Open mike 05/05/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 5th, 2020 - 169 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

169 comments on “Open mike 05/05/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    "While Edwards is certainly right in his observation that 'rebuilding the old order won't be good enough', that will not stop Labour from trying to do exactly that."

    The writer is reacting to Bryce Edwards, who wrote this to the Guardian: "If Labour is to embody the spirit of the times, it will embrace radical new economic policies. This means proposing new progressive income taxes, a wealth tax, a universal basic income, a massive state housing programme, and an overhaul of the public health system. And that’s just for starters."

    I tend to agree with the writer that Labour will try to get away with heading back to the future. If they, instead, campaign on a future plan, it will be a surprise. Even if so, unlikely to be a pleasant surprise due to their innate conservatism, which inevitably produces behavioural timidity. In a crisis, a bold courageous stance combined with a clever plan will work better. I suggest they get a grip on that.

    • Wayne 1.1

      Is this Labours election policy programme or is it just what Bryce Edwards would like it to be? I presume the latter.

      In my view Labour won't be as radical as that. It would simply be too expensive. And despite what the activist left think, it would be out of touch with what most New Zealanders want. Covid has already been an enormous hit to them. As much as possible they will want the past normality restored (you know, that neo-liberal hellhole where everyone had a job).

      Of course it can't be exactly restored, and the state is going to have a bigger role going forward.

      But I am pretty certain that New Zealanders won't want another radical economic revolution on top of the Civid induced crisis. And I am pretty sure the PM knows that.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        Although a brave plan that trends us toward a sustainable economy won't necessarily be seen as radical – even by conservatives. I'd like to see a design that retains elements of neoliberalism that make sense in recovery mode, while steering away from the prior modus operandi. The old truism that incremental progress is doable by most folk.

      • Incognito 1.1.2

        As much as possible they will want the past normality restored (you know, that neo-liberal hellhole where everyone had a job).

        You jest, surely?

      • vto 1.1.3

        Wayne "you know, that neo-liberal hellhole where everyone had a job"

        Jobs that pay less than it costs to live are not jobs Wayne, you dreamer.

        You mean that neo-liberal hellhole where many employers relied on socialist handouts via WFF to subsidise their business.

        I for one am happy to see all the foreign workers leave our lands and stop driving down wages. Maybe now all those feeble National-voting business owners can act in accordance with their beliefs and employ people in a free market supply and demand model. Pay rates that attract. Not cry for more socialism. Or import foreign slaves.

        The hypocrisy of business people like this make me puke.

        btw: hello to everyone again

      • bill 1.1.4

        As much as possible they will want the past normality restored …

        True. And generally speaking, people will support such efforts because they want their KFC or lattes or whatever else gives them a sense of comfort and security.

        And the upshot will be the annihilation of everything that provides those very tokens of normality when physics comes knocking in 10 years, or 3 years, or 20 years from now.

  2. Ad 2

    Taika Waititi is directing the next Star Wars movie.

    Come on Taika, bring back Temuera man.

  3. Muttonbird 3

    Josie Pagani clearly briefed herself on the National Party wish list. Perhaps it was delivered to her…

    "Delay the Election!" she says. Translation: National aren't ready.

    As I suspected; Paul Henry's "Rebuilding Paradise" is little more than a vehicle to promote a change in government and should be recognised as that and that alone. The clue is here:

    Pagani also says the Government needs to have a post-pandemic plan and New Zealanders should be a part of that.

    "They should have a plan. But not just 'they', that's the whole point, we all need to be part of that.

    For clarification Josie's "we all" is the National Party. She then says people are getting impatient and antsy but wants to delay the election. Which is it, Josie?

    At the end of this piece she asks New Zealand to forget about what the government has done so far, to not show “gratitude for the fact that we’re not getting too sick”.


    • Ad 3.1

      Josie Pagani is right on both counts of your quote.

      Robertson is doing his first decent pre-budget speech today. There appears to be no future plan for the economy except really large dollops of More Of The Same. Robertson has been near-invisible and let his PM do all the running. It is a political crime.

      And we all ought to be invited to be a part of this plan – it's really not that hard for the government to organize peak events with a national focus. Except there's no detectable will to do it. And no plan to start with. Except really large dollops of …

      • Muttonbird 3.1.1

        How did I know you'd agree with Josie Pagani on all counts.

        You are aggressively impatient the government hasn't presented New Zealand with a fully fledged vision of the future six weeks into a pandemic, calling it a political crime. That's the stuff of Leighton Smith on steroids.

        Delaying an election eight weeks isn't going to make a 50 year plan any more robust. The ground is still moving and we are already talking a trade and tourism bubble with one of our biggest partners. Seems like forward thinking to me.

        And what on earth is a peak event with a national focus? Political rallies? Nuremburg?

        • AB

          "And what on earth is a peak event with a national focus? Political rallies? Nuremburg?"

          I'd imagine something more like the "Economic Summit" that the newly-elected Lange Labour government held in 1984. In that case it was a superficially well-meaning talk-fest, but the actual high-level policy settings had already been determined behind closed doors and were of a neoliberal configuration.

          A contemporary Economic Summit would be somewhat different. It would essentially be a massive dose of finger-wagging from business organisations to stop Labour from fundamentally changing anything – other than loosening regulation, weakening employment law and giving them tax cuts. The current government would be mad to give them such a bully pulpit from which to shout and threaten.

          • Muttonbird

            Yep. And they'd leave themselves wide open to accusations from the RW of indulging in more talk-fests.

          • Ad

            If that's what you are capable of imagining, you probably shouldn't join in.

            A contemporary summit to rebuild New Zealand is not that hard to design. They would probably need to hold one once a year for several years in a row.

            But if you go into that kind of event with that amount of exhausting cynicism and lack of ability to think beyond what's happened before, the result is a pretty much foregone conclusion.

            • AB

              I'm capable of imagining many things – but I'm not unaware of how power operates, nor of the limits to cooperative solutions in a world of competing economic interests.

        • Herodotus

          Perhaps these speeches behind closed doors to the elite could be distributed in full to a wider audience e.g. recorded and accessed from a govt website ?

          Instead we may get a 30 sec sound bite on some news outlet, or have an isolated section framed to however the message sender wants it to suit their agenda.

          • Ad

            It's like you exist in a media timewarp in which all you can do is watch the 6pm new on TV1.

            • Herodotus

              So where do we get a full version of this "presentation" I have been to 1 or 2 previously and the sentiment of the breakfast/lunch was not what was portrayed in the media. And the Fin Min at the time, his presentation was not what you would think a labour Min would deliver. You could say it was tailored to the audience, yet how does the rank and file get to hear the inconsistencies ?

              And AD I can visit various blogs but they tend to also be tailored to their audience, and their audience reciprocates. 6 pm news is a little empty for me – as we have CV19, weather, weather, what sports news, weather and some fun items sent in.

        • Ad

          A peak event with a national focus was done dozens of times here in the three decades after WW2. It was part of a broad and lasting compact between business, government, and unions.

          The most recent version was the well known Growth and Innovation Framework, but there were many other national summits across the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s that drew people from all kinds of interests together.

          Smaller versions were also done across tens of thousands of citizenry after the Christchurch earthquakes, which resulted in myriad community organisations seeded and set up.

          It seriously amazes me that the left on this site spend all day bleating about how this government isn't being radical or transformational enough in its plans, and how amazing the Prime Minister's leadership is, but when it comes to actually leading something that would enable citizens to bring their ideas and community capacity out into the open, out come the charges of Nazism.

          Muttonbird, the left exemplified by people like you are too screwed up in negativity and cynicism to be any use to the future of this country.

          • Muttonbird

            I'm the negative one? You are far too sure of your pulpit and far too unaware of your own negativity.

            I've often thought you are two different people the way you swing from short, chest-beating bouquets to angry, divisive brickbats within minutes.

            And contradictory. You ask for direct and radical action in one breath and a series of town hall meetings the next.

            Ad, seems you and your stablemates of the stale centre are too stuck in the past to be of any use to the future of this country.

            • Ad

              Town hall meetings are so last century. Are you not aware you are testing ideas in writing in front of thousands of people? This is one of the "town halls".

              I seriously don't understand how you can waste this week avoiding how to imagine engaging with the whole of New Zealand.

              Has these last six weeks failed to raise your imagination about expecting more from government? We've had faster and more effective governmental action and leadership with a specific plan that was successful across the entire country than we have had in years.

              Expect more.

              We've had Ardern's cajoling pulpit for two months. We can be done with that style.

              This government can figure out how to engage, not just command.

              Free your mind Muttonbird.

              • Poission

                We've had faster and more effective governmental action and leadership with a specific plan that was successful across the entire country than we have had in years.

                Is it not fortunate that we had that plan,sitting in the bottom drawer of filing cabinets .

                The pandemic plan always had wage subsidies for mandatory quarantine and lockdown.The economic part of the plan would have been enacted,whoever was in government.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Who knew?? I assumed our govt just copied Europe (faster) who copied China. Or was the plan drafted to deal with those other epidemics that fizzed? Or was it something generic produced by WHO last century?

                  • Poission

                    There were a number of response scenarios for generic epidemics,in the pandemic scenario of fast containment (such as lockdown and border control) they did look at how China responded and formalized the full monty response (with caveats) which allowed for a little leakage (cruise ships and self isolation for travellers)

                    The plans there are a number,have mostly came (and are evolved from) agriculture such as FMD or horticulture such as invasive species) where significant hits to the economy,would occur.

                • Stunned Mullet

                  This is an important point – suggest if people haven't read an iteration of the NZ pandemic response plan they do..


      • Peter 3.1.2

        It's a bit early in the day for me to work out exactly what you think Robertson should have done. Could you be specific? Say it's March 1st, what have you penned out as your plan for the next three months, six months, year and three years?

        Then, it's April 1st, what have you penned out in front of you?

        And it's May 1st and what have you got now, that 'future plan for the economy' which would see that no-one in any mind at all considering accusing you of a 'political crime?'

        I'm particularly interested in the bit about 'we all' ought to be invited to be a part of this plan. In the way you have it working, how am I to take part, and our neighbours and the ones at the soccer club?

        The 'organizing peak events with a national focus' sounds good too. What do you have in mind? How is that to work? You say it wouldn't be hard to organize. You obviously have the will the politicians apparently don't have, and the plan.

        I'd love to know what you have in mind.

        • Ad

          It's not too early to start planning.

          If it's too early in the day for you to think, put your keyboard away and wait for a bit before you start writing. And seriously if it's too hard for you to look up what previous summits achieved for New Zealand, stop trying to tell anyone you can think because you're both too lazy and intellectually tired to do anything of note except whine.

          To state the bleeding obvious, Budget 2020 is in just over a week.

          Today is Robertson's first go at a pre-budget speech. Far too late in the national context, but it's a little start.

          He should be able to generate a plan with the number of signals that the economy has been sending. Unemployment, private debt, public debt, businesses failing, regions collapsing, sectors on life support, entire chunks of the economy shifting under our feet. There's plenty of clear shapes to start with.

          You really think planning a nationwide plan is hard? The NZ Health system did it in a month. Successfully. World-beating success.

          MBIE, Treasury, and DPMC have more than the collective policy capacity of MoH. Time they did some work. And time Roberston stopped hiding and started doing the kind of work with the economy that the Prime Minister (supported by NZPolice, Civil Defence, MoH, DHBs, etc) has been able to do across our entire social order for the last two months.

          Government must provide us with the mechanisms for citizens to rebuild New Zealand.

          • Stunned Mullet

            You really think planning a nationwide plan is hard? The NZ Health system did it in a month. Successfully. World-beating success.

            Cobblers… The NZ health system chose to implement a pandemic plan that was largely already in place.

          • Peter

            I didn't realise I was being lazy and intellectually tired and doing nothing of note except whine. I thought I was asking you to explain why you meant.

            It looks from that you think there should be some sort of national forums. Earlier you said, "We all ought to be invited." You seem to see Robertson involving large and 'smaller versions done across tens of thousands of citizenry' with 'myriad community organisations seeded and set up.'

            You want Robertson to organise a big talkfest / bunfight to formulate the shape of the budget?

            Earlier I asked you for your grand timetable. No response to that. So should Robertson have had such a scheme on his plan for January, February, March or April? I thought it was most sensible of me to invite explanation.

            One bit which I find risible is the notion floated that Robertson and co. haven't thought about the future.

      • mauī 3.1.3

        Of course if you just look at the words – she's right… but this is coming from someone who has made a career out of undermining the Labour party, not some champion of the local community.

        She also set up her own Labour "think tank" a few years ago. Yet for an "ideas" person she seems to have little idea what New Zealanders want or need at the moment. One can only conclude that this underhanded leopard hasn't changed it's spots.

      • Tricledrown 3.1.4

        Ad,Looking back at economic crisis over the last Century.When your economy has a sudden downturn.

        The proven strategy is to pump large sums of money into the economy to keep economic activity as high as possible.If you don't your economy bottom's out ,Making a recovery more difficult starting from a much lower point.

        Geithner a right wing economist under the Bush administration .Geithner is considered the world's foremost expert on the economic history of recessions and the Great Depression . His advice to Bush and the Obama govts was to prime the economy by QE/IoU debt swaps they pumped Trillions into the economy that was seen as not enough so Congress for the first time since 1914 printed a further 660 billion dollars to get liquidity into the market. That worked to a degree and prevented a complete collapse.But the lessons learnt as even Boris Johnston has said the biggest mistake was bailing out the big corporates and not the people on the street.A combined effort is needed.

        Ad you get a D- in economics a B+ in misinformation

        • Ad

          Geithner has not experienced a recession like this, nor did his work cover any of the Australasian economies, nor was he much chop on FDR's entire policy framework over four electoral terms. So he has not much relevance here.

          If you think his approach under Bush and Obama prepared the US economy for the next crisis, let me present to you the US economy just 10 years later. For a so-called economic crisis and recovery expert, Geithner's solutions are a complete and utter epic fucking fail.

          You may well be right that the only thing to do is Quantitative Easing, lots of untargeted subsidy whether your company is rich or poor, massive tax breaks for companies not individuals, tiny increases in minimum wage, minimal social welfare reforms, loosening RMA reforms to just pour more concrete, and not even trying to suggest what sectors might be better placed to assist and transform compared to others.

          Or maybe it's time to think.

      • Incognito 3.1.5

        Robertson has been near-invisible and let his PM do all the running.

        You sure know how to get the commentariat going, every time.

        The Wizard of Oz is called Grant.

        • Muttonbird

          Agreed. Ad is a troll and a liar.

          • Incognito


            That’s neither what I said nor what I meant. Quite the opposite, actually.

            • Muttonbird

              I apologise, Incognito. I know you put a huge amount of effort into encouraging commenters to be better and I failed you there. For some reason I have been thinking about that crying emoticon all day.

              But, I do see Ad as particularly aggressive and contradictory for the sake of it most of the time. To me his staccato, stream-of-consciousness style of writing is lazy and dismissive. Half the time no-one knows what he's talking about and this sub-thread is proof of that. There's not one comment supportive of his outburst – mostly people are confused. Ad then proceeded to attack them all.

              It’s all very well being an experienced Labour activist but if you can’t communicate properly then people won’t follow.

              Fact is, I read early this AM a regurgitation of Paul Henry's show where a known anti-Labour centrist attacked the government for what hadn't happened yet. Ad immediately calls Grant Robertson's performance a "political crime". Do they have history or something? If so, the forum should know about it.

              Anyway, arguing with Ad is pointless because he has all the answers apparently. I will however try not to drag you into it next time.

              Thanks for your work, and I think I speak for the forum on that.


    • Blazer 3.2

      Josie makes a good point…'its not about gratitude….forget about the Govt guiding us through the GFC and the Christchurch earthquakes,its about having a plan for the….future'!wink

      • Muttonbird 3.2.1

        Lol, yeah. The GFC and Christchurch are still regularly trotted out by the RW.

        • Sacha

          Ask anyone from Chch whether the govt response to eqnz was anything to be crowing about.

        • Bearded Git

          The Nats were only able to afford to respond to the GFC and the earthquakes because Cullen had put NZ's finances in order.

          • Tricledrown

            Bearded Git National had the luck of an 80billion dollar Capital injection of the insurance payout local govt and govt input of the ChCh quakes 30% of our economy.

            Accidental Keysian policy otherwise we would have had continual austerity.

      • Tricledrown 3.2.2

        Blazer this govt has largely done the right job,Not perfect but better than just about all the countries in the world except Taiwan and the Antarctic.So they deserve the compliments.As for a plan as above first you need to concentrate on getting Covid 19 under control.Then Prime your economy to minimize damage .Then work with Councils,Businesses,Education facilities to rebuild our economy.Keep pumping as much money into the economy as possible to help resuscitate.

        Rushing out a plan without any coherence would be a Dumb Idea.

        Trying to score cheap political points by crying Wolf over and over is a Stupid strategy especially when you look at Singapore which reopened its economy to soon.

        We have the best options now we can watch how other countries mistakes impact so we don't get pressured into panicking by drug addled panic merchants.

    • tc 3.3

      These opinionators often don't even have to craft the material anymore just run the party lines. Easy kaching for Pagani.

    • AB 3.4

      "As I suspected; Paul Henry's "Rebuilding Paradise" is little more than a vehicle to promote a change in government and should be recognised as that and that alone."

      Yep – it was pretty evident within the first 20 seconds of the first episode. Would be fascinating to hear the conversations and read the emails that led to him being given such a platform. I'm hoping for a whistleblower/leaker to come forward.

      • Gabby 3.4.1

        I'm sure a roust process including valuable input from Sirjonkyponyboy and Peda Goodfellas was gone through. Indepth rickns from Luxie coming up going forward no doubt.

    • Anne 3.5

      Sorry, I could only stomach half the link at Muttonbird @ 3. But it was enough to see that Josie Pagani hasn't changed. All she did is repeat what Jacinda Ardern – and Grant Robertson – have been more or less saying over the past 4 weeks, except she put it in a different context and then expects us to think… oh my, she's right that is what should be happening. Isn't she clever.

      It has always been her modus operandi. Just rinse and repeat what is already part of the curriculum and pretend its your own idea.

      This is her first TV appearance (as far as I know) since the change of government. Labour dumped her even before the last election and I think she's been persona non grata ever since.

      This is her way of… getting back at them.

      • millsy 3.5.1

        Josie Pagani has a son now, Joe, who has come of age and is recycling her talking points.

        Her think tank mysteriously went silent after the 2017 election.

        I feel like those on the Right are being allowed to set the policy agenda for a post COVID world.

    • patricia 3.6

      Muttonbird, @ 3…"Him indoors" turned to me and said "I thought it would be Michelle Boag

      That guy is still a R W tosser, and wants life as it used to be with …"Key'

      Yep!! I had to agree.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    "On Sunday, Australia’s Daily Telegraph newspaper published an article which is based on a leaked joint report from the intelligence services of the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It states that China suppressed crucial information about coronavirus, and that whistleblowing doctors were “disappeared.”"

    "The UK government has refused to comment on it, which all but confirms its veracity." Dunno about veracity. Who has faith in spooks??

    "It stops far short of concluding that coronavirus was manmade, and was accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, though it intimates that the US takes a different view on the likelihood of that". No proof, so all are free to choose their own conspiracy theories.

    "But how we respond to China is knotty. The question as to whether coronavirus came from a lab is unlikely to ever be known, in the sense that it is highly unlikely that it did, but that conclusion will never be universally accepted. That it suppressed information and was wilfully misleading about human-to-human transmission, is almost certainly true. The consequences of that, for human life, are vast". Well, who would expect a communist regime to be non-sociopathic??

    "Demons have been unleashed across America". Cool! I wanna see the pics on the tv news asap. And "people have been radicalised". Like 0.03% of the populace?

    "For many weeks, a city of 11 million people had all its food delivered via a centrally planned and controlled system. Tens of millions of people still have a mandatory app on their smartphone, declaring their status as green, yellow or red, which details their risk level and the degree to which they are allowed out of their home."

    Seems to have worked though, eh? Working models of regulatory regimes have a natural tendency to be copied elsewhere. I bet some bureaucrat is already proposing our citizenry get colour-coded, but doubt kiwis will allow such a scheme to get traction. Could be sold as a fashionable new form of tribalism, perhaps. The Nats may clamour for blue, NZF for black.

    • I Feel Love 4.1

      Pretty much all govts would have acted the same, the US and Britain are still in denial & refuse to take responsibility for their own fuck ups.

      AFAIC deal with shit at hand, it's like sitting in a burning house and refusing to deal with it because someone else set it on fire.

      Also, pandemics are inevitable, most countries were just caught short, some have been able to deal with it, some have not.

      • dv 4.1.1

        Trumps comment re china

        They couldn't put out the fire."

        Latest china figures 83k cases, +2 yesterday, 4633 deaths and 0 yesterday!!

        Looks like the fire is out

        Compare this to the USA

        1 188 000 cases +27k yesterday, 65000 deaths and 1154 yesterday.

        And Trump says

        'I'll tell you one thing. We did the right thing


    • bill 4.2

      Who has faith in spooks?

      The Steele Dossier’s pee tapes and the Mueller investigation. 'Western mainstream' media being seeded with 1001 baseless stories about Russia post 2016… when they weren't running front pages on "anonymous intelligence sources" claiming shit about Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Nicaragua, Brazil….

      I see the latest target is Mexico. (David Agren pieces in The Guardian)

      – sigh – plenty of people (it seems) have ample faith in spooks.

  5. Peter Theil is back with an"app" similar to the same one Glenn Greenwald warned of? So was John lying? why is golf so important? I can't amagin a Prime Minister playing netball all the time. And, how many countries can you be a citizen of?

    • Blazer 5.1

      So many questions Martyn and so little information to attempt any answers.

  6. ianmac 6

    I like the feel of a better way to develop soil health. This "regenerative agriculture and holistic grazing" sounds like it ought to be thus. The article from Mark Anderson's farm warms my greenish heart.

  7. Stephen D 7

    Thoughtful and interesting from the ODT.

  8. Tricledrown 8

    Roger Douglas has made some spurious claims.That don't even make libitarian sense.

    He says small businesses should be given money and only if they are doing badly.That means those paying tax subsidise those who are failing.

    Grant Robertsons universal subsidies are fairer to everyone.

    Roger Douglas seems to be deliberately repeating the National Parties policy position of backing losers as opposed to ACT libitarian policy.

  9. Adrian 9

    One thing I agree with Roger Douglas on is about not giving wage subsidy money to big accounting and law firms. Every lawyer and accountant I know off is working from home and I bet you anything you like they are double dipping. Fraudulent bastards.

    • Tricledrown 9.1

      Adrian after the dust has cleared any company which hasn't had a 30% or more downturn will have to pay it back.

      Then trying to get enough highly skilled staff to administer the pay out would take months then more months for the money to go into circulation.

      This is a simple Universal Benefit that goes into the Economy Now when its needed to minimize Damage.

      It's easy to take pop shots like the Bankrupt Pig Farmer whose ideology has long being proven disasterous.. Read up on What happened to Argentina when the IMF put ACT policy into law 1996-97.


      Ideologies and ideologues don't look at scientific or economic research but stubbornly stick to their ideology even if it does the opposite of what they claim.

    • RedBaronCV 9.2

      Yep the accountants can do most if not all their work from home. Funny though some of BDO firms are on the list.

  10. pat 10

    "Mr Campbell says he twice tried to get tested for the virus but was knocked back each time – first by the Austin Hospital and secondly by a Department of Health tracing team – because he wasn’t sick enough"

    "However, the Eaglemont contagion was virulent enough to run through three generations of his family, with his daughter, her husband and their three children all contracting COVID-19. The youngest of their children, aged just nine, became seriously ill."

    Aussie are doing it so much better eh?

    • Adrian 10.1

      Why does The Virus attack some viciously and others even in the same family with equal exposure hardly at all, even if age, smoking, underlying health etc are eliminated or not present ?. That I think will be the key to controlling or eliminating The Virus,not a vaccine which may never be successful but the clever money should be going on resistance research because that must be where the answers are.

      • Andre 10.1.1

        Trying to tease out the exact factors that cause one person to be hit hard or even killed, compared to the next person that is infected but barely affected, is usually a fool's errand. There's just too many potential variables.

        Whereas as a vaccine, which effectively trains your immune system to recognise and destroy the harmful invader before it does significant damage, is a proven successful method of protecting from a virus. Vaccines against viral disease were successfully developed and used a century before viruses were even shown to exist.

        You may have hears there has never been a vaccine developed against coronaviruses. That's only true of human coronaviruses, there's a bovine enteric coronavirus that there is a vaccine against.

        Up til now, there hasn't been a huge incentive to develop vaccines against any of the human coronaviruses. The strains that cause colds are only responsible for a small proportion of colds, so a vaccine against any of the cold coronaviruses would do bugger-all to reduce the frequency of colds, there's a huge number of different types of virus that also cause colds. MERS and SARS are also caused by coronaviruses, but those epidemics burned out so quickly that there was no longer any need for vaccine long before any potential vaccine had a chance of getting through the development process. But with the current coronavirus, there’s huge incentive to develop a vaccine, and it’s extremely unlikely the demand for one is going to disappear before one is developed.

        Then there’s the question of drugs that interfere with the virus enough that it’s no longer such a harmful disease. That has been done for a few other viral diseases, such as HIV. But it’s quite difficult to make something that works. Maybe SARS-CoV-2 might prove to be the exception where something is found that works well against it.

        • I Feel Love

          It is an odd virus, Drs baffled about "oxygen saturation lower than 50% & people still talking and walking" when apparently they should be comatose. Drs baffled as it goes against everything they know about human biology, the long term effects are going to be very interesting.

        • Adrian

          But no successful vaccine has been produced for a corona virus so far. MERS is still a problem in Saudi and other pats of the middle east.

          • Andre

            MERS really isn't a problem. Unless you're in the habit of getting really up close and personal with camels.

            There's been a grand total of around 2500 cases of MERS in humans in the entire history of the universe, almost all of which appear to have been transmitted from camels. The very few of those that appear to be human-to-human transmission are almost all related to caring for a MERS patient without taking personal protective precautions.

            Nevertheless, even with the tiny number of cases involved and the tiny risk of human-to-human transmission, vaccines against MERS are well underway with results likely within the normal vaccine timeframe of ten years or so.

            Here's a report of one in initial trials:


            The incentive to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 is many orders of magnitude greater than for MERS, so we can expect quite a lot more effort and a somewhat shorter timetable.

  11. Tricledrown 11

    Adrian this is a very tricky Virus and seems to be able to trigger the immune system to breed more white blood cells which it looks like it breeds on and replicates more rapidly.

    So every one's immune system has a different response.

    Smokers seem less likely to catch Covid 19 ,yet when a smoker becomes infected the recovery rate is only 20%.₩

  12. Adrian Thornton 12

    Of course this shouldn't need to be said, but if you consider yourself even vaguely on the Left or have any empathy at all with workers/human rights you can not buy from amazon…no excuses..none!

    Amazon VP quits over whistleblower firings in scathing blog post

    • bill 12.1

      Sure. And those same good people will be demanding proper pay rises for the supermarket workers and others who were indispensable for them getting through lock-down.

    • Wensleydale 12.2

      Yes… there are tiny islands of guilt, shame and remorse, even amongst the innards of a giant tentacled abomination like Amazon. Sadly, most people end up subsumed into the rapacious whole, and the individual evils they witness each day all blend into a tolerably beige smear. Well done, Tim Bray. You're unemployed during one of the worst times to be unemployed, but you stood on principle and that won't be forgotten.

    • gsays 12.3

      I agree about Amazon, and will offer Facebook as another for any decent human being to boycott.

      To still be streaming the Chch mass murders after the perp was in custody….

  13. bill 13

    Might interest some. Live now. Moore and Extinction Rebellion livestream.

  14. Dennis Frank 14

    Quicker on the draw than Jacinda: "The “time has come” for universal basic income (UBI) in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has said. Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, the first minister said there will be “constructive discussions” with the UK government on the matter. Under the scheme, residents would be given a universal payment from the government, with some benefits scrapped."

    "The Scottish government has brought forward four pilots of a similar scheme in different council areas, but it is the UK government that has the ultimate power over creating a national scheme."

    "When asked about the move at the briefing, the first minister said: “The experience of the virus and the economic consequences of that have actually made me much, much more strongly of the view that it is an idea that’s time has come." "The first minister added: “Watch this space.”"

    Recently "Think tank Reform Scotland devised a detailed proposal for a UBI scheme." Think Tank Reform NZ haven't even formed yet. Perhaps the perfect excuse for Grant & Jacinda to evade the challenge.

    • pat 14.1

      How long do you think before that UBI becomes patently inadequate (assuming it is to begin with) and simply grows and embeds inequality and an underclass?

      • Dennis Frank 14.1.1

        Perhaps an economist could assay a metric on that but not me. I get your drift though and agree it could produce such a downside eventually. I'd hope they would design an adjustment mechanism to prevent that into their legislation but we'll see.

        I gather her talks with Boris are due to necessity to agree on the plan in principle – for constitutional reasons (even tho UK has no constitution) but she's clearly taking the initiative – which puts her ahead of all other `progressive' leaders in the world, right?

        Psychologically, the provision of equity as of right will seem an improvement to many. I hope it converts them into stakeholders. Non-voters may get lifted out of their apathy & depression if treated as more than a bunch of losers.

        • pat

          "Psychologically, the provision of equity as of right will seem an improvement to many. I hope it converts them into stakeholders. Non-voters may get lifted out of their apathy & depression if treated as more than a bunch of losers."

          Except that it does the exact opposite…it intensifies all that created those conditions in the first place.

          • Dennis Frank

            Well I don't see how it might do that. In any case, your opinion can't be evidence-based since no country has implemented a UBI, right?

            • pat

              lol…ask yourself what a UBI achieves…does it make the necessaries of life available?…does it restrict inequality?…does it prevent unnecessary consumption?

              • Dennis Frank

                I don't know the answers, and haven't seen evidence that anyone else does – although the answer to the second question is very likely to be no. I expect a suitable design would enable yes to become the answers to the first and third.

                I'd like to see a cabinet decision made to direct Treasury to do a feasibility study & come up with the optimal design. Then the govt could call for critiques from interested economists & see if there's any consensus in the feedback sufficient to merit amendment of the Treasury plan. That could be done in parallel with the select committee consideration of a draft bill.

                • pat

                  I'd suggest the answer to all 3 questions is no…certainly within the current system.

                  If we wish to provide the necessaries of life to all then UBI is not the answer…indeed I'd suggest it is a distraction to enable the opposite to continue.

      • bill 14.1.2

        How would it work if a UBI was at a perfectly livable level of $ and sat alongside welfare. And any remunerative work was taxed at 100% until the UBI payment was wholly abated?

        Maybe then, crap jobs that actually need done would attract a high wage and get beyond the UBI quicker than some straight up daft job (which could become historical memories).

        And on the other side of the coin – some jobs are deeply rewarding in non-remunerative ways, and they could pay lower wages and still attract willing workers.


        • pat

          If it sat alongside welfare you have removed the major argument for it.

          • weka

            the major argument to ditch welfare when bringing in a UBI is a right wing argument. No reason to not have a mended welfare bolted on, in fact this is the *only way a UBI would work.

            • pat

              You can call it a right wing argument iif you like but the fact remains that the major argument from all quarters is its simplicity and lack of bureaucracy….and that excludes a parallel welfare system.

              If you start to look into a UBI and start to do the numbers it quickly becomes apparent that it CANNOT provide the outcomes promoted…by left, right and centre

              • weka

                Sure, I don't believe a UBI without welfare will do much other than cause a whole bunch of poverty. Or maybe just shift the poverty around a bit (but still a net increase).

                The main argument for a UBI is to give people access to guaranteed income when they need it. The lefties who argue that it's also good because it means we can scrap welfare are either actually centrists/TOP voters, or haven't thought it through very well.

                However scrapping welfare and having a simplified system aren't the same thing. There's no good reason for not having a simple welfare system other than ideology (fear that people won't work, the need to punish etc).

                Or UBI with welfare bolted on. Or a hybrid.

                But the idea that a UBI can exist without welfare is demonstrably right wing, no matter that some lefties think it's a good idea. Without welfare how do disabled people live for instance? Or women on the DBP who can't work? Or people who are full time care givers who can't work? And so on. One doesn't have to look very far to see the appeal to the right. Economic coercion under a UBI would be so much simpler than all those welfare rules and hoops.

                • weka

                  btw, I think the drivers for scrapping welfare are quite different on the left and right. Lefties see WINZ as abusive and want to get rid of it and lose sight of the fact that social security is a good thing.

                • pat

                  What use is an income if it is patently insufficient?…we produce sufficient for our population…the problem is the distribution.

                  We need to acknowledge that what we (as a community) produce provides for that community…that may mean that some have less access to what they consider they 'deserve'

                  We can meet all needs(or maybe almost all)…but not all 'wants'

                  • weka

                    "that may mean that some have less access to what they consider they 'deserve'"

                    Who are you talking about there?

                    • pat

                      Everybody in effect….we earn a limited amount of foreign currency and what we spend that on determines much of our lifestyle. We could feed our population relatively safely, it may be a limited and seasonal diet but sufficient…we could house our population, and much better than we do…we could provide education … health care for our population does currently rely upon much from offshore but we can provide care.

                      What are the things we cannot provide that we currently spend those foreign dollar on?…everyone responsible to a degree…some more than others.

                      Its a question of priorities

                    • weka

                      sorry, not really following you. What you say makes sense generally, but I'm not getting the relevance to this conversation. Are you saying we can't afford a UBI? Or that it shouldn't be a priority over food and healthcare?

                    • pat

                      Im saying a UBI will not solve any of the problems its advocates purport it will….indeed it will exacerbate them.

                    • weka

                      everyone in NZ who needs to having access to $300/wk without stigma, having to jump hoops, and lose income in other ways, would certainly solve some problems. Call it a UBI, call it compassionate or economically rational access to the dole, it would help many more than are being helped currently. Needs a rent cap mind, but none of these things should be done in isolation.

                • solkta

                  Or people on the DBP who can't work?


                  • weka

                    I like to keep solo mothers as a class visible, but sure, there are a whole range of people affected by a UBI without welfare because they cannot work (I didn't list them all).

                    • solkta

                      But what you are doing is making solo dads a class invisible. They may be the minority of DPB recipients but they do exist. And they actually have a greater need for support and recognition.

                    • weka

                      Nope. You came along and added solo dads to the list, so now they're visible. Like I said, it's not a comprehensive list, people adding to it is a good thing. Make all the people visible.

                      Please don't police my language and politics. I know there are solo dads and I know they have their own needs. You are more than welcome to speak on their behalf and add to the conversation.

                    • solkta

                      Feminism has sort to police language for a long time and i have always been supportive of that. Solo dads are rendered invisible in general discourse is this is harmful to them.

                    • weka

                      all you had to do was say "solo dads too!" and I would have said "yep!". So it looks to me like it's more important to police my politics than to make the actual issues for solo fathers visible.

                      But seeing as you went there, and looking at your comment below comparing a solo mum with a solo dad, I''ll just point to the known economic disparity between men and women when a relationship ends. You can then argue if you like that women aren't more disadvantaged than men on becoming solo parents, and back that up with some research, or not, and run a what about the men argument, all of which still doesn't address the issues of solo dads on welfare and how they would fare on a UBI without welfare. /shrug.

                      Or, feel free to speak to the issues of solo dads on a UBI. This seems a much more productive conversation to me.

                    • solkta

                      My understanding of the economic disparity between men and women when a relationship ends is that the man is usually able to keep on working while the woman goes on the DPB or into or stays in lower paid work. If a man has gone on the DPB (or living just on UBI) however this is not the case.

                      The productive thing would be to talk about how people are affected without discrimination. Weka, i usually have a lot of respect for your opinion but in this regard i feel quite disillusioned.

                    • weka

                      I don't consider naming men's and women's issues as distinct to be discriminatory in the way you suggest. We can address both classes of people better by recognising the differences as well as the shared experience.

                      In addition to the income thing, there's also what happens to assets post-split, as well as the cost of raising kids and who bears that burden more. I'd be interested to know the % of solo dads that have had a relationship split as opposed to being widowed, and then where there is shared care vs sole care. Probably some interesting data there too.

                      But in the specific issue here, being on the DPB and that being replaced by a UBI and whether one can work or not, it would also be useful to look at the different experiences that women have from men. In this sense because they have differing experiences and needs. That’s not a slight on men.

            • Craig H

              Agree, I have Big Kahuna as reading material for the lockdown, and your consistently strong representation of the issues faced by disabled in accessing decent income support/welfare has really made me rethink how UBI would have to be designed.

              • weka

                Nice one Craig. Would love to see the UBI diversify out and people bring more ideas to the table.

          • bill

            If it sat alongside welfare you have removed the major argument for it.

            Well, here's another major argument then – if we have people running around doing whatever it takes to keep their head above water, then society will continue to use extraordinary amounts of power/energy, and that generates carbon, and we all die. 🙂

            • pat

              lol…well there is that…except much of we run around doing is unnecessary…as is the carbon emitted.

              • bill

                except much of we run around doing is unnecessary

                Yes. And connected directly and indirectly to the demands of jobs. So take out the unnecessary jobs – pay a universal payment people can easily live on and let politicians and their astronomers receiving a UBI figure out if they can hang it all from a capitalist framework. I'm sure they're smart enough to figure something out 😉

                • pat

                  I'd suggest they cannot…and that is why it hasnt happened.

                  We need to produce to survive, and as Keynes suggested we could do so by working less…we have traded that to enable some to have considerably more than they need.

                  Keynes a very clever bugger

                  • bill

                    I'd suggest they cannot…and that is why it hasnt happened.

                    The first bit is what I was slyly implying with my "they're smart enough" comment 😉 So…if we need to drop economic activity and the energy use that goes with economic activity, but we can't do that in the context of capitalism, then that's okay isn't it?

                    There are, surely, many different ways to produce things and distribute things in ways that take the physical world as it actually exists into account, and our imagination and creativity represent the 'limits of the possible' within that context, yes?

                    • pat

                      Yes there are….but they have to be 'voted' for…whether thats by election or action….and they havnt been and I see no indication they will be.

                      Do you?

                    • bill

                      They haven't been, not on any widescale fashion up until now, no. But there have been isolated pockets of people putting radically different ideas into practice.

                      And I saw no indication in 2019 that near enough every government in the world would bring the big floppy boot down on the economy…

                    • pat

                      the big floppy boot is temporary…what follows the big floppy boot is the key…and what I see from both the elites and joe public is a desire to return to BAU.

                      Not exactly encouraging.

                    • bill

                      Yup. Today I basically agree with that take. But perhaps in six months time when/if enough people will have registered their lack of enthusiasm for "a return"…

                      Anecdotally (and necessarily from a very small sample 🙂 ) It's not even close to every random person I speak to who looks at me sideways when I say I don't want want to go back to that trash. And most are quite ready to extol positive thoughts and feelings they've experienced/found as a result of lock-down.

                      And we aren't even out of doors yet 😉

        • weka

          "How would it work if a UBI was at a perfectly livable level of $"

          People have different income needs. As soon as you start talking about livable, it's an issue of targeting rates. Which is welfare not a UBI. UBIs are based on the idea that people can earn additional income without being penalised, but they're not based on recognising that a single 18 year old living in Winton has different income needs than a woman on her own with three kids living in Auckland.

          "And any remunerative work was taxed at 100% until the UBI payment was wholly abated?"

          That's what the current abatement rate does to TAS, and it's a major driver of inequality in NZ. Consider a solo mother who has to pay childcare and travel costs to a job, who ends up working for negative dollars. The only way around that is to pay her enough UBI so she doesn't need to work. How much is that? Now we're back to targeting payments, which is welfare. May as well keep welfare and remove all the punitive aspects (or have a welfare/UBI hybrid).

          • bill

            The only way around that is to pay her enough UBI so she doesn't need to work.

            Well yeah, that's the basic point I was trying to get across – try to make the UBI enough that people don't need to work. And as I wrote, run it beside welfare, not as a replacement for it.

            How much is that?

            Pass. Trial and error might be as good a way as any to find out – when no-one is signalling a need to find any soul destroying job to get by, then I guess the level will be about right.

            • weka

              People who are completely reliant on welfare can't afford trial and error, and I'm not sure that that would even work, because income need is so individual. I also don't see why it's a necessity to standardise income. The problems with WINZ are primarily ideological. Remove the punitive stuff, address the abatement issue, cap rents, and I think welfare would look very different. eg make the dole accessible to everyone who isn't working or has an income below a certain amount. No stand downs, no hoop jumping, just a couple of pages of form filling and an income declaration. I don't see how that is more bureaucratically onerous than IRD managing a UBI that claws back via the tax system.

              • bill

                $1000 a week. And free health care. Free education. Free childcare…etc. How's that sound? Hmm-k, maybe that would do something to capitalism that would get capitalists and their economists upset. And I guess some others locked into currently conventional ways of thinking might get upset at such crazy thinking too 🙂

                But anyway, the point about turning UBI on its head (ie – not treating it as some baseline people can climb up from, but as a plateau people can relax on) is pretty simple. We drop economic activity like a stone or we die. And sure, I understand that some will disagree when I say that's not hyperbole…and I also understand they’re wrong.

                • pat

                  What does that $1000 buy?…who's staffing the medical facilities?….where do the teachers come from?….or the childcare providers?…do they do it for love?…and can they have time off?…if they do who provides the service?…all that food we need, where does it come from?…what about that house provided, where did it come from?

                  • bill

                    The broad stroke answer to your questions are in another comment on this sub thread…

                    Comment 14.1.2 – Maybe then, crap jobs that actually need done would attract a high wage and get beyond the UBI quicker than some straight up daft job (which could become historical memories).

                    And on the other side of the coin – some jobs are deeply rewarding in non-remunerative ways, and they could pay lower wages and still attract willing workers.

                    And comment – So a lot of jobs would disappear, (ie – a lot of stupid activity wouldn't take place any more) while many essential and undesirable, but currently low paying jobs would attract premium rates to entice people to do them.

                    • pat

                      You dont however address the functionality of that system….as stated further up, the production still needs to occur even if its reduced production…and if you reward (monetary) to incentivise that production you repeat the the inequality aspect and debase that UBI payment.

                      You gain nothing while risking insufficient production

                    • bill

                      If I have to couch it in kinda conventional economic terms, then moving the UBI up or down according to necessary economic outcomes being met, and/or altering wage rates in different sectors to attract people away from their jobless lives …

                      In other terms, the money value becomes worthless and we feed, clothe, shelter and look after each other because that’s what we’re naturally inclined to do in the absence of negative incentives.

          • solkta

            So just to clarify, does a woman on her own with three kids living in Auckland have different income needs to a man on his own with three kids living in Auckland?

        • Craig H

          Minimum wage would still be required to avoid a fiscal collapse, but the charity sector often pays less, so people would feel more able to take that kind of work, or volunteer more.

          A system with 100% marginal tax rates would quickly eliminate all low paid work as paid work, whether it's a low wage or limited hours.

          • bill

            A system with 100% marginal tax rates would quickly eliminate all low paid work as paid work, whether it's a low wage or limited hours.

            Yup. So a lot of jobs would disappear, (ie – a lot of stupid activity wouldn't take place any more) while many essential and undesirable, but currently low paying jobs would attract premium rates to entice people to do them.

    • bill 14.2

      Quicker on the draw than Jacinda

      And in true Spaghetti Western style, the Spanish were quicker on the draw than the Scots. (Announcement made back in April)

      • Dennis Frank 14.2.1

        Cool, thanks. This bit is interesting: " Finland previously tried a two-year basic-income experiment with 2,000 unemployed residents that ended in 2019… Recipients reported they were happier and healthier".

        • KJT

          Canada also did one. Google. Mincome.

          • Dennis Frank

            I did, and the issue is live: "Anglican bishops across Canada say the pandemic has revealed the urgent need for a guaranteed basic income program; and they've written to the prime minister asking him to implement it."

            "Spearheaded by Geoff Woodcroft, bishop of Rupert’s Land, which includes parts of Manitoba and northwestern Ontario, the letter is signed by 28 of 29 of the church’s bishops, along with Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada."

            "Of all the issues the Anglican church has been involved in, this is as unanimous as it gets," said Woodcroft, noting the only reason not all bishops signed is because the Diocese of Athabasca, which includes Fort McMurray, is battling a flood."

            "The letter calls a guaranteed basic income an "affordable, just, evidence-based policy option." Citing the 1970s Manitoba Basic Income Experiment, or Mincome, and recent efforts in Ontario, the letter notes it would provide "beneficial returns in every aspect of our polity, from justice to health, from education to social welfare.""

            "It would not just be "an astute financial policy," it goes on to say, but also would mark "our identity as a country who cares for one another… a new social contract, defining a new relationship among Canadians, through the mediating role of our government.""

            • Dennis Frank

              Furthermore, it turns out the Mincome database custodian is a professor of economics. He testifies that the data has been preserved – in his report about the mythology that has grown around the experiment:

              I got the impression that most analysts have been deterred by the size and/or complexity of the data, thus filed prospective analyses in their too-hard basket. But it was ambitious and set out to answer some "big questions" he says. The only one he cites (the biggest??): "If people received a guaranteed annual income, would they use the increased economic security to remain in work and invest in education or, to use a ’70s reference, would they smoke dope all day and listen to the Grateful Dead?"

              Bit of a misapprehension here, as those in the latter category were always out-numbered by those who listened to Stones/LedZep/Floyd etc while high, but you get the drift. The fact that he provides no answer is telling…

              • KJT

                I read a fairly comprehensive statistical review of the income experience a while ago.

                On the whole, most people worked. Of the ones that didn't, most used it to extend their education, start businesses, look after children or mend their health. All economically positive outcomes. Those that didn't work, you wouldn't want to employ, anyway.

                I reckon UBI, is inivitable, by the way. When capitalist leaders finally have the penny drop, that capitalism doesn't work, when customers have no money.

                The problem with a liveable UBI, is that the economic benefits come years, or even decades,after its introduction.


                • weka

                  " Of the ones that didn't, most used it to extend their education, start businesses, look after children or mend their health."

                  That's a good point. If we measured production fairly and sensibly then a UBI debate would look quite different. At the moment it's mired in neoliberalism and the concept of jobs and paid work and the evil welfare.

                  "The problem with a liveable UBI, is that the economic benefits come years, or even decades,after its introduction."

                  How so?

                  • KJT

                    An article in itself. But examples are things like better educated, healthier and more entrepreneurial people, children brought up in a stable and supportive environment, more money at spending levels of society, redistribution, etc, take a while to bear fruit.

                    • weka

                      makes sense. So benefits accruing and building on each other and increasing over time too.

                    • KJT []

                      The USA's post WW2 tertiary education for veterans, is an example of benefits, of a program that must have simply appeared as a cost, initially, years and decades later.

                • Dennis Frank

                  There have been various reports in recent years of a groundswell globally, featuring right-wing advocacy of the thing. Probably due to the basic design emanating from Milton Friedman back in the '70s (he didn't call it UBI). An innovation drawing support from both sides of the political spectrum ought to be easy to get across the line, eh?

                  What's missing in Aotearoa is a politician ready willing & able to go down in history as the leader who got the job done. You know – like Rod Donald with MMP. A campaign leader.

                  • KJT

                    The right wing version of a UBI, replacing all welfare with a minimum subsistence payment, allowing, "tax cuts".

                    TOP's is an almost local example, though in their one, teamed with reducing costs such as housing. So not as Friedman's version.

                    Jumping immediately to a full UBI, is difficult. It will probably need an economic recession to get it? Short term ones are proposed or provided in many countries as an economic response to Covid.

                    At the moment, even getting welfare back to pre 90's levels seems to have too much opposition. Years of bene bashing having an effect. That may change when a few hundred thousand people find out the hard way how miserly our welfare system has become.

                    Even getting the welfare working group recommendations adopted will be a step in the right direction.

                  • solkta

                    There are many in the Greens who support UBI, but the Party is not going to push it forward if it means pushing some cohorts further into poverty.

                  • weka

                    What's missing in Aotearoa is a politician ready willing & able to go down in history as the leader who got the job done. You know – like Rod Donald with MMP. A campaign leader.

                    I think what's missing is a UBI model that might actually work. Once we have that, then it will be much easier to get people on board.

                    • KJT

                      Where I'm at, at present, is working towards a UBI, as an ideal.

                      Adequate and non punitive welfare is a first step.

                      Opposition to welfare comes from many people who cannot conceive of working without monetary rewards. So they project that onto others.

                      Thinking that with a liveable income most people would be like them, and stop working. Never considering that a great many people they depend on, are not motivated primarily by money.

                      Strange, considering all of them have the example of a mother. Who didn't need a monetary incentive to bring them up.

                      There are other options to a UBI.

                      German social insurance for one. Which is like ACC,extended to unemployment etc.

                    • weka

                      I'm good with that, and also favour mending WINZ and increasing benefits as first steps. That stuff will have to be sorted out anyway.

                  • RedLogix

                    It's amazing how some left wingers are reluctant to consider supporting a UBI for little other reason that some right wingers think it's a good idea too.

                    • KJT

                      Here we go again. The right wing UBI, and the left wing one are totally different animals. Similar only in name.

                      Are you going to contribute anything useful here. Apart from fatuous comments.

                    • RedLogix

                      They are the same thing just with different settings. If the left wants a UBI be prepared to argue for and negotiate the numbers we want. It’s this senseless demonisation and polarising politics that ensure we will never get any UBI at all. It’s a substantial reform that will require bi-partisan support to endure.

                      Are you going to contribute anything useful here.

                      I first wrote a comment on the UBI here on 13 July 2008

                      A quick search reveals hundreds of contributions.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Amazing – RedLogix disparages ‘lefties‘. "That's incredible!"

                    • McFlock

                      Saints and psychopaths are just the same thing with different settings.

                      Settings matter.

                    • RedLogix


                      There are few right wingers here to talk to, we chased most of them off years ago. So yes when I'm making a point you disagree with, then you can interpret it as 'disparaging lefties' if you like.


                      First of all pyschopaths are not always dangerous or even evil. Their brains are wired somewhat differently to other people, but most adapt to their condition and live fairly normal lives. It's a condition they did not choose.

                      And the idea that people can be labelled good or evil is a childish notion you find in fairy tales. In any adult story we find the dividing line between good and evil runs down the centre of every human heart.

                      In all human society there is an aproximately 50/50 divide between people who identify as progressive and conservative. Too often the left treats fully half of our fellow citizens as walking incarnations of evil. Pure bigotry of course.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "we chased most of them off years ago" – maybe 'we' were too hard on them; “right wingers” aren't robust and/or have better things to do?

                      Too often the left treats fully half of our fellow citizens as walking incarnations of evil. Pure bigotry of course.” Could the same be said for ‘the right‘? Not by me, or you, of course.

                    • McFlock


                      You went to a lecture on good and evil just to avoid the fact that settings matter?

                      OK, maybe you'll understand this one: Mt Erebus crash. Settings matter.

                    • RedLogix

                      You were the one who brought up 'saints and psychopaths', with a clear implication of that a left wing UBI would be good and a right wing one evil. You invited yourself to the lecture.

                      Here's a thought, maybe a UBI is a tool that is so good that people of all political persuasions can see aspects of it they like. It could be a brilliant opportunity for NZ as a whole to move to new and enduring economic paradigm. Like we worked to defeat COVID 19 as a country.

                      And I'd go one step further, if we want the best settings for a major UBI/Tax reform, maybe we should be appealing to the best in all of us.

                    • McFlock

                      You were the one who brought up 'saints and psychopaths', with a clear implication of that a left wing UBI would be good and a right wing one evil.

                      No, the implication was that the same thing with different settings can have very different results. Arguing universality of a policy without examining fundamental differences in the settings of that policy is just looking for an excuse to tout the policy.

                      maybe a UBI is a tool that is so good that people of all political persuasions can see aspects of it they like

                      Which is like saying a demagogue might be a good leader because people across the political spectrum are attracted to the demagogue. The policies the demagogue enacts is the proof of the pudding, not broad support.

                      Appealing to the best in all of us sounds nice, but it assumes that the scorpions amongst us are telling the truth. Maybe they are, but I'm not going to give one a lift across the river. So yeah, I'm not going to assume the right wing and the left wing have common (or even complementary) goals from a UBI.

                      But nor am I convinced left wing supporters of a UBI have really thought it through from an economic perspective, and equity perspective, or from the perspective of diverse individual needs. Those settings are also very important.

                    • RedLogix

                      No, the implication was that the same thing with different settings can have very different results.

                      It's also a statement of the bleeding obvious. It's why as I said clearly, we have to understand politically negotiate for the settings we want.

                      So yeah, I'm not going to assume the right wing and the left wing have common (or even complementary) goals from a UBI.

                      Which is a recipe for failure. A UBI, along with all the complementary tax reform that must necessarily accompany it, is such a major change that in order to mitigate the inevitable disruptions and unintended consequences, should be implemented over several electoral cycles.

                      And this can only happen in an environment where the right has some political buy in to the process. Rushing one through in a big bang would invite all the same mistakes Douglas made.

                      Again you resort to the metaphor of the scorpion, as something irredeemably dangerous by nature; the exact opposite of an effective negotiating stance.

                      But nor am I convinced left wing supporters of a UBI have really thought it through from an economic perspective, and equity perspective, or from the perspective of diverse individual needs.

                      The economics of it have been studied at length.

                      The term equity can mean many things. Morgan actually explores the theme at length in The Big Kahuna, but I somehow suspect you mean something different. Like 'equal outcomes'.

                      As for 'differing needs', that heads off into the endless swamp of trying to define them. By all means go there if you feel compelled to, please don't be offended if I decline to join you.

                    • McFlock

                      Of course the right wing is dangerous. That's why we have a left wing.

                      As for recipes for failure, I've yet to see a recipe for success with a UBI.

                      The biggest problem is that the finances are usually fudged with "saves money with efficiencies", but then we get the handwaving when it's pointed out that people have different needs, and so some of those "efficiencies" will be dragged back. And no UBI proponent bothers applying their back-of-the-envelope math to that problem.

  15. aj 15

    No new cases. More raising glasses to kiwi's, JA and AB smiley

    I hope this becomes a habit

  16. William Joyce 16

    "We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself." – Donald Trump
    "We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself." – Simon Bridges

    The party of aspiration – just a new leader (for now)

    • Dennis Frank 16.1

      Nice hair. wink Hope they don't dump a copyright suit on you (for using their brand)…

  17. joe90 17

    Bay of Pigs 2.0 was a fuck up, too.

    A former US special forces soldier linked to a murky and apparently bungled attempt to topple Venezuela’s leader, Nicolás Maduro, has insisted his troops are still in action after launching “a daring amphibious raid” into the country.

    In a video released late on Sunday – hours after Maduro’s government claimed it had foiled a United States-backed sea “invasion” near Venezuela’s main international airport – Jordan Goudreau claimed the battle was not over.

    “Our men are continuing to fight right now,” claimed the 43-year-old American citizen, who was last week linked to what was described as an audacious but half-baked plot to invade Venezuela and remove its leader. “Our units have been activated in the south, west and east of Venezuela".

    #Silvercorp USA

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