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CTU: Why is the Reserve Bank happy with low wage growth?

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, June 13th, 2014 - 124 comments
Categories: Economy, wages - Tags:

ctu_logo“There seems little prospect for better wage growth if the Reserve Bank is to be believed”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “It says the slow wage growth is because of more people wanting jobs, rapid immigration growth, and the high unemployment rate.”

“This is a circular argument. People are being forced into the job market because stagnant wages mean more people have to work for the needs of their households. At the same time harsher rules on social welfare benefits and the low level of those benefits force people into a job market where as the bank says, there is ‘elevated unemployment’. In these circumstances, immigration should not be used to undermine workers rightly asking for wage increases.” Rosenberg said.

“There is a high risk that growth peaks this year without most people seeing any sign of it in their pay packets.” Rosenberg said.

“The Reserve Bank’s rhetoric is not encouraging. It seems to see wages as just another price and it will rally against any significant rise in them.  There is no recognition of the needs of workers who depend on wages for their livelihoods, nor of their productivity, which has risen much faster than real wages since 2009. The implication is that if wages do rise faster the Reserve Bank will clamp down with higher interest rates.” Rosenberg said.

“At the same time the Reserve Bank acknowledges the longstanding problem with the overvalued exchange rate. It seems to think it is a mystery, and just sits on its hands. There are policies that could be used in New Zealand to help address it. A more competitive exchange rate would help high value exporters and reduce our reliance on commodity exports whose prices have peaked, while creating better jobs.” Rosenberg said.

“Meanwhile there is little sign of a pause in interest rate rises.” Rosenberg said.

124 comments on “CTU: Why is the Reserve Bank happy with low wage growth? ”

  1. billy 1

    Considering that we are all users of imported goods if the value of the NZ$ is reduced then those goods will become more expensive. Those of us who are unfortunate enough to be on a benefit would see even less money to spend on basics to survive.

    • Naki man 1.1

      I agree billy filling the car with petrol is a big cost already do we really want to pay another 20 cents per litre of petrol and pay more for everything that is transported.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        That would just be the market re-balancing. Surely you’re not advocating that the government interfere in the market?

        • aerobubble 1.1.1.1

          Lower oil prices and high house prices have made our economy weak and unable to adapt. Both will remain holding us back, while the financial industry has the ear of our government.

    • Tracey 1.2

      I’m confused. How is the current system working for you?

      • In Vino 1.2.1

        “Those of us on a benefit” … implies that billy might be on a benefit, but actually does not say so. I suspect he is not – he is just a right wing troll.

  2. geoff 2

    The reserve bank and Treasury is still chocka block full of moronic monetarists.

    They’re either there cynically to serve the rich and powerful or they are the gullible clueless who will
    live by their false gods till their dying breath.

    Anyone who hasn’t read this must do so:
    http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2009/10/07/the-gervais-principle-or-the-office-according-to-the-office/

  3. DH 3

    Most of what the RBNZ do seems to be circular argument, they appear trapped by the cause & effect loop of their own actions.

    What’s really needed is a concise and simple summary of how it all works that everyone can understand; something people can take with them when they vote.

    What I’ve been able to work out so far is this;

    The basic monetary principle of inflation is it occurs when there’s too much money. Money is a medium of exchange so for there to be inflation there must be more money than there are goods & services to be exchanged for it.

    Money is created by bank lending so when we get inflation it must mean the banks are lending too much. The theory is that growth in money should match growth in economic output; maintain the equilibrium between money supply and supply of goods & services.

    The RBNZ increase the OCR primarily to reduce bank lending. An increase in interest rates reduces the demand for borrowed money. That slows down the growth in money and lets economic output catch up, restoring the equilibrium. That’s the theory anyway.

    Where it all goes titsup is the RBNZ have never controlled inflation. They’ve just hidden it. They know they’ve hidden it and they have to keep up with their charade to stop the whole house of cards collapsing.

    How have they hidden it?

    They’ve hidden inflation behind an overvalued exchange rate. The shopping basket that makes up the CPI is made up of an increasingly larger percentage of imported goods and cheaper imports hold CPI inflation down. Lower inflation in the country of origin also keeps our inflation down. The price of imports is directly linked to our exchange rate.

    Our exchange rate is held high by our domestic interest rates being higher in comparison to other economies. The carry trade is a $trillion industry and the large international players make a buck by borrowing money from a low interest rate country like Japan and investing it in a high interest country like NZ. The ‘carry’ is the difference between the two interest rates. When the RBNZ raise the OCR it attracts more of the carry trade money & pushes the $NZD up. That subsequently brings inflation down via cheaper imports.

    The RBNZ can’t allow our currency to fall for any sustained period because that will reveal our true inflation. A sustained 15% fall in the $NZD would, over time, result in pretty much a corresponding 15% increase in consumer prices across the board. The RBNZ mandate is to keep inflation down so they’re forced by their own prior actions to keep the $NZD up.

    From what I can see they’re pretty well, er… fucked. It’s been a long time coming and they’re nearly out of options. They certainly can’t let wages go up, it would accelerate their fall.

    I’d be interested in hearing others perspectives on it….. it’s not easy putting all the pieces together.

    • billy 3.1

      How would the RBNZ influence the $NZ so it had a sustained 15% fall?

      • aerobubble 3.1.1

        Sit on its hands and wait for global oil prices to continue to trend upwards.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        It’s more a that the RBNZ is working to prevent the 15% fall that the NZ$ should have.

        • srylands 3.1.2.1

          You may as well advocate an across the board pay cut for workers. You are relying on the economic ignorance of your cheer leaders to get away with such nonsense.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.1

            A reduction in the NZ$ would spur demand for NZ products overseas thus decreasing unemployment. The decreasing unemployment would drive wages up.

            What you’re really demanding is that the government keep the exchange rate high so that wages can be kept low due to the high unemployment that we have.

    • geoff 3.2

      So how do you see that process terminating, DH?

      • DH 3.2.1

        “So how do you see that process terminating, DH?”

        I really have no idea Geoff. My own interest was really only to gain an understanding of how it all worked so when I read about our economy in the ‘paper I’d have an informed platform to shape opinions from.

        My line of thinking at present is wondering if it’s all been deliberate or just incompetence and then who’s really responsible for it. The RBNZ are just bureaucrats doing what they’re instructed. They don’t have a mandate to help exporters so it’s unlikely they will do anything there no matter how much wishful thinking.

        From the social perspective the inflation in housing has been a gargantuan transfer of wealth from renter to property owner. The scale of it is mindblowing. There’s only about $270 billion in the entire money supply and the value of residential property alone has gone up by more than that in less than ten years.

        http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/key_graphs/house_prices_values/

        They say we’re poor savers and, well shit, property owners have collectively seen their personal wealth increase by over $200 billion in less than a decade! If that’s not good saving then what the hell is?

        Some people have become extremely wealthy out of property inflation and the question needs to be asked if that was intentional or not because the Govt always had the power to halt it. It’s inflation, house prices rise for the same reason all inflation occurs…. because there’s too much money.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          Some people have become extremely wealthy out of property inflation and the question needs to be asked if that was intentional or not because the Govt always had the power to halt it.

          I figure it’s intentional so that the banks and other financiers can continue to get richer without actually doing anything. If the government wanted to do anything about it they would have stopped the private banks from creating money years ago and stopped them from sourcing foreign money.

        • geoff 3.2.1.2

          ok, when you said ” It’s been a long time coming and they’re nearly out of options.” I thought you had a picture of how it might all come to a head.

          Isn’t the inflation of housing one of those examples of how the concept of the ‘value’ of something can change rapidly? This is bubble economics, the outcome of economic herd behaviour. Is this something the central banks can respond to quickly enough to suppress the housing bubbles?

          After watching the film ‘Inside Job’ I became fairly convinced that it could have been stopped.

          I think the reason it didn’t is central banks, the US in particular, didn’t want to be the ones who pulled the plug on the perpetual motion machine. So not so much that it was a conspiracy (i think there were elements of that) but nobody wanted to be the person who ’caused’ the crash. So they let it just crash on its own.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect

          • DH 3.2.1.2.1

            “ok, when you said ” It’s been a long time coming and they’re nearly out of options.” I thought you had a picture of how it might all come to a head.”

            By ‘long time coming” I meant they’ve been hiding real inflation for nearly thirty years now and sometime soon we’re going to get inflation whether we like it or not because there’s a limit to how long they hold our currency high. We’ll run out of assets to sell, houses will simply get too expensive; all that overseas investment keeping the $NZD up there will one day have nowhere to park.

            Housing inflation could have been kept low if the RBNZ had been instructed by the Govt to include asset inflation in their inflation targets. It’s a deliberate omission, no question of that. Housing inflation is kept down by the same means any other inflation is kept down.

            I suspect one reason they left housing inflation to run rampant is political smoke & mirrors. The money spent on housing leads to economic growth. It has to, there’s more money being spent and that money will circulate in the wider economy. The housing inflation isn’t measured in the CPI so they can puff their chests out & brag about economic growth and ‘low’ inflation while leaving future Govts to clean up the mess they made. They don’t care, they’ll be retired on their taxpayer funded pensions & million dollar properties by the time their chickens come home to roost.

            • geoff 3.2.1.2.1.1

              We’ll run out of assets to sell, houses will simply get too expensive; all that overseas investment keeping the $NZD up there will one day have nowhere to park.

              So you do have a few thoughts on that. Cool. I think I mostly agree with you.

  4. Richard@Down South 4

    The NZD is artificially held at a high trading value because:

    • Interest rates are higher than many other countries…
    • No CGT on rentals, making 8+% PA (tax free)returns from rentals in Auckland etc, a very good looking investment
    • billy 4.1

      Richard, a CGT will only work when you sell the property. Unfortunately won’t the introduction of CGT mean that those lucky enough to own investment proprties be less inclined to sell in the future? Yet another problem for our housing supply issue!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        No, Billy, taxation never deterred anyone from making a profit, not even when the top tax rate was over 70% in the USA, back when it was the land of opportunity.

        • billy 4.1.1.1

          No – instead of declaring profit & paying tax you hide it by increasing expenses etc.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1.1

            Sure, spending it’s an option. Boosts the economy.

            PS: sorry, I see you mean falsify your tax return and nah, too much effort, too expensive to do properly, and too much personal risk.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2

          No, Billy, taxation never deterred anyone from making a profit, not even when the top tax rate was over 70% in the USA, back when it was the land of opportunity.

          Or at the 91% top tier income tax rate circa 1960

          • srylands 4.1.1.2.1

            You are simply wrong. High MTRs carry a significant economic cost. That is why they have been progressively lowered. The top rate in New Zealand will be 25% by 2023, because our future lies in Asia, countries that resile from high tax rates. There is no alternative.

            I suggest you read this Treasury paper prepared for the tax working group which clearly shows the relaionship between distortionary costs and MTRs.

            http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sacl/centres-and-institutes/cagtr/twg/publications/5-estimating-the-distortionary-costs-of-income-taxation-in-newzealand-treasury.pdf

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Clearly estimated. By Professor John Creedy. Let’s play a game, shall we? You get to demonstrate Creedy’s credibility, using some real world evidence.

              Or go read Picketty to catch up. Your choice.

              • Phil

                Clearly estimated.

                What gave it away? The first word in the title? To paraphrase the late Bob Peck: “Clever Boy”

                Estimation is part and parcel of economics (and climatology, too). Why?
                Because, as much as economists and climatologists would like to, we can’t turn the world into a laboratory and adjust one isolated variable in a complex system. We have to work within the ‘noise’ and distill conclusions by whatever statistical means are available.

            • geoff 4.1.1.2.1.2

              Sure tax causes some ‘distortions’, but that contribution is negligible compared to the distortions that wealth inequality has caused.

              So, srylands in the larger, more relevant picture, you are simply wrong.

              Go and read Piketty.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2.1.3

              There is no alternative.

              Shitlands, you really are short of imagination and creativity, aren’t you.

              I’ll tell you what we have no alternative about – the loss of fossil fuels over the next 40 years.

              But keep playing your silly electronic numbers games.

      • aerobubble 4.1.2

        It aint a one horse race. There are a number of changes, that are found elsewhere so no worries about being cutting edge, on the cards for the next government to deal to housing.

        But mostly its about allowing Auckland to grow upwards, and outwards-upwards on its rail lines (i.e. goto sydney get on a train to parra).

    • Phil 4.2

      New Zealand’s interest rates have been comparatively higher than our trading partner’s for at least the last thirty years, if not longer. During that period our exchange rate has moved from lows of USD 39c to highs of 86c.

      The real drivers of our high exchange rate are high commodity prices and our compulsive need to (as a nation) borrow more than we earn. This has been the case since the 1960’s or 70’s.

      http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/key_graphs/exchange_rate/

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        The value of the NZ$ jumped yesterday on the announcement of the higher OCR. That said, the fact that we’re living beyond our means is what’s keeping interest rates high.

        Billy and Nakiman prove that the RWNJs want to keep it that way. One wonders why especially considering that the political-right has been saying for decades that we shouldn’t be living beyond our means.

      • DH 4.2.2

        “The real drivers of our high exchange rate are high commodity prices and our compulsive need to (as a nation) borrow more than we earn. ”

        I’m not sure you’ve got it right there. We don’t borrow more than we earn, well by definition any borrowing would be more than earning, but there’s no rash of bankruptcies or mortgagee sales and most borrowing is buying property assets for which people are servicing their mortgages.

        Overseas investment has also gone straight into asset inflation, the value of property in NZ has risen by over $400 billion in the last decade alone. People are borrowing more not because we’re profligate wastrels but because the things we buy with borrowed money keep going up in price.

        It’s a bit like people claiming the banks borrow from overseas because they need more funding. Banks don’t need more funding. They want it, and want is a very, very, different definition to need.

        • billy 4.2.2.1

          The reason banks need funding is because NZ’ers are poor savers but want everything now so have to borrow from the bank to pay for it!!

          • Colonial Viper 4.2.2.1.1

            Of course NZers are poor savers, with cost of living increasing month by month and wages low and static.

          • Tracey 4.2.2.1.2

            how much are you saving on the benefit billy?

            • billy 4.2.2.1.2.1

              Absolutely nothing but if the exchange rate is lowered then everything I have to buy will go up in cost & I will have even less to survive on!!

              • Tracey

                you realise where your thinking is heading?

                • Colonial Viper

                  goshdarnit buying trinkets on round the world trips and silly imported luxury toys will get more expensive

                  Absolutely nothing but if the exchange rate is lowered then everything I have to buy will go up in cost & I will have even less to survive on!!

                  Try buying NZ made

              • Draco T Bastard

                Well, in theory, only imported stuff would go up in price whereas the NZ made stuff would stay low and thus you’d buy NZ made boosting the economy. What will actually happen is that NZ producers will sell offshore at the higher price to maximise profits and thus continue the increasing deprivation that we’ve seen since we adopted the sociopathic free-market ideology.

                It is kinda amusing though seeing a RWNJ demand that the government keep prices low.

                • DH

                  “What will actually happen is that NZ producers will sell offshore at the higher price to maximise profits ”

                  Yeah, that’s why I figured we’d see an across the board price increase matching the drop in the $NZD. We pay international prices here for anything we export so most of the local content would go up by the same amount.

                  I really don’t think there’s any real argument a long term cut in the $NZD would cause pretty severe inflation. Short term cuts don’t have much of an impact because of hedging & import inertia, need the rate to stay low before inflation takes hold. The big fall we had in ’09 was just starting to show up in CPI figures when the $NZD went back up again.

        • Phil 4.2.2.2

          Gah! Brain fade!
          I meant to write “… spend more than we earn” which, of course, makes us net borrowers.

        • Sacha 4.2.2.3

          “Banks don’t need more funding”

          Quite right. Their main product is debt – and they have been extremely successful at creating more of it.

  5. john 5

    If we lower exchange rates, my petrol costs go up, my car costs go up, everything that is transported (i.e all my food) goes up, all imported goods go up, and of course interest rates then have to go up to counter all that inflation, so my mortgage goes up as well.

    Please remind me why I would be better off?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      It isn’t about you.

      I’m not convinced that we have enough clout in the global market to significantly affect the exchange rate, nor do I know enough about macro-economics to figure out if that would be a good thing or not, but if it upsets someone with your track record of drivel, it can’t be all bad.

      • john 5.1.1

        You might be stupid enough to want to be poorer than you are now. Most people are not.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          You silly billy, this is what happens when you hollow out your own manufacturing and productive economy: you become dependent on foreign currency to buy foreign goods.

          And the more you go down this road, the more the majority of people are impoverished as good jobs disappear, and a few at the top (who you shill for) do very well indeed.

          • srylands 5.1.1.1.1

            Let’s bring back import licensing.

            • McFlock 5.1.1.1.1.1

              stronger immigration controls on neolib australians might be a better start…

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Why? The best step right now is to not sign the TPPA.

              Following on from that we need to make speculating on the NZD risky and unprofitable.

              Thirdly a buy NZ made campaign with teeth – including support for NZ manufacturers, designers and technology developers.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1.3

              Why would we do that? Just allowing the forex to properly balance as per your preferred free-market ideology would do just fine.

          • john 5.1.1.1.2

            We’ve always been dependent on foreign currency to buy goods.

            Even for manufacturing, we need foreign currency to buy the raw products – steel, plastic and fuel.

            And if things were really as bad as you say, for the reasons you say, National wouldn’t be polling 50% and Labour wouldn’t be polling 30%.

            But then the real world always looks worse when you constantly look at it through your vortex of negativity.

            • Tracey 5.1.1.1.2.1

              half of the workforce takes home less than 30k per annum.

              You are being duped and you are spreading it.

              Do you understand how advertising and marketing works? Designed to trigger hot buttons, to make you think you want something when you dont need it. Sure they spend billions per annum, and not fruitlessly.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.2.2

              We’ve always been dependent on foreign currency to buy goods.

              No we haven’t. We’ve been told that we are but we could easily have made those goods here.

              Even for manufacturing, we need foreign currency to buy the raw products – steel, plastic and fuel.

              Nope, we have the raw resources here in NZ thus there’s no need to buy them.

              But then the real world always looks worse when you constantly look at it through your vortex of negativity.

              That’s just it, you’re not looking at it through the lens reality but through the lens of denial and delusion.

              • Tracey

                imported goods was never about altruism it was about profit taking. Steve tindall made millions. Yes he employed minimum wage kiwis and gave them a day off on their birthday but he also assisted the downfall and death of our apparel industry. He has a knighthood and a charity. That doesnt change his part in it.

              • john

                DTB says “Nope, we have the raw resources here in NZ thus there’s no need to buy them.”

                Aluminuim? Plastic? Steel? Copper? Rubber? Or dozens of other metals and mineral needed to manufacture modern products.

                Good luck with your car made from pine trees and wool.

                Perhaps you could make it wind powered.

                • Colonial Viper

                  What do you need cars for?

                  Hundreds of thousands of people in NZ already cannot afford a car. That number will steadily increase over the next 30 years until only the 1% will be able to afford cars: exactly like the situation in the 1900’s.

                  • Tracey

                    john doesnt know anyone in those circumstances so he is easy for the pm to mislead into thinking they dont exist

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Aluminuim? Plastic? Steel? Copper? Rubber? Or dozens of other metals and mineral needed to manufacture modern products.

                  Yep, all here.

                  Good luck with your car made from pine trees and wool.

                  I’d probably use hemp. Not that I’d use a car – horribly inefficient devices.

                  Also, apparently you can also get better cloth from hemp than cotton.

                  Perhaps you could make it wind powered.

                  Well, that, hydro and solar.

                  • john

                    Yeah right – we’ve got bauxite mines, copper mines, rubber plantations, and oil wells all over the place.

                    I’d get a more intelligent debate arguing with a brick.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Go away john, you’re a shill for the 0.1% you don’t give a fuck about anyone else.

                    • john

                      Another brick.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Don’t you think we’ve learnt from the last 30 years of your neoliberal bullshit? From 3 decades of Rogernomics, Ruthanasia, John Key banksterism?

                      Mate, answer me this – why the fuck haven’t YOU learnt? Why the fuck can’t you see that the neoliberal way doesn’t work for the 99%?

                      Is there a particular reason that you’ve decided to be a paid serf to the interests of the 0.1%?

                      The world is going to run out of affordable fossil fuels in 30 years or less. And here you are playing your part in business as usual ‘pretend and extend.’ You can’t be so brainless as to not see that we’re fast running out of road to kick the can down.

                    • john

                      CV says “Why the fuck can’t you see that the neoliberal way doesn’t work for the 99%?”

                      What a load of extreme nonsense. If that were true, National would be polling at 1%, instead of 50x higher than that

                      The vast majority of people have a vastly better living standard now than they did in the 70s.

                      What there is, after 30 years, is charity fatigue towards people who won’t bother contributing to society and believe everyone else should work so they don’t have to.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      we’ve got bauxite mines, copper mines, rubber plantations, and oil wells all over the place.

                      Just because we don’t have the mines doesn’t mean that we don’t have the resource, i.e, there’s a 20 million tonne bauxite deposit in Northland.

                      What there is, after 30 years, is charity fatigue towards people who won’t bother contributing to society and believe everyone else should work so they don’t have to.

                      Probably, you’re problem is that you’re misidentifying them. The people who don’t contribute are the 1%, the rich – and we cannot afford them.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The vast majority of people have a vastly better living standard now than they did in the 70s.

                      Another cheap, useless, materialistic measure.

                      Let me ask you a real one – what percentage of under 25 year olds have steady permanent jobs today, compared to the 1970’s?

                      How about this one: what percentage of 30-40 year olds own their own home today, compared to 30-40 year olds in the 1970’s?

                      Not that you give a fuck, but just asking. You see, the 1% whom you shill for are massively better off nowadays. No one is disputing that. Its everyone else who has been left behind, and particularly the bottom 50% of society.

                      Again, not that you give a fuck.

    • Tracey 5.2

      let me answering that by quoting a popular expert in these things

      ” … attempt to blame every problem and crisis on past governments has lost credibility… The bulk of..s so-called experience is in the dark arts of ducking for cover and shirking responsibility….

      New Zealand now has one of the world’s highest interest rates, something that is encouraging speculation in the dollar even while it puts enormous pressure on the manufacturing sector, exporters

      homeowners and exporters are now paying the price…

      “The high dollar and rising interest rates are not solely the products of a short term economic sea change.??”

      • john 5.2.1

        We’ve got one of the lowest mortgage rates in decades. Because it’s fractionally off the record lows, you say home owners are “now paying the price”. That’s funny.

        It wasn’t that long ago mortgage rates were 11%.

        • Tracey 5.2.1.1

          sorry john, are you saying we dont have one of the worlds highest interest rates? Are you saying that having one of the worlds highest interest rates isnt why the dollar is so high? If you are saying that, how do you explain the nzd jumping 1 cent against usd yesterday on the rbnz announcement?

          Its got to be good news if you holiday in hawaii dont you think.

          • john 5.2.1.1.1

            We have near record low interest rates, but they are higher than most other countries because out economy is performing better than most other countries (a GOOD thing).

            Our exchange rate is high because
            – our exports are massively up on a few years ago so people have to buy our dollar to purchase our goods ( a GOOD thing)
            – our economy is performing well so we are attracting overseas investment (a GOOD thing)
            – tourist numbers are up (a GOOD thing).

            It sounds like you want a lower exchange rate meaning the price of everything – that’s EVERYTHING – will go up.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Overseas investment is a) not needed and b) bad for the country as it results in even more of our wealth heading offshore.

              • john

                Foreign investment has massive benefits for NZ, and the economy would collapse without it. So would jobs.

                Even the Green Party stated n their policy that 25% of New Zealand jobs would not exist without foreign investment.

                And Labour Party policy “welcomes” foreign investment.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Foreign investment has massive benefits for foreigners. That’s why they invest here, silly billy, they aren’t charities you know, they’re in it for themselves and have no connection or loyalty to this land other than to empty it out asap.

                  • john

                    Colonial Viper – if you took out foreign investment you’d wipe out 25% of our jobs. Even the extreme Greens see that.

                    You’d have to be stupid in the extreme to wipe out over half a million jobs in NZ because a small amount of what’s produced goes overseas in profit.

                    You’d certainly kiss goodbye to benefits if you did that.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well of course, as usual you are wrong on all counts. Foreign companies suck out $15B per annum from the NZ economy into the pockets of foreign shareholders.

                      By keeping that money in NZ we could create 600,000 NZ jobs.

                      As usual, you are shilling for the 0.1%.

                    • john

                      Duh – if they suck out $15b in profit, then they CREATEe $150-$300b to get the profit. That also means the CREATE half a million jobs, CREATE billions in GST, CREATE billions in company tax, and CREATE billions in PAYE.

                      And you want to get rid of all that.

                      Your argument is idiotic – even extreme left parties like the Greens realise NZ would be stuffed without foreign investment.

                      You’d destroy the jobs of half a million Kiwis because you don’t like someone making a profit – the stupidity is mindblowing.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      if you took out foreign investment you’d wipe out 25% of our jobs.

                      No we wouldn’t because the skills, the people and the market would still be there.

                      You’d have to be stupid in the extreme to wipe out over half a million jobs in NZ because a small amount of what’s produced goes overseas in profit.

                      10% or more of GDP isn’t a small amount.

                      Duh – if they suck out $15b in profit, then they CREATE

                      Foreign investment doesn’t create anything. In fact, capital ownership doesn’t create anything. Never has done that’s why, as the rich get richer we get poorer.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Foreign investment has massive benefits for NZ, and the economy would collapse without it.

                  No it doesn’t and no it wouldn’t. Really, why do we need foreign money to utilise our own resources when we can do it with our own skills?

                  Even the Green Party stated n their policy that 25% of New Zealand jobs would not exist without foreign investment.

                  It seems that the Greens are getting as delusional as Labour and National then.

                  • john

                    Anyone who is left of Greens or right of ACT is best ignored for the way out extremists they are.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Left of the Greens is getting closer to reality. Right of the Greens is getting more delusional.

            • Tracey 5.2.1.1.1.2

              Who did you vote for in 2008 john?

              • john

                I’m a swing voter in the middle, so I vote for the direction I believe policies need to go – that could be left or right.

                If Labour came up with better ideas, I’d quite happily vote for them.

                But as a swing voter, I’ve voted for the winning side on five out of the last five elections.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Of course you’re in the political middle, just like Maggie was.

                • Tracey

                  In 2008 our interest rates were higher than most other countries because our economy is performing better than most other countries (ajohn key said this was a BAD thing ).

                  Our exchange rate was high because
                  – our exports are massively up on a few years ago so people have to buy our dollar to purchase our goods ( john key said this was a BAD a thing)
                  – our economy is performing well so we are attracting overseas investment
                  – tourist numbers are up .

                  So, was john key lying to get your vote then john, or is he lying now

                  Now, interest rates dropped because of gfc, not national policy, and they are still one of the highest in the world

                  • john

                    Tracey, you’ve just totally shot down your own argument in flames.

                    You’ve just made several contradictions to your own argument.

            • Tracey 5.2.1.1.1.3

              so, you agree we have one of the worlds highest interest rates?

              • john

                You’re so desperate to find something negative about the interest rates.

                Most countries who have lower rates than us, have those rates because their economies are much weaker than ours.

                You need to take off the blinkers and look at the whole picture.

                • Tracey

                  If you re read our whole exchange in this thread with an open mind, you will see who is wearing blinkers.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    One Anonymous Bloke put it well:

                    I get tired of reading the same lame groundless bullshit from right wing gimps year after year after year, as though they operate as some kind of Borg, only with less imagination. A grey blancmange of grey blended parrots twittering grey blended dribble.

                • miravox

                  “Most countries who have lower rates than us, have those rates because their economies are much weaker than ours.”

                  http://www.global-rates.com/interest-rates/central-banks/central-banks.aspx

                  What’s negative about it? They’re also countries with low wages and high inflation. According to you neolib types, thats a bad thing.

                  Your blinkers seem very effective John.

                  • miravox

                    edit: According to you neolib types, thats a bad thing – the high inflation bit that is. You seem quite happy to sell workers to the lowest bidder while ‘investors’ profit from chasing interest rates.

            • Tracey 5.2.1.1.1.4

              how important are those things to you?

        • Tracey 5.2.1.2

          do you understand the notion of affordability john? For example interest rates could be lower in 2014 than 2007 but living costs are higher, real wages static or fallen.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Goddamn it, another RWNJ demanding that the government keep prices low.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    John describes very clearly the neoliberal trap that our country has been walked into. You decimate local production and expertise, making NZ a country of consumers, not producers. As a result you become reliant on foreign goods – everything from pens and lightbulbs to engines and machine parts.

    But to purchase foreign goods you need foreign money – so more than ever the country is subject to changes and manipulation in its foreign exchange rate.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      +1

      And the selling off of the country to pay for the imports that we now need that we made ourselves before.

      • srylands 6.1.1

        We could have an import substitution policy, and raise tariffs? Or a “Buy Kiwi-made” campaign?

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          What is this “WE” business Shitlands, you’re a foreigner shilling for the 0.1%, you’ve never lived or worked in NZ. Fuck off.

          • john 6.1.1.1.1

            The country would be a far better place if we swapped intelligent foreigners for abusive Kiwis.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              You disloyal little fuck, Kiwis are intelligent too.

              • john

                You just proved my point. I’d far rather have have working intelligent immigrants than lazy abusive Kiwis who think the rest of the hard working population owes them a living.

                • Tracey

                  wow john. Just wow

                  • john

                    Pretty easy choice – hard working people who contribute, or lazy abusive parasites.

                    • framu

                      lazy abusive parasites.

                      wow john – turn around your looking in the mirror

                      arsehole

                      you dont know shit about those who comment here – i suggest you stop making claims that only prove what a colossal prat you are

                    • Tracey

                      speaking of parasites, how bout all those banks which were bailed out back in profit and paying big bonuses again.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Tracey – the big banks never stopped paying out huge bonuses even at the height of the GFC when they were being given TRILLIONS in tax payers money. For instance as detailed in this Wall St Journal article written mid 2009.

                      As far as the big banks were concerned, getting bailed out by governments for free, was the culmination of a very successful business strategy and bank executives deserved to be rewarded for their “talent”.

                      http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB124896891815094085

              • Marksman33

                Srylands would be better off trying to defend the ignorant little fuckwit he has for a PM in his own country.What an embarrassing moron that man is.Australians should be ashamed of themselves.

            • Tracey 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Like Mr Liu?

          • rex 6.1.1.1.2

            Who moderates this site? Instead of having intelligent debate about some of the serious issues this country is facing.. is the best thing that some people can say is “fuck off”? So does that mean in general if somebody says something I don’t agree with I should just tell them to “fuck off”? I’ll tell my kids to try this strategy at school. You people need to grow up!!

            [lprent: Before you make a complete dork of yourself, perhaps you should read the policy. The debate is “robust” and we don’t stand for “pointless abuse” which is definitely not the case here. The comment you are referring to was quite pointed and relates to previous comments by the person he was replying to that has formed the impression that they don’t know much about NZ.

            So yes, you can. Politeness isn’t required. You just have to explain why you are saying it. Otherwise you might find a moderator removing your ability to comment.

            While you are there I suggest that you also read the last section in the about, and the relevant sections in the policy about people who try to tell us how to run our site. We don’t tolerate much of it, especially by first time commentators. ]

    • miravox 6.2

      +1. High wage countries with a strong manufacturing base undestand this.

  7. dimebag russell 7

    the RB is involved in class warfare. obviously if profitability goes up and wages go down then someone else is getting the money.

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