After Five Years: Report Card on Crisis Capitalism

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, July 11th, 2012 - 27 comments
Categories: capitalism, debt / deficit, International - Tags: , ,

 

After Five Years: Report Card on Crisis Capitalism

Monday, 09 July 2012
By Richard D Wolff

After five years of crisis – with no end in sight – it’s time to evaluate what happened, why and what needs to be done. One key cause of this crisis is the class structure of capitalist enterprises. I stress that because most treatments miss it. By class structure, I mean enterprises’ internal organization pitting workers against corporate boards of directors and major shareholders. Those boards seek first to maximize corporate profits and growth. That means maximizing the difference between the value they get from workers’ labor and the value of the wages paid to workers. Those boards also decide how to use that difference (“surplus value”) to secure the corporation’s reproduction and growth. The major shareholders and the directors they select make all basic corporate decisions: what, how and where to produce and how to spend the surplus value (on executive pay hikes and bonuses, outsourcing production, buying politicians etc.) Workers (the majority) live with the results of decisions made by a tiny minority (shareholders and directors). Workers are excluded from participating in those decisions: a lesson in capitalist democracy.

US capitalism changed in the 1970s. The prior century of labor shortages had required real wage increases every decade (to bring in immigrant workers). In the 1970s, many capitalists installed labor-saving computers, while others relocated production to lower-wage countries. Demand for US laborers fell. Simultaneously, women moved massively into wage work as did new immigrants from Latin America. The supply of laborers in the US rose. Capitalists no longer needed to raise real wages, so they stopped doing so. Since the 1970s, what capitalists paid workers stayed the same. Meanwhile, computers helped labor productivity to rise: what workers produced for capitalists to sell kept increasing. Surplus value (and profits), therefore, soared (stock market boom, rising financial sector etc.) while the wage portion of national product/income fell.

By making these changes, US capitalism provoked a classic contradiction/problem for itself. It paid insufficient wages to enable workers to purchase growing capitalist output. The solution, led by the fast-growing financial sector, was two-fold. First, it cycled rising corporate profits partly into major new consumer lending (mortgages; car loans; credit cards; and, later, student loans). Rising consumer debt sustained growing mass consumption despite stagnant wages, and so postponed an otherwise certain economic downturn. Second, financiers promoted profitable new investments for corporations and the rich (securities based on consumer debts and credit default swaps that insured such securities). Financial corporations displaced non-financial corporations as dominant in the US economy. Financial transactions based on consumer debts built on stagnant wages (the ultimate means to service that debt): those fruits of capitalist decisions brought the “2007 crash.” (What is widely known as the crash of 2008 technically began in the fourth quarter of 2007.) The crisis nightmare began: a cyclical downturn coupled to long-run decline in workers’ purchasing power.

As the crisis deepened, capitalists and mainstream economists insisted that it was “only a financial problem” – credit had frozen because banks did not trust one another and stopped lending. The credit freeze would be “easily managed” by federal bailouts of financial and a few other corporations (e.g. GM) deemed “too big to fail.” Dutiful politicians funded those bailouts with massive government borrowing from (rather than taxing) the large cash hoards accumulating in the hands of banks, large corporations and the rich. They hoarded, they explained, because lending to or investing in the economy they had crashed was “too risky.” Instead of making their hoards available to individuals and businesses that might have revived the economy, financial capitalists lent them to the government to bail out those same capitalists: a lesson in capitalist efficiency.
As government debts soared to bail out global capitalism, financial capitalists began to worry about over-indebted governments. Those governments’ citizens – especially where traditions of anti-capitalist criticism were strong, as in Greece – might balk at servicing debts that resulted from capitalism’s failures, not theirs. So, financial capitalists demanded ever-higher interest for lending to such governments. They also demanded the imposition of austerity programs. Public employment and services were to be slashed. The money thereby saved would instead guarantee interest and repayment of those governments’ debts. Major leaders dared not suggest – let alone raise – significant taxes on corporations and the rich as an alternative to government borrowing or austerity.

In this way, the costs of economic crisis and bailouts were shifted onto national populations via unemployment, home foreclosures and austerity: a lesson in capitalist justice.

Lets summarize: (1) capitalists decided in the 1970s to computerize and increasingly relocate production overseas; (2) that enabled them to impose wage stagnation and greatly increase surpluses and profits; (3) financial capitalists lent to consumers and built a speculative bubble based on consumer debt; (4) when rising consumer debts exceeded what stagnant wages could afford, the system crashed; (5) capitalists got trillion-dollar bailouts while lending government the money for those bailouts; and (6) now, capitalists make entire populations pay for the crisis and bailouts by directing politicians to impose austerity. This capitalist system not only fails to “deliver the goods,” it dumps ever-more-outrageous bads.

Nor are solutions available in New Deal-type regulations and Keynesian deficit spending as promoted by economists Paul Krugman and Robert Reich. While the New Deal reduced capitalist excess and eased mass suffering (neither happens now), it never overcame the 1930s depression (World War II did). Capitalism’s costly cycles were never stopped (eleven downturns occurred after 1941 and before the 2007 crash). Moreover, FDR’s insufficient New Deal regulations and taxes on corporations and the rich were undone after 1945 as capitalists funded the politicians, parties, lobbyists and think tanks that shaped legislation and public opinion. A new New Deal now (green or otherwise) would have poorer and shorter-lived economic results. Capitalists now have greater financial resources and decades of experience in blocking and undoing limits on their wealth and freedom.

After five years of crisis, it has become clear that any real solution for capitalist crisis must include changing the class structure of capitalist enterprises and thereby their directors’ decisions. Those are twin obstacles to ending capitalism’s repeated crises and their immense social costs. The necessary change would reorganize the production of goods and services. Instead of undemocratic, hierarchical capitalist corporations, workers would collectively become their own board of directors and make all the key decisions themselves. Had workers’ self-directed enterprises replaced capitalist enterprises in the 1970s, real wages would not have stopped rising thereafter; jobs would not have moved out of the US; a consumer credit explosion would not have happened – and so on.

Workers’ self-directed enterprises would have their problems, too. We cannot exchange an inadequate capitalism for some pretend paradise. America can, however, do better than a capitalism whose failures were already many and deep even before exploding into this latest severe crisis. We ought finally to dare to think so, say so, make the needed changes and move forward.

Copyright, Truthout.org. Reprinted with permission, original here.

27 comments on “After Five Years: Report Card on Crisis Capitalism”

  1. Carol 1

    We ought finally to dare to think so, say so, make the needed changes and move forward.
    But how ruthless will the wealthy and their powerful political allies be in maintaining their privilege.

    I find it very scary that the UK government is going to place surface-to-air missiles on top of residential rooftops – and the courts are allowing it.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/judge-rejects-bid-to-stop-olympic-rooftop-missiles-7932339.html

    If they are willing to put ordinary people at risk in their own homes, what else will they be willing to do?

    • Shane Gallagher 1.1

      My aunt used to teach history (we’re Irish) – and I used to ask her when I was a child how could the English do all those terrible things to the people of of all the countries they conquered. She told me that whatever they did to foreigners they had originally done to their own people. The English elites care little for the masses.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        The elites never care for the masses. It is this fact that people keep forgetting that gets National voted back in. Unfortunately, there isn’t a political party out there that will challenge the status quo, to make needed changes to our society that will remove the power from the capitalists.

  2. joe90 2

    Wolff talks about the costs of capitalism’s crisis: Who Will Pay?

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    The politics that dare not speak its name…

    “Truthout” is quite well resourced going on the www site and fairly describes the problems of the shitpile we are all in but the analysis (on the basis of the article above) fails in the end. Some sort of hybrid worker run capitalism is not going to cut it. The holy grail for many social democrats has always been getting bosses to behave themselves in a cross class “win–win scenario”. But they only ever do ‘behave’ for brief periods. A more radical solution is ultimately required.

    There is a whole superstructure beyond the capitalist workplace itself–state forces (cops, army and spooks), surveillence mechanisms, finance capital (who substantially caused the 2008 crash), media, education, bureaucratic and religious systems that all help keep most citizens in line.

    Socialism is at good odds for a 21st century comeback is all I can say.

    • Correct, Tiger Mountain.
      The crisis wasnt caused by falling wages and consumption but a falling rate of profit due to insufficient surplus value over wage and other capital costs.
      Its fundamental to capitalism and doesnt rest on who owns corporations.
      Worker owned corporates that continued to pay high wages to keep consumption up could not avoid a falling rate of profit.
      This is a utopian solution to a misunderstood problem.
      A good critique of underconsumptionist theories of crisis is here.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.1.1

        I am no financial genius Dave but have tried to master the basics since adopting a class analysis and materialist political philosophy some years back.

        The tendency for the rate of profit to fall, one of capitalism’s more significant inbuilt flaws, has 99.99% of bourgeois economists in denial and running for cover. Ask anyone, say at the NZCTU-Conway, Rosenberg and they all still fudge on this vital matter.

  4. ad 4

    Maybe I’m too practical, but I’m just not sure how this spectacularly sweeping set of generalisations and glorious abstract nouns helps anyone. I can enjoy a good evening of Left Melancholy drinking too much on a Sunday, but seriously. The writer proposes no role for the public sector, nor any nuance for ethnicity or culture or the environment, and further sweeps all agency off the table stating and that no New Deal program past or since would work. All we have to do is another Battleship Potemkin and all will be well.

    Whereas on other parts of this site, more complex and interesting contests of jobs and assets and rights and communities and the public sector are occurring right here, in New Zealand of all places.

    I mean, I just love reading AdBusters, but I am getting heartily sick of bad Critical Theory promising the next Great Leap Forward or Great Leap Backward. This sure ain’t Hardt and negri, or even 1980s Habermas.

    Something fresh please.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Pointing out the faults of the present system is often needed to get movement towards a solution.

      • ad 4.1.1

        Only if it has precision and deep mechanical knowledge. Neither were in evidence.
        I would put it to you Draco, you could do better with one day of drafting.

    • Carol 4.2

      Well, I guess if you’re looking for total worker revolution, the public sector has no role: i.e. with such an analysis, the public sector would be seen as softening the brutal characteristics of capitalism, and keeping the workers onside so they don’t riot in the street.

      Any other considerations – environmental issues, ethnicity, gender etc, would be seen as secondary issues, and problems in those areas would be seated back to the primary cause as the class struggle.

      Yes, such analysis is lacking nuances. However, it seems to me in recent decades, too often many on the left have been dealing with the nuances and ignoring the elephant in the room…. the struggle between the ruling and subject classes.

      There’s room for a dialogue between both kinds of analysis, IMO, but hard to work out coherently in a short and engaging analysis.

      • Tiger Mountain 4.2.1

        C’mon Carol, certain reforms are worthy of support such as paid parental leave, but others such as the WFF in work tax credit just take the incentive off middle income people to join a union and get organised to obtain their own pay rises from employers rather than other tax payers.

        The old hydro schemes and state jobs for life are mostly gone now. NZ appears to be the land of the lawn mowing round, barrista, aged carer and SME along with privileged landowners and dirty dairy farmers. So does the last person in Aotearoa turn out the lights (not that lighting will be a real option with privatised power) or do we fight on? Fight I say, there are still enough of us.

        • Carol 4.2.1.1

          Yes, TM, things like paid parental leave ARE worth fighting for.

          But it’s also important to take a step back sometimes, to see the big picture of how the capitalist elite are ripping us all off.

    • oshay 4.3

      Wolff is a Marxian economist. He doesn’t have time for post-modern theories of our current situation that use vague notions of a crises of meaning. Wolff quite simply explains the laws of Capitalist production and accumulation and how they impact our current situation. If you don’t like a critical theory of society based upon empirical facts and how that society sustains itself (economics) then I guess you should stick to Ad-busters and their ‘Spiritual Insurrection’. Who needs Marx’s historical materialism when you have the wisdom of the Dahlia Lama’s transcendental enlightenment [sic]?

      Please don’t get me started on Ad-busters Post-Anarchism. Post-structuralism combined with anarchism is simply combining an idealist political philosophy with an even more idealist attempt at critical theory. It seems not much has changed since Marx wrote ‘The Poverty of Philosophy’ and Engles’ ‘Socialism: Utopian and Scientific’. It doesn’t matter if its German idealism or French idealism, it’s still idealism. I’ll take Marx’s materialist realism over any idealist philosophy, modern or post-modern.

  5. Johnm 5

    Rotten system rigged by the rich

    Bankers have been caught out rigging the interest rates. But the scandal goes much wider than that.

    With the help of their RWNJ pals, they’ve been rigging the whole system in their favour.

    Life’s great if you’re a banker. You can make millions from the latest fiddle then pop open the champagne as you pocket a huge bonus. You won’t even need to pay any tax.

    And when it all goes wrong, everyone who might have grassed you up will suffer a sudden case of memory loss. That’s why rioters go to jail for “looting”, while Bob Diamond can walk away from Barclays with a fat cheque.

    The finance industry spent £92 million on lobbying politicians last year(UK section of the Banking Kleptocrats). For a bank that’s pocket change—but a little wining and dining goes a long way.

    It’s a good investment for bankers to ensure lax regulation and tax cuts that will save them billions. While the poor get poorer these fat cats just get fatter. We need to get rid of their whole rigged system.

    It’s not a crisis for the Bankers they’ve been put in charge in the U$$$ and the EU$$$ and we got Key the banker banking off our Assets right now!

  6. Jenny 6

    Meanwhile the climate staggers on under the weight of increasing exploitation beyond it’s carrying capacity.

    The endless cycle of capitalist boom and bust is over. The economic crisis added to the climatic crisis means it is bust all the way down.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      The economic crisis is of great help in slowing down climate change.

      • Robert Atack 6.1.1

        NO CV the CO2 went up more last year than 2007-8

      • Jenny 6.1.2

        The economic crisis is of great help in slowing down climate change.

        Colonial Viper

        Unfortunately CV this is unlikely to happen. The falling rate of profit due to the economic crisis and and dwindling sources of other profitable and secure investment on return, has sharpened the imperative to extract more profit from natural resources and workers. It is because of the crisis nature of capitalism that capitalists are prepared to take such extreme risks with the environment and with their workers.

        I might mention here the scanalous risks taken at Pike river, or the scandalous exploitation of Ipad workers in China. Even worse than all this, the scandalous degradation of the climate, which is not decreasing, but gathering pace. Investors abandoning the collapsing property market are moving their investment exploit more risky* and previously marginal fossil fuel resources like shale oil (US), or lignite (NZ). Or deep sea drilling (globally) or drilling in the Arctic. (possibly even the Antarctic)

        As I said, “Crisis all the way down”.

        That is unless we do something.

      • Jenny 6.1.3

        In answer to climate change apologist, Colonial Viper, that the recession is slowing CO2 emissions.

        The world’s energy system is being pushed to breaking point

        Our addiction to fossil fuels grows stronger each year. Many clean energy technologies are available but they are not being deployed quickly enough to avert potentially disastrous consequences.

        On current form, the world is on track for warming of 6C by the end of the century – a level that would create catastrophe, wiping out agriculture in many areas and rendering swathes of the globe uninhabitable, as well as raising sea levels and causing mass migration, according to scientists.

        Maria van der Hoeven executive director of the International Energy Agency

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/25/governments-catastrophic-climate-change-iea?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038

        In common with the denialists, the apologists will resort to misinformation and unsubstantiated claims plucked from their imagination, devoid of fact, to deliberately distract and mislead.

      • mike e 6.1.4

        Cv People can’t afford clean energy so are burning coal.

  7. xtasy 7

    “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uCC-venMtU&feature=related”

    Obrador por presidente de la Republica de Mexico! Por un Mexico liberal y socialista! Viva el pueblo unido!

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    There is no solution to a peak energy and peak resources predicament, other than having fewer people and using less energy and resources.

    Since ‘the system’ will not voluntarily move in the required direction, fewer people and using less energy and resources will be forced on ‘the system’ by nature.( The Richard Wolf article is largely irrelevant, of course.)

  9. xtasy 9

    The problem in NZ is: Too many sheeples!

    Never will this country progress with the mentality of the majority presently clinging onto this system. It is a dead lost cause, for sure.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    R.D. Wolff – a Marxian economist. This is good stuff.

    This is his website.

    http://rdwolff.com/

  11. Matthew 11

    What a great article. Thank you for that… love it.

    • mike e 11.1

      Austerity and lack of foresight muddling through.
      Neo Con men at the helm are Grinding our economy Down slowly but surely.

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  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

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