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High pay makes elitists view us as serfs

Written By: - Date published: 12:31 pm, November 9th, 2010 - 39 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, wages - Tags:

I’ve never really understood the logic of paying CEOs multi-million dollar salaries. Can Telecom’s $7m man, Paul Reynolds, for example, really be worth 100 skilled technicians? Is there no-one who is basically as good who would work for a million or two less? Now, research shows high pay gaps for CEOs actually makes them worse bosses.

“In a conference paper presented at the International Association for Conflict Management conflict in Boston last month, professors from Harvard, Utah and Rice universities argued that as executives get bigger and bigger pay packets, they begin to mistreat workers.

“Simply put, as disparity between CEOs’ compensation and ordinary workers’ income increases, the former become meaner to the latter,” the researchers wrote in ‘When Executives Rake in Millions: Meanness in Organizations’.

“Higher income inequality between executives and ordinary workers results in executives perceiving themselves as being all-powerful and this perception of power leads them to maltreat rank and file workers,” the researchers, led by Harvard University research fellow Sreedhari Desai, wrote.

Larger salaries and imbalances in power may also make CEOs “come to view lower level workers as dispensable objects not worthy of human dignity,” they wrote.”

I can’t understand why companies are willing to hand over so much money. I simply don’t think it stacks up to think that these high paid CEOs create a lot more value than a lower paid one would (in fact, there’s evidence that the opposite is true: higher CEO pay correlates to lower stock value)

Come to think of it, I can’t really understand why anyone would insist on being paid that much. No-one can spend $7 million a year without wasting it on frivolous stuff. After a certain point, incomes must become pretty meaningless in terms of the actual monetary value they entail. I guess that at those extremes, money just becomes a points game: ‘I’m better than Johnson because he is on five million and I’m on six’. You must have a personality that is missing something (altruism?) to take those kinds of paychecks: you can’t be said to need that money in any real way, yet by taking it you deny it to the workers or the shareholders.

Maybe that’s it – the decisions about CEO pay are being made by people with warped value systems. I read somewhere that the explosion in CEO salaries in recent years has been linked to the growth in ownership of shares by managed funds, rather than individual shareholders. It’s the heads of the managed funds who now appoint the boards who appoint the CEOs – they’re all drawn from the same (sociopathic) stock, and there’s no control from ordinary people (the serfs) any more.

39 comments on “High pay makes elitists view us as serfs”

  1. Agreed. Pretty much sums it up as I’d put it.

  2. George 2

    come to view lower level workers as dispensable objects not worthy of human dignity

    That’s your answer right there. It’s worth paying someone $5m if it turns them into someone who can ruthlessly squeeze $20m out of a workforce.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      It is patently undemocratic that the direction and major decisions of company with 2500 workers is decided by a group of about 20 board members and executive managers, who are the same ones most disconnected with the rank and file worker.

      Which is why you see decisions to offshore jobs taken with such regularity as people in the ‘in-club’ get to reap the bonus benefits as everyone else reaps their redundancies.

      • Kevin Welsh 2.1.1

        ‘In-club’, you the nail on the head there CV. Funny thing is, it doesn’t matter how badly some of these clowns perform, they keep popping up time an again in CEO or Directors roles.

      • SHG 2.1.2

        I also think it is patently undemocratic that the direction and major decisions of a military unit with 2500 solders are decided by a group of about 20 senior officers.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1

          This is civvy street SHG, don’t know about you, but 4.4M NZ’ers didn’t sign up to join the military last I looked.

        • felix 2.1.2.2

          SHG the military IS patently undemocratic, deliberately and necessarily so. It needs to be so in order to function properly.

          A large company, on the other hand, could function properly under many different organisational systems, and need not necessarily be undemocratic or even hierarchical.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    What about civil servants and SOE executives who end up on $500,000 p.a. plus? They must fall prey to the same psychological trap.

    At remuneration >40x the NZ median full time wage, a 91% tax rate should kick in. A rate just like the good ol 1950’s and 1960’s in the US of A.

    If the business execs want more pay, then they will have to work harder on raising the median wage of workers.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      If a salary cap were put in by law, it should apply to the specific company. Eg the CEO can be paid no more than 30x times the lowest wage in that same company. If you tie it to a national figure, then there’s really very little any individual company can do to reward it’s CEO, whereas if it is in the specific company, you can imagine a particularly successful company somewhere that the cleaners might get paid $45k to work at (and I’m sure they’d do a damn good job too, to risk losing the job to some other cleaner who is willing to work harder than them).

  4. Lanthanide 4

    “No-one can spend $7 million a year without wasting it on frivolous stuff. ”
    They can invest it into lots of other start up companies and create jobs. Rich people do actually do this (not as much as they’d like to pretend). Nice example is the proposed undersea cable by Steven Tindall, Sam Morgan and some others.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      That’s the theory – doesn’t seem to work out well in practice.

      Now, just think what would happen if everybody had enough to invest a little at the end of the day rather than being on subsistence wages. Chances are you’d have more investment going on and in more diverse fields.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        Sure, I agree.

        I’m just critiquing that specific line that says once you’ve paid for the necessities in life, there’s nothing left to do with your big stack of cash except waste it. Which clearly isn’t true.

  5. M 5

    Excellent Marty. I don’t know how this shite got so out of control because at the heart of the matter it’s just wankerism gone mad, kinda like guys who are LOMBARDs.

    I know someone who works in a government job on $175k who gets to flit around the country and overseas and has a very unattractive, imperious air about him – I’d hate to work for someone like that. The best bosses I have ever had have been ones who have commanded respect in the way they have treated their staff rather than demanded it by virtue of their positions. In an unbelievable stroke of luck I had one like this for four years whom I remember fondly as he defended his staff to the point of telling whingers to fuck off if they tried to put the boot into his staff, sought pay rises for all of us and tried to get the best possible training not only to aid the organisation we were working for but to develop us as individuals.

    These elitists with overinflated salaries who have ridiculous deference shown to them for nothing other than they get paid a shitload of money should be the first to mount the scaffold when a company does badly instead of being rewarded for failure and workers at the bottom being culled with the remaining demoralised staff having to cope with the stress of enormous workloads and possible burnout.

    Rest home workers, rubbish collectors, all workers in hospitals, teachers, shop and factory workers, utilities workers and all those who keep the wheels turning in this country deserve most of the slice of the pie where wages are concerned.

    Let’s hope that workers in this country wake up in time for the next election.

    Anyone can sit in an office in a flash suit and make daft, selfish decisions that imperil the whole country

  6. tc 6

    Nice piece Marty and having been in the corp game for a few decades now the stratospheric growth through the last part of the 90’s onwards initially looked unsustainbale but after a few years the bar looked normal as these mercenaries offshored/outsourced/rationalised/globalised the business and actually justified their pays by delivering the profits their boards relentlessly drove for.

    But now as diminishing returns, the outsourcers coming back to the field (as India etc raise their standrads of living and costs) combined with very limited rationalisation opportunities left (you can only swallow so many of your competitors) and the cost of borrowings made to acquire the competitors has now put these business’s back to where they started…….except with the huge packages still in place for the reynolds/norris/ferriers etc.

    Workers are forced into accepting change (do more, lose the job etc) but how often do you ever see the top table doing similar……tis a human condition called greed. There’s enough to go around except for the Mr Creosote’s of the corp world hogging much more than any normal person should be allowed.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Workers are forced into accepting change (do more, lose the job etc)

      Labour must reorganise, in newer and smarter ways. With an aim of working constructively with companies and employers, to increase profits – and to increase the employees’ share of those profits. And if constructive contribution is not possible, to force agreements through direct and indirect industrial action.

    • Bored 6.2

      TC, you bring the faded memory of Mr Creosote spewing over the cleaning lady at th restaurant right back into focus. It is appropriate to this thread as thats exactly how it feels to have to pay for these pirates. I have watched elderly care workers who are paid sweet F A cleaning down dementia patients with loving care and attention, their tender mercies for their wards coming at a tiny fraction of the price of a corporate fat cat. Workers like this must view it as being puked on a la Creosote by a very warped system.

  7. B 7

    The elite isn’t only comprised of the private sector CEOs.

    By a similar logic, what if you linked the salaries of parliamentarians and senior civil servants to the minimum wage? Say, 4x for back benchers, 6x for Ministers & 8x for the PM. We’d soon see real progress on closing all sorts of gaps, even the one with Australia. Talk about performance pay!

    As the relativity of the elite (including MPs) has improved, they identify less and less with the needs and aspirations of middle NZ, let alone the underclass. Rather that being jealous of rich, they become resentful of the poor and focused on their trusts, rental portfolios and entitlements. What more effective correction could there be than one linked to the hip pocket?

  8. Jeremy Harris 8

    This is a failure of boards, many of who are also friends with the CEOs, on other boards together or are CEOs of other related companies… It is also a failure of shareholders to ensure boards are working in their interest…

    US billionaire Carl Icahn has lead many shareholder revolts in US companies and has installed CEOs on fractions of their previous CEO’s salary, many do a better job… He states the problem is that amiable yes men and those from the club get the CEO roles most readily…

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      It’s the failure of capitalism and free-markets.

    • Jeremy Harris 8.2

      Another amazingly original comment from you DTB, filled with verve and insight…

      • Maynard J 8.2.1

        But he is right. It is not a failure of the boards at all. They are there to make money for their shareholders, and if paying a small fortune to a ruthless sociopath does that, then they are doing their job and doing it damn well.

        The logical place to look would be the system that dictates maximising profit at the expense of anything else.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.2

        Jeremy, you should have figured out by now that Boards of Directors will pay ample monies to a CEO who can maximise profits by minimising costs – even if that minimisation causes massive spillover costs on to wider societies, the environment, and local communities.

      • Jeremy Harris 8.2.3

        You guys don’t understand the point I am making…

        Boards are failing because they are, in some cases, installing CEOs at many times their worth and who in some cases lose very large sums of money and STILL receive bonuses… It is most definitely a failure of the boards to approve such contracts and a failure of shareholders to not hold the boards making these decisions to account…

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      Not sure why you are taking the position that Boards of Directors – filled with extremely experienced and capable business people – would not pick the exact CEO that they wanted, and not remunerate that CEO exactly as they intended. They do, and they charge those CEOs with delivering results to institutional shareholders (not the small shareholders who are nearly always sidelined) in exchange for rewards of many millions of dollars.

      An example is Goldman Sachs. Massive toxic losses paid for by tax payers. But now back making massive profits every quarter. Even as the GFC continues to crash around the world destroying countries and trashing lives, Goldman’s CEO and his Board are more than happy after making US$3B in quarterly profits earlier this year.

      In summary – Misery caused, sovereign debt crises imploding, state layoffs multiplying, public deficits almost beyond control – and Goldman Sachs considers it a job well done with multi billion dollar bonus pools paid out to bank executives.

  9. Macro 9

    It’s a surprise that this obvious fact of failing business practice has taken so long to be demonstrated so clearly by academia.
    But tell it to the shareholders and Directors and they won’t believe you!

  10. It’s not just their own workers on whom they look down, it’s workers generally. Sometimes that doesn’t matter to the health of the company overall, as the CEO’s decisions are insulated from the majority of those on lower incomes (e.g. a business whose clients are primarily other businesses).

    But put such a person in charge of, say, a bank or a telco and their decisons – not to mention their thinly disguised contempt – almost inevitably leads to a backlash, even from the most complacent person-in-the-street – that can be highly damaging to the company overall, including shareholders (many far more wealthy than the CEO).

    The banks in Australia are about to find this out, with Wayne Swan finally prompted to do something other than fulminate impotently by the latest outrage – CBA’s (Ralph Norris) decision to raise mortgage rates by double the RBA’s rise; and prompted by the Liberal’s Joe Hockey putting up a private member’s Bill and receiving the backing of the Greens.

    Norris’s reaction – and that of ANZ’s CEO – to Hockey and Swan’s initial criticism was a study in patronising, single finger raising smugness. Not so smug now, though.

  11. RedLogix 11

    It’s not an original idea, but some months ago there was an interesting idea put forward by a regular here that CEO’s do in fact command their legitimate market price because their special combination of skill is rather rare.

    In reality only a few percent of people have the combination of intelligence, good presentation, experience and charisma to make a good CEO. In the old days they were called leaders and they earned the respect people gave them.

    But that was never enough for their capitalist masters…they require their servants to be able to make ruthless, brutal decisions, devoid of loyalty and compassion. The kind of decision that robs a normal feeling, moral person of their sleep. In addition to the skills needed to run the business, they need CEO’s to be sociopaths as well. Of the whole population, only 2-3% are sociopaths, and of these only a small fraction are high functioning sociopaths with the ability to mask their lack of empathy well enough to avoid being weeded out before they rise to positions of power.

    Very, very few people combine all these peculiar qualities. Of course they can command outrageous market rates.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Very, very few people combine all these peculiar qualities. Of course they can command outrageous market rates.

      Because the Financial Lords (hedge fund owners, other institutional owners) demand that kind of behaviour and are willing to pay for it in order to maximise their own capital returns, regardless of the externalities those sociopaths may inflict upon the way.

  12. Drakula 12

    I think that their warped kind of logic goes like this;

    First it has nothing to do with the efficiency of the top man, but everything to do with climbing the corporate ladder.

    So here is what they do; they have already got all their rank and VILE top management on their tredley mill all willing to get to the top.
    Then the corporation offers the ‘best’ a lottery for a few years so that all the other obsequious rank and vile will do their uppermost to serve the corporate god.

    As for the man at the top well he doesn’t have to be efficient he may as well go fishing!!

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      And as they suck in more value from their ordinary workers for no extra pay, cream more money in from customers, the few execs at the top get more pay.

      In other words the corporate overseers get handsomely rewarded for keeping the masses under the boot.

  13. john 13

    Another way they get huge salaries and bonuses is through tax avoidance and evasion,Plus Governments lowering the tax rate all the time.Read the NeoLiberal madness of the UK: Impoverishing their own people so the rich can party on!

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2010/11/08/the-lax-tax-pact/

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Don’t forget the Irish Govt which has spent over 50B euros to bail out Anglo-Irish bank and has turned a private debt crisis into a sovereign debt crisis. The people of Ireland are being crushed by the socialisation of losses as the bankers laugh into their champagne glasses.

      Their new plan to stabilise property prices and prevent additional banking asset losses?

      Bulldoze brand new empty apartments and newly built housing developments to try and reduce market supply.

      Frakin idiocy. The anger is palpable, all it needs now is the spark.

  14. KJT 14

    Not only does research show that higher pay makes worse bosses to staff. Research in both the UK and the USA as well as some by the NZ institute of Management shows the higher the executive pay rates the worst the company performs against normal KPI’s.

  15. KJT 15

    Not only does research show that higher pay makes worse bosses to staff. Research in both the UK and the USA as well as some by the NZ institute of Management shows the higher the executive pay rates the worst the company performs against normal KPI’s.

    There are some very interesting articles in NZ Management about CEO’s who know how to cut costs and boost shareholder returns shrt term, but have no idea how to actually make a business work.

  16. john 16

    More comment on the NeoLiberal madhouse of the US that the ACT-nat party look upto where 43,000,000 people exist on food stamps supplied by NANNY STATE,note that one WODNEY!!Chief member of the ACT Party FReak Show!
    plus NANNY STATE BAIL OUT OF SOUTH CANTERBURY!
    http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/Archives2010/CelenteLosses.html

  17. Gina 17

    High pay is a way to divide and rule. Those on these pay packets are loyal to an elite and will cover up any sort of financial or other scandal in order to stay in that club.

    The financial meltdown which has been brewing for years and was constructed by the elite has been forseen by many high up in the industry but instead of whistle blowing they take the money and stay quiet. The worse things get the bigger the salaries get.

    The pay is increasing as a type of bribe to keep those in power in a seperate club from the rest of us and keep a crazy system afloat. Its an incentive to keep their planned economic hit which they want to lead to a world currency going.

    We saw the start of this here in NZ with Ruth Richardson who in lowering benefits created a new class of people who couldn\\’t live on their income. Then we expanded our population putting pressure on rents and house prices to really kick the group at the bottom of the heap.

    That group has been largely Maori. Even now unemployment in NZ is mostly a Maori problem. I met an indian family recently who were from south africa and had to return as they couldnt get work. It seems the only way to get an interview here for indian people is to change your name to a European name. This is common knowledge in the Indian community. The couple I spoke to were lovely. The woman was a qualitified teacher and someone I would like to teach my kids, she was really nice but she refused to change her name and so couldn ‘t even get an interview.

    Many kiwis like to blame long term unemployed Maori for not having jobs but the truth is this sort of predudice may well be happening to Maori also. So they end up trapped on benefits that dont cover living costs and they cant hit mum or dad up for a loan because Mum and dad are poor also. Thats a recipe for crime. Kids with no treats cause mum and dad cant afford them.
    Sudden costs of moving house when the landlord sells or other problems and what do you do.
    And now the rich want to exploit the victums of government policy and prejudice by owning their incarceration in private prisons.
    And if you come from a poor group there’s no one to bail you out or buy you a car so you can get that job. You are lost. This must end.

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    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    5 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    6 days ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    6 days ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    5 hours ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    6 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    6 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago

  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
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    6 days ago
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