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The Standard

Wealth creators

Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, August 27th, 2011 - 79 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, socialism - Tags: ,

Dr Campbell Jones (Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Auckland) had an excellent piece in the Dom Post yesterday.  Some extracts are below, but the whole article is well worth a read.

The secret to making money

Who creates wealth?

Last month we learned that the “wealth creators” of this country have done remarkably well, in spite of the global economic situation. We were told in the National Business Review’s annual rich list that this is cause for celebration, given the wealth of the 151 richest individuals “has climbed a pleasing $7 billion from last year to sit at $45.2 billion, the highest ever”.

We also learned that over the last year incomes for most fell in real terms, and that 17 per cent of primary school children sometimes or always miss breakfast.

How best to understand that these things are possible at the same time? For some, there is nothing that can be done. We must simply live with this situation. Indeed, those concerned about these increasingly unequal distributions of wealth, income, power and privilege have been dismissed as “tall poppy bashers” or as being motivated by “envy”.

Central to such dismissal is the idea that whoever has wealth has created it by and for themselves. This sounds like meritocracy, that is, the idea that whoever puts in an effort merits reward. But this is meritocracy on its head. It assumes that just because someone is rewarded, they deserve that reward. This false meritocracy need not look at what anyone actually does. It reads reality backwards, imagining that those who have wealth are by definition the ones who have created it. …

Wealth is not created out of nothing. Wealth is not produced merely by the ideas or actions of isolated individuals. We produce things of value through our action on the material world and through the application of science and technology and the skill of social cooperation to that action. And as anyone who works knows, we work with others and for others in order to produce things of value. …

79 comments on “Wealth creators”

  1. whistlerspa 1

    It’s seems pretty obvious to me. Living in a finite world with limited resources, if one person or group becomes more ‘wealthy’ and has more, others must become poorer and have less

    • mik e 1.1

      Speculative investing is not covered in his naive spin

    • aerobubble 1.2

      People demand goods and services, they enter into contract with suppliers of these
      goods and services, on the basis of both parties benefit by giving up something they
      want less. The buyer gives up cash, and the sellor the time or resources they have spent.
      Everyone wins.

      In a cheap oil world people lost touch with how much cash was worth, they fooled
      themselves thinking that it was cheaper than it really was, so cheap they borrowed
      heavily believing they could pay it all back. The speculators then hoarded this money
      and got very wealthy. This debt is now stinking up the western world, because the
      Chinese, and the Mother Earth are now suggesting that they can’t pay it all back.

      we all lose when the wealthy didn’t earn their wealth. Which they haven’t.
      Since people were conned, and are now far worse off.

      • mik e 1.2.1

        France right wing govt increases taxes on the wealthy maybe Key might do the same here ha ha!Italy to Right wing running out of excuses to pander to small minority

        • aerobubble 1.2.1.1

          Italy is run by someone very close to be indicted, he has good reason to do the
          right thing. Unlike our b@rstools parliament.

    • Thomas 1.3

      if one person or group becomes more ‘wealthy’ and has more, others must become poorer and have less

      When was the last time you went shopping? Obviously the shop owner became wealthier because you gave him/her your money. So who got poorer? who has less? Was it you? If you did get poorer or now have less, why did you go shopping? Why didn’t you just stay home and stay wealthier?

      Or is it possible that both you and the shop owner are better off because of your shopping trip?

      • whistlerspa 1.3.1

        I’m not talking about money here but real tangible assets and commodities. Of course you can ‘make’ as much money as you like – it isn’t real

        • Thomas 1.3.1.1

          But both you and the shopowner are better off as a result of your trade. That’s a basic law of economics: people don’t trade unless both expect to be better off because of it. It isn’t a zero-sum game as you suggest.

          Also, only governments “make” money.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1.1

            Actually, the economy is a zero-sum game. There is only a limited amount of resources available at any point in time (Some resources such as oil are limited in total mass). Setting up the economy so that a few have full control of those resources preventing everybody else from having them, which is what capitalism does, results in the poverty that we see about us.

            And it’s the private banks that print money through the fractional reserve banking system.

  2. randal 2

    Unless you sell a nuclear aircraft carrier at $15,000,000,000 a piece then most wealth is accumulated by selling many items to many people. therefore wealth is created by taking money from the many. and selling them stuff they never knew they wanted till it was waved in front of their noses on the teevee.

    • In Vino Veritas 2.1

      Ergo, randal, the old saying “a fool and his money are easily parted”

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Yeah and the elite 1% take the rest of us all as being fools.

        • In Vino Veritas 2.1.1.1

          Colonial, having read a good few of your comments, I doubt that you money would be that easily parted from you. For a good few out there, “if the cloth cap fits – wear it”.

          Jeepers. Pithy sayings are as true today as they were 100 years ago.

  3. BlairM 3

    You need to think a bit harder whistlerspa. Wealth is created when people think up smarter and more efficient ways of doing things. If you can provide a good or service cheaper than anybody else, that’s not a finite resource, that’s something that you created which wasn’t there before. Your brain is an infinite resource, and when people come up with new ideas, it contributes to collective wealth. It makes money for the people that sell it, and it leaves those who buy it with more time and more money than they would otherwise have. The only people it might make poorer are competing companies, but competition generally spurs further innovations from those companies.

    Just because the 150 wealthiest people are $7B wealthier, it doesn’t mean they are getting wealthier at others’ expense. Quite the opposite. If anything, it means that there is a cartel situation developing, to which the answer is always to reduce government intervention and regulation, not increase it.

    • mik e 3.1

      ACT rubbish Chicago BS Blair M its a pyramid scheme the money ends up at the top while the ones at the bottom get crushed.Afew would like your model it would hurry the end game faster.Most of the major innovations of modern times have come from taking money of the rich to do research and then hand it back for them to make a profit.Modern wealth spread would not have happened if not for unions forcing the wealth creators to pay better wages and make better conditions for them through political activism.So if we followed your ideology their would be less consumers able to buy less product that would fit right into afews ideology.The bottom is getting crushed now because the capitalists are moving their labour costs to the cheapest market damaging local economies for bigger profits, when more is manufactured by mechanization as is rapidly happening their are going to be even less consumers .So while you understand how companies can make a profit thats where your understanding ends .Association of Consumers and Taxpayers Ideology.Thats your shortsighted rhetoric .Thats why they have only 2% support.

      • BlairM 3.1.1

        Mik -e …. Unions have no interest in wealth redistribution, if they did, they wouldn’t support protection for their own workers against competition ie. the unemployed. Unions are about creating a wealthy elite. If you really want to redistribute wealth, abolish the minimum wage and employment regulations so that everyone who wants a job can get one. Competition for labour will then drive wages up fairly quickly as a result of the increase in productivity.

        The rest of what you said assumes so many things which just aren’t so, without any real substance to back it up. You should try rebutting my arguments rather than putting a label on me and treating that like it negates what I have to say.

        • Georgecom 3.1.1.1

          Blair. A nice attempt however reality doesn’t quite bear out your claim about deregulation, productivity and wage increases. Over the past quarter century in NZ, during a period of labour market deregulation, productivity growth occured however most of the fruits of that productivity increase did not materialise in the form of wages. Rather it went into profits. Market was deregulated, productivity increased, profit growth outstripped wages.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2

          Mik -e …. Unions have no interest in wealth redistribution, if they did, they wouldn’t support protection for their own workers against competition ie. the unemployed. Unions are about creating a wealthy elite.

          Gawd you Righties are full of shit

          Corporations and capital have systematically destroyed unions over the last 30 years (Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin being only the latest in a long line). They moved massive amounts of revenues away from wages into corporate earnings, CxO salaries and shareholder dividends.

          They did this through various wage suppression tactics and the offshoring of jobs.

          You really are a moron, but please don’t treat us the same.

          • jbc 3.1.1.2.1

            I think he does have a point about self-interest in the unions. Recall NZEI and PPTA.

            The PPTA were not happy when NZEI got pay parity with secondary teachers and there has been quite a bit of tension between those groups if I recall. I find it odd that unions should be competitive with one another.

            The way I see it it all comes down to human nature: there is a base instinct that does not like to see someone else getting more for the same or less effort or perceived value of contribution.

            There is a similar base instinct that does not like to pay more than someone else for the same product or service.

            Both of these base instincts go into overdrive when you consider the rich listers though, where everything appears to be way out of proportion. Extremely wealthy people paying less tax proportionally than salaried employees, while earning huge money with little effort by leveraging money they already have. It permits escalation of wealth well beyond what any individual effort could produce.

            Personally I think that sucks. Not out of greed or envy but simply out of those two base instincts. If I want to give those instincts a nice label then I’d call them fairness.

        • mik e 3.1.1.3

          Blair M you haven’t read the history of economics. Just some act party comics!

    • Afewknowthetruth 3.2

      Do you mean converting nature into some previously unthought-of waste or converting nature into watse a bit more efficiently?

      PS the entire economic system is predicated on converting oil and coal into CO2

      • BlairM 3.2.1

        If you really consider your computer, and the breakfast you ate this morning “waste”, then yes. If you consider the people who provide your internet service “waste”, then again, yes. If you think it’s such a terrible thing, I suggest you stop wasting oxygen for the rest of us.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1

          BlairM: planned obsolescence is waste e.g. the making of items which are so fragile they simply break after a handful of uses. Or where you are forced to “upgrade” for no reason in particular, even when the old item was working fine.

    • Colonial Viper 3.3

      Wealth is created when people think up smarter and more efficient ways of doing things.

      Wealth (for the few) is created faster, more easily and with less risk by breaking down existing assets and monetizing them (selling them off). Nothing smart or efficient about that.

      Your brain is an infinite resource, and when people come up with new ideas, it contributes to collective wealth. It makes money for the people that sell it, and it leaves those who buy it with more time and more money than they would otherwise have.

      What if the “new ideas” are focussed on taking wealth from the many and channeling it to the few? Eg. ripping off worker pension funds by selling them toxic securities and then pocketing all the cash as it all crashes and burns? Or closing down your local factory laying off the staff and offshoring all production? The staff and local community are all poorer but the shareholders all get richer for their “innovation”.

      Just because the 150 wealthiest people are $7B wealthier, it doesn’t mean they are getting wealthier at others’ expense. Quite the opposite. If anything, it means that there is a cartel situation developing, to which the answer is always to reduce government intervention and regulation, not increase it.

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

      The answer to breaking up cartel situations is to make sure that the Government doesn’t do anything about it and leave the cartel be?

      I finally decided that you are a fucking loser.

      • BlairM 3.3.1

        “Wealth (for the few) is created faster, more easily and with less risk by breaking down existing assets and monetizing them (selling them off). Nothing smart or efficient about that.”

        On the contrary, that is very smart, and the whole point is efficiency. You get rid of assets that are not creating wealth, you cash up, and you reinvest in assets (or people) who can. That’s what Graeme Hart does. That’s why he’s New Zealand’s richest man. You seem to have this image of rich people as Uncle Scrooges sitting on a big pile of their loot and swimming in it while the poor suffer. There are a small number of wealthy people who are cashed up, but the vast bulk have all their wealth sunk into their businesses – y’know, things which employ people and provide homes and food and clothing. Even the cashed up ones have their money sitting in a bank, who presumably do not sit on the money either, but reinvest it. The wealth of the very wealthy does not deprive others of it. Quite the opposite. If you wiped out Graeme Hart’s wealth and took it all off him, thousands of people would suddenly lose their livelihood.

        “What if the “new ideas” are focussed on taking wealth from the many and channeling it to the few? Eg. ripping off worker pension funds by selling them toxic securities and then pocketing all the cash as it all crashes and burns?”

        You mean the funds that were invested in junk mortgages which left wing US politicians encouraged financial institutions to offer?

        “Or closing down your local factory laying off the staff and offshoring all production? The staff and local community are all poorer but the shareholders all get richer for their “innovation”.”

        Yes, but the workers in your new factory in China are wealthier -ooh look! WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION! The product is cheaper, and consumers save money. They use that money to purchase other products, which create jobs. The shareholders reinvest their extra profit, and that creates jobs. While some individuals are less well off, there are a greater number of individuals who are better off.

        “The answer to breaking up cartel situations is to make sure that the Government doesn’t do anything about it and leave the cartel be?”

        Ummm… well the Government is the one creating the cartel through protectionist legislation, so of course the government has to do something – it has to get rid of their protection of these companies. If you have a shrinking economy, but a wealthy elite, it is usually because your regulatory structures are set up to protect that elite. Get rid of that structure, and you will have people getting rich for the right reasons.

        “I finally decided that you are a fucking loser.”

        Ad hominem insults make you look like you know you don’t have a decent argument.

        • neoleftie 3.3.1.1

          @BlairM – you state
          Yes, but the workers in your new factory in China are wealthier -ooh look! WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION!
          But in a global sense taking the job from a higher paid worker in one location to allow one cheaper worker to do the same job in another global location, to allow for your global wealth redistribution system, is just plain dumb as that original worker now has an limited income stream to buy products, so overall net total demand goes down while profit levels go up which only benefit the few.
          If the same buying power and rules and regulation where consistant throughtout the global system then global repositioning of productivity would make sense as all workers then would be in realitive term be paid the same but this isnt the case…once again to generate increased profits, to benefit the owner class, cheap labour is necessary.
          real meaningful productivity is not about worker working better, faster or more effort but utilising non labour components such as better ideas, better management, better technology and scales of economy and now distance to market or even availaibility of resources and infrastructure.
          What happens when a globally connected world runs outa cheap pools of labour i.e 100 years time…where do we get the growth or productivity then.
          Do you think the chinese peasant class ( or NZ one ) will stand for limited and unfair income distribution when compared globally?
          Do you think it is at all clever in this day and age to rely on cheap labour and then crow about it?
          Weak, lazy and easy theory on how to increase growth and productivity.
          Pax Roma had slaves as there base class, we have the newly created and artifical poor labour countries propping up a lopside and disfunctional gloablly connected system.

          Sure a connected global system is necessary in the long term so as to utilise resourses and infrastructure in a holistic manner but in the short term the social cost is unbearable.

        • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.2

          On the contrary, that is very smart, and the whole point is efficiency. You get rid of assets that are not creating wealth, you cash up, and you reinvest in assets (or people) who can. That’s what Graeme Hart does. That’s why he’s New Zealand’s richest man.

          I am talking here about people who create nothing, but acquire and break up, perhaps find “value” (for themselves) by laying off whole communities, or perhaps move the income stream from the public purse to the private sector – making the rest of us poorer by forcing us to pay into foreign toll booths on a daily basis.

          Fay Richwhite for instance, whom you kowtow to because they are rich.

          Their screwing with TranzRail was indeed very smart. For them that is. Detrimental to the rest of the country’s wealth. But what do you care.

          Ad hominem insults make you look like you know you don’t have a decent argument.

          You little Right Wing fucker, I don’t particularly give a damn what you think.

          • In Vino Veritas 3.3.1.2.1

            Now, now Colonial, take a couple of deep breaths or surely you’ll be moderated – I think I got copped for mentioning Muldoon……

            I would point out the NZ rail is not a great analogy. It was a dog when owned by the Crown, a dog when owned by Fay, a dog when owned by Toll and a dog again, owned by the Crown. Stripping it and binning the whole lot would free up plenty for redistribution to the 50% of kiwi households that are net beneficiaries.

            take it easy….

        • mik e 3.3.1.3

          Blair M Don’t bring Graeme Hart into this argument with out knowing what his business model is.Breaking the monopoly of unions has left this country a lot poorer, the jobs have gone to china Asia where there is an over supply of labour they are working 60to70 hr weeks for $20 to $30 a week and haven’t seen a pay rise yet in 30 years, their living costs are sky rocketing to so that blows your theory right out the door.So who’s got wealthier since rogernomics the top 2to5% Capital investors and speculators at who’s expense the other 95% of us.And Blair I doubt very much if you are in the top 5% especially with your lack of Knowledge on economics.You have been reading to many Act party comics.

          • In Vino Veritas 3.3.1.3.1

            hello Mik e. May I just say “socialism is great until you run out of other peoples money”. Now with that out of the way, on to monopolies. I would have thought breaking up a monopoly would have been right up your alley. Or is it that the only monopolies that may exist are those created under your political model? My word of the day for you is “hypocrisy”.

            And in terms of the top 5%, I’m there, does that qualify me in terms of economics? It’s probably pertinent to mention that the threshold for being in the top 5% isnt that high.

            If you’ll forgive me, when was the last time you were in Beijing, Guangzhou or Shanghai?

    • whistlerspa 3.4

      And goods and services aren’t finite?

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    Nobody creates wealth.

    All wealth in the world was created millions of years ago by geochemical systems -rocks, metal ores, coal, oil, gas etc.- or is created now by living things.

    All that happens is that people use energy to take what already exists and convert it into something else which they regard as being more useful at the time, e.g. cutting down trees, sawing them up and constructing dwellings; mining ores and converting them into metals; killing animals and converting them into meals. The vast majority of human constructions erode or become obsolete, and the undigested components of meals end up in sewage works where energy is used to dispose of them.

    In modern western-style economies huge amounts of unearned wealth are accumulated in the form of computer digits by the banking sector, via the charging of interest (which is both immoral and unsustainable).

    Every day that passes the real wealth of the planet diminishes because all the natural systems that generate REALLY USEFUL STUFF like healthy food and breathable air are under attack by the industrial system, which simply sees nature as a resource to be converted into waste for short term profit, i.e. conversion into computer digits in banking systems or fancy-looking pieces of ‘paper’ that can be exchanged for something esle.

    Needless to say, the whole economic system is in the process of crashing because all the fundamental assumptions are incorrect. In particular, the mineral resources base is severely depleted, and without an energy supply nothing happens: the prime energy source for all modern industrial activity, cheap and readily extractable oil, is in decline.

    In this ‘shrinking cake’ world many at the top believe they are entitled to a bigger share of the cake simply because they have pieces of paper that provide them with the right of ‘ownership’ of resources previously stolen from the commons.

    It will take a while for the cake to get sufficiently small to trigger widespread revolt in NZ because there are plenty of Africans and Asians who can be starved out in order that resources can contunue to flow to NZ. The day of reckoning is coming to NZ, of course (probably a few months after the oil and phosphate rock deliveries cease).

    People generally do not revolt until driven to desperation. The elites know this and are pushing towards more overtly fascist states almost everywhere (though I believe the Icelanders have won a temporary victory over the money-lenders).

    I see that the tribal system which has underpinned Libya for centuries is currently being smashed by NATO, so that Shell and BP can get the oil and ship it off to Europe and the US to prop up their failing economies for a little longer. This latest smashing and grab exercise is being couched in terms of ‘delivering freedom and democracy’, as ususal.

    These are very interesting times, as we watch it all slowly implode.

    Sadly it is the next geenration who will pay the horrendous price for all this madness.

    • Bazar 4.1

      “Nobody creates wealth.”

      Maybe in your case, i certainly do, and charge accordingly.

      “All that happens is that people use energy to take what already exists and convert it into something else which they regard as being more useful”

      Which can be called, creating wealth.
      Perhaps you should read the definition.

      “The vast majority of human constructions erode or become obsolete, and the undigested components of meals end up in sewage works where energy is used to dispose of them”

      Everything dies, everything. But just because things die, don’t mean there isn’t purpose and meaning in their life.

      “In modern western-style economies huge amounts of unearned wealth are accumulated in the form of computer digits by the banking sector, via the charging of interest (which is both immoral and unsustainable).”

      The charging of interest is immoral… I suppose you believe working for profit is also immoral. As they are one and the same.

      “Every day that passes the real wealth of the planet diminishes because all the natural systems that generate REALLY USEFUL STUFF like healthy food and breathable air are under attack by the industrial system, which simply sees nature as a resource to be converted into waste for short term profit, i.e. conversion into computer digits in banking systems or fancy-looking pieces of ‘paper’ that can be exchanged for something esle.”

      The stupidity of that statement both shows how accustomed you are to modern life, and out of touch with how dangerous and unforgiving mother earth is.

      Really useful stuff generally boils down to food, water, health, and housing. Mother nature isn’t willing to support a fraction of our population/life-style without the industrial farming we use today, and the industry that supports it.

      Reading this site makes me think that one day i’ll see a communist party spawn. “No one is entitled to anything, especially those who have plenty of things”

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Mother nature isn’t willing to support a fraction of our population/life-style without the industrial farming we use today, and the industry that supports it.

        Mother Nature isn’t willing to support our over population at all. She will destroy industrial farming. Even now it’s starting to decrease from it’s peak a few years ago as top soil is eroded and the land becomes saturated in salt as a result of chemical fertilisers and irrigation. Throw in Climate Change from burning fossil fuels and most of what we have today that we consider “normal” will be gone by the end of the century.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    History teaches us that it is always possible that the real creators of wealth might decide they have had enough of the arrogance of elites who look down on them, dismiss them as envious and deny them their due role as wealth creators. And then it will be time to really get stuck in.

    We are most definitely heading in this direction courtesy of the capitalist system that has been designed to take the wealth off the wealth creators and give it to a few bludgers.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      The crony capitalist system which has been rampant since the late 1970’s has been particularly galling.

      The hyperfinancialisation which has occured since the mid 1990’s has made it 10 times worse.

      • Afewknowthetruth 5.1.1

        CV

        It looks like the entire system is on the cusp of imploding. Bernanke has now admitted he’s ‘run out of ammunition’ and doesn’t know what to do.

        According to the article below the markets will delay the implosion ‘for another three weeks’. (No admission of the role of energy in propping up present arrangements, of course). It is truly surreal.

        Yahoo7Finance:

        Bernanke offers no new stimulus for US
        ..Topics:Economic News.On Saturday 27 August 2011, 8:02 EST

        US central bank chief Ben Bernanke called on political leaders to do more to boost jobs and the housing market, saying the Federal Reserve could do little at this time to support economic growth.

        In a speech much-awaited for news of new stimulus moves, Bernanke on Friday offered no hints that the Fed would adjust monetary policy to give the near-stagnant economy a shot of adrenalin.

        Instead, he pushed the ball back to the government and fiscal policy, while adding a warning that politicians should not reprise their months-long political battle over spending and debt which he said could “seriously jeopardise” future growth.

        “In the short term, putting people back to work reduces the hardships inflicted by difficult economic times and helps ensure that our economy is producing at its full potential rather than leaving productive resources fallow,” Bernanke said in prepared remarks for a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

        “Notwithstanding this observation… most of the economic policies that support robust economic growth in the long run are outside the province of the central bank.”

        At the same time, Bernanke said the Fed did have policy tools to help out and would be reviewing them at an expanded meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy board on September 20-21.

        The Fed “is prepared to employ its tools as appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery in a context of price stability,” he said.

        Bernanke said he expected growth in the second half of the year to improve after a first half in which expansion was nearly stagnant, at a rate of less than one per cent.

        But, against deep hopes in markets that he would at least hint that the Federal Reserve would adjust monetary policies to add some fuel to the economy, he stressed that the work would have to be done by politicians using admittedly tightly constrained budgetary resources.

        “Although the issue of fiscal sustainability must urgently be addressed, fiscal policymakers should not, as a consequence, disregard the fragility of the current economic recovery,” he said.

        Some analysts and investors had hoped that, with worries that the economy was sinking into recession, Bernanke might repeat what he did in a speech at the same venue almost exactly a year ago.

        At that time, with the economic recovery also appearing stalled, he signalled that the Fed would move to ease monetary conditions, in what became the “QE2″ “quantitative easing” program, which injected $600 billion into the economy via Treasury bond purchases.

        That move sent markets into a nine-month bull run, but ultimately failed to generate a self-sustaining recovery.

        While not offering up a “QE3″, on Friday Bernanke suggested he was more confident that growth was resuming, after a second-quarter expansion estimated at just 1.0 per cent.

        He did not repeat the sober description of the FOMC of August 9 when it forecast growth at a “somewhat slower pace” over the coming quarters than it had earlier estimated, and warned of increasing “downside risks” to the economic outlook.

        Stock markets took the news in stride, falling first but then moving into positive territory within a hour.

        Analysts said Bernanke’s speech had mainly served to put off expectations for another three weeks, giving time to see what economic data shows about growth.

        “Bernanke affirmed that policy is not made on the hoof at Jackson Hole but at the FOMC, by adding to the importance of the September meeting, that will now be a two-day meeting discussing alternative tools,” said economist Alan Ruskin of Deutsche Bank.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          I always thought you were a bit too much on the grim side AFKTT, but lately after looking into a few things, I can definitely see where you are coming from. Damn.

        • fatty 5.1.1.2

          in 50 years we are going to look back at capitalism and laugh.
          We’ll equate it to a stag night at the rugby club

        • neoleftie 5.1.1.3

          The only thing keeping new zealand afloat is offshore commodity prices and open access to overseas markets at the moment. Every night i praise H1 and Cullen for free trade agreements and lowering the Govt Debt ratios during the 90’s.
          Now the ‘wealth creators’ set is all well and good in the old fashion sense of production but the artificial creation of wealth from, as CV states, hyperfiancial methods of money creation has done exactly nothing to benefit the many and if anything bastardised the present economic system by creating artifical bubbles in housing, land and even extending to resources now.
          Time we had a new look at the system construct and determined if this new hyperfinacial wealth creation method can be harnessed for the betterment of the state and masses. In tangient we have a system wide resource crunch coming just when global liquidity is lacking.
          Within the labour party during the late 90’s the global fiancial numbers coming via treasury indicated this very problem and still 5 years on we still dont have, within labour, meaningful and direct dialogue to correct the imbalances, namely massive short term influxs of investment money.
          More micro focus on fringe social policies – were is the vision and boldness, the passion and conviction on what labour stands for…we champion the masses but no the party elite accept the staus quo and are nothing more than centre right on fiscal and monetary policies.
          Talk about John Key’s power block being labour lite our guys are gutless…A wimper from clare that her electrorate and the people are suffering and shot down.

          I say down with the elite wealth creators before its too late.

      • neoleftie 5.1.2

        CV you might call it galling; more likely in creating the gains for the elites from the system they have in fact wreaked the system in the process.
        What we need is stability, security and access to opportunities across the board.

  6. lefty 6

    The wealth creators are the workers who provide surplus value to their employers.

    The employers who steal the surplus value off workers are supposed to at least bring capital,labour and good management together effectively to produce value and wealth in return.

    In New Zealand they are piss poor at doing this because too many of the stupid bastards spend their time on speculation, greed, selfishness, union bashing, arrogance, pettiness and avoiding tax instead of playing their part.

    Despite (or maybe because of ) marginalising unions, driving down wages and having their governments reduce the workforce to a meek and submissive shadow of itself in earlier days, our employers are not even up to playing the traditional capitalist role of building successfull businesses and providing jobs for their exploited workers.

    The real wealth creators are leaving for Aussie in droves because of this.

    Eventually those of us who are left will have to make a stand against capitalism and its stupid bosses if we are going to halt the slide into poverty and environmental destruction.

    • In Vino Veritas 6.1

      “The wealth creators are the workers who provide surplus value to their employers.

      The employers who steal the surplus value off workers are supposed to at least bring capital,labour and good management together effectively to produce value and wealth in return”.

      Thats why they have a job lefty, to provide surplus value. If they dont like it, find another job.

      Driving down wages? What planet are you on? Wages have never been higher. You must be a youngster.

      “The real wealth creators are leaving for Aussie in droves because of this.”

      Oh, here we go. Its not enough to throw the old “exploited workers” into the equation, you have to come out with this drivel. Though I guess they are making a choice to not provide surplus value to NZ employers, and instead provide surplus value to Australian employers. Excellent. (that’s if these “wealth creators” can actually get a job in Aus). And as a very famous PM once said “those NZ’rs who go to Australia raise the IQ of both countries”.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    Bazar

    You have just shot yourself in the foot: ‘Mother nature isn’t willing to support a fraction of our population/life-style without the industrial farming we use today, and the industry that supports it.’

    Exactly! We are in gross population overshoot as a direct consequence of industrial farming and the industry that supports it. And since the oil supply that makes industrial farming is in decline that does mean we will soon witness population collapse, probably via starvation, plus the eventual collapse of industrial civilisation.

    I do hope you are not going to tell us that Peak Oil has not yet arrived, since the International Energy Agency, supposedly the official body that all governments listen to when it comes to energy planning, admitted in Novermber 2010 that Peak Oil was 2005-6..

    Of course you could suggest, as many people do, that we can run tractors, harvesters, planes, ships and delivery trucks on magical thinking. I am not into magical thinking, but I know that a lot of people are; it seems to help them blot out reality in the short term while compounding their long term predicament.

    These forums are very intersesting because I discover that every time I write the truth that there is always some uninformed fool who wants to dispute it.

    By the way, I’d like to hear exactly how you ‘create wealth’ without using natural resources supplied by the Earth and without using up rapidly depleting fossil fuels.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    DTB

    ‘Mother Nature isn’t willing to support our over population at all. She will destroy industrial farming. Even now it’s starting to decrease from it’s peak a few years ago as top soil is eroded and the land becomes saturated in salt as a result of chemical fertilisers and irrigation. Throw in Climate Change from burning fossil fuels and most of what we have today that we consider “normal” will be gone by the end of the century.’

    I am sure you are being wildly optimistic when you say ‘ gone by the end of the century’. Everything I have read in recent years [from reputable sources] indicates most of the things the majority of people consider normal will be gone by 2020 and that industrial civilisation will largely over by 2030. I have seen nothing to refute that.

    http://guymcpherson.com/2011/08/three-paths-to-near-term-human-extinction/

    What happens is that people on blogs totally ignore anthing connected with reality and carry on with discussions founded false paradigms and delusions.

    Even as we discuss the collapse of industrial civilisation, New York is on track for its ‘New Orleans’ moment, with Irene forecast to hit in a couple of days. This is unprecedented, of course, as all ‘Black Swan’ events are. Not long ago we had unprecedented snow in the North Island of NZ.

    One of the more interesting questions is this: which will get us first, collapse via Peak Oil or collapse via Climate Instability?

    There is not a word from our politicians on any of this stuff, of course; bad for business.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      I am sure you are being wildly optimistic when you say ‘ gone by the end of the century’.

      Generally speaking I figure that the shit has hit the fan by 2020. At that point, nobody will be able to deny that our present civilisation* is headed for the dustbin of history. Things go down hill from there but not everything will be gone by then. Some places will fall harder and faster than others. Sure, some of those places will be unrecognisable by 2030 but other places won’t be. By 2100 even those places that had maintained present systems will have dropped them as well.

      One of the more interesting questions is this: which will get us first, collapse via Peak Oil or collapse via Climate Instability?

      They’re both coming at the same time which brings about that Perfect Storm feeling.

      * I really don’t think that we could call a society based upon war, colonisation, competition and massive over consumption civilised.

      • Afewknowthetruth 8.1.1

        DTB.

        Please don’t think I was criticising. It’s good that are a few other people who recognise reality and are willing to speak the truth.

        Here is an interesting concept: collapse occurs one person at a time, one family at a time, one city at a time via redundancy, foreclosure and environmental/economic/military-induced collapse.

        Detroit was a thriving centre of industrial activity in the 1950s; it has lost half its population and most of its industry, and local officials are considering demolishing 1/4 of the city to make it more manageable.

        Bagdhad was the ‘Paris of the Middle Eas’t till the Americans started bombing it.

        New Orleans was a thriving cultural and tourism centre until Katrina and Rita hit.

        Christchurch much the same before the ‘quakes.

        The Fukishima region was a ‘powerhouse’ and an important agricultural region prior to the ‘quake. Now it could be the site of a ‘China syndrome’ event.

        It will be interesting to see what happens to New York if it gets hit by full-force Irene.

        Yes, civilisation is anything but civilised. Of course there are two narratives: one for domestic consumption, which is full of high-minded ideals of truth, justice and democracy etc. (most of it fabrications), and another for overseas consumption, which is based on reppression, murder, looting etc. as has been going on in Nigeria for decades and is commencing in Libya, under the auspices of NATO ‘protecting the civlian population’. Gotta get that oil out as cheaply as possible and make sure the ‘right people’ can burn it. That’s a really smart move on behalf of the western powers, using Middle East oil to bomb the shit out of people living in the Middle East to get access to more Middle East oil.

  9. Thomas 9

    The author lists “truth” as a research interest and is writing a book entitled “Can the Market Speak?”.
    http://artsfaculty.auckland.ac.nz/staff/?UPI=cjon018

    His article makes no constructive comments (not that I think his suggestions would be constructive). It is just whinging about wealth not being distributed the way he wants it to be.

    So here is a question. Why don’t all you socialists form a club and run your own socialist economy? You can distribute wealth within that club however you want. All the people getting screwed by capitalism will join that club, right? The rich bastards will be left outside the club with no one to screw right? Getting initial capital will be a problem, but once it gets started things will run fine, right?

    So why does no one do that?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      So why does no one do that?

      Because TPTB won’t allow it. Duh.

      Also – the masses of people don’t recognise the fact that they are currently being royally screwed. Essentially they’ve bought into the propaganda that:

      – Working even harder for longer hours
      – Smashing their own unions
      – Voting for Toff serving politicians
      – Saving their money
      – Kicking the weakest and most vulnerable in society

      Is going to fix things. (No need for a socialist revolution at all haha)

      • In Vino Veritas 9.1.1

        Sorry Colonial, can’t let this one pass.

        “the masses of people don’t recognise the fact that they are currently being royally screwed”

        Surely you are overreaching yourself? You are saying that you are the seer of all things right and that the masses cannot detect right from wrong? Please tell me you have not taken on a god complex?

        Could you not admit that the masses do recognise right from wrong and make decisions accordingly? That in fact, it might just be that your views are out of kilter?

    • Afewknowthetruth 9.2

      Thomas.

      ‘So why does no one do that?’

      Do you know no history at all?

      The American War of Independence, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War …… even the Co-operative movement in Britian were all attempts to throw off the power of elites, money-lenders and capitalists.

      A century ago there were dairy co-operatives and community banks in NZ.

      In practically every case international capitalism sponsored by money-lenders managed to take over/demolish/hi-jack/destroy socialist arrangemenets and re-impose ‘trickle up’ arrangements.

      ‘A slave in irons cannot work well and usually harbours thoughts of escape. A better kind of slave is one that has full use of his/her body, but knows that attempting to escape will incur terrible retribution and is effectively impossible. An even better kind of slave is one that is bound by ‘invisible chains’ that the slave has put on himself/herself and, thinking that ‘life is good’, does not contemplate escape. The very best kind of slave is one that has been brought up in a system of covert slavery and knows no other form of existence. Such a slave is utterly bound by ‘invisible chains’ which were imposed at the moment of birth. Knowing no other form of existence and not seeing the ‘chains’, the slave believes he/she is free. Such a slave may well unwittingly defend to the death the slave-master’s ‘right’ to own and exploit slaves.’

      We now have a general populace that has been bought-off by the trinkets of consumerism and ‘enjoys’ slavery …. but only for the moment. They won’t be enjoying their slavery for much longer because the trinkets of consumerism are going to disappear soon, as is the bulk of their food supply. A syste that is totally depemndent on a rapidly declining resouce has no future.

      I amazes me that so many people are so completely blind to common sense these days. I suppose it is because people in western societies have been carefully trained to behave stupidly, so the majority of them do.

      • Thomas 9.2.1

        A century ago there were dairy co-operatives and community banks in NZ.

        In practically every case international capitalism sponsored by money-lenders managed to take over/demolish/hi-jack/destroy socialist arrangemenets and re-impose ‘trickle up’ arrangements.

        How does capitalism manage to take over socialist arrangements? In the free market no one can force you do to anything; they can only offer you a deal.

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1

          *Shakes head*

          A recent example is how Governor Scott Walker has crushed public sector unions in Wisconsin.

          • Thomas 9.2.1.1.1

            *Public* sector unions. The socialist club can have as many private unions as it wants.

            • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.1.1

              Bullshit. Private sector unions were the first to be destroyed. Steel mills and car companies closed down, production offshored.

              • Thomas

                CV: No. I asked you “How does capitalism manage to take over socialist arrangements?” and I was referring to private cooperatives. But you gave an example in the public sector.

    • Thomas 9.3

      CV, Afew: I’m sorry, I don’t see the obstacle. In a free market system, you are free to start your own socialist subsystem (but good luck doing it the other way around). That’s the great thing about the free market: you don’t have to participate.

      Why don’t you guys advocate this? Why do you demand that the government forces everyone to join the socialist club?

      Surely there are enough people who realise the failure of capitalism to start this thing up, right? Once it gets going, the masses will join, right?

      • Colonial Viper 9.3.1

        Exactly. And $100M in start up capital is all that is needed to kick it off.

        From that point onwards, democratic socialist enterprises will begin to grow in the economy at the expense of capitalist enterprises.

        Why do you demand that the government forces everyone to join the socialist club?

        Don’t be a little liar fucker.

        • The Voice of Reason 9.3.1.1

          I suspect Thomas’s world view will change the day he gets a job, CV. Or the day he gets fired, more likely.

        • Thomas 9.3.1.2

          CV: So why doesn’t it happen? If you get 100k supporters and each contributes 1k, you can get started.

          Don’t be a little liar fucker.

          How so? Whenever socialists get in power they demand that everyone participate in their little experiment.

          • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.2.1

            How so? Whenever socialists get in power they demand that everyone participate in their little experiment.

            You attributed that statement to me, a statement which was not mine, therefore you are a little liar fucker

            I stand for democratic socialism, not some kind of centrally planned authoritarian throw back to the USSR, go look it up.

            By the way, the capitalist free market experiment is coming to an end whether you like it or not. (Actually it already ended a few years ago, thanks to the actions of the US Fed and others).

            • Thomas 9.3.1.2.1.1

              CV: Democratic socialism is not voluntary. 51% of the people can vote to steal from the other 49%. Those 49% are compelled to participate.

              • KJT

                51% can require those who have been advantaged by the society, others have built up with their taxes, to pay their share.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Ah, I see a RWNJ is here defending the theft that the rich participate in to become rich.

      • Afewknowthetruth 9.3.2

        Thomas.

        The free market is one of the greatest myths of all time. It is totally Orwellian, as per ‘freedom is slavery’.

        There is nothing free about the free market, other than the freedom of global corporations to loot from the commons at will and sell what they loot back to the people at a trremendous profit, the freedom of money-lenders to destroy people’s lives through debt slavery and the freeedom of the advertising sector to mislead a huge segement of the populace via fabrications and illusions.

        Anyone who attempts to do anything that challenges the power structures and money rorts of the status quo is set upon by the system. I have spoken with many innovative people who get nowhere because they are ‘assassinated by the system. Of course, presidents Lincoln, Garfield and Kennedy were literally assissinated because they challenged the freedom of the money-lenders to enslave the populace (and the economy).

        Each month that passes the saboteurs in central government and local government increase the indebtedness of communities and impose ever greater restrictions on the general populace while they personally loot the till. Every system that is put in place is to make it more and more difficult for people tolive freely. Every system that is put in place is to give greater power to corporations and money-lenders who control the government and to reduce accountability of those who run the system.

        I cannot even burn garden rubbish -something people have been doing for cneturies- in my own garden these days! The system is awash with fees for permits and fines.

        Fascisim has always had its advocaters. Every society has greedy, psychotic sociopaths. Right now we have greedy, psychotic sociopaths running most of NZ, as per the money-lenders plan for total world domnation through debt slavery and control of food and energy supplies. (And I suspect many of our so-called leaders are alcoholics.)

        As I said, some people are totally blind to the truth (or have a selfish vested interest in the present system). They are quite ‘happy’ to see the world looted and lpollued, and probably made uninhabitable for their grandchildren, just so long as they can continue live affluently in the short term.

        • Thomas 9.3.2.1

          Afew: You sound a bit like an ACT supporter. You want the government to leave you alone—i.e. no permits or fees. You want the government to stop indebting the people. We have a lot in common.

          There is nothing free about the free market, other than the freedom of global corporations to loot from the commons at will and sell what they loot back to the people at a trremendous profit, the freedom of money-lenders to destroy people’s lives through debt slavery and the freeedom of the advertising sector to mislead a huge segement of the populace via fabrications and illusions.

          How do they loot? Seriously, I don’t understand where you are coming from. You say corporations steal, but everywhere I look they are just trading and people trade voluntarily. The only organisation that steals and is involuntary is the government.

          • Colonial Viper 9.3.2.1.1

            Your view of the world is a lie. Look at the wikileaks documents which show the coercive strategies corporates use in concert with the US Govt (there is no true difference between the US Government, the bankers and the corporates nowadays) to ensure that countries fall into line.

            Sure, NZ could choose not to sign FTAs. But we would then be sanctioned by powerful forces.

            That kind of payment is as “voluntary” as one to the mafia, eh.

            • Thomas 9.3.2.1.1.1

              CV: You have changed to arguing against government intervention. That’s exactly what I want. We should be free to do what we want with our time and money. Even if that includes joining a socialist cooperative. So I take it that you will vote ACT too in November?

              • Colonial Viper

                You’re advocating a “freedom” based on a laundry list of bad choices. Should an employee have a choice between being shot, stabbed or poisoned? Between having their job outsourced or their wages suppressed and conditions cut?

                That’s real “freedom of choice” right?

                This is a similar trap the US electorate has fallen into. They espouse freedom, like the fact that 46M of them are “free” to “choose” Food Stamps.

                Sorry mate, your deregulated free markets have failed world wide and central intervention in the markets has been the norm for several years now.

                As for ACT: might as well go vote for your tory undead great grandpa.

          • joe90 9.3.2.1.2

            How do they loot?

            >

            Corporate ownership of my local lines company has seen a 400% increase in my daily connection charge, asset stripping of inventory and a skills exodus means blue sky low voltage low cost equipment failures cause 15 hour consumer outages and the cutting of maintenance programmes and staffing levels has resulted in a network that’s less reliable than it was a decade ago.

            • Colonial Viper 9.3.2.1.2.1

              At least returns to major foreign and faraway shareholders will be up. What’s there to complain about? 😛

              • joe90

                The way corporate’s protect their assets with their own compliance policies, costs passed on to the monopolised consumers, is the real eye opener.

      • mik e 9.3.3

        Thomas the biggest unions around are the business barons they cooperate to keep costs down workers are merely a cost they don’t look upon a worker as a human being these days labour is purely a commodity. to be perchased at the least amount

  10. KJT 10

    IT IS NOT THEIR, MONEY!

    http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2011/08/it-is-not-their-money.html

    “For most of the wealthy though IT IS NOT THEIR MONEY! It is basically stolen money.
    Do you really believe it is right that 50% of the richest people in NZ pay little or no tax despite being the biggest beneficiaries of the society we have created over decades”.

    http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2011/08/wealthy-deserve-their-wealth.html

    “Those at the top, got there, mostly, because of A) inherited wealth, B) the old boy network. (The real advantage of private schooling). C)total psychopathic self interest and disregard for others. (Called theft when done by those at the bottom).
    They would have us believe that they have some special talent or superiority that justifies their wealth”. Even though they themselves do nothing to earn it.

    No one grudges, proportionate, extra income for those who have earned it because of extra effort, talent, benefit to society, or risk.
    We have a problem with those who get massive incomes for such things as rorting the NZ currency, gambling in finances which require taxpayer bailouts when it fails, huge salaries for managing duopolies (While they cut staff pay) or have inherited accumulating wealth. Who then do not think they owe anything to the society which enables them to live the way they do..

  11. Afewknowthetruth 11

    Thomas

    ‘How do they loot? Seriously, I don’t understand where you are coming from.’

    If you don’t understand how the system works, and you genuinely want to know, you need to read this book urgently.

    http://www.publishme.co.nz/shop/theeasyway-p-684.html

    The system is rapidly progressing to the crash point, and most people are going to get ‘wiped out’ because they have no idea what is going on.

    If it is not in you local library you could put in a request (or buy it).

    .

  12. Crashcart 12

    What amazes me is that the initial article stated the fact that figures show the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer yet you will still get RWNJ’s claiming that the system works and that those rich people are actually making everyone richer, they just don’t realise they are richer cause they can’t pay the power bill this month.

    It is the same as Nationals plan for selling asset sale to the public. Don’t tell people why it is good, just tell them over and over again they don’t understand why it is good and eventually they will come to believe that they right.

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