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English lashes out

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, February 10th, 2011 - 66 comments
Categories: bill english, economy, employment, jobs - Tags: ,

Bill English is finance minister for what is looking increasingly like the most useless do-nothing NZ government in living memory. The double dipper from Dipton is leading us in to what looks more and more like a double dip recession. Unemployment is up. Benefit numbers are up (with over 1000 added to the dole just last month). International agencies are downgrading our credit rating. We’re falling in international prosperity ratings. Inflation is spiking at 4%. Instead of closing the gap with Australia their economy and their wages are pulling even further ahead of ours. By every significant indicator the National government is an economic disaster. And all the while Bill English is borrowing $300 Million a week to pay for tax cuts for the rich that they didn’t need in the first place.

The Nats have not a clue how to run an economy. Against all evidence they gambled on the one-trick-pony of tax cuts to magically bring us “roaring out of recession”. Now that pony is a thoroughly dead horse they don’t have anything else to offer. (Sorry! Sorry – I do keep forgetting the cycleway.)

So what do you do when your economy is in trouble, your credibility is in tatters, and you’ve already used your idea? Why you lash out at people! Who? The usual suspects will do – beneficiaries and public servants. English in particular has focused on the later group, as Duncan Garner reports:

English launches attack on the public sector

Finance Minister Bill English has launched a scathing attack on public servants.

He said the country can not afford policy, where people sit around talking about their good intentions. And he warned, it is time some of them looked for jobs outside the state sector. “For people who think the way it was five years ago is the way it should be, well that won’t happen again and they’d be better to go somewhere else,” he said.

The Government has shed more than 1500 jobs from the public sector over the past two years. Now it is about to embark on another round of cuts in public sector jobs – because English says too many public servants waffle on about nothing. “Across the whole social service area whether it’s health education or families commission, we can’t afford waffly policy where people sit around talking about their good intentions,” said English.

He kept repeating the line. “Right across the social sector we’ve had too much waffle.”

Too much useless waffle? Too many good intentions and not enough action? Well goodness, I can think of a bunch of useless public servants that fit that description. I can think of a bunch of useless public servants that we can certainly do without. They’re sitting on the government benches.

66 comments on “English lashes out ”

  1. NickS 1

    What else can we expect from a government that shows no interest in research, let alone crafting well written legislation? English it seems believes policy springs forth fully formed, and that analysis and gathering of evidence requires no work at all. Not when we have talk back radio to light teh way at least…

  2. ron 2

    I think you hit the nail on the head there, NickS.
    This government has made a virtue of creating policy pout of opinion. And I’m afraid that opinion is usually expressed over gins around the pool on the weekend.

  3. Harry 3

    To be fair the current account deficit seems to be tracking pretty well.

    Even if they lay off another 1000 Public Servants I can’t see how it will measurably help his budget deficit problem as their salaries and associated costs are negligible in comparison. Public Service bashing is a smokescreen covering for the fact that he is as desperate, as you imply. It’s hard to believe in the ability of a Minister of Finance who can stoop this low to gain support.

    The scary thought is that he may have plans to lay-off thousands. Lets hope that he and his associates have a public-private partnership plan in place to take up the slack, otherwise the downward spiral will presumably continue.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      It’s hard to believe in the ability of a Minister of Finance who can stoop this low to gain support.

      Not really, it’s what National have done before in the 1990s.

  4. vto 4

    When it comes to politics and public life Bill English is evil personified.

    Pure evil.

    Which is what ex-all black Robin Brooke used to get called back in his day.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Yep as already pointed out elsewhere, English is a career bureaucrat, tax payer funded public servant, former Treasury lackey and no.1 accomodation trougher off the public purse.

      The nerve of the man.

      What were all those Wellington types who voted NATIONAL last time round thinking.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1

        Thats why Treasury is getting more money. Not for them the mantra of more from less even though they screw up .

  5. vto 5

    And as for a politician having other people on for being wafflers?

    Not just evil, but also completely dishonest.

  6. hobbit 6

    “tax cuts for the rich that they didn’t need in the first place.”

    Its. Not. Your. Money.

    • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 6.1

      Oh yes it is.

      In order to make that money, you require a stable political system, the rule of law, a currency you can trust, courts that function and a whole host of components necessary for the operation of a modern market economy. So don’t think of it as taxation – think of it as payment for services rendered in supplying a capitalist society.

      Of course, if you don’t think a functioning society is necessary, you’re welcome to sell up in NZ and head to Somalia, where you will never be taxed and don’t have any of the impediments to making money, like a judicial system. Let us know which flight you’re taking and we’ll come and wave you off.

    • jimmy 6.2

      And so the money were borrowing to pay for them is somehow yours?

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        You guys have even better replies to this than I have. I usually just say that when you do a paid days work and do so (partly) for the benefit of your country and your community.

    • If Hobbit is right then we should disband the public service. No police, no public health, no Courts, only private schools. No law and order, just chaos.

      His model has worked really well in … I am thinking hard … Ghengis Khan’s Mongolia! Is that what he really wants?

      EDIT – oops just read TEISG’s comment. Couldn’t agree more.

      • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 6.3.1

        I’ve just run Hobbit’s phrase through the patented Neo-Liberal Dog-Whistle To English Translation Engine™ (now fully Ayn Rand compliant) and it came up with the following translation, to a 99.993% accuracy:

        Its. Not. Your. Money == I’m. A. Selfish. Tit.

        • mickysavage

          Can you check that you have the most up to date version, I thought “stupid” was a slightly better translation than “selfish”.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Oh, I think it should be “stupid and selfish”.

            • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group

              I’ve just checked, and the Economic Illiteracy Support Group is running Rev A of the translation engine, which isn’t the latest code. I think you were thinking of the later Rev B system, which is a bit less sensitive to typical neo-liberal mis-spellings and general illiteracy. Here’s a comparison output:

              Rev A: Its. Not. Your. Money == I’m. A. Selfish. Tit (note ignored lack of apostrophe in “Its”)
              Rev B: Its. Not. Your. Money == I’m. A Stupid. And. Selfish. Tit

              Clearly the later code is picking up the fact that Hobbit can’t spell correctly, and is therefore categorising him as stupid as well as selfish. Still, there is some merit in the Rev A system – parsing the spelling errors, grammatical problems and general functional illiteracy of the typical neo-lliberal right winger uses up a truly vast amount of CPU.

      • Colonial Viper 6.3.2

        Genghis Khan’s mongolia was a pretty sharp operation dude…those training schools where they taught riders to hit bullseyes from 50 yards using bows and arrows and with no hands on the horse? Just about won them continental Europe.

  7. Sean 7

    Bill English has engineered his fiscal crisis with his tax cuts, and now he is going to use his failure to kick the public sector.

    His Tax package did not work in its stated aim of getting the economy going. It is time the Mainstream media calls him on this – still waiting journalists.

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    Didn’t blingy have a whole bunch of his mates go through some line by line look over of the various depts already?

    Didn’t they come up with squat?

  9. johnm 9

    Australia’s economy has taken a very big setback with the floods and cyclone Yasi. It’s irresponsible to give tax cuts on borrowed money during a recession or is it a “Depression”? That money has to be repaid with interest to overseas lenders(Another set of rich b*stards). Seems to me austerity for the public service to pay for tax cuts for his rich class who will be taking more foreign holidays.Borrowing from the rich to benefit the rich by cutting services to the public which entity they do not recognise as per Thatcher “there’s no such thing as society” we’re just taxpayers and consumers.

  10. Craig Glen Eden 10

    This attack from the guy who happily constructed his affairs so he could suck as much money as he could from the tax payer. What a hypocrite. The housing market and construction sector are in trouble, you give the rich a tax cut which put’s the Government books in the red,you increase GST,
    then you make a whole lot of public servants redundant. Then you kick the rest of public service with a big dog whistle (public servants sitting around with good intentions).
    Well at least I suppose they have good intentions which is more than what I can say for the finance minister who sat around scheming how he could get more from you and me.

    National taxing no responsibility for their miss management of the economy and sitting around working out how to give our assets to the rich.

  11. erentz 11

    And of course I’m informed about at least one of our biggest departments has been told to start outsourcing everything, and fast. Do you think there’d be any point OIAing for some kind of business case/strategy document? I’d really like to see these things measured, what is the problem trying to solve, did you solve it.

  12. patriot_nz 12

    There is something really wrong with the system when we have useless f***wits like English (and Goff) sitting in parliament decade after decade. We need to have a time limit on politicians- time for these guys to get off taxpayer funded welfare and get a real job. These are the men that screwed up the country in the 80’s and 90’s – unbelievable that they are STILL THERE continuing to screw up the country. Time we had a new political party with new people and new ideas and maybe then we might get a government which represents the people and not just the international financial elite.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      I see the challenge as increasing the political awareness and participation of more every day NZ’ers. Politicising people in other words so that they are aware how voicing their thoughts and engaging in discussion and action can make their communities a better place.

      And then, the formation of powerful grass roots centred political parties etc will happen like a whirlwind.

      • Shane Gallagher 12.1.1

        The problem is twofold I think – a lack of education about politics in schools and a biased, supine and ignorant media.

        So we need to engage school children in politics and you can do that in lots of creative ways.

        And we need a public service broadcast service. We can easily afford it if we change our funding model slightly and then TV1 and perhaps TV2 can be public service channels focusing on older and younger audiences respectively.

        We would also need to address ownership of newspapers etc.

  13. O2B 13

    Totally agree CV. I am doing that already. MPs on the left should be getting amongst the people now rather than leaving it too late. Or do you think they’re waiting for NACT to tie their own noose?

    Patriot – while there are some politicians out there with questionable motives and ideas, they are there because your fellow New Zealanders voted them in. But I am sick of people like you saying being a politician isn’t a real job. It looks like hard work and sometimes you have make hard decisions. You’re not always going to be popular. And some of the decisions you make people’s lives depends on.

    As an aside Patriot, what do you do for work? If you believe that English and Goff are useless taxpayer-funded beneficiaries, why don’t you get off your arse, be a true patriot and do something about it? By your rhetoric you obviously could do a better job.

  14. patriot_nz 14

    O2B- surely, having made New Zealand a low wage basket case (remember we were once one of the richest countries in the world) the politicians who made the decisions that led us to this point should be able to be removed from the decision making process ie parliament. They so failed this country the first time, why do they get the opportunity to fail us again and again? That so many of these people are still there suggests there is a big problem with the system.

    I make no apologies for my criticism of the politicians in this country. There are far too many of them who have no useful ideas or skills and have no loyalty to the people who voted them in and are just there for their own personal advancement. The world is now so fast moving and complex that we need people in parliament who have more than public relations skills. Politics shouldn’t be a career for life- very few careers are lifelong anymore so why should politics be any different? What we need are highly skilled people with expertise in particular areas who come in for a term or two and then resume their lives in the private sector.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Way way too negative R0B.

    At least we’re not like China that has overstimulated its economy by building all sorts of stupid shit like entire cities where no-one lives. Guess what, China is now trying to slow things down by increasing bank reserve rates and hiking interest rates.

    At least we’re not like Australia that depends on China continuing to build all sorts of stupid shit. Pity that China is now trying to slow down its economy. Pity that the China bubble might burst in the near future with the most dramatic consequences being for Australia, that is China’s bitch.

    At least we’re not like the US that has been borrowing trillions upon trillions and printing endless quantities of dollars. But still has unemployment at around 10%. Pity that the trillions upon trillions have to be repaid, that the excess dollars eventually have to be withdrawn, and that the USD is dropping increasing commodity prices there, and increasing the risk of massive stagflation in the US.

    Sure, we haven’t had a sugar-fueled bounce like some of these other places. But I don’t think we need one. The problem with sugar fueled bounces is that there is usually a major hangover afterwards. We don’t need growth at any cost. We need sustainable growth. Growth that shoots up rapidly tends to fall back just as rapidly. Whereas growth that is slower is more sustainable in the long-term.

    IMO the NZ economy has bottomed out, and is likely to improve from here-on. Recent evidence has been that house prices are steadying and that borrowing is increasing.

    The economy has been essentially flat for awhile now, suggesting we have reached a market bottom. Sure we may have a technical recession by a fraction of a point or so at the end of December, but from hereon I expect there will be a sustained uptrend in the economy.

    One good thing going for NZ is that we are an agricultural producer. Unlike Australia that could well fall back if China stops making stupid shit, people everywhere have to eat. The evidence is that food prices are increasing worldwide (e.g. protests in Egypt). Thus the NZ economy is set to benefit big time.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Apparently tsmithfield your rationale is poor China, with US$3T in foreign currency reserves and keen on buying up the hard assets dumb western foreigners want to sell, exchanging them for worthless printed US$, at least we’re not like them!

      Building cities where no one lives, no we have trouble rebuilding cities where people DO live lol

      And at least we’re not like Australia, with their high incomes and better working conditions! Lucky us!

      IMO the NZ economy has bottomed out, and is likely to improve from here-on.

      Yeah i reckon your prediction will be as good as Key and English’s has been over the last 2 years.

      Sustainable growth my ass, NZ under NAT won’t be able to get any kind of growth, sustainable or otherwise.

      The evidence is that food prices are increasing worldwide (e.g. protests in Egypt). Thus the NZ economy is set to benefit big time.

      Yeah, I know what you mean, beneficiaries trying to buy $12 blocks of cheese are benefitting big time from food price hikes right now mate.

      • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1

        I like how now, all of a sudden, we no longer have a private debt problem so more debt being cranked up is a good sign. We’ll be selling each other houses again in no time. Let the good times roll.

      • tsmithfield 15.1.2

        Remember all the dramas about Dubai recently? Well Chanos has described China as Dubai 1000 times over.

        Sure, Australia is doing well. But they depend on the Chinese doing well. So, all their eggs are in one basket. If Chanos is right, then Australia could be in considerable trouble in the not too distant future.

        CV “Yeah, I know what you mean, beneficiaries trying to buy $12 blocks of cheese are benefitting big time from food price hikes right now mate.

        Thats the downside of living in a world economy where the US is exporting inflation by mass printing of the world reserve currency.

        • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group

          CV “Yeah, I know what you mean, beneficiaries trying to buy $12 blocks of cheese are benefitting big time from food price hikes right now mate.

          Thats the downside of living in a world economy where the US is exporting inflation by mass printing of the world reserve currency.

          It’s also the downside of living in a country where the only allocation mechanism that will be considered by the current government is price. Given a choice between preserving the nutrition of all Kiwis (and thus saving the long-term societal costs of poor health) or maximising the profits of a small number of largely corporatised farmers, it’s a pretty safe bet that National will back the farmers.

        • Colonial Viper

          China is Dubai 1000 times over? According to Chanos? Who happens as it turns out to have bet big time on China failing…and is now going around giving speeches saying that China is going down the gurgler? Sorta convenient right.

          Hmmmm, let me ignore the vested interest Chanos has in China falling over for just a moment and say that he makes many good points. In order to keep their currency low, everytime China earns a surplus $10M from the US, it has to print tens of millions more renmenbi. Yes that credit is flooding the market place in China and yes speculative bubbles have been forming.

          But China has got very strong short term and long term measures in place to deal with this. The measures are not 100% perfect e.g. to do with the housing bubble in some coastal cities, but its a damn sight more than either LAB or NAT have ever done.

          China’s longer term strategy is intriguing. And that is to move their economy *away* from its current heavy reliance on exporting products to meet foreign demand.

          But back to something else you said which is closer to home. If mineral demand from China crashes, and Australia crashes (they have managed to keep inflating their property bubble, somehow) then NZ will have a new problem.

          Hundreds of thousands of Kiwis returning home. You want to see our 160,000 unemployed turning into 260,000 unemployed in 6 months? This is how it would happen.

          I wonder how many cycleways Key will promise to sort that out.

          • wtl

            “China is Dubai 1000 times over? According to Chanos? Who happens as it turns out to have bet big time on China failing…and is now going around giving speeches saying that China is going down the gurgler? Sorta convenient right.”

            Yes very convenient. And why is he telling everyone about it, rather than just waiting for it to happen and making heaps of money in the process? It almost seems that he is trying to influence people in some way…

      • Rob 15.1.3

        Have you ever been to China CV?

        • Colonial Viper

          PRC? Not as such. I’ve travelled through a lot of Asia but not set foot on mainland Chinese soil as yet.

    • r0b 15.2

      I’m not being too negative just because its possible to imagine worse scenarios. (And arguably the house price fuelled private debt bubble is our own stupid scenario anyway.)

      Sure we may have a technical recession by a fraction of a point or so at the end of December, but from hereon I expect there will be a sustained uptrend in the economy.

      Yeah we’ll dig ourselves out eventually (until the next oil price shock). But when we do it will be because of the hard work of ordinary Kiwis, and rising prices for our exports. It won’t be because of anything this useless government has done.

  16. tsmithfield 16

    I would rather the government did too little than too much to be honest.

    • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 16.1

      Well, you’re certainly getting your wish with this government. In fact, if the entire Cabinet disappeared tomorrow the only measurable impact would be that the cost of governing the country would reduce.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 16.2

      You must be pretty happy with how they have gone in the last two years. Achievements- 90kms of cycleway, an appearnace on Letterman and tax cuts- not much else to write home about.

      • Colonial Viper 16.2.1

        Don’t forget skyrocketing youth, Maori and Pasifika unemployment rates. That’s the kind of affirming, aspirational action that NAT supporters revel in.

  17. tsmithfield 17

    I am actually. I think the government should be trying to get out of the way as much as possible.
    The more they are doing that, the happier I am.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Hey tsmithfield, you know those coins and notes in your wallet? You know that printing, distributing and controlling their supply in the market is a Government function? That is, the existence of MONEY is a core Government function totally essential to the function of day to day commerce?

      Guess you want the Government to get out of the way of the existence of MONEY too, right?

      Yeah, your ideas will really work mate.

      • tsmithfield 17.1.1

        CV “You know that printing, distributing and controlling their supply in the market is a Government function?”

        You’re plain wrong there. For example, the Federal Reserve in the US has been doing all the money printing in the US. However, the Federal Reserve is not a government organisation.

        So a government is not needed for the creation or supply of money.

        • Colonial Viper

          LOL mate the Federal Reserve creates BANK CASH (out of thin air I might add) but in order for the Federal Reserve to create BANK CASH they need to hold reserves of TREASURY BONDS.

          Now…let me think which organisation in the US issues Treasury Bonds? Would it be…the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT???

          And this is exactly how the US Govt has run its “quantitative easing” programme of issuing hundreds of billions in new money.

          Gawd why do all these Righties need monetary lessons from the Left!

          (You are quite correct, despite its misleading name, the Federal Reserve is not a US Govt organisation).

          (I should also point out that I was actually speaking specifically about notes and coins in circulation, and when you look into it I think you will find that they are designed and authorised by the US Treasury – a Govt function, as I said – even though the Federal Reserve does the actual logistical work of distributing the notes and coins to its member banks)

          So a government is not needed for the creation or supply of money.

          See above.

          • tsmithfield

            Correct. In this case the Federal Reserve practices are intertwined with the US Government. However, your assertion is that government is essential for the creation of money. I am saying it is not. The fed holds treasury bonds because it is a convenient round about way to inject liquidity into the system. It doesn’t specifically need to hold Treasury bonds to create money. It just needs an asset.

            For instance, here is something about the history of money:

            Thereafter merchants preferred to store their gold with the goldsmiths of London, who possessed private vaults, and charged a fee for that service. In exchange for each deposit of precious metal, the goldsmiths issued receipts certifying the quantity and purity of the metal they held as a bailee (i.e. in trust). These receipts could not be assigned (only the original depositor could collect the stored goods). Gradually the goldsmiths took over the function of the scriveners of relending on behalf of a depositor and also developed modern banking practices; promissory notes were issued for money deposited which by custom and/or law was a loan to the goldsmith,[18] i.e. the depositor expressly allowed the goldsmith to use the money for any purpose including advances to his customers.

            You see, no government was required in this early part for money to be created. If you read further into all this you will find out that the goldsmiths latched onto the fact they could use paper to loan out more than they actualy held in gold, and make interest on what they lent out. Hence the start of modern banking.

            So, I stand by what I said. A government is not required for creation of money.
            All you need is entities that are prepared to trust each other for the paper they issue.

            • Colonial Viper

              If you read further into all this you will find out that the goldsmiths latched onto the fact they could use paper to loan out more than they actualy held in gold, and make interest on what they lent out. Hence the start of modern banking.

              Mate this was all well and good when you could use GOLD to settle debts, pay wages and give the King his taxes.

              But today, GOLD is not legal tender, you cannot pay wages in gold, contracts settled using GOLD are not legally enforceable (unless explicitly specified in the contract itself) and the IRD is not interested in you paying your GST in GOLD.

              Therefore, although IOU’s (which is what your example essentially refers to) can be used as a medium of exchange, they are NOT legal tender.

              But yeah I agree with your point, you don’t need a government to issue IOUs.

          • Pascal's bookie

            You’re plain wrong there. For example, the Federal Reserve in the US has been doing all the money printing in the US.

            Funnily enough, all the things can do, it does via this:


            However, the Federal Reserve is not a government organisation.

            And on the FAQs page on the site above, we find this:

            Who owns the Federal Reserve?
            The Federal Reserve System is not “owned” by anyone and is not a private, profit-making institution. Instead, it is an independent entity within the government, having both public purposes and private aspects.
            As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the U.S. Congress. It is considered an independent central bank because its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms. However, the Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by Congress, which periodically reviews its activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute. Also, the Federal Reserve must work within the framework of the overall objectives of economic and financial policy established by the government. Therefore, the Federal Reserve can be more accurately described as “independent within the government.”

            The twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, which were established by Congress as the operating arms of the nation’s central banking system, are organized much like private corporations–possibly leading to some confusion about “ownership.” For example, the Reserve Banks issue shares of stock to member banks. However, owning Reserve Bank stock is quite different from owning stock in a private company. The Reserve Banks are not operated for profit, and ownership of a certain amount of stock is, by law, a condition of membership in the System. The stock may not be sold, traded, or pledged as security for a loan; dividends are, by law, 6 percent per year.

            But of course, they would say that. Trilateral commission, Queen of England, Lizards, etc.

            I readily admit that my link is not as exciting as young smitty’s, and that it lacks that certain Beckian je ne sais quoi that is fashionable on the right these days, (With the arrows and the chalkboards and the undertones and whatnot), but I think it has some value for all that.

            And the other pages on the site at my link are much drier than the one’s at smitty’s.

            I strongly recommend that people take a good long poke around at smitty’s link. That way lies some deep wingnut foo, in what looks like the talibaptist tradition. Start with either the front page for a quick laugh, or jump on in to the ‘reading room’ to catch a handle on just how far the tea party is away from peak wingnut. The well is deep my droogles, and they have only yet begun to sup.

            It’s a classic of the genre. Thanks Smitty!

            • tsmithfield

              Did you read the post I have just done?

              CV was contending that government is absolutely essential for creating money. I have argued it is not. If you read my post above you will see that to be the case on the basis of the history of money.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Perhaps, when presuming to lecture me, you should check to see that you are following your own advice.

                CV was contending that government is absolutely essential for creating money

                Really? Is that what he said?

                Here is the quote:

                You know that printing, distributing and controlling their supply in the market is a Government function? That is, the existence of MONEY is a core Government function totally essential to the function of day to day commerce?

                Guess you want the Government to get out of the way of the existence of MONEY too, right?

                I see no claims there of necessity, I see the present tense there, and a question at the end that strongly implies that he is aware of alternatives to the present arrangements.

                It is true, simply true, that the money supply is a core govt function in every state that I am aware of. Has it always been? No, but that is the same for education, health, policing and any number of other things. So what?

                Your point is trivial, and useless, and beside the point.

                Futhermore, I was responding to your statements, not his. Did you read the post I have just done?

                You said:

                You’re plain wrong there. For example, the Federal Reserve in the US has been doing all the money printing in the US. However, the Federal Reserve is not a government organisation.

                You strongly implied there that the money supply of the US was not controlled by the Government. That it was not a core government function. “You’re plain wrong there” ts. That is what I was responding to.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 17.2

      At least you are being honest about the strategy. I wonder if voters will buy the sit back and hope plan on Nov 26.

      • tsmithfield 17.2.1

        Not so sure its sit back and hope. They are actively trying to reduce the amount of government (which is great IMO) and inject the money saved back into the economy where it will be used more productively.

        • wtl

          Yes, we can all see how amazingly well that has worked so far.

        • The Voice of Reason

          Back into the economy of Hawaii, Australia, China and of course, Warner Bros. Why aren’t your heroes doing something about our runaway overseas debt, TS? Is it because overseas is where most of their money is, too?

          • Colonial Viper

            I’d laugh if NAT Ministers were investing in big overseas funds which were buying NZ government debt.

            Hmmmm maybe “laugh” is not quite the right sentiment.

        • Colonial Viper

          The money Bill and John hope to save isn’t going to be injected “back into the economy” (they’re in fact doing the opposite, putting paid people on the dole queue takes their income OUT of the economy).

          The money Bill and John is going to be injected directly into wealthy back pockets. Just like the last round of tax cuts were.

        • RedLogix

          You keep repeating the line that somehow public sector expenditure is ‘less productive’. Yet never do you mention any example to prove such a contention.

          Exactly why do you think the public sector is in any way less ‘productive’ than the private sector?

          • KJT

            So Teachers, Doctors, SOE Electricity companies, Building regulators, supervisors of roading contracts etc etc are less productive than finance company managers, beer advertisers, real estate agents and bankers. I do not think so.
            Does a power company magically become more productive if it is run like a corporate or privatised? The evidence shows otherwise.

            Which is more efficient: ACC as it was before the thieves throttled it, or USA’s private workers insurance.
            USA’s private medical system is the most expensive in the world for less coverage than any of the socialised health systems in countries like NZ.

            The evidence from all over the world shows that State run works best for natural monopolies and provision of essential services.

            Anyone who adv advocates more privatisation in NZ is either severely deluded or criminal.

            In fact banking and other cartels should be bought under democratic state control.
            Of course having a democracy would help.

  18. George.com 18

    Whats this waffle about “a deleveraging recovery where the usual drivers of growing credit and consumption don’t apply,” English said.

    A “deleveraging recovery”. Bill, if there is deleveraging there is no recovery, the recession is still unwinding. At best a stagnant economy, at worst a doubel dip. Rather than speak such waffley nonsense, why not just come out at say I have either stalled the recovery or dragged the economy back into recession.

    Cut the waffle Bill.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      You have to give English some slack, he’s only a career public bureaucrat after all.

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