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Getting to know Goff

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, August 13th, 2011 - 115 comments
Categories: election 2011, labour, phil goff - Tags:

A few weeks back, I wrote that Labour’s policies are popular but it hasn’t secured the trust it needs to sway swing voters, partly people don’t feel they really know Phil Goff. Today’s Herald piece, reminiscent of one on Key in 2008 (except we get a lot more of the substance of Goff, not just carefully targeted anecdotes), should go a long way to fixing that.

115 comments on “Getting to know Goff ”

  1. William Watson 1

    Yep. It shows he likes women, can use a gun, and is quite happy to kill animals for food. Good stuff. I’m more likely to vote for him already. (This being The Standard, I probably need to state that I’m not being sarcastic).

  2. burt 2


    He’s gotta go. Look I’m never going to vote Labour while the old soiled Clark crew is quietly settling into their self serving prime. Goff in particular hasn’t got a leg to stand on in parliament, he’s voted for and against just about every economic policy based on party colour alone. He’s baggage.

    Go for broke this election, sure you gotta do that as it’s the job Her Majesties loyal opposition is obliged to do – but seriously the party needs to revitalise in 2012.

    • Eddie 2.1

      The only part of that which is worth reading is “Look I’m never going to vote Labour”

      • Gus 2.1.1

        Not at all like you to take what was said out of context is it Eddie. You are as much a part of the problem as Goff is except your blinkers will never come off. That puff piece doesnt go a long way anyway, it doesnt even go a short way. Until you wake up and realize that we DONT WANT GOFF you will continue pissing in the wind with your misguided attempts to talk him up. Get rid of him.

        • Colonial Viper

          Goff destroys Key for PM of NZ material. There’s no contest there in terms of gravitas, professionalism and vision for the country. That’s just the way it is.

          Admittedly, Key would hands down be a better NZ Idol host, but I suppose it’s what you’re voting for eh Gus?

    • illuminatedtiger 2.2

      You would never vote Labour in the first place burt.

    • Luxated 2.3

      He’s gotta go. Look I’m never going to vote National while the old soiled Bolger/Shipley crew is quietly settling into their self serving prime. Key in particular hasn’t got a leg to stand on in parliament, he’s voted for and against just about every policy based on polling alone. He’s baggage.

      I could do that for just about every party in parliament if I felt like it, it is the sign of a facile statement, alternatively it just reflects poorly on our parliament as a whole. Either way it is a poor justification for voting for or against any one party.

    • mik e 2.4

      Burt your empathy rings through your rant. The latest polls suggest this election is going to be a close run with national slowly but surely loosing support,especially amongst its support parties.With 8.5% undecided and only 6% difference between the voting blocks theres a lot of water to run under the bridge before Novembers election!Nice to see your concern for the left.

  3. felix 3

    Am I the only one a bit concerned that his son is “in refrigeration”?

  4. Bearded Git 4

    “He’s gotta go. Look I’m never going to vote Labour while the old soiled Clark crew is quietly settling into their self serving prime.”

    Give the man a break!! Goff comes over as a very smart, incredibly hard-working guy from a family that had to work its way up. Watch him in Parliament and you will see how articulate he is. And he has had the balls to introduce CGT instead of selling the family silver. I’d rather have a beer with Goff than Key any day.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Goff is a good guy to have a beer with 😀

      • Rich 4.1.1

        If he resigned, he’d be free to spend a lot more time having beers with people.

        • Colonial Viper

          Whereas Key could resign and not have time for ordinary New Zealanders as he’d go straight into a rich foreign money job?

  5. Blue 5

    Good stuff, even if it is buried way down on the Herald’s website where no one will ever find it.

    Guess the Granny finally decided that if they don’t want ‘authorised by the National Party’ blazoned across their front page that they’d better do something about ‘balance’.

    They made a lot more fuss about Key’s piece back in 2008 though.

    • Reality Bytes 5.1

      It was a pretty massive 4 full page spread in the paper itself tho, and this is only part one of two!

      I refuse to buy the herald on principle, but one of my flatties has a subscription, so sometimes flick over it in the mornings, though I’m usually done with it before I’ve finished my coffee (<5mins), and most of <5 min is spent reading the comments section and the weather.

      The Herald is usually very shite and usually woefully lacking in the actual journalism department, but it does occasionally surprise me and have good articles like this one.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    So Goff will have a comfortable life down on the farm when he gets dropped by the party or decides its time for early retirement.

    That is more than can be said for all the people he and Labour have let down and misled over the past 25 years.

  7. Lanthanide 7


  8. I think, for any ‘swing voters’ who get to read it, the article will certainly humanise Goff.

    He comes across as very likeable but, far more importantly, someone who everyone who knows him sees as having integrity, loyal, trustworthy, caring (in practical terms) and with a lot of those ‘old fashioned’ virtues. This is something, coming out of the SIS argument, that I previously said he should push – if only for the comparison with Key, who is rather more insipid on this in his public character (and in the line that he gets criticised for).

    It also helps that most of his family and friends come across, in various ways, as people most New Zealanders would like and respect.

    I have to say that I have not been that keen on Goff but I thought he came across well.

    (Interesting to see that back in 1976, while still at high school, he suggested a CGT. You could either say he’s been like a yo-yo on that or that he’s returning to where his ‘heart’ is.)

    • Afewknowthetruth 8.1

      ‘everyone who knows him sees as having integrity, loyal, trustworthy, caring’

      Those are ideal character traits for a Boy Scout leader.

      Don’t you think intelligence, knowledge and competence are more important when it cones to the leader of the nation?

      Maybe you are quite happy to be lead straight off the cliff by someone ‘you trust’. I am not. I don’t trust him because I know he is either an ignorant fool or is untrustworthy, having seen his response to information vital to the planning of the future of NZ. Platitudes are Goffs style, I’m afraid.

      • Puddleglum 8.1.1

        Don’t you think intelligence, knowledge and competence are more important when it cones to the leader of the nation?

        I actually think both sets are needed. There are very many intelligent, knowledgable and competent people who would do nothing towards solving the issues you are concerned about.

        • Afewknowthetruth

          Unfortunately if we apply the criteria of intelligence, knowledge and competence that rules out all sitting MPs and all candidates, as far as I am aware.

          There is not one party or candidate I am aware of that has any policies geared to tackling the horrendous predicament we are in. Indeed, all publicly announced policies are geared to ignoring all the key issues, and therefore are geared to making everything that matters worse!

          How can we possibly support any of them?

          • Puddleglum

            For me it’s kind of a big picture version of tactical voting in places like Epsom.

            We have a form of representative democracy. My aim is to do what I can to make the impact of that representational system have the (probably unintended) consequence of creating in our society and economy at least a marginally more fertile ‘soil’ for the kinds of responses in people and communities that might actually help as many people as possible suffer as little as possible in the future – in the face of the issues you and I are both concerned about.

            Also, I think there are quite a few intelligent, knowledgeable and competent MPs in parliament – now, that isn’t the same thing as having “policies geared to tackling the horrendous predicament we are in“, unless, of course, we define ‘intelligence’, ‘knowledge’ and ‘competence’ tautologically, to mean having and supporting policies to tackle this predicament.

            In that case, it just shortens to the concise claim that there’s no-one in parliament currently pushing policies to tackle this predicament in a more than token way – with which I agree.

            But there are some policies that might allow at least some people in our society to enact more effective ways for at least some other people to get through the coming decades in better shape than they might otherwise. 

            As I think I commented once before in response to Robert Atack, I’m probably more pessimistic than either of you, since my main concern is a palliative one: to try to minimise the pain – even if only by a miniscule amount – by whatever means available to me; that includes attempts to change this government.

            Washing my hands of the political system we happen to have (or are stuck with) doesn’t help with that project, so far as I can see.

            P.S. I’m not the kind of person to look for leadership or leaders to guide me. But, we do have nominal ‘leaders’ with institutionalised powers. To that extent, I’m concerned about the character of those leaders as well as their policies. 

            • Afewknowthetruth


              I totally agree. All policy should be directed towards minimising the suffering that is to come [very soon].

              Unfortunately tactical voting just sees one eco-vandal put into office instead of some other eco-vandal. Neither of them addresses any of the issues.

              So how is society any better off?

              The political-economic system is inefficient, corrupt and dysfunctional. Until the system is fixed or it collapses under the weight of the corruption and dysfuntion, everything must get inevitably get worse, which is exactly what is happening practically everywhere on Earth..

              • “So how is society any better off?”

                My point about the ‘tactical voting’ metaphor is that we have to ask ourselves the question: under which complexion/mix of governing parties will what I think needs to be done be most likely to be achieved?

                The answer may be that all possible scenarios are equally unlikely to allow me (or ‘us’) achieve what I/we want to achieve, but that, itself, seems very unlikely to me.

                For example, one thing that any community-based self-sufficiency initiatives need is more people with sufficient energy and knowledge to put into practice various of such community initiatives.

                So, a little more taxpayer support for community education courses or better health systems so that there are fewer ill or incapacitated people seems like a better ‘soil’ to generate things that might help at least small pockets of people get by better than they would otherwise get by, in terms of putting in place such initiatives.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I’ve been talking to a few people about this.

                  It’s hard to get promises of central funding for “the end of the world is nigh” scenarios. But funding and support for creating closer knit community networks, public transport initiatives, projects which localise food and energy production, well equiped multi-purpose community centres etc. whether under the guise of work schemes, community funding or whatever, is very helpful.

                  Basically making central and regional government see the sense in smaller, more localised, community involved projects rather than grand schemes which are often dictated by the few.

              • Vicky32

                The political-economic system is inefficient, corrupt and dysfunctional. Until the system is fixed or it collapses under the weight of the corruption and dysfuntion, everything must get inevitably get worse, which is exactly what is happening practically everywhere on Earth..

                Given that there’s nothing we can do about it, and there isn’t, don’t you think it’s better to try to ameliorate the pain?

          • Thomas

            What about Don Brash.

            He is the only candidate with both economic knowledge and the guts to implement the required changes.

            • mik e

              Brash is a broken record stuck on Neanderthal Chicago school economics which no country on this earth has been successful with .Thomas I suggest you start reading about how successful economies are run . You won’t find any Chicago school crap in those economies, thats why brash is on 2% in the polls a worn out dog whistle.NZ has moved on, information on other economies is easy to find on the INTERNET.Take your brainwashed blinkers off and learn something new .The only place you will find pushing this exploitative BS is on FOX, the rich are the only ones that should be in charge and know what to do is mythical BS!

            • Colonial Viper

              He is the only candidate with long falsified neo-classical economic knowledge and the naivety to implement the damaging changes it mandates.

              Fixed it for you.

              • Thomas

                Colonial Viper: Do you have any evidence to support your claims?

                Do you have any evidence to suggest that his policies are falsified? Do you have any evidence that they damaging?

                You assert that the economics profession has it wrong. Do you have anything whatsoever to base this very large conspiracy theory on?

                • Thomas, there is a lot of evidence outside the discipline of economics to suggest that the kind of social restructuring needed to produce a ‘well-functioning’ neo-liberal economy is also the kind of social restructuring that severely damages individuals and communities. 

                  I’m not sure that “the economics profession” speaks with one voice on these issues, but, assuming for now that it does, the problem is that the economics profession is primarily working within a logical model that is set up in such a way that it can answer most criticisms without changing its fundamental premises.

                  That would be fine, except that it amounts to being unfalsifiable in logical terms. (As an aside, Popperian falsifiability has been roundly criticised in the philosophy of science, and those who still follow some form of it have modified it substantially.)

                  As noted by CV, however, it has been falsified in its actual implementations, largely because people, thankfully, show a remarkable unwillingness to have their lives and their communities completely deconstructed, often to marked levels of impoverishment and social dysfunction, by the ‘creative destruction’ unleashed by it.

                  People are also wisely sceptical about the actually motives – of politicians and business leaders – for promoting such an economic ‘remedy’. It is often simply cover for pillage. It amounts to one of the greatest acts of social engineering in the second half of the twentieth century, affecting more people than did the cultural revolution in China.

                  • Thomas

                    “Thomas, there is a lot of evidence outside the discipline of economics to suggest that the kind of social restructuring needed to produce a ‘well-functioning’ neo-liberal economy is also the kind of social restructuring that severely damages individuals and communities. ”

                    Evidence such as?

                    “I’m not sure that ‘the economics profession’ speaks with one voice on these issues, but, assuming for now that it does, the problem is that the economics profession is primarily working within a logical model that is set up in such a way that it can answer most criticisms without changing its fundamental premises.”

                    Economists disagree on some things, but there is little disagreement on these issues. http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2009/02/news-flash-economists-agree.html

                    Economics is a very empirical science. The general approach is to take reality and try to construct a logical model for it. Unfortunately, there is no single logical theory of economics.

                    “As noted by CV, however, it has been falsified in its actual implementations”

                    Again, where is the evidence? History has shown time and again (see the links in my previous post) that free-market economies outperform command economies.

                    • Colonial Viper


                      Shall we start with the neo-classical assumption of rational utility maximising individuals within a free market sector. Let’s debate.

                      Economics is a very empirical science. The general approach is to take reality and try to construct a logical model for it. Unfortunately, there is no single logical theory of economics.


                      No neoclassical economist has ever conducted replication studies on the bullshit theories and mathematisation they come up with.

                      Why? Because none of it is repeatable or reproducible.

                      The dishonesty in the economics profession and economics academia has been funded by multinationals and other sources of big money.

                      History has shown time and again (see the links in my previous post) that free-market economies outperform command economies.


                      Unless you are calling China and Singapore more free market than the USA, and less centrally controlled

                      You are full of shit

                      Stop talking as if each of us hasn’t seen the damage and blindness caused by Chicago School economics over the last 20 years

                      Neoliberal economists never even saw the GFC coming their models are so blind and incorrect. The Austrians did and those who understood Minsky did.

                      You are an idiot and a liar. And a CATO loving paid schill.

                    • Thomas

                      CV: First off, calm down!

                      You keep asserting that I am wrong and a liar, but you have not produced any evidence whatsoever, despite me asking for it and providing my own.

                      Economics is empirical. The utility maximizing model is used because it conforms to reality. If you have a better model, please publish it!

                      Replication studies are impossible. You can’t run an entire economy in a lab like a chemistry experiment. Unfortunately, we have to rely on statistics.

                      My reference to China was to show how their economic growth took off dramatically after they adopted free-market policies.

                      The only one full of proverbial shit is you. Show me one shred of evidence to support your view and I’ll take you seriously.

                    • Evidence such as:

                      Diener and Seligman (2004)

                       Twenge (2000)

                       Twenge, Zhang and Im (2004)

                      Kasser (2002)

                      Keverne (2004)

                      There are plenty of others, but they all show that the modern world has generated a degree of psychopathology, threats to successful human development, loss of social capital and trust that it would be very difficult to distance from the social changes instituted as we have become a more market arranged society (in relation to work, residential mobility, consumption as lifestyle, etc.).

                      If you want to discuss whether these problems are a result of structuring our world along market-oriented, economic lines or, alternatively, some other significant social change, I’m happy to continue the debate.

                    • Thomas

                      Puddleglum: Thank you for finally engaging with some evidence. However, I can’t see how the articles you suggested are relevant.

                      I read through the abstracts and these are my summaries.

                      Diener and Seligman (2004) Suggests measuring well-being rather than wealth, but makes no concrete policy observations.

                      Twenge (2000) Studies increases in anxiety, but says “Economic factors, however, seem to play little role.”

                      Twenge, Zhang and Im (2004) Observes that youth feel their lives are controlled more by external forces than they did in the 60s.

                      Kasser (2002) Suggests that materialism makes people unhappy.

                      Keverne (2004) Neurobiology..

                      It seems like you are trying to prove that wealth and happiness are not the same. I agree. However, I don’t see how this relates to any particular economic policy direction. The issue I’m debating is whether free-market or command economies perform better.

                    • Thanks for doing a quick scan of the references I linked to. Now let me join the dots so that you can appreciate their relevance to my initial claim, which was:

                      Thomas, there is a lot of evidence outside the discipline of economics to suggest that the kind of social restructuring needed to produce a ‘well-functioning’ neo-liberal economy is also the kind of social restructuring that severely damages individuals and communities.” 

                      Notice the emphasis is on the sorts of social restructuring that have been produced as we pursue a ‘well-functioning’ neo-liberal economy. The kind of social restructuring I was referring to involve higher levels of residential mobility, higher focus on consumption (and, hence, the values of materialism), greater social anxiety as part of an economic process that emphasises success as economic success, etc..

                      You may wish to disown the practical means by which neo-liberal economies have been implemented but you’ll notice a few points in the articles if you care to read them in full some time.

                      Diener and Seligman, for example, note the increased rates of depression, reduced social capital and reduced levels of trust associated with modern societies/economies (part of the reason they advocate for other measures of well-being beyond the economic measures).

                      Twenge (2000) indeed notes that economic factors (actually ups and downs in the economic ‘cycle’ in terms of child poverty and unemployment) have not interrupted this increase in rates of anxiety. Rather, the best predictors were low social connectedness and ‘environmental threat’ (we’re not talking climate change here).

                      To remind you, my claim was about the social restructuring that has, in fact, been required to put in place a neo-liberal economy. My argument is that low social connectedness, lack of trust, divorce rates, high residential mobility are part and parcel of the implementation of neo-liberal economies, in practice.

                      Twenge, Zhang and Im discuss the possible causes of higher levels of external locus of control and conclude:

                      Although a direct causal link cannot be made, the increases in externality may be related to the concurrent trends toward increased depression and anxiety, drug abuse, diminished academic achievement, and voter apathy.

                      The results clearly support the alienation model out- lined in the introduction. As individualism has in- creased, locus of control has become more external.

                      Rather than leading to independence, the increasing individualism of American culture has led people to believe that there is little they can do to change the larger world.

                      In later work, including her book ‘Generation Me‘, Twenge discusses the consequences of the individualistic culture that has led, paradoxically, to increases in external locus of control:

                      Our growing tendency to put the self first leads to unparalleled freedom, but it also creates an enormous amount of pressure on us to stand alone. This is the downside of the focus on the self – when we are fiercely independent and self-sufficient, our disappointments loom large because we have nothing else to focus on. But it’s not just us: Generation Me has been taught to expect more out of life at the very time when good jobs and nice houses are increasingly difficult to obtain. All too often the result is crippling anxiety and crushing depression.” (pg 109)

                      As for Keverne, I suggest you read the part about the importance of the social environment on neurodevelopment and then consider the kind of ‘fluid’ and ‘flexible’ world a neo-liberal economy ‘encourages’. He notes that:

                      Humans tend to worry about the uterine environment and toxic agents or drugs, which may damage the fingers and toes of babies, but perhaps we should pay more attention to the post- partum period when the social environment exercises its effects on the developing brain and lays down the foundations for future well-being.

                      I suspect that we would have very different core explanations for these social trends but I think it is drawing a particularly long bow to conclude that the economic changes over the past 30-40 years are not a significant part of any explanation.

                      Finally, you finish by saying: “The issue I’m debating is whether free-market or command economies perform better.” I don’t believe I ever made reference to that debate. Perhaps the debate only existed in your own mind?

                    • Vicky32

                      Economics is a very empirical science. The general approach is to take reality and try to construct a logical model for it. Unfortunately, there is no single logical theory of economics.

                      Really, I would like to see some proof that economics is a science! From what I see, it’s a magical theory system, a superstition…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Economics is empirical. The utility maximizing model is used because it conforms to reality. If you have a better model, please publish it!


                      Behavioural economics buried the body of the rational utility maximising actor a couple of years ago. Get up to date.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I should add, look up Kahneman if you really want references.

                      Or just check out how the USA is going down the drain. That’s mainly occurring due to the ‘buzzwords’ crony capitalism and financial fraud.

                    • Thomas

                      Puddleglum: Thanks for taking the time to give an insightful response.

                      The debate about free-market vs. socialist economies was definitely going on with CV. (Though he refused to engage with anything more than “I’m right and you’re wrong”.)

                      I’m not convinced that there is a strong correlation between social change and the finer points of economic policy. I say finer points, because obviously unemployment, inflation, and prices have a big impact on society, but, on the other hand, policy towards foreign investment is hardly going to affect society directly, only via the aforementioned factors.

                      The connection between economic policy and society is currently a hot topic in light of the recent English riots (e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14483149). Some have blamed it on excessive welfare, but I don’t buy into that either.

                      So your assertion is that liberal economic policy necessarily damages both individuals and communities, right?

                      My first and main objection is that it is an unreasonable connection. If you look at the specific policies being proposed by economists (e.g. http://www.2025taskforce.govt.nz/secondreport/index.htm), then it is hard to imagine how they would damage communities. I just don’t see the logical connection between free markets and low social connectedness, lack of trust, divorce rates, and high residential mobility. Perhaps you can point out a specific economic policy that leads to, say, divorces?

                      My second objection is to your references. I haven’t read them in detail (yet), but they seem to note a trend over the last 30 or so years. Then the connection is drawn to another trend over that time period—a gradual shift to free-market economics. This is really just circumstantial evidence; the trends could be unrelated. I could equally well connect the trend with growing irreligion. Is there anything more concrete? such as a comparison between countries?

                      I suspect that a comparison between countries would yield no correlation, or maybe the opposite of what you suggest. Take Australia for example, I don’t think that their society is any worse than ours, but their economy is more liberal than ours. In the other direction, the US, the UK, and most of europe are more controlled than NZ, but I don’t think their societies are better than ours.

                      One thing that does pop up in your references is the use of words like “individualism”, “materialism”, and “consumerism”. These words get used too often and have lost a lot of their meaning. So I’ll try to diagnose what is going on. These words have a negative connotation—selfishness, greed, and a lack of charity. But these words are also associated with (liberal) economics, as, in microeconomics, agents are “assumed” to be wholly self-interested wealth maximizers and most microeconomic theories/models include that premise. I think that this link is what leads to your assertion.

                      Let me try to dispel this misconception. Firstly, this is only a simplifying assumption; economists are all too aware that personal wealth and happiness are not the same, but it is simply too hard to analyse the latter directly, so wealth is used as a proxy. Secondly, macroeconomics (the relevant part of economics) is not that closely related to microeconomics (where wealth maximizers are discussed). Macroeconomists talk about supply and demand, prices, and equilibria, not individuals and their preferences. (This disconnect is the source of continued research in economics; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microfoundations.) Thirdly, this is an entirely positive (as opposed to normative) assumption, meaning that economists merely observe a behaviour that already exists, rather than create it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The concept of a rational utility maximising individual is a total falsehood; but without it, neoclassical predictions of market behaviour are also falsified. hdoesn’t matter that neoclassical economists MAY know the concept is a simplification, because it took *behavioural economics* to demonstrate why that simplification was a dangerous and untenable one.

                      Neoclassical economics = shit.

                      Please go to Prof Steve Keen’s debtwatch site for a more complete explanation.

                      And then you mention something about market equilibria.

                      That’s a joke, we have seen first hand that there are no such thing as rational markets or rational market equilibria.

                      Greenspan’s ‘Great Moderation’ was based on a completely false neoliberal premise.

                    • Thomas

                      CV: Again, provide some evidence for your assertions. Don’t just say that everything you dislike is false, shit, or lies and expect me to believe you. You haven’t been able to back up a single one of your assertions.

                      I just explained why macroeconomics doesn’t collapse in a heap just because people aren’t perfect rational utility maximizers (which everyone knows they aren’t, but they are approximately). At the end of the day, economics is empirical and the evidence is clear.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      1) markets are not rational, nor do they behave in equilibrium.
                      2) market actors are not rational.
                      3) when market actors are not rational and markets do not behave in equilibrium, the macroeconomics of neoclassicism fails.

                      – Minsky provides clear theoretical background on the GFC; Chicago school economists never anticipated the event and cannot explain it.

                      – Kahneman explains via behavioural economics the serious failures of the rational utility maximising individual model of neoclassicism.

                      – Keen explains further why neoclassical assumptions around the neutrality of money and the insignificance of debt is absurd.

                      Basically buddy, your school of economics is sinking, you just haven’t drowned yet. Most of us have lived through decades of neoliberalism; its been great for the top 1% of the population, shit for everyone else.

                      Go check out Max Keiser or Nassem Taleb and we can talk, OK?

                    • Thomas

                      CV: Sure, there is debate about the finer points of economics, but 90% of economists agree on the basics, such as free markets and smaller government being generally beneficial for the economy.

                      Suggesting that the small flaws in economic theory you have identified falsify the most basic economic facts, is like suggesting that, because physicists don’t know whether the Higgs boson exists or not, gravity has been disproven.

                      You are obsessed with the Chicago school. Newsflash: All mainstream schools of economic thought agree on the basics.

                      The business cycle is nothing new. Everyone expected a crash; they happen every ten years or so. It is only the size and nature of this one that were surprising.

                      Also, behavioural economics is almost irrelevant to macroeconomics. Macroeconomists do not base their predictions on the subtleties of the behaviour of individuals. See my earlier microfoundations link.

                      No one suggests that debt is insignificant.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      CV: Sure, there is debate about the finer points of economics, but 90% of economists agree on the basics, such as free markets and smaller government being generally beneficial for the economy.

                      Yeah more bullshit.

                      TARA mate not TINA

                      90% of economic schools should be shut down, although Taleb suggests 100% of them until they get a curriculum overhaul.

                      Maybe he is correct. Quite a few mainstream economics schools should actually be bulldozed, the damage that they have done to the world.

                      The business cycle is nothing new. Everyone expected a crash; they happen every ten years or so. It is only the size and nature of this one that were surprising.

                      We are in the Great Collapse now. It is not a business cycle event.

                      Also, behavioural economics is almost irrelevant to macroeconomics.

                      That’s not what Greenspan’s confession suggests.

                      No one suggests that debt is insignificant.

                      Neoclassical economists do.

                      You clearly don’t know your neoclassical economics very well at all.

                      The economic theory that should eventually emerge from the rejection of neoclassical economics and the basic adoption of dynamic methods will come much closer than neoclassical economics could ever do to meeting Marshall’s dictum that “The Mecca of the economist lies in economic biology rather than in economic dynamics” (Marshall 1920: xiv). As Veblen correctly surmised over a century ago (Veblen 1898), the failure of economics to become an evolutionary science is the product of the optimising framework of the underlying paradigm, which is inherently antithetical to the process of evolutionary change. This reason, above all others, is why the neoclassical mantra that the economy must be perceived as the outcome of the decisions of utility maximising individuals must be rejected.

                      The above is from Prof Steve Keen. Check him out at debtdeflation.com.

                      Your version of economics tanked a long time ago. Look up Minsky and Fischer. Don’t be a blind man who thinks he can see.

                    • Thomas

                      90% of economic schools should be shut down, although Taleb suggests 100% of them until they get a curriculum overhaul.

                      How much more clearly can you say “everyone is wrong but me”? And instead you suggest that we should start following some cranks on the fringe of economics, based on some vague analogy to biology vs. dynamics.

                      Good night.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Steve Keen even predicts that followers of neoclassical economists like yourself will carry on as if nothing important has happened in the last few years:

                      Given how severe this crisis has already proven to be, the reform of economic theory and education should be an easy and urgent task. But that is not how things will pan out. Though the “irresistible force” of the Global Financial Crisis is indeed immense, so to is the inertia of the “immovable object” of economic belief.

                      Despite the severity of the crisis in the real world, academic neoclassical economists will continue to teach from the same textbooks in 2009 and 2010 that they used in 2008 and earlier (laziness will be as influential a factor here as ideological commitment). Rebels economists will be emboldened to proclaim “I told you so” in their non-core subjects, but in the core micro, macro and finance units, it will be business as usual virtually everywhere. Many undergraduate economics students in the coming years will sit gobsmacked. as their lecturers recite textbook theory as if there is nothing extraordinarily different taking place in the real economy.

                      The same will happen in the academic journals. The editors of the American Economic Review and the Economic Journal are unlikely to convert to Post Keynesian or Evolutionary Economics or Econophysics any time soon—let alone to be replaced by editors who are already practitioners of non-orthodox thought. The battle against neoclassical economic orthodoxy within universities will be long and hard, even though its failure will be apparent to those in the non-academic world.


                      Dude you really need to get up to speed and convert to a new economics religion. The one you have is sunk.

      • bbfloyd 8.1.2

        you did read the article far enough to read about his high marks,and thirst for knowledge, didn’t you? i’d bet the farm he got more smarts than johnny sparkle.

        • Afewknowthetruth

          All I know is Goff has been advised on numerous occasions that:

          1. we are past peak oil, which means that economic growth is no lomger possible.

          2. that we are witnessing planetary meltdown due to CO2 emissions (last winter saw the lowest Arctic ice cover ever and this summer has recorded yet another new minimum as positive feedbacks take effect)

          3. that we are trapped in an economic system which is predicated on perpetual growth when perpetual growth is both absurd and impossible (and has come to an end).

          And I know that he just carries on regardless, churning out platitudes and formulating policy on the basis of nonsene, just like the ‘idiots’ in Natioanal.

          There are two kind of people in the world; those who seek the truth and those who run from it.

          There are two kinds of organisation in the world; those that embrace the truth and those that try to conceal it.

          Goff and Labour fall into the latter category on both counts.

          • Thomas

            Economic growth is most definitely possible.

            Firstly, economic growth is happening here and abroad. So your assertion is at odds with the evidence.

            Secondly, the main driver of economic growth is new technology and efficiency improvements. That is speeding up, not slowing down.

            Thirdly, our system is not predicated on growth. But, if we fall behind, then we have lower living standards relative to the rest of the world. Though, in absolute terms, our standard of living would not necessarily be affected (except real prices for imports will go up and our economy will no longer be competitive export-wise).

            You obvioiusly don’t know the first thing about economics.

            • mik e

              Thomas you know even less About economics .Its slowing down under National as they have cut funding for research and development, after 2 and 1/2 years they have realized thats its most important so they have reinstated R&D at just half the amount labour was pouring to R&D.

              • Colonial Viper

                Doesn’t Thomas realise that economic growth cannot occur except with plentiful sources of very cheap energy?

                Does he not realise that the sectors with the most innovation and profits over the last 10 years has been that of financial fraud?

                Does he not realise that real economy industrial capitalism has now been fully replaced by crony capitalism and massive capital misallocation?

                In fact, what the hell does Thomas actually realise apart from someone else’s ideology that he is mimicking?

                Firstly, economic growth is happening here and abroad. So your assertion is at odds with the evidence.

                Tell it to the 46M Americans now on food stamps.

                I’ll give you a wee clue for no fee: the markets are not the economy. And you may have noticed that even the big investors have figured that out now.

                You really are a throwback to the late 1980’s.

                • Thomas

                  Sigh. Where to start…

                  mik e: You can’t blame the current government for our economic predicament. The problem is the global financial crisis and the fiscal irresponsibility of the previous government.

                  Colonial Viper: Economic growth has very little to do with oil or resources. Japan has a successful economy, despite having no oil or other mineral resources.

                  I don’t even know what you mean by “financial fraud” and “crony capitalism”. These are just buzzwords.

                  Again, unemployment in the US is the result of the financial crisis (which is largely the result of US fiscal irresponsibility) and is compounded by the dysfunctional education and welfare systems in the US.

                  If I’m a throwback to the 80s, then you are a throwback to the 30s.

                  • Economic growth has very little to do with oil or resources. Japan has a successful economy, despite having no oil or other mineral resources.

                    Thomas, I think the point relates to the entirety of economic activity on the planet. I assume you don’t believe that economic activity can happen without any energy or other resources? Even if we assume that Japan doesn’t import any oil, per se, it still imports goods largely made from oil (and other fossil fuel) energy sources and transported using them.

                    • Thomas

                      Yes, we do need energy. But the assertion that economic growth is _entirely_ dependent on energy growth is clearly falsified by the example of Japan.

                      Just to reiterate my points. Economic growth is primarily driven by improvements in technology and efficiency. Energy is plentiful (nuclear, coal, renewables). Oil is only one source of energy that can be substituted by others. Oil is not running out _that_ fast, it is just getting a bit harder to find.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yes, we do need energy. But the assertion that economic growth is _entirely_ dependent on energy growth is clearly falsified by the example of Japan.

                      This is the same Japan which has just suffered two lost decades, right?

                      Man you love falsifying yourself.

                      Stop taking us for idiots who haven’t seen neoliberalism in actionfirst hand over the last 30 years.

                      I don’t even know what you mean by “financial fraud” and “crony capitalism”. These are just buzzwords.,

                      Of course you don’t want us to examine financial fraud and crony capitalism. You are in the service of the financial fraudsters and the crony capitalists, after all.

                      As a clue here you go


                  • Colonial Viper

                    More faux news faux economics from Thomas the Astroturfing Schill.

                    Transfer of wealth from the capital of the people and of the nation to the already rich.

                    If I’m a throwback to the 80s, then you are a throwback to the 30s.

                    Did you notice that like the Great Depression, the GFC was also caused by over-leverage and foolishness in the private banking system?

                    • Thomas

                      CV: Despite recent stagnation, Japan is still the world’s third-largest economy—only marginally smaller than China.

                      You are just a conspiracy theorist. All the professional economists are wrong about economics, but you alone are right. And everyone who disagrees with you is in the service of some nebulous conspiring entity.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Thomas = Faux News Faux Economics

                      I do agree with you however that fiat money printing cannot continue.

                      So you agree Japan has been stagnating? Because i thought you were using it as an example of economic growth without energy supply growth.

                      Of course, Japan used to be world’s second largest economy, until a country with superior energy supply growth surpassed it last year. Who was that I wonder.

    • Terry 8.2

      He cannot beat Key on the “likeable” stakes, which Key has practiced to perfection. Goff must show fire in the belly and come out with conviction. I cannot see that happening.

  9. prism 9

    Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you,
    Getting to like you, Getting to hope you like me.
    Getting to know you, Putting it my way but nicely,
    You are precisely, My cup of tea.

    Getting to know you, Getting to feel free and easy,
    When I am with you, Getting to know what to say,
    Haven’t you noticed, Suddenly I’m bright and breezy,
    Because of all the beautiful and new
    Things I’m learning about you,
    Day by day.

    A song for today in the political life of Goff. (From the King and I as sung by an admirer of the king. As we are in a democracy, we might hope that the words apply to what our hopeful PM would sing to us.)

  10. Marjorie Dawe 10

    That was a pleasant surprise. It also shows we have a man who has the courage of his convictions and who will stand up for what he believes in. A bit different from Key who will stand up for the highest bidder and say whatever he believes potential voters might want to hear.

  11. Drakula 11

    Afewknowthetruth has said what I was going to say, and quite frankly I don’t trust him as far as I could throw him.

    I mean I have just read that Herald story and I ask you : what in it had any substance? condescending platitudes, never mind the folks back on the farm how about looking at the way he voted on issues such as privatisation, Emmision Trading scheme , free trade with China and the US, welfare cuts etc.etc. for 9 years with Helen Clark.

    He would be quite at home in the National party.

    The nearest to the true Labour Party of Savages day (which is what we really need) was the Green Party until Russel Norman made overtures of doing deals with National.

    Voters need to look at what is going on behind the scenes and see who is lobbying whom, the Business Round Table obviously lobbies the National Party, Business New Zealand and some of the unions and academic groups lobby the Labour Party and the academics lobby Greens.

    How can we be sure that The Business Round Table and Business NZ don’t have the same objectives? If thet is the case we may as well STAY IN BED !!!

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      No party approaches anything close to the Labour Party of Savage’s day. Does NZ need such a thing? Do New Zealanders want such a thing?

      The Greens are so-so. Perhaps they are more Left than Labour on some counts.

      But in the final analysis they are not a party of the working class for the working class either. They have no ingrained class consciousness nor philosophy of socialism. Appealing to comfortably middle class and upper class environmentalism does little for those in NZ living on less than $30K p.a.

      The Greens are also for creeping incrementalism in terms of socioeconomic change. It seems to take the Left 10 years to undo what a Right government can get done in 3.

      Viewed from the perspective no wonder we have been losing NZ to the Right.

      • Afewknowthetruth 11.1.1

        CV. I largely agree.

        I think we should also note that the Greens persistently promote Greenwash -coprorate ‘solutions’ that do nothing to address the fundamental problems, or actually make them worse.

        I gave up on the Greens when they began promoting international tourism as a ‘sustainable industry’ and were pushing hard for ‘biofuels’, which anyone who has studied the topic knows will NEVER be anying more than an irrelevant novelty (though in the US large corporations are being heavily subsidised to large convert food into fuel at the moment, to cover the shortfall in liquid fuels that is a consequence of the peaking of oil extraction).

        The fact is, we are in the middle of the biggest discontinuity in all of history, and incrementalism simply will not work.

        • Colonial Viper

          The fact is, we are in the middle of the biggest discontinuity in all of history, and incrementalism simply will not work.

          Indeed. Either we consciously shape and form the radical change proactively, or we keep going blindly and have the inevitable radical change shape and form us, in what are likely to be very unpleasant ways.

    • Afewknowthetruth 11.2


      Agreed. Goff would be quite at home in the National Party. Free trade, globalisation, money-lender control of society, corporate conrol of society, dig up fossil fuels and burn them quickly as possible, emission trading scams – Goff is in favour of them all.

      • burt 11.2.1

        He’s only in favour of them when Labour suggest them – and that’s why he has no credibility.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      He would be quite at home in the National party.

      I don’t think so. Labour, as a whole, is a centre-right party while National is a radical right party. Although both on the right they do have fundamental differences.

      Both are lobbied by business to keep the capitalist paradigm that we have and which is killing the world going. They will do this because they believe that they have no other options available to them. This is true of the Greens as well which is why they said they could work with National.

      All this belief in a delusional socio-economic system leaves us with none of our political parties willing or able to put forward a viable vision for the future which will be defined by resource scarcity.

      • higherstandard 11.3.1

        If National is a radical right wing party what pray tell are the Labour and Liberal parties in Australia, how about the Dems and republicans in the states …….

        You really need to get out more Mr D

        • Colonial Viper

          Queensland Labor sold off billions in public assets without voter mandate.

          Right Wing to the core.

          As in NZ the free market neoliberals decided they weren’t going to chance which major party was going to win a fickle election – so they infiltrated both.

          That is a dynamic which is also plainly obvious in the USA.

          • higherstandard

            Where one thinks are political party sits on the perceived political spectrum seems to depend more the perceptions of the perceiver than anything else.

            The terms thrown about on blogs attributing certain characteristics to the “left” or “right” have become pointless drivel shouted at opponents.

            • Colonial Viper

              I agree wholeheartedly.

              IMO the terms Left and Right, originating all the way back to the French Revolution, are well past use by date and need to be given away.

              This is now all about the top 1% against the bottom 99%.

              • higherstandard

                Also a rather pointless “us and them” game to play…… but if it keeps you happy by all means have fun.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Re: “us and them.”

                  It’s only a game if you truly believe that the very wealthy consider themselves in the same boat in society as the rest of us. That they have values which say that the only way they can succeed is if society as a whole succeeds.

                  Based on the major financial decisions and the politics that you see, do you think that is actually the case?

                  • higherstandard

                    I don’t spend my time worrying or thinking about “them” whoever “them” is.

                    Frankly the very wealthy are welcome to their wealth I’ll get on with my own life the only thing that’s certain is all of them and all of us will be long gone in 100 years time (we’ll most of them and us) and a new set of them and us will be moaning about the same things …. and a few new things that we haven’t even imagined yet..

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Frankly the very wealthy are welcome to their wealth I’ll get on with my own life

                      Not sure how you can just “get on with your own life” as ‘they’ continue to extract value out of the society around you and put it into their own pockets.

                      I know you are politically aware, so I know that you understand that those in charge today benefitted from generous allowances, zero uni fees, nearly full employment and house prices which were only 3x and 4x the average wage.

                      And what they have done now is create an economy where they have pushed future costs on to the younger generations, are telling all of us to tighten our belts, and to expect to have less in the future than they are getting now.

                      Notice how the Government slashed Kiwisaver but didn’t slash MP’s own super scheme. Do you still reckon that the top 1% believe that “we are all in this together”?

                    • higherstandard

                      Well you could repatriate all the wealth from “them” and distribute it to “us” over the next century and it will make very little difference as there’s too many of “us” to make the wealth from “them” go very far and there’ll likely be more and more “us” down the track……………. civilization 101 the more things change the more they stay the same, the longer civilizations last the more fatuous, bloated, lazy and corrupt they become, sooner of later they collapse or change to suit their new circumstances.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      A lot of that wealth should not be put into our pockets individually, it should be used to create infrastructure, services and commons that we can all benefit from as a society.

                      However, I take your point that civilisations come and civilisations go. There’s little to stop the decline of a civilisation whose time has come to an end.

                    • higherstandard

                      The lions share of ‘wealth’ in the western world is spent in the public sector creating infrastructure, services and commons, whether we can all benefit from that spend as a society will always depend on your point of view and it will still have little effect on society’s decline when its time is up.

          • Drakula

            Exactly right Viper it is sad but the Green Party hasn’t been the same since Sue Bradford left.
            and yes there is plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest that a central cabal of neo liberals are trying to infiltrate all the main political parties to bring about a global corporate dictatorship.

            Afewknowthetruth; Sorry mate there is one truth you don’t know, I am getting quite a few petitions via Greens to sign against many of the corn fuel and palm oil industry. To be fair what the Greens are looking into is turning green waste into fuel and that’s a whole different kettle of fish,

            So this is my synopsis of of the political spectrum; Green is right, Maori Party is right right, Labour is right right right, National is right right right right and Act is right right right right and right


            I am not suggesting that we shouldn’t vote but the only way we can win back our rights is active protest and keep striking.

            Lenin said 1strike = 11 elections! that should be the Standard slogan of the left.

  12. Oligarkey 12

    All true AFKTT – all the leaders of the 5% plus parties know some things we don’t know i suspect. They seem to feel duty bound to follow the US in almost every way that is important. But the US is more a republic than a democracy these days – which means, NZ has become a defacto republic. New World Order.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      It seems to me that following the lead of the US is actually the OWO.

      As for the NWO – my theory is that the details are actually being determined by a trans-national community of the 100,000 wealthiest and most influential people in the world.

      These people have no allegiences to their neighbours, their employees or even their own countries, only to this supra-elite grouping which they are part of.

  13. Jenny 13

    The fact is, we are in the middle of the biggest discontinuity in all of history, and incrementalism simply will not work.



  14. Afewknowthetruth 14

    Replying to Thomas.

    Having studied economics on and off for 40 years and written about it in several books, there is a distinct possibility that I know a lot more about the dysfunctional economic theories currently promoted than you do.

    Maintream economics is replete with fabrications and false assumptions, and GDP is a faux measure of progress. That is one of the reasons why the world is in the mess it is in, and why everything will get worse.

    Simply put, without energy nothing happens. With a declining energy less happens. The peak in per capita energy was around 1979 and we are now past peak net energy.

    Due to the unequal distribution of energy sources around the world, there are still some places where economic growth is possible, while in others contraction is very obvious -Japan, Eastern Europe, the US etc. Nevertheless, globally, economic growth is now impossible, and once NZ has dug a deep enough hole for itself via debt, NZ will be unable to import the energy necessary to maintain status quo, let alone have growth

    The only growth we will see over the next decade will be growth in poverty, growth in welfare dependency, growth in starvation etc. (since the bulk of the industrialised food supply is dependent on imported energy). In other words a continuation of the trend that began to emerge in the 1970s.

    Oh, and one other trend: a widening gaop between the rich and the poor, as those at the top purloin an ever greater share of the diminishing cake….. Phil Goff being an example of someone who already has far more than his fair share…. 20 acres was it?.

    I’ll say it again. The problem with mainstream economics is that is is completely detached from reality and is replete with fabrications and false assumptions (it takes no account of energy or pollution) …. which is exactly why the world is in the mess it is in right now.

    You will note, I hope, that the peak oil induced crisis which commenced three years ago is now worse than ever. That worsening of the situation is a direct consequence of the dysfuntional economic theories which have been applied since 2008 (and for decades before).

    It follows that if we elect anyone who adheres to maintream economic theory everything will get much worse.

    All that is before we even mention the environment which is being degraded at an accelerating pace, as promoted by all maintream political parties.

    • Thomas 14.1

      Reading the communist manifesto doesn’t count as studying economics. You are nothing but a conspiracy theorist. Everyone is wrong but you.

      Oil is but one energy source. Coal, nuclear, and renewables are in no danger of running out. Moreover, oil is not running out as quickly as you prophesize; perhaps the middle east is drying up, but Canada’s oil sands are only getting started. The “peak oil” of the 1970s you refer to was just the introduction of OPEC—an artificial increase in the price of oil.

      Apple recently overtook ExxonMobil as the largest company in the US. That’s a good anecdote for the importance of technology over oil.

      The collapse of society is only going to happen if we follow half-baked economic theories like yours.

      • Drakula 14.1.1

        Thomas: Einstein said that ‘there are two things that are infinate one the universe and two human stupidity, and I am not too sure about the former!’

        Resources of this earth are FINITE and the neo liberals don’t seem to understand this immutable fact even if there is plenty of coal and oil shale they will give off more CO2 than the earths forrests can absorb.

        Corporate capitalism is the most destructive in that it has no checks and balances to address obscene profiteering that is the driving force behind a consumer society that demands far more than the earths resources can supply.

        The profit motive needs to be dealt with but I don’t feel that it should be completely rejected as Marx suggests but somhow contained along with our population growth and our consumption of natural resources.

        I don’t think Afewknowthetruth would disagree with that?

    • nadis 14.2

      errrrr, you are forgetting to mention productivity improvement. If marginal improvement in energy efficiency increases faster than usage then there shouldn’t be a problem right?

      The world has plenty of energy (nuclear, solar) just need better price signals to stimulate those industries.

      • Puddleglum 14.2.1

        nadis and Thomas, both of you seem to discount the effect of this pursuit of unending growth on people, their lives, their communities and on a functioning ecosystem. There are many ways for a society/culture to destroy itself. The pursuit of growth and expansion at all and any costs is a tried and true method.

        Good luck with it.

        But how to I opt out of that choice since your recipe affects the people I interact with and the physical and natural world I depend upon? My bad luck I guess, that things have been so engineered that I’m unable to make my choice. 

        • Thomas

          Economic growth means we can afford better things. In particular, it means we have a higher quality of living and can afford to spend more on health, education, and environmental protection—it is no coincidence that wealthier countries have better health, better education, and environments.

          • Colonial Viper

            Most economic growth leads to worsening unemployment in western nations and environmental degradation in China and the developing nations.

            Further, most of the income from economic growth goes to the already wealthy. Ordinary workers get no increases in real income.

            Further, increases in GDP over the last 10 years have been fuelled not by real growth but by increasing leverage, indebtedness and financial fraud.

            The pipe dream is over mate. We’ve seen through your lies.

            • Thomas

              If you were right that economic growth raises unemployment, then we would have 99% unemployment as a result of centuries of economic growth. This is generally referred to as the Luddite fallacy.

              Evidence please. It is true that unskilled labour is becoming less valuable, compared to skilled labour. However, on an absolute scale, the purchasing power/quality of life of most “ordinary workers” has increased.

              • Colonial Viper

                Labour, skilled and unskilled, professional or unprofessional is becoming less valuable.

                The more corporations make money, the more people they layoff.

                Where have you been hiding last 18 months?

                However, on an absolute scale, the purchasing power/quality of life of most “ordinary workers” has increased.

                Real wages in the US flat since about 1975.

                • Thomas

                  Please provide data/evidence, rather than rhetoric and assertions.

                  You are spouting the Luddite fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite_fallacy) and the lump of labour fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lump_of_labour_fallacy).

                  • Colonial Viper

                    both those fallacies are false.

                    The US middle class is being crushed, lowered prices do not help increase demand for goods other than toilet paper when no one has jobs; the banks can’t even give away low interest loans now because so few people have good credit left.

                    Its the slaughter of the middle class.

                    The lump of labour fallacy does not take into account globalisation. The job may still exist but it is done in India, Thailand or China, not in NZ.

                    It is now more profitable to fire someone than to keep them at work or hire another worker. Spiralling down the drain now, faster and faster.

                    • Thomas

                      I have asked you again and again and again to provide evidence. Since you have provided none, I can only assume that it doesn’t exist. You are coming across as raving lunatic and I’m going to wind down my wasting of time trying to talk to you reasonably.

                      You seem to be opposed to change in and of itself. You must be a fan of Muldoon; NZ First is the party for you.

                      You continue to follow the Luddite/Lump-of-labour fallacy. I gave you two links that refute your reasoning that economic progress leads to unemployment. I’m not going to explain it here.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Those fallacies are false.

                      Look around you. Offshored jobs offshores GDP and offshores the tax base.

                      I’m glad you’re not going to waste my time any more.

                      You continue to follow the Luddite/Lump-of-labour fallacy. I gave you two links that refute your reasoning that economic progress leads to unemployment. I’m not going to explain it here.

                      Economic progress leads to unemployment because the free market for labour which the neoliberals organised allows wage arbitrage to occur.

                      What is it about this that you do not get? Look at fraking Detroit for gods sakes.

                      Your links are worth shit. Neoclassical economics has no bearing on real economics i.e. what people and countries experience in the real world.

                      Simple misconceptions around rational actors and the price/demand curve are sufficient to undermine the entire foundation of neoclassical economics.

                      it is a failed intellectually corrupt enterprise you support.

                    • Thomas

                      CV: This is getting repetitive.

                      “Wage arbitrage” is just another made-up buzzword; I presume you mean competition. Perhaps you can give some evidence to clarify what it means.

                      Again, if progress leads to unemployment, then centuries of economic growth would mean massive unemployment. This is not the case.

                      Detroit and the problems of the American automotive sector are an excellent example. They have been struggling since the 70s. The US government tried to keep them afloat with import restrictions, despite them producing inferior products. This of course was at great cost to the average American. Eventually their competitors avoided the import restrictions by setting up plants in the US. The reason the recent layoffs were so severe is because rather than gradually letting these companies decline, the US govt tried to oppose the market and keep them at their original size until finally everything caved in. Companies like Toyota would otherwise have gradually picked up the slack with more plants in the US.

                      What are you on about? Mainstream economics is “real economics”. There is certainly no better economic theory around. The foundations of economics are empirical evidence, plain and simple.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The only evidence “mainstream economics” has left is the decline of the west and the destruction of the western middle class consumer.

                      Highly centrally planned economies in Asia and East Asia are on the rise.

                      The neoliberal project is a failure.

                      Do you really expect everyone to fall for the same shit twice

                      “Wage arbitrage” is just another made-up buzzword

                      Wage arbitrage is the phenomenon where multinationals take advantage of a free market for labour to relocate jobs to countries where the lowest cost basis exists. Over the last few years those places have typically been China and India.

                      Maybe you should get up to date with a few more “buzzwords” eh buddy?

                      You would understand real economics better than failed Chicago school voodoo economics.

                    • Thomas

                      The west is not being destroyed. We are simply seeing former socialist states catch up by adopting free-market policies. China is still much poorer than the west. But they have enjoyed good growth since the 80s because they gradually moved away from a planned economy.

                      The “neoliberal project” is a stunning success. Most countries liberalized their economies in the 80s and they have seen continued economic growth, low inflation, and low government debt. The current crisis is the result of abandoning that path and endulging in debt.

                      Google didn’t really know what wage arbitrage meant. (It directed me to strange sites.) That makes it made-up. The standard name for what you describe is outsourcing.

                      What is “real economics”? does it actually lead to well-reasoned policy? or is it just a hot air from cranks like you?

          • Puddleglum

            Thomas, I think you’re conflating economic growth as a necessary condition for the improvements in health, education and (local) environments with economic growth as a sufficient condition.

            Economic growth without a willingness to tax, redistribute and invest in people and alleviate the harm caused by what has had to happen to provide that growth, would not have resulted in those improvements you note. The omitted necessary condition was democratic pressure to carry out these improvements through redistribution and through the regulation of economic activity.

    • Jenny 14.3

      Having studied economics on and off for 40 years and written about it in several books…..


      Afew.. Could you recommend me one of the books you have written?

      Just send an email to the moderator at lprent@primary.geek.nz and tell Lynn that I have approved the release of my contact email details to you. Refer to this comment.

      I assure you that your privacy will be respected as I would hope you will respect mine.

      Yours Jenny

  15. randal 15

    he cant get any traction while the kiddy-corps in the press are stil besotted by an image with no substance as they are wont in this post modern era.

  16. Jenny 16

    The series

    The Phil Goff story is based on interviews by Catherine Masters, Claire Trevett and Geoff Cumming with 40 people who knew and worked with him over the years including childhood friends and teachers as well as political colleagues and opponents.

    In part 2 next week Claire Trevett tells of the many political lives of Phil Goff, from a student politician calling on all senior MPs to resign, to a Rogernome and then one of the most senior ministers of the Clark years.

    New Zealand Herald

    Having lived through the “Rogernomics Revolution” and witnessing the public loathing* including protests aimed against Phil Goff the “Rogernome”.

    It will be particularly interesting to followers of politics, to see how the Herald covers this aspect, of what the Herald calls “the many political lives of Phil Goff.”

    *(a public loathing so strong as to cost Phill Goff the normally safe Labour seat of Roskill)

    There are several possible editorial approaches that the Herald writers may choose to take regarding this period.

    1. Will the Herald writers openly praise Goff for his role then, and express the hope that Goff has not made a full break with the tenets of neo liberalism now?

    2. Will the Herald writers do an honest in depth investigation of how Phill Goff has since distanced himself from the Rogernomics experiment and neo-liberalism generally?

    Will there be an examination of the promises made at the time by Labour Cabinet ministers including Goff, of ” Short term pain, eventually leading to long term gain”?

    In the decades since, will the Herald writers explore whether the above promise was ever realised?

    And if so, what were the gains?

    Or were the detractors of neo-liberalism right in their claim, that Rogernomics would make things worse, not just in the short term as the above Labour Government promise acknowledged, but in the long term as well?

    3. In the cold light of the morning after the economic melt down and long term economic and social failure of neo-liberalism generally. Will the Herald writers examine Phill Goff’s reapraisal of his support for Rogernomics?

    Or will the Herald writers of this piece do no analysis at all and instead, try and gloss over this period, with the once over lightly treatment. Minimising Phil Goff’s leading cabinet role in implementing Rogernomic policies, particularly in tertiary education.

    Will the questions of the affordability or not of a tertiary education and student indebtedness particularly for children ofMaori and Island and other generally blue collar families be examined – Outcomes resulting from Goff’s personal decisions then?

    Have these young people’s aspirations been raised, or constrained?

    Was this good for the economy?

    Or made things worse?

    Will the then student leaders opposed to Goff at the time be interviewed?

    What do the economic and education experts say?

    The Fourth Labour Government’s attack on social spending was also an attack on workers, students, beneficiaries and pensioners. And tertiary education was one area that suffered. While there had always been a nominal tuition fee prior to 1990 (averaging about $129), this was offset by the fact that most students had access to allowances and wages in New Zealand that were higher in real terms than they are today.
    Up until the introduction of Labour’s $1250 standard tertiary tuition fee, the fee for full-time full-year study at a New Zealand university was less than $300. However, for most students, 90% of the cost of this was met by the government through a fees grant that was paid through the student support system.

    Nick Kelly

    From ‘The Salient’: <a href='http://www.salient.org.nz/features/the-great-fee-debate-pt1-why-student-fees-must-go'The Great Student Fee Debate, Part 1, 2006

  17. randal 17

    fundamentally Phill Goff is a decent bloke while john key is still and unproven politician.
    However the National Party has shown themselves to be a party of ditherers who think that their bold strokes constitue some sort of historic occasion when mostly they come nowhere near to addressing any of the real issues.
    They talk about boldness and challenges but they have taken no risks whatsoever and cringe behind pr excesses to divert attention from their basic inability.
    National will get a big fright at the election and Phil Goff will triumph as his own man and someone really capable of steering the ship.

  18. Jenny 18

    My apologies to all, for mucking up the Salient link.

    If you still wish to read the full Salient article, try clicking, here.

  19. Sam 19

    Anyone else alarmed by the fact that National party spinstress and Chief Conflict-of-Interest Claire Trevett is to write part two?

    • Jenny 19.1

      Anyone else alarmed by the fact that National party spinstress and Chief Conflict-of-Interest Claire Trevett is to write part two?


      Hi Sam, since part two, is the section covering Goff’s controversial “Rogernome” period. I imagine that Claire Trevett as an apologist for neo-liberalism, will chose to go for option 3. (Minimising Goff’s Rogergnome period). Or possibly Claire Trevett may go for option 1. (Praising Goff’s Rogergnome period.)

      As a died in the wool tory, Claire Trevett will avoid as much as she can, option 2. (Impartially examining history’s judgement of Goff’s Rogergnome period. Not to mention Phil Goff’s own judgement of this period.)

  20. Drakula 20

    REVOLUTION ! ! ! !

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