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Open mike 04/10/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 4th, 2010 - 41 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

41 comments on “Open mike 04/10/2010 ”

  1. ZeeBop 1

    With GST clearly cropping the poorest the most, since they inevitable have
    to spend more of their income hand to mouth (and now pay for the tax cuts
    to the rich because National borrowed the money).

    And with the huge student debt on would be middle class citizens.

    I was wondering, for fairness and balance, if we progressively tax
    the working poor, and the middle classes, why we don’t also have
    a tax on the wealth holders, a capital gains tax?

    Since the primary purpose of taxation is to pay for government,
    why should some get off paying their dues, and since the
    argument goes that student will earn more so should pay for
    their own education, then doesn’t it follow that the capital
    rich who profit from a working government also pay more???

    Am I missing something? Share the pain of taxation.

    • Vicky32 1.1

      I have always thought that a capital gains tax would be a brilliant idea! I don’t know why it can’t be done (if in fact it can’t) – and it should be done, IMO!

  2. or a capital tax (rather than just capital gains). Gareth Morgan’s big kahuna proposal has my support.

    • The Chairman 2.1

      There are dangers putting in place a high Comprehensive Capital Tax.

      Low-income earners (such as the elderly that are merely asset rich) will not be able to sustain the fiscal burden that comes with owning assets. And it becomes another hurdle for those trying to attain them.

      Moreover, people who develop long-term illness or become permanently injured will no longer be able to pay a tax that continues to tax regardless of income earned.

      I would have thought you were more the Financial Transactions Tax and Guaranteed Basic Income kind of guy.

      • ZeeBop 2.1.1

        A capital gains tax is not the same as a tax on capital.

        Financial Transaction tax is a very good idea.

        Government needs a tool to control bubble markets, in housing and in finance.

        By providing a tool, taxation, the government gets to syphon money off
        and redistribute it to pay for some of the detremential effects of the bubble

        Without such tools, government is left to pay the full cost, either in spending
        or in lost taxes from economic activity due to people having lost their retirement
        savings, or their homes due to default.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Government needs a tool to control bubble markets, in housing and in finance.

          That’s easy – ban banks from printing money using the fractional reserve banking system (Otherwise known as a Ponzi Scheme).

          • KJT

            All of the above. Note a capital gains tax is a tax on income from capital. Including gains in monetary value less between buying and selling. It can also be made net of gains due to inflation. Not capital. Like any tax it can be charged only when the income is realised.

            • The Chairman

              To clarify, I was discussing a Comprehensive Capital Tax (Gareth Morgan’s Big Kahuna).

              Nevertheless, when it comes to a capital gains tax on property I’m not that opposed. However, a capital gains tax can also be attained from taxing the perceived annual increase, which is merely an on paper gain as opposed to an actual fiscal gain. This, I’m not comfortable with.

              Gareth Morgan’s Big Kahuna is a Comprehensive Capital Tax on assets owned regardless of income earned – i.e. such as an annual land tax based on the value of property (not to be confused with a capital gains tax).

  3. Carol 3

    Can someone please explain to me why I am taxed (by NZ IRD) on my savings & investment accounts, and on my UK state retirement pension. I’m not really bothered that I pay it, but others must be in the same position. This is not money that delivers a very high return, and wasn’t I already taxed when I earned the money? (My UK pension is not a universal one like the NZ one, but is based on what I earned and paid into the superannuation scheme while I lived in the UK).

    Also, it kind of seems an anomaly that people in NZ getting NZ pensions and benefits get some compensation for the GST rise, by I don’t get that for my UK pension.

    I’m not really bothered about paying these taxes, but just curious as to how it fits into the overall scheme of things.

  4. Tigger 4

    So now the government wants to play faciliator between Actors’ Equity and Jackson…? http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4193178/Key-happy-to-facilitate-in-Hobbit-role But they already sided with the producers…

  5. prism 5

    This morning on NinetoNoon Kathryn Ryan is talking to one of the Hobbit film trio, Philipa Boyen?.

    antispam – explained

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    Didn’t see it, (and I’m guessing no one else here did either), but what’s this I hear about Paul Henry reckoning to the Prime Minister that Tāme Iti should be the next GovGen?

    Something like that at any rate.

  7. The Chairman 7

    Len Brown

    The media portray him as being left and have stated Auckland is turning left.

    But if he wins and introduces Private Public Partnerships will Auckland really have turned left?

    • The PPP debate always interests me. We use them now, every single road or motorway is built by a private company.

      The argument is do you need to use them to own and manage the asset. The only two times you would do this is:

      1. It is cheaper to do so.
      2. There is some added benefit that you would get.

      Overseas experience is that unless the financing costs can be reduced there is no cost benefit. No entity can borrow money cheaper than the state.

      Claims of further added benefits can be made but unless they are clear then the answer to 1. should mean that a PPP is not worth it.

      Len is right that by all means a request should be considered. But I cannot think of any likely Council contract where the above analysis will mean that a PPP should be used.

    • BLiP 9.1

      You won’t be taking Labour Day off, then?

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      Yeah that’s right True Blue, treat your workers with some basic respect and with some basic minimum employment standards if you don’t want your big money making schemes to run aground.

  8. BLiP 10

    In addition to provisioning children with knowledge, schools are to begin conditioning youth to accept a reduction in civil liberties and compliance with authority.

    Worming their way through “the system” is the codification of new rules which allow teachers, principals, Board members and ancillary staff to restrain and strip search pupils.

    Draft rules were due to be released last month but, according to Minister of Education Chopper Tolley, were held up due consultation with legal experts taking longer than expected. It seems the Principals Association, and the group “Tough Love” are supporting the new rules, along with Labour education spokesman Trevor Mallard.

    • jcuknz 10.1

      Schools are a restricted area and it is perfectly reasonable for certain ‘civil rights’ to be modified for the safety of all … pupils are there to learn more than the three R’s and hopefully responsibility to others would be included as opposed to endless ‘my rights are’.

      • BLiP 10.1.1

        If there is concern that a student is armed or carrying drugs, call the police. Turning schools into quasi judicial enforcement centres where pupils are subject to random strip searches creates an environments of fear, opens to gates to “racial profiling” and who knows what sexual shenanigans, and detracts from their core function as being places of learning. What is a student going to learn about democracy when their schools are run like prisons?

        • Bill

          And when they pop off to MacDonalds ( r elsewhere) to do their shift and the boss says that he or she wants the staff member to strip down because they suspect something has been stolen and the whole idea of being searched has been normalised far more than it was five years ago when it happened to a staff member of McD’s in Dunedin…


    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Not that this is what you are talking about here, BLiP, but some kind of structured socialisation is helpful. There are plenty of kids kicking around these days who clearly would have benefitted with a bit more on that front. Who bothers to say “please” and “thank you ” any more – a sign of a lack of consideration for others?

      Further – rights come with responsibilities, and some kind of reciprocal contribution should be expected. Like not interfering with other kids who would like to learn in the environment even if you do not want to learn yourself.

      • BLiP 10.2.1

        If arbitrary strip searches will foster a learning environment, then the lessons aren’t worth learning.

  9. BLiP 11

    You there, lprent?

    The site appears to be having some issues, from my perspective. Its running real slow and after I tried editing a comment I got the message:

    Server error!
    The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request.

    Error message:

    Premature end of script headers: php-fcgi-wrapper

    If you think this is a server error, please contact the webmaster.

    Then, on reloading the page I got this message:

    Error 500


    Mon Oct 4 01:16:02 2010

    Apache/2.2.12 (Ubuntu)

    Content Encoding Error

    The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because it uses an invalid or unsupported form of compression.

    * Please contact the web site owners to inform them of this problem.

    Make any sense to you?

    [lprent: I’ll have a look at it.

    Sounds like one of the fast cgi processes got its knickers in a twist on the first one. That sometimes happens when we get invalid HTML breaking the code generation. The second sounds like the same problem when a process fails to finish and hits the timeouts (flushing invalid data back to the client).

    Which page did that happen on? ]

    • lprent 11.1

      Yep, the server had jammed fast cgi processes. Restarted apache and now I’ll have a hunt on the site to see where it is jamming.

    • lprent 11.2

      Nothing obvious and it isn’t repeating. The site load is pretty high today which tends to indicate either a great deal on reading or a rogue external process.

      I’ll have a scan of the IP accesses to the site.

      It could be yet another malformed spider trying to read the entire site in one hit. Nope. Nothing has been triggering the IP limitations. Odd.

      I’ll see how it goes for the rest of today and tear through the logs for 2pm-3pm in the evening

      • BLiP 11.2.1

        Seems to be rockin’n’rollin’ now. Hopefully it was just some sort of techno-burp. Thanks for responding.

  10. Draco T Bastard 12

    Fear and favor

    A note to Tea Party activists: This is not the movie you think it is. You probably imagine that you’re starring in “The Birth of a Nation,” but you’re actually just extras in a remake of “Citizen Kane.”

    True, there have been some changes in the plot. In the original, Kane tried to buy high political office for himself. In the new version, he just puts politicians on his payroll.

    The ownership of the politicians moves into the mainstream.

  11. Vicky32 13

    Seething quietly at Fatty Garner’s encomium about John Banks vs Len Brown… he did criticise Banks a wee bit for his not having his TV adverts up and running until this week – but with TV3 backing him, why does he need to pay for ads?

    • Lazy Susan 13.1

      Garner’s piece along with the Herald On Sunday story appear to be very thinly disguised rally calls to get out the Banks vote. Who are Phoenix rsearch and how credible is their methodology. I smell a big fat rat here.

      I urge the Brown team to get the message out there that this is a tight race and no time to be complacent regardlesss of what polls are saying.

  12. salsy 14

    Philippa Boyens: Speaks out

    Scotland, Ireland, Canada and Eastern European countries had entered the negotiations in a “feeding frenzy” inspired by the threat of union action.
    “Get this, Australia, (are) making a huge play for this production,” Ms Boyens said.
    She said Jackson had been given, as a courtesy, the opportunity to set-up The Hobbit in New Zealand.

    A former unionist herself, she accused MEAA of cynically targeting Sir Peter Jackson and The Hobbit.

    “They are talking to wrong people. It is not fair to use The Hobbit to set conditions for the whole industry. That is not fair, Pete is not going to do that.

    “(Boy director) Taika Waititi cannot afford that.”

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      I don’t know about some of those countries, but at least Australia and Canada have far stronger actor unions than NZ. Something funny about the assertions then.

      Also calling NZ actors ‘naive’.

      Well guess what, PJ and his crew haven’t demonstrated that they are any kind of fount of wisdom in sorting this out.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      Still doesn’t mean that we should lower our own standards.

    • Tigger 14.3

      What about the fairness of an entire industry working without minimum conditions? That doesn’t rate?

      Boyens actually used to run the NZ Writers Guild. And she’s gotten wealthy over the money she made from union contracts fought for by writers in the US against…you guessed it…the studios. But now apparently what’s good for this goose isn’t good for anyone else.

      All Equity want is a discourse and some fair minimum conditions…they, far more than Boyens, protected in her Hollywood shell and her minimum agreements she works under, understand how the industry works here.

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