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Open mike 01/11/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, November 1st, 2019 - 34 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

34 comments on “Open mike 01/11/2019”

  1. Blazer 1

    Create money out of thin air.Lend it at interest to hard workers,when they default reclaim the security and do it all over…again.

    Best game in…town.

    The agricultural sector currently has about $63 billion of debt and the Federated Farmers six-monthly banking surveys have shown that while most farmers are satisfied with their banks, satisfaction has been slipping and the number of farmers feeling under pressure has been rising.'

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/117062995/cut-farmers-extra-slack-in-farm-debt-mediation-law-select-committee

  2. Sacha 2

    Where some harmful political ideas the Nats are importing are culturally rooted: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/31/how-americas-hatred-of-the-p.html

    America's toxic obsession with by-your-bootstraps individualism, and specifically how it relates to poverty.

    In addition to Manifest Destiny, these Puritans believed that hard work was the only promise of salvation, which eventually evolved into the whole "rugged individualism" idea that consumes so many American conservatives and Evangelicals. While [philosopher Elizabeth] Anderson acknowledges that this ethic is rooted in a very pro-worker mindset, it's clearly been secularized over time into a highly partisan hatred of the poor, with a nod towards its religious roots:

    There is a profound suspicion of anyone who is poor, and a consequent raising to the highest priority imposing incredibly humiliating, harsh conditions on access to welfare benefits on the assumption you’re some kind of grifter, or you’re trying to cheat the system.

  3. WeTheBleeple 3

    Thought this article would be of interest to Standardistas. 

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/117019238/executive-pay-is-out-of-control–here-are-six-steps-to-fix-it#comments

    I'd hazard a guess almost all goods and services cost us more than they might; and this is in order to pay for the extravagant lifestyles of upper management. Whether they're highly skilled or useless is on a case by case basis, whether they're paid too much is practically every case. 

    I've seen huge money spent on poor results my entire life. Every time some noddy with a business degree and no practical experience starts calling the play. Efficiencies are for cutting workers pay, cutting corners, cutting health and safety, but never CEO salaries. I could walk into any outfit, make a spreadsheet, do some systems analysis, and find money hemorrhaging out the top. But the analysts wont do an honest job, they cut everything else and give themselves hefty fees for reinforcing the problem. These types are very much part of the problem.

    It's a self-propagating, self-perpetuating self-above else culture and it's damning the bulk of us to live paycheck to paycheck while we pay for executive incompetence and extravagance.

    I like the model where the top earner of any entity is only allowed x times the bottom earner. I reckon 10 x minimum wage is more than fair.

    What bugs me even more is the haughty better-than-thou bullshit attitude so many of the so-called leadership adopt. These people do not serve their workplace or their customers well. The word is parasites, and we got a heavy load of them.

    • ianmac 3.1

      Those at the "top" will see that their salaries are pumped higher and higher which gives excuse to increase the salaries of the next level down to justify their own salary increase so that the next level down must be increased to justify their own further increase….

    • mikesh 3.2

      Galbraith, in one of his books (Economics and the Public Purpose), suggested that corporations should be regulated once they reach a certain size. This would seem to be a possible solution to the problem.

      • ianmac 3.2.1

        How could a big firm be regulated?

        • WeTheBleeple 3.2.1.1

          If the upper managements wage can only be raised if the lowest paid get a raise (CEO wage = x times lowest paid) we'd see CEO's attempting to raise the game over the entirety of their organisations, rather than fudging numbers to buy another yacht. It is the gutlessness of governments having these parasites as bed partners that sees little oversight/regulation at top level. We see CEO pay go through the roof, taxes avoided, criminal negligence, back hand deals – as a matter of course – not anomalies to be scrutinised. In a just and fair society we'd all be under scrutiny if it were warranted, not just the poor who, let's face it, are mere distractions to hate on while the real crooks run rampant.

          • David Mac 3.2.1.1.1

            Ethical investing is on the rise. The term usually relates to the industry a particular corporation is involved with. Perhaps it's time for the term to include how employees are remunerated.

      • Nic the NZer 3.2.2

        Actually this is normal procedure in many areas. Problem seems to be the big ones seem to have so much influence that the regulations are often more lenient the bigger the corporation.

        For example ANZ got to use its own risk models by virtue of size while smaller banks have to use standard ones. We know that ANZs was more lenient though they were appropriately pulled up for it.

        • Pat 3.2.2.1

          indeed it is more insidious than that…the regulation (often at the behest of the corporates) removes much of the competition and the ever increasing senior salary packages are designed to avoid any linkage and to provide the ability to buy off any likely opposed opinion

    • Andre 3.3

      If there is indeed any relationship between executive pay and company performance, it seems it's probably an inverse correlation.

      https://cooleypubco.com/2016/07/25/new-study-shows-inverse-correlation-between-ceo-pay-and-performance-over-the-long-term/

      It seems the old saying "pay peanuts, get monkeys" isn't quite accurate. "Pay more peanuts, get bigger monkeys" might be a bit closer to the mark.

      • Jimmy 3.3.1

        Theo Spierings of Fonterra!

        • greywarshark 3.3.1.1

          Edit
          The Peter Principle about capable/incapable upper management was put forward in 1968 after a lot of research.

          The Peter Principle is an observation that the tendency in most organizational hierarchies, such as that of a corporation, is for every employee to rise in the hierarchy through promotion until they reach a level of respective incompetence.

          https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/peter-principle.asp

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle

          That related to people who rose up the hierarchy within a business or group, till they achieved senior status.     These days top management is 'helicoptered' in and not necessarily with relevant information on the company's business.    Generic approaches meet the focussed requirements of the wealth creators, increasingly inclined to use conformist people thinking within a template, and then replacing those people with machines high on algorithms!

          So making bold changes is in, often for the sake of appearances, and usually results in sackings to boost profits in the initial stages and other 'smart' and fashionable moves and economies will give the appearance of dynamism and a lot of time is spent in supporting the brand as a front for customers and the general public, while the back is stripped down to its bare essentials, possibly by more sacking and sending the work overseas.

          This has happened with Spark, stripping its back office NZ employees and going off-shore (also happened with Fairfax Newspapers).  Employees in NZ can be sacked on the whim of a customer's perception, when they reply to questions about satisfaction, with 8 out of 10 being considered bad.   This is an excuse to send jobs offshore; in January 2019 the 'change' team had 98 staff in NZ, 23 overseas.  End of October, 75 NZ, 120 overseas.     https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/117059307/angry-spark-staff-say-kiwi-jobs-being-replaced-by-outsourcing

          Farmers are said to be ringing up in tears over hits to their business;the present business approach of our governments under neolib free-marketing and being treated as pawns by the moneyed and their familiars in top jobs hurts us all.    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/402250/ringing-up-in-tears-canterbury-farmers-doing-it-tough

          • Jimmy 3.3.1.1.1

            I just had to mention Theo again as he is the best example (I could think of) of someone so over paid its obscene. (probably some good examples of bank executives also). And the really annoying thing to me is that the remuneration is not remotely performance based.

            • WeTheBleeple 3.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes he is a classic example of why we need to curb this nonsense. It's hurting everyone except the out-of-touch via poor payouts to suppliers, pricey goods and services, distrust in business, feeling comparatively useless/poor… And the gouging of once decent entities for profits as GWS outlined above. Within the government sector, gouging and stripping are the perfect prelude to calling a thing broken and thus an excuse to privatise. Then the gall they have to tell us how the business world know how to run things better, and the subsequent shittifying of once-were-commons.

          • OnceWasTim 3.3.1.1.2

            The Peter Principle is alive and well @grey, unfortunately. In fact it’s become worse than it ever was. 

            As I was trying to point out somewhere (maybe TDB) in relation to some of the immigration changes, skills and competence are not necessarily directly proportional to income/wages/salary.

            What's worse since the neo-liberal religion or faith took hold in Nu Zull, the ability to spin and speak the [management-speak] lingo will likely get you further up the food chain than anything else.  Right now, I’m waiting for 'Kaizen' to be recycled.

            A good bullshit artist (especially one from one of the Empires, parachuted in, OR with SFA understanding of the lowkill kulcha) will get you a long way.

            And unfortunately, some in the Labour Party have bought into it all. They may well have just had another close shave too with Iain Lees-Galloway now telling 'officials' to investigate resolving ways of pacifying the Indian community. 

            If they'd thought about things a little less superficially – there was a way of neutering Shane-Shane-Hold-the-Ladder-Steady's ego and bluster. It' seems Jacinda (J1) might really be in need of a J2 if things don't start happening soon (and that's coming from someone who thinks she really needs to stick around a while!)

             

            • Nic the NZer 3.3.1.1.2.1

              I tend to separate what Tim is talking about from the Peter principal. Too many of the best examples seem to thrive in these new speak management positions with all the right lingo and jargon and none of the competence. The problem is often with the accepted standards of people in the roles. This also means often enough the people who are more capable can't occupy these positions effectively either, as overperforming reflects badly for the rest of the team.

              • I don't disagree @ Nic. The two observations/experiences are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

                I think you'd probably have to agree tho' that the GOOD bullshit artist/used-car-salesman/senior public servant comes with an ability to look his Munster directly in the eye, and 'lie' (spin/obfuscate/be frugal with the truth/pretend to be "onside"/'mis-speak'/shift blame to the likes of "junior staffers" or other peons and worker-bees), convincingly with a straight face.

                It's quite effective really, especially where the Munster doesn't have a particularly good bullshit detector, or even if he/she is basically a nice 'glass half full' kinda guy..

                But let's not get too deep though eh? or I’ll be force to clutch my crystals and beads and start stressing.

                • Nic the NZer

                  I think the best excuses are of the form of ignorance. Oh, executives should know about that, I think that department over there is rewriting our policy now in wake of these unforseeable circumstances.

    • Cricklewood 3.4

      I don't know how you could regulate for it but I'd like to some exec salary increases pegged at 1/5th of any general increase.

      For example union negotiates 5 percent under a collective exec's gets 1 percent.

      This does two things, makes it advantageous for mamagement to negotiate in good faith and secondly it will slow runaway salaries up top and narrow inequality slowly.

      For example if you get a five percent increase on 50k you gain 2.5k whilst an exec on 100k would only gain 1k.

      Currently if they both get 5 percent the exec gains 5k and the wage gap continues to grow… I feel this is a practical step to help close some of those gaps in society little by little.

       

  4. Adrian Thornton 4

    Second Whistleblower Emerges from Investigation into Douma Chemical Attack

    Caitlin Johnstone flags a report about another member of the OPCW investigation who says his findings, which contradicted the official conclusions, were suppressed.  

    https://consortiumnews.com/2019/10/30/second-whistleblower-emerges-from-investigation-into-douma-chemical-attack/

    Funny I haven't seen RNZ take up this story, even though they were happy to give headline news space to the original now largely debunked claims…seems fake news only applies in one direction.

    • Francesca 4.1

      Postol's report on Khan Sheikoun was also suppressed for the same reason.Namely because it would give succour to the Assad "regime"

      Forget about the integrity of scientific institutions

  5. UncookedSelachimorpha 5

    I just signed the petition against police Armed Response Teams.

    The police response to the CHCH attacks was rapid and effective  – and I doubt would have been different if armed response teams were floating about (what is the chance they would have been at Deans Ave right then…?). I have not heard that a problem with the South Auckland violence issue is slow armed police response time. The ART's are just an implied threat of violence and can go wrong in so many ways. Police would do much better by gaining trust of communities.

    Americanisation and militarisation of the police is not the right direction for Aotearoa.

    If you agree, consider signing the petition!

    • greywarshark 5.1

      I don't know if people have referred to previous get-tough teams set up by police that have had to be disbanded for becoming constantly more violent and OTT action-oriented.    Someone may remember the details or find them on google and put up the link.   I have to goooo…

    • Dukeofurl 5.2

      " I doubt would have been different if armed response teams were floating about "

      No quite . The terrorist was able to move unhindered to another Mosque  to kill more worshippers and was on his way to a third when stopped by an ordinary police patrol….it was 18 min from first call to  the sucessful stop.

      No one is suggesting that a Aos Team had to be outside Masjid Al Noor at Deans Ave 

  6. Andre 6

    Remind me again, what is it called when you try to put cash in the hands of those that are about to sit in judgement of you? (Probably).

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/donald-trump-richard-painter-impeachment-felony-bribery_n_5dbb5316e4b09d8f97988a05

  7. A 7

    China and the ongoing torture, organ harvesting, sexual abuse and ultimately genicide – they can't speak up any louder…can you at least click on the story in the hope it is kept in the press?

    Worst parts are in last third of the page with links to other coverage like this one https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-a-million-people-are-jailed-at-china-s-gulags-i-escaped-here-s-what-goes-on-inside-1.7994216

  8. newsense 8

    NZ first and the coalition need to look at how many elections Shane Jones has actually ever won. Being abrasive isn't much of a vote winner, if you're not also a charmer like Winnie.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Some men equate abrasiveness with being a honest to god bloke that they can warm to and be on the same wavelength.

  9. greywarshark 9

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2019/oct/31/general-election-latest-news-brexit-labour-tory-real-change-is-coming-says-corbyn-at-labours-campaign-launch-live-news

    Here is a list of think points as the Brexit story continues.  There is always something new to ponder about, latest is Trump sticking his trunk into it, and denying that NHS forms part of the agenda, although he himself brought it up some months ago.

    Also from Radionz this morning a very interesting discussion from an informed UK political analyst.    Trump is so different and brazen about forcing through his agenda, this guy thinks the precedents he sets may result in permanent change to the political culture and rules.    And Johnson is following the same path.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018720269/where-power-stops-politicians-and-the-limits-of-power

    Although democracy in the west is in a precarious state, Prof Runciman [professor of politics at Cambridge University, David Runciman]  does not believe analogies with the rise of Facism in the 1930s are correct – he believes our present era more resembles the 19th century.

    The end of the 19th century was the last great age of populism in Britain, France in America, he says.

    …"It was a time of technological revolution; electricity, transportation and so on, a time of great inequality, the Gilded Age, the people who'd capture the wealth of the great technology revolution were then unbelievably rich and seemed powerful and untouchable, deep suspicion of banks and Wall Street, of the city of London, rising suspicion of foreigners, racism, anti-semitism. It has those echoes to me of a populist age, not of a proto-fascist age….

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