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Archive for January, 2014

Less (inequality) is more….

Written By: - Date published: 7:19 pm, January 25th, 2014 - 40 comments

John Key seems to be trying to fudge the evidence of the damaging inequalities in NZ.  I recap Bunji’s 2010 series of posts on The Spirit Level showing the benefits of a more equal society.  Will this be addressed by Cunliffe and Turei this  long weekend?

UBI (3). Taxes, income and Welfare

Written By: - Date published: 12:46 pm, January 25th, 2014 - 68 comments

However, a UBI is a change in distribution of incomes, not an increase in the size of Government.

Progressive taxation  is the price of living in a well resourced, pleasant, and cohesive society.

Workers Denied Access to Information

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, January 25th, 2014 - 29 comments

The  NZ Logger magazine has published attack after attack on us since about August of last year.  You have to read them to believe them.  Industry players and Editorials suggesting we are the problem in forestry safety!  One even suggested UNIONS were exploiting workers in the industry through our safety campaign. I contacted the Editor to ask for a right of reply.  It was written with minor changes and expected to appear this month. Now they won’t run it…. Have a look at it yourself.

Socioecomonic status and educational outcomes (and the ignorance of DPF)

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, January 25th, 2014 - 49 comments

It would suit the right-wing of politics to ignore the profound impact of poverty on education. Nat blogger DPF ran the line just yesterday. His bombastic and ignorant conclusion is based on a trivially superficial reading of Hattie’s work.

Open mike 25/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, January 25th, 2014 - 123 comments

Open mike is your post.  For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.  The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).  Step right up to the mike …

AAAP: grass roots action. Well done!

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 pm, January 24th, 2014 - 12 comments

A video by Auckland Action Against Poverty is a record of their work and achievements.  Narrated by Sue Bradford, it’s must see viewing for anyone interested in actions against poverty, grassroots campaigning, networking and direct action.  Very impressive!

Caption contest

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, January 24th, 2014 - 64 comments

key-school300

Some random observations on Key’s Education proposals

Written By: - Date published: 1:38 pm, January 24th, 2014 - 65 comments

The first impression created by National’s announced education reforms is a positive one. But there is a lot of politics in the background. It may be strange for a lefty to say this but is this the best spend of finite education resources? Would the money be better spent addressing child poverty?

Polity: The truth about the gap between the rich and the rest

Written By: - Date published: 1:31 pm, January 24th, 2014 - 61 comments

John Key was careful in his speech. He and his government have helped themselves and their affluent mates while screwing everyone else. It is pretty clear who has been getting the benefits – since 2010 just the households with at least a hundred thousand dollars income. The bigger the household income, the more National helps. John Key – a liar with numbers.

National – a party for wastrels

Written By: - Date published: 1:08 pm, January 24th, 2014 - 13 comments

The Crown Financial Statements to the end of November 2013 show that the sale of Meridian and Air New Zealand added hundreds of millions of dollars to the cost of the asset sales programme. Combined with the cost of the Mighty River Power sale and ancillary costs such as the Rio Tinto payout, the total cost of the asset sales now stands at $440m. National just likes burning the money of the taxpayers for no productive purpose.

Isolating change: the poverty of education

Written By: - Date published: 11:24 am, January 24th, 2014 - 60 comments

John Key presented one great idea in isolation instead of a full election agenda: a desperate attempt to stop the growing discontents with his government.  He failed to address underlying problems.  Cunliffe will outline a broader political agenda.  Turei addresses poverty & income inequalities.

Open mike 24/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:57 am, January 24th, 2014 - 152 comments

Open mike is your post.  For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.  The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).  Step right up to the mike …

The Pablo-Trotter interchange – whither the left?

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 pm, January 23rd, 2014 - 169 comments

A response to recent exchanges between Pablo (on Kiwipolitico) & Chris Trotter.  I agree and I don’t.  I argue that Pablo’s Marxism needs some updating to include the politics of various kinds of oppression & the intertwining of and interaction between cultural “superstructure” & “economic base”.

Herald massaging a message

Written By: - Date published: 5:19 pm, January 23rd, 2014 - 23 comments

The Herald continues its tabloid-style vendetta against Len Brown by serving up non-news in a shock-horror frame to make the mayor look bad. With a combination of the delicate removal/rewriting of what was said and a a senile loss of memory about the chains imposed on Auckland by National, Act and Rodney Hide – the Granny Herald continues its downward slide into irrelevance.

A little exploration?

Written By: - Date published: 12:22 pm, January 23rd, 2014 - 23 comments

On the pipers, the dancers and the great unwashed.

Spot the difference! Stating the nation

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, January 23rd, 2014 - 97 comments

[Updated] Speeches: Key (today ZB Transcript). PM’s speech – untruths, misdirections & corporatisation of education – comment added. Cunliffe on Monday, on greater opportunities for all Kiwis. Metiria Turei’s speech, Sunday – will talk education, environment. Peters responds to Key. Greens response – education. Cunliffe’s Stand-up – audio.

Deep sea oil drilling

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, January 23rd, 2014 - 91 comments

Deep sea oil drilling is in the news.  Labour’s position is to require increased environmental standards and drillers would have to display an effective ability to clean up any disasters.  The Greens would prefer to leave the oil in the ground.  If there is a change of Government this year resolving this issue will pose a fascinating test of the parties.

Open mike 23/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, January 23rd, 2014 - 220 comments

Open mike is your post.  For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.  The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).  Step right up to the mike …

Latest Roy Morgan – Labour + Green ahead

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 pm, January 22nd, 2014 - 87 comments

The latest Roy Morgan poll results are out and Labour + Greens (46%) are now ahead of National (43.5%).

David Cunliffe on the State of the Nation

Written By: - Date published: 4:11 pm, January 22nd, 2014 - 185 comments

Following your great response to Micky’s recent post David Cunliffe has got in touch about your comments, his policy, and his big speech on Monday.

UBI: Addressing Inequality

Written By: - Date published: 2:15 pm, January 22nd, 2014 - 35 comments

Income equality is one measure that can be used to indicate the equality of a society. Flip has analysed the 2011 income distribution and show how a UBI (Universal Basic Income) can create greater income equality.

National’s first strategic mistake

Written By: - Date published: 12:22 pm, January 22nd, 2014 - 109 comments

John Key  has made a major strategic mistake with his early announcement of the parties National could go into government with.  In framing the 2014 campaign as a contest between two blocs he has given away National’s trump card for gaining Winston’s support – support the largest party. Opportunity time for a positive alternative from Labour/Greens.

NRT: Global inequality is a threat to democracy

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, January 22nd, 2014 - 31 comments

No Right Turn writes on the Oxfam report about the deliberate concentration of wealth by subverting the political process towards the inequality levels displayed in the movie Elysium. Today’s shock statistic: the 85 richest people in the world control as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion of us.

Welfare profiteers

Written By: - Date published: 10:23 am, January 22nd, 2014 - 33 comments

Paula Bennett’s punitive welfare reforms are bad enough (pressuring people into unsuitable work, or off benefits without alternative support); then there’s privatising the scheme by outsourcing enforced work placement to private companies  –  worse still, to overseas corporates. Devaluing & dehumanising people, communities, & nurturing activities. [Update: APM conflicts of interest]

Polity: Some evidence about welfare

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, January 22nd, 2014 - 106 comments

This post by polity certainly adds some grist to the debate on unconditional basic income (UBI) and kids. It looks at the example provided by the Cherokee in a natural quasi-experiment in North Carolina on how kids grow up. Being generous and acting early pays off.

Open mike 22/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, January 22nd, 2014 - 159 comments

Open mike is your post.  For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.  The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).  Step right up to the mike …

National coalition with NZ First?

Written By: - Date published: 5:00 pm, January 21st, 2014 - 126 comments

Key has refused to rule out the possibility of a National coalition with NZ First after this year’s election.  How desperate is that?

A matter of “confidence”

Written By: - Date published: 11:43 am, January 21st, 2014 - 41 comments

Bill English reviews the economy

Some say the economy often responds positively to “confidence”, while lack of it can result in some financial nose dives.  But whose confidence is being highlighted in reports of NZ’ “rock star” economy?  Not that of workers, beneficiaries – the precariat, say Labour, Greens.

A big gay rainbow the true cause of the UK’s unusual weather

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, January 21st, 2014 - 20 comments

It is quite an achievement for a sitting MP to be considered to be too nutty for the UKIP.  But David Silvester has achieved this dubious distinction by claiming that adverse weather events in the United Kingdom are the result of legalising same sex marriage …

Open mike 21/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:54 am, January 21st, 2014 - 319 comments

Open mike is your post.  For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.  The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).  Step right up to the mike …

State housing: bursting the “market” bubble

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, January 20th, 2014 - 102 comments

The inhumane (un)affordability of housing in NZ, especially in the cities of Christchurch & Auckland, is beyond crisis point. The answer is not letting the “market” (aka the wealthy and powerful) decide. As Utah shows the solution is more state housing.

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    You might recall back in May that Beyond the City Limits, a locally-produced Dunedin speculative fiction anthology,* was short-listed for a Sir Julius Vogel. *Featuring my science-fiction story, Pink Unicorns Solvable in O(2) Time. The Sir Julius Vogels are the premiere annual New Zealand speculative fiction awards, and this ...
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  • How I’m voting in the referenda
    In addition to electing a government, we also have two referenda to vote on this election - one on legalising recreational cannabis, and one on euthanasia. I'm voting "yes" to both, and I encourage everyone else to do the same. Here's why. On cannabis, it is patently obvious that decades ...
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  • Maori better off with Labour
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  • Hard News: Cannabis: legalisation versus decriminalisation
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  • Treating an infected president
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  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #40
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