Open Mike 02/04/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 2nd, 2017 - 25 comments
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25 comments on “Open Mike 02/04/2017”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    A long but fruitful read, by an ex Mayor of Cleveland, who grew up in poverty, and came to understand how the US financial system and it elites, creates inequality and poverty.

    Poverty is not an abstraction. People wear it on their faces, carry it on their backs as a constant companion, and it is heavy.

    Those of us acquainted with that condition often lack understanding of the nature of the material world, and, since access to material wealth seems random, are prey to the notion about wealth preached ironically by the Pardoner in The Canterbury Tales, “Radix malorum est cupiditas,” ‘The love of money is the root of all evil.”

    One does not need to have taken a vow of poverty to be poor, one needs only the unconscious or conscious acceptance of the underlying precepts of a class-based society, the meek acceptance of a doctrine of predestination, the assumption of one’s status as merited and the acceptance of a political economy that equates one’s personal wealth with one’s innate value as a human being, while the so-called invisible hand of the marketplace quietly dips into the public till, and “moral hazard” is a polite term for theft.

    Is it possible to lower taxes, AND have an equal, livable society with adequate public services, as the article claims? – by ending the banks’ role in creating debt?

    • John up North 1.1

      A very good read Carolyn, and very much mirrored here in NZ with all the public wealth earning assets also being move into private portfolios.

      On the same web page the article below this one is also of interest and speaks about a change in the Mississippi local govt policies regarding the unemployed/low waged/disabled etc and state assistance.

      Reads very much like those changes enacted here in NZ by Natz to remove by hook or crook as many people from the support systems of govt “so they can reach their full potential without being held back by dependence” would you like a wrap-around service with that?

      Having some real good conversations with young people around me as to how they feel about the current state of affairs in Aotearoa, seems our schools need to add something on politics and how govt works to the curriculum to go along side those courses on finances/budgeting, how credit cards and dept work, proper sex ed (including what is/isn’t consent), some actual real history on this bloody country (te tiriti, land wars, confiscation) and maybe a shedload on compassion for your fellow being!

    • lurker 1.2

      +100

    • Nic the NZer 1.3

      I have written some articles for one of these Positive Money groups some time ago, but no longer believe in it. The things which their proposals don’t quite grasp are,
      1) Money is a debt (for it to have any value some entity needs to accept it as debt defrayment), if you actually prevent banks creating money then you are ending bank lending.
      2) Its almost impossible to prevent bank lending, as its effectively a mechanism of a trade credit. The money that a bank has on liability is of a form that commercial banks create themselves, in their own accounts. As such you would need to treat ‘banks’ different in accounting to other businesses in any attempt to effect this.
      3) There is a mechanism where central banks will sell their own liabilities (bank reserves) in order to facilitate commercial bank settlement. In NZ the rate of this is called the OCR. If they don’t then banks can’t settle and defaults can occur. How this is modified effects what the reforms mean. One version of this is that for every dollar of commercial bank debts created these end up being backed by central bank dollars (meaning 100% reserves), which the central bank readily supplies (in the case that a central bank guarantee’s bank deposits, this is effectively already the case (e.g _not_ in foolish NZ)). In this case nothing changes, and the solution ends up being a meaningless change in accounting practice. In the other case central banks refuse to sell sufficient reserves or sets a very high interest rate (in NZ the OCR) on these reserves. If they refuse then inter-bank settlements default. The upshot of this is that interest rates are likely to be much higher under such a policy. Higher interest rates drive inequality as the lenders (obviously more than not the wealthy) do much better in relation to the borrowers.

      The reason people typically believe this will be sensible is often based on a faulty assumption about the relationship between price rises and the money supply. The assumption being that increasing money supply is causing price rises. More than likely the causal direction is reversed and if you measure increased prices and those higher prices were paid then more money has been created to facilitate the payments.

      The whole thing in reminiscent of the implementation of Monetarism in the 1970’s where governments tried to limit bank reserves (including government deficits) and
      (believing this had a facilitating relationship on commercial bank lending (this is called the money multiplier model in economics)) and so to control inflation. This idea collapsed as a theory shortly after being tried because bank reserves never limit commercial bank lending (and they continued to grow regardless).

    • The Chairman 1.4

      “Is it possible to lower taxes, AND have an equal, livable society with adequate public services, as the article claims? – by ending the banks’ role in creating debt?”

      Look at banking returns then consider what impact those returns would have if they remained in public hands.

      • Nic the NZer 1.4.1

        These, 100% reserve proposals don’t attempt to nationalize bank profits into public hands however. That could be (and has been) achieved by various forms of commercial bank Nationalization, but to the extent this is useful its not that helpful. The point of your countries finances is really not that they be ‘profitable’, your countries finances being ‘profitable’ is often not a socially equitable way to run a nations finances.

        • The Chairman 1.4.1.1

          Ending banks’ ability to create debt would end their ability to function as selling debt ultimately leads to creating it. As a result, banking would require to be nationalised.

          The extent of how useful those returns become when transferred into public hands is largely dependent on how the funding is utilised. But there is no doubt current banking returns would be a major boost to the public coffers.

          Whether or not banking operates as a profit making enterprise (if nationalised) would still result in returns largely remaining in local hands (either via consumer savings or new government returns) further benefiting our economy.

          • Nic the NZer 1.4.1.1.1

            “Ending banks’ ability to create debt would end their ability to function as selling debt ultimately leads to creating it. As a result, banking would require to be nationalised”

            No, they can still facilitate the transactions between debtors and borrowers under such a banking model. The positive money group were always explicit that private banking still was possible under their proposals. If anything banks are already as nationalized as far as is absolutely essential, they are already subject to total reserve bank regulation just to get a license.

            “The extent of how useful those returns become when transferred into public hands is largely dependent on how the funding is utilised.”

            The ability to access ‘funds’ already doesn’t effect the governments budgeting process. This argument is a non-sequitur.

            • The Chairman 1.4.1.1.1.1

              No. Ending banks’ ability to create debt would end their ability to function as selling debt ultimately leads to creating it.

              You’re talking about reserve settings, which can curtail their ability to sell debt, not end it, period.

              The governments ability to access funds is not the same as the government earning its own funds.

              Thus, the government accessing funding generally requires them to go into debt, hence resulting in debt repayment having to be budgeted for.

              • Nic the NZer

                “No. Ending banks’ ability to create debt would end their ability to function as selling debt ultimately leads to creating it”

                I think you will find in a typical mortgage loan the bank doesn’t sell the debt, it buys it from the mortgagee. Of course as long as your banks can still make payments then they can buy debts which are for sale in some form. Maybe you are actually proposing outlawing mortgages (or other debts) but that is not what these full reserve banking proposals do by any means.

                “Thus, the government accessing funding generally requires them to go into debt, hence resulting in debt repayment having to be budgeted for.”

                Actually anybody who knows anything about macro economics knows that a country with its own central bank can always make payments or set its own budget at all times. This is true even if they borrow the funds for monetary policy setting reasons. Your premise that the country is financially constrained in setting its own government budget by commercial banking is simply invalid.

                • The Chairman

                  I’m not talking about reserve settings, thus the banks’ ability to create money, I’m talking about ceasing their ability to create debt. Therefore, nationalising them.

                  My argument is the country would be financially better off, thus less fiscally constrained if banking returns (if nationalized) were added to the government’s coffers. Instead of going offshore and into private hands.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    So you literally suggest to abolish mortgages and other debt contracts, unless they are nationalized banks I guess?

                    On your other point, the country is not fiscally constrained as it stands, all it needs to do is write a budget and then that budget happens. Its happened every year since you or I was born. In no cases did the NZ government have any trouble paying anybody who works for them (with the obviously unrelated exception of the Novopay debacle, and the like).

                    • The Chairman

                      “So you literally suggest to abolish mortgages and other debt contracts, unless they are nationalized banks I guess?”

                      That’s the one.

                      On my other point, it wasn’t the country is fiscally constrained, it was it would be less fiscally constrained – i.e. the government would be in a better fiscal position earning more funds as opposed to borrowing.

  2. I don’t think this sort of petty attack will help Tamati Coffey’s chances in the Waiariki electorate:

    Don’t get caught out this morning – or on Sep 23rd. #changethegvt

    Move like the Maori Party
    Remember to take New Zealand backwards –
    #daylightsaving

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tamaticoffey2017/

    That’s on his Facebook page that’s authorised by the Labour Party – do they approve of this backward approach, or is Coffey acting on his own? It will be interesting to see where he ends up on the list, I think he is one Maori candidate not putting everything on the line as an electorate candidate.

    • JanM 2.1

      Many in the Maori world are genuinely angry about the shenanigans the Maori Party are involved in which they can see are against their better interests. Tamati is entitled to express his anger, and humour is a legitimate way of doing that. I think it is funny – hopefully so do a lot of his potential voters.
      You are just being silly.

      • Pete George 2.1.1

        It seems to have been deleted now, so I don’t think I’m the only one who didn’t see as a funny way to promote Labour as a decent alternative.

    • millsy 2.2

      The Maori party belive in dismantling public health, education and welfare system and replace with iwi provision.

  3. Nic the NZer 3

    This Steve Keen lecture could be taken as a fairly direct criticism of the L/G sound finance proposals.

    http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.co.nz/2017/03/steve-keen-on-austerity.html

    @Mathew Whitehead, I think I made the same points to you the other day already. But Steve covers some details a little more thoroughly than that.

  4. Cinny 6

    Excellent episode of The Listening Post this week..

    Westminster Attack: The media’s “terror” template

    From breaking news to a familiar story: A deadly attack at the gates of the UK parliament has the news media reaching for well-worn templates and the government calling for greater powers of surveillance”

  5. The Chairman 8

    Hone threatens to pull his supporters backing of the Māori Party
    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/shows/2017/04/mana-party-leader-slams-m-ori-party-s-land-reform-bill.html

  6. Ethica 9

    Good Wellington mayor pays employees the living wage and saves money. Cuts out the contractor and employs workers directly. So sensible.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11830515

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    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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