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Drip, drip, drip of job losses

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, June 18th, 2011 - 238 comments
Categories: jobs - Tags: , , ,

It seems that every day recently there are new stories of job losses in the news.  Living in National’s Brighter Future we have 304 job losses in Waipukurau and 171 full-time-equivalent jobs lost in Christchurch yesterday.  The day before we had 55 staff at Pumpkin Patch told they could face redundancy (and hundreds in their US operations).  Earlier in the week we had 61 job losses as the Colorado chain shut down.  20 jobs as Breakers Bar closed in New Plymouth.

Not long before this we had Yarrows, where 41 were made redundant and 192 forced onto new no redundancy contracts.  Designline went bust in Rolleston, with more than 90 staff having lost their jobs over the last few months.  Far more jobs at suppliers are at risk too.

Government refusing to back Kiwi jobs cost another 40 jobs at Hillside in Dunedin also earlier this month.  At the end of last month 25 jobs and 6 Whitcoulls shops were gone, with once again remaining workers being threatened out of pay and conditions.

And those were just the ones that made the news in the last 3 weeks.  The Public Service has lost 2000 jobs and is expecting 2000 more jobs to be frittered away as they make the $1 billion in cuts to services that the government has targeted.  Hawkes Bay and Northland are feeling the bite of unemployment particularly acutely.  Although Auckland with 7.9% unemployment isn’t doing much better.

But the government doesn’t seem to have a plan over this crisis.  They’ve been contributing to it by raising the dollar through excess borrowing, which is hurting our exporters.  But they refuse to help it by backing Kiwi workers to build our infrastructure like trains.  We will probably see imported labour re-build Christchurch too, as the government hasn’t put the requisite skills training in place in time.

Now their only idea for unemployment is to cut youth wages to possibly $8/hour.  The initial announcement is for up to 24-year-olds, but I suspect that will be scaled back to 19-year-olds as they follow their general bait and switch formula to appear ‘moderate’.

No-one should have to work for less than a living wage of $15 / hour.  Rent and food (up 7.4% in year to May) cost no less if you are 19 than if you are 40.  There’s no discrimination on power and fuel prices for being young.  Why should we expect people to work for less than it costs to live and do that work, whether they are 18 or 80?

I’d like to see a move amongst councils and businesses here similar to the Living Wage campaign in UK as promoted by the Fair Pay Network.  So that all Kiwi workers are guaranteed the respect of a minimum income to meet their needs, and our wages can catch up with the productivity gains we’ve seen in the last 30 years.

Then we might see a stronger economy where workers can afford to help us out of recession.

238 comments on “Drip, drip, drip of job losses”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    National no vision, no plan (except to sell our assets to their mates), and totally leaderless. On a weekly basis I run into someone who is either seriously looking at relocating to Australia or who you find out “oh yeah you have not seen them for a while because they have already gone”. Sadly my thoughts more and more are, and who can blame them.

  2. jackal 2

    I recall Roger Douglas saying that they had to sacrifice generation X. It now seems that National are following the same formula, which will destroy the futures of many young people. How does pay disparity close the gap with Australia? That’s where everybody who can is going. In this instance the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence so to speak.

    • KJT 2.1

      Now that we have sacrificed W, X,Y and Z do we start again at A or do we get rid of our politicians and rule ourselves.

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        kind’ve temporally-reversed cannibalism, each generation feeding off its offspring…

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Old arthritic rich pricks with lots of money and properties, but whose grandchildren are never seen and in many different far away lands because their NZ homeland was stripped bare.

  3. Peter 3

    National do have a plan. Reduce the relative size of the State sector, have a more flexible job market, sell-off assets and watch what happens.

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.1

      Oh the 80s re run, it didn’t work then it sure as hell is not working now. So were you asleep in the 80s Peter or to young to remember the havock this approached caused last time, the country went backwards and has not recovered since?

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      have a more flexible job market, sell-off assets and watch what happens.

      We are watching what happens, Ben kindly outlined it for us above.

      more flexible job market

      You do know that this is a job market where workers are pressured, twisted, pushed, crushed, bent over forwards, and finally broken. Don’t you.

      Is this the kind of job market that you want to work in and you want your children to work in?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        Personally, I think the job market needs to be removed. People should be able to do the work they want, where they want and when they want and not be forced to do any soul destroying job by the capitalists who are withholding the necessities of life so as to make themselves richer. Yes, that is exactly what NAct mean when they say that want people off the benefits – force people to work so as to make other people richer.

        Wage Slave is a perfectly accurate description.

    • Bunji 3.3

      If you call:
      1. Sell off State
      2. ???
      3. Profit!

      A plan

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Well somethings gotta blow. Downward pressure on wages, rising living costs, punative WINZ methods, attacks on the welfare state, more and more people unemployed. Not everyone can skip off to Aussie, or wants to. Why just hand the country over to these bastards?

    The monthly job loss tallies are a 90s re-run, but what has changed from then is fight backs will be in a changed environment of increased state surveillance powers (computer hacking with no warrant required), more cops with more gear to obtain compliance (guns, pepper, taser, light weight ‘riot’ suits), video courts, legal aid in doubt, more prisons. Talk about ‘working for the clampdown’ it is already here.

  5. Brett 5

    We will probably see imported labour re-build Christchurch too, as the government hasn’t put the requisite skills training in place in time.

    Can you expand on this.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Can you expand on this.

      In words of one syllable… or less?

    • Bunji 5.2

      It was Key himself who suggested in parliament a 2-3 months ago Chinese workers be brought over for the rebuild, although he somewhat rowed back on that…
      But still, there isn’t a plan to train the requisite number of skilled workers. See here, and here.

      So who will do the work?

      • Brett 5.2.1

        About 5 or so years ago there was a massive push to get young people into the trades.
        When the housing boom ended most of these young apprentices were laid off, NZ has a huge amount of young men who have at least a couple of years in the trades behind them.
        A lot of these guys will probably head to Christchurch when the rebuild starts.

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1

          When the housing boom ended most of these young apprentices were laid off, NZ has a huge amount of young men who have at least a couple of years in the trades behind them.

          They’re not in NZ any more.

          • Brett 5.2.1.1.1

            Don’t know about that.
            Mates all mention how often they are approached by apprentices who have been let go and are looking for work.

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Young apprentices are still around but anyone who got their ticket is long gone. Those young guys still here are just desperate to finish the rest of their time and then bail.

              And you can’t rebuild Christchurch with unqualified trainees, no matter how many there are.

        • KJT 5.2.1.2

          I was looking for them for the last 14 years to work for me.

          They are not in NZ any more.

          Only one that did work experience/apprenticeship with me is still here, out of 14.

          The rest are either finishing their apprenticeship in Australia. (Courses paid for by the Aussie Government) or have good jobs over there.

          The average age in one of my trades is 52. In the other it is 56.

          • Jim Nald 5.2.1.2.1

            “We want New Zealanders to realise their aspirations through better opportunities in a prosperous, competitive and open economy.” In Australia.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    If lower wages for NZ workers is a “competitive advantage” according to Bill English, then zero wages and ending up on the dole queue must be a true economic miracle.

  7. Bored 7

    National represents those who HAVE versus those that DONT HAVE. In particular they represent the larger corporate interests such as banks and large foreign investors. They claim to represent all business which is from their actions simply not true.

    As somebody running sub corporate businesses the things I am seeing are slowed sales and restrained revenues along with increased costs. Gutting out the state sector only succeeds in shrinking the available market whilst delivering no cost benefits. For example if we dont make much profit we dont pay much tax, cut our markets to the bone and we wont have a profit to pay tax from, nor pay higher wages. The only business beneficiaries from this attack on government expenditure are the large businesses who hold oligarchic / monopoly positions and who demand more government support whilst at the same time demanding tax breaks.

    Most workers are employed by small businesses, larger enterprises have because of “free trade” practices offshored production to cheap labour countries. The flimsy concept that the industries offshored would be replaced by new higher tech higher value enterprises has proven farcical. What is left in NZ simply cannot keep pace with the rapacious demands of large scale international capital and finance to extract the most they can here, leaving us impoverished and without enough job creating capital.

    Whilst we on the left demand higher wages we need to be very aware that an increasing number of employers are close to going to the wall. Straws break camels backs.

    • KJT 7.1

      The obvious answer is to increase taxes for those who take money out of the economy. Pay more within New Zealand so our customers can afford our products. Higher benefits, wages and State service employment.

      We are in a downward spiral. Decreasing wages and employment = less demand = less business income =- less tax paid = less money for wages.

      Note that in successive business confidence surveys the main problems business has had is excessive interest rates/lack of development capital , too high a dollar and low demand.
      Not high wages.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Actually, the obvious answer is to dump the free-market and start to develop our society is such a way that trade isn’t needed. To live within the limits of our own Renewable Resource Base. Dump the monetary/financial economy because it simply doesn’t work.

      • KJT 7.1.2

        Thinking seriously why I am still here. Bloody minded stubbornness my wife reckons.

        Looking at what Fletchers are offering trades in Christchurch they will not get skilled tradespeople. It hardly covers the costs of going down there and gearing up.

        Cheap shoddily built houses built by underpaid unskilled labourers will mean another “leaky homes” problem down the track.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.2.1

          All this work should be done by a publicly owned Ministry of Works.

          Thinking seriously why I am still here.

          You’re not the only one. Loyalty only goes so far.

        • Brett 7.1.2.2

          Out of curiosity, can you give an idea of what’s been offered?

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.2.2.1

            Out of curiosity, can you give an idea of what’s been offered?

            Average gross wages for a full time employed plumber in Australia is A$900/wk.Will be higher for subcontractors.

            http://www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au/working-and-employment/occupations/plumber

            • Brett 7.1.2.2.1.1

              That’s pretty average wage, it’s less than $25.00 per hour, I would expect a lot more in OZ.

              • Colonial Viper

                Sure, because NZ is swimming in $25/hr jobs

                PS employers put a lot more into your Super over there.
                PPS every A$1.00 you earn over there pays off $1.35 of NZ student and credit card debt.

                • Brett

                  You will find most tradesman are on more than that.
                  For example qualified mechanics are on around $30.00 an hour

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Uh…why are you comparing mechanics pay to plumbers?

                    I didn’t look up mechanics wages in Australia, but I know that a full diesel mechanic in WA will commonly be on A$120/hr or more.

                    In comparison there are very few diesel mechanics jobs going in NZ for $30/hr or more.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “In comparison there are very few diesel mechanics jobs going in NZ for $30/hr or more.”
                      Why would there be? Do we have mines pumping out materials, using trucks that would require mechanics? No, wait. We don’t because anything that might make NZ a better place and create jobs (like opening a mine) is very naughty.

                    • Brett

                      Probably because the A$120/hr is for a mechanic at one of the mines in the middle of the boondocks.

                      Anyway would you pay you’re local garage $160.00 an hour to fix you’re car?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Brett, Brett, Brett. Poor deluded soul. Don’t you know that all it would take to bring prosperity to our fair country is for our wise overlords to raise all wages, with the stroke of a pen to $100 an hour? (of course, be sure to tax at 99% the profits of anyone who actually produces something useful). Only someone of inferior intellect would fail to see it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Both of you are right. Hence Christchurch is going to be short of tradesmen to rebuild it.

                      Fletcher’s bread and water pay doesn’t quite cut it does it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Brett, Brett, Brett. Poor deluded soul. Don’t you know that all it would take to bring prosperity to our fair country is for our wise overlords to raise all wages, with the stroke of a pen to $100 an hour?

                      Actually, a living wage would be $15-$18/hr.

                      Currently our “wise overlords” work in the large corporates, the big banks and the financial sector, and NZ is not benefitting from their rule.

              • KJT

                My Daughter was getting $A20 and hour plus overtime for working as a cleaner in a hotel.

                Building foreman Queensland $A45 an hour. Also plus overtime. Wages. Before the floods.

                Fletchers Christchurch. Fully qualified builder and supposed to pay his subbies out of it as well $NZ45. Note on a charge out of $45 the take home pay is about $20/25. Less when you have to find accommodation and gear in Christchurch.

                After paying plumbers, roofers and sparkies it is not worth it.

                The only ones that will take the job are those who are not good enough to have ongoing work in Oz or at home.

                As for Labourers, with what they are offering in Christchurch, it is obvious they expect them to subsidise their employer.

                At the same time they are paying assessors $700 a day plus accommodation.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.3

          Looking at what Fletchers are offering trades in Christchurch they will not get skilled tradespeople. It hardly covers the costs of going down there and gearing up.

          My nephews done the figures as well – he’d be short a couple hundred dollars per week if he accepted work in Chch and yet we have RWNJs asking why don’t these unemployed people accept whatever is offered.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.2.3.1

            Wait until Paula Bennett requires beneficiaries to get to work rebuilding Christchurch to keep their benefits.

            They’ll probably be in leg irons too.

            • Campbell Larsen 7.1.2.3.1.1

              Hmmm…. the Heralds’ ‘where are the jobs’ graphic is a manual laborer shoveling….(liquefaction?)
              Coincidence?

            • dotteeszedlinski 7.1.2.3.1.2

              “Chains, but they ain’t the kind that you can see”.

    • ZeeBop 7.2

      Why would a retailer want not to sell you something? Its sounds strange. Are the retail staff working to rule? Or is there some strange distortion that means business books are harmed if they have to restock. Or work to rule? Or do business only make money on shoddy goods or over prices products, but have to have a price freeze on basics that is taking money straight out of their business? I think business in NZ need to retool to actually get government off their backs and serving their customers not the edicts of the National party. Or is there some weird economics going on where business don’t want to give people change because there’s more money in China melting it down.

      Its a strange economy when sane citizens tell you that its bad to help the poor, that we need business to make profit at any cost, and seem not to understand that those profit centres have to redistribute wealth through the wider community else the costs of doing business goes up for everyone, and the access to cheap services from the wider community disappears. What comes around goes around, if everyone is bitching and raising prices, everyone hurts. Save money, sack WINZ staff and roll benefit as a negative tax cut proportionate to the bulk income of the society.

  8. SatMorningNoHangover 8

    Ironically enough, the DoL report that Zeletic quoted yesterday to buttress his/her argument suggests that between 4000 to 5000 jobs wouldn’t be created if the minimum wage was increased to $15 – at time of report modeling (based on cautious modeling assumptions). And if extended to the $17.22 advocated by some unions suggests between 9000 and 13000 jobs wouldn’t be created (based on very conservative assumptions). What happens to the people who might have filled those potentially created positions?

    http://www.dol.govt.nz/publications/general/ris-min-wage-review-2010/review-2010.pdf

    Australia operates a minimum wage system that adjusts youth rates relative to adult rates. It has high youth unemployment, 15.7% (May 2011 – 15 to 19 yr olds – http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/meisubs.nsf/0/1B0DCED067D67E7FCA2578A9001387EC/$File/62020_may%202011.pdf) but not as high as New Zealand.

    New Zealand doesn’t have youth rates. It has higher youth unemployment (27% – 15 to 19 yr olds) – Jacinda Arden press release http://www.labour.org.nz/node/3613).

    • KJT 8.1

      If youth wages actually increased employment we would have expected extra jobs in the age range above when youth rates were removed as more older people were employed.

      As we know both youth and adult joblessness rose together. Just that youth unemployment rose faster.

      Dropping wages does not magically make more jobs.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      I love these one dimensional right wingers.

      Hey no hangover, how low would the youth minimum wage need to drop to reduce youth unemployment by 50%?

      Oh, doesn’t work like that does it?

      The only certainty from going back to a youth minimum wage is that employers get to take advantage of a very vulnerable work force, discarding older workers for younger ones.

      • Craig Glen Eden 8.2.1

        What creating youth rates would do is simply redistribute some existing jobs done at a higher wage rate to the youth at a lower wage rate. The end result is shit wage rates and no gain to the NZ economy. The young worker now looks to brighter fields and what do they see Australia just across the ditch and only a small airfare away.

    • SunMorningNoHangover 8.3

      What a chump: At the very least you could have provided some comparative analysis using an established methodology employed at the Standard.

      Australian unemployment rates: total 4.7%, 15-19 16.2% (March 2011) – ratio of 0.29
      New Zealand unemployment rates: total 7%, 15-19 27.5% (March 2011) -ratio of 0.25

      If NZ’s ratio was in line with that in Australia then 15-19 would be 24.1% – 5000 fewer people aged 15-19 unemployed. Questions: better to offer youth more employment opportunities or favour those in employment with higher rates? What happens to those not employment? If on unemployment benefit average hourly earning probably around $4.5 plus not learning any workplace skills.

      Average rates of change in unemployment rates:

      Aus -total -0.03%, 15-19 0.33% (March 05 to March 11)
      NZ – total 0.45%, 15-19 2.17% (March 05 to March 11)

      Aus 15-19 Total 15-19 Total
      Mar-11 16.60% 4.90% 0.00% -0.30%
      Mar-10 16.60% 5.20% 0.30% -0.40%
      Mar-09 16.30% 5.60% 3.70% 1.60% GFC
      Mar-08 12.60% 4.00% -1.10% -0.40%
      Mar-07 13.70% 4.40% -1.50% -0.60%
      Mar-06 15.20% 5.00% 0.60% -0.10%
      Mar-05 14.60% 5.10%

      NZ
      Mar-11 27.50% 7.00% 2.30% 0.40%
      Mar-10 25.20% 6.60% 6.10% 1.00%
      Mar-09 19.10% 5.60% 3.60% 1.30% GFC
      Mar-08 15.50% 4.30% -0.40% 0.00% Youth/Adult min w aligned/Recession
      Mar-07 15.90% 4.30% 1.20% -0.20%
      Mar-06 14.70% 4.50% 0.20% 0.20%
      Mar-05 14.50% 4.30%

      Sources: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Statistics New Zealand

      Same “basic” methodology as: http://thestandard.org.nz/chart-o-the-day-fire-at-will/

      And no I haven’t included reference to the 90 day employment policy as Australia operates something very similar in regard to 3 month probationary periods and has minimum employment periods before unfair dismissal claims can be made (6mths for larger businesses, 12 mths for smaller businesses) – FAIRwork Act 2009.

      http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/fwa2009114/s382.html
      http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/fwa2009114/s383.html

      Bottomline: Unemployment trends in both countries are broadly comparable in regard to youth and all age group unemployment but the relative magnitude in each country is different (NZ much higher in terms of ratio and average rate of change). Both countries have been subject to the GFC but one entered recession prior to GFC – the other didn’t. The two countries have similar employment laws around probationary periods. The two countries differ in youth to adult rate minimum wages.

      A range of factors impact on youth unemployment aside from minimum wage rates so attribution of differences in minimum wage rates can’t be made from the above. But it is fair to hypothesise that youth rates do impact on youth unemployment levels – potentially in a significant way.

      DoL will be modeling impacts of reintroducing youth rates. I look forward to seeing their findings.

      [Please pick a handle and stick to it, ta. r0b]

  9. Afewknowthetruth 9

    The collapse we are now witnessing is the envitable consequences of:

    1. Central banks creating money out of thin air and selling it on international bond markets, as promoted by both Labour and National.

    2. Globalisation, deregulation and free trade, as promoted by both Labour and National

    3. The peaking of global oil extraction, as ignored by both Labour and National.

    Anyone who thinks Labour or National will fix any of the fundamentals is utterly deluded.

    Bought-and-paid-for politicians line their own pockets and keep the proles distracted while the money-lenders and corporations get on with the real joib, of looting the country and transfering the wealth overseas.

    When things start to really get bad in NZ the IMF will offer a rescue package predicaed on further looting and further transfer of wealth overseas. They’ll keep doing it till they can’t. That’s the system

    • ZeeBop 9.1

      I disagree. Even if the IMF were lock-step in with proto-fascism, that doesn’t mean they will continue to be. It served the military to have better toys, but better toys that guzzle petrol won’t defend them in the future. So it follows that the military will start needing to retool and its not helped if the economic paradigm is in the way. China needs food or its army won’t be able to defend the party against the people, so the world needs to have healthy young people to man the defenses when China comes for food. That’s why John Key has to go, we cannot afford to have his type of greedy incompetence in power, we need a Labour-Green government. And the system is ripe for such a government if Labour voters recipricate with Green voters who alreasy split their vote. Vote Labour in the constituency and hold your nose and vote Green on the list vote, then you will be guaranteed of change. Greens will be at the table, and they should then arbitrate in a government of national unity.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Anyone who thinks Labour or National will fix any of the fundamentals is utterly deluded.

      Agreed. Both are too wedded to the capitalist paradigm which is killing us and the world.

  10. Terry 10

    Look, if New Zealanders have still not seen the huge picture on the wall, then what can be done?
    The tragedy is that there is no effective Opposition, no one with decent alternatives, we will simply have to resign ourselves to the hell and misery to come (other than the stinking rich).

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The tragedy is that there is no effective Opposition

      You must have missed the latest Roy Morgan poll which caused National to panic in their pants.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      ZeitGeist

      There’s an alternative. One that actually works. Will take a lot of work to take us from here to there but it can be done.

  11. big bruv 11

    Never mind guys, take a look at the polls, most Kiwis still love John Key.

    They don’t blame him for the mess we are in, they correctly blame the previous corrupt Labour administration.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      big bruv’s fictional parallel world

      Where the people (the one in six who have not already left New Zealand, nor the 300,000 who would like more paid work but cannot find it) “love” our “Great Leader”.

    • MrSmith 11.2

      Burv: enlighten us with a list of convictions for this 9 years of Corruption please? On second thoughts don’t bother, just go back to kissing your autographed photo of John Key.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      There was plenty of corruption over the last 10 years or BB – your hero John Key was at the centre of it in his role as money trader.

  12. Rusty Shackleford 12

    Deflating wages wouldn’t really matter if the price of the things we consume were deflating at a faster rate. Unfortunately we have a central bank dedicated to price “stability” (read 1-3% inflation, the opposite of stability). Remove just one coercive factor and you will improve all peoples (well maybe not the banks and big gov) welfare immediately. Then we can move on to the other low hanging fruit.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      I love Righties advocating for a deflationary depressionary spiral.

      That’s not “fruit” which is going to taste any good mate.

      • Rusty Shackleford 12.1.1

        Which “righties”? I can’t think of any.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          Look in the mirror, oh Maestro of Deflation.

          • Rusty Shackleford 12.1.1.1.1

            Can you explain how a tendency towards lower prices is recessionary, but rampant inflation is A-OK?

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.1

              You pushed in your comment up top for the start of a deflationary depression. Good on ya, last one took massive government stimulus in the form of a World War to get out of.

              but rampant inflation is A-OK?,

              Inflation under 8 or 9% p.a is no probs. (esp if it is being used as a specific tool).

              • Rusty Shackleford

                Yes, you will get full employment and rising GDP if you build a lot of high tech equipment and then blow it up. Sounds like a lovely model for society. The real economy and employment didn’t start expanding until AFTER the war time controls were removed.

                So eroding the purchasing power of poor people (rich people, especially those with debt, love inflation) is good for poor people? That is some mighty fine double speak you’ve got going on there. Care to back it up with some logic?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Not here to convince you mate, only to remove National from power.

                  The real economy and employment didn’t start expanding until AFTER the war time controls were removed.

                  This is a lie. The creation of the General Infantrymen in WW II helped break the back of the unemployment problem in the US.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    Whoop dee fuckn doo. I can be unemployed or shot in the fuckn’ head.

                    I’m not even disputing that WWII spurred employment and GDP. I’m just asking who considers that to be a good trade off?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Don’t move away from your lying statement that “The real economy and employment didn’t start expanding until AFTER the war time controls were removed. “

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I guess you are right if you consider being shot in the head an increase in the general welfare.

                      Personally? I like to consume electronic appliances, cars, leisure time, food, life etc. All things I can’t enjoy if
                      A. the resources needed to make those goods are being blown up in Europe and the Pacific and…
                      B. If I’ve just been shot in the fuckn’ head.

                      I thought the left was anti-war? Looks like I’m more “left” than you on this issue.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Still trying to move away from your lying statement that “The real economy and employment didn’t start expanding until AFTER the war time controls were removed. “

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Notice the word “real”?

              • RedLogix

                The problem with deflation can be put into one word…debt.

                The problem is that at any one time most businesses and about 50% of households hold significant debt. Deflating asset prices are a huge problem, because as soon as the debt goes ‘under water’ (ie the amount owed becomes greater than the asset value) all sorts of especially nasty problems ensue. Essentially the economy can grind to a virtual standstill, at a bare subsistence level.

                • Colonial Viper

                  :) You saw it straight away, whereas Rusty is another Right Winger with no sense of money.

                  As wages spiral downwards during a deflationary spiral, interest bearing debt continues to climb and climb unchecked.

                  Individuals’/companies’ ability to pay the debt back gets more and more damaged as their income is gradually crushed.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  The problem with inflation is savings…..

                  I don’t see your point. It sucks if you bought an over priced asset. It also sucks if you have savings (one of the things that you need in an economy in order to enjoy economic growth). I completely agreed with you up until here…
                  “Essentially the economy can grind to a virtual standstill, at a bare subsistence level.”
                  A. I don’t believe this will happen it didn’t happen in 1920 and…
                  B. Isn’t the economy at a halt now except for yet more bubbles in a few areas?

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    That is a problem of fiat money, not sound. We’ve also never seen it in reality(I don’t think) compared with inflationary cycles.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Still got no idea mate? Fiat money is not the money which is the main prob.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Feel free to say something substantive.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Feel free to say something correct.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      If I’m such a “muppet” and a “moron”, it shouldn’t be difficult to prove me wrong.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The thing is Rusty, there is no need to prove you wrong.

                      As I’ve said, it’s a waste of energy and certainly not the job of the Left to try and “convince”, “disprove”, “cajole”, “win over”, “save”, “convert” the Right.

                    • infused

                      You should learn not to get an a debate with CV. It’s like going around in circles with his hands over his ears ‘lalalalalala’.

                  • RedLogix

                    The problem with inflation is savings…..

                    True, but it’s much less of a problem. Because banks can lend out far more than they hold in deposits fractional reserve banking:

                    Fractional-reserve banking is a type of banking whereby the bank does not retain all of a customer’s deposits within the bank. Funds received by the bank are generally on-loaned to other customers. This means that available funds (called bank reserves) are only a fraction (called the reserve ratio) of the quantity of deposits at the bank. As most bank deposits are treated as money in their own right, fractional reserve banking increases the money supply, and banks are said to create money.

                    The portion of the economy affected by inflation is far smaller than the portion affected by deflation. Moreover the effect of inflation, while undesirable, is generally more benign and is compensated for by interest.

                    Whereas deflation is just downright nasty; you owe more than the asset is worth, and you still have to pay the now inflated interest on that debt… cash that the asset is probably no longer generating because of deflation. And if your cash flow goes negative for a month or two in a deflationary environment… it’s game over.

                    The inflation and deflation are NOT symmetric images of each other, one may be a tad ugly… the other is hideous.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re teaching the Right Wingers basic monetary mechanisms! :D

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I know what fractional reserve banking is, and it is hypocritical for a (I presume) leftist, to advocate for putting that much power into the hands of a private firm. Why should they have the right to lend out an asset they don’t own at the same time demanding the rest of us bail them out if they cock it up?

                      Sound money is the answer. You want to lend a dollar? You better own that dollar. No leverage.

                      “The portion of the economy affected by inflation is far smaller than the portion affected by deflation. Moreover the effect of inflation, while undesirable, is generally more benign… ”
                      Can you quantify this?

                      “A. Whereas deflation is just downright nasty; Byou owe more than the asset is worth, and you still have to pay the now inflated interest on that debt… ”
                      A. For whom?

                      B. Yup, you will probably take a hair cut. Best not to buy capital at inflated prices.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No I don’t think you know what fractional reserve banking is. At least, not the implications.

                      Sound money

                      Is this your code for a return to a precious metal standard?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      CV, Rusty there has just got to one half of what we’ve been saying for awhile. Private banks should not be printing money.

                      Sound money

                      Is this your code for a return to a precious metal standard?

                      But you’re probably right about that.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I thought the other day that you and I could set up a political party. You could be the Left Winger and I could be the “Voice of Moderation”. We’d get two votes, maybe three. Would be fun though :)

  13. The Chairman 13

    27,000 jobs to whittle down the ranks of the unemployed, currently 155,000?

    Five out of every six of those 170,000 jobs would be required to keep up with projected population growth of 143,000 in the labour force over the same period. That would leave only 27,000 jobs to whittle down the ranks of the unemployed, currently 155,000.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/brian-fallow-on-the-economy/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502863&objectid=10732452

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Fallow is an idiot.

      A decent recovery is at hand, allowing the Government to concentrate on the state of its own books and on such structural issues as the appropriate level of government spending as a share of GDP, and allowing the bank to focus on the risk of inflation.

      Unless he is talking about another country of course, and not NZ.

      • The Chairman 13.1.1

        Try re-reading the article. You’ve taken that quote out of context. It was a reflection of the sentiment held by the Reserve Bank etc…

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/brian-fallow-on-the-economy/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502863&objectid=10732452

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          Thanks, agreed. My apologies to Fallow for the knee jerk reaction. I guess I was annoyed that here was someone else repeating the same forward looking tripe in print yet again, even though it was qualified.

          Particularly as the follow up criticism he gave of ‘but these forecasts are probably too optimistic given the latest numbers’ was somewhat guarded and weak, and curiously (deliberately) avoided fingering the National Government for using them without reservation for economic planning.

  14. ianupnorth 14

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jun/16/bombardier-at-risk-after-loss-of-thameslink-deal
     
    Spot the trend – right wing government happy to send manufacturing off shore; rich getting richer, poor getting poorer. Shameful.

    • Rusty Shackleford 14.1

      Are the poor really getting poorer? Got some stats?

      • Campbell Larsen 14.1.1

        A minimum wage and welfare that has not kept up with the rate of inflation, for well, almost ever, you do the math Rusty.

        • Rusty Shackleford 14.1.1.1

          Got any stats?

          Someone who starts a job on low wages will remain on that wage for the rest of their life? $15 an hour is all a large swath of society should ever aspire to?

          I’m calling to abolish inflation. That way we can stop worrying about this stuff and get on with producing the things we want to use. Btw, deflation is no more recessionary than inflation is the opposite. You can have both inflationary and deflationary recessions and vice versa. Though recessions tend to be deflationary as firms are liquidating mal-investments.

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1

            You’re either an idiot or a saint.

            An idiot because you have forgotten about billions of dollars of interest bearing debt in this country.

            Or a saint because you are implementing massive debt moratoria and the banning of interest as usury, as part of your plans.

            $15 an hour is all a large swath of society should ever aspire to?

            Fuck aspiration, where exactly are the full time jobs which pay more than $25-$30/hr in New Zealand?

            • Rusty Shackleford 14.1.1.1.1.1

              “you are implementing massive debt moratoria and the banning of interest as usury, as part of your plans.”

              First, where did you get this idea?

              Second much of it bad debt which should have been burned off in the recession. A lot of people would have taken a haircut but at least the malinvestment would have been gone from the economy and we could start growing again. Instead, we are doing the same thing as in the 30s and 40s and are going to get the same result. Can’t wait for the stimulus of WWIII!

              I would happily take a job at $15 an hour if I could keep 90% of it. had to leave the country to do that.

              • Colonial Viper

                OK so you are an idiot.

                I would happily take a job at $15 an hour if I could keep 90% of it. had to leave the country to do that.

                You should have stayed away.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  I’m sad but resigned to leaving the country to statists of your ilk (yes, you are no different to John Key).

            • Blue 14.1.1.1.1.2

              For those who bothered to get an education Viper, as well you know, they are everywhere. Just not in the “collective” of the great unwashed you belong to.

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.2

            Are the poor really getting poorer? Got some stats?

            Fuck off.

            Allow me to clarify: statistics don’t quantify misery particularly well and misery is what Key and English have in store in November.

            • Rusty Shackleford 14.1.1.1.2.1

              I don’t doubt it for a second. I’m sure they have a plan cooked up to transfer resources from one group to another.

          • Campbell Larsen 14.1.1.1.3

            If you needs stats to help you understand the blindingly obvious then I’m sure someone will help you out, but it won’t be me.

            Someone who starts on low wages should be able to afford a life then and also have access to further opportunities, simple as that.

            When you say ‘aspire’ I suspect you are doing something that is more like ‘conspire’ – against the people that you pretend to care about.

            Stop worrying about this ‘stuff’? Why because only a condescending ass like yourself is able to see what needs to be done?

            There is a lot of ‘stuff’ that needs to be done, but those things surely are not going to get done by inventing magic bullets and shooting them around.

            If you really want to help people, don’t hide behind your construct of complexity, this is not a game. If you have a new economic theory, let’s hear it in its entirety.
            You seem to think you are pretty smart – it had better be good.

              • Campbell Larsen

                Lead with your heart Rusty and you might find that you end up knowing more friends than enemies.
                You can keep your books, after all they don’t seem to have done you much good.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  Pearls before swine.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I suggest that the financial powers that be aren’t interested in any of that stuff.

                  • Campbell Larsen

                    There is poison scattered amongst your pearls Rusty which is why, name calling aside, I chose not to dine.
                    Though for others who may happen across this the money stuff is worth a read.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Care to point out the “poison”. I know statists hate the idea of having to give up their coercive power, but that is medicine not poison.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Rusty thinks we don’t know the simple equation he is seeking – weaken the peoples’ parliament to strengthen the coercive power of corporate boards.

              • rosy

                Rothbard seems to be an interesting character. How much of his writing do you agree with pre/post his Randian associations?

                I agree very much with his liberal tendencies, but can’t for the life of me work out where there would be an equitable exchange of goods and services in an anarcho-capitalist society. I think his method of reaching his utopia will fall on greed and usurping the rights of the powerless.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  “How much of his writing do you agree with pre/post his Randian associations?”
                  How is this relevant? I know you think she is a baddie, but that is irrelevant. You have to repudiate her philosophy (not her character), if you want to pretend to be saying something substantial.

                  Just because you can’t imagine “an equitable exchange of goods and services in an anarcho-capitalist society”, doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

                  “I think his method of reaching his utopia will fall on greed and usurping the rights of the powerless.”
                  Why? “I think” isn’t a valid argument.

                  • rosy

                    “How is this relevant? I know you think she is a baddie, but that is irrelevant. You have to repudiate her philosophy (not her character), if you want to pretend to be saying something substantial.”

                    Don’t be so defensive – I am seriously interested in knowing – I meant what I said, he seems to be an interesting character and I’m interested to know more about him and you seem(ed) to be a good source of information seeing as you put up the link. But hey, whatever.

                    It’s relevant because his thoughts on social contracts (for want of a better phrase) may have changed as his thoughts about the Randian philosphy changed. There may be two different versions of his thinking floating around. I think this is a reasonable question and has nothing to do with whether I like Ayn Rand or not.

                    “Just because you can’t imagine “an equitable exchange of goods and services in an anarcho-capitalist society”, doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.”
                    True, everything is possible even the state intervening to create a fairer society without turning into a totalitarian monster. Voting rights seems to guard against that, in some measure. Does Rothbard suggest any guards against greed?

                    btw I think ‘I think’ is a valid opinion. I didn’t think opinions were banned just yet.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I wasn’t intentionally being defensive. As I’ve said, it’s nice to stumble across someone here who is genuinely interested in the truth, rather than shouting, wang-tackling, jeryymandering and (admittedly, hilarious) name calling.

                      From my reading, Rothbard is fairly consistent. I haven’t read everything he has written (who has), nor have I checked the publishing date of the work of his I have read. In short, I don’t know the answer to your question.

                      “greed” is a nice slogan, but what does it even mean? Should the billionaire who provided a trillion dollars of welfare for society be considered greedy?

                      I know that the wall street execs (and Canterbury Finance houses) who became rich off the demise of the nation should be considered greedy. But they got that way via the thing I harp on most. Coercion.

                      Have as many opinions as you like. Everyone has them after all, and all that. Well backed premises are like gold around here, though.

                    • McFlock

                      greed
                       
                      You’re a joke, Rusty.
                       
                       

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “greed” is a nice slogan, but what does it even mean?

                      Ask a priest, not an economist, mate

                    • rosy

                      “Should the billionaire who provided a trillion dollars of welfare for society be considered greedy?”

                      If he if he ripped society off for 2 trillion to give back a trillion, then yes. If the money was inherited then his parents were and he is not.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      You can only rip off society using (usually govt) coercion. Like the Wall St. bankers. You know I’m opposed to that.

                      ” if the money was inherited then his parents were and he is not.”
                      I’m not sure where you are going with this.

                    • rosy

                      You asked if a billioniare giving away money is greedy – people’s ethics, attitudes and motivations drive greed.

                      excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.

                      “You can only rip off society using (usually govt) coercion.” A bit simplistic. Many salespeople are schooled in coercion. Bullies are skilled in force, and coercion. Both groups will take advantage of any weakness in their targets to rip people off.

                      Yes, governments can be coercive in a way that rips off society, but I dispute ‘usually’ government coercion is the reason societies are ripped off. Having said that this government appears to be getting mighty close. Interesting how the right-wing governments have more problems with coercion from lobbying (aka salespeople, bullies) – the USA as the clearest example, yet the answer seems to be if we have more of the same policies the coercion will reduce. Yes, I know you argue for less government interference, but so do these people. You both can’t be right – that smaller government will enable a stronger, fairer society, yet the greedy also want government reduced so they can more easily go about their accumulation of society’s wealth.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I think you may have misunderstood me. I wasn’t saying the billionaire gave the money away. I said added welfare. They aren’t the same thing. Say Henry Ford. He probably provided a trillion dollars of welfare by making cars that were cheap enough for most anyone to buy and created millions of jobs. Was he greedy?

                      The key to your definition is “rapacious”. Was Henry Ford rapacious (he may have been in some way, but I’m sure he gave more value to society, than he took).

                      Salespeople can be good at what they do. If they use force, they should be thrown in jail.

                      The greedy don’t want less govt. They use govt for their own ends. How can you have perpetual inflation and warfare without the state?

                    • rosy

                      There are exceptions, yes. Cadburys is another.

                      “The greedy don’t want less govt. They use govt for their own ends. How can you have perpetual inflation and warfare without the state?”

                      Of course they want less government – it saves a step in their money-making. No minimum wage, no environmental controls etc, etc. And I don’t believe they will bring run resources and employ people in a way that does not maximise their short-term profit.

                      Warfare – who needs it when you can rape and pillage with impunity? I reckon the ultimate in anarchy will be 2 groups of the powerful waging war to take control of the resources they don’t have. The conquistadors did quite well in the Americas in this regard. Do you think the Chinese / the US business people would will play nice with us if there were no governments? And there is no point talking about a justice system without government. There must be some form of organisation for a justice system to occur – even if that government is at an city or tribal level.

                      Inflation? def won’t have wage inflation, I’m not so sure about price inflation but.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Honestly? Rothbard (and many others) cover this stuff way better than I could hope to.

                      Environmental controls? Think where almost all pollution is allowed to happen. On govt land.

                      “Warfare – who needs it when you can rape and pillage with impunity?”
                      Who exactly does this? The banks? Sure. They have the leviathan govt in their pocket. The baker, butcher and candlestick maker? I think not.

                      I’m not opposed to an army of defense. But, countries that trade with each other rarely attack each other.

                      If China had no govt, what would they attack us with? I have never heard of a private war. Some have been fought at the behest of private interests. But, again, that is the coercive power of the state in action.

                    • rosy

                      Or the coercive power of the greedies… Admittedly a quick google search for history of private wars and another on Mark Thatcher…

                      Poland
                      1603 A group of Polish and Lithuanian nobles decided to invade Russia which started as completely private initiative and much later changed into war between Poland and Russia. It was organised by Jerzy Mniszech, one of the Commonwealth’s rich nobles and officials. The other countries which were popular to invade by Polish nobles and their private armies were especially Moldavia and Wallahia. But somtimes it were even such powers like Crimea or Ottoman Empire.

                      More recently

                      The 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d’état attempt, also known as the Wonga coup, was an alleged coup attempt against the government of Equatorial Guinea in order to replace PresidentTeodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo with exiled opposition politician Severo Moto, carried out by mercenaries and organised by mainly British financiers.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I’m not even disagreeing that private wars happened. If you can think of something it probably happened. But, war is almost always perpetrated by the coercive power of the state. At least the most destructive ones were/are. You couldn’t have had WWI without states. We couldn’t have had WWI without central banks printing money. Nor the top 100 wars of the last century.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Rusty you are being disingenous yakking on about the coercive power of the state and not yakking on about the coercive power of the military industrial complex.

                      Nations are the organisations with military might, therefore they are the ones who can wage major wars.

                      You really have control issues.

                      You couldn’t have had WWI without states. We couldn’t have had WWI without central banks printing money. Nor the top 100 wars of the last century.

                      You couldn’t have had WWI without oxygen either. Your point?

                      BTW fiat money is not needed to fight a war! Gold bullion or blood diamonds will do it just as well!

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Yea, I hate the MIC as well. Leechers feeding off printed cash and the blood of brown people. Happy?

                      Ah, yea because I can create diamonds and gold out of thin air at basically no cost to myself. Fuckn’ hell.

                    • rosy

                      An Adam Curtis doco The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts that helps explain why I can’t think how Rothbard’s anarcho-capitalist theory won’t manage to produce and equitable exchange of goods and services. I’ll be reading his ideas with this in mind.

                    • felix

                      Interesting discussion, both of you. This just jumped out at me:

                      “Think where almost all pollution is allowed to happen. On govt land.”

                      What exactly do you mean by this?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Think of an area that is polluted, then ask “Who owns it?”, dollars to donuts it’s either owned by the state or nobody.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re being disingenous again.

                      The private sector has got a habit of externalising its costs by dumping its waste and pollution in the commons.

                      Look at all the polluted waterways in the Waikato or Southland.

                      Or look at a list of Superfund sites in the US.

                      You’re arguments are vacuous.

                      Pollution contaminating public property =! the government caused it.

                      Your wish of blaming the public sector so that corporatist influence can complete their takeover is most unwelcome.

                    • rosy

                      +1 CV

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Tragedy of the commons. There is no way to protect public land from degradation except to make it private property. If the farmer owned the river that ran through his land, A. He would be less likely to pollute it because it may be useful for other things. B. Polluting it would be illegal if that pollution ran downstream and polluted someone elses stretch of the river (this is well set out in common law). C. If there is no harm to others, then no foul. It’s his river, he can do with it as he pleases.

                      “Your wish of blaming the public sector so that corporatist influence can complete their takeover is most unwelcome.”

                      Inflation. Inflation. Inflation.

                      You are more on the side of the corporatists than me. I’ve repeatedly proved my anti-corporatist bona fides. You have proven time and again that you are only interested in power and aggression. WWII was good for the economy?

                      Fuckn’ hell (imagine this in Ricky Gervais’ screechiest voice by the way. Hey! You are a little like Carl Pilkington).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There is no way to protect public land from degradation except to make it private property (1). If the farmer owned the river that ran through his land, A. He would be less likely to pollute it because it may be useful for other things.(2)

                      1) Publicly owned national parks seem to do ok.
                      2) ? Farmers currently make money by polluting waterways. That behaviour is not going to change as long as its the most profitable thing to do.

                      Your anti corporatist bona fides?

                      Meh all I’ve seen you push for is disempowerment of the public sector, at which time the corporate sector is going to rule unhindered.

                      Basically you are a lone voice with a head high jacked by high theory.

                      Inflation. Inflation. Inflation.

                      ?

                      You still advocating for a deflationary depression? You may still get your wish.

                      Think of an area that is polluted, then ask “Who owns it?”, dollars to donuts it’s either owned by the state or nobody.

                      And I’d like you to acknowledge that you made the above shit up.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      1) There are no private forests doing just fine as well?
                      2) It won’t be profitable if your neighbor is suing your ass off for filling his river with cow shit.

                      The MIC, big banks, inflation, warfare, central banking, property, power, coercion, liberty, history, economics.
                      All things I have something substantive to say on, and can back my premises on. How about you? You make blind assertions and refuse to back your premises and even have some that are either internally inconsistent, hypocritical or both.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      2) It won’t be profitable if your neighbor is suing your ass off for filling his river with cow shit.

                      But the Govt could sue as well. No need to turn the stream into private property to inflict costs on to a polluter.

                      All things I have something substantive to say on, and can back my premises on. How about you? You make blind assertions and refuse to back your premises and even have some that are either internally inconsistent, hypocritical or both.

                      Clearly I’ve been laughing at the superior intellect all this time then.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Then, why don’t they?

                      Also, care to explain how a tendency towards lower prices is deflationary? I don’t think the computer industry is in a deflationary death spiral.

                    • felix

                      Rusty that’s totally disingenuous. The most pristine and well preserved natural areas of our country are almost without exception managed by the state in some capacity or other.

                      If and when private businesses transgress on such areas we hold them to account via our democratically elected representatives. I happen to think this needs to happen far more often and far more vigourously.

                      Sounds like you’re just repeating a slogan you read somewhere.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Then, why don’t they?

                      Now that is an excellent question and one worth asking a bit more.

                    • McFlock

                       

                      Then, why don’t they?

                       They do. Or more precisely, they prosecute and fine.

                      That is the main reason farmers are becoming a wee bit more concerned about letting cattle shit in our streams – but the government-imposed penalties could be stronger.

                      I also think Rusty’s arguments about private warfare are a bit disingenuous – basically because when a war is not fought by a state entity, it’s generally called “piracy” or “brigandage”. And as soon as a group becomes powerful enough to fight a state-level campaign it tends to formalise leadership structures and territorial domain, and the next thing you know they become states – e.g. Huns, Mongols and Vikings. The number of purely “private” wars are therefore minimal although the Johnson County War lasted longer than some state wars.

              • locus

                http://cygielski.com/blog/2009/08/04/rothbards-folly/
                “Rothbard fails to see that all rights we have are purely social, not natural, constructs. The rights he refers to were unknown to many people throughout history – slaves, indentured servants, harem wives – you get the idea. If you consider an individual living outside society – let’s say in the mountains somewhere – he has no “rights” at all. He can’t claim a “natural right to life” in the face of a mountain lion – he either has the power to survive or not, nothing more. Therefore, it’s easy to see that there are no “natural rights” – all the rights we have are a result of social covenants. Simply speaking, society – or the people who wield real power in society – decided that it is even in their own interest to ensure that an individual can only be denied so much. Likely as not this was the result of the realization that nothing in this life is given forever (i.e. is not a “natural right”) and it’s better to set up a limit on how much can be taken from you, just in case.”

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  The dude from your blog had only read the first two chapters of a thousand odd page book.

                  Secondly, I don’t even get the dude’s point. He is saying we have no natural rights, but isn’t that why we have the state? To stop people transgressing each others liberties (although this can still be achieved privately). So, because a lion can eat us in the mountains, we should also give that mandate to the state?

                  • locus

                    I haven’t read any of the books that you’ve recommended so it’s impossible to engage in a discussion on whether the observation by ‘Simon’ is a fair criticism of Rothbard. However, I liked the quote. The good thing is that I am now interested in reading Rothbard and others such as von Mises, von Hayek and Robbins.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Good to hear. Libertarians are a little like Liverpool FC “Our year!” Or decade, or century, as it were.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Thanks CV. Keiser is good. Schiff is better though. He used Austrian Business Cycle to predict the crash.

                      locus. http://mises.org/daily/author/299?AuthorId=299 This is a huge amount of shorter work by Rothbard (I haven’t read half of it). Much of it is simply his longer work in precis form. Heaps of history.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Schiff. Can’t wait for the movie to come out.
                      http://www.tomwoods.com/blog/the-panic-of-2008-a-free-market-dissent/

                    • locus

                      Are you suggesting that liberals are libertarians? To my knowledge both liberals and libertarians broadly agree on the evils of totalitarianism and corporatism, but propose different ways of fighting these. Libertarians represent a singular ideology that attempts to shut down pluralism and debate about the role of society in this regard. They particularly like to emphasise that liberals want to rip off your hard-earned wages in order to pay for social programmes which ultimately reduce your liberty and ‘natural rights’. They label liberals as socialists and often equate both liberal and social ideals to communism. As a socialist I’m horrified by many of the views held by libertarians, in particular their singular belief that the rights of the individual come before the rights of society. I will read Rothbard, Hayek, Mises, Robbins et al, because I need to try to understand how their diversity of liberal thinking has somehow contributed to the horror of neo-liberalism.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I’m afraid your definition of liberal is wrong.
                      http://mises.org/liberal.asp
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberalism

                      “Libertarians represent a singular ideology that attempts to shut down pluralism and debate about the role of society in this regard.”
                      Where did you get this idea?

                      “in particular their singular belief that the rights of the individual come before the rights of society.”

                      You missed a part. “The rights of the individual come before the rights of society, as long as the individual does not transgress the rights of another. Anything that’s peaceful.”

                      Taxation, for example is not peaceful.
                      http://www.duke.edu/web/philsociety/taleofslave.html
                      http://www.vforvoluntary.com/ (George ought to help (I have yet to find a person who can defend the morality of taxation. They either write it off as “for the greater good, and change the subject, or write me off as a person)).

                    • locus

                      “I’m afraid your definition of liberal is wrong….

                      I didn’t define liberal! What I was responding to was your comment suggesting I might become a Libertarian if I read prominent liberal writers such as Rothbard, Mises, Hayek and Robbins.

                      Wikipedia and google searches don’t tell me that libertarianism shuts down pluralism and debate, that’s entirely my own observation. Mind you, follow a few of the ideas raised here and you may get my drift.

                      Regarding my view of neo-liberalism, have a look at David Harvey who “conceptualizes the neoliberalized global political economy as a system that benefits few at the expense of many, and which has resulted in the (re)creation of class distinction through what Harvey calls “accumulation by dispossession”.” And also Peck, Theodore and Brenner in Neoliberal Urbanism Models, Moments, Mutations who argue that “…neoliberalism aspires to create a utopia of free markets, liberated from all forms of state interference, it has in practice entailed a dramatic intensification of coercive, disciplinary forms of state intervention in order to impose versions of market rule.”

                      Given your view on taxation, I would say that you don’t have much understanding of what is required to build the organisation, systems and human values necessary to meet the needs of society. You certainly can’t deliver the needs of society through holding to the simplistic maxim: “The rights of the individual come before the rights of society, as long as the individual does not transgress the rights of another. Anything that’s peaceful” . Who provides protection for the rights of the individual? How is that protection provided? How do you resolve a situation where the rights of two individuals conflict? Who designs the cities? Who builds the infrastructure? Who looks after the disadvantaged and misfortunate? Etc. etc.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Whilst I agree with some of the action taken under the neo-liberal reforms, I can’t get behind the (Friedmanite) monetarist parts. Friedman was a great advocate for liberty, then let it all down by advocating for full monopolization of one side of all transactions (the currency side). As you point out, they use state coercion to achieve liberal goals. I can’t get behind that at all. Not peaceful. You might have to follow through the ideas yourself. I’m not willing to take them at face value.

                      The Libertarian wikipedia page could be one of the most well footnoted pages I’ve ever seen on that site (in terms of number, at least). You will have to

                      “Who provides protection for the rights of the individual?”
                      Courts. State or private. Makes no difference as long as there is choice.

                      “How is that protection provided?”
                      Contracts are enforced through the courts.

                      “How do you resolve a situation where the rights of two individuals conflict?”
                      Can you give me an example?

                      “Who designs the cities?”
                      You think cities are designed today?

                      “Who builds the infrastructure?”
                      Construction companies.

                      “Who looks after the disadvantaged and misfortunate?”
                      Their families. The church. Their neighbors and friends. Personal savings. Insurance. Charity groups.

          • idlegus 14.1.1.1.4

            just to cut in briefly, but all those retail workers we see everyday, 1000s of them, not many of them are earning over $15 an hour (in fact, when/if the $15 an hour for minimum wage comes in, most will be getting a pay rise!). i dont like your arrogant attitude.

          • ianupnorth 14.1.1.1.5

            Some light reading
            http://byronclark.instablogs.com/entry/is-poverty-in-new-zealand-hidden-or-are-we-just-looking-the-other-way/
            How about

            Latest figures from the Salvation Army showed a 16% increase in demand across its network of 48 foodbanks last year. Auckland City Mission gave out 7752 food parcels – up from 4500 the year before – with staff estimating that, if current trends hold, 9000 parcels will be distributed this year.
            Wellington’s Downtown Community Ministry is also on track for an increase, giving out 1350 food parcels between June and December, compared to 2700 for the entirety of the last financial year.
            In Christchurch – partly as a result of job losses post-earthquake – the City Mission distributed 13,140 food parcels – a whopping 52% increase on the year before. Figures for the past three Januarys show steadily increasing demand: 636, 1331 and 1469 food parcels, respectively.
            Last week, in West Auckland, a “freestore” that began life as an art project in Wellington, and is now operating as a community social project, attracted 3000 visitors on its first day of business, and ran out of food within 90 minutes of opening.

            Presumably it isn’t the rich using these services…. (full article http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/4676276/Hunger-pains)
            OK< so if the poor are getting poorer, that’s ok, but…..
            http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/national/5030263/English-admits-pain-for-middle-NZ
            Even the middle class are worse off!
             
             

  15. Colonial Viper 15

    He wants to laud power over you, thinks he knows what is best for you, whilst at the same time having no interest in your welfare.

    This coming from the guy who doesn’t believe that the poor in this country is getting poorer, and that 200,000 NZ children live in poverty, in this rich abundant country.

    He is just a tyrant like all other statists.

    No my friend, the power lies in the people, not in the state nor the corporations nor the hoarders of capital. You should be afraid of this simple fact.

    • Rusty Shackleford 15.1

      You can’t demonstrate that poor people are getting poorer. How many people who were poor in 1995 are still poor now?

      “the power lies in the people”
      Nice slogan. Let’s wipe the slate clean. Lift every NZer 100 meters into the air and return NZ to it’s pre-colonial nature (hell go back further if you want. Statists proclaim to love environmentalism so much, we can get back the flora and fauna devastated by the earliest discoverers of NZ), then drop them gently back to earth.How do you think that abundance will help them?

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        You can’t demonstrate that poor people are getting poorer. How many people who were poor in 1995 are still poor now?

        Well Key certainly can’t see the poor people in NZ from his mansion in Hawaii so I guess they don’t exist for him – or for you.

        Lift every NZer 100 meters into the air and return NZ to it’s pre-colonial nature

        Time to unpick the neoliberal nightmare of today, not dream about the past mate.

        • Rusty Shackleford 15.1.1.1

          Telling me John Key does this or that means nothing to me. I’m no more in favor of the guy than you are.

          How did we get to our current standard of living?

          • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1.1

            You can’t see the poor and neither can he. Hop into bed with him.

            • infused 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Great arguments CV. Looking like a tool as always.

              • Colonial Viper

                :-) its true though, Key sees no evil, hears no evil, anything he does see or hear he is “quite comfortable” with.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                I know it’s a waste of time trying have a rational argument with CV. However, I think it’s important to point out to people who might sympathise with his view point, that coercing people to do what we want won’t bring prosperity to our country. After all, isn’t prosperity for all people the ultimate goal?

          • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1.2

            How did we get to our current standard of living?

            By over extracting the resources from the environment setting us on course for an Anthropogenic Extinction Level Event (don’t you just luuurv the capitalist free-market).

            • Rusty Shackleford 15.1.1.1.2.1

              So, fridges and automobiles come out of the ground fully formed? I’d never have guessed.

              Reading your article (I’m guessing you wrote it) now. On first skim I’ve already found one error. You claim in your section on information asymmetry that people weren’t aware of the risks of smoking. King James I published a treatise on the dangers of smoking in 1604 http://ebooks.gutenberg.us/Renascence_Editions/james1.html

              • Rusty Shackleford

                The depression of the 1930s was caused by govt planning. I don’t see how you can claim otherwise when A.There was no depression following the similarly severe recession of 1920-21 that somehow righted itself and B.The massive Keynesian stimulus enacted under the New Deal.

                There was never a prolonged and deep depression in the relatively free market 19th century (at least in the States), but almost immediately after the enactment of the Fed and govt actively manipulating the market there was the largest depression in history.

                Also, information overload sounds like a good thing to me. I don’t know what you are proposing as an alternative but we all know what the alternatives to the free market looks like.
                http://0.tqn.com/d/history1900s/1/0/9/1/gd49.gif

                • Colonial Viper

                  The depression of the 1930s was caused by govt planning.

                  SIGH

                  Certain small interest groups made a fuckload of money during the Great Depression acquiring valuable assets for pennies on the pound.

                  Ask who they were before pointing fingers, because THEY are the ones who had a very large role to play in engineering the Great Depression.

                  It is happening again right today, engineered by the same players, for their own financial benefit.

                  Remember, for some players Great Depression events are extremely advantageous and profitable.

                • Bunji

                  New Zealand long depression from 1885 – 1900.

                  Your theory that that government planning caused the 1930s depression is hardly widely believed, however much you assert no other version of history is possible. The removal of regulation allowing a freer market causing the 2000s bubble and subsequent GFC burst is somewhat more populat though.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    I’m more interested in true theories than popular ones.

                    The popular theory of the cause of the 2000s depression is deregulation. I don’t doubt that certain actors got special privileges under the law, but the trend certainly wasn’t towards less regulation. Are there more, or fewer rules now than in 1999? Markets were most certainly not made freer.

                    A more logical explanation is that monetary expansion caused bubbles in certain areas which deflated but were never liquidated. In order for the economy to get back on a growth trend the malinvestments need to leave the system. All that malinvestment from the bust in ’07 is still there. If nature had taken its course it’s more than likely the recession of ’07-’08 would be a forgotten memory today. As I’ve pointed out it worked in 1920. The opposite didn’t work in 1933 and it hasn’t worked today.

                    Mr. Rothbard can tell you all about it. “America’s Great Depression” is imminently readable and enlightening. Also,this is amazing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUvm9UgJBtg&feature=related
                    How did it turn out?

              • Colonial Viper

                You claim in your section on information asymmetry that people weren’t aware of the risks of smoking. King James I published a treatise on the dangers of smoking in 1604

                You have to be fucking joking.

                I don;t know what the literacy rate was in 1604 but i am willing to bet it was less than 10%.

                You really are a two dimensional thinker, smart just like Khan, but no more.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  It would surprise me if the average person in 1604, even if they could read, would benefit from the book. Considering the average life expectancy was around 30, I think they would be dead of the hundreds of other endemic diseases before lung cancer would be a problem.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You are saying that people knew of the dangers of smoking in 1604, except the people who couldn’t read???? Meh, technically then you may be correct.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Books have this amazing way of persisting across time. I know you might find it hard to believe, but a book written in 1604 is actually readable to a person in 1940! Amazing, I know.

                  • ZeeBop

                    If you live only to 30 smoking might actually have been good for you and prolonged your life in those disease ridden times. I say might.

                • rosy

                  Reading your article (I’m guessing you wrote it) now. On first skim I’ve already found one error.

                  One person writing an opinion piece in 1604 stating that smoking is bad for you simply because he didn’t like it, and considered the habit a moral failing, does not constitute empirical evidence that the dangers of smoking were known before mid-20th C.

                  It certainly does not provide evidence that the paragraph about asymmetrical information in DtB’s link contains an error.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    I was simply saying that people probably knew smoking isn’t that good for you. Ingesting smoke into your lungs is intuitively bad for you, mot people can grasp that. Also, I’m not saying smoking is good. Just that it probably isn’t a good pretense to allow others to run our lives via force.

                    • rosy

                      They probably didn’t. As CV says not many could read. Also the article you’ve linked to seems to say people thought it was an antidote for the pox – something that would have been much more significant back then that the effect of tobacco on the lungs. I also cannot see at all how it relates to the pretense of allowing others to run our lives via force.

                      Also a very left-ish liberal idea is not allowing others to run our lives via force, I would have thought. Maybe you could go tell all those people workers who work without rights

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I wasn’t specifically referring to people in 1604, I was using it as an example that the notion that smoking isn’t good for you may not have been a foreign concept to someone in the early 20th century or even before that.(tobacco was relatively new to Britain in 1604). ie. that tobacco companies didn’t pull the wall over everybodies eyes. Considering tobacco is one of the deadliest drugs available, why wasn’t it banned after all the evidence finally came out?

                      Many of the countries in your link have weak rule of law. How can you appeal to a court system if it is owned by a mate of the dude who runs your factory? Those abuses are horrible and I obviously don’t condone them, but A.The workers won’t be made better off if you shut down the factory (or hand it over to the workers) and B.See a social or economic problem? It can usually be traced to someone (usually govt) coercing someone to do something they wouldn’t otherwise do.

                    • rosy

                      Considering tobacco is one of the deadliest drugs available, why wasn’t it banned after all the evidence finally came out?

                      In simple terms – 1. because big tobacco had too much to lose, and 2. because smokers fight tooth and nail for their ‘right’ to smoke. I’ve done a fair few tobacco literature reviews so have quite strong views on this.

                      I agree that there is not much point in going to the courts in countries with weak labour laws, nor did I advocate that. I do believe labour law should be strengthened and that international labour oversight and agreements are essential.

                      Do you really believe business owners are coerced into being cruel? I think the pursuit of profit above all else, lack of labour rights and poor oversight of working conditions is motivation enough.

              • Draco T Bastard

                So, fridges and automobiles come out of the ground fully formed? I’d never have guessed.

                Rule #2, 3, 4, 5,

                King James I published a treatise on the dangers of smoking in 1604

                No errors there no matter how you’d like there to be (Rule #20 I think). It was merely an example of the misdirection and outright lies that businesses use to make money at the expense of everyone else. A well known one that people could relate to.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  What are the rules people keep talking about? You will have to enlighten me. I am completely ignorant on this count.

                  I think if I wanted to dig around I could probably find articles and books warning of the dangers of smoking. However, I’m not about to start defending tobacco companies. Just that, I think people weren’t as ignorant as you make out. And as can be seen from the modern day, it is social stigma that is turning people off smoking. I doubt people would have given up cold turkey if the risks were fully known by every person in 1890.

  16. “The Public Service has lost 2000 jobs and is expecting 2000 more jobs to be frittered away as they make the $1 billion in cuts to services that the government has targeted.”

    How many carrying out core services at local and central government level are members of the privatised ‘CONTRACTOCRACY’, as opposed to ‘in-house’ members of the ‘BUREAUCRACY’?

    Which is a more ‘cost-effective’ use of taxpayer/ ratepayer monies for the provision of core central and local government services – the privatised ‘CONTRACTOCRACY’, or ‘in-house’ ‘BUREAUCRACY’?

    Anyone got any ‘cost-benefit analyses’ which have the FACTS and EVIDENCE to prove the mantra
    ‘PUBLIC IS BAD – PRIVATE IS GOOD’?

    (I’ve asked under the OIA /LGOIMA and received nothing…….)

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  17. The National Party believes in market forces and market forces certainly are at work. But National also believes things will work out for the best…..which they might well do if the best is NZ as commodity-based increasingly impoverished country where we can’t actually start any new businesses for fear of falling foul of some multi-national’s intellectual property rights.

    In the end, we will have to bring back tariffs on some things to ensure a local base for knowing to how to make stuff and provide jobs for people who live here. It’s really just a question of how stupid our governments continue to be in the meantime.

    (China isn’t stupid. They never got rid of tarrifs.)

    The outlook isn’t good for our governments (or vast numbers of voters) not being stupid.

    • Rusty Shackleford 17.1

      IP is a pernicious evil.
      http://mises.org/daily/4397/Abolish-Antitrust-Laws

      China’s growth is unsustainable. They have govt built cities that stand empty, they own billions in debt of a leecher nation, they’re devaluing their currency to keep the leech fed.

      In the long term both the States and China could come right. China has become less coercive and thrived because of it. America has become more coercive and is in trouble. If China carries on the trend (especially if their bubble bursts), and America can get back on the trend it followed up till the 20th century, all big ifs, then who knows?

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        You clearly have issues with power. (Or coercion as you call it).

        Isn’t it interesting how undemocratic countries like China or Singapore can do so much better economically than the “free world”.

        • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.1.1

          Yea, I hate violence and aggression. Especially when it’s ostensibly for my own good.

          China is a better place to live than the USA or NZ?

          Singapore enacted market reforms under the guise of an authoritarian regime. Are they still authoritarian? (I honestly don’t know the answer to this question). South Korea is the same. They dropped the the dictatorship, but the same guys still run the show.

          • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.1

            Yea, I hate violence and aggression. Especially when it’s ostensibly for my own good.

            Societal violence and political aggression against the poor and underprivileged is OK though.

            • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Yea, propagating dependency is quite violent.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yep. As is propogating poverty.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  CV, you are hypocrite. You advocate inflation on the one hand, but harp on meanies kicking poor people on the other.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Are you for coercion and aggression against peoples or not?

                    Trapping people in a pit and not giving them a ladder to clamber out* – that’s the society we have created.

                    *A few find plane tickets to Australia though

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Ah, yea. I’m against that. Ever rising prices and jobs destroyed by over-regulation. Caused by govt coercion.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Didn’t you notice all those high paying NZ jobs destroyed by the promotion of corporatist freedom?

                      All we have got in exchange for that is lower tax rates for the already rich.

                      And didn’t you notice the trillions in losses caused by under-regulation of the financial system?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      What high paying jobs? Paying people $10 to do $5 worth of work?

                      People who work hard and become successful through offering goods and services people want to buy are A-OK in my book. They can keep their cash if they want. Same should go for everyone else (keeping their cash, I mean).

                      Lack of regulation doesn’t adequately explain the bubbles that keep occurring in commodities. Some people manipulate the existing regulations for their own gain, but it wasn’t the lack of regulation that caused the bust.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What high paying jobs? Paying people $10 to do $5 worth of work?

                      The value of work to a society can’t be properly measured by how much return that work generates to capitalist shareholders.

                      People who work hard and become successful through offering goods and services people want to buy are A-OK in my book.

                      How about those who become successful by ripping others off or clipping the ticket without adding any value?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “The value of work to a society can’t be properly measured by how much return that work generates to capitalist shareholders.”
                      How would you measure it? The other ways failed disastrously. Feel free to expound.

                      “How about those who become successful by (A.ripping others off) or (B.clipping the ticket without adding any value?”)

                      A.If they broke the law, the govt should fine them or throw them in jail. That’s what they’re there for.

                      B.What does this even mean?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      A.If they broke the law, the govt should fine them or throw them in jail. That’s what they’re there for.

                      No no no, this can’t happen as the govts are riddled with insiders helping the corporatists and the bankers.

                      If anything, govts like to give these people tax money which should have been spent on services and support for the people.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      You won’t get any argument from me. Which is why we should remove the power of the state to hand out giant stacks of cash as it sees fit. You can’t legislate for corruption. You can only make the gains from corruption as small as possible.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Don’t suggest “solutions” which will only increase corporate power.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Inflation. Inflation. Inflation. You got nothing brother.

                      Why don’t you just be quiet? I’m starting to feel like a bully.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Just making sure you realise that your ideas of government and economics are good only in books.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Well, yours don’t work in practice, so there is that.

                      Also, 1920. A little black swan for ya.

          • ianupnorth 17.1.1.1.2

            Making any comparison between Singapore and anyone else is an incredibly flawed strategy; Singapore is what it is for several reasons
            1) geography – it has a very big deep sea port conveniently positioned on the equator midway between south east Asia and mainland Europe.
             
            2) As a former UK colony it had the benefit of considerable inward investment for many years, along with the exploitation of a very low wage culture.
             
            Are they still authoritarian – go there and see! As anal a place you will struggle to find and class then race as determinants of whether you live in a house, a state flat or a prison.
             
            Mr. Key is trying the same model – business should run the show – but by virtue of geography there is no way the model will work.

            • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.1.1.2.1

              Hmmm, I don’t buy your premises. Neither 1 nor 2 worked for other colonies. Plenty of African colonies have natural resources and received investment from their masters as well as having basically zero wage economies.

              • ianupnorth

                Plenty of African countries were asset stripped before the exit of the former colonisers.
                 
                Geography is their biggest asset – WTF do you think a fair few international flights all stop there – it isn’t by chance! It was the first major air hub in Asia, it was the first major container hub in the world.

            • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.2.2

              True points, but Singapore did not get a major financial centre, semiconductor industry or biotech industry because it has a deep sea port. The Government wanted those things and was willing to spend a lot of money and influence to get them.

              NB when Singpore became independent of the UK (when was that, the 1950′s?) it was still an extremely poor country per capita relative to NZ and Australia.

              Consistent self interested leadershipover decades focussed on developing economic sovereignty has made all the difference.

              • ianupnorth

                It had the third highest GDP in Asia before independence. It wasn’t poor in Asian terms. It was already the biggest trans-shipment port in the world at that time.
                 
                The government there, whilst keen to develop the economy, have trampled an a few things, such as human rights – you do not get a trial by jury, they still have corporal and capital punishment.

  18. 4 got 18

    Dear Ben,

    I can see the Labour party has an impressive ability to notice, record and write about the problems of this government.

    How will you convince people you can do a better job and what are you intending to do?

    How are you going to match this National PR machine?

    Writing to the converted on the Standard is nice, but probably won’t win you any more votes unless you count the ones potentially lost to Mana or the Greens by poor stories about Labour

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      How will you convince people you can do a better job and what are you intending to do?

      How are you going to match this National PR machine?

      Yes Labour is going to tell you its campaign plans on this blog.

      Not.

    • ianupnorth 18.2

      That is a fair comment, and one I have mentioned on here in the past; it is a terrible indictment on NZ society that their political knowledge and understanding is abysmally poor.

      • Rusty Shackleford 18.2.1

        What is the point in learning the intricate details between a giant douche and a turd sandwich?

        • ianupnorth 18.2.1.1

          Well you have well and truly defined your intellect this time Rusty.
           
          Maybe there are a few people who actually have a genuine concern for others rather than self post here; maybe they would like any forthcoming election to be based on an informed choice, rather than a smile and a wave.
           
          The point in learning (and you seem to claim to be an expert in economics) any detail is exactly that – informed choice; we may as well have possums sat it parliament by your analogy!

          • Rusty Shackleford 18.2.1.1.1

            What does knowing about the soap opera that is politics have to do with concern for other people?

            As I’ve said. What is the difference between a giant douche and a turd sandwich? Possums sound good too, though.

            • The Voice of Reason 18.2.1.1.1.1

              Actually, you didn’t say it. You nicked the turd/douche comparison from SouthPark. Given that you stole your name from King of the Hill, is it fair to assume that all your thoughts come second hand from cartoons?

              • Rusty Shackleford

                I’m not hiding that. I thought it was a well known thing.

                • freedom

                  it was well known that your thoughts are second hand ?
                  , wow, most of us here actually think for ourselves

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    Utter bull. 40% of what goes on here can be boiled own to “National suck, Labour rule!”. 40% childish name calling. 20% debate intermixed with childish name calling.

                    [lprent: That is the case across most of the net. We enforce a minimum standard and we tend to get pissed off with critics on the general basis that they don't do much themselves.

                    If you want higher minded debate with less of the robust part that you're objecting to- then try kiwipolitico, red alert, or public address. The hand mirror is pretty good around feminist issues. They are all reasonably active in both comments and posts.

                    There isn't anything particularly comparable on the right except for the sewer, which is a bit of a boring echo chamber for trolls commenting in syncopation. Looking at your comments here today, they are descending into troll level as you seem to be running out of stamina. You may do well over there (and I may wind up removing your ability to comment here). ]

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And yet you choose to hang out here, pretending to be above it all. Interesting.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s no good being a Randian superhero aloof from society if the sheeple don’t know you’re a Randian superhero aloof from society. It would be mortifying if they thought Rourke was just a self-obsessed fuckwit who designed shite leaky buildings.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Rourke. He was a character with a twisted sense of his own cold happiness.

  19. Frank Macskasy 19

    Revelations that this government is planning to make 400 defence personnel redundant, and to make 600 more “re-apply” for Defence Dept jobs is sickening. This is poor reward for New Zealanders who have opted to serve their country, either at home; overseas in war zones; or assisting with disaster relief in Christchurch.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5185735/Morale-slumps-as-job-cuts-hit-Defence-Force

    When listening to Defence Minister, Wayne Mapp, on TV1 (23 June) justifying the redundancies, he confirmed that many of the sackings would be staff “nearing the near of their careers”! Did we hear that right: “nearing the near of their careers”?!

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/hundreds-military-staff-face-redundancy-4260052/video

    Why not simply take out all 50+ year olds to the back paddock and simply shoot them?

    We have achieved an apalling state of affairs when this is how we treat our fellow Kiwis who have served their country for many years. And made even more obscene when those facing redundancy are “nearing the near of their careers”.

    Personally, I hope that many National MPs will likewise be “nearing the near of their careers” on November 26. I’ll be voting to achieve that end.

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    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-08
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-08
  • The FBI, Kim Dotcom, John Key, and John Banks ‘Coincidence’
    July 16th:  Kim Dotcom announces he has a “political bombshell” about John Key (NZ Prime Minister) which he will release information about five days before the general election   July 31st:  Deputy Director of the FBI attends a secret meeting...
    An average kiwi | 01-08
  • John Banks – all over bar the appeal
    John Banks appeared for sentence this morning at the Auckland High Court and received two months’ Community Detention and 100 hours Community Work. A copy of the judgment is attached here). I’d been waiting for the news that his application...
    Occasionally erudite | 01-08
  • Stuart’s 100 #5: A Traffic Free Queen St for Christmas
    Stuart’s 100 continues: 5: A Traffic-Free Queen Street for Christmas What if Queen Street stayed closed to traffic after the Christmas Parade? Every year for one Saturday in November Queen Street is closed to traffic for one of Auckland’s greatest...
    Transport Blog | 01-08
  • A thousand deaths
    Why was John Banks treated so leniently? Why didn't the judge pass sentence of death? The sentence imposed on John Banks for breaching electoral law raises a number of serious questions....
    Imperator Fish | 01-08
  • Herald on regional roads fiasco
    Here is Adam Bennet in the Herald today: Shaky case for $212m fast-tracked road plan The National Government's $212 million plan to fast-track regional road projects using asset sales cash is not backed by a strong economic case, documents released...
    Polity | 01-08
  • Killing civilians
    Emergency workers carry the body of one of the people killed when Flight MH17 was shot down A Gallup poll, of Americans by religious affiliation, about whether it’s ever justified for “the military” to target and kill civilians The same poll, posing the same...
    Cut your hair | 01-08
  • Is the GCSB tapping all our cables?
    So, at the same time the GCSB was planning to inflict their new spy-law on us, they were being visited by an NSA technician to discuss installing undersea cable taps:The most instrusive and powerful tools in the United States' electronic...
    No Right Turn | 01-08
  • July ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
     Image Credit: Learn Blog Tips There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake,...
    Open Parachute | 01-08
  • July ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
     Image Credit: Learn Blog Tips There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake,...
    Open Parachute | 01-08
  • Sign up to increase cycling funding
    In June the Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on transport was released by the Ministry of Transport. The GPS outlines where transport funding will go over the next 3 years. Sadly it considered the business as usual of focussing on...
    Transport Blog | 01-08
  • Arrest of forest rights activists symbolic of what’s wrong in India