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Free market efficiency in health – not

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, March 15th, 2017 - 37 comments
Categories: capitalism, health, socialism, us politics - Tags: , , , , ,

Health care in the USA is very much in the news at the moment. That country likes to consider themselves the self appointed leaders of free market capitalism, but it’s well known that their market based health system is a train wreck compared to many state run systems. This piece (from a couple of economists) makes the point again:

Improving U.S. Healthcare and Coverage

As economists, we are genuinely partial to market-based solutions that allow individuals to make tradeoffs between quality and price, while competition pushes suppliers to contain costs. But, in the case of health care, we are skeptical that such a solution can be made workable. This leads us to propose a gradual lowering of the age at which people become eligible for Medicare, while promoting supplier competition.

Before getting to the details of our proposal, we begin with striking evidence of the inefficiency of the U.S. health care system. The following chart (from OurWorldInData.org) displays life expectancy at birth on the vertical axis against real health expenditure per capita on the horizontal axis. The point is that the U.S. line in red lies well below the cost-performance frontier established by a range of advanced economies (and some emerging economies, too). Put differently, the United States spends more per person but gets less for its money.

It really doesn’t matter how you measure U.S. health care outlays, you will come away with the same conclusion: the U.S. system is extremely inefficient compared to that of other countries.

Looking around the world, the healthcare delivery systems that have advanced longevity most at lowest cost—those at the top left of the first plot […] tend to be universal and with a substantial government role that establishes a statutory standard of insurance. At one end of this spectrum, Britain’s National Health Service is both the sole payer and provider—analogous to the workings of the U.S. Veterans Administration. Other systems offer a combination of statutory and private components: in the case of Germany, the former is several times larger than the latter. Our view is that the provision of universal care in the United States will require that the government assume a larger role than it has thus far.

The data behind that main graph, and a discussion of some possible explanations, can be found at OurWorldInData.org. Most of the countries that outperform the USA have state run / universal health care. Of those that do not, it would be interesting to know what legislative frameworks constrain private provision.

The idea of free market efficiency is not nearly as powerful or universal as its (often fanatical) proponents would have us believe. The sorry state of the USA’s health system is yet another compelling example of its limitations.

37 comments on “Free market efficiency in health – not”

  1. Andre 1

    Fundamentally the US model adds enormous administrative cost with the insurance model. There’s all the administration overhead, marketing, and profit on the insurance side. But it may be even worse for the administrative inefficiencies it imposes on the healthcare providers even just for routine stuff let alone the time sucked up if there is a dispute with insurers.

    • Andre 1.1

      There’s always voices in the US calling for single payer, even among conservatives. Here’s one that seems to have Trump’s ear, at least sometimes.

      http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/14/14923784/christopher-ruddy-medicaid

      I’m really disappointed at how many US pollies missed their opportunity when Trump said “who knew healthcare was so complicated”. They should have been shouting “wanna make it simpler and cheaper? Go single payer. Medicare for all”

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        14? million just lost access to healthcare, Trump delivered, he’s making it better, more inefficient more restricted. Trumps American dream.

        • Andre 1.1.1.1

          Has something just happened? Don’t see it on any news websites. As far as I know, the state of play is Ryan has shown his bill, the Congressional Budget Office has said it’s a steaming pile, more and more Repugs in the House and Senate are turning and saying they won’t vote for it when it comes up.

    • Sacha 1.2

      And the NZ govt wants to apply the same approach to privatising our social services. What could possibly go wrong?

      • Andre 1.2.1

        I’m more worried about how the US model is steadily creeping into health in NZ, stealthily under the radar. The big steps proposed for other services seem to spark more publicity and opposition.

        • Michael 1.2.1.1

          I agree. Labour must defend the public health system robustly, even if that means telling the people they will have to pay for it through progressive taxation.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        Of course they do – the US healthcare system generates massive profits for the bludging shareholders.

        • AmaKiwi 1.2.2.1

          Draco, you’re spot on.

          Follow the money.

          Obama Care had to make huge compromises to be enacted. Add together the lobby bribes of the insurance companies, drug companies, and private hospital industry and you have mountains of money buying the legislators.

          “Sad”

          No. Criminal bribery.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    I heard that there is plenty of money but it is grossly misallocated. I was then given examples of outrageous G&A expenses.

  3. Bill 3

    NZ – an equal opportunity to receive a diagnosis (maybe). An equal opportunity to go on a waiting list…and then there are the outcomes.

    Private health insurance? Sorted.
    No private health insurance? How’s that wait feeling?

    I could bang on about this, but will limit myself to one instance about two people I know requiring hip replacements. One person, insured, done in a jiffy. The other, whose condition is more marked, but who has no insurance, has been waiting for yonks while their condition and general well being has deteriorated.

    At the moment they struggle to venture beyond the door and their body is fucking out because of the physical stresses and strains associated with compensating for the knackered hip joint. (I won’t go into any suspected opiate addiction resulting from the time spent waiting…waiting….waiting.)

    Still. Another six months and apparently the operation will finally be done…and any secondary complications may or may not iron themselves out after that. Or not.

    Healthcare should be about equal outcomes, not equal fucking opportunity.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone with private health insurance just cashed in or up or whatever as a mark of solidarity and as a way to insist that this bullshit direction of travel for healthcare in NZ is not. fucking. acceptable…hm?

    Yup. I know. Not happening. Every person with private health insurance will have a reason for marking themselves out as a exception…

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone with private health insurance just cashed in or up or whatever as a mark of solidarity and as a way to insist that this bullshit direction of travel for healthcare in NZ is not.

      If everyone had health insurance the wait for everyone would be just as long as the public list.

      You see, the pricing system that the market relies upon is actually there to price people out of the market.

      If people weren’t priced out of the market then the demand for doctors and hospitals and nurses would increase and thus wages would have to go up.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        The US system and the NZ health insurance system proves that we cannot have an effective market in healthcare. It’s a natural demand monopoly – everyone needs it and a market is about pricing people out of getting that service.

        Healthcare, and many other modern services, isn’t something people should be priced out of getting.

    • AmaKiwi 3.2

      The rich would make sure waiting times disappeared if they did not have the fall back position of going privately.

    • miravox 3.3

      Agree Bill.

      I bang on about similar experiences in chronic care – specifically for conditions that requires ‘tweaking’ of medicine to control pain and progression of disease. I’ve known of public hospital care where the gap between appointments was 9 months. Pay for private care and the gap was the recommended 3 months.

      I’ve no idea how a person is meant to manage knowing that the constant stream of cumulative delays means they are in constant pain that affects all aspects of their lives and with the anxiety and stress of knowing the delay is not just enduring more pain, but also worsening the disease outcome.

  4. Tuppence Shrewsbury 4

    New Zealand still has a market in healthcare. And it’s very advantageous for consumers because of the nature of it. Health care is supplied at low cost by the state that’s pricing model is semi subscription on semi occurrence based, with subscriptions being arranged at a macro level. The othe key part of this is upstream where the state has almost monopsony like control In health. For 90% of health products it is the only purchaser, it is therefore the price setter.

    That’s not to say this is the most efficient model, but it works well with insurance companies having strong competition in the state itself and the state having its short comings compensated for by private medical care.

    It’s an efficient method of providing a public good. Probably why we see it mirrored in education too. If only we could admire it’s benefits and extend to other areas?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Bollocks – see above.

    • AB 4.2

      “and the state having its short comings compensated for by private medical care”
      That compensation of shortcomings is available only to the few who can afford private insurance.
      As these people also tend to be the powerful/decision-makers, the trend is towards the gradual degradation of the publicly-available services. Mainly because the powerful are happy to take resources off the public sector in order to award themselves the tax cuts with which they can pay their private health insurance premiums

    • Tophat 4.3

      Health is for those that can afford it. Our health system is great until you actually become sick.
      Our doctors only diagnose what their governing dhb can afford.
      Going on a wait list to get on a wait list is a very real issue, but being placed on that initial wait list is real work. Being told that having surgery would be, “contraindicative,” to your health is code for, “we have no money to carry out your surgery.”

      pharmac is great if you need paracetamol ,antibiotics etc but try to get a medicine that is not generic/commonly used, you will pay for it in total yourself.

      Acc is as useless as tits on a bull. All it does is deplete our access to proper accident insurance and reasonable compensation. They will try to break you by denying treatment costs and income compensation, sending you broke, forcing claimants to settle for far less than they deserve.

      While there may be a conscious effort to make going to the GP more affordable, only the looks have changed. It is certainly less expensive to catch flu these days but get truly sick and you’ll find the real costs of illness in NZ.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1

        They will try to break you by denying treatment costs and income compensation, sending you broke, forcing claimants to settle for far less than they deserve.

        That sounds remarkably like the US health insurance industry as reported in Michael Moore’s Sicko.

        ACC, as envisioned and put into practice initially, was great. Neo-liberalism for the last thirty years has screwed it over thoroughly.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    That life expectancy chart is out of date: Life Expectancy In U.S. Drops For First Time In Decades, Report Finds

    One of the fundamental ways scientists measure the well-being of a nation is tracking the rate at which its citizens die and how long they can be expected to live.

    So the news out of the federal government Thursday is disturbing: The overall U.S. death rate has increased for the first time in a decade, according to an analysis of the latest data. And that led to a drop in overall life expectancy for the first time since 1993, particularly among people younger than 65.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    As important as “life expectancy” is “reduced quality of life.”

    A good healthcare system helps people to be productive and self-maintaining until shortly before they die. A bad healthcare system has many people bed-ridden and/or disabled for many years before they die.

    The personal and social cost difference between the two is enormous.

  7. Paul Campbell 7

    When I lived in the US I had “good” health insurance – that meant that the main gatekeeper for me getting extended healthcare (more than a trip to the GP) was the insurance company’s agent on the phone who had to OK everything.

    That meant that every doctor or dentist’s office had at least one person (roughly per doctor in a multi-doctor practice) in the office who’s sole job was arguing with insurance companies about money) – there’s an inefficiency right there – two people (one at each end of the phone) that we just don’t have in our health system.

    The result is that it’s very hard to see a specialist in the US – took me a year of agony to get a gallstones diagnosis in the US, compared with my wife in NZ who took less than a month – on the other hand once I got my diagnosis I was in to hospital within a few days while my wife took close to a year – why? because in the US there are surgeons (and body scanners, etc etc) sitting idle waiting for work, while in NZ we have queues which mean that those expensive, scarce, resources busy all the time. Again far more efficient.

    Of course I’m arguing that queues for healthcare are a good thing – provided they’re not too long or course

    • Phil 7.1

      …in the US there are surgeons (and body scanners, etc etc) sitting idle waiting for work, while in NZ we have queues which mean that those expensive, scarce, resources busy all the time. Again far more efficient.

      There’s something you don’t see every day;
      an argument that spare capacity in critical societal infrastructure is a bad thing.

      *shrugs*

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Cars are used, on average, 4% of the time.

        Does this, in your opinion, show good or poor use of scarce resources?

      • greywarshark 7.1.2

        What do you mean course? If I had to wait a long time in pain as you said you did I’d be course, as would befit someone who has often written on a blog with a love of freedom of expression.

        • greywarshark 7.1.2.1

          Probably I mean coarse. And I am not saying provision of health services is a laughing matter. I have a book on the USA lack-of system or rather it’s monetising of health. In a nation devoted to business and making money, there isn’t much that isn’t up for grabs, from principles to your liver, your health and welfare and everything that you need to live.

          And because money is so much the core of the society, if you can get past the Crime 101 stage and become a Master at it, with lots of dosh you will have broken through the picket fence pale. No longer beyond it you will have become one of the in-group too wealthy to be chastised satisfactorily and with a back door for slipping away. And so bent health professionals with money are vindicated by their wealth and hard to charge or change, despite the attempts of those who still have principles of public good.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Of course I’m arguing that queues for healthcare are a good thing – provided they’re not too long or course

      Yep, having a short queue shows high efficiency and the right amount of resources being put to use. Having either no queue or a long queue shows either poor use of resources or not enough resources respectively.

  8. RedLogix 8

    Watched Michael Moore’s latest film Where to Invade Next? last night. Hilarious, poignant and Moore at his clever best.

    I’ve always maintained the USA is an extraordinarily diverse nation; the ‘Land of the Free’ … you are free to be pretty much anything you damn well please. There are indeed many Americas, so it is wrong to make dogmatic generalisations about the place.

    Having said that Moore skewers right to the heart of all that is wrong with the American Dream.

  9. Adrian 9

    Aussie being a few years ahead is interesting, maybe it is the warmth, that helps longevity but I wonder if they are counting the Aboriginal stats yet, they weren’t for a long time.

  10. greywarshark 10

    Looking up info on Brit economist Douglas Hague I found some interesting bits in his obituary. He was an early adopter of Friedmans freemarket ideas. and helped Margaret Thatcher understand how to adapt these as Prime Minister.

    …During her tenure as Edward Heath’s education minister, contact with Hague was less frequent — but she insisted that they lunch occasionally (at the Epicure restaurant in Soho) because
    “the Department is full of communists and I need to check on issues… with someone whose views are like mine.”

    When she became party leader in 1975, Hague’s time was largely divided between his Manchester post and the Prices Commission in London, but he also served as one of her speechwriters; and during her 1979 campaign he was one of the very few academic economists who publicly supported her.
    After the election was won, an early paper in her Downing Street in-tray was from Hague urging the abolition of exchange controls — which was done within the year.

    Hague was a consultant to the No 10 Policy Unit from 1979 to 1983, advising on employment and other issues at a time when a gallery of economic thinkers were competing for the prime minister’s ear.
    During the painful 1981 recession he argued (and Mrs Thatcher, guided by another of her gurus, Alan Walters, eventually agreed) that interest rates were too high, and the private sector suffering too much, as a result of excessive focus on control of the money supply.

    Towards the end of his Downing Street stint, Hague moved his academic base from Manchester to Templeton College, Oxford — conveniently closer to London — and responded to a Policy Unit call for more sophisticated British management education by creating the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme, which became internationally recognised as a stepping-stone for high-fliers.
    The prime minister, however, was initially sceptical: “Leadership?” she said to Hague. “You tell people what to do and they do it. That’s leadership!” …

    From 1983 to 1987 he was chairman of the Economic & Social Research Council, and thereafter he was a non-executive director of a variety of business ventures. He continued to write speeches for the prime minister from time to time, and (as a member of Oxford’s Wesley Memorial Church, which she herself had attended as an undergraduate)
    [He}was particularly proud to have provided her in 1988 with words from John Wesley to support a call to the wealthy, who had recently enjoyed tax cuts, to turn to philanthropy: “Get all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11444810/Sir-Douglas-Hague-economist-obituary.html

    (But then I wonder, give to whom? The wealthy often become philanthropists giving away works of art. Applying money to ordinary folks is only worthy when it goes to some special group with some disablement. The disablement of poor childhood in all senses, and the effect of funding a micro bank with myriads of small successes, rates less.)

  11. Infused 11

    I think i’d trust the US system more than most others though. Get cancer or something over there, if you are insured, you’re getting treatment within hours.

    • Bob 11.1

      You’d bloody well hope so if you are effectively paying 3 times as much for healthcare as you do in New Zealand!

    • McFlock 11.2

      lol

      “if you are insured”.

      Yup.
      And driving drunk is a really relaxing and chill way to travel, if you don’t have an accident or get pulled over. /sarc

    • joe90 11.3

      if you are insured

      Indeed.
      /

      Mayo Clinic’s chief executive made a startling announcement in a recent speech to employees: The Rochester-based health system will give preference to patients with private insurance over those with lower-paying Medicaid or Medicare coverage, if they seek care at the same time and have comparable conditions.

      […]

      Mayo will always take patients, regardless of payer source, when it has medical expertise that they can’t find elsewhere, said Dr. John Noseworthy, Mayo’s CEO. But when two patients are referred with equivalent conditions, he said the health system should “prioritize” those with private insurance.

      http://www.startribune.com/mayo-to-pick-privately-insured-patients-amid-medicaid-pressures/416185134/

  12. Richard McGrath 12

    If you think the U.S. has a free market health system, frankly you’re deranged. It is massively regulated.

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    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago