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Ardern and Pelosi.

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, September 9th, 2018 - 65 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Economy, International, journalism, liberalism, political parties, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics, useless - Tags: , , , , ,

Jimmy Dore has amplified a piece published in The Intercept from four days ago about Nancy Pelosi’s intention to have any future Democrat President bound by “pay go” legislation. In New Zealand political parlance, it’s a commitment to “fiscal responsibility”.

All new spending will have to be off-set with cuts in other budgetary areas, or with tax increases. It’s all about containing the deficit, and as The Intercept’s headline points out, it simply comes down to “Nancy Pelosi Promis[ing] that Democrats will Handcuff the Democratic Agenda if they Retake the House.”

The Guardian, referring to the same Axios report that David Dayen at The Intercept based his piece on, zeroed in on the monumental issue of Nancy Pelosi’s age and gender. I kid you not. That, apparently, is way more important than health care; social security; how stuff will get done; economic ideology… Nancy Pelosi leads the Democrats into Battle Again – While Watching her Back.

Now, as the title to the post claims, Pelosi is in bed with Ardern. But strangely, Ardern is touted as being progressive, when we hear anything besides how shes a mother, even though the government she heads has imposed the same reactionary fiscal restraints on itself (and us!) as Pelosi would apply to the Democrats. Ardern is just the face of the victorious faction of NZ Labour that killed any movement towards an adoption of social democratic priorities. Ardern and NZ Labour are to New Zealand what the next Democratic President and the Democratic Party will be to the US if the progressive challenge under way to the “established” Democratic Party fails, or what UK Labour would now be to Britain if the Blairites had hung on in there.

As Jimmy Dore concludes in relation to the Democrats and “pay-go”-  “Vote Blue! Go ahead and vote blue and the Democrats will take over the Congress, and then they will do absolutely fucking nothing. Nothing.”

What have NZ Labour done?

65 comments on “Ardern and Pelosi.”

  1. Siobhan 1

    Careful Bill, unfortunately, if what I read on The Standard is anything to go by, a good number of NZ Labour activists are on-board with the main power brokers in the Democratic Party.
    After all, she’s Obamas favorite and Obama is still ‘The Beacon of Hope’, if not the face of the Resistance (that’s Hilary), apparently

    “I think everybody knows how much I love Nancy Pelosi. So … Paul’s alright,” Obama joked, according to Politico.

    “But Nancy, I believe is one of the greatest Speakers we ever had and will once again be one of the greatest Speakers we ever have after we get through this cycle,” he added.

    Obama went on to praise Pelosi for her work while he was in office, according to Politico.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/394976-obama-pelosi-will-be-speaker-again-after-november-midterms

  2. dukeofurl 2

    This post doesnt make sense

    ‘Pay-Go’ has been in US legislation for decades most recent version 2010

    “The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, Title I of Pub.L. 111–139, H.J.Res. 45 is a public law passed by the 111th United States Congress and signed by US President Barack Obama on February 12, 2010. The act reinstated pay-as-you-go budgeting rules used in Congress from 1990 until 2002, ensuring that most new spending is offset by spending cuts or added revenue elsewhere (with several major policy exemptions).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutory_Pay-As-You-Go_Act_of_2010

    So Nancy Pelosi cant be ‘intending’ something that is there already.

    Thats what happens when you rely on comedians…

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      Could be a tightening the current law thing: “Nancy Pelosi’s intention to have any future Democrat President bound by “pay go” legislation.” In other words `Sanders is a socialist dog. We need to chain him up in case he wins next time. Here’s how we can defend the neoliberal agenda against socialist barbarians who get into the citadel.’ Cross-party consensus with neolib Republicans in the pipeline…

      • dukeofurl 2.1.1

        What comedian are you using as your source ?

        Read the link and see the exemptions, youll see how silly your words seem.
        Its mostly aimed at Congress and its pork barrel politics.

        • Bill 2.1.1.1

          Hows about you read the links provided instead of throwing shite from wikipedia into the mix?

          Your link is about a piece of legislation that was thrown in on top of the standing rule introduced by Pelosi in 2007.

        • Dennis Frank 2.1.1.2

          From the Intercept reporter: “When Republicans took over the House, they changed pay-go to “cut-go,” applying offsets only to spending instead of tax cuts, mandating that spending must be offset with budget cuts instead of tax increases. That still left the statutory law, which retained those aspects, but Republicans waived it for the Trump tax cuts. The move was a formalization of the trend: Deficit fears stop Democrats from moving forward on social programs, while Republicans plow ahead with tax cuts when they get to power.”

          • dukeofurl 2.1.1.2.1

            From the link in one of the links

            “Republican majority passed their budget rules for the 112th Congress [2011 while Obama was still President]. The most important may have been major changes to longstanding PAYGO (pay-as-you-go) rules that were designed to constrain federal deficits. If they are followed—and Congress has a long history of ignoring these requirements
            https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox/paygo-house

            Remind me again how the President only needs to sign spending bills for them to pass without being voted on and being amended by Congress.

            • Bill 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Ad (below) has covered off the “cut go” change that Republicans put through.

              I wouldn’t know enough about the US political system to say anything about the ability of a President to do whatever they want spending wise, at the stroke of a pen, across the entire spectrum of spending, and in a way that bypasses all checks and balances that may exist in Congress or elsewhere.

            • Dennis Frank 2.1.1.2.1.2

              Even given the moderating handbrake of congress on any president, it still looks like Pelosi trying to bind Sanders to me. Leftist splitting, a deeply-ingrained political psychology you can trace back through history in various countries, all the way to the original splitting of the French revolutionaries.

              • dukeofurl

                Sanders as president ? Thats a great skit, which Comedian is doing that one on Youtube ?

                • Dennis Frank

                  We’re living in strange times. Don’t rule it out! Of course the idea is nuts in respect of traditional mores in the Democrat Party: most electors wouldn’t believe it’s possible for an authentic person to be chosen as candidate, and hardly any non-members would believe an actual socialist could be elected president in the USA.

                  However, the zeitgeist has Corbyn sitting pretty across the Atlantic, and Sandernistas will be spreading the word on that. Could snowball fast if it gets contagious. [sandernista: n. A proponent of the left-wing political philosophy of Bernie Sanders and his revolution. A sandernista supports policies that aim to improve economic and social equality, such as eliminating student debts, increasing taxes on billionaires, ending the Drug War, and rebuilding infrastructure.]

    • Bill 2.2

      “Pay go” was put in place by Pelosi and the Democrats in 2007.

      You do get that Dore is responding to a piece in The Intercept that is also linked in the post?

      The Intercept piece, in the very first paragraph, states that Palosi will be resurrecting the “pay-go” rule that mandates all new spending is offset with budget cuts or tax increases”

      Further down, the Intercept piece references the Axios piece (that is also linked to in the post with the following – According to Axios, Pelosi “is committed to reviving” pay-go, which she instituted as a standing rule upon taking over the House in 2007.

      But I get where you’re coming from. Wikipedia is such a reliable source for anything more than dates and names and places when it comes to politics. 🙄

      • dukeofurl 2.2.1

        And Jimmy Dore is ?

        • Bill 2.2.1.1

          Jimmy Dore is a stand up comedian who picks up on newsworthy stuff from reputable sources and “riffs” on it.

          Are you suggesting that people “stick to their day job”? Or are you insinuating that because a person is a stand-up comic, that they’re just a joke? Did you hold the same opinion on John Stewart (that liberal golden boy everyone would gush about a few years back)?

          Have you read the linked articles? Is there something funny or stupid about the conclusions Jimmy Dore reaches off the back of The Intercept article?

    • Ad 2.3

      There’s two versions of Pay-Go enacted in the U.S.

      Obama signed on Feb. 12, 2010 — the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010. The legislation increased the public debt limit and instituted a new PAYGO statute. At the end of the year, Office of Management and Budget checks whether spending increases and tax cuts have been offset by spending cuts or tax increases. If not – and if Congress doesn’t act to make offsetting cuts – there is an automatic across-the-board spending cut.

      The other PAYGO referred to rules in the House and Senate governing requiring each individual bill to have offsets that ensure the bill doesn’t add to the deficit.

      The version of PAYGO that governed House actions when the Democrats were in control allowed either spending cuts or revenue increases to be used as offsets for new spending. But after the Republicans won control in the 2010 elections, they instituted a new rule called “cut-as-you-go,” or “CUTGO.”

      Under CUTGO, mandatory spending increases can’t be offset by tax increases – only by spending cuts. In addition, CUTGO does not apply to tax cuts, which reduce revenue and, without being offset, worsen the deficit.

      As for the New Zealand version, our government is swimming in cash and is throwing it out the helicopter door in bucketloads. Ardern has to keep spending it in bucket loads or else the taxpayer – through National – will reasonably request it back in the form of tax cuts. I very much doubt the public sector has the current capacity to spend it any faster – unless they are in even more direct transfers in the form of WFF or bigger NZSuper donations or cut GST or somesuch.

      Ardern know there was so little margin in the last election that she has to out-orthodox National in fiscal management to give her a shot at Term 2.

      She’s a wee way from Nancy Pelosi.

      • Bill 2.3.1

        Ardern know there was so little margin in the last election that she has to out-orthodox National in fiscal management to give her a shot at Term 2.

        She’s a wee way from Nancy Pelosi.

        The two are in the same boat. Last budget – what was with all the spending that had 5/8ths of s.f.a. set aside for wage increases in the public sector? Why was that again? O, that’s right! Budgetary constraints (or whatever the buzz phrase was)

        What about that kiwi build stuff? Coming up a bit short on the $ front is it? Got to be done within financial constraints designed to “balance the books”?

        As numerous people have pointed out, National doesn’t give a toss about “balancing the books”. So the whole, “has to out-orthodox National in fiscal management” is a crock.

        • Ad 2.3.1.1

          If Nancy Pelosi ever gets near a budget again – which I don’t think is likely – she will be facing the most enormous deficits US has ever had. Caused mostly by Trump’s tax cuts, and decades of military spending increases.

          Prime Minister Ardern’s NZ fiscal state is not in that position and foreseeably won’t be. We are a tiny thing bobbing on everyone else’s ocean.

          New Zealand has also gone through more fiscal shocks than the US in the last decade. Our institutions are brittle and thin. Our capital markets are tiny. Our reinsurers are wary. We need a lot more buffer than most.

          National went through the last nine years funding repairs from multiple shocks, and spending just enough to keep many of us ticking along. (They would have been in a better position to deal with those shocks if they hadn’t done big tax cuts in their first term. But there’s no fairness to such things.)

          None of the business or banking media will treat a Labour-led government the same as a National-led government. The bias is strong. As is the donor bias.

          This Labour-led government must be even more squeaky-scoutish than the other side. They are evaluated differently. And that’s not all bad.

          • Bill 2.3.1.1.1

            NZ Labour had a decision to make. They could either serve the interests of the people who voted them in, or they could mollify big business. They have chosen to mollify big business. That’s what a lot of their supposed “fiscal responsibility” boils down to.

            Bryan Gould (some say, the best Labour PM Britain never had) had two pieces I’ve linked to on a few occasions laying it all out.

            What we’re witnessing with “fiscal responsibility” is ideological capture and utter numb skullery. Government’s borrowing money is no big deal and, with caveats, is generally a good thing. Governments creating money directly in the form of economic activity would be better though – all that run down and/or badly placed and /or inadequate or essential but currently non-existent infrastructure that needs a slew of work done….

            • Ad 2.3.1.1.1.1

              I’m quite happy with the state borrowing more, I just don’t yet see the need for it.

              If I were Prime Minister for a day, I’d take GST down to 10% and wipe income tax on the first $15k. Just give their money back to them.

              Not only would it be great politics, it would also liberate poorer citizens faster than anything the state could do with the same money through tax.

              • Bill

                Our grid needs to be expanded by a factor of 3 or 4 if we’re intending to switch away from fossil.

                I’d punt that the bulk of NZ housing stock isn’t anywhere near up to scratch in terms of thermal mass.

                Much in the way of roads, rail, ports, airports and much else (eg – those fibre cables, that reticulated water system?) is incredibly vulnerable to sea level rise (recall that IPCC projections of 1m by 2100, don’t take likely contributions from Antarctica or Greenland into account)

                We can’t begin work on any of that soon enough.

                Once (if) those major areas of expenditure are acknowledged…

                But here’s a catch. The first governments “off the block” will get access to very cheap money. But as everyone gets the wake-up call (every country’s in more or less the same boat after all), money will get more expensive.

                • Ad

                  Oh agree total transformation needed. But what that would require is an actual plan, and there isn’t one. You need a plan before you start your budget bids.

                  There’s no point even putting a budget bid up for any of that when Shaw hasn’t really started on the plan let alone the legislation.

                  Meantime, just because you asked nicely, announced today by the Minister of Housing is 10,00 new houses built by the state in Mt Roskill, all using the existing Housing NZ balance sheet:

                  http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1809/S00113/thousands-of-new-homes-in-mt-roskill-redevelopment.htm

                  None of that required breaking any debt limit from the government.

                  I suspect you’ll want them to go faster. But we are already at the capacity limit of building anything at the moment.

                • lprent

                  Sea level rises really aren’t thank much of an issue in NZ except for a few river mouths and alluvial plains.

                  The grid doesn’t really need a 3-4x increase. There is a lot of underutilized capacity like the Tiwai takeoff (no real value to NZ). They need to dump that contract ASAP. What the grid could do with is to extend all the way up from the deep south to allow the deep south power to actually supply most of the SI, harden up the Cook strait systems, and look at how to reduce losses.

                  Personally I think that they should revisit the dams on the Waikato as well. Those are getting up to a century in life and should be enhanced for capacity. Similarly there is a lot of room in NZ for solar and wind power – especially the offshore wind farms.

                  The fibre networks have never run close to the coasts except for some small sections.

                  Sure, the IPCC projections are low. But they’re in the right order of magnitude. Plan on repairs and corrections based on 10m sea level rises over the next century. Plan on 50m in two centuries to be safe. Look at the lifetimes of the infrastructure and build accordingly.

                  Where they start putting in new systems that are meant to have century long lifetimes (roads, rail, sewerage systems) then they should be looking for about 75 metres. The geological record tends to indicate that is the level in a non-glacial period with no significiant icepack (ie about 50mya).

                  A 75m rise will eventually hit some areas hard. But most of Auckland apart from some reclaimed areas close to the harbours is well out of it. Wellington as well. Most of Dunedin it up on the hills too. It really is ChCh and some smaller towns like Tauranga that are built on the coastal plains that have an issue.

                  Personally I’m way more concerned about shifts in weather patterns and the effects on agriculture.

                  • Bill

                    I can’t see how a shift away from petrol, diesel and oil, given how much energy we’re talking about across all fossil, can mean anything other than a huge increase in generating capacity (and the conversion of some existing capacity).

                    As for where infrastructure is located, “everything” runs down the east coast of the SI and is at sea level. It only needs sections of whatever to “fall over” to effectively isolate “everyone”.

                    Some Dunedin suburbs may well be on hills, but infrastructure such as sewage run through Dunedin City at sea level to Tahuna treatment facility and then on to the outfall.

                    And not saying this applies to NZ, but at least one study in the US is suggesting a potential loss of 4000 miles of fibre in as little as 15 years time. Where does that underground cable for NZ make landfall in Oz? What’s the topography there?

                    More importantly, are NZ homes built to withstand extended heatwaves (none that I’ve lived in) – ie, will they remain coolish or be able to be cooled with ease? (I suspect we’d be talking a massive use of heatpumps and then having to factor in that additional drain on the grid)

                    Sea level clatters agriculture. Deltas disappear under modest sea level rises, but sure, maybe that’s more a global problem that a NZ one – except that we import food that’s grown on those deltas.

                    But whatever. NZ needs to do a proper “stocktake” of existing infrastructure under sea level rises beyond the 1m contained in IPCC reports, and also look to temperature increases, their effects, and the impact on various infrastructures of getting to zero carbon from energy.

                    • lprent

                      …given how much energy we’re talking about…

                      It is pretty simple, and I see it already in how I’m operating. Virtually all of the energy we’re talking about replacing (at least in nz) is mobile. That will all go into battery systems or the equivalent (things like hydrogen fuel cells are essentially a battery as well). We use a lot of batteries and we’re going to use a lot more.

                      Most of our existing power systems are designed for peak loads. ie when people are boiling kettles, having baths, cooking, heating in the evening or at workplaces (which incidentally are the most expensive uses of power). Sure there are some 24 hour work operations, but they are usually diurnally cyclic even so. That have extensive periods at lower usage.

                      Batteries are pretty much trickle changes. They don’t charge fast. Even the fastest large capacity batteries will take quite a lot of time. So you tend to charge them overnight. That is largely because they charge up fast up to the 50% level, then take more time to do the next 20%, and then you have to start getting really slow for the next 20% and then take even more time to stuff in the last 10%. This step-charging is a characteristic of all rechargeable battery types. You can fast charge to a 50% level in about 15-20 minutes. But you get way more performance if you charge to 100%

                      So they suit overnight trickle charging. And that means that they suit things like wind generated power or hydro on a largely idle grid. It isn’t the capacity of the grid that counts or what the peak power generation is. It is being able to trickle the power in over time.

                      More importantly, are NZ homes built to withstand extended heatwaves

                      Extreme weather is going to be an issue. However, there are several things to note with that. Firstly that there is a hell of a level of inefficiency in old aircond. According to the last data I saw in The Economist, something that was efficient 20 years ago is pretty much a dinosaur in energy terms now. And that is accelerating as more aircond goes into use worldwide. This appears to be accelerating.

                      Secondly, they are just starting to explore the usage of high density batteries. They are a natural for small systems like home aircond

                      Finally, The only place I’ve ever wanted to use aircond in NZ is Auckland or the North (and I have lived in a lot of cities and towns here), and I’m pretty intolerant about temperatures especially when I’m working. Even in Auckland it is only for a few weeks per annum at most.

                      But it isn’t for temperature – it is for warm humidity when there isn’t any wind around. Usually one of those damn fiji weather patterns coming south. But this isn’t the northern hemisphere or even aussie. It isn’t a continental climate. We don’t have static weather patterns locking up for weeks on end. We’re even less likely to get them as the weather patterns accelerate.

                      This also isn’t like Singapore with its 30+ temperatures all year round with 90% humidity. Now that is a bastard to work outside in for months on end as I have done several time this year.

                      NZ is in a cusp area between the equator and the fridge. Auckland’s problem for the next few centuries is more likely to be using power for more heating as some of those damn storms come up from down south transferring cold northwards – the same as everywhere else in nz. More energy means that they will move faster and for longer. This is climate change as a result of global warming. Personally I think that the IPCC are underestimating what it will be like when the hot cold transfers get faster.

                      As for where infrastructure is located, “everything” runs down the east coast of the SI and is at sea level.

                      I always overlook the SI because it simply doesn’t have a lot of population or industry and I tend to look at greatest good for the greatest number. SI is 23% of the NZ population and about 40% of that in one city.

                      However the power grid systems don’t run down the east coast for the obvious reason – that isn’t when the power is generated. Similar to the NI, they tend to be in the uplands. See https://www.transpower.co.nz/keeping-you-connected/maps-and-gis-data-0

                      The grids come down to the coasts for delivery and usually just as offshoots.

                      The road and rail are definitely affected, especially in the SI and so are the sewerage and storm systems. Road and rail in the NI also tends not to be close to shores – damn bumpy going up and down between drowned creek valleys.

                      But what we are talking about is progressive changes over the next few hundred years on infrastructure systems that are due for replacement or upgrades within the next 50 years anyway. The real issue is going to be to kick people out of the houses and upslope.

                    • RedLogix []

                      Typing on my phone so I can’t do this justice… but wow. That’s very close to how I see it unfolding as well. Minus any big global destabilising impacts.

                      An interesting thread from all.

                  • Pat

                    “A 75m rise will eventually hit some areas hard. But most of Auckland apart from some reclaimed areas close to the harbours is well out of it. Wellington as well. Most of Dunedin it up on the hills too. It really is ChCh and some smaller towns like Tauranga that are built on the coastal plains that have an issue.”

                    You cannot be seriously suggesting such nonsense….aside from the salt water ingress a rise in single metres will destroy the utility of almost all infrastructure,,,never mind 10s of metres.
                    Its all very well living on higher ground but aint so flash when nothing works and your only travel option is swimming or by (sail)boat…assuming you havnt starved to death in the meantime.

                    • lprent

                      You cannot be seriously suggesting such nonsense….

                      Sure I can. Have a closer look and *think* about time scales. Less than 10 metres this century worst case. Less than 50m over the next two centuries. A long term of up to 75m over the next thousand years or so.

                      Remember pretty much all of the infrastructure you’re looking at got built over the last century. The move to put in effective stormwater and sewerage systems in NZ didn’t really start until the start of the 20th century. The rail was a bit earlier in the 1870s but most of that is high anyway. They really didn’t start even thinking about decent roads until the 1930s. Power grids, comms networks are all recent, and tend to be at higher elevations as well.

                      If I had to guess (because the IPCC estimates are all too conservative), then I’d say that with about a 90% confidence that we will get less than 5m change over this century. Most of it in the last 25 years. To be confident to a 99% level I’d look at 10m. I’d say that the IPCC estimate of about 1m is less a 10% probability and looking more and more unlikely every year.

                      Almost all of the infrastructure in NZ will be need to be replaced this century even without climate change. That is why the state highways I remember from my youth have pretty much all changed as they have been widened, smoothed, and made safer. But most human infrastructure typically only has an effective life of between 50 and 75 years. So simply build it for higher sea-levels as it gets upgraded or installed.

                      And don’t do more than basic repairs with the infrastructure close to sea-levels, and demand higher rates and taxes from those idiots who choose to live there.

                      It’d be a issue if we were likely to get > 100mm per year. But we are not. That is because sea ice doesn’t matter for sea levels. Virtually all of the sea level rise we have had to date comes from thermal expansion.

                      So the only places that really matter are those with ice sheets with ice on land – ie Greenland, West Antarctica, and East Antarctica. Greenland has a total ice sheet volume equivalent to 7.2m of sea level max. WAIS is about 4.8m. And EAIS is the biggy at >50m sea level rise.

                      But what you have to remember is that it is frigging hard to melt these sheets in less than centuries or thousands of years. Since we got the EAIS and dropped into an iceage, the warmest interglacial lasted for something like 10k years at about 300ppm CO2 and took something like (at most) 500m of ice off the EAIS. That thing is up to 4.8km deep. And most of it is greater than 2km. The EAIS is pretty hard to melt.

                      Greenland drops off pretty damn fast – but over centuries. The most unstable is the WAIS – and we really don’t have a lot of data on what it has done in the past.

                      So as I said, I’m far more worried about weather effects on agriculture. That impacts directly on to real disruptions to human societies. And famines from weather events are an ever present danger even now. Especially when we get up to 9-10 billion population in a just a few more decades.

                    • Bill

                      But what you have to remember is that it is frigging hard to melt these sheets in less than centuries or thousands of years.

                      WAIS (4m+) doesn’t have to melt – just collapse. And the studies on hydro-fracturing and ice cliff instability (the cliff at the edge of an ice shelf or sheet can’t maintain itself at “free standing” heights much above 100m) suggest that process could be rather fast.

                      On current CO2 concentrations, the consensus between paleontologists and climate scientists, is for about 20 odd metres of sea level rise, with some initial metres (from WAIS) having the potential to come up fast.

                      And at between 1 metre and 2 metres, the world loses its deltas and we lose about 25% of food production. Weather is going to be a complete arse of a thing coming in on top of that.

        • esoteric pineapples 2.3.1.2

          When I watched Jimmy Dore on this subject, I immediately thought of Labour’s fiscal responsibility. It suddenly made much more sense of what some commentators in New Zealand have been saying about this and how it has hamstrung the Left from introducing a more radical progressive agenda. It seems that both the Democrats and Labour believe they have to be careful with money so that the Republicans/National can simply come along and blow it on what they want when they get back in power.

  3. SPC 3

    The deal between Labour and Greens was done some time before Ardern became leader of the party – and it was the albatross that came with the position.

    It was the National lite position Little and Shaw agreed on to improve their poll ratings (did not work but was what they later campaigned on).

    • Bill 3.1

      An albatross she resolutely hangs on to! She has stated, unequivocally, that the NZ Labour government will stick to its “fiscally responsible” course no matter what.

      • dukeofurl 3.1.1

        yep . Shes PM and can do nothing right…. I hear that a lot.

        Pro tip. After 2014 the Greens were 3rd biggest party in parliament with 2x the vote of NZ First.
        Now after 2017 they are only 3rd biggest party in’ Government group’, with less vote than NZ First. What was that albatross that lead to that?

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          Where did I suggest “she’s PM and can do nothing right”?

          To steal from Adrian Thornton’s comment below, she’s – “our very own Trudeau or Macron if you like, the bright eyed and bushy tailed young face of western neo liberalism…”

          It just amazes me that so many people seemingly can’t help themselves from doing a big pom-pom routine “because Labour”/ “because woman”, and apparently confuse motherhood with progressive or left.

        • SPC 3.1.1.2

          The new Labour leader wearing lipstick.

          • Dennis Frank 3.1.1.2.1

            I’m so old now I can remember when the feminists refused to wear lipstick to signal their rebellion against sexist stereotypes. That was when our rebellion against our sexist stereotype (`short back & sides’) was hair as long as you could grow it.

            • SPC 3.1.1.2.1.1

              It’s more a euphemism for someone more able in communication (though note Clark’s change in presentation after becoming PM as she focused on managing the media).

    • dukeofurl 3.2

      Doesnt matter anyway. As we have recently seen Housing NZ has been given authority to borrow ‘up to $2.5bill’, which is ‘off the books’ ( Under National it was around $1 bill). previously DHBs had borrowed on their own account as well, but National bought that back in their last budget into government borrowing to make it look like a ‘big funding increase for health’- the DHBs still pay the interest.

      The reasons mostly for doing so are because borrowing under the Annual Budget allocation has so many bureaucratic restrictions and can only be done by financial year.
      In general the off the books borrowing is for assets, hospitals , houses etc.

      • Bill 3.2.1

        How much does that borrowing cost HNZ, against how much it would have cost the government?

        It matters. We, the public, are getting much less ‘bang for our buck’, and all so the government can produce nicely balanced and utterly pointless columns of numbers at the end of the day.

        • dukeofurl 3.2.1.1

          Was it $6mill extra in interest costs ?and saves untold money avoiding the bureaucratic spending tango rules.

          “A later analysis estimated an additional $3m-$6m in annual interest costs for every $1b borrowed by Housing New Zealand.”

          Wouldnt even be the limo costs for politicians for a year
          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/106704499/billions-borrowed-for-new-state-homes-against-treasury-advice

          I have been involved in housing development and time is everything, as we usually only have a short construction season for site development.

        • Ad 3.2.1.2

          That’s a really good point.

          Twyford is open to any financial instrument he can lay his lands on.

          We seriously don’t know the risks he’s getting in to. They usually come back to bite the politicians in the bum.

          Twyford is going all chips in, but we’re not sure of how much is on the table.

          • dukeofurl 3.2.1.2.1

            More houses , both at the ‘so called low cost end’ plus state houses are a bad thing?

            meanwhile the previous government gave Chorus low interest loans repayable from the users to put fibre past 10,000s homes, oh to juzz it up provided free connections from houses to the street line.
            Fibre optic is sexy while houses for low- medium incomes are not ?

  4. Nic the NZer 4

    Very main stream economist Michael Reddell looked at the use of fiscal policy to address the next serious recession. Broadly speaking his conclusion is that there is no economic problem with using fiscal policy and it would be effective, the only problem is there is apparently a political problem. Politicians will quickly shy away from even effective economic policy because they don’t like using it.

    https://croakingcassandra.com/2018/08/22/options-for-the-next-serious-recession-fiscal-policy/

    • corodale 4.1

      Good comment, link, blog, thanks. With such a consistent failure of leadership on fiscal-financial-monetary policy from Govt, Treasury and Central Bank; I conclude the importance of banning 1080, to help the growing number of NZ’s choosing the forest, for shelter and food.

  5. Adrian Thornton 5

    Thanks for the post Bill, I was wondering if anyone was going to a piece on this news, of course you are absolutely right to compare Ardern to Pelosi, yes our very own Trudeau or Macron if you like, the bright eyed and bushy tailed young face of western neo liberalism, bringing hope then enviable disappointment to yet another generation of voters, no doubt resulting in even less participation from younger voters in elections to come…

    …and we can all see how well trading on that false hope worked out for the Democrats, losing the most winnable election in modern US history…oh no wait, that was the Russians.

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      Did you vote Labour ? if you didnt why complain. Why does it surprise you they are essentially a centrist party.

      • adam 5.1.1

        Labour is not centerist when it comes to economic policy – it is hard right wing.

        • dukeofurl 5.1.1.1

          Who is our centrist party on economics then ?

          Its all very well being a wall paper socialist but good luck with getting much more than Hone Harawira’s party got.

          • Bill 5.1.1.1.1

            How can anything be “centrist” about liberal economics?

            Winston Peters is a conservative social democrat. So his economics, that would have been regarded as “right wing” pre 1984, are the closest NZ has to what you want to call “centrist” economics.

            I wonder if a Hone Harawira type swipe was ever taken at Corbyn? You heard of him? The guy who heads up the biggest political party in Europe (by membership)?

            Or maybe something like that was thrown at Nicola Sturgeon? She who heads up the second largest party in the UK (by membership) from a population base that’s about 1/10th of the UK total.

            Neither of those two social democrats are socialist btw. So….I guess since socialism isn’t about voting in representative parliaments, that your stupid comment referencing Hone Harawira kinda makes sense after all 😉

            Now, about those stupid, often damaging and always unnecessary fiscal constraints that some dimmer or more cynical politicians are wont to trumpet and impose on us all? You got anything sensible to say on that front? Or maybe you think it’s all “happy centre” benevolence that we should embrace with due gratitude (and pom poms)?

          • corodale 5.1.1.1.2

            WInston is willing to use Peoples Public Credit, (Social Credit or QE with money to State rather than banks.)

            You could call this centrist, or suicidal socialist, so similar titles ranging from fascist racist, or deluded communist. Have to listen to 1ZB, or ask Leighten Smith regarding modern terminology on Winston’s insights into financial innovation.

            (I saw a video of Winnie at a small public meeting, perhaps 5 years ago, talking of Social Credit, which goes well with his increasing minimum wage policy.)

    • One Two 5.2

      * Ardern understands the fundamental elements that lead to austerity

      * Adern does not understand the fundamental elements that lead to austerity

  6. Adrian Thornton 6

    I have complained ever since we all got screwed in the 84 election.
    I am not surprised.
    I did vote Labour.

    • dukeofurl 6.1

      “our very own Trudeau or Macron if you like, the bright eyed and bushy tailed young face of western neo liberalism, bringing hope then enviable disappointment to yet another generation of voters”

      You speak in a very abstract voice…about others. What interests me more than pontifications about Pelosi is what are the ‘effects on the ground’ that you are personally aware of from these terrible neoliberals.
      A week ago when the discussion was about new housing in Papakura, some made a very personal comment , along the lines of ‘Im involved with the community there and this sort of thing does nothing for the existing lives of those in Papakura’
      That stood out to me . It was real .

      Bill seems deeply concerned about $6 mill a year in higher interest costs… Not real .

      • Bill 6.1.1

        Bill seems deeply concerned about $6 mill a year in higher interest costs…

        If you’re writing that with any degree of seriousness, then you’re delusional.

        • dukeofurl 6.1.1.1

          From your earlier comment:
          “How much does that borrowing cost HNZ, against how much it would have cost the government?
          It matters. We, the public, are getting much less ‘bang for our buck”

          Doing an Alwyn impersonation about an extra $6mill per year in interest when the amount is $1 bill in new housing.

          • Bill 6.1.1.1.1

            You brought up one example of borrowing. I asked how much extra that would cost. Liberal orthodoxy being pursued in NZ doesn’t boil down to NZ$6 million or any dollar amount.

            Oh. And I didn’t accentuate with italic. If you’re going to quote from my comments, how about you do it honestly? 😉

      • Adrian Thornton 6.1.2

        @dukeofur, reply below.

  7. Adrian Thornton 7

    OK you want a real story,,,here you go.

    When we moved to the Bay about 20 years ago, orchard work was still a pretty respectable job, if you worked hard you made good money, and also you could work all year round.
    Through my former business, I meet many local people and families that had been in that industry for a long long time, doing pretty well.

    That is gone, over, there hasn’t been a significant (in some cases none) rise in bin (apple) rates in all these years, also the grading of apples picked is now a lot more stringent, and the new trees are smaller, so workers have to work harder to pick the same amount than they used too.

    The result is that the above average picker (three bins a day) earns less than minimum wage a month when average rain days are taken into account over that month.
    All the huge pack houses around here pay the vast majority of their staff minium wage. ( you know the lowest amount you can pay a worker by law)

    All this takes place when the industry itself is going through one of it’s biggest booms.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=11746244

    So who works in that industry now? well still some local workers of course, but mainly seasonal workers from the Islands, why, because the shit money that they can earn here, is worth so much more back at home.
    It is turning out that this scheme is starting to havie some seriously detrimental effects locally back in the Islands, but that is another story.

    So the result on the ground here, is that a whole social class that could once get by quite well on this type of work, now dosn’t, and there has been nothing to replace it…now we have real ghettos slowly forming.

    So the bargain of ‘trickle down economics’ (New labour liberalism) ie higher productivity, less worker protections=higher wages, has proved to be a crock of stinking shit, that only the workers had to and are eating.

    When I had this very conversation with Andrew Little (just before he got rolled) he had to agree.

    So there you go, one of the reasons why I complain so hard about Labour today, my community is being destroyed by this free market ideology, and that is just a fact that I see and hear with my own eyes and ears every single day.

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      Thanks for that story.
      Dont know if this will change everything but its in the right direction, considering the only other option was Nationals present circumstances
      https://www.labour.org.nz/workplacerelations

      This one stood out to me :
      ‘Introducing Fair Pay Agreements that set fair, basic employment conditions across an industry based on the employment standards that apply in that industry.’

      What you have described covers others in market gardens as well as orchards. So these fake contracts have to be stopped as I know of people who suddenly found they had to pay large lump sums to ACC as the employer went with fake contracting. As well the hassles of dealing with IRD as a so called self employed agricultural worker.

      • corodale 7.1.1

        No, only system change, including sovereign finance, or similar radical change in monetary policy can make any difference. All other options die a technocratic death, only shifting problem, not solve it.

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    political struggle in the likes of the USA, UK, and NZ, obviously occurs on multiple fronts, including internal battles within electoral parties–it is hardly news that long standing figures militate for their own status quo, however reactionary it appears or is

    the old commos used to say–where is the main blow to be struck? and what indeed is the relationship between the need to depose Trump, and the need to change the Democratic Party

    Corbyn’s Labour is showing the way to an extent, party machine change can come from an organised base rather than embedded opportunists, and that is how it should be imo

    the thing with the current NZ Govt. is another dialectical exercise, the fiscal cap will likely kneecap it–simple as that–why not extend it to even 35% or 40%? go for broke is their only option given what they are up against–was Jacinda Ardern’s flight to Naru really a crime against humanity? worse than Murray McCully’s desert sheep farm say…of course not

    the Govt. retains the main structural elements of Rogernomics and Ruthanasia–Reserve Bank Act, etc. etc. bar adding employment to the Banks considerations, and if there is anyone with a class analysis, let alone a marxist one, in the Labour caucus they are deep underground indeed, But, they are none the less implementing all sorts of urgently needed reforms and have to be supported as widely as possible on that basis

    • corodale 8.1

      Yes, it reminds me that Democrats, UN, NATO, and Europe are all flying that blue flag of austerity. If not in the first term, then in the second, Labour will have to face the fiscal-financial issue, and I’m sure Winston will rise to it. Hope the Greens can educate themselves enough in the next few years to show their support in policy and more. Royal Commission on Central Banking is one way, with cherry-picked people, avoid any veto power from orthodox mason bankers of “qualification”.

  9. Philj 9

    I’m inclined to regard Jacinda as our Obama. Time will tell if this is accurate.

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