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Looking for solutions in all the wrong places

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, February 28th, 2012 - 169 comments
Categories: benefits, jobs - Tags:

So, naturally, the answer is to spend a whole lot of money forcing solo mums to spend their time looking for jobs that aren’t there.


169 comments on “Looking for solutions in all the wrong places”

  1. Gosman 1

    Facilitating, (not forcing), people back in to the workforce when jobs become available seems like a good idea in my mind. Given the fact that a right leaning government is not going to follow standard left wing presciptions and create a bunch of artifical jobs via increasing Government spending I don’t see what your problem with this is. If there are no suitable jobs then these people won’t lose their benefits. If there are suitable jobs then they will be expected to take them if they are offered the opportunity. Surely encouraging people to participate as a productive member of the wider economy is a good thing no matter what side of the political divide you are on.

    • ianmac 1.1

      What is a suitable job?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1

        Helicopter pilot.

        • freedom

          oddly enough gormless, many many years ago i entered that very answer in a Dept of Social Welfare registration form asking about jobs i wanted and got told it was not a suitable answer

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            I always put “astronaut” for occupation in those cards you have to complete when returning to the country.

      • Gosman 1.1.2

        Good question. I’d suggest one that fits in with the particular circumstance of the person involved without causing undue hardship. Admittedly it is a fine line determining this hence why I think it is best not to force people to take something. That stated I also believe in time limits in terms of many benefits. Anything more than a half a dozen or so years is unacceptable. The benefit system is a safety net not a lifestyle choice.

        • freedom

          Gosman, when 85% of your body is burn scar tissue and more than fifteen minutes of any sort of effort leaves you near tears as your body screams for you to stop moving, how long should that person be allowed to receive an invalids benefit?

          The world is a lot more complex than your dog whistle mantras.

          • Gosman

            Did you not notice I used the term ‘many benefits’ as opposed to ‘all benefits’? I am comfortable with the idea that a certain amount of people will need support from the state on an ongoing basis. That does not apply to all beneficiaries now does it?

            • freedom

              no it does not apply to all beneficiaries, and neither should the ‘solutions’ being promoted from the current ideologues in power, Individuals are just that, individual and one size fits all is no way to run a complex and critical service such as welfare.

              • Gosman

                I think that is the whole point of the policy change. It is a far more individualised approach. MSD will be working with each beneficiary to see how they can assist them getting back into suitable work. If they need help with child care arrangements then there is assistance in this regard. If they need other assistance then they can see if they can get that. It certainly isn’t one sized fits all. So what is your problem with it again?

                • McFlock

                  Because National’s individualised approach to beneficiaries is to bully each and every one of them.
                  “assist”, “facilitate”, “encourage” – what a load of shit. It’s been a while since you were on the receiving end of the welfare system, if ever. Tool.

                • freedom

                  wow gosman, you must buy a lot of bridges

                  • Gosman

                    So what you are essentially stating here is you don’t believe it will be an individualised approach. Fair enough, it is your right to believe anything you want. However you can’t deny that the concept of the policy is far more individualised than a one sized fits all approach.

                    @ McFlock

                    You seem to be implying that frontline MSD staff are bullies. Interesting that Public servants should act in such a manner. Perhaps we need a restructure in MSD if the staff are behaving so appallingly.

                    • freedom

                      “However you can’t deny that the concept of the policy is far more individualised than a one sized fits all approach. ”

                      apart from an obvious pavlovian belief in whatever spews from the orifices of the policy makers, i cannot see how you are able to state this conclusion with any sincerity.

                    • McFlock

                      Funnily enough, MSD staff seem to become bullies and, e.g., not tell clients what their entitlements are only when National are in government. They seemed to be much more helpful 2000-2008 for some reason.

                    • Gosman


                      So an independent Public service somehow manages to change it’s fundamental behaviour based on the political leanings of the government of the day does it?

                      Something seriously wrong with the Public service if that is indeed the case wouldn’t you agree McFlock? I’d be looking at some serious reforms if the people delivering the service can’t do so impartially.

                    • McFlock

                      Gos, ever hear the expression that shit flows downhill?
                      The public service operates according to the priorities set by the government. This is how it should be. Tory governments prioritise getting people off specific benefits (e.g. limiting unemployment creep by kicking people onto SB, then when priorities change re-evaluating SB entitlements). Liberal / left governments prioritise helping people into work via the benefit system – e.g. training, income security, courses.
                      Government provides the service parameters through legislation, regulation, funding, and ministerial oversight. Public servants implement services within those parameters. You obviously don’t know anything about public policy, either. Tool.

                • KJT

                  National’s approach is like the one in UK, where they get people off benefits by harassing those who should get them until they give up. And pay private firms megabucks to pretend to help them into work. Neither has been effective.

                  This Government is big on repeating measures that have failed overseas.

                  I suppose that if your view is from those who benefit by wasting taxpayers money in boosting private profits it is a success.

              • The Baron

                … which is why these policies don’t apply to every situation. People in horrible situations like that you’ve described will still receieve unlimited support.

                Given that, I’ve ignored the rest of your emotive scaremongering because it just isn’t relevant.

                • KJT

                  You ever tried to get an invalids benefit, Baron. (When you fit all the criteria, including having paid for it all your life).

                  The process leaves you a lot sicker than you were before you started.

                  Not to mention it is so miserly, you end up going back to work, destroy your health even more and end up on it for longer than you should have been.

                  National has made it worse.

                  • The Baron

                    Happily, no. But someone very close to me has.

                    I am confident that the process works well for those that are truly invalid. There should indeed be hurdles to cross to get on it – you are essentially saying that you are too sick to ever work again.

                    The person I know is definitely in that category, and it wasn’t that hard to convince anyone of that at all.

                    Have you been through the process? What did you see?

        • Puddleglum

          Hi Gosman,

          In terms of long term unemployed (as opposed to other benefits) the figures here show that it largely depends upon the economy and economic policy settings. (Hardly news, but the trends over the past decades are interesting).

          People spend as little time out of work as possible‘ would be the obvious hypothesis to explain these figures. Across the board coercion (which is what these proposals involve – not ‘facilitation’) does not seem to be justified (or efficient) based on these figures. 

          Note that ‘long term’ unemployed is defined as unemployed for one year or longer – substantially less than your ‘half dozen years’. 

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.2

      “Surely encouraging people to participate as a productive member of the wider economy is a” lot easier if there are jobs for them.

      What is the difference between giving them money and giving them jobs? Giving them jobs is actually encouraging, giving them money isn’t.

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        Nope. Giving them jobs distorts the economy. You just have to look at countries that tried to ensure full employment in the past. Take the economies of Eastern Europe under soviet Communism. East Germany had pretty much full employment and a good social system in place. However they created crap mainly. As soon as they had to compete with the West without protection they failed. If you want a distorted economy which is uncompetitive and lacking innovation then by all means support government policies for state managed full employment.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          Strawman. Who said anything about government funded full employment? Oh, that’s right it was you and no-one else. If you’ve got a response to the point I made then respond to it. Otherwise don’t expect to get fed.

    • Gosman this has nothing to do with reality or addressing a problem or, gasp, getting value for money. It is a bit of raw meat thrown out to the supporters. Give them a bash, camoflague it with some senstive language and do nothing at all about the core problem

      • Gosman 1.3.1

        The right of the political spectrum tends to support the idea that Private sector is the best method of job creation so long as the conditions are put in place for them. The left tends to think that it is beholden on the Government to take a more activist role in this regard. I can accept you have your way of looking at things and that’s fine with me. However I don’t think you should expect a Right leaning government to follow left leaning policy prescriptions for job creation. Therefore that side of the equation is not something the National led Government is going to be interested in much, (beyond setting up the conditions for growth). So if we remove that aspect from this discussion we come down to the question over whether encouraging beneficiaries to engage more actively with finding work is a good or a bad thing. I think it is a good thing myself.

        • mickysavage

          I don’t think you should expect a Right leaning government to follow left leaning policy prescriptions for job creation.
          Agreed that is the essence of the problem. Those of the right do not care that others lives are being blighted by unemployment, those of us on the left think it is a travesty and that the Government’s role is to do something, anything, to improve matters.

          • Gosman

            Nice emotive little rant there mickeysavage.

            However this story about how the left cares more about unemployment than the right doesn’t tend to be reflected in reality.

            If you take countries in Europe for example and compare those with strict labour market regulations and/or welfare provisions, (e.g Sweden or say Italy), with countries with more flexible labout markets and smaller governments you tend to find that the countries with more right leaning policies have lower unemployment rates.

            So equally I could argue that someone like you mickeysavage is only paying lip service to the idea that you care about unemployed people when the policies you promote tend to lead to the opposite outcomes from what you claim they do.

        • Jackal

          The government no matter if it’s left or right leaning should do the correct thing Gosman. If you look around the world at the countries that weathered the recession the best you’ll find that they all invested in job creation. The countries that haven’t recovered properly didn’t. They relied on austerity measures, which have proven to be a complete failure.

          When you say encourage you actually mean punish. National is reducing benefits at the very time costs have increased dramatically. This will simply push more people into desperation, increase inequality and be socially destructive. They are implementing a regime of punishment for those that do not conform while not ensuring there are enough jobs. This makes any rhetoric concerning training largely redundant.

          Job creation is all about having enough money in communities. National has been removing money from communities that are already struggling, which will ensure less job creation and reduced economic growth. They are in fact making the conditions for job creation worse. We cannot remove that aspect from the discussion because it’s the reality of the situation.

          • Gosman

            Which countries are you comparing Jackal? The US spent billions on job creation yet the unemployment rate hardly moved. Perhaps you are meaning countries running large budget deficits in Europe. What is happening with them at the moment?

            Where is your evidence that benefits are being reduced? Are you meaning the total number of beneficiaries or the amount paid to each person?

            • Jackal

              I’m comparing the countries that have recovered from the recession faster than those that haven’t. Think Asia because China invested 4tn yuan in 2008 vs Europe and the US.

              I believe the US is still debating the Jobs Bill, which will input around $447 billion into tax cuts, public works, unemployment benefits etc. They seem a bit slow to realize that the best way out of recession is investing into the domestic economy.

              Benefits are being reduced all the time because the annual increase does not match inflation, the accommodation supplement has not increased to match rental price increases, the abatement rate means it is not worth working part time and the fact that some benefits have actually been reduced Gosman.

              If I meant the total number of beneficiaries, I would have said so.

              • Gosman

                I don’t even think China went in to recession post 2008. Certainly the problem there is one of the economy overheating, which massive government spending tends to exacerbates. Also Japan hasn’t seen much pay back for the Trillions of Yen of stimulus money they have pumped into the economy via Government spending since the 1990’s.

                • Jackal

                  China was in recession from December 2008 to August 2009 with millions laid off. By the end of 2009 they had pretty much alleviated the problem by forward planning, proper managerial strategies and injecting money into the local economy. Japan has the third largest economy in the world. Can you get anything right today Gosman?

                  • The Baron


                    I can’t find anything credible that talks about a Chinese recession. For example the annual stuff is pretty clear that 2008 was another 8% year of growth: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=china+gdp+growth+2007-2011

                    Japan however hasn’t seen much return at all since falling into a hole in the 1990s: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=japan+gdp+growth+1990-2011&dataset= I assume this is the basis of Gos’ argument.

                    Likewise, all of the stimulus already provided to the US doesn’t seem to have done diddly: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=usa+gdp+growth+2007-2011

                    Simply put, the economics is by no way clear here AT ALL. It is wholly possible that all of this new-Keynesian stimulus is just being pissed away against the Chicago-wind. Or its also possible that the impacts are not being seen yet.

                    Either way, you’re pretty bold in your comeback Todd. Or have I missed something – care to link to it if I have?

                    [lprent: Try The Economist. There have been a number of articles over the last year or so looking at the credit contraction and the effect that has had on the property market in particular. Wolfram isn’t exactly a good source because it isn’t a active search engine. The data is only there if it has been entered.

                    Or are you only interested in poseur answers like the one you gave QoT? (and which attracted my attention) ]

                    • Jackal

                      Please use my current handle Baron.

                      I believe the dates for China’s recession are correct. There are numerous official documents that talk about the effects of the recession in China. I’m pretty sure you can find the corresponding data using Google search.

                      As for Japan, they still have the third largest economy (some say second) in the world, a high living standard and relatively low unemployment. Japan has a national debt to GDP of around 197% in part due to their extensive investments in construction projects and stimulus packages since 1990 to reinvigorate their economy. The problem Japan has is that often the money allocated is made irrespective of how efficient or socially beneficial a project is.

                      It’s much the same in New Zealand where National is financially awarding their mates in the road building and oil industries with our tax money while projects where the money is required and that would show better returns are largely ignored.

                      As I have already pointed out, much of the United States stimulus package hasn’t been enacted yet. Their problems are also more entrenched, so it will take longer to see any proper recovery.

                      I think the economics are clear: the countries that quickly implemented stimulus packages by investing into their local economies have recovered faster. Meanwhile countries like New Zealand that did not react properly to the recession are still stagnant.

                      In other words, National’s policies that are designed to funnel revenue out of our local economies are completely the opposite of what should be happening.

    • QoT 1.4

      Facilitating, (not forcing), people back in to the workforce when jobs become available seems like a good idea in my mind.

      Ooh, is it time for another round of Make Completely Generic Positive Statements To Support Unrelated Bullshit? I love this one!

      Giving puppies cuddles seems like a good idea in my mind.

      Teaching kids to read seems like a good idea in my mind.

      Drinking pina coladas and getting caught in the rain seems like a romantic idea in my mind.

      Yay, my point is now unassailable!

      • The Baron 1.4.1

        My argument is so powerful its not necessary to talk about it.

        • NickS

          Lawl, which reminds me, I so need to give the certain actoid who gave us that gem some major shit next time I run into him.

  2. muzza 2

    “Given the fact that a right leaning government is not going to follow standard left wing presciptions and create a bunch of artifical jobs via increasing Government spending ”

    More corporate welfare, ( Not) followed by “trickle down”, sounds like govt spending to me!

    Worked well to this point hasn’t it!

    • Gosman 2.1

      When you state Corportate welfare are you meaning the money the Government spent on the Deposit Guarrantee scheme which was set up under the previous Labour led administration? While I agree with you that this sort of funding is unproductive on the whole I would hardly place it in the same category as say spending government money on paying private businesses to employ people for the sake of employing them.

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        When you state Corportate welfare are you meaning the money the Government spent on the Deposit Guarrantee scheme which was set up at a sustainable level under the previous Labour led administration and then grossly expanded to include, among others, SCF by National, resulting in bailout payments of hundreds of millions to a bunch of auckland speculators who had only recently invested in SCF?


        • A.Ziffel

          The DGS was introduced on the 12th October 2008 and was set to expire on 12th October 2010.
          SCF came in on the 19th November just after the election (8th).
          I can’t find any indication that the incoming National government made any changes to the DGS during this period.
          Certainly National created the smaller extended scheme & admitted SCF to it in on the 1st April 2010, but SCF went bust before that was due to start (13th October 2010).
          Treasury argue that once SCF was admitted, SCF depositors were guaranteed until the DGS expired, even if SCF was removed from the DGS.

          I do recall PM Clark saying that the Australian guarantee had forced the governments hand and I agreed with that, but it was never clear to me why the guarantee was not for the banks only.
          Reserve Bank Governor Bollard thought at the time that finance companies might be a liability.
          If Labour had continued in government, I see no reason why SCF would not have been admitted to the DGS.

          • Colonial Viper

            If Labour had continued in government, I see no reason why SCF would not have been admitted to the DGS.

            Yeah it probably would have been admitted with provisions that no additional new deposits would be covered.

            • A.Ziffel

              Doubtful, the Reserve Bank made an amendment to the DGS on the 16th October 2008 that low rated finance companies would have to pay a fee on their deposit growth since 12th October. Clearly a disincentive, not a restriction from increasing their deposits.

              The first banks came in on the 29th October 2008. The first finance company (NZF Money Limited) came in on the 7th November, i.e. the day before the election.
              It was a done deal.

          • McFlock

            Actually – that would seem to be a well–sourced, well–written fair cop, unless someone comes up with something else.
            I guess SCF is something that I can’t blame national for, much as I’d love to.
            Consider this a retraction.  
            Although Gos is still a tool.

            • Dv

              Nats accepted SCF into the extended guarantee in april 2010.

              The intial acceptance was labours scheme, and it was agreed to by the nats too.

            • Gosman

              I love you to McFlock 😉

              • McFlock

                I don’t know which is more depressing – the typo, the lack of punctuation, or the lack of emotional perception.

  3. marsman 3

    Here’s the kind of nonsensical crap John Key gets away with. From Stuff :

    Prime Minister John Key said this morning he “just didn’t buy the argument around job creation”.

    “Obviously if the economy is poorer and not creating as many jobs or in fact contracting jobs – that hasn’t been the case in the last few years – of course the unemployment role will rise,” he told TV3’s Firstline programme.

    The reforms focused on making people ready for work by offering them support back into the workforce and childcare.

    “If they don’t get a job, if there isn’t a job there for them, then nothing changes in terms of their entitlements.”

    “But there are plenty of jobs out there for people if they look really hard.”

    • Gosman 3.1

      What is wrong with what John Key stated there?

      Basically he agreed with the proposition that if there isn’t jobs out there then you can’t expect people to work.

      He then mentioned that the policy change is meant to make it easier for people to get back to work with help around childcare and other support. If you think this is not correct then point out the issues.

      Finally he mentioned there are jobs out there. There are. I work in an area with a shortage of qualified people. My flatmate is a manager of a retail store and has trouble finding good quality workers. It is not true to state there are no jobs.

      • Kaplan 3.1.1

        If the jobs are out there then why has the number of unemployed jumped so massively in the last five years. Are you saying tens of thousands of people have just decided to make unemployment their lifestyle choice?
        I prefer to believe the numbers over a blog commentator and a PM with an agenda.

        • Gosman

          So you basically agree with what John Key stated in the first part of the statement. If there are no job because the economy is not doing as well as it could then of course there will be difficulty getting a job.

          • Kaplan

            It’s a bullshit statement Gosman. Whether I agree with it or not makes no difference to the fact that Key is asleep at the wheel.

            What changed between Key thinking that the government could make jobs through building a cycle way and holding a job summit and Key now saying he can do nothing to make jobs. Apparently the economy is in better shape now that it was during the job summit ‘talkfest’…

          • Draco T Bastard

            o you basically agree with what John Key stated in the first part of the statement.

            Definitely not as he was lying.

            “Obviously if the economy is poorer and not creating as many jobs or in fact contracting jobs – that hasn’t been the case in the last few years – of course the unemployment role will rise,” he told TV3′s Firstline programme.

            Unemployment has increased in the last few years which indicates that job creation hasn’t been happening.

            • Ross

              Actually, you can have job creation at the same time as increased unemployment. All that has to happen is for the number seeking jobs rising faster than the increase in new jobs.

      • KJT 3.1.2

        Yeah. The 20 or so people that hassle me every week because WINZ instructs them to apply for half a dozen jobs a week are still at it because the jobs are there if you look really hard.

        Except there are not jobs for 25000 unemployed in Northland.

        • Gosman

          So they have a number of options. Either move to somewhere where there are appropriate jobs for them, (people do this all the time), or work with the local community to create the jobs locally.

          I’m kind of sick of seeing people place the blame for a lack of employment on the Government. If you think there is a viable business opportunity that will employ people then pursue it. As far as I am aware there are plenty of potential up north with farming and tourism. Even light and heavy industry could take place in somewhere like Whangarei.

          As for getting capital for any ventures, well considering a large number of unemployed people up there are Maori I’d suggest there is some Maori owned land up there which could be leveraged for this.

          • KJT

            A lot do. Move to Australia that is. 700k at the last count.

            Even that requires a bit of capital.

          • McFlock

            Hey gos, you might have a go-bag by your bed ready to relocate, but most people don’t have thousands to spend relocating on the off-chance that they’ll find work somewhere else – those that do go to Aus.

            You know what – unemployment IS the govt’s problem. They create the legislative and the bulk of the economic conditions within the country, they choose whether to invest in real infrastructure or holiday highways, they choose whether to bollock the apprenticeships scheme or not, they set interest rates, they support new businesses, they choose whether to fund or cut part time community education night courses in business studies.
            Blaming someone in northland for not starting a light manufacturing business is like blaming someone caught in an arctic blizzard for not lighting a fire. Sometimes life isn’t a simple slide rule, which you’d know if you weren’t a complete banker.

          • Puddleglum

            move to somewhere where there are appropriate jobs for them, (people do this all the time)

            Indeed they do.

            Thanks for highlighting one of the ways in which (especially unregulated) markets act like giant machines for generating incentives for the unravelling of the ‘social fabric’. The same fabric that maintains – or at least ‘facilitates’ – individual wellbeing.

  4. Red Rosa 4

    Better still, privatize the welfare services…..


    There have been mumblings about this sort of ‘reform’ in NZ. Wonder how far away it is?

    • rosy 4.1

      Yes, I’ve been watchingwith interest the drip, drip, drip of bad stories coming about about these back to work programmes in the UK that have the taxpayer paying corporate wage bills.

      • js 4.1.1

        Yes, scary stuff, such as PhD graduates being forced to work full time stocking shelves in the supermarket for no pay, apart from their benefit – while the corporations get taxpayer money for providing such opportunities.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    Like Gossman, I fail to see the beef of the left on this one.

    If the outcome is to make beneficiaries more work-ready, then they will be more readily able to take up jobs when they become available. They will also have higher likelihood of remaining in employment. Also, they may have a better chance of getting part-time work to augment their income.

    If they still can’t get a job, then they lose none of their benefits, so their only seems to be the potential of upside gains for them with no downside risk.

    • Kaplan 5.1

      Instead of making people ‘work ready’ the government should invest in getting the tens of thousands of people made unemployed in the last five years back in to the employment that they are already trained for.
      I cannot understand why the right fail to see that getting employers to employee people and pay them a wage that they can actually live on, without supplement, is the easiest way to make welfare for unemployment and the working poor a safety net solution only.

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        Because it distorts the economy and make work schemes don’t tend to have a large impact on the unemployment rate. Sweden is a good example of this. The official unemployment rate is higher than New Zealand’s but it is the hidden unemployment rate via various training and make work schemes which is the real tragedy. This is why right leaning people don’t tend to look favourably on them.

        So given the fact that a right leaning government is hardly going to turn all lefty and start investing taxpayers money in massive job creation schemes what is your fundamental beef with this policy again? I mean if it comes down to ‘I’d prefer a left leaning government in charge’ then that is kind of a given as you are a lefty.

        • Kaplan

          My beef with the policy is it achieves no real substantial outcome, it will not result in a drop in the unemployment rate of it’s own accord.
          When you have a high rate of unemployment only one thing can fix it, having more jobs.
          When you have a high rate of welfare being given to working poor only one thing will fix it, higher wages.

          In my opinion there is no such thing as a ‘make work scheme’. There are business which people, companies or governments start that employee people. If those businesses are started based on a solid plan with a viable ROI then I don’t see the problem with them whether privately or publicly run.

          If you want a simple policy that would actually get people employed it’s paying the unemployment benefit to an employer as a reducing subsidy for up to 24 months, if they agree take on an unemployed person, at a rate which pays them more that the benefit, and provide a plan which shows that the business will be able to continue to support that employee once the subsidy ends.
          What better way to encourage companies to take on new employees, improve their service or product, reduce unemployment, help increase wages and reduce the welfare budget.

        • KJT

          You have a problem with youth being in training instead of dead end mcjobs?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.2

      Why is getting people “work-ready” the taxpayers’ responsibility? Businesses should train their staff properly, not expect us to do it for them.

      What increases in starting rates can these taxpayer funded training graduates expect?

      • Gosman 5.2.1


        I’m not sure I get what you are trying to convey here. Surely you don’t think helping beneficiaries to get back into employment is the same as businesses training their staff.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          If it involves training it’s a business cost being loaded onto the tax-payer. Minimum wage is for un-skilled workers – if these skills are going to be useful in an employment context they count as an asset and should be rewarded with higher pay.

      • KJT 5.2.2

        Businesses have already managed to pass on all their training costs to taxpayers.

        Taxpayers subsidise their businesses by topping up inadequate wages (WFF), paying benefits to casual workers in their labour pool, supplying infrastructure and trained workers to an extent beyound most other countries and they still want subsidies to train people.

        Not to mention if they fail to train enough staff or cannot afford to pay the going rate they can bleat to the immigration department to get cheap labour.

        If business was not so mollycoddled in NZ they may have had to actually invest some capital in plant and training.

        Increasing NZ productivity.

  6. marsman 6

    Gordon Campbell exposes Bennett for the snake she is.


  7. Bored 7

    Jeez, I agree with Gooseman about government job creation (if not for the same reason). Government when it creates jobs often “distorts” the market for labour because it gives in general better pay and conditions and leaves employers (like me) having to pay higher wages and with less power over employees….no wonder the Right does not like “job creation”. The flip side employers seem to like is that the “market” gets primed with money for consumption. I reckon they cant have it both ways.

    The reality is that the government could create a lot more jobs in a hands off manner: we could for example repudiate all those “free trade” treaties and replace them with “fair trade” treaties. We could close the doors and import substitute for those things that we cant make here at a price depressed by cheap foreign labour. We might also tell capital to fekk off from those parts of the economy they seem to want to buy up (power, water) because it has no risk profile, just a rent value. We could tax the crap out of rentier parts of the economy (finance, utilities etc) and run an encouragingly low tax regime for export / wealth creating ventures. We might just create more jobs by the simple realisation that a working week of 30 hours is more equitable and a little wealth redistribution desirable.

    There are a lot of alternatives: one thing is obvious…leaving hands off and allowing the “invisible hand of the market” to do the deed is the lazy behavior of a parasitic bludgers party (National).

  8. freedom 8

    when an article says this
    “…essential costs, such as rent and power, paid directly on their behalf. Money for living costs will be loaded on a payment card and they will receive a maximum weekly allowance of up to $50”

    and a person thinks this
    “Wow, wish I could pay myself a weekly allowance of $50 …. $50 a week would mean I could actually go out for a coffee at lunch time. And I wouldn’t have to tell my kids ‘no’ all the time when they ask for something as simple as an ice-cream. ”

    there is definitely a problem.

    The comment above is only a single example of numerous comments (now closed btw) upon the welfare reform policies about to be introduced. A single comment among many that are highlighting nought but the the ignorance and selfishness that has permeated our society.

    How braindead do you have to be not to understand that the $50 is for food, travel, clothes, healthcare, etc etc. Without even beginning to touch on nice to haves like a phone, so you can be contacted about a legendary yet “noble” ghost job

    • Gosman 8.1

      It highlights that the policies have a lot of support in the wider community. You lefties are big on that I thought. I mean you bang on all the time about how much people don’t like the partial sale of some SOE’s as if the government needs to take in to account this support. Yet somehow support for Welfare reform is not something the Government should think about.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1.1

        I’m with you on this Gosman – the government should consider the weight of evidence for and against policies rather than the level of support for them.

        How can “the people” engage with this process? The government should ask them what they want in terms of outcomes, not policy.

        • Gosman

          Fair enough. However obviously measuring outcomes of something that hasn’t occured is open to interpretation. It is still going to based largely on which side of the political divide attracts you.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna

            No. Outcomes need definition and measurement; eg: a reduction in unemployment or crime rates, or infectious “third world” diseases. Otherwise they are worthless as policy tools.

            • Gosman

              I which case you could argue left leaning policies lead to higher unemployment if you comapre countries in Europe for example.

              • McFlock

                If you counted unemployment consistently, chose it to be your only socioeconomic indicator, and provided a source, maybe you could.

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                You can argue anything you damn well please, but unless you provide substantive evidence in support, for policy purposes any competent administration would dismiss your ideas out-of-hand.

  9. seeker 9

    @marsman 9.35am

    Quoting JKey’s nonsensical remarks:
    “But there are plenty of jobs out there for people if they look really hard.”
    and this Key remark from the link below:
    “Some people are more aggressive at looking for work than others and those that are more aggressive tend to find work.”

    Has he ever tried to find work (which usually doesn’t exist) with children in tow and in the way he suggests whilst already working flat out (if you are parenting properly) to bring up one, two, three or perhaps more children on your own because your partner has left for whatever reason. The pressure to parent is ginormous and Key just adds more and more unreasonable pressure and burden.

    How this man and his acolytes forget children and their needs. His simplistic, monetary answers to his cronies demands for profits and irresponsibly greedy tax cuts is gutting this nation and her innocent children. I weep at his ignorance.

    • DH 9.1

      “Some people are more aggressive at looking for work than others and those that are more aggressive tend to find work.”

      That’s a pretty stupid comment from the PM. It’s only relative there, if everyone got more aggressive then they wouldn’t tend to find work. There’s plenty of advice you can give an individual to help them find work but it still won’t create more jobs; they’ll just be taking the job off someone else also looking for work.

      • Puddleglum 9.1.1

        Exactly. The right tend to prefer behavioural engineering to social/economic engineering, despite the fact that it is far more directly intrusive on individuals’ freedoms.

        Yet, if a society cannot produce the conditions for personal autonomy then it is a bit rich to then go demanding it from everyone, at pain of being further disempowered.

    • marsman 9.2

      @ seeker. Shipley gave us the same bullshit when there was huge unemployment, her aim was to drive wages down and unfortunately she succeeded. John Key’s aim is also to drive wages down and he too is succeeding. Both these nasties had that other nasty Bill Englsh as Minister of Finance. He was there to make sure that the economy would be wrecked so as to supply the hordes of unemployed to be forced into non existing jobs.
      Bill English is a trougher and rorter, Jenny Shipley is a trougher on the Public Purse. John Key, I am sure, will get some troughing seats on the boards of corporations he’s given welfare to. These people do not care about the people of NZ, they don’t give a stuff about our children. They are greedy, thieving traitors. PM in their case means Plunder Meister.

      • Gosman 9.2.1

        Hmmmm… the facts don’t seem to support this rather emotive drivel you have written marsman.

        Unemployment fell from 7.3 % to 6.4% in the very short time Bill English was in charge of finance under Jenny Shipley. (check it out here http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/unemployment-rate)

        But hey, don’t let a small thing like facts get in the way of you getting all indignent at those nasty evil Tories. I’m sure you can find something else about them to get upset about. Perhaps you could focus on John Key’s smile and wave.

        • marsman

          So you obviously agree with all my other points!

        • freedom

          ahh Gosman, facts matter, like the fact when you set that table to show a period relevant to your statement, ie to show results from November 2008, it is odd how the pesky numbers show a 4.6% unemployment rate at the time Bill English took the reins. I also note it has climbed steadily, not falling below 6% since National took office.

          Facts Gosman, they do get in the way of good ol’ fashioned data fabrication don’t they!
          The only time it has been close to 7% is the January 1/4 of 2010.
          Where exactly did you get this 7.3% from?

          • Gosman

            No, specifically I am looking at the period between June 1999 and Jan 2000. This was when Bill English was first Treasurer/Finance Minister (under Jenny Shipley). This was one of marsman’s points in his emotiove rant, that Bill English was attempting to wreck the economy to supply the hordes of unemployed people for something or rather and he did this under Jenny Shipley and John Key.

  10. marsman 10

    @ Gosman. O woop di do.

  11. james 111 11

    Very steep climb from 2008 Leveled off in 3rd quarter 2009 in a world wide economic recession Well done by national.

    Which Government was in 2008 again?. Need we say anymore when things turn pear shape and the cupboards are empty they have no answer

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 11.1

      Tin whistle from James111 squealing nonsense in a world wide tea-party trainwreck let’s join it!

      Which facts does James111 have? Need we say more? When he tries to cite any he trips over his knuckles and reverts to this level of vacuous drivel.

    • fender 11.2

      Yeah National deserve a pat on the back little jim, look at the graph (if you are able to understand it) , they have done nothing to turn the situation around.
      Now get back to your paper-round idiot.
      When you finish school in 2020 come back and post some FACTS rather than regurgitating your crap.

      • james 111 11.2.1

        Yup have looked at it Fender am use to interpreting Graphs the upward swing under Labour has slowed since National came in ,and the World wide economic times are worse.

        Which just goes to show what an abysmal job Labour were doing in better economic times. Anyway I cant hold you up you better push those trolleys in for the shoppers before they get all wet!

        • fender

          Are you looking at the graph while standing on your head james?
          Theres certainly no good news on this graph, even the best Nact spin-doctor would fail like you have to paint a positive picture regarding these stats.
          With regard to trolleys….I think you are off yours.
          On this sunny day the only moisture I see is behind your ears.

          • Gosman

            Unemployment rose majorly in 2008 and levelled off after 2009. Given any policy change that Governments implement tend not to work immediately you’d expect a delay of say 6 months for a New Government to take effect. Unless you are trying to claim that the mere liklihood of the National party getting into Government causes unemployment to rise Labour seems to have been responsible for and increase in unemployment from 3.5% at the end of 2007 to 5.1% by mid 2009. As it seems to have peaked at about 7% I’d argue it is only another 1.9% that you can directly attribute to National. To put it another way of the rise in unemployment from it’s low point under Labour at end of 2007 through to now Labour was resposible for about half the increase.

            • McFlock

              Damned labour, cutting it from 6-7% under Shipley.

              • fender

                Thank godness james has gone to bed, however his father Gos is not much better. I read the daily tennis matches you have with Gos and you have more patience than I have McFlock, you deserve a medal putting up with his BS.
                James reckons he’s used to interpreting graphs (on cartoon channel ?) but the fact remains it doesn’t look good and National are bereft of ideas to turn it around.
                Oh sorry National do have an idea, beat up on solo parents as deflection.

                • McFlock


                  The trouble is that if these pricks go unchallenged, nek minnit they’re arguing that position X is a commonly accepted truth that supports their even nuttier position Y.
                  Fortunately my job enables multitasking, and trying to figure out where gos is trying to go keeps me mentally active. Although such happy confluences are seasonal – probably going to have to lower activity here soon for a wee bit.

              • Gosman

                As stated it was already falling steeply under the Jenny Shipley and Bill English by the time Labour came to power in 1999. At most you can say Labour continued the trend. They certainly didn’t turn anything around (well not until the end of their time in office but it was the other way).

                • Colonial Viper

                  Right wing motto: to reduce unemployment we have to lay more people off.

                  • Gosman

                    Did unemployment fall sharply in NZ during the first time Bill English was in charge of finance policy?

                    • McFlock

                      Why are you bringing up marsman’s comment here? A distracting conflation much?
                      I took the low point of your 1999 figures (not sure where you got the 6.4% from, but no mind) to illustrate that Labour took as pretty much their high point the unemployment level which was pretty much the nat’s lowest unemployment rate.
                      And before you plead global conditions, oecd figures place labour as having better success keeping NZ unemployment low compared to OECD etc than national.

            • KJT

              “you’d expect a delay of say 6 months for a New Government to take effect”.

              I don’t know about that. Business around here stopped hiring and started retrenching as soon as it looked like a National win in the polls.

              • Gosman

                Business around where?

                Also what business reason would they have for retrenching staff just on the basis of a likely National party victory?

                • Bored

                  Maybe because businesses like mine dont trust a pack of financial grifters to run the country for the benefit of all businesses.

                  • Gosman

                    I’d suggest to you that businesses have more confidence in the National party than any left leaning party.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Because the National Government is taking money away from the economy of communities.

                • KJT

                  Because every time a right wing party gets in customers spending power is reduced, dipshit!

                  Real businesspeople, not cost cutting and asset stripping experts know this.

                  • Gosman

                    Real business people??? Who determines what qualifies as one of those – you perchance?

                    As stated above I’d suggest National has the support of more business people than any left leaning party. Certainly a survey that came out before the last election supported this view.

                    • KJT

                      Really. From Managers in the big firms that benefit from Nationals thieving, perhaps.

                      The institute of Management and chambers of commerce run business confidence surveys. The dip when the polls showed NACT was getting back in was the biggest since the 1990’s

                    • Gosman

                      You keep telling yourself that ‘real’ business owners don’t support the National party. Meanwhile National will quietly continue to receive the support from these same people.

                    • KJT

                      They don’t though. The bulk of NACT’s support comes from dimwits,. cynically manipulated by those who have something to gain from destroying our society..

                      Just like the republican anti intellectuals in the USA.

                      Authoritarian followers.

  12. james 111 12

    Kotahi have they let you out of Socialist training school early today was it Stalin or Mao Se Tung you were reading, and all the beautiful humanity they brought to this world. I kind of like this quote

    Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.

    [lprent: Personally I’m just looking for not having to rescue idiots from the troll traps like you just fell in. It is full of tiresomely overworked words and phrases that are invariably dropped into the debate by people who cannot argue and who merely want to start flamewars (see the policy). Don’t waste my time using them because to me it just indicates that someone’s alleged brain got switched offline. After a warning I usually just start handing out educational bans until the behavior ceases. ]

  13. Bored 13

    It is very obvious to me that it is possible for the unemployed to create work for themselves! They merely need to follow the example of the money market people like Shonkers himself and ignore any respect for the law.

    Loot and rob, if it is good enough for the financial elite its good enough for the rest of us!
    They never appear before the courts, why should you?
    Treat the Police and the Courts as just another criminal gang keeping your criminal corporation from its just deserts.
    Form a criminal cooperative.
    Seize capital from people who own Porsches etc and reinvest in more heists to grow the capital.

    If it is good enough for our leaders it is good enough for us.

    • Gosman 13.1

      What activity did John Key carry out that was illegal or in any way similar to what you are suggesting here while working as a FX trader?

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Make money by manipulating and ticket clipping, not by producing or adding to society.

        • Gosman

          Did the people who traded with John Key or his traders have a problem with him C.V?

          Did the people who ultimately paid his salary have a problem with the amount he earned?

          Interesting you seem to look down on middlemen. It is an awful lot of people you think aren’t doing anything. Everybody who works in retail for example.

          If you want to demonise hundreds of thousands of hard working New Zealanders feel free. It isn’t going to win you many converts to your Social credit fantasy land solution I’d suggest.

          • KJT

            We are still suffering from What Key and his mates did to the NZ dollar.

            It may not be illegal, but anyone with a shred of ethics knows it was definitely wrong, and should be illegal.

            Just like selling off vital infrastructure, so his backers can profit at our expense

            Some of us refrain from doing things that we know will harm others, whatever the law says..

            Others are sociopaths. .

            • Gosman


              What in fact did ‘Key and his mates’ do to the NZ dollar again?

              You mean that little incident back in 1987 or was it the one around the Asian crisis?

              Why is taking advantage of an overvalued currency somehow bad in your book?

              Do you begrudge people who take advantage of overvalued markets in other areas making money or is it just bad when it comes to foreign exchange?

              • KJT

                Yes. I do have a problem with banks, and others playing with the value of assets so they can lend more money to increase their profits at everyone else’s expense.

                And. If we cannot make it illegal we should have capital gains and financial transaction taxes at a level that removes capital from unproductive playing with money, to productive enterprise.

                As a good little capitalist you should be interested in addressing this manifest failure of the market also.

                • Gosman

                  Taking advantage of an overvalued currency did not really mean increased lending. I’m not sure where you got this idea from.

                  They are also not playing with the value of the assets. They made a calculated bet that the currency was overvalued. They were correct and made made money on their bet.

                  Speculation serves a purpose in markets. For one thing it provides liquidity and therefore tends to reduce volatility. They certainly facilitate transactions taking place.

                  All the profits that John Key made would have been taxed. Whether you think they should have been taxed at a higher rate or a different way is a seperate matter. Maybe you will get enough people supporting the FTT. Good luck with that.

                  What is clear is John Key did nothing illegal or even unethical in his role as a FX trader.

                  • KJT

                    You have a strange idea of ethics.

                    Something that harms millions of people is ethical?

                    • Gosman

                      All you seem to be doing is regurgitating the leftist nonsense you have been fed about this topic without actually using your brain to analyse the information.

                      Let me help with this process for you by posing you some questions:

                      How is an overvalued exchange rate beneficial in the long run for an economy ?

                      Are there any negative economic impacts for having an overvalued exchange rate?

                      Even if there were some benefits for having an overvalued exchange rate how is influincing the market to move to a more realistic level causing harm for millions of people i.e. what is the mechanism that directly leads to their pain?

                    • Gosman

                      Also you state that we are still suffering the effects of what ‘they’ did. What evidence do you have for this, or at least what is your logic behind this thinking? No major economist, left or right, has made this claim as far as I am aware. Yet you seem quite adament about it. I personally think you have no idea what you are writing about but am willing to be convinced otherwise.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Of course we’re still suffering from the effects of his FX.

                      The present day is always impacted by the past. Massive shifts in speculative capital have upended whole countries and their peoples, and the effects are generational.

                    • Gosman

                      So no evidence then C.V. just your usual biased opinion which you attempt to dress up as if it is informed in some manner.

                      Anyway I am curious to know what you are actually doing to promote your brand of Social Credit ideology. Aren’t you in anyway put off by the abject failure of the Social Credit movement in NZ to get their ideas accepted by the mainstream in the past?

                  • For one thing it provides liquidity and therefore tends to reduce volatility.

                    My understanding is that, since the start of (global) deregulation of financial markets in the 1980s, there has been greater volatility than in the preceding decades since the Second World War (’87 stock market crash, savings and loans debacle, dotcom boom and bust, the latest chaos since 2007). Each cycle of volatility has been significantly larger than the previous one, certainly in terms of government bailouts.

                    If you are correct about the stabilising function of speculation, why has there been so much volatility during a period in which opportunities for financial speculation have been permitted to increase (e.g., through the creation of arcane derivatives)? 

  14. Blue 14

    The Stuff comments on today’s benny-bashing special are interesting.

    While the usual idiots are out in force, calling for beneficiaries to be sterilised, kicking the teen jobseeker in the article in the teeth and generally displaying their ignorance and lack of empathy, there are quite a few there who I think would have barked if that dog-whistle had been blown three years earlier, who are having doubts now.

    Joblessness has risen to a level where many more people are personally affected by it, or know someone who is, or fear losing their own job soon.

    I think a few people are starting to get worried about the Key government. Worried about the day when the harsh measures they want to see enacted on others come down on them or their loved ones instead.

  15. Horizon 15

    Interesting reading Gosman’s measured, reasonable and logical comments, and comparing their quality with those of the individuals replying. He is just stating a few basic facts:

    Government creating jobs for the sake of it out of thin air distorts the economy and is unsustainable in the long-run, take for instance the massive increase in the public service under Labour – the correction now taking place is necessary, and the pain of those people losing their jobs can be attributed directly to Labour’s economic naivety.

    This policy is not punishing people who need a benefit. Those who need government aid permanently will get it. Where there are jobs available or potentially available people will be assisted on an individual basis to move off their benefit. The benefit system as it is basically says to people, here is some money, now fuck off and rot. This policy deals with people on an individual basis. That is a huge/massive/unprecedented change. People will be dealt with as people, not as groups, and not as statistics. Now what is wrong with that?

    • Bored 15.1

      Horizon, are you the latest off that ceaseless production line of fools (both left and right) like Gos and TS who can only think at a superficial level using logic that begins with invalid assumptions you state as facts?

      Dealing with people on an individual basis….so what is different? To quote you lovely line it may well be “now fuck off and rot” Mr Individual. Does that mean by the warped logic applied that there is no massed unemployment, only masses of unemployed individuals?

    • Colonial Viper 15.2

      Government creating jobs for the sake of it out of thin air distorts the economy and is unsustainable in the long-run

      I’m sorry that you think school teachers, nurses, police, border patrol, biosecurity, universities, Crown Research Institutes and diplomacy are all a waste of time. Or is it your neoliberal free market which is a waste of time?

      Fact of the matter is that Government is a powerful and necessary player in the economy, because the private sector cares only about a narrow set of interests: its own profits, even at the expense of society as a whole.

      And what is truly unsustainable: annual private sector growth in an economy which no longer needs or values people or workers. Its like a cancer consuming the remaining scarce resources of the body faster and faster.

      • Gosman 15.2.1

        “I’m sorry that you think school teachers, nurses, police, border patrol, biosecurity, universities, Crown Research Institutes and diplomacy are all a waste of time. ”

        Not a waste of time but you can’t have those unless you are able to afford them via a productive sector. That is what Greece failed to understand. They learned the lesson the hard way. Now all of the public spending on those areas are being slashed. Still you live and learn.

        • KJT

          So now you are saying those people are unproductive.

          Greece failed because the rich not paying taxes was a national sport, combined with the Euro distorting their economy to the benefit of higher waged economies like Germany.

          In your funny little world Soviet Russia and Cuba would have never had doctors because they had no private sector.
          Singapore should be failing because the Government owns almost everything.

          Another D for economics Gosman.

          • Gosman

            You are just priceless KJT.

            So all the analysis on Greece that is out there that states the problem was that the Government spending was out of control is wrong is it? even this piece here that is critical of the bail out programme admits as much http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2012/02/13/Why-the-Greek-Bailout-Wont-Work-in-the-Long-Run.aspx

            By the way I agree with you that their tax system was inefficient and corrupt. However there was no way you would have been able to fund their bloated and inefficient State just by improving revenue collection. If it was possible then the austerity programme forced upon them by other Euro members would have just focused on this area not on cutting spending.

            • KJT

              Yes it is wrong. Because it is from the voodoo economics view. The view that caused the collapse of most Western economies.

              Note that austerity in Greece, as the voodoo economists advocate, is making the situation worse, not better. Even the IMF are beginning to have doubts.

              • Gosman

                I don’t think you understand what economies collapsing actually means. Certainly no western economy has yet collapsed. The closest that has come so far is Greece and as stated it was because of massive overspending on the part of the Government which caused this not neo-liberal economic policy. Neo-liberal economic policy would have meant that Greece wasn’t in the position it now faces. You have yet to explain why this is not the case.

                • McFlock

                  pretty voodoo right there – you come up with a position on what would have happened in a hypothetical situation and assume that the burden is on other people to disprove it.
                  And Kirk would have kicked Picard’s arse after screwing Janeway. Show why this is not the case.

                  • Gosman

                    So McFlock, what is your take on the situation in Greece if it is not the Greek Government constantly spending more than they earn? Have you got any reputable economists backing you up on this view?

                    Given that traditional neo-liberal economic policy prescription would be to reduce the deficit by a combination of creating an efficient tax collecting system, (including reducing loopholes), and reducing wasteful spending how would this not have helped the Greeks.

                    • McFlock

                      But it would also have included massive cuts to the public service, including health, infrastructure and education, and cuts to welfare and pension entitlements, and contracting out of essential public services, all of which would definitely have hurt the majority of the Greeks. Yet again you present the “good” half of the equation – a bit like our current crop of cabinet ministers.
                      Are they better off now than they would have been if they’d followed a tory approach? Moot point, really. Probably just as fucked either way – we’re not exactly doing so well compared to the OECD, and that’s after only 3 years.

                      “reputable economists”.
                      You so funny. 

                    • KJT

                      The Neo-liberal prescription is to remove taxes and Government entirely. Except for police, funnily enough. As one Neo-Lib said. “I want Government to be small enough to drown in the bathtub”. Translation “I do not want anyone genuinely representing the population to stop me making money by ripping them off”.

                      Greece spent a lot less on Government and welfare per head and overall than Germany.

                      Germany paid their workers enough to pay taxes and live without borrowing.

          • Gosman

            “In your funny little world Soviet Russia and Cuba would have never had doctors because they had no private sector.”


            Please note I stated productive rather than private sector. Even the Soviet Union and Cuba had/have a productive sector. They were/are just not very productive. Hence if they wish to have a world class medical system they can by spending a large proportion of the income from their productive sector on this. However they have to sacrifice some other aspect to achieve this. This involved pretty much all consumer goods, or at least quality consumer goods.

            • KJT

              More bollocks.

              Brainlessly quoting mantras from totally discredited economic hypothesis does not make them true.

              And we get such quality consumer goods now?

              • Gosman

                Well let’s see KJT.

                I presume you are typing this on an internet compatable device of some sort. Do you have a problem with the quality of that?

                Do you have a problem with the quality of your T.V., DVD player, MP3 player, Washing maching, Fridge/Freezer, Microwave, etc, etc?

                Do you think the average Cuban has many of these items and even if they do would they be the same quality as what we have?

            • KJT

              German State sector is much larger than ours, or that in Greece.

              Perhaps we should follow the more successful countries.

              • Gosman

                Not according to this link it isn’t


                In fact both the UK and Greece have a higher percentage of GDP taken up by Government spending. New Zealand is less than Germany it is true but not by that much.

                Interesting to note that those economic power houses Zimbabwe and Cuba are near the top of the list.

                • KJT

                  Don’t recall saying “as a percentage of GDP”.

                  Both per capita and overall German State spending is much higher than ours. Or Greece’s.

                  It is a lower proportion of GDP because they did not buy into the Neo-liberal crap like the UK, Ireland, USA and us.

                  Germany still makes things and pays workers properly.

    • Puddleglum 15.3

      the correction now taking place is necessary

      That is an assumption. What makes you think it is ‘necessary‘, apart from your ideological commitments? 

      People will be dealt with as people, not as groups, …

      Well, as I said, that’s one way of describing direct, coercive intervention in the lives of individuals. There are more realistic ways of describing it, however (e.g., ‘direct, coercive intervention’ – perhaps more familiar when phrased in the following way: “We’re making you an offer you can’t refuse.”)

  16. fender 16

    Lovely little speech Horizon but even if it came from Paulas mouth I’d still doubt its sincerity.
    And better end all Govt jobs pronto to stop any more destortion to the econemy. What utter crap. You mean Govt creating jobs destorts the profits of corporates, better give the welfare to them instead.

    • Gosman 16.1

      So essentially you don’t have a problem with the policy just whether the people promoting it are sincere in their aims. Considering you are a hard core lefty I wouldn’t expect anything else but at least you acknowledge potential benefits in what they are doing.

  17. Horizon 17

    I was not saying that all government jobs distort the economy. Of course any advanced country needs an efficient and functioning public sector commensurate to its needs.

    I was just pointing out that the enormous expansion of the public sector from 1999 to 2008 was unsustainable. Hundreds of thousands of jobs were added to the public service which were not producing output to match the taxpayer salary input.

    It got to the point that a private business in Wellington could not find any commercial rental space because the government sector completely dominated the property market. The size of government was doubling and doubling again. It was simply unsustainable and also wasteful as money for instance going to say the Education assessment research unit academics and policy analysts was not going to say the teacher aide budget for vulnerable children in Southland/Otago.

    Year on year budget increases occured with only nominal increases or even decreases in measurable output. I think it is a tragedy that the people losing their jobs today are a victim of naive economics and wasteful government.

    • Puddleglum 17.1

      I was just pointing out that the enormous expansion of the public sector from 1999 to 2008 was unsustainable. Hundreds of thousands of jobs were added to the public service which were not producing output to match the taxpayer salary input.

      This report from the PSA points out:

      By number of workers, share of the economy, or per capita size, our public service is smaller than it was in the 1980s. Some rebuilding was needed after the cuts and privatisation in the 1990s. But the public service is now smaller than it was in 1990 despite the population increasing by 700,000 and greater demands being placed on public services.

      As for “hundreds of thousands of jobs were added“, the same report (same page) claims that, as of 2007, there were 42,047 full time jobs in the public service.

  18. Treetop 18

    More arse about face dogma from the government. I was aware yesterday that submissions for the Green Paper (child welfare) closed yesterday and what happened earlier in the week, punitive welfare change for women and children.

    Were I the Social Development Minister, I would not have made ANY changes to welfare affecting single parents and children until I addressed the Green Paper. Bennett may have a social workers degree, but she needs to listen to the medical clinicians/family advocates first. Bennett is not even listening to the family advocates who are against some of her her welfare changes, (work testing, widows recepients and youth).

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  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
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