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DomPost “a joke”

Written By: - Date published: 10:23 am, July 12th, 2012 - 33 comments
Categories: david parker, Economy, making shit up - Tags:

In what passes for political comment in today’s increasingly anorexic DomPost, we read that David Parker issued a speech that “criticised National  for failing to boost imports and control housing prices.” That didn’t sound like David Parker. Sure enough, his speech actually put the finger on the real problem, the government’s failure to boost exports. It’s a very good speech – you can read it in full here.

The DomPost’s error was used to give Key an opportunity to comment, with a  snippet  headlined “PM quick with the putdown,” and with the weak riposte that Labour is “a joke.” One thing is for sure, New Zealand’s ever-receding “brighter future”  is no joke. At least David Parker has some ideas about what to do about it. Vernon Small highlighted them last week, in the context of telling us that National was about to repackage it’s tired old to-do list to make it look like it was actually doing something.

While Labour’s recipe is far from populist, and is only making incremental inroads in its polling, it can rightly claim an agenda that is big- picture and far-reaching.

By anyone’s measure you could never describe a capital gains tax, significant changes to monetary policy, a big push on savings, more for research and development and a long-term plan to lift the state pension age as mere tinkering. In contrast, the Government’s regime, led by Finance Minister Bill English with Steven Joyce riding shotgun on the MoBIE ministry, has been incrementalist.

I’d like to see the DomPost put it right. Labour’s “big picture and far-reaching agenda” won’t ever be populist if the media garble it. Tell us all about what Parker actually says, and then let us decide which party is the joke.

33 comments on “DomPost “a joke””

  1. Socialist Paddy 1

    I read the speech but I could not figure out if this was a speech by a Labour Financial spokesperson or a National financial spokesperson.

    There was nothing about rich and poor and the thieving of the world’s wealth that has been done by the top 1%. 

    There was nothing there about the banking system or how the bastards have the utter indecency to not only drive the world’s economy into a ditch but then pay themselves bonuses from our money given to them to bail them out.

    Resource depletion, peak oil and climate change are not mentioned.  The guy seems to think that we will all be OK and that business will continue as usual.

    This was a pale insipid speech.

    Give me Cunliffe any day.  At least he will discuss having a Tobin tax and he realizes the world’s carrying capability is limited.

    • Carol 1.1

      Agreed. David Parker is an uninspiring light-weight, and has absorbed too much of the neoliberal agenda.

      I don’t know why the Labour Party persists with him.

      • Dr Terry 1.1.1

        Agreed Carol. Sometimes I am led to wonder why the current Labour Party persists with anything. Cunliffe, of course, should be leader – but (sigh) what can one do?

        • Carol

          I don’t know. But it seems like there’s an “old guard” who don’t want to be led by someone they don’t get on with. Now if that’s someone the membership wants, maybe the old guard needs to look at themselves as being the problem, not the members’ choice of leader.

      • Because economically, the Labour party is largely composed of uninspiring light-weights that have absorbed too much of the neoliberal agenda.

        Parker isn’t the problem, the problem is the current Labour party’s economic policy.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Pray tell what was different from the Clark years.
          Its absurd to think that winning an election gives a government some sort of extraordinary powers over an economy. Some small levers are able to pushed thats all. The Reserve Bank has far more direct control.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      I read the speech but I could not figure out if this was a speech by a Labour Financial spokesperson or a National financial spokesperson.

      It was a speech by someone who confuses the movement of money to economics. Someone that claims that we need more exports and more growth in a world where both are in decline due to hard physical limits. In other words, a speech by someone disconnected from reality which, IMO, perfectly describes both National and Labour.

      • McFlock 1.2.1

        Actually, velocity of money in an economy does have an effect (if nobody spends anything, the economy is stopped). But it only works if everyone has a little bit.
        Tories these days seem to think that if we all stand in a circle playing “hot potato”, because everyone has touched the spud everyone must possess a spud to eat.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The economy: The limited resources we have available
          Money: A tool used to distribute those limited resources

          The confusion comes from believing that the movement of money = the economy. In fact, from reading that speech, I’d say he’s more confusing money for the economy (I must admit that my first sentence wasn’t right and didn’t convey what I actually meant). His plan (and that of National) sells off the economy (export of product) for money leaving us with nothing. We won’t be able to import anything after that either because we won’t have any resources and, due to the debt based monetary system, we won’t have any money either.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    How the fuck do you boost exports when the global economy is collapsing and China’s energy usage has declined back to 2011 levels?

    Do we have any pollies in Wellington who live in the current reality???

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      “How the fuck do you boost exports when the global economy is collapsing and China’s energy usage has declined back to 2011 levels?”

      Depends exactly what it is you’re exporting, doesn’t it? We seem to have increased the export of New Zealanders going abroad to live.

      Hopefully in a year or two we’ll be able to export a finance wizard to permanent retirement in Hawaii too.

      • Jackal 2.1.1

        You increase exports by reducing overheads and competing more aggressively on the global market. In New Zealand this invariably means keeping wages low and subsidizing production and transportation with taxpayer’s money.

        The real problem is that the internal economy has to support production, and without enough money going to communities our local economy is floundering. Therefore the finances to subsidize the export sector will not be available and the only way to prop up our remaining production to ensure competitiveness is to attack workers rights.

        Competing with a worker who gets paid as little as 450 Chinese Yuan ($89 NZ dollars) a month is never going to be a viable proposition. In this way globalisation has impoverished even more people and is therefore a complete economic failure.

        • Sam Hall

          I remember you now, Inspirational.

          Say, now that Gareth Morgan etal;’s The Big Kahuna” has come into our flat reading list do you or DTB or others have any involvement in its production?

      • mike e 2.1.2

        He probably will take a wide birth from Hawaii because by then the SEC will be wanting
        Neo conmankey for his shifty dealings while at Merrill Lynch

  3. deemac 3

    there are other ways to increase exports, Jackal. You merely state the current method preferred by NZ’s shortsighted capitalists and encouraged by this government. The alternatives could include high-tech, high skill exports – we already have a handful of these but you don’t read about them outside the business pages. Look at other similar-sized countries that encourage innovation rather than our third world style reliance on exporting primary products.

  4. Mike Smith 4

    Nothing about the rich – capital gains tax? Nothing about the Banks – change the Reserve Bank Act? Just like National – give me a break!

    We can increase exports – pay our way in the world – by changing the mix away from low-value low-wage commodities to high value-added solutions. Countries that have done this are still exporting as Parker shows. Denmark relied on dairy 50 years ago – not now. Modern manufacturing doesn’t compete with Chinese production lines – it’s about ideas, software, 3-D printing.

    • Socialist Paddy 4.1

      Nothing about the rich – capital gains tax?
      But the Capital Gains Tax is not said to be to redress excessive wealth. According to Parker “A capital gains tax would not be a tax grab, but a first step in reconfiguring the tax system to make it more productive.”
      Nothing about the Banks – change the Reserve Bank Act?
      Parker talks about Reserve Bank reform but only about “Reserve Bank independence, and to a low inflation target.”
      I agree it would be good to increase exports to high value add ones.  But this does not come close to addressing sustainability.
      It still feels like the speech a tory would give.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1

        Well they are not giving it. their philosophy is laissez faire, or do nothing in local terms except when their mates need a favour or two

      • Fortran 4.1.2

        Parker says nothing that would resonate among normal Labour voters.
        Reserve Bank ,CGT etc goes well over their heads.
        Policy should be to take a positive standpoint that voters can see in themselves.
        Come down out of the clouds, and make policy for real people.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      With all due respect Mike, 50 years ago was 1962, China was still in the dark ages, conventional oil and energy production were still rocketing upwards, and the global population (and hence global demand) was set to increase 50% from 5B to 7.5B.

      None of those trends are sustainable now. The recipe for success today is not going to be the same recipe which launched Japan ahead after WWII.

      Modern manufacturing doesn’t compete with Chinese production lines – it’s about ideas, software, 3-D printing.

      China does modern manufacturing. The US and the Europeans handed over all their know-how to do so.

      And India has millions of people working in IT.

      But this is all beside the point – in a global Great Recession, you can export all you like, but who is going to be buying?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2.1

        You are still missing the point about Chinese manufacturing.

        Take Apple and its use of vast Chinese factories to assemble ipads etc.

        This is no different from NZ in the 60s and 70s when we assembled TVs- apart from scale.

        The components and ideas where done elsewhere and when they closed nothing was left but empty shells.

        Name 5 major Chinese products that all the IP comes from China and the end product is sold through a chinese brand !

  5. Sam Hall 5

    Regarding MSM do folk take the time to submit articles to Marxist, Ecological or Deconstructionist teqniques in the available comments sections?

    Are there “good trolls”.


  6. fender 6

    The DomPost is a crap propaganda waste of ink that prints what Key & Co. supply them.

    I don’t read it anymore, it was making my brain bleed.

    fearfactsexposed.wordpress.com/ writes well about this poor excuse for a newspaper.

    • I wouldn’t so much call it a propaganda arm of the current government- that’s more The Herald’s job. The DomPost tries to soft-sell conservatism of both the economic and social varieties.

      • fender 6.1.1

        The Dompost is worse than The Herald I believe. The Dom. will just ignore news from time to time if it’s deemed damaging to brand Key. They even resisted reporting on the occupy movement because it didn’t fit their agenda.

        I encourage subscribers to cancel whenever I come across one, and thankfully its getting harder to find a subscriber these days, but thats what should happen to any newspaper that only wants to push its own barrow so blatantly.

    • Tom Gould 6.2

      Reads like something Tracey Watkins, the Tory lapdog and Key publicist, would write?

  7. Tigger 7

    Glad to see this post, Mike. I thought I was dreaming when I read that on the inside cover today. Given the headline you’d expect Key had conjured up the joke of the century. But no, he said Labour was a ‘joke’. Wow, combined with his show of expert comic timing on Letterman this ought to nab Key a post-PM job as a stand-up comedian. Pathetic stuff by the Dom Post. Then again, I’ve hardly read a local paper, print or online, in months. Only saw it while waiting for my coffee at the cafe this morning. I’ve cut out all broadcast news as well. The MSM is dead, time for them to shuffle off and stop pretending they’re still alive.

  8. BillODrees 8

    It is an embarassing speech.  The contast between The Fabians recent set of “Titanic” speeches and this Parker speech is massive.  Mike Smith, a Fabian, should know better than support crap like this.  

    Is someone putting Bromide in the Tea in the Labour Caucus room? 

  9. Parker is a financial illiterate.
    Get rid of him and put Cunliffe there – he has good commercial financial experience.
    He must have as he is quite rich from his pre political days.

    • mike e 9.1

      +1 Fortan

    • felix 9.2

      Ah, the same logic that bought us the economic genius of John Key.


      (I happen to agree with the conclusion, just not the reasoning)

    • BillODrees 9.3

      With respect Fortran, John Key made money in a pre-political life and is a total failure  on the economy. I never understood why people thought a derivitaves trader could understand a domestic economy.  Yes David Cunliffe is a Fulbright Harvard Master Graduate and had a successful career as a Diplomat and a very succesful Boston Consulting guy.  I’d guess “comfortable” but certainly not rich. 

      • Colonial Viper 9.3.1

        John Key knows how to game a casino table. He’s expert at it. That’s what we’ve seen the big banks do with LIEBORgate con and the JP Morgue CIO scandal.

        About running a physical real economy. Well, that he has no fucking idea of. Or the needs of small business. Don’t make me laugh. Neither does the typical false assumption ridden ‘economist’ that our media remains enamoured of.

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