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 Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three 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. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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