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Open mike 06/09/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 6th, 2020 - 85 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 …

85 comments on “Open mike 06/09/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Quantitative easing has been discussed by a handful of commentators here. The reason most evade the topic is likely due to lack of comprehension.

    Last week the Reserve Bank printed $1.4 billion. That’s the equivalent of 116 Green Schools at the prevailing rate. This was a typical week. No one cared. There were no headlines. No one asked for Adrian Orr to resign… So you may wonder, where is all of this cash going?

    Following the money is real hard. The msm never try to, and rarely even acknowledge that the imaginary money is being made real. Damien Grant has a theory:

    Orr’s money-printing programme is making the rich richer in the hope that they will spend some of this cash on frivolities like restaurant meals and herbal supplements, thus benefiting those minions who provide such services who are able to retain their jobs. This is trickle-down economics.

    Not dead yet? Then Damian outs himself as cynic:

    Under this government and their pliant central banker we are seeing a massive transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the 1 per cent. If you want to talk about ‘transformational government’, this is as transformational as it gets.

    Wow! So Jacinda is leading by example, and the example is her Nat predecessor. But don't tell anyone!

    Maybe the Green Party members demanding James Shaw’s head should turn their focus towards this destructive and deeply regressive policy instead.

    Shrill ideologues change their thinking? Hell will freeze over first. Such people could never even think about imaginary money made real, let alone it going to wealthy people, or deduce the political implications.

    The Reserve Bank’s current policy settings are designed to keep people in employment, and he is correct in the short term.

    Socialism in practice. Too bad about increasing the wealth gap…

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/300098580/the-moneyprinting-programme-helping-the-rich-get-richer

  2. Chris T 2

    Far out.

    Winston's interview on Q and A is a bit of a train crash.

    How many times can you avoid questions and call someone the wrong name?

    Lol

    • Agree Chris T. Finally Winston showed himself up in his true colours. Well done, Jack Tame for keeping the questions flowing even when there were no coherent answers.

      The next guest Simon Thornley was equally frightening. Worrying to hear he thinks COVID is no worse than the 'flu. And that only the elderly, Pacific Island and Maori people are vulnerable so we should all learn to live with it.

      Even worse is that he is teaching at Auckland University.

      • Chris T 2.1.1

        Agree

        I actually felt sorry for Thornley when the interview started as he was obviously nervous being on national tv, and then he went on his flu thing, and my sympathy kind of went away pretty quick.

      • SPC 2.1.2

        A country where old people or poor ethnic people are not seen lest they catch flu and die.

        • Chris T 2.1.2.1

          TBF given the deaths that are happening, I am steering in my opinion to the temporarily shielding the smaller number of most vulnerable over screwing our entire economy every time it will crop up, for everyone else.

          • JanM 2.1.2.1.1

            What a great idea – lock up all us oldies and brown people and get on with it! And this nonsense doesn't even begin to address the ongoing health issues that people who have supposedly recovered from the virus continue to suffer from.

            The so-called 'economy' that we have all been putting up with for far too long is due for a serious makover anyway. Maybe this is our opportunity?

            • Chris T 2.1.2.1.1.1

              By putting up with, do you mean being large enough to cover, our healthe system, WFF, Benefits, super annuation and all the other things like national infrastructure?

          • Andre 2.1.2.1.2

            Can you point to anywhere that has successfully used a model of "temporarily shielding the smaller number of most vulnerable over screwing the entire economy"? Because as best as I can tell, locking down fast to get the quickest control of the virus is also the best for the economy.

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/300082211/do-the-health-gains-of-lockdown-20-outweigh-economic-pain

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/300083404/heres-why-lockdowns-are-the-best-economic-solution-too

            Let alone that's it's not just the deaths, it's also the long term disability and suffering caused among quite a few of those that get it but survive.

            • Chris T 2.1.2.1.2.1

              And then what happens.

              We just have a permanently closed border for an unknown amount of years?

              • Andre

                Given there's already at least 8 vaccines in the final trial stage before approval, at least three of which are credible western efforts following established protocols with open publishing of results, and hundreds more not far behind, plus hundreds of other treatments, I think the reasonable strategy right now is a bit of patience and see what actually works.

                Because right now, only places that have locked down hard and gone for elimination look in any way appealing. Everywhere else just looks like shit.

                If we get to say March next year and it's clear that all the efforts that look promising right now are all fizzers, then it might be appropriate to look for another strategy.

                https://covid-19tracker.milkeninstitute.org/

                https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-diseases/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker-how-they-work-latest-developments-cvd/

              • Incognito

                Neither you nor Dr Thornley answered Andre’s question although Dr Thornley mentioned Iceland as an example.

                Interestingly, according to the Government Response Stringency index (GRSI), the Auckland region in L2.5 is as stringent as Iceland.

                https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/covid-stringency-index?tab=chart&year=latest&time=2020-01-22..2020-09-03&country=ISL~NZL

                BTW, the NZ border is not closed; your imprecise phrasing is unhelpful.

                • Chris T

                  I have already said I don't agree with Thornley

                  • Incognito

                    Actually, you did not say that you disagreed with Dr Thornley. Your subsequent comments @ 2.1.2.1 and 2.1.2.1.2.1 seemed to suggest that you were actually agreeing with Dr Thornley.

                    Dr Thornley did mutter a lot without answering much but maybe you can tell how we could keep safe an estimated 25% of our population that is deemed vulnerable to infection with Covid-19? These people live among us (i.e. they are interspersed) and in some communities they represent much more than 25% of the total population.

                    • Chris T

                      "

                      Chris T2.1.1

                      6 September 2020 at 10:07 am

                      Agree

                      I actually felt sorry for Thornley when the interview started as he was obviously nervous being on national tv, and then he went on his flu thing, and my sympathy kind of went away pretty quick."

                      What I mean is while I disagree with his comparing it to the flu like an idiot, I am "tending" to think we just can't keep going into level 3 every time something happens, indefinitely, without the country turning to shit.

                      Apologies if I was too vague.

                    • Incognito []

                      No worries and thanks for the clarification.

                      The recent response had to be stringent because the NZ people had been complacent. It has been argued that we can eliminate the virus without the need for lockdowns.

                      https://www.newsroom.co.nz/eliminating-covid-19-without-lockdowns

                    • Andre

                      @Chris T – it's reasonably likely that if the first new case had been the Rydges case, a single case in the community with a clearly plausible connection to the border, then the response would likely have been much less dramatic.

                      But the Americold outbreak was clearly well underway and spreading widely by the time it was detected, and we still don't have evidence for how it got loose. Hence the stringent response.

                      Hopefully we have all learned about things we all need to do differently. So an outbreak won't get as widespread before it's detected.

                      In the community, take it seriously to go get tested as soon as you have symptoms that might be COVID. Track movements. Wear a mask. Test border staff and international aircrew more – don't neglect regular testing on some because they're doing runs to "safe" places or behaving safely on their layovers.

              • McFlock

                Better than thousands of dead.

            • Janet 2.1.2.1.2.2

              And don,t forget our health system could not manage if Covid precautions are loosened up to lighten up on the eonomic effects.

              • Andre

                Well, the fantasy seems to be that it will be managed somehow so that only the young and healthy will magically will end up infected, and they will just shrug it off.

                Nevermind my late-20s nephew in France that was healthy, active, no pre-existing conditions, that got it in March and has yet to recover enough to return to his medical work.

                The idea also seems to be unaware of just how much of the population are dealing with some kind of condition that raises risk. ISTR seeing somewhere a credible estimate that around 25% under the under-65s have some kind of condition that's considered an elevated risk factor for dying of covid.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The idea also seems to be unaware of just how much of the population are dealing with some kind of condition that raises risk.

                  Perhaps the people right at the top, the ones we can't see, that are suggesting/pushing this policy actually want a 25% die off. It'd be one way to address climate change without addressing the underlying cause which is capitalism.

                  • bwaghorn

                    I've had bronchitis twice pneumonia once and childhood lung problems, I also have someone who needs me around for atleast another 15 years .

                    We need to keep this thing at bay till we have a vaccine or a very good cure .

                  • Incognito

                    It would be better to have a better-targeted cull aimed at the biggest polluters and contributors to CC.

            • solkta 2.1.2.1.2.3

              Yes the probably permanent lung damage and possibility of ongoing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome concern me greatly.

          • Gabby 2.1.2.1.3

            But you're steering arse backwards, why do you think the number of deaths happening, are happening?

          • Adrian 2.1.2.1.4

            There will probably be a treatment but there will not be a vaccine.

            • Andre 2.1.2.1.4.1

              What's your basis for saying that?

              There are very few medications that have been successfully developed against viruses, whereas vaccines against viruses are fairly common and successful.

              There doesn't appear to be anything special about coronaviruses in general that gives reason to believe a vaccine is unlikely to be developed. Indeed, there is a vaccine against a bovine coronavirus in the market now, and has been for years.

              That there aren't yet vaccines against human coronaviruses is because they are either too mild to be bothered developing a vaccine against (cold coronaviruses), have burnt out and disappeared in a short time before a vaccine was developed (SARS), or too rare to inspire much vaccine development effort (MERS, although IIRC one is in trials now).

              • Chris T

                I could be wrong, but I haven't seen any vaccines that have been produced against coronaviruses.

                Even if they develop one in good time, and can prove no side affects, given our success in slowing it down we will probably be one of the last on the list getting supplied it, once they work out how to mass produce it, which will take ages.

                As it will probably go to worst hit countries first, as it should be, and then you have all the weirdos refusing to take it.

                Edit: Apologies Andre. I misread your last paragraph.

                • Andre

                  I gave you a link to an article that talks about a vaccine against a coronavirus that is in production and widely sold right now. It's just that it's for cows, not humans.

                  Since it seems you didn't follow up the hint with a search of your own about a vaccine against the MERS coronavirus, here's a link.

                  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200422132600.htm

                  That vaccine hasn't had a lot of attention since it's only infected about 2,500 people in the 8 years since it was first detected. Almost all of whom were in the habit of getting up close and personal with camels. So it really wasn't much of a public health priority.

                  As soon as a vaccine is demonstrated to be adequately safe and effective, production is going to ramp up like has never been seen before. It may be that if we're unhappy with how far down the list we are, we may be able to license the recipe and produce it here. We have an animal health industry that's fairly likely to be able to adapt to the challenge if needed.

            • RedBaronCV 2.1.2.1.4.2

              Going on about lockdowns is sort of yesterday isn't it? There are already some spit on the paper etc type tests coming over the horizon that are cheap so can be spread widely and be used at home to indicate infection and even if there are excess false positives the better tests then sort those out.

              Give it another 6 months and this stuff is likely to be widespread so we then won't need the massive lockdowns. A bit of patience for a bit longer, no need to kill the old geezers and we will be there.

              The "we need to have no lockdowns now" should stop preaching their views and be more realistic about the unnecessary death and suffering they would cause with their dated lack of forward thinking

    • mary_a 2.2

      Agree Chris T @ (2) … Winston Peters seemed to be channelling the ghost of his mentor Rob Muldoon to conduct his interview with Jack Tame this morning! Unbelievable!

      • bwaghorn 2.2.1

        Was he puropdly calling him James? Or is he losing it?

        Is bush wacking interviewees normal like jack did? Or do they normally script the questions at these?

        • Chris T 2.2.1.1

          Think he is just losing it tbh.

          I haven't heard of scripted questions in an NZ context. Think some are in the US.

          Edit: Should add Hosking does it to Ardern all the time.

          The difference is she doesn’t go all arsey, remembers his name and answers as best she can.

  3. Nic the NZer 3

    @Dennis Frank. We should probably not attempt to understand the economy through the eyes of Damian Grant. What the QE policy does for the economy is convert the 'cash' recently accumulated in the banking system and convert it into a low risk state which pays a small amount of interest. That cash is generally accumulated by large NZ financial institutions as these provide the bank accounts to people who received recent govt payments in the first place. But if you want to understand who was paid by the govt Grant is looking in completely the wrong place.

    The correct interpretation is that post QE, the govt borrowed money from itself, it paid people with that money as indicated by its fiscal statement, but who ever ended up with that money (many govt payees will have spent it) has it invested in low risk savings form.

    Of course its not necessary for the govt to provide a low risk savings investment to facilitate its spending, but that is the rort here, and you wont ever get that from Damian Grants analysis.

    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      Ah, thanks Nic for that clarification. Since he's a libertarian (hence a likely ideologue) I did wonder if he got the analysis right. I take the point re govt finagling. I don't really understand why they are doing it but will have faith in Orr's judgment provisionally, since it maintains public confidence in the system.

      Also, as a longtime alternative thinker, I do like that the capitalist powers that be have resorted to magical thinking to keep their system trundling along… 😎

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Since he's a libertarian (hence a likely ideologue) I did wonder if he got the analysis right.

        I merely assumed that he was lying. Appears I was right to do so.

        When it finally dawns on the people that the government can create money at will, not cause massive inflation and can do it with no interest people are going to start to wonder why we have capitalists. That latter part is why the Damian Grants of this world don't like it when the governments create money as they see the end of their bludging in it.

  4. dv 4

    Why does the Govt need to pay interest on their money creation!!!

    • SPC 4.1

      Why should they call money they created debt they have to pay back?

      By lockdown the government reduced the economy, creating money to pay wages so people can meet their bills is not inflationary.

      And nor is the money borrowed from anyone.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      They don't but they do it to keep up the illusion that people need to pay interest to get money and thus also prop-up the bludging of the capitalists.

  5. KJT 5

    @Dennis.

    Magical according to current mainstream economists, and Grant of course.

    Because they object to "money printing" that doesn't result in more income for banking.

    It is just a complicated way of justifying what is really the same as a monarch minting more gold coins, because there are not enough in circulation to keep trade going.

    The first Labour Government were more honest about it. "Money printing for State housing and infrastructure. Which paid off in so much we still use today.

  6. SPC 6

    “I never imagined that I would live to see our courts condemn the NSA’s activities as unlawful and in the same ruling credit me for exposing them,”

    Snowden after US court finds the mass surveilance he revealed was unlawful.

    the American Civil Liberties Union, which helped bring the case to appeal, welcomed the judges’ verdict on the NSA’s spy program. “Today’s ruling is a victory for our privacy rights,” the ACLU said in a statement, saying it “makes plain that the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records violated the Constitution.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-nsa-spying/u-s-court-mass-surveillance-program-exposed-by-snowden-was-illegal-idUSKBN25T3CK

  7. Nic the NZer 7

    @Dennis, Its not like Orr has a choice. If the govt is going to make it transparent that its funding itself then that decision rests with Robertson (short term) or parliament.

    The magical thinking has been there forever. Think in particular of the following ideas,

    1) the RBNZ can raise and lower inflation rates by lowering and raising the OCR.

    2) in fiddling with the OCR there are no distributional issues, house prices and wages are both effected in the same way by the OCR shift.

    3) in reacting to an unanticipated economic event, an economy which was recently fully employed is equally resiliant to an economy which recently went through a recovery.

    • Pat 7.1

      Agreed Orr dosnt have a choice…he is (successfully) performing his job and we should be thankful of that but he cannot control distributional issues though he has been calling on the government to do so pretty much since he took over the role….they appear to have a hearing problem.

  8. joe90 8

    'Murica

  9. Poission 9

    Do we need a paradigm shift in the understanding (and management ) of certain mental disorders?

    Often paradigm shifts are from researchers outside the field of study,here biological anthropologists have reposed the problems of ADHD and others as evolutionary responses,rather then mental disorders ,

    ADHD is not a disorder, the study authors argue. Rather it is an evolutionary mismatch to the modern learning environment we have constructed. Edward Hagen, professor of evolutionary anthropology at Washington State University and co-author of the study, pointed out in a press release that “there is little in our evolutionary history that accounts for children sitting at desks quietly while watching a teacher do math equations at a board.”

    If ADHD is not a disorder, but a mismatch with a human environment, then suddenly it’s not a medical issue. It’s an issue for educational reform

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shouldstorm/202008/what-if-certain-mental-disorders-are-not-disorders-all

    • weka 9.1

      Yep, really, really pleased to see this. I'd also say that often the start of the paradigm shift comes from within the communities of people most affected. eg the neurodiversity communities have critiqued mainstream framing of neurological conditions, and parents of ADHD kids in alternative sub cultures were doing it before them.

    • ianmac 9.2

      The flaw in the mismatch is that ADHD appears from birth, long before being seated at a desk.

      • Adrian 9.2.1

        Some of the cleverest and most intelligent buggers I've known were at risk of being diagnosed with ADHD. I'm under the impression that they just think faster than others.

        • ianmac 9.2.1.1

          Some very intelligent people are on the continuum. In a school setting they can become unstuck because of their impulsive behaviour, shifting concentration, and often mismatching in social settings. Sadly this can lead to being treated as idiots and made to feel stupid by peers and teachers. Low esteem on tap. Some ADHD kids escape into antisocial/drugs etc.

          One lad I know was scooped up by an IT developer after Uni because these kids think outside the square so solve problems that others cannot even imagine.

    • Stuart Munro 9.3

      It's an encouraging step – I'm afraid contemporary education is built more around institutional convenience than student need. If this creates some pressure for change, so much the better.

      • Patricia Bremner 9.3.1

        Talk and chalk is boring!! Learning by doing is so messy lol

        • Stuart Munro 9.3.1.1

          The problem is, teachers end up being the meat in the sandwich – tasked to produce assessible task-based learning. I had the advantage teaching privately for a while there – if students really are learning, assessment becomes redundant – they can do stuff.

  10. weka 10

    Lord, this was extraordinary. Good on James for putting up the full thing.

    • gsays 10.1

      TBF to the warhorse, there was a smell of Helen Clark v John Campbell 'corngate' to the interview.

      • weka 10.1.1

        You think Tame was unfair on Peters?

        • gsays 10.1.1.1

          Peter's mentioned a couple of times that the 'horse racing industry donations/ NZ First foundation/partner SFO questioning' weren't included in the questions that were going to be asked. therefore questions he had been briefed on.

          He was a lot more coherent about the cow ship sinking/criticising government Covid response questions.

          Don't get me wrong, I would like the questions that James asked, answered. It seemed like Tame's line of questioning had fallen to the 'gotcha' category.

          • weka 10.1.1.1.1

            are Ministers or MPs usually given a set of questions ahead of time and those are the only topics covered?

            • gsays 10.1.1.1.1.1

              I don't know if that is the way of things.

              Often I hear on RNZ the interviewer ask a question that is often prefaced with an expression that acknowledges the question is not related to the topic the interviewee was asked on to the show to speak about.

              Winston implied this was the case too.

              • weka

                I'd be surprised if producers worked off the principle of only pre-arranged questions can be asked, but it would be useful to know in terms of understanding Peters' reactions.

        • sumsuch 10.1.1.2

          Winnie's whole thing is making every interview an attack on him. The dim are persuaded, hence his following.

          For anyone moderately average the device annoys to death. Despite him delivering Left govts regularly.

          Winnie is one long sigh for me, but…

    • Graeme 10.2

      Hey, there's and election happening. Were would we be without a train wreak Winston Peters interview about a month out from the day

      It happens every time. And NZF comes back from the dead nearly every time.

      Not betting on the outcome this time either

  11. Muttonbird 12

    What I really don't like is the continuation of new cases connected to this cluster. Auckland went to L3 on August 12. That is 3 1/2 weeks ago. 25 days. It is assumed everyone isolated at that point and no mixing between family members but we are still seeing new cases.

    I feel that there has been severe breaches with family members mixing when they shouldn't have.

    When is the message going to get through to people that we all need to play by the rules if we are going to get through this?

    • Andre 12.1

      It's not that hard to understand how it could happen even with everyone involved trying to do the right thing. Just keep in mind the high proportion of asymptomatic infections and the long period of presymptomatic infectiousness.

    • Muttonbird 12.2

      To add to that, there is bugger all mask wearing in Auckland. I don't have an issue with no masks outside walking but when you are going inside to a shop makes should be on.

      People aren't doing it!

      I said to the boy we are doing our duty and the more we do it the more acceptable it will become but I feel like we are pushing shit uphill.

      I have an advantage because I naturally hate people so to be distanced from them is natural to me.

      • Andre 12.2.1

        The explanation I've given my kids is that first, it's about trying to stop the entire country from copping the bad-luck Powerball much more than it being about individual risk, and that wearing a mask is about normalising mask-wearing. Kinda like when I was their age nobody wore helmets skiing or bike riding, but now almost everyone does because it's been normalised.

      • Anne 12.2.2

        I think the mask wearing varies in different parts of Auckland. I live in the Belmont/Devonport area and mask wearing is high. The ones who stand out are the non-maskers. I forgot to put mine on once and someone in the local supermarket informed a close relative of mine. I received a bollocking and have never forgotten since.

    • PaddyOT 12.3

      The article link below was 31st August; today Sept 6 like everyday since, the 4 new community cases are still members from this sub cluster church group.

      Supposedly, this church while already having links to the first Americold case, once level 3 lockdown began they literally took the rule of max. of 10 gathering as permission to still meet for evangelism.

      Is it always a government's fault for lockdowns and hardship or are individual's being self gratifying responsible too ?

      https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/122617065/coronavirus-church-investigated-over-allegation-meetings-were-held-in-lockdown

    • aj 12.4

      Auckland went to L3 on August 12. That is 3 1/2 weeks ago. 25 days. It is assumed everyone isolated at that point and no mixing between family members but we are still seeing new cases.
      I feel that there has been severe breaches with family members mixing when they shouldn’t have'

      Is it just cascading infection among families who are all in managed isolation? I recall if one family member was infected, say 20 days ago, they moved the whole family into managed isolation, so it's called community transmission but not as we think it is.

  12. observer 13

    Clear majority support for the recent extension of level 2 (2.5) :

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/vote-compass-exclusive-numbers-reveal-strong-support-level-extension?auto=6188189093001

    Note that only 41% of National voters are opposed. Even allowing for 'don't know/won't say', that leaves around 30-40% of National voters in favour.

  13. sumsuch 14

    Won't there always be immediate 'importances' to divert from the real ones? Managing the immediate as the Left has done for all its governmental history — its lasting message from its Depression victory — ends us here.

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