Just laugh in their faces

Written By: - Date published: 5:39 am, July 2nd, 2009 - 26 comments
Categories: economy, Parliament, phil goff, unemployment - Tags:

National is overseeing the most dramatic rise in unemployment on record (yep, 2000 a week is more than the 1980s, more than the 1990s). They’ve got no answers, no ideas. All they can talk about is what Goff said 20 years ago and laugh. Like 2000 people a week losing their livelihoods is some kind of joke. Like they aren’t the ones in government here and now with the responsibility to act.

It’s tempting to get angry when witnessing such a gross and irresponsible dereliction of duty but these people have no shame. My advice to Labour is next time Key and English try this miserable excuse for a distraction just laugh in their faces, laugh at how pathetic they are.

26 comments on “Just laugh in their faces”

  1. I guess when you have to resort to this kind of nonsense Eddie, that National’s tactic of quoting Goff and King back at Goff and King must be working 😉

  2. Ray 2

    Well yes I suppose it does look weak to a left thinking person to hark back to what was done or not done unemployment was on the rise
    Learning from history anyone
    But what really pissed me off was to see the Labour parliamentarians laughing when this was raised in the house yesterday
    Whats to laugh about ,the mess they made then and now, hardly

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    Are you okay Eddie? You seem to be getting increasingly hysterical lately.

    • craig 3.1

      It’s certainly going to be difficult to keep up for another 8 years at this rate!

    • Maynard J 3.2

      What on earth is ‘hysterical’ about this Tim. Turn the rhetoricometer down a notch for chrissakes.

  4. I think the bigger point here is National’s lack of action in stemming rising unemployment. The only reason our rates are still below those of overseas countries is because of how EXTREMELY LOW unemployment was under the last government.

    I think it’s disgraceful how Paula Bennett is just accepting that unemployment will get up to 90,000 people by next year. Unless of course you buy the argument that the government actually likes rising unemployment so that irrelevant figure of “productivity” can be increased – an argument which is becoming less and less impractical by the day.

  5. stevo 5

    I’m no tory, but even I can see that many jobs were created and supported directly or indirectly / locally or internationally by fast and easy credit. Therefore they were not real jobs in the first place. BUT will we see real support for those victims from John and Bill and Paula?…Nup.

    National:1 term government

    • infused 5.1

      Hardly. I haven’t seen any suggestions by the left at all. All you guys seem to do here at the standard is bitch and whine and offer no alternative. Like you said stevo, which is what I believe, a lot of these jobs were created under the credit rise. These are jobs which can’t be saved.

      Watch Obama bankrupt his country. I am glad National are not pissing away money like him. Go talk to any American with a clue, they hate Obama.

  6. There are a lot of REAL jobs that could be created here. Auckland does have a severe housing shortage – for example (the reason why prices have not decreased). Thousands and thousands of jobs could be saved if the government got into the house-building industry a lot more.

    I know I keep going on about it, but the Green New Deal’s housing policy was calculated (conservatively) to save 28,000 jobs. That’s about a third of our expected unemployment level by the end of this year avoided.

    • Tim Ellis 6.1

      jarbury,

      There is anecdotal evidence that the home insulation package is already creating jobs.

      National is clearly focussing on small ticket items, rather than big bang ideas to save jobs. There is a lot of infrastructure spending brought forward that will save jobs.

      I think it’s important to not just spend money for the sake of it. There’s no point in throwing billions at projects just for the sake of saving jobs. The projects have to stack up on their own merits. In a time of recession it makes sense to bring infrastructure spending forward, since the money would have been spent at some point anyway, and there’s spare capacity in the labour market to do it. One of the major constraints to road building over the last few years was lack of capacity in the labour market.

      I think the Government’s getting the mix about right. It is interesting that for all Labour’s attempts to kick up a fuss, they aren’t proposing anything themselves. At least the Greens are being constructive and proposing solutions and engaging with the government to get some of their priorities achieved.

      Labour’s faux outrage at everything the government does is wearing a bit tired, in my view.

      • jarbury 6.1.1

        The home insulation package, while good, is pretty small fry. I think 2000 jobs is the number thrown around that it’ll save/create.

        In terms of infrastructure spending, building roads is one of the least labour intensive (and therefore jobs saving) ways in which to spend money. Most of it goes on big machines and stuff like oil. Public transport spending generates 40% more jobs for each dollar spent than road building.

        My point with houses is that they are things that we desperately need. Auckland’s skyrocketing house prices are largely the result of simply NOT BUILDING ENOUGH HOUSES. If the government was to build 10,000-20,000 homes in the Auckland region over the next few years (Housing New Zealand could keep some while others would be sold as affordable housing around railway stations etc.) you would have both the short term benefit of a HUGE number of jobs created and the long term benefit of improvign housing affordability in the Auckland region. By locating the houses near railway stations you would also have the long term benefit of supporting a far more sustainable transport system.

        I agree with you that Labour have been stupid not coming up with an alternative plan. They should have put together an alternative budget – this would have got across the point that they are being constructive and not just whining all the time. Their spin on the Green New Deal could have been an excellent opportunity for Labour to point out what the government is doing here is very different to what’s happening in overseas countries (particularly Australia). Over time, as unemployment rises, people would start to think “hey, that Labour plan might save my job”. That’s a vote winner.

        • Tim Ellis 6.1.1.1

          My point with houses is that they are things that we desperately need. Auckland’s skyrocketing house prices are largely the result of simply NOT BUILDING ENOUGH HOUSES.

          We will probably disagree on this, jarbury, but it is my view that there is no shortage of housing in Auckland. There has been a shortage of supply of land for housing, a shortage of labour supply in the construction market, and major problems blocks to developing residential property in and around Auckland. I don’t know a lot about housing, but there certainly hasn’t been a shortage of investment money in residential property over the last decade.

          I suspect that the sky-rocketing house prices in Auckland have much more to do with the flight of capital to residential property investment and the credit bubble rather than demand for housing exceeding supply. If there were a genuine long-term shortage of available housing, then we wouldn’t be seeing house prices dropping by as much as they are at present.

          • jarbury 6.1.1.1.1

            Tim, house prices in Auckland are not falling though. Or at least they are not falling by as much as what could be expected.

            I don’t see how the supply of land can be a problem but the supply of houses not a problem. Clearly house prices relate to the supply of actual houses more than they do of land.

  7. Adolf Fiinkensein 7

    I watched Question Time yesterday and the laughter from Labour was pretty forced and artificial. Tired and old, pretty much sums up their line up.

    Not much left to show for nine years. EFA gone. F&SB gone. What else is there?

    Oh yes. A rusting train set and a prosecution for corruption.

    Well may you laugh.

    • r0b 7.1

      Not much left to show for nine years

      Uh huh.

      It’s true that the recession and the current do nothing government are winding the clock back on some of Labour’s achievements, but plenty remains! The following list was a Labour summary from late 2008. Lest we forget…

      Economy & Social Development
      · JOBS, JOBS, JOBs! With unemployment under 4% for nearly 4 years there’s more jobs and people in work than at any other time in our history
      · Working for Families gives tax relief for around 360,000 families with kids, lifting tens of thousands of kids of out poverty
      · KiwiSaver is helping nearly half a million New Zealanders save for their retirement
      · We’ve already cut taxes for business and families and we’re bringing in personal tax cuts in October that’s around $22 and $55 extra a week in your pocket
      · Cullen’s Super Fund will help pay for pensions when the baby boomers retire. As well it invests millions of dollars in NZ companies and takes the pressure off our balance of payments

      Healthy Kiwis
      · Cheaper doctors visits and prescription charges because prevention is better than cure and saves families, on average, almost $500 a year
      · Thousands of ‘quality of life’ operations – extra hip and knee replacements and cataract ops to keep older Kiwis on the move
      · Free health care for under 6 year olds so you can always afford to take your child to the doctor
      · New hospitals and major upgrades from Kaitaia to Invercargill

      Putting our kids first
      · We’ve made tertiary education more affordable with Interest FREE student loans and more allowances
      · We pay for 20 hours FREE pre-school for 3 and 4 year olds to give our kids a head start
      · We’re boosting skills with Schools Plus so all students stay in education or skills training until they’re 18 and they’re better equipped to take their place in the world when they leave
      · Modern Apprentices over 14,000 young people are getting the very best of workplace training, increasing NZ’s skills and productivity
      · More schools = better education. We’re building 14 brand new schools, 180 new classrooms and 10 new school gyms across the country
      · We’re putting computers, laptops and broadband into every school in NZ so our kids have access to world class technology and teaching
      · And we’re reducing class sizes and giving teachers the pay raises they deserve

      Keeping NZ moving
      · We’re helping keep New Zealand moving with KiwiRail
      · We’re well into the biggest road building programme ever and public transport spending’s gone up by 900%

      Affordable Housing
      · Labour believes in the Kiwi dream of affordable home ownership. We’ve slashed red tape in the building industry with a new blueprint plan for simple starter homes and we’ve given the green light for councils to build more affordable housing developments
      · There’s now 7500 more state houses and we restored income related rents for state house tenants
      · We’ve helped over 3000 first time buyers into their own homes with Welcome Home Loans

      Fairness at Work
      · 4 weeks annual leave to give Kiwis the time they deserve to spend with their families
      · 14 weeks Paid Parental Leave so new parents can stay home with their baby
      · We replaced the Employment Contracts Act with more balanced and fair legislation
      · We’ve increased the minimum wage every year for nine years and made wages higher and fairer for young workers

      Tacking Climate Change
      · We’re doing our part in tackling climate change by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol and the Emissions Trading Scheme will reduce greenhouse gasses
      · Plan for 90% renewable energy generation by 2025 & halving emissions by 2040
      · Investments in recycling, carbon neutral public service, warmer homes, solar heating and energy saving

      Keeping us Safe
      · We’ve put more cops on the beat
      · We’re taking better care of victims because they deserve it
      · Tightened the rules to stop fine defaulters from leaving the country and we’re making sure reparations are getting to victims
      · Created better sentencing and drug/alcohol treatments & toughened up on parole for repeat offenders
      · There’s more police stations, court houses and prisons and we’re putting drug treatment units in prisons so prisoners have a chance to clean up their act

      Maori Development
      · Maori students are leaving school with more and higher NCEA achievements
      · Maori unemployment is at an all time low there’s less than 10,000 Maori on the dole
      · More Maori are going to tech and uni in 2006, 17.9% of Maori were in tertiary ed compared to 12.5 % of Pakeha
      · Maori asset base is worth around $16.5 billion, up over 80% since 2001
      · We’ve reached full and final settlements on 10 Treaty of Waitangi claims and we’re currently in negotiation with 27 claimant groups
      · Maori TV has been a runaway success and now we have NZ’s first ever 100% Maori language channel called “Te Reo’

      Seniors
      · Labour rejected National’s pension cuts and increased annual adjustments a married couple gets an extra $30 a week
      · We’re phasing out asset testing so older people don’t have to sell up the family home to get the care they deserve
      · Last year we made the biggest ever increase in care for the elderly both in residential care and in helping them stay in their own homes if they wish

      Taking care of Aotearoa NZ
      · Central and local government are working together to make sure we have freshwater now and in the future
      · Clean air is vital for all of us we’re leading the world in setting our standards high
      · We’re protecting our unique heritage and building opportunities for Kiwis to get out and enjoy our beautiful country

    • Wendall 7.2

      That tired and artifical laughter yesterday was the Nats.

  8. StephenR 8

    Not much left to show for nine years. EFA gone. F&SB gone. What else is there?

    You telling DPF everything he wrote on re: Labour was in his imagination?

  9. Craig Glen Eden 9

    You right wingers are so desperate.We had the lowest unemployment under Labour that this country has seen for decades and a average of about 2.4% growth over the period they ruled. The period before nine years when National ruled they had growth of 1.8 %. Got a pipe people? You know what to do with it then.

    Labour had a number of policies regarding employment, a certain little scheme in Otorahonga comes to mind the one that Key English and Bennett were to scared to front on Sunday for, Healthy homes for healthy Kiwis, 650 new state houses. Just three off the top of my head.
    To those who say Labour is offering nothing, the truth is as I have shown, they have got ideas but actually they don’t have to offer anything at this time.
    They are in opposition, National has to unveil its policies and plans as they are in Government. Its Nationals time to shine.!

    Remember Labour had the Asian crisis, bird flew and a little tragedy called 9/11 that occurred in its watch.
    Sadly its all looking leadership and direction less no answers just constant spin and bullshit from National and its Wonder Boy. Is this the best they could do after 9 years in opposition? 2years and 4 months to go people, if they don’t implode before hand.

    (Infused) so the people who have a clew they would have been the ones who voted in Bush for the eight years before the last American election then? Right right oh yes real smart people them! Give me a break!

  10. Tim Ellis 10

    Remember Labour had the Asian crisis, bird flew and a little tragedy called 9/11 that occurred in its watch

    The Asian Financial crisis was in 1997 Craig. It had a minor, and transitory effect on the international economy. All the economies of South East Asia had started to recover by 1999.

    The Asian Bird Flu was very minor by comparison to the current swine flu pandemic.

    The 9/11 attacks had an immediate effect in some markets, particularly airlines and insurance, but they were not long-lasting and did not have a significant effect on the New Zealand economy.

    Labour governed during the most benign overall economic conditions in many decades. New Zealand’s economic growth between 1999-2008 was strong, but it coexisted with strong global economic conditions.

    It didn’t take a fiscal genius to turn a surplus between 1999-2008.

    • Craig Glen Eden 10.1

      Thats really interesting Tim because out on the Hustings in 1999 National were telling voters that Labour couldn’t be trusted with the economy and that New Zealand would see negative growth under Labour. The facts are the economy performed better under Labours watch. If Governments play no part in the country’s Economy Tim which is what you seem to be suggesting and its all up to the external factors then hey how about you and me take control.

      Lets split the power and any profit and we will leave the rest to the world markets!
      Sorry for the sarcasm Tim but at some point you have to admit Labour did at least a reasonable job. Lets see how good the Tories are then aye, time will tell.

      • Tim Ellis 10.1.1

        No, Craig, I’m not saying that a government can have no effect on the economy. The Government can have an influence, but it can only marginally improve the hand that it is dealt with, with respect to international and domestic trading conditions. I don’t believe the last Labour Government made a significant improvement to the economy. I think that the economy would havee been bouyant under any but the most destructive governments.

        Labour did a reasonable job, but I don’t think Labour did a fantastic job.

        The economic situation we are faced with now is very different to that of 1999. I don’t believe that any government in New Zealand would be able to significantly mute the effects of the global economic recession in the short term. To claim as some are trying to here that National is to blame for the rising job losses is just silly.

        National can do some things to mitigate some of the worst effects, by bringing forward infrastructure projects and improving New Zealand’s long-term productivity, but the only real alternative to what the Government is doing now is to substantially increase borrowing in the medium-term. The long term damage that would do to New Zealand would far outweigh the short term gain of borrowing and spending large now.

        Labour doesn’t have an overarching economic plan for New Zealand, despite being in power for nine years. Every measure that National has come up with, from bringing infrastructure spending forward to delaying contributions to the super fund have been howled down by Labour.

        In the absence of a clear plan of what Labour wants to do, I think we can only infer of what they do want to do through their statements of what they don’t want to do. The sum of what they don’t want to do equates to a gigantic spend, borrow and hope plan, which I think would be extremely destructive to our long term economy.

  11. Daveski 11

    I’ve got to the point that I’m kind of steering clear of Eddie’s posts as they don’t lend themselves to much in the way of constructive debate.

    If Labour was still in power, the number of unemployed would still be increasing at similar numbers. This is after all the worst economic crisis since the 1930’s.

    I agree very much with TE’s assessment. I think it is difficult to argue that the Nat’s have unveiled an effective short term plan. I’ll accept that and move on.

    The strategy appears to be a longer term one – that by riding out the worst of the recession, as a trading country, NZ will naturally come out the other side when the rest of the world does (it’s the corrollary of how we got in the mess in the first place).

    Moreover, by not saddling the country with a gigantic future debt, we will be significantly better off in the future.

    Still, to try and blame the Nats for the rise in unemployment as eddie has done is fundamentally wrong.

    • Maynard J 11.1

      If you do decide to comment on eddie’s posts, you may want to read them in depth instead of taking a glance and commenting based upon what you think he would have said.

      ~~~

      If this is their long term plan, why are they rushing about trying to show what they are doing in the short term.

      Why not say “this event will take its toll on NZ, and we do not see a National Government’s role is to take action. We believe that minimal action now will let New Zealand ride out the recession, and not saddle us with unnecessary debt. We believe that spending now to alleviate the recession will be ineffectual, and is not a wise use of resources.”

      instead of saying “look how much we have spent, and there is more!” which makes it look like a half-arsed attempt to do heaps now.

      Tim’s analysis applies to National too, and more so since they are the ones ‘capable’ of taking action – we do not know what their plan is, but have to assume that it is basically: ‘fend for yourself’. (and perhaps that is the best idea, but something from Natinoal to explain why this is good would be nice).

  12. Craig Glen Eden 12

    Tim And Dave points taken, however disagree about a few things. National have talked about bringing forward spending but I have seen very little if anything being delivered.
    Labour is on record as saying they would bring forward spending and from memory only, they talked about it first. National rubbished it initially then adopted the line. Trouble is its just a line from National, Labour also admitted they would have to borrow more to do the spend early. It seems to me National. are talking up normal spending as new or brought forward early spending. Secondly National are making public servants redundant, this is not a good good as the tax payer tightens their belts because after all the Government is.
    Thirdly Tax cuts have done next to nothing so what was the point other than Philosophical, money would have been better spent on wages in public service as we will pay for these people on the dole cue now.

    National are doing a wait and see response which is really do as little as possible for as long as we can approach.That is not going to work and isn’t working. I am seeing more unemployed come through my door every day than ever before. Labour are not saying that if they were in power that unemployment wouldn’t have risen, just that the Government needs to do more than just talk. I think that is a fair point.
    I have contacts in the Auckland transport sector they tell me that the household spend on vegetables and fruit is way down, ( we have problems gentlemen).

    My business is down by about 40 percent turnover. Cunliffe is right to be asking are the Aussie banks doing their fare share. Purely from a customers point of view I suspect they are not. If they are then ok but lets have a look.The whole our profits are down to line does not wash when my turnover is down 40 percent.
    The old line from National that they look after everyone can now be seen for what it is, B/S. If you think they are doing enough Tim well I accept your view but seriously can not agree. Honestly National are missing in action and that is now becoming a major concern. I am sick of the talk, they need to start saving jobs by what ever means, I’m not advocating being reckless but shit they need to pull finger and soon.

  13. Zaphod Beeblebrox 13

    Wouldn’t it be better to take some proactive measures to help our future, rather than hoping that the rest of the world will merely one day to come knocking at our door pleading to be able to buy our products.
    Product development takes time, money and creativity and taking a few risks!
    Where is the commitment to the future?

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