Business to Key: ‘You’re ruining everything’

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, April 18th, 2008 - 54 comments
Categories: election 2008, john key, slippery - Tags: , ,

Business is starting to get worried. This was meant to, finally, be the year that they got the Left out of government and started making New Zealand work for the business elite again. But there’s a problem: the man they chose for the job. Sure, Key’s got a cheeky grin but on real ‘prime minister stuff’ he’s looking out of his depth and he doesn’t seem interested in giving business its payback. The NBR says:

John Key: Please shut up. Like, put a sock in it. Like, breathe through your nose. Please. After nine years of being the No 2 brand in the political market, business is in great trepidation that you will blow the chance of a successful takeover in November .[just] smile and wave, smile and wave Keep quiet and make the takeover play when it matters. New Zealand business is depending on it.

Every time Key opens his mouth either an unintelligible stream of ‘don’t reveal my conscience’ pours out, he mangles a statement on his party’s existing policy, or he adopts a Labour policy. And it is this last point that has business really worried; what’s the point of backing Key if he will just be Clark without the competence and experience? Again, the NBR:

‘John Key’s ban on asset sales is like the lady diner who follows Meg Ryan’s faked orgasm in When Harry Met Sally with ‘I’ll have what she’s having.’

As Chris Trotter points out today, there’s two possible reasons for Key’s constant adoption of Labour’s policies: either he wants to lull Kiwis into a false sense of security and then spring a right-wing agenda on them post-election, or he just wants to win whatever it takes and get to put ‘Prime Minister of New Zealand’ on his CV.

Many in the Left fear it’s the first, they remember National in the 1990s and Labour’s betrayal in the 1980s. But secret agendas are harder these days, especially in an MMP environment, and Key’s left himself very little wiggle-room with his wholesale adoption of government policy.

Business fears it’s the latter. They fear that the man who was meant to bring them back to power and get their agenda back on track, who they know actually believes in the things they do, wants power above principles; that he’s only in it for his own ego. And they fear that Kiwis won’t vote for a do-nothing candidate with no experience. No wonder they are starting to turn to ACT and Roger Douglas in the desperate hope of dragging a Key-led government to the Right.

54 comments on “Business to Key: ‘You’re ruining everything’”

  1. Benodic 1

    I have to agree with that analysis. I’ve talked to a lot of business owners who’ve said while they don’t like Helen Clark and Labour they’re concerned about whether John Key has the competence to handle an economy heading into a recession. At least with Helen they say they know what they’re dealing with.

  2. mike 2

    Of course another very balanced view for comrad Trotski.

    Steve – MMP is the reason for the main parties need for mass appeal.
    Labour offering tax cuts is all about staying in power and Nationals consessions on assets sales etc are a bid to gain power.

    Do you not think Labour have moved towards the right in order to hold on to Govt.?

  3. Steve Pierson 3

    The thing is you really don’t know what Key is going to stand for from one day to the next, and you don’t know what he believes underneath all the media-creation stuff.

    That’s a worry because a PM has to make real and important decisions, things that can’t always be decided beforehand in a policy or sent to the pollsters for testing first.

    We all know key’s grasp on policy and background information is flimsy at best but how would he react to riots in a south Pacific country? Would he understand diplomacy well enough to broker regional deals? Does he have the dignity and gravitas needed for leading the country when tragedy strikes?

    Are we looking at New Zealand’s own George W?

    A man who don’t know nothing about nothing, constantly contradicts himself, can’t get a sentence out straight, and has no clue when it comes to the deft touches of being a leader of a nation.

  4. Phil 4

    ” At least with Helen they say they know what they’re dealing with”

    I bet that view is changing post Auckland Airport fiasco…

  5. Steve Pierson 5

    mike. I don’t think Kiwisaver, the carbon emissions trading scheme, 20Free, subsidised doctors’ visits, cheaper perscriptions, interest-free student loans, income-related state housing rents, higher superannuation payments, active assitance into work, stronger labour laws, four weeks annual leave, higher minimum wage every year for 8 years, more state houses, welcome home loans, civil unions, decriminlaised prostitution, anti-beating legislation, no smoking bans in pubs, a 900% increase in public transport funding, more spending in health and education, more doctors, more nurses, more teachers, and Working for Families are rightwing policies. For example.

  6. Tane 6

    MMP is the reason for the main parties need for mass appeal.

    Mike, you say that like it’s a bad thing.

  7. mike 7

    Thanks to the member for The Standard for that answer.
    So you are saying Labours Tax cuts are not a me-too policy?

  8. mike 8

    “Mike, you say that like it’s a bad thing.”

    Its bad in the way it does not hold small parties to account – Both National and Labour cannot slam silly policy from the greens or Maori parties etc because they need to stay on side with them.
    In turn these smaller parties can release bizzare policy that only needs to appeal to 5% of the population (NZ first Immigration)

    Less robust debate is always going to a bad thing

  9. Monty 9

    Ho humm – more KDS – no doubt taken out of context – I bet they would prefer a National Government that undeerstands jobs and the economy rather than Labour who seem to put up every barrier imaginable to business and then wonder why they all bugger off to China / Mexico / India.

  10. Tane 10

    Monty: http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/

    New Zealand is extremely business-friendly and just keeps on getting friendlier. Witness the recent R&D funding and the 10% cut in corporate taxes from April 1st.

    Let’s cut the crap here – You lot will never be happy until New Zealand workers are treated like Mexicans will you?

  11. Patrick 11

    Monty, I really hope New Zealand never becomes as “business friendly” as China, India or Mexico. Sure it may be a far better place to be if you’re in the business of exploiting the poor and underrepresented, but I really think the Labour Party has ensured that New Zealand has achieved a good balance of workers and business rights. Can we do better? I don’t doubt it. Do I think the National Party under John Key would manage this delicate balance better? No fuckin way.

  12. Steve Pierson 12

    mike – your comments about parties needing mass appeal and then saying they are at the mercy of the 5% parties are contradictory.

    Perhaps you mean large parties need to become broader and broader churches in an effort to get close to 50% of the vote so they won’t have to deal with minor parties.

    captcha: backing York – well, I’m backing Lancaster, let the war of the roses begin.

  13. Mike Collins 13

    “Let’s cut the crap here – You lot will never be happy until New Zealand workers are treated like Mexicans will you?”

    Tane that is a very shortsighted and ignorant comment and I suggest you know it is infantile. It is not impossible to credit your opponents with a desire to do what is good for the country. Even if you disagree with what they would do to take us there. You are obviously (to me) interpreting wanting to do good for business as being the same thing as doing bad for workers. I think that such analysis is lacking.

    Politics is not a zero sum game. Enabling winners does not necessarily mean creating losers.

  14. Tane 14

    Mike Collins, if the complaint is that compliance costs like fair wages and decent health and safety are too high to compete with Mexico then the logical conclusion is that we should reduce wages and cut health and safety protection to Mexican levels.

    International capitalism is a race to the bottom, and Monty’s complaining that we’re lagging behind.

  15. Stephen 15

    I would be interested to know what they meant by ‘rising’ compliance costs. Does this mean extra (presumably frivolous) regulation that was not there previously?

  16. Tane 16

    Stephen, I think it’s something to do with this:
    http://www.doingbusiness.org/economyrankings/

    Or more likely it’s an attempt to protect their brand by pretending they were victims of economic circumstance rather than a rapacious multinational that figured it could double its profits by exploiting cheap Mexican labour.

  17. Matthew Pilott 17

    Mike Collins – if you have a look at monty’s comment you’ll probably see where Tane is coming from – comments such as “…Labour who seem to put up every barrier imaginable to business…

    If someone thinks that is true, they probably think as Tane is suggesting. For a lot of people, their hatred of Labour and the Social Democratic movement has led to a zero-sum attitude, in which everything good for workers is bad for employers. I read a comment on Stuff today talking about maternity leave and meal breaks being a ‘fine’ for businesses (ref. Espiner’s blog).

    Some people (including from the right) are reasonable and realise that these benefits are part of maintaining a productive and healthy workforce.

    And, more on topic – I agree with Steve’s analysis in that I have no idea whether Key is shaping to be a genuine moderate conservative (oxymoronity aside 🙂 ) or is playing the wolf in sheep’s clothing game, and will unleash some hitherto unmentioned policy if he gets the chance.

    Can anyone honestly say, with any degree of certainty, that they know what he is planning? If not, why not – the election isn’t that far away, he’s been leader for a while now (‘scuse the necessary dig at “by National’s standards…”) and still hasn’t got much of a message or agenda across.

  18. higherstandard 18

    Tane in terms of the report you keep quoting a high ranking on the ease of doing business index means the regulatory environment is conducive to the operation of business this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s fiscally sensible to manufacture locally.

    I aslo note we’re rated No. 1 in the world in protecting investors, I find this surprising.

  19. AncientGeek 19

    mike:

    So you are saying Labours Tax cuts are not a me-too policy?

    Not entirely. Looking at the current market problems offshore in some of our major trading partner countries, it is starting to look like a good time for some Kenysian style economics. It will probably be a difficult year next year as the imported economic problems spread further into the NZ economy.

    Can’t actually think of a better time economically for a taxcut.

    And before you go into your usual rant. I’m sure there is a political component as well – but the economic basis now makes some kind of sense as well.

  20. Tane 20

    I aslo note we’re rated No. 1 in the world in protecting investors, I find this surprising.

    Well you probably shouldn’t. Protecting assets like AIA is commonplace around the world and recognised as a matter of national sovereignty.

    There are certainly issues around the Reserve Bank Act. The monetarist experiment has failed, and it’s time we worked out a more sensible strategy that took into account more than just inflation – because it’s killing our exporters.

    Ultimately though New Zealand business needs to start making the capital investment needed to create a high-skill, high-wage economy. Cutting wages and conditions while sending profits offshore is not the answer.

  21. Stephen 21

    I would agree with higherstandard there – sure it is easy open/close a business, employ workers, simple tax system – but I don’t think that *necessarily* translates to ‘good’ specific conditions i.e. doesn’t take into account the *level* of say, company tax. Cynically, I initially thought F & P were just engaging in an easy cop out i.e. ‘blame the government that ‘loves’ regulation’, but maybe theres more to it.

  22. Tane 22

    Stephen, those criticisms would also have to be valid for the US and Australia, where F&P plants are also being closed and moved to low wage countries.

    I’m sure there were a range of factors involved, but basically this is a simple case of it being much cheaper to employ workers in Mexico without proper wages and conditions.

    It’s hard to stomach for some, but that’s the reality of international capitalism. Fisher & Paykel ain’t some wholesome Kiwi business going through hard times, it’s a rapacious multinational out for a quick buck.

  23. Mike Collins 23

    Tane – “International capitalism is a race to the bottom, and Monty’s complaining that we’re lagging behind.”

    If you view capitalism in this way then of course you are going to view its proponents different to me. But you will know that others disagree with your view of capitalism and view it as a road to prosperity (for all). The point I was making is that it is possible to object to someone while still giving them credit for their intentions – namely that they want what is best for this country. Although countries are not run on intentions, there’s no need to sneer at people for wanting the worst.

    Matthew,

    I agree that many see issues in a zero sum way, both left and right. And it is not helpful. Others express themselves in a zero sum way, perhaps because they lack the ability to do otherwise. Even if they can think more constructively.

    When people say things like meal breaks (example only) are good for both business and workers I agree. From a business owner’s perspective, productivity increases from refreshed staff and higher morale levels. This to many of us is blatantly obvious. I guess some on the right object to this being pointed out to business and being sold on the basis as good for them.

    I thought there was merit in the post itself. I am genuinely scared that Key is going to be Helen Clark in drag. I can understand those who disagree with me will be worried that he will implement policies I agree with. I think all round there is growing agreement that he needs to show some vision soon.

  24. Hoolian 24

    Steve Pierson, you slimy morsel of a person, you have once again totally misrepresented your sources to make a point. The article your refer to was not about shutting up John Key but stopping him from releasing policy before it was snapped up by Labour. And I quote from the same article:

    “Your clever competitor Helen Clark is exceptionally good at snatching any good ideas that pop up from any rival. Labour has long since dumped its unpopular leftist socialist position and is about out-selling everyone else in the New Century on the benefits of the Centre Market So its critical that you and your brand managers keep dead quiet from now on.”

    And then:

    “Meanwhile, your band image is just fine. It won’t get any better. So let’s cool it. New Zealand business is depending on it.”

    And finally:

    “Smile and wave, smile and wave. It will drive your competition nuts.”

    It’s not available online which is the only reason you can get away with your crap. You have edited the piece to fit it to your story. I’m sorry to burst your narrow-minded bubble, but as it happened I also had read that piece and knew at once that you had changed it with your abundant use of ellipses. Shame on you.

    Next time you quote something, kindly put the reference so all level-headed readers can see through your spin and analyse the source for themselves.

    I have to agree with that analysis. I’ve talked to a lot of business owners who’ve said while they don’t like Helen Clark and Labour they’re concerned about whether John Key has the competence to handle an economy heading into a recession.

    What a load of bollocks. Most businesses don’t even anticipate a recession as per the latest New Zealand Economic Institute of Research QSBO for March. And I can’t imagine any self-respecting business owner who would share their political foresight with you. And PM doesn’t lead economies the Minister of Finance does.

    “A man who don’t know nothing about nothing, constantly contradicts himself, can’t get a sentence out straight, and has no clue when it comes to the deft touches of being a leader of a nation.”

    You’re probably too young to remember Clark when she was first Leader of the Opposition she was bloody awful; she tripped on her words, made up policy on the spot, kept referring to Ministers who had long left National’s Cabinet, referred to 1980s Labour policy the list goes on. Key may not be the political machine Clark has evolved into, but he’s a damn far sight better and more popular than she ever was at his (political) age (less than 3 years as leader). Don’t let that get to you though.

    International capitalism is a race to the bottom

    Oh, give it up, Tane. We’ve moved on from the Cold War. No one is actually anti-capitalist these days; expect maybe you and your narrow group of friends.

    [Tane: I’ve unbolded the text of this comment as it was painful to the eyes]

  25. Tane 25

    Mike Collins, I wasn’t intending to sneer, but I do think Monty should be open about what he’s suggesting rather than using code. Discussions about economics would be so much more constructive if we dropped the pretence and discussed what was actually happening.

    My description of international capitalism is not particularly controversial I would have thought. If labour is a cost like any other then business will try to reduce these costs as low as possible, regardless of the social consequences.

    If that means moving your plant to a country where child labour is rife and trade unionists are shot then that’s just part of doing business.

  26. Matthew Pilott 26

    Not surprisingly, I’m worried about the other scenario regarding John Key.

  27. Hoolian 27

    Thanks for the “unbolding”. A technical error on my part.

  28. Steve Pierson 28

    Hoolian. Call me names again and you’re off the invite list for the LPG-M victory party come November.

  29. randal 29

    yes well keys was never a businessman as such…mostly he was engaged in turning large fortunes into small ones and retaining the profit!

  30. Hoolian 30

    “Slimy morsel of a person” is hardly a name. In some circles, its an honourary title. And what makes you think the Election will be in November (let alone think that Labour will win it)?

  31. Jay 31

    “mostly he was engaged in turning large fortunes into small ones and retaining the profit!”

    Really, can you post a link or are you talking shite.

    When you’re a prop trader your bonus is based on the profits that your positions accrue. If you think ML paid him when he lost money then you are a moron.

  32. higherstandard 32

    Tane I think painting the F&P who have put more money into this country and continue to do so, as you put it ….” rapacious and out for a quick buck’ to be very poor form.

    Quick question so I suppose all those disparaging F&P have until now exclusively bought F&P appliances ?

  33. Tane 33

    HS, F&P once was a New Zealand operation but the business model and ownership structure has changed. They now show all the elements of a rapacious multinational – how was their behaviour in outsourcing their work to Mexico any different from ANZ National outsourcing its work to Bangalore?

    And looking around my house, yes, all my appliances are F&P. Not sure what that’s supposed to prove though.

    Anyway, I’m off to dinner. Have a nice evening.

  34. randal 34

    jay you need a link to a therapist for your abusive tendencies

  35. Luke C 35

    If Key really was the centrist he was pretending to be National would have little money, as they did in 2002. Looking at at the (disastrous) Key DVD that obviously cost plenty of money, this is not the case. I am guessing it was paid for by the same lot who bankrolled the billboards in 2005.

    Many seem to forget, especially the media, that Key was Brash’s right hand man and was involved in the same racist politics.
    If Key was in govt now he would be in charge of the destruction of all Labours gains, and the selling of the remaining state assets.
    There is no way business has waited ‘nine long years’ for a fresh face and no policy change.

  36. Jay 36

    Sorry,
    I’m like that when people say stupid things which are clearly wrong. Blame it on law school.

  37. randal 37

    take responsibility for your own actions dude especially irrationally abusing someone because you dont agree with them… is that what you learn at law school…funny law that is?

  38. Gooner 38

    Tane, labour is not just *a* cost of doing business, it is the number one cost. It is always the highest cost of any business.

    Captcha: any wright

    Nah, no one!

  39. Jay 39

    “take responsibility for your own actions dude especially irrationally abusing someone because you dont agree with them is that what you learn at law school funny law that is?”

    LOL Classic!!

    It’s not irrational when you’re clearly wrong. Cease being a douche and get your facts right and I’ll stop abusing you.

  40. Hillary 40

    “I’m like that when people say stupid things which are clearly wrong. Blame it on law school.”

    Jay, it is reassuring to know that at law school you learn to resort to personal abuse in order to express yourself when people say things you consider to be stupid and clearly wrong.

    Fortunately I did not go to law school, so I won’t call you a pratt.

  41. Razorlight 41

    The Standard shown to be the Masters of Spin once again.

    You repeat on a daily basis how Key is nothing more than smile and spin. Todays attempt to demonstrate this point is this grossly misleading post which has the end result of showing yourselves as the master of spin.

    As Hoolian had correctly pointed out, the story from the right you have referred to is not Business telling Key he is ruining everything. It was almost the opposite of what you have claimed. Thank you Hoolian for pointing this out.

    This is a great left leaning read but if you have to misrepresent a story to this level you will ultimatley lose credibilty.

    [lprent: I don’t write posts. You know my annoyance at comment attributing attributes (that don’t apply) to me. Refer to the author of the post]

  42. r0b 42

    Steve Pierson, you slimy morsel of a person, you have once again totally misrepresented your sources to make a point.

    Settle down Hoolian, Steve’s post is based on two sources, NBR and Trotter, and between them they support his claims.

    As to misrepresenting reality, Hoolian is living in something of a glass house there, as anyone who followed this thread will recall:

    A decent job with fair pay

  43. Hi Hoolian,

    Whatever your point I find you referring to anybody on this site as a
    “slimy morsel of a person” rather offensive.

    >I have to agree with that analysis. I’ve talked to a lot of business owners who’ve said while they don’t like Helen Clark and Labour they’re concerned about whether John Key has the competence to handle an economy heading into a recession.

    What a load of bollocks. Most businesses don’t even anticipate a recession as per the latest New Zealand Economic Institute of Research QSBO for March. And I can’t imagine any self-respecting business owner who would share their political foresight with you. And PM doesn’t lead economies the Minister of Finance does.“A man who don’t know nothing about nothing, constantly contradicts himself, can’t get a sentence out straight, and has no clue when it comes to the deft touches of being a leader of a nation.’International capitalism is a race to the bottom

    Oh, give it up, Tane. We’ve moved on from the Cold War. No one is actually anti-capitalist these days; expect maybe you and your narrow group of friends.

  44. God I hate this interface, I worked for most part of an hour on a response to hoolian only to have the first sentence appear. I give up.

    [lprent: try editing in something else, copy to the clipboard, and then paste into the comments box.]

  45. Ok I try again.
    Dear hoolian,
    Whatever your point, I find you calling anybody on this site a “slimy morsel of a person’ rather offensive and unnecessary.

    -I have to agree with that analysis. I’ve talked to a lot of business owners who’ve said while they don’t like Helen Clark and Labour they’re concerned about whether John Key has the competence to handle an economy heading into a recession.

    What a load of bollocks. Most businesses don’t even anticipate a recession as per the latest New Zealand Economic Institute of Research QSBO for March. And I can’t imagine any self-respecting business owner who would share their political foresight with you. And PM doesn’t lead economies the Minister of Finance does. –

    I have to confess to finding the New Zealanders incredibly uninformed about what is happening out in the real world. I blame it on the fact that most new Zealanders read only the New Zealand newspapers under the mistaken belief that these newspapers really try to tell you what is going on out there. They don’t. All except one newspaper are owned by Fairfax which is owned for 10% by Murdoch. This means you only get to read what they want you to know. I also find the average New Zealander singularly incurious and dangerously naive about the real situation in the rest of the world while thinking they know and all. You strike me as a perfect example of that mindset.

    For your information:
    The world is in full economic meltdown, the dollar is collapsing, there are food and fuel riots (even in up and coming superpower China) and the Western Financial System is crumbling as we speak thanks to the machinations of the privately owned corporate New York Federal reserve. The housing bubble created by the same New York Federal reserve has burst and this is forcing thousands of Americans out of their homes, into abject poverty and destitution. The bubble which was actively engineered by Alan Greenspan was initiated in 1999 after the repeal of a law preventing different kinds of banks from merging. This law was put in place to prevent banks with conflicts of interest from merging and the repeal enabled them to make obscene profits by creating bubbles (IT and housing).

    It turns out that John Key was one of only four advisers to the New York Federal reserve in his function as global head of the foreign exchange department of Merrill Lynch. This is an upon invitation only job and put him very close to the epicentre of the financial world.

    We need all our wits about us to survive the next ten years of economic mayhem. If finance ministers lead the economy then I would have to bet on Mr. Cullen. Mr. English with his angry narrow mind doesn’t strike me as having the common man in mind. Mr. Cullen is the only finance minister in the Anglo Saxon world who managed to accumulate the surplus until of course the subprime, Bonds and Derivatives crisis ate that away.

    Oh, did I mention that John Key during his tenure with Merrill Lynch also did a stint as the European head of the Bonds and Derivatives department for them, dealing in exactly those products that are now causing the Word wide financial mayhem? And while I am at it, did I tell you that John Key also worked for the Bankers Trust, the bank that in the early nineties bragged about the development of a series of new Financial Products, yep you guessed it, bonds and derivatives. The bank collapsed after a series of scandals in which it was proven that they committed fraud with these bonds and derivatives that was euhh??? In 1995 when Johnny boy left for Merrill Lynch. Or was he perhaps head hunted for his knowledge about the bonds and derivatives trade? You can find all of this on his personal website by the way, let me correct that, there is nothing about the Bankers Trust on its website, I wonder why?

    -“A man who don’t know nothing about nothing, constantly contradicts himself, can’t get a sentence out straight, and has no clue when it comes to the deft touches of being a leader of a nation.’-

    The fact that John Key was invited to become one of only four advisers to the York Federal Reserve means they must have valued him highly. One of the qualities they must have valued in their “Smiling Assassin’, so named by his colleagues because he smiled pleasantly when he fired hundreds of people and because he could close deals with the most difficult (read suspicious) clients, was his loyalty. When you get that high up your dealing with a very small group of insiders and to be part of that group must mean that you have an undying loyalty to them.

    As a private citizen looking for someone to vote for I want to know where our politicians loyalties lie: with us the New Zealand people or with some shadowy financial elite. The fact that John Key met with his former bosses around a formal breakfast in October 2007 at one of their posh offices in London makes me wonder. While I understand that when you work with people for a long time you will befriend some of them and you will stay in touch with them but to meet with your powerful shadowy ex bosses in a formal setting after you’ve left your previous profession for seven years while you’re running for office is the opposition leader of a small country strikes me as odd.
    So, I would very much like to know what was discussed at this meeting. Was John Key perhaps bringing out a report to his former task masters, or are they perhaps still this task masters?
    Is his bland cheeky persona perhaps meant to blind all of us, not just the labour voting suspicious of National people but even local business people who want to vote National? He has been known to use an exaggerated Kiwi accent to lull people into trusting him, so we know he can act.

    National politics don’t seem to interest him all that much considering his flip flopping and constantly changing middle of the road politics. Perhaps his real interest is aiding and abetting his shadowy masters in order for them to get their hands on our resources such as the black sands, gold, gas and oil? We know that Rio Tinto and Exxon are circling New Zealand already. I mean we are after all living in a global capitalist world where a small group of very rich and very powerful people can decide were the factories are, where the food is grown, what the price of oil will be and so on and so on.

    -International capitalism is a race to the bottom

    Oh, give it up, Tane. We’ve moved on from the Cold War. No one is actually anti-capitalist these days; expect maybe you and your narrow group of friends.-

    You know, you should look up what Ron Paul has to say about global capitalism and the banking world. He calls it capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich, meaning: that if it all goes well for the bankers and corporate elite everybody has to look after himself including the poor but when it goes bad (like now), even when they get themselves in trouble with speculative and risky banking adventures, the banking and industrial elite feel it’s perfectly normal to hold out their hand to the government and fully expect to be bailed out by the taxpayers.

    And yes, international capitalism is a race to the bottom. When you move factories and other production facilities to poorer countries to make more profit it leaves the workers you leave behind to fend for themselves and take pay cuts in order to find new jobs. In fact only a week ago car workers in Chicago were told they would only get half the wage they were used to just because they could.

    In America tens of thousands of people have been forced out of their houses in the last month alone because they’ve been tricked into buying houses with mortgages with only a small teaser rates to begin with and a promise that their property would only go up in value. With wages, after correction for inflation, much lower than what their parents earned and borrowing against the excess value of their houses they have become slaves to their debts. America once the richest nation on the planet now find their country has been squeezed dry by the global elite and with the bubble bursting tens of thousands and in the near future millions of Americans will be roughing it around the city limits of the city’s they once lived in.
    They can’t get back on their feet because there are no jobs left because they have all been, yep you guessed it again, exported to Mexico, China and India. Globalization or global capitalism only leaves behind broken communities, broken countries, horrendous poverty and destitution. The only people getting richer is the global elite, like the people John Key worked for or perhaps is still working for.

  46. higherstandard 46

    Yes Eve

    Clearly John Key is working for an international cabal who want to take over NZ because of our massive financial and mineral resources

  47. AncientGeek 47

    travelerev: Writing smaller comments would be easier to enter. And easier to read. And probably more effective.

    Writing longgggggg…. comments is a waste of time. Most people scan the first couple of paragraphs and decide is it is interesting enough to continue. If not then they skip the comment. If you put multiple theses in the same comment, then you’re likely to lose the effect of the later ones.

    Or you get very short comments in response that take the mickey out of part of your thesis. But you don’t get engagement.

    Just my opinion. But you could do worse than look at how the posters write their posts and consider how many comments they get to them. Or look at the technique of various comments to see what sort of response you get.

    captcha: concerned Few
    🙂 Sounds like politics

  48. Jay 48

    Eve sounds like a left wing version of Trevor Loudon.

  49. infused 49

    I run a business and I don’t anticipate a recession. This is going to be good times. The fear is unnecessary.

    The businesses stressing with be retail related.

    Oh, and nice spin once again.

  50. Fred 50

    travellerev – on the other hand, yours is the sort of comment I like to find, (apologies to ancientgeek). A bit of thought as opposed to the “soundbite”. First point. Capitalism, sure beats the alternative. Property rights, the right to risk what you have and take the consequences, I think, is a fundamental part of modern society. When this is done with other peoples money then there must be the right of redress and the investor has the right to be fully informed. A level playing field is critical and last minute policy changes like the AIA debacle is not what good governence is about. I assume that you watched the “money masters” (all three hours of it). The fact that John Key has been part of that system, come out of it with enough money for perhaps you (and definitely I) to say ‘time to relax on the beach’, but instead to to get involved in little old NZ politics is not cause for fear but cause for optimism. Sure he’s finding his feet in politics especially when put on the spot. Helen, not too many years ago, I think was worse, but where did she cut her teeth? I’m prepared to wait to hear what Key has to say when he’s given a genuine chance, rather than through the lens of rabid “slippery” spin we get from the media.

  51. AncientGeek 51

    …yours is the sort of comment I like to find, (apologies to ancientgeek).

    Doesn’t worry me. I was suggesting a possible better delivery. I don’t agree with much of what travellerev said. Some I do.

    But I’m not interested in debating so many arguments simultaneously. Makes it hard to focus on a single idea and chew it looking for the value.

  52. Wellington Observer 52

    The increasing pressure placed upon John Key and the Nats to provide greater policy direction comes at the same time as a rumour that floats around Thorndon saying the National caucus is becoming increasingly disillusioned with the ability of its leader. Anyone who has recently observed the House debate must have noticed the National benches has been fairly deflated. Perhaps the Nats aren’t producing policy because the caucus can’t decide on what the Party should stand for.

  53. Hoolian 53

    OK, OK, I apologise for my comment on Steve Pierson (sorry Steve). But please take it with a grain of salt I exposed Pierson’s gross inaccuracy in portraying the NBR against Key, purely by editing out all the bits to make the article fit a certain context. If this was real media, I would have taken Pierson to court. I am very sorry that my insult has resulted in a massive tangent from my key points.

    But I do encourage everyone to return to my main point and debate that, not the merits of whether or not slime morsels is an insult.

    Settle down Hoolian, Steve’s post is based on two sources, NBR and Trotter, and between them they support his claims As to misrepresenting reality, Hoolian is living in something of a glass house there, as anyone who followed this thread will recall.

    r0b, I just don’t know what to say to you, other than:

    No, he lied. Blatantly. And I think this is enforced by his distinct lack of reply. I think it’s shameful for anyone, in any party, in any situation, to take a piece of information and edit it to remove it out of its original context. It’s deliberate misinformation and it’s disgusting.

    If finance ministers lead the economy then I would have to bet on Mr. Cullen. Mr. English with his angry narrow mind doesn’t strike me as having the common man in mind. Mr. Cullen is the only finance minister in the Anglo Saxon world who managed to accumulate the surplus until of course the subprime, Bonds and Derivatives crisis ate that away.

    Obviously you have some blind allegiance to Cullen and while that may float his boat, it certainly won’t resound with swing voters who will decide who the next Min of Finance is. To credit Cullen with the virtue of holding a surplus is not actually a good thing he overtaxed New Zealand and then wasted his surplus. While you may argue that over-taxation is a good thing, it certainly isn’t a good thing to waste it. If he had reinvested the 11 billion into infrastructure, or pumped it into research, I might agree with you. But he didn’t. He wasted it.

    Also, to add to your insightful depiction of ‘angry narrow’ English, English has a First Class Honours in Economics and was handpicked to join Treasury straight from University for his brilliant economic policy work. That is a fact. Cullen, on the other hand, is a historian by trade. No doubt he will return to that discipline post-November and make a total bollocks of that too!

    As a private citizen looking for someone to vote for I want to know where our politicians loyalties lie: with us the New Zealand people or with some shadowy financial elite.

    All that you have listed above is an assertion on Key’s character and it’s pretty shoddy. I think you should admit that you are in love with Cullen and can’t see of the shockingly obvious evidence that shows how incompetent he has been as Minister of Finance. You are evidently a Labour supporter and I can happily claim that no swing voter is going to hear your arguments and think, “Oh God, Key is just party to a massive conspiracy to destroy New Zealand and install Merrill Lynch as the next “. Please, if National is going to lose the election, it will have absolutely nothing to do with your contribution.

    So, I would very much like to know what was discussed at this meeting.

    That’s none of your blinking business. I want to know a great deal of things, like what Clark said to the CCP Premier on Tibet, or what she talked to the Queen about, or Rudd in her first call to him as PM, but unfortunately people are going to have private conversations without me, so you too will just have to come to terms with that.

    Globalization or global capitalism only leaves behind broken communities, broken countries, horrendous poverty and destitution.

    Um, Clark, Cullen and Goff are the triads of globalisation. I think it’s all a very good thing, and so does the Labour Party. I think you too are selecting what you want from Labour and ignoring the whole picture. If you think globalisation is such a terrible thing, then you ought not to vote for anyone, except maybe the Greens. And Cullen isn’t a member of the Greens Party, but no doubt Pierson can find you a article cleverly edited so that Cullen is in fact the covert Leader of the Greens, all you need to use is ellipses which is actually derived from a Greek word meaning ‘omission’, in this case, an omission of the truth.

    Perhaps the Nats aren’t producing policy because the caucus can’t decide on what the Party should stand for.

    Nothing worse than a rumour mill fuelled by the saliva from wagging Leftie tongues. Thank you for totally ignoring the other policy announcements from National is order to perpetuate this dry piece of gossip, and please enrol in Politics 101; the first lesson being on not releasing election policy too early so that your opponents can steal it for themselves. Rumours about leadership really don’t do anyone any justice particularly in this case, as no party, and I stress NO PARTY, is going to be unsatisfied with a leader who leads a party on 53%. By the time the election comes around, there will be plenty of policy from both sides. Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it.

  54. Hi Hoolian, I will get back on your post, but I’m writing this on a friends computer since my connection is down for a couple of days due to some technical problems with the telephone line and it takes the bloody telecom people three days to fix it.
    Cheers

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