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All hail our vampire overlords

Written By: - Date published: 11:14 am, August 1st, 2011 - 96 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war - Tags:

How did the wealth of the 151 richest people grow by 10% of GDP when the economy grew only 1.5%? Mostly by revaluing existing assets. Not a lot of ‘wealth creation’ from our self-appointed Randian Heroes, just book changes. But, apparently, we owe everything to the elite and need to let them suck up more of our wealth for themselves.

NBR calls them ‘national treasures’. Without them, we wouldn’t produce anything because there wouldn’t be any businesses. Well, there would still be the labour, and yes the capital would still be there if our capitalists were to fly but without that little bit of ineffable magic that the rich listers provide, it would all mean nothing. You could try to go to work and create value but, without the ‘wealth creators’, you would just end up walking around in circles, banging listlessly into office equipment while the capital would literally fall apart around you.

The thing that gets me about the ultra-rich is that enough is never enough for them. They constantly want to own more, a bigger share of the pie (we know that it’s actually the Left that ‘grows the pie’ the best).

There’s two ways an elite can rule: as part of society, dependent on the wellbeing and contentedness of the rest of society for their own wealth and security – the ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ philosophy – or, as vampire-like aristocrats totally divorced from the needs of the vast bulk of people, seeing them as prey in the hunt for greater wealth for themselves.

How do you think our elite govern? It’s pretty clear from the fact that, when it’s announced that the average rich lister has a third of a billion of wealth, the response is to demand more favourable regulation and tax cuts that would take away the rights and public services of most people in favour of the elite:

Michael Hill the jeweller, who is reportedly worth $245m, asked: “Could not the government give us a little freedom to make commonsense decisions for ourselves?” Sir Patrick Higgins, whose family is said to be worth $100m, says: “The country needs to address excessive regulation if it is to improve wealth creation.”

This is, let us remember, the country that is rated one of the very most free in the world, that has experienced a huge increase in crime, poverty, and health problems as a result of the neoliberal revolution that made the elite so unbelievably wealthy. And their response, with homourable exceptions like Sam Morgan and the owners of Less Mills is to demand more.

Of course, nothing would ever be good enough for them. A vampire’s hunger is insatiable. As Anthony Hubbard puts it:

The fact is that the greed of most wealthy people is literally infinite. There is never a point at which they would say: Yes, taxes are low enough now. We are happy to pay. If the Business Roundtable had managed to persuade the government to reintroduce serfdom, its members would still grizzle about the quality of the peasants.

96 comments on “All hail our vampire overlords”

  1. cocamc 1

    Remember, not all wealth these 151 rich people was gained in NZ – so bad comparison

  2. Lanthanide 2

    The NBR numbers should be taken with a grain of salt anyway. Owen Glen whom they say is worth $900m, says the actual number is about half that.

    So this 10% raise in worth by the NBR could equally just be numbers pulled out of their arse – the real rise might have only been 3% for example.

    That’s before you even get into the issues of what something is worth – only what someone else is willing to pay. If NBR says X is worth $150m, the owner of X thinks it’s actually worth $100m, but the most anyone is willing to pay is only $50m, then really the true worth is 1/3rd of what NBR thinks it is.

    • Blighty 2.1

      any of those numbers is a huge concentration of wealth in a very few hands.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Yes, that is true.

        But it somewhat destroys the point of this post if the economy grew by 1.5% in general and the wealth held by those at the top only grew by 1%. Or shrunk.

        Of course we can only go with the numbers we have available, but I think it should be noted that they really don’t seem to be very reliable.

        I should add that on the morning (Thursday?) they had this on National Radio, the owner of the Les Mills group who is a new entrant to the list said it was a bit embarrassing. He said that he and his wife don’t live an extravagant lifestyle at all, instead they put most of the money into the business to try and make it grow and provide employment. He also said that he doesn’t have a problem paying higher taxes to help the community. I don’t recall his exact words, but it sounded sincere when he said it.

        • Pete George 2.1.1.1

          He said that he and his wife don’t live an extravagant lifestyle at all, instead they put most of the money into the business to try and make it grow and provide employment. He also said that he doesn’t have a problem paying higher taxes to help the community.

          That bit needs highlighting. Most people on business are just trying their best for themselves and for others.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            Most people on business are just trying their best for themselves and for others.

            Another distinction to make is that SMEs with <20 employees are very different beasts to large corporates with access to the best bankers, accountants, lawyers and lobbyists in the world.

            The large corporates have deep loyalties to only one party: their major shareholders.

            • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1.1

              “The large corporates have deep loyalties to only one party: their major shareholders.”

              In fact they’re legally required to.

          • mik e 2.1.1.1.2

            Peter George why don,t you have a look at the poor list starting with 25% of all our children living in poverty .With bullying abusive attitudes like yours we are never going to solve this problem.Sure and they are most likely paying their taxes but their are a lot not creating sustained wealth building but merely speculating or rationalizing existing businesses and not paying any or very little tax while the rest pay more than their fair share!I grew up in a country that the teachers skited about not having to collect for barn ados for our country because we had no children in poverty, like some parts of England we were given a we book made like a piggy bank to take home and fill it with small change for those poor unfortunates in mother England. Now we have 25% of our children living in poverty lets get over ogling the rich list and lets start doing something about the poor List.

    • bbfloyd 2.2

      so the nbr’s figures are suspect, but owen glenn has never told any fibs to suit himself then?

      why not just admit that they all tell lies to suit their own agendas… quibbling about who said what, and who is really worth what is a waste of intellectual energy..

      out here in the land of the pleb, we can see how well these leeches are doing with money stolen out of our pockets. how much it amounts to is irrelevant. the fact that our govt is encouraging corporate, and big business raids on our ability to even feed ourselves is what me, and my fellow proles find most disturbing…

      not one of us would give a toss how much these people made if they were to invest their money in homegrown enterprise that actually created jobs for us, and allowed people to have some dignity.

      unfortunately, we have the “john keys” running the play.. and that means bad luck for the people, and the country.

    • queenstfarmer 2.3

      The NBR numbers should be taken with a grain of salt anyway

      A big grain. Got a couple of clients who are always highly amused and annoyed to appear on the list – amused at how far overestimated their wealth is, and how annoyed that it isn’t true!

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    The top tier never want to see true competition emerge from the ground up to threaten their position. So regulations or advantages protecting small businesses from large ones – they’ll never have a bar of it.

    Further, for 95% of people with creation is not the issue. Its insufficient incomes to live on and raise a fmaily on.

    “Wealth creation” is a sport for the already rich, and suggests the piling up of capital that no one else in society can easily access or live on.

    • queenstfarmer 3.1

      Oh yes that’s right, Mark Zuckerberg was already a billionare before launching Facebook, and no-one else has benefitted from his success (except the thousands of programmers and other staff hired by Facebook on really high salaries, etc)

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        lolz Zuckerberg has made his money by sucking in capital from other wealthy capitalists.

        Joe Public has no way of investing in FaceBook. Only an inside network of wealth has access to these investment opportunities.

        Those same billions could have created hundreds of thousands of jobs properly used, not just a couple of thousand.

        Understand the scale of the problems of the US. It needs 10,000,000 jobs ASAP. At 2500 new jobs per FaceBook, the US has to come up with 4000 Zuckerbergs and 4000 FaceBooks. Guess what, its not happening. The US is not even keeping up with natural labour force growth.

      • freedom 3.1.2

        queen st farmer
        Zuckerberg made his money because the CIA’s research lapdog, otherwise known as DARPA was a principal Venture Capitalist Investor in the second stage development and handed FB a blank cheque and a blindfold. Zuckerberg said ‘Yas Masser’ and the rest is history.

        FB is not an example of a small town boy does good. It is one of the most successful hoodwinks of all time. Invasive, manipulative, connected to everything, and always ready to present new and innovative ways to waste your time, oh and did i mention it also is an amazing tool if used simply.

        The other little company that DARPA funded is known as Google, and they recently announced in a roundabout way that they are working closely with the relevant agencies to promote the public sharing of information. Whatever that means.

        • Carol 3.1.2.1

          For google+ it apparently means people have to use real names (ie presumably so marketers & authorities know exactly who each individual is), and that there will be no privacy settings. And on my google+ I paused all search history records. They seem to want to have a cumulative record of all users google searches.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1

            Sadly, they probably keep those records anyway.

            The settings only change what you see on screen. Remember this is google who picked up unencrypted wifi data and passwords using their google street mapping survey, saying after the fact “whooops!”

            • Carol 3.1.2.1.1.1

              That’s true. I am wary of how much data these big e-corporates are acumulating & spend little time on FB, or the google+, which I was invited to & have just the one friend.

              • Reality Bytes

                There’s a handy little modification you can do to your pc’s browser behavior that’s not too difficult. Blocks communications from those little advertising intelligence applets on webpages without relying on any third party junk; The trick is to make an entry in your pcs hosts file, which points whatever url is annoying/spying on you to redirect to 127.0.0.1 Which should be you own pc.

                Essentially instead of visiting other advertising servers your pc will only visits itself when a webpage tries to direct your pc to connect to another server.

                Other than saving a lot on bandwidth, it’s a really easy way to get a lot better privacy from ads/servers you hate.

                Google/wiki hosts file, and you’ll see what I mean.

  4. johnm 4

    Debt tantrum on a sinking ship By Richard Heinberg
    Refer all comments by A few Know The Truth
    We are at One Of The Major Turning Points in Human History.

    “The even bigger, and most important, context is that we are entering a new historic era. Oil prices are high due to the ongoing depletion of giant, easy-to-produce oilfields discovered back in the 1950s and ’60s, and the substitution of expensive oil from deepwater drilling and tar sands. Other non-renewable resources are also becoming scarcer. On top of that, the climate is changing and weird weather is helping drive up food prices. Oh, and let’s not forget, the oceans are dying. Altogether, it seems reasonable to conclude that economic growth—fueled during past decades by cheap energy and raw materials, but also made possible by a stable climate—is coming to an end.”
    “So here we are, facing an enormous, unavoidable long-term problem (the need to transition the economy to a sustainable post-growth mode while minimizing the human suffering that is likely to ensue in the interim); a medium-term need to deal with a recession that could at any moment relapse to 1930s levels; plus an optional short-term crisis (the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit).”

    “The reality is that we now have a post-growth economy, whether we like it or not. Adapting to this new reality will require more of our leaders than political theater, name-calling, and blame-gaming. We’re going to have to engage in an honest national discussion about how much inequality is socially sustainable in a shrinking economy. We’ll have to re-invent money and finance so they’ll work in a non-growing economy. We must adjust to rapidly tightening energy and resource limits while dealing more effectively with the environmental consequences of our recent industrial growth binge.”
    Refer link:http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-07-26/debt-tantrum-sinking-ship
    ——————————————————————————————–
    The Global Ponzi scheme is still working with digital money inputs and the cheap labour of China. Here at home Key bails out bets gone bad,South Canterbury, and wants to syphon off Public Assets Wealth to his money junky mates from overseas, and he’s just visited O bull Shit Bama to update his membership in the money junky wall street club. Look at the chart in this link to understand how the financial sector has taken from everyman to enrich themselves the ultimate neo-liberal triumph.
    Neo-Liberalism triumphs in the Banana republic of the U$ The same model our Nact leadership follows because it must be right it came from America leader of the free World! And is the most Business friendly.
    “Recovery for Wall Street and Wealthy, Austerity for Workers and Poor”
    “The plain fact is that corporate profits are the only area of the US economy to recover since 2009. Any other claim is a lie”

    Look at the chart: Wall Street is left,main Street America is on the right. Trillions have been used to bail out these Financial crooks.
    The same is happening here with the Privatization of New Zealand’s Power SOEs.*
    Refer link: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/07/29-13
    * I heard Matthew Hooten on Radio Live the Willy and John Tamahere show saying Selling our Power Soes is bringing in Foreign Investment. These sorts of weasel words are usual from the right.
    This is like saying I have two well maintained assets which bring in a tidy income each year for me and also provide social benefits for the recipients of those assets’ services. I am now too lazy to administer them so I sell them to a foreign investor for a price which once spent, say on tax cuts means I am now poor,I have lost their income forever.. Another rubbish is to call these strategic social assets “Family Silver”! As if what you’re selling is virtually valueless and antique!!Whereas these Public Assets are part of our financial independence and sovereignty, our self respect.

    • Afewknowthetruth 4.1

      Thanks for the acknowledgement, John.

      We might add that most people do not want to know the truth.

      I see that oil has crept up again. Meanwhile, the Kiwi dollar has broken 88 cents US, as the global Ponzi scheme slowly implodes.

  5. Hoarding money isn’t going to save the wealthy when it finally becomes worth nothing. Evolution doesn’t select for the rich as being the fittest to survive.

    When it all comes crashing down and the time comes to cancel the debt owed to the banks, they’ll have to cancel the wealth accumulated by companies and private individuals as well.

    Then what ?…Snakes and ladders. Reset to zero.

    I don’t think HNWI realise the futility of it all. Vampires in the long run NEVER prosper. They’re only worthy of our pity.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “Hoarding money isn’t going to save the wealthy when it finally becomes worth nothing. ”

      Sure, the money might be worth nothing, particularly if it’s just numbers in a computer system somewhere. But what about the hard assets they bought up? Land and property being the obvious ones.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Well, if we cancel debt we can cancel the capitalist ownership model as well which, as you point out, is at the heart of the problem. The communities resources being taken by a few must result in the majority being in poverty which is what we see throughout history.

      • pollywog 5.1.2

        what about the hard assets they bought up? Land and property being the obvious ones.

        …unless they can protect it, i imagine it’ll get reappropriated. If money ain’t worth nothing, nobody will work for it or pay for anything.

        If theres some dodgy dealings going on in the banking backrooms of the world today, it’s figuring out how to keep the punters from defaulting and revolting cos we all know who loses out first in a revolution…

        …and then we’ll see who nature really selects for

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1

          Massive appropriations of private assets by the NZ govt has been conducted before (land and land tax reform of the 1890’s) and can certainly be conducted again.

          In fact, NZ’s very successful ag/hort industry of today completely relied on that action to break the stranglehold that a very few had over the entire economy.

  6. tc 6

    Excessive regulation like those pesky mining and building ones that was holding back the genius wealth creators.

    Business can’t be trusted to ensure anything but maximum profits for it’s owners. I say we fold weldons cowboy nzx into the asx and move on……under his watch we’ve seem some of the shonkiest behavior.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Maximum profitability comes with extracting maximum value from the environment, consumers and workers, and giving as little as possible back.

      Taking down regulations and standards is about conveniencing the maximisation of profit.

      Next line out of the Crosby Textor book – which they have started to use in the US – they’re not the “wealthy”, no they are society’s “Job Creators”. Seriously.

    • vto 6.2

      Weldon’s NZX is being investigated for insider trading.

      Yet Weldon is Key’s right hand man in many ways – such as sale of assets of course of course

  7. Expropriate the expropriators everything else is fiddling.

  8. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8

    I wouldn’t out too much store in the rich list. The NBR has absolutely no way of knowing what the debt picture of any of the people on the list is.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Public company balance sheets is one source.

      • Chris 8.1.1

        How does a debt for personal assets show up in publically listed companies information?

        • queenstfarmer 8.1.1.1

          It doesn’t (and I know it’s just a rhetorical). There’s an anecdote about Donald Trump telling some beggar to clear off his Trump Plaza, telling the beggar “I’m even poorer than you!” – which was probably true at the time given Trump’s debts!

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.2

          The uber rich have no debts held personally lol

          They don’t have personal credit cards lol

          They barely own any assets personally, why do you think they would hold debts personally!!!

          • Chris 8.1.1.2.1

            Since I have worked on more than one of the people on this rich list’s accounts I can tell you that they definately do hold some debts personally.

            I’m happy to admit that most of their assets and debts are in trusts, but the question still stands how would the NBR possibly know the extent of these debts.

            • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Are you saying that the guidance released by the NBR is materially incorrect?

              If you have questions about the NBR’s methodology, are you not better to ask your contacts in the NBR directly?

              I can tell you that they definately do hold some debts personally.

              But not at any level which would impact their net worth at three significant places, right?

              • Chris

                I am definately saying it is materially incorrect. Firstly I have absolutely no contacts at the NBR – I said I had worked on people on the lists accounts not that I knew them. Also people on the list are different from the NBR.

                Why would I question their methodology I know they are wrong but I have no problem with it because I don’t rely on the list for anything other than a slightly interesting read. In fact the only problem I do have is when people (such as this post) do rely on it for more than that.

                Where are you getting any of your information about how much debt rich list people have? Do you have any kind of source or are you just making it up based on what you feel? The people I have worked on generally have debts that would affect their net worth at the two significant figures range.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  Absolutely correct, Chris. The list is little more than a guess and a gossip.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I think its very aspirational, the message that all of us could one day get on to that rich list.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Well I don’t know the ins and outs of their money situations, and I don’t know how the NBR would know 🙂

                  Surely we all know that the list is indicative only, at best a rough snap shot of one second in time.

                  The people I have worked on generally have debts that would affect their net worth at the two significant figures range.

                  For someone on the rich list with $100M in assets you are saying that they would hold debts personally in the $10M plus magnitude?

                  I honestly hadn’t realised that anyone would choose to do that.

                  • Chris

                    I completely agree there is no way the NBR would know – that was actually the original point. I wasn’t trying to say they should know.

                    Yeah of course a lot will easily have that. Obviously I can’t speak for them all, however generally they will be asset not (relatively) cash rich (obviously still a lot richer in cash than you or me) so they need loans to buy houses sometimes but mainly get large loans as investment capital.

    • lprent 8.2

      Agreed. One of the main reasons that people bob up and down in the list like buoys in a high sea.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    EDDIE – do you know what the total wealth of the 151 people you mentioned was?

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 9.1

      According to NBR $45.2 bn but, as I said above, the NBR has absolutely no way of establishing what these people owe.

  10. queenstfarmer 10

    They constantly want to own more, a bigger share of the pie

    Ah the common socialist failure to understand it’s about growing the pie, not endlessly redistributing the pie (and attacking those who dare to grow it). You acknowledge in your first paragraph:

    Mostly by revaluing existing assets

    So it’s not about “wanting to own more”, or taking a bigger share of the pie at all. The pie has grown (albeit on probably questionable and dubious accounting grounds, if not downright wrong in some cases). There is no “taking” involved in creating a more valuable asset.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Ah the common socialist failure to understand it’s about growing the pie, not endlessly redistributing the pie (and attacking those who dare to grow it).

      That’s not a socialist failure! Hahaha. If anything the capitalist failure is taking a BIGGER pie and keeping BIGGER slices of it for just a few.

      One more thing, we are entering a 10 year period where there will be zero net per capita economic growth in the OECD.

      Oh a second thing, only workers and labourers create economic value. Not holders of capital. Holders of capital simply seek return on that capital. For themselves.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      Ah the common socialist failure to understand it’s about growing the pie,

      Ah, the constant dribble from a RWNJ about growing that which cannot be grown.

    • vto 10.3

      mr queenstfarmer I recall seeing the pie being explained by way of pizza analogy thus …

      In the last 20 years in the US a whole new 10 slice pizza has been added to the economy by way of growth. But of the 10 people in the economy just 1 of them took 9 of the pieces.

      So stick that in your big city firm oven and bake it. I’ll have 9 pieces thanks – you and your staff can have the remaining 1.

      growing pies… sheesh … it clearly is at least equally about how the pie is distributed because that is what the already well off have been concentrating on while not giving a shit about growing the pie. Proof is in the pudding.,, I mean the pizza.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        Lol

        +1

        • freedom 10.3.1.1

          mmmmmmmmm Pizza

          • vto 10.3.1.1.1

            no no freedom, not for you. You can have an itsy bitsy teeny weeny rotten bit of richy pizza …

            • freedom 10.3.1.1.1.1

              funnily enough I am currently working my little butt off trying to make my own pizza. Well working on the base anyway, probably won’t bother having many toppings because i like things simple.. apart from anchovies, peppers and a tangy sauce what else do you need on a pizza?

      • queenstfarmer 10.3.2

        You’re complaining about a different issue. I’m not defending (and won’t defend) the fact that the rich have, on average, gotten considerably wealthier and whether or not that is “fair” in any chosen sense of the word.

        The point I am talking about is that just because someone’s “wealth” increases doesn’t mean it has been unjustly taken off someone else, or that other people have suffered any detriment at all. In most cases, it is because more pie / pizza / whatever has been baked.

        You have exposed the common misunderstanding yet again by your term “just 1 of them took 9 of the pieces“. Took from whom? And how? If someone bakes a new pizza that everyone likes, has that person wronged anyone else?

        (I must say we are all starting to sound like culinary Chauncy Gardner’s on this thread!)

        • vto 10.3.2.1

          “took from whom”?? The analogy is about the entire economy. That economy is made up of everybody who works and lives in it. It was not just one single person who made the extra pizza, it was a result of the entire economy. The change in structure and regulation, the change in wage and salary settings, the change in productivity, the more efficient workers, the lowering of prices due to technology … on it goes. That is the point. It is the entire economy.

          In the past that 10 slice pizza was shared.

          Nowadays 9 slices of the 10 slice pizza is taken by just 1.

          That is the change. It is bad. It is bad for society as a whole, I’m sure everyone would agree.

          • queenstfarmer 10.3.2.1.1

            In the past that 10 slice pizza was shared.

            What utopian period of the past are you referring to?

            It is bad for society as a whole, I’m sure everyone would agree

            Then I personally take pleasure in proving you wrong 😛 But serioulsy though only a hardcore minority would agree with you.

            • Colonial Viper 10.3.2.1.1.1

              Why work for economic growth when only the few at the top receive any benefits from it? Those who take the 9 pieces of pizza; pizza which was made by labourers, workers and wage earners in the first place?

              What utopian period of the past are you referring to?

              Circa 1950 through to 1980. Not ‘utopian’ mate, even then many improvements could have been made. (See my proposals on increasing leave entitlements etc)

              In the US real wages went stagnant from about 1975, and from that time an ever increasing share of both national wealth and national income became concentrated in the hands of the top 1%. In fact, it is the top half of the top 1% who are truly creaming it.

              http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/investment_manager.html

    • mik e 10.4

      QSTfarmer wealthy businesses get more money and the economy grows faster if income is redistributed the poorer people have to spend it the rich speculate more &more these days they rarely create greenfield businesses today . The Chinese have a name for it its called the big fish keep eating the small fish until the big fish have eaten all the small fish.Thats all these guys are doing usually creating less jobs . rather than more.Hubbards Sunday Star times article Warren Buffet, Sam Morgan.

  11. Afewknowthetruth 11

    ‘NBR calls them ‘national treasures’. Without them, we wouldn’t produce anything because there wouldn’t be any businesses.’

    Humans don’t produce anything except excreta and CO2.

    All humans do is convert what nature produces into waste. Sometimes the waste is used for a while before being thrown away.

    Business is simply a system for converting nature into waste rather quickly and transferring the halucinated wealth upwards.

    Real wealth is a healthy environment, good relationships with those around one (includinbg plants and animals) and not being slave to the economic system

    Unfortunately, Labour is just as addicted to the crazy, dysfunctional system which is destroying the planet we live on as National is.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Real wealth is a healthy environment, good relationships with those around one (includinbg plants and animals) and not being slave to the economic system

      QFT

  12. freedom 12

    No mattter how you value your own contribution to society

    It is a corrupt system that prefers to focus on taking hundreds of dollars from those earning only a few thousand, rather than take a few thousand from those that earn millions. Millions that are usually taken from those that only earn a few thousand.

  13. This is what a very rich and very worried investment banker has to say about the super wealthy in the US and by extension the rich in NZ. 

  14. alex 14

    I for one welcome out vampire overlords, and believe I could be useful in rounding up labour to supply them blood.

    • Jeez Alex, Is that the best you can come up with?

      • alex 14.1.1

        ouch

      • Blighty 14.1.2

        It’s a simpsons quote, ev.

        Alex is being sarcastic.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 14.1.2.1

          Don’t take on the burden of pointing out the Ev every time she misunderstands context, Blighty.

          • travellerev 14.1.2.1.1

            Thanks for pointing out the error of my ways on this.
            It clearly shows I should be wasting more of my precious time on watching stupid TV programs I don’t care for so I won’t be embarrassed getting caught out not knowing every sentence of these programs (like I fucking care)but then my dear O (My husband showed me the hilarious video you get your name of so I’m up and running with that) you could perhaps do some more research on 911, the US wars and the international finance elite so you wouldn’t look like a fool every time you comment here.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 14.1.2.1.1.1

              Noted.

            • higherstandard 14.1.2.1.1.2

              …you could perhaps do some more research on 911, the US wars and the international finance elite so you wouldn’t look like a fool every time you comment here.”

              LSMIRMS

              (laughing so much I’ve regurgitated my spleen)

              • See! Another fool who refuses to educate himself and look how silly it makes him. LOL!

                • higherstandard

                  If you want silly I recommend you read this.

                  http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/food-for-thought-a-very-real-masonic-plot/

                  “Breivik was allowed to buy assault weapons, silencers, tons of explosives all while on terror watch lists. Why? His Masonic friends in the police, the same police whose helicopters were disabled on “terror day,” much as NORAD was mysteriously “closed” on 9/11, were looking out for him.”

                  What you talking about Eve ?

                  • This is an article written by Gordon Duff as you would have known if you had linked trough to the rest of the piece. Gordon Duff is the senior editor of one of the biggest online newspapers called Veterans today. He is an ex-Marine and writes about 911 and other false flag events as he sees them.

                    I’m sure you have no idea about the political realities of Europe but the upper echelon of Free masonry most notably the P2 lodge has such as Gladio.

                    Gordon Duff asserts that the Freemason groups in Norway had a lot to do with what happened in Norway and he does so based on extensive knowledge about the role free mason groups have played all over Europe and especially he recalls some events in the last decennia in Norway.

                    For Europeans such as myself who lived through the Brigate rosso and the Rote Armee faction era in Europe and who only recently found out about Gladio and the CIA stay behind groups which organised the terror attacks in Italy this is nothing new or spectacular.

                    For you on the other hand who knows nothing about these things because you’d rather watch the Simsons than educate yourself this is something straight out of a thriller and because unlike most Europeans you have no concept about what our leaders get up to, you still believe everything you read in the MSM and you continue to roll around like a pig in the mud of your ignorance.

            • Vicky32 14.1.2.1.1.3

              It clearly shows I should be wasting more of my precious time on watching stupid TV programs I don’t care for

              Really, I would be in the same position, Eve! I loathe and despise the Simpsons, although I have heard every episode 100s of times thanks to my son who loved it – although since he moved out, I don’t have to suffer it any more. About the only thing I regret missing was the “spider pig” thing, which I came across on an Italian site but which apparently came from the Simpsons. Who knew? 😀

    • mik e 14.2

      Are you breiviks NZ cell alex

  15. tsmithfield 15

    “How did the wealth of the 151 richest people grow by 10% of GDP when the economy grew only 1.5%?”

    Simple. The rich just continue on with the habits by which they got rich in the first place. The poor continue on with the habits that resulted in their lot in life. As someone has said, if all the wealth in the world was divided equally, it wouldn’t take very long before the bulk of it was back in the hands of those who had it in the first place.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      The poor continue on with the habits that resulted in their lot in life

      Fuck you, you elitist asshole

      Simple. The rich just continue on with the habits by which they got rich in the first place.

      1) Seeking political and regulatory changes which advantage capital and disadvantage labour.

      2) Identifying where labour costs, wages and employment can be cut to improve earnings for major shareholders.

      3) Invest capital where it will generate the most returns for major shareholders, irrespective of employment or other societal implications.

      4) Ensure a continuing excess labour pool and suppressed wages.

      5) Create high return investment assets based on high levels of indebtedness; pay workers less and make them borrow the difference, charging them interest as you go.

      • Bored 15.1.1

        Methinks you are too hard on TS, all he did was demonstrate his capacity to be an idiot by making a heartless and cruel statement. Just ask him to keep taking the pills.

      • Galeandra 15.1.2

        Excuse Smithfield’s ignorance, CV. He didn’t read Travellerev’s link, and he ain’t bright. He loves puppies and children.

      • mik e 15.1.3

        Willam Cadbury recognized the need to look after labour treat workers humanely, now its dog eat dog and drive labour costs to the country with the lowest standards. Those who have just like to rub every body elses nose in it.

    • felix 15.2

      Your use of the phrase “in the first place” reveals you completely.

      • tsmithfield 15.2.1

        All the rabid comments I expected.

        Why don’t you all read “Rich man, Poor man”, and grasp the concept of “asset” and “liability” as defined in that book. An “asset” is defined as something that puts money into your pocket. A “liability” is defined as something that takes money out of your pocket. The wealthy tend to put their money into assets whereas the poor tend to put their money into liabilities.

        • felix 15.2.1.1

          It’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad” idiot.

          Not that it matters. Your use of the phrase I mentioned above shows what you really think anyway.

          • Colonial Viper 15.2.1.1.1

            lolz

            The wealthy tend to put their money into assets whereas the poor tend to put their money into liabilities.

            You do know that what one party’s balance sheet considers a “liability” appears over at the counterparty’s balance sheet as an “asset”, right?

            Simply put, those “assets” that you say the rich love to load up big on…well far too often they do it by offloading liabilities on to every one else. On to the environment, on to the workers, on to the government, on to the tax payer. “Externalities” they’re called.

            Geddit?

            A Lefty teaching RWNJs how to suck economic eggs, its sooooo embarrassing.

          • The Voice of Reason 15.2.1.1.2

            No, it probably is Rich man, Poor man, Felix. It’s the Irwin Shaw book that Jeffrey Archer uses as the template for all of his masterful storytelling. As it’s a work of fiction, I’m confident this is where TS gets his best ideas from too.

            • Descendant Of Smith 15.2.1.1.2.1

              In Rich Dad, Poor Dad he puts a house on the liability side of the ledger as it is a cost.

              The point of Rich Dad, Poor Dad is surely that he spent many years saving until he could match his savings income to his normal working income.

              From memory he was about 35 when he reached this point.

              At that point he said he/you could afford to take risk.

              He speaks of frugality in the early years and of savings, and of starting saving young.

              Much of the wealth that exists is built on a house of cards – debt and borrowing – not on savings. Much of the wealth has been built on speculation and risk without the solid foundation behind it.

              Inevitably when these businesses go bust they do not have the money to pay their debts. We see this time and time again.

              The very anti-thesis of what Rich Dad Poor Dad is about in my view.

  16. freedom 16

    all this talk about food prompted me to share this distasteful morsel of desperation
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/local-papers/kapi-mana-news/5371530/Salvation-Armys-foodbank-looted

  17. Uroskin 17

    Perhaps we could learn something else (apart from not breeding rightwing gun nutters) from Norway: public tax records (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/frenzy-of-snooping-as-norway-puts-all-tax-records-online-510577.html).
    I would like to see NBR publish a list of the 151 largest personal income tax payers alongside its ‘rich’ list.

  18. Oligarkey 18

    Queen street farmer:

    “The point I am talking about is that just because someone’s “wealth” increases doesn’t mean it has been unjustly taken off someone else”

    Justice is a relative term. I prefer to think of human happiness. A country defined by inequality, division, competition and failed get-rich schemes is going to produce a meaner, more envious and resentful people.

    “Why haven’t Americans become happier over the past 50 years? Economists have trouble with that question. America’s average household wealth has doubled since 1962. We have become, as a nation, considerably richer. We should be much happier, too, at least according to conventional economic theory.

    Over recent decades, the General Social Survey data show, Americans on average have become less trusting and less convinced they live in a fair society. And this mistrust and sense of unfairness, the researchers discovered, matches up significantly with levels of inequality.”

    It has always been about what’s going on inside us, and that’s determined mostly by our relationships with other people. You see – the greed of a few has made everyone else, less happy. Time for the vampires to move over and let real humans have a go at ordering society.

    http://inequality.org/happiness-and-inequality-study/

    From now on growth is going to be emotional and spiritual. Yucky ideas for many kiwi males i realise. That will mean realising that we are all one evolving consciousness, that in essence, simply wants to know itself and love itself better. Simple.

  19. prism 19

    Vampires suck the blood from our country’s financial returns so that even if we are getting good prices overseas, the short-term investors playing with our currency manage to strip away any gains we are making. I think the radionz financial report just now said that commodity prices are up on last year but the amount received in Kiwi dollars by the producers here is 3.7% down. We are being ripped off.

    There is no way that the country can become prosperous while the currency is allowed to rise to these heights. I know that some financial commentators say let’s stop relying on commodities and get into the higher earning higher tech stuff but farming will continue to be major for us even so. And it’s not only the exchange rate rising, it’s the volatility and the huge amount of hedging required and that can be at too high or low a level. I hate Monopoly because chance never seems to let me land on properties. The firms trading have got a similar problem, they want to make a sale at a good price, and may do so, but chance can lead to game players in the financial world causing them to miss their target by a country mile.

    When and how can we get out of this straitjacket that the financial idealogues have locked the country into? A crawling peg? Large exporters who want a period of certainty of low movement in the $ during their busy period could advise. If it was adjusted four times a year say that would give a reasoned response to the markets. That would coincide with quarterly reports on trading conditions that business is accustomed to making. Without the lure of being able to force the NZ$ up and then sell it after a suitable gap and profit, I can’t see that there would be less interest from investors that count who would appreciate it as a steady currency
    with a reasonable history of management.

    • Afewknowthetruth 19.1

      You need to become informed about how the global financial system works. If you were informed you would not make such comments.

      In my experience most people strongly resist becoming informed.

  20. randal 20

    and yet the rich or our “National Treasures” as lickspittling neville gibson from the NBR called them still want more freedom to apply laissez faire principles to acquiring yet more wealth.
    And before I get chipped by the moral highground police It was Anthony Hubbard in the SST on Sunday who called gibson a lickspittle.
    But anyway the rich never have enough.

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  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
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  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
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  • Capture: Well spaced out
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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
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  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
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  • Why those bubbles are so important
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  • A Government System That Works
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  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
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  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
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  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
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  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
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  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
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  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
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  • Inquiry report into EQC released
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  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
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  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
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  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
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  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
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  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
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  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
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  • Planning for the future of tourism
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  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
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  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
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  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
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  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
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  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
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  • Statement from David Clark
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  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
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  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
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  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
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  • Further measures to support businesses
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    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
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  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
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  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
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  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
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  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
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  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
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  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
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  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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  • Advance payments to support contractors
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  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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  • State of National Emergency extended
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