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John “30-sec” Key…. smile and walk away.

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 pm, January 3rd, 2011 - 101 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Economy, equality, Unions - Tags:

The two significant things from the Herald interview:

#1 The signalling by John Key of his willingness to step down.

#2 The view of John Key that “essentially there is no money”.

“There won’t be money for us and there won’t be money for Labour,” John Key.

The significant thing about the first statement is, by putting it out there that he may step down if he loses, he puts in the public mind the possibility that he may step down regardless. This would have the effect of nullifying all the personal promises that he gave to the electorate over not privatising state assets or raising the retirement age etc.

For John Key, as a multi-millionaire, living a life of privilege, if it came to the crunch, over breaking his promises and enforcing austerity. Key would probably chose to step down from the morally indefensible position of actioning policies which would leave him and other rich people like him untouched, but which in their implementation would hurt the majority of those less well off than him.

The sort of austerity measures we are likely to see from the next National led government, – slashing of public spending on health and education, – attacks on the public sector unions and the low paid who will and resist these attacks. Alongside this onslaught on the public sector and state provision, a propaganda campaign justifying the spending cuts by deliberately demonising beneficiaries.

All this and more, will be demanded by the rich backers of a market led recovery.
Better for John Key to bow out gracefully, and let his bully boys mates impose the “necessary” austerity measures.

The significant thing about the second statement, is that in Key’s opinion, it is the also the view of Phil Goff, “that essentially there is no money”.

And until Phil Goff states otherwise, we must presume that this is the case.

No wonder Phil is so reluctant to lead the next government, and who can blame him. Phil Goff (according to John Key’s interview) probably wouldn’t be too keen to be the leader of an austerity government in charge of delivering attacks on the less well off, either.

Of course it is all a crock, there is heaps of money. (In fact human society has never been wealthier.) It is just all in too few hands.

It will take a determined effort by those who can see past neo-liberal economics to tilt the “Spirit Level” back.

Tax Justice policies would do the trick. But for most mainstream politicians used to decades of stable growth, this is probably a bridge to far. Rather than take any measures that may be seen to threaten ‘The Market’, far better to try and occupy the safe middle ground, and wait till the “End of the Recession”.



101 comments on “John “30-sec” Key…. smile and walk away.”

  1. Chris73 1

    Yeah of course and when Cullen bragged he’d spent the lot well thats different

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Although I guess not even Dr Cullen thought National would be mad enough to borrow $300m per week to pay for their precious tax cuts for the wealthy.

    • Marty G 1.2

      Cullen was warning there wasn’t fiscal room for massive tax cuts for the rich – key did them anyway

      • Chris73 1.2.1

        I’d just like to point out that just because you say hes borrowing 300 mill per week for tax cuts for the rich doesn’t actually make it true

        Just thought you’d like to know 🙂

        • RedLogix

          Well not all of it agreed. But from memory the two rounds of PAYE tax cuts introduced by Bill English in the last two years have put roughly a $5-6b pa hole into govt accounts.

          The big hit of course has been from Company Tax which being dependent on company profitability is highly volatile in the face of a downturn. Again I’m not sure the numbers but I’d hazard a guess there is another $5b hole in there.

          And with people busy deleveraging debt like mad (mortgages being zero-rated for GST) the GST take was down… at least until it was bumped up to 15%.

          But as Marty clearly puts it, and as Dr Cullen repeatedly warned, there was very little head-room left for the inevitable ‘rainy day’ …an idea that everyone was very fond of scoffing about at the time.

          • Chris73

            While I don’t think Labour will be back in power anytime soon (thank goodness) I think Goff had one bright idea in raising the the top tax rate to 100 thou…so good I hope National pinch it

            • millsy

              Tell me Chris, how many hospitals did Labour close between 1999-2008? How many did National close between 1990 and 1999?

              We all know Cullen needed to restore medical services that had been slashed and burned by the Bolger-Shipley governments.

              (Also Chris, are you the same Chris73 that was on NZDating in 2002-03?)

              • Chris73

                Guilty as charged (there really are no secrets on the internet)

                • Hollyfield

                  I am intrigued. How does millsy remember that 7-8 years ago there was someone called Chris73 on NZDating? Does millsy have a photographic memory of all usernames on NZDating? Or did millsy do a search on “Chris73” hoping to find something scandalous with which to discredit Chris73, and is this a standard search done on all people who place a comment which disagrees with the Standard?

                  • Akldnut

                    Try googling a name 🙂

                  • millsy

                    Actually I remember crossing swords with him on the forums there, back in the old days, of Win98/ME, Pentium III’s and when blogs were the domain of 16 year old lonely heart schoolgirls.

                    He was very vocal in support of the impending Iraq War.

        • Draco T Bastard

          No, the fact that cutting taxes caused the need to borrow $300m/week did.

        • bbfloyd

          chris.. you don’t need to believe him.. just listen to any of the people in the know. they are all singing from the same song sheet. every economist, and journalist who specialises in this field will tell you the same thing… they deal in this curious thing called reality… i’m sure you’ve read about that sometime. possibly at school, or in a self awareness course you might have taken…….. or should.

          • Chris73

            Since when was politics reality?

            Besides the fact that John Key IS in power and that hes way out in front in the preferred PM stakes AND that National are also ahead suggests that I might just be slightly more “correct” in my way of thinking

            “We won, you lost, eat that”

            [You are fast gaining attention as a troll… this is a moderated forum. RL]

            • Draco T Bastard

              Politics has always been about reality. This is why the right are so wrong as they only believe in the delusional.

  2. BLiP 2

    Yep. All true. And that comment made my day, it really is a classic –

    Look! I smile and I . . . walk away

    Good to see Jenny on the front page.

    • Jenny 2.1

      Blip, it caught me by surprise, I can tell you.

      Personally my favourite comment from the last post, which if not for it’s brevity deserved to be a full post, was from QoT

      Isn’t it a bit laughable for a man worth $50m to claim there’s no money?

      capcha – “pretty”

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        About time we had an update on that $50m figure anyway. How has Key handled the recession? Is it possible his wealth has gone up dramatically, putting him even further out of touch with everyday NZers, or has his wealth taken a battering also?

        Could have interesting ramifications, a political attack line such as “over the last 3 years of this National government, when the average NZer hasn’t had a pay rise or has been made redundant, John Key increased his fortune by $15m”.

        I guess a lot of it will be tied up in property though, so the $50m number was probably always a favourable guestimate.

        captcha: detailing

        • Alwyn

          As far as I can find there is NO public evidence at all that John Key is “worth $50 million”
          It seems to be only a figment of some jounalist’s imagination while interviewing their computer keyboard.
          Does anyone, other that Key’s accountant, have anything to give a sensible value for his net worth?

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Of course it is all a crock, there is heaps of money. (In fact human society has never been wealthier.) It is just all in too few hands.

    And the thieves don’t pay tax on that wealth which makes maintaining society even more difficult. Our taxes need fixing so that people pay the appropriate amount of tax.

  4. George D 4


  5. Tanz 5

    Yes, but he had a lovely holiday didn’t he. And all MPs are getting payrises, backpay and bonuses. Not for teachers or the police etc though. This’ll go down well in election year. Just plain wrong, and no freezes, as yet. When is enough enough? No money? Sure.

    • Chris73 5.1

      Dear Leader never took holidays? Isn’t everybody who works entitled to a holiday?

      Also its not as if John Key is responsible for MPs pay increases is it

      Labour had nine years to sort out MPs payments and failed so at least some progress is being made by John Key ie Chris Carters holidays

      on a completely random note…why didnt CC just pay for his own fares? Seems odd that if everythings booked he wouldn’t just pay for it himself?

      • bbfloyd 5.1.1

        chris… do you read what you’ve written before you hit the submit button? it might save you some embarrassment. you could at least try to put up arguments based on reality, rather than the pathetic attempts at party political slander that is the sum total of your posts so far…. you’re not even very good at it. ..

        • Chris73

          Umm this site isn’t full of party political slander?: “key to spit dummy”

          So what you’re saying is my opinion is invalid because I support National…fair enough

          But to say I’m not good at it is very hurtfull…my soul is crying 😉

        • Lanthanide

          bbfloyd, I wish you would actually critique what you find to be wrong with someone’s post, instead of just insulting them and telling them they aren’t facing reality.

          It’s a constant pattern with you – insult someone and make vague references to them being wrong, but you never actually say what *your* opinion on the matter is. Effectively you’re shutting down the debate and not helping anything.

    • Zorr 5.2

      But John Key asked ever so nicely that they not put up their paychecks. But those evil little trolls down in Parliamentary Services wouldn’t listen to ol’ goody two-shoes Key and went ahead and gave him more money anyway.

      Wonder which charity gets this payrise?

      • Chris73 5.2.1

        Yes Zorr thats correct only John Key got a pay rise, no else did

        But I agree I wonder which charities will benefit from the Labour MPs who will no doubt donate their ill-gotten pay rises to charity

        (I’m not saying they deserve pay rises but they have them and its whithin the rules which John Key is trying to change)

        • Draco T Bastard

          (I’m not saying they deserve pay rises but they have them and its whithin the rules which John Key is trying to change)

          No he’s not else there’d be some legislation coming through that would change them. Jonkey only said that politicians shouldn’t get a raise because it looked good and he knew that he’d still get the raise.

          within the rules = RWNJs excuse for immoral action.

    • Rodel 5.3

      Here’s an idea.
      In the next election all candidates put themselves up for tender for 3 years and we get to vote on that basis. Lowest or any tender not necessarily accepted-a bit like what we lesser mortals have to do.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    CGT please.
    And an estate tax, 30% applicable on all assets after the family home + first million dollars.
    Oh, new income tax brackets at $150K p.a. and $500K p.a. The latter should be at the ~60% mark.

    And we should probably think about a windfall tax on large corporate entities.

  7. SPC 7

    There is $1 Billion from simply ending the tax credits in Kiwi Saver – and retaining only the $1000 start-up incentive (the 2% employer contribution should be enough incentive).

    Why this has not already been done is unbelievable – it was a monetary incentive to motivate take-up while we had a surplus and an inflation problem and was an inducement of and for the time to get people to save.

    Are these people asleep or scared of touching a middle income centrist voter entitlement? Labour should offer to hold their hand to give them the courage to do the right thing (it does not require compulsory KiwiSaver) – it’s better than having National loot and pillage the public sector infrastrucutre and public service delivery to those in need to afford their dispersement of favours to party friends programme.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      I will echo the sentiments of a recent Friedman op ed piece in the New York Times


      We can figure out where to cut: but have we figured out where we are investing for the long term? What are we putting into which growth initiatives which will benefit the many, not just the few?

      Of course, we know with the NAT’s free market ideology they can’t be bothered with any of this because they think that “the market” will provide. Even after 25 years of free market failure.

      Sucks to be them. And us, currently.

      • SPC 7.1.1

        It’s actually pretty obvious.

        Our last growth phase was ended by the high OCR killing off the housing bubble. Post bubble we have low investment in new housing and this is part of the economic activity decline.

        The best way to prevent another rise in house values (and we borrow to finance buying these houses so we should not want an increase in values as this causes an increase in foreign debt) is to build more new houses. The way to do this is to have government to take up the available building supply capability and build them – this will cause economic activity which reduces inflationary impact (and growth in foreign debt). The activity will increase revenue to government from income taxes, company tax and GST. As to the cost to government, if they then sell the houses they have financed the building of there is none.

        Costless economic growth.

        If National was not still secretly in bed with landlords (looking for CG) they would have already done this.

        • Colonial Viper

          Our last growth phase was ended by the high OCR killing off the housing bubble. Post bubble we have low investment in new housing and this is part of the economic activity decline.

          The best way to prevent another rise in house values (and we borrow to finance buying these houses so we should not want an increase in values as this causes an increase in foreign debt) is to build more new houses.

          Hmmmm. On the right track, but perhaps could be improved.

          As tools, OCR and building new houses are respectively a) too blunt and indirect an instrument (it hurts the whole economy not just the housing asset bubble) and b) too slow a control (takes years for a sufficiently appreciable increase in housing stock to affect supply and demand).

          Fastest and most effective thing to slow the asset bubble speculators down do would be to apply a 5% stamp duty to any house sold within 12 months of being purchased e.g. buy and sell a house in rapid succession for $500K (i.e. to ‘flip it’) attracts a $25K duty.

          The stamp duty doubled to 10% if the house is bought and sold within 120 days = $50K in the previous example. That would certainly knock the stuffing out of any speculator’s capital gains hopes on a quick do-up and flip sale.

          Could be done tomorrow, targets the housing asset bubble only, not the wider economy. Also mild enough not to cause an asset price crash. Perhaps just a gentle deflation over many years.

          And the stamp duty % can be ramped up rapidly if a strong asset bubble appears, in order to contain it and stop it from hurting the real economy.

          • SPC

            Yes but if the goal is economic growth building houses achieves that.

            As for stamp duty it would have to exclude new houses if it were to not discourage new house building.

            • Colonial Viper

              Ah, if what we are now talking about is producing economic activity aimed at helping the people, not so much the corporations/finance firms/large companies, we have a very interesting discussion to move to indeed.

              And yeah on your point re: stamp duty, it would exclude new dwellings.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Not really. What you’re concerned with is houses built “on spec” and there’s very few of those compared to the total. I doubt it would make much difference to the total built if they disappeared. All other new houses aren’t houses being bought but labour being hired and materials purchased.

  8. alfa 8

    Very true [deleted].

    [lprent: Speculating on who people are in real life is a very fast way to get the boot from here and in just about every blog apart from the dumpster divers like Camerons. If you want to write here then you will conform to the policy which has a large sections on privacy. ]

    • felix 8.1

      Bit of a stalker are we, alfa? Can I play too?

      But seriously, it’s a very long-standing tradition on the net to refer to people by their handle.

      To do otherwise is considered lazy and quite rude.

      To do otherwise in the snide way you have, several times, with the clear intention of outing someone’s identity goes beyond rudeness and into fuckwittery.

      • lprent 8.1.1

        Yeah the usual no evidence offered snideness as well. Sounds like a fool that would read Whale – the dumpster diver and person of few ethics..

  9. NX 9

    Do you guys even recall Cullen’s ‘boast’ that the cupboards are bare before the last election. And a lot has happened since then.

    • Chris73 9.1

      Yes but thats different 😉

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Wasn’t a boast but a statement of fact. With the world going into recession the cupboard was bare. NACT cut taxes and caused a massive blow out in the deficit anyway.

      • Chris73 9.2.1

        Ok so why was the cupboard bare?

        • Colonial Viper

          Because Cullen had paid off our creditors and saved for the long term (wise economic decisions), hoping that English and Key would be able to follow through on their promises to close the gap with Australia.

          Instead Australia is pulling ahead in terms of employment generation and income levels.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Well, lets see:
          1.) There really wasn’t a “surplus” – we still owe money from that period and before even though Dr Cullen managed to pay down a heap and as long as the government owes money there isn’t a surplus
          2.) The world just went into recession causing the tax take to drop

        • travellerev

          Let’s begin you education right here because my god, you’re a moron.

          Max Keizer is a finance specialist and he’s got a thing or two to say.

          Here is a little animation that even a moron like you should be able to comprehend.

          And here is a video which in all probability will stretch your meagre amount of brain cells to the Max if not your attention span.

          But if you’re not prepared to watch all this info because I suspect you can’t be arsed and you’d rather stay stupid the answer to your rhetorical question can be summarised as follows: Bank manipulation, bank manipulation, bank manipulation. As in John Key worked on Wall street. Wallstreet= Corruption= grand theft of every living souls in order to satisfy the greed of the Wall street banksters.

      • NX 9.2.2

        Newsflash – Cullen himself introduced substantial tax cuts in 2008.

        ^ why do you not remember this…?

        National have cut taxes, but raised GST – not to mention cutting govt. expenditure (mainly the growth of govt. expenditure).

        History lesson by NX :).

        • Colonial Viper

          Newsflash – Cullen himself introduced substantial tax cuts in 2008.

          That must be why Key and English called them the “chewing gum tax cuts”.

          Must’ve been big frak-off packet of chewing gum for you to be so impressed eh?

          • Alwyn

            Sorry CV. The chewing gum tax cuts were they ones that were passed in 2005, to take effect in 2006. After the election Michael, being loathe to admit that the common people might be more sensible than him, and not feeling that were people were suitably appreciative of him, scrapped them.
            The tax cuts that went through in 2008 were not the ones referred to as being chewing gum cuts. Still if he had got back in he probably would have scrapped them as well.

            • RedLogix

              The chewing gum tax cuts were they ones that were passed in 2005

              Everyone forgets that obscured by the stupid sound-bite ‘chewing gum tax cuts’ there was actually an important idea. For years people had been bitching that because taxation thresholds were fixed, inflation over time pushed people up into higher tax brackets. Technically this was known as ‘fiscal drag’.

              What Dr Cullen intended to do in 2005 was something no previous Minister of Finance had ever considered.. indexing the tax thresholds to inflation. This was in fact a significant reform of tax policy… but the Opposition seized on the relatively small impact it would have in the first years.. and buried it under that stupid soundbite.

              Our media completely and utterly missed the point, and in the end Dr Cullen couldn’t see any good political reason to carry forward the idea. Sad really.

              • Herodotus

                Cullen tax adjustments were to take effect every 3 years, so wage earners were still continually lossing out on the effects of tax creep, Cullens policy was pure tokenism at its worst. That coupled with all the other forms of tax/duty/increase in power prices etc that were imposed on allof us. that resulted in life for many becomming increasingly difficult. This at the same time we were giving more to the govt. And also at a time when Cullen decided that being rich meant that you had to earn less than 1.6 times the average wage or about 2.5times the min wage !!!!!

                • Colonial Viper

                  And also at a time when Cullen decided that being rich meant that you had to earn less than 1.6 times the average wage or about 2.5times the min wage

                  Well, we certainly should not be deciding who is “rich” based on the threshold the top tax rate currently cuts in at. We actually need one or two thresholds above that, in order to start talking.

                  At the start of 2008, someone on $75K p.a. (into the threshold for the top rate) only paid a tiny bit more income tax as a percentage compared to someone on $70K p.a. (with no income over the threshold).

                  Works out to be something like an extra .4% in terms of overall tax on income taken by the Government.

                  That’s a whole ~$5.80 per week. And that’s what we’re arguing about. As far as I can see, someone earning $75K p.a. (~$1100 in the bank per week, after tax) is NOT going to miss that small change unless they look real hard.

                  Anyhows less than 10% of NZ income earners make $75K p.a. or more anyway, we’re so lowly paid.

                  • Herodotus

                    There would be no one who would disagree regarding NZ’s low income And High cost to live.
                    regarding the marginal disposable income of those above the highest tax rate. This for some (i use it selectively to substantiate agruements) can be 1 basis for determining “rich”, otherwise what is rich/middle/poverty. Just like Phil Goff’s middle class being saved by him- no one wants to define. The same (and a bug of mine) for a livable wage/family income. But they all like to use these all inclusive (non descript) terms, just like fair tax system.

        • RedLogix

          Your history lesson is quite redundant NX… we recall this well.

          The pertinent history you neglect to mention is that the National Opposition of the time had spent five years ranting on about almost nothing else but tax cuts … they were virtually their only policy.

          Remember how Cullen was lambasted for ‘sitting on huge surpluses’ and ‘overtaxing New Zealanders’?

          And recall how Dr Cullen resisted these calls, preferring to reduce govt debt (by 2007 the NZ govt was actually a nett creditor) and carefully laying out three pre-conditions that he believed should be met before tax cuts were implemented.

          And even then arguably those pre-conditions were only just met when he finally bowed to enormous political expectations and delivered what he believed were affordable and balanced tax cuts in his last Budget.

          And when he did so… he made it clear that ‘the cupboard was bare’ … that those cuts left no fiscal headroom for further tax cuts. And most especially not in the face of the ‘rainy day’ that he said would inevitably happen. Guess what Dr Cullen was right. Rainy day is here.

          Now we have a govt that is borrowing $300m per week to cover the much larger tax cuts it has made … just to fulfill the demands of it’s backers, the expectations it had created while campaigning… and it’s own unthinking ideology.

          You may want to ponder the simple, but still true Micawber Principle:

          He is famous for frequently asserting his faith that “something will turn up.” His name has become synonymous with someone who lives in hopeful expectation. This has formed the basis for the Micawber Principle, based upon his observation:

          “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

          • NX

            Redlogic – I agreed with your recall (unlike Colonial Vipers’ – the chewing gum taxcuts refers to Cullen’s minuscule adjustment of the thresholds that did nothing but give ammunition to the opposition. Cullen’s 2008 tax cuts (which the Nats voted for) were far more substantial).

            National have delivered two tax cuts. The big one in the last budget was a ‘tax switch’. Regardless of whether you think the tax switch was a good idea, it’s claimed to be cash neutral.

            To be honest, I don’t understand economics but I think you’re kidding yourself if you think the govt wouldn’t be borrowing 300 million a week if Cullen were still finance minister. Given how quickly Cullen grew govt expenditure it could well be far worse. However I guess we’ll never know. Labour never revealed their ‘secret budget’ they plan to implement if won the 2008 election.

            • aj

              Cullen delivered 1b tax cuts to businesss

              • Colonial Viper

                Gotta laugh how the apologists for Bill and John’s three strikes out on the deficit are out in force.

                Forecast: you guys are going to be real busy this year apologising.

                • NX

                  Okay Viper, here are the current tax rates:

                  $0 – $14,000 = 12.5%
                  $14,001 – $48,000 = 21%
                  $48,001 – $70,000 = 33%
                  Over $70,000 = 38%
                  No-notification rate = 45%

                  If you’re right, then Goff/Cunliffe will increase the rates. I wait with baited breath.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I personally want to see a CGT and an estate tax (applicable on everything after the family home and the first million in assets) brought in.

                    Plus a stamp duty of between 5% and 10% on houses which are flipped within 12 months.

                    Also new income tax brackets set at five times the median wage (circa $140K p.a.) and at 20 times the median wage (circa $550K p.a.).

                    Also, a 0% income tax rate on the first $20K p.a. earned.

                    In fact all the tax brackets shall be defined in terms of a proportion of the median wage. That will remind people how crappily we are all paid (the 98% of us earning less than $100K p.a. anyhows).

                    By the way NX its disappointing to see that you don’t know what the country’s income tax rates are, and yet are happily commenting on them and other aspects of economic policy.

                    • NX

                      I don’t know what the tax rates are..?? HELLO ^ they’re in my post above.

                      Anyway, your preferred tax plan is interesting.
                      Couple of comments.

                      CGT – both Labour and National are too chicken to introduce this. The Nats blah on about ‘economic rebalancing’, but really the biggest unbalance is the over valued housing market. But I’m guessing that you, like myself, don’t own a house? Because I suspect we’d both be thinking differently if we were mortgaged with a house.

                      New tax rate for $140k + & $550k +. This would effect such a small percentage of people (>2%?) would it really be worth it. You just end up driving them overseas. Plus rich people often invest the money in business ventures… so is it really such an advantage for the govt to get hold of this revenue?

                      Tax free bracket up to $20k. This would be great for me. Very generous. I prefer this to WFF. I think Australia has a tax-free threshold up to $5k or $10k.
                      Of course there are people who work part-time jobs while their partners rake in the big bucks. Plus having such a large proportion of people paying no tax would totally screw the tax structure – i.e. most of the govt revenue would be generated by a small group of people.

                      FYI – except for Cullen’s 2008 tax cuts, I never got anything from the nine years of Labour govt – even with record surpluses.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “FYI – except for Cullen’s 2008 tax cuts, I never got anything from the nine years of Labour govt – even with record surpluses.”

                      Actually what you mean is that there wasn’t an increase in user-pays for health and education. They even made prescriptions cheaper – down to $3 standard instead of the $10-15 it used to be before that.

                    • millsy

                      \” I never got anything from the nine years of Labour govt – even with record surpluses.\”

                      You got a decent health care system, thats what you got. You know, where you got treated when you got sick?

                      And WFF ensure that a lot of families shared in the economic boom. Because hell would freeze over if bosses gave their workers a pay rise. AND, it ensured a decent standard of living for a lot of people.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You just end up driving them overseas. Plus rich people often invest the money in business ventures…

                      So? Do you really think that I care about scaremongering which is all about a race to the bottom?

                      And honestly where the frak do you think these rich people are going to go?

                      Fiji? Cook Islands? Ireland? Australia and UK already have a higher top income tax rate than we do. And what happens when their new home raises *their* tax rates? Are they gonna pick up again and move to the next slum town?

                      As for their “business ventures” – yeah mostly highly leveraged property speculation, just what we need more of. Where is the new productive and technology enterprises which are going to soak up our excess labour pool? WHERE?

                      I don’t know what the tax rates are..?? HELLO ^ they’re in my post above.

                      Yeah, I find it amazing that you couldn’t recognise your mistake even when you were told. Tells me that a lot of the economic facts and figures you keep in your head are probably out of date and that you don’t follow economic issues that closely.

                  • Lanthanide

                    How embarrassing for you to give the pre October 2010 tax rates with the old 38% in there, you know the one they cut to 33% thereby giving 40% of the tax cuts to those in the top 10% of incomes?

                    • NX

                      Ops… I screwed the pooch on that one. I deserved to be mocked – just as long as you leave my spelling alone (I’m very sensitive on that one 😉 )

                      Just go to show the rates aren’t hugely different to what Cullen set in 2008.


                    • NX

                      Actually I did get something – the student loan free interest thing. The moment that policy came in I started claiming the maximum living cost allowance (I previously only charged uni fees & worked a part time job).

                • Herodotus

                  CV like others here are very liberal with your blame/cudos regarding the deficit/employment etc. How can any govt take credit for the 1st term surplus/deficit. For a start the budget has just been announced and most if any measures are not in place, yet alone had any influence. For me to be less in error. the previous govt should take responsibility for the first 9-12 months of the current tgovt. This just displays how blind people are to the real situation and just want to cheer lead for their team.
                  to agree with NX how can you expect people to vote for a party that proposed to then delivery a month later a secret budget? Not the basis for trust to be built on? 😉

                  • Colonial Viper

                    the previous govt should take responsibility for the first 9-12 months of the current tgovt.

                    Yes that’s fair.

                    How can any govt take credit for the 1st term surplus/deficit.

                    Perhaps then you will let English and Key take credit for the greatly expanded and unfunded weekly budget deficit they announced in Dec? Which from memory came around the time that they said we would be emerging from recession “reasonably aggressively”.

                    Not the basis for trust to be built on?

                    You’ve seen this game for a while. There’s trust and then there’s results. Yes it would be good to have both. With NAT – we are on track for 3 strikes out on the deficit. And according to you they should wear the last two as their responsibility.

                    BTW in a time of recession I think short term well targetted deficit spending is fine. Call me a Keynesian, but I think that we need to visualise Government spending over the whole economic cycle.

                    Also, I’m more than happy to criticise Labour’s prior performance on things like asset bubbles, free market attitudes towards hot foreign capital, rapidly expanding personal debt, and a lack of sufficient results around diversifying our real productive economy – and have done so in the past and will continue to do so.

                    • Herodotus

                      The eterm economic cycle works when there is stability and the lows/highs and ebbs of the system move as predicted. Unfortunately every 15-20 years events outside our control take over and we get a 72,87,99,2008 event. As we become more global a property crash in Japan impacts in NZ, at least 2if not all 3 events mentioned were world wide in origin.
                      Economics for me is really a very specific branch of history. Economists are very good at determining why something has happened but are very poor at forecasting.
                      Should Lab have kept control in 08 there still would have been 3 deficits recorded, for a govt say 1 term the effects of their policies willbe felt after they are gone. If Lab had been so diligent with the economy we would have more of a legacy than housing bubble (includes leaky homes and the inability to tax), dairy, and the + finincial impacts of 150+k net migration in 8 years and how this growns the economy as a 1 off.

                    • NX

                      This just displays how blind people are to the real situation and just want to cheer lead for their team.


                      Cullen’s 2008 tax package is very similar to what Bill English has implemented.


                    • Colonial Viper

                      EXCEPT Cullen did it when the country could afford it.

                      English did it in the middle of the most severe recession in decades, effectively compounding the Government’s revenue drop.

                      And wait until he cuts Government demand from the economy in the budget next year.

                      The impact on an already recessioanry environment will be catastrophic.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Unfortunately every 15-20 years events outside our control take over and we get a 72,87,99,2008 event.

                      By the way, the removal of resiliency from the global economy and the global financial system (needed to maximise short term profits for capitalists) is going to bring shocks closer together, and make them rougher.

                      For instance, between 1972 and 1987 there was a 15 year gap. Between 1987 and 1999 there was a 12 year gap. Between 1999 and 2008 there was a 9 year gap.

                      Next major shock will possibly be in 6 to 7 years from 2008, and it will be mean.

                      (Yeah thats in about 3-4 years time max, while we are still recovering from this one)

                    • NX

                      Viper – what?

                      NZ was in recession back in 2008. In fact NZ was the first developed country to officially enter recession. It was only this year that the economy started to grow very slightly.

                      I’m not sure what you’re say… are you saying Cullen would’ve reversed his 2008 budget? Because that’s crystal ball stuff.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      NX –

                      a) What month in 2008 was the Budget prepared (Feb/Mar for April release).
                      b) What month in 2008 was the recession confirmed (Sept).

                      BTW I don’t buy the meme that NZ entered recession first. In July 2008 the Reserve Bank was still expecting to have to raise interest rates due to inflation risks from forecast growth.

                    • NX

                      Cullen’s 2008 budget was passed into law.

                      You’re are so fixated on demonising English that you can’t accept Cullen’s 2008 budget is similar to what the Nats have implemented.

                      I don’t know what you’re staying… that Cullen would’ve changed his budget based on economic conditions? Because that’s fantasy stuff – you can’t predict that. It’s like me staying the govt’s books would be much better if Brash won in 2005.

          • millsy

            Quite frankly, Cullen should have put the supluses into health, education, and intrastructure (and even the welfare and social housing system). IMO he folded to the agressive call for tax cuts when he should have stood firm.

            Remember, National closed a shit load of schools and hospitals (and cut benefits and sold off state housing) to pay for the last round of tax cuts in this country, back in the 1990’s. Labour didnt close a single hospital (Apart from Kimberley, Templeton and Queen Mary).

    • alfa 9.3


      [lprent: Speculating on who people are in real life is a very fast way to get the boot from here and in just about every blog apart from the dumpster divers like Camerons. If you want to write here then you will conform to the policy which has a large sections on privacy. ]

      • Colonial Viper 9.3.1

        John Key’s legacy – 3 strikes on the deficit. After 9 consecutive Labour surpluses. Surpluses achieved by ignoring English and Key’s driving advice.

        But once Key and English took charge of the steering wheel lolz

        • Tanz

          I don’t agree with that. Labour didn’t create the wealth, the global economy did, just as its created the recession now. It’s a no-fix situation, no matter who is at the wheel. National always seem to inhereit the country in times of recession, but don’t blame them for it. Like the wind or the rain, it’s an uncontrollable element. It can be fiddled with perhaps, but not reigned in. Global govt will be the next step, that is what the UN is all about, global govt, global taxes (ETS for starters), global control.

          How frightening is that.

          • RedLogix

            How frightening is that?

            Ever lived in a country with no effective government? Trust me… that’s a lot more frightening.

          • Colonial Viper

            Like the wind or the rain, it’s an uncontrollable element.

            Bill English’s economic policies are Acts of God – is that what you are saying? OK Labour needs to shoulder the blame for not dealing with the property asset bubble and huge amounts of hot liquid capital flooding our country for no productive purpose. Things which made people feel wealthier than they were.

            However I agree with you, NZ can do nothing to affect the massive financial storms rolling in from overseas. But we can batton down the hatches and steer our ship through the waves with competence and planning to be resilient.

            If Bill English had not given $9.1B over the next four years to the wealthiest in this country, we would have $9.1B less that we needed to borrow – or $9.1B more to put into critical services for our people. Another $2B went into rescuing finance companies where only small investors (<$100,000 invested) should have been rescued, all the big bond holders should have taken a 50% haircut.

            Amd it is a total mistake to think that the disaster which is now America's economy is a freak of nature.

            Nope its the inevitable result of corporates offshoring good paying American jobs to China, and then directing all the resulting labour saving profits to the wealthy. These moves were all deliberate. America has 10% unemployment amongst workers: and more billionaires than ever.

            ~60% of all products made in China going to the US are made by subsidiaries or partners of American companies. The American capitalists did this to their own people.

            Bottom line:

            iPads did not end up getting built in Shenzhen because of “the wind or the rain”. American capitalists asked the Chinese to do it, gave them permission, and taught them how.

          • Tanz

            Whoops, that should be reined in, not reigned in. Inherit, not inhereit. Too much cooking sherry ! No, just too early in the day! Too hot here today, bring on autumn! Key and English did not create recession, but they have yet to improve it, I guess. They are doing OK in this department, all the same, in my view.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Key and English did not create recession, but they have yet to improve it, I guess. They are doing OK in this department, all the same, in my view.

              Really? Have you considered how badly off we’d be if we’d followed their economic advice of the prior decade?

              This is relevant because we’re now following that same advice. The worlds economic situation changed and Key and Blinglish had the same advice – cut taxes for the rich. This did the same as it did in the 1980s/90s – caused the economy to shrink and more people to end up on the dole.

        • alfa

          Viper do you really think Labour is going to win the election this year?

          • Colonial Viper

            I think that Labour is going to give NAT a bad stitch all through the year. Lets see if NAT stumbles a few more times.

            • alfa

              Haha, so not even you can bring yourself to saying something as stupid as labour will win this election. Then why don’t you take some time to ask why labour won’t win it? Because we have a shit leader and shit policies and shit people and shit strategy.

              • Colonial Viper

                Dude you back to being with us in Labour now? “WE” on the Left now there’s a lot of damn hard work to be done this year and nothing is certain.

                Especially for Bill and John.

              • Marty G

                latest roy morgan has labour plus greens plus progs at 42.5%, Nat + Act at 50%

                that means 4% of people (80,000) switch from right to left and the left is ahead

                a year ago, L + G + P = 37% and NAct = 55.5% – a 5.5% shift

                so, less of a shift in the past year makes for a dead heat

                …. with rising petrol prices and Smile and Wave bored and old of ideas …..

                • Lanthanide

                  If the Maori Party side with the left, or Winston gets back, it’s already very tight before you take any off the Nats to give to Labour.

                • alfa

                  And if it was L + G + P =20% then you’d say that it was a done deal if only 15% of the right changed their mind then the left would be ahead. Not enough because you still have to get the maori party on board and hell will freeze over before they trust labour again, labour still haven’t got to their final position on the foreshore. As long as you labour flunkies keep trying to abuse the maori party and destroy them (promoting shane jones, gee, good idea!) you don’t have a shit-show.

                  You and Jenny Michie are cut from the same cloth.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    then you’d say that it was a done deal if only 15% of the right changed their mind then the left would be ahead.

                    Uh who are you talking about here. Most National voters are barely right wing. If at all.

                    • alfa

                      And a lot of labour voters are barely left wing, which means labour could still go down. Have fun with your amusing calculations based on one poll though. Labour are dead in the water and it won’t change until they change their leader, their strategy, a lot of their people and most of their policies.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And a lot of labour voters are barely left wing

                      Uh, I never said they were! You made the freudian slip about NAT voters being Right wing however.

                      Have fun with your amusing calculations based on one poll though. Labour are dead in the water and it won’t change until

                      Without John Key, National loses the next two elections.

                      That’s how fragile and narrow (albeit currently very popular) their perch is. Voters asked to name specific National policies which they support – usually come up with big blank stares…they vote National “because of that nice man Key”

                  • alfa

                    You’re right viper, key is a big part of national’s success and he’s the most popular politician in a gneeration. Clark was a big part of labour’s success too, they wouldn’t have won any of their elections without her. Just like how they won’t win the next few until they find a decent leader. poor phil, I like him and he’s a nice guy and he was originally a labour man but he has flip flopped too much for people to trust him.

  10. alfa 10

    what’s certain is you’re not helping labour because you’re a dick

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