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All that glitters

Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, March 22nd, 2013 - 89 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags:

2.5% GDP growth last year. The Right’s jumping out of their skin at finally achieving the long-run average growth rate (btw, from 1999 to 2008, the average was 3.4%). But even on their good days, they’re doing it wrong: “The “consumer-centric” mix of growth was understandable, with low interest rates stimulating the housing market while a high dollar throttled exports, but it was the exact opposite of what was required”

89 comments on “All that glitters”

  1. TightyRighty 1

    Don’t recall there being a global recession between 1998-2008, so your stat is rather pointless.

    • Jackal 1.1

      It’s commonly believed that 3% or less growth is equivalent to a global recession, meaning that technically you’re wrong TightyRighty… There were global recessions in 2001 and 2008. Meanwhile New Zealand posted an average of 3.4% growth in that time frame. In fact the latest global recession ended in 2009… National can no longer use it as an excuse for their economic failures.

      • Rob 1.1.1

        What , you are disputing that there was a recession past 2009, have you been living in hole.

        • Jackal

          TightyRighty was referring to the GLOBAL recession Rob, which officially ended in September 2009. However New Zealand had a double dip recession, mainly because of National’s ‘tax-switch’, that raised GST and slowed economic growth.

          • Rob

            Look Ill pass on your comments and official insight into the recession officially ending in 2009 to the people of Cyprus. I am sure they will take great comfort in your analysis. As for the rest of us , thank god we are staring to see some light in the tunnel.

            • Jackal

              In true RWNJ style, you’re unable to differentiate between a recession in Cyprus and the global recession that ended in 2009. 1.5% growth isn’t a light at the end of the neoliberal tunnel, it’s just more hype to try and make the government look good. We’re likely to see more overblown claims leading up to the next election.

              • UpandComer

                Who said the recession ended in 2009?

              • Rob

                Your link is to a vacuous column by some guy in Europe stating that it is all starting to go well for them in 2009. You should be ashamed. So I suppose the whole Europe GFC crises and Eu implosiosn is all a red herring to you. Again have you been living in hole. Where is your awareness of whats going here. I can understand that you might not like the current Govt in NZ, but there is a bigger game afoot here.

                • Jackal

                  I should be ashamed of a link to an article that reports the OECD stating the global recession ended in 2009… Are you insane Rob? It’s not just the OECD that has said the last global recession ended in 2009, with every other organisation that monitors such things also coming to the same conclusion.

                  The International Monetary Fund is declaring the worst global recession since the Second World War over – CBC Business News – August 19, 2009

                  The issue here is how well New Zealand has done while there hasn’t been a global recession. In my opinion, it’s not doing as well as it should, and a lot of that underperformance is because of Nationals neoliberal agenda that is ensuring a low waged economy.

                  In comparison to most other developed countries, New Zealand hasn’t recovered as well as it should have.

    • Saarbo 1.2

      ok TR, then what happened to the record dairy payouts 2009/10/11, combined with good beef and lamb prices. These record export receipts should have driven good growth, surely…disappeared.

      • Rob 1.2.1

        Farmers like most other people in the community have been very cautious with spending. There is a lot of debt in the farming community due to diary conversions and the like and similar to people I know , most have been head down reducing debt.

        This non-spend focus has affected many local manufacturers pretty hard, especially those in consumer durables.

      • TighyRighty 1.2.2

        Sorry, forgot the whole New Zealand and global economy is only dairy. I’m sitting here writing this on my fonterra ipad connected to the Internet on my anchor broadband “bull” plan.

        • felix

          Really? I could’ve sworn you were smearing it on the wall of your cave in faeces.

          • TightyRighty

            Another awesome comment from the uber contributor felix. Havin offered nothing of value since 2011, he now white knights poor socialists using scatological humour as his standard renowned rapier wit and cynicism have been replaced by feelings of being inadequate.

    • Lanthanide 1.3

      I recall that Australia didn’t go into recession at all. Yet we did, under National.

      • Chris 1.3.1

        We also did under the last Labour government – the recession began in March 08

      • infused 1.3.2

        Your really going there? Most of the world did, apart from aussie. Doesn’t matter what govt was in power in aussie.

    • TR – there was a recession in the late 1990s. If you’ll recall, it also affected property prices, as valuations took a nosedive.

      • Rob 1.4.1

        yes that was the asian crises.

      • TightyRighty 1.4.2

        And? How dad that equate to a global recession? Jesus, you lot. Just admit you aRe wrong for once. The paroxysms you wind yourself into just to be right.

    • Lightly 1.5

      the recession ended (apart from the two auarter double dip) in June 2009. You can’t keep using it as an excuse 3.5 years later.

      Indeed, we usually expect to see stronger than average growth coming out of a recession. Why hasn’t that happened?

      • Rob 1.5.1

        Reallly , how many recessions of this nature have you been through to have that strength of knowledge about the speed of the recovery. I call bullsh*t on that call.

      • TighyRighty 1.5.2

        Export reliant economies rely on the global growth. We’ve done exceptionally well despite the global economy.

        • Colonial Viper

          Diary farmers work hard to earn the export dollars

          Then give it to foreign banks

          And that boys and girls is called “doing well”.

          • TightyRighty

            Says the guy who married wealthy and hates those that support his lifestyle.

            Get rid of social welfare. Less taxes, more money for government investment, maybe funding proper business banking through kiwi bank. Boom, problem solved.

            • Colonial Viper

              Schools and hospitals are an integral part of our social security system. You getting rid of those too?

              Less taxes, more money for government investment,

              Less tax revenues mean the government will have to go cap in hand to overseas bondholders even more frequently.

              Remember, if the Government can issue a dollar bond, it can also issue a dollar bill.

              • TightyRighty

                Confusing social security and social welfare? With do much time on your hands CV I thought you would know the difference. Even if you only use private hospitals and schools

                • Colonial Viper

                  Even Peter Jackson uses our public hospital system, my friend.

                  The social welfare system is integral to the nation’s social security system.

                  • TightyRighty

                    Does he? Got some evidence of that?

                    Social welfare and social security are two vastly different concepts. Stop deflectin and acknowledge the truth

                    1) Cutting the social welfare bill will enable the government to fund investment

                    2) You demand that there are hospitals and education for the people, but only for other people right? Not you and yours. You are the modern labourite.

                    Sneaking in late on a Saturday night to have the last word. So sad. Get a life, stop bludging off you wealthy family. I wonder if they know what you crank on about on the standard. That would be interesting.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Social welfare and social security are exactly the same concept.

                      Cutting corporate welfare and raising taxes on profits will enable the Government to focus on social investments.

                      So sad. Get a life, stop bludging off you wealthy family.

                      They like to spend their money on me. Who are you to tell other people how to spend THEIR money?

                      Does he? Got some evidence of that?

                      Google works.

                    • TightyRighty

                      Wow throwing my own argument back at me. I’m not telling anyone. I think it’s humorous that you tell the wealthy they are too wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their labour.

                      Why should I google it. If its such an easy claim to make, it really should be easy to provide at least one source. I think you are lying, or at least living in a false reality.

                      Social security and social welfare work together but social security does not need social welfare to work. If they were exactly the same concept, they wouldn’t have different names and definitions. Fuck you are retarded. No wonder Clare curran told you to STFU.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Social security and social welfare work together but social security does not need social welfare to work.

                      It absolutely does need social welfare to work. Without social welfare, the people will be socially insecure and broad poverty will result.

                    • TightyRighty

                      So you can’t provide any evidence for your outlandish claim. You are such a clown.

                      Social security works better when social welfare isn’t present. You confuse the two issues, I could go down the path of explaining them, but you are too ideologically wedded to the idea that social welfare is the cure to societies ills to actually register the thought process behind it.

                      Clare curran was right.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      A social security system without social welfare would leave people highly insecure, and poverty rates will sky rocket.

                      Further, a transition to a Universal Basic Income will greatly strengthen and simplify both the social security and social welfare system.

                      The next step after that: ensure that everyone who wants a full time, fair paying job is given one. And then expected to prove themselves in performing it to a good standard.

                    • TightyRighty

                      All of which has nothing to do with what you were saying before A) about sir Peter Jackson and B) about go ernment funds being spent on investment. Clare Curran, you hit te nail on te head in regards to CV.

                      Keep mouthing ideas without being able to prove the ones you previously espoused. I can’t wait till some country tries the fallacy that is the UBI, fails as it of course will and you then deny A) your support and B) that it is the basic fundamental flaw with any welfare system that caused it fail.

                      You are a class traitor to the rich an one of the lefts useful idiots CV. I actually feel a little sorry for you.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Keep mouthing ideas without being able to prove the ones you previously espoused.

                      Sure. Mind you, that’s exactly what the monarchy used to say about democracy and giving people the vote.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You are a class traitor to the rich an one of the lefts useful idiots CV. I actually feel a little sorry for you.

                      Look at the world briefly TR.

                      You know how they are preparing to take money straight out of the bank accounts of rich depositors in Cyprus i.e. steal peoples and business savings?

                      Do you know who is forcing that move? The international banktocracy. The Goldman Sachs, JP Morgans and ECBs of the world.

                      The top 0.01% are currently in the process of draining the top 10% dry.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Why should I google it. If its such an easy claim to make, it really should be easy to provide at least one source. I think you are lying, or at least living in a false reality.

                      Laugh. About that false reality claim.

                      Would that be like being so convinced of your beliefs that you;

                      a) couldn’t be arsed googling a trivial data point because you are so sure you are right,

                      b) basing what you believe to be right on some weird ideological thought about how the world must be without regard to the way it actually is,

                      and c) assuming that anyone who says otherwise is probably lying?

                      coz, ahem:


                      and let’s not even go into the fact that everyone in NZ relies on the public health system because there are all sorts of things that the private system just can’t help you with. Or that employers use the public health system to provide them with a healthy workforce, or any number of other actual things about the way our society works.

                    • TightyRighty

                      Yes, this is all te bankers fault and the pro- euro zone bunnies should take no responsibility. Muppet.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Bankers are the lending experts.

                      If they lent to countries which weren’t credit worthy or good payers – then it’s time they take responsibility for their bad judgement, don’t you think?

                      Added – gee dude don’t you think that the bankers were the most pro-Eurozone of the lot???

        • Pascal's bookie

          Reallly , how many recessions of this nature have you been through to have that strength of knowledge about the speed of the recovery. I call bullsh*t on that call.

          Be interesting to see a chart like this for NZ. But it’s pretty clear that this recovery is an outlier in the US in terms of jobs.


  2. ghostrider888 2

    Chasing Growth; a flawed model, anyway
    Schumacher (another one) 🙂

    • SpaceMonkey 2.1

      I struggle to understand how the Christchurch rebuild really contributes to GDP. I can see how it fits into the formula but following its perverse logic, if any state wanted to lift its GDP why not just arrange to periodically have infrastructure deliberately trashed so you have to rebuild it again and again? It would have all the illusion of progress and growth while going nowhere.

      • Poission 2.1.1

        The CHCH rebuild is funded ( mostly) through an increase of cash(read money) that has flowed from reinsurance etc.The 10-12b that has flowed from overseas is not entered an external flow onto the books (RBNZ excluded it as a singularity) however it appears in the internal books as a increase in deposits etc which does influence gdp.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        why not just arrange to periodically have infrastructure deliberately trashed so you have to rebuild it again and again?

        Yep. GDP is really that useless a measure of economic activity.

        Another one is to put unemployed people into prison, requiring the building of more prisons and growing the size of Corrections. That’ll also significantly boost GDP.

        • Lanthanide

          That’s the American approach.

        • Hami Shearlie

          Well CV, the public already scorn people on benefits and treat bennies like social pariahs/criminals ,egged on by the Natz of course, so it may not make much difference to them. And at least they’ll have food and warmth through winter!!!

    • muzza 2.2

      Might as well call that article

      Destroying life supporting systems, a flawed model!

  3. ghostrider888 3

    on “growth spurt”
    James Weir in todays Dominion;
    -“chance of interest rate “hikes rising by the day”
    -“farm and export sectors under pressure; domestic sector under pressure in the other direction” “somebody is going to get clobbered”
    “the economic picture (is) “and absolute nightmare” for the Reserve Bank.” -Stephen Toplis, BNZ Head Of Research.
    EXCELLENT work Bill and Steven, keep it up.

  4. 2.5% “growth” is going to be a two-edged sword as other aspects of the economy are affected;

    * rising external debt (now at $10.5 billion)

    * property bubble in Auckland, which in turn results in,

    * Reserve Bank increasing the OCR which, in turn,

    * Hurts manufacturers even more as speculators buy the Kiwi $, which hurts exporters, which in turn,

    * Means exports drop, sending our Balance of Payments further into the red, which in turn,

    * increases our external dent, which in turn,

    * attracts the attention of Standard & Moors, Moodies, and Fitch, resulting in a credit downgrade, which in turn,

    * make external botrrowing more expensive… and so it goes.

    Growth by itself is not the ‘silver bullet’, if other aspects of the economy are not balanced properly. Something that this visionless, narrow-eyed “government” fails to address.

    • ghostrider888 4.1


    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      It’s not just this government failing to address these issues but every government over the last 30 years.

      • DR 4.2.1

        And that’s your excuse. The reason why the Nats wanted to take over was to undo the wrongs the previous governments have done. And they failed big time!

        • Chris

          Are you saying Draco is making excuses for National – that would be a first

        • Enough is Enough

          You are new around here aren’t you DR. Draco is not really one to excuse the nAtional Government.

          But Drac is right. And unfortunatley nothing will change if we have a Shearer led Labour government. He will continue the failed policies of Lange, Palmer, Moore, Bolger, Shipley, Clark and now Key.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The reason why the Nats wanted to take over was to undo the wrongs the previous governments have done. And they failed big time!

          That’s what they said they wanted to do but then they went and followed the same policies that they did in the 1990s which was a follow on of what the 4th Labour government did. This, of course, made things worse as they following a delusional economic paradigm.

          The 5th Labour government may have actually started to make things better but they were still following that failed and delusional paradigm.

    • DR 4.3

      It’s a cycle. I know don’t what economics school of thought John Key and cabinet and the Nats subscribe to. They seem to be lacking in knowledge concerning economic theory and also not knowing that the answers to our economic problems are not in black and white.

      Two terms of this government is too much and a third term will put NZ into catch-up mode, if ever it can do that, to the rest of the world.

      • Colonial Viper 4.3.1

        Two terms of this government is too much and a third term will put NZ into catch-up mode, if ever it can do that, to the rest of the world.

        That train has already left the platform.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2

        We’ve been in catch-up mode for a long time due to going full free-market and falling back into primary producer mode rather than reaching for the stars through R&D.

        • UpandComer

          I’ll never ever understand the paradigms of people who think that NZ’s late 70’s, 80’s, 90’s market reforms weren’t a necessary response to a an absolutely critical, awful, abominable economic situation and culture. It boggles the mind. Certainly there were some excesses, but what on earth do you think allowed NZ the growth it experienced from 1999 to 2008? We’d be even better off now, if Helen Clark had let Cullen continue to do a decent job of coasting on a good thing, and not imposed herself on the economy in 2005, from where the surpluses and growth dropped.

          Also, please understand that R & D is not a proxy for growth. There is no evidence that provides a causative link between GNP and R & D so as to make it a natural policy prescription. It depends both on the type of economy, and the type or research, and even when the research is the correct, applied research, there is still no causative link. The relationships are spurious, correlated to either the perfection/age of the concerned industry, or the breadth of the existing technology base, or simply redefining of existing business activities. That’s why the government doesn’t borrow, sorry, or print, a trillion dollars and put it into R & D. The best way to allow companies to invest in R & D is give them ways to lower their costs, through tax incentives, reducing regulations etcetera. If you just throw money at companies, like labour belatedly did, they’ll redefine what they’re already doing to take it, and spend it on whatever the hell they like, not R & D.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I’ll never ever understand the paradigms of people who think that NZ’s late 70′s, 80′s, 90′s market reforms weren’t a necessary response to a an absolutely critical, awful, abominable economic situation and culture.

            The collapse of capitalism in the 1960s and 70s certainly indicated a need for reform but not a need for more capitalism. It was capitalism that was causing the problem just it is today.

            Also, please understand that R & D is not a proxy for growth.

            I don’t, I am, after all, in favour of a steady state economy. But with the decrease in jobs through increasing demand we need something for people to do and R&D, arts and culture seems to be about it.

            See, the problem with growth is that it uses up more and more resources – resources that happen to be finite with hard limits on them. Opening up to a free-market economy resulted in an even greater increase in demand on those scarce resources which has resulted in our streams no longer being swimmable, our fish stocks taking a dive (even despite our quota system) and our workers having even less time for themselves or their families.

            After the reforms of the 1980s a few people got richer and a lot of people got poorer to the point where, over all, we’re worse off. IMO, there’s a lot of people who recognise that but they’re the underclass that both Labour and National have been ignoring for the last thirty years (in Nationals case, they’ve been ignoring them forever) as they catered to the greed of the rich.

            • Draco T Bastard

              But with the decrease in jobs through increasing demand productivity we need something for people to do and R&D, arts and culture seems to be about it.

              Slight correction.

          • Colonial Viper

            Certainly there were some excesses, but what on earth do you think allowed NZ the growth it experienced from 1999 to 2008?

            A massive ratcheting upwards of private debt levels flooding the economy with borrowed interest owing money.

            In other words, the money supply does not work how you think it works.

      • Murray Olsen 4.3.3

        They come from the Ayn Rand school of economic thought, but temper things a little to get votes. Anything that transfers wealth to them and their mates is good by definition and anyone who is poor has made bad life choices for which they must be punished. The only difference that I can see is that Ayn Rand depended on welfare at the end or her life, while creatures like Bennett and Key depended on it at the beginning.
        In other words, they don’t have a clue, but are sure that they are superior to the rest of us. That seems to be sufficient for now, but Kiwis will hopefully wake up soon.

  5. All about the growth, all about the numbers, just like the markets in GBR and the states recently reached pre crisis levels while people pay with austerity and cuts to services.

    Bet the 1 – 2.5k Telecom workers getting fucked over will be so enthused by the claimed economic growth.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      It’s economic growth for the rich and for the major shareholders

      Uneconomic growth for the rest of us suckers

    • ghostrider888 5.2

      “the highest number of losses, at a single time, from a single company, in NZ history.”
      yet according to Joyce, “unlike the Left, who believe things should stay as they were (sometime in the past) we believe in moving forward” (to paraphrase). Ahhh, the Myth of Progress…

  6. xtasy 6

    Hah, while the Nats under English and Key go on about Russel Norman wanting to create “growth” by “printing money”, the fact is, the NZ economy is exactly benefiting from the quantitative easing in the US, parts of Europe and East Asia.

    That has kept the world economy afloat, and cash to be around, and which has also led to the (in part) artificial boom on stock exchanges. The cash available keeps things ticking along, but the debt issues have not been addressed sufficiently yet. The thick end of things is yet to come.

    Again, like so often, NZ governments are decorating themselves with supposed “achievements” that have nothing to do with the policies they follow and implement. If it had not been for QE in major trading partners, we would be in a deep recession.

    So then leisurely Steven Joyless and Blinglish and Keypone can go around and in smoke and mirror fashion tell the ill informed NZ public about how well they are doing, while indeed they are doing NOTHING of substance AT ALL!

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Why Student Debt? What Can We Do about It?

    As famous inventor and monetary reform enthusiast Thomas Edison once put it:

    “If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill. … Both are promises to pay; but one promise fattens the usurer, and the other helps the people.”

    Consider this too: if you don’t want the government creating as much money as they think is good for their short term re-electability (and to hell with the economy), why on Earth would you want private banks creating as much money as they think is good for their short term profitability (and to hell with the economy)?

    There’s never any reason for the government to go into debt. All it does is reward a few people for being rich.

    Once we get the bankster off of our backs by having the government create money rather than leaving it to the banks then our economy can actually serve the people rather than forcing them to serve the banks. We’d be better off and we wouldn’t have to work as hard or destroy our environment.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Pretty much. But what to do about it.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Inform people how the present monetary system works, how it rewards only the banks while making them poorer and then suggest a positive money alternative.

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    Anyone remember way back when this government was fresh and they were doing job summits that were ‘do fests’ not ‘talk fests’. Sure you do.

    About that time they were also talking about step changing the economy, saying that it was stupid that we invested so much in residential property and that their tax changes were going to fix that right up, re-balancing the economy towards the productive sector by slashing the top marginal income tax rates.

    Now, about that last quarters growth spurt, and the property market. Ahem.

    Remember when English used to go on about how the growth under the last government was a mirage, and the the low unemployment was therefore based on jobs that weren’t real? Ahem, ahem a-hemmity hem hem hem.

    At least there were fucking jobs, Bill.

    • ghostrider888 8.1

      see above. (hope you are having a great day ‘bookie) Sunny here and young people out and about enjoying themselves; had a wonderful brief exchange with a complete stranger from Tonga (seasonal worker) that one would find rare among the majority. Oh what a tangled web we weave…when the wealthy begin to deceive…

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