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Neolibs’ great experiment in meltdown

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, December 15th, 2009 - 41 comments
Categories: capitalism, economy, International, tax - Tags:

With huge infusions of EU cash and deregulation that brought in foreign companies looking to make a quick buck, Ireland’s economy grew pretty quickly over the past 25 years. On the back of their new-found wealth, Irish governments implemented a neoliberal revolution – cutting taxes for the rich, privatising public assets, the usual formula for hollowing out government. They called it the Celtic Tiger and as recently as last year John Key was saying we should emulate their model (how he planned for us to be situated on the periphery of the world’s largest single-market, I don’t know).

The problem with the Celtic Tiger was that it was made of paper and it would only stay standing as long as it was held together by a healthy global economy. With the tax-base hollowed out by cuts for the wealthy and businesses, the government ran deficits for all but 5 of the last 25 years, a situation that was manageable only as long as growth continued. When the global economy went into reverse, the paper Tiger collapsed – the housing bubble burst, deflation took hold, unemployment skyrocketed (12.6%), and so did government debt. This year’s deficit will be over 15% of GDP and the country’s credit rating has been downgraded. GDP has fallen 11% over the course of the country’s 2-year recession.

Wherever or not Ireland’s neoliberal policies actually contributed much to its growth is debatable – the EU money (ie big government), worth €40 billion since Ireland joined, was certainly vital. But the blame for the subsequent collapse can surely be laid with the kind of neoliberal policies that Don Brash and others would have us enact here.

While other governments (like New Zealand’s) came into the recession with a broad tax base and healthy books, the neolibs had left the Irish government threadbare. When it should have built up surpluses and assets on the back of rapid growth, it gave tax cuts instead. That would be fine if the myth that neoliberal policies lead to endless growth were true but it isn’t – the growth was cyclical, the tax cuts were structural. Then came the recession and with it falling tax revenues. The government had no money to pay the bills.

The Irish government has been forced into crisis mode to try to control its debt. It has just introduced its second emergency budget this year. It is unwinding neoliberal policies by increasing upper-end income taxes, capital gains tax, and capital acquisition tax, broadening the tax base, and regaining control of the banking system. But even that is not enough to control spiralling debt. To save money the government wants to slash benefits and all public sector workers’ pay by 5-6%. That’s a huge income cut for hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries and 400,000 workers, which is going to devastate families and probably lead to a massive strike.

They call it cowboy capitalism for a reason. Neoliberal policies are short-termist and irresponsible. They run countries like some frontier town in the old West. It might lead to dramatic growth in the short-term but, eventually, it comes crashing down.

41 comments on “Neolibs’ great experiment in meltdown”

  1. ben 1

    Sorry to say Marty, this is a ridiculous post. Ireland, after being an economic basket case up until the mid 1990s, took off and in spite of recent downturn is still one of the wealthiest countries in the EU, well ahead of UK and behind only Switzerland, Norway and Luxembourg in the EU. Yes, their downturn is sharp. But Ireland is still well ahead of the pack.

    Perhaps you’d prefer to be in Bulgaria, with a third of Ireland’s income per capita? I hear the recession isn’t quite so bad there.

  2. ben 2

    To save money the government wants to slash benefits and all public sector workers’ pay by 5-6%. That’s a huge income cut for hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries and 400,000 workers, which is going to devastate families and probably lead to a massive strike.

    They call it cowboy capitalism for a reason.

    What does this have to do with capitalism? These are government cuts. If you’re going to blame anything, blame democracy for installing the government that made a decision you didn’t like.

    How can government cuts possibly be blamed on capitalism?

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Marty,

    This is a bit of a silly post.

    The market is based on the concept of risk and return. Sometimes the shit hits the fan and people lose money. Its called the market correcting itself. No-one ever guaranteed a continual smooth upward slope.

    If you don’t like that, then you should go and live up in the hills somewhere and enjoy a life of total self-sufficiency.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.1

      Google gives me about 12.8 Million hits for “the end of the business cycle “.

      Which was a popular phrase some time back. Along with
      the end of history’, ‘paradigm shift’, ‘switzerland of the south seas’, and DOW 36000.

      • TightyRighty 3.1.1

        wasn’t that friend of the people, comrade Gordon “jonah” brown, the one who first claimed to have ended boom and bust? so maybe it’s not capitalism to blame. could it be the socialists?

        • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1

          I dunno, was it? Is Brown a socialist? Am I? Who gives a fuck?

          Booms and busts are a part of Capitalism. There has been along and sorry parade of neo libs and neocons with different coloured rosettes telling me since the mid eighties and before that they can fix that through
          de-regulation, and the cutting of the taxes.

          Turns out that nah, they can’t, they just make shit worse.

          • TightyRighty 3.1.1.1.1

            really? they have honestly been telling you that? they don’t sound like neolibs to me? it’s pretty much a basic tenent of market theory that markets go through periods of rapid growth followed by shorter periods of recession. whoever thinks they can end boom and bust by regulation or deregulation is an idiot. because you can’t correct for the individual moods that make up the market, these things naturally occur. kind of like global warming. though apparently regulation will solve that one. global government anyone?

            • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Art Laffer is supply sider. We can split hairs about what to call them TR, but it’s supply-siders baby. The Economist, for eg, told me in the eighties that NZ would become the south sea swiss because of the purity of our reforms when compared to Aussie or Brit or anywhere else, (cups of tea notwithstanding).

              “DOW 36000” was by the supply-side reformers, and so on.

              • TightyRighty

                I’m confused? so any neoliberal is wrong because some of them said deregulation is the way to avoid boom and bust? because there is a big difference between avoiding boom and bust, and smoothing out the growth curve.

                it has to be said as well that any comparison with britain at the moment should show in stark clarity that whatever the last two governments have done to try and achieve this smoothing of the growth curve, compared to britain, a welfare state, they have succeeded.

              • I said what I said, not what you imagine I said. If you want ot smooth the growth curve, some things can be done. For three decades we avoided major busts.

                Then the neolibs came in and deregulated, and we have had a series of financial busts. If that is what they were trying to avoid, it hasn’t worked.

              • ben

                Pascal the exact opposite is true. The period called the Great Moderation occurred during a time of deregulation.

              • The verdict on what’s called ‘the great moderation’, by some, (Helicopter Ben’s phrase isn’t it?) is yet to come in. It’s exactly the sort of thing I was talking about. Neoliberalism as ‘the end of history’ for economists.

                Since the eighties some stats have lost volatility. At the same time, there has been a series of financial bubbles and busts. Real household income has stagnated, wealth disparity has increased etc.

                I’m not sure that it applies to NZ’s experience in any case. Our GDP growth and employment figures have been patchy, to say the least. And here, we instituted the program as faithfully as anyone.

                You guys really are starting to look like marxists complaining that your theory can’t be judged based on how it works whenever it’s tried.

              • Quoth the Raven

                On the topic of deregulation in the US it’s interesting to look at the number of pages in the Federal register (a crude measurement no doubt) there were 72,844 pages of regulations when Carter was in this dropped to 54,335 under Reagan but rose again through Bush I Clinton and Bush II to 75,526 (more then where it started). So the last few decades in the US at least was hardly a time of massive deregulation.

              • felix

                QTR I enjoy your posts here – I find many of your ideas challenging, usually thought provoking.

                Are you taking the piss above?

              • Quoth the Raven

                felix – Do you have some counter in mind? I said it’s a crude measurement. It is simply hard to get measure of these things. Deregulation in the US, if there’s been any at all and I can’t be sure there has been, has been greatly exaggerated.

              • felix

                No, I don’t have a counter in mind for measuring the amount of financial regulation, that’s why I didn’t suggest something ludicrous like “every bit of federal legislation”.

              • Quoth the Raven

                felix – There’s another measurement that is the Code of Federal Regulations. People have looked at that – same result more not less regulation over the past thirty years. Yes, I know it’s not just financial, but it should at least get you questioning the memes about deregulation in the US.

              • I know you agree it’s a crude measure, but I’m unconvinced it’s anything more than a joke. Pages?

                Seems like a small light regulation, highly targeted at a particular type of behaviour, would take a fair number of pages more than a simple one with few or no exemptions and a single brute compliance mechanism.

                So it’s not obvious to me at all that fewer pages equals less regulation.

                Reaching for a rough analogy, it’s like trying to comapre people’s wealth by weighing their net value in currency, but not looking at the mix of coins and notes. Or something.

              • Quoth the Raven

                So it’s not obvious to me at all that fewer pages equals less regulation

                Right, but what about more pages? One would think that more pages would mean more, or at least not less, regulations and when the number of pages has increased by many thousands one might have good reason to believe that the amount of regulation has increased.

              • Quoth the Raven

                Here’s the paper – for the CFR part.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Iceland? Ireland? Ireland? Iceland? Are you a fool?

    SLOVAKIA! It’s all about SLOVAKIA! LOOK AT OVER THERE AT SLOVAKIA!!!

  5. randal 5

    blah blah blah blah blah.
    Ireland took off because they managed to secure a plethora of data processing contracts.
    on the back of that they imported the whole neo-lib ideology and another cohort of deal makers who dont care whether the market is going up or down as they stand to make on the deals either way.
    in other words they were conned like every other idiot who ever sold their birthright, their heritage, everything for a few trade items and an entirely false view of what life is really about.

    • ben 5.1

      I’m sorry is simply a load of rubbish. Ireland was an extremely depressed place in the early 1990s. There was a palpable sense of hopelessness in my experience. For the man and woman on the street what has happened in Ireland is a transformation that has raised all boats. Why should a few people making a lot of money in any way detract from the extraordinary changes that have gone on there?

      • Tigger 5.1.1

        Ireland’s fortunes were improved with EU money. Whether it improved or not isn’t the real issue, it’s how they did it. To call them some miracle case is forgetting the fact that they effectively got some handouts and spent the money. It’s no more a model for success than winning Lotto…

        • ben 5.1.1.1

          No, what Ireland did was lure in a lot of FDI with tax holidays and lower corporate taxes. They went after software because of their uniquely youthful population. Ireland absolutely took off – if you look at the charts they came from well behind the pack and shot into the lead (or close to it) in a matter of a few years. It is extraordinary what happened there – and the current (sharp) recession has not undone it. Ireland has still enjoyed a massive gain from what has happened. Marty’s thesis, that some bumps along the way somehow proves it all wrong is ludicrous.

          • Clarke 5.1.1.1.1

            Sorry ben, but these posts of yours are shading over to the delusional side of the fence. Let’s see what the OECD (not a notably left-wing organisation) has to say about your hypothesis:

            Ireland is another country where GDP has to be read with care. Ireland’s position has risen up the GDP per head rankings since 1999, and is now in the top five countries in the OECD.This remarkable transformation has been put down to a mix of factors, of which inward investment in high value-added businesses is one. But does GDP per head accurately reflects Ireland’s actual wealth, since all that inward investment (and foreign labour) generates profits and other revenues, some of which inevitably flows back to the countries of origin?

            Got that? The nominal numbers look good, but there are concerns from the OECD that the gross figures are not taking into account the capital outflows from the FDI. Next quote:

            But not so for Ireland, as outflows of profits and income, largely from global business giants located there, often exceed income flows back into the country. This means that in a GNI ranking, rather than being in the top five, Ireland drops to 17th. In other words, while Ireland produces a lot of income per inhabitant, GNI shows that less of it stays in the country than GDP might suggest.

            So here’s news: the people who invest money in Ireland naturally want it back – and when they do, the national income figures don’t look that flash. In other words, Ireland is conceptually no different than any FDI-driven sweatshop economy – it just happens to specialise in software rather than Nikes.

            • ben 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh I see. There’s a caveat somewhere, you’ve found it with 5 minutes on google, and now Ireland is a conceptual sweatshop and I’m delusional.

              Has Ireland seen massive improvement or not? Has only a fraction of that improvement been undone by the recession or, as Marty would have you believe, is everything in meltdown? What have I said that is wrong? Please explain.

              Weren’t you, only last week, crying foul when Bill English didn’t use GDP/capita? What, now that’s not good enough? Looks to me like you’re just picking whichever stat gives you an excuse to yell.

              • Clarke

                There’s a caveat somewhere, you’ve found it with 5 minutes on google

                Yup, it only took a few minutes on Google – which rather begs the question, does Google not work at your house? Because if you’d done the same teensy amount of research, you would have been able to temper blanket unsubstantiated statements like this one:

                reland, after being an economic basket case up until the mid 1990s, took off and in spite of recent downturn is still one of the wealthiest countries in the EU

                … with some actual facts, or – heaven forbid – a link. Which I note your posts are remarkably short of.

                As to the question of whether there has been a material improvement in Ireland, let’s let the OECD set the context:

                Ireland remains one of the OECD’s fastest growing economies, and this shows in a sharp rise in real income since the mid-1990s. Compared with 21 OECD countries for which figures adjusted both for inflation and purchasing power differences are available, Ireland’s GDP per capita swung from about 12% below average in 1995 to 22% above the average in 2003. GNI per capita moved from about 20% below average of the same 21 countries in 1995 to a less pronounced 4% above average, which is still quite a leap.

                The issue is – as Marty’s post points out – is that while a rising tide floats all boats, an ebbing tide will ground them all again. Ireland’s unemployment and national debt is now approaching the same levels as prior to the Celtic Tiger getting a run, which would seem to indicate that while the neoliberal revolution is capable of generating growth, it’s not sustainable.

                And a good shorthand way of describing spectacular economic growth followed by spectacular economic deflation might be as a “bubble”. And is that really the best the neoliberal school can manage?

              • ben

                Ok, you’re trolling. I get it. You’re picking a fight and I’m arguing with someone who could care less about reading an argument and responding. What you’re quoting contradicts nothing I’ve said. What you’ve said is I’m deluded but I’ve asked for an explanation and got none. You’ve just offered direct evidence that Ireland is massively wealthier than it was on whichever measure you think is appropriate today. Marty somehow thinks this is evidence against neoliberalism. I think he’s wrong. I’ve acknowledged the tide is currently ebbing, as you put it, but your own stats confirm the gains have not been lost. What are you on about?

              • Clarke

                You’ll see from further up the thread that you made this comment:

                It is extraordinary what happened there and the current (sharp) recession has not undone it. Ireland has still enjoyed a massive gain from what has happened.

                As usual, you provide no substantiation – it’s just an opinion, unsupported by links, research or anything that vaguely resembles facts. So let me just make three minor points that you yourself could have discovered with the judicious use of Google:

                You’re wrong.

                You’re wrong.

                You’re still wrong.

                This isn’t trolling – it’s correcting the factual errors of blinkered idealogues.

                [lprent: On this site only the moderators are qualified to determine who are trolls. We are the ogres with the big club. Not either of you. ]

              • ben

                Clarke stop trolling. Your own data shows this.

                Here is what you quoted:

                Ireland’s GDP per capita swung from about 12% below average in 1995 to 22% above the average in 2003. GNI per capita moved from about 20% below average of the same 21 countries in 1995 to a less pronounced 4% above average, which is still quite a leap.

                Here is what I said:

                It is extraordinary what happened there and the current (sharp) recession has not undone it. Ireland has still enjoyed a massive gain from what has happened.

                Your own data is confirming what I said. Nothing in the cited articles contradicts this. You are arguing with your own evidence. What is wrong with you?

                [lprent: On this site only the moderators are qualified to determine who are trolls. We are the ogres with the big club. Not either of you. ]

              • Actually Ben,

                You are the one trolling IMHO.

  6. Tim Ellis 6

    I agree with others Marty who have said that this is a silly post.

    If you read Mr Key’s speech, Mr Pierson interpreted it in a way that was deliberately dead wrong.

    Mr Key talked about making the most of New Zealand’s proximity to Asia, through investing in education and infrastructure and focussing on expanding our bilateral and trade relationships with Asia.

    Which part of that do you object to?

  7. Quoth the Raven 7

    I see that some people put a good portion of the blame on moving to the Euro because interest rates were kept low by ECB thus fuelling the property boom – seems like it could be an example of the Austrian business cycle in practice to me. Here’s a video of an Austrian arguing that a recession is on its way in the US in 2006 and a Keynesian denying it.

  8. Seems to me that ‘capitalism’ produced the goods in both senses of the phrase in Ireland. The problem was the usual incompetence of politicians who just can’t see any further ahead than the next election, and who like to pretend they rather than the businessmen and entrepreneurs did the hard and clever work.

    A left-wing government in Ireland might have done better with what capitalism acheived, but that’s all.

    A better example of capitalist stupidity is Iceland, which was just a non-productive, greed-driven money-go-round.

  9. Macro 9

    An excellent post Marty! Of course it rubs up the sensibilities of our neo-liberal “friends”, but the facts speak for themselves. The greedies can only control so much of the world and then it all collapses as a pack of cards – because their “wealth” is build on nothing and is sustained by even less.

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    5 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    6 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    6 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    6 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    7 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    2 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
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