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Nat’s lacking serious economic plan

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, August 14th, 2010 - 55 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags: , ,

I read my weekly email from our hardworking PM with interest as always.

Key Notes‘ starts:

BOOSTING THE ECONOMY : This week I announced my pilot business scholarship scheme. Under the $1 million scheme, people can apply for up to $110,000 to study at an internationally-recognised business school. This will help Kiwi businesses grow and compete internationally.

Anyone else reminded of the underpants gnomes in South Park?

  • Step 1: pay 15-25 businessmen to do their MBAs in the States.
  • Step 2: ?
  • Step 3: Profit!

Seriously, 350,000 jobless Kiwis and the plan Key is bragging about is a million dollars worth of subsidies for the business elite as the solution to our woes?

What a sick joke this government is. And it’s being played by the rich on the rest of us.

55 comments on “Nat’s lacking serious economic plan ”

  1. comedy 1

    Step 2 is rebuild the deathstar

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    And to think Key was sent to Harvard for a week or two by Merrill Lynch to boost his qualifications!
    As well wasnt English and Key bleating about the amount of student debt carried by offshore Kiwis. There is one way of making sure Kiwis dont come back to live here is to send them overseas for study

  3. I thought that you could do an MBA in ………….. New Zealand.

    • Joshua 3.1

      You hardly got the same quality and expertise here in New Zealand, our largest companies are medium sized overseas.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        Our largest companies are small to medium by international standards.

      • Fabregas4 3.1.2

        If we are so shit – why do we bother at all? And why would anyone want to come here who has the magical Harvard MBA? And why is the USA in economic meltdown? And do we as a country really want people with Harvard MBAs and all the ideological bullshit they bring, being influential in our country ?

        • KJT

          Actually the NZ MBA’s are highly regarded. Something about hands on management skills rather than airy theory.

        • Joshua

          We are just as much in the shit as US, apart from the fact they are multiplying by there population base, I haven’t done the numbers but would be interesting to see the country dept compared to population base, I wouldn’t be surprised if we are quite even. But look at our manufacturing businesses in Auckland, there hasn’t been a new job in the industry for over 18months, although that is more a consequence of the Unions combined with the recession, I can see the reasoning.

          Just don’t agree it’s the way forward, but at least they are trying something, that can’t be said about the last governments philosophy, Do nothing, and let it sort itself out.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Fabregas4 come on, you know already from Stephen Joyce we can’t build anything, what makes you think the Hawaiian dwelling multi-millionaire has any less a defeatist cultural cringe towards our education system? IT’S AMERICAN! IT MUST BE BETTER THAN US! AFTER ALL, IT IS WHERE I CHOSE TO LIVE!

    • This is the ultimate in cultural cringe where you have to learn American business techniques because New Zealand techniques are not as good.

      After all the American economy in in great shape and Wall Street provides us with the prime example of principled moral business decision makers and the wealthy acting in the best interests of everyone …

  5. IrishBill 5

    I think there is a plan. It involves transferring wealth from labour to capital. It’s the same plan every other National government has had since the party was formed to counter the labour movement.

    • Bill 5.1

      Beyond and beneath the transference of existing wealth, there is the war of monetisation that is being waged against the environment, ecology and society.

      Our land and our seas and our air will be gouged and reduced to money in any and all ways these dullards think they can get away with.

      And in parallel with the drive to gouge any resource and remove or ignore any protective measures in place around those resources, so it is with our society; our institutions, legislations and regulations are to be stripped away and cast aside to satisfy the sole demand of capital.

      We have a government that views us and our society and our world through a singular interpretative lens of monetization.

      And that means that by accident or design (and it doesn’t matter which) they are waging a war on our humanity and on everything else that might suggest that there exists an evaluative interpretation of anything that answers in terms other than dollars and cents.

      You see how the foundation of a broad movement of the left lies right there in the narrow world view of this government? Almost everything they do is explicable by the same broad terms. And that means that any number of diverse constituencies should have no problem in finding overlaps, or common ground where we can all stand together in opposition and resistance to this particular government and its agenda as well as using those common spaces to begin building alternative discourses and realities.

      • loota 5.1.1

        Although revolutions still need to be led and organised…

        • Bill

          And what informs your organisation? Democratic principles or short term political expediency?

          If the latter, then there is every chance that matters will wind up in a pile of screaming shit.

          And what do you mean by ‘led’?

          If you mean to imply that a particular person or a particular organisation leads, ie determines agendas and actions and assumes the role of authority, then everything will wind up in a pile of screaming shit, just as has happened every other single time when a person or an organisation assumed the role of ‘leader’.

          But if you mean ‘led’ as in being informed by ideas and structures that embody desirable principles (eg solidarity, egalitarianism, liberty etc) and produce equitable and desirable outcomes, then progress becomes possible.

          • just saying

            Looking forward to hearing the details of how this works in practice sometime soon Bill.

          • Descendant Of Smith

            Agreed but there’s also a point in time when an eloquent speaking, charismatic, assertive, humble or not person takes the bull by the horns and walks out front.

            Being informed by ideas and structures that embody desirable principles (eg solidarity, egalitarianism, liberty etc) and produce equitable and desirable outcomes is the management part.

            Bravery and courage and stepping forward is the leadership part.

  6. felix 6

    pssst. Hey John.

    The “Minister of Tourism” is supposed to get people from other countries to spend money here.

  7. Hilary 7

    Weren’t the architects of the global financial crisis graduates of ‘internationally-recognised business schools’?

    • Puddleglum 7.1


      Vanity Fair did an article on someone who researched the positive correlation between executives with ‘top’ US university MBAs (including Harvard) and the failure or humiliation of various leading companies and banks. Pretty compelling and interesting study. Sorry, read it at a library and can’t remember the issue number..

      Suggests, though, that it might be an idea to let them stay overseas once they get their degree. That would be a better use of the money than bringing them back.

  8. rainman 8

    It’d be OK if it was his million, not ours, that he was giving away. But public cost for private gain is all this bunch of hypocritical arse-openings are about.

    Captcha: “Manages”. As in “always .. to disappoint, but seldom to surprise”.

  9. joe90 9

    Cue John Ralston Saul who had it right in 1995 with The Unconscious Civilization.

    It’s not that the economists’ advice hasn’t been taken. It has, in great detail, with great reverence. And in general, it has failed.

  10. randal 10

    all an mba really knows is how to run the spreadsheet over a business and then cut costs.
    they dont teach them to generate new business or how to identify new opportunities.
    i.e. mba’s are just glorified accountants with all the baggage that goes with being a bean counter.
    you know.
    anally retentive and incapable of opening their minds.
    I can sit down and read business week and fortune and come up with a 1000 new ideas in an new york heartbeat but didnt go to the right school.
    thats how it works here.

  11. BLiP 11

    I really think The Standard is being a bit harsh on National Ltdâ„¢. The Tory economic plan is quite serious.

    * soften up the public with bogus figures and related bullshit stories

    * eliminate as far as possible any opposition

    * infiltrate the public service via contracting out and underfunding remaining structures

    * commence the wholesale transfer of the provision of public services to private providers

    . . . the trouble is, National Ltdâ„¢ is making it look easy.

  12. Craig Glen Eden 12

    More money invested in people who will end up working in corporates that rip the worlds workers.
    If this Government wanted to help promote business in NZ why wouldn’t you help small business across the board in NZ. This group are the largest employer of NZers.

    Key has a plan, its to take our money and give it o his mates. No wonder more and more NZERs are moving to Australia.

    Anti spam word: Questions?

    • Joshua 12.1

      Well actually just as many NZers were moving overseas under Labours lead than Nationals, so I wouldn’t put it down to John Key.

      Also having worked in both small and large businesses, I can tell you that the bigger companies look after there staff pretty damn well.

      But I do agree our smaller businesses need help, however for smaller businesses the biggest hurdle is the Unions, who tend to forget we are still trying to recover from a recession.

      [You get credit for at least making an attempt at argument, but 20 plus comments sprayed over several threads since 9:08am this morning is borderline troll behaviour. If you were engaging other posters in a to and fro discussion this number of comments wouldn’t attract attention, but that’s not what you seem to be doing. Nor is this the first time you’ve done this kind of thing. Consider this a learning opportunity…. before Irish Bill or the LPrent notices….RL]

      [lprent: I did, but I was a bit busy this morning. Smacking puppies too long after the fact isn’t that good at modifying their piddling behaviors. However I have now added him to the moderation list. His comments will now have to be released by the moderators. ]

      • The Voice of Reason 12.1.1

        “But I do agree our smaller businesses need help, however for smaller businesses the biggest hurdle is the Unions, who tend to forget we are still trying to recover from a recession.”

        Except smaller business are not unionised. For the most part, the economics of scale means unions organise primarily in sites with 20 or more potential members, as a minimum. That means primarily, middle to large businesses.

        Can you give me an example of any small business whose recovery from the recession was blocked by a union, Joshua? Or are you just making stuff up?

        • Joshua

          No Voice of reason,

          A small business is 0 – 50 employees.

          • lprent

            In NZ 50 employees would be at least a medium business. Have a look at the stats numbers…

            (I think you have been sniffing too close to the crotch of some yankee – your numbers are as high as).

          • loota

            Well according to this:


            The average NZ firm has only 5 or 6 employees.

            Even in the US the average firm has less than 30 employees.

          • The Voice of Reason

            The Minstry of Economic development uses this formulation:

            “The definition of a SME used by the Ministry is businesses employing 19 or fewer FTEs. Further, this definition is split into two parts:

            small businesses: 0-5 FTEs; and
            medium businesses: 6-19 FTEs.”

            So what have we learned about Joshua this weekend? Well, it appears Joshua knows nothing about employment law, small and medium enterprises, union activity and, despite running a blog on the subject, the spelling of the word ‘infrastructure’.

            I don’t suppose the exposure of his overwhelming ignorance will prevent Joshua contributing more absolute bollocks here, but I live in hope.

      • Joshua 12.1.2

        Hahaha Pathetic, so another words, I’m expressing my opinion on several posts and because mine actually differs from the sites view, (Extreme Left, everything that National does is wrong, even if it is a left policy they push through.), you put me on Moderation. Haha and I was wondering why there are not many National Supporters commentating here.

        Haha You don’t need to embarrass yourself by putting this through.

        [Arguing with a moderator is sign of a slow learner. You were politely asked to re-think your tactic of bombing the site with 20plus sequential comments …it’s irritating to others and inconsiderate behaviour on someone else’s blog. You are of course free to express your opinions, but be aware that gaining respect for them is a matter of presenting them with clarity of thought and evidence. In other words quality not quantity….RL]

        • loota

          I have to say, lefties enjoy a good laugh as much as any one else, so why not make your post visible?

        • Frank Macskasy

          “[Arguing with a moderator is sign of a slow learner.” – The Golden Rule regardless of which Blog, website, MB, Chatroom, etc, one visits and contributes to…

  13. millsy 13

    And you are suprised because?

    Their ‘plan’ since the 1920’s has been to ‘leave it to the market’.

    • Craig Glen Eden 13.1

      Am I surprised? No but what does amaze me is how they do it again and again and again, dress it up as family values or some other bullshit tag line and they get away with it!

  14. Tombstone 14

    When are we going to stop tolerating this goddam rubbish? Bring on the people’s revolution!

  15. Zaphod Beeblebrox 15

    Looming global food crisis, increasing CO2 and extreme climatic events, price of energy set to skyrocket, droughts and water shortage…..Shouldn’t we be spending this money on our young scientists?

    Having more MBA’s and deriviatives traders- really useful.

  16. Joshua 16

    When businesses grow don’t they employee more people??

    I actually agree with you, I don’t think we should be giving scholarships to these business people, to encourage growth, more because it will awaken them to the better opportunities overseas, due to tax and union restrictions we have here. So instead of growing the business here we may see some of the business go overseas instead.

    However the Logic Key is displaying just make sense to most;

    Step One – Educate Businesses To Grow
    Step Two – Growth
    Step Three – More Jobs

    So although I might agree with you on the point, I disagree on your reasoning.

    • Descendant Of Smith 16.1

      When businesses grow don’t they employee more people??

      I know you have only recently appeared on these forums and no doubt you are getting a useful education and over time some of the myths you espouse may be dismantled.

      I’ve enjoyed the intelligent comments and open sharing of information here.

      You would have missed the information a few months ago that showed the amount of GDP being paid in wages and profit and how this has changed over time.

      What this clearly shows is that the answer to your question over the last 30 years is a resounding no.

      As businesses have grown less jobs have been created and businesses have kept more of that money to themselves. It has in fact switched around from 60% of GDP in wages and 40% in profit in the 70’s to 40% in wages and 60% in profit today. Approximate percentages but you get the gist.

      • KJT 16.1.1

        And of the wages the proportion to the skilled workers who do the work has decreased and the proportion to the bean counters who lead their companies into extinction has also changed.

        When I started work the administrator was paid less than me. He was there to advise.
        Now they get 3 times as much to cost cut, sell of capital earning assets and borrow to pay dividends.
        The level of competence has dropped markedly since people who learned to manage within the industry were replaced by interchangeable wizz kids educated beyond their level of intelligence.

        • KJT

          One of them was quit frank about the SOP. The scary part was he did not see anything wrong with his ethics.
          Move in as a new broom. Make yourself look good by cutting costs to increase profits. Cut pay, cut the wage bill, cut the bill for repair and replacement of plant.
          When the grateful shareholders start praising you move on to a bigger and better job and repeat.
          Meanwhile the first company falls over as plant wears out from lack of maintainance. good employees leave, disgruntled employees annoy customers and customers leave because the company is no longer gives good service.

          • Joshua

            Yes, and it is unfortunate cause I have known this to happen a few times, however is not always the case either.

            From experience however the bigger companies actually treat their employees better, which is why growth is important, I may have just been fortunate to work for good companies however this is what I have found in my industry. It actually gives more incentive for us to invest in the companies to grow.

            Also it might be a good thing to send them overseas in that case so they can get educated in the right ethics as you have said, as with the example you have given they have obviously not gained the right ethics here in New Zealand. So maybe this is the right solution?

            Still I am unconvinced with this being the right path, however warming to it with this discussion.

            Look after your employees and they look after you.

      • Joshua 16.1.2

        Ok, interesting,

        I understand that’s not a good thing, however it is given in percentages, it would be interesting to see it in numbers. As it may change the actual picture, also I am assuming that all overheads and operating cost bar wages is to be taken out of the Profits yet? wages is just one cost the company has to occur. Albeit the major one for most.

        However the fact still remains, to increase profit and to grow, they need to produce more product, whatever that maybe, therefore need more staff. The percentage may stay the same but the numbers will change, they will still need more staff when they grow.

        My concern is, that by sending business managers oversea’s they will gain prospects over there, in return the new jobs created could actually be overseas positions, we may even lose employment here in favor for oversea’s employment. I suppose these are risks, I just believe there are less risky options.

    • Frank Macskasy 16.2

      “When businesses grow don’t they employee more people??”

      Sometimes, yes.

      But that is not a ‘given’. And it helps us not one jot if growth is transferred offshore, such as call centres in India, Phillappines, etc, or manufacturuing is shifted to Fiji, China, Etc.

      “…due to tax and union restrictions we have here. ”

      Really? Such as? Businesses already have a 90-day trial period. What more could you possibly need for employers to take on more staff? State subsidies? Reducing minimum wage to Chinese-levels?

      As for decrying paying tax – well, it constantly never ceases to surprise me that neo-liberals/free marketeers don’t understand this simply rule: “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”. We live in a country with a strong infrastructure – that has to be paid for.

      Next time you step out of your home, onto a street, consider that the materials and labour were paid for by taxpayers. The street outside your house did not miraculously appear by the wave of a magic wand. Nor was it built out of the generosity of some anonymous private corporation.

      If you don’t want to pay tax, the alternative is to migrate to a country where taxation doesn’t exist. Somalia comes to mind.

      Just don’t expect to step out onto a nice paved road.

  17. Joshua 17

    And just as a point – this is a very educational focused, could nearly have thought it was a Labour Party Plan…

  18. Adrian 18

    Hasn’t that bastion of US business elite, Harvard, just admitted that they must have fucked-up and need to change because the majority of the banks and clearing houses that went tits-up were run by their graduates ? Not a lot to learn there, or maybe that’s Key’s master plan, grab the money for yourself and shoot through. It worked for him.

  19. And wouldn’t most Harvard MBA Graduates be in demand on the Global Employment market? What is the likelihood of them returning to low wage economy NZ? The only person I ever knew that had an MBA (in NZ) moved to Aussie (as an example – though not a great one I know).

    • Joshua 19.1

      Thats my point exactly,

      My concern is they will figure out how much better the opportunities are overseas, as they don’t have as many restrictions. These are not just your ordinary Graduates however, they are holding important positions in the companies employing Kiwi’s, they could not only give the Job’s to be created oversea’s, they could move positions currently held by kiwi’s oversea’s so they can grow and expand.

  20. Tigger 20

    Even the underpants gnomes’ plan is better than this one. At least after phase one they have underpants to show for it.

  21. Doug 21

    At last we have found Phil’s plan he has invested in a new Chainsaw and plans to cut and burn firewood and ride a Motorbike, this will help enormously reduce Climate Change. Time Iprent had a word with Phil as it seems he has lost his way in life.


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