Open mike 05/09/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 5th, 2010 - 19 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…

19 comments on “Open mike 05/09/2010”

    • Jenny 1.1

      Great stuff.
      Thanks Joe for this link.

      The Unite union and the radiographers by fighting to lift the buying power of the low paid, are doing more to fix the recession than John Key with his gift of $1.3 billion to the multi millionaire investors of South Canterbury Finance.

      By gifting this eye watering amount of money to the already seriously rich, John Key has virtually guaranteed the worsening of the recession in this country.

      Thanks too, to, Robert Reich for explaining in an easy to understand way, that low wages and high inequality are one of the underlying fundamental causes of the recession:

      ….consumers no longer have the purchasing power to buy the goods and services they produce as workers; for some time now, their means haven’t kept up with what the growing economy could and should have been able to provide them.

      And:

      The rich spend a much smaller proportion of their incomes than the rest of us. So when they get a disproportionate share of total income, the economy is robbed of the demand it needs to keep growing and creating jobs.

      After all unlike the Christchurdh earthquake, the recession is not a natural disaster. It is an entirely man made event. And as with anything made by humans there is a an element of will. (ie of someone wanting it this way.)

      This is why John Key will tear into the low paid Radiographers like an attack dog while at the same time greasing the path of the rich speculators of the failed SCF.

  1. ZB 2

    The rich spend a much smaller proportion of their incomes than the rest of us. So when they get a disproportionate share of total income, the economy is robbed of the demand it needs to keep growing and creating jobs.
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:6R9E9jgX9u4J:clipmarks.com/clipmark/DE4817AB-7493-4F9D-A7E1-CCCACAED3CF9/+03reich.html&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=nz

    The first thing Key, and National, wanted to do on entering office was give the few more money.
    Key, and National, ARE THE PROBLEM. The economy is bad because of their politics and
    their policies.

    As the South Island comes out of recovery due to people going back to work cleaning
    up after the Earthquake, boosted financially by the bail out of SCF. Does this point the
    way to how to lift the economy, by spending on jobs, by PAYING people more, having
    them work less, and share jobs more.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Key, and National, ARE THE PROBLEM.

      Actually, it’s capitalism that’s the problem but the psychopaths in NACT don’t help. It’s designed to deliver the wealth to the few while taking it away from everyone else.

  2. U 4 United 3

    Watching the TV coverage from CHCH it seems that the media are being solicitous in their efforts which is to be commended. I suggest that Jim from Wigram should abandon his audacious dream of being the next Mayor of CHCH. Mr Parker has exhibited the decorous leadership for which any city can have gratitude. Jim is out of his depth and should he have any ability to self-assess he’d bow-out with grace. Now!

  3. RedLogix 4

    Thanks joe, a solid and sound read. Just a few years ago that column would have been virtually unprintable in the US. Given that the left, as we might recognise it, is almost completely absent in Washington, and the mindless, no-ideas opposition of the GOP to everything and anything, simply for the sake of saying no… the chances of this kind of sentiment making into policy is zero.

    Just as an interesting complement to this article, here’s an interesting read from Joe Romm referencing David Stockman, ripping GOP policy over many decades and how it directly destroyed the structure of the US economy… purely in the cause of class warfare.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      This growing wealth gap is not the market’s fault. It’s the decaying fruit of bad economic policy.

      Quoted from Stockmans’ piece here

      LOL
      The market is a social construct that is created through economic policy. If that policy creates the market in such a way that it gives the wealth to the few then it’s the markets fault as the two, the policy and the market it creates, cannot be separated. The policy is the market.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        DtB

        Where do you get this idea that there are various market types?

        It’s a given that there are different ways to manage the market that will give slightly different results. But it is still the same basic market that is yielding the various and by necessity, limited results. ( In the same way that possible white wines are limited by the possibilities offered by the base ingredients, so possible policy outcomes are limited by values intrinsic to the market. Not the other way around.)

        If we employ radically different values, then we have potentially abolished the market. (Just like if we use hops and barley we will produce beer and not wine.)

        And I say ‘potentially’, because if we use tree sap instead of grapes, we will still produce white wine but won’t be able to produce beer even if that’s what we were aiming for.

        In market terms that would mean (say) aiming for equitable outputs but retaining vertical divisions of labour or private ownership or any other number of market characteristics in our policies and hoping for outcomes radically different to what we would expect from markets.

        Such, arguably, was one of the problems with the soviet style command economy. It retained vertical divisions of labour ( a market characteristic) and didn’t return private property to ‘the commons’, but claimed it all for ‘the party’ as it were (ie moved ownership from one elite to a new elite) . Which produced all types of disincentives for workers and lots of incentives to be an apparatchik which in turn saw basic schisms between haves and have nots recreated.

        btw. I’m not an advocate of command economies. They will always recreate the old divisions of labour and create new elites. That they might have better social provisioning than the less centralised market economies is not, for me, a good enough reason to advocate for them.

        edit. Just thought. Are you equating ‘market’ with ‘economy’?

        Because whereas there are limitless types of economy and they are very definate social constructs, the market has very definable characteristics and is only one type of economy…eg command economy, market economy, participatory economy etc

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          edit. Just thought. Are you equating ‘market’ with ‘economy’?

          Kinda

          The economy is societies resources (minerals, land, people etc) and the market is how those resources are distributed. Basically, I’m thinking more Political-Economy with the market being a construct of that through the imposition of rules.

          Interestingly enough, Wikipedia has competition as an essential to a Market and the dictionary as merely a place where trade occurs.

          As I said before – we’re talking past each other due to slightly different meanings. It’s one of the problems with language as each word tends to change based upon culture and the culture changes from one town to the next.

    • RedLogix 4.2

      Well the nearest NZ equivalent I can think of, off the top of my head, would be if Richard Prebble had written this piece acknowledging that the whole neo-liberal experiment had been a total failure. It’s enough that the man can see the error of his ways to this extent, possibly asking too much for his entire way of thinking and use of language be re-encoded. A lifetime’s full of that kind of thinking is a hard habit to entirely break.

      I guess the point is that while everyone credible now understands that neo-liberal economics is mad, bad and dangerous to know…. the left is failing to fill the vacuum. It’s as if at a very gut level the narrative is; “Communism bad, Capitalism bad….I give up, who cares anymore?”.

      Very recently I heard someone say (forgotten exactly who) … that for all it’s undeniable failings, the worship of God had the merit that it encouraged humility and compassion. Both of which are great antidotes for not caring anymore.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        I guess the point is that while everyone credible now understands that neo-liberal economics is mad, bad and dangerous to know…. the left is failing to fill the vacuum. It’s as if at a very gut level the narrative is; “Communism bad, Capitalism bad….I give up, who cares anymore?”.

        I’d agree with that. ATM, the left have no vision as everything they said would work over the last couple of centuries appears to have fallen down. The first cracks in NZ appeared when the Labour Party brought in free-market capitalism as a panacea for a failing capitalist economy.

  4. The Chairman 5

    Christchurch the possible economic outcomes

    The fiscal response to the disaster in Christchurch will present economic opportunities for some.

    The private sector will be lining up to secure rebuilding contracts and long-term private partnerships.

    Don’t be too surprised if this disaster helps to open the door for Chinese infrastructure firms.

    Future insurance costs (for all New Zealanders) are bound to increase to compensate what is expected to be a massive insurance payout.

    Short-term, the fiscal stimulus will initially create new job opportunities and increase consumer spending, but the delays in rebuilding, coupled with already stretched balance sheets, will see the death of many currently struggling businesses.

    Consumer spending will largely be spent on offshore made goods (imports).

    There have been suggestions there may be taxpayer handouts for those uninsured.

    There could be a short-term residential and commercial property shortage, creating some temporary price distortions in the market.

    The longer businesses are closed and prevented from operating the higher the economic cost to the community and nation as a whole.

    Interest rates, the national credit rating, and value of the currency could all be affected.

    Long-term, there will be an increase in privatised infrastructure, and when added with foreign ownership, the increase in insurance costs, and the increase in imported goods, the benefits of the initial fiscal stimulus will largely head offshore.

  5. Bill 6

    You have to admit there’s a certain degree of irony in moderation existing on something called ‘open mike’.

    Anyway, if one of you admin peoples is reading this prior to one of your trap checks, can you let my comment out?

    [Done..RL. I don’t think the spam trap discriminates between threads.]
    [lprent: it doesn’t ]

  6. NickS 7

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/pm-uninsured-facing-big-costs-quake-3760853

    Moral dilemma? For fuck’s sake, it was a major earthquake, in a city where there are quite a few people who can’t afford to get their contents insured, (assuming the land-lord takes care of property insurance), let alone have the income or cash to replace anything majorly damaged. And given this government’s attitude to those with little spare cash, it’s likely many poor are going to be ignored.

    • prism 7.1

      That point about property insurance NickS. It is my understanding that it is the responsibility of the tenant to insure their accommodation and if so, it treats a residential tenant the same as a business tenant, which is totally unreasonable.

      There was a case where (I think) a Dunedin student house was damaged or burnt and the landlord or ins. coy spent a lot of time hounding the tenant for hundreds of thousands. A government that desired fairness and practicality would never have allowed this situation to develop, but we haven’t had noticeably robust ones operating on behalf of the ordinary citizens lately.

      Recently a slightly extraordinary citizen near me, a very heavy woman, suffered a hole in her toilet floor apparently as a result of her weight, and the landlord informed me he was looking to her to make good the damage. He was quite surprised when I commented that I thought that it was most unfair that tenants were expected to insure the landlord’s asset.

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        If the damage to the property is caused by action or inaction of the tenant, then the tenant is responsible.

        Tenants aren’t responsible for earthquakes, therefore the landlord’s property insurance will cover the landlords property.

  7. Carol 8

    It looks like a workers’ union has been working hard for its members in negotiating contracts for workers for the new supercity, which, in the first instance, will be under the management of the ATA. And I imagine that many workers are really glad they have the union working for them over this. There’s an article in today’s NZ Herald, about some errors in contracts given to existing staff:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/employment/news/article.cfm?c_id=11&objectid=10671209

    Some Auckland council staff were offered, and accepted, the wrong job or the wrong salary in the new Supercity this week.

    Auckland Transition Authority HR adviser Laila Harre said that among 2000 letters sent out to staff at Auckland’s eight councils this week were “a handful” that offered the wrong job or salary, because of a data mistake.

    Harre, a former Alliance leader and Cabinet minister, has been criticised by her former union colleagues for “turning gamekeeper” by accepting the role overseeing appointments to the new council. Her contract ended this week. She did not know the number of people who had accepted the mixed-up offers but confirmed some had.

    The Transition Authority is now processing correct offers and trying to explain the mess-up to affected council staff.

    Public Service Association organiser Kerry Davies said the errors were being rectified following concerns raised by the association.

    PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said a review process was built into the offers before the letters were sent out. It covered staff offered a salary below what they should be but Wagstaff was unsure if it applied to people who were offered a higher salary.

    “We have been working with ATA to resolve the issue,” he said. “We do recognise it has been a very compressed time frame and complex experience which contributes to mistakes.”

    The rest of the article is at the above url.

    But it does make you wonder why everything had to be rushed through so quickly. Will there be more errors when the supercity goes live? And I think it’s curious the blame is being put at Harre’s feet. I imagine it wasn’t her idea to rush things so much. I have mixed feelings about her being involved, but maybe it’ll be a better set-up as a result.

  8. AncientGeek 9

    Test comment

    [Test moderation…..RL ;-)]

    [lprent: Test sysoping 😈
    Damn e-mail followup works on the test system. Fails on the target system.. mutter…]

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    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
    1 week 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
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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