Hickey on the fall of capitalism

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, August 14th, 2011 - 33 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war - Tags:

Bernard Hickey writes compellingly on the coming fall of capitalism.  Click through and read the whole thing, here are some highlights.

Capitalism – top heavy and toppling

The last fortnight’s dramas on financial markets is really just the sound of investors waking up to some fundamental problems in the global economy.

It is now dawning on the world’s biggest fund managers that there is too much debt weighing on households and governments in the developed world.  More importantly, they realise there will not be enough economic growth and income to repay those debts over the next 10-20 years.

That means governments might default or print money to repay the debt. Bank shareholders and bondholders may have to realise enormous losses or face high inflation. Growth will be much slower and for longer than expected. Slower economic growth might mean lower corporate profits and lower share prices.

After nearly four years of urgent fixes, emergency measures, bank bail-outs, debt shuffles and government pump priming without any real improvement, there is a dawning realisation that something is broken at the heart of the global economy.

… Grantham has put his finger on the core problem with unfettered capitalism. It works to shift wealth to the richest but can eventually topple over under the weight of itself when that wealth is hoarded and not reinvested or spent.

… In New Zealand, the share of income going to the top 1 per cent also more than doubled after the mid-1980s to nearly 14 per cent of income by the early 2000s. Last year’s tax cuts will have worsened that.

The trickle-down theory will not be enough to save capitalism. Even the biggest capitalists are realising that now.

33 comments on “Hickey on the fall of capitalism ”

  1. I enjoy Hickey’s writing and I agree that we are in for a scary time.  It seems that the attempts at stimulation have failed.

    I think that peak oil has a lot to do with what has happened.  It is clear that the world has been surviving on cheap supplies of petroleum for some time and this has had a fundamental effect on our lives.  Food and other goods are transferred huge distances over the world.  Locally people get into their cars and drive either to work or to shopping meccas where these goods are available for instant purchase.  The production of food is so compromised that the primary consideration is the price that can be achieved on the other side of the world, not what is required to keep the local population fed properly.

    Until peak oil occurred.  After that there was a dramatic rise in the price of oil until 2008 when the effects on the world’s economy became apparent.

    The price of housing in the United States stalled and those who had bought on the premise that prices would always increase became very disappointed.  The industry behind them that had been leveraged profits to the nth degree failed spectacularly.
    The prediction of peak oil is that it’s price would spike, recession would follow, the price would reduce, the world’s economy would get on its feet, the price would then spike …

    Unfortunately this seems to be exactly what is happening.  The world’s economy crashed in 2007-08, the western democracies replied Kensyan like and opened up the spending to counter, but in 2011 it seems that the extra spend only just kept the economies going but some states had got themselves into a major debt situation.

    Then when these states decided or realised they had to stop the shit hit the fan.  Basically the world had got to the situation where it is realising it cannot keep consumption up by going further into debt.  Our reliance on the purchasing of bigger and bigger flat screen TVs and more and more expensive branded clothing is not going to work.

    Europe has its problems.  Ireland drove itself into bankruptcy rather than allowing to fail the Bank of Ireland, plaything of the speculators.  Many ordinary Irish regret this decision.  Greece, Portugal and Spain also hit the skids.  The European Union has many benefits but the fixed exchange rate means that Germany benefits but Greece suffers.

    Then England decided to combust.  It came out of nowhere really, an innocent father of four being shot dead, an attempt to frame him, a protest against the treatment of his family and then hell breaks loose.  Disaffected youth decided that this justified the complete refusal to abide by accepted social norms.  The looting was not of food or essentials, rather it seems to be that flat screen TVs and branded clothing was most popular.  Their attitude was summed up perfectly in a quote in this morning’s Sunday Star Times:

    “Bankers have looted the country’s wealth and got away with it, so it’s not hard to see why these locked out of the gravy train think they are entitled to help themselves too”

    And the rest of the world must be looking on and wondering when is it their turn?  To avoid this they need to firstly look at the world that their youth are growing up in.  If it involves unemployment, no future and the bombardment of them of images of wealth they need to aspire to then they are in trouble.  But if it involves training and an acknowledgement that our young are important and that we need to make sure that our world is fit for them then I am sure we can get through this.  But we need to change things.  Now.
     

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      It seems that the attempts at stimulation have failed.

      Of course it failed – it was completely the wrong thing to do*. The entire “stimulation” was nothing more than a transfer of wealth from the community to the rich.

      * Stimulation wasn’t what was needed. All debt to be forgiven was. Of course, maintaining the capitalist system isn’t a good idea anyway as anthropogenic climate change proves.

    • mik e 1.2

      Oliphants cartoon on the trickle down theory sums it up perfectly! I think it was in the New Yorker.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    See that in the sky? That’s a flock of black swans. Damn.

    Where are our political leaders who understand what is going on and can see a way to navigate NZ through it all. Selling our strategic energy assets for worthless USD and devaluing the worth of workers is NOT the answer. But what is.

    Society must be for the people, not the financial markets or the casino chiefs.

    • neoleftie 2.1

      when has society been for the people – the rise of globalism, continium of capitalism and break down of sociatal anchors is basically to shackle the masses to consumerism and unlock a growth mechansim that allow the age old elite class to generate more power.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    …Grantham has put his finger on the core problem with unfettered capitalism. It works to shift wealth to the richest but can eventually topple over under the weight of itself when that wealth is hoarded and not reinvested or spent.

    This is why we need to tax the bejeezus out of the rich and, in fact, why we need to get rid of them.

    For starters all the money ends up in their pockets, then it’s loaned out at interest through the fractional reserve banking system to workers and governments which increases the rate at which money ends up in their pockets. All of this transfer of wealth to the rich eventually results in recession and depression as the massive debt build up caused by capitalist accumulation “corrects” (although we haven’t actually allowed that correction to take place this time).

    We cannot afford the rich.

    • Afewknowthetruth 3.1

      DTB

      Three great revolutions – the American War of Indepedence, the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution – were instigated by a desire to correct the problem (the revolutions of 1848 failed).

      Note that the money-lenders and land-owners re-established their control every time.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        So a couple of things:

        1) Govt should be the major land owner in the country and lease that land back to the private sector (50 and 100 year leases). This certainly already happens with Crown Leases.

        2) Interest rate reform. No interest to be chargeable on loans. Just like the good old days.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        Doesn’t mean that they have to do so again. We can prevent it but it does mean keeping everyone informed by getting rid of the secrecy that is endemic to the present socio-economic system.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      We cannot afford the rich.

      And as an aspect of that, we can’t afford capital accumulation and misallocation where capital is not put to use for the good of the wider community.

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    It is all very superficial, as we would expect from Bernhard Hickey in a mainstream publication.

    Increasing debt is inherent in the fractional reserve banking system, and has been pointed out before, if all debts were paid off most of the money in the systtem would vanish overnight.

    When interest rates are at historically low levels (0.1 to 1.5% in many nations) and even then there is no simulation of the economies involved you know it is very close to the end. Instead, Hickey writes about the next 10-20 years, providing readers with false hope that the system will persist for 20 years (as required by the corporate owners of the Herald).

    This statement is a small step in the right direction: ‘More importantly, they realise there will not be enough economic growth and income to repay those debts over the next 10-20 years.’

    Once Hickey says ‘There can only be economic contraction because we don’t have the increasing energy supply necessary for economic growth’ we will know he understands a major aspect of the problem. Once he says that economic growth is the problem we will know he understands a bit more.

    Present economic arangements are predicated on converting fossil fuels into waste which is ‘killing’ the planet we live on. Capitalism is a system for facilitating the rapid destruction of the Earth and transfering the proceeds to those at the top.

    I guess hell will freeze over before we see such truthful commentary published in the Herald.

  5. KJT 5

    Why should our elderly, sick and young people be living in poverty in one of the richest countries in history, just so the very rich can avoid a few% contribution to the society they benefit from.

    We tried letting the wealthy keep more. It has proven to be a disaster.
    1/3 decrease in investment, manufacturing almost gone, a relentless slide down the economic rankings, increasing inequality, massive hemorrhage of capital to financial gambling.

    The way to get new money in the system and keep what is there is to bring back workers bargaining power (so money they have earned stays here a wages instead of disappearing offshore), tax capital flows, tax speculation, tax the wealthy more and use that money to invest in New Zealand (Including research and development as well as the health and education of New Zealanders), stop paying overseas banks to add zeros to their electronic ledgers and lend capital to ourselves. (Gaddafi’s big crime). As that arch lefty Adam Smith said. Tax the owners of capital and leave the producers alone.

    Waiting for the private sector to re-allocate capital to benefit society has not worked, and never will!

  6. “Unfettered” capitalism? When was it ever “fettered”? Its been going downhill for a century at least. The short upturns are due to the grizzly downturns. Depressions and wars which killed multimillions. The welfare state means bosses’ welfare. Keynes mated inflation to stagnation. Capitalism is kept alive by the drip feed of the blood of the masses sacrificed to its barbarity. Capitalism is broke and can’t be fixed. Hickey is bright enough to read the writing in blood on the wall. He might become a Marxist yet.

    • Afewknowthetruth 6.1

      dave.

      There was a brief period in the late-70s when environmental catastrophes and energy starvation led to a slight fettering of western capitalism.

      I guess TPTB were not happy with the way things were going -all that nonsense about energy conservation and environmental protection- so they installed Reagan, Thatcher, Roger Douglas etc. to put the world on track for all the Friedman excesses we have witnessed over the past 25 years and the implosion that is now on the horizon.

  7. Capitalism hasn’t failed. It has some obvious failings and they need to be addressed, but like the imperfections of democracy there’s no better way of doing things, alongside a mix of social policies.

    • mik e 7.1

      Berlusconi has raised taxes on the rich.I can hear the out rage from the right.Osbourne Tory finance minister has admitted its social deprivation thats caused the riots in England!

    • KJT 7.2

      Yeah, right!

    • Afewknowthetruth 7.3

      I suppose you call half the population of the world living in poverty, a succession of environmental catastrophes -Exxon Valdez, Bohpal, Fukishima and dozens more, death of the oceans, blowing up mounatin tops, desecrating an area the size of England to get to tar sands, wiping out hundreds of indigenous cultures, a state of perpetual war, and a thoroughly sick society which is locked into consumerism that has no future a success.

      ‘there’s no better way of doing things’

      You have demonstrated you have an incredibly tiny imagination, a very poor knowledge of history and a closed mind, so I guess there is no point in further discussion

    • Colonial Viper 7.4

      there’s no better way of doing things, alongside a mix of social policies.

      BULLSHIT

      A better way of doing things would be to give workers and local communities the capital wealth they need to set things up and get things done for themselves and to reap the benefits of their hard work for themselves. Not for some major shareholder in a foreign country who adds no value to the operation or the community.

      In other words, democratic socialism.

      • Pete George 7.4.1

        Workers and local communities can do that if they want to. The key thing is for them not just to expect it to be handed to them, they have to make it happen.

        • Colonial Viper 7.4.1.1

          Sure. They need to make it work. And we can start them off with $10B. It takes money to make money, you know that.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.4.1.2

          The key thing is for them not just to expect it to be handed to them, they have to make it happen.

          Yep, I’m all in favour of expropriation of the wealth back into the communities hands – and jailing the fucking psychopaths that took it from the community in the first place.

        • mik e 7.4.1.3

          We did have regional development boards but National scraped them because it is easier to buy votes in Auckland. Building motorways while john Key builds cycle ways for the rest of the country

        • mik e 7.4.1.4

          PG yeah cycleways would be a good start.Or do you mean billionaire film makers, Mediaworks ,destiny Church, SCF,double dipping in Dipton by a dipstick!

      • neoleftie 7.4.2

        we would need a socio / eco shift for that to happen. yes spain has a few nice examples.
        So bring on the workers revolution and create co-ops within the work place…

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    Just seen this on growth. Independent UK.

    Growth stalls across the eurozone

    Investors braced for poor second-quarter figures

    By Margareta Pagano, Business Editor

    Sunday, 14 August 2011

    Investors are prepared for further evidence that recovery may be stalling across Europe as second-quarter growth figures are announced for the eurozone this week.

    City analysts predict a modest 0.3 per cent average growth – despite Germany’s continued strong performance. But investors were uneasy after Friday’s news that, in the three months to June, growth collapsed to zero in France. Greece also disclosed much worse figures than expected – with its economy shrinking by 6.9 per cent in the second quarter.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Good old IMF/ECB neoliberal vandals.

      Has the EU not learnt anything about what to do from Malaysia, Argentina or Iceland. Or what not to do from Greece and Ireland.

      Madness.

  9. randal 9

    Its only words dude. Capitalism is still the only system that produces the goods. Sorry to talk down hickey but his is the view of every kiwi who only knows abou their own mortgage and not how things are actually made. When capitalism goes we all go. byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…

  10. Jenny 10


    I thought that the most important quote from Bernard Hickey’s article was the following which I have abridged:

    Hedge-fund manager Jeremy Grantham also picked up on this structural problem this week…..
    Grantham should know about how the rich work. His firm manages more than US$100 billion worth of funds and doesn’t accept any amounts less than US$10m. Yet even he is saying it is now time to reset capitalism…..

    He wants to see tax rates on the wealthiest rise back to the levels seen in the 1950s and 60s.

    Bernard Hickey

    In line with this call for a fairer tax system even from within the highest ranks of finance capital, was this press release in my inbox.

    Tax Justice media release
    14 August 2011

    Tax Justice to present 40,000 signatures to Parliament, Tuesday 16 August

    40,000 signatures calling for GST to be removed from food and a tax placed on financial speculation instead will be presented to Parliament at 12noon on Tuesday 16 August.

    The Tax Justice petition will be received on the steps of Parliament by Su’a William Sio, the Labour MP for Mangere, who will be presenting it to the House.

    Russel Norman, Green Party co-leader, and Hone Harawira, Mana leader, have also confirmed their attendance at the petition handover.

    “With round two of the Global Financial Crisis upon is, there’s more reason than ever to make changes to New Zealand’s unfair tax system,” says Vaughan Gunson, Tax Justice campaign coordinator.

    “Taking GST off food would give immediate relief to ordinary New Zealanders struggling to pay the bills. While introducing a Financial Transaction Tax that targets the pariahs of the financial world would generate much needed government revenue,” says Gunson.

    The organisations and individuals who have actively supported the Tax Justice campaign to date will be represented in a delegation on the steps of Parliament. Included in the delegation are: Aaron Edwards (Whangarei District Councilor), Alastair Duncan (Service & Food Workers Union), Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati (Mana Movement), Kay Murray (Alliance Party co-leader), Mike Clark (Maritime Union of NZ), Peter Conway (Council of Trade Unions secretary), and Sheryl Cadman (National Distribution Union).

    Vaughan Gunson, Tax Justice campaign coordinator, is available to speak to the media about the Tax Justice campaign prior to, during, and after the presentation of the petition. He can be contacted on 021-0415 082.

    The MPs who will be receiving the petition, and members of the Tax Justice delegation, will be available to speak to the media on the steps of Parliament between 11.30am and 1pm.

    A group “photo opportunity” for photographers and TV cameras will be organised at the conclusion of the formal presentation of the Tax Justice petition to the MPs.

    For more information on the Tax Justice campaign go to http://www.nogstonfood.org

    For comment, contact:

    Vaughan Gunson
    Tax Justice campaign coordinator
    (09)433 8879
    021-0415 082
    svpl@xtra.co.nz

    Victor Billot
    Tax Justice media spokesperson
    021-482 219
    victor@victorbillot.com

    The successful Tax Justice petition has been a large, co-operative effort involving activists of many shades around New Zealand.

    Collective activity over four years (starting with RAM’s GST-off-food petition in 2008, going through the Bad Banks campaign and latterly the Tax Justice petition) has been extremely important in advancing tax justice policies within the Maori Party, Labour Party, Green Party and Mana.

    Together many different socialists, unionists and other activists, have helped to get neo-liberalism’s crumbling central pillar of financialisation onto the radar of all the left-leaning parliamentary parties, and into the consciousness of a growing number of the body politic.

    The scene is now set for all these forces to work together for the implementation of genuine Tax Justice in New Zealand.

    • mik e 10.1

      Berlusconi must be listening to maybe Joyce Key and English could take a leaf out of right winger Berlusconi’s book!

  11. AAMC 11

    don’t suppose anyone here can link to the Bill Gross and Jeremy Grantham articles Hicky is referencing?

    Have searched but to no avail…

    • joe90 11.1

      A snapshot of Grantham’s argument, along with his key points at the bottom of the article.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/jeremy-grantham-commodity-prices-2011-6##ixzz1V4amQiYlhttp://www.businessinsider.com/jeremy-grantham-commodity-prices-2011-6#

      GRANTHAM:
      Summary of the Summary
      The world is using up its natural resources at an alarming rate, and this has caused a permanent shift in their value. We all need to adjust our behavior to this new environment. It would help if we did it quickly.
      Summary
       Until about 1800, our species had no safety margin and lived, like other animals, up to the limit of the food supply, ebbing and flowing in population.
       From about 1800 on the use of hydrocarbons allowed for an explosion in energy use, in food supply, and, through the creation of surpluses, a dramatic increase in wealth and scientific progress.
       Since 1800, the population has surged from 800 million to 7 billion, on its way to an estimated 8 billion, at minimum.
       The rise in population, the ten-fold increase in wealth in developed countries, and the current explosive growth in developing countries have eaten rapidly into our finite resources of hydrocarbons and metals, fertilizer, available land, and water.
       Now, despite a massive increase in fertilizer use, the growth in crop yields per acre has declined from 3.5% in the 1960s to 1.2% today. There is little productive new land to bring on and, as people get richer, they eat more grain-intensive meat. Because the population continues to grow at over 1%, there is little safety margin.
       The problems of compounding growth in the face of finite resources are not easily understood by optimistic, short-term-oriented, and relatively innumerate humans (especially the political variety).
       The fact is that no compound growth is sustainable. If we maintain our desperate focus on growth, we will run out of everything and crash. We must substitute qualitative growth for quantitative growth.
       But Mrs. Market is helping, and right now she is sending us the Mother of all price signals. The prices of all important commodities except oil declined for 100 years until 2002, by an average of 70%. From 2002 until now, this entire decline was erased by a bigger price surge than occurred during World War II.
       Statistically, most commodities are now so far away from their former downward trend that it makes it very probable that the old trend has changed – that there is in fact a Paradigm Shift – perhaps the most important economic event since the Industrial Revolution.
       Climate change is associated with weather instability, but the last year was exceptionally bad. Near term it will surely get less bad.
       Excellent long-term investment opportunities in resources and resource efficiency are compromised by the high chance of an improvement in weather next year and by the possibility that China may stumble.
       From now on, price pressure and shortages of resources will be a permanent feature of our lives. This will increasingly slow down the growth rate of the developed and developing world and put a severe burden on poor countries.
       We all need to develop serious resource plans, particularly energy policies. There is little time to

      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/jeremy-grantham-commodity-prices-2011-6#heres-the-bottom-line-13#ixzz1V4cHrSW3

      Google: Bill Gross pimco newsletter

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  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    4 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    5 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    6 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    6 days ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    6 days ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    7 days ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 1
    This is the first of a two-part guest post by Grant A, a long time reader and commenter with a keen interest in all things urban, especially cycling and public transport. He’s been thinking about how to fix Broadway. Stay tuned for Act 2! Readers might remember the pre-Christmas traffic snarl-ups in ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Road trance
    Sometimes technology is your friend and sometimes it can’t be bothered with you. Once you’re away from home and your dependable wifi, well, there’s no telling what will happen. I’ve been going in and out of high-speed and low-speed no-speed Internet pockets all over England and France and look, I’m ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • You Can't Undo Fake News
    Hi,I’ve been thinking a lot about Corey Harris, the 44-year old man who went viral after Zooming into his court appearance while driving. The headlines generated were basically all the same: “Man With Suspended Driver's License Dials Into Court Hearing While Driving”. The headlines said it all, and most people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – CO2 is the main driver of climate change
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting Prime Minister David Seymour.
    When it came to David Seymour, Jacinda got one thing right, and another wrong. What is the sacrilege, I hear you ask? In what world in relation to David Seymour was our Jacinda ever wrong?Subscribe nowAs you no doubt remember, and personally I think there should be some sort of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • More democratic abuse from National
    "Abuse of democracy" seems to be the emerging theme of this government, with bills rammed through under urgency or given pathetically short select committee submission times seemingly designed to limit and undermine public engagement. And today we have another case, with the public given just nine days to submit on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the curse of being politically moderate about everything
    Nigel Farage’s initial reason for not standing in the British election – because he wanted to be a Trump adviser – never looked very convincing. His perfectly timed “change of mind” though, has won him extensive media coverage, and he’s now plunging into the election campaign as the rival candidate ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Tuesday, June 4
    Placards at a 2018 rally for better funding for new cancer drugs. National’s pre-election promise to do so may have won it votes, but the attempt to quietly drop the plan has now ignited a firestorm of protest. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The Government is now being engulfed in a firestorm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2024 Highlights
    Last week the government delivered their first budget and while there’s been plenty of other discussion about the main aspects of it, I was particularly interested to look at what it meant for transport. Before getting into too much detail, the chart below shows at a high level where transport ...
    1 week ago
  • Jeff Masters and Bob Henson give us the low-down on the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Samantha Harrington (Background photo credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project / CC BY 2.0 DEED) To kick off hurricane season, Yale Climate Connections editors Sara Peach and Sam Harrington sat down with meteorologists and Eye on the Storm writers Jeff Masters and Bob ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 3
    TL;DR: The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, which consumes over 15% of the motu’s renewable electricity, has struck a deal to stay open for another 20 years. This will delay Aotearoa-NZ’s transition to carbon zero and make it more expensive and unfair for the 100,000 households who currently can’t afford their ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • maBaguette
    Today we rolled through troglodyte caves and ate a fresh roast chook by the river, the mighty Loire River, the still quite angry-looking Loire River. The Loire is not itself because it has been raining here for the last seven months without a break, the locals have been telling us, ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Empty Promises.
    Fighting out of the blue corner, wearing a pale pink jacket, a half hearted smile, and a lot of flack from the left and the right, it’s your Finance Minister - Nicola Willis.Her challenger will probe the Minister for answers. Armed with boyish charm and tricky questions, the last remaining ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22
    A listing of 33 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, May 26, 2024 thru Sat, June 1, 2024. Story of the week Sometimes one story is not enough. Our ongoing 2023-2024 experiences with lethal heatwaves, early wildfires and a threatening Atlantic hurricane season ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treaty Principles Bill: Smokescreen for sweeping change?
    Much has been said about how the coalition government’s Treaty Principles Bill distorts te Tiriti o Waitangi. However, it could also serve as a Trojan horse, installing an extreme libertarian agenda. We don’t know the intent driving the proposed Bill; however, many serious effects may ensue. Far from simply clarifying the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Visit to Viet Nam strengthens ties
    New Zealand and Viet Nam are focused on strengthening cooperation by making progress on mutually beneficial opportunities, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. “Viet Nam matters enormously to New Zealand," Mr Peters says. "Our countries enjoy broad cooperation, in such areas as defence, security, trade, education and tourism. We are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost to fix potholes
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to boost funding for pothole prevention, with indicative funding levels confirmed by NZTA showing a record increase in funding to help fix potholes on our State Highways and Local Roads, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The NZTA Board has today confirmed indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government making fuel resilience a priority
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will halt work on procuring reserve diesel stock and explore other ways to bolster New Zealand’s diesel resilience, Associate Energy Minister Shane Jones says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will also begin work on changes to the minimum fuel stockholding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt strengthens COVID-19 preparedness
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says additional supplies of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests (RATs) will enable New Zealanders to continue testing this winter.  “In January, we announced an extension of public access to free RATs until the end of June,” Dr Reti says.  “I’m pleased to confirm that Health New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Fiji commit to strengthening partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has met with his Fijian counterpart, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, and discussed how New Zealand and Fiji can further strengthen their partnership.  During their bilateral talks in Suva this morning, Mr Luxon and Mr Rabuka canvassed a range of issues including defence and regional security, trade, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to invest in New Zealand
    The Associate Minister of Finance David Seymour has issued a new Ministerial directive letter to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to make consent processing timeframes faster under the Overseas Investment Act.  “New Zealand is currently rated as having the most restrictive foreign direct investment policy out of the OECD countries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $30m investment for faster access to radiology services
    New Zealanders will now benefit from free access to radiology services referred directly by their general practitioner, resulting in faster diagnosis and improved health outcomes, says Health Minister Dr Shane Reti. “Our Budget last Thursday delivered the foundations for a thriving New Zealand economy, but also for better public services ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Pacific Economic Development Agency – Pacific Business Trust
    Good afternoon everyone, and warm Pacific greetings. Thank you for your lovely introduction Mary Losé. It’s wonderful to be here today at the Pacific Economic Development Agency - Pacific Business Trust. I want to acknowledge the chair Paul Retimanu and chief executive Mary Losé, your team and the many business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress for fixing the Holidays Act 2003
    The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Brooke van Velden says this Government will improve the Holidays Act 2003 [the Act] with the help of businesses and workers who will be affected by changes to the Act.  “Change has been a long time coming, and I know there are many ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand and Niue mark special milestone
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