Something you don’t seem to be able to grasp with your incredibly simplistic, (almost child like), view of the world.

                      BTW did you realise your big idea about self sufficiency reads almost exactly like the official ideology of the People Republic of Korea – Juche? Do you not find that in any way a little odd?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      All sorts of reasons DTB but the main onmes have to do with the benefits of trading.

                      There aren’t any.

                      Put it this way. Trading brings benefits if the entities trading specialise, nations can’t specialise due to the differences in people (NZ trying to specialise as a farm has, IMO, resulted in our best and brightest leaving to do what they actually want to do), thus there is no benefit to trade except in minor items such as food that can’t be grown in one nation.

                      Something you don’t seem to be able to grasp with your incredibly simplistic,

                      Simplistic? LOL, it’s far more complex than the simplistic neo-liberal BS you put your faith in. In fact, IMO, neo-liberal economic theory has been purposefully simplified so that money can be used as a medium.

                    • Gosman

                      Interesting you haven’t made any comment about the seeming similarities between Juche and your views. Why is that?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Why is that?

                      Didn’t see any point as I figured it was just your standard non-argument look, it didn’t work over there thus it can’t ever work.

        • AAMC 3.4.1.2

          But where’s he glorious private sector to pick up what the Govt has cast aside. Oh, wait a minute… They’re deleveraging. Neo-liberal fantasists!

        • AAMC 3.4.1.3

          Also Gosman, the Greeks are users of their currency.

          “The Market” you’ll note, looks much more kindly on UK & USA’s astronomical debt, as they are issuers of their currency.

          It’s not as simple as your political bias likes to paint it, as you know…

          • Gosman 3.4.1.3.1

            So? The Greeks freely entered into the Eurozone. Noone twisted their arms. In fact they were denied entry initially because they failed to meet the criteria. Anyway the Euro has meant that the inherent flaws in the political and economic system are exposed. They therefore have no other option but to deal with the underlying structural cause of their problem rather than sweeping them under the covers with a devaluation.

            • AAMC 3.4.1.3.1.1

              I’m not talking specifically about Greece but your debt meme. America’s and UK’s debt is seen very differently from Greece’s, not because of taxation or spending and certainly not because either of those examples are fiscally prudent and likely to pay down their debt, but because the market know they can just go Cntrl + P

            • Frank Macskasy 3.4.1.3.1.2

              “Frank, given you are seemingly anti-freer trade, (as far as I am can tell from reading the bollocks you post about the evils of various free trade agreements), why do you think Cuba should be open to free trade with the US?”

              Gosman. why do you believe I’m anti-free trade? Have you actually asked – or are you (yet again) assuming something ; creating a weak, straw-man argument that you can push over, and congratulate yourself in the process?

              And what definition of ‘free trade’ are you using – there are several varieties.

              As for “why do you think Cuba should be open to free trade with the US?””

              Why shouldn’t they?

              Why shouldn’t Cuba trade with American businesses (if they want to) without US government interference?

              I thought you were pro-trade and minimal-government in business affairs?

              As for the rest of your comments denying the effects of US trade embargoes against Cuba – I dismiss your assertions as rubbish. You need to read more on the subject before writing naive nonsense that the rest of us laugh at. Hell, even our American Republican cuzzies would dismiss your scribblings as pathetic.

              You need to be more disciplined when you’re writing. Are you trying to prove me wrong when I said you’re smarter than that?

              • Gosman

                You’re a bit late Frank on this topic.

                As stated in one of my posts above explain exactly how the embargo is meant to disadvantage Cuba. Not just ‘It isn’t fair they can’t trade with the US’. They couldn’t trade with the US between the early 1960’s through to the early 1990’s either and did reasonably well.

                By the way, I did not state you were anti-free trade. I stated you were anti-freer trade. If you disagree show me one blog post you have made supporting a free trade agreement that NZ made in the past decade.

        • Ed 3.4.1.4

          Indeed – wait a minute. Greece’s problems were initially generated by high private sector debt, followed by insufficiently controlled government debt – oh dear, just the prescription the current NZ government is offering . . .

          • Gosman 3.4.1.4.1

            Evidence please.

            • Puddleglum 3.4.1.4.1.1

              Hi Gosman,

              You might not like the source, but this is an interesting discussion of Greek private and public sector debt, placed in historical context. 

              Not quite as simple as ‘socialist government spending’. 

              • Gosman

                Very interesting article Puddlegum. It certainly highlights leftist thinking on Government debt in Greece and other places (i.e. it isn’t the fault of the Greek people as all this money was foisted upon them). However it didn’t make any mention that I could see about Greece’s problems being initially generated by high private sector debt, followed by insufficiently controlled government debt. This was the actual area that I requested evidence from Ed to support his point. You have failed miserably in doing this.

                • Thanks Gosman, but I should point out that failure is relative to aims.

                  My aim was to show you that your concern over ‘which came first’ was illusory, especially if you believed that ‘public debt’ was simply the result of a ‘socialist extravaganza’ and, so, such an extravaganza was the real problem. 

                  I was trying to broaden your vision, not defend Ed.

                  On that last point, however, historic public debt did not destabilise Greece’s economy, so far as I can see, to the point at which it is currently destabilised. But, once private debt escalated on entry (i.e., post 2000), insufficient control over public debt may well have only then become a problem. So, Ed may well have a point.

                  Just a thought. 

                  • Gosman

                    My concern was that Ed was making a statement that he couldn’t back up with any evidence. Your link didn’t resolve this concern at all.

                    The rest of your point is merely your opinion about the cause of the Greek Sovereign (i.e. Government) debt crisis. It could also be the result of Alien’s from out of space coming along and drinking all the Ouzo on the Greek Islands without paying for it.

                • KJT

                  Nothing to do with the fact that Greek workers get much less pay for working longer and harder than the Germans.
                  May have something to do with the average German worker being able to save and the average Greek worker having to borrow.

                  Lack of capital investment and shear theft by decades of corrupt RWNJ authoritarian Government in Greece also has no bearing, of course. It was three years of slightly socialist Government that done it!

                  Bullshit.

                  • Gosman

                    Greek workers work longer hours and produce less output.

                    Their productivity was appalling. Interesting that your solution seems to involve raising wages. Worked really well wen they did something similar in East Germany after reunification.

                    • KJT

                      Like NZ, low wages encourage business owners to try and make more profit by cutting wages, Greece, instead of by more capital investment and better management, Germany.

                      It works, for that business, if only one business does it. When everyone does it the economy tanks.

                      Low wages also mean no incentive for local business investment. Low wage workers do not spend money on business products.

                      Keep up will you Gossy.

                    • Unfortunately for you and other other neo-liberal groupies, Gosman, increased productivity does not lead to raising wages

                      Here, educate yourself; https://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/09/04/opinion/04reich-graphic.html?ref=sunday

                      Note the dates when productivity and remuneration started to diverge. Can you tell us what significant things happened inthe late 70s, early 80s, in Britain and America?

                      Clue: elections.

      • Poission 3.4.2

        The structual uncertainty in Govt Reforms have created a substantive decrease in general confidence in the Wellington Regional economy ,as evidenced by low job advertising,and the decrease in the building supply industries.This further entrains the decrease in GST, wage growth,job creation.

        That the Govt says we need further investment,is that the money usually flows to property investment ,ie inflating property pricing.

        There is little substance in the policy initiatives,other then outdated ideological idiom as evidenced by the abscence of hard (testable) numbers,govt by media relations at its best.

    • lprent 3.5

      National have been the wastral party that caused fiscal debt my entire adult life. They screw up so regularly that you can assume there will be a debt spiral when thy are in power.

      Labour wound up dealing with it each time, either stabilizing it so it didn’t keep growing as fast, or actually chopping it to nothing.

      National traditionally believe in myths. Like cutting taxes stimulates the economy enough to compensate. It doesn’t – you just get debt. Another one is running a lean government because everything will work ok. It doesn’t – there are always disaster and it is incredibly expensive to build the government services in the middle of a disaster (eg EQC). Being successful in business means that they will be successful as ministers. They aren’t – the skills are quite different. And many others.. National – too stupid to think about reality.

      Pete George is a poor liar.

      • Pete George 3.5.1

        “Pete George is a poor liar.”

        If I practised as much as you do you think I might get better at it?

        • lprent 3.5.1.1

          Maybe if you actually backed up what you said with facts and examples rather than pious bullshit, you’d become a believable one.

          But you never do. Too stupid to understand and explain the world around you? Or too arrogant to be bothered?

          Also two standard National traits.

          • Pete George 3.5.1.1.1

            I simply referred to the election result. I didn’t think it necessary to link to them, but here you go:

            http://www.elections.org.nz/elections/resultsdata/2011-general-election-official-results.html

            National 47.31%
            Labour 27.48%

            That’s a fairly obvious example of National being much better supported than Labour, despite their main policy (partial asset sales) not being popular.

            It’s been widely commented that National were seen as safer looking after the New Zealand economy in difficult times. Do you want me to provide links to all that?

            Labour failed to impress the voters. How many links do you want to prove that obvious fact? Or are you claiming Labour did ok?

            • freedom 3.5.1.1.1.1

              and Pete, maybe just maybe National lying through its teeth to the public about the actual debt, their true level of borrowing and the real world costs of their ‘neutral’ tax cuts had something to do with the election results.

            • Pascal's bookie 3.5.1.1.1.2

              Pundits commenting about what they think the voters think, isn’t evidence of what the voters think.

              But anyway, let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that you are right, and that voters believed National was on surer footing around the deficit.

              Remember the “show me the money” quote?

              If you are right, then I’d say that performance would have had a large part to play in it. It got a load of airplay, it was a ‘good’ line as far as those things go. Though I’m sure it was way to negative for your tastes.

              Talk me through that performance. What was the argument being made, and what were the facts; ie, did Labour have costings? What were the pro and anti points about those costings?

              And then, to wrap things up, what happened post election?

              Remember when the Minister of Finance said that his numbers were based not on a best guess, but just a “guess”?

              Do you think the PM was forthright about the nature of his own numbers in the “show me the money” debate?

              What say you Pete?

              • muzza

                Why is so much energy plowed into debating a topic which is everyone pointing fingers at eachother, while in the background nothing changes, the slide downward continues…who wants to take a stab at why that might be…Better use of energy I suspect than defending positions which are largely indefensible on either side..

                Labour, National ….all the same thing!

                • Pascal's bookie

                  I think you are wildly overestimating the amount of ‘energy’ it takes to ‘debate’ with Mama George’s little boy Pete.

            • lprent 3.5.1.1.1.3

              So you are arguing that political populism and electoral success repairs economic mismanagement.

              Wait – I can hear the sound of Muldoon’s ghost applauding.

            • mikesh 3.5.1.1.1.4

              Labour’s support has for some time now been shared with other left wing parties. First it was New Labour, then the Alliance, and now the Greens. National is up largely because of the reduction in the ACT vote. I don’t think you can infer anything from the current gap between Labour and National.

            • AAMC 3.5.1.1.1.5

              An election result is not proof of sound economic thinking any more than record sales indicate that Katy Perry is a talented musician rather than successful marketing construct.

              • No, an election result is proof of nothing other than numbers of votes. And people vote based on many things.

                But I think it’s widely accepted that the economy and economic management are important factors in deciding who to vote for. Especially in tough economic times.

                • Are you seriously saying Petey that the economy is being run properly because National won the last election?
                   
                  If you say “yes” I will redouble my efforts to get the right wing out of power.
                   
                  Because you guys are dangerously stupid.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Because you guys are dangerously stupid.

                    MS, they’re delusional. So is Labour who hold to the same capitalist beliefs.

                • AAMC

                  How enlightened – especially in light of the delusions of both economists, politicians and the media – do you think the average voter is in relation to economics? Or are they voting on the person who best sells them a model of the economy, simple meme’s like using a household’s budget to understand debt, when clearly running a country is fundamentally different from either a household or a business.

                  This line of argument is very weak Pete, best used car salesman knows best?

                • AAMC

                  How enlightened – especially in light of the delusions of both economists, politicians and the media – do you think the average voter is in relation to economics?

                  Or are they voting on the person who best sells them a model of the economy, simplified slogans like using a household’s budget to understand debt, when clearly running a country is fundamentally different from either a household or a business.

                  This line of argument is very weak Pete, best used car salesman knows best?

                • Pete – a question that came to me today.

                  What will your position be on issues if, in 2014 (or earlier), Dunne goes into coalition with Labour?Greens/et al?

                  • felix

                    I expect he’d be sticking with ‘Everyone get behind the govt and stop opposing’ as usual.

            • Frank Macskasy 3.5.1.1.1.6

              “That’s a fairly obvious example of National being much better supported than Labour, despite their main policy (partial asset sales) not being popular.”

              So?

              In 2008, voters voted for tax cuts we could ill afford.

              In 2011, voters voted for a policy they opposed and did not like.

              Aside from showing that voters can be (a) selfish and (b) schizophrenic – what is your point?

              New Zealand voters have a history of being easily led by populist leaders (Muldoon, Lange, Key) or voting according to their back pockets (abandoning compulsory super savings in 1975 and tax cuts in 2008), or voting on knee-jerk reactions (1951 lockout, 1981 springbok).

              All that proves is the old saying, “You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time”.

              Unfortunately, in the process of voters waking up to certain realities, they vote for apalling policies that keep this country an economic/social basketcase.

              If you’re proud of that, Pete, you have tougher skin than I.

              • Jackal

                There is also option (c) the voting process is corrupted. That would explain the various discrepancies between what people want and what they apparently vote for.

              • KJT

                May have a lot to do with voters having no real choice.

                I,ve seen a research poll which shows that most voters do not like either National’s or Labour’s policies and if the vote was for policies only, most would vote for Green policies.

                I don’t know if it will ever become public.
                Things which are embarrassing to our politicians seem to vanish.
                Note: The MSD stats which show how small the proportion of DPB recipients are teenagers have disappeared.

                It is not so much that voters like the appalling policies so much as neither National or Labour give us a choice. The choice has been Neo-Liberal nuttiness whichever one you vote for.

      • National have been the wastral party that caused fiscal debt my entire adult life. They screw up so regularly that you can assume there will be a debt spiral when thy are in power.

        Labour wound up dealing with it each time, either stabilizing it so it didn’t keep growing as fast, or actually chopping it to nothing.

        Correct.

        The stats back up that statement.

        The irony is that Right Wingers often quip that “Labour would borrow more”. But the data consistantly shows that National is the worst fiscal manager of the two, and borrows more.

        Labour retires debt.

        Interestingly, this is now becoming an issue,

        “Government has $112b ‘exposure’ ”
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/business/6674946/Government-has-112b-exposure

        “Numbers reveal National disgrace”
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10795790

        “Key defends tax cuts in light of zero Budget”
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6677198/Key-defends-tax-cuts-in-light-of-zero-Budget

        The latter article has a poll. Folks should have a look at how people are responding to the question.

        “Do you think the Government’s tax cuts were a good idea? ”

        Yes
        288 votes, 31.5%

        No
        626 votes, 68.5%

        There may be hope for us yet…

    • *facepalm*

      Pete, that’s not much of an argument.

      Especially consideering the surpluses Cullen posted during Labour’s term. Remember the clamour for tax cuts? http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/labour-the-economic-record-2000-2008/

      Maybe, instead of your cliches, you’d consider that cutting taxes twice and borrowing $380 million is not really a wise thing to do. Trying to posit a fictional argument “but they’d do it worse” simply indicates you have no real answer.

      Not exactly a good look for your Party, is it?

    • You mean like the surpluses Cullen posted whilst he was Minister of Finance, Pete?

  4. DH 4

    Discussions like this illustrate the problem with modern economists; they’re flat-earth cultists. It’s notable in the comments section of Hickeys article that the monetarist fans of tax cuts come up with every excuse under the book to defend the cuts & why they haven’t had the benefits promised. It’s the recession, it’s the ChCh earthquake, it’s the rest of the world, it’s blah blah. Always an excuse.

    The only thing that matters is it hasn’t worked. Tax cuts didn’t provide the fiscal stimulus to bring us out of recession, which it was supposed to do. The deficit is getting bigger, unemployment is growing, we’re still borrowing more and the Treasury forecasts are getting worse. Despite the obvious staring them in the face the economists fanatically and mindlessly keep chanting their mantra while the world around them crumbles.

    When any normal person tries something and it doesn’t work we end up accepting it’s wrong & try something else. Eventually we settle on what will work. But not these bozos. You can beat them around the head with a huge club of evidence and it has no effect on them. Half the population could be scavenging in rubbish tips and they’ll still be calling for tax cuts.

    What is it that makes these people so blind to their faults? Is it arrogance, ignorance, poor intellect… what?

    • Carol 4.1

      A bit of each probably. Recently Maggie Barry gave a speech in the House about the main issue worrying people in her North Shore electorate…. welfare benefits. On 28 March holly Walker tweeted:

      http://twitter.com/#!/hollyrwalker/status/184843267161063424

      Maggie Barry is giving a really gross beneficiary bashing speech on welfare reform in the House right now #nzpol

      It struck me as bizarre, that this was the main issue in a electorate which nust surely have a small minority of beneficiaries (apart from superannuitants). I wondered if such people are scared of losing the comfy financial position they have and focus on beneficiaries as personifying that threat – scapegoats that keep them from seeing where the real threat is…. a dodgy economic philosophy. It means THEY don’t ned to change, but someone else is expected to change.

      • Anne 4.1.1

        Recently Maggie Barry gave a speech in the House about the main issue worrying people in her North Shore electorate…. welfare benefits.

        This isn’t the first time Maggie Barry has made sweeping statements about what people in her electorate are supposed to be thinking. She’s a Johnny Come Lately who knows damm all about the area – a typically ignorant, National Party snob. Ask Ben Clark… Labour’s North Shore candidate. He was often surprised by her lack of knowledge and understanding of both local and national issues during the election campaign.

        • DH 4.1.1.1

          Yep. Lived on the ‘shore a long time & Barry wouldn’t have a clue what ‘her’ electorate thinks. Welfare certainly wouldn’t be high on the list of worries here, house prices & rents, traffic etc would be the biggest issues.

          It has gone more blue here as it increased in affluence over the years but it’s not an Epson kind of parochialism. Barry would just be mixing with her fellow snobs who live in their own little fantasy world.

          • Anne 4.1.1.1.1

            house prices & rents, traffic etc would be the biggest issues.

            Add to that list the horrific increase in our rates, insurances and cost of living generally. I hear far more concern about these issues than any others. Madame talks to the inmates of the mansions on the hills and along the cliff tops.

            • Ben Clark 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Biggest issue on the Shore just at the moment?
              http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/6674320/Angry-residents-threaten-to-take-over-naval-base

              North Shore does have a high rate of beneficiaries – but as you point out Carol they’re pensioners.

              And yes, house prices, rents, traffic rates all sound higher priority than benefits from folk about here.

              That said, if you talk to a select bunch of people you can probably get any issue to be the burning issue – if she’d been talking to me & my friends as her representative group of the North Shore it’d be climate change and inequality are the pressing concerns…

        • muzza 4.1.1.2

          Some electorate will vote for anyone their party puts up, Maggy Barry is a classic example of this. Having idiots in parliament making decision on behalf of the nation is gaulling enough, having MB doing so a flat out insult!

          The North Shore is full of aspirational “well to do” self believers who genuinely feel that they are righteous, hence the benny bashing words which come out their mouths, and people like Barry are responsible for perpetuating the lies.

          It is right to have been said that being able to blame someone else, means that they absolve themselves of any responsibility, and a social conscience at the same time!

    • freedom 4.2

      “What is it that makes these people so blind to their faults? Is it arrogance, ignorance, poor intellect… what?”

      in a word … G R E E D

      • bad12 4.2.1

        We agree with your abbreviated analysis of the Tories 2011 election victory,National with its tax cuts which had real financial benefit only to those 46% who voted National have simply given the 46% the means to ”pay” for the next piece of cheese offered as a reason to vote for them,the part sale of the most lucrative of the assets we all own,

        Greed and the clever cynical pandering to that greed by National gave it the 2011 election,

        Labour tho didnt exactly roar into the election with ”winning” policy, we dont know if Phill Goff,s Treasury inspired raising of the age of superannuation entitlement election announcement was His policy alone,but, we can tell you that its announcement ensured Labour wouldnt be Government after the 2011 election,

        Such an ”out of the blue” announcement which would have negatively effected Labour,s support base the most could only be accepted by them after an in depth ”discussion” over a period of many months and not dropped on them like a tonne of bricks as Labour,s opening gambit as an election strategy,

        Having said all that,it was still only a 2% election victory for the Tories and unless that Party indulges in a real piece of economic insanity and offers the proceeds of the theft of our assets as their next ”incentive” to vote for them we cannot see them gaining a third term…

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1

          National with its tax cuts which had real financial benefit only to those 46% who voted National…

          Um, no, most of the people who voted NACT are actually worse off. NACTs policies only ever benefit the richest 1%.

    • AAMC 4.3

      Theology

      • DH 4.3.1

        That’s an angle worth exploring IMO. It would be interesting to know if many economists are religious or if economic doctrine has become their religion. They certainly behave in a manner similar to religious fundamentalists; blind faith, refusal to accept other points of view, always preaching, never accepting fault etc.

        • Gosman 4.3.1.1

          Kind of like left wing people then ;-)

          • DH 4.3.1.1.1

            I’ll accept that a (small) number on the left are like that but more like you I’d think. You display a supreme belief in your own self-righteousness that is rarely supported by your arguments. I’ve read a few of the threads you argue in and consider you out-debated for the most part. Occasionally you catch someone out but most times you meet your match. Yet still you stubbornly persevere, you’re so convinced of your own supremacy you fail to see the masochism.

          • KJT 4.3.1.1.2

            Didn’t I warn you before about projection? Gossy.

          • AAMC 4.3.1.1.3

            The Theology I’m referring to is in relation to Economics Gosman, did you observe the debate between Steve Keen and Krugman last week, Krugman (clearly an overtly left wing economist) proving to be as wedded to neo-classical economics as his Right wing counterparts.

            Theology on both sides of the political spectrum prevent us from having a real discussion about the failings of the status quo. That you still don’t question the structural issues despite all of what we’ve observed in recent years only proves your Faith.

            Your free market is in reality Market Stalinism. Remove all Crony and Capital advantage from the equation and we can build a free market, until then you’re subscribing to an Ayn Rand fantasy which worships the law of the jungle, which even she had to come to terms with when extending her hand to take the gifts of the State in her old age…

            Here is one of Keen’s posts undoing Krugman..

            http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2012/03/29/krugman-on-or-maybe-off-keen/

            • DH 4.3.1.1.3.1

              I think you’ve nailed it there. They all become so wrapped up in the obsession only they can be right we get a closed shop with no real chance of formulating new economic policies that will work.

              The current issue of tax cuts versus keynesian spending is a classic example. Both do exactly the same thing; they inject extra cash into the economy as a fiscal stimulant. The only *real* argument is which will work best in the particular economic climate prevailing at the time but that never gets addressed; it’s always my way or the highway.

              Sit back, take a critical & rational look, and it’s clear that either option can work and both can fail. When it comes to fiscal stimulants it’s the quality of the spending that counts, not who spends the money. But we never see a discussion on that because neither faction will budge on their blind faith. It’s quite frustrating really.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Sit back, take a critical & rational look, and it’s clear that either option can work and both can fail.

                Actually, if you take a rational look you’ll find that neither work. Keynesian stimulus doesn’t work because it’s dependent upon borrowing money from private individuals who charge interest on it which increases the accumulation that allowed them to have enough to loan the government in the first place (it’s also that accumulation that causes the economy to collapse) and cutting taxes does exactly the same thing only faster as it causes the government to borrow even more.

                • DH

                  Of course they can work, how else do you think this nation was built? We borrowed to build dams, roads, bridges & all kinds of infrastructure that generated employment and longer term economic growth. The smart spending was on infrastructure that returned a dividend, kept employing people and paid back the borrowing. Think forestry for one.

                  There’s nothing wrong with Keynes approach if done right, it just requires responsible spending from people who know what they’re doing. Labour & National just waste the money; they spend it on feel-good sugar rushes that generate economic growth which dies away the minute they stop spending.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    We borrowed to build dams, roads, bridges & all kinds of infrastructure that generated employment and longer term economic growth.

                    But we didn’t need to borrow. The government printing money with adequate taxes would have had the same effect.

                    There’s nothing wrong with Keynes approach…

                    Yes there is – the borrowing at interest.

                    Money is just a tool that helps distribute resources, it’s not a resource in and of itself.

                    • DH

                      Been reading Hickeys article on printing money have ya? It’s wishful thinking and irrelevant to the discussion anyway. Politics is about credibility and any party who promoted printing money can kiss goodbye to their chances of seeing the parliamentary benches. You need to work with the tools you’ve got, just use them properly and wisely.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Bullshit DH, Savage printed money to pay for higher benefits for disadvantaged NZers and to provide social housing.

                      Its worked before, we’ve proven that it works, take your neoliberal free market brain straitjacket off.

                      You clearly don’t understand what money is or how it is created.

                      You need to work with the tools you’ve got, just use them properly and wisely.

                      Fuck that’s stupid. You don’t even understand the power of Government.

                    • DH

                      “Fuck that’s stupid. You don’t even understand the power of Government.”

                      I didn’t say money printing wouldn’t work, I said it couldn’t happen. What I understand is the power of democracy, you need to get power before you can print money and not enough people would vote for it.

                      I have no idea how the minds of politicians work, they’re a bit of a mystery to me, but I would think that the prime focus on policy formation would not be “will it work” but “will enough people vote for it”.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      you need to get power before you can print money and not enough people would vote for it.

                      Your assumptions are ludicrous.

                      Which electorate in the US voted for the Fed to do quantitative easing I and II?

                      Which electorate in the EU voted for the ECB to conduct its LTRO operations?

                      None of course is the answer. You have to have power, yes. The above cases show the banks have the power not the govts. That must change. But once you have the power you also have to have the will to exercise it, and not fall for more “we will impoverish our people further to restore the confidence of the capitalist ‘markets’ ” bullshit.

                    • DH

                      Well certainly you can bullshit the voting public to gain power but that has a habit of getting you booted out at the next election. To win an election you need to front up with a credible economic plan and if you included money printing in that plan you’d end up as the ten percent party. If you didn’t include it you’d face the wrath of a public who don’t like being lied to.

                      No point in using the US as an example. We’re not the US. We’ve got a different parliamentary & democratic system. We’re not the EU either, people don’t get to vote for EU policies.

            • Gosman 4.3.1.1.3.2

              I have yet to be convinced the system has ‘failed’ (whatever that actually means). Perhaps when you do that then this ‘real discussion’ can take place. Until such time though it is simply going to be a case of ‘He said, she said’ in relation to the benefits or otherwise of particular economic policies.

              • McFlock

                You don’t think it’s “failed” because you don’t use how it affects people other than yourself as part of the metric to define a system’s “success”.

                • Gosman

                  By your definition Cuban Socialism has also failed due to the economic misery in Cuba, is that correct in your view?

                  Or is failure always the fault of the big bad nasty Capitalists as people seem to be implying in places like Greece and Cuba?

                  • McFlock

                    Cuba has better healthcare than the US, better disaster (especially hurricane) prep and response than the US, but fewer microwaves, TVs and H2s.
                         
                    See how different factors can skew your success metrics significantly? I tend to rate things like the first two much more highly than the last three. Hence why I think the neoliberal system has “failed”.
                       
                    You rate systems solely on how you personally are doing, because the concept about giving a shit about other people (particularly people you don’t have personal contact with) is alien to you.  

                    • Gosman

                      “You rate systems solely on how you personally are doing,”

                      Incorrect McFluck.

                      However I do find it interesting that disaster prep and response is so important to you. As the Economist pointed out in it’s excellent piece on Cuba last week, (did you read it by the way?), this is something that authoritarian Governments tend to do well at. So at least we can see where your sympathies lie in a Authoritarian versus Democratic argument. You probably supported East Germany over West Germany as well.

                    • McFlock

                      Nope.
                           
                      But given you’ve presented no evidence of empathy or plain old give-a-shit about other people, I doubt you know the distinction. 
                           
                      You’ve plugged that Economist article quite a bit – is it because you liked the pretty pictures? 

                  • Interesting exchange here…

                    GOSMAN:

                    I have yet to be convinced the system has ‘failed’ (whatever that actually means). Perhaps when you do that then this ‘real discussion’ can take place. Until such time though it is simply going to be a case of ‘He said, she said’ in relation to the benefits or otherwise of particular economic policies.

                    McFLOCK:

                    You don’t think it’s “failed” because you don’t use how it affects people other than yourself as part of the metric to define a system’s “success”.

                    GOSMAN:

                    y your definition Cuban Socialism has also failed due to the economic misery in Cuba, is that correct in your view? Or is failure always the fault of the big bad nasty Capitalists as people seem to be implying in places like Greece and Cuba?

                    Total evasion of McFlock’s comment and deflection from a question that Gosman didn’t want to answer, to talking “Big Picture”, which in McFlock’s context, is utterly meaningless – but gives the “appearance” that Gosman has responded.

                    Ok, carry on.

                    • Gosman

                      Sorry Frank???

                      What would have been the correct answer to McFlack’s ‘When did you stop beating your wife’ type comment about me? I’m genuinely curious.

                      BTW it is a bit rich you claiming I avoid issues when I’m still waiting for numerous answers from you like when are you making a blog post about the current state of the Gdansk shipyard and why don’t you seem to read any article other than those that support your rather narrow view of the world.

                    • McFlock

                      Asking someone when they stopped beating their wife is perfectly reasonable if they had a documented history of wife-beating.
                            
                      You have repeatedly demonstrated that an abstract consideration for other people’s welfare is not in your repertoire.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I have yet to be convinced the system has ‘failed’ (whatever that actually means).

                That’s because you’re in denial of reality and refuse to change your mind no matter the evidence. An example of perfect faith.

                • Gosman

                  Yeah, whatever.

                  How’s that planning for the Revolution coming along DTB?

                  Got many people backing you up or are you basically doing all the work via the comments section on a left wing blog?

                  • AAMC

                    the lnk elswhere in the thread was in Spain, here are some (thousands of) participants in Canada.

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CgD442YFRQ

                    • Gosman

                      I give it six weeks to three months at the outside to quieten down. It certainly isn’t hthe begining of anything substantive.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I give it six weeks to three months at the outside to quieten down. It certainly isn’t hthe begining of anything substantive.

                      If you look at the increasing proportion of people in western countries sliding into poverty, you’ll find that discontent is increasing, not decreasing.

                      By the way, only one retail sector did well in 2011 in the US. Firearms.

                  • What would have been the correct answer to McFlack’s ‘When did you stop beating your wife’ type comment about me? I’m genuinely curious.

                    I have no idea if you’ve stopped beating your wife or not. If she grabs a pair of scissors, that might signify she’s had enough of you?

                    BTW it is a bit rich you claiming I avoid issues when I’m still waiting for numerous answers from you like when are you making a blog post about the current state of the Gdansk shipyard and why don’t you seem to read any article other than those that support your rather narrow view of the world

                    After a few instances of spending a considerable period of time doing research to answer your questions only to have the information ignored, derided, or, deflected – I quickly came to the conclusion thast you weren’t remotely interested in the answers.

                    You were only interested in playing games to win points to boost your somewhat over-inflated ego.

                    So, short answer; no. I don’t give a fuck if you’re satisfied with my responses or not. In fact, I will decide what answers I will offer you, Gosman. Whether you like it or not, I don’t really care.

                    Have a nice day. :-D

  5. It was a great article by Hickey,which also showed that english has ‘unbridled power’
    there are no checks and balances in treasury.
    There was none in regard to the scf,he was warned by treasury that he wasn’t
    acting under the terms and conditions of the retail deposit scheme,so he simply
    changed them,then called a meeting and told the scf investors ‘you now have a
    crown guarantee’ so why is he not charged?
    Hickey’s article was rich and enlightening as to the incompetence or craftiness
    of this key/english led govt,also to note ‘derivatives’ are used,one of key’s
    favourite money items to ‘play’ with,its what he knows best to rort whoever
    or whatever he chooses.

  6. Buggar the pollls, telephone land line polls of 1000 people do not represent
    the greater majority.
    Colmar brunton had nzf loosing,from memory,about 3%,nzf got 6+%
    Comments on Hickey’s herald article show that people are not happy with the
    key govt and see them as untrustworthy,dishonest and acting in a manner
    that is not in the public interest,when the people are shown articles such
    as that article, where it is honest and factual,the public take notice.
    Key says no money available in the budget for the nz tax payers,but he can find
    $500 grand for his mate micheal hill,enough said.

  7. Blue 7

    It is deeply ironic that Blinglish likes to talk about how Labour kept the country in a living standard we hadn’t earned and couldn’t afford, when his government is borrowing shitloads of money to give high income earners tax cuts we can’t afford.

    When it’s ordinary Kiwis getting the money, the Nats cry that we can’t afford it. When it’s the wealthy getting the money, the Nats insist we can afford it.

    Pixies at the bottom of the garden, clearly.

  8. bad12 8

    Bernard Hickey has of late been promoting economics which 10 years ago would have been termed radical including in one memorable piece advocating the use of ”quantitative easing” as a means for the State to radically increase its housing stock and therefor address the shortage of housing and the costs of both buying and renting especially in Auckland,

    Its hardly radical thinking in the new reality of economics brought about by the financial ructions of 07/08 and the actions taken elsewhere in the world in an effort to stabilize economy,s and considering its exactly the means Labour built the first State owned housing asset way back then,

    We favor as left economic policy a Financial Transaction Tax,the creation of a debt between the Reserve Bank/Treasury and Housing NZ so as to enable a significant State house building program to be accomplished,and,DPB dependent families to be included in the benefits of Working For Families tax credits,we dont care about the issue of whether or not the parents receiving this benefit deserve such largesse from the State but we do care that their children sure as hell do,

    Thats our wee wish list for the next Labour/Green Government,it will as the next election unfolds become obvious why we see a need for the higher income a Financial Transaction Tax will accrue to Government as opposed to other proposed taxation…

  9. “It is clear now that the Government has effectively cut the income tax rate and paid for it by borrowing money overseas, in large part from China. It is an act of economic treason and generational selfishness when a government has decided an already-wealthy part of the population deserves higher incomes paid for by loading foreign debt on future generations of taxpayers.”

    Christ on a stick… How long have we been making precisely this point?!?!

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Think I started back in about 2003 when NACT were just getting started on pushing for tax cuts. I knew exactly what would happen if NACT got in and cut taxes. All NACT are interested in is transferring our wealth to themselves and their rich mates and that’s exactly what they set up – a wealth transfer. Selling our assets is just another part of that wealth transfer.

  10. Anthony Bull 10

    Is this the same Bernard Hickey who claimed that house prices would collapse across the board and we would have a 40% drop in house prices by 2010?

    If so, he also has some fine bridges he would like to sell.

    • KJT 10.1

      That was before he did some deep thinking about economic realities.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Is this the same Bernard Hickey who claimed that house prices would collapse across the board and we would have a 40% drop in house prices by 2010?

      Link please. Or you’re the one spouting bullshit.

  11. AAMC 11

    Another perspective for you Deficit HAwkes, on both sides of the fence..

    “US Budget Deficit is a Virtue”
    http://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/mikes-latest-bloomberg-hit-us-budget.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Senexx

  12. captain hook 12

    as John Kenneth Galbraith said it is the function of economics to make astrology look good.
    they always seem to produce their theories after the event.
    You dont need an economist to tell you when you are broke but you need a bank examiner to tell you who has the money?
    in the meantime we have gosman.
    wow.

  13. prism 13

    It should be a point that Labour makes over and over how we our debt is rising but how that was avoidable, and is completely NACTs fault. To regularly repeat the message is necessary on the basis that you have to tell people things three times at least before it is recognised.

    Labour are failing to get through to the ordinary public who are open to all sorts of confusing and emotional opinions and sideshows, with little opportunity to receive and consider actual facts that affect them. There needs to be some smart and effective approaches from Labour to get their points over to the blinkered that in the recent poll still think that NACTs are the best dish on offer.

    Also if we still had a public television channel there would be opportunities to discuss the economy and other important matters in interviews and discussions. But Labour were limp on that and they are suffering the loss.

  14. seeker 14

    Even ardent Key admirer Tracey Watkins had a go at Key’s and National’s shambolic record this term

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6668614/National-digs-through-nuclear-fallout

    It made my day to read Bernard Hickey and Tracey yesterday- perhaps pennies are finally dropping and birds are winging their feathered way home to roosts at long last.

    Extra uplift was given by a stuff on line poll today asking whether Key’s ridiculous tax cuts were a good idea. Fearing the worst i.e. enough right wing nit wits voting “yes” while seeing New Zealand sink, I voted, and, yay — I was not in the minority anymore …..more pennies dropping!! Are you listening
    gosman, pg etc??
    Poll link so you can see for yourself gosman
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/

  15. Gosman 15

    Looks like France is heading the way of Greece due to the same sort of wrong headed left wing policies many of you guys love so much

    http://www.economist.com/node/21551461

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Don’t be a dick. The neoliberal central banktocracy is the fucking problem. The Left is not in charge in Europe. The neocons, bankers and capitalists are. Even the “Socialist” Party in Greece backed the bankers and the bailouts.

      • Gosman 15.1.1

        You read the article then CV? How is France’s problems caused by the neo-liberals based on that article?

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1

          Why would I want to base an analysis on a country around just one article, which you happen to have chosen?

    • KJT 15.2

      Of course Greece’ problems have nothing to do with decades of corrupt right wing authoritarian dictatorship??

      And the countries which have gone the furthest towards the Neo-liberal ideal are doing so well??

  16. Reagan Cline 16

    Gosman, you have been very busy and thoughtful in this thread. Do you have enough left in you to answer two questions ?
    1. Briefly outline “the benefits of trade”.
    2. What is a “view of the world” and in particular what is a “child-like view of the world” ?
    Here’s hoping.

    • Gosman 16.1

      The traditional economic view of the benefit of Trade is that with specialisation you increase overall productivity. Therefore it is more efficient to produce a few key things and trade surpluses rather than attempt to make everything yourself.

      The view of the world which is child like is that expresed by DTB in thinking that it makes sense to make all we need here in New Zealand. It is a Pollyannaish view of society where inputs are easily and efficiently available to be slotted into new areas without decreases in productivity and innovation. It is the sorts of things that Hippy’s and East Asian Stalinists believe in.

      • lprent 16.1.1

        The alternate view says that you shouldn’t leave your country too vunerable to strategic blackmail. There are many examples in recent history – over the last century.

        It is a balancing act. Economics isn’t exactly a disipline that takes much notice of politics, it seems to rely more on blind faith. Which is why economists like Brash are complete dorks at politics.

        • Gosman 16.1.1.1

          Although you could argue that trying to secure energy independence has caused the US more problems than if it just played nice with everyone and attempted to get them peacefully via trade. China attempting to get resources from places like in Africa is falling into a similar trap.

          By the way what countries were vulnerable to strategic blackmail?

        • Gosman 16.1.1.2

          What is your view on DTB’s idea about making pretty much everything in house here in NZ lprent? As a fellow IT professional you should know that the sophistication of even a basic IT set up wouldn’t be able to be produced purely by NZ based IT providers.

          • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.2.1

            s a fellow IT professional you should know that the sophistication of even a basic IT set up wouldn’t be able to be produced purely by NZ based IT providers.

            Oh noes, we might have to do some R&D.

            Fuck you’re an idiot. If anything can be made then we can make it here, just takes some work.

            • Gosman 16.1.1.2.1.1

              The question was directed to lprent not you. It is quite obvious you have little idea about the massive amount in interdependcies in an IT system. What operating system are you using to type your nonsense for a start? What browser are you using? How is your computer passing this to the internet? What routing software does your Internet provider user? How is the information transmitted to The Standard’s Internet provider? That is just the software and network set up. I haven’t even begun on the Hardware requirements. Remember you have to build all of these fresh and not breech patents or copywrite. Of course you could just steal other people’s ideas. As a hard core leftist stealing other people’s property is probably second nature to you so it will be fine I suppose.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yeah, like I said, you’re an idiot.

                Want to know why the computer you’re using is an IBM PC clone? It’s because it’s a standard. Make the hardware to that standard and you don’t have to copy anyone else’s ideas or trample on their patents. It’s how AMD got started in the CPU business – making CPUs that were Intel x86 compatible.

                Maintain those standards and all three main OSs’ will work on whatever platform is made.

            • jbc 16.1.1.2.1.2

              Bernard might have an argument but your position that NZ gets no benefit from trade is rather absurd.

              “we might have to do some R&D.”

              Today, if you take a small sample of products in everyday use you will find annual R&D far exceeding NZ’s GDP. Toyota, Pfizer, Intel together spent over $22B USD in 2007, Microsoft $7B, Nokia $7.7B, and so on.

              Japan spends 3.3% of its GDP on R&D, and that spending is greater than 100% of NZ’s GDP today – and that is with the benefit of all the technology we already import. The USA spends closer to 300% of NZ’s GDP on R&D.

              We buy technology at a very small fraction of the cost it would take to develop it. OECD countries alone have a population of over a billion people (more than 200 times the population of NZ).

              The price we pay for technology is a small fraction of the R&D cost alone.

              No benefit in trade? Are you sure about that?

              “If anything can be made then we can make it here, just takes some work.”

              Even with the aid of a full toolshed and several spools of number 8 wire it would take quite some time to reverse engineer a Core-i7 – even if you had a black-market scanning electron microscope in the shed and a graduate degree in engineering. To fully build a wafer fabrication plant and all of the dependent technology would bankrupt the country.

              Without trade we would be lucky to be out of the steam era.

              Back to Hickey’s post, the most disturbing thing to me is that NZ is borrowing 15% of GDP. It is definitely significant that the tax proportion has fallen 5% (from 34% to 29% of GDP) – that counts for a third of that borrowing.

              It’s the remaining 10% that is even more of a worry.

              • Colonial Viper

                Even with the aid of a full toolshed and several spools of number 8 wire it would take quite some time to reverse engineer a Core-i7 – even if you had a black-market scanning electron microscope in the shed and a graduate degree in engineering. To fully build a wafer fabrication plant and all of the dependent technology would bankrupt the country.

                You’re exaggerating rather badly here. Brand new Intel fab good for 28nm and 22nm production budgeted at US$8B. Expensive, but affordable, for a small country.

                http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-20020022-92.html

                But will we always buy the latest fastest Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPUs from Intel while we can? Of course. Because on top of the budget required you need the process and design expertise of which Intel is second to none. But they’re CPUS arent always going to be affordable or available in the future.

                And that’s what we need to plan for as a nation.

                Efficient and reasonably modern 65nm design and fab facilities are cheap as chips. Bet you a decent sized facility could be put together for $200M or so.

                Not even as much as the Holiday Highway, mate.

                Without trade we would be lucky to be out of the steam era.

                Localisation is the future, not globalisation. For high value items like CPUs, global sourcing will remain viable for longer. For shoes, shirts, soda and basic hand tools, less so.

                • jbc

                  “Brand new Intel fab good for 28nm and 22nm production budgeted at US$8B. Expensive, but affordable, for a small country.”

                  That’s assuming you can buy all the tooling ready made (i.e. trade).

                  Even with $100B you can’t build it without importing much of the dependent technology and raw materials.

                  Mining anyone?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    That’s assuming you can buy all the tooling ready made (i.e. trade).

                    You couldn’t for the 22nm stuff as a lot of that equipment Intel has designed in partnership with other providers and they will not let you near it.

                    For established 45nm, 65nm and 90nm manufacturing nodes, piece of piss. Not quite order on line but just about.

              • Draco T Bastard

                To fully build a wafer fabrication plant and all of the dependent technology would bankrupt the country.

                If you try to do it all over night yeah, sure but we’re not really that stupid. If we had pushed R&D into electronics from the 1960s then we would easily have kept up with the rest of the world. Now we have to play catchup but we can’t do that if everyone keeps saying that we can’t do it at all.

                Even with the aid of a full toolshed and several spools of number 8 wire it would take quite some time to reverse engineer a Core-i7…

                Why reverse engineer it? Just so long as the CPU can work with the same instructions it doesn’t have to be exactly the same. The real problem is the fabrication and we could duplicate that as well.

                Without trade we would be lucky to be out of the steam era.

                Right, and England, a small Island with similar population levels in the North Atlantic really didn’t have a global empire built upon having better tech than everyone else.

                • jbc

                  “Right, and England, a small Island with similar population levels in the North Atlantic really didn’t have a global empire built upon having better tech than everyone else.”

                  Funded largely by trade IIRC. English, Dutch, Portuguese, French… all competing for trade. All those international companies spring to mind.

                  With the acceleration in technology in the past couple of decades it would be impossible for a country the size of NZ to sustain current tech without trade.

                  Come to think of it: winding the clock back to the ’70s or early ’80s does have a certain appeal to it…

                  What about oil? Taranaki basin?

              • lprent

                From memory the tax drop is more than than 5% across the board. The 5% is just income tax. The biggest drop is in business with the slowdown. Most of the increase in deficit is due to the slowdown in the economy directly and indirectly. Higher unemployment and lower business receipts.

                The real problem is the diminished tax rates. They are structural and reduce the tax take even when times are better. In other words we lose the ability to pay back the deficits during upturns in the economy. That gives a death spiral into excessive deficits over decades.

                Basically National are useless short term thinkers. They forced (ie the Cullen cuts) or put in tax cuts that would have been unsustainable in a good economic times during bad economic times. The worst ombination. They did it just as we were about to get the bulge in the aged really kicking in. They expected to find easy cost savings that weren’t there. So far they have trimmed far less than the rate of their GST induced inflation from public expenditures.

                National are fiscal fuckwits with an inherent ideological stupidity who value short term profits and are too politically lazy to do what is required to keep the public finances sustainable over the long term. Just as they always are….

                • Gosman

                  Any comment on DTB’s idea about complete economic self sufficency lprent especially his views on creating a vertically integrated home based IT industry?

                • Gosman

                  Agreed they should have cut spending as well as tax cuts. Admittedly the last rounds of tax cuts were designed to be fiscally neutral but they aren’t really acting like a right leaning government if all they do is cut taxes and fail to reduce the size of Government.

                  • RedLogix

                    The reason why they don’t cut government (even more than they have already) is that while the ideology makes for good sound-bites when in Opposition, the reality of being in government is different.

                    What they find.. as is found everywhere else where it has been tried… is that if you as you slash the government sector the private sector shrinks as well.

                    The public and private sectors exist in a mutually beneficial synergy. BOTH sectors contribute to wealth generation and both depend on each other. But they have different characteristics. Private sector owners are relatively risk averse because for the large part they are individuals who need cash flow and reliable return. By contrast the public sector is owned by the whole nation and can spread the risk over the whole population and in time over several generations. Because of this the two sectors can undertake quite different… and mutually reinforcing …. enterprises. And this is also the basis of my assertion that the public sector is also the more reliable generator of wealth.

                    By observation most developed and sucessful countries run a public sector to GDP ratio in the range of 35-45%. New Zealand is at the low end of that scale therefore it is highly unlikely that out public sector is too large or bloated… and that any positive gains can be achieved by cutting it further.

                  • What cuts in spending do you think they should’ve done, Gosman? Considering they’ve saved about $20 million out of a multi-billion dollar budget – what do you think should be cut to make up for the $18.4 billion dollar debt?

                    No deflection please.

                    • Gosman

                      Frank I don’t mind answering your question so long as it is reciprocated when I ask you questions (which you have been ignoring recently). If you are cool with that then I am more than willing to answer this question.

  17. Reagan Cline 17

    Gosman, The US policy towards Japan in the 1930s amointed to “strategic blackmail”. One problem with trade is the exchange of products harmfull to one or both of the traders, as in the nineteenth century opium trade, where I believe China lost silver and gained opium, both exchanges harmful to the chinese people, but beneficial to the British. It is also possible that the exchange of dairy for non-durable plastic non-necessities is harmfull to both NZ and Chinese people today (and the climate if the coal smoke is an issue). I cannot disagree with you about IT gadgetry being best imported, but no-one is arguing that this trade is harmful to the producer or the importer – although the disposal of obsolete equipment is expensive to do properly and the vulnerability of our information exchange systems based on IT to power failures and radiation damage risks a much wider vulnerability.

    • Gosman 17.1

      Really??? So you are blaming Japanese expansion during the second world war on the US blackmailing them are you? Hmmmmm…. so given the fact the US imposed these on Japan after the Japanese attacked China your solution would have been what then? To have stood back and allowed Japan to rape and pillage?

      • Interesting…

        You’re not normally online at this time, Gosman. Different shift? Night off? Made redundant?

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.2

        So you are blaming Japanese expansion during the second world war on the US blackmailing them are you?

        Wow. What a historical ignoramus. Give you a clue – the US forced japan’s hand by cutting off its oil and energy supplies.

        • Gosman 17.1.2.1

          I love it. Japan attacking the US was really thge US’s fault not the fact that Japan was a militarily expansionst state that was trying to do to China what European powers did to Africa in the late 19th Century. Let me guess you might be one of these people who believe a woman had it coming if she wears a short skirt. That stated I’m reasonably confident you probably think the US provoked the attacks on september the 11th 2001 because of their ‘Aggressive neo-imperialistic blah blah blah’

          • McFlock 17.1.2.1.1

            Okay, so why did Japan attack the US, as answered by the History of the World According to Gos?

    • Gosman 17.2

      By the way The Opium wars were caused by the British not having the ability to use trade to Strategically blackmail the Chinese.The UK loved Chinese tea, potterry, and silk but had nothing that the Chinese really wanted except Silver. So they forced them to buy Opium from them. It is the reverse of the argument being made.

      • Really? Do tell…

        Umm, any thoughts on growing poverty in NZ; the growing income/wealth gap; and continuing to lag behind Australia DESPITE New Zealand being freer than Australia”s economy?

        • Gosman 17.2.1.1

          Simple really. The Australians don’t have a problem allowing their country to be dug up and the minerals being sold off to the Chinese. NZ does so we are poorer.

          BTW did you read that article about France from this weeks Economist Frank that I linked to? I get the impression that you are just happy reading stuff that reinforces your own perspective on things.

          I at least read the links provided by other people her. I might not agree with them but I at least attempt to understand how someone can think the way they do. For example the blame being put on the ‘evil’ financiers for forcing poor old Greece to take on all that Sovereign debt. I can see why someone beleiving that might think it isn’t due to the Greek economy being unproductive.

      • Colonial Viper 17.2.2

        lolololol Gossie you don’t know shit about the Opium Wars. Give you a clue – don’t leave out of your analysis the aims of the wider European colonial intrusion into China.

        • Gosman 17.2.2.1

          China wasn’t colonised until late for the same reason Africa wasn’t colonised until late. There was no economic benefit for doing so. You disagree wioth my analusis of the Opium wars then expand on your views.

          • Colonial Viper 17.2.2.1.1

            China wasn’t colonised until late for the same reason Africa wasn’t colonised until late. There was no economic benefit for doing so.

            lol yeah I guess the massive prices that rare Chinese silk, china, art works, tea, spices and antiques fetched back in Europe weren’t “economically beneficial”.

            Idiot.

            Another reason China was colonised late in the piece by Europe was because it was further away than India which England had to sort out first. Doh.

            • Colonial Viper 17.2.2.1.1.1

              Oh yeah about your “uneconomic” bullshit – the English extracted billions of pounds (todays currency) worth of gold and silver from China through war reparations. Sounds pretty good economically for the English.

              They did this through a series of “unequal treaties” forcing the Chinese to give up multiple rights for nothing in return from the British.

              As for the British supplying China with silver – in your dreams. The Crown wanted to supply China with Indian opium, not previous metals they wanted to keep for themselves.

              • Gosman

                You are having difficulty keeping up tonight aren’t you CV. I stated the Brits started trading Opium because they were sick of having to buy Chinese goods with Gold and Silver. This was BEFORE the Opium war. It was the unequal trade they felt they were subject to that led to the war. Funnily enough it is a little similar to Japan attacking the US in WWII which you seemed to blame on the US. I guess only european capitalists can be evil war mongers.

                • Colonial Viper

                  This was BEFORE the Opium war. It was the unequal trade they felt they were subject to that led to the war.

                  So you’re saying that the main reason that British invaded China was because the Brits felt they were being hard done by the cunning Chinese traders?

                  Perhaps it was more to do with the Brits realising that they could subjugate the militarily inferior Chinese and take by force whatever they wanted.

                  You are having difficulty keeping up tonight aren’t you CV.

                  Don’t flatter yourself, because no one else will.

                  I guess only european capitalists can be evil war mongers.

                  That is indeed the history of the last 25 years.

                  • Gosman

                    “So you’re saying that the main reason that British invaded China was because the Brits felt they were being hard done by the cunning Chinese traders?”

                    No – Do try and keep up. They attacked China because China was trying to stop them selling Opium. They were selling Opium because it was the one product that they could trade profitable in any large amount with the Chinese so they could then purchase Chinese products. Chinese traders weren’t doing anything really other than selling their wares.

                    “Don’t flatter yourself, because no one else will.”

                    That makes no sense. In such a case it would make sense to flatter ones self BECAUSE no one else will.

                    “That is indeed the history of the last 25 years.”

                    So What was the Congo war about given it involved half a dozen or more African nations and not a European country to be seen?

            • Gosman 17.2.2.1.1.2

              China wasn’t ‘colonised’ until the middle to late 19th Century. By the same time European powers had been actively engaged in places like the America’s, India, Indonesia, and even Australia. The point is colonisation was still subject to a cost benefit analysis. It was far easier to trade with nations that try to attack them militarily.Even when the Chinese were defeated in the First Opium war all the Brits really did was grab Hong Kong and open up more ports to trade. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that they started to impose European spjeres of influence on them. They could have done this far earlier if they wanted to. Chinese trade was still more lucrative in the mid 19th centure than trade with lots of other places (e.g. between Europe and the South Pacific for example).

              • Colonial Viper

                Yeah well your stupid European-centric version of history is increasingly irrelevant now as it appears that the Chinese will be the ones writing the history books in the next 50 years.

                BTW the Chinese did learn to apply the lessons of Western capitalist colonisation very well, did they not. They’ve successfully sucked trillions of dollars worth of capital and technology from the west since the early 1980s.

                • Gosman

                  “…They’ve successfully sucked trillions of dollars worth of capital and technology from the west since the early 1980s.”

                  Finally your are starting to see the benefits of Free Trade and Foreign Direct Investment. Perhaps there is hope for you yet. On the other hand I don’t think so.

  18. Reagan Cline 18

    Gosman,

    Some trade is bad for people. Silver and opium are not products requiring highly specialised inputs, right ? And the trade was bad for the chinese.

    The US said “stay out of our backyard or we will stop the oil”.

    • Gosman 18.1

      Bad is a subjective term. I don’t actually think trading in drugs should be illegal. Controlled yes, illegal no. All you do by making them illegal is create a wealth of social problems far greater than the individual hurt the drug themselves might cause.

    • Gosman 18.2

      The US imposed sanctions on Japan because of their actions in China. This technically was Japan’s backyard not the US’s.

      BTW Opium production is actually quite an intensive process.

      • Colonial Viper 18.2.1

        Bullshit the US imposed sanctions on Japan to goad the Japanese into a war. The US didn’t give a shit about the Chinese. (Just like the US don’t give a shit about those poor Iraqi, Libyan or Syrian civilians any further than it assists their own geopolitical interests).

        • Gosman 18.2.1.1

          Sure CV. You keep telling yourself that. Perhaps one day the History books will be rewritten to reflect the world according to CV. Then you can laugh and tell yourself you were right all along.

        • joe90 18.2.1.2

          Bullshit the US imposed sanctions on Japan to goad the Japanese into a war

          Neutrality Acts of 1937

  19. Reagan Cline 19

    Fair enough, but still a form of “strategic blackmail” surely.

    Intensive and tine consuming, but very very low tech.

    • Gosman 19.1

      Depends on your definition of blackmail. If you don’t like what another country is doing you have only a few options. Strongly worded diplomatic complaint is one, withdrawing your diplomatic representative is another, imposing some for of sanction against their interests in your country is another. Ultimately the final option is obviously going to war. Now if you regard all of these as forms of blackmail then it would be. I obviously don’t.

  20. Colonial Viper 20

    BRICS to create own global bank: challenge to Western IMF/World Bank/USD establishment.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/brics-bank-rival-world-bank-and-imf-and-challenge-dollar-dominance

    Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Between them 28% of global GDP and growing (while the US and Europe sinks).

    And poor little Gossie still believes in BAU.

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    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Campaign to make Murder of Unborn ”Safe and Legal”
    The IPPF have launched an international campaign through its 161 affiliates including the New Zealand Family Planning Association [NZFPA] to make the murder of the unborn safe and legal and accepted as a human right. This is an acceleration of...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Grant Robertson Labour leader hopeful on TVNZ Q+A
    “Look I think what we need to be is relevant, clear and consistent with New Zealanders about the Labour Party's values,” said Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour Needs to Get House in Order Before Deciding Leader
    Ex Labour party leader and possible repeat contender David Shearer says the Labour Party is going about the post-election period in the wrong way....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
    “It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
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