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Open mike 05/01/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 5th, 2013 - 78 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

78 comments on “Open mike 05/01/2013”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    This is what I would watch if the one of the resident teenagers hadn’t gone through all my Gigs for the month in the first couple of days. Wondering if I will get my first warning letter for illegal downloading. I hate holidays.

    http://maxkeiser.com/2013/01/04/us-dollar-will-collapse-in-2013/

    Keiser quote: “I think they need better metaphors than fiscal cliff. It’s more like a bottomless pit, it’s a bottomless pit of debt.” and “The country is diving into this bottomless pit of debt…”

  2. millsy 2

    Kiwiblog (July) and No Right Turn (Feb) celebrate their 10 year anniversaries this year. I have to congratulate both David Farrar and Idiot/Savant for the commitment they have made to their blogs, making several posts per day, despite juggling other commitments (work, family, etc) over this decade. They started in a world of PC’s running Windows XP or winME or even win95/98 (with a few nerds running Linux or Macs), where the large majority of internet connection in NZ households was still dialup, and Google was just finding its feet, and they have carried on through to the age of iPads, Smartphones, Android, tablets, Facebook, Twitter and Win 8, and with Ultra-Fast Broadband being rolled out round the country.

    The internet is littered with defunct blogs, there being a growth spurt of blogs between 2004-2008, particularly in the months before the 2005 election, most of which are now defunct. Blogs that are still around from that period include:

    Just Left
    Frog Blog (the first blog sponsored by a political party)
    Sir Humphreys
    Tumeke
    The Standard (of course)
    The Hand Mirror

    Russell Brown has kept a blog since 2003 , and an online column since 1999 so I think he needs to be mentioned, and I think the first political blog was NZPundit, set up in late 2002.

  3. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3

    For those interested in getting rid of the greedy hand of neo-lib economics and getting an economic system that helps us positively then you’ll be interested in Kim Hill’s first interviewee this morning. economist Steve Keen. Listen to the radionz audio.
    Link to his site http://debunkingeconomics.com/

    asleep while walking
    Steve Keen warns that Brits are going down. Their debt to GDP (I think that’s the measure) is at about, 215% or more while USA’s was about 120%. So he says it is going to be interesting, as in ‘May you live in interesting times’.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      their debt to GDP (I think that’s the measure) is at about, 215% or more

      Actually a better measure (hat tip Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital) is the percentage of government debt servicing to total government revenue. Hardly anyone publishes this measure, you have to usually work it out from official statistics yourself.

      Japan is actually more stuffed than the UK is. Currently they are spending approx 25% of their entire government tax take on debt servicing, and rising. A 300 or 400 basis point rise in their borrowing costs, and their entire tax take will be wiped out, spent on debt servicing.

      This is why all these countries are printing like mad to keep their own borrowing interest rates at near zero percent. They can’t afford to do anything else at this point. This is all going to end very badly.

      Speaking of Kyle Bass this recent presentation of his will open your minds as to what is really happening in the “markets”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUc8-GUC1hY

      • bad12 3.1.1

        Well no, it is more than obvious that ‘the Neo-liberals’ are all quite happy with the current system of economic management which simply hands all responsibility to ‘The Banks’ to ‘produce money’ and therefor essentially ‘run’ the economy,

        Having washed their own hands of any ‘responsibility’ the Neo-libs, specially the political arm of the Ism have then in turn absolved the Banks of the responsibility of the current economic failure,

        There can then in such a system of Political and Financial Sector irresponsibility be only one means of changing such a system which is reached via it’s ongoing collapse,

        Keen’s actual words for what He sees as the next stage of collapse of the Ism for the British economy were ‘it should be fun’…

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          Paraphasing someone else whose name I can’t recall; the UK economy is seventy million people crammed onto a small island with no visible means of support

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            Yep. 15x NZ’s population on a land area a bit smaller than NZ.

          • bad12 3.1.1.1.2

            LOLZ, there used to be a law against that, ‘being a rogue and a vagabond with no visible means of support’…

      • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3.1.2

        Colonial viper
        Happy New Year to you – right through the 365.

      • Rogue Trooper 3.1.3

        flowed into Chinese tele after a shower(you know how it is) and it was footage of Japanese Naval fleet and exercises?

    • bad12 3.2

      Keen is an interesting economist, and, it helps that it was Kim Hill interviewing Him as She is one of the few who has the ability to question someone like Keen in such a way that we all can understand (most) of what He is on about,

      Keen who recently addressed the US Senate on the implications of actually dropping off the ‘fiscal cliff’ was probably instrumental in convincing more than a few of the Republicans to side with Obama,(temporarily), in ‘averting’ the immediate implications of the ‘cliff’,

      While i agree with Keen whole-heartedly on his diagnosis of Neo-liberal economics and those who promulgate such i find His ‘solutions’ a little too complex when there are in fact far simpler measures than can and should be taken which in my mind would provide far more benefits to society and overall have the same out-comes as Keen desires…

      • RedLogix 3.2.1

        I’ve been following Keen closely since 2006 and own a copy of Debunking Economics. The last chapter of the book is a summary of where he sees the various alternate strands of economics might lead us, along with his view of their strengths and weaknesses. (And the previous chapter takes a refreshing view of Marx, with a twist to the standard view of ‘the labour theory of value’.)

        In addition to Marxian economics the main alternatives are:

        1. Austrian economics which shares many of the features of the neoclassical economics, but without the slavish devotion to the concept of equilibrium

        2. Post-Keynsian which is highly critical of the neo-classical economics , emphasises the fundamental importance of uncertainty and bases itself on Keynes and Kalecki.

        3. Sraffian economics, based on Sraffa’s concept of the production of commodities by the means of commodities.

        4. Complexity Theory and Econophysics, which apply concepts from non-linear dynamics, chaos theory and physics to economic theory.

        5. Evolutionary economics, which treats the economic system as an evolving system along the lines of Darwin.

        I’d suggest Keen engages with elements of all of these schools of thought to some degree; “they all have strengths in areas where neo-classical theory is fundamentally flawed, and there is a substantial degree of overlap and cross-fertilisation between the schools”.

        “I would probably be regarded as a partisan for the post-Keynsian approach. However I can see varying degrees of merit in all five of these schools of thought, and I can imagine that a twenty-first century economics could be a melange of all five.”

        I’d suggest this is why Keen doesn’t put up too many simple answers … he’s intellectually curious and honest enough to see the whole field as a massive “Work In Progress”.

        • bad12 3.2.1.1

          (5), Evolutionary economics would seem a must have, the problem being the Neanderthal’s are still in the ascendency,

          A smart evolved economy would have in terms of counting the beans viewed the Christchurch earthquakes as an accounting loss of growth on one side of the ledger and then ‘printed’ an amount of monies of an equal amount to regain such a loss,

          The global financial fiasco and the relevant for Governments loss of income should have been treated exactly the same as above,

          Given that 1% of inflation is easily measured,(and if we were anything but economic Neanderthals the deflation of recessions would also be measured and become part of the overall equation for Governments), such printed monies are easily introduced to an economy while still giving full regard to prescriptive economics such as the Reserve Banks inflation targets,

          In simple language the current 300+ million being borrowed weekly by the present Government could have instead simply been printed and spent where the current borrowing is being spent with no inflationary expectation and more to the point no added Government debt which is sleep walking us as a country into much the same position as the PIGS economies of Europe…

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.2

          Keen’s recent interest in the field of thermodynamic economics (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14vVhhNvWX0) is actually helping to shore up a several decades old yet nascent field known as ‘Ecological Economics’.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_economics

        • red rattler 3.2.1.3

          But if you drop the labour theory of value you drop Marx, Ricardo, Adam Smith etc and pick up with the neo-classical revival at end of 19th century.
          If something other than labour creates value, what is it?
          The inherent limit to capitalism is its inability to screw enough surplus value from labour to return profit on the growing mountain of wealth. Money that cannot be exchanged for value loses its value (as all the psuedo-money in the form of bits of paper or computer entries dissappear), assets become asses and capitalism goes into a tail spin.
          Any number of radical economists can document all these effects, but they can’t explain them without the labour theory of value.
          Two good guides to Marxist economics for our time are Michael Roberts especially his book ‘The Great Recession’ and in his blog http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/
          Here he is on Keen and Krugman http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/paul-krugman-steve-keen-and-the-mysticism-of-keynesian-economics/

          and Andrew Kliman http://akliman.squarespace.com/
          Roberts review of Kliman’s ‘The Failure of Capitalist Production’ with hundreds of comments http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/andrew-kliman-and-the-failure-of-capitalist-production/

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.3.1

            But if you drop the labour theory of value you drop Marx, Ricardo, Adam Smith etc and pick up with the neo-classical revival at end of 19th century.
            If something other than labour creates value, what is it?

            Richard Wolff, Marxian economist, explains that the labour theory of value was a tool used by Marx to introduce his class analysis, but that it is the class analysis itself (and ideas of surplus generated by the economic system) which are the more crucial.

            I have also read other writers say that for many products and services these days, automation and computerisation has taken labour almost right out of the value equation.

            http://www.dogma.lu/txt/RW_ClassTheory.htm

            • red rattler 3.2.1.3.1.1

              Wolff has his view, but there are Marxists and Marxists. Here’s my take.
              One cannot separate the labour theory of value from class analysis in Marx and say which is more important. In Smith and Ricardo the LTV contradicted the existence of profit so they had to fudge extra arguments to justify profits.

              Left Ricardians (Sraffa) said that this proved that capitalists paid wages below their value, right Ricardians said that this was a fair exchange since capital arose through thrift and saving – a reference to the ideology of Robinson Crusoe who saved his own wealth and so became the model of a self-made capitalist (Friday of course performing slave labour in the background).

              Marx resolved the problem by critiquing the ahistorical assumptions (Robinsonism) underlying political economy. He showing that under capitalism, it was not labour as such that produced value but labour-power which was now a commodity. Commodities had exchange value and use value. Both took on a specific form under capitalism. The exchange value of labour power was equal to the socially necessary labour time required to reproduce it. It’s use value was its ability to produce more value than its own value. This arose because workers were dispossessed and forced to work longer than necessary labour time to work surplus labour time and produce surplus labour. Hence for Marx the labour theory of value took on a specific form under capitalism as a result of a specific form of social or class relations.

              With this theory Marx could show that as labour saving technology reduced labour time in the production of commodities, it did not eliminate labour power as the source of value. Moreover, historically increasing labour productivity would create an insoluble problem for capitalism because the attendant rise in the rate of exploitation rose it could not keep up with capital advanced. Living labour could not valorise (realise a profit) on the total dead labour (accumulated capital). Hence the other contentious question for Marxists that Roberts and Kliman (cited above) address. Short version – capitalism has reached the end of the road and we better be ready to pick up the pieces.

              But the fact that no other source of value exists apart from the living labour power of the working class (of course acting on nature – and how!) explains why capitalists continue to attack the working class to extract more profits, but that this cannot stop their profits falling and the system crashing and bring the planet down with it.

              If there was another source of value they would have found it by now and dispensed with all of us as a mere drain on their profits. Fortunately we survive as their gravediggers and we will do that for free.

              • Ad

                Thoroughly enjoyed all the links and debate you plural have provided. But why not take up IrishBill’s challenge and write some policy ideas down that touch New Zealand’s reality? More than one line wish lists, more than others’ books.

                Write a post between you. Set it out clearly and carefully, and don’t let “political reality” enter too soon in the drafting. Test out on this site whether it would work in people’s lives, not just whether there’s ideological alignment. You will get huge support. Trust me.

    • tc 3.3

      Yes well worth a listen and a bloke who pulls no punches especially when discussing his peers and their stupidity at excluding the major cause of the GFC being the banking sector even now after its clear they caused it.

      Very scathing on those who claim to predict the future saying they belong in a padded cell.

      Makes some very succinct assessments about the bankstas and deconstructs the terminology, and assumptions using historical references certainly one of Kim’s best IMO

  4. stever 4

    Great article (link below) with two great quotes, which perhaps need constant repetition so as to re-educate us all:

    “The welfare state exists because competitive, choice-driven, capitalist economies by definition create winners and losers.”

    “Democratic politics exists only to make the powerful answerable to the vulnerable. Without that exchange, it is nothing. The [government] – the right – overturns that link and despises the welfare state for giving the vulnerable protection from the powerful. They think that without protection, the vulnerability would disappear. ”

    This is written about the UK…but as we’re both (NZ and UK) following the same Crosby/Textor plan these days, it applies to us too!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/04/labour-spent-too-much-banks

    • Olwyn 4.1

      That is a very good article, and your quotes are very apt, especially this one: “Democratic politics exists only to make the powerful answerable to the vulnerable. Without that exchange, it is nothing.”

      In all of the Western countries, political tension has arisen between deal-making and representation. It would be easier for politicians if deal-making was simply assumed, and constituents voted as fans rather than as people expecting representation, which of course makes a travesty of democracy.

      Many of the vulnerable once made up a working constituency with muscles of their own to flex, which permitted a connection between representation and deal-making. Thirty years of neo-liberalism has changed all that, and parties of the left must now either represent this constituency without meaningful bargaining chips, or, under cover of branding, make deals that bypass their representation. So while we long for a Gandhi, we have a system that privileges the deal-making BAU technocrat. I think that only the growth of grass roots resistance can alter this state of affairs.

  5. Wow.

    Fran O’Sullivan in this morning’s Herald sounds like a socialist. Go Fran!

    An excerpt:

    while the US is not simply dependent on a small number of primary exports (the standard definition of a banana republic), it arguably does boast an entrenched plutocracy that runs the national economy through the established power structure.

    It’s a plutocracy whose very excesses make a mockery of the cut in living standards that ordinary Americans have had to bear since the global financial crisis left Main Street liable for Wall Street’s cavalier behaviour.

    The most egregious example was the breathtakingly arrogant decision by Goldman Sachs last week to help 10 of its executives dodge the fiscal cliff tax increase for higher-paid Americans by accelerating the delivery of US$65 million in stock awards, including for CEO Lloyd Blankfein, to take place in 2012 instead of this month.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10857357

    • RedLogix 5.1

      What it tells you is that even tory acolytes like Fran can see the writing on the wall.

      The absolute, crucial fundamental of all human affairs in this world is trustworthiness; and even Fran can see that these people are lying, thieving toads who shouldn’t be trusted any further than I can spit upwind into a stiff nor-westerly howling over the tops.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        The truth is that the top 0.01%’ers like Lloyd Blankfein are more than happy to screw to the wall the top 1%’ers like O’Sullivan and Armstrong.

        The sooner that the single-millionaire class of elite realise that they are the next herd of sacrificial lambs in line at the slaughterhouse, the better off all of us are going to be.

    • tc 5.2

      Yes Fran, as mr smith in the matrix said. ‘hear that Mr Anderson, that’s the sound of inevitability…’

      You’re next Franny along with all you folk worth less than say about 50 mill who think you’re part of the upside, more like fodder for the uber wealthy.

      Don’t worry mickey normal service will resume from the Nat fan club at granny, they call this ‘balance’ she’d get credibility if she drew the line between this breathtaking arrogance and the same arrogance her govt shows towards its own people.

  6. Morrissey 6

    “Sir” Paul and his horrifying colleagues

    Here’s something I wrote in 2004—more evidence that Paul Holmes should be shunned by the community, not knighted…

    Newstalk ZB continues to be outlet for vilest bigotry
    http://groups.google.com/group/nz.politics/browse_thread/thread/a2c55b4659dac92b/65f2a3b5244fdf8?q=

  7. tc 7

    Anyone got some details on why this move of the Interislander to Clifford bay from picton is good for NZ. Typically glossy fact and detail light piece on TV3 last night.

    Smells like a giant contract is in the works for some govt mates to build a port etc and maybe the transport lobby are tired of driving through the top piece of the south island. A number of about half a billion was tossed about as a cost…..savings and detailed rationale anybody.

    • Fortran 7.1

      Cliffords Bay was first muted in early 1981 I believe, and has been “reviewed” ever since

    • Andre 7.2

      Seems like transport want it. And a nice contract to build it for someone. Seems easy just to put a ferry all the way to c/church.

      • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 7.2.1

        Andre 7.2
        Yeah that’s the way I see it. Another way of wrecking viable business for some ideological goal which will leave swathes of us poorer. Picton will be poorer, Nelson citizens and tourists will have to travel further.

        It will be costly and there will be large sums of money invested and pipelines propped up to the Treasury for efficient movement of money away from government, which hasn’t got it anyway. Perhaps they will put a tax on toilet paper – that’s a common universal disposable item that hasn’t been touched as yet! But there will have to be austerity measures brought in also to pay for this important edifice that will be so good for transport companies, the National government’s friend, who look to have their back scratched – here, and lower here, and to the side there….

        Train tracks will have to be laid to the new port, or is it a cunning plan to amputate the remaining countrywide train service? It’s a very open bay and there will need to be a lot of at- sea work which will bring mud and other land materials into the seemingly clean waters. What effect will this have on the fish stocks and travelling fish in that area? Is there a working brain with a heart also that has NZ interests foremost in the NACT Party?? I wonder whether we can break the dormant celebrity culture attitude that Rules OK in NZ voters today?

  8. Rogue Trooper 8

    Everything Zen
    Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
    Dave’s on sale again
    Raindogs howl for the century
    Sixteen Trillion Stones at stake
    As you search for your demi-god
    As you fake with a saint
    There’s no sex in your violence
    Everything Zen, I don’t think so.

    “fu$k TARDs”-a quickie with space between estranged “family?

    -Sly

  9. Rogue Trooper 9

    “These visions of the real world were laced through with patterns and connection and correspondences. They were accompanied by a feeling of intense, calm excitement. I felt that I was seeing the truth, that all things were like this and that the universe was alive and conscious and full of urgent purpose”
    -Phillip Putnam, author of His Dark Materials (BIG is “good';mitre Cutty Sark off)
    Small is Beautiful http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Is_Beautiful a study of economics as if people mattered.
    Pullman has a point; “when Christianity became the religion of choice for the powerful, the struggle over meaning was compounded by the struggle for authority”.

    a conclusion is that religious organizations can be destined to become, more or less, fight clubs-
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/

    “The Authority is a religious, deathly force, the enemy of freedom and progress.
    “one cannot convince a “master” of his error because (the unseen error) was taken as an integral part of the system which bestowed him a “master” and thereby legitimized him”

    to paraphrase Denys Turner, a philosophical theologian, intellect is the place of light, for the light in which we see, and reason, and judge (hi Viper / s), and calculate, and predict and explain…that light is in us, but not of us.

    “The point is that the most valuable spiritual insight lives on a knife-edge between pure intuition and careful discernment. You need both to keep your balance”. Refusing to acknowledge the insights of the ages leads to the construction of Baggy Trousers reality.

    -naughty boys in nasty schools Headmasters breaking all the rules having fun and playing fools
    smashing up the woodwork tools trying not to think of when the Forex bell will ring again.

    -Bugs

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    a word or more from Abraham;
    breathing food water sex sleep homeostasis excretion
    body security employment resources family health
    friendship family intimacy
    self-esteem respect
    achievement
    spontaneity
    creativity
    ethics

    an un-prejudicial problem solving acceptance of the facts.

    covenanter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covenanter
    covenantor-party which subjects itself to a breech

    10: The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming (Hang on…help is on it’s way, They’ll be there as fast as they can…) not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never by the same sacrifices repeatedly endlessly year after year make perfect those who draw nearly every last drop of blood (have you seen the front page of todays Dominion?)

    24:Let us consider how we can spur each other on toward agape and good deeds.

    11:11Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.

    11:14 For the lack of guidance a nation falls, yet many advisors make victory sure.

    V For Victory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_for_Vendetta_%28film%29

    -from The Horses Mouth
    ( Ride the Kings highway baby, weird scenes inside the gold mine, driver where you takin’ us
    Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain. The “west” is the “best” Ride the snake, the ancient snake, he’s old and his skin is cold. And he walked on down the hall, he went to the room where his sister lived, and…then he paid a visit to his brother, and then he He walked on down the hall
    Father, “yes son”…
    Mother…I want to Wake Up

    this is The End
    Beautiful Friend

    -from The Horses Mouth

  11. Fortran 11

    Happy Birthday WWW. – 30 years old tomorrow.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      I don’t think the world wide web came into existence until the early 1990’s.

      • Fortran 11.1.1

        Sorry old chum – first tingle of lettering Transmission Control Protocol was made just at the end of 1982. It actually failed but was resurrected early in 1983 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
        Others had tried sort of words as far back as 1981 at University College London, but B-L created the current www/ ability next week 30 years ago

      • felixviper 11.1.2

        Yeah I don’t know where you’re getting 30 years from.

        What happened Jan 6th 1983?

    • Te Reo Putake 11.2

      Both sorta right, but CV is technically correct. The World Wide Web was theorised in the late eighties and crystalised in 1990. Fortran is right to point to the TCP as a significant step though; it established the means for the web to exist.

    • lprent 11.3

      Nope. The world wide web was :-

      On August 6, 1991,[9] Berners-Lee posted a short summary of the World Wide Web project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup.[10] This date also marked the debut of the Web as a publicly available service on the Internet.

      I think you’re looking at the start of the TCP/IP network

  12. Foreign Waka 12

    This morning, all business news channels, papers etc point out that seeks statistics reveal that the average wage has risen by more than 5% and is in the vicinity of 90 -100k pa.
    The audacity to report and print such utter rubbish and untruth leaves me breathless.
    On the Front page of the Dom is an interview with a family who, with both adults working, are certainly not getting that kind of money on a joint income, let alone single. A little box on the same page shows a family budget that comes straight out of Alice in Wonderland. These figures and assumptions can only originate from people who are so far removed from reality that one shudders to think that their rubbish may have influence on any political commentators, politicians etc.
    If I count all the people I know and work with there is only a very small number of people who would qualify for an income as reported by seek. The average income is more like 38k and the ratio between high and average earners is more like 1% to 99%. What is the purpose of such kind of reporting?

    • millsy 12.1

      I didnt get my wage rise. In fact I feel like I work for hours and hours and I still get the same amount of money,

      • Foreign Waka 12.1.1

        Yep, and if you translate this to hourly pay it maybe a wage cut in real terms. You are not alone, these figures from seek must be coming from a small talk fest of even higher paid people to sooth their conscience – if they have any.

  13. Dv 13

    It would be interesting to compare a budget for a high income person, same over 300 k.

  14. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 14

    5% for the elite, 1.5-1.75% for the working peasants, even the well educated ones though of course we have all imbibed that higher education will provide with higher salaries. Inflation around the 3% mark on the items measured, what it really is for the average joe and josie one doesn’t know.

  15. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 15

    Interesting stats on food costs as researched by Otago Uni since the 70’s so that gives continuity of figures from 20/2/2011 Sunday Star Times.

    Otago University’s department of human nutrition has calculated the weekly cost of purchasing a healthy diet in five major centres since the 1970s.
    Last year, it determined a “basic” food bill for a man, woman, adolescent boy and girl, ranged from $274 a week in Auckland, to $263 in Christchurch. Add in the use of convenience and imported foods, some out-of-season fruits and vegetables, more expensive cuts of meat and some speciality foods, and that grocery bill would grow to $426 and $411.

    The reality? According to the latest from Statistics NZ, the average weekly household spend on food is $178.
    And the reality for those queuing at the country’s foodbanks? Last year, the median income for a government beneficiary was $269.

    IT’S TWO days after J… N…’s invalid’s benefit payment when the Sunday Star-Times meets him at Wellington’s Downtown Community Ministry. He has $5 left until his next pay day and just bread and jam in his cupboard. His last meal was an omelette, cooked at home last night.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/4676276/Hunger-pains

  16. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 16

    Food basket info –
    Food basket info

    More detail on food info for ordinary families

    There is quite a lot of info on google under Otago University food survey and other keywords

  17. Rogue Trooper 17

    sadly, El Presidente is still unwell
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7Qyz3VnrZI

    -od Reichenbacher ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Reichenbach ) sounds clearer than these “enhanced coercive interrogation techniques” of the C.I.A-Zero Dark 30

  18. Rogue Trooper 18

    Googlein’ North Korea and the “tea-baggers” are not very hot on the idea-Boehner to have a hard time “corralling” Republicans, even, yet more “chaos” to come (in the hands of a two-pack-a-day smoking gun)

    ae-aequo animo-aerie-aerogrammaticemancipation

    -odd (odzooks, what agadfly gadabout gadoid) :)

    ps, that Lauda Finem looked interesting, nonetheless.

    pps annus mirabilis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annus_mirabilis 1666 was a year of plague and Fire also 2+0+1+3=

    :) (Past The Mission and I smell the roses; “Baker Baker” baking a cake…)

    -Puck (better do some work now)

  19. Hello.

    I’m endevouring to install a flash mp3 player for my website over the weekend, but probably not, so temper the anticipation. 😆

    I’ve removed all content, for now, but if you still want a listen (and read of the lyrics), I’ve put up a selection of songs from side one and two Red/Green here

    https://soundcloud.com/theal1en/sets/human-r-evolution

    ta

  20. xtasy 20

    FINALLY!!!

    Someone has posted the TOTAL list of WINZs 290 “designated doctors” AND details on the ACC Forum website!!! Dr David Bratt, Principal Health Advisor of great bias, who has scared and humiliated so many, he must start to get bloody worried.

    So if you want to check, go on the safe side next time, do some analysis, research, or even prepare to challenge any of the ones on the list, there you go. It is NOW in the open, who works for WINZ and does the at times “dirty” work for them:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/13301-what-to-do-if-you-are-required-to-see-a-winz-designated-doctor/page__p__138090__hl__%2Bdavid+%2Bbratt__fromsearch__1#entry138090

    • xtasy 20.1

      See the bottom of their thread, there is a PDF link offered, which can be downloaded!

    • Bill 20.2

      Thankyou for that xtasy. Much appreciated. Damn. The pdf attachment now appears to be locked down behind password and sign in requirements.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 20.2.1

        Ahem. Unlock-pdf.com

      • xtasy 20.2.2

        Bill – sorry for that!

        Perhaps register as a user of ACC Forum? That would solve the problem.

        They have some interesting topics there also, including some about WINZ and their doctors and advisors.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 20.3

      Personally I’m more concerned about the Regional Health Advisors who have

      – no duty of care towards clients

      – questionable scope of practice (if any at all)

      – little to no oversight because the legislation is carefully worded to ensure they cannot be held accountable for their advice. They give “advice” but the decision is made by the case manager, who basically follow the advice even if it is contrary to what a Registered Healthcare Provider has said.

      pass judgement over clinicians signed applications for Disability Allowance, IB and pretty much anything related to health care. In other words your doctor can say one thing but the RHA can disagree and then it is up to you to prove they are wrong.

      • xtasy 20.3.1

        AWW – You are onto it. A medical practitioner can always be complained about to the Health and Disability Commissioner, if a face to face consultation and examination or assessment is conducted, and in some cases it may end up with the Medical Council, who then have to take measures to discipline a doctor who did not abide by the Code of Ethics of NZMA, which the Council also accepts and claims to uphold.

        A Regional Health Advisor or Regional Disability Advisor is not bound by the Code, at least not in the position held within MSD. Only if there may be issues of law, which though need to be provable, then such a person may in some cases be possible to be taken to court, for breaching natural justice of whatever. That is very difficult and near impossible to do though, as they keep their cards close to their chests, and as MSD protect their staff.

        I know of one RDA, who is also acting RHA, who has questionable “qualifications” and not in areas for physical medical treatment, care or diagnosis, yet that one has been making (partly very flawed) recommendations about persons with physical health problems. Terrible stuff is going on in that area, but so many beneficiaries are too afraid and poorly informed to defend themselves, hence these people get away with far too much.

        • Mary 20.3.1.1

          “A Regional Health Advisor or Regional Disability Advisor is not bound by the Code, at least not in the position held within MSD.”

          How does that work?

          • xtasy 20.3.1.1.1

            They would only be ‘bound’ by the Code of Ethics of the NZ medical profession, if they would be acting in their roles as “treatment providers”, which the RHA and RDA clearly are not.

            Also third party assessments that medical practitioners do (in roles as designated doctors for WINZ) are treated a bit differently to normal own doctor assessments, but the Health and Disability Commissioner still deals with any issues that arise in such third party assessments, if there is a face to face examination or assessement. If it would be done “on the books”, the Commissioner would not deal with any complaints.

            You can read all this by going to the websites of the Medical Council, the NZ Medical Association and the Health and Disability Commissioner’s website. There is information on all this.

          • xtasy 20.3.1.1.2

            See the following information:

            http://www.mcnz.org.nz/news-and-publications/statements-standards-for-doctors/

            http://www.mcnz.org.nz/assets/News-and-Publications/Statements/Non-treating-doctors.pdf
            (see points 23 and 24)

            http://www.mcnz.org.nz/assets/News-and-Publications/Statements/Employer-Guidelines-for-Health-Providers.pdf

            Doctors can be held accountable under their Code of Ethics when they “practice” medicine, which is usually providing treatment and performing tasks directly in their roles as health service providers.

            MSD RHAs and RDAs are “advisors”, and they act in their roles not to deliver medical (treatment) services to patients, they simply give advice as a MSD or WINZ employee. Sadly it is treated a little differently, and others and I have discussed this repeatedly, read about the rules, and there is a gap in the law, which MSD is able to exploit and use.

          • xtasy 20.3.1.1.3

            Mary –

            See also this typical standard job description for a Regional Health Advisor:

            http://www.bfound.net/Company/210-20120504151043.pdf

            It is intentional that the scope of responsibilities is set rather widely, and also look at the kind of experience they ask for. They list various health professions, even social worker being one, so any tertiary qualification as a social worker, or a nurse, a rehab professional of whatever sort, that gives them the authority to make recommendations on ALL cases put before them!

            I know a RHA who has no proper “medical” qualification, but only in counselling, in social work, in working “with” psychologists, teachers, other counsellors and so on, but without such own skills.

            They are simply “advising” case managers, who make the decisions about medical issues clients have. But it is also written on the WINZ website somewhere, that they usually will follow those recommendations. It is an arrangement set up to intentionally make it near impossible to hold one person as MSD staff responsible. They can always pass the buck, and say, I was only doing my duty.

            Yet the true “decision-makers” are the RHAs, the RDAs, and in certain cases the PHA (Dr D. Bratt) and/or PDA (Anne Hawker), but they are protected by the systemic setup, able to hide behind the frontline curtains.

  21. beatie 21

    Excellent article about the ‘bio-physical’ theory of disability underlying the Natz benefit ‘reforms’.

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/05/31/a-tale-of-two-models-disabled-people-vs-unum-atos-government-and-disability-charities-by-debbie-jolly-dpac/

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