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Economic anger and political madness

Written By: - Date published: 7:28 am, March 11th, 2016 - 66 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, class war, economy, us politics - Tags: , , , , ,

Yesterday I wrote about intergenerational theft, the way that “the millineials” are getting systematically screwed by economic factors such as unemployment, debt, rising house prices, and static incomes. In comments Olwyn objected to the generational framing, arguing that “what we are looking at is the war of international capital against all”. I don’t think it is “either / or”, I think both factors are in play.

Coincidentally yesterday the Washington Post ran this interesting piece (by Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Biden):

Real earnings, real anger

It is pretty widely agreed upon that a good chunk of the electorate is angry.

The electorate’s anger is also fueled by a more basic manifestation of the inequitable economy that even Donald Trump has lamented: the long-term stagnation of wages for various groups of workers. Tom Edsall argues that “[T]he economic basis for voter anger has been building over forty years.” Bill Galston stresses that when the “implicit bargain between average citizens and their leaders” — you work hard, you get ahead — “breaks down because leaders don’t live up to their side of the bargain, all bets are off.” A group of Washington Post reporters contends that the anger behind Trump’s ascendancy “is more than just anger at the political class or rebellion against political correctness. It reflects decades of lost jobs and falling wages for a swath of blue-collar Americans, who saw their opportunities diminish and developed a sense that someone has stolen something from them.”

Bernstein digs in to the data (see graphs in the full article).

Both pictures clearly support the above assertions connecting anger to paychecks: decades of stagnant earnings for blue-collar factory workers and sharp declines in the real earnings of middle- and low-wage white men. … There is a demonstrable link between real earnings and real anger.

History clearly shows us that when people are economically stressed they turn to extreme action and extreme leaders. Bernstein is arguing that the Trump ascendancy is another example of this. Given the massively increasing inequality in the world, and the way that the 99% (especially the younger generations) are treated economically, I guess we can expect a whole lot more anger, and a whole lot more political madness ahead.

66 comments on “Economic anger and political madness”

  1. Ad 1

    If it really was purely earnings-related anger Bernie would be as popular as Trump.

    It’s just too economically deterministic.

    • Andre 1.1

      Bernie is more popular than Trump, both by vote share in primaries, and by head-to-head polls. It’s just that Hillary is almost as popular as Cruz+Kasich+Rubio combined.

      • Ad 1.1.1

        It’s too simple to rely on the “economic basis for voter anger” as Trump’s Secret Sauce. He has particular political skills that so far only he is prepared to deploy.

        I’m very surprised that the left can’t deploy a more nuanced analysis of his attractions and skills after two decades of exploration of gender theory, race theory, identity theory, sexuality theory, cultural criticism, postcolonial analysis, and economic geography.

        Try any one specialist in those fields: How would Camille Paglia or David Harvey analyse Trump’s success and rise?

        It’s a different analysis to Sanders.

        • r0b 1.1.1.1

          I agree there are other factors in play for Trump, but I think the economic anger is a necessary and significant factor.

          • Ad 1.1.1.1.1

            I’m not even sure it’s a strong factor.

            The disenfranchised have consistently voted against reparing the “broken contract” since Carter have gone harder right for Senate, President, even Congress.

            The trend is a weakening economic factor, and a strengthening of other factors.

            That’s true of left and right.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The disenfranchised have consistently voted against reparing the “broken contract” since Carter have gone harder right for Senate, President, even Congress.

              That’s because the political elite and the corporate media have consistently and continuously misinformed the American electorate about what is needed to fix their economic malaise.

              Can you not see that NAFTA was promoted by Clinton and the US power elite as a way to boost the US economy just as the TPP and TTIP are?

              Deregulation of the financial markets and privatising pension funds – all sold to the American public as ways to wealth.

              Guess what.

              Americans are now waking up to the fact that their leaders, and their media, and their big corporations/banks have lied and lied and lied to them.

              And they ain’t fucking happy about it.

            • Crashcart 1.1.1.1.1.2

              I think it is more of an issue of people who are angry and they don’t exactly know who to blame. They live in a country and follow a party that has told them their whole lives that opportunity is there if you just take it. They work as hard as they can and they don’t see the gains.

              Their party doesn’t want to admit that it is a systematic problem. There are two ways that can be handled. You can deny the problem exists and tell people every thing is actually fine. Or you can find a scapegoat.

              Trump is scapegoating like crazy. Its the fault of Mexicans, its the fault of Muslims. Here is where he beats out the other candidates he is against. He can also get away with saying it is the fault of politicians. This rings true and so those on the right flock to him.

              • Colonial Viper

                I think it is more of an issue of people who are angry and they don’t exactly know who to blame.

                But they do know that the Establishment Players are the centre of it all, hence going for candidates that are unsupported by the establishment and the establishment media machine.

        • Andre 1.1.1.2

          When it comes to Trump, it looks to me like whatever your worldview may be you can find nuanced reasoned analyses that seem to make sense. And are totally different to the next nuanced reasoned analysis that comes along. Whenever I start spending too much time thinking about the Trump phenomenon, I end up in some pretty ugly speculation about his fans’ motives and thought processes, so I back out pretty quickly. I figure, just enjoy the clown show and hope like hell he doesn’t actually end up in the White House, or do too much damage before November.

          However, what I haven’t seen is nuanced reasoned analyses of why Hillary is so much more popular than Bernie among blacks, Hispanics and most other minorities. Everything I’ve seen so far looks pretty superficial and condescending.

          • Macro 1.1.1.2.1

            My thoughts entirely!
            Can’t for the life of me see why Hillary is more popular than Bernie within the Black American population.

            • mosa 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Clinton has big name recognition with African Americans going back years
              Clinton would have won in 2008 had the desire to vote for Barack Obama a winnable black candidate not been a factor.
              I think Sanders would deliver more for that community than Clinton if they could have just broken the Bill- Hillary spell and thought outside the square

              • Ad

                If Sanders gets close in Florida I’d agree that they are getting it.
                Clinton would be in real trouble at that point.

              • Colonial Viper

                All I can figure is that the Blacks who vote Democratic are way more middle class than is representative of the overall Black population in the US.

                Especially given that Bill Clinton signed the Omnibus Bill which criminalised a whole lot of until then minor crimes. Which consequently exploded the Black prison population.

                And when those millions of Blacks are released, most of the time, they are never ever allowed to vote again.

                • greywarshark

                  That’s a great point CV. Centre attention on black crime, manufacture it by making regular minor habits unlawful, and fill the prisons. It creates a feeling of continual attack requiring defence by what should be peaceful happy communities, with the large numbers in prison being like a waiting shadow of to-be released men who are dangerous. Gun purchase goes up, despite all the bad publicity. Attacks on blacks are justified in the attackers minds by the Jungian shadow. The blacks in prison are the bad people, being held in custody to keep the good folks from being overwhelmed, they are the scapegoats for the ills of society. That means an easy target for people’s hates and fear.

                  And then once they have been imprisoned, these pariahs can no longer vote, they are disenfranchised.

                  I have been reading a not pleasant book about a vulnerable man and son trying to get established in a British city. The son eventually kills himself largely as a result of the father’s efforts to smooth the way for him in that society, but not succeeding, being further victimised until the father arranges a retaliatory professional hit on the other. But an interesting point is that the boy’s aunt realises that the father is getting the same treatment meted out to a Romany family with numbers of children, who were driven out of the housing estate by hostility. And when it happens also to her brother, she realises that she accepted it at that time. Now she lacks wisdom and the ability to communicate and support the father and son, not enough charity or love for her brother to help him through his trauma. (Neil Cross ‘Always the Sun’.)

                  It all has become groupthink, and each tragedy has an outpouring of emotion, but no effort to resolve the almost primitive responses that seem to arise involuntarily to long-held prejudices allowed to fester in society. That is why we have to break the intolerance cycle regularly. It doesn’t make people change deeply held prejudices but it stops them being spread without let or hindrance, to gather steam and spread or to continue on inter-generationally.
                  edited

                • weka

                  Who could they have voted for instead?

            • Crashcart 1.1.1.2.1.2

              A combination of an image created for Bill glossing on to Hilary and powerful backing in the Blakc community. Remember that cool Sax playing Pres? you add into this respected African American politicians backing her and going as far as flat out denying Sanders civil rights record and you can get a picture of why low information voters vote the way they do.

            • Anno1701 1.1.1.2.1.3

              “Hillary is more popular than Bernie within the Black American population.”

              because her husband is known as the first black president…

              After all, Clinton displays almost every trope of “blackness”: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald’s-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas.

      • aerobubble 1.1.2

        Bernie did not inherit through the hard work of parent selection and family, social networking that Trump has. Thats why its framed as anger that Trump is picking up on, I mean he’s worked hard to be given so much so quickly. Its hard work being born with a silver spoon shine out of ones arse. Bernie was lazy all his life, lazily joining with black protesters, lazily sitting in Congress, people like him who have a history of service, to principles, its not work. Work is churning paper debts over, keeping the soft leathery seat warm and moist takes real work.

    • Olwyn 1.2

      The piece doesn’t say it’s all earnings related. This is the telling bit: when the “implicit bargain between average citizens and their leaders”….“breaks down because leaders don’t live up to their side of the bargain, all bets are off.” The loss of real wages is one manifestation of this breakdown, as is the attendant scorn for political correctness – there are few things more irritating than a self-satisfied, patronising face when you are at the end of your rope. And this state of affairs explains both the support for Bernie and Trump. Of the two, Bernie is the one that wants to renew the social contract – Trump appeals more to the anarchic streak that is also part of the US.

      • s y d 1.2.1

        Exactly Olwyn..the deal is off. And indeed ” there are few things more irritating than a self-satisfied, patronising face when you are at the end of your rope”
        The image that popped into my head was Sir Michael Cullen.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.2

        “anarchic streak” – in the US that is foundational, meaning not wanting to be ruled over by a tyrannical government, whether that government is in England or in Washington DC.

        • Olwyn 1.2.2.1

          There’s a moment in Arthur Miller’s autobiography, “Timebends” when the HUAC hunt him down in Reno, where he has been obliged to stay for six weeks to get a divorce. Both his John Birch Society-member lawyer and a right wing Texan rancher offered him escape routes – they were of course opposed to Communism, but even more opposed to the government telling you what to do. Their descendants are probably now cheering for Trump.

    • AmaKiwi 1.3

      It is not “economically” deterministic.

      It is how all higher animals behave. Fear (fight or flight) overrides all rational thinking.

      Anger is not disappointment or displeasure or some such less consuming emotion. Anger comes from FEAR.

  2. vto 2

    Agree.

    But not sure why you call it political madness. It is not madness at all is it, from your very own logic…

    It is a clear and logical political outcome.

    The madness is in fact what has been going on the last “forty years” because it is that which has led to the destruction of the values and lives these voters have.

    It is in fact “the end of political madness”

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      BINGO

      It’s like the kind of establishment logic which calls Trump and Sanders “extremists.”

      In fact it was Clinton, Bush and Obama who were the extremists.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      +1

      People are getting pissed off with politicians who are obviously owned by the corporates.

      • AmaKiwi 2.2.1

        +1

        Near the end of his life Milton Friedman admitted he had been wrong about totally free market capitalism. He saw the abuses and concluded the marketplace needs some government regulation.

        But let’s just keep Friedman’s discovery a secret between your unregulated media monopoly and mine. No need to confuse the public. /sacr/

  3. Sanctuary 3

    The liberal left political class should look at Trump and Sanders, buy a revolver, book into a hotel room and do the decent thing.

  4. linda 4

    I wonder if we will see foreclosed framers. On picket line outside dear leaders house but in all serious debt ، houseing bubble pop cant. Be far away

    • Stuart Munro 4.1

      We should see their tractors on the steps of parliament – but I imagine Bill’s brother will try to talk them into losing everything without protest.

  5. esoteric pineapples 5

    The lower middle (white) classes in the United States have been voting against their own best economic interests for nearly 40 years now, basically because they have supported right wing Presidents since Ronald Reagan who have appealed to their prejudices against liberals, gays, black people etc. They may have been manipulated by the Republican leadership but they have to accept a good portion of the blame themselves.

    Incidentally, the “Disco Sucks” phenomenon which coincided with the election of Reagan is now being viewed as a reactionary movement against blacks, gays and other minorities.

  6. pat 6

    it is indeed a war…but not generation against generation….the gameplan is longer than that…it is the age old capital vs labour battle…..what is occuring is a simple equalising of the cost of labour throughout the world, which is demonstrated by the falling real wages in the advanced economies and the raising in the developing.
    An inevitable result of the globalisation strategy….is anyone surprised? is also why the powers that be fear the isolationist backlash, which brings its own problems….as with the worlds economic sysytem it is an oxymoronic situation…the solution is the problem.

    • Stuart Munro 6.1

      It will turn when the right have a well-founded fear of serious consequences.
      No-one in parliament is offering to punish them yet – they won’t stop stealing until they get their fingers burnt.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      pat – the “capital versus labour” battle is a war of the 19th and 20th century.

      Labour lost.

      The current fight is against neo-feudalism.

      • pat 6.2.1

        a turd by another name….

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          not true.

          If you aren’t aware of what battle and what enemy you are fighting, and what their new objectives are, you will end up using old techniques and old strategies, trying to fight the last war.

          This is what the Left has been doing now for 2 decades, and losing ground all throughout.

      • AmaKiwi 6.2.2

        CV,

        I think your point about neo-feudalism is worth a discussion on The Standard.

        You and I work to enrich multi-national corporations who are beyond the control of any national governments. Through financial contributions and lobbyists, they control national governments who, in theory, are supposed to do what is best for us, the people. Instead, national governments serve corporation’s agendas. (TPPA)

        You’re on to a central issue.

        We cannot solve a problem until we have correctly defined it

  7. katipo 7

    Long but worth a read…

    http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism

    “…..MacWilliams studies authoritarianism — not actual dictators, but rather a psychological profile of individual voters that is characterized by a desire for order and a fear of outsiders. People who score high in authoritarianism, when they feel threatened, look for strong leaders who promise to take whatever action necessary to protect them from outsiders and prevent the changes they fear….”

    • Gristle 7.1

      IMO the basis for authoritarism as per MacWilliams et al has better predictive power than purely an economic view. I am surprised that this article was not referred to earlier.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        /shrug

        I’ve been linking to this page for quite some time. It clearly describes a lot of National Party and even some Act Party adherents quite clearly. The above article and mentioned research is following the same line.

        • ropata 7.1.1.1

          Scary shit, and sadly very accurate. Have hung around with these types quite a lot and was aligned with much of their perspective ~ they are right about the current power structures stealing from the masses and spreading poverty. But their ‘solutions’ are worse than the problem, these ignorant fools in their poverty, values warped by unquestioning obedience to religious figures, and lack of education, are a fantastic voter pool and source of young soldiers to advance the Empire

  8. Ad 8

    Right on queue for me, Camille Paglia comes out changing her mind and just loving Trump:

    http://www.salon.com/2016/03/10/i_was_wrong_about_donald_trump_camille_paglia_on_the_gop_front_runners_refreshing_candor_and_his_impetuousness_too/

    She gets that Trump has hold of something deep in the US, and is amplifying it all he wants. And no, it’s not a class, income, or “economic contract” thing for her.

  9. whateva next? 9

    another post coherently articulates same thing, shame it’s not played on NZ news at 6.00 pm so everyone can wake up to this, instead of going on, and on about Trupm, who is merely a symptom, not the actual problem.
    http://gu.com/p/4fh3v/sbl

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    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    7 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    7 days ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary 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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    13 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
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    8 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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