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Buffett calls for rich to stop class war

Written By: - Date published: 2:04 pm, August 16th, 2011 - 53 comments
Categories: capital gains, class war, tax - Tags:

Today Warren Buffett, the third wealthiest man in the world, has come out demanding his mega-rich friends play a part in the American economic recovery. He is recognised as one of the smartest and most successful investors alive, his words should not be dismissed lightly, especially as we approach our own election and grapple with the issue of tax reform.
Here are some highlights:
While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks.

Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.

I didn’t refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off.

But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.”

Rijab

53 comments on “Buffett calls for rich to stop class war”

  1. I’m looking forward to the article where he self-expropriates and gives it all back to the workers he has lived off all his life.

  2. No actually what he is saying is the following: “If we don’t give the plebs a few coins from our hideous decadent wealth their are going to revolt and they are going to make the killing of the wealthy during the French revolution look like a walk in the park and while during the French revolution you could still escape to England or the “New World” now there is no place to run!”

    • aerobubble 2.1

      Wealthy is supposed to be hard to make, tax cuts are for the feckless capitalists and
      all Buffet is saying is that Republicians are crybaby wimps. “Is Obama going to
      take away your tax cut, oh little baby don’t cry, it will make you a better man”.

    • Drakula 2.2

      Well let’s bring it on !!!!

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Yeah I’m getting impatient waiting for Société Générale or Bank of America to fail. Not long now, the egg timer is about done. Then its going to be a ride.

  3. I think that we should support Buffett in his proposal to increase taxation for the wealthy.  His comments are perfectly valid and it is good to see that even the wealthy realise that things are out of control.
     

  4. queenstfarmer 4

    Fair points, though I wonder if Mr Buffet will lead by example.

    It is notable that he is only calling for this at the end of his career, after amassing his fortune, and after pledging to give most of it away (which will decrease his taxable income to near zero anyway). I wonder if Buffet was calling for higher taxes at the time he made his first millions?

  5. randal 5

    wealth is not hard to make if you know how.
    Warren Buffet made his because his father was a stockbroker in Kansas and dealt in the wheat futures market.
    Warren Buffet learned it all from him.
    When his first wife left and he needed some pin money he made a few million in three mnths!!!!
    However Bufet says if he was put down in Afghanistan without a dollar he would be done for in a day so there yo go.
    Anyway the world has changed. rich people need more money because they know how much lyalty and kiss ass they can buy and thats al they care about. Its a Macworld now.
    all notions of doing public good have gone forever.

    • mik e 5.1

      Berlusconi seems to be listening. He is closing loopholes on tax dodgers and raising tax on the wealthy.Some one has figured out what is needed

      • aerobubble 5.1.1

        It is the rich who work hard and know how to put money to productive use and make it grow… …this is backwards, people who take risks with money and are rewarded by the free market by growth become rich (they don’t start rich), then they spend or throw caution to the wind to get even richer. But wealth is “concentrated in the hands of those who can’t or won’t spend it.” capitalism comes to a grinding halt, the churn in the economy ends, the poorest are denied the aspiration of getting rich because the wealthy do not believe they should ever loss money. Now its
        entirely possible for everyone to eat, get heath care, a roof over their heads when government regulates the market to stop hoarding of money and insure everyone has economic power. We in one of the transition, when the powerful are wrong, when the man in a street is a jerk who thinks how they made money yesterday will work tomorrow, or worse know they really didn’t make a heap of money yet told and lived like they did and can’t deal with the psychological reality that they really are a loser. Key has to make a personal choice, either to be a winner or one of the biggest losers, a choice that if he dithers the outcome to NZ will be worse quite unnecessarily. Unfortuately poor education, easy career, have left a hollow prima donna who wins by being nice and amenable, but hard nosed when it counts tackling the wrong problem (the poor). We need leaders who don’t know everything and ask, not jerks like Key or the petty rich, we need people with backbone to talk to the rich about their prolific negative behavior.

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    When a truly rich guy comes out with this it really makes you realize how gutless and self serving John the con Key is? Asset sales anyone!

    • queenstfarmer 6.1

      Partial asset sales, yes

      • tc 6.1.1

        Nope, partial allows minorities to dictate direction under NZ law (profits over network re-investment as one example) they’re better off in public ownership especially when we’ve a gov’t that delights in punching large holes in it’s revenue base.
        All this and the nats have no idea how to ensure mum and dad end up owning them beacuse they don’t care having already done the deals with their backers. Little surprise they’re more cashed up than ever.

        • queenstfarmer 6.1.1.1

          Then according to your theory (which is incorrect), it would be better for the Govt to sell majority stakes, because then the Govt would be a minority shareholder and be able to “dictate direction”.

          • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1

            Um, no – that would be arguing that it’s better to put your ‘nads AND dick on an anvil, rather than just your dick. My interpretation of tc’s comment is that no part of your anatomy should be placed on the anvil in the first place.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Although out of all the reasons I’ve heard National give for selling this shit off, yours is by far the best. Put all his kit on the anvil and see how qstf likes it when the auction hammer comes down!!! 🙂

            • queenstfarmer 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes I know that’s his position (no partial asset sales at all – enough already about nads!). I’m pointing out the silliness (not to mention outright incorrectness) of the suggestion that minority shareholders “dictate direction” – a view repeated many times here, in ignorance of the law and commercial practice.

              Think about it: shareholder A = 51%; shareholder B = 49%. According to this view, Shareholder B has control. But shareholder A could simply gift 2% of shares to B, and in doing so A would now be the minority with control of the company.

              • McFlock

                qsf – what is a “fraud on the minority”?
                It’s  been mentioned here before, but I’m not a companies lawyer. Mickeysavage seems to believe that this might stop a company wasting money (dare I say “pissing it away”, to continue the analogy) on things like the community welfare if the govt still maintains 51% ownership. MS is normally pretty reasonable. So what’s your take on it?

                • queenstfarmer

                  From my involvement with in several sometimes fractious start-ups I have some experience in this area.

                  The Companies Act does not have “fraud on minority”. It has shareholder prejudice, which is similar but different. That includes things like paying dividends to some but not all shareholders, issuing new shares for under-value, etc. It does not allow the minority to “control the board” as some seem to think (that’s simply ludicrous – if that were the case, you could gain strength by reducing your shareholding) – it simply means you cannot unfairly target some shareholders over others. It’s mainly about process. As long as the Board acts procedurally fairly (lets everyone have their say, provides information requested etc) and can provide sound reasons for its actions, that is all it needs to do.

                  Directors personally have a range of duties, such as acting for proper purposes and not engaging in reckless trading, so a shareholder could complain that a director has breached their duties. That means suing the directors, not the company.

                  There are also minority buy-out rights that can allow an upset minority to force the company to buy back their shares for fair value, and then everyone goes their own separate ways.

                  • McFlock

                    S131: Duty of directors to act in good faith and in best interests of company

                    (1) Subject to this section, a director of a company, when exercising powers or performing duties, must act in good faith and in what the director believes to be the best interests of the company.
                    (2) A director of a company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary may, when exercising powers or performing duties as a director, if expressly permitted to do so by the constitution of the company, act in a manner which he or she believes is in the best interests of that company’s holding company even though it may not be in the best interests of the company.
                    (3) A director of a company that is a subsidiary (but not a wholly-owned subsidiary) may, when exercising powers or performing duties as a director, if expressly permitted to do so by the constitution of the company and with the prior agreement of the shareholders (other than its holding company), act in a manner which he or she believes is in the best interests of that company’s holding company even though it may not be in the best interests of the company.

                    So if the directors chose to build trains in NZ and save jobs at the expense of company funds, they would be breaking their obligations to the company unless the minority shareholders agreed? And the shareholders could sue their ass?

                    • queenstfarmer

                      Shareholders can sue directors at any time. It’s a just a question of whether they’ll win. You could buy 1 share in The Warehouse for $1.50 and try to sue Stephen Tindall if you wanted.

                      But it’s got nothing to do with what the shareholders think, nor is it an accounting issue. Directors are charged with management of the company (see section 128). The question is what “the director believes to be the best interests of the company”. So as long as the directors are subjectively confident they are acting in the best interests of the company (and of course the majority shareholder usually gets to appoint the most directors) then no claim is founded.

                    • McFlock

                      But the point is that if the sole shareholder [govt] stated that they wanted the directors to let the company take a hit for the wider economy, under a wholly owned subsidiary model they can issue such a direction. Under a majority ownership model this is not the case. You’re argument seems to be that if the government gets the directors to make the right winks and fibs, they’ll *probably* get away with it.
                       
                       

      • mik e 6.1.2

        At their value to earnings ratio not Half price or a third of the price for the power companies .Qstf. the power companies are cash cows returning 17.6% returns govt borrowing costs 5.5%.If you can’t figure out how dumb that is I can really believe you love sucking up to Keys failed policies

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Buffet is enunciating what keeps capitalists awake nights, their parasitic party is almost over. Pull your heads in a little bit guys! he is saying. But the basic marxist precepts remain, capital must expand aggressively, and ultimately monopolistically, driven by the tendency for the rate of profit to fall. Finance capital ever more a house of cards as the months tick by.

    Maybe not this year or the next, authoritarianism and widespread ideolgical malaise (individualism) may prolong things a little more but the planets resources and people can not take much more hammering.

  8. Rijab 8

    Obama’s response to Buffett’s suggestion, for those interested:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-warren-buffett-is-right-on-taxes-2011-8

  9. Tom Gould 9

    Warren Buffett has been saying this for some time now, certainly before the GFC. This time, maybe because of the recent antics of the tea party whack-jobs, the MSM in the U.S. has finally heard him, or figured it might be worth reporting. Winds of change, perhaps?

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Buffett plays the games in the markets as hard and as trickily as the next guy. He’s no saint.

    However, I don’t believe that he should donate to the IRS, as some of his detractors have been saying.

    Instead I think he should set aside an independent US$250M trust fund for those congressional candidates who refuse to take corporate campaign funds and who will push for progressive tax reform in the US.

    Edited: the US can close its entire budget deficit and more by going back to 1980 tax levels. Easy as pie.

    • QoT 10.1

      That idea is total genius.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        🙂

        And it should be a trust fund which supports both Republican and Democratic candidates. It might even extend support to promising independent candidates in order to break the two party stranglehold in the US.

    • queenstfarmer 10.2

      the US can close its entire budget deficit and more by going back to 1980 tax levels. Easy as pie.

      It’s as easy as people voting for politicians who will raise taxes. Until such time, it’s not going to be that easy.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        I’m hearing ya.

      • mik e 10.2.2

        Yeah in the 1980s the rich paid a larger share of the tax burden good idea Qstf why not tell your boss Key or Brash.Since then both private and govt borrowing has exponentially blown out bar a few short years 1994 till 2000. being the worlds fore most super power is the main reason the US has had massive budget deficits. the other reason is tax cuts for the rich by Reagon & the Bushes.Look at this weeks time magazine debt goes up when republicans are in power not unlike NZ under National.Berlusconi has figured it out its a wonder no other right whinger has yet.

        • queenstfarmer 10.2.2.1

          No dispute about that (except the “your boss Key or Brash” bit – you seem a bit obsessed and perhaps envious of my independence?), though I would add spending blowouts, which have contributed more to the debt than tax cuts have. Eventually all countries need to live within their means, and that means either cutting spending, or increasing taxes.

          • Colonial Viper 10.2.2.1.1

            The other thing to do is for governments to not borrow money at interest, but to print it free of interest and free of debt. The supply of money can then be directly tightened or loosened as economic circumstances and the economic cycle requires.

          • mik e 10.2.2.1.2

            Your dependence shines through Qstf like your masters you have forgotten how to grow an economy. the other solution!

        • Deadly_NZ 10.2.2.2

          Well lets hope that shonkey has lost a bundle on the bank of America taking a hammering his 55mil could be halved. Now there’s a really good excuse for a party!!

    • RedLogix 10.3

      It’s easy to forget that when Bill Clinton left office the US Federal govt was in a healthy surplus. Essentially it was GW Bush’s tax cuts and military spending that tipped the US into this crisis.

      We forget also that the US is still the world’s largest economy. It is not a poor or fundamentally unproductive country. Just three actions would eliminate this debt crisis remarkably quickly:

      1. Restore taxes to 1980 levels.

      2. Reduce their grossly bloated military exependiture.

      3. Reform their insanely wasteful and expensive health system.

      All three items are plain and obvious, yet politically none can happen.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        The US has lost perhaps four to five million manufacturing jobs since 2000.

        Yes, the US could still be extraordinarily strong but the jobs and know-how that their elites chose to export to China etc. are not returning.

        I’ve posted this before but its worth looking at. A talk to uni students given by a former head of the World Bank.

    • millsy 10.4

      Closing down the several hundred-odd military bases in Europe, Korea and Japan would help too.

  11. randal 11

    it that aint easy.
    there are calls that only people can make what ever the programme says.
    just as well.
    or we would be at the mercy of the machines.
    maybe we are already are?
    nah just kidding kiddies.
    but phil will win.

  12. Afewknowthetruth 12

    Here we go again. A whole load of commentary and comments which completely ignore the fundamentals.

    1. America, and Americans in general, got rich because easily extractable coal and oil suppported industrial growth, which supported everything else, including industrialised agriculture. Both oil and coal are past peak in the US.

    2. America remained rich because it was not devastated by wars, unlike most other developed nations.

    3. Americans got even richer because they were able to manipulate world markets and currencies using the dominance that resulted from the Second World War -Hollywood, the IMF and all that.

    4. Americans got rich because they trashed their environment somewhat faster than most others.

    All the games that made America superfically rich are over or rapidly coming to an end.

    In reality it was all just an impossible dream, a crass superficiality which is now turning into a nightmare.

    ‘play a part in the American economic recovery.’

    There will be no recovery of the economy, of course, only some kind of recovery from the economy.

    • neoleftie 12.1

      interestingly America has to ‘close the gaps’ between the developed and developing countries,in a global sense, to allow for both security and more importantly to expand the market.
      The western world needs fresh investment, growth and market opportunities or the bubble will burst…globalisation is simply exporting security and freeing up markets so the ruling elites can generate more wealth.
      Long live pax america.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        Not sure how to break this to you but you are more than 10 years late for delivering advice and the window has closed. 2005/2006 was probably the last chance for the US.

        interestingly America has to ‘close the gaps’ between the developed and developing countries,in a global sense, to allow for both security and more importantly to expand the market.

        America does not actually have to do any of the above. It is not up to America where markets expand (the growing middle classes in India and China). The developing countries are closing their own gaps as the US falls behind, and year by year, America is going to increasingly struggle to pay for its war machine.

        Some estimates say that China’s economy will be larger than the US before 2020.

        The western world needs fresh investment, growth and market opportunities or the bubble will burst…

        No you got it all wrong! In a capitalist system investment goes where the best growth and cost prospects are. That’s in Asia. The market opportunities are in Asia and the US is not positioned to benefit from them. NB most US headquartered multinationals build their goods outside of the US now. Even if all these Asian markets were to grow, very little of the benefit and the employment will actually occur in the US.

        Bubbles long burst. Watch the USD self destruct over the next few years.

        globalisation is simply exporting security and freeing up markets so the ruling elites can generate more wealth.

        You can’t export security. You can export weapons, and you can set up friendly regimes, but that is not the same thing.

        Globalisation was all about breaking down the power of sovereign states and advantaging capital over labour. “Freeing up markets” was not the objective, it was merely a means.

        • Bill 12.1.1.1

          Yup. There ain’t no ‘western world’ and ‘other world’ as far as global finance (ie global power) is concerned.

          Got to keep the kiddies believeing they’re on the ‘winning side’ for as long as poss. though, eh?

      • Afewknowthetruth 12.1.2

        neoleftie.

        May I suggest that you would do yourself a favour if you stopped parroting capitalist mantra. Growth is not the answer: growth is the problem. Captialists demand growth to prop up their fractional reserve monetary system. Growth is not possible in an energy-depleted, environmentally-degraded world which is past peak oil.

        I suppose if I were to say it every day for the next ‘x’ years people would eventually get it. I’m not sure that I have the time and energy to do that.

        The bubble is bursting and there is nothing that can be done to prevent it.

        The sensible thing to do would be to prepare for the inevitable, i.e. the collapse of western civilisation, the collapse of industrialised agriculture, and the food shortages that will accompany the collapse. Most people seem quite incapable of doing that, for some reason. Hence , most people will get ‘wiped out’ when the ‘tsunami’ eventually hits.

        .

  13. Jenny 13

    From my inbox;

    An email from Vaughn Gunson, tax justice campaigner, reporting on the ongoing political campaign to regain tax justice in this country.

    Hi Tax Justice supporters,

    On our website is a photo essay of the presentation of the Tax Justice petition to Parliament today. Go to http://www.nogstonfood.org/2011/08/16/598/

    There’s a good story on the NZ Herald website, go to http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10745488

    We’ve had extensive radio coverage all day, with more interviews upcoming this afternoon.

    The petition hand-over may feature on either TV3 or TV1 News (or both) tonight.

    It’s been a good positive conclusion to this phase of the Tax Justice campaign, built around the petition and the hard work of volunteers around the country.

    There’s more work to do to build a broader Tax Justice coalition that can put pressure on the politicians to act in the interests of grassroots Kiwis.

    Regards,

    Vaughan Gunson
    Tax Justice campaign coordinator
    (09)433 8897
    021-0415 082

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    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    5 days ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    6 days ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    6 days ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    6 days ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    1 week ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    1 week ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    1 week ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National supports slavery
    Meanwhile, while the government is planning to restore voting rights to prisoners, National is promising to turn our prisons into US-style slave-labour camps:The Opposition is proposing compulsory education, training or employment for prisoners who are serving sentences of two years or more. [...] On Sunday, National Party Leader Simon Bridges ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Erasing the infamy
    Last year, the Supreme Court confirmed that National's prisoner voting ban - a law so shoddily passed that it brought Parliament into disrepute - breached the Bill of Rights Act. This year, the Waitangi Tribunal added that it also breached the Treaty of Waitangi. And now, the government has finally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade unions that never fight the sex industry bosses
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the second part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • A Team Approach to Tackling the Psychology Replication Crisis
    Dalmeet Singh Chawla In 2008, psychologists proposed that when humans are shown an unfamiliar face, they judge it on two main dimensions: trustworthiness and physical strength. These form the basis of first impressions, which may help people make important social decisions, from who to vote for to how long a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Big Pharma has failed: the antibiotic pipeline needs to be taken under public ownership
    Claas Kirchhelle, University of Oxford; Adam Roberts, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Andrew Singer, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Antibiotics are among the most important medicines known to humankind, but we are running out of this crucial resource. Decisive action is needed if we are to retain access to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bloody Great Political Story (From A Parallel Universe).
    Things That Make You Go - Hmmmm: “All right. Let me come at this another way. I’m guessing that what you’ve got in that box contains names, dates, bank account numbers – all the details you need to put Winston Peters and Jacinda Ardern squarely in the cross-hairs. So, the first ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Submit!
    The Environment Committee has called for submissions on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Friday, 17 January 2020, and can be made online at the link above. The bill makes a number of changes to the ETS, including linking it to the carbon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Message From Messenger Park.
    Coasters Turn Out In Droves: It’s precisely the widening gulf between those with actual experience of things like guns, chainsaws and drilling machines, and those who regulate their use, that accounts for the angry crowd at Greymouth’s Messenger Park on Sunday, 17 November 2019. In the rarefied atmosphere where decisions ...
    2 weeks ago
  • JFK’s assassination: a bit of physics
    There are perennial arguments about the circumstances of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, and in particular whether more than one shooter is required by the evidence (such as the Zapruder film). Those who know little about physics frequently claim that the sharp backwards motion of JFK’s head as ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Is car washing so bad we need to ban it?
    Apparently, some people enjoy washing their cars. Each to his or her own, I suppose. I mean, some people like duck shooting, some people follow Coronation Street, and some people’s idea of a good day out is to sit on a grass bank at Seddon Park and watch cricket all ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • If Shane Jones isn’t corrupt, he is trying very hard to look it
    Last week we learned that New Zealand First had apparently tried to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Today in Question Time Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones had his ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: We need to end fossil fuels
    Finally, governments seem slowly to be beginning to act on climate change. But its not enough. While they're publicly signing up to targets, they're planning to destroy the world by continuing fossil fuel extraction:The world’s nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • As bad as we expected
    Stuff has begun interviewing NZ First's secret donors, and it turns out that its as bad as we expected. They start with racing industry figure Garry Chittick, who is predictably grumpy about NZ First's coalition choices. Meanwhile, I'm looking at the list of pork NZ First has effectively given its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
    Small businesses who deal with government departments are set to be paid faster and have improved cash flow as a result, under a new strategy released today. The Government is backing recommendations from the Small Business Council (SBC) and has agreed to implement three initiatives immediately to support business and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Innovative technology and tools to better manage freedom camping
    A package of new and expanded technology and other tools will encourage responsible camping and help communities and local councils better manage freedom camping this summer, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. “Our Government has been investing to improve the freedom camping experience for everyone because we want to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improving wellbeing by understanding our genes
    The government is laying the groundwork to understanding our genes – work that can help us tackle some of our biggest health challenges, like heart disease and diabetes, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. $4.7 million has been invested in the Genomics Aotearoa Rakeiora programme. The programme will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investing to future proof school property
    Nearly every state schools will receive a capital injection next year valued at $693 per student to bring forward urgent school property improvements, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.  The one-off cash injection is the first project to be announced from the Government’s infrastructure package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investments to be brought forward
    The Government has decided to bring forward major investments in New Zealand’s infrastructure to future proof the economy. “Cabinet has agreed to a significant boost to infrastructure investment. I have directed the Treasury to help bring together a package of projects that can be brought into the Government’s short and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Future-proofing New Zealand
    It is a great pleasure to be with you today in Whanganui. Like the Prime Minister I grew up with the TV clip of Selwyn Toogood booming “What do you say Whanganui, the money or the bag?” to an unsuspecting ‘It’s in the Bag’ audience. For those under the age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa track opened – an asset for the West Coast
    New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa Track, was officially opened in Blackball today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage alongside the family members of the Pike 29 and Ngāti Waewae.  Local mayors and MP for the West Coast Hon Damien O’Connor were also in attendance. “Paparoa National Park ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • P-8A Poseidon base works commence
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark turned the first sod of earth on the infrastructure works for the new P-8A Poseidon fleet at RNZAF Base Ohakea today. “The Coalition Government’s investment in Ohakea will ensure the Royal New Zealand Air Force can manage, maintain and task the new fleet efficiently ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Launch of the National Emergency Management Agency
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare today announced the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency from 1 December 2019.  The National Emergency Management Agency will replace the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. It will be an autonomous departmental agency, hosted by the Department of the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NASA 2020 Internship applications open
    New Zealand tertiary students with top grades and a passion for space will once again be offered the opportunity to work with the world’s best and brightest at NASA, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Recipients of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are nominated by the Ministry of Business, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to send more medical staff and essential supplies to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further support to Samoa in the wake of an ongoing measles outbreak in the country. Additional medical supplies and personnel, including a third rotation of New Zealand’s emergency medical assistance team (NZMAT), further nurse vaccinators, intensive care (ICU) specialists and Samoan-speaking medical professionals, will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cost less of a factor for Kiwis seeking GP care
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new data showing a sharp drop in the number of people who can’t afford to visit their GP is a sign of real progress. One year after the Government made it cheaper for about 600,000 Kiwis to visit their doctor, results of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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