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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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    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • The Deep State Surfaces
    IT IS EIGHTEEN YEARS since education lecturer, Denis Small, surprised two Security Intelligence Service (SIS) agents attempting to break into the home of the anti-free trade activist, Aziz Choudry. The SIS was to pay dearly (quite literally as it turned...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why bother joining a union?
    This past couple of weeks Unite has had a number of graphic examples on why it can make a huge difference in you work life whether you are a union member or not. 100 cleaners jobs at SkyCity were saved...
    The Daily Blog
  • Ferguson – it just ain’t cricket
    Why do white men fear young black men? Why in this country do we continue to struggle with this? Asked by an old black guy in Ferguson, the crafty questions were answered by an abrupt end to the story to...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: If we want to understand the world around us, we might be bett...
    Psychologist Daniel Kahneman is a Nobel Prize winner and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, a depressing but impressive book that is the culmination of his life’s work. Kahnemann proposes that people think in two different modes – ‘fast’ and ‘slow’....
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep 2.
    TDB Video: The Daily Blog Breakfast Club, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week Activist and blogger Jessie Hume and political commentator Keith Locke. This Week: Topic...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Slater-Key Txt-Messages Trip-Up – Did Cameron Slater Plan this?
    . Cameron Slater (L) and John Key (R) . Timeline Sunday 23 November: John Key apologises to right-wing blogger Cameron Slater over the publication of an email that forced Justice Minister Judith Collins’ resignation. Monday 24 November: John Key and...
    The Daily Blog
  • When the teflon is stripped away…
    . . To re-cap something I wrote on 13 September, regarding a hard-hitting interview between “The Nation’s” Lisa Owen and John Key; For possibly the first time since Stephen Sackur interviewed Key on Hard Talk in May, 2011, this [...
    The Daily Blog
  • My Select Committee submission against the “terrorist fighters” bill
    This morning I gave this “oral submission” to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee opposing the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill.  It is a pity only Greens are against the Bill. It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Pixies in the Garden? Making money
    In 2009, John Key said “there aren’t little pixies at the bottom of the garden printing cash” (John Armstrong, Colin Espiner). He was wrong of course. Just about every country has its own pixie-in-chief, though not at the bottom of the...
    The Daily Blog
  • AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE – Government must allow further scrut...
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • Tension inside the Blue Tent – questions that should be asked
    With Andrew Little on fire taking a straight shooting no crap approach to Key’s dead eyed duplicity, the tensions inside the Blue Tent of National are at risk of erupting again. When the TeamKey brand falters, National’s factions sharpen their knives....
    The Daily Blog
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lisa Owen interviews Glenn Inquiry chair Bill Wilson
    Lisa Owen: Family violence in this country has been described as the slow-burning disaster. It accounts for half of homicides and takes a third of police resources. The Glenn Inquiry's final blueprint was released on Friday, calling for a designated...
    Scoop politics
  • Lisa Owen interviews Finance Minister Bill English
    He’s still “confident” the Government will make its forecast surplus in the 2014/15 year although dairy prices have dropped “further and faster than expected”...
    Scoop politics
  • Q + A 30/11/14: Spying, Family Violence, Texts
    We'll debate why the State needs new powers to spy on Kiwis and the controversial laws that are being rushed through Parliament....
    Scoop politics
  • Arrival of Phillip Smith in New Zealand
    On arrival with his police escort at Auckland Airport tomorrow morning Phillip Smith will be met by other police staff and complete customs and immigration formalities....
    Scoop politics
  • UNICEF Calls on NZ Youth to Apply for Youth Ambassador Roles
    UNICEF NZ Calls on NZ Youth to Apply for Youth Ambassador Roles UNICEF NZ has once again launched its nationwide search for six new Youth Ambassadors and is calling on enthusiastic young people to apply before Friday, 12 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwifruit Claim Filed in High Court in Wellington
    The Kiwifruit Claim’s statement of claim has been filed in the High Court in Wellington this afternoon....
    Scoop politics
  • Judgment: John Banks Dotcom Donation Appeal
    A The application to adduce the evidence of Messrs Schaeffer and Karnes is granted. B The application to adduce evidence of Mr Dotcom’s driving conviction is declined. C The appeal is allowed. D The conviction is set aside and a...
    Scoop politics
  • Doctors support call for independent health assessment
    Senior doctors and dentists are formally throwing their weight behind growing calls for a formal independent health assessment of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). A recommendation about the TPPA was put to 134 public hospital specialists...
    Scoop politics
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau: Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 November 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday Saturday 29 November 2014 | The new Minister for Maori Development is taking a fresh look at the Te Reo...
    Scoop politics
  • Anti-speeding campaign based on phony science
    Ticketing ordinary motorists will have no effect on the groups who cause most road deaths, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics
  • Human Rights lawyers’ concerns over Terrorist Fighters Bill
    The Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill will dramatically erode human rights and civil liberties if passed in its current form, said the Human Rights Lawyer’s Association Aotearoa New Zealand (HRLA)....
    Scoop politics
  • Privacy Commissioner’s naming policy
    Following a period of public consultation, the Privacy Commissioner is implementing a new policy on naming agencies that are in breach of the Privacy Act. The change takes effect on 1 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Need for whole-of-government approach to family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says The People’s Blueprint report by the Glenn Inquiry makes a strong case for a whole-of-government approach to combatting family violence, and highlights some of the ways we could do things better....
    Scoop politics
  • Stop Fracking in Our Big Blue Backyard – Frack Free Kapiti
    Evidence given at the EPA hearing of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at sea blows the industry accepted line that fracking is not happening offshore in New Zealand right out of the water....
    Scoop politics
  • Solidarity with West Papua on 1 December
    Below are the details of the solidarity events in Aotearoa New Zealand to mark West Papua Independence Day, 1 December - there are four events this year: one in Christchurch, one in Wellington and two in Auckland. If you are...
    Scoop politics
  • No charges laid over piggeries investigations
    No charges laid over piggeries investigations 28 November 2014 The Ministry for Primary Industries did not have sufficient evidence to lay charges following two animal welfare investigations into incidents at piggeries earlier this year. The investigations...
    Scoop politics
  • Deep Sea Drilling in Rising Seas
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's report on the effects of rising sea levels and climate change adds another argument against this Government's expansion of fossil fuel exploration....
    Scoop politics
  • Slower population growth in the long term
    New Zealand's population will likely grow by 1.4–1.8 percent a year during 2014–16, but growth will be lower in the long term, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics
  • Big Buddy on the Glenn Inquiry People’s Blueprint
    November 28, 2014 The inclusion of robust screening as a tool to prevent child abuse, highlighted in the Glenn Inquiry’s People’s Blueprint, is welcomed by Big Buddy CEO Richard Aston. “It’s heartening to see this high-calibre report come out...
    Scoop politics
  • People’s Blueprint for tackling Family Violence
    The recently Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence (DCAFV) is pleased to support the fundamental changes in the way our legal system deals with family violence that the report calls for. We need to do more to support victims, and ensure...
    Scoop politics
  • People’s Blueprint – Both Good News and a Wake-Up Call
    The Patron of the Glenn Inquiry, Dame Catherine Tizard, says there is some good news in The People’s Blueprint, after the shocking picture painted six months ago in The People’s Report....
    Scoop politics
  • Glenn Inquiry Funder Keeps His Promise
    The founder and funder of the Glenn Inquiry, Sir Owen Glenn, said today he has kept the promise he made when he set up the independent inquiry in 2012. “I set up the Glenn Inquiry because it was clear to...
    Scoop politics
  • Support for Blue Print call for a stand-alone agency
    Human Rights Commissioner lead on family violence, Dr Jackie Blue welcomes the Glenn Inquiry, ‘The People’s Blue Print’, which places at its heart that being safe and free from violence is a fundamental human right....
    Scoop politics
  • People’s Blueprint Offers Solutions to Family Violence
    New Zealand has a fresh opportunity to reduce child abuse and family violence and save and restore lives under a powerful new model for combating the problem proposed by the Glenn Inquiry....
    Scoop politics
  • Submission: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    My three key areas of concern relate to: • The duration of visual surveillance warrants; • The controls around warrantless surveillance powers; • Clarifying the continuation of controls around access to Passenger Name Record (PNR) data under...
    Scoop politics
  • The case is clear for climate action that supports health
    The need for rapid action on climate change in New Zealand in order to protect health is clear, according to a group of climate and health experts. Countries elsewhere in the world are already taking significant action, while New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • EDUCANZ Debate Ignores Teachers
    The legislation for the creation of the new EDUCANZ to replace the former Teachers’ Council body is now undergoing its second reading. Without warning, it was promoted to the top the queue this week....
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith en-route back to New Zealand.
    Police confirm that Phillip Smith has been deported from Brazil and is en-route back to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Scaremongering and Showing Contempt for Democracy
    The government has been accused of fabricating an increased risk to New Zealand security to justify new invasive powers in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. And its decision to allow just 48 hours for public submissions on the Bill...
    Scoop politics
  • Legislation “a travesty of democratic process”
    Peace Movement Aotearoa today called on the government to put the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill on hold - pending a comprehensive review of existing legislation - in a written submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee,...
    Scoop politics
  • Bill needs amending to better protect human rights
    The Human Rights Commission submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee this afternoon on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill makes specific recommendations relating to passport denial; increasing safeguards around visual...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ’s gender equality issues in international forum
    New Zealand faces similar gender equality issues and opportunities to those of its neighbouring countries, according to the latest international conference on women’s empowerment....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering human trafficking is an ongoing challenge for NZ
    At first glance, it is difficult to believe that human trafficking is an offence that is taking place in New Zealand. It is a harsh reminder that the rule of law sometimes does not reach far enough....
    Scoop politics
  • Government must allow further scrutiny of bill
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    Scoop politics
  • Calling on anti-violence activists to step up
    Māori Party co-leaders believe every individual, whānau, hapū and iwi can help stop the high level of family violence that exists in our country....
    Scoop politics
  • More effective social services inquiry update Nov 2014
    The Productivity Commission’s More effective social services inquiry aims to shed light on how commissioning and contracting influence the quality and effectiveness of social services, and to suggest actions government agencies and others could take...
    Scoop politics
  • Keith Locke presentation on Countering Foreign Fighters Bill
    It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to members of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee again, and remember my 12 years on your committee. However, I don’t wish my submission today to be taken as endorsement of...
    Scoop politics
  • Significant issues for NZ in sea level rise report
    Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has recognised findings of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright’s report released today on the impact of rising seas as significant for coastal areas of New Zealand, aligning well with work the...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Campaign Shocked at Fatal Stabbing
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    Scoop politics
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    Scoop politics
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    Scoop politics
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    Scoop politics
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    Scoop politics
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    Scoop politics
  • Council refuses to take part in farcical submissions process
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    Scoop politics
  • Laws of War to Be Debated at Wellington Event
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    Scoop politics
  • Forum Compact Development Partner Peer Review of New Zealand
    Following the completion of the first leg of the review of New Zealand’s development cooperation in the Pacific, the Forum Compact Review Team is now visiting Kiribati to assess the effectiveness of New Zealand’s assistance in the small island developing...
    Scoop politics
  • YWCA Auckland award for long-time women’s role model
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    Scoop politics
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