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Open mike 06/09/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 6th, 2010 - 16 comments
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16 comments on “Open mike 06/09/2010 ”

  1. Bored 1

    To all those Standardistas from the Garden City, just really pleased you are all with us still. The fright must have been awful, and the damage must be a real bugger, however you are all still here which is truly miraculous. It is reassuring that to date the people and authorities have coped well. We are coming to help my parents clean up, theres probably a lot of us who will need to ship down to help out elderly relatives, so good luck to you all. Also big thanks to anybody there who did as my parents neighbours did and checked out all was well on the other side of the fence.

  2. prism 2

    New work demands on DPBs. It is not automatically a bad thing to get single parents to go to work, particularly those whose fertility seems to be unstoppable. It keeps the parent involved in the community and with current work experience which will stand in good stead when she/he can manage full time work. But it shouldn’t have to be even 30 hours a fortnight, just some regular hours at something positive that could lead to paid work in the future.
    Even volunteer work should be counted – taking the children out and all helping plant native trees in the weekend would be more family and socially supportive than dumping them early outside school gates on the way to work in a poorly paid job cleaning motels or in rest homes or just any job that is available.

    On Radnz this a.m. the Australian approach was explained and because it follows a rigid ideological and no doubt, moral, line it doesn’t work well. No single parent is best served by the terms of the policy and many are kept in a state of anxiety and are not only still poor but time-poor and unable to be a happy and comforting parent because of work or constant training, searching and reporting demands.

    I don’t see P Benefett showing any understanding of the problems and commitment to help single parents despite her much vaunted background. And we tend to pick up other country’s social legislation, trim support spending to it, and then put the lean, mean policy to work in NZ in a she’ll be right attitude (and then blame the program failure on perceived faults in the ‘clients’). I think that Australia’s would have come down the tube from the Wisconsin Works type used in that great effective and efficient democracy for the people. the USA.

    • B 2.1

      Yes, while I can see some benefits to the requirement to work, the ideology behind the changes is obvious. Like the US and Australia, this govt sees individuals as soley responsible for their own misfortune- and it is their problem how they get themselves out of it. Thats why there is a strong focus on ‘requirements’ ‘sanctions’ etc but factors such as lack of jobs, childcare and lack of resources for education are completely ignored.

      Their problem with this way of looking at unemployment is that it is complete bullshit. When there are jobs, support for training and fully funded childcare, sole parents work. This can be easily seen by looking at various welfare regimes and their outcomes. However Bennett et al are obviously only concerned about finding the right sorts of opinions and ‘experts’ to back up their own neoliberal agenda-hence their laughable “welfare working group”

    • Vicky32 2.2

      This is apalling – the Bennett monster striking again – and I heard her on Nat Rad this morning volunteering her slave labour (the unemployed) for the Christchurch clean-up! Yeah, that’ll work well – get those DPB mums, unemployed professionals shovelling shite! She’d love that… Next thing we’ll hear is her moans that the shiftless unemployed are making excuses as to why they can’t or won’t do the manual labour she has imposed on them.
      Deb

  3. Bill 3

    Apparently, the fact that Russia will suspend all wheat exports due to a disastrous harvest is a really good thing for NZ. See, Northern Hemisphere farmers feed grain to their cattle. And grain prices will go up meaning more expensive dairy production costs. Which means Fonterra gets a competitive edge and higher margins.

    So celebrate!

    Or then again…..

    “Two years after the last food crisis, when prices surged by nearly 15% in the UK, food inflation is back. Soaring global food prices have prompted City and food industry experts to warn that the cost of the weekly shop is set to rise by up to 10% in the coming months.

    As in 2008, rocketing prices are the result of rising demand and supply shortages caused by freak weather and poor harvests. Moreover, these conditions are exacerbated by speculation on commodity markets and changing diets in fast-growing Asian countries.

    Last week, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) called an emergency meeting for 24 September to discuss the food crisis.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/sep/05/commodities-food-drink-industry

    • ZB 3.1

      I got the distinct impression that lower quality wheat, and lots of bad tinned goods got dumped
      on the market, which would seem to be the correct response of governments who feared a
      general global food crisis. So they stocked up on wheat, rice, and there was even a report
      to the extent, that Russian stopping exports was fine since stocks had been rebuilt.
      Also you can feed cattle other things, wasn’t too long ago milk cows were being fed
      waste palm oil husks. So of course I could be totally horrendously wrong, and the
      UN food organ is just going further. No need to repeat global food riots again.

    • ianmac 3.2

      “Apparently, the fact that Russia will suspend all wheat exports due to a disastrous harvest is a really good thing for NZ.”
      Except that our basic bread costs will go even higher still. It still bothers me that the higher the export price of meat, milk, wheat the more we have to pay. Bummer!

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        Well, technically, it’s good for the farmers. It’s just not so good for the rest of the country as the farmers push everyone else into poverty.

      • Bill 3.2.2

        You are both being utterly self centred and petty. You forget! It’s all good for Fonterra which means it’s all good for NZ which means it’s all good.

    • nzfp 3.3

      Mate,
      On April 28th 2008 “Ellen H. Brown” Author of the book “Web of Debt” (which I recommend you read) wrote an article titled “Speculating In Hunger: Are Investors Contributing To The Global Food Crisis?”. Brown made the following noteworthy observations:

      William Pfaff wrote in the April 16 International Herald Tribune:

      [M]ore fundamental is the effect of speculation in food as a commodity – like oil and precious metals. It has become a haven for financial investors fleeing from paper assets tainted by subprime mortgages and other toxic credit products. The influx of buyers drives prices and makes food unaffordable for the world’s poor. “Fund money flowing into agriculture has boosted prices,” Standard Chartered Bank food commodities analyst Abah Ofon told the media. “It’s fashionable. This is the year of agricultural commodities.”5

      Brown herself goes on to state:

      Conventional economic theory says that prices are driven up when “demand” exceeds “supply.” But in this case “demand” does not mean the number of hands reaching out for food. It means the amount of money competing for existing supplies. The global food crisis has resulted from an increase, not in the number of mouths to be fed, but simply in the price. It is the money supply that has gone up, and it is investment money in search of quick profits that is largely driving food prices up. Much of this seems to be happening in the futures market, where fund managers seek to maximize their profits by using futures contracts. Balzli and Horning explain:

      [more]

  4. Lats 4

    THANK YOU

    I’d just like to take the opportunity to publically thank all those people from the emergency services, civil defence, local government, utility companies and volunteers who have worked tirelessly (and continue to do so) in and around Christchurch following the quake on Saturday morning. You have done an amazing job in the face of a very difficult situation and you have deservedly earned the praise and gratitude of the region.

  5. B 5

    Benefit numbers rise slightly…

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4100656/Benefit-numbers-rise-slightly

    Bennetts response:

    “It’s fantastic to see determined New Zealanders finding jobs despite a tight labour market and a slowly recovering economy,”

    Uh no they’re LOSING jobs you twit.

    • ZB 5.1

      Income support is designed to keep people eating healthily, engaged in the community and helping the economy run smoothly – e.g. losing ones home because you miss a mortgage payment while temporarily unemployed.
      Income support is thus an investment in citizens. The right hate this idea, cutting investment in human
      resources would be seem as detribmental to our economy, I mean the human resources would shift to where the market can support them (Australia), such notions would harm the rightwing ability to justify tax cuts and benefit cuts.
      The skill shortages are a direct result of policies that view human capital as worthless, I think you could call it a market failure of vision.

      But the left also don’t help, unions turn employees into human widgets, that are all the same and can walk
      out as a group, this feeds the idea that workers are interchangable and so businesses should have more
      flecibity to make a better deal to get the best human widget for the lowest wage. Also the left use welfare
      to grow the welfare industry, rather than capping welfare veritical, welfare has spread horiztonally first
      to the unemployed and now via working for families right into the middle classes.

      We need an alternative vision, that protects humans individuality and the real value in that society has for them.
      Since if you can sell someone that a gold ring is actually worth less than it really is, you can buy it
      up cheaper. If you need to collectively unite employees you need to see them as interchangeable and
      so will ignore their any individual value they could have. This essentially misrepresent the real value
      in the economy, something you find much less in economies like Germany and Japan.

      So the left engaging the right on with its termonlogy and in collectuive confrontational ways
      merely undermines the real worth of the economy. The left need to be capitalists, and expose
      the collectivists in the left and right who take profit by misrepresenting the real value of
      our societies human resources, and leaving them the risks while they eat the profit.

      We should not be calling them benefits, its a loaded term, its income support, an investment.
      So if someone has been on the benefit for a long time, and there is no return on the investment,
      then this is called waste, and we should do better and finding ways to stem the losses.
      The present system deala horizontally and so ignores individuality and so perpetuates
      continued waste of the investment, and lets the creepy right demand that individuals
      be expelled from income support, quite illegally in my opinion. e.g. cutting the benefit
      by 50% is a breach of human rights, when do you become half a citizen?

      • Vicky32 5.1.1

        Yes, it matters what things are called.. for instance, the spread of the word “welfare” (which simply wasn’t used before the Rogergnomes (ACT in disguise as we call them in my family) came into power. Then State Housing was declared to be “welfare” which is how the Smiling Assassin can claim to have come from a poor background – when I was a child, State houses were pepper-potted and the state house people were indistuinguishable from the rest of us (our family was lucky to have inherited a house from a wealthy ancestor). But State houses were not welfare in the 1960s!
        When was it last called Income Support? (Fairly recently I think).
        But we bennies are now “clients”, which IMO truly bites. Only slightly less bad than “customers”.
        Deb

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