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I know, how about a Jobs Summit

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, January 12th, 2013 - 150 comments
Categories: jobs, john key, Keynes - Tags:

Today, Fran O’Sullivan calls Key out on his complete failure on jobs: “If I have one New Year’s wish it is that John Key returns from his Hawaiian summer holiday brimming with enough determination to challenge the nation’s employers – and himself – to tackle youth unemployment.” In fact, she is the latest of the rightwing’s pundits to conclude neoliberalism has failed.

There’s talk that Key’s going to make some kind of announcement around employment when he finally gets back from holidaying abroad.

It’ll be wrapped up nicely enough for the pundits to cheer. But it’s hard to imagine what real substance it can have. Because National has played all its economic cards – tax cuts for the rich, reducing work rights, crony capitalist deals – and nothing has produced jobs. In fact, our unemployment rate is rising when it is steady or falling in the rest of the developed world. Short of a complete ideological turn-around that would put National to the left of Labour on economic interventionism, they’ve got nothing to offer.

Take Fran’s suggestion:

Key could start by cancelling the top personal tax break and “reinvesting” the hundreds of millions of dollars that would otherwise have gone into Bill English’s Treasury coffers into a massive state-backed scheme to train young people in the skills needed for today’s workforce.

Then challenge private sector employers to match the taxpayer investment and complete the difficult and tedious work of completing the training of young people “on the job”.

Oh, and throw in a bond to ensure the skills are used here (at least initially).

Call it a prime ministerial slush fund if you will. Or just the “Give them a fair go” campaign.

That would mean a total refutation of the core neoliberal ideal (OK, core justification for enriching the rich at everyone else’s expense) – tax cuts for the rich are meant to grow the economy and government doesn’t create jobs. If you turn around and raise taxes on the rich so that government can create jobs, you’re saying that neoliberalism is a failure. Saying that the government should invest in jobs and wages to lift aggregate demand is pure Keynes. And then the whole neoliberal edifice comes crashing down. Asset sales, attacking work rights, privatisation of core services – they all stem from the ‘government sucks, corporates rule’ mentality that says if you have the government do less and let the rich keep more of ‘their’ money then the economy will do better.

Fran might be wiling to turn her back on neoliberalism – joining Gareth Morgan, Bernard Hickey, and others in doing so – but Key’s not going to.

Key will have to pull out something truly spectacular and unheard of if he’s to announce something that really will create jobs without it being a leftwing idea.

In reality, it’s more likely to be some kind of hand out to businesses that won’t create jobs – just like Bennett’s Job Ops, which paid employers to fire existing staff and hire replacements – or one of the ‘bene-slave‘ schemes that the Tories are running the in UK were supermarkets get free labour from beneficiaries who lose their benefits if they don’t work.

And I wouldn’t put it past him to announce it at ‘Jobs Summit 2′, either.

150 comments on “I know, how about a Jobs Summit”

  1. aerobubble 1

    Long ago when they introduced the pension it was decides that older people who had not put money away would receive it. So out of income tax pensioners received money. Now think about that when suddenly we hear all this discussion about teens and adults having to subsidize pensions for existing boomers. It was an accountancy trick that in good times the tax windfalls from cheap oil growth were capable of either being returned to tax payers or being gifted to pensioners.

    State pensions have always come out of income taxes of current tax payers, its only fair that a basic pension is provisioned for all pensioners. So my question is why should boomer retire suddenly be taxing youth and adult tax payers dry? Why should people who got indebted on top of just getting lucky by coming of age during the cheap energy glut suddenly have calls on value, on pensions that force existing income earners to suffer so disproportionately.

    Well that’s the argument the right is making and its false, since we now live in a world that can feed, house and provide health cover to everyone on the planet, that was not so just after the second world war. So the cost of the aged is being horrendously over estimated, or lavished on the old to excess for their votes. We can all do very nicely thank you on our current economy, its not a disaster, sure the debts need being dealt with, we just need government managers who actively support social cohesion rather than play social groups off each other for power and money.

    We don’t need no frigging communists or any of these revolutionary conservative types either.
    we need government to work for all the people, not just the old, or the rich, or the connected.

    • geoff 1.1

      If you finished your education and got into work before the early nineties then there’s a good chance you had the opportunity to: Get a free education and buy a house with a reasonable price/salary ratio.
      If you finished your education and got into work after the early nineties there’s a good chance you’re been short changed by the country with expensive houses and education debt.

      That Rogernomics is nearly 30 years old probably goes some way to explaining why the 45+ yr olds have the lion’s share of the wealth in this country and those younger are paying either ridiculous mortgages or ridiculous rent.

      David Shearer 55 yrs old.
      David Cunliffe 47 yr old.

      Also, means test super.
      and tax rental residential property so that’s it’s not profitable.
      and give us participatory democracy.

      • mac1 1.1.1

        Make your point clearly, geoff, as to why you name Shearer and Cunliffe along with their ages.

        Why just those two in particular? How many other current politicians are in the 45 plus age group now? How many traditionally have been in that age group? Fourthly, what percentage of the population is in that age group?

        Can you see why I ask for clarification?

        • mac1 1.1.1.1

          Rough answer to question four. A quick rough estimate seems that in 1996 the 45+ population was about 33% and in 1976 it was about 28%. That is probably down to baby boomers coming through.

          • mac1 1.1.1.1.1

            Another search discovers that 86% of the MPs of the 50th Parliament are 40+ years old.
            40-49 years old 32% The voting cohort is 20%
            50-59 yrs old 38 % Voting cohort is 16%
            60 yrs plus 16% Voting cohort is 24%

        • geoff 1.1.1.2

          It was just something that occurred to me as I rambled on.
          You could interpret it that David Shearer may have a social circle, due to his age, which has been less negatively effected than David Cunliffe and therefore he is less acutely aware of the failings of neoliberalism. Or you could interpret it that both of the Davids are older than 45 and so both have probably been sheltered from the negative outcomes of rogernomics.
          I don’t know, I’m just guessing out loud.

    • TightyRighty 1.2

      I’m quite happy paying for my education and accepting thatmy dream home may not happen anytime soon. Quite happy to pay for my own retirement to. Just not happy to have to work so bloody hard to pay for everyone to have their hand out to the government.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        All that proves is that you’re a chump and a glutton for punishment. All the senior people in charge today had it much easier than what you are talking about.

        • TightyRighty 1.2.1.1

          No point moaning about it though. If we could get the moaners and spongers out of the way, I and others like me can get on with it. We can’t all marry rich and then be allowed to sit around and pontificate ad nauseum about how the country should be run from the safety of daddy-in-laws trusts. wanker. get a job and contribute something meaningful.

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.1

            Of course there’s no point moaning, the point is to get even so that future generations of NZers get the same benefits as they did.

            Not as you suggest to leave most people disadvantaged.

      • xtasy 1.2.2

        Yeah right!

        Stop working for families, stop free healthcare, stop free roads to travel on, stop free education for youngsters, stop the police doing what privatised security services may offer for those that can afford to pay for private security.

        I am sure, many are “with” you.

        • TightyRighty 1.2.2.1

          Net receivers from the state should be disenfranchised. The urge to act as a rational human being, i.e. take the free money and not contribute is to strong for the “many”. So you see, i’m really much more civic minded than anyone on this site. being a massive net contributor, for no other reason than I believe it’s my civic duty. I’m just not happy about the level I am expected to contribute so others can rest easy.

          I have private healthcare. I repay my student loan above what I am expected to. I save money. I don’t engage with the police if I can avoid it, my burglar alarm helps to contribute to that. What do you contribute? more than CV? not difficult. Or less? in which case hang your head in shame

          • McFlock 1.2.2.1.1

            So let me get this straight: you spend money to get preferential treatment from the private health sector, pay your taxes, and take moderate steps to protect your own property, or in other words do the minimum “civic duty”, and for that we should be grateful?

            What was the last thing you did to make society a happier, healthier or better place, rather than just padding your own nest?

            • TightyRighty 1.2.2.1.1.1

              Yes, you should be grateful. I don’t consume state resources that could be better used by those who really need them. I do it constantly, as a matter of form for my life. that’s what i do to make society happier and healthier. Oh, I also contribute in a big way to a couple of causes that I believe deserve special thought. What was the last thing you did?

              • McFlock

                Funnily enough, if better-off people like you put the money you spend on private healthcare and private security into the public coffers, the health system for one would be better funded and society would be better off. And choosing charities to donate to is a private conceit, as private charity favours perceptions of cute&deserving over actual need.

                The jobs I’ve had since my first degree consist of respectable or even modest remuneration (rather than riches) in exchange for supporting and helping people who are in need in different ways. Public safety, health, advocacy, that sort of thing.

                A cheque-book isn’t the only way people help society. It’s probably the least effective way. Indeed, I have family members who volunteer much of their time in hospitals and hospices, but at the moment you’d probably claim they don’t deserve so much as a vote in the general elections.

      • aerobubble 1.2.3

        You owe society for providing higher education, for roads, for a military, for science, for technology, health, you did none of that yourself. Yet ow you want to free load off all the
        built up common wealth we collectively, our families, our customs, our society has produce
        by canceling the very aspects that made us civilly minded. The very fact that individuals
        would take risks with money was helped by the presence of a social safety net, that health
        care was available to all, that the rich would not run off with your hard work.

        Now we have locks of free loading landlords who expect a retrun on their inflated houses,
        we have reams of buccaneer bankers who speculate on individuals like they were the
        new work slaves of old, and the whole pesky core have ignored all pretense that they
        owe anything to anyone.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Those who try to effect change here, like Cabinet minister Steven Joyce, face a backlash, such as from Auckland University’s leaders when he said he wanted more engineers trained.

    The academics bang on about academic freedom (more of that follow-your-dreams diet) but failure to prioritise funding of in-demand skills means our companies miss out on trained people and the cycle repeats itself.

    O’Sullivan seems to be going further than just outright dropping of neo-liberalism – she seems to be looking for full government command of the economy.

    • Rhinoviper 2.1

      bang on about academic freedom

      Yeah, ‘cos freedom is just so tedious, eh? Let’s dismiss it as “banging on”. Who needs freedom when I want a return on my shares?

      (more of that follow-your-dreams diet) but failure to prioritise funding of in-demand skills means our companies miss out on trained people and the cycle repeats itself.

      Though she’s either too dim or too dishonest to admit it, she’s highlighted the failure of the “free market” theory right there.

      Those damn consumers! They just refuse to make rational economic choices like our models say they should! They simply will not predict the future and enrol in courses where there will be skills shortages in the future! They are so damned irrational that they put their own fulfilment ahead of making profits for big corporations! The people just aren’t good enough for our economy!

      I don’t see Fran O having a Damascene conversion, I see a Ptolemaic astronomer finding that their earth-centred solar system doesn’t fit observations and adding epicycles to the planetary orbits to keep pretending that they’re moving around the earth. It makes her a hypocrite, not a convert.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        It’s not the consumers or even the government that are failing to fund in demand skills – it’s the business community failing to provide the training that they need to meet the market. What O’Sullivan is doing here is demanding that the government fund that training so that the business community can continue not doing so and thus keep profits high.

        It’s still the failure of the free market which ever way you look at it but she can’t come out and say that (if she’s even recognised it and I don’t think she has) as it would undermine the ideology that drives capitalism.

  3. Saarbo 3

    ” Key could start by cancelling the top personal tax break”

    This is a great idea, and the New Zealand public have to get used to this idea because it has to happen. Then it needs to be spent on our 270000 kids living in poverty, training and housing for the poor.

    But read the article carefully, O Sullivan is saying that our unemployment is structural rather than driven by National just tanking our economy. We all know why we have such high unemployment in NZ. 1)National choose to spend on Infrastructure (Roads etc) rather than welfare and education. 2) National have chosen to increase GST and reduce tax on the top tax rate which effectively reduces spending and economic growth. 3) National are shrinking expenditure to achieve their ONLY GOAL of balancing the books by 2014. Etc, etc.

    This is also why historically Labour drives GDP growth on average 1% higher pa than National.

  4. ropata 4

    The US also has a useful slave labour force thanks to their incarceration industry.
    Our Jokey overlord probably admires that vision for NZ

  5. Jenny 5

    My suggestion:
    A huge expansion in wind farms and industrial size solar collectors.Tthe design, the fabrication, the construction, the installation, the extension of the National grid, and all other necessary infrasrtucture. Including all the best practice training and workshops and and educational infrastructure all done here. Making a bedrock technical and economic base for the coming challenges posed by peak oil and climate change.

    • Jenny 5.1

      Tens of thousands of jobs right there.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        You’re slowly catching up Jenny. However, what we need to accelerate is the building of high efficiency transport infrastructure and housing primarily, not renewable power infrastructure (as that is happening fine all by itself at the moment).

        • Jenny 5.1.1.1

          I might add to that CV:
          This work will need to be done to fill the hole caused by the immediate and necessary vitally strategic decommissioning of the Huntly Power station and the shutting down of the deadly and dirty coal industry. Closing down this grubby trade and our biggest thermal power station, will release the necessary number of technicians and skilled tradespeople required to instruct our young people in doing this vital work for the nation.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            I’m sorry but you can’t replace on-demand generation with the intermittent generation that solar and wind can provide. (The alternative is to accept occasional brown outs and blackouts)

            We’d be better off taking 250,000 cars and trucks off the roads.

            As for your “dirty” perjoratives, petrol and diesel road vehicles are more deadly than coal.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m sorry but you can’t replace on-demand generation with the intermittent generation that solar and wind can provide.

              Yes you can either by turning the hydro lakes into on demand power (They’re probably more responsive than the gas and diesel fired plants anyway) or by putting in place energy storage (batteries, thermal storage or pumping water back up into hydro lakes). The best option would be some sort of combination.

              • weka

                Are hydro lakes not already on demand power sources?

                Don’t know what is happening up north, but in the South Island there is increasing resistance to increasing hydro. The crunch is coming where people will have to think about comfy, consumerist lifestyle vs environmental integrity.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I believe that they’re treated more as base level generation than as on demand. On demand generation tends to be stuff that can be brought on line quickly when demand passes what base load can provide and then shut down just as quickly when the demand has passed. Such plants are usually either gas fired or diesel.

                  • RedLogix

                    Absolutely correct DtB.

                    New Zealand is the easiest country on earth to turn completely 100% sustainable, for electricity and transport. The hardest part would be to get the industrial uses (timber and dairy processing for instance) completely 100% renewables … but getting very close is possible.

                    The really sad part is that if we had pulled finger a decade ago when it first became obvious the world needed to do this … we’d be there by now.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The really sad part is that if we had pulled finger a decade ago when it first became obvious

                      And which party was in charge 10 years ago…ah, yes.

                    • handle

                      And who resisted market-based pricing to reduce carbon? Even drove a tractor up Parliament’s steps to defend agriculture’s right to pollute? Ah, yes…

            • Jenny 5.1.1.1.1.2

              As for your “dirty” perjoratives, petrol and diesel road vehicles are more deadly than coal.

              Colonial Viper

              You must be getting desperate CV.

              This is an easily disproven lie.

              Coal is the Number 1 cause of climate change.

              “coal is the single greatest threat to civilization and all life on our planet.” James Hansen.

              Coal mining is the number 1 cause of mine deaths

              http://worldnews.about.com/od/disasters/tp/Worlds-Worst-Mining-Disasters.htm

              Coal is the number 1 cause of acid rain

              Coal is the number 1 cause of miner’s lung

              And it seems that coal, is also the number 1 cause of lies and obfuscation by climate change apologists like yourself.

              • Jenny

                Two of the links showing CV to be a liar in claiming that petrol and diesel road vehicles are more deadly than coal failed to come through.

                Coal is the number 1 cause of acid rain

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalworker's_pneumoconiosis

                • Colonial Viper

                  Two of the links showing CV to be a liar

                  Tell me, is insulting me, the Greens, basically everyone else around you, helping to make your point or detracting from your point? Have a think about that.

              • Colonial Viper

                All a know is that vehicles kill anywhere up to 400 people a year in NZ and destroy the lives of one or two thousand more.

                What about the equivalent numbers for coal in NZ, Jenny?

                Come on, you’re so smart and certain (like most any fundamentalist evangelical), I’d love to hear what you have to say on these statistics.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  I can think of 29 recent deaths attributable to coal, CV.

                  Jenny: try using the word ‘mistaken’. CV is not lying. Wrong, according to you, but not lying. That kind of language picks a fight where none is needed.

                • Jenny

                  You really are desperate.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Still waiting for you to back up your facts on the lethality of coal with numbers, Jenny. BTW 30,000-40,000 people a year die in vehicle accidents in the USA.

                    Would be interested in you supporting your contention that coal kills more people than that in the USA, as well as with regards to NZ.

                    • Jenny

                      You are getting really desperate now CV.

                      You are really splitting hairs here, and are claiming things I never said.

                      How petty, Is a machine gun more dangerous than a hand gun?

                      Is a Hydrogen Bomb more dangerous than an Atom Bomb?

                      Their danger is not measured in how many have each have actually killed, but for the potential for one to kill many more than the other.

                      Yes I did bring attention to the many other ways this dirty fuel kills.

                      But, I never contended anywhere that coal kills more people in the USA than die in vehicle accidents. This is your deliberate misrepresentation.

                      In response to your claim, “petrol and diesel road vehicles are more deadly than coal.”

                      I said, in response, that coal is more dangerous.

                      I stand by this claim.

                      Coal is the most carbon dense fossil fuel, therefore it is the most deadliest. If it continues to be mined and burned in the current volumes, then runaway climate change is inevitable. Globally it has been estimated that the death toll from runaway climate change ( that is, above 6 degrees C.) will be in the millions. Not since the Black Death has humanity faced such a dieback.

                      Is coal more dangerous than petrol and diesel road vehicles?

                      Undoubtedly.

                      Yes the many sad deaths from vehicle accidents is distressing, and something should be done about it. But unfortunately for us all. The threat posed by coal is even worse.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I don’t think that I am misquoting you. You clearly asserted that coal is more deadly than petrol and diesel road vehicles in the following exchange:

                      As for your “dirty” perjoratives, petrol and diesel road vehicles are more deadly than coal.

                      Colonial Viper

                      You must be getting desperate CV.

                      This is an easily disproven lie.

                      You’re an evangelist and a fundamentalist, Jenny. Good luck with getting the followers that you so deeply want.

                      PS I note that you haven’t been able to pull out a single statistic stating that coal takes more lives in the USA or in NZ than petrol and diesel vehicles. You’ve managed plenty of bullshit hyperbole and fluff though.

                    • Jenny

                      PS I note that you haven’t been able to pull out a single statistic stating that coal takes more lives in the USA or in NZ than petrol and diesel vehicles. You’ve managed plenty of bullshit hyperbole and fluff though.

                      Colonial Viper

                      CV repeating this ridiculous assertion only makes you look even more desperate.

                      I have never anywhere made the statement, I claim I have “that coal takes more lives in the USA or in NZ than petrol and diesel vehicles.”

                      What I said is that coal is more deadly. Which I stand by.

                      Give it up before you look a complete fool.

                    • Jenny

                      You’ve managed plenty of bullshit hyperbole and fluff though.

                      Colonial Viper

                      You will be pleased to know I have even managed a poem.

                      I call it Coal Kills

                      Coal kills workers,

                      Coal kills planets,

                      Coal kills,

                      Ban it

                      Jenny

      • Tiresias 5.1.2

        Oh but how the claws will be unsheathed and the tongues drip vitriol in these comments if I revealed that I invested tens of thousands of dollars in Christchurch’s Windflow Ltd. – http://www.windflow.co.nz/ – and NZ Windfarms Ltd – http://www.nzwindfarms.co.nz – in the hope of making a decent return on my investment, while incidentally promoting Green energy and achieving exactly the result re employement Jenny wants.

        Still, never mind. You”ll no doubt feel better when I admit that due to a complete lack of Government support in this county and the NIMBY response to actually building windfarms anywhere, plus the UK Govt’s torpedoing subsidies to green energy projects, I’ve lost most of my nasty rentier money, Windflow has had to lay off most of its NZ workers – many of them technical specialists – and is hoping to avoid bankruptcy and even get back a little money for me by selling its world-leading New Zealand innvoation and technology to foreign interests for a handful of beans.

        In the future I’ll stick to nice safe investments – like Mighty River Power and Cocoa-Cola.

        • Jenny 5.1.2.1

          Hi Tiresias. Maybe good old state intervention in the style of the old Ministry of Works (MOW) will get over the failings of private sector investment companies, which are forced by the market to deliver a financial return rather than a social good. The two outcomes as you have found at personal cost are actually incompatible.

    • bad12 5.2

      It a good idea,BUT, against a backdrop of the Slippery lead National Government hell bent on flogging off the electricity supply industry???,

      My view on Solar Power is hell yes, retro fit every House in New Zealand with an array of panels on their roofs, by pass the need for expensive battery systems by running the generation into the National Grid via a meter system that measures the households generation from solar and subtracts that from their overall electricity use,

      Build the whole set-up here in New Zealand and that would be smart use of money,resources and labour…

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        Solar PV is hopeless as a durable, resilient technology. I’d avoid it and focus on solar thermal which can be used primarily for water heating in NZ, offloading the grid that way.

        • weka 5.2.1.1

          Plus mandate passive solar design and other low cost technologies in all new houses, which will also take load off the grid.

        • geoff 5.2.1.2

          Solar PV is hopeless as a durable, resilient technology

          I don’t think that’s entirely fair. Care to elaborate?

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.2.1

            I’m referring mostly to the degradation of PV cell performance and lead-acid battery performance over time.

            Having said that, hydro and wind generation also require ongoing maintenance over time.

          • Jenny 5.2.1.2.2

            Don’t take him seriously geoff No matter what alternative you put up. CV can be relied on, to put forward any old excuse to hand, to oppose measures combatting climate change. This is rather than face up to any serious measure that could move us from reliance on fossil fuels. This is fully in line with current Labour Party policy.

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.2.2.1

              *Shrug*

              Good luck with convincing the Green Party to take up your measures.

              • Jenny

                Thank you.
                However it seems that Labour are having greater luck in turning the Green Party into another version of themselves, just another Social Democratic party, (though maybe just a bit further left).

                Personally I was hoping it would be the other way round.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I don’t think Labour has that kind of impact on the Green Party membership. Many of the ones I have met made a conscious decision to get well away from Labour.

        • History of Violence 5.2.1.3

          CV stick to stuff you know about, another lie, sorry mistake
          “Solar PV is hopeless as a resilient technology”
          Big Fail do you actually know what you are talking about? no I didn’t think so, Solar PV is one of the most resilient products around with 25yr warranties.

          What’s this about battery performance, grid connect systems don’t use them

          “Focus on Solar Thermal”
          Have you been in a coma? Solar Thermal is dead, expensive, to short a life, what happens when the water tank is hot, it stops

          I appreciate your political comments but please confine your comments to subjects you know about, otherwise to the informed you could look like a twat.

          • geoff 5.2.1.3.1

            While I agree with some of what you’re saying about PV, I don’t agree with what you’re saying about solar thermal water heating. Solar thermal if far more efficient for converting sunlight into useful energy (solar thermal ~70-80% vs ~20% for PV) and also presently costs much less than a standard 2kW PV installation (~ $7000 vs ~$15,000-$20,000). The return on investment for solar thermal is much better a.t.m than PV.

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.3.1.1

              Yep. It’s far more efficient to keep turn heat from sunlight into heat in water, rather than transforming it into electricity.

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.3.2

            Hey HoV

            Whateva lol :D

            PS who you gonna claim the warranty from in 25 years? The fairy god mother?

          • weka 5.2.1.3.3

            “What’s this about battery performance, grid connect systems don’t use them”

            What happens when the grid fails if there is no local storage? I’m guessing you and CV are using different definitions of the term ‘resilient’. Personally, in the face of CC, PO and the GFC, I want to see localised energy production systems, rather than national grid tied ones. We are very vulnerable – what’s going to happen when the Alpine Fault and related faults shift and take out the South Island’s power generation and transmission?

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.3.3.1

              South Island will be fine for power IMO as there is spare generation capacity down there to burn, it’s the Cook Strait cable to the NI which is the really weak link.

              • weka

                The geo bods think that the SI power generation and reticulation will fail in the Big One. Some of the dams will go, and much of the transmission infrastructure. I haven’t seen a really detailed examination, but both the ORC and Ecan are expecting damage within their rohe (so that’s the Clutha and Waitaki generation). How quickly it takes to recover from that depends on how far into CC/PO/GFC we are. Bear in mind that most of the damage in the hinterland will be in the form of multiple and massive slips, lost bridges, and liquefaction, all things likely to hinder recovery. Chch as an example doesn’t bode well.

      • Fortran 5.2.2

        Could somebody advise the cost of putting solar in existing houses ?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2.1

          About $10k per 1kw at present retail prices. Lasts about 20 years and perhaps longer.

        • History of Violence 5.2.2.2

          About $9k installed for a 2kw system , about $900 a year of generation
          Did over 100 last year so I know
          price of solar PV modules dropped by 50% last year

      • +1 bad, if i could i would have solar power, Solar power is growing and there are
        some houses being built with solar panels as their main form of electricity.
        I was told by a friend that some firms import lots of containers of solar panels at the cost of
        of $10 a panel from china, if this is so, then the cost of going solar should also be lower,but i guess, add the cost of the import then the profit margin,the cost of installing them puts solar panels out of the reach of many people,shame really.

        • weka 5.2.3.1

          Last year someone on Trade Me undercut solar panel prices substantially, which suggests that most panels are being sold at excessive profit. This is why the government should have intervened and supported the solar industry in NZ a decade ago (The Greens had such a policy, that would create industry and jobs as well as reduce prices). We’ve missed that boat now.

    • weka 5.3

      Jenny, it takes a lot of carbon-emitting industry to build wind farms and large scale solar. Please show an audit re your idea and its impact on NZ’s CC mitigation.

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.1

        As you identified Weka, we are going to have to use a massive amount of energy, fossil fuels and other real resources over the next twenty years getting ready for the future 200 years.

        Jenny also hasn’t cottoned on that creating tens of thousands of good paying jobs constructing this infrasturcure will tend to boost per capita lifestyle and energy consumption as people have money to spend on things they want.

        That’s another paradox that no one has answered.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.1

          Yep, having a high standard of living absolutely requires a minimal population level but that goes against the requirement of ever increasing profit that our present socio-economic system needs.

          • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.1.1

            It’s like some kind of deviously created labyrinth.

            • AmaKiwi 5.3.1.1.1.1

              We can re-define “high standard of living” using luxury taxes.

              I have a high standard of living because I walk beautiful beaches three or four times a week. I do NOT own a jet ski, quad bike, power boat, etc.

        • red rattler 5.3.1.2

          CV couple of problems with your scenario.

          “…we are going to have to use a massive amount of energy, fossil fuels and other real resources over the next twenty years getting ready for the future 200 years.”

          Using the next 20 years in this way will guarantee we will have no future 200 years.

          To have a 200 year future we need a state run policy of Public Works that creates full employment around social provision, health, education and housing, including infrastructure. The energy sources will need to be those which don’t put carbon into the atmosphere. Fossil fuels are out. We need to renationalise under workers control the power companies, and the national grid and plan renewable energy use for the next 200 years.

          To pay for it we need to expropriate the big corporates, and encourage cooperative production by taxing unearned profits and rents. We need a state bank that can print money, not to bail out private banks, but to invest in sustainable economic growth.

          If we can achieve the political will and the means to do this we will have created the conditions to solve your second ‘paradox’:

          “…creating tens of thousands of good paying jobs constructing this infrastructure will tend to boost per capita lifestyle and energy consumption as people have money to spend on things they want.”

          A state policy capable of the above would be a ‘socialist’ policy, and to implement it would require a process of democratic planning able to assess and prioritise people’s needs not their capitalist generated wants. Out of that would flow the decisions as to whether this would create higher personal consumption, or, more likely, less waste resulting from market anarchy, and more savings going into a social development fund to increase productivity and reduce work hours.

          One could do worse than to look at Greece where the failure of Social Democracy has led to the formation of Syriza which now incorporates most of the left democratic socialist currents and nearly won the last election. In itself it is not have the answers for a transition from capitalism to socialism, but it sure as hell is raising the question and generating a mass debate that can come up with answers.

          • Populuxe1 5.3.1.2.1

            “Using the next 20 years in this way will guarantee we will have no future 200 years.”

            Utter twaddle – the human race is not suddenly going to vanish in the next 200 years short of something very short, sharp and significant like an asteroid strike. There is little evidence that anything we do now will curb climate change (c’est la vie) so we might as well go hard out on the engineering to busy some security for ourselves and descendants.

            “We need a state bank that can print money, not to bail out private banks, but to invest in sustainable economic growth.”

            What, like Zimbabwe?

            “One could do worse than to look at Greece where the failure of Social Democracy has led to the formation of Syriza which now incorporates most of the left democratic socialist currents and nearly won the last election. In itself it is not have the answers for a transition from capitalism to socialism, but it sure as hell is raising the question and generating a mass debate that can come up with answers.”

            Greece is a cess pit of corruption and tax avoidance (you do NOT want to end up in a provincial Greek public hospital) – I’d also point out that those conditions also saw the sudden rise of Golden Dawn as well. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen here.

            • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.2.1.1

              What, like Zimbabwe?

              I’m not sure why this Zimbabwe meme keeps popping up every time that “printing money” is mentioned.

              If NZ were to print money, it should be invested in essential high productivity social and community infrastructure.

              No hyperinflation will result from doing that.

              And let’s all be clear – the major reserve banks of the world (BoJ, the Fed, BoE, ECB) have printed and distributed approximately US$5T since 2007. No hyper-inflation, no more Zimbabwe’s.

              Utter twaddle – the human race is not suddenly going to vanish in the next 200 years

              Of course I think you are right, however I think we will be looking at a population of between 1B and 2B max, if there is very limited access to fossil fuels, and if climate disruptions continue to magnify.

            • bad12 5.3.1.2.1.2

              Are you really stupid or what,was it not you i told in another post the other day to check out the rate of inflation in the US after yet another quisle about hyper-inflation caused from printing money,

              It doesn’t in itself cause inflation, hence there is no difference whatsoever in printing what the current Government are borrowing, ( which incidently the interim IMF report to the incoming Slippery Government advocated shortly after the 2008 election),

              As CV says, printed money could be used in any number of social intiatives without creating undue inflation,

              There is only one codicil to this where the spending of such printed money into the economy to build the infrastructure of society should give full regard to the Reserve Bank’s inflation targets band,

              The hyper-inflation that resulted from Zimbabwe printing ever bigger monetary amounts had at its root cause sanctions against Zimbabwe by the Western World who took umbrage at Mugabe seizing the famrs occupied by the white folk and handing them back to their previous owners,

              The sanctions meant that fuel,wheat and much of the other daily essentials of life in Zimbabwe had to be smuggled into the country as black-market products,

              Those operating the smuggling regime then charged a premium for such products and the Mugabe Government then began to expand the money supply to keep pace with the cost of these products which fueled a vicious cycle of price rises and money printing…

          • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.2.2

            The energy sources will need to be those which don’t put carbon into the atmosphere. Fossil fuels are out.

            Red Rattler, that’s fine, but it’s also the end of virtually all construction and maintenance technologies as they exist now, and risks regressing back to a pre-1900′s level of tech.

            • red rattler 5.3.1.2.2.1

              CV I don’t agree that a shift from carbon burning to other energy sources will put us back to pre-1900 technology. Its coal and oil fired industry that we want to leave behind.

              Solar power and electric technology are 20th century (soviets + electricity = socialism) and they can develop more rapidly if they don’t wait for the profit motive. Lets swap our milk for Bolivia’s lithium. And our milk powder for China’s rare earths.

              They can replace oil which is peaked and coal which is absolutely ruled out.
              Why, because 2 degrees becomes 6 degrees and we have no oxygen to breathe.
              Domestic consumption could be switched to solar, wind, and more HEP.
              All public transport could be switched to Solar and HEP.

              Rio Tinto could be converted to produce aluminium for solar panels and vehicles. What began as NZ Steel could upgrade to the latest electric smelters based on local iron sand.
              Local steel, local cement and local rail on new lines could fulfil most infrastructural needs.

              NZR workshops could produce aluminium rolling stock and containers.
              NZ transport could build aluminium electric buses. Converting cars and short range trucks to electricity is possible. Meanwhile bio-diesel from waste can fill the stopgap. Those who dont yet have diesels can carpool in Remuera tractors.
              We can convert surplus oil tankers for coastal shipping.

              Construction of roads, rails, building etc would use all this latest 21st century tech in combination.

              State education in science and technology would keep us advancing in cheapening energy just as labour productivity is reducing the expenditure of labour power.

              So we wouldn’t be going back to 19th century social conditions either.
              We would have full employment with reduced working hours.

              All of this is possible if we have the will and the means which I addressed above.
              The “we” are the working class that says “enough” we want to survive.
              None of this is compatible with capitalism in its destructive phase.
              It would take a socialist government backed by the majority working class to conceive, plan and implement this survival strategy.

              By the way this is called ‘powering up’ not ‘powering down’.

              Waiting to here why this is not possible.

              • Colonial Viper

                I think that those are all ideas worthy of serious consideration. But activities like refitting Glenbrook, mining lithium in Bolivia, laying down rail and refining/shipping rare earth metals from China will all require the use of plenty of fossil fueled machinery and fossil fueled processes.

                So while we will be moving to a low carbon future, the transition itself is going to be very fossil fuel energy intensive. It will require the upfront expenditure of significant fossil fuels now, to allow us to toss fossil fuels out in future.

                Which is what I meant with my original comment

                “…we are going to have to use a massive amount of energy, fossil fuels and other real resources over the next twenty years getting ready for the future 200 years.”

                • bad12

                  ALL of the above is correct, BUT, New Zealand has little control over the actual amount of CO2 being produced to the atmosphere so unless such solutions are adopted on a World-wide basis then no matter what we do little difference will be made to the final out-come if the worst case scenario transpires to be correct…

                  • Two points. Science and socialism.

                    CV and Bad12

                    The general point that we cannot eliminate carbon emission overnight is a truism. Just as saying that one tiny country produces an infinitesimal carbon footprint is a truism. But the point is how to minimise that footprint in the transition.

                    Its as yet unknown what carbon emissions are necessary to implement rapid green energy. Whatever they are and what impact they will have depend on unknown variables the most important of which is the political economy, or global governance.

                    Who rules the global economy will decide on the carbon costs of a transition to green energy.

                    For example McPherson speaks of economic collapse meaning the end of industrial production. While he talks of stopping Arctic drilling as the one positive feedback that we could control, he does not envisage the link between this and a wider social revolution globally that can make a difference on how long we have got.

                    Mining Lithium in Bolivia is open to technical improvements in method of production (all 21st century) while the Morales populist govt retains control. Even though it, together with NZ in a progressive trade swap, obviously can’t defeat CC alone, that’s two countries making a stand. China is another great unknown potential.

                    China is actually leading in green technology, and with the CCP ruling, they won’t close it down when the prices of oil or tar sands go up and down. Of course to catch up and pass its rivals China is now the biggest emitter. That’s why who rules China is decisive. The biggest factor that we should be pushing hard is the capacity of the Chinese working class to overthrow the CCP and implement a democratic socialist plan for survival.

                    The problem with even the most radical CC position (eg McGregor) is that the political economy is still based on the market and bourgeois individualism. Individuals make personal decisions to burn less carbon or go live in a carbon free lifestyle. They are Climate scientists and by default bourgeois subjects.

                    When science tells us what is necessary to survive, then it becomes clear that this requires collective action to remove the barriers to survival. The biggest barrier is the capitalist system, its state apparatus and its corporate media that treats CC as a technical problem.

                    Any political party that still thinks that bourgeois parliament is a means of escaping or limiting CC is part of the problem. It is invested in a political institution that is the sum of its individual citizens. It’s designed to facilitate and defend the market, not eliminate it as a killer of humanity.

                    CC is thus a social problem and the solution is scientific socialism.
                    “We don’t know what is possible unless we do what is necessary”

      • Jenny 5.3.2

        weka you scamp you. Posing as a Green while all the time a shill for the fossil fuel industry.

        • Colonial Viper 5.3.2.1

          Keep insulting potential voters Jenny, you’ll definitely win a majority for your cause this way.

      • Jenny 5.3.3

        Jenny, it takes a lot of carbon-emitting industry to build wind farms and large scale solar. Please show an audit re your idea and its impact on NZ’s CC mitigation.

        weka

        As you identified Weka, we are going to have to use a massive amount of energy, fossil fuels and other real resources over the next twenty years getting ready for the future 200 years.

        Jenny also hasn’t cottoned on that creating tens of thousands of good paying jobs constructing this infrasturcure will tend to boost per capita lifestyle and energy consumption as people have money to spend on things they want.

        Colonial Viper

        More dismal excuses for BAU, dressed up as negatively alarmist supposition, by this site’s habitual climate change apologist tag team, now openly pissing in each other’s pockets.

        I admit to not being able to show an audit on how much fossil fuels will be consumed building wind farms and industrial scale solar collectors. But I don’t think it will be as much as climate change apologists the weka and CV duo alarmingly exclaim it will. Most of the machining will be electrical, no doubt trucks and cranes powered by diesel will be needed. The smelting of the necessary metals and alloys will require fossil fuels, but not necessarily.[1]

        The important thing is to start. Solutions will present themselves. I have found in my working and political life that solutions start to appear as soon as you start taking action. Solutions and ideas you never perceived before will be thrown up in the process of actually making a start.

        The undeniable thing is, once this infrastructure is in place, then fossil fuel use will plummet and continue to plummet till it is able to be phased out completely.

        Of course people with closed minds continually apologising for the fossil fuel industry, like weka and CV will go to their graves claiming, “it can’t be done”. “It’s impossible”. In fact it is quite possible, all that is missing is the political will. By various degrees weka and CV are the modern climate change equivalent quislings and chamberlains doing their best to make sure that political will is not admitted to.

        [1]
        Electric Arc and Electric Inductive metal smelting

        Solar Smelting Steel Mass Production

        The production of Green Steel

        Carbonscape produces charcoal as a finished product with multiple uses. Loose or briquette charcoal is a popular and leisurely means of cooking food on the barbeque especially during the summer season. This market is worth in excess of US$100m in Europe and the USA. Charcoal is also increasingly used to replace coal in the production of pig iron and ‘green’ steel as a means of reducing carbon emissions. Charcoal is also used to smelt metals such as copper and iron.

        Carbonscape TM

        Those who claim this can’t be done, are either:

        1/ unimaginative backroom drudges,

        2/ willfully stupid,

        3/ lily livered cowards and defeatists

        4/ (or just simply) lying corrupt shills in the pay of the fossil fuel industry.

        I might add that if the above such technologies were taken up alongside the creation of wind farms and solar collectors it will create thousands more jobs. Enough to employ all those expat Kiwis fleeing the rapidly decaying Australian climate.

        • Colonial Viper 5.3.3.1

          Hey Jenny, you should find a new evangelical religion to get boring about.

          You clearly don’t understand the complexity of trying to keep an advanced civilisation running during a steepening energy downslope.

          Clue: it’s not possible.

        • fatty 5.3.3.2

          Jenny, do you seriously think we can make a substantial reduction in fossil fuel use within a capitalist framework?
          …people who think green capitalism can solve our problems are either;

          1/ unimaginative backroom drudges,

          2/ willfully stupid,

          3/ lily livered cowards and defeatists

          4/ (or just simply) lying corrupt shills in the pay of the fossil fuel industry.

        • weka 5.3.3.3

          Jenny, it’s pretty simple. You’re a green techno-fantasist, I’m placing my bets on the powerdown.

          Green techno-fantasists believe that we can replace nasty, dirty carbon with nice, clean Green Technologies, and then carry on BAU. But in reality, if you look at the logistics, it doesn’t stack up. I asked you to produce something real about your proposal. I want you to demonstrate how producing large scale wind and solar for NZ can be done at the same time as reducing our carbon emissions. CV pointed this out earlier, that you are often incapable of responding to the actual points raised, or challenges to your argument. Hence instead of looking at the actual question you make a wildly and bizarrely inaccurate accusation that I am an fossil fuel industry shill (do you actually read anything I write?).

          You then readily admit that you can’t produce any real world back up to your ideas, and that you don’t know, but you believe that it’s possible. That’s the fantasy bit.

          You seem to think that there are two options here: either conversion to green tech as a way of mitigating CC, or being an fossil fuel shill/CC denialist. But there are more options. In our future we have broadly four possible scenarios: techno-explosion, techno-stability, energy descent, and collapse (ref David Holmgren). You believe in techno stability. I don’t, I think the options are energy descent (if we’re lucky) or collapse. Energy descent is by far the ‘greenest’ option, irrespective of CC or Peak Oil. You can challenge my green creds any time you like, and every time you will come off looking like a fool, because you don’t know what you are talking about with regards to either theory or the real world. Do you get it yet? I don’t think the alternative to Green Tech is fossil fuels, I think the alternative is powerdown. Do you even know what that is? I’m willing to bet that in my life and my politics I am far ahead of you in addressing CC in real terms. The irony here is that you accuse me of being a BAU advocate, when I’m patently not, yet if you scratch the surface of your ideals, we see that BAU is exactly what you are after, only a greened-up version.

          From what I can tell, you are so scared of the idea that you might have to use a composting toilet, or bike to work, or not have modern conveniences to hand, that you are willing to let the world burn. So despite all your outpourings of concern about CC, when it comes down to it, it’s about fear of your own future. You’re full of shit, and a hypocrite and coward to boot. You want to prevent CC, but only if you get to keep the comfy lifestyle you have now. You post lots of good links, and occasional useful analysis, but most of the time your push re CC is massively wide of the mark and then when you are challenged on that you resort to personal attacks because there is no substance behind your ideals. That’s because you seem incapable of taking the next step beyond the rhetoric and looking at how your ideas might work in reality. You seem to understand that we are in dire straights, but you also seem completely disconnected about what that means in the physical world.

          In case you are genuinely interested in where I and others you accuse are coming from, I suggest reading serious Peak Oil analysis if you want to understand the physics and logistics of converting fossil fuel industrial society to post-carbon life. You should familiarise yourself with concepts such as EROEI, the difference in power ratios from fossil fuels vs electricity, and why the embodied energy from millions of years of solar power in the form of coal and oil cannot be replaced easily by the pittance of energy we get from solar direct from the sun. You also need to look at how industry produces wind farms and solar panels, and the issues involved in storage vs moving electricity across long distances. There are no easy solutions here, but if you want something that is more hopeful read David Holmgren’s work on how Peak Oil and CC might converge – that at least will give you the theoretical framework to engage in the debate in a meaningful way.

          Sorry to all for being so off topic.

          • Colonial Viper 5.3.3.3.1

            :shock:

            You’re way more patient than I am, weka :)

            John Michael Greer’s “The Ecotechnic Future” also has some excellent insights into how transition through power-down and de-industrialisation can occur in very beneficial ways.

            http://redroom.com/member/john-michael-greer/books/the-ecotechnic-future

            • weka 5.3.3.3.1.1

              “You’re way more patient than I am, weka”

              Funny, I thought I had just run out of patience ;-)

              Thanks for the link, will check the book out. I just ran it through the National Libraries nationwide catalogue, and it’s available from multiple locations – book or audio (or ebook in Auckland). So there you go Jenny, relatively easy access to understanding.

              • Jenny

                I look forward to reading it myself. In the meantime I pray the Green Party will grow a spine.

          • Jenny 5.3.3.3.2

            A link would be nice too.

            • Colonial Viper 5.3.3.3.2.1

              A link to your own fear and lack of understanding on how CC and energy depletion intersect?

        • bad12 5.3.3.4

          Oh WoW, could i have 3/ please, a lily livered coward and defeatist is my aspirational goal,

          It’s all fine and dandy to design the carbon free future, the trouble occurs when you calculate how much carbon our little country produces when measured against the likes of the US, China, and, India,

          This little birdy tells me that none of those countries have shown any inclination to seriously reduce their emissions of carbon to the atmosphere so how do YOU propose that we convince those countries to adopt your carbon free plan…

    • geoff 5.4

      The wind farm industry is waiting to see if Rio Tinto pulls out of NZ. If so then we will have a nice oversupply of electricity in the market and it won’t be worth adding new supply.

      I’m all for green energy generation but I’m even more for delivering electricity to us citizens AT COST.
      And what I’m even really more for is providing an unconditional citizens ration (using some other less communist sounding name ;) Along the lines of the ‘unconditional basic income’ that Gareth Morgan advocates for in his book ‘the big kahuna’. But instead of an allotment of money you’d get a bunch of rebates for things. If you use the rebated services, be healthcare, electricity, transport etc, you get the rebate and dont have to pay. If you dont use the services then that’s fine. And if you use more than the worth of the rebate for the service then you pay market rates for the excess.

      And let’s have direct democracy for local government so we dont have to put up with these revolting councils filled with: money grubbing ‘local businessmen/property developers’ and busybody Tracey-Flick-like fuckwits and reptilian narcissistic mayors like Bob Parker and Michael Laws.

  6. Descendant Of Sssmith 6

    A jobs summit could be useful if his time it was full of women with the ocassional token male.

    Would be interesting if they could come up with something better than a cycleway?

  7. lorax 7

    Interesting comment from Fran in the same article…
    “…farmers would rather import low-paid but highly skilled workers from the Philippines who will work long hours, rather than set up an optimum working environment for young Kiwis.”
    Dairy farmers need to be called to task over this issue…I experience this on a regular basis as a rural dweller. The reason that many young kiwis don’t go farming is because they have to work 12 hour days with only 1 weekend off a month for low pay and no hope of ever achieving farm ownership…

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      And not just dairy, lots of property developers/construction outfits too…

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 7.2

      lorax
      I think that bad farm working conditions was one of the problems that the British Tolpuddle Martyrs were trying to improve when they gathered farm workers together to form a supportive society. For that they got sent to Australia as convicts by the vicious power strata in south England of that time.

      Only massive protests and donations to a trust brought them back to their home country where they wanted to be (and some of them were so ostracised that in the end they shifted to Canada and farmed there). And by the way the Australian authorities tried to get them to stay as they were such sterling people.

      Under this neo lib that doesn’t regard all people as worthy and valuable and just ‘human resources’ to help make profit and advantage for others we are getting perilously close to the Tolpuddle guys, conditions. Colonists to NZ wanted better conditions for people than those they found in Britain, and other archaic societies.

      Are NZ farmworkers going to let similar harsh conditions be imposed? Are we able to stand up for ourselves, object. force our supposed representatives to get out of their BMWs and work hard for their constituents with average conditions, not just waffle and look out for the influential. Could we get a mass prtest going for working people or are we giving up, waiting for somebody to smile and tell us what to do? Are our free moments spent in filling our consciousness with video games, drugs, horror films etc rather than concentrating on being aware of events and having a guiding hand to build and maintain a better real life for ourselves?

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        Plenty of decent farmers and farm managers around. It’s just the 5%-10% at the bad end which need dealing to.

        • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 7.2.1.1

          Is there a union for farm workers that they can talk to and get support in handling situations of abuse? And also for contractors who need some sort of collective society that can give them advice and enable them to be informed about their problems not just operating as a single entity?

          • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1.1

            No there isn’t a union for farm workers unfortunately. Dairy factory workers have the DWU. But there isn’t an equivalent Diary Shed Workers Union yet.

            • millsy 7.2.1.1.1.1

              You have to remember the farming/rural culture. Youll find a lot of farm workers dont see the need for them to join a union because they think they can deal with the boss without the need for someone to ‘hold their hand’, and in the case of a couple of farm workers I know, have no qualms about telling the boss where to put their job if he ends up being a wanker.

              That’s probably one of the reasons why some farmers have to import their workers from overseas, because no kiwi would work for them.

        • Saarbo 7.2.1.2

          CV, that’s a bit optimistic. I think the bad lot may be a bit larger than that, Farm Workers have become accustomed to atrocious conditions. They need a Union desperately. Farmers as a group can be a pretty insular and mean bunch. The more modern and younger group coming through with Degree’s are probably ok, but I understand that the average Dairy Farm owner is aged about 59 years old.

          The reason that SI farms are struggling to get workers is that they have turned farming into huge factories and you can end up doing one job, like cupping cows through your whole shift. Now that could be ok if the pay justified doing such boring and meaningless work but of course the farm owners would rather import cheap foreign labour to do it.

          A Dairy Farm Workers Union should be set up and decent conditions need to be developed.

  8. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 8

    Something came up this morning on a repeat interview broadcast on radionz between Kim Hill and a New Zealander who is a Vietnamese battler, business entrepreneur and terrific person called Mitchell. After some background of his harrowing experiences he talked about the NZ company he is involved with, with Vietnamese and NZ synergy.

    He also made a point that resonated with me. He said that business teaching and approaches here concentrate on the short term, setting up a business and getting it to proved profitability and then selling it. But Vietnamese and other Asian businesspeople work to build long-term companies – probably with continuing family involvement. Jobs Summit should look at how we can help the small business environment to keep it healthy and vital and growing so as to retain all the well-run ones. There are business supports already, how can this be spread further.

    I have noticed how in NZ we are always building something up and then it gets hocked off, which could very well be to overseas interests which means that there is a short term gain and longterm drain on our national accounts.

    This approach should be discussed at the Jobs Summit – building lasting businesses and the employment and innovation that will go with them. It may mean that we have to kick some of our business school lecturers off their comfortable perches to see a different perspective in the business mirror. We need to regard business as a taonga and try to hold onto them at the same time meeting new challenges. We should not bring in measures that make it impossible for them to continue so they close, all under the ideological, puritan idea that cleansing the stables will bring in better newer business. Magical thinking. Cargo cult thinking.

    Example now- is considering shutting down Picton’s big business draw to provide a ferry base closer to Wellington in a non scenic and totally bare except for grass, with business and infrastructure requiring to be built, which is presently now available through investment in Picton which will be undercut by Clifton Bay proposals.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      The long term family style business is one reason for German manufacturing success. You build the business for the next generation to take over, you don’t hollow it out and suck money out of it thinking about just today.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      He also made a point that resonated with me. He said that business teaching and approaches here concentrate on the short term, setting up a business and getting it to proved profitability and then selling it. But Vietnamese and other Asian businesspeople work to build long-term companies – probably with continuing family involvement. Jobs Summit should look at how we can help the small business environment to keep it healthy and vital and growing so as to retain all the well-run ones. There are business supports already, how can this be spread further.

      The solution would be more support for cooperatives. Not sure exactly what that would entail but here’s some thoughts:
      1.) Advertise the existence and benefits of cooperatives
      2.) Make sure loans are available for them
      3.) Improve the laws surrounding them so that they’re easier to set up

      When the majority of the people who work at a business also have a direct say in how that business is run then there’s less chance that that business will be sold into dictatorial capitalist ownership.

      Oh, and make foreign ownership illegal.

      • SpaceMonkey 8.2.1

        +1 DTB.

        Last year I listened to Peter Cox on National Radio talking about his book ‘Spedan’s Partnership’ on the history of John Lewis and Waitrose… very inspiring.

  9. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 9

    Many have been brought up on a “follow your dream” diet only to find out too late that just following dreams doesn’t always result in a job. An injection of realism is long overdue….

    It’s abundantly obvious from the squeals by business owners this week in Christchurch (and elsewhere) that New Zealand needs to tackle this challenge with some urgency. Employers are finding it difficult to fill labour gaps. Some complain that some of those turning up are just going through a tick-box effort to ensure their Winz cheques keep rolling on. If so, parents should step in and take some responsibility.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Many of those same businesses have put fuck all into trade training and taking on apprentices in the last 20 years. They’ve just been living off the tradies who qualified in the 1970′s and 80′s. And that is all coming to an end now as waves of the experienced workers retire. You reap what you sow.

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        Not us.

        All our contractors and suppliers are told that having an on-going training or apprenticeship program will be ‘looked upon favourably’ when evaluating their tenders.

        You don’t have to write it down … just telling them is enough. It’s not hard or onerous, and it tends to help us when sorting out the good guys from the also-rans.

  10. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 10

    Ran out of time with my 1.12 pm piece.
    First piece was how do young people know what to do? They are encouraged to think all that they need to do is work well and pass their examinations and they will shoe in unlike all the unemployed who are as everyone knows, losers and unreliable.

    Second the employers who are moaning that the unemployed are not motivated. It should be remembered that these people are not wind-up toys. They are people who have been filling in time, unsure of what the future holds for them, being rejected for what they might like to do.
    They have gone off like wilted vegetables too long on the shelf. You may have to revive them by setting firm guidelines for them to follow, and in turn promising them that they will have a definite period of work, for a reasonable period not just casually on call, so they should drop everything. They may have transport problems, so check about that.

    Make sure they have some time for a morning and afternoon tea break when possible, a toilet break even just have use of a nearby toilet for their purposes would be good, make sure they have a place for lunch where they can sit down. By all means ensure they work but try considering them as people.

  11. geoff 11

    In fact, she is the latest of the rightwing’s pundits to conclude neoliberalism has failed.

    No she is not. She is pro ‘free trade’ deals and probably pro all sorts of other right wing agendas.
    There are NZHerald articles by Fran O’Sullivan singing the virtues of the TPP and having a go at the anti-free trade camp too.

    • Populuxe1 11.1

      There isn’t anything inherently wrong with free trade provided it is actually free – that is, no tariffs, no political grandstanding, and no asymmetrical bully boy tactics. Unfortunately that’s about as likely to happen as a Fourth International.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        There isn’t anything inherently wrong with free trade provided it is actually free

        I don’t think that you can ignore the fact that markets are primarily there to achieve financial returns on capital, not to accomplish societal or community good which in many instances does not involve a financial return on capital.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1

          +1

          We have poverty and environmental degradation because of the capitalists drive for more profit.

          • TheContrarian 11.1.1.1.1

            Capitalism could still operate comfortably under a completely green, free-energy alternative like fusion power. Capitalism does not necessitate environmental destruction.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Capitalism requires ever more access to resources (growth paradigm) as cheaply as possible and that means that the environment will be destroyed to get to those resources. All we have to do is look at this governments support of more mining and lack of support for the ETS to see that.

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1.2

              Capitalism could still operate comfortably under a completely green, free-energy alternative like fusion power.

              So capitalism needs the laws of thermodynamics to be repealed to continue to work? Imagine my surprise.

              • TheContrarian

                Fusion power requires the laws thermodynamics to be repealed?
                Are you sure about that? (yes I know, ‘free’ energy is a misnomer here – no energy is ‘free’ but fusion power is a close to a limitless energy source as one can get).

                “Capitalism requires ever more access to resources (growth paradigm) as cheaply as possible and that means that the environment will be destroyed to get to those resources.”

                No it doesn’t. If you create a fusion reactor you’d be a very wealthy individual indeed.

                • McFlock

                  True. My power bill has plummeted since they switched Clyde over to fusion generation.

                  • TheContrarian

                    Uh-huh

                    • RedLogix

                      This seems relevant just here:

                      Let me restate that important point. No matter what the technology, a sustained 2.3% energy growth rate would require us to produce as much energy as the entire sun within 1400 years. A word of warning: that power plant is going to run a little warm. Thermodynamics require that if we generated sun-comparable power on Earth, the surface of the Earth—being smaller than that of the sun—would have to be hotter than the surface of the sun!

                      http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/07/galactic-scale-energy/

      • geoff 11.1.2

        What CV said.
        Plus, international free trade, is a great way to lose the long-term security of a nations assets, industries and interests as they get steadily whittled away purely for the sake of ‘competitive advantage’.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.3

        There isn’t anything inherently wrong with free trade provided it is actually free – that is, no tariffs, no political grandstanding, and no asymmetrical bully boy tactics.

        You obviously don’t understand the necessary requirements for free-trade, requirements that absolutely require the use of tariffs. As an example consider two countries. One puts in place strong environmental protections and the other doesn’t. The one that doesn’t will, under present rules, be able to produce stuff “cheaper” than the other. The only way to fix such an imbalance would be for the country with strong protections to throw tariffs on the other to offset the added costs that the other country is ignoring.

        Also, there’s the problem that most FTAs aren’t about free trade but about free capital which leaves the countries competing to bring that capital (even though they don’t actually need it) in to the country.

        • xtasy 11.1.3.1

          Free trade can and should only be allowed under equal conditions, meaning equal labour, social, environmental and other standards. If such equality is not ensured by law, practice and whatever, there is NO free trade, as distorted trade cannot be “free”, let alone “fair” trade.

          Free it is not to have slave labour in some countries forced to work for pittance, while others in other countries lose their jobs due to that.

          So there you go. FTA is basically meaning ‘Fuck Trade Agreement’.

      • bad12 11.1.4

        ‘Free trade’ along with it’s cousin ‘the level playing field’ what a load of utter bullshit, the level playing field was never level which is why our little country has suffered such ongoing high rates of unemployment,

        If we didnt’t have the bolt-hole of Australia a 100 dollar flight away for the unemployed the level of unemployed in this country would have destroyed every Government since 1985,

        There can be no ‘free trade’ while the participating countries have a currency of different values, there can be no ‘free trade’ while the participating countries do not have a minimum allowable wage of the same amount…

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.4.1

          Of course the point of “free trade” was always to advantage capital, disadvantage workers, and allow corporations to arbitrage between pools of labour in different parts of the world for increased shareholder profit. But even this game is coming to an end for them now.

  12. millsy 12

    FOS, has from time to time, advocated policies, from time to time, that are heavily interventionist in nature, which have included the government effectively nationalizing Fisher and Paykel and PGG Wrightson, and having Landcorp lead a push to mitigate the impact that farming has on the environment (as well as buy the Crafar Farms), as well creating a kiwi version of Temasek Holdings.

  13. Talk fests and summits never produce the goods, they do supply coffee, tea and biscuits though.
    Training is needed in the areas of trades that are crucial to the country,without the trainees footing the stangling costs, the crux of the issue is that there has not been enough done over the years to focus on the future needs of the country, building,electricians,engineers,plumbers etc, the focus has be on making the buggars pay for their training, which has now crippled our young and brightest with huge debts and no hope for the future,(most of those training in fields that are not really needed),leaving a glaring hole that is filled by bringing in overseas workers,i can see where the system has failed and will continue to fail for years to come unless politicians roll up their sleeves and get down to the nitty gritty of the problem.

  14. tc 14

    Oshillivan pitches up some ideas so Shonkey can come back and no matter what he does she’ll spin it as addressing the problem and ‘wow what a guy, I take it all back’.

    Balanced political commentary Granny styles.

    You want change, gov’t must pretty much force it on organisations. You want training, jobs & infrastructure then gov’ts need to tax business etc and take the lead in creating jobs, introducing training and infrastructure spending.

    Cullen gave us net zero crown debt as he knew they’d need to prop up the economy post GFC and the rorting Hollowmen have gleefully plundered it on tax cuts, RONS, corp and farming welfare etc.

  15. karol 15

    While I agree that employers and the government need to enable and provide more training and apprenticeships, I’m not keen on FO’S’s line implying education should be all about training for jobs.

    She’s dismisses anything other than job training servicing the needs (dreams?) of employers, as useless “following your dreams”, supported by “academics banging on about academic freedom”. It’s worrying that she doesn’t have much truck with the notion of academic freedom.

    This is a very mechanistic idea of education. It presupposes that employers know what is best for the economy (i.e. anything that is good for them) and society in general. It focuses on training for jobs that are there today, and doesn’t necessarily prepare people for a changing world.

    A much broader education, encourages people to look more critically at the world, with an in-depth understanding that enables adaptation to unexpected changes, and possibly leading to creative solutions. Education can also be useful and relevant to activities other than those of paid employment.

    • A much broader education, encourages people to look more critically at the world, with an in-depth understanding that enables adaptation to unexpected changes, and possibly leading to creative solutions.

      You can see why some are so afraid …

      • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1

        Yep, a broad education and ability to think will bring about the changes that the rich and the politicians that support them don’t want. This is why they’re destroying education and making the majority of people worse off.

  16. Bill 16

    How’s about freedom? Sorry. I know. Wage slavery and a principle focus on material accumulation as a measure of human worth is…good.

  17. AC 17

    Key also promised to have the cycle network up by the end of 2012. Did the Alps to Sea cycle track through to Oamaru. Under 40% of this is complete. People have started up extra accommodation etc to accommodate the extra people visiting the areas involved and have been let down. Overseas customers have been told to come over here to enjoy this cycle network and end up going home disappointed. Accident waiting to happen on those busy roads.

  18. xtasy 18

    Knowing Fran Old Sullied Van, she is again going “wild”, and she may have a strategy. Maybe it is her new paymaster in Mainland China, to tell her to write this. So she can get on nagging to Key to let in more Chinese milk powder manufacturers, likely to employ a fair number of “specially qualified and skilled” Mainland Chinese workers, who will run businesses, here, to export to their country and to pay income tax on a slightly lower slant basis.

    Fran has been crazy for Mainland Chinese and NZ cooperations, to have more investment and property buy-ups here, this article of hers must be seen on that backdrop and in that light.

    She will never turn her back on neoliberal economics, but at the same time she dreams of Mainland China to be just that sort of foreign investor, to turn things around finally, to prove her and others right, that selling assets, allowing large scale foreign investment (even from a dictatorship) and letting them get on with business, no matter what, she will be totally satisfied, that her imaginations have been proved.

    That is dear old Fran, the sellout lady, who will write for your favour, if you offer her an offer that just cannot be denied. I wonder though, what offer she initially got, from her “friends”?!

  19. xtasy 19

    Hey, I’m back now, sitting here in dear ol Parnell!

    Stop getting me shat on, I am the man leading the show and getting this country out of a mess.

    I am da BOSS here, I own and have influence, not just affluence.

    Shut up! Job Slammit is not needed, as everybody has a bloody job. Get working lazy buggers, who have no employer, make yourself a job, or at least employable. Get working, get cracking, NZ is booming, it is growing every year, going sky high, we are one of the best performers in the OECD.

    We are boooomin, see it not, hear it not, I am high on it!

    Get some bloody “crack” or whatever to get your mood upped, it seems too many Kiwis are letting me down now, resentful I have a lovely home in Hawaii, where I make deals, big deals, redrafted my CV and am working on my bunker for the future.

    Hah, who needs you no hopers, that is all Kiwis, you better smarten up, or I will have you sold to Haier and others for cheap labour. Hah, get me another beer, so, get off that sofa, turn on the telly, yeah we get real telly here, not f-ing “Freeview” crap, as for the “commoners”.

    I am a winner, I shit on you, and you all love it.

    JK

  20. Good article, but I doubt that they care about jobs let alone what happens to New Zealand. They can retire on parliamentary salaries and live the life of luxury Roger Douglas had after selling out.

  21. gnomic 21

    Fran O’Sullivan you say? The journalist who some might think has completely lost the plot, and joined the Paul Holmes dementing in public support group? The Fran O’Sullivan who wrote the passage below in the NZ Herald on Jan 5th 2013?

    “It would be stirring to know that Key — who is a former Merrill Lynch banker — is investigating this issue [ie the failure of the Obama administration to do anything about the banksters, specifically here Goldman Sachs] and that he does have the moxie to say to Obama he is distressed that Goldman’s outrageous behaviour robs the US Government of its moral authority.”

    In my humble opinion this is just so utterly bonkers it’s hard to know where to begin. The smirking weasel would tell Obomber he’s upset about Goldman Sachs allegedly bad behaviour? Yes, it’s rolling on the floor and having fits of hysterics. The US government has moral authority? Yeah right. OK, it’s the silly season and Fran has always just been a mouthpiece for the powers that be, but this really takes the cake.

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